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Date: Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 2:04 PM
Subject: The Latest from Mondoweiss for 03/12/2011
Here are the headlines from Mondoweiss for 03/12/2011:
Deconstructing the news from the West Bank
Conservative Canadian newspaper gives platform to student leader’s ‘genocide’ assertion
Here we come to save the day
King hearings come to Flatbush: David Horowitz stokes anti-Muslim sentiment at Brooklyn College
Flotilla set to sail for Gaza on anniversary of Mavi Marmara killings
Why mainstream Jewish orgs haven’t said a word against Peter King’s anti-Muslim hearings
Libyan Unrest: Zawiya remains under revolutionaries’ control despite attacks from Gaddafi’s forces
Obama sets his strategy: Arab advocates for democracy will have to cool their heels
The Jewish sideshow (and why I want to play in it)
Let us undermine Jewish exceptionalist myths
Deconstructing the news from the West Bank
Mar 11, 2011 09:52 pm | Richard Congress
Rick Congress posted this on his blog, Politics, Music & Irony.
Here is the news item:
Army: Palestinian Kills 5 In West Bank Settlement
by The Associated Press
March 11, 2011
The Israeli military says a Palestinian has infiltrated a Jewish West Bank settlement and killed five people.
Israeli media is reporting that the dead are all members of the same family — parents and three children.
The military says it is sweeping the area in search of the perpetrator and has set up checkpoints throughout the West Bank.
The attack early Saturday in the northern West Bank settlement of Itamar is the first of its kind in years. It marks a rare outburst of violence during a relatively calm period.
Itamar is home to some of the West Bank`s most fervent settlers. The attack took place in the middle of the night against a religious community on the Jewish Sabbath.
Here is the news story deconstructed:
1) Five members of one family living in a West Bank settlement (armed expansionist colony) are killed. This is bad. People should not be killed. The usual crowd (US Congressional Reps, AIPAC, ADL, Dershowitz, obese Jerry Nadler, et al) will be baying for a retaliation (say, blowing up a village or two) and talking heads will tsk, tsk about blood thirsty Arabs who can`t get along with the `Jewish and Democratic state.`
2) The legal protection of the `Jewish and Democratic state` exists for the 500,000 Israeli citizens who live in colonies in the West Bank, which is actually outside the internationally recognized borders of said state. However, the 2.5 million Palestinians who are in the West Bank live under Israeli military law.
3) Not mentioned in the AP story is the verifiable fact that about one Palestinian under occupation has been killed every other day for the last solid year by armed settlers and the Israeli Army.
4) The AP story calls the killings in Itmar `A rare outburst of violence during a relatively calm period.` From this we learn that the definition of `a relatively calm period` is one in which scores of Palestinians are killed, hundreds are tear gassed and shot while engaging in peaceful protests against their land being stolen, and armed settlers systematically destroy orchards being cultivated by Palestinian farmers.
5) Calmness, we must conclude, prevails only when illegal settlers are free to attack Palestinian civilians, with no risk to there own wellbeing and serenity.
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Conservative Canadian newspaper gives platform to student leader’s ‘genocide’ assertion
Mar 11, 2011 07:47 pm | Philip Weiss
The movement for Palestinian dignity won`t be stamped out, and it is finding a home among progressives. I am told that this story about the `growing tradition` of Israeli Apartheid Week was on the front page of the National Post in Canada today, the print version, a paper known for its support for Israel. This never would have happened even a year or so back, says my informant. It shows that the `delegitimization` issue, Israel`s negative image, is becoming an int`l brushfire. Also note the student leader`s swift response to Canadian politician Ignatieff in the rabble.ca piece below, and his deft deflection of the anti-Semitism charge... The Post first:
The Queen`s University campus in Kingston was consumed by controversy this week after an elected student representative used his office to accuse Israel of genocide, and claimed to speak for the entire student body.
In an essay on a left-wing news site, Queen`s rector Nick Day defended the growing Canadian university tradition of Israeli Apartheid Week in a response to Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff `s statement condemning the protests.
`I was elected to represent the approximately 20,000 students of Queen`s University,` Mr. Day wrote on Rabble.ca Wednesday.
`If ever I used the influence of my office and the power of my public voice, as you have, to insulate from criticism the perpetrator of mass-slaughter, I would have a very difficult time sleeping at night.`
This guy Nick Day is a smart cat. Here`s part of his post at rabble.ca:
The first paragraph of your statement states, `Israeli apartheid week... is a dangerous cocktail of ignorance and intolerance.` However, the critique of Israeli apartheid is informed by data, observation, scholarship, and UN resolutions and reports. Scholars, activists, international advocates, civil society leaders and UN officials have observed that the occupation, checkpoints, walls, relocations, and home demolitions committed by Israel in Palestine have created a system of racial separateness and dominance. Thus, they have applied the term `apartheid` because of its obvious and internationally recognized applicability. Therefore, it does not reflect ignorance. If you were ignorant of these facts, I understand why you made the mistake you did in your statement. Now that you know, please rescind your statement and issue an apology or retraction.
Why does your party believe that Israeli Apartheid Week reflects intolerance? Israeli Apartheid Week seeks to raise awareness about a system of separateness and dominance as well as its policies and violence. It is a critique of the policies and practices of a state, it is not a critique of Jewish people. When you equate it with `intolerance` you reflect the ignorant and anti-Semitic view that the State of Israel is the same entity as `Jewish people` or the global Jewish Diaspora. Of course, it is not. Israel is a state, Zionism is a political ideology/movement, and many Jewish people worldwide staunchly oppose the policies and practices of Israel
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Here we come to save the day
Mar 11, 2011 02:06 pm | Philip Weiss
`Israel Quick to Offer Aid to Quake Victims,` writes The Israel Project:
Jerusalem, March 11 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly offered aid to victims of Friday’s massive earthquake in Japan and the first group of Israeli humanitarian experts was already preparing to leave for the scene.
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King hearings come to Flatbush: David Horowitz stokes anti-Muslim sentiment at Brooklyn College
Mar 11, 2011 01:07 pm | Zoe Zenowich
Brooklyn College had its own Peter King hearing last night when right-wing commentator David Horowitz spoke to a feisty crowd of students and faculty.
At first I debated whether or not to even give voice to what David Horowitz said. After all, it is pretty well known that Horowitz is the Glenn Beck of Zionists—a rambler of hate who continually contradicts himself and history.
But given the current political climate and the audience filled with faculty and students who eagerly echoed Horowitz’s calls of anti-Muslim sentiment, I feel it is important to document.
Outside the library where the lecture was held, security guards insisted that ten or so peaceful protesters huddled in the rain stand behind steel gates they had brought out for the occasion. Inside, security guards searched bags before running a handheld metal detector over everyone entering the lecture hall—security measures I have never before experienced in my four years of attending guest speaker events at the college. In his opening comments, Horowitz remarked, “How does it feel to go through a check point? I’ll tell you one thing, I feel safer and that’s what check points are about—making people feel safe when they’re under attack by terrorists and Middle East Jew haters. “ Later, Horowitz added, “check points are there to protect the innocent from the guilty.”
Perhaps it was no coincidence that Horowitz was brought on campus with the help of two faculty members only a month following the controversy over the school administration’s decision to reinstate Political Science adjunct Professor Kristofer Petersen-Overton, who was fired following outside political motivation due in part to his scholarly work on Palestinian national identity. Horowitz was sure to make reference to the apparent “hostile environment” that “liberal professors” create and to which students are subjected. Apparently, “Jewish organizations across the country have been intimidated from presenting their case.”
But it became all the more clear last night that this so-called “hostile environment” is something being created by the very people pointing to its existence.
Just last week the Brooklyn College administration placed restrictions on the ability of the Palestine Club to participate in a series of direct action events organized in conjunction with other student organization across New York City as part of Israeli Apartheid Week. The club proposed to have a 6 ft x 8 ft mock wall out of paper to symbolize the separation wall in the West Bank, but according to the co-founder of the Palestine Club, Eeman Abuasi, the administration claimed—amongst many other things—that the wall would fuel more tension on campus and could be insulting to some students. Instead, the administration said the Palestine Club could only have the event if they agreed to construct a smaller model that could be placed on a table for display, like a diagram at an elementary school science fair.
Given this context, it was all the more disturbing last night when I looked across the crowd and saw tears run down the face of a member of the Palestine Club as Horowitz said to the group of mostly nodding heads, “All through history people have been oppressed but no people has done what the Palestinians have done—no people has shown itself so morally sick as the Palestinians have.”
Horowitz, who admitted he had actually never even been to Israel, proceeded to give everyone a lesson in Middle East politics: according to him, Muslims in the Middle East are “Islamic Nazi’s” who “want to kill Jews, that’s their agenda.” He added later, “all Muslim associations are fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Horowitz appeared to be too delusional to even be quoted, or taken seriously if it weren’t for the audience members who so fervently agreed with what he was saying.
The most revealing moment came when a young Arab-American woman directed a question to Horowitz and the audience: “You talk about Muslims as if you know them—We have a Muslim American Society, we have a Palestine Club [on campus]. I want to raise the question to any of the Jews in this room, and students, have you guys ever been threatened by a Muslim on campus or an Arab?” To this, the crowd almost unanimously spun around in their seats to face the young woman and replied “yes.” Someone shouted, “and we’re scared when we see Muslims on buses and airplanes too.”
Horowitz encouraged anti-Muslim hate by telling the crowd, “no other people have sunk so low as the Palestinians have and yet everybody is afraid to say this,” claiming that Muslims are a “protected species in this country” and that he’s “wait[ing] for the day when the good Muslims step forward.”
The scary thing is that people listen to such hateful rhetoric and nod along. What would they say if someone said the same about Jewish people? Alas—hate speech is indeed the downside of First Amendment rights. Nevertheless, if the Brooklyn College administration justifies its decision to hinder the ability of the Palestine Club to partake in a cross-city peaceful demonstration because it’s offensive, it is a wonder why they would agree to give voice to a person who encourages hysterical fear of Muslims.
Zoe Zenowich is a Senior in the Scholars Program at Brooklyn College, where she is the managing editor of the Excelsior, a student newspaper. Follow her on Twitter @zoezenowich.
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Flotilla set to sail for Gaza on anniversary of Mavi Marmara killings
Mar 11, 2011 12:58 pm | Kate
and other news from Today in Palestine:
Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers
Bedouins slated to get ownership of Negev lands
Ynet 11 Mar -- Draft report on status of Negev lands indicates State will grant 50% of Bedouin claims on lands they occupy, provide compensation amounting to billions of shekels. PM`s Office: Report not final ... Sources involved in the case told Ynet on Thursday the Bedouins may oppose the plan as it will only see them receiving ownership of 50% of the lands they occupy and be compensated for the other 50% ... The new plan aims to provide a solution to what the State has described as a `ticking bomb,` by legalizing tens of thousands of illegal Bedouin structures in the Negev and reinforcing the enforcement system in the area. Sources familiar with the issue said the recognition of Bedouin ownership may open a gate for settlers whom the state evicted from their homes to demand equal terms in court.
Bedouin reject compensation offer, accuse Israel of land grab
Haaretz 10 Mar -- Responding to reported deal to provide Bedouin with approximately 50% of their current land, some leaders accused the state an intentional attempt to divide their community.
Army destroys wells, tents near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 11 Mar -- Israeli forces destroyed wells and tents of Palestinian families, who live in the Um Nir village near Soseya settlement. Ten families were left homeless by the action, according to relatives. They called for urgent intervention to stop Israel`s plan to confiscate land around the settlement for expansion. The Red Cross has provided tents to the families in the area, they added. [End]
Palestinian family in East Jerusalem told to make way for Jewish settlers / Harriet Sherwood
Guardian 10 Mar -- A Palestinian family in East Jerusalem have been ordered to evacuate a room in their home so Jewish settlers can move in, following an 11-year court battle waged by a pro-settler US millionaire. Ahmed Hamdallah, 33, has been told to remove his furniture and possessions by Monday or he will be billed for the cost of bailiffs clearing a room occupied by himself, his wife and one-year-old son. New occupants will take over the property under the protection of armed guards, he has been told ... Hamdallah said he intended to destroy the extension, which has views of the Dome of the Rock and the Mount of Olives, rather than hand it over to settlers. `Do you think I will just give them the key? I`m not going to allow them to live in my house,` he told the Guardian. `I have no power to do anything. I don`t even have the strength to speak or eat or go to work.`
Street in al-Thuri sealed off as clashes continue
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 11 Mar 14:35-- Israeli forces closed off Ben Naomi Street in Al-Thruri district following the spread of clashes throughout southern Silwan. The village is still witnessing violent confrontations between citizens and Israeli forces, who are firing rubber bullets, sound grenades and tear gas at Palestinian residents.
Gas fired into family home in Bir Ayyub
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 11 Mar 14:00 -- Eyewitnesses report that Israeli troops fired a tear gas grenade in to a family home in Bir Ayyub district of Silwan. Members of the Al-Khatour family experienced serious breathing problems after the gas bomb was fired randomly in to their home, with the mother and 2 daughters under 5 years of age evacuated from the home suffering asphyxiation effects. Panic swept through the house as gas filled the rooms, said onlookers.
Undercover forces infiltrate Silwan, heavy barrage of tear gas fired on prayer attendees
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 11 Mar 13:22 -- Israeli undercover forces raided Bir Ayyub district of Silwan immediately after the midday prayer today, firing a heavy barrage of tear gas and sound bombs. Eyewitnesses state that Israeli police, accompanied by undercover forces, infiltrated the neighborhood in a small unmarked minibus. An attack of tear gas and sound grenades was then launched on those Palestinians attending the weekly public prayer in Al-Bustan protest tent. Undercover forces attempted to arrest several children present but were stopped by other youth.
Ibrahim Aoudeh released, brother remains behind bars
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 10 Mar 17:44 -- A celebration was staged in Silwan in honour of 22-year old Ibrahim Aoudeh, released from Israeli detention today, after he was incarcerated on charges of participating in clashes in Silwan. Aoudeh’s release has been eagerly awaited after 10 months behind bars. Aoudeh arrived today at the southern entrance to Silwan, where he was met by a jubilant throng of friends and family, with a procession continuing through the village to the Al-Bustan protest tent.
Land Center: Israel committed more than 25 violations last month in Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) 10 Mar -- 13 serious violations against Palestinians’ right to housing took place during this reporting month, most notably, the forcing of a citizen to demolish his home by himself in Sur Bahir area at the pretext of unlicensed construction. ... The IOF returned to reoccupy the roof of a building in Baten Al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan district in order to protect Jewish settlers and help them attack the residents, while the settlers are still occupying the houses of three Palestinian families known as Hanoun, Ghawi and Kurd and launching repeated attacks from these houses on their displaced rightful owners and other residents of the neighborhood. During the month, about 80 olive, almond, apricot and fig trees were uprooted by Israeli military bulldozers in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood....
Israeli settlers threaten Western diplomats
JERUSALEM (AFP) 10 Mar -- Western diplomats working with the Palestinians told AFP on Thursday they have received threatening letters warning they are `at risk` because of their nations` criticism of settlements. Diplomatic sources at several foreign missions in east Jerusalem and Ramallah confirmed receiving the letters, which were distributed by men who appeared to be settlers at a checkpoint by the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Left-leaning youth to initiate new West Bank settlement
Haaretz 11 Mar -- The left-leaning Bnei Hamoshavim youth movement is planning to build a new settlement for its graduates in the Jordan Valley, Army Radio reported on Thursday. At a meeting between the movement`s secretary general, Eyal Uzon, and the head of the Jordan Valley regional council, David Alhiani, himself a Bnei Hamoshavim graduate, the movement was offered the abandoned Gadi military base, near Moshav Mesua, which is beyond the Green Line.
Hamas slams Palestinian`s kidnap in Ukraine
GAZA CITY (AFP) 11 Mar -- Hamas condemned on Friday the abduction of a Palestinian engineer in the Ukraine, which his family blamed on the Israeli secret service, the Mossad, and demanded his release. `This kidnapping violates international law and Ukraine`s sovereignty. It is further proof of the contempt of the [Israeli] occupation for the international community,` spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP ... The Israeli justice system has imposed a gag order on information connected to the disappearance of Abu Sisi, an alleged Hamas member and director of a power station in Gaza.
IOA holds MP Salhab in administrative detention
AL-KHALIL, (PIC) 10 Mar -- The Israeli Ofer court on Wednesday sentenced Palestinian MP Dr. Azzam Salhab to six months administrative detention without his presence in court, his family said ... The IOA arrested the lawmaker a week ago while on his way back home from Nablus where he was visiting a friend to console him over the death of his father ... The IOA has re-detained eight Hamas MPs, who were released from earlier administrative detention, over the past few weeks and ordered them administratively held anew.
Q&A: `Women are shackled during childbirth`
VIENNA, Mar 10, 2011 (IPS) - Female Palestinian prisoners detained in Israel are often denied legal representation and medical care while being housed in squalid conditions that can include sharing cells with rodents ... Women bear the brunt of the infringement upon their cultural and religious rights. A former prisoner said, `They took away my jilbab [long dress] and gave me their special brown prisoner uniform. It was short sleeved. I asked for a long sleeved shirt that I could wear under the uniform. Again they refused. I moved between cells among male guards in a short sleeved uniform… what hurt me most were the insults they hurled at me.`
Arab MK Zahalka questions Aharonovitch on child abuse video
NAZARETH, (PIC) 10 Mar -- Arab Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka has submitted an urgent interpellation against Israeli Minister of Internal Security Yitshak Aharonovich questioning him over ”excessive force” used against an 11-year-old boy arrested in Nabi Saleh. Aharonovich has denied fault in the way his forces handled the arrest ... Commenting on questions that the child was arrested under the age of criminal responsibility, Aharonovich alleged the child had been throwing stones at a special forces unit and endangered their lives and the lives of pedestrians, and that such a crime is punishable by law. He added that if police are unable to ascertain the age of a child, he should be arrested at the scene.
IOF troops round up 17 West Bankers
WEST BANK, (PIC) 10 Mar -- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 17 Palestinians in various West Bank areas at dawn Thursday after forcing entire families out of their homes in the severe weather conditions. The Israeli radio said that the arrests were made after several incursions in different West Bank areas. Local sources said that the raids focused on the districts of Qalqilia and Nablus during which the IOF soldiers stormed homes and wreaked havoc in them.
Hamas: PA detained 3 members
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Mar -- Hamas on Friday said Palestinian Authority security forces detained three party members overnight. The Islamist movement said its affiliates were detained in the Nablus district in the northern West Bank.
Siege / Restriction of movement
sore / Ilana Hammerman
[long, upsetting and important article] 11 Mar -- After many delays, a diabetes patient from the Gaza Strip was finally allowed to travel to a Ramallah hospital for surgery. A fraught journey through the land of the checkpoints ... Hibah, 24, has diabetes, is nearly blind, suffers from intraocular pressure, and was in urgent need of an operation meant to save what remains of her eyesight. An appointment had been made for her at an ophthalmological hospital in Ramallah. It was the second one she had made: She had not been able to get there for the first appointment, about a month earlier. Why?... the Israeli body authorized to issue entry and exit permits to the besieged residents of Gaza ... had failed to respond to the request, and the date for the scheduled operation passed.
Union suspends strike at Gaza crossing
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Mar -- Gaza`s transport workers union decided Thursday to suspend the strike at Kerem Shalom crossing for two weeks. Truck drivers have held a sit-in at the crossing since Sunday to demand the reopening of Karni crossing, Gaza`s only bulk goods terminal.
First deal clinched to bring building materials to Gaza via Rafah crossing
GAZA, (PIC) 10 Mar -- The Arab and International Commission to Build Gaza has clinched the first ever formal deal that would bring construction materials into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing. The AICBG lauded the Egyptian army and new government in Egypt for allowing the first bag of cement to officially cross over to Gaza. The deal was signed by the British Aloha Palestine and the Egyptian international coalition to end the siege and build the Gaza Strip after European activists successfully got the first bag of cement into Gaza via the crossing, said AICBG President Kanaan Abeed.
Qassam hits Negev, does damage
Ynet 11 Mar -- A Qassam rocket hit agricultural fields in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council Friday afternoon. No injuries were reported, but damage was caused to agricultural equipment. The alarm was sounded in the area, and residents succeeded in reaching their bunkers.
Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
Soldiers attack West Bank anti-Wall protests, two arrested
Bethlehem - PNN - Anti-wall protests organized in the villages of Bil‘in, Ni‘lin and al-Nabi Saleh in the central West Bank as well as al-Ma‘sara in the south ended with two arrested and many others treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Israeli police scare tactics against left activists continue
AIC 10 Mar -- Israeli police issued a search warrant for contraband drugs in what was apparently an attempt to frighten left-wing activists and conduct a political interrogation. On Thursday afternoon (10 March) four Israeli police officers arrived at the home of a left-wing activist in Tel Aviv with a search warrant.
Dexia excluded from Triodos sustainable investment universe due to involvement in Israeli settlements
AIC 10 Mar -- Belgian bank Dexia has been excluded from the Triodos sustainable investment universe because of its ongoing financing of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Dutch opposition boycotts parliamentary delegation to Israel
EI 10 Mar -- Dutch opposition parties boycotted a parliamentary delegation to the Middle East in February after parties supporting the right-wing government insisted on going ahead with the visit despite an Israeli government ban on allowing the lawmakers to visit the besieged Gaza Strip.
Chicago activists rename downtown street signs in honor of murdered Palestinians youth
AIC 10 Mar -- The activists used ladders just as rush hour commuters were starting to arrive in Chicago`s loop, and replaced street signs that read `Honorary Ben Gurion Way` with `Honorary Mehdi Abu Ayyesh Way.` ... On Wednesday afternoon, activists in San Francisco unfurled a large banner over the highway reading, “Justice for Mehdi Abu Ayyash,” as part of the international events planned
UK groups officially announce aid ships to sail to Gaza in May
London (PNN) 11 Mar -- British Human Rights groups announced this week that new aid ships convey will depart to Gaza on May 30, the same day Israeli commandos attacked Mavi Marmara aid ship sailing to Gaza last year. The Britain 2 Gaza mission is being brought together by 5 British campaign groups; Friends of Al Aqsa, the British Muslim Initiative, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition and the Palestinian Forum of Britain. The mission will be joined by similar initiatives from over 20 other countries
Palestinian refugees storm UNRWA offices in Beirut in protest of aid cuts
AP 11 Mar -- Palestinian protesters were angry over cuts to health and education services in recent years; police held back protesters at entrance to UN Relief and Work Agency ...The protest comes three days after the death of a Palestinian boy in the refugee camp near the southern city of Sidon. Mohammed Nabih Taha, 10, reportedly died in front of a hospital where he was refused entry because his family did not have money for treatment. Some 400,000 refugees live in Lebanon, mainly in 12 crowded camps.
Racism / Discrimination
Civil rights lawyer Auni Bana: Is there a logic to the security at Ben Gurion?
Haaretz 9 Mar -- Four years ago, attorney Auni Bana of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice. He demanded clarifications on security checks and the labeling of Arab citizens at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Bana talks about meticulous and humiliating checks, which he says he himself has experienced. This week the High Court issued an order instructing the state to explain why there should not be security checks according to equal criteria; Bana thinks this is already a significant step ... Attorney Bana, have you yourself had a bad experience at the airport? Of course, every time I fly I have such an experience. It begins with the entry barrier to Ben-Gurion Airport with a special lane for Arabs, up to the terminal entrance, and of course the meticulous security check. During one trip the security check ended only at the door of the plane.
A lesson in Arabic / Sayed Kashua
A little boy approached us and shifted the conversation to a different place. The boy came up to us in the way children have, with a hesitant gaze, keeping a safe distance. Seeing him, my son bent his head in embarrassment as he always does, occasionally stealing a glance at the boy. `He wants to be your friend,` I said to my son, who now plucked up the courage to look the new boy in the eye. `What language are you speaking?` the boy asked with a smile. `Arabic,` my son told the boy, smiling. `Ichsa [Yuck],` the boy said in response and went on staring at my son for a moment before returning to his mother`s arms. I will never forget the look that passed across my son`s face.
Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 3-9 March 2011
PCHR 10 Mar -- Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continued Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) 7 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by IOF and Israeli settlers in Qasra village, southeast of Nablus.· IOF launched a series of air strikes against civilian targets in the Gaza Strip. - A car was bombarded, and 4 offices, stores and 12 flats were damaged in Nussairat refugee camp.- Two rooms were destroyed and 6 houses were damaged in al-Zawaida village. ETC
Palestinian mother doubts UN laws on women`s rights
Xinhua 10 Mar -- Zahira Esha, a 65-year- old mother, better known as Om Akram, from the north West Bank city of Nablus, does not believe in UN laws on women`s rights when her family faced the repression caused by Israeli security measures. As two big pictures of her children hanging on the wall in front of her, Om Akram prays to God everyday, hoping to see them freed soon from an Israeli prison. One of her children is imprisoned with his wife, and she is waiting for the moment to see the three are back to their families.
Political / Diplomatic news
Fayyad to Israel PM: Define a Palestinian state
JERICHO, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 10 Mar -- The world must push Israel`s Benjamin Netanyahu to say whether or not he accepts a Palestinian state on lands occupied in 1967, prime minister Salam Fayyad said on Thursday. `It is time for the international community to ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: does he accept the establishment of a Palestinian state on all the lands occupied in 1967 -- yes or no?` he told AFP on a visit to Jericho.
Fateh rejects document presented by Hamas `to end internal divisions`
IMEMC 10 Mar -- After the Hamas movement presented a document that was described as a new initiative to achieve internal Palestinian unity, the rival Fateh movement rejected the document and said that Hamas is trying to subdue popular protests for change in the Gaza Strip ... The Initiative that was presented by Hamas during a meeting with several factions, calls for forming a unified leadership that runs the Palestinian affairs until the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is reformed so that Hamas and the Islamic Jihad can join it.
Hamas dismayed at Hague statement on elections
DAMASCUS, (PIC) 10 Mar -- Hamas expressed absolute dismay at recent statements for British foreign secretary William Hague in which he falsely accused the movement of strangling democratic freedom of opinion. Hamas said in a statement on Wednesday that it came to rule via the ballot box with the free will of the Palestinian people, which the European Union and the USA refused to recognize or deal with. Hamas reiterated that it was committed to elections as the means to choose a legitimate leadership for the Palestinian people.
Palestinians mull prospects for unity
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Mar -- The Gaza Strip and the West Bank are so divided, the only step remaining is for the rival governments to appoint ambassadors to each other`s territories, said Abu Mohammad, a Palestinian in his 70s. Abu Mohammad`s remark echoes a growing disillusionment on the Palestinian street over prospects for reconciliation.
Quartet talks peace with Israel, Palestinians
JERUSALEM (AFP) 11 Mar -- Envoys of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet failed to secure agreement on a resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians after a series of separate meetings on Thursday.
Quartet meeting postponed at US request, Russia says
DS 11 Mar -- A meeting of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet has been delayed by a month until April 15 at the request of the U.S., Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, according to the Russian Ria Novosti news agency ... Lavrov said Russia was “against a pause in the Middle East peace process, especially amid the unrest that has hit the region in the past few months,” the news agency said. `Delaying the [Middle East] settlement in the current situation is in no one’s interests,” he said.
Hamas appoints first female minister in shuffle
GAZA CITY (AFP) 10 Mar -- Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza reshuffled his cabinet on Thursday, appointing a female minister to his government for the first time. The reorganisation, which the Islamist group announced in a statement, leaves the 15-member cabinet largely unchanged, and does not bring members of any other Palestinian political groups into the government. It creates for the first time a Hamas ministry for national affairs and a women`s ministry, to be headed by Jamila al-Shanti, the first female minister to be appointed by the Islamist group. The reshuffle also appoints Mohammed Awad to the post of foreign minister, the first time the post has been filled since 2007.
Talks sought on Palestinian gas field
JERUSALEM, March 10 (UPI) -- A natural gas field discovered in the eastern Mediterranean off the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip a decade ago has become entangled in the tortuous Middle East peace process and may help it along. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is reported to have approached Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to reopen negotiations for Israel to buy natural gas from a field found off Gaza in 2000. That`s a major shift by the Israelis and probably reflects their energy concerns amid the turmoil sweeping the Arab world and the downfall of Egyptian peace partner Hosni Mubarak in particular. The bombing of a gas terminal in Egypt`s Sinai Desert Feb. 5 during an anti-Mubarak uprising cut off the flow of Egyptian gas to Israel
Israeli army holds graduation ceremony at Ibrahimi Mosque
MEMO 10 Mar -- Israeli sources have revealed that the Givati Brigade in the Israeli Army held the graduation ceremony of a training course for new recruits in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. The Mosque is known by Israelis as the Cave of the Patriarchs ... This occurs within the context of escalating Israeli efforts to completely Judaize the Ibrahimi Mosque despite that the greatest portion of the area has already been carved out for Jews.
Israeli rabbis launch initiative to marry gay men to lesbian women
Haaretz 11 Mar -- Rabbis from the religious Zionist community have launched an initiative to marry gay men to lesbian women - with some surprising successes. So far, 11 marriages have been performed. Haaretz conducted an email interview with one such couple, Etti and Roni (not their real names ).
Barak`s wife faces indictment
Ynet 11 Mar -- An indictment is expected to be filed next week against Defense Minister Ehud Barak`s wife, Nili Priel, who is suspected of illegally employing a foreign worker at the couple`s Tel Aviv apartment. She is slated to be charged of violating the Labor law.
`Crime figure employed illegal Palestinian aliens`
Ynet 10 Mar Police arrested crime figure Francois Abutbul on Thursday for allegedly employing three Palestinians residing in Israel illegally. It is suspected the three were performing renovation work in a Netanyah restaurant owned by Abutbul, who was released from prison less than three months ago. [what, not `illegal Arab alien infiltrators`?]
Analysis / Opinion
from 2010 but worth repeating when so much is going on in the Negev:
Israel`s Negev `frontier` / Ben White
Al Jazeera 7 Apr 2010 -- In the Negev (referred to as al-Naqab by Palestinian Bedouins), over 3,000 attended a rally at al-Araqib, an `unrecognised` Palestinian Bedouin village whose lands are being targeted by the familiar partnership of the Israeli state and the Jewish National Fund. The historical context for the crisis facing Palestinian Bedouins today is important, as the Israeli government and Zionist groups try to propagate the idea that the problems, so far as they exist, are `humanitarian` or `cultural`. Even the category of `Bedouin` is historically and politically loaded, with many disputing what they see as an Israeli `divide and rule` strategy towards the Palestinians.
Decline and fall of Israel`s Messianic politics / Carlo Strenger
...What happens to Millenarian movements? Their prophecies are at some point falsified by history: the second coming of Christ does not occur when predicted; no Mahdi re-establishes the Caliphate. The national-religious movement will have to face the failure of its prophecy that the founding of the State of Israel and the conquest of the West Bank is the onset of the Messianic period. It will have to realize that Israel is part of an international system that has standards of legitimacy that can and must not be disregarded. The problem is that national-religious Messianism will not go quietly ... The question is, what price will Israel have to pay until its citizens realize that four decades of messianic politics are threatening to destroy the down-to-earth, realistic vision of being free people in our own country?
Who benefits from EU-Israel academic cooperation? / David Cronin
EI 10 Mar -- ...Each year the IDC hosts the Herzliya security conference, attracting Israel`s political, military and business elite, as well as illustrious foreign guests. Speakers at this conference can spout racist invective without fear of being challenged; in 2003, Yitzhak Ravid, a senior researcher with Israel`s weapons development authority Rafael, called for coercive measures to curb the birthrate among Palestinians.
Right`s diversionary tactic
In an op-ed on leading news site Ynet, B`Tselem`s spokesperson explains why focusing on foreign governmental funding of Israeli NGOs is aimed at diverting attention from the enormous sums donated by wealthy foreigners to the settlement enterprise
While we curl up comfortably / Doron Rosenblum
Haaretz 11 Mar -- No one is going out in the streets holding placards protesting against the fall of one political outpost after another; there are no demonstrations against the apathy that holds Israel captive as its isolation grows, year after year.
Jerusalem & Babylon / Lobbying for the release of Jonathan Pollard will only worsen US ties / Anschel Pfeffer
Haaretz 11 Mar -- Has everyone gone off their minds and am I the only sane person still around? Why is the whole country joining in this insane carnival and nobody sounding a warning? What has possessed us to join this campaign to release the man who single-handedly caused more damage to Israel`s most strategic asset than any other?
Israel to get first museum of Arab art and culture / Harriet Sherwood
Guardian 10 Mar -- Living testimonies from century of conflict will form basis for $30m museum in Israeli-Arab city -- In a spring storm of driving rain this week, I visited an art gallery in Umm al-Fahm, an Israeli-Arab city just north of the West Bank. Sitting on a mountain ridge, the town is home to around 50,000 Arab citizens of Israel and its gallery is the only venue in Israel dedicated to Palestinian and Arab art and culture.
Iraq, other Mideast
Thursday: 8 Iraqis killed, 19 wounded
At least eight Iraqis were killed and 19 more were wounded in the latest round of violence. Again, almost all reported attacks were in the capital. Protests also continue, much to the chagrin of the prime minister who went on the defensive today. Amnesty International warned that a number of missing Iraqi protesters could be facing torture while in detention
Audio: Scott Horton interviews Les Roberts
Les Roberts, Associate Clinical Professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia University, discusses the hundreds of thousands of unreported Iraqi deaths, 80% of which were previously uncounted; how “excess deaths” are inferred from statistical sampling; the changing cause of death in Iraq during 2004-06, from US bombs to Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence; how lazy journalists failed to cross check fatalities and assumed newly reported deaths were already accounted for; and the lying US government officials who claimed “we don’t do body counts.”
Arab world witnesses more protests
AJ 11 Mar -- Police deployed in Saudi capital in anticipation of protests, as demonstrations are seen across many Middle East states.
Rabbi decries US congressional hearing for profiling Muslims
Haaretz 10 Mar -- An Orthodox rabbi in New York is leading a coordinated public relations campaign against a House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee hearing on the `radicalization of the Muslim community in the U.S.` that commenced on Thursday.
It`s all about Israel -- why the Jewish establishment didn`t speak up about Peter King`s anti-Muslim hearings / Alex Kane
1 Mar -- There has been little objection from the mainstream Jewish establishment to Representative Peter King’s anti-Muslim hearings that took place yesterday, and some commentators are asking why. Given the history of discrimination against Jews in the U.S., it should be an easy call to speak out against the McCarthy-like hearings that seek to demonize Muslim-Americans (laudably, J Street has spoken out, as well as, surprisingly, the Anti-Defamation League ).
Emotions high at US Muslim radicalization hearing
WASHINGTON (AFP) 11 Mar -- Emotional US lawmakers squared off at a drama-filled hearing on the homegrown Muslim terror threat, showcasing sharp discord over the extent of radicalization and how Islam fits into the American tapestry.
Senate bill would preserve anti-terror prison
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 10 Mar --
Data & daily updated occupation related reading :
Links to the latest articles in this section
France: Israel-Palestinian solution to be presented to UNSC
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Hamas debates direct talks with Israel