Support grows for Israeli rabbis’ racist letter

Dec 09, 2010



And other news from Today in Palestine:


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Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

Gilo Settlement to Expand by 130 Units; US Promises $200 Million for Israeli “Iron Dome”
Jerusalem – PNN – One day after American negotiators officially gave up their bid to press Israel for a settlement freeze in the West Bank, the Israeli District Planning and Building Committee authorized 130 new residential units in the settlement of Gilo, near Jerusalem.  The decision was approved last week for the settlement of 40,000, which lies on a hill north of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem. The global community considers it illegal under international law.  In other news, the US Congress announced on Wednesday night that it would finance $205 million for the “Iron Dome” security system for Israel. The system is designed to stop short-range missile and rocket fire from Gaza and Lebanon.
Settlement waste water floods high school
QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Village council officials from the northern West Bank region of Azzun Atma announced Wednesday that recent rains had caused large amounts of waste water to flood from the nearby settlement of Sha’are Tiqwa.  The majority of the sewage, secretary of the village council Abed Al-Karim Ayyoub said, had pooled in the yards of the Azzun Atma- Beit Amin boy’s high school.  The foul-smelling pool was breeding bugs, the official said, and made opening windows of the building impossible. 
Israel to demolish electric infrastructure near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities delivered demolition orders Thursday for electric transformers and powerlines in a Palestinian community south of Hebron, a local official said.  Local Popular Committee chairman Azmi Ash-Sheiyukhi said Israeli officials handed the orders to Muhammad Al-Adrah, the head of the village council of Rifaya and Ad-Deirat.
Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Weekly Repression Update 29 November – 6 December: Latest news, Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, Dec 7, 2010 
#BDS: For Peace in the Middle East, Stop AIPAC!
December 13th, Oakland Marriot, starting at 5pm
Protest the annual AIPAC membership event in Oakland. 
Oakland Marriot Hotel: 1001 Broadway, near 12th Street BART 
Urgent Appeal To First Lady Michelle Obama – Free the Children of Palestine!
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition calls on all its members, supporters and people of conscience to write to First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama to request that she intervene to help stop the systematic and institutionalized abuse of Palestinian Children. 
#BDS: Don’t Buy Israeli Apartheid for Christmas – Melbourne 3 Dec 2010 
VIDEO: Tell Costco No Ahava, no to occupation profiteering. #bds #austin
 A supporter from Austin, Texas made this short video–just over a minute–in Costco where she found Ahava “Beauty in a bag” on sale. Late last year some boycott suporters started a Facebook group called Ask Costco to Stop Selling Ahava and after dozens of calls and letters a Costco representative responded with a note saying they wouldn’t be stocking Ahava products. Maybe it was a seasonal thing, because Ahava has popped up again in Costco’s inventory. If you are a Costco member contact the company to say: No Ahava, no to Stolen Beauty.
A gesture of solidarity with people of Palestine, Dr Sandeep Pandey 
CNS, An Asia to Gaza caravan is being planned from New Delhi to Gaza during the month of December, 2010, as part of the international effort to break the three year old blockade of Gaza by Israeli forces., This is probably the first time such an ambitious caravan, through land route, has been planned to express solidarity with the Palestinian cause. It is to travel through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria and Egypt. On the way a part of the caravan will also visit Jordan and Lebanon. Meetings will be organized along the route to mobilize public opinion against the blockade of Gaza by Israel, the anniversary of which falls on 27th December. If everything goes alright the caravan will reach Gaza to coincide with this date. 
Heading To Gaza, Asian Aid Convoy Arrives in Tehran
A ship organized by The Asian People’s Solidarity for Palestine, carrying 55 activists and humanitarian aid supplies arrived in Tehran while on its way to impoverished and besieged Gaza Strip.

Heading To Gaza, Asian Aid Convoy Arrives in Tehran

Israeli Apartheid Short Film Showing in Al Bireh
Stop the Wall and invite you to the screening of The Israeli Apartheid Short Film Contest.  Join us to see the top ten short films of the contest and vote for your favorites.  MONDAY, December 13th, 7:00-8:30  at the Popular Art Center, Al-Bireh
A great video to show to anyone you know that knows very little about the I/P conflict:  Palestine on the map? 

#BDS: National Lawyers Guild Demands an End to Persecution of French BDS Activists
In 2007, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) adopted a resolution that, among other determinations, urged divestment from Israel and boycott of all Israeli products, commercial services and travel to Israel except travel to engage in human rights or other solidarity work, fact-finding, and solidarity delegations. The NLG has been working actively to implement its 2007 resolution. We take this occasion not only to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in its struggle for self determination, justice and equality, but also to express our solidarity with the French Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists who are currently facing criminal prosecution on charges of “incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence.” The prosecution of activists promoting the boycott of Israeli products is a cynical attempt by the French government to confuse opposition to the policies of Israel, a state practicing occupation and apartheid, with “hate” and “discrimination” against an ethnic or religious group. The global BDS movement, and the 2005 Palestinian call for BDS, are unambiguously opposed to all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Their shared goals include ending Israel’s occupation and legalized racial discrimination.
Sustainable tourism or sustaining Israel’s occupation?
While the goal of developing tourism, in particular rural tourism, may have at its origins socially benevolent intentions, it cannot transcend the same economic barriers that the Israeli occupation creates for all aspects of the Palestinian economy. Charlotte Silver analyzes for The Electronic Intifada.
Siege/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (02 – 08 December 2010)
Settler visit closes Salit village overnight
SALFIT (Ma’an) — Residents of the northern West Bank town of Kilf Haris were ordered to close their shops early Wednesday as Israeli soldiers evacuated the area ahead of a visit by religious Israelis to a nearby tomb.  Locals said they believed the military escort of at least 10 armored vehicles was for a group of settler rabbis heading to a shrine in the village.  During the visit, witnesses said, a series of checkpoints and guard posts were erected and remained in place until the group withdrew. 
Israel fires on Gaza as it claims to “ease” siege
Israeli tanks opened fire east of Gaza City today, injuring three Palestinians near the so-called “buffer zone.” A few hours earlier Israeli fighter jets launched two airstrikes in southern Gaza, where another man was wounded.
The Impact of Poverty on Nutrition and Health Status in the Bethlehem Governorate – A Case Study
The total population of the Bethlehem Governorate in 2007 was 176,235, forming about 7.5% of the total population of the West Bank; almost 22% of the population has increased since the year 1997. Population density is high in geopolitical Area A, reaching up to 1,758 persons/km2. Bethlehem City alone forms 14.3% of the total population in the governorate. 
20 new cars allowed into Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities decided to partially open the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow aid into Gaza, officials said.  Raed Fattouh, Palestinian liaison official, said approximately 160 to 170 truckloads of goods for the commercial and agricultural sections will be allowed into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The authorities also allowed 20 new cars into Gaza.
Racism and Discrimination

Support grows for Israeli rabbis’ ‘racist’ letter
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Dozens more Israeli rabbis have added their names to a document calling on Jews to avoid renting or selling property to non-Jews, despite an outpouring of criticism, local media reported Thursday.  Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot reported that some 300 religious figures had signed the public statement, which warns that “it is forbidden in the Torah to sell a house or a field in the land of Israel to a foreigner.”  The document first emerged Tuesday and was swiftly condemned in most corners of Israeli society, from rabbinical groups and rights organisations to politicians including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israel’s legal establishment silent amid uproar over ‘racist’ rabbis
A group of public figures, intellectuals and academics have asked Justice Ministry to suspend any signatories to religious ruling calling for people not to rent homes to non-Jews.
Knesset Speaker: Racist Rabbi’s letter shames the Jewish people
Reuven Rivlin: “I see this general statement as another nail in the coffin of Israeli democracy.”
Survivors to rabbis: Nazis wouldn’t rent to Jews
Chairman of Holocaust survivors’ association condemns letter signed by rabbis, which prohibits rental, sale of property to non-Jews. ‘I remember Nazis throwing Jews out of apartments to create ghettos,’ he says.,7340,L-3996738,00.html
Petition to Call “Racist” Rabbis to Account Falls on Deaf Ears
Tel Aviv – PNN – A group of Israeli intellectuals and academics called on the Justice Ministry to bring legal action against the 18 publicly funded rabbis who made headlines earlier this week by calling on Jews to forbid home rentals to Arabs, but their petition has so far fallen on deaf ears.
Israel’s Racist Rabbis, Jonathan Cook
Jews must not rent homes to “gentiles”. That was the religious decree issued this week by at least 50 of Israel’s leading rabbis, many of them employed by the state as municipal religious leaders. Jews should first warn, then “ostracise” fellow Jews who fail to heed the directive, the rabbis declared.  In October, Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Safed, delivered a ruling, signed by 17 other rabbis in the city, telling Jewish residents not to sell or rent property to members of the country’s Palestinian Arab minority, who make up a fifth of the population.

Israel’s Racist Rabbis

Israeli rabbis` racist decree strikes at the soul of Judaism, Mya Guarnieri
The latest move, first publicised on Tuesday on Ynet`s Hebrew site, is the largest step that Israel`s religious community has taken against non-Jews. And it is, perhaps, the most alarming. Rabbis from all over the country signed the proclamation. And they didn`t try to hide their intentions. “We don`t need to help Arabs set down roots in Israel,” one remarked to Haaretz. “Racism originated in the Torah,” another said.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s perverted stance on ‘tolerance’, Martha Reese
Why does the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) have nothing to say about the rabbinical edict circulating in Israel—currently signed by more than four dozen rabbis—forbidding the sale or rental of homes to non-Jews?  Or, why has the Center not applauded the dissenting view of Israel’s leading Haredi rabbi, Aaron Leib Steinman, who said, “there are things that should not be done; what if there would be a similar call in Berlin against renting properties to Jews? Where is the public conscience?”

Airstrikes on Gaza overnight
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli warplanes launched air strikes on three separate targets in Gaza. There were no injuries reported.  Palestinian sources said the airstrikes targeted two areas in the middle of Gaza. The first, the Al-Qassam area near the electricity company while the other was around the police headquarters in the village.  The third target was the Tunis school east of the Az-Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City. The school canceled classes for the day.
Two brothers wounded in IOF shooting
Two Palestinian brothers were wounded on Thursday morning while collecting gravel in northern Gaza Strip after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired at them, medical sources reported.
Report: Army using banned tear gas again
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — The Israeli armed forces have recently resumed the use of prohibited tear gas canisters to disperse demonstrations in the West Bank, an Israeli newspaper reported Thursday.  These tear gas grenades, which are in effect 40 mm rounds with a range of 250 meters, were responsible for numerous serious injuries and at least one death, Haaretz reported.  The resumption of using the types of ammunition comes after use of the extended-range tear gas canister was banned by the army and stocks were removed from weapons depots, according to the report.
Detainees (held by Israelis and the PA)

Israeli forces detain 3 students near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained three students overnight Thursday north of Hebron.  Palestine Solidarity Project spokesman Muhammad Ayyad Awad said soldiers raided Beit Ummar and searched houses near the northern entrance to the village.  Soldiers detained three students who were identified as Adel Issa Abdul Khaleq Suleiman, 15, Khader Bassem Khader Al-Allamy, 15, and university student Safwat Adel Rasheed Arrar, 20, the official said.  An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that three Palestinians were arrested in Beit Ummar and nine in total across the West Bank during the regular overnight raids.
Israeli Troops Arrest Four in Hebron and Two Boys in Jenin, 15 and 16
Bethlehem – PNN – In a series of overnight raids across the West Bank, Israeli military forces arrested four Palestinians in Hebron and two boys in Jenin, aged 15 and 16 years.  Troops arrived in the village of Dura, southwest of Hebron, on Thursday morning to arrest an engineer named Isma’il Hassan Awawda after raiding his home and searching his belongings.
7 Palestinians detained in overnight raids
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested seven Palestinians during raids in the occupied West Bank overnight, the army said.  The detainees were taken for security questioning, the army said. They were not identified and it was not clear why they were being held. 
3 reported detained in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli military forces detained three Hebron residents including one minor during home raids on Tuesday morning, the head of the city’s prisoner association reported.  A husband and wife, identified as Hanadi Al-Juneidi, 28, and Baha Abu Mayyala, 27, were detained in the city center, the official said, noting the wife was transferred to Israel’s Russian Compound investigation center for questioning. 
Hamas: 28 detained in West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority security services on Thursday detained 28 party supporters in the West Bank, Hamas said.  The Islamist movement said that the detentions occurred in Nablus, Jenin, Qalqiliya, Salfit, Bethlehem, and Hebron.  Also, PA security forces recently detained seven Hamas members in the West Bank, the party said Wednesday. Hamas said in a statement that PA forces made those arrests in Nablus, Tulkarem, and Salfit.  And on Tuesday, Hamas officials in the West Bank accused the PA of detaining 21 others.  That statement explained those detainees were from the Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarem districts in the northern West Bank as well as Hebron and Bethlehem in the south.  Hamas officials said they believed the detentions were politically motivated.
Prisoner marks 24 years in jail
GAZA (Ma’an) — The prisoners center in Gaza announced Thursday that Muhammad Daoud, 46, from the city of Qalqiliya in the West Bank, marked his 24th year in Israeli prisons.  According to the organization, Daoud was arrested in 1987 and sentenced to a life term. His mother and father while he was still in prison, and he was not permitted to see them before their deaths. Only his younger brother has been permitted to see him.  Another detainee, Abdul Hailm Al-Balbisi, from Gaza, marked his 16th year in Israeli prison, the center said.
Ministry: Prison guards deny medical treatment to detainee
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Affairs reported Thursday that a detainee in Israel’s Meggido prison is losing his sight because of alleged ill-treatment in the facility.  Rami Ad-Dik, 28, is serving an eight-year sentence in the prison. The ministry said the prison administration is denying him sufficient medical treatment.
Palestinian female prisoner on seventh day of hunger strike
Palestinian prisoner Linan Abu Ghulma has entered her seventh day of hunger strike on Thursday demanding transfer from the Israeli Hasharon jail to that of Sharon to join her sister.
Court rescinds order to free Hebron mother
HEBRON (Ma’an) — An Israeli military court quickly rescinded Wednesday a ruling to release a Hebron native from prison, her lawyer said.  srael’s Ofer court determined that Shahira Barqan, a mother of four detainees, would remain in prison.  It was not immediately clear why, but her lawyer said in a statement that the court cited administrative issues.
War Criminals

The deputy assassin
In the second piece below, Israeli activist Nurit Peled-Elhanan comments on the recent appointment of a new Deputy Chief of Staff, Yair Naveh, who orchestrated (at least some of) Israel’s summary executions widely wordwashed as “targeted assassinations.” Peled-Elhanan claims the appointment is, in fact, apt and fitting to the deeds and spirit of Israel’s army. In response to these and to the appointment, she says, it is the parents and educators of Israel who bear responsibility for taking action. 
Israel offers compensation for Gaza flotilla deaths
Israel offers £63,000 each to families of men killed on Mavi Marmara in exchange for Turkey’s help in indemnifying navy against lawsuits.  Israel has proposed paying compensation to relatives of Turks it killed during a raid on a Gaza-bound ship, in exchange for Ankara’s help in indemnifying the Israeli navy against lawsuits, officials said today.
Ayalon: Israel doesn’t need to apologize to Turkey
Official say Israel proposed paying $100,000 each to families of Turks killed during raid on Gaza-bound ship and asked Ankara ‘to do what needs to be done to address our legal concerns.’ Turkish FM: Our demand for apology has not changed.,7340,L-3996960,00.html

Palestinian mortar fire into Israel injures one
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Palestinian militants fired several mortars into southern Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Wednesday, wounding one person, the military said.  “There were four or five mortars that landed near Kerem Shalom,” an army spokeswoman said, adding that one Israeli was moderately wounded.
Political Developments

Hamas: US stance encourages Israeli crimes
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A statement from Hamas released on Wednesday condemned the American position following that nation’s announcement of the failure of mediators to secure a deal with Israel to halt settlement constructions, resulting in an apparent end to peace talks.  Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the announcement of failure by the US was a “grave retraction” that would “encourage Israel to commit more crimes against the Palestinian people.” 
Hamas delegation meets with Qatar Prince
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Prince of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifah Ath-Thani received on Wednesday the head of Hamas political bureau Khaled Mash’al and a Hamas delegation in the emerati capital of Doha.  In a statement received by Ma’an, Hamas officials said the delegation gave updates to the Gulf leader on unity talks and the party’s stance on the current status of peace talks under President Mahmoud Abbas. 
Haneyya receives American, Kuwaiti delegations
Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya received on Wednesday an unofficial American delegation led by former U.S. ambassador Mark Hambly for a discussion of a number of important political topics.
Why Argentina and Brazil have recognized a Palestinian state (The Christian Science Monitor)
The Christian Science Monitor – Brazil and Argentina have recognized a “free and independent” Palestine, handing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a symbolic victory amid stalled negotiations with Israel.* 
Brazil and Argentina Support Dr. Barghouthi’s Demands for Recognition of Palestinian Independence, Palestine Monitor
Two months ago Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) called for an independent declaration of Palestinian statehood. This week Argentina and Brazil, South America’s two greatest powers, threw their support behind the proposal. 
Palestinians reject talks without settlement halt (AP)
AP – The Palestinian president is sticking to his refusal to resume peace talks with Israel unless it freezes all construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.*
Palestinians aim for US recognition of state
CAIRO (AFP) – The Palestinians are hoping for US recognition of an independent Palestinian state in response to Israel’s refusal to freeze settlement building, chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said on Wednesday.  “We hope that the American administration would recognize the Palestinian state within the 1967 borders as a response to Israel’s settlement diktats and other unilateral measures,” Erakat said in Cairo. 
France not recognizing Palestine
French officials are calling highly inaccurate a report from Iran’s Press TV that France will join several South American countries in recognizing Palestine as an independent country. “Bernard Valero, a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Paris agrees with the formation of a Palestinian state based on the exchange of land between Israel and the Palestinians,” Press TV reported.   But a French official told POLITICO Wednesday that the spokesman was simply pointing to a March 1999 European Council declaration which defined the European Union position on the issue. 
Abbas: Middle East talks in crisis
Palestinian president urges EU to get involved after US fails to secure an Israeli freeze on settlement building.
Abbas: 6 options if talks fail
ANKARA, Turkey (Ma’an) — Palestinians will not resume talks with Israel if that country fails to stop settlement construction on lands occupied in 1967, President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated Tuesday during a visit to the Turkish capital of Ankara.  The comment came amidst reports from the United States that mediators were unable to reach an agreement with Israel, which American officials had offered incentives to secure without success. 
UN chief upset Israel will not extend settlement freeze
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon disappointed, but hopeful that U.S. can still facilitate Israeli-Palestinian talks.
US opposes Israel settlements: spokesman (AFP)
AFP – The United States continues to oppose Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but is holding out hope for a Mideast peace deal next year despite a continued impasse over building there, a State Department spokesman said Wednesday.* 
Erakat to hold talks with Clinton (AFP)
AFP – Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat is to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington within “the next 48 hours,” Palestinian officials said on Wednesday.*
U.S. peace envoy back to Mideast after talks setback (Reuters)
Reuters – U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell will head back to the region next week after Obama administration officials vowed on Wednesday to continue the push for peace despite a breakdown in direct negotiations.* 
Arab FMs to review peace prospects (AFP)
AFP – Arab foreign ministers will meet in Cairo on the weekend after the United States failed to persuade Israel to freeze settlements, Arab League chief Amr Mussa said on Wednesday.* 
Israel FM favors direct talks with the Palestinians
SOFIA (AFP) — Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said here Thursday he still favoured direct peace talks with the Palestinians, even if prospects for resuming them grew feebler this week.  “It is very important that the dialogue between us and the Palestinians continues,” Lieberman said after talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Nikolay Mladenov.  “Nothing can replace direct negotiations. We believe in direct negotiations,” he added.
Netanyahu Forces an Obama Mideast Retreat ( – The Administration has dropped calls for a settlement freeze, vowing to find alternate routes to press the peace process.* 
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators fault US focus on settlements (The Christian Science Monitor)
The Christian Science Monitor – The US decision to give up on securing an Israeli settlement freeze has left Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas disappointed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a momentary victory, and observers criticizing the Obama administration’s peacemaking strategy.* 
Asharq Al-Awsat Talks to Fatah’s Mohammed Dahlan 
Dahlan called for peaceful and creative steps to be taken in order to strengthen the perseverance of the Palestinian people, whilst he also predicted the outbreak of a third Intifada should the peace process remain stalled.  CAIRO, Asharq Al-Awsat – Fatah Commissioner of Information, Mohammed Dahlan confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that “members of the Fatah Central Committee are united behind President Mahmoud Abbas.” He also revealed that “informers” had poisoned his relationship with Abbas, although this has not reached the level of a “dispute.” 
Other News

U.S. allocates $205 million for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system
Funds come atop another $200 million designated for joint U.S.-Israel anti-missile projects, David’s Sling and Arrow.
Palestine Swears in First Female Magistrate on Judicial Council
Ramallah – PNN – On Thursday, Samoud Dhamiri al-Yameen was sworn in as the first female magistrate on the Islamic Judicial Council of Palestine.  She will join Supreme Justice Sheikh Yusef al-Da’is of the Supreme Council for Islamic Courts and Major General Adnan Dhamiri, Commissar-General and spokesman for the security establishment.  In a brief statement, Justice Da’is praised the role of Palestinian women and their many responsibilities and celebrated the first female magistrate on the council.  Da’is said the inauguration of Dhamiri would bring greater justice for women who file suit with marital problems and explained Dhamiri would take a leadership role in these kinds of cases. He said women were “an important element” in the development and maintenance of society as they looked after “the other half.”
In photos: Checkpoint stalls Palestinian firefighters
Palestinian firefighters wait to cross into Israel from the West Bank city of Jenin at the Al-Jalameh checkpoint, 5 Dec. 2010, under orders to help extinguish a fire in northern Israel that killed more than 40 people and burned acres of woodland. 
Poll: 88% view Israeli politicians as corrupt
Majority of Israelis distrust elected leadership; 82% call government fight against fraud ineffective.,7340,L-3996642,00.html
Study: Bribery rampant in Palestinian territories
BERLIN (AFP) — One person in four worldwide paid a bribe during the past year, according to a study released Thursday to mark International Anti-Corruption Day.  The study, by the Berlin-based non-governmental agency Transparency International, focuses on small-scale bribery and was put together from polls conducted among more than 91,000 people in 86 countries and territories.  In the past 12 months, one in four paid a bribe to one of nine institutions, such as health, education or tax authorities, according to the 2010 Global Corruption Barometer.
Beit Sahour NGO Offers Water-Efficient Fish Farms in Irrigation Cisterns
Bethlehem – PNN – Bustan Qaraaqa, an NGO based in the southern West Bank town of Beit Sahour, has implemented an exciting new project in the nearby village of Artas – developing small fish farms in the irrigation cisterns for water-efficient food production.  Bustan Qaraaqa started this project, led by new staff members Philip and Lorena, in early October. The project aims to enable farmers to sustainably grow fish on a domestic scale in their irrigation birs.  Currently working with six Artas farmers, each receiving between 50 and 130 fish, the project utilized the help of Dor Research Institute near Haifa to supply a population of Common Carp. “At present, there are no reliable sources for fish fingerlings [babies] in the West Bank,” says Lorena, “so we had to go into Israel to obtain the initial population. But we hope to have funding to start a breeding program in Artas this spring.” 

Disband the PA, Lamis Andoni
In interviews and statements, as well as in private meetings, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has said that he is presiding over an authority without any authority and that the very existence of the Palestinian Authority has made Israel’s occupation “the cheapest ever”.  Abbas is simply reaching the same conclusion that many Palestinians have long understood: negotiations, under the prevailing conditions, will not lead to the end of the Israeli occupation, let alone the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. 
Barghouthi: US announced death of peace process
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The US’ decision to drop its demand for Israel to freeze construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank is an announcement of the death of the peace process, independent Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouthi said Thursday.
‘The Palestine Cables’: WikiLeaks expose European chill on Israel after Cast Lead, and Lebanese advice on defeating Hezbollah, Alex Kane
WikiLeaks has gone from a drip to a torrent, and we need a way to keep up. With this post we inaugurate a new feature at this site. “The Palestine Cables” will be a weekly chronicle/analysis of important revelations bearing on Israel/Palestine that are contained in the ongoing dump of hundreds of thousands of U.S. State Department cables. Alex Kane will be preparing these reports (when he is not in Israel/Palestine himself). Without further ado, Part I, The Palestine Cables… 
What’s Plan B in the Middle East? Or Maybe It’s Plan C … D …. E ….?, Stephen M. Walt
The good news is that the Obama administration has withdrawn its humiliating attempt to bribe Israel into accepting a 90-day extension of the (partial) settlement freeze. Not only was this negotiating ploy one of the more degrading moments in the annals of U.S. diplomacy, it also had scant chance of success. To their credit, Obama’s Middle East teams finally figured this out — a few weeks later than most observers — and pulled the plug on the deal.
No, America, You Can’t
In America, the people take great pride in their ability and the ability of their nation. There is a can-do attitude in society; one that perseveres and shuns those who say (fill in significant feat here ________) can’t be done. Recently, the United States elected its first African-American President, Barack Obama, in an election that inspired hope in an entire generation of Americans. The slogan he ran on, which resonated with the masses was, “Yes We Can.” These people are, after all, Ameri-cans not Ameri-can’ts.  But this attitude can be problematic at times. When taken too seriously, it can blind. Suddenly, the ability to asses capabilities and obstacles becomes unimportant, and on a policy level this can lead to dangerous things. Take for example, the dangerous belief that a land war in Afghanistan can be won, or that an invasion of Iraq could be a “cakewalk.” 
While the US stumbles with Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, others are taking the lead, Audrey Farber
Yesterday brought us the news that the Obama administration is giving up on pressuring Netanyahu on settlements.  Are they giving up, or are they just losing their edge? Apparently, “U.S. officials said they were not abandoning the peace effort altogether, just changing tactics.” Unfortunately, “it was not immediately clear what other proposals the Obama administration might put forward.” So is there something better up their sleeve? Such a change – after all, the American focus in Israel has been dedicated to settlement freezes for almost the entirety of Obama’s reign – could indicate its abdication of the role of mediator, the recognition of the futility of the “peace process”, and the first steps towards recognizing Palestine. Or more likely, it indicates that the Israeli government has a worse stranglehold on the US than we previously thought and ever dared dream. Obviously the Obama administration realizes the futility of the process, though it’s a shame they’re handing Netanyahu this victory on a silver platter.
US’s greatest contribution to the peace process has been to reveal Israeli intransigence, Léa Park
In light of the US failure to broker an Israeli settlement freeze, it’s clear to me now that the single most valuable contribution the United States has made to the cause of Middle East peace over the last two years was taking on the issue of settlements. If it had “won”, direct talks would now be going forward. But losing has its own rewards. 
What next after Obama gave up?
Last month US voters expressed their misgivings about the Barack Obama presidency, and now the Palestinians and entire Arab world are questioning the capability and credibility of the Obama administration to forge a comprehensive agreement to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  The two setbacks are related; Arabs, like many US citizens, were relying on Obama to fulfill his outsize promises of hope, change and peace. After the midterm US elections, Obama finds himself with an entirely different House of Representatives – and one that looks conspicuously more pro-Israel. 
Neo-con narrative sidelines Palestinians, Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON – Gleeful Israeli leaders and their neo-conservative supporters here have spent much of the past week insisting that the United States State Department cables published by WikiLeaks prove that Sunni Arab leaders in the Middle East are far more preoccupied with the threat posed by an ascendant and possibly nuclear Iran than with a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  But a closer look at the relevant cables shows a far more consistent message to Washington coming from its Arab allies: that curbing Iran and resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are inextricably linked and that the most effective way of achieving the former is make tangible progress on the latter.
All-Out War: Israel Against Democracy
Coalition of Women for Peace – This comprehensive report documents the increasing political persecution of peace and human rights organizations and activists, and describes the connections between the assaults led by Israeli government officials, security forces, courts, journalists, and extreme-right organizations in this well-orchestrated offensive on democracy. 
Inconceivable– the MSM once reflected an Arab perspective
Muzzlewatch alerts us to this incredible find by Pulse media. This in none other than Time magazine circa ’52:  “The word ‘American’ no longer has a good sound in that part of the world [the Middle East]. To catch the Jewish vote in the U.S., President Truman in 1946 demanded that the British admit 100,000 Jewish refugees to Palestine, in violation of British promises to the Arabs. Since then, the Arab nations surrounding Israel have regarded that state as a U.S. creation, and the U.S., therefore, as an enemy. The Israeli-Arab war created nearly a million Arab refugees, who have been huddled for three years in wretched camps. These refugees, for whom neither the U.S. nor Israel will take the slightest responsibility, keep alive the hatred of U.S. perfidy.
More on the Jewish presence in the establishment, Philip Weiss
Last weekend we ran two posts about the Jewish presence in the Establishment. Scott McConnell wrote a piece saying that it is fitting that the Atlantic Magazine site runs articles about the Jewish National Fund in Israel because the Eastern seaboard elite is now more Jewish than it is any other religious flavor. And I wrote a piece saying that American Jews tend to maintain a false consciousness about the endurance of anti-Semitism; in fact Jews are incredibly empowered in our society.
Palestine 2011: The Breaking Point, Jeff Halper
Struggling as I have for the past decades to grasp the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and find ways to get out of this interminable and absolutely superfluous conflict, I have been two-thirds successful. After many years of activism and analysis, I think I have put my finger on the first third of the equation: What is the problem? My answer, which has withstood the test of time and today is so evident that it elicits the response… “duh” … is that all Israeli governments are unwaveringly determined to maintain complete control of Palestine/Israel from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, frustrating any just and workable solution based on Palestinian claims to self-determination. There will be no negotiated settlement, period. 
Dipping into Hummus Again, George S. Hishmeh – Washington, D.C. 
Here we go again. Hummus is back in the news, and almost on the front pages of American newspapers. My column, titled ‘The Undeclared War on Arab Cuisine’ and written more than two years ago, had received more letters than most columns I have written. This is probably because I challenged the claims of Israelis or their friends that this popular dip and Couscous, among others, were misidentified as Israeli, another of the many unfounded claims of Israelis. 
CAIR, ADC Condemn FBI’s Fueling Animosity Towards Muslims
CAIR and ADC have joint forces to issue a strongly worded condemnation of FBI for its continued fueling of animosity towards Arabs and Muslims through the entrapment of their teens into committing acts of terrorism, according to a pre-publication memo leaked to KABOBfest Special Investigative reporter, Chaim Sugarman. 
Why is the White House sending its Iran negotiator to a neocon conference in D.C.?, Philip Weiss
Well because that’s where the power is. The permanent Establishment in D.C. has a neoconservative flavor right now, Obama has to truckle to those folks. (Ask me why later.) The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a neoconservative shop. It takes a hawkish stance on confronting Iran. The Obama aide is Gary Samore. The press release below. Two Israelis are confirmed speakers. Where’s the American realist? Where’s Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council?
Most Americans “Are Ignorant”: Zbigniew Brzezinski
I am very worried that most Americans are close to total ignorance about the world. They are ignorant. That is an unhealthy condition in a country in which foreign policy has to be endorsed by the people if it is to be pursued. 

Hizbullah says Tribunal lacks legal basis
BEIRUT: Hizbullah’s top MP, Mohammad Raad, said Wednesday that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was founded on unconstitutional basis, but he held out hope for Syrian-Saudi efforts to resolve the political deadlock paralyzing the country. 
Hezbollah Categorically Rejects Forged STL Indictment
08/12/2010 Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed Hezbollah categorically rejects the indictment by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.  Speaking Tuesday night at the Sayyed Shouhada compound during the second night of the ten-night ceremony marking Ashoura, Sheikh Qassem said that Hezbollah hoped that “political rivals would have learned by now from their experience with the US.”  “It is clear that the indictment will accuse Hezbollah members, which means the party itself. This indictment is categorically rejected because it has been forged from the very beginning. We will not wait for its issuance to take a stance; our position is that we reject it because it puts Lebanon in the crosshairs,” the deputy S.G. said. 
‘Hezbollah Very Close to Moment of Decisive Position’
08/12/2010 The head of Hezbollah Executive Council Sayyed Hashem Safieddine said that Hezbollah was very close to the moment when it will take its decisive position.  In a speech he delivered during a religious ceremony marking Ashura in Beirut’s southern suburb, Sayyed Safieddine said that the Resistance has fully explained the situation to the whole world, stressing that the Resistance will be ready to defend Lebanon as it has always done.  “If some sides insist on serving the American project to target the country and the Resistance, then we will also be ready to defend Lebanon,” Sayyed Safieddine said. “We will never accept that the country be targeted by Israeli and the US,” his eminence added.  While calling on all parties to assume their responsibilities, Sayyed Safieddine said that the Resistance was not worried at all, stressing that it would be ready to assume its responsibilities. “Whoever thinks of getting rid of this Resistance is mistaken.” 
UN: Hariri indictments will stay sealed for weeks
Tribunal spokesman says content of expected indictments following probe into 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM to remain confidential until confirmed by pretrial judge.,7340,L-3996477,00.html 
‘State Unable to Put False Witnesses on Trial Is Not A State’
08/12/2010 The head of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Michel Aoun stated on Wednesday that a state that cannot put false witnesses on trial is a not a real state, wondering whether the false witnesses’ interests should be achieved at the expense of the interests of all citizens.  “Solving the false witnesses file lies in changing the government, its policy and approach,” Aoun told reporters following his parliamentary bloc’s weekly meeting.  Addressing the Internal Security Forces’ structure, the Free Patriotic Movement leader emphasized that it has been built on mistakes and it suffers from a major flaw. “We have started to discover the parliamentary majority’s mafia members at the ISF,” he added.  Turning to ISF chief Ashraf Rifi, Aoun stated: “He should understand that his position has been granted by the law, and he should abide by it the most otherwise he will be labeled as a gangster.” 
‘Israel Scared of Hezbollah Reaction to Moghniyyeh Assassination’
09/12/2010 Day after another, the WikiLeaks scandalous cables continue to make the headlines in Lebanon and the region…  The mentioned cables have actually shown how Israel was scared of Hezbollah retaliation to the assassination of its top military commander Imad Moghniyyeh (Hajj Redwan), revealing that the Israeli have expressed to United Nations officials big worries of Hezbollah potential reaction to Hajj Redwan’s martyrdom. The worries pushed the Israeli officials to accuse Hezbollah of standing behind the attack on an Israeli diplomatic convoy in Jordan.  According to leaked US cables also published by Israeli daily Haaretz, Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told the United Nations’ envoy to Lebanon Michael Williams in January that Israel holds information pointing to Hezbollah involvement in the attack on an Israeli diplomatic convoy in Jordan. The Israelis believed the mentioned attack was apparently part of a Hezbollah response to the assassination of Hajj Redwan who was martyred in Damascus in 2008. 
General Rifi is a violator of the law, says Aoun
BEIRUT: Head of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) MP Michel Aoun slammed Wednesday the Director General of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) Major General Ashraf Rifi as a violator of the law. “Major General Rifi classifies one of the detainees as a collaborator with Israel although the indictment in his case had not been issued yet,” Aoun said. Aoun was referring to former General Fayez Karam, a senior FPM official who was arrested by the ISF in August on suspicions of collaborating with Israel. “He [Rifi] should understand that he is in his post in line with the law and that he should be committed to this law or else he will be behaving as a member of a gang,” Aoun told reporters after chairing the weekly meeting of his Change and Reform bloc. Aoun said the way in which Karam was interrogated, which included torturing, invalidated the whole interrogation process. – The Daily Star 
Can an “Arab force” save Lebanon? (Hint: No).
The outcome of the 1976 force hints at the problem with reviving the idea of an “Arab force” today. Syria was only able to establish its preeminence in Lebanon after another 14 years of fighting and thousands of casualties. Today, none of the Arab states that would contribute troops to limit Hezbollah’s power — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan — are conceivably in a position to make a similar sacrifice. Hezbollah fought the vastly superior Israel Defense Forces to a standstill for more than a month in 2006; the militant group would be an ever harder nut to crack for Washington’s Arab allies.

Wednesday: 4 Iraqis Killed; 23 Iraqis, 7 Iranians Wounded
At least four Iraqis were killed and 23 more were wounded in the latest violence. Seven Iranian pilgrims were also wounded in an attack while on their way to Karbala for Ashuraa observances. That holiday, which unintentionally marks the schism between Shi’ite and Sunni Islam, culminates next week and could mean an increase in violence, particularly for Iranian pilgrims. Also, a U.S. soldier was wounded in a sniper attack. 
Al Sadr Front gets Iraq deputy PM position
The National Alliance decided to allocate Al Sadr Front the position of Deputy Prime Minister following election results, Al Sadr Front senior official Bahaa Al Aaraji told Alsumaria News.
Iraq zooms ahead with new driving permits (AFP)
AFP – Dawood Salman clutches the steering wheel and stares ahead as he nervously accelerates toward something only a few Iraqis have: a valid driving licence.*
U.S. and other world news

Extreme world: Is Sweden as clean as it seems?
The world is considered a more corrupt place now than it was three years ago, a poll suggests.
Top human rights lawyer to defend Assange
Robertson, a barrister who has dual British and Australian nationality, has participated in some of the highest-profile freedom of speech trials in British history. 
Sex accusers boasted about their ‘conquest’ of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

The two Swedish women who have brought sex charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange boasted about their relationship with him days before going to police.

Gitmo may be WikiLeaks’ next target
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has reportedly told media contacts that he has a large cache of files on the US’s detention facility in Guantanamo Bay.  Reuters quotes an unnamed “contact” who says Assange has “got the personal files of every prisoner in Gitmo.” 
US House votes to scrap Guantanamo closure
US lawmakers voted Wednesday to kill efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for suspected terrorists in 2011 or try the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on US soil.  The House of Representatives voted 212-206 for a catch-all spending bill covering government expenses in the fiscal year that began October 1, a measure that included the restrictions affecting Guantanamo and its detainees.
Wikileaks Mirrors:  Wikileaks is currently mirrored on 1334 sites. Click to view list. 
Russia official: WikiLeaks founder should get Nobel Prize
Comment by Kermlin source comes amid harsh U.S. criticism over the whistle-blowing site’s recent release of over 250,000 classified diplomatic cables. 
Exclusive: Key FBI whistleblower: Had WikiLeaks existed, 9/11, Iraq war ‘could have been prevented’
A member of a group of former intelligence professionals that has rallied behind WikiLeaks suggested in a recent interview with Raw Story that the world would be a different and better place had the online secrets outlet come into existence years sooner.  “If there had been a mechanism like Wikileaks, 9/11 could have been prevented,” Coleen Rowley, a former special agent/legal counsel at the FBI’s Minneapolis division, told Raw Story in an exclusive interview.
John Pilger backs Wikileaks rally in Sydney
Renowned independent journalist and filmmaker John Pilger has offered his support for the protest organised by supporters of Wikileaks on Friday, December 10 at 1pm at Sydney Town Hall. Greens Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon and NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge are the latest confirmed speakers to address the protest. Shoebridge is also the lead candidate on the NSW Greens Upper House ticket for the 2011 state elections. 
State Department: We did not ask PayPal to cut off WikiLeaks, Josh Rogin
The State Department denied a report today that it contacted the online money transfer service PayPal and asked them to cut ties with WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, who remains behind bars in the United Kingdom.  “It is not true,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told The Cable. “We have not been in touch with PayPal.” 
Hackers seek to ‘avenge’ WikiLeaks
Websites of Mastercard, a Swiss bank and Swedish prosecutor shut down in response to latest action against WikiLeaks. 
Cyberwar erupts over WikiLeaks
A cyberwar is being waged over WikiLeaks. It began after MasterCard, PayPal and Visa refused to take payments for WikiLeaks, which runs on donations. In retaliation, a hacker group calling itself “Anonymous”, launched Operation Payback: targeting the credit card companies, with what are called “Denial of Service” attacks. They managed to temporarily take down Visa and MasterCard’s main websites. But the companies say transactions were not affected. Now, Twitter and Facebook have suspended the accounts of the “Anonymous” group. Twitter was being seen as a rallying point for the so-called “hacktivists”. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Kevin Anderson, a technology journalist and a specialist in New Media, shares his views on the cat-and-mouse game being played out on the internet.

Exclusive: Sarah Palin Under Cyber-Attack from Wikileaks Supporters in ‘Operation Payback’
The website and personal credit card information of former Gov. Sarah Palin were cyber-attacked today by Wikileaks supporters, the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate tells ABC News in an email.  Hackers in London apparently affiliated with “Operation Payback” – a group of supporters of Julian Assange and Wikileaks – have tried to shut down SarahPac and have disrupted Sarah and Todd Palin’s personal credit card accounts.
Visa DOWN: WikiLeaks Supporters Take Down Site As ‘Payback’
Just hours after MasterCard’s website was disabled by WikiLeaks supporters, is now down as well.  Via its Twitter account (@Anon_Operation), Anonymous, an activist hacker group, claimed responsibility for the denial of service attack–part of “Operation Payback”–that brought down 
Riz Khan – The WikiLeaks War
As the whistle-blowing website exposes the seamier side of international diplomacy, we ask has the mainstream media become irrelevant?

Official: Two Afghan soldiers mistakenly killed
A NATO airstrike mistakenly killed two Afghan soldiers and injured seven others on Wednesday, a provincial official told CNN.
US embassy cables: Afghan government asks US to quash ‘dancing boys’ scandal
Atmar said he insisted the journalist be told that publication would endanger lives. His request was that the U.S. quash the article and release of the video. Amb Mussomeli responded that going to the journalist would give her the sense that there is a more terrible story to report. Atmar then disclosed the arrest of two Afghan National Police (ANP) and nine other Afghans (including RTC language assistants) as part of an MoI investigation into Afghan “facilitators” of the event. The crime he was pursuing was “purchasing a service from a child,” which in Afghanistan is illegal under both Sharia law and the civil code, and against the ANP Code of Conduct for police officers who might be involved. He said he would use the civil code and that, in this case, the institution of the ANP will be protected, but he worried about the image of foreign mentors. Atmar said that President Karzai had told him that his (Atmar’s) “prestige” was in play in management of the Kunduz DynCorp matter and another recent event in which Blackwater contractors mistakenly killed several Afghan citizens. The President had asked him “Where is the justice?”
US contractor bought Afghan policemen drugs, little boys, cable reveals
The Afghanistan interior minister was so concerned about an incident where DynCorp, a US contractor charged with training Afghan police, bought drugs and paid for young “dancing boys” that he asked the US embassy to work to “quash” the story, a secret US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks indicates.  In Afghan society, “dancing boys” are little boys dressed as girls, commonly abused and kept by some men as possessions. 
US Cables: Texas Company Helped Pimp Little Boys To Stoned Afghan Cops
If one of the diplomatic cables from the WikiLeaks archive is to be believed, boy howdy, are their doings in Afghanistan shady. 
WikiLeaks Archive – Arab States and Terror Funds
American officials say that millions of dollars are going to extremist groups and that some Middle East allies are not helping to stop it.

What House of Saud does not want you to read: ما لا يريد آل سعود ان تقرأوه
“Turning to U.S. regional arms transfers, Gilad suggested Qualitative Military Edge (QME) as a “codename” for potential threats against Israel. Israel currently enjoys peace with regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — but the future is uncertain, and each of these regimes faces the potential for change, he argued.”
Crime and Sleaze in Saudi media
“In a meeting at his XXXXXXXXXXXX office XXXXXXXXXXXX with Consulate and Embassy press officers, XXXXXXXXXXXX because of the SAG’s concern that young Saudis were particularly vulnerable to the calls of extremists, and that the station now targets its moderate news broadcasts to the 14-18 year old demographic in short presentations of three minutes or less. He also said that the stations website, Arabiya Net, appeals to a pan-Arab audience and gets about 100,000 visitors per day. Al Arabiya and other MBC channels, he said, present programming that they hope counters the influence of al-Jazeera and fosters moderate‌ perspectives among the country’s youth.”  Eh, yes. Al-Arabiyya net may get some visitors but not due to “promotion of democracy” but to crime and sleaze stories.

This is hilarious analysis
“When this rather more dynamic editorial environment at al-Hayat‌ was noted to XXXXXXXXXXXX he told us that Khaled bin-Sultan actually does not involve himself in the workings of the paper, provided it never criticizes the royal family or SAG policy. Al-Hayat, he explained, has more credibility in the Arab world than rival Al-Sharq al-Awsat, and had to be more daring than other Saudi print media. Besides,he‌ said XXXXXXXXXXXX, “information is power for the al-Saud, and owning Al-Hayat gives Khaled bin Sultan more influence in the family..  Let me get this dumb point straight: so Al-Hayat has more credibility because Khalid Bin Sultan has more credibility than Prince Salman?  This is like saying as a revolutionary, Muhammad Dahlan has more credibility than Salam Fayyad.
“We built ARAMCO together, we must protect it together”
“In a private meeting between MBN and the Charge, MBN conveyed the SAG’s, and his personal, sense of urgency to move forward as quickly as possible to enhance the protection of Saudi Arabia’s critical infrastructure with the priority being its energy production sites. MBN related how his grandfather, King Abdulaziz, had the vision of forming a lasting strategic partnership with the United States. MBN stressed he shared this vision, and wants the USG’s help to protect Saudi critical infrastructure. He commented that neither the Kingdom nor the U.S. would be comfortable with the French or Russians‌ involved in protecting Saudi oil facilities. We built ARAMCO together, we must protect it together.” 
PS Someone should send this to Bob Vitalis.
PPS Read Vitalis’ America’s Kingdom to understand this context here.
ElBaradei calls for Egypt presidential vote boycott
Egyptian opposition activist Mohamed ElBaradei slams parliamentary elections, warns of violence if authorities impede reform rallies.,7340,L-3996895,00.html
Jailed Kuwaiti writer undergoes heart surgery
KUWAIT CITY: A Kuwaiti writer serving a one-year jail term for allegedly slandering the prime minister underwent heart surgery Wednesday and his family was allowed to see him, his daughter said.  “They found three arteries blocked and the surgery was successful,” Sumaya al-Jassem said, as she and other family members were allowed to see her father at a public hospital.
Mohammad Abdulqader al-Jassem, 54, a heart patient who has undergone about nine operations in the past, was rushed to the hospital late Tuesday.
Kuwaiti MPs accuse PM over violence
Opposition MPs say they hold PM responsible for a police crackdown at a public rally that left several people injured.
Jordanian kills teen sister over ‘bad behavior’ – police report
AMMAN: A Jordanian was charged Wednesday with killing his 16-year-old sister because he suspected she had “bad behavior,” police said.  “The 17-year-old strangled his sister last week because he claimed she had bad behavior,” in the southern city of Maan, a police spokesman told AFP.  “Her family forced her to get married a few months ago but she was divorced more than a month ago. After she returned to her family, she escaped but police sent her back.”

Inconceivable– the MSM once reflected an Arab perspective

Dec 09, 2010



Muzzlewatch alerts us to this incredible find by Pulse media. This in none other than Time magazine circa ’52:

“The word ‘American’ no longer has a good sound in that part of the world [the Middle East]. To catch the Jewish vote in the U.S., President Truman in 1946 demanded that the British admit 100,000 Jewish refugees to Palestine, in violation of British promises to the Arabs. Since then, the Arab nations surrounding Israel have regarded that state as a U.S. creation, and the U.S., therefore, as an enemy. The Israeli-Arab war created nearly a million Arab refugees, who have been huddled for three years in wretched camps. These refugees, for whom neither the U.S. nor Israel will take the slightest responsibility, keep alive the hatred of U.S. perfidy.

“No enmity for the Arabs, no selfish national design motivated the clumsy U.S. support of Israel. The American crime was not to help the Jews, but to help them at the expense of the Arabs. Today, the Arab world fears and expects a further Israeli expansion. The Arabs are well aware that Alben Barkley, Vice President of the U.S., tours his country making speeches for the half-billion-dollar Israeli bond issue, the largest ever offered to the U.S. public. Nobody, they note bitterly, is raising that kind of money for them.”

I recommend reading the commentary on both Muzzlewatch (includes remarkable Ben Gurion quote I’d never read before) and Pulse. Here’s a taste from Pulse:

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Such journalistic candor was not good for Israel. The major Jewish organizations soon flexed their muscle: they organized to police what the US media could write or say about Israel. Their success was devastating. Israeli lies soon commanded unalloyed allegiance of every segment of American media.


This sobering analysis is striking because of the way in which it speaks from the perspective of Arabs. It’s exactly the kind of analysis we simply don’t see anymore in the MSM (mainstream media) here in the United States

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s perverted stance on ‘tolerance’

Dec 09, 2010

Martha Reese


Why does the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) have nothing to say about the rabbinical edict circulating in Israel—currently signed by more than four dozen rabbis—forbidding the sale or rental of homes to non-Jews?

Or, why has the Center not applauded the dissenting view of Israel’s leading Haredi rabbi, Aaron Leib Steinman, who said, “there are things that should not be done; what if there would be a similar call in Berlin against renting properties to Jews? Where is the public conscience?”

Israel is lurching toward ever-more extreme expressions of religious-nationalism, electing leaders who publicly profess anti-Arab and anti-immigrant views—and legislate accordingly. Israelis increasingly favor gagging their own country’s human rights organizations, journalists, and activists. This swelling anti-democratic impulse is directed toward non-Jews—whose status is necessarily ambiguous in the “Jewish state”—but even toward some who self-identify as Jews.

Meanwhile, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is in “business-as-usual” mode, issuing stern rebukes to those it deems anti-Semites—i.e., those who criticize Israeli policy and advocate equality for all who inhabit the borderless space of Israel/Palestine.

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Last week, SWC Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper took the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to task in an over-the-top op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. A sharp correction to Rabbis Hier and Cooper came in a statement issued by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the PC(USA), which noted that “this is not the first time [SWC rabbis] have wrongly accused Christian traditions that are committed to overcoming injustice in the Holy Land of demonizing the Jewish people.”

So, while ignoring the fact that many of Israel’s religious and secular leaders are fomenting rabid, tribal attitudes, what does the Simon Wiesenthal Center deem worth of attention in its quest for “tolerance”? A visit to the organization’s website lists their current preoccupations:

• Slamming UNESCO for its declaration that the “Haram al-Ibrahim/the Cave of the Patriarchs and Bilal bin Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb” are “an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories” and “that any unilateral action by the Israeli authorities is to be considered a violation of international law.” Despite the location of these sites in Hebron/Al Khalil, deep within the Palestinian occupied territories, the Simon Wiesenthal Center characterizes UNESCO’s statement as a move to “steal from the Jewish people one of its most sacred religious sites.” [No mention on the Center’s site of Israel’s state-sponsored stealing from the Palestinian people in establishing settlements for half a million Israelis on occupied and expropriated Palestinian land, in Hebron and elsewhere, in violation of international law.]

• Calling on the Japanese discount retail chain, Don Quixote, to remove a “Nazi” uniform adult costume from its stores throughout Japan and Hawaii.

• Slamming as “anti-Semitic scapegoating” an event in Dublin, Ireland, featuring David Cronin, author of a new book titled Europe’s Alliance with Israel: Aiding the Occupation.

Meanwhile, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is moving ahead on the planning phase of a “Museum of Tolerance” in Jerusalem, incredibly situated atop a Muslim cemetery. The project, a “partnership with the Jerusalem municipality and the Israeli government,” has been condemned by numerous entities, including an Israeli Jewish-Muslim initiativeAmericans for Peace Now, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and, of course, descendents of the Palestinians buried there.

In its scorched-earth campaign to deflect appropriate criticism of Israeli policy by smearing advocates of equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians, the Simon Wiesenthal Center fails abjectly in key elements of its stated agenda: to “promote human rights and dignity” and “confront bigotry and racism.” It’s a patent double standard: the Wiesenthal Center’s misguided notion of what it means to “stand with Israel” trumps universal human rights regardless of religion and ethnicity.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has amassed a substantial track-record of self-righteous finger-pointing. It’s time to point the finger back.

Martha Reese is a steering committee member of the Chicago-based Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (CJPIP). For information about CJPIP’s new “Be on our side” campaign, visit:

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