Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land theft / ethnic cleansing / refugees

45 Palestinians expelled from East Jerusalem

RAMALLAH: Israeli authorities deported 45 Palestinians from the western part of East Jerusalem’s neighborhood of Beit Hanina to the eastern one, which locates behind the separation wall. Sources close to Al-Radaydeh family told the official Palestinian news agency (WAFA) that the family members were deported from Nusseibeh area in Beit Hanina, which is under Israeli jurisdiction, to the one currently in the West Bank. The sources said that the deportation included the parents of “martyr” Mar’i Al-Radaydeh, his brothers, their children and other relatives. Al-Radaydeh was shot dead last March by Israel police in West Jerusalem after he overturned a police car and rammed into a bus with his tractor. According to the report, the 45 Palestinians have lost their right of residence in Jerusalem, where they resided for decades. The Commission of Jerusalem Deportees said that the Israel move came to “make demographic balance in the city.”

Christian housing faces Israeli encirclement
BEIT SAHOUR, West Bank, April 11 (Reuters) - Residents of a Palestinian Christian housing project in the West Bank village of Beit Sahour say Israel is encircling their community with a security road to separate them from a nearby Jewish settlement. "With this situation they will put us in a cage, a zoo," said William Sahouri, 42, a resident and member of the project's housing committee. "We will not be able to expand." ... Beit Sahour's fate was decided by an Israeli military order issued on April 29, 2003, by Moshe Kaplinsky, then-chief of the army's Central Command that includes Judea and Samaria -- the biblical names Israelis use for the Israeli-occupied West Bank. "I hereby announce the seizure of land for military purposes," said the order, accompanied by maps showing how the housing project would soon be cut off, along with a few other Palestinian homes and some farmland.

By Sigridir Vidis Jonsdottir.  Al Waleed, Iraq — What does it feel like to raise a newborn baby in an inhospitable desert where scorpions crawl about and sandstorms threaten to bring down one’s tent? Lubna Falah is about to find out. She will soon deliver her baby. This is not her first child, but she has never tried to raise one in a tent. In Baghdad, Lubna had a beautiful home. That was then. Now she is left with bad dreams and repeated nightmares. Lubna is an Iraqi Palestinian, a double refugee, living in the desert close to the border with Syria. Her ancestors fled Palestine 60 years ago when Jewish forces took control of their home in Haifa, and now she is trying to flee Iraq.

Commemorating Deir Yassin, Palestine 61 years later
The village of Deir Yassin was only one of many massacres perpetrated by the Zionist “Israelis” to terrorize the indigenous people. Other Palestinian towns and villages where massacres occurred include Ein Karem, Kakoun, Tantura, Yaffa, Safad, Sufsaf (115 people massacred at the wall of Susaf Mosque), Haifa, Tiret Haifa, Jibsu and many more. The Sufsaf residents witnessed their second massacre in Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon 34 years later in 1982. The war criminal Ariel Sharon was directly responsible for that massacre. Contrary to the Zionist belief that "the old will die and the young will forget," 60 years later some of our elders may have died, but the young still remember!

Siege / blockade

Israeli intelligence blackmails Gaza fishermen
The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees and Ex-detainees of the dissolved government in Gaza reported that Israeli security forces are blackmailing Palestinian fishermen and demanding them to work as collaborators in return for being allowed to fish. The Ministry stated that the Israeli Navy had escalated its attacks against the fishermen, opening fire on them and their boats, arresting and interrogating several fishermen on claimed involvement in smuggling weapons.

Israel to open one Gaza crossing, close another
Israel will open the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip on Sunday, but not Karni, said Crossings Authority spokesperson Raed Fattuh on Saturday. He added that “the Israeli side will allow around 130 trucks loaded with aid and goods into Gaza through the Karem Shalom crossing, keeping [Karni] closed.” The Israeli military had previously shut down crossings due to Jewish holidays. [End]

Palestine: Gaza mom back in the US

By Amira Al Hussaini. The saga of Palestinian blogger and mother Laila El-Haddad and her two children has come to a complete circle - she is back in the US, where she started her long trek to Gaza, Palestine, three days earlier, after the Egyptian authorities denied her from reaching home. The journalist, who blogs at Raising Yousuf and Noor: dairy of a Palestinian mother, flew into the Cairo International Airport, Egypt, where she was hoping to cross the Rafah Crossing, on the Egyptian-Palestinian border, to meet up with her parents in Gaza. The crossing was closed and the Egyptian authorities turned her back - after making her wait and interrogating her for 36 hours.

Concern at border delays of Irish humanitarian aid to Gaza
The Galway Palestine Children’s Appeal has expressed concern about further border delays which have prevented four containers of Irish humanitarian aid from being delivered to the people of Gaza. Irish embassy officials in Egypt have been trying to track the containers, following their detention in the Egyptian port of Alexandria along with aid consignments sent from Britain and France.

Anti-siege committee in Gaza applauds aid attempts
Two solidarity convoys will arrive in besieged Gaza Strip via Egypt in the coming three weeks, a Palestinian official in Gaza reported on Saturday. According to Adel Zu’rub, the spokesperson of the official anti-siege committee in Gaza, the first convoy led by Scottish lawmaker Pauline McNeill will arrive next Tuesday via the Rafah border crossing. The convoy is carrying medical supplies.
A second 100-vehicle convoy will set out from Milan, Italy, travelling to Alexandria, Egypt, by boat and then continue to Gaza, aiming to arrive on 3 May. The Italian effort is also carrying medical supplies.

22 injured in Israeli assault return to Gaza Strip
22 Palestinian patients hospitalized in Egypt for injuries sustained in the Israeli assault on Gaza returned to the coastal strip on Friday.  They reportedly passed through the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, according to spokesperson Adel Zu’rub.

Petition calling for pope to include Gaza in Holy Land visit gains signatures
After three weeks a petition calling Pope Benedict XVI to include a visit to the Gaza Strip on his itinerary during his May visit to Jordan, Israel and Palestine, has over 2,000 signatures. The Roman Catholic charity Caritas Jerusalem began publicizing the petition early last week, and said Christians in the Holy Land felt strongly that if Pope Benedict planned to exclude Gaza from his visit, then he should abandon the trip altogether. As yet, the Vatican has given no indication that the Pope will visit Gaza.

ReliefWeb - Rafah Crossing - who holds the keys?
The Gaza Strip has been sealed almost hermetically for nearly two years, isolating its 1.5 million residents and violating their right to freedom of movement. Israel closed the Gaza Strip in a gradual process over a period of years, which included instituting an exit regime based on permits, building a fence, imposing an increasingly tight closure on the land crossings and preventing travel by air or sea. As a result, Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt has become a vital window for Gaza residents seeking to enter or leave and a crossing point connecting the Gaza Strip not only with Egypt but with the outside world in general, and even with the West Bank. During the times that regular traffic through Rafah Crossing was possible, tens of thousands of people traveled through it in both directions every month.

Attacks / incursions / recruitment

CPT: Masked settlers attack three Palestinian women in south Hebron hills
The Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron reported that three women were attacked by masked Israeli settlers Friday near their Bedouin village of Umm Al Kher, south of Yatta. According to the report, the women were tending their sheep, grazing in a nearby valley, when masked men attacked them with wooden sticks. When the women began to flee, the men threw rocks at them until they were out of reach. CPT said one woman was hospitalized following the incident.

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance in the Old City of Hebron
The ambulance was moving a patient from the Hebron governmental hospital to her home in Ash-Shuhada Street when the attack occurred, Head of Ambulance and Emergency Services for the Red Crescent Abed Al-Haleem Al-Ja’afra said. The Israeli army was aware that the ambulance would be crossing the normally closed area, and had okayed the move. As the ambulance arrived to the Al- Qarantina area, the soldiers opened the checkpoint allowing the vehicle into the area where it was attacked by settlers who pelted stones on the vehicle.  “The vehicle was ambushed, and the soldiers turned a blind eye to the incident, making no move to stop the settlers from throwing stones,” Al-Ja’afra said. Being unable to move forward and take the patient safely to her home, the ambulance tried to back out of the street but soldiers would not open the checkpoint for several minutes.  The patient was returned to the emergency ward and awaits approval from Israeli authorities as to when she will safely be able to return home.

Israeli intelligence have turned military checkpoints into traps to catch infiltrators
Ramallah / PNN- Dozens of Israeli army checkpoints in the West Bank are put in place to maintain Israel’s security. There are more than 500 currently in place, and they often become barriers, not only to disturb the life of the Palestinians, but to 'trap' young Palestinians to be recruited on behalf of Israeli intelligence.


Israel to deport female West Bank prisoner to Gaza Strip
Israeli forces have refused to let Palestinian female prisoner Shirin Ash-Sheikh return to her family home in Ramallah after she completed her prison term in an Israeli facility; instead officials insisted on deporting her to the Gaza Strip. According to Abd An-Nasser Farawnah, a researcher in detainees’ affairs, Ash-Sheikh was born in Gaza in 1985 and moved with her family to Ramallah in 1998. She was apprehended in 2003 and was sentenced to six years in jail, which she will complete on Sunday, 12 April. Farwana asserted that Israel has deliberately been deporting some detainees to the Gaza Strip and to Jordan under different pretexts, such as not having a West Bank ID card or family reunification rules. He pointed out that eight prisoners were sent to Jordan only a few days ago.

50-year-old Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli prison
Ahmad Ismail Samara, of Ramallah, had been sentenced to a 21.5-year sentence in jail for a variety of offenses, including illegal residency in Israel, indecent acts, robbery and assault. He had been in prison since 1989.  The Israeli Prison Service has reportedly launched an investigation into the man's death.

Palestinian kidnapped by Israeli forces in Tell, Nablus area
Yassir Shteieh, 29, was kidnapped from his home in Tell, Nablus region by the Israeli army in the middle of the night. Property in his home was destroyed by soldiers and no explanation for his arrest was given. After 3 years in Israeli jail, Yassir Abdullah Teef Hussein Shteieh was recently married and had spent 14 months out of jail. At 2 am on the 8th of April, his wife got woken up by someone knocking at the door. As normally when the Israeli occupation forces is raiding a house they used the company of a downstairs neighbor to enter the apartment, and so also this night.

Israeli forces arrest a German national and detain an Italian national in At-Tuwani
11 April - A German national and an Italian national were taken by Israeli forces while accompanying farmers at 11am. Both individuals have been taken to the police station at Kyrat Arba. Palestinian farmers in At-Tuwani rely on the presence of International and Israeli human rights workers to mitigate violence from settlers.

Palestinian journalists to Abbas: Release detained colleagues
A Palestinian journalists’ forum appealed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday to give orders to release journalists detained by the Palestinian Authority’s security services in the West Bank. Those journalists detained in the West Bank were named as: Ahmad Bikawi, reporter for Al-Quds satellite TV, Farid Hammad from Al-Ayyam newspaper, Iyad Srour, director of Jaffa journalist office, and Bassam As-Sayih. The forum also stressed that several other writers and journalists are being summoned by security services for questioning and being harassed on a regular basis.

Hamas and Fatah agree to halt politically motivated arrests
Hamas and Fatah delegates met in Gaza Thursday and agreed to halt politically motivated arrests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to Fatah leader Ibrahim Abu An-Naja on Saturday. Abu An-Naja explained that the Fatah delegation demanded that Hamas release Fatah affiliates detained in Gaza, while Hamas demanded that Fatah release Hamas loyalists detained in the West Bank. “We agreed that politically motivated apprehensions are unacceptable as well as accusations without evidence...

Palestinians retaliate

Militant groups say they detonated land mine near Israeli troops
The militant wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, and of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigades, claimed to have carried out an attack Saturday morning. According to a statement they detonated a landmine as an Israeli infantry unit passed by in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. The two militant groups claimed the explosion occured near the Abu Samra Gate, and caused casualties among the Israeli troops.

'Axe attack' group vows more attacks against Israel
A Palestinian organization calling itself the Army of Palestine Fighters threatened on Friday to strike Israeli interests “anywhere in the world.” The group said its future attacks would be “in response to the attacks carried out on Palestinians in the West Bank, particularly the Hebron village of Safa, Jerusalem, Gaza, and those inside Israel.” The group had previously claimed responsibility for the axe attack on the illegal Israeli settlement of Bat Ayin, which left an Israeli teenager dead and a seven-year-old boy seriously injured.


Egyptian security: Weapons smuggling attempt thwarted; officers kill one man, arrest three
Egyptian security forces reported the death of one man attempting to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip Saturday, as well as the arrest of three others involved in the operation. Israeli sources reported an exchange of fire in the northern Sinai between Bedouins and Egyptian police. On Friday Egypt arrested 15 in connection to what they said was weapons being prepared for transport to Gaza, press sources reported. Sources said 60 rockets were confiscated from a metal workshop in the Sinai.

Egypt police kill Bedouin 'arms smuggler'
Driver believed to be concealing weapons aboard truck destined for Gaza shot dead by Cairo border patrol after attempting to flee interception -- In a separate incident, a security official said a Bedouin man from north Sinai and a driver were arrested in Cairo with $2 million dollars they said was to be delivered to Hamas through a tunnel to Gaza.,7340,L-3699967,00.html

Egypt and Israel: The enemy of my enemy is my friend
By Jamal Dajani. In an editorial published in the Egyptian daily El Gomhoria, Ali Ibrahim wrote that "Nasrallah is worse than Israel since he is trying to hurt the livelihood of the same Egyptians who supported him during the Second Lebanon War."  But many Egyptians are not buying it. "Hassan Nasrallah is a hero.  He is the only Arab leader who stood up against Israel.  Hosni Mubarak is a corrupt U.S. puppet," I was told by a Cairo-based journalist on condition of anonymity.

Nasrallah confirms reports of arms smuggling through Egypt
Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah confirmed Friday that one of the members of his organization arrested in Egypt this week had been attempting to smuggle arms into the Gaza Strip. But the Hizbullah chief rejected claims that his operatives were planning to commit attacks on Egyptian soil. Nasrallah also expressed his disdain for the Egyptian government's choice to battle his organization rather than the new government in Israel. He explained that Egypt's policies were an attempt at befriending the new US administration.,7340,L-3699828,00.html

War crimes

Report: 437 children killed, 1872 injured in Israel's offensive
The Ministry of Social Affairs in the Gaza Strip reported that the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip left 1346 children orphaned, 437 dead and 1872 wounded. The army killed 1434 Palestinians, including 960 civilians, during the war on Gaza. Among the slain residents were 437 children under the age of 16, 110 women, 123 elderly, 14 physicians and medics, and four journalists. Thousands of children are suffering from psychological and emotional problems caused by the shelling and the scenes of death and destructions they witnessed.

Amnesty International urges Obama to halt further arms exports to Israel
The United States sent a massive new shipment of arms to Israel despite evidence that US weapons were misused against civilians in the Gaza attacks, Amnesty International revealed on 1 April. The human rights organization said about 14,000 tons worth of arms and munitions sent to Israel on the Wher Elbe, a German cargo ship chartered and controlled by the US Military Sealift Command, docked and unloaded its cargo on 22 March at the Israeli port of Ashdod, about 25 miles north of Gaza. Asked about the Wehr Elbe shipment, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed to Amnesty International that "the unloading of the entire US munitions shipment was successfully completed at Ashdod [Israel] on 22 March." The spokesperson said that the shipment was destined for a US “pre-positioned ammunition stockpile” in Israel. Under a US-Israel agreement, munitions from this stockpile may be transferred to the Israeli military if necessary. A State Department official told Amnesty that Israel's use of US weapons during the Gaza conflict is under review

Solidarity / boycotts / sanctions / divestment

Canadian filmmaker John Greyson turns down offer to premiere at the Tel Aviv LGBT film festival
After much wrestling with these difficult issues, I've come to a decision: I can't show Fig Trees in your festival, and I can't go forward with my proposed film shoot in Israel. Instead, I feel I must join the many Jews and non-Jews, Israelis and Palestinians, queers and otherwise, who are part of the growing global BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israeli apartheid. I've come to the conclusion that, in this moment, to not take this stand is unthinkable, impossible.

Michigan State Univ. sticks by its decision to invite Desmond Tutu to speak at commencement
Clark University just disinvited Norm Finkelstein from a speaking engagement later this month. Michigan State University was under pressure from the ADL to rescind its invitation to Israel-critic Desmond Tutu to give its commencement address. MSU is sticking to its guns. Here's a letter from the president's office to Jeff Blankfort, who wrote to tell MSU not to fold. Notice that the school will be providing plenty-um context to make Tutu acceptable for American ears:

Toward a divestment policy that makes global connections
By Emma Rosenthal. USA, April 10th, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) – On March 25, The Student Government Association of the University of Massachusetts/ Amherst, passed a resolution calling for divestiture in companies that profit from war and occupation. While not specifically mentioning Israel, this motion, which is not binding on the University, had the clear intent of addressing Israeli Apartheid within a global context of war profiteering and colonization.

Walzer wakes up and smells the white phosphorus

In a stunning reversal after years of pro-Israel apologia in the pages of Dissent, the renowned philosopher Michael Walzer, finally declared as unjust the vicious Israeli bombardment of Gaza, in which civilians were essentially confined into an open air prison as Israeli rained death upon them. Walzer famously articulated one of the leading philosophical formulas of just war doctrine. If you followed the link, you will notice it is in Hebrew. Mondoweiss wants to know when he will write it in English


Google disappears Normal Finkelstein
Search for the website of Norman Finkelstein on google. Google says there are no results. Norman Finkelstein's site doesn't appear either if you search for Norman Fikelstein, at least not in the 100 first results. Norman Finkelstein's site is also banned from searches on which he is the most likely source. Search for "Curtis Hoxter" "Israel Singer", no reference. Now here's the cherry. Search for "Holocaust Industry". No in the first 100 hits. What gives? Is google taking a strong interest in making sure that the public is kept safe from certain opinions? [End]


Arab ministers to stress peace commitment
AMMAN (AFP) – Arab foreign ministers were meeting in Amman on Saturday to voice their support for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process based on a two-state solution. "The meeting aims to reaffirm the Arab world's commitment to the Arab peace initiative, the option of peace and the solution of two states, Palestine and Israel," Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told AFP. A Saudi-inspired Arab peace plan, which has been on the table since 2002, offers Israel full normalisation of ties in return for its withdrawal from occupied Arab land.

Erekat urges US to put pressure on Israel to resume peace process
RAMALLAH, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat urged on Saturday the United States and the international Quartet to exert pressure on Israel to resume the stalled Middle East peace process. The Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were halted last year after the former Israeli government gave a green light to expand settlements between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Bethlehem.  "As a negotiator, I stress that if the Israeli government rejects the signed agreements and continues expanding settlements, there will be no political negotiations," said Erekat. However, he said that "contacts with the Israeli side will continue, mainly on arranging and coordinating the daily affairs of the Palestinians, including trade and treatment of patients in Israeli hospitals."

Hamas: We never received the Egyptian joint committee proposal
Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas members denied reports Egypt sent them a proposal outlining the creation of a joint committee to break the deadlock of Hamas-Fatah negotiations.

Other news

Restoring tranquility to a wild West Bank town

By Patrick Martin. JENIN, WEST BANK -- By day, this northern West Bank community - once considered the Tombstone, Ariz., of the Palestinian territories - is the picture of calm, its old market bustling, farmlands in full production and a friendly policeman on every corner. By night, however, it becomes vulnerable to raids and targeted assaults, not by the Palestinian militants who once ruled the streets, but by Israeli military patrols that invade the town and nearby villages at will ... "There's no doubt these Israeli operations erode the people's respect for the PA forces," said Colonel Chris Simonds, the commanding officer of a Canadian contingent of nine in the U.S. Security Co-ordinator's mission, headed by U.S. General Keith Dayton.

Soccer, a link to normalcy for West Bank Palestinians
(with photos) WADI AL-NEES, West Bank -- Like any soccer match among 6-year-olds, the gang behind the village school brought as much structure to the game as a swarm of bees. But Omar Abu Hamad, coach of the champion Wadi al-Nees Blue Eagles of the Palestinian Football Association, was already scouting his next generation of players -- including the speedy sons of two of his current stars.

Report: The Israeli occupation even executes the animals of Gaza
one story that the media have not reported is what Zionist forces did to animals. They destroyed a number of zoos in the Gaza Strip, which are the second recreational outlet for its bereaved families and children after the first natural outlet, the beach. The Shadha (Fragrant) Garden Zoo, on the east side of Zaytun neighborhood, which is itself on the east side of Gaza City, is the largest and most prominent zoo in Gaza, both in terms of space and the number of rare animals in its collection. It was clearly made a target by the Israeli invaders, who destroyed it completely and killed more than 95% of its animals, for it was one-of-a-kind in the Gaza Strip. the director of the Garden, Imad Qassem, went on to ask: “Where are the humane societies? And where are the international agencies? (They need) to come and see how these animals have been slaughtered in cold blood, as if for recreation.

Police: Thursday's killings in Gaza were honor-motivated
The victims were 50-year-old Sufyan Ileiwa, his second wife, 37-year-old Miryam Majthoub, and the couple’s son, five-year-old Jawhar Ileiwa. The assailant, who was Sufyan’s son from his first wife, admitted to the crime, yet he told detectives that his five-year-old son was mistakenly killed as he was lying next to his mother when he shot her. According to Batneiji, the 25-year-old killer admitted that he committed the killing willingly and it was motivated by family honor, and had nothing to do with inheritance, as previously reported. The killer told police that his slain father was a drug addict and was notorious for other immoralities, and that he killed him after reform attempts failed. [and the killing of the wife???]

Samaritans celebrate Passover near Nablus
Members of the tiny Samaritan sect gathered on Thursday on the hilltop of Gerzeim Mountain, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank, to celebrate the Passover holiday. The entire Samaritan community totals just 723, and is considered the smallest sect in the world. They live only near Nablus and in Holon inside Israel. According to religious traditions of the Samaritans, each individual should slaughter a male sheep aged one year.

Arborist not about to offer an olive branch

JERUSALEM, April 10 -- The trees on the Mount of Olives can withstand a lot -- heat, drought, insects, even the occasional fire. But the phenomenon known as the "grazing pilgrim" can raise an arborist's ire. When tourists trek to the area, linked in tradition to the crucifixion of Jesus, many can't avoid the temptation to pluck a souvenir.

Palestinian doctor to speak in Squirrel Hill (Pennsylvania, USA)
The Palestinian doctor whose children were killed by an Israeli shell the day after he spoke to a Pittsburgh audience by phone will appear in person on Monday at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The evening is free and open to the public. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, 53, an obstetrician and public health expert, has been speaking out for years against violence and oppression on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide. On Jan. 16, his home in Gaza was hit by a shell that killed three of his daughters and a niece. Another daughter was badly injured. Still, he continues to work for peace and mutual understanding.

Officer says he was attacked by Arabs in Lod
Police are currently investigating a claim made by an officer who said he was attacked by three Arabs while on his way to the police station in Lod Friday. e was evacuated to the hospital with light injuries after sustaining blows to his entire body and cuts to the neck. Police are currently searching for suspects.,7340,L-3699847,00.html

Opinion / Analysis

**Playwright David Hare on 'the hideous wall'
I read David Hare's "monologue" on the Wall on the train just now, and I can't say enough good things about it. First of all, it's great that the New York Review of Books is publishing a forceful piece from Israel/Palestine and making the Wall iconic. Especially after the publication went AWOL for Gaza. Second, the tone and manner of the piece are odd/lovely/original. Sort of an oral performance piece as journalism. Ragged but very real-feeling, you are there. The best thing about the piece, though, is the way it contrasts high-minded discussions that journalists always have with authors and intellectuals in cafes and backyards in Israel, with very vivid experiences of the occupied territories. Hare is truly interested here not in ideas but in experience, of knowing for a little while what occupation is like.

Ominous warnings
By Prof. Manuel Hassassian, PLO representative to the UK. Warning against the dangers of totalitarianism in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell famously summed up its perverse logic in three words: "War is peace." Last week, Avigdor Lieberman admonished: "If you want peace, prepare for war." The difference between Orwell and Lieberman is that one was a writer of fiction and a relentless critic of power without restraint. The other is Israel's new foreign minister. Behind Lieberman's ominous warning is a sentiment that runs counter to the premise of negotiations, on which the Middle East peace process is built. He is saying that Israel will impose an outcome, not negotiate a solution, and that it will substitute for dialogue the blunt instruments of war.

One-state supporters make a comeback
By Helena Cobban. Many Palestinians and some important voices in what remains of Israel’s now-battered peace camp have concluded that it is now impossible to win the ‘two-state solution’ envisaged by Bush and Obama. This has led to the re-emergence in both communities of an old idea: that of a single bi- national state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, in which both Hebrew-speaking Jewish Israelis and Arabic-speaking Palestinians would have equal rights as citizens, and find themselves equally at home. That goal was advocated most eloquently in the 1930s and early 1940s by Judah Magnes, Martin Buber, and other intellectuals at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

U.S. and other world news

What is the US up to in Lebanon?
Lebanese Defense Minster Elias Murr recently concluded a trip to Washington where he met with a number of high-ranking US officials including Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton. The purpose of the visit - in response to an invitation by Gates - was to strengthen military ties between the Lebanese government and the US ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for early June. The trip appears to have been a success; there are reports that military aid will be made available before polls open. That's good because, what happens after the polls close is anyone's guess.

Cost of war will surpass Vietnam's by year's end
If Congress approves the latest funding request, as expected, the Iraq war will have cost about $694 billion, making it the second most expensive conflict in U.S. history behind World War II.,0,3717037.story

Obama to appeal detainee ruling
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Friday that it would appeal a district court ruling that granted some military prisoners in Afghanistan the right to file lawsuits seeking their release. The decision signaled that the administration was not backing down in its effort to maintain the power to imprison terrorism suspects for extended periods without judicial oversight.

Differences with US on Mideast are 'semantic': Israel
JERUSALEM (AFP) – Differences between Israel and the United States over the Middle East conflict are fundamentally semantic and will be harmonised within a few weeks, an Israeli minister said on Saturday. "There are differences of approach toward the problems in the Middle East between our government and the administration of (US President Barack) Obama, but they point more to wording and semantics than to reality," Transport Minister Israel Katz told public radio. Israel's hawkish new Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "has already had meetings with American leaders, and our policies will converge," he added.

Obama signs PLO office waiver
US President Barack Obama signed a waiver on Thursday that allows the Palestine Liberation Organization to retain its office in the American capital city of Washington, DC. According to a law passed in 1987, the PLO is barred from operating such an office, but the law contains a rule that allows presidents to waive the requirements for six months at a time. Former US President Bill Clinton allowed the PLO mission to open in 1994, and presidential waivers have been issued regularly since then.
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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