Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Take Action on President Obama's FY2010 Budget Request for Military Aid to Israel
President Obama has promised to 'make a personal commitment to do all I can to advance the cause of [Israeli-Palestinian] peace from the start of my Administration.'
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/641/t/2439/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26705

Land Theft
PNI: No more hope for peace with Israel; EU: Israel must reconsider settlement construction
Ramallah - Ma'an - There is no hope for peace with Israel in light of Israeli election results and the recently unveiled plans to build 73,000 housing units in settlements across the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) said.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36165


PA condemns Israeli decision to build 15.000 housing units in WB
Palestinian presidency's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina described on Monday the Israeli cabinet' approval of building more than 15.000 settling units in West Bank as "a hit against the peace process in the region."
http://english.ramattan.net/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=39962


West Bank settler count to 'double'

ISRAEL'S housing ministry has plans for West Bank building that will nearly double the number of settlers in the occupied territory, the Israeli group Peace Now says.' The group's report was issued overnight ahead of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first visit to the Middle East since taking office.
http://www.theage.com.au/world/west-bank-settler-count-to-double-20090302-8mgw.html


IOF demolishes a Palestinian house in Jerusalem
The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) demolished on Monday a Palestinian house in the occupied East Jerusalem, Palestinian security sources said.
http://english.ramattan.net/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=39961

Expelling Jerusalem's Palestinians, One House at a Time

There are some people whose faces betray the difficulties they have encountered throughout their lives. Salah Shweiki is one of them. Sitting under the large tent set up in Silwan's Bustan Quarter, seeking warmth from the wood burning in an old wheelbarrow, Shweiki emanates the aura of an elderly sage. In his 56 years of life, he has seen a lot, maybe too much, but today, he is focused, his face determined and his will iron solid.
http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=18983&CategoryId=13

Israel Threatens to Evacuate 1,500 Palestinian Residents from Silwan
Map showing the areas of Israeli settlement and archeological excavations (pink), and areas under the threat of demolition by Israel (yellow), (map by OCHA, 2009). On 22 February 2009, the Jerusalem Municipality served notices to the citizens of al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan to 'voluntarily' evacuate their homes within 72 hours. The municipality claimed the houses in the area were built without permits.
http://www.alternativenews.org/content/view/1606/494/


Jayyus, a village trapped

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - "They started smashing down doors at 2am last Wednesday before moving through homes and destroying property," says the mayor of Jayyus, Muhammed Taher Shamasni. "Residents were assaulted, money was stolen, computers confiscated, over 60 young men arrested and the village placed under curfew. The Israeli soldiers came into my home and threw the contents of cupboards and closets on to the floor," Shamasni told IPS.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10358.shtml


Jaffa: from eminence to ethnic cleansing
The story of Jaffa's ongoing Nakba is the story of the transformation of a thriving modern urban center into a marginalized neighborhood suffering from poverty, discrimination, gentrification, crime and demolition since the initial wave of mass expulsion in 1948 to the present day. Sami Abu Shehadeh and Fadi Shbaytah trace Jaffa's modern history.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10338.shtml


The Refugees
Rebuild Gaza, but don't forget Nahr al-Bared
Monday's international donor conference at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, which is expected to raise some $2 billion for the ailing Palestinian economy, is crucial to the future of the Middle East. The main focus of the conference is the reconstruction of Gaza - and rightly so. As many as 20,000 homes and buildings were damaged or destroyed in the recent violence there.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=99745


Attacks/Arrests/Siege
23 Palestinians killed in February
The International Solidarity for Human Rights reported Sunday that the Israeli army carried repeated violations in the occupied territories in February and killed 23 Palestinians, including four children and three women.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59064


Report: Israeli army kidnapped 292 Palestinians from the W.B during the month of February
The Palestinian Political detainees Society issued a report on Monday stating that the Israeli military have kidnapped 292 Palestinians during the month of February.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59068


The military kidnaps three civilians from Nablus, and two injured in villages nearby
Israeli troops kidnapped on Monday morning three Palestinian civilians during a pre dawn invasion targeting the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59069


Israeli Army kidnaps five Palestinian civilians from Ramallah
Five Palestinian civilians were kidnapped by the Israeli Army on Monday during pre dawn invasions targeting a refugee camp in the central West Bank city of Ramallah.' Local sources said that Israeli troops stormed al-Jalazon refugee camp, searched homes and then kidnapped five men.' Meanwhile, other invasions were reported in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem and in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on Monday. Israeli troops searched and ransacked homes, but no kidnappings were reported. [end]'
http://www.imemc.org/article/59074

Medical neglect on the rise in Hadarim Prison, nine more arrests
During early morning invasions of the West Bank Israeli forces arrested nine Palestinians. Break-ins included Nablus and it's Balata Refugee Camp. Jalazone Refugee Camp in northern Ramallah was also hit along with the southern city of Hebron.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4884&Itemid=1


Israelis beat, detain young Palestinian at Nablus checkpoint
Israeli soldiers arrested 20-year-old Husam Mohammad Abu Hamad from a village near Nablus on Sunday, local witnesses said. The young man from the village of A'sira Al-Qebliya was beaten before his arrest at the Huwwara checkpoint on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus, witnesses claimed. "The Israeli soldiers harshly beat Abu Hamad [who was] trying to pass through Huwwara, before being handcuffed, and then transferred him to the nearby Huwwara military post," one of the witnesses told Ma'an. [end]
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36145


Israeli settler children stone Palestinian woman and baby
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_pz3lkO7pQ&NR=1


Israeli settlers' unleashed pigs attack Palestinian near Nablus
Dozens of pigs belonging to Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian young man from the village of An-Nasarieyah, north of the West Bank city of Nablus, on Sunday. Palestinian medical sources said that Ayman Ibrahim Hamdan, 25, was transferred to Rafidia Hospital in the city after being bitten by one of the pigs. Hamadan told Ma'an that dozens of pigs unleashed by the Israeli settlers of the illegal settlement of Al-Hamra adjacent to the village had attacked him while he was in his farm in the village. One of the pigs apparently bit him in the foot, causing injuries, and he was transferred to the hospital, where his condition was described as lightly injured.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36152

Al Jazeera Video:'Differences threaten Gaza reconstruction - 02 Mar 09

Israel's 22-day offensive on the Gaza Strip has left a trail of destruction.' Rebuilding is an enormous project, now being done with little money, a few tools and no organization. But as bn of dollars are being pledged to fund the reconstruction efforts, Israeli blockade is still in effect.' Al Jazeera's Todd Baer reports from Gaza City.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyPCFcuc8xg


In pictures: Gaza's Samouni Street
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/08/middle_east_gaza0s_
samouni_street/html/1.stm


Surrounded by all sides, choices go from bad to worse for devastated Palestinians of Gaza Strip

The Palestinian donor conference is underway in Sharm el-Sheikh bringing in billions of dollars. Now the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Mousa, says that Sharm el-Sheikh is a strong message to Israel that the world is with Palestine. During the major attacks Palestinians from all corners demanded the presence of the UN, of the international community.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4888&Itemid=1


Palestinians Retaliate
Five Gaza rockets strike Israel: military
AFP - Palestinian militants in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip fired five rockets at southern Israel on Sunday, according to the Israeli military, further straining a fragile ceasefire.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090302/wl_mideast_afp/mideastconflictgazarocket

Humanitarian Issues
Hamas: Palestinian blood can't be traded for politicized aid
Gaza ' Ma'an ' The Hamas movement on Monday stated its rejection 'of taking advantage of reconstruction in Gaza to achieve political gains for any side at the expense of the Palestinian people and their inalienable rights.'' 'Our people's blood can't be traded, under any circumstances, by politicized aid for reconstruction,' said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesperson.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36156


Oxfam: Survival rations will not rebuild Gaza
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36159Bethlehem - Ma'an - As the Palestinian Authority unveils its plan for Gaza reconstruction based on the insistence of the international community to have Israeli crossings opened, Oxfam International revealed that only a fraction of the range of goods needed even for humanitarian purposes are being allowed.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36159


Amnesty Calls On Us To Suspend Arms Sales To Israel
Hellfire missiles and white phosphorus artillery shells among weapons used in 'indiscriminate' attacks on civilians, says human rights group.
http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticlePrint/20751


US shuns Hamas in Gaza aid pledge
Gazans to get $300m to rebuild and Abbas government $600m but Hamas bypassed.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/03/20093123950313941.html

Israeli limits stymie Gaza rebuilding

Without a shift in the Israeli policy that doesn't allow building materials into Gaza, much of the $2.8 billion that Palestinians hope to raise at a donors' conference Monday will be limited to humanitarians needs.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0302/p01s02-wome.html


The pasta, paper and hearing aids that could threaten Israeli security
Members of the highest-ranking American delegation to tour Gaza were shocked to discover that the Israeli blockade against the Hamas-ruled territory included such food staples as lentils, macaroni and tomato paste.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-pasta-paper-and-hearing-
aids-that-could-threaten-israeli-security-1635143.html


Israeli limits stymie Gaza rebuilding
Without a shift in the Israeli policy that doesn't allow building materials into Gaza, much of the $2.8 billion that Palestinians hope to raise at a donors' conference Monday will be limited to humanitarians needs.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0302/p01s02-wome.html


War Crimes
Israel may face war crimes trials over Gaza
' Court looks at whether Palestinians can bring case
' International pressure grows over conflict
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/02/israel-war-crimes-gaza


Iran urges Interpol to arrest 15 Israelis over Gaza 'war crimes'
Iran has asked Interpol to arrest what it says are 15 Israeli "war criminals" who were involved in the conflict in Gaza in December and January, the Tehran prosecutor said in remarks reported on Sunday. Iran, which does not recognize Israel's right to exist, said in December it had set up a court to try Israelis for attacking Gaza. It had said at the time it was ready to try those it accused in absentia. " In the current week, we have completed our investigation [of] about 15 individuals who were among those criminals," Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi said. "Based on our investigation and according to article two of the Interpol charter, we asked Interpol to arrest these suspects," he said in comments carried by Iranian state television, according to the BBC's monitoring service.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1067792.html


Political Aftermath

U.S. Talks Tough on Gaza Aid
Limits on Distribution of $300 Million Suggest Administration Is Hewing to Bush-Era Stance.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/01/AR2009030101746.html

International Donors Meet on Gaza Aid without Hamas
International donors meeting in Egypt on Monday are expected to pledge billions of dollars in aid to help rebuild the war-battered Gaza Strip and revitalize the Palestinian economy.'' But US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on her first visit to the region as America's top diplomat, said the economic aid must go hand-in-hand with efforts to reach a comprehensive peace deal with Israel.
http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=76031&language=en


Donor conference brings in billions but attempts to keep control via the western backed PA
The money is coming in at the Palestinian Donors Conference that began this morning in Sharm el-Sheikh.' Nearly three billion dollars are expected, but Palestinian officials such as Jabril Rajoub told PNN in Jerusalem that the crossings must be opened, while Economy Minister Zaza says reconstruction must be coordinated with Hamas.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4887&Itemid=1


Rizqa: Al-Sharm conference invited the wrong representative of Palestinians
GAZA, (PIC)-- Dr. Youssef Rizqa, the political advisor to premier Ismail Haneyya, stated Sunday that the organizers of the Sharm Al-Sheikh conference on the Gaza Strip who invited Salam Fayyad to represent the Palestinian people went to the wrong address, saying that Fayyad represents only the international and American will. In a statement published by the Bayan media center, Dr. Rizqa underlined that this conference should have invited the true representative of the Palestinian people represented in the democratically elected PLC, stressing that without the government in Gaza there could be no reconstruction.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/

Palestinian factions in Cairo identify duties of committees
CAIRO, (PIC)-- The Palestinian factions identified at the conclusion of their meetings in Cairo the duties of the five committees formed to deal with the files of the national unity government, the security apparatuses, the rebuilding of the PLO, the elections and the national reconciliation. According to a statement issued by the Palestinian factions and a copy of which was received by the PIC, the committee on the government has been entrusted with the task of preparing a proposal about the formation of the government and its nature as a transitional government until the end of the PLC's mandate and determining its assignments.

http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/


Israel PM's family link to Hamas peace bid
Olmert rejected Palestinian attempts to set up talks through go-between before Gaza invasion. - Hamas, the militant Palestinian organisation, attempted to conduct secret talks with the Israeli leadership in the protracted run-up to the recent war in Gaza - with messages being passed from the group atone stage through a member of prime minister Ehud Olmert's family. Confirmation of attempts to establish a direct line of communication between Hamas and Israel - and the willingness of senior figures in Hamas to contemplate direct negotiations - fundamentally alters the narrative of the build-up to the war in Gaza which claimed more than 1,300 Palestinian lives and led to about a dozen Israeli deaths.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/01/israel-hamas-olmert-palestine-shalit

Livni: Netanyahu Is More Extreme than Lieberman
01/03/2009 Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni is a "unity refusenik," sources close to Israeli prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday following his second meeting with Livni on Friday.' The failure to bridge gaps between the leaders of the two largest actions in the Knesset increases the likelihood that Netanyahu will seek a partnership with rightist factions in establishing his government.' In a round of talks Livni held with members of the Kadima faction, she said, "Netanyahu is more extreme than Lieberman, who doesn't rule out a two-state solution. Netanyahu isn't even willing to discuss it."
http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=75938&language=en


Other News

Turkish newspaper: Israel plans to oust Turkish premier Erdogan
The Turkish Zaman newspaper reported Saturday that Israel plans to overthrow the Turkish government headed by Recep Erdogan because of his support for the Palestinian cause and his withdrawal from the Davos forum in protest at not being given enough opportunity to respond to the fallacies of the Israeli president. The newspaper revealed that Israel provides support for Turkish forces opposed to the ruling party of justice and development and trying to topple the Turkish government.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/

Human rights group demands investigation into Gaza City murder
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) on Sunday called upon the de facto government in Gaza to initiate an immediate investigation into the murder of one of the Strip's residents. Hamza Mahmoud Al-Shoubaki, age 40, was abducted by unidentified gunmen on Thursday, 26 February and subsequently died.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36140


Gazans say Karem Shalom fire caused $11 million in damages
A committee of Gaza traders who were harmed by the fire that broke earlier at warehouses near the Karem Shalom crossing in Gaza estimated their total damages at USD 11 million. "Our loss reached 11 million USD, which equals 43 million NIS, due to the fire that broke out in the Karem Shalom crossing and burned 150 truckloads of goods, which belonged to traders and importers from Gaza," the group said. At a news conference on Sunday in Gaza City, Khaled Lubad, a spokesperson for the committee, held the Israeli government responsible for the damages and insisted they should compensate those harmed.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36147


PA: Israel to approve 3,458 family reunification applications
The Palestinian Authority's head of Civil Affairs said 3,458 family reunification documents would be published by Israel on Monday. The department head, Husein Ash-Sheikh, said that the move to approve the documents was evidence of "the efforts made by the [Civil Affairs] department on this issue. " He added that the development "came out of hard work on this initiative upon the instructions of President Abbas," noting that "these efforts will continue for all submitted reunification applications through coordination and dialogue with the other side [Israel]. " He concluded by saying that 'this file is of national importance, since citizenship is a right for each Palestinian, and we make our utmost efforts" on the issue.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36149


Two Gazan photojournalists win Thomson foundation awards; West Bankers take first and third in print
Two Gazan journalists received prizes from the British Thompson Foundation's 'Inquirer Award 2008' which for the first time included a category for photojournalists. They accepted the awards in absentia, being denied permission to leave Gaza. The Inquirer Award is an initiative of British ambassadors in the Middle East and seeks to reward the region's best investigative reporter of the year.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=36133


Olmert told indictment may include Talansky charges
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Sunday informed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's attorney that he was considering filing criminal charges against the premier for allegedly accepting cash-stuffed envelopes from Jewish-American businessman Morris Talansky. Olmert will have one last chance to testify, should he choose to do so, before a final decision is made on the matter. Olmert's former bureau chief, Shula Zaken, received a similar message from the attorney general on Sunday.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1067786.html


Largest U.S. Jewish body urges EU to take Obama's lead, skip Durban
The biggest Jewish body in the United States on Sunday lauded the decision of the Obama administration not to participate in a United Nations anti-racism summit which it fears will be used as a forum to criticize Israel.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1067776.html


ADL slams Swedish city's 'anti-Israel bias' in tennis fan ban
The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday criticized Swedish authorities for banning spectators from a Davis Cup tennis match between Sweden and Israel.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1067737.html


Ramallah: the Palestinian Police fines drivers with flowers instead to tickets
As it's the case each morning the traffic policemen started there day by standing on the meager street intersections in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59072


Media Bias and Propaganda
The American Left and the Middle East: the lousy Example of the Nation magazine
Here, the Nation magazine continues in its Zionist apologia and provides praise for Grossman merely because he does not question Israeli decisions to engage in crimes, massacres, occupation, and wars of aggression. His son (a member of a terrorist army who probably killed--like other Israeli terrorist soldiers kill--a countless number of Palestinian and Arab civilians--is that not a specialty of that Israeli army?) received more attention and mention in the American press than all the hundreds of Palestinian children who were killed by Israeli army terrorists in the war on Gaza.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/03/american-left-and-middle-east-lousy.html

Solidarity
'Viva Palestina' continues Gaza journey
The Gaza-bound aid convoy 'viva palestina' carrying humanitarian supplies from Britain toward the Gaza Strip has arrived in Libya.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=87237&sectionid=351020202


'Israeli Apartheid Week' Taking Place in Universities and Refugee Camps
BDS National Committee (BNC), Occupied Palestine, 26 February 2009 ' The fifth international Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) ' occurring in over 40 cities in Palestine and worldwide ' will be held across the West Bank from 2-8 March 2009.
http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/1871.shtml


Israeli Apartheid Week: local production, economic stimulus discussion in Tulkarem
The Israeli Apartheid Week has begun in universities across the occupied West Bank. Monday's session is being held in the northwestern West Bank's Tulkarem and is discussing the effects of the Wall on the economy. Mohammad Jayyousi of the Stop the Wall Campaign in leading today's opening session at Al-Khadouri College.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4883&Itemid=1

Friday protests in solidarity with Silwan

In spite of Friday's stormy weather, villagers in Jayyous, Ni'lin and Bil'in held their weekly demonstration against the Wall. Several people were wounded, and one student in Jayyous was arrested. A mass demonstration also took place in Jerusalem to protest the home demolitions that will displace 1,500 from Silwan.
http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/1870.shtml


West Bank strike unifies country that is divided on the map
'What is being done to my neighbors in Silwan is being done to the whole of Palestine,' Adela Hosseini told PNN yesterday during the West Bank-wide commercial strike against the destruction of East Jerusalem.' The Al Bustan area of Silwan, just to the south of Al Aqsa Mosque, is one of dozens of East Jerusalem neighborhoods under threat of destruction as the Israeli administration continues the steady takeover of the holy city.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4876&Itemid=1

Sustaining global solidarity after Gaza

The Israeli bombing and invasion of Gaza, which has now claimed more than 1,400 lives, generated serious popular backlash the world over. The overwhelmingly weak official positions and statements, especially in the Arab world, stood in stark contrast to the outpouring of rage that was witnessed in the streets of capitals, cities and towns across the globe. This recent wave of protests has a particular quality, however, that differentiates it from past mobilizations: The initial flare up of energy is being channeled into effective grassroots political action, primarily in the form of an ongoing campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). The tangible victories and rise of BDS activism immediately following Gaza are a direct result of the many years of often little-acknowledged organizing, building, and mobilizing that was undertaken following the 2005 call from Palestinian civil society. It is important to look at these last four years in order to make sure that we continue to build on these victories. We have moved beyond questioning the efficacy of BDS and must now work to incorporate the growing numbers of people who, while outraged at the events in Gaza, are not yet connected to the BDS movement. We also must expand the actors and struggles involved in BDS by linking the Palestinian cause to other similar fights for social, economic and political justice.
http://stopthewall.org/analysisandfeatures/1869.shtml

Analysis/Op-ed
King Abdullah Has No Robes
Located in the Hijaz region of western Saudi Arabia, Medina is the second holiest city in Islam. It is home to the Prophet's Mosque and its famous green dome, beneath which is found Muhammad's tomb. Millions of Muslims visit Medina each year, often as a stopover before beginning the Hajj, or annual pilgrimage to Mecca. This week though, in the normally tranquil environs of the mosque, violence erupted and blood was spilled. The strife in Media comes on the heels of recently announced 'reforms' of the religious police and judiciary by Saudi King Abdullah, and is a telling sign of just how dismissively they were received.
http://www.counterpunch.com/amiri02272009.html


Jordan's King: LSD, fortune tellers, and Black September
Ashton describes Hussein's brush with LSD (Linda Christian, described as a "fading starlet" from Hollywood, brought it to one of the king's parties; the king needed medical treatment afterward), as well as how the king chose which day to attack the Palestinian rebels, in what would become Black September of 1970, based on the advice of his sister-in-law's fortune teller in London.
http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1067582.html


A Website to Spread Al Jazeera English.
Finally, there is a website that helps viewers generate pressure on American cable and satellite TV providers who have not included Al Jazeera English in their offerings. Some fear consumer backlash or say there is not enough demand.
http://www.kabobfest.com/2009/03/website-to-spread-al-jazeera-english.html


AIPAC, Espionage and the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement
The following document case file tracks the first US Free Trade Agreement signed with Israel in 1985.' The lobbying battle pitted' large US corporations, American industry associations, small fruit and vegetable growers and thousands of individual petitioners against the "American-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc." and American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.' American industries were shocked when the FBI began investigating AIPAC for obtaining and distributing the 300 page report containing their trade secrets titled "Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty Free Treatment for U.S. Imports from Israel, Investigation No. 332-180" in the midst of the negotiations.' The ITC later confirmed that the Israeli government also obtained the still-classified report.' The document contains business confidential trade secrets, market share, inventory, delivery costs, internal production costs and other highly sensitive data US industries submitted under strict confidence to urge the best possible outcome for US businesses.
http://www.irmep.org/ila/fta/


Walt calls out seven Israel-firsters for smearing Freeman
Steve Walt, who is giving lectures on the Israel lobby, here describes a McCarthyite smear campaign against longtime public servant Chas Freeman, the new head of the National Intelligence Council, and singles out: Jonathan Chait, Michael Goldfarb of Weekly Standard, Jeffrey Goldberg, Gabriel Schoenfeld, Jonah Goldberg of National Review, Marty Peretz, and Steve Rosen, formerly of AIPAC.
http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/03/walt-calls-out-seven-israelfirsters-
for-smearing-freeman.html


Mideast turmoil dooms high-achieving West Bank mayor
BIDYA, West Bank ' Something about Bidya doesn't look quite right.' The streets that Mayor Ramadan Shatat tried so hard to keep clean are littered with trash. The taxi stand he planned is still an empty lot. The City Hall bulletin board is blank; no photos of city events, no updates on city business.' And what happened to the mayor himself?' "He's no longer mayor,'' says Billa Assaf, one of Bidya's 10,000 residents.' Today, Bidya is again under the control of the Palestinian Authority and its Fatah Party. Gone is Shatat, who went from ribbon-cuttings to arrest by Israeli soldiers to hanging by his wrists in a Palestinian jail. His offense? Being elected mayor on the ticket of Hamas, rival party of Fatah.' Now back at home, Shatat says his experience shows another face of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, widely viewed as Israel's "moderate'' partners for peace despite their treatment of fellow Palestinians and a questionable commitment to democracy.
http://www.tampabay.com/news/world/article980316.ece


The wisdom of an Israeli Jew
Paul J. Balles considers former Israeli legislator and cabinet member Avrum Burg's thought-provoking views on Jewish identity and Israeli psychology, arguing that, if American Jews and Israelis could learn from Burg, 'there might be a chance for an enduring peace in the Middle East'.' "Avrum Burg is the scion of one of Israel's founding families,' writes Tony Karon in Time magazine (1 January 2009) 'His father was the deputy speaker of the first Knesset, and Burg himself later became speaker of the legislature, and a member of Israel's cabinet." Karon adds, "In his new book The Holocaust Is Over: We Must Rise from Its Ashes, he argues that an obsession with an exaggerated sense of threats to Jewish survival cultivated by Israel and its most fervent backers actually impedes the realization of Judaism's higher goals."' The following extracts of Avrum Burg's thinking came from an interview with Karon. While his humanitarian conscience held sway during that interview, his comments are thought provoking and raise further question.
http://www.redress.cc/zionism/pjballes20090301#pjballes20090301_bio


Another day in Jerusalem, with some walking
More blustery and foul, rainy weather in Jerusalem today. In the morning I did great back-to-back interviews with Naomi Chazan and Yigal Kipnis. Naomi's the Chair of the Meretz Party, a former leading Meretz MK, and one-time deputy speaker of the Knesset. Yigal is a farmer/settler on Golan who's very supportive of the idea of a land-for-peace deal with Syria and has written a lot about the history of the Golan. Two peaceniks with interesting perspectives on the decline of their country's peace movement-- which is what I was principally asking about.
http://justworldnews.org/archives/003418.html


"Dance of Death: 'Waltz with Bashir' and Sympathy for the Killer
"The film "Waltzing with Bashir" is being shown in some cities here in America. I didn't want to see it on the big screen so I didn't have to hear the "oohs and ahhs" of the sympathetic liberal crowd of'for example'Berkeley. More importantly, I didn't want to pay one penny to an Israeli company. I have to say, after I went to see Steven Spielburg's "Munich" with a leftist friend, I no longer saw her, except rarely. When the film ended, I wanted to go very far away from her, toward Anatolia. She tried to persuade me that Mr. Spielberg was a just man, that the film wasn't biased against Arabs like others of its ilk from Hollywood. Do you want me to be happy just because we are depicted as half-human as opposed to animals? Have you read the memoirs of Abu Daoud [leader of the Black September group] before debating me? Is Spielburg aware that the Munich action came not from the [Palestinian] leadership but from the base, whose blood was boiling because of the on-going Israeli attacks on the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon at the time? I spoke quickly, and my voice was raised and tense, and she thought she would calm my nerves. Who told her I wanted to be calmed?
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/03/translation-of-my-dance-of-death-waltz.html


Arabs in Hollywood

The Academy Awards rarely make mention of films that properly address issues relating to the Arab world, Islam and/or terrorism (I'm not including technical categories like sound and special effects). Of course, there are exceptions like Waltz With Bashir and Munich, but those types of movies are only palpable to the people running Hollywood because they present a purely Israeli perspective. Syriana is another one, closer to the middle of the spectrum. And of course there was Paradise Now and all its problems(despite the fact that it was produced with help from people in Israel).
http://www.kabobfest.com/2009/03/arabs-in-hollywood.html


Iraq
Exclusive: The Iraqi Resistance Responds to President Obama
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22130.htm


Sunday: 3 Iraqis Killed, 3 Wounded
http://www.antiwar.com/updates/?articleid=14332


Iraq Death Toll Rises to 258 in February: Ministries
01/03/2009 A total of 258 Iraqis were killed in violence in February, a sharp rise from the previous month that saw the lowest casualty figures since the 2003 US-led invasion, authorities said on Sunday.'' Statistics compiled by the defense, interior and health ministries showed that 211 civilians, 17 soldiers and 30 policemen lost their lives to violence across the country in February. The death toll was up 35 percent on January's total of 191, which was the lowest figure since 2003. The latest casualty figures also showed that 456 civilians, 31 soldiers and 61 police were wounded in February.
http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=75954&language=en


Hundreds of Iraqi Shiites Protest Voting Results, Allege Fraud

BAGHDAD, March 1 -- Hundreds of Shiite protesters took to the streets Sunday in restive Diyala province, asserting that electoral fraud had deprived Shiites of seats on an influential provincial council.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/01/AR2009030101712
.html?wprss=rss_world/mideast


Army: Enemy fire caused copter collision in Iraq
Enemy fire caused two U.S. Army helicopters to collide in Iraq last month, killing four American pilots from Fort Drum, officials at the northern New York military post said Friday.
http://www.syracuse.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/news-30/123574105414180.xml
&storylist=state


Iraq's 'Chemical Ali' condemned to death for third time
An Iraqi court on Monday condemned Saddam Hussein's notorious henchman "Chemical Ali" Hassan al-Majid to his third death sentence over the murder of Shiite Muslims 10 years ago.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090302/wl_mideast_afp/iraqtrialshiitesali


Iraq court acquits Tareq Aziz of Shiite killings
An Iraqi court acquitted former deputy premier Tareq Aziz of all charges related to the killing and displacing of Shiite Muslims in 1999. While Saddam Hussein's top henchman and cousin "Chemical Ali" was given his third death sentence by for his involvement in the matter.
http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/03/02/67566.html


An amazing youtube of an American officer berating a group of Iraqi policemen
Apparently [made] last month, calling them "women" for the fact that they won't take on the Mahdi militia. All his rage must be translated into Arabic by a soldier at his side:' "You love seeing Americans die for your fucking country, you won't die for it yourself. I don't see your ass in my hometown."
http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/03/


Iraqi Refugees Returning to Danger Zone to Escape Poverty in Utah...Frustration: "We're human beings there. ' Here we are mice."

As human rights organizations call for aid and resettlement for millions of Iraqi refugees, some who are exasperated by America's refugee system are going home or attempting to return to other countries in the Middle East. They feel abandoned by federal policies that offer limited and brief financial support and leave many refugees living in poverty.
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/03/01-1


Iraqi government careless about its own refugees ' minister

The Iraqi ministry which is supposed to look after Iraqi refugees says its coffers are empty despite urgent needs.' Displacement and Migration Minister Abdulsamad Sultan said he could not even afford paying the travel expenses of Iraqi refugees willing to return home.' There are no exact figures on the numbers of Iraqis who had to flee the country or leave their homes in the aftermath of the 2003 U.S. invasion.
http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\
2009-02-27\kurd.htm

Iraq's orphans battle to outgrow abuse

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At night, 11-year-old Salah Abbas Hisham wakes up screaming. Sometimes, in the dark, he silently attacks the boy next to him in a tiny Baghdad orphanage where 33 boys sleep on cots or on the floor.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUKTRE52100R20090302?rpc=401&


Baghdad fire devours ancient quarter

A huge fire raged in the ancient Kadhimiya quarter of Baghdad and the blaze is said to have razed at least 50 shops, Baghdad fire fighting officials said.' They said it took 300 fire fighters and scores of fire fighting vehicles more than five hours to extinguish the blaze.' The shopping area most affect by the fire is a venue for traditional shopping where grocers sell mainly spices and antiques.
http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\
2009-03-01\kurd.htm

A new democratic dawn in Iraq - or back to the bad old days?
As the troops prepare to go, how do conditions compare with those under Saddam?' As the US and Britain steadily exit Iraq, a pre-invasion reality is returning for many. Essential services still don't work, while the old-world Ba'athist order is once again flourishing.' Saddam Hussein's loyalists have been removed from the extensive bureaucracies that once ran Iraq, but the often draconian rules they imposed over 30 years are back in vogue.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/02/iraq-britain-us-democracy-corruption


In Iraq, shisha cafes are in the air
With improved security and more young men with money to spend, clubs offering hookah pipes to smoke are cropping up all over the capital.' Outside the Soltan Nights cafe in central Baghdad, the air is thick with the exhaust of countless diesel generators and a sandstorm that turns the sky the color of dishwater.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/middleeast/la-fg-baghdad-cafe1-
2009mar01,0,7681495.story?track=rss


U.S. and other news
US officer gets 25 years for detainee murder
An army officer was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a military jury on Saturday for shooting and killing an Iraqi detainee during an interrogation.
http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=168416&
bolum=100


REVEALED: 'There was no Cabinet debate in run-up to war,' says Short as Government refuses to release minutes

Details surrounding two crucial meetings on the eve of the conflict were laid bare for the first time yesterday when former Cabinet Minister Clare Short, who was present at both, gave a full account of what happened.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1158148/REVEALED-There-Cabinet-debate
-run-war-says-Short-Government-refuses-release-minutes.html


UK ministers refuse to appear before Human Rights panel
Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith have both refused to appear before Parliament's human rights committee to answer questions about allegations of British collusion in the torture of British citizens and residents detained during counter-terrorism operations in Pakistan.
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/
world/uk-ministers-refuse-to-appear-before-hr-panel--za


Dennis Ross and Iran
In October 2008 I presented a paper, entitled 'What the Future has in Store for Iran,' at a conference on Middle East Studies. The paper, which was subsequently posted at Payvand.com , examined what the US policy toward Iran might look like if either Barack Obama or John McCain came to office. The conclusion of my essay, stated in its last two lines, was: 'In the case of McCain, the war [waged against Iran] might come sooner than later. In Obama's case, one might see a period of 'tough' or 'aggressive diplomacy' before hostilities begin.'

http://www.counterpunch.org/sasan02272009.html
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

 
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