Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land Theft
West Bank Land Seized As Israel Looks to Build
EFRAT, West Bank, Feb. 16 -- Plans to expand a West Bank settlement by up to 2,500 homes drew Palestinian condemnation Monday and presented an early test for President Obama, whose Middle East envoy is well known for opposing such construction.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/16/AR2009021601293.html
?wprss=rss_world/mideast


Confiscations and settlement expansion in Bethlehem

Land confiscations and settlement expansion are continuing in the Bethlehem district. In Nahalin, Occupation forces have confiscated another 20 dunums from the village. Also, it has been announced that 1,700 dunums have been declared state land to facilitate the expansion of the Efrat settlement.
http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/1855.shtml


Attacks/Arrests/Siege/Eyewitness Accounts

Mine-clearing teams in Gaza waiting for Israeli okay
GAZA CITY - A team trained to remove and destroy unexploded ordnance has been operating in the Gaza Strip for three weeks, but its work is being held up because Israel has not approved the entry of its equipment nor an area for storing and neutralizing ordnance. For now some of the latter, located by the Palestinian police, is being stored in locations that are dangerously close to population centers in Rafah, Khan Yunis and Gaza City.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1064791.html


"Like a drum" - shelling of Gaza's beachfront continues
19 year-old Ali Abdl Salam Al Sa'ay walks like the living dead.  Eyes closed, he hobbles into the examination room at Gaza city's Nasser Eye Hospital, holding his bandaged hands gingerly in front of him.  A relative walks alongside him, holding up his intravenous drip of antibiotics.
http://writingfromgaza.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/80/


Israeli soldiers continue West Bank sweep, arresting at least 50 Palestinians
Ramallah – Ma'an – Israeli forces arrested nearly 50 Palestinians from across the West Bank Monday, at least 30 from the Ramallah area.  All were taken to undisclosed locations, after troops broke into several homes.  Soldiers also installed a checkpoint at the entrance of Ni'lin village, west of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=35824


The Israeli military kidnaps 26 Palestinian civilians from the West Bank
The Israeli military kidnapped 26 Palestinian civilians during pre dawn and morning invasions targeting several West Bank cities and towns on Tuesday, Palestinian sources reported.
http://www.imemc.org/article/58913


Israeli forces arrest youths in Salim
Ali Hussin Ali Shtayah (22) was arrested in the village of Salim near Nablus on Saturday 14th February. Around 20 heavily armed soldiers broke into his family's house at about 2 am in the morning. The army confined the large family in a small room, denying them access to water and the bathroom for two hours. Meanwhile soldiers interrogated Ali privately in a separate room.  He was forced to strip and then searched before being arrested.
http://palsolidarity.org/2009/02/5442


Israeli army arrests 18 Palestinians in West Bank
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested on Tuesday 18 Palestinian citizens in different cities across the West Bank, Palestinian security sources said.
http://english.ramattan.net/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=39872


Israeli detention campaign continues as dozens more seized across West Bank
Israel's sweep of detentions across the West Bank continued overnight Monday as Israeli Radio reported 26 detentions for "security reasons."  The forces detained seven civilians in Tulkarem, seven others in the Qalqiliya governorate, eight from Husan village near Bethlehem, one from Beit Ummar north of Hebron and three others from Hebron city.  Locals from Husan village said at least 50 military vehicles surrounded the small village and troops dispersed throughout the town searching the homes of the five men taken for questioning.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=35840


Targeting the leftists in western Bethlehem
Israeli forces mounted a campaign of widespread raids and arrests in the southwestern Bethlehem town of Husan during the early morning hours of Tuesday.  A massive military force pushed into the town ripping residents from sleep. Twelve vehicles closed the entrance to the village. Military roadblocks were imposed throughout the streets.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4796&Itemid=1


VIDEO: In the rubble of Jabal al Rayas, Gaza families struggling to survive in homemade shelters
http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jum
ival=3253&updaterx=2009-02-17+09%3A14%3A46


The closure of Al Ram
The occupying Israeli administration closed the only remaining passage of Dahiyat Barid between the Jerusalem suburb of Al Ram and the city. The northern town was a part of the city until the Wall was imposed down the center of main street effectively prohibiting the movement of residents. There was one passage left and now that is closed.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4795&Itemid=50


Conditions deteriorate in Eshel Prison without accountable administration
The Palestinian Prisoners Society said today that the conditions in the Eshel Prison are continuing to deteriorate since the recent transfer of the Department Director.  Officers and guards are using arbitrary actions and new restrictions which have exacerbated the suffering of Palestinians.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4794&Itemid=1


Israeli soldiers sentenced for extorting money from Palestinian workers
An Israeli court in Beersheva sentenced two soldiers to four and six month prison terms after they were found guilty of stealing 4,000 shekels from four Palestinians.  The money was taken in lieu of arrest as soldiers discovered the men were attempting to work in Israel without permits. The Palestinians were held at gunpoint until cash was produced. The incidents took place three years ago.
The Israeli court ordered 1,700 shekels in compensation for each of the Palestinian men.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=35841


Humanitarian Issues
ISRAEL-OPT: Thousands of Gazans remain homeless
Source: IRIN Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip remain homeless after their houses were badly damaged or destroyed during Israel's recent military offensive there.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/6d8e5007eaa7de21d0ba42a86a79ad27.htm


Gaza vehicles released by police
Three vehicles seized as they travelled to join a Gaza aid convoy have been released by counter-terrorism officers. The two vans and an ambulance were travelling to London to join the convoy when they were stopped on the M65 near Preston, Lancashire, on Friday.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/lancashire/7893771.stm


PA office in Gaza accuses UNRWA staff of selling goods to private sector "behind our backs"

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of National Economy accused the United Nations relief Agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, on Tuesday of importing private-sector goods under its name behind the back of the ministry.  The undersecretary of the ministry of the Ramallah-based government, speaking from Gaza, Nasser As-Sarraj made these accusations to Ma'an on Monday night.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=35847


De facto Health Ministry calls for urgent blood donations in Gaza

Gaza – Ma'an – O, A and B negative blood is in short supply in the Gaza Strip and the de facto government sent an appeal out Tuesday for blood drives all over the area.  The situation is getting serious, a Ministry of Health statement said, and urged citizens to get to local hospitals and clinics to donate blood.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=35854


War Crimes/Criminals
    
British MPs: Israel committed "war crimes" in Gaza
British MPs said on Tuesday that Israel committed war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza strip during the war which lasted 22 days.
http://english.ramattan.net/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=39876


Political Aftermath
Palestinian caretaker government releases basics of Gaza reconstruction plan
Bethlehem - Ma'an - The first draft of a two-year Palestinian National Plan for Gaza Reconstruction was approved Monday by the cabinet of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.  The plan will be submitted to the 'Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza' in Egypt on 2 March. Drafts will also be sent to UN and international bodies for comment before the document is released to the public.  The Plan was drawn up by the Ministry of Planning after what they described as "wide consultation and a detailed survey of the damage inflicted on Gaza and the work necessary for recovery."
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&Do=&ID=35835


Officials: Israel may authorize terms for Shalit deal Wednesday
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday intends to bring before the cabinet for its approval a demand that conditions a cease-fire deal on the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1064789.html


Noam Shalit not optimistic about deal for Gilad's release
Noam Shalit is not optimistic about a pending deal for the release of his son, Gilad, in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1064785.html


'Peace talks futile' unless settlement building stops
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called on Israel to halt internationally condemned settlement expansion and said he would not start from scratch in peace talks with the Jewish state's next government. Israel meanwhile unilaterally declared a large patch of land in the Occupied West Bank "state land," paving.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=99398


Israel Toughens Negotiating Stance With Hamas
Israel is toughening its negotiating stance with Hamas as the two try to hammer out a permanent ceasefire agreement.  According to reports in the Arab media a permanent ceasefire between the Jewish state and the Islamic resistance organisation would have gone into effect as early as Sunday had the Israeli government not suddenly upped the ante.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/16/israel-toughens-negotiati_n_167316.html


ANALYSIS / Time has muddled the Cairo-brokered Shalit deal
Israel's behavior in the past few days in the discussions for the Shalit deal and the cease-fire agreement has put the Egyptians mediators off balance.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1064790.html


Report: Ahmed Qureia dismissed as PA negotiator in Israel talks

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed Ahmed Qureia from his position as the PA's senior negotiator in talks with Israel, the pan-Arab paper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Tuesday.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1064921.html


Erekat remains senior negotiator
Ahmed Qureia is out of the negotiating team to meet with Israeli and American delegations, report sources in the Muqata.  President Abbas is including longtime official Dr. Sa'eb Erekat who holds the title head of negotiations in the Palestine Liberation Organization. He is the "senior negotiator" although Qureia held the reins during last year's meetings with Livni.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4793&Itemid=1


Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Gaza sours Israel-Turkey relations - Feb 16
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISfP84rMPCc
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUahorNRiX0

Fatah, Hamas officials meet in Ramallah before Cairo talks

Lawmakers and ministers from Palestine's leading political movements met Monday night in Ramallah to advance preparations for talks in Cairo scheduled for 22 February.  Representatives from both Fatah and Hamas met for two hours on Monday night.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=35839


Collaborators

A new enemy for Gaza smugglers
Reporting from Rafah, Gaza Strip -- The tunnel owners sit around the fire, passing cups of sweet tea and talking bitterly about the siege.  But on this early February morning they're not talking about the Israeli jets and their occasional airstrikes on the hundreds of tunnels that worm their way from Egypt into the Gaza Strip, slipping in supplies and, some say, weapons.  Instead, the Palestinians' fury is directed at the Egyptian government, which in the wake of this winter's Israeli offensive has cracked down on the Gaza tunnel trade, choking the flow of goods.    ..."The Egyptian people are our brothers," Abu Baraa says. "The government is a collaborator."
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-gaza-tunnel17-2009feb17,0,2242169.story


In Morocco, anger at Arab collusion against Gaza
I have just returned from Morocco where I witnessed first-hand the massive emotional reaction to Israel's brutal destruction of Gaza. Wherever I went, I could not help but notice the pervasive sense of popular anger and despair, powerlessness and humiliation, guilt and shamefulness. The country was a pot of boiling emotions and ardent indignation at both Israel's indiscriminate killing of innocent children and women and the stunning collusion of a number of Arab regimes in Israel's deadly assault on Gaza.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=99411


Beilin: Fatah strongman Dahlan once called Lieberman 'key to peace'

In July 2000, while he was justice minister in Ehud Barak's cabinet, Yossi Beilin agreed to a request by Mohammed Dahlan and Mohammed Rashid, who were members of the Palestinian delegation at Camp David, that they meet urgently.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1064788.html


Blogging in Egypt: Rizky Business
"They are trying to silence the voices that criticize the [Egyptian] government's performance and send a message by assaulting and kidnapping, to say that criticism will not be tolerated." -- Gamal Eid, executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information on the recent spate of blogger arrests in Egypt.  Philip Rizk wasn't "unlucky" or at "the wrong place at the wrong time." Instead, he found himself quite the deliberate target of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14834


Palestinian travelers face new restrictions at Arab borders
Palestinians traveling abroad have recently been subjected to alarming scrutiny by border officials in the Arab world. Several days ago, the Egyptian government began asking Palestinians interested in visiting Egypt through its Cairo airport to present evidence of a return flight home, despite that Egypt had usually permitted Palestinians to enter without attaining a visa.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=35851


Israeli Warmongering
Israel Launches Covert War Against Iran: Hitmen, Sabotage, Front Companies, Double Agents
It is using hitmen, sabotage, front companies and double agents to disrupt the regime's illicit weapons project, the experts say.
The most dramatic element of the "decapitation" programme is the planned assassination of top figures involved in Iran's atomic operations.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/4640052/Israel-launches-cove
rt-war-against-Iran.html


Is Israel assassinating Iran nuclear scientists?

Israel is assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists as part of a covert war against the Islamic Republic's illicit weapons program, the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday quoted Western intelligence analysts as saying. The British daily said Israel's Mossad espionage agency was rumored to be behind the death of Ardeshire Hassanpour, a top nuclear scientist at Iran's Isfahan uranium plant, who died in mysterious circumstances from reported "gas poisoning" in 2007.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1064852.html


Israel: We Are Under Existential Threat

Israeli occupation Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi presented defense minister Ehud Barak with a military's work plan for 2009, saying that 'Tehran near-nuclear capabilities, existing ballistic aptitude and terror contacts pose 'existential threat' to Israel.'
The defense establishment has recently declared, for the first time in years, that the State of Israel is under an "existential threat."
http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=74141&language=en


Other News
'Resistance Has Right to Possess and Use Anti-Aircraft Weapons'
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah declared on Monday that the Islamic Resistance has the full right to possess all kinds of weaponry, including anti-aircraft weapons, emphasizing that the Resistance has the courage to use such weapons. His eminence renewed his pledge to retaliate the assassination of Islamic Resistance top commander Imad Moghniyyeh (Hajj Redwan), noting that the Resistance's great martyr has scared the Israelis following his assassination more than ever.
http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=74274&language=en


Nasrallah on Mughniyya assassination anniversary: We will continue to resist

Bethlehem - Ma'an - The resistance has the right to use weapons and is not afraid of any government, said Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah in a speech marking the anniversary of Israel's assassination of Imad Mughniyya.  Mughniyya, a senior Hizbullah leader, was killed in a car bombing in Syria on 12 February 2008.
http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=35836


Nasrallah reaches out to rivals, warns Israelis to stay home
BEIRUT: Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah sent messages in two directions on Monday as he called for calm locally and stressed that the resistance had the right to possess an anti-air defense system to confront Israeli threats. Speaking via video link during a mass ceremony in the Beirut suburb of Rweiss on the first anniversary of the assassination of Hizbullah military commander Imad Mughniyeh, Nasrallah called for civil peace and urged restraint following violence which led to the death of one person after Saturday's rally to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=99416


UN nuclear watchdog: Israel's 'perceived double-standard' hurts NPT
A perception among Arab nations that Israel has undermined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a major obstacle to global nuclear disarmament, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Monday.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1064600.html


2 ex-Border Guard officers jailed for robbing Palestinians
Officers get prison sentence for demanding illegal Palestinian residents hand over NIS 4,000 in market.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3672932,00.html


'Police have evidence of money laundering against Lieberman'
Police have amassed sufficient evidence to link Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman with money laundering charges, a former National Fraud Unit investigator told The Jerusalem Post.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=123
3304779404


Israeli Arab MK: Livni is 90% Lieberman, 10% Netanyahu
"Livni is 90% Lieberman and 10% Netanyahu", Israeli-Arab MK Ahmed Tibi said Monday, hours after Tzipi Livni's Kadima party released a statement saying they accept the stipulations made by Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party for joining a coalition. Hadash party head Mohammed Barakeh also issued a harsh attack on Livni, saying "according to the document, Kadima's response to the requests made by Yvet Lieberman (Lieberman's nickname) show that Livni intends to form a government headed by Lieberman. " Barakeh added that Kadima's response "validates the racist beliefs of this Yvet. Livni and [Kadima MK] Haim Ramon announced today a list that is 100% Lieberman. " Barakeh said that "Anyone who thought that the fate of the Palestinian population weighs on such racist decisions is mistaken.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1064601.html


Media Bias

German Media Censorship on Gaza?
What were the reasons behind the cancelation of Germany's 'Anne Will' show on Gaza? Germany's most prominent political debate TV program 'Anne Will' had announced to run a show on Gaza on 11 January, but in what many observers believe to be an unprecedented step canceled the topic only three days earlier. The talk show is broadcast every Sunday night by the country's foremost public-service broadcaster ARD while attracting on average 3.6 million viewers.

http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14830


Solidarity
Letter on Academic Freedom in Palestine
Dear President Bollinger,  On a number of occasions since becoming president of Columbia University you have expressed your views in public on questions of academic freedom in the Middle East. Yet you have remained silent on the actions by Israel that deny that freedom to Palestinians.  These actions include Israel's continuing blockade of Gaza, the imposing of barriers, checkpoints, and closures around and within the West Bank that make academic life unworkable, the denial of exit visas to Palestinian scholars offered fellowships abroad or invited to international conferences, including scholars invited to Columbia, and the recent three-week war against Gaza that included not only the bombing of Palestinian schools and colleges, with great loss of life, but the widespread destruction of the material and social fabric on which academic life depends.  We, as Columbia and Barnard faculty, ask you now to make public your opposition to these actions and your support for the academic freedom of Palestinians.
http://www.academicfreedomcolumbia.org/


Student sit-ins in solidarity with Palestine spread from UK to US
After a number of successful sit-ins at British universities calling for divestment from Israeli apartheid, students in the US have taken up the cause as well. The University of Rochester, in New York, is the first to declare success after a sit-in at the University Administration building.
http://www.imemc.org/article/58907


Murakami uses award speech to voice support for Palestinians
JERUSALEM--Novelist Haruki Murakami used an award acceptance speech here Sunday to make veiled criticism of Israel's recent military strikes on the Gaza strip, voicing support for the Palestinian civilian casualties of the campaign.  The 60-year-old writer was in the Israeli capital to receive the Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society, the country's top literary award.
http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200902170018.html


Concert to show support for Palestinians

PUTRAJAYA: A humanitarian concert will be held to raise awareness among young Malaysians of the plight of Palestinians and to collect funds for victims of the Gaza attacks.  The event, jointly organised by the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry and the Foundation of National Patriot, will be held at the Telekom Museum in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 28.
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/2/17/nation/3279606&sec=nation


Glasgow university occupation

On February 9, students occupied the university of Glasgow, joining the wave of university occupations that has been occurring in the UK. The occupation ended several days later, after the university administration agreed to several of the students' demands.  After several weeks of campaigning, students at Glasgow garnered more than one thousand signatures of staff and students for petitions in support of the people of Gaza. After an unsatisfactory response from the administration, some 50 students went on to occupy a university building.
http://stopthewall.org/worldwideactivism/1856.shtml


Analysis/Op-ed
The settlers and their state: ideology in practice
During the last olive harvest, the deep racial oppression that is present across the entire land of Palestine rose to the surface in the form of frequent attacks against Palestinians. In our report on the olive harvest*, we have documented how Palestinian farmers in the West Bank faced abuse from settlers and soldiers who physically assaulted them, destroyed their property, and prevented them from reaching their lands. However, this report shows only one area of settler aggression. During the same period, in '48 Palestine, Akka and other Palestinian cities served as arenas for violence and intimidation directed at Palestinians living there. In its superficial coverage of this violence, the mass media missed or ignored the underlying cause of the attacks: that this ongoing violence and intimidation is a systemic characteristic of the Israeli military and state institutions that is present in both the West Bank and in '48 Palestine.
http://stopthewall.org/analysisandfeatures/1852.shtml


AP reports that Israeli expansion plans are a direct challenge to Obama & Mitchell
The AP's Karin Laub has picked up that expanded settlement news, first published in Haaretz, and done wonderful reporting on it. Laub says the land belongs to a Palestinian plumber. The plans--and here the AP echoes this site--are  a direct challenge to Obama and George Mitchell. It's time for people to step forward. Where is Congressman Gary Ackerman, who condemned the settlements last week? What does condemnation mean?
http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/02/ap-reports-that-israeli-expansion-plans-are
-a-direct-challenge-to-obama-mitchell.html


ANALYSIS / A rightist coalition will be on collision course with U.S. from day one
The one question that interests Benjamin Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni more than which of them President Shimon Peres will pick first to form a coalition, is what mandate President Barack Obama will give the new government.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1064787.html


Conditioning Part of U.S. Aid to Israel on Implementation of U.S. Policy
It is well-known outside the United States that a key obstacle, if not the key obstacle, to Israeli/Palestinian peace is the relationship between Israel and the United States. To say that the U.S. "supports Israel" severely misstates the problem: the key problem is the perception and the reality that the U.S. almost unfailingly protects the Israeli government from the negative consequences of anti-Palestinian policies, such as the recent military assault on Gaza, so that while rhetorically the U.S. is committed to peace, in practice the incentives that have been created and maintained by U.S. policy have had the effect of constantly pushing the Israeli government towards more confrontation with the Palestinians, rather than towards accommodation. Just as a Wall Street banker who expects a U.S. government bailout will take dangerous risks since he is protected from the potential negative consequences of those risks, so Israeli government leaders, faced with choices between "risks for peace" and "risks for war" will tend to choose "risks for war" since the U.S. government is perceived to provide a blanket insurance policy against "risks for war" while no such insurance is perceived to exist for "risks for peace."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/conditioning-part-of-us-a_b_167321.html

Zakaria: Closeted Palestinian-Supporter?

Avigdor Lieberman is upsetting the liberal internationalist stomach, namely Fareed Zakaria's. His Newsweek piece on the electoral success of the right-wing hawk and the popularity of the 'transfer' ideology is a welcome contribution to the growing unease in the American foreign policy establishment for the looniest of Israel's political spectrum.
http://www.kabobfest.com/2009/02/zakaria-closeted-palestinian-supporter.html


'Times' sympathizes with Israeli athlete hurt by international politics, but not the 100s of Palestinian athletes in a similar situation
Felson writes: Harvey Araton used his New York Times sports column today to document the plight of Shahar Peer, an Israeli tennis player who was denied a visa by the United Arab Emirates that would have allowed her to compete in this week's Barclay's Dubai Tennis Championships – a $2 million tournament that is a part of the women's pro tour.  It's a good case. Peer's exclusion violates the spirit of international competition, which holds the promise of bringing together athletes from nations with severe political differences and setting a better example for the world.  Araton calls for the women's and men's tours to end their affiliation with Dubai.
http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/02/times-sympathizes-with-israeli-athlete-hurt
-by-international-politics-but-not-the-100s-of-palestinia.html


Shouldn't we be getting religious crazies, like Eric Yoffie, out of our politics?
One of the signal events of the Gaza slaughter in the U.S. was the brave statement by "J Street" against the disproportionate violence, and the subsequent attack on J Street by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, head of the Union for Reform Judaism, which for some reason the Forward saw fit to print. Here Yoffie belittled the new Israel lobby group as "morally deficient, profoundly out of touch with Jewish sentiment and also appallingly naïve."  The article was titled "On Gaza, Sense and Centrism." Jews are "commonsensical," Yoffie said. And you will see that his teaching lacked any religious mumbo-jumbo.
http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/02/shouldnt-we-be-getting-religious-crazies-like
-eric-yoffie-out-of-our-politics-.html


Four Solutions for Palestine, Israel

'I do not hate (Israelis) for being Jewish or Israeli but because of what they have done to us. Because of the acts of occupation. It is difficult to forget what was done to us. But if the reason for the hate will not exist, everything is possible. But if the reason remains, it is impossible to love. First we must convince in general and in principle that we have been wronged, then we can talk about 67 or 48. You still do not recognize that we have rights. The first condition for change is recognition of the injustice we suffered.' -- Said Sayyam, martyred in Gaza January 2009, to Ha'aretz, November 1995.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14833

Between Resistance and Peace Process
It really is time to be biased, and emphatically so. Biased against racism, injustice and oppression.  The assault on Gaza and its wake leave the Palestinians on uncertain ground. On the one hand, there is their legitimate right of resistance in order to achieve national liberation. On the other hand, are internal, regional, and international forces that seek to impose an externally imposed and pre-determined hegemonic solution.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14832


From the Ending We Shall Begin
His green eyes divert in the opposite direction as I look into them. He smiles at me shyly, sadly, forlornly. I stand against the magnitude of a man, too great not to be noticed. His tall, dark figure directs me to the car, and his friend drives us to the sea. It is almost noon, and I peak towards his seat. The windows dark, the car white, the sun shining and we stop at the hotel. "We shall come in a minute," he tells me, "find us a seat."
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14835


ONE Minute, To See the Truth About Palestine- The Hidden Truth #3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roiw7LDhS_Y


Israel's Occupation
There are many sources of information from websites through newspapers to books that carry significant referenced information about the history and context of the Israel/Palestine problem that, with the support of the U.S. government and the ambitions of the Israelis, has become a global problem.  There is much material that accounts for the misery and suffering and imposition of a military regime on an occupied territory, and it all supports the general idea of an occupied people suffering under the power of an invading military.
http://www.zcommunications.org/zbooks/review/128


Abe Foxman's 'Anti-Semitic Pandemic'

Excerpt: If there were a Nobel Prize for Hypocrisy, Abraham Foxman would have been a great candidate. The director of the Anti-Defamation League, who once interpreted even International Holocaust Remembrance Day as an expression of the Gentiles' latent desire to see Jews dead, has published a new survey on anti-Semitism in Europe.
http://www.antiwar.com/hacohen/?articleid=14256


Window closing for a two-state solution in the Middle East
Washington – Two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. When the "two-state solution" became the mantra of President Bush early in his presidency, it seemed no other option was plausible, despite the daunting obstacles. Yet in recent months and, particularly, in the wake of Israel's electoral lurch to the right last Tuesday, a number of Israelis and Palestinians are warning that the two-state solution is in its death throes. Increasingly observers foresee a "one-state solution" imposing itself – something many moderates on both sides say would be disastrous and would mean instability in the region for decades to come.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20090217/ts_csm/atwostate


Daphna Baram: It's time to rethink Zionism

The results of last week's parliamentary elections in Israel brought to the surface some of the most rotten fruits of a debate that has been going on throughout the state's existence: the idea that a mono-ethnic Jewish state is feasible, legitimate and desirable. In other words, it enhanced the predicament of the moral and practical consequences of the Zionist state ideology.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/16/israelandthepalestinians-israeli-ele
ctions-2009


Iraq
Monday: 14 Iraqis Killed, 41 Wounded
http://www.antiwar.com/updates/?articleid=14257


Four Iraq teens killed as football blows up rocket
AFP - Four teenagers were killed and 11 wounded when their football struck and detonated an abandoned rocket in an empty lot of the southern Iraqi city of Amara on Monday, police said.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090216/wl_mideast_afp/iraqunrestchildren


Bombs Kill 8 in Baghdad as Shiite Pilgrims Return

BAGHDAD — Eight Iraqis, all of them Shiite pilgrims returning from the holy city of Karbala, were killed in two separate roadside bombings in Baghdad on Monday, security officials and witnesses said.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/world/middleeast/17iraq.html?_r=1


A peace sign: Iraq's Sunnis joining Shiite pilgrims
Baghdad - Sheikh Mohammad al-Ethawi, resplendent in his gold-trimmed robe and white headdress, hands out oranges to Shiite pilgrims walking by a striped tent on the main route to the holy city of Karbala.  Sheikh Ethawi is Sunni. The Doura highway, where more than a million pilgrims – largely Shiite – are walking for the first time in three years, passes through what had been one of Baghdad's most violent neighborhoods. Their numbers and Ethawi's presence are a sign of the easing of sectarian tensions that almost ripped this country apart.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0217/p01s01-wome.html


30 Iraqi results void due to fraud
IRAQI officials have declared election results void in more than 30 polling stations across the country because of fraud.
http://news.scotsman.com/world/30-Iraqi-results-void-due.4982588.jp


Boys With Toys

It is not the threat of violence that weighs on the people of Iraq. It is the omnipresent occurrence of violence that has resulted in the desperate nation wide chant, "We are tired. All we want is for normal life to return."  Recently, an eight-year-old Iraqi girl was shot by US soldiers when their convoy ran into a crowd of Shiite pilgrims traveling to the holy city of Karbala in southern Iraq.  Sunday, a week ago, three explosions echoed across Baghdad, leaving one person dead and wounding another 20.
http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticlePrint/20588


Iraq grills ex-Guantanamo detainees
AFP - Four Iraqis who were sent back last month from the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba are being interrogated in their home country, Baghdad's interim justice minister said on Tuesday.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090217/wl_mideast_afp/iraqusprisonersguantanamo

Iraqi shoe-thrower goes on trial Thursday

AFP - The Iraqi journalist who won global attention when he hurled his shoes at former US president George W. Bush goes on trial on Thursday charged with assaulting a foreign leader.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090217/pl_afp/iraqusmediabush

U.S.
Bad News From America's Top Spy

We have a remarkable ability to create our own monsters. A few decades of meddling in the Middle East with our Israeli doppelgänger and we get Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaida, the Iraqi resistance movement and a resurgent Taliban. Now we trash the world economy and destroy the ecosystem and sit back to watch our handiwork. Hints of our brave new world seeped out Thursday when Washington's new director of national intelligence, retired Adm. Dennis Blair, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He warned that the deepening economic crisis posed perhaps our gravest threat to stability and national security. It could trigger, he said, a return to the "violent extremism" of the 1920s and 1930s.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/20090216_bad_news_from_americas_top_spy/


A Torture Report Could Spell Big Trouble For Bush Lawyers
February 14, 2009 "NEWSWEEK" -- An internal Justice Department report on the conduct of senior lawyers who approved waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics is causing anxiety among former Bush administration officials. H. Marshall Jarrett, chief of the department's ethics watchdog unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), confirmed last year he was investigating whether the legal advice in crucial interrogation memos "was consistent with the professional standards that apply to Department of Justice attorneys." According to two knowledgeable sources who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters, a draft of the report was submitted in the final weeks of the Bush administration. It sharply criticized the legal work of two former top officials—Jay Bybee and John Yoo—as well as that of Steven Bradbury, who was chief of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the time the report was submitted, the sources said. (Bybee, Yoo and Bradbury did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22006.htm

For further information contact Shadi Fadda

 
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