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Despite Initial Euphoria, Palestine Remains Grounded at U.N.Thalif Deen - IPS - When President Abbas addressed the Assembly General in September, the rapturous welcome he received implicitly indicated the vibrant support for U.N. recognition of Palestine. But three months later, there are no indications of any visible movement in either the Security Council or Assembly General. The Palestinians have remained resoundingly silent - probably under U.S. pressure. 31/12/2011
Gaza rockets hit Israel after overnight air strikesAFP - Yahoo News - ""We are preparing and ready for an additional campaign... to renew the deterrence," Tal Hermoni, commander of the Gaza division`s southern brigade, told reporters." - id30/12/2011
Palestinians in a `Jewish State`Ben White - Al Jazeera - A poorly understood aspect of Israel as a Jewish state is the distinction between "citizenship" and "nationality", an issue confused by the fact that, in English, the two terms can often be used interchangeably. In Israel, "`nationality` (Hebrew: le`um) and `citizenship` (Hebrew: ezrahut) are two separate, distinct statuses, conveying different rights and responsibilities". Palestinians in Israel, as non-Jews, can be citizens, but never nationals, and are thus denied "rights and privileges" enjoyed by those "who would qualify for Israeli citizenship under the 1950 Law of Return". 28/12/2011
Haifa Uni bans `Gaza massacre` event Tomer Velmer - Ynet - "Haifa University has announced its decision to call off a conference marking the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, which was planned by the Hadash faction for Wednesday." - id 28/12/2011
Israel’s Propaganda Minister: Arabs are a deplorable nationYossi Gurvitz - +972 - "I phoned the minister’s office for comment, and asked his spokesman: “Are you aware of the fact there are some 80 million Arabs in the world, from Sudan to Syria?” He replied: “Yes, there are – and the minister meant them all.”" - id 28/12/2011
Solidarity with Palestinians and the duplicity of India and Sri LankaSouth Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI)/Jadaliyya - South Asian states declare their support for the Palestinian recognition bid in UN. But at the same tim some of these states continue to build economic, military, and intelligence ties with Israel. India accounts for 50% of Israeli defense exports, and Israel for 30% of India’s. There is also a growing alliance among the Diaspora in the US between forces of Zionism and Hindutva (radical, anti-Muslim Hindu Nationalism). 27/12/2011
Bereaved Israeli, Palestinian families` meetings nixedTamar Trabelsi-Hadad - Ynet - Education Minister Gideon Sa`ar instructs schools to halt gatherings organized by the "Parents Circle-Families Forum" (PCFF): "Drawing a comparison between bereaved Israeli families and Palestinian families is inconceivable, as such discussions legitimize acts of terrorism." 27/12/2011
Israel TV Station’s Troubles Reflect a Larger Political BattlegroundEthan Bronner - NYT - “People in the coalition think it is time for them to change the rules — the rules regarding the Palestinians, the Arab sector in Israel, the left and the media. The Channel 10 story is part of that. And if we are left with only one commercial channel, we will be a weaker democracy.” 27/12/2011
Ch. 2 accuses Fatah leader of extremism by misquoting himAziz Abu Sarah - +972 - "The inflammatory reporting by Channel 2 on this issue is not just a sloppy journalism, but an act of deception committed against the Israeli people. It is this kind of journalism that adds fuel to the fire and ensures that people do not see a peaceful partner on the other side"26/12/2011
PA signs free trade agreement with MercosurMa`an News Agency - "Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki signed the deal in Montevideo as Palestinian Authority representative and thanked Mercosur, composed of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, for recognizing Palestine as an independent nation, MercoPress reported." ca 23/12/2011
Hamas denies Syrian report about MashaalMa`an News Agency - "The website of Syria’s General Organization of Radio and TV on Tuesday quoted Mashaal expressing disappointment at al-Qaradawi urging the Syrian people to revolt against the Syrian regime. Arab countries’ leaders have sold our cause, and the most renowned sheikhs have abandoned our people while president Bashar Assad was there to protect and support Hamas." ca 23/12/2011
Female prisoners on hunger strike over exchange dealMa`an News Agency - "A report by the Palestinian Authority ministry of prisoners affairs noted that detainees were deeply disappointed after finding out they were not included in phase two of the swap.They felt betrayed because Hamas did not live up to their promises to release all female prisoners, prisoners affairs lawyer Shireen Iraqi said." ca 23/12/2011
182 Counties Vote For Palestinian Right To Self-DeterminationSaed Bannoura - IMEMC - Seven countries, headed by the Unites States and Israel, voted against the resolution. Three countries abstained, including the new South Sudan - which just a few months ago gained the benefit of the right to self-detemination, but which is in many ways beholden to anti-Palestinian countries.20/12/2011
Captain George (aka Doron Zahavi) Rides AgainTikun Olam - "Zahavi is suing the IDF for wrongful termination. He claims that his superior officers knew everything he did and approved it. He’s likely correct and figures that they’ll settle with him rather than drag guys who may even now be cabinet ministers of members of the senior IDF command into court. Those officers may even be pressuring the State not to fight Zahavi and to prosecute Het, the source of their woes to their mind"19/12/2011
Legal researcher on Israel: "Segregation within segregation within segregation" Mikaela Levin - AIC - When people discuss apartheid in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), they tend to talk about the discrimination against the Palestinians on both sides of the separation barrier. Simone O’Brien, a legal researcher at Badil, proposes a more complex approach to the subject19/12/2011
Netanyahu to ‘New York Times’: Take a hikeHerb Keinon - Jerusalem Post Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is refusing to pen an op-ed piece for The New York Times, signaling the degree to which he is fed up with the influential newspaper’s editorial policy on Israel.In a letter to the Times obtained by The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, Netanyahu’s senior adviser Ron Dermer – in response to the paper’s request that Netanyahu write an op-ed – wrote that the prime minister would “respectfully decline.” ca "16/12/2011
Hezbollah Rejects March 14 UNIFIL ATTACK AccusationsDaily Star- “Hezbollah is directly or indirectly responsible for the operations carried out against UNIFIL. Therefore, the party is responsible for the fate of the south,” Geagea said Tuesday." ca 16/12/2011
PA flag hoisted at UNESCO as group announces drastic cuts Danna Harman - Haaretz - "It is the first time the Palestinian flag has been raised ceremoniously at any UN organization, and many saw the moment as a symbolic harbinger of eventual full UN membership." - id 14/12/2011
PLO official invites Gingrich to PalestineMa`an News - "I personally offer to host Mr. Gingrich," Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement, inviting the presidential hopeful "to re-learn his history and come to Palestine to see for himself." 13/12/2011
Peres: Recent legislation is `march of folly`Itamar Eichner - Yediot - "They won`t allow an organization to receive a donation of more than NIS 20,000 ($5,350)? What will that give? You see, all activities will be from the outside. If human rights in Israel are supervised from the outside then it will be better? It makes no sense. But sadly these guys are illogical," Peres said. He then added: "With all due respect, there`s a Jew that builds a house in Sheikh Jarrah, why isn`t he taxed?"
[As Israel`s President, Peres has been trying to stay out of the legislative arena, but recent wave of legislation leads him to break his silence]
Following protest, bank freezes support for anti-democratic groupDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - "Not to overstate the case, but this is the first time that Israel’s new-found civic-consumer muscle has been put to use for an overtly political cause that involves standing up to protect Israeli society from its dangerous anti-democratic elements. I wish this would be a turning point"12/12/2011
Analysis: Toward a true paradigm shift in PalestineMa`an News Agency "According to the International Middle East Media Center, citing an academic study conducted by a Palestinian researcher from the West Bank, "the amount of investments by Palestinian businessmen in Israeli settlements and in Israel itself, amounted to $2.5 billion in 2010.In fact, this is a much bigger issue than Palestinian money invested in the Israeli occupation, or even some outrageous concessions made by one chief negotiator or some other official." ca 9/12/2011
PA: Israel re-arrests prisoner after swap dealMa`an News Agency "The ministry condemned the arrest, saying it was a clear violation of the agreement between Israel and Hamas, the first stage of which was carried out in October. The second part is to be carried out within weeks." ca 9/12/2011
Peres Center told: Choose between Gaza health project and tax break Jonathan Lis - Haaretz The Israel Tax Authority told the Peres Center for Peace that it would have to withdraw from a project that brings physicians from the Gaza Strip to Israeli hospitals for training purposes if it wanted to receive tax-exempt status on donations. The Peres Center suspended its application for the tax exemptions rather than comply with the conditions, which it received in writing about 18 months ago." ca "9/12/2011
Im Tirzu Participation in Bank Leumi ‘Non-Political’ $500,000 Charity Giveaway Provokes OutrageRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam "In fact, the rules of the competition explicitly prohibit groups which have “political purposes,” which should rule out Im Tirzu. The Bank somehow lists it as an “educational” group since its declared aim of “educating” (read, propagandizing) Israelis about Zionism might seem on its face fairly benign (at least to the average Israeli). But most Israelis see through the disingenuousness of this claim, which is why so many customers are up in arms." ca9/12/2011
Shin Bet Restricts Gag Orders, Detainee ‘Disappearances’Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam "the new Shin Bet chief, Yoram Cohen, has ended (according to his/her claim) the agency’s use of gag orders and “disappearances” of detainees. The new director appears to have learned a lesson his predecessor, Yuval Diskin, did not: that when they engage in such draconian conduct, they only prove the arguments of their detractors, who say they are among the chief violators of civil liberties in Israeli society." ca9/12/2011
Joint resistance strategySaleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram Weekly "The flexibility of Fatah and Hamas has shown that the crisis of choices that faced the two groups caused the leaders in both camps to drastically revise their domestic political agendas and positions, and this augmented the chances of ending internal division. The most conspicuous proof of this flexibility is closer understanding between the two groups regarding a joint political and strategic agenda." ca 9/12/2011
Palestinian Authority: Bid for statehood is continuingSaed Bannoura - IMEMC - ""The purpose of this initiative is to bolster the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders and not to isolate or delegitimize Israel."" -id 7/12/2011
Quartet to meet in Jerusalem next weekAssociated Press - Ynet - "The Quartet delivered its roadmap on Sept. 23, just hours after Abbas presented the UN with the Palestinian bid for recognition as a state." - id7/12/2011
IDF censors Defence Minister, Chief of Staff’s sexist jokeDimi Reider - +972 - "The IDF spokesman’s office then approached the media organisations covering the exercise (including some foreign ones), demanding they don’t broadcast or report the remarks." - id7/12/2011
Likud MK gives a nod to his role model: “McCarthy was right”Ami Kaufman/Chemi Shalev - +972/Ha`aretz - Likud MK Ophir Akunis defends his aggressive anti-democratic legislation in Channel 10 interview: “[McCarthy] was right in every word.” [The Kaufman article includes a recording of the interview with English subtitles.]6/12/2011
Across the Wall – Book ReviewLudwig Watzal - The Palestine Chronicle - “The group focused only on issues of the past that haunt the present and surely affect the future. They also agreed on ditching the Western ‘paradigm of parity’ i.e. that there are two warring parties in Palestine who each carries equal responsibility for both the outbreak of, and the solution to, the conflict. So far, this paradigm failed, because the situation on the ground is dominated by disparity and inequality between a brutal colonial regime and an oppressed, dispossessed and colonized people”5/12/2011
Netanyahu Slams ‘Anti-liberal’ Arab Spring - Israel’s Grand HypocrisyJonathan Cook - CounterPunch - “As protests raged again across the Middle East, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, offered his assessment of the Arab Spring last week. It was, he said, an ‘Islamic, anti-western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli, undemocratic wave’, adding that Israel’s Arab neighbours were ‘moving not forwards, but backwards’. 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” 5/12/2011
Meretz MK Gal-On gets guard after death threat Gil Hoffman - Jerusalem Post - She did not receive the threat personally but heard about it from the police. Gal-On blamed recent anti-leftist legislation and said it would not stop her from expressing her views. [bz]4/12/2011
Clinton concerned over Israeli democracy Yitzhak Benhorin - Ynet - US secretary of state voices deep concern over wave of anti-democratic legislation, particularly bill targeting leftist organizations; criticizes exclusion of women from public life in Israel. Statements draw criticism by Israeli ministers [bz] 4/12/2011
`We`ll give up nukes if Iran does same`Yitzhak Benhorin - Ynet - Saban Center survey shows 65% of Israeli Jews willing to give up nuclear weapons if Islamic Republic waives its own program; prefer to see nuclear-free Middle East 3/12/2011
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta: `Israel must mend regional relations` Ynet - Panetta further urged Israel to "lean forward" to achieve peace with the Palestinians - rather than undermining the Palestinian Authority. `Get back to the damn table.` 3/12/2011
We Refuse to be ComplicitPress Release BDS Geneva, Basel, "This is the first time in Switzerland that a large group of artists and cultural agents responds to the call of the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). The signers of the declaration commit to forego artistic events in Israel as well as projects that seek to improve Israel’s image and cover up its apartheid policies. The declaration is directed at the state of Israel and its proxies, and does in no way target Israeli artists as such." CA2/12/2011
Always Trust AuthorityAmira Hass - "Journalists and Occupy Wall Street activists, so I hear, are cross with the police for having kept the press away from the OWS encampments during police raids. They cynically and disbelievingly quote the explicit reason behind this move: according to Michael Bloomberg, the NYPD did it "to protect members of the press," the exact same explanation given by the police in Los Angeles. My advice is never to doubt the wisdom of officials and never, never to underestimate their sincerity when they are so concerned with a journalist`s wellbeing. So my experience tells me." ca 2/12/2011
Arab Spring and the Intellectual DivideRamzy Baroud - Palestinechronicle True, a revolution can be polarizing for those who are projected to either win or lose once its final outcome is determined. But intellectuals have a historic responsibility to remain vigilant of the uniqueness of each and every collective experience, and to place it within accurate historical contexts. They should not omit inconvenient truths when such omissions are deemed convenient." ca "2/12/2011
Coerced False Confessions: The Case of Palestinian Children Graciela Carmon, M.D - Physicians for Human Rights - Israel "The purpose of this expert opinion is to address psychological and social factors that affect children and adolescents who are in custody and undergoing police interrogation. Three main questions are raised." ca2/12/2011
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