Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land theft / destruction / settlements

Israel razes Palestinian encampment in West Bank
(AP) RAMALLAH, Occupied West Bank: Israeli troops tore down shacks, tents and greenhouses belonging to 19 Palestinian families in a West Bank encampment Thursday, displacing dozens of people, Palestinian officials said. An Israeli official said troops took down 16 tents pitched in a military training zone, and that residents were ordered to leave for their own safety. However, inhabitants of the encampment said they have lived in the area for decades, that the military base is three kilometers away and that soldiers endangered them by coming near the village to train.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=102719

Israel demands enormous fees from families in Jerusalem

More than 90 Palestinian families from Jerusalem appealed for financial support to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Hatim Abdul-Qadir. The families are each being told they must pay between 20,000-200,000 Israeli shekels (5,000-50,000 US dollars) to the Israeli municipal council of Jerusalem in taxes and fines for a road built in 1998.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38346

Al-Ma`sara demonstration commemorates the 42nd year of al-Naksa

Today, the weekly popular protest at al-Ma'sara, a village near Bethlehem, was again met by armed Israeli soldiers. The Israeli Occupying Forces had blocked the exit road of the village with razor wire, denying the people their right to access their fields. The organizers of the protest, the al-Ma'sara Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, held speeches commemorating the Naksa (The Setback), which marked the beginning of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on June 6, 1967.

http://imemc.org/article/60701

Clinton: No official Bush-era deal with Israel on settlements
(AFP) US Secretary of State says Bush administration never agreed to Israel expanding West Bank communities; insists there is no record of 'any informal or oral agreement' to that effect --
"We have the negotiating record, that is the official record that was turned over to the Obama administration by the outgoing Bush administration," Clinton said Friday at a joint press conference with her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.  "There is no memorialization of any informal or oral agreement" concerning the settlements, she said.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3726920,00.html

Text of Ariel Sharon and George W. Bush's letters in full
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/415475.html

Movement restrictions, checkpoints

PA: Israel didn't remove military checkpoints as claimed
Israel had claimed that it removed the Rimonim and Bir Zeit roadblocks located in the Binyamin region, near Ramallah. However according to the Palestinian sources, "the two checkpoints which Israel claimed were removed on Thursday were discovered to still be there."

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38337

Israelis to open some Nablus checkpoints 24 hours a day
Israel has officially informed the Palestinian side that some military checkpoints surrounding Nablus in the northern West Bank will be open 24 hours a day starting on Saturday. Huwwara, Shavi Shomron, and the At-Tneib checkpoints will be open 24 hours for pedestrians, while they will open from 5am to midnight for vehicles. Meanwhile, the Awarta checkpoint will be open until midnight, and Beit Furik checkpoint will be open untill 11pm.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38341

Palestinian citizens of Israel to gain access to Qalqiliya
"Palestinians from inside Israel will be allowed to drive their private vehicles to Qalqiliya starting Saturday," the Palestinian Civil Affairs Department in the West Bank governorate said in a statement. The department also noted that two Qalqiliya checkpoints, the District Coordination Office (DCO) east of the city and Galoud to the south, will be removed in their entirety on Sunday.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38351

Palestinians 'humiliated', cancel meeting with Israelis
Senior officials from the Palestinian coordination mechanisms in the Hebron area refused to arrive to a meeting with their Israeli counterparts grounds that they had been humiliated. On their way to Israel, the three had been asked to undergo a security check at the Tarkumiah crossing in the West Bank. The Palestinian team was supposed to arrive in Israel to discuss the transfer of trucks bearing peaches and plums into Hebron.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3726868,00.html

World Bank: Aid to Palestinians doesn't spark economic growth, due to Israeli restrictions
The massive aid that has been given to the West Bank and Gaza had little to no effect on economic development, as Israeli restrictions on trade and movement haven't eased and continue to hamper Palestinian growth, the World Bank states in a new report.

http://imemc.org/article/60698

Violence / Aggression against Palestinians

Clashes near Ni`lin as Israeli forces halt funeral procession of slain protester
Clashes erupted as the funeral procession for the Ni`lin man killed by Israeli forces Friday were prevented from reaching the burial grounds in the village on Saturday morning. Hundreds of mourners including several Palestinian leaders, clergy and political activists, left the Ramallah hospital with Yosef A’qel Srur’s body and took to the streets to accompany the man, shot in the chest with a live bullet by Israeli soldiers, to his grave. The slain man was a 37-year-old father of three young children. Three others were injured by live bullets at the event, and were taken to hospital for treatment.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38364

'IDF troops were never at risk in Naalin'
Palestinian sources told Ynet Saturday that contrary to an IDF statement, the man killed during a Friday clash between Palestinian demonstrators and IDF forces in the town of Naalin, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, posed no danger whatsoever to the troops. Ahmed Amira, who said he was standing by Srur when he was shot, told Ynet that the soldier who shot Srur was in no danger: "The soldier was to our right and Akal was running to the left to help an injured man… when he was shot in the heart."
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3726968,00.html

Palestinian wounded in Israeli gunboat attack
RAFAH, (PIC)-- Israeli gunboats opened heavy machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, to the south of the Gaza Strip, on Saturday wounding a Palestinian, local sources reported. They added that Iyad Abdul Nabi was moderately wounded in the attack.

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


Settlers attack, wound young Palestinian man in Jerusalem
A 20-year old Palestinian man from Jerusalem was wounded on Thursday at night after he was attacked by a group of extremist settlers. Resident Husam Al Za’tary, from Jerusalem, works at a bakery in West Jerusalem. He was attacked while waiting at a bus stop as he was heading back home. He was approached by a group of young settlers who first insulted him for “being an Arab”, and then violently attacked him, and were even joined later on by another group of settlers, students of a Talmud School in the area. An armed school guard also took part in the attack, and pointed his gun at the head of the Palestinian man threatening to kill him. The man was later on hospitalized at an Arab hospital in the city.

http://imemc.org/article/60703

New operations room in Nablus to monitor settler assaults
An operation room comprising international and local organizations has been established in the Nablus district in the northern West Bank to follow up with Israeli settler assaults on the Palestinians and their property. According to Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian official in charge of monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank, “The decision to establish an operation room came after a meeting at Jit village, west of Nablus, attended by international and Israeli human rights organizations. Those present discussed the recent settler assaults against the area, where vast areas of agricultural lands were torched.”

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38343

Detentions

Israel releases mufti and PA minister of Jerusalem affairs
Israeli police released Hatem Abed Al-Qader, the Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs, along with a number of senior Palestinian officials who were detained for several hours on Friday near Jerusalem. Among the detained was Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, as well as Demetri Deliani, a Fatah spokesperson. The men had been participating in anti-settlement activities and protests against land confiscation in As-Sawahira Ash-Shariqiya and Abu Dis.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38335

PA health minister visits cancer-stricken ex-prisoner
Fathi Abu Mughli on Saturday visited the governmental hospital in Beit Jala to check up on Palestinian prisoner Fayiz Zeidat, who was released from Israel’s custody after being diagnosed with cancer ... [Zeidat] also highlighted that 25 Palestinian prisoners at Ramla's hospital are in desperate need of medical care, yet they have not yet been permitted to see doctors.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38359

War crimes

HRW: Israeli crimes in Lebanon, Gaza shame on humanity
NEW YORK, (PIC)-- Richard Dicker, the director of Human Rights Watch's international justice program, has described the Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip and south Lebanon as a shame on humanity. The Syrian news agency quoted Dicker as saying on Friday that Israel committed serious war crimes in its latest war on Gaza Strip and other crimes in its aggression on south Lebanon in July 2006 without being brought to account. He said that the HRW collected evidence that authenticated those crimes.
For his part, Jeremy Corbyn, the British MP, charged that Israel was posing a serious nuclear threat to the Middle East region.

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

UN fact-finding team departs Gaza via Egypt crossing
Seventeen members of the team charged with leading the UN's fact-finding mission over alleged Israeli war crimes departed Gaza on Friday, according to a border spokesperson. On Thursday night de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh met with the head of a UN fact-finding mission, Justice Richard Goldstone, who is investigating alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Goldstone, a Jewish South African judge and veteran of two international war crimes tribunals, was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to lead the investigation into Israel’s attack on Gaza, which left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38338

Fact-finding committee leaves Gaza, disappointed over Israel's lack of cooperation
Committee head, Richard Goldstone, said that Israel’s lack of cooperation is disappointing but will not decrease the importance of the UN investigation. Goldstone stated that his team would also probe Israel’s allegations of “war crimes” carried out by Palestinian fighters. His team spent one week in Gaza, collected testimonies, interviewed witnesses and observed the destruction caused by Israel’s shelling. He refused to reveal information regarding the investigation, and added that the report would be made public by the first week of September.

http://imemc.org/article/60704

Siege / War aftermath

Gaza boy injured in Israeli shelling succumbs to wounds
An 11-year-old Palestinian boy succumbed to wounds he sustained during an Israeli shelling of his family's home in the northern Gaza Strip on 5 January. Muhammad Zamlat of Jabaliya was treated for weeks in under-equipped Gaza hospitals then transferred out of the Strip for further treatment. He passed away in hospital on 6 June. His father, 38-year-old Taysir, and grandmother, 70-year-old Khadija, were killed instantly and several of his brothers sustained wounds in the shelling.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38352

Unexploded bombs threaten the reconstruction of Gaza
Funding shortfall may halt critical United Nations mine action work in Gaza -- In Gaza explosive remnants of war from Israel's recent bombardment pose a daily threat to Palestinian civilians and internally displaced persons, and hinder the reconstruction of homes, essential infrastructure and agricultural land. Hundreds of unexploded bombs are believed to be buried in the ruins of over 4,000 buildings which were completely destroyed and more than 11,000 which were partially destroyed during the recent war.

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/MUMA-7SR5QR?OpenDocument&RSS20=02-P

De facto government catalogues continued Gaza siege, demands action
It is not enough to open Rafah “once in a while” and transfer “drips” of aid and commercial goods into Gaza, Spokesperson of the de facto administration of the crossings, Adel Zu’rub said on Saturday. Rafah was last open for Gazans on 16-18 May, and only patients and aid workers have passed through the crossing since then. Israeli crossings have been likewise shut, with minimal amounts of aid getting into the Strip, and only a handful of patients, visitors and aid workers being allowed in and out of the area. (Article includes list of transfers in and out of the Strip in the past few days)

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38363

The children of Gaza will show you
By Marryam Haleem. ...we were shown a truly shocking set (what ought to become an exhibit at every art museum in America) of children’s paintings after the most recent Israeli massacre of Palestinian people in Gaza. The paintings tell an honest story of the absolute savagery of the Israeli occupation, siege and continual destruction of Gaza. Their oh-so-child-like brushstrokes of bombed out buildings. A red and all too disproportionate stick figure lies in front of a house. He lies in a pool of blood. A black outlined cloud on another painting has red strokes of fire issuing from it–a far too accurate depiction of white phosphorous. Tanks. Blood. Chaos. Dead people scattered. Madness. Bombs. Broken buildings. Terror.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/06/the-children-of-gaza-will-show-you/

PNA says UN should undertake the reconstruction of Gaza
RAMALLAH, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations should undertake the reconstruction of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) said on Saturday.  "The reconstruction process of Gaza Strip should go through the U.N.," Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian peace negotiator, told reporters in Ramallah.  "So far, there is no justification of Israel blocking the UN from starting the reconstruction process in Gaza," Erekat said after he met UN Secretary General's envoy Robert Serry.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-06/06/content_11499408.htm

Islamic University of Gaza appeals for aid
KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 (Bernama) -- The board of trustees of the Islamic University of Gaza where two buildings were destroyed in an aerial attack by the Zionist regime last December has appealed for aid from Malaysians for reconstruction. Board director Dr Jamal Naji El-Khoudary said US$15 billion was needed to rebuild the two buildings.

http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsgeneral.php?id=416142

Internal strife


Fatah: Hamas preparing for West Bank coup attempt
Fatah spokesperson Fahmi Al-Zareer described what happened in Qalqiliya on Thursday as the beginning for a coup in the West Bank, comparing it to the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38336

Gaza forces detain men suspected of 'collaboration' with PA
The de facto government’s Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip said on Saturday it detained suspects accused of collecting information about Hamas’ leadership for the Palestinian Authority and the Ramallah-based Palestinian caretaker government.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38361

Fatah: Hamas abducted movement leaders in Gaza overnight
Hamas security forces abducted several Fatah leaders and loyalists in the Gaza Strip overnight, causing the death of one man, said Fatah spokesperson Fahmi Za’arir on Saturday.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38349

Hamas: Storming the house of martyr Ayyash is a cowardly act
NABLUS, (PIC)-- The Hamas Movement in the West Bank on Saturday strongly denounced the PA security apparatuses for storming and ransacking the house of martyr Yahya Ayyash, a Palestinian icon and one of Al-Qassam Brigades' most prominent leaders, describing what happened as a “cowardly act”.

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

Palestinian tensions on the rise in West Bank town
QALQILYA, West Bank (Reuters) - "You are a traitor," grieving mother Um Mohammad Atiyyeh shouted at a Palestinian security man guarding the house where her son, a Hamas militant, was shot dead in a fire-fight in the West Bank city of Qalqilya. "We are executing orders," the man said in response ... Other residents said they felt besieged by all sides. "At night we have the Israeli soldiers and during the day we see this," said Ahmad Silmi, pointing to Abbas's men, many of whom have had U.S. and European funded training.

http://thestar.com.my/news/nastory.asp?file=/2009/6/6/worldupdates/2009-06-05T210929Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNC_0_-401187-1&
sec=Worldupdates


PA fears Qalqilya unrest may spread to Hebron
Palestinian Authority sources expressed concern Saturday that the clashes between its security forces and Hamas operatives in the West Bank city of Qalqilya may ignite riots in other Palestinian cities as well. Nine people were killed in the two clashes that took place on Sunday and on Thursday, and the Palestinian Authority fears the strife may find its way to Hebron next, where Hamas enjoys massive popularity.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3726947,00.html

Political developments


Cairo to invite Palestinian factions for comprehensive dialogue

Egypt will invite all Palestinian factions for another round of comprehensive dialogue in another attempt to address unresolved issues, said Ramzi Rabah, member of the politburo of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) on Saturday. Rabah asserted that the DFLP delegation, which participated in previous Cairo talks, learned while in Egypt that the Egyptians intend to hold multi-factional talks rather than the previous strategy of inviting Hamas and Fatah for bilateral talks.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38348

Obama delays moving embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
US President Barack Obama decided on Friday to delay the transfer of the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for six more months. Sources in the White House said US policy toward Jerusalem had not changed, and that the city’s future should be determined within the final-status negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Over the past decade, the decision has been delayed every six months due to the sensitivity of the issue.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38340

In Germany, Obama strikes an urgent note on Mideast peace
Saying that 'the moment is now' to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, President Obama announces he is dispatching special envoy George Mitchell to the region.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/mideastemail/la-fg-obama-europe6-2009jun06,0,1311900.story

In Paris, Sarkozy and Obama press for Palestinian state
Sarkozy reportedly backed Obama's call earlier this week for a settlement freeze in the West Bank following the meeting Paris, and Obama said he wants to see "serious, constructive" peace talks between Israel and Palestine.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38362

Saudi foreign minister wants US to pressure Israel by cutting off aid
When asked whether the US should withhold funds until Israel agreed to a peace plan calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state Faisal said, "Why not? If you give aid to someone and they indiscriminately occupy other people's lands, you bear some responsibility."
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3727008,00.html

Other news


Mysterious explosion in Gaza field kills one, injures a second
Initial sources said the explosion was caused by unexploded ordinances left behind by the Israeli army during the war on Gaza over the winter. Later statements by Spokesperson of the de facto government interior ministry Eyhab Al-Ghussein, however, indicated the explosion may have been an accident.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38360

New Palestinian telecom company considering pullout
A new company awarded a telecommunications license to operate in the Palestinian territories is asking for its money back, according to a Saturday Reuters report. The new phone company, Wataniya Palestine, is demanding that Israel agree to open up radio frequencies that it promised would be available to boost operations, officials confirmed Friday.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38347

Militant Hamas gets into matchmaking business
By Diaa Hadid, AP -- GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – At 29, Tahani is considered a spinster by the standards of deeply conservative Gaza. So in her search for a husband, she turned for help to the best in the marriage business: the Islamic militant group Hamas.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090606/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_gaza_hamas_hookups

Resistance in Gaza - Young Palestinians find their voice through hip-hop
The Maqusi Towers in Gaza City look a bit like US housing projects. The neighborhood consists of several tall apartment buildings grouped together in the northern part of town. It is also ground zero for Gaza’s growing Hip-Hop community. On a recent evening in one small but well-decorated apartment, a dozen rappers and their friends and families relaxed, danced, smoked flavored tobacco, and rapped the lyrics to some of their songs.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/06/resistance-in-gaza/

Jews of color protest denial of resources to Mizrahi culture in Israel
In Israel, 90% of the state budget is given to institutions who represent a European and Ashkenazi (Jews who emigrated from western countries) culture. To justify this kind of elocution of resources, European culture is described as important and needed for people's education and well being, while Mizrahi and Arab culture are describe as redundant and empty.

http://www.imemc.org/article/60693

Bosnia: Law tying candidacy to ethnicity is challenged
(Reuters) A Bosnian Jew and an ethnic Roma ('Gypsy') have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to overturn laws that prevent them from running for president. Under the Dayton peace agreement that ended Bosnia's 1992-95 war, only Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats may run for the office. 
Minorities and those from ethnically mixed marriages, which were commonplace in Bosnia during Yugoslav times, also do not have the right to run for the national parliament's upper house.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/06/world/europe/06briefs-Bosnia.html


Lebanon

US weighs Lebanon aid if opposition wins election
(Reuters) WASHINGTON: Chances are low that the United States would totally cut off military funding to Lebanon if Hizbullah and its allies win Sunday's election because both sides will want to avoid a confrontation, analysts said. But a victory by the Shiite group, viewed as a "terrorist organization" by Washington, and its allies could lead to a reduction in what has been burgeoning US assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces in recent years.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=102738

Lebanese elections not expected to disrupt EU ties, experts say
Observers of Sunday's parliamentary elections in Lebanon expect the Hezbollah-led opposition to win the majority. Analysts agree that the European Union will greet such an outcome cautiously, yet respectfully.

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4303442,00.html

On eve of Lebanon election, Christian leader opposes Hezbollah
Lebanon's Maronite Christian patriarch said on Saturday his country faced a threat to its existence, appearing to take sides against Hezbollah and its allies on the eve of an election whose outcome will be decided by the Christian vote.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1090729.html

In Lebanon vote, stark options, complex choices
BEIRUT, Lebanon — When voters go to the polls here on Sunday, they will be surrounded by campaign signs and banners declaring this to be an election of almost apocalyptic significance. On the surface, the choice does seem stark: in one corner of Lebanon’s most competitive parliamentary race in decades stands the Shiite militant group Hezbollah and its allies; in the other corner, a secular and pro-American political alliance.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/06/world/middleeast/06lebanon.html

Lebanon readies for tight poll race
Lebanon's political parties have wrapped up their campaigns ahead of a high-stakes general election that will pit Western-backed factions against a Hezbollah-led alliance. Campaigning was officially over on Saturday, a day before Lebanese voters go to the polls. More than 50,000 soldiers and police have been deployed country-wide to deal with any outbreaks of violence and European monitors will observe the vote.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/06/20096681749137921.html

Lebanon asks UN to censure Israel for extracting spies
On heels of espionage accusations, Beirut asks UN Security Council to condemn Jerusalem for allegedly smuggling its spies out of Lebanese jurisdiction once their activities were compromised

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3726925,00.html

Iraq

Saturday: 7 Iraqis killed, 18 wounded
Excerpt: At least seven Iraqis were killed and 18 more were wounded in the latest violence. A blast in Ramadi may have left even more casualties. No Coalition deaths were reported. Three Iraqis were killed during a bombing Fallujah. One victim was the brother of an Awakening Council (Sahwa) leader. Last night, a bomb blasted a U.S. patrol but no casualties were reported.

http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2009/06/06/saturday-7-iraqis-killed-18-wounded/

US: Insurgents using teens to stage Iraq attacks
BAGHDAD – Insurgents are increasingly using teenagers to stage attacks against American and Iraqi security forces, the U.S. military said Saturday. At least five youths between the ages of 14 and 19 have been involved in grenade and suicide attacks in recent weeks in northern Iraq, according to a military statement.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090606/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq

What not to wear, Baghdad-style: Fashion rules begin to change
BAGHDAD — The young women of Baghdad acknowledge that there are more serious concerns in Iraq these days than hair, clothes and makeup. But they also say that there might be nothing quite as exhilarating as stepping out of the house in a pretty dress, hair flowing freely behind them, behaving as if their country had not been shattered by war and dominated by religious conservatism for much of their lives.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/06/world/middleeast/06iraq.html

Reactions to Obama's words


David Bromwich on 'moral equivalence' and Obama's Cairo speech
We will have to say this again and again: nothing is the moral equivalent of anything else. Jewish suffering in the mid-twentieth century was without parallel, and was inflicted with a premeditation that has no parallel. It is in the past but it should matter to us in the present. Palestinian suffering is in the present; and something can be done about it by people who are alive. Memory of the former is not an excuse for failure to remedy the latter. Indeed, the more vivid the memory is, the harder it presses on us now to avert the visiting of a catastrophe of any size or scale on any people at all.

http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/06/bromwich-on-the-moral-equivalence-and-obamas-cairo-speech.html

A bold speech, but hollow in some areas
By Rami G. Khouri. On Thursday in Cairo, President Barack Obama provided a combination Bible and Koran class mixed in with some American civics lessons - a touching, sincere performance that gets high marks for boldness and empathy, but nevertheless leaves a lingering hollowness in some areas.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=102733

How much really separates Obama and Netanyahu? New rhetoric for the colonial-settler project
By Jennifer Loewenstein.
Barack Obama has sent Benjamin Netanyahu the message he most seeks, whether Netanyahu recognizes it or not: continue your colonial-settler project as you have been doing; just change the vocabulary you use to describe it. Then nobody will get upset or notice that the status quo will persists. In the meantime Nasrallah and his followers in Lebanon will be shaking their heads in disbelief at the service Obama has just performed on Hizbullah’s behalf.

http://www.counterpunch.org/loewenstein06052009.html

Obama in Cairo: High words, low truths
By Patrick Cockburn. And some of the history Obama did get right. He’s surely the first president to state before several million people that the United States did play a role in overthrowing Mossadegh in Iran in 1954.  But his address signals the problem with presidential speeches professing moral purpose of the purest ichor. The higher the phrases soar, the more people start reminding themselves of the facts on the ground.

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn06052009.html

Watching Obama's speech in Lebanon
By Franklin Lamb. Near the Syrian border northeast of Baalbek. I had not planned to watch Obama’s Cairo speech on June 5, since I had an appointment in the plush Bekaa Valley, near Baalbek-Hermel with Shaykh Subhi Tufayli one of the founders of Hezbollah and its first Secretary General.

http://www.counterpunch.org/lamb06052009.html

Bush ... and Obama
GW Bush, Rose Garden, 24 June 2002: "It is untenable for Palestinians to live in squalor and occupation. And the current situation offers no prospect that life will improve... My vision is two states, living side by side in peace and security."  BH Obama, Cairo University, 4 June 2009: "They endure the daily humiliations, large and small, that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable... The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security."

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/06/bushand-obama.html

The tone and the music - Avnery on Obama speech
WHILE OBAMA proclaims the 21st century, the government of Israel is returning to the 19th -- The American ship has turned – not with the sluggishness everyone would have expected, but with the agility of a speedboat. That is much more than a political change. It touches the roots of the American national consciousness.

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1244289868/

Obama first president in office to speak of suffering of Palestinian Christians
By Daoud Kuttab. For years Americans were fed the stereotypical image of Palestinians as nothing less than Islamic terrorists. Jewish Israelis on the other hand were presented with the image of people with similar values and part of the Judeo Christian heritage. Right wing Christian televangelists and Christian Zionists portrayed the evil Palestinians who were somehow an obstacle to the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies. These Christian Zionists never admitted the existence of fellow Palestinian Christians let alone admit that they were suffering at the hands of the 'chosen' Jewish people.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daoud-kuttab/obama-is-first-us-preside_b_211832.html

Obama in Cairo - what are we to make of his speech?
By Paul Craig Roberts. Obama declared that “the only resolution [to the conflict] is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security..."For Obama’s commitment to be fulfilled, Israel would have to give back the stolen West Bank lands, dismantle the wall, accept the right to return, and release 1.5 million Palestinians from the Gaza Ghetto.  As this seems an unlikely collection of events, the nature of the “two-state solution” endorsed by Obama remains to be seen.

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts06052009.html

Among Israel's US backers, anxiety and some support greet Obama's words

President Obama’s new formulation on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — along with his tough new stance against Israeli settlements in the West Bank — has rekindled fears among a few American Jewish organizations that Mr. Obama may be fundamentally less pro-Israeli than his predecessors. But several prominent pro-Israeli lawmakers on Capitol Hill indicated that they remained behind Mr. Obama’s Middle East push, at least for now.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/06/world/middleeast/06diplo.html

Other opinion / analysis


Blumenthal's video is a reflection of Lieberman's Israel
Max Blumenthal's latest video has created much controversy and debate that we'll try to cover here on the site. F.E.Felson sent us one response: Not surprisingly, the skeptical response to Max Blumenthal’s latest video has been one of casual dismissal: OK, so he went and found some drunk frat boys hanging out together and filmed them making crude racial remarks. Not pleasant stuff, but not a huge deal, either.

http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/06/felson-blumenthal-response.html

The wild, wild West Bank

By Mohammad. Although Abbas..... recently referred to life in the West Bank as ‘good’, it’s feeling more and more like living in the Wild West. Foreign settlers roam, heavily armed, burning the natives’ lands and killing their children, while an American general leads his army in raids against ‘outlaws’.

http://www.kabobfest.com/2009/06/the-wild-wild-west-bank.html

The 1967 war revisited (Part 1)
By Khalid Amayreh. In June 1967, when Israel  launched the 6-day-war on Egypt, Syria and Jordan, Khalid Amayreh was 10 years’ old. In the following two-part article, he recollects the  war, whose outcome and ramifications continue to trouble Palestine, the Middle East and the rest of the world.

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

All the lies
By Yossi Sarid. The most inventive of all these lies - its inventor should be awarded a prize for his life's work - is the silk thread that will be so difficult to break: "natural growth." That is the genetic code by which the settlers clone themselves like sheep. It turns out that the world's highest natural growth rate is found in neither Africa nor India, but rather here, in the West Bank, where the Jews sow their seed like the sand of the sea and not according to nature.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1090541.html

A glimpse of Obama in a Cairo emptied of its people and its poor
By Robert Fisk. ......Only when I left did I see the Egyptians behind the police lines, old ladies with birds in wooden cages, a broken cripple with a wooden stick, Dickensian urchins without shoes, scarved girls licking ice-creams. And I began to have my suspicions. These people were no threat to the POTUS and the little American lady.

http://palestinianpundit.blogspot.com/2009/06/glimpse-of-obama-in-cairo-emptied-of.html

'Comrades, your enemy is yourselves'
By Mats Svensson. But back to the meeting between Mavivi and a collection of family men from Gaza. It was a day when one had agreed not to talk about Israel; not speak about what the occupier had done in Jenin or what had happened in the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. No, it really became a special day when everyone instead talked about South Africa, the struggle against apartheid and simultaneously linked it to what just happened or didn’t happen in Gaza. Gaza was in the center. Mavivi told the group that during the battle against white oppression in South Africa one had decided not to use violence against civilians. Civilians died, said Mavivi, but each time it was seen as a failure. The reason that we didn’t use a strategy that was directed against civilians was simple, Mavivi continued. The ANC sought support from the surrounding world, wanted to break the isolation.

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38236
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

 
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