Settlers / Land, property and resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing
88 Palestinian homes to be demolished in Silwan

19 Nov – Israel has ordered demolition of around 88 Palestinian homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, Palestinian officials warned. Israeli Attorney Yehuda Weinstein handed demolition orders in al-Bustan area claiming that the Arab houses were illegally built. Ahmed al-Rowaidhi, chief of Jerusalem Unit at the Palestinian presidency, said Israel’s move will result in 1,500 Palestinians being evicted from al-Bustan for the construction of a tourist center.
The story behind the tourist site

Once upon a time, where you’re standing right now, there was a small valley called Wadi Hilwah, part of the large Silwan village. Hilwah was the wife of the mukhtar Siyam. She was killed during armed clashes in the valley. Before her death, the valley was called Wadi Al-Nabah, Valley of Wails. They say that at nights one could hear among the hedges of cactuses the wails of the innocent girl who was viciously murdered by her brother. The Muslim village of Silwan started to develop in the 16th century. The village was famous for its quality agricultural produce, and served as a resting point on the way to the old city. Today the village counts 55,000 people. 5,500 live in Wadi Hilwah neighborhood, which lies on the Old City’s southern slopes.
Map of Wadi Hilwah
Ethnically cleansing East Jerusalem / Stephen Lendman

… Ethnically Cleaning Silwan — Silwan is an Arab village adjacent to Jerusalem’s Old City, extending along the Kidron Valley alongside the eastern slopes of Jabal al-Mukaber, another Arab community. Home to about 45,000 people, it’s one of 28 Palestinian villages incorporated into East Jerusalem. For years, settler encroachment fueled controversy and conflict. So does the area’s historical importance, archeology used for displacement to legitimize Jewish claims. Excavations have already claimed large tracts of Silwan land.
Israelis insist they have US backing to build in East Jerusalem (AP)

Israel says US has agreed to allow building in East Jerusalem but Washington has yet to produce letter showing it has agreed
3 airstrikes launched on Gaza

Six Gaza residents were injured Friday in when Israeli forces launched three air strikes on the coastal enclave, medics said. The strikes targeted sites in the southern and central Gaza Strip. Four were injured in a strike on Deir Al-Balah, where shelling targeted a two-storey home. The injured, who included two women, were transferred to hospital, Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiyya said. Two attacks targeted Khan Younis in southern Gaza. One strike on the southern area injured a man and a child, who were transferred to the Nasser Hospital, Abu Salmiyya said. No injuries were reported from the third strike, which hit a farmers’ field … The army said the strikes were in response to projectiles launched from the Strip into southern Israel.
IDF strikes Gaza after phosphorus bombs launched into Israel

Palestinian militant group claims responsibility for mortar fire in retaliation for Israel’s killing of two militants in Gaza on Wednesday — The Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson confirmed Friday that IDF attacked three targets in the Gaza Strip, following a barrage of mortar bombs and rockets fired at the western Negev. Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a long-range Grad rocket and seven mortar shells at western Negev on Friday, following a night-long barrage of Qassam rockets fired from the coastal enclave. Police investigation showed that one of the mortar bombs fired at Hof Ashkelon council contained phosphorus. [from Israeli Cast Lead leftovers, presumably]
Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
Protests against land confiscation met with riot gear

In the central West Bank tows of Bil`in, Ni`lin and An-Nabi Saleh, Israeli forces met groups of protesters with rubber-coated bullets and tear gas, with locals reporting one man struck directly by a bullet and lightly injured in Bil’in. The injured man was identified as Kamel Al-Khatib. The military said it was unaware of any injuries.
Today in Bil`in / Hamde Abu Rahme

19 Nov. Today one citizen was wounded and dozens suffered tear gas inhalation due to clashes that took place in the West Bank village of Bil`in. Peace activists and international supporters marched alongside village residents in the weekly demonstration against the wall and settlements, and in solidarity with activist Abdullah Abu Rahma, who was refused release by the Israeli military court of Ofer even after his sentence expired.
The Israeli military left it to settlers to monitor Palestinian farmers during the holive harvest

By the volunteers of the Harvesting Peace Project. On our first day in Jeb al Theeb as part of an Italian civilian peace intervention project during the olive harvest things were already hot. Four of us were accompanying two of the village farmers to their olive trees, when before even reaching their land we were stopped by two armed settlers who immediately called for reinforcements. Within minutes two jeeps with IDF soldiers as well as border police arrived, which then grew to be roughly 20 soldiers as several more jeeps arrived on the scene.

‘I am strong. We resist’: an interview in the village of Jeb al-Theeb

By the volunteers of the Harvesting Peace Project. Sitting in one of the houses of Jeb al Theeb, a small village south of Bethlehem, a Palestinian woman describes the living conditions. She is a teacher but in the darkness it is difficult to determine her age. Her home, just as the entire village, is without electricity. The only light that arrives comes from the mega-illumination of the adjacent settlements of El David, Nokdim, and Sde bar. … “Just the other day, as I walked to work early in the morning, I saw a settler turn a hundred of his goats on the olive trees belonging to a man near the village. The day before, that same man had defended his right to access his lands. The goats damaged both the trees and the olives.”
What young Israeli refused to do in Palestine she acted out on 1116th Street / Nancy Krikorian

I went to the Students for Justice in Palestine’s mock checkpoint on the Columbia campus this afternoon and handed out fliers for an hour and a half. Columbia’s LionPAC, HIllel, Just Peace, Grain Lavi and Tarbootnikim were counter-demonstrating, handing out fliers, some of them wrapped in Israeli flags, others of them attempting to get into provocative arguments, which for the most part SJP’ers were able to avoid. Maya Wind, one of the JVP/CODEPINK Shministim [Wind refused to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces] from last year who is now a freshman at Barnard, was carrying a cardboard rifle and helping to run the checkpoint. She was completely in character as a gruff and unpleasant checkpoint guard, so I didn’t even say hello, but the photo above shows her in the role that she refused to play in real life.

George Galloway kicks off controversial Canadian speaking tour

Former British parliamentarian was previously prevented from entering the country for meeting with members of Hamas — After being banned entry to the country for over a year, George Galloway, the outspoken former British Member of Parliament, is blazing his way across Canada with a speaking tour that addresses everything from freedom of speech to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Galloway is scheduled to speak in 10 cities in 11 days.

Student activism and the pro-Palestinian movement gains momentum / Samira Quraishy

The pro-Palestinian movement has been gaining steady momentum in student bodies and educational institutes in the West, especially after the most recent atrocities. According to Hasan, student activism in America on this issue has been increasing mainly due to “awareness… increasing over time [which has] recently reached a threshold where a lot of Americans either know the basics of what is going on or are interested in learning more”.

Road to Hope kidnapping statement / Ken O’Keefe

18 Nov [with videos] …It is ludicrous to even argue with someone who was not there about the circumstances to which we were taken against our will away from the port. Those who claim we were freely onboard the ship that was departing for a destination unknown, without our passports, separated from our convoy without even a change of underwear or a toothbrush or a bed are either aligned with the kidnappers, or dupes who simply were not there.
UNRWA head [John Ging]: Don’t boycott Israel

Q. Do you support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and how do you feel about the boycott/divestment/sanctions movement? A. The last time I was in the States I attended a celebration for Israel’s independence day with the Israelis at the UN. They know I’m pro-Israel. I celebrate Israel’s independence … It’s a concern that those representing themselves as pro-Palestinian are now linking that to anti-Israel sentiment and policies like divestment and boycott. I oppose that … The people of Israel need efforts to rebuild confidence that peace can be brought about. Talking about sanctions and boycotts is not going to bring about anything positive …
Detention / Exile
Martyr’s brother and nephew still detained; brother’s wife is released

Silwan, Jerusalem 19 Nov  — The wife of Ali Sarhan, brother of martyr Samer Sarhan, was released from Israeli custody yesterday after questioning, during which authorities probed her for information regarding her husband. Ali Sarhan and his wife, along with his nephew Sultan Halisi, the son of the martyr’s sister, were arrested earlier that morning by Israeli forces. Later in the day, Israeli troops returned to Ali’s home with a canine unit and searched the premises.
Meanwhile, Ali Sarhan’s hearing was converted from public to private, and ultimately extended Ali’s detention by ten days without offering a reason, on the pretext that his file was secret.
Israeli intelligence suggests exile of a number of prisoners

Palestinian news agency, Ma’an reported on Thursday that Nizar Mahagneh, the lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoners Club was able to visit many Palestinian prisoners in interrogation centers in which they have been detained for more than a month … The lawyer highlighted a serious issue that an Israeli intelligence major has repeatedly suggested the idea of exiling those detained and their families. The State of Israel has used this policy of “exile” significantly in the past; prisoners are both internally displaced within the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as sent into external exile. The most recent case has been that of Akram Anteer. Anteer was imprisoned at a detention facility in the Negev, but was given permission to travel initially to Jordan, and then onto Spain for medical treatment following his diagnosis of cancer. Anteer has subsequently been informed that he has been exiled and will not be permitted to return to the Palestinian Territories.
Detained Palestinian legislator released

The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies reported Wednesday that the Israeli Prison Authorities released, on Tuesday evening, one of the detained Palestinian Legislators, from the Tubas district in the central West Bank. Ayman Daraghma, member of Hamas’ Change and Reform Bloc, was kidnapped from his home in March 2009 and never faced charges. Last week, Israeli soldiers abducted legislators Mahmoud al-Ramahi and Hatem Qfeisha. Meanwhile, detained Legislators Bassem al-Zaarir from Hebron, and Abdul-Jabbar Foqaha from Ramallah, received renewed administrative detention orders for the fifth consecutive time. Their detention was extended by four more months; no charges were presented against them. Currently, the number of elected Palestinian legislators imprisoned by Israel stands at nine.
Siege / Restriction of movement / Humanitarian
Israel wages war against Gazan rubble collectors

28 year old Ibrahim Yousef Ghaben from Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza personifies the trials of life for Palestinians and their families, and the multitude of hardships brought by Israel’s siege and violent attacks. It would not normally have been Ibrahim’s choice to collect rubble with a donkey cart as a means of providing for his sick mother, wife and 8 young children. But in Gaza, external pressures force people to make choices that anywhere else would be deemed beyond reason and perhaps beyond imagination. The shooting on the 10th of November was the latest setback for Ibrahim, the most recent of the 10 rock collectors shot near or in the Israeli imposed ‘buffer zone’ during the last 3 weeks.
Israel’s answer for Gaza: If they haven’t bread, let them eat gravel

The eve of Eid al-Adha celebrated this week brought news of a shortage of flour in the Gaza Strip. For the past two weeks, traders and flour mill owners have warned of shortages of wheat in the Strip, claiming that the mills have been providing about half of their production capacity. The mathematical formulas, which the army used to determine the level to which they would allow the stock of flour in Gaza to be reduced, are no longer in effect. So why is there a shortage?

Soldiers block scouts from approaching Hebron mosque

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces stopped a scout march Thursday approaching the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, onlookers said. The group was marching toward As-Sadaka park in the Old City where an Eid event was taking place, the event coordinator said. Majed Aby Subeh said forces forbade the scouts from entering and “attacked them.” Mus’ab Abu Sneneh, 15, sustained injuries.
How one man turned Israel’s blockade into a business opportunity

Ahmed Ramlawy’s plastics company survived Israel’s Gaza blockade by buying garbage at $395 a ton and turning it into products all Gazans need, like trash bags.

War crimes/criminals
Over 100 British MPs against change to universal jurisdiction law

More than a hundred British MPs have opposed the coalition government’s plans to alter the law prosecuting Israeli leaders for alleged war crimes, Press TV claimed on Friday. A parliamentary Early Day Motion has so far been signed by 102 MPs. The MPs oppose any legislation that restrict the power by British courts to apply the universal jurisdiction law. Based on this law, arrest warrants are issued to those accused of committing war crimes.
Kai Wiedenhöfer’s ‘Gaza 1010’ causes stir in Paris

Powerful Zionist umbrella group accuses German photojournalist of propaganda — A CRIF press release called the show anti-Israeli propaganda, adding that the photographer chose to ignore the numerous Israeli victims … Wiedenhöfer’s portraits are at once unbearable and utterly compelling. One photo finds Wafa al-Raddiaa clutching her child; when she was on her way to give birth at the hospital in January 2009, she was hit by two missiles, lost a leg and was left for dead … The exhibit will travel to London’s Qattan Foundation in in early 2011. [See some of the photos here ]

‘War criminals’ site exposing personal details of IDF soldiers taken down

Web site called ‘Israeli war criminals’ displayed pictures, names, and details of over 200 IDF soldiers; Kadima MK says people behind site deserve to be punished — A web hosting service removed Thursday a Web site which displayed more than 200 pictures, names and personal details of Israel Defense Forces soldiers who were dubbed by the editor “war criminals” for their actions in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in December 2008. The site, “Israeli war criminals” was published in recent days by an anonymous source in the U.K. and declared that its goal was to focus on the personal level and not on the national level of those responsible.
Grad rocket explodes near Okafim

Escalation in Gaza: For first time since July, and after assassination of two senior Army of Islam members, Palestinians fire Grad rocket into Israel. Rocket hits open area in Merhavim Regional Council; three cows injured. Two Qassam rockets fired from Strip overnight,7340,L-3986912,00.html
Racism / Discrimination
US report: Religious coercion, violence in Israel rising

State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom Report points to strict conversion policy, segregated bus lines, violent haredi protests in Jewish state … The report states that “approximately 360,000 citizens who immigrated from the former-Soviet Union under the Law of Return but are not considered Jewish by the Orthodox Rabbinate, cannot be buried in Jewish cemeteries, divorce, or marry within the country.” … Inter-religious conflicts are also mentioned: “There were reports on haredi Jews insulting and spitting at priests and nuns, and defacing with graffiti and throwing garbage and dead cats at monasteries in Jerusalem.”,7340,L-3986722,00.html
Love thy neighbor / Chaim Levinson

Following his halakhic ruling that prohibits renting to Arabs in Safed, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu offers his proposals for coexistence — The three Arab students observed the chief rabbi of Safed, Shmuel Eliyahu, with curiosity, as he entered the courtyard of their home and knocked on the door of the landlord, Eliyahu Tzvieli. Rabbi Eliyahu wanted to show the press that in spite of the prohibition he had imposed on renting apartments to Arabs, he is on good terms with his 89-year-old neighbor. Tzvieli was not at home, and the students invited the rabbi in.
If anti-Semitism justifies ethnic cleansing, then what does anti-Palestinianism justify? / Ahmed Moor

Jerome Slater tries to make the claim that Zionism isn’t racism. Many of the commenters who responded to his post presented more eloquent and knowledgeable arguments than I can, so I’ll keep it brief. According to Slater, Zionism isn’t racism because it’s just Jewish nationalism. Likewise, White nationalism isn’t racism. It’s the legitimate expression of White people’s cultural aspirations. Furthermore, it doesn’t take land inhabited by non-whites as its geographical locus – which Zionism does.

Protesting the Hebron Fund, I remember a long afternoon at a segregated swimming hole / Seán O’Neill, CPT
Hebron Fund held its annual fundraiser in New York Tuesday night

A report from O’Neill, a former member of Christian Peacemaker Teams in the South Hebron Hills, who attended the protest: I was just leaving Hebron’s Old City one day in August 2009 when a friend of mine, Hamzi, invited me to go swimming.

Political/Diplomatic news
US obstructs Palestinian statehood moves in UN agencies (Reuters)

Palestinians claim that even small symbolic steps have been rebuffed — Away from the headlines, Palestinians have been trying to advance their statehood agenda in small but symbolic ways in United Nations agencies that fall off the radar for most people. But even on the outer reaches of the sprawling UN system, their efforts have been blocked by a United States resolved not to display the slightest tilt toward Palestinians as it tries to act as honest broker in their halting peace talks with Israel.

Abbas: US aid to Israel must not be linked to talks

DUBAI (AFP) — President Mahmoud Abbas said he refuses to link the troubled Middle East peace process with a US offer of additional military aid to its Israeli ally, in a newspaper interview published on Friday.
Mofaz: Freeze a major strategic mistake

Kadima’s No. 2 warns that after new settlement construction moratorium, Israel will be required to accept ‘another one and another one.’ It’s time for big moves, he says, adding that ‘waiting for core issues will only lead to 20 years of conflict’ … He stressed that “we will not pull through before a decision is made on stabilizing the borders and the security arrangements.”,7340,L-3986804,00.html
Other news
Gazans shocked at how many neighbors, coworkers, officials are ‘spying’ for Israel

An intelligence source says that the number of Gazans arrested by Hamas for collaborating with Israel are in the ‘high hundreds’ [out of 1.5 million people] — Gaza City – To citizens of Gaza, the Hamas government’s campaign to uncover and uproot the network of collaborators with Israel has been shockingly effective … Gazans were astounded not only by the number or arrests, but by who was arrested. Prominent figures in society, including many doctors, were reportedly among those caught in the sweep. As the hunt for spies continues, Gazans say the revelation of the network’s reach is eroding trust between neighbors, coworkers – even family members. It’s tearing at the fabric of a close-knit society, where families, friends and neighbors often depend on each other.

Fatah officers, tribesmen clash in upper [?] Egypt

A number of Palestinian officers affiliated to Fatah movement living in the Egyptian town of El-Arish clashed with Egyptian citizens from the Al-Fawakhriyeh tribe in a northern Sinai brawl Thursday night. The severity of the clash led to a closure of the road between the city and Rafah, the border town split between Egypt and Gaza, for more than two hours overnight. Police said several cars were damaged and one man injured before police and security forces arrived on the scene.
‘Cartoons in conflict’: a new approach to Israeli-Palestinian dispute

Starting from November, the exhibition “Cartoons in Conflict”, organized by the Israeli-Palestinian association Parents Circle-Families Forum (PCFF), will visit different cities in Europe, such as Rome, Paris and Berlin, to show, in a graphic way, the pain and suffering from both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
‘I saw Ariel Sharon murder 2 Palestinian toddlers in Lebanon’

Israel officials call report by Dutch director George Sluizer a ‘modern blood libel’ after he director claimed to have seen then Defense Minster shooting children from close range near the Sabra-Shatilla refugee camp in 1982. By Cnaan Liphshiz

Palestinian arrested on suspicion of attempting to stab woman in Jerusalem

Police say suspect said during his questioning that he did it “to prove he is not a cooperator,” as he was accused by his former prison cell mates.

After foiled assassination plot, Nablus governor tours city

Nablus Governor Jibrin Al-Bakri toured the city’s markets and congratulated shoppers and merchants on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, days after PA forces said plot to assassinate him was foiled, and one day after Israel handed full PA security control over to the city’s police.
Israeli Jews at odds with liberal US brethren (AP)

As descendant of famed Zionist visionary, Hillary Rubin made aliyah to what she thought was her true home. Now she has second thoughts after Israel’s religious authorities refuse to recognize her marriage. ‘It’s becoming a tyrannical Jewish state’,7340,L-3977657,00.html
Analysis / Opinion / Human interest
Education at gunpoint II / Ramzy Baroud

The problems faced by the education system in Palestine were difficult enough during my childhood. Now they have compounded to unforeseen levels, with the educational sector divided between two educational ministries in Gaza and the West Bank, the former under Israeli siege and the latter under military occupation. Were it not for UNRWA, the already severe obstacles would have become completely insurmountable long ago. But today even UNRWA is struggling with depleting funds and political haggling between competing Palestinian authorities and an ever atrocious Israeli occupation.
Palestinian aid models must change / Kieron Monks

Far from offering sustainable development, the UNRWA’s Peace Starts Here aid campaign is simply life-support for Palestine … So why are the major donors happy to keep pouring money into a black hole? What have the US and Europe bought for their tens of billions since 1994? Stability, which could just as easily be called stagnation. Their money is compensation for half a century of political failure.
Are we allowed to say Lieberman is a Soviet emigre? / Yossi Gurvitzt

Stating the obvious is not racism — Shmuel Sermontea-Gertel has basically accused me of being a racist, after referring to Avigdor Lieberman as a Homo Sovieticus. I contest that claim. The term “Homo Sovieticus” has a very distinct meaning. It refers to someone who accepted basic Soviet thinking, including blind acceptance of claims made by authority and isolation from and hatred of the outside world. You could add several other symptoms of the Soviet systems – disregard of human rights, contempt for democracy and the democratic process, and rampant racism towards “uncivilized people”, such as Asians or Muslims – and you would have described Avigdor Lieberman, as well as most of his followers, to a T.
‘He shall dwell with thee’ / Naftali Rothenberg

The latitude we extended to ourselves, and which we received, as a people fighting for survival is not relevant. We can no longer ignore our moral responsibility toward Arab citizens — Halakha underscores the right of minorities to live among us peaceably and with security. It says that members of these groups have the right to choose their places of residence according to their needs, without anyone discriminating against them or injuring them with words or deeds. Indeed, halakha sets unmistakable, fundamental standards with regard to minorities’ places of residence in Eretz Israel, as in Deuteronomy 23:17, which states: “He shall dwell with thee, in the midst of thee, in the place which he shall choose within one of thy gates, where it liketh him best … ”
A bribe too good to refuse / Stephen Lendman

When all else fails, offer money, or in this case weapons for peace (a clear oxymoron) via for a three month settlement construction moratorium in name only. In fact, new building is unimpeded, Obama’s offer a facade to hide reality on the ground. More on the deal below.
New clothes, toy guns highlight of young Eid revelers

…Parents, preparing for the celebrations, have bought new clothing for their children for years now, and for some time the most popular gift has been toy guns, which the youngest generation then takes to the streets for hours of games mimicking the ungamely realities of occupation. The traditions picked up by Palestinian children seem to gape when compared to what older generations experienced. Eid for many was a time to pray and sacrifice for the poor; donating portions of lamb to families less fortunate.
Despite Hamas-Fatah split, Gaza’s sportsmen score a truce. Game on.

Gazans from Hamas and Fatah have overcome the deep political divide to reopen sports clubs, many of which Hamas had turned into police stations and military bases.

Thursday: 1 Iraqi killed, 25 wounded

The Eid al-Adha holiday continues in Iraq, where at least one Iraqi was killed and 24 more were wounded in new violence. The numbers likely fall short of the real toll as religious observances have cut into the number of reports leaking out of the country. Meanwhile, Christian leaders are worried that a new exodus could spell the end of Christianity in Iraq. In Baghdad yesterday, a prison riot left 20 detainees wounded while 30 others escaped. Two civilians were wounded by a blast in Jisr Diyala.
The unending occupation of Iraq / Gareth Porter

A special envoy from President Barack Obama raised the possibility in a secret meeting with senior Iraqi military and civilian officials in Baghdad Sep. 23 that his administration would leave more than 15,000 combat troops in Iraq after the 2011 deadline for U.S. withdrawal, according to a senior Iraqi intelligence official familiar with the details of the meeting.
The deadly lie of democracy in Iraq / Ahmed Habib

“It has been almost a million months since Iraqis ran to the polls, to fill holes in their souls with bloodstained ballots. Hundreds of candidates dressed up as maggots colored the liberal lining in occupied skies, and perpetuated the lies that there is democracy. Hypocrisy of the highest order, politicians blaming their failure on porous borders, while blindly following American orders on everything from defense to education. The death of a nation, systematic assassination and relentless dehumanization of millions of people. The burning of mosques, schools, hospitals and steeples for crumbs of rotten bread. Iraq is dead, shot in the heart and stabbed in the head.” — Excerpt from a new spoken word piece entitled, “Unfinished Letters from Iraq.”
US urged to reveal locations of depleted uranium in Iraq

18 Nov – Despite the reports on the soaring cancer in Iraq and ever rising concern it might have been caused by the contamination with depleted uranium (DU), the United States refuse to reveal the locations the DU containing weapons were used. During the two conflicts in 1991 and 2003 in Iraq, the US has used at least 400 tonnes of the DU, the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) stated.
Lebanon, other Mideast
Lebanon pressured to improve Palestinians’ lot

BEIRUT, Nov 19 (IPS) – Abu Yussif doesn’t want to talk about his work any more. “It’s not going to help and nothing will change anyway,” he says. The tall, white-haired Palestinian has just returned from work and relaxes in his little garden in the refugee camp Bourj ash-Shamali near the southern Lebanese city of Tyre. Abu Yussif is a pharmacist. But the massive discrimination against Palestinians on the Lebanese labour market has forced him to give up his profession and work as a taxi driver.
BBC delays program on Lebanese ex-premier’s murder

LONDON (AFP) — The BBC said Thursday it had delayed a documentary film series about the murder of ex-Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri amid tensions in Lebanon over a UN-backed probe into his death. In a statement, the British broadcaster said it needed more time to check that “Murder In Beirut”, a 3-part series due to begin screening on the BBC World News channel Saturday, complied with its editorial guidelines.
Lebanon army chief: We must be wary of Israel’s military schemes

Lebanese soldiers should keep a watchful eye on the movements and “schemes” Israeli army, the commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces told troops on Thursday, adding that political disputes should be resolved through political means not through the use of force. Comments by LAF chief Jean Kahwaji came a day after a senior Israeli official told Haaretz that Israel would ask the United Nations to announce that once the Israel Defense Forces withdraws from the northern section of Ghajar, it will no longer be in violation of the international border with Lebanon.

UN welcomes Israel’s decision to withdraw from Lebanese [? Syrian] site

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Thursday welcomed Israel’s decision to pull its troops out of Lebanon’s Ghajar region, as an “important step” in settling hostilities in the region.
US army chief pledges support to Lebanese military

BEIRUT (AFP) – General James Mattis, the US Central Command chief, on Friday pledged his country would continue to support the Lebanese army, a week after Washington lifted a freeze on military aid to Beirut.
Long awaited Egyptian minimum wage sparks discontent

CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt’s decision to raise the minimum wage for the first time since 1984 has been sharply opposed by the very activists who demanded it, because at 400 pounds ($69) a month, it skirts close to the poverty line. After a long battle, the National Council for Wages was ordered by a court in October to review the minimum wage, set in 1984 at 35 Egyptian pounds — roughly the price of a fast food meal in 2010.
Amnesty Int’l: Fresh claims of abuse of Indonesian domestic workers in Saudi Arabia

Amnesty International today called on the Saudi Arabian authorities to protect domestic workers from abuse, following the reported discovery of the mutilated body of an Indonesian woman found in a skip in the town of Abha.

U.S. and other world news
J Street: ‘Right wing activists and donors regularly intimidate Jewish communal institutions’ re Israel / Philip Weiss

The cancellation by a Reform synagogue in Newton MA of a J Street event tonight has had a salutary effect. Some folks are speaking out. J Street has started a petition for more open discussion in the Jewish community: “Know that this is not an isolated example. All across the country, week in and week out, small numbers of right-wing activists and donors regularly intimidate synagogues, Hillels, and other communal institutions out of presenting views on Israel they don’t like. We’ve had enough, and I hope you have too. It’s time to draw the line and say we simply won’t be silenced any more.”

Jewish advocate disappointed in Newton synagogue’s cancellation

BOSTON — When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there’s no such thing as an easy conversation — not even in Boston. In Newton this week, a reform synagogue abruptly canceled a speaking appearance by Jeremy Ben-Ami, the executive director of J Street, a lobbying group known for its advocacy of a peaceful, two-state solution. In an interview Wednesday with WBUR, the rabbi at Temple Beth Avodah, Keith Stern, said he was “utterly blind-sided” by the anger from some of his congregants after he agreed to host the speaker. (Listen to interview]
The Anti-Defamation League should own up or pack up / Mohammed Talat & Tom Pessah

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), founded in 1913, was long one of the nation’s foremost civil rights organizations. Primarily established to fight anti-Semitism, it became revered for combating hate and bigotry in many forms. In its later years, however, it got mixed up in clandestine spying on American civil rights organizations, which made headlines after law enforcement seized thousands of intelligence files in its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. Today, it is cashing in its legacy for a full-time lobbyist position on behalf of the Israeli government.
Why the TSA gets to grope us / Justin Raimondo

The Transportation Safety Administration is bringing the war home – and the American people don’t like it one bit. Stories of TSA outrages are everywhere, from the “Don’t touch my junk” guy to that photo of a nun in full robes being searched by a TSA thuglet … the real source of our troubles isn’t the TSA, or Homeland Security … the real problem, as Rep. Paul understands very well, is our foreign policy of permanent war … The Shoe Bomber compelled us to give up our shoes to the TSA. The Underwear Bomber gave the government access to our genitalia. And soon enough the Suppository Bomber will give them free entry to the very crevasses of our personhood, and what is left of our dignity will perish along with the Constitution.
The Ghailani verdict and American justice / Glenn Greenwald

…even had he been acquitted on all counts, the Obama administration had made clear that it would simply continue to imprison him anyway under what it claims is the President’s “post-acquittal detention power” — i.e., when an accused Terrorist is wholly acquitted in court, he can still be imprisoned indefinitely by the U.S. Government under the “law of war” even when the factual bases for the claim that he’s an “enemy combatant” (i.e. that he blew up the two embassies) are the same ones underlying the crimes for which he was fully acquitted after a full trial.
Guilty until proven guilty – threatening the presumption of innocence / Tom Engelhardt and Karen Greenberg

How at Risk Is the Justice System? The presumption of innocence may be slowly dying in the courtrooms where our terror trials are being held, as Karen Greenberg, executive director of the Center on Law and Security at NYU Law School and author of The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo’s First 100 Days, points out in today’s post. Here’s the curious thing, though: that presumption is stronger than ever when it comes to those who once ran or carried out the Global War on Terror. Afghanistan to Washington, Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo, they all continue to live within a bubble of official innocence.
Palestinians’ white knight blots his escutcheon / Stuart Littlewood

From champion of the vulnerable to betrayer in one bound… Nick Clegg, Britain’s new deputy prime minister, is surprisingly agile … In January 2009, at the height of Israel’s murderous blitz on Gaza, he rode to the rescue and railed against the British government … First sign [of change] was at the Liberal Democrats’ conference in September when Clegg attended a Friends of Israel fringe meeting but cold-shouldered the Friends of Palestine.

Obama arrives at NATO summit with a revised US strategy in Afghanistan: Stay past 2014

As Obama prepares for a longer commitment in Afghanistan, he must also convince allies convening at this weekend’s NATO summit in Lisbon to extend their support.

Sweden issues international arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Assange

Swedish authorities, stepping up their persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, have issued an international arrest warrant for his detention in relation to trumped-up “rape” charges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *