Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,


It was very difficult tonight to decide what to select, what to omit.  There are new bills coming up for votes that deserve notice, but I did not include them.  If you have time and energy you can read about them one on  and the other at,7340,L-4145161,00.html .  

Another interesting piece of news is that the United States “Hangs Back as Inspectors Prepare Report on Iran ’s Nuclear Program” .  And there were more that I would have liked to have included.  The problem is that those that I’ve included furnish enough to read, probably more than enough.


The first 2 of the 6 items deal with the aftermaths of the latest flotilla, mainly with those who were taken prisoners.


Item 3 is also about Gaza —a new Gisha position paper. 


Item 4 reveals that Palestinians must pay huge sums of money to sue in Israel .  For Gazans the situation is yet worse.  They are not allowed to enter Israel to be in court, and their Israeli lawyers are not permitted to go to Gaza to meet their clients.


Item 5 is Israel from the viewpoint of a Palestinian citizen of Israel , “The struggle to make Israel a normal country.”


Item 6 is the compilation in Today in Palestine .  This one (for November 6) seems to me to contain more than usual. In addition to material on the West Bank and Gaza , there is a longish section on Iran and another on the Middle East , and a third on Goldstone.  While I would hope that you read all the summaries relating to the West Bank and Gaza , I feel that certain of the reports are musts:

“The East Jerusalem Regime”

“ The Jerusalem police refuse to learn”

“Nil’in : The solitary confinement of olive trees”

South Hebron Hills update

“Israeli forces and Nature Authority raid playground, arrest one” (very brief report)


I realize that this is a lot of reading.  Well, please do your best.


Perhaps tomorrow will be a good day.



Update from  Freedom Waves to Gaza

Palestine Office @PALWaves

7 November 2011




[RAMALLAH] Of the 27 human rights defenders captured during Israel ’s illegal takeover of the Freedom Waves to Gaza vessels on Friday, 4 November, 20 remain in Givon prison and the whereabouts of one is unknown.


Israeli officials have been claiming that all 27 people aboard the MV Tahrir and MV Saoirse have been released or are awaiting deportation. This is not true. Freedom Waves can confirm that six people have been released or deported. These are Majd Kayyal (Palestinian from Haifa ), Lina Attalah (Journalist from Egypt ), Casey James (Journalist from the US ), Aimane Zoubir (Journalist from Morocco ), Captain George Klontzas ( Greece ) and Captain Zacharias Stylianakis.


The whereabouts of British journalist, Hassan Ghani of PressTV is unknown. On Saturday prison authorities told lawyers that Hassan was not at the prison, yet we know that he has not yet been released. Freedom Waves organizers demand that the Israeli authorities reveal where Hassan Ghani is being held and that he be allowed access to a lawyer.


The Israeli authorities have tried to pressure the human rights defenders that remain in Israeli prison to sign a voluntary deportation agreement (waiver of right to see a judge) in order to be immediately deported. The activists refuse to sign, not because they want to come before an Israeli judge, but rather because the wavier states that they came to Israel voluntarily and entered the country illegally, which are patently untrue in light of the fact that Israeli naval ships violently seized the Tahrir and Saoirse, and forcibly transported them and all on board to Ashdod. Israeli authorities have ignored requests by the group’s lawyer to deport the activists immediately without having to sign this form that contains falsities meant to absolve Israel of responsibility for illegal abduction of foreign nationals in international waters.


Because they have refused to sign the waiver, according to Israeli law, they will be detained for 72 hours and then brought before an immigration judge, who will rubberstamp the deportation order. After this mock legal process, deportation will commence. For the first 24 hours of their abduction, none of the activists, crew, or journalists, were allowed to call a lawyer or family members. On Sunday, a few were able to make one one-minute phone call.


NOTE: Various accounts from prisoners have come out contradicting Israel ‘s claim of a peaceful takeover of the boats. Some activists were tasered and beaten, and at least one of the captains abused during interrogation. For accounts that we have been able to obtain, please see: and 


For more information, please call:


+970-592-346-895 or



Greta Berlin , Co-Founder

+33 607 374 512


2.  Al Jazeera

Monday, 07 Nov 2011 14:12


Jailed for sailing to Gaza  


Two boats of solidarity activists on their way to Gaza were intercepted by the Israeli navy in international waters.



Robert Naiman and Medea Benjamin


Israel blockades Gaza ‘s borders, as well as controlling the territory’s coastline and airspace [GALLO/GETTY]


Two boats full of courageous passengers were on their way to Gaza when they were intercepted by the Israeli military in international waters on Friday, November 4.


We call the passengers courageous because they sailed from Turkey on November 2 with the knowledge that, at any moment they might be boarded by Israeli commandos intent on stopping them – perhaps violently, as the Israeli military did in 2010 when they killed nine humanitarian aid workers on the Turkish boat named Mavi Marmara. 


The boats – one from Canada and one from Ireland – were carrying 27 passengers, including press and peace activists from Ireland , Canada , the United States , Australia and Palestine . They were unarmed, and the Israeli military knew that. They were simply peace activists wanting to connect with civilians in Gaza , and the Israeli military knew that. Yet naked aggression was used against them in international waters – something that is normally considered an act of piracy.


The passengers on the boats were sailing to Gaza to challenge the US-supported Israeli blockade that is crippling the lives of 1.8 million Palestinian civilians in Gaza . They were sailing to stand up against unaccountable power – the power of the Israeli government – that has been violating the basic rights of the 5.5 million Palestinians that live inside Israel ‘s pre-1967 borders or in the Occupied Territories . They were sailing for us, civil society, who believe in human rights and the rule of law.


The Arab Spring – which has now spread to cities across the US in the form of the “#occupy” movement, and has been echoed in protests against economic injustice in Europe – and Israel as well – has fundamentally been a challenge to unaccountable power.


Some countries experiencing this protest wave are dictatorships under military or monarchical rule; others are generally considered “democracies”. But in all instances the majority feel that they have been shut out of decision-making and have been harmed by policies benefiting a narrow elite with disproportionate power.


Desperate for dignified lives


The blockade of Gaza ‘s civilians is an extreme example of unaccountable power. Palestinians in Gaza aren’t allowed to vote for Israeli or US politicians. But due to political decisions taken in Israel and the US , Palestinians in Gaza are prevented from exporting their goods, travelling freely, farming their land, fishing their waters or importing construction materials to build their homes and factories.


” Israel ‘s oppressive policies [in Gaza ] constitute a form of collective punishment of civilians.”


– UN Report, September 2011



We have been to Gaza before, where we have seen the devastation firsthand. We have also been to Israel and the West Bank, where we have seen how the Israeli government is detaining Palestinians at checkpoints, building walls that cut them off from their lands, demolishing their houses, arbitrarily imprisoning their relatives and imposing economic restrictions that prevent them from earning a living.


We have seen how Palestinians, like people everywhere, are desperate to live normal and dignified lives. 


A UN report released in September found that ” Israel ‘s oppressive policies [in Gaza ] constitute a form of collective punishment of civilians”, that these policies violate both international humanitarian and human rights law, and that the illegal siege of Gaza should be lifted.


The International Committee of the Red Cross also called the blockade of Gaza a violation of international law because it constitutes “collective punishment” of a civilian population for actions for which the civilians are not responsible. The Red Cross is a neutral humanitarian organisation. It doesn’t usually go around making pronouncements on matters of public policy. The fact that it has done so in this case should be a strong signal to the international community that the blockade of Gaza is extreme and must fall.


History has shown us again and again that when political leaders decide it’s in their interest, then peace, diplomacy, negotiations are possible. Recently, Israel and Hamas – with the help of the new Egyptian government – successfully negotiated a prisoner exchange that had eluded them for five years. In speeches, the Israeli government “opposes negotiations with Hamas”, and in speeches, Hamas “opposes negotiations with Israel “. But when they decided it was in their interest, they had no problem sitting down at the table and hammering out an agreement.


Civil society’s mission


If Israel and Hamas can negotiate an agreement to release prisoners, then surely Israel and Hamas can negotiate an agreement to lift the blockade on Gaza ‘s civilians.


But the people of Gaza can’t wait for political leaders to decide it’s in their interest to negotiate, so it’s up to us – as civil society – to step up the pressure. That’s what these waves of boats are doing. That’s what the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is doing.


More than a year ago, President Obama called the blockade unsustainable. “It seems to us that there should be ways of focusing narrowly on arms shipments, rather than focusing in a blanket way on stopping everything and then, in a piecemeal way, allowing things into Gaza ,” he said.


That hasn’t happened. Why not? Why shouldn’t it happen now? What do blocking Palestinian exports from Gaza to Europe or keeping people from getting medical treatment abroad have to do with arms shipments?


The Israeli military stopped these two small ships carrying peace activists to Gaza , but they won’t stop the Palestinians who are demanding freedom, and they won’t stop the solidarity movement. We won’t stop challenging the blockade on Gaza ‘s civilians – by land and by sea – until the blockade falls.


And we won’t stop challenging the denial of Palestinian democratic aspirations until those aspirations are realised.


Robert Naiman is the Director of Just Foreign Policy.


Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of CODEPINK and Global Exchange.


3.  Gisha Monday, November 07, 2011


 Scale of Control—a new position paper


Gisha releases a new position paper entitled “Scale of Control; Israel ‘s Continued Responsibility in the Gaza Strip” which offers a new legal framework, applicable to the complex reality of the Gaza Strip. In Scale of Control, Gisha suggests viewing the “end of occupation” as a process that takes place over time. We are currently located somewhere on the spectrum between occupation and the end of occupation, a situation in which Israel has already transferred some governmental powers to the Palestinian Authority, but continues to exercise other governmental powers exclusively.


The position paper establishes:

• The international law of occupation applies to Israel with respect to the Gaza Strip in the spheres in which it continues to exercise control.

• The closure – restricting movement of civilians and civilian goods to and from Gaza by air, sea and land – is unlawful.

• Israel may determine the routes by which goods and people enter and leave Gaza and may run security checks. Israel may enforce these conditions, including against ships.

• Changes in control over Rafah Crossing mitigate Israel ’s responsibility but do not eliminate it because of Israel ’s control over travel between Gaza and the West Bank, travel via air and sea, and other spheres of life, as well as due to post-occupation duties.


[to read the full paper, please use the link ]


4.  Washington Post Monday, November 7, 9:08 PM


AP Exclusive: Palestinians must pay thousands of dollars to sue in Israel


By Associated Press, Updated:


 GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Dozens of Palestinians who lost relatives in an Israeli military offensive in Gaza three years ago have been forced to put their compensation claims on hold, saying Israel has placed near-impossible barriers to proceeding with their cases.


Israeli restrictions prevent Gazans from entering Israel to testify, undergo medical exams or meet with their lawyers. But the biggest obstacle, the victims say, are steep court fees that can reach tens of thousands of dollars.


“The victim must pay for justice,” said Gaza resident Mohammed Abdel-Dayim, whose son and three nephews were killed during a military assault. “ Israel should be ashamed.”


Israel says the fees prevent frivolous lawsuits. They say they are imposed on many foreigners — not just Palestinians — because they don’t have local assets that the state could seize to cover legal fees and other court costs.


But Palestinians say the costs are part of a strategy to protect Israeli soldiers. If the fees aren’t reduced, lawyers representing Palestinians say they will have to drop most cases.


Abdel-Dayim is suing Israel over the deaths of four relatives: His son was a volunteer medic who died when Israeli tank fire struck the ambulance he was driving. Three nephews were killed the next day when Israeli shelling struck a mourning tent where the family was grieving.


An Israeli court asked Abdel-Dayim to post $22,000 in court fees, or just over $5,000 per victim. His annual income is under $6,000.


About 1,000 Gazans have prepared cases seeking compensation, mostly alleging wrongful deaths during Israel ’s offensive in the territory, according to their lawyers.


Some 1,400 Gazans were killed during the three-week Israeli operation, including hundreds of civilians. Israel launched the offensive in December 2008 in response to heavy Palestinian rocket fire. Thirteen Israelis also died in the fighting.


Israel says Gaza ’s Hamas rulers are responsible for the civilian casualties, claiming the militant group endangered civilians by firing rockets from near schools and residential areas.


In civil suits in Israel , the losing party must pay legal fees and court costs of the winning side. Because foreign nationals could bolt without paying, Israeli courts often demand a security deposit. The money is returned to plaintiffs who win their cases.


The sum of the guarantee is left to individual judges.


For example, in July, Judge Nehama Munitz of the District Court in the northern city of Nazareth demanded a $5,500 deposit from each of 42 Gazan plaintiffs in a case involving the bombing of the Abdel-Dayim mourning tent, according to legal documents. Mohammed Abdel-Dayim’s share was $22,000.


She said the fees are justified by the expensive and time-consuming investigative process, and dismissed claims of a financial barrier.


“The plaintiffs did not prove that they are unable to afford the expense of the court guarantee, and/or did not claim this in their brief,” she wrote in a court document obtained by The Associated Press.


Tameem Younis, a lawyer representing the families, is now appealing. If the fees aren’t reduced, “we will have to cancel the claims,” he said.


Iyad Alami of the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which takes on many cases, said they have raised money for some of the most important petitions, including a planned case where some two dozen members of the Samouni clan were killed after fleeing to what they thought was a safe house.


Nitzan Eyal, a spokeswoman for Israel ’s courts system, said the fees are set based on the chances of success.


“The lower the chances of the claim, the higher the justification for charging the plaintiff a court deposit to ensure the legal expenses of the defendant,” she said.


Israelis, in contrast, typically don’t have to pay up front because the courts can put liens on their properties. Likewise, families of victims from friendly nations often don’t pay.


Hussein Abu Hussein, attorney for the American parents of Rachel Corrie , who was killed in Gaza in 2003 when she was run over by a military bulldozer, did not pay a deposit in their civil suit against Israel . He said it was waived because the U.S. and Israel enforce each others’ court rulings.


Israel and the Palestinians have no such understanding.


Michael Karyanni, a law professor at Israel ’s Hebrew University , said the legal fees appeared excessive, given the impoverished circumstances of many Gazans. Some 40 percent of Gaza ’s 1.5 million residents live on less than $2 a day, according to U.N. figures.


“The Supreme Court has said in one of its judgments that the court needs to be sensitive to the financial abilities of the plaintiff, but I don’t think from what I’ve seen that there is any kind of a serious attempt to have the costs be proportional to the plaintiff’s ability,” Karyanni said.


Israelis point out the practice of seeking upfront guarantees is also accepted in Europe . In the Netherlands , for instance, plaintiffs must pay 800 euros to 1,400 euros depending on the size of the claim. But the Dutch system lowers the fee to just 71 euros for indigent or low-income plaintiffs.


Karyanni said in Israel , only in rare cases have plaintiffs successfully appealed to reduce the fees.


In general, Israel says the system is fair to Palestinians.


“The fact that Palestinians who are not citizens of Israel routinely petition Israeli courts demonstrates more than anything else the stature of our courts,” said government spokesman Mark Regev.


In the last two years, Palestinians won about $6 million in damages from the state , according to the Israeli Justice Ministry.


In August, Israel ’s Defense Minister settled a case related to the Gaza offensive out of court, paying about $137,000 to the family of a mother and daughter who were shot dead while waving white flags.


In the Iraq war, by contrast, Iraqis cannot claim civil damages from the U.S. under a 2008 agreement. In Afghanistan , the U.S. offers compensation to citizens when their property is damaged, but it’s unclear whether they can claim damages for deaths or injuries caused by the U.S.-led military alliance.


There are no known cases of Israelis suing in Palestinian Authority courts for damages, said Palestinian spokesman Ghassan Khatib.


There is hardly any reason to test the system that way: Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, an Israeli lawyer who represents victims of Palestinian violence, said some 150 cases against the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority were pending in Israeli courts.


The Palestinian government defends itself in these cases, and so far, there have been no rulings against the authority, Darshan-Leitner said.


She said Israelis had also successfully sued Gaza ’s rulers, the militant Islamic group Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings. But it has been impossible to recover damages.


In other cases, Israelis have turned to U.S. courts, either because of joint American citizenship or under “crimes against humanity” laws. The Palestinian Authority has reached settlements in at least two cases, Darshan-Leitner said.


For most Gazans, just getting to the courtroom is a challenge.


Under restrictions imposed in 2002 at the height of violence between Palestinians and Israel , Palestinians have 60 days following an incident to file an initial letter of complaint with the Defense Ministry. After that, they have two years to take those claims to court.


Gazans are allowed into Israel only in rare cases, such as medical emergencies, and the state does not allow video testimony from Gaza , said Israeli attorney Michael Sfard , who frequently represents Palestinians in Israeli courts.


Israelis are also banned from entering Gaza , which means lawyers cannot meet clients and state doctors cannot give certified medical exams to verify claims.


The Israeli Arab advocacy group Adalah has filed a petition to allow Gazans entry permits to Israel for their legal proceedings. A court ruling is expected in the next few months.


“It’s impossible to conduct a trial at all under these circumstances,” said Sfard.


Cheslow reported from Jerusalem . Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City , Lara Jakes in Baghdad , Deb Riechmann in Kabul and Mike Corder at The Hague also contributed to this report.

5.  Haaretz

Monday, November 7, 2011

The struggle to make Israel a normal country

At a time when the right is tearing its hair out because the Arabs are not willing to give the Jews even one state, life in the Arab villages has become a continuing nightmare with daily shooting and bombs being thrown freely.

By Oudeh Basharat

Only in Israel does assassination dress up as the defensive word prevention. This reminds of us the words of the Egyptian actor Adel Imam in one of his plays: “His cheek is the one who slapped my hand, your honor.” Only in Israel, in 1956 did the empathetic phrase turn into a murderous order: “Allah will have mercy,” said the commander to his subordinate’s question at the time as to the fate of those residents returning from work, who did not know of the curfew placed on Kfar Kassem.[The result was a massacre; for more on Kfar Kassem, see ]Only in Israel is pork called “white meat.” A white steak, as opposed to an impure pig steak, can be devoured with a clear conscience. What the British call the War Ministry is designated in Israel as the Defense Ministry, a sort of friendly neighborhood nickname. And don’t ever run into the intellectually challenging expression “the absentee law,” this is simply the law that allows the theft of Arab property.

At the end of the 19th century, when the words still expressed the essence of the matter, the first settlers called themselves colonialists. But when the document: “The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel ” (published by the Reut Institute in 2006 ) described the Zionist activity before the founding of the state using the word “colonialistic,” it created an uproar.

The prime minister chose to use the term “doogry,” which means with no beating around the bush , to conduct a dialogue with the Arabs. It is a shame that Benjamin Netanyahu did not consult with an up-to-date Middle East expert, since he would have discovered that sometimes the word doogry is used for the exact opposite of its literal meaning. The Syrian actor Duraid Lahham, the star of a comedy series, was called “Al-Doogry,” because of his tricky and contentious behavior. The complete opposite of Netanyahu’s actions.

After 63 years, the state that was established is also acting as a non-state when it comes to words. A government ministry still calls for Jews to come settle the Galilee , as if it was a department of the Jewish Agency. But most serious is the non-state’s treatment of the personal security of Arabs. Two weeks ago, a father and his two sons were murdered in their house in Umm al-Fahm. The police have still not caught the murderers.

The dry numbers are frightening: Even though Arabs make up about 20% of the population, their share among those murdered in 2009 was 60%. Weapons flow freely in the villages and the crimes remain mostly unsolved.

Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin said at the time: “Goyim kill goyim and everyone blames the Jews.” That came after the slaughter in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982. Today, the “goyim” are citizens of the state and the Jews are responsible for their safety, and in the meantime the border has moved inward.

The police’s inaction is amazing, since if there had been even the faintest trace of a security matter, as the residents say, they would have ripped the walls open.

All the argument surrounding a “Jewish state,” in the present context, is a barren argument. At a time when the right is tearing its hair out because the Arbas are not willing to give the Jews even one state, life in the Arab villages has become a continuing nightmare with daily shooting and bombs being thrown freely.

All this is the result of the recent past. Maybe after 25 years, when the censor allows it, we will know what the Arabs conspired to do in their darkest rooms. After all, in the reality where Avigdor Lieberman’s party holds the Public Security Ministry portfolio, then Allah yustur (May God guard us ) in its literal meaning. We first need to struggle so that there will be a normal country here, where the citizen does not feel as if in a jungle.


6.  Today in Palestine

November 6, 2011

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