Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,

The first three items of the seven below furnish information about political and social affairs.  They are followed by several reports of events and end with information about Palestinian women political prisoners, first in a video and then in a flyer distributed by the Bay Area Women in Black.

Item 1 reports that the Arab League backs Palestinian membership bid at the UN.

Item 2 informs us that Israel is putting more money into the institution of higher learning in Ariel than in other institutions, with the intention of encouraging more students to attend classes in West Bank institutions.

Item 3 tells us that Netanyahu urged Canada’s PM to thwart G8 support for 1967 lines.

Item 4 contains 3 brief reports by the CPT of incidents in the Hebron area.

In item 5 David Shulman writes about the “Beauty of Defiance,” describing this weekend’s demonstration at Ras al-Amud.

This is followed by Joseph Dana’s video of police using tasers against demonstrators at the demonstration depicted by David Shulman.

The final item is additional information about Palestinian women political prisoners, first in a video, and then in a brochure that Bay Area Women in Black hand out.

That’s it for tonight.



1.  BBC,

May 29, 2011

Arab League backs Palestinian membership bid at UN

Mahmoud Abbas is pressuring Israel to return to the negotiating table

The Arab League says it will seek full UN membership for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The decision was made at a meeting in Doha attended by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr Abbas had reiterated his determination to seek UN recognition in September unless Israel began negotiations on a “substantial basis”.

US-led peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled for months.

A statement issued by the Arab League monitoring committee on Saturday said it “supports the appeal to the UN asking that Palestine, within the 1967 borders, becomes a full-fledged state” of the international organisation.

Mr Abbas had told the meeting: “Our option is still negotiation, but it seems that because of conditions imposed by [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu… we have no choice but to use the UN to get recognition of our state.

“We are serious in our decision to use the UN, it is not manoeuvring. We will do it unless Netanyahu accepts to begin negotiations today on a substantial basis.”

Basis for talks

In a keynote policy speech on 19 May, US President Barack Obama issued a clear call for Israel and the Palestinians to use the borders existing before the 1967 Six Day War, with land swaps, as the basis for talks.

However, he made it clear that an appeal to the UN for full membership for Palestine would be a mistake.

Mr Netanyahu rejected President Obama’s proposal outright, saying the Jewish state would be “indefensible” if it returned to the 1967 borders, which would exclude dozens of Jewish settlements.

He also rejected the idea of dividing the city of Jerusalem. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as their capital.

On Friday, UN General Assembly president Joseph Deiss said that a Palestinian state would need the support of all five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council to be recognised.

Correspondents say this seems unlikely, although even as a symbolic gesture the move could make Israel look politically isolated.


2.  Haaretz,

May 29, 2011

Enrollment at Israeli university in West Bank expected to grow at fast pace

Council for Higher Education gives priority funding ‘to institutions in outlying areas and in national priority zone including the capital, Jerusalem.’

By Asaf Shtull-Trauring

Tags: West Bank

The Council for Higher Education has decided that the number of students funded by the state at the Ariel University Center of Samaria in the settlement of Ariel will be allowed to grow to a much greater extent than at many other colleges.

For example, the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem will only get funding for eight new student positions over six years. Sapir College in Sderot will get funding for 484 additional students, as will Western Galilee College. The Academic College of Tel Aviv will be allocated funds for 962 new students.

The Ariel University Center will be allowed to grow by about 1,600 students.

“I was greatly disappointed to hear about the allocation of quotas, which on the face of it is a surrender to the politicians,” said former Sapir College President Zeev Tzahor. “Sapir College, which is in the most sensitive location in Israel, on the outskirts of Sderot, is receiving a much smaller quota supplement [484] than the Tel Aviv College and less than a third of Ariel’s.”

The council’s plan is part of a reform program set up last year that includes a six-year undertaking to increase budgets at the country’s schools of higher education.

The expected growth in student funding in Ariel is consistent with a statement last year by the chairman of the council’s Planning and Budgeting Committee, Manuel Trajtenberg. He said 55 percent of the new student positions would be created in the north and south of the country, 30 percent in Jerusalem and at Israeli schools in the West Bank, and only 15 percent in the center of the country. He called this “a dramatic change in priorities.”

Most of the colleges – schools of higher education including Ariel that are not considered full universities – will receive funding for the addition of between 300 and 700 students.

The allocations to Israeli institutions in the West Bank were not mentioned in the council’s announcement on new student positions. Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who is also council chairman, said priority would be given “to institutions in outlying areas and in national priority zone including the capital, Jerusalem.” Among other announced priorities were school subjects deemed import to national economic planning, including science and engineering.

“The criteria are very clear, and based on them, institutions get points, and the Ariel University Center apparently meets the criteria,” the council’s Planning and Budgeting Committee said. It said Ariel is located in a national priority zone, and apparently the teaching of priority subjects there also boosted the school’s point score, thereby expanding funding for additional students.

The Ariel University Center said: “Our assessment is that we got a larger quota [of students] because we greatly stress science and engineering, as well as students from outlying areas. The third [explanation] is that we are a university for all intents and purposes.” The school noted that it has 12,000 students, most of whom pay university-level tuition rather than what colleges charge.

“Our budget allocation is as if we were a college, and the correction [the additional council’s funding] that was made is not a complete step, it is a correction. We hope this is a sign of things to come,” the school added. The council’s Planning and Budgeting Committee made it clear that the additional funds are not connected to a possible upgrade of the Ariel school to full university status.

Among other colleges, funding will be increased to add 657 students at Tel Hai College near Kiryat Shmona. Ruppin College will get 902 student positions funded. Jezreel Valley College will receive 570 new student positions.


3.  Haaretz,

May 29, 2011

Netanyahu asked Canada PM to thwart G8 support for 1967 borders

G8 statement would have supported Obama’s policy that Israeli-Palestinian talks should be based on 1967 lines with land swaps.

By Barak Ravid

Tags: Israel news Benjamin Netanyahu Barack Obama

At the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper thwarted an announcement Friday by the G-8 countries that would have supported U.S. President Barack Obama’s statement that talks between the Palestinians and Israel should be based on the 1967 borders with exchanges of territory.

The G-8 countries – the United States, Russia, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada – met in France on Thursday and Friday to discuss the situation in the Middle East.

Obama presented his Middle East policy to the G-8 as an alternative to a unilateral Palestinian move to seek support for statehood in the United Nations General Assembly in September, and to clarify to the Palestinians that the international community takes a dim view of the Palestinians’ move to win statehood in the United Nations.

According to a senior government official in Jerusalem, Israel was concerned over the implications of a specific mention of support for Obama’s call for negotiations based on the 1967 borders and exchanges of territory, so the prime minister’s bureau and the Foreign Ministry began working on the matter as early as the middle of last week.

The Foreign Ministry instructed its envoys in the various capitals to ask that the G-8’s concluding statement emphasize three things: that a Palestinian state will arise only through direct negotiations, not through a unilateral move in the United Nations; opposition to Hamas-Fatah reconciliation as long as Hamas rejects the Quartet’s conditions; and opposition to a mention of the issue of 1967 borders and exchanges of territory. However, there was concern over whether inclusion of the latter issue could be prevented, the official said, because at least seven out of the eight G-8 countries supported including it.

Tuesday, after Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, he telephoned Harper, who heads a rightist government under whose leadership Canada has become one of Israel’s greatest allies.

The senior government official said Netanyahu told Harper that mentioning the issue of the 1967 borders in the statement, without mentioning the other issues, such as Israel as a Jewish state or opposition to the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel, will be detrimental to Israeli interests and a reward to the Palestinians.

“The prime minister is in constant contact with various leaders in moving ahead the diplomatic process,” Netanyahu’s bureau said.

Since a decision on the statement requires consensus, Canada’s efforts led to a release of the statement without reference to the 1967 borders.

The statement released expressed general support for the Obama speech, but called for the establishment of a Palestinian state through negotiations, not unilaterally, and for Hamas to accept the Quartet’s conditions.

Harper said Friday that he thought the statement issued was “balanced.” He also said it was important not to “cherry-pick” Obama’s statement. “I think if you’re going to get into other elements, obviously I would like to see reference to elements that were also in President Obama’s speech. Such as, for instance, the fact that one of the states must be a Jewish state. The fact that the Palestinian state must be de-militarized.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke over the weekend with Canada’s foreign minister, John Baird, and thanked him for Canada’s position during the G-8 deliberations. “Canada is a true friend of Israel and with a realistic and proper view of things, it understands that the 1967 borders do not conform to Israel’s security needs and with the current demographic reality,” Lieberman said.


4.  CPT Hebron


Settlers burn ancient olive trees in Tel Rumeida

by Esther Mae Hinshaw

27 May 2011

At 4:30 p.m. on 27 May 2011, CPT received a call that settlers set fire to olive orchards on the Abu Haikel property in Tel Rumeida.  By the time Paulette Schroeder, Laurens van Esch, and Esther Mae Hinshaw arrived at the Abu Haikel house, the fire had almost gone out.

One of the Abu Haikel sons took the CPTers to the scene of the fire. As some of the trees were still smoldering, a Palestinian fireman from the Hebron Municipality continued to monitor the scene.  The fireman reported that soldiers had taken all of their new fire hoses and given them old hoses to use. Later, when the CPTers asked the soldiers to return the new equipment to the last remaining fireman, they did not respond.

The fire affected sixteen ancient olive trees, some more than a thousand years old, in an area of almost two dunum (one-half acre).  The soldiers from the post nearby yelled at the CPTers to leave the field, but CPTers called out to them that they were on land belonging to the Abu Haikel family, who had invited them to be there.  When the CPTers continued to take pictures, the soldiers took no further action.

Asked whether the trees would one day produce olives again, the son responded, “No, they’ve burned them for the last seven years.”

Photos of the Abu Heikels’ burnt fields and olive trees are available at


Soldiers detain and abuse 14-year-old boy; new documentary describes Israeli imprisonment of Hebron minors

24 May 2011

On 10 May 2011, fourteen-year-old A.* was returning from a football (soccer) match with two other friends to his home near Bab il Baladiye, the entrance to the Old City.  Some younger boys were throwing rocks at the Bab il-Baladiye checkpoint and when soldiers emerged from behind the wall to deal with the stone throwers, they grabbed A.

For the next six hours, A. remained blindfolded in the soldier camp, wrists bound behind his back with plastic handcuffs. One soldier kicked him and kept yelling at him to admit he had thrown stones, which A. steadfastly denied.  Around 3:00 in the morning, a soldier who spoke Arabic arrived, told the other soldiers that A. had NOT been among the boys throwing stones, and brought him to the Palestinian police station, where A.’s uncle worked.  He slept there until his mother came to pick him up at 7:00 a.m. the next morning.

When CPTers visited A. on 13 May to fill in the details of his story, his eighteen-year-old brother, K., told them that he had many more stories to share of soldiers abusing teenage boys in the area, usually after they had been accused of throwing stones.  In at least two instances, the boys in question had  been standing in an area talking when the soldiers grabbed them and sent them to Ofer prison, “They choose the ones that seem weak; I don’t know why,” K. told the CPTers.  One friend, who, according to K. is “absolutely nonviolent,” was picked up by soldiers and falsely accused of a knife attack.  After a harsh interrogation by the police, the friend was sent to Ofer.  He found his six months in prison not as bad as he thought it would be, but he had to repeat a year of school afterwards.

K. also related other instances of soldier abuse.  About a year ago, he, A., and three other friends were walking on Shalala Street when soldiers lined them up against the wall and began beating them.  If they tried to raise their heads, the soldiers slapped them.  When they eventually let the five boys go, soldiers told them that if they ever saw them on the streets after 8:00 p.m., they would be arrested.  K. and several of his friends said Israeli Russian, Druze, and religious soldiers are the most likely to beat Palestinians.

Gerry O’Sullivan, a former member of the Ecumenical Accompaniers in Hebron and friend of CPT’s Hebron team, recently created a documentary about the arrests and imprisonment of minors in the Hebron area titled, “Stolen Children; Stolen Lives.”  It is available in two parts on Youtube:


CPT releases video of Palestinian testimonies about settler attack in Tuba

Tuba, South Hebron Hills, West Bank

Link to video:

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has released a video of Palestinian testimonies about the recent settler invasion of the village of Tuba. On 16 May, shortly before midnight, Israeli settlers invaded Tuba, damaged property, and stole and injured several sheep belonging to the Ali Awwad family.

Members of the Ali Awwad family reported that they counted seven masked settlers, who entered the village throwing rocks with slingshots. Besides stealing seven sheep, the settlers beat the sheep and injured several, including one which lost an eye. Two of the sheep were so badly injured that the family had to slaughter them the next morning. In addition, the settlers overturned three large water tanks, damaged fences and a goat pen, punctured a storage tent and three sacks of yogurt, and destroyed the ventilation pipe of an outhouse.

Although the family called the Israeli police the night of the attack, the police did not come to Tuba until two days later. Tuba residents saw Israeli soldiers near the village immediately following the settler invasion. But when the Palestinians tried to speak with the soldiers, the soldiers were not able to communicate in Arabic and left the village.

Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation Dove have maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and the South Hebron Hills since 2004.

CPT-Palestine in At-Tuwani,

South Hebron Hills

Twitter @cptpalestine


5.The Beauty of Defiance–Ras al-Amud

David Shulman

The Israeli-Palestinian struggle against the settlement in Sheikh Jarrah

..HomeWhat is our struggle about?

Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity FAQ ABOUT SHEIKH JARRAHThe Legal Struggle in Sheikh JarrahWhat’s happening in East Jerusalem?DonatePressContact us.PostsComments..The Beauty of Defiance: Solidarity in Ras al-Amud / David Shulman

By adminPublished: 28/05/2011


“Solidarity” in Ras al-Amud, May 27, 2011. By: Oren Ziv, Activestills

May 27, 2011

We gather at 4:00 outside the settlers’ multi-story stone building opposite the old police station at Ras al-Amud, on the Mount of Olives. This was the week of Netanyahu’s speech before Congress; if, utterly unlikely as this may be, there is anyone in the world who failed to notice that he was lying through his teeth, then Wednesday’s official ceremony unveiling the new settlement here in East Jerusalem should be enough to remove the veil. He used the word “peace” many times, in most cases meaning “war.”

It is hot, dusty, dry, and from the start I’m thirsty, and it keeps getting worse. I’m also a little high on the mood of the crowd: I sense a savvy toughness, a clarity of purpose, and I feel the rage. The lines are lucidly drawn. Some 20 to 30 settler children, boys and girls, and a few adults line the rooftop overlooking the street and the activists milling just below them; sometimes the children spit at us, or spray us with water (not unwelcome in the fierce heat), and sometimes they sing or chant, as if to mimic the rhymed slogans we’re shouting to the beat of the drums. They hang a sign down from the roof: “refuah shlemah, Speedy Recovery,” the implication being that we are mad, perhaps suffering from some kind of mass psychosis. Perhaps they’re right. Would Jews demonstrate against other Jews, even if the latter are out-and-out thieves?

But not only Jews are here to demonstrate today; there are many Palestinians, far more than in most of the Sheikh Jarrah demonstrations, and they’re up front in the thick of it, facing the police. There’s a large underground parking area beneath the massive stone apartments; we’ve taken our stand on the path leading up to it, so settler cars entering or leaving are having rather a hard time. At one point one of them, surrounded by activists, suddenly accelerates, plowing through the crowd; people leap to the side; miraculously, no one is hurt. The police bark and push and shove at us, trying vainly to clear a way. It all takes time, a long time, as the tension slowly mounts, reaching toward a climax, though there are also moments of anomie and perplexity, and the weariness of boredom, thirst, and heat.

A Palestinian boy, maybe 12 years old, takes the megaphone and boldly leads the chanting for a few minutes, half in Arabic, half in Hebrew, the languages running together on his tongue:  la l’ihtilal, ken le-meri ezrahi, “No to Occupation, Yes to Civil Disobedience.”  I like the sound of it, coming from him. Civil disobedience is what is called for in the extreme conditions of Israel-Palestine 2011—and with it relentless provocation, a constant seeking of the point of friction, giving no inch. The police seem bewildered, out of their depth: what are they supposed to do with these 200 demonstrators? I can see the two commanders hesitating, uncertain; they’re not much of an enemy, this time round; for once they don’t seem eager to arrest us. Maybe—just a guess, or wishful thinking- the senior one, who carries himself with a certain dignity, doesn’t really like defending these fanatical settlers. Still, we prod them, taunt them, we call them a “settlers’ police” (all too true), we tell them they have the right and, indeed, the duty to refuse illegal orders, we spill over the line they are trying to hold, and finally we do what many have done before us, in Gandhi’s India, in Alabama and Mississipi, in the Vietnam years, in Tibet—we sit down on the approach road, blocking access to the building and its parking lot, and wait, arms looped together, for the police to pry us loose and drag us away.

It takes some time. The usual happiness washes over me. There is really nothing quite so sweet as doing the right thing. I am, at last, or again, one with myself and almost at peace with the world—apart from the tormenting thirst and the occasional drizzle of spit from above. We’re packed together in an ungainly mass. Profound equality, communitas, like a physical force, binds us together in the face of what is about to come. But I’m not thinking about the future now. This moment is enough. I need nothing more.

Of course the ranks ahead of me are rapidly thinning out, for the police have begun their attack; they grab whatever part of the body presents itself first, head, feet, arms, buttocks, they struggle to separate us one from another—it isn’t easy—and they drag us, one by one, sometimes punching us for good measure, yelling curses, to the side of the road which, of course, must be kept open for the settlers at all costs.  I can’t see the larger scene very well from my small piece of paradise on the ground, but I hear the shouts and cries and the steady roar of the drums, and I can see the soldiers’ black boots getting closer and closer, the first couple of rows gone by now, only two or three meters left, they will be on me in a moment, I really ought to be afraid but nothing seems capable of shattering my eery peace. I’m a little worried about Eileen, who is standing somewhere near the edge of the street; I can’t see her, I hope she’s not within range of the blows the border police are showering with evident abandon, as if finally freed from irksome constraint.

Perhaps, I think, I’ll be able later to write about that peacefulness and explore it further; I know I’m not the only one to feel it. Eileen will say later, when it’s over: “That moment all of you sat down was beautiful and powerful.” She’s right about that. Maybe that’s why, as she says, I love it so. Let’s say a hundred of us were sitting there, defiant, ready to be pummeled or dragged away or arrested. Clearly we didn’t have to explain it to anyone, least of all to ourselves, because the rightness of it was perfectly evident, and, after all, we’ve done such things before, many times, and by now we’ve learned what had to be learned—above all the lesson of action, saying “no” not in words but with our bodies, again and again, as long as it’s necessary to do so until some day we win. But even that thought is not right and not needed, these days we’re not thinking much about winning. I smile at Tehila, just behind me, remembering our arrest in south Hebron just a month or so ago—her first time. But the smile is because I have just realized that we are doing this precisely because we can’t know where it will lead or what effects it will have, and I have just remembered the verse from the Bhagavad Gita which says that human beings are given the right to act but should never consider the fruits of action—it is enough that it is good, godly, and intrinsically humane.

There’s quite a lot of tugging and tearing and poking and grabbing and punching, and to my surprise I am swept, as if by a whirlpool, away from the center and toward the curb, since by now the soldiers and police have cleared just enough space for one of the settler cars to struggle through, and they’ve apparently tired of the struggle against these interlaced arms and legs and heavy bodies. I guess I was lucky. Someone just a yard or two away was not: they shot him with a Taser, and he fell, clutching his right chest, his eyes racing wildly in their sockets, his body twitching a little, hardly conscious. I rush over, but before I can begin to dredge up my medic’s instincts, Daniel is there, cradling his head in his arms; Daniel is a doctor, with the doctor’s assurance. We call an ambulance, but within a few minutes our friend comes to, sits up slowly, even more slowly tries to stand. Tasers are dangerous; they hit you with an electric shock that can kill. My son Misha warned me some months ago that we’d be likely to encounter them one of these days, and today it happened, my first time. Our wounded activist, uncowed, rejoins the others still sitting on the road.

There are arrests, of course—six, to the best of my knowledge; but when they try to arrest one of the Palestinians, the activists swirl around and manage, with much difficulty, to extricate him from the clutches of the police. One minor victory. Meanwhile, while I was busy, many things have happened. Uli, my former student, comes week after week to hold up a black flag with a pirate’s skull and bones; some have found this banner enigmatic, though Uli says its message is self-evident, a perfect emblem of the settlers’ ways. Today one of the settlers manages to snatch it and tear it off the pole, which now, I have to admit, looks a little forlorn. Maybe it’s become a Buddhist flagpole, supporting the deep emptiness of all that is. Then Uli’s cellphone rings, and on the line is a former girlfriend of his, whom he describes as a nihilist or anarchist, utterly apolitical; and by a strange twist such as turns up regularly in Israel, this woman happens to be the sister of one of the settlers inside the building, and the sister’s children are with the former girlfriend and are supposed to be taken “home”, if a stolen piece of Palestinian land counts as home. What to do? Uli doesn’t want the children to be traumatized: “Wait an hour,” he suggests.

And then—when? Some two hours or more have gone by– it’s over. The police drive off with their captives. Eileen sees Palestinian children grasping stones and broken shards of ceramic in their fists. This is a new danger, worse than anything that has happened so far. She goes over to try to calm them, and others join her, and it works–or maybe the boys decide rightly by themselves. No tear gas or rubber bullets today.

On the main road just beside us, while we’re still embroiled in the melée, drums beating, people screaming, a Palestinian car, brightly decorated with white ribbons, with bride and groom inside, painfully threads its way past this battle zone, somehow avoiding the jeeps of the Border Guards that block the way. Will they make it in time to the wedding?

About suffering they were never wrong,

The Old Masters: how well they understood

Its human position, how it takes place

When someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully


The Auden poem happens to be about us, Eileen and me: we spent this morning in Tel Aviv shopping for Misha’s wedding. Should I be feeling guilty for this great joy, this pleasure, when I could have been in south Hebron or Silwan or Nabi Saleh, when I could have bound up the wounds of the suffering and tried, at least, to free the slaves? No, I should not. But you know—it’s utterly impossible to make sense of these sharp transitions. It’s crazy. One moment we’re having our espresso in Tel Aviv, and the next we’re here with the police and the settlers and the dust and the drums and the pain and the unanswerable questions and the hopelessness and the dread. Whatever god invented the world we inhabit didn’t think things through. I wish Him a speedy recovery.

The largest government-supported extreme right-wing settlement in East Jerusalem, or: Why is it important to come to the demonstration in Ras Al-Amoud?


6,  Joseph Dana

Watch Israeli police use stun guns on demonstrators

Police use stun guns on protestors

Sunday, May 29 2011Independent commentary from Israel & the Palestinian territories

AboutSaturday, May 28 2011|Joseph Dana

WATCH: Police use stun guns for first time on Jewish protesters

A demonstration against the settler takeover of East Jerusalem was held in the neighborhood of Ras al-Amud yesterday afternoon. The demonstration was organized by members of the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity group, an Israeli led nonviolent protest movement based in Jerusalem.  Days before the demonstration, a new and illegal Jewish settlement was inaugurated in Ras al-Amud with name of Ma’ale HaZeitim.

Yesterday’s demonstration was a nonviolent exercise of the right to protest the illegal Israeli act of creating new settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli police reacted with excessive and violent force against the chanting Jewish protesters. For the first time, police used electronic stun guns against protesters who, locked arm in arm and sitting peacefully, refused to move from the entrance to the settlement. You can clearly see the use of the stun guns in the first video at minute 1:35. The second video provides a fuller picture of the demonstration. Six protesters were arrested in the course of the protest. One claims  her hand was broken by police.


7.  Palestinian Women Prisoners

2. Flyer with information about Palestinian Women prisoners which the  Bay Area [San Francisco Bay Area] Women in Black distribute.

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