Mondoweiss Online Newsletter



Israel is the elephant in the studio during MSNBC discussion of Adelson’s giving

Jan 10, 2012

Philip Weiss

Chris Matthews
Chris Matthews

This is hard to believe. MSNBC’s coverage of New Hampshire began tonight with a five or six minute conversation about Sheldon Adelson’s “dark money,” as Rachel Maddow put it– the $5 million injection to Gingrich’s super PAC that has revived the former speaker’s presidential race– without the word Israel crossing anyone’s lips.

Madoff called on investigative reporter Michael Isikoff to explain the money, and yet againIsikoff pulled the wool over his viewers’ eyes  about Sheldon Adelson’s ends. Isikoff described Adelson as “a billionaire with his own economic interests– a casino empire.” He went on to speak of Adelson’s passion against unions.

Maddow kept up the blackjack talk. She said that Adelson’s “history, past interests” will become a defining factor in this campaign– and that’s casinos.

The conversation flowed into a righteous attack on “vulture capitalism” and billionaires.

Not till Chris Matthews came on a few minutes later did we get any inkling of Adelson’s real interest. Thank god for Matthews, he got at the real motive behind this gift: foreign policy. Gingrich has “fluffed up Sheldon Adelson with a lot of fear talk about Ron Paul” and Paul’s “isolationism,” Matthews said. So Adelson will continue to cough the money up.

This has “nothing to do with theories of capitalism,” Matthews said. Adelson is “afraid of the Middle East situation,” and he’s going to keep spending money.

As I say, you did not hear the word Israel in any of these immaculate perceptions. But good for Matthews for saying something about the emperor’s lack of clothes.

For her part, Maddow has turned Adelson into a conventional liberal exhibit about campaign finance: the “quirks” of “truly motivated” billionaires are going to drive our political process, Adelson could decide to spend 100s of billions to defy the public will.

As I keep shouting, Adelson’s main interest–Israel holding Jerusalem and the occupied territories–was an element of the 2000 presidential race, when he gave unregulated amounts to Republican committees, and Bush’s foreign policy reflected Adelson’s neoconservatism. It would be nice if the media would give Americans the chance to think about this.

Video: Olmert, Livni & Barak were ‘masters of war’ 3 years ago

Jan 10, 2012

Philip Weiss

New, and wrenching, video from Sana Kassem is up at Norman Finkelstein’s site, using the Bob Dylan anti-war anthem.


“The Gaza Massacre” from Sana Kassem on Vimeo.

Omar Barghouti: ‘They can colonize our lands, but they can never colonize our minds’

Jan 10, 2012

Allison Deger

omar barghouti
(Photo: Bud Korotzer/NLN)

Last Saturday, Omar Barghouti stopped in Oakland, CA as part of his current West Coast tour. The lecture was billed as “Occupy Wall St., not Palestine,” and Barghouti made the case that it makes “perfect sense to think of Israel as part of the global one-percent in War Inc.” He touched on the relationship between U.S. and Israeli weapons manufactures, suggesting that Israel’s behavior as a “garrison state” enables more customers for U.S. produced weapons.

Weapons are used by Israel on Palestinians and then the U.S. manufactures sell the “field tested” weapons to other countries, and at times also to “Israel’s enemies.” Barghouti finds the Israeli occupation functions as a training ground for what amounts to an estimated $4 trillion spent by the U.S. government on occupation wars, in the past 10 years.

However, Barghouti’s remarks on Israel as part of the “global one-percent” were brief, and the most captivating part of his lecture was his recounting of the first Intifada.

In the first few weeks of the Intifada, Israel shut down all Palestinian universities. Barghouti explained that only a few months after the university closures, all 1,194 Palestinian schools in the West Bank and Gaza were also shut down. Next came the kindergartens, until every educational institution in the occupied Palestinian territories were forcibly closed. This prompted Palestinians to build an “illegal network” of schools. These underground classes were described as a popular mode of resistance, where everyone participated, because everyone was affected.

But the closures of Palestinian schools, Barghouti told us, were not the first major assault on Palestinian education. Referencing an Israel researcher’s dissertation, Barghouti said during Nakba, Israeli paramilitary groups “pillaged all of our books.” Over 10,000 books were destroyed, and thousands of others are now held in Israeli universities. Granted, targeting a people’s history is not unique to the Palestinians. The 1992 Serb bombing of besieged Sarajevo’s municipal library and the Oriental Institute destroyed over 50,000 books and as well as a major Ottoman archive with over 200,000 documents. Libraries are historical records of existence, and like the books in Sarajevo, those destroyed by the Israelis constituted an attempt to erase knowledge of history. However, Palestinians have found ways to build new archives, often collecting archival photographs and oral histories. Barghouti contends, “they can colonize our lands, but they can never colonize our minds.”

Recounting this particular event during the Nakba ended up being useful during the question and answer period where one audience member asked about Barghouti attending Tel Aviv University, and others felt queasy about the boycott of academic and cultural institutions. Barghouti explained that though he received a Masters degree from Tel Aviv University, it does not negate Israel as an Apartheid state. He referenced South Africa, where black South Africans under Apartheid also attended university. Barghouti noted that it is the structures of discrimination that denote an apartheid system. In Israel’s case he pointed to access to education and the role of academic institutions in furthering the two-tiered system of citizenship. He was adamant that there is no contradiction between Palestinian citizens of Israel seeking services that they pay taxes for while advocating for an end of the Apartheid system in the universities they attend.

Barghouti concluded that the power of the BDS movement is that the Israeli military is incapable of responding, as it was similarly incapable of responding to underground schools during the Intifada. In a surprising deviation from his serious demeanor, Barghouti asked “what do you do with Oakland supporters of BDS, nuke them?”

Talks continue in Jordan as Israeli building binge rolls on in the occupied territories

Jan 10, 2012

Alex Kane


Jordan’s King Abdullah and Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)

The headlines on Israel/Palestine today predictably focus on the Jordanian-brokered talks to nowhere between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Meanwhile, Peace Now has declared that the year 2011 saw Israel break “all its settlement-building records.”

The talks in Amman don’t mean a thing. That much is made clear in Barak Ravid’s Haaretz storyon Benjamin Netanyahu “mulling gestures” towards the PA. Ravid’s article contains this telling line from an Israeli source “familiar with the talks”:

“The aim is to lock the Palestinians in the talks and give them a few sweets in return,” one of the Israeli sources said. “Netanyahu and his advisers are willing to take these steps, but only if it is clear that the Palestinians will stick with the talks and won’t go to the UN.”

Even if the PA, under intense US and Israeli pressure, eats those “sweets,” the main course is disgusting and bitter. Peace Now’s report contains all the details, but they sum it up in the title: “Torpedoing the Two State Solution.”

Separately, Daniel Seidemann, an expert on Jerusalem, explains what the settlement construction binge in East Jerusalem means here:

The Israeli government is on an East Jerusalem settlement binge. The pace of approvals of new settlement plans has been so fast and so furious in recent weeks, that even the most experienced settlement watchers are having trouble tracking them.


As we reportedly previously, from March until the end of October 2010 (in the wake of the visit of Vice President Biden to Jerusalem and the Ramat Shlomo debacle), Prime Minister Netanyahu imposed a quiet but comprehensive settlement freeze on East Jerusalem. No new plans were approved, nor new tenders issued, during this period. On November 1, following the expiration of the official settlement “moratorium,” the East Jerusalem the floodgates were opened, ushering in a period during which the pace of plan approvals exceeded the previously high levels of 2008 and 2009 by 50%-200%. If initially this surge could be attributed to a backlog created during the de facto freeze of the previous 8 months, since the summer of 2011 the approval of new plans has been so intense – unprecedented in scope since the 1970’s – that it is clear that the surge represents a concerted effort/policy on the part of Israel to ramp up East Jerusalem settlement activity. [For empirical data documenting settlement developments during the period before, during, and after 2010’s “quiet” freeze, see our presentation “East Jerusalem Developments and Trends” (2006 – January 15th, 2011)].

During much of this post-November 2010 period, the Israeli government has asserted that new plans were “merely” being approved, but that few tenders actually published – and thus criticism of its actions was unjustified. However, we have cautioned that this argument was disingenuous, given that “merely” approving plans as significant political impact and sets the stage for future (even imminent) tenders and construction. Events of the past two months bear this warning out. Now, new tenders are being published at a rate significantly higher than the already high levels of those in recent years, and we have every reason to expect that this trend will continue, with dire implications for Jerusalem and the two-state solution…


This surge is not over. In the coming days and weeks we anticipate the publication of tenders for Har Homa C(983 units), Har Homa B (82 units & public buildings), Ramot (713 units) and Pisgat Ze’ev (625 units), as well as approval of the highly problematic Givat Hamatos plans.

It is abundantly clear that settlement activity of this pace and scope will (a) derail the Sisyphean efforts underway to resume a political process; (b) change the potential borders between Israel and Palestine; (c) make the creation of a border in Jerusalem inordinately more difficult; and (d) within 2-3 years undermine the very possibility of the two-state solution.

Palestinian drivers challenge Israeli-only roads in the West Bank

Jan 10, 2012

Today in Palestine


YouTube: This video taken outside Jericho as Israeli Soldiers Banned Palestinians to drive their cars in the west banks with National flags attached atop of the cars.


YouTube: Israeli Occupation forces arrested Khaled Atallah Al-Tamimi (Nabi Saleh), Azmi Shyoukhi (Hebron), the young Omar Saleh Al-Tamimi (Nabi Saleh) and a Palestinian girl by the name of Anwar. Further the Israeli intelligence services demanded confiscated the id and car of Mahmoud Zwahre. When he managed to evade arrest, Israeli army called him telling him he would be put on wanted list if he does not turn himself in for arrest within 30mins. Mahmoud is now also arrested, 10mins ago, he was at the DCO in Jericho, to be taken to Ma’ale Adumim. In addition, the IOF apparently held the identity card of Naim Marar intending to force him to turn himself in to the occupation authorities. In addition, since last night, ITF imposed a tight security cordon on the village of Nabi Saleh… Many people joined to show their rights to pass the road freely at Jericho checkpoint today, israeli soldiers were not accept to go trough the road .

This Palestinian woman was arrested for driving on Israel’s apartheid roads today:

(Photo: Haitham AlKhatib)

More pictures from the car protest can be found here.

Palestinian ‘car protest’ in West Bank challenges road segregation
Palestinians attempted to set out in a motorcade of about 50 cars from Jericho en route to Ramallah this morning, to protest and challenge the system of Israeli-only roads throughout the West Bank, according to Twitter updates over the last few hours with the hashtag #carprotest.
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Land, Property Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Apartheid

Israel breaking settlement records, says Peace Now (Reuters)
Reuters – Israel’s government broke all its settlement-building records in 2011, diminishing prospects for establishing a viable Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank, Israel’s anti-settlement activist group “Peace Now” said Tuesday.
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Peace Now: Israel began building 1,850 new houses in West Bank in 2011
Settlement watchdog says figures exclude East Jerusalem, which in 2011 witnessed the highest number of construction plans in a decade.
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Haridim planning new settlement east of Jerusalem
The ultraorthodox Jews, the Haridim, are planning to build a new settlement to the east of occupied Jerusalem, United Arab Emirates Al-Ittihad newspaper said on Sunday.
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Israel to make 60 more Palestinians homeless
According to Palestinian news agency WAFA, Israeli authorities notified seven families in the Palestinian village of Umm al Khair yesterday that their houses will be demolished because they lack Israeli-issued building permits. 60 people will be left homeless.
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US millionaire Kenneth Abramowitz funds settlers linked to attacks on IDF, Alex Kane
The narrative that Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition is “cracking down” on those wild West Bank settlersis falling apart with Haaretz’s revelation that the leader of Netanyahu’s political party passed on information about Israeli military movements to settlers seeking to block moves against outposts. What’s more is that a separate Haaretz investigation published over the weekend reveals that Kenneth Abramowitz, a New York-based millionaire and the national chairman of American Friends of Likud, founded an organization linked to recent settler attacks on the Israeli military. Abramowitz is also a board member for the major US fundraiser for the Israeli military, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. In addition, Abramowitz is a major donor to Likud Knesset members Yisrael Katz and Yuli Edelstein.
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Palestine’s farmers: Refusing to Die in Silence
A new organization in the West Bank, Refusing to Die in Silence, offers support to the Palestinian farmers who face violent attacks from Jewish settlers as they attempt to harvest their olives.
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Municipality working illegally in East Jerusalem
According to residents of the East Jerusalem village of Issawiya, the Jerusalem municipality has begun working, illegally, in the village this morning.
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Violence and Aggression

JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli forces clashed with youth in a north Jenin village on Monday afternoon after military vehicles deployed to the area, locals told Ma’an. Israeli military jeeps spread out through Zububa village adjacent to the Salem checkpoint, and youth pelted stones and empty bottles at the forces, who returned tear gas and sound grenades, residents said.

Israeli police fire live ammunition in Sheikh Jarrah
Israeli police and Border Guardes fired live shots in the air near Al-Sumoud camp in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on 7 January. Shots were fired in an attempt to intimidate local youth confronting vast numbers of Israeli troops and settlers. Camp residents stated that “flocks of settlers provoked young people who were playing outside a camp building. They cursed them, provoked one child to throw a stone at the settlers. When the settlers called the police, they appeared immediately, and began firing live ammunition as terrified masses of camp residents flocked onto the main road.

Violent clashes in Silwan
Undercover Israeli officers attempted to abduct a local youth from Silwan on 7 January, sparking violent clashes. Confrontations were concentrated in SamerSarhan Street, which runs between Al-Bustan and Wadi Hilweh districts. The clashes have been the most violent in recent weeks, with Israeli forces firing live ammunition, tear gas and sound bombs in the densely populated area. Clashes continued to spread throughout neighborhoods of Silwan.
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Military forces amass in Wadi Hilweh
Huge numbers of Israeli military forces amassed at the entrance to Wadi Hilweh outside the City of David settlement on the evening of 7 January, in what appeared to be preparation for a raid operation in Silwan. Israeli forces have been continually provoking Palestinian residents of Silwan in recent weeks, who fear a new crackdown of arrests.
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Settlers protest removal of illegal outpost
A group of Israeli settlers gathered at the Beit El military base near Ramallah Sunday night to protest the planned removal of an illegal settlement outpost in the northern West Bank, but Israeli troops went ahead with the removal of the outpost on Monday morning.
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Israeli Forces Raze Lands in Issawiya, Arrest 14 Citizens, West Bank
On Tuesday, the Israeli forces started to raze large areas of lands in al-Issawiya, Central of Jerusalem. They also arrested 14 Palestinians from Palestine’s governorates. Locals said that the Israeli forces arrested three citizens from Hwarah village in Nablus, five from Qalandiya village in Jerusalem, and four others from Tqou’ village in Bethlehem. Bulldozers and vehicles which belong to the Israeli authorities, started to raze large areas of the citizens’ lands in al-Issawyiah village, central Jerusalem, to build Talmud Parks after the decision that was issued to confiscate these lands.
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Youth arrested in Silwan
Israeli forces arrested a young resident of Silwan on 7 January. Raoof Abu Nab, 19, was riding his motorbike in the neighborhood when, eyewitnesses state, he was surrounded by Israeli forces and hauled into a military jeep, then taken to the vicinity of City of David settlement in Wadi Hilweh. His current whereabouts are unknown. Israeli forces arrest a Silwan youth.

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Israeli forces detain woman at Ramallah crossing

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian woman at Beituniya crossing near Ramallah on Monday morning, after officials said they found a knife in her possession. An Israeli army spokeswoman said “border police uncovered a 30cm knife, which they confiscated and she was handed over to police.”

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Witnesses: Israel military vehicles enter Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli military vehicles entered the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, with witnesses reporting heavy gunfire in the area. Forces accompanied bulldozers around 300 meters inside the border near Jabalia to raze lands in the area, witnesses told Ma’an. No casualties were reported. An Israeli army spokesman said the incident was “routine activity.” Gunfire was also heard in the southern Gaza Strip early Tuesday, with locals saying Palestinian militants exchanged fire with an Israeli military post near the Kerem Shalom crossing. The military spokesman said he was not familiar with the incident.
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Child injured by abandoned explosive in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — An 8-year-old boy was moderately injured when an abandoned explosive device detonated near his home in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, medics said. The child was evacuated to hospital after the ordnance exploded in al-Qarara, on the outskirts of Khan Younis, Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya reported.
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Lawmakers objecting to the bill say it is undemocratic, unconstitutional and runs contrary to Israel’s international obligations to human rights.
link to www.haaretz.comTestimony: Army harms livelihood of farmers in Gaza who have land near the border with Israel, September 2011
I have two wives and 12 children, eight of whom are married. We all live together, about 900 meters from the border. Together with my sons and nephews, I have a 16-dunam (16,000 sq m) plot of land. In addition, we and a few other families rent about 70 dunams (70,000 sq m) of land, divided into several lots, along the border, east of Wadi a-Salqa. On that land, which has an irrigation system, we grew cauliflower, squash and other crops. This land provides a livelihood for some 45 persons. Sometimes, we hired people to help us work the land.
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Pharmaceutical conference in Gaza later this month
The association of Palestinian pharmacists-Balsam said it would hold in cooperation with the health ministry a conference on pharmaceutical security in the besieged Gaza Strip.
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Gaza father: I want to address soldier who killed teen daughter
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The family of a 16-year-old girl killed in Israel’s Operation Cast Lead remain plagued by questions three years after her death, as a criminal complaint to Israeli authorities goes unanswered. “Why my daughter? What were their motives? What were their reasons?” asks Ahmed Abu Oda.”The Israeli military say they are the most moral army in the world, but they killed my daughter, they didn’t respect her right to live.”
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10 January 2009: Wafa al-Radea
“When I left my children I was walking and my children had not seen my wounds. The most difficult moment was when I came back with only 1 leg and many injuries. I was a different Wafa. When I came back I was supposed to happy and the people were supposed to be happy for seeing me but everyone was crying.”
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Racism / Discrimination / Sexism & others things you would read in the New York Times

Hate graffiti against Israelis of Ethiopian origin sprayed on several vehicles and walls in Kiryat Malakhi Sunday.
Ynet-Gesher survey shows more than half of population believes segregated bus lines may operate in haredi areas, while 47% of Israeli Jews view it as forbidden discrimination against women.
link to www.ynetnews.comIAF rabbi remains in corps, resigns current position
Lieutenant-Colonel Moshe Raved, who resigned over IDF’s refusal to excuse religious troops from official events that feature women singing, will remain with Air Force until his contract expires.
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Knesset backs ‘suspects’ names’ bill
Amendment to Courts Act saying suspects names must remain under embargo for 48 hours passes second, third House readings.
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Israel’s Justice Ministry seeks to allow police to install hidden video cameras in suspects’ homes

Proposed amendment to Wiretapping Law draws fire from opposition lawmakers, legal advisers.

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Solidarity / Activism / BDS 

New comprehensive BDS booklet
Corporate Watch has just published a new, comprehensive booklet for those who are partcipating in the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement. Titled “Targeting Israeli Apartheid,” the publication details who is profiting from the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territories as well as Israel’s inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip.
A personal appeal– PennBDS needs your help, Annie Robbins
Everyone who has ever met me can attest I am a totally cool, calm and collected person. Not! I am completelybeside myself about attending the PennBDS conference next month. I can’t wait and am counting the days. I registered and booked my plane ticket! The idea of being at the conference with so many of us together in one place; focused, directed and empowered by the growing global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, in solidarity, has me bursting at the seams in anticipation.
link to mondoweiss.netActivists respond to Sodastream’s defense of profiting off the occupation, Adam Horowitz

The following statement was just released by Stop Sodastream – Italy: The Stop Sodastream campaign received a response from Sodastream Italy, via the public relations agency Edelman, to the letter signed by over 1100 individuals and 30 groups calling on retailers and advertisers to terminate relations with the Israeli company due to its violations of international law.
Israel’s student debate champions are “hasbara” agents for the state, says their coach, Ali Abunimah
One of the main purposes of Israel’s international student debate team is hasbara – propaganda – for the state, explains the team’s coach after a recent victory.

AICafe 10.1.11: African Palestinians- identity and challenges
Please join us on January 10 at 8:00 pm as Yasser Qoz, a member of the African Committee in Jerusalem, discusses the identity, roles, and challenges of African Palestinians.

Developments / Diplomacy & other news

Abbas calls Jordan talks with Israel ‘important’ (AP)
AP – The Palestinian president says talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in Jordan provide an “important opportunity” for reviving full peace negotiations.
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“The future is ours,” says Hamas Gaza leader (Reuters)

Reuters – The coming rise of Islamism in the Arab world will strengthen support for the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which will not give up its armed confrontation with Israel, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar said Monday.

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‘French woman converts’ at Haniyeh Tunisia summit
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A French woman converted to Islam at a summit addressed by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Tunisia on Sunday, according to a video distributed by ruling party Ennahda. The video shows Haniyeh presenting the woman with a Quran at the event in Sfax city sports stadium in the north African country’s south. Moderate Islamist party Ennahda won an October vote in the country that threw out strongman Zine el Abidine Ben a year ago, sparking popular protests against autocratic rule across the region.
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Netanyahu’s envoy Isaac Molho and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat meet for the second time in Amman.

Israel to increase defence budget by $700m
Prime minister to boost spending due to “abundant challenges and threats”, despite previously saying he would make cuts.

IDF updates abduction alert to include navy
Military expands efforts to prevent possible abduction of troops, introduces ‘Hannibal Protocol’ to navy in case of maritime attack on IDF vessels.
ANALYSIS: Visions for a healthier West Bank economy
RAMALLAH 09 January 2012 (IRIN) – Izz Tawil draws a black circle on the flip-chart in his office in Ramallah, capital of the West Bank in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
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Other Mideast News
Iraq: Bombs kill 2 state workers, wound 3 boys (AP)

AP – Officials say two Iraqi government employees have been killed and three boys wounded in the latest in a wave of bomb attacks to hit the country.
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Iraq: Sectarian Attacks Leave 28 Dead, Dozens Wounded
Attacks on Arbaeen pilgrims continued today, presaging what could be a particularly violent week. At least 28 Iraqis were killed in the both sectarian and other attacks. Another 82 were wounded, along with 16 pilgrims from Afghanistan.
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Tariq al-Hashemi, Iraq Sunni Vice President, Demanded Back By Shiite Government
BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Shiite-led government on Sunday demanded that authorities in the semiautonomous Kurdish region hand over the country’s top Sunni official to face terrorism charges, turning up the heat in a political crisis that is stoking sectarian tensions. Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi traveled to the Kurdish north in December just as the last American troops were leaving the country and charges against him were being drawn up.

Saudi: ‘Internal’ matter if Japan buys Iran oil (AP)
AP – A Saudi oil official said that whether Japan or other countries continue to buy Iranian oil was an “internal matter,” reflecting the unease in many nations after the latest U.S. sanctions on Tehran and Iran’s threats to choke off the Strait of Hormuz in response.

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Ex-Bahrain MP tweets for killing of protesters
Former Bahraini MP Sheikh Mohammed Khalid publicly called for the killing of protesters via Twitter on Monday, lambasting them as “traitors.” Khalid, one of Bahrain’s most controversial Sunni Islamists, urged authorities to crush protesters in a sign of growing discord between loyalists to the Sunni monarchy and Shia-led protesters. “If you see a traitor crossing the road, you must run them over and keep going because you are in a country where the law allows you to strike and crush them,” Khalid tweeted.

Bahrain: Leading human rights activist describes riot police attack
A prominent Bahraini human rights activist has told Amnesty International how he was injured when security forces attacked peaceful protesters in Manama on Friday evening. Nabeel Rajab, the director of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was hospitalized after a group of police punched him and used truncheons to beat him in the face, back and elsewhere. The attack happened near Rajab’s car after riot police had fired tear gas at protesters marching along Manama’s Bab al-Bahrain Street to call for the release of political prisoners.
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Bahrain jails protest policeman
A military court in Bahrain sentences a policeman to 12 years in jail for joining protests against the royal family.

Bahrain resumes retrial of convicted medics
Twenty hospital staff convicted of crimes against state during protests retried after prosecution withdrew confessions.

Bahrain to Jewish leader: Iran is a threat to us all

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has agreed to hold a Jewish-Muslim dialogue in Bahrain later this year. Iran is a common threat to Bahrain, Israel and the US, the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa was quoted as saying by a Jewish official on Sunday. Rabbi Marc Schneier, vice president of the World Jewish Congress, said the king told him he was alarmed by the Islamic Republic during a 45- minute meeting held in the capital city of Manama late last month. “I made a point how it’s ironic how we share a common enemy and he acknowledged that Iran has been a threat,” said Schneier, who gave the king a hanukkia at the end of their conversation.
Blasphemy trial for Egypt tycoon
Egyptian Christian billionaire Naguib Sawiris is to face a blasphemy trial over a tweet of Mickey and Minnie Mouse in conservative Islamic dress.

Thomas Friedman in Cairo
Osman sent me this: “Thomas Friedman was given difficult questions at the American University in Cairo, follow it on twitter #AUC. Some of the questioned reported on twitter: Studenr : why is the american attacking nuclearization of iran yet support israel Friedman: u support israel, do u think u would be welcomed here to preach us on democracy?. Audience applauded!”

link to angryarab.blogspot.comThomas Friedman in Cairo: Take Two
“During a question-and-answer session, Friedman faced the ire of Youssef El-Korma, a member of AUC’s student leftist movement. “You can’t come here with a smile and preach to us on democracy when you’ve been demeaning Arabs and supporting war crimes in Gaza and Iraq,” said El-Korma. “We don’t welcome you here.”  El-Korma’s assertions were met with applause by the audience but failed to draw a response from Friedman, who replied to another student critic earlier by saying that, “In the Middle East everybody wants to own you, and if they can’t, they will try to destroy you.”
link to angryarab.blogspot.comSyrian leader attacks ‘foreign interference’
Assad criticises Arab League’s role but says Syria will not “close doors” to a solution if sovereignty is respected.
Syria head to make public speech
Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is to deliver a rare public address amid ongoing unrest and criticism of the Arab League mission in the country.
Russian warships dock at Syria port; Arab observers stay put
Russian warships led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov docked in the Syrian port of Tartous on Sunday, in what Syria’s official news agency, SANA, considered a “show of solidarity” with the regime. Syrian Defense Minister Dawood Rajiha boarded the aircraft carrier, and lauded Russia’s stance on the Syrian crisis that has largely been supportive of ally President Bashar Assad, SANA reported. Both Russian and Syrian officials said the naval visit will strengthen ties between the two nations.
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Syrian defectors ‘buying weapons from army’
In exclusive footage obtained by Al Jazeera, Free Syrian Army say their former comrades are selling them arms.
link to www.aljazeera.comIsrael “preparing” to accept Syrian Alawite refugees
Israel is making preparations to house refugees from Syrian President Bashar Assad’s minority Alawite sect should his government fall, Israel’s military chief told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday. “On the day that the regime falls, it is expected to result in a blow to the Alawite sect. We are preparing to take in Alawite refugees on the Golan Heights,” a committee spokesman quoted Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz as saying.
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Panetta: U.S. will not allow Iran to develop nuclear bomb, block Strait of Hormuz
U.S. Defense Secretary says Iran laying groundwork for making nuclear weapons, but is not yet building bomb; army chief Dempsey says U.S. would take military action to reopen waterway if Iran closes it.
Panetta admits Iran not developing nukes
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let slip on Sunday the big open secret that Washington war hawks don’t want widely known: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Panetta admitted that despite all the rhetoric, Iran is not pursuing the ability to split atoms with weapons, saying it is instead pursuing “a nuclear capability.” That “capability” falls in line with what Iran has said for years: that it is developing nuclear energy facilities, not nuclear weapons.
Report: Israel preparing for nuclear Iran
London Times quotes Institute for National Security Studies as saying Israel believes Iran may become full-fledged nuclear power in one year’s time.
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US citizen sentenced to death in Iran
Amir Hekmati, a former US military translator of Iranian origin, convicted of spying for the CIA by an Iranian court.
link to www.aljazeera.comTunisia’s Islamist party slams anti-Semitic chants (AP)
AP – The head of Tunisia’s moderate Islamic party condemned anti-Semitic slogans chanted Monday by a handful of ultraconservative Muslims during the arrival of a top Hamas official that have alarmed the local Jewish community.

Mideast governments fail to see scale of change: Amnesty (Reuters)
Reuters – Most Middle Eastern governments are failing to recognize the significance of the Arab Spring and are responding with repression or merely cosmetic change, Amnesty International said Monday.

Analysis / Op-ed

Are Obama supporters playing up Jewish religion of new White House chief to appease pro-Israel groups?, Ali Abunimah
Under attack from Republicans for supposedly not being pro-Israel enough, US President Barack Obama has been doing all he can to prove that he is indeed the most pro-Israel president in history.

The Delusions of ‘Liberal’ Zionism,  Roger Sheety
The most recent diatribe by Israeli writer A. B. Yehoshua published by Haaretz represents the latest nail in the ideological coffin of so-called liberal Zionism.  Writing out of his comfortable home in Haifa, a city that was ethnically cleansed of most of its original Palestinian residents by the end of 1948 through multiple terror campaigns and massacres, Yehoshua spends an entire article at once fuming over what he calls Palestinian “passivity” in the face of daily Israeli brutality in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and simultaneously dreading what he believes is the inevitable forthcoming bi-national state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

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Propaganda and Coverage of Syria,  Asad AbuKhalil

After months of intense and feverish coverage of Syria, it is high time that we ask: how bad has the coverage been? How much have we been served as readers by the coverage? To what extent has the Arab (Saudi and Qatari) media converged with Western media? And why do Western media toss out all token adherence to minimum standards of professional journalism when the coverage targets an enemy of the US (and Israel)? I keep waiting for an article in the Columbia Journalism Review to no avail.

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Gaza students discuss ‘Occupy Wall Street’, Yousef M. Aljamal

The Occupy movement is an international protest movement which is primarily directed against economic and social inequality. The first Occupy protest to receive wide coverage was Occupy Wall Street in New York City’s Zuccotti Park, which began on September 17, 2011. It was noticed that many of the participants in the movement were pro-Palestinian, and took to the streets holding banners that read “Occupy Wall Street Not Palestine”. The movement received support and solidarity from The BDS National Committee and the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.

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Israel: Still not doing Gandhi very well, Nima Shirazi

That Israel would erect a statue in honor of the great indigenous nationalist, anti-colonialist, and practitioner of non-violence speaks to either its complete lack of self-awareness and blindness to the appalling irony of its proposal or to its profound sense of humor.  Recall not only what Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Israel Ministry of Defense, Major General Amos Gilad, told U.S. officials that “we don’t do Gandhi very well” when discussing peaceful West Bank demonstrations and anti-occupation protests, but also what Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi himself had to say in 1938 (in part) about the imposition of Zionist colonization of Palestine.

‘Day of reckoning’ settlers who attacked IDF base have friends in gov’t, Annie Robbins
What started out as a brazen attack by extreme rightwing Jewish zealots on a military base last month is turning into a full-on extravaganza. Going well beyond the ‘hilltop youth’, it now involves the government. There are reports of the infiltration of Israeli military intelligence, the tracking of Israeli army movements via intelligence contacts, and the possible involvement of at least two Israeli MK’s.

The Bouazizi Spark: The Begi

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