Mondoweiss Online Newsletter


Israeli station airs footage of soldiers attacking handcuffed, blindfolded Palestinian
Dec 01, 2011
Via Sama News
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement / Refugees
A wave of demolitions as Israel targets the Jordan Valley
This morning at 7am the Israeli army entered the village of El Beida in the northern Jordan Valley with  10 military jeeps and one bulldozer. Israeli military proceeded towards Abu Tarek Fracka’s land where he houses a honey farm on the land where his father’s house once stood. The bee farm was shared by 50 families. Previous harvest has been known to produce 900 kilos of honey with recent prices of honey, yielding 60-100 NIS per kilo. Abu Tarek is in possession of paper work permitting him to build on this land and also forbidding demolishment. Time was not granted to him to produce this paperwork, nor was a demolition notice given to him prior, as the military rushed to unjustly destroy Abu Tarek’s property, the first time he and his family experienced a demolition.
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Demolition Order in Surif – 12 dunums land will be taken
Today Israeli soldiers appeared in Jamal and Ibrahim Mohammad Abed Al Khadi`s land to inform them that 12 dunums of their land will be confiscated within two weeks. There is a well on this land. The farmers were told that the well will be demolished along with the fence, and that the land with young olive trees will be bulldozed. The Israeli government want the land for their own use. The land is 4-5 kilometers from the Green line, which means the occupant is annexing a lot more land from the Palestinians. When the apartheid fence is completed, the land will be outside the wall and lost for the Palestinians. Another case about land grab was published by PSP earlier this afternoon in the Beit Ommar area. Report here.
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In Silwan, Two Families Live under Threat of Home Evacuation
After one family from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was evacuated to ensure full Israeli control of the corridor between Silwan and the Moroccan Gate, another family will soon be asked, or forced, to do the same.
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Israeli Forces Demolish Commercial Buildings in Husan, West of Bethlehem
On Thursday morning, Israeli bulldozers demolished five commercial buildings and arrested three people in the village of Husan, west of Bethlehem. Locals told Palestinian government news wire Wafa that an “enormous force” of Israeli troops accompanied by bulldozers raided the western area of the village nearby the settlement of Beitar Illit, which stands on Palestinian lands belonging to Husan, Nahhalin and Wadi Fukin. During the operation, Israeli forces demolished an irrigation pond and support wall belonging to Hasan Mohammed Hamamreh, as well as a plant nursery and a store belonging to Sabri Ahmed Shawasheh. A nearby restaurant was also demolished, as well as a car wash owned by Firas Sabri Shawasheh and a grocery belonging to his brother.
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Al-Aqsa foundation warns of Jewish plan to build synagogues under Magariba Gate
Al-Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said Zionist religious parties renewed a plan to build synagogues under Al-Magariba Gate in the area adjacent to the Aqsa Mosque.
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Minority Rights Group International, Israel’s denial of the Bedouin, November 2011
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“We will continue to build 100 times”
The new short documentary film Sumoud provides an in-depth look at the struggle for al-Araqib, a Bedouin village that has been demolished over 30 times since July 2010.
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The Palestinan right of return–guaranteed by UN resolution 194 and considered sacred by most Palestinians–is markedly absent from the international discourse regarding Israel and Palestine.

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Lebanon’s Palestinians Continue Their Descent, Franklin Lamb – Embassy of Palestine, Tripoli, Libya
Every year on November 29, approximately a quarter million Palestinian refugees who were forced into Lebanon, along with those in more than 130 countries where they have sought refuge following their ethnic cleansing from their land, commemorate the infamous United Nations Resolution 181. Between Nov. 29, 1947, and Jan. 1, 1949, Zionist terrorists depopulated and destroyed more than 530 Palestinian villages and towns, killing more than 13,000 Palestinians and expelling 750,000,  approximately half the population.

Israeli navy shoots Palestinian fisherman who sued Israel, kidnaps at least nine others in Gazan waters
The Israeli navy violently seized two Palestinian trawlers in Gazan waters yesterday, shooting one fisherman in the arm, and ultimately forcing at least ten men to Ashod, Israel, where they were interrogated for several hours. Israel released all of the fishermen at 2 a.m. this morning.
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Gaza crossing opens for limited exports
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities decided to partially open the Kerem Shalom crossing Thursday to allow an export of strawberries and limited imports of food and fuel, a crossings official said. Raed Fattouh told Ma’an that Israeli authorities opened the crossing to allow the entry of 230 trucks loaded with aid for the trade and the agricultural sectors, in addition to food. Fattouh said that among the vehicles allowed in on Thursday, there were 14 cement trucks and metal for various UNRWA construction projects. Cooking gas will be pumped in limited amounts, he added. On Wednesday, an environmental researcher warned that a waste crisis is worsening in the Gaza Strip, as imports of trucks are being prevented as part of Israel’s siege.
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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, unveiled Wednesday a groundbreaking pilot initiative to build as many as 20 Kuwaiti-financed “environmental zero impact” schools in the Gaza Strip. “This project is a first for UNRWA, which we hope will lead to the creation of environmentally friendly schools in the five areas where we work,” UNRWA Commissioner-General, Filippo Grandi said in a press statement. The schools will be built with grants from the Kuwait’s Islamic Development Bank. “UNRWA is grateful to the Kuwait Fund, which is funding the pilot school through the Islamic Development Bank. We hope that all donors will come forward as this exciting initiative moves ahead.” The blueprint will be showcased by UNRWA at the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. UNRWA is partnering with world-renowned, award-winning architect Mario Cucinella, who has blazed a trail in developing green architectural design and technology. “With its huge outreach in the Middle East, UNRWA is an ideal partner for this project,” said Cucinella, “which is about improving living conditions for Palestine refugees with better access to water and energy, and with as little impact as possible on the Gaza environment, which has been so badly degraded by decades of conflict and blockade”.
Israeli Violence / Aggression

Death Threats Continue Against Peace Now In Israel
The Israeli Peace Now Organisation reported that one of its activists recently received a death threat via text message as she was picking up her children from school. The incident is part of several attacks targeting Peace Now activists, homes and offices.

Son of Shin Bet & Israeli Police officers fires death threats to ‘Peace Now’ activists!
“… What’s even more astonishing is that he sent these emails in his own name using his personal e mail address, which allowed every recipient to identify him.  This despite the fact that his father, who works for the Shin Bet, managed to get a gag order restricting publication of his name.  More on Mom and Dad below…”

Detention / Courts / Other Prisoner News
40 Disabled Palestinians Are Imprisoned By Israel
Palestinian researcher, former detainee specialized in detainees affairs, Abdul-Nasser Farwana, stated that the Israeli occupation is still holding captive more than 40 disabled Palestinians.

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GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel has detained 40 fishermen, injured five others and seized nine boats since the start of the year, according to findings released Wednesday by a local human rights group. The Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights said the statistics showed an increase in Israeli violations against fishermen, highlighted by an incident Tuesday in which eight fishermen were taken into custody.

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Arrest Wave Targets 23 Palestinians in West Bank
The Israeli army conducted a widespread arrest campaign on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, resulting in the arrests of 23 Palestinians aged between 15 to 67. vNine of the arrested Palesetinians were from Jenin. Secure sources told Palestinian government news wire Wafa that the soldiers arrested Ahmed Saleh Abu Mashhour, 67, Nasser Abdulafo Abu Aziz, 55, Abdullah Afif Zakarna, 44, Silah Abdullah Zoghaibi, 50, Samah Abdullah Zoghaibi, 45, Zaher Nafes Abu Sakha, 48, Zuhair Ra’oof Zoghaibi, 61, Fada’ Ra’oof Zoghaibi, 48, Alem Sami Masad, 44, and Mohammed Abu Sharar Abu al-Haija’, 36.
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Israeli army targets PFLP in dawn raids village near Jenin
JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli troops detained 22 people in dawn raids across the West Bank on Thursday, including nine leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. An Israeli military spokeswoman said 22 people were taken for questioning, including 10 in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. PFLP officials said a large force of 20 army jeeps raided Jenin and detained nine PFLP leaders. Among them are student union chief Nasser Abu Aziz, 57, local councilor Alam Sami Masad, 45, popular committee member Fada Zgheebe, 46, and his 61-year-old brother Salah Abdullah Zgheebe, a lawyer, as well as Mohammad Abu al-Haija, 35.
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Released Palestinians build houses, marry, study
(AP)  RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian prisoners released in a swap for an Israeli soldier last month are racing to make up for lost time: Many of the 477 former inmates are already getting married, building homes or enrolling in college, even as Israel keeps a close eye on them in fear they could return to violence. Most had spent long years behind bars, and even expected to die in prison for their roles in bloody attacks that killed hundreds of Israelis.

Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
Activist profile: battling for identity
Khulood Badawi is a Palestinian activist who was born and raised in Nazareth’s Safafra neighborhood, which she describes as “one big refugee camp.” Like most of Safafra’s residents, Badawi’s family are refugees from Saffuriya, a nearby Palestinian village that was bombed by Israeli forces in 1948.
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In 1976, in commemoration of what is now 63 years of Palestinian dispossession and exile, the United Nations declared November 29 to be the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This year, Peter Miller, president of Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights and co-chair of the US Campaign’s Steering Committee, addressed the U.N. General Assembly. Peter’s speech, which took place this morning at the U.N, can be viewed and read here (the speech begins at one hour and 17 minutes into the recording).
BEIRUT: The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was celebrated Tuesday in a variety of events throughout the country. Speaking on the occasion, President Michel Sleiman said “it was time for the Palestinian people to enjoy security, stability and peace in an independent and sovereign state that has full membership in the United Nations.” Sleiman added that Arab solidarity on the Palestinian issue will strengthen the Arab position toward Israel.

“Stumbling onto the scene” with a demand for legendary punk rocker and social justice activist Jello Biafra and his band, the Guantanamo School of Medicine, to cancel a performance in Tel Aviv last June — which Biafra eventually did — activists with theboycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) group Punks Against Apartheid (PAA) have announced their official launch as a website and activism network.

Boycott Israel campaign grows among UK unions, despite Zionist backlash
So many UK trade unions have now passed motions in support of the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that even the often conservative Trades Union Congress has been compelled to change policy.

Today Nadine Darwish, a sophomore at Lincoln-Way High School in the Chicago suburbs, tweeted the news that her school will no longer serve Sabra brand hummus. Chicago’s DePaul University recently decided to provide an alternative to Sabra hummus after a campaign by the Students for Justice in Palestine. Darwish had been working on an article for her school paper urging other students to call for the boycott of Sabra at their school. But she reported on Twitter that a brief conversation with the cafeteria’s lunch lady achieved the desired outcome — the school cafeteria will no longer sell Sabra hummus.
“Since the great majority of Palestinian civil society issued its call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel in July 2005 to compel it to fulfil its obligations under international law, there has never been a period with as many BDS achievements as that following the Israeli massacre in Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009 and the bloodbath on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla in May 2010. People of conscience around the world seem to have crossed a threshold in challenging Israel’s impunity through effective pressure, not appeasement or “constructive engagement.” This has been most pronounced in the cultural field, where support for the 2004 call by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)2 has witnessed spectacular growth.”

The Jewish state cheered as its swim team received an invitation from the UAE Swim Federation to participate in an international competition for mixed-age groups next February. But organizations focusing on boycotting Israel widely condemned the invite, as did Palestinian civil society and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

link to for outrage against academic support for Israel
Persistent campaigning by the Palestine solidarity movement has turned Veolia into something of a toxic brand. From Manchester to Melbourne, local authorities have been quizzed about their dealings with the French corporate giant because of its role in constructing a light rail system for illegal Israeli settlements in Jerusalem. The controversy has affected Veolia’s bottom line, resulting in the loss of contracts worth €10 billion (£8.6 billion) over the past six years. So it recently turned to the Brussels bureaucracy for moral – or, perhaps more accurately, immoral – support.
Political / Diplomatic News
NEW YORK — President Barack Obama is reassuring Jewish supporters that his administration is committed to the security of Israel. He says: “We don’t compromise when it comes to Israel’s security.” Obama was speaking to a group of campaign contributors at the Upper East Side home of Jack Rosen, a prominent businessman and chairman of the American Jewish Congress. Obama commented after Rosen mentioned “concerns” within the Jewish community about the U.S.-Israeli relationship.
link to online.wsj.comPalestinians to wean themselves off foreign aid (AP)
AP – The Palestinian prime minister says he wants to drastically reduce his government’s reliance on foreign aid next year, and hopes to be able to pay for day-to-day operations with local revenues by 2013.
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Palestinians submit Mideast Quartet with document detailing security, border arrangements for future state; agree to minimal land swap in West Bank.
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Premier refuses to submit counterproposal, submitted by the PA in context of a Quartet timeline determined on sidelines of UN General Assembly in September.
‘We’ve reached the 11th hour,’ Opposition Leader tells Haaretz after meeting with Abbas in Amman, adding that Israel had a partner for peace in the Palestinians.
FM votes against the decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s top cabinet ministers to transfer $100 million to PA, says handover made as a result of international pressure.
Other NewsCPI: Israel more corrupt than ever
Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011 ranks Israel in 36th place compared with last’s year’s 30th spot, scoring lowest ranking ever. Index also shows corruption in Arab countries on the rise in wake of popular uprisings.
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Israeli Racism / Discrimination
The spate of anti-democratic bills recently introduced by the Israeli government has forced the issue onto the public agenda in Israel. This is so not because anti-democratic bills are new, but mainly because for the first time some of the proposed bills threaten democracy for Jewish citizens themselves.  For example, proposals to limit foreign funding to local non-governmental organizations, changes in nomination procedures for Supreme Court justices, and the recent proposed amendment to the libel law (which the left views as anti-free speech legislation) have placed the anti-democratic trends at the forefront of the public’s consciousness.

Israeli gov’t warns Israelis in U.S. not to marry Americans but come home, Philip Weiss

Wow this is great reporting at the Jewish Channel. They focus on the ad campaign sponsored by the Israeli gov’t (which we mentioned last week) which is aimed at getting back all the Israelis who have moved to the United States–as many as 2 million!

A single mother with two or more children will have to work 20 percent more than full time to escape poverty.
Egyptian elections stir disquiet in Israel
The Arab Spring could open the door for Islamists – as seen in Egypt elections – and threaten Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned.
CAIRO: The arrival of 7 and half tons of tear gas to Egypt’s Suez port created conflict after the responsible officials at the port refused to sign and accept it for fear it would be used to crackdown on Egyptian protesters. The shipment has been moved by the ministry of interior to its Cairo storage facility, amidst strict and secretive security measures. Local reports say the staff, initially under investigation, have been spared investigation after having a discussion  over the matter with their superiors.
Far from the ballot boxes, the revolutionaries in Tahrir Square are holding on to their demands for civilian rule. For them, these demands are yet to be met by the ruling military council.

Egypt Holds Historic Election As Military Council Resists Calls To Transfer Power To Civilians
Egypt is in the second day of its first elections since the ouster of longtime president Hosni Mubarak earlier this year. On Monday, Egyptians waited in long lines across the country to choose their first ever democratically elected parliament. The elections are being held in the wake of fierce clashes between protesters and police last week that left at least 42 people dead and more than 3,100 wounded. We play a video report filed by Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous in Cairo about the election held in the aftermath of a deadly crackdown. “We’re right here saying we want our rights… a civilian presidential council that is formed from people that represent us and that are agreed upon but they must have full authority not just someone like before, like Essam Sharaf’s government, just a secretary that carries out what the military council wants,” says protester Rania Mohamed Fawzi. “No, we’ve been silent for a long time. This time, we are not silent. And we will get all our rights. And this won’t be like the first time. They said Mubarak left and we all went home. No. This time we won’t go home until we get all our rights.”

Egypt Electoral Body Chief Admits to Vote Irregularities
Missing ballot papers and judges and violence at three polling stations cast a cloud over first day of parliamentary elections. Abdel Moez Ibrahim, head of the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC), used a press conference at the close of the day’s voting in the first round of parliamentary elections to list incidents of irregularities. He started off, and set the tone for the event, by stating that he is not responsible for the delay some polling stations experienced before receiving ballot papers.

link to www.jadaliyya.comThe Bombings of the Pipelines: Aftereffects, Max Ajl
This past week, within a 48-hour span, Egyptian irregulars in the Sinai bombed the gas pipeline that ships discounted gas to Israel twice – the 8th and 9th times this has occurred. This you probably have heard. The Egyptians are hungry, and don’t like this set-up of sending discounted stuff to their wealthy northern neighbor. What you haven’t heard is that as a result of these recurrent bombings, Ampal, an Israeli conglomerate which owns 12.5 percent of the Egyptian gas supplier Eastern Mediterranean Gas, has seen its bond yields drop 50 percent since the beginning of November, and they are now trading with yields to maturity between 37 and 82 percent. If they keep bombing the pipeline they will run this operation into the ground, an example of what is to come as Israel’s safety in the region is increasingly endangered by its inability to make peace with its neighbors. This is when Messrs. Walt and Mearsheimer (if their fingers are not otherwise occupied clattering out blurbs for Gilad Atzmon) would chime in and point out that Israeli policy seems to be bad for Israel itself. Yes indeed, just like the settlement project. The damndest thing! Who are they good for, then? The same people who sell four tanks to the Arab states for every one they gift to Israel. Those folks do not wear yarmulkes.
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Other Mideast News

Lebanon’s foreign ministry barely acknowledged a sixth UN General Assembly resolution calling on Israel to pay compensation for the oil spill it caused during the 2006 war.

WINEP: “The US should assist the Syrian defectors with arms, advice, training, & money through clandestine channels!”
“… Because the FSA is an increasingly important player that will likely influence the outcome of events in Syria, the United States and its partners should make contact with its members and learn as much as possible about the group. Questions concerning its nature, its potential as an armed force, and the role of Islamists can be resolved through such contact as well as intelligence work. If the results are positive, then the FSA should be assisted wherever outside aid would be both possible and effective. Arms, advice, training, and money could be provided through clandestine channels, if nothing else….”
“Arab League and U.S. Not Fit to Intervene in Syria”: Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad
As regional and international pressure mounts on Syria, the domestic scene seems to be heading towards civil war. No sooner than the Arab League sanctions on Syria were announced recently, did the camps that support or oppose the status quo there entrench themselves further in their position, leaving little room for constructive dialogue, cooperation, or exit from the current impasse. The brutality of the regime’s squashing of the uprising continues as regional and international pressure heads in directions that do not bode well for Syria–despite the pretense of intervening on behalf of the Syrian people.

Clashes, protests erupt across Yemen
A day of clashes throughout Yemen claimed the lives of three people and left nearly 30 people injured, deepening the nation’s crisis. In the north of the country, continued fighting between Salafi Islamists and Houthi rebels wounded at least 26 people on Wednesday. The clashes, which started on Saturday, came as the new prime minister worked to form a new government under a Gulf-sponsored plan that removes President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power. Sunni Salafi militants said Shia Houthi rebels attacked early on Wednesday in Damaj, 150 km north of the capital Sanaa.

Bomb, gunmen kill 18 as Iraq marks U.S. withdrawal (Reuters)
Reuters – A car bomb killed 10 people and gunmen executed eight more in Iraq’s restive Diyala province Thursday as the government hosted Vice President Joe Biden at a ceremony in Baghdad to mark the departure of American troops.
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As Biden Visits Iraq Ahead of U.S. Withdrawal, Critics See Last Ditch-Effort to Preserve Occupation
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Iraq for an unannounced visit to mark the withdrawal of U.S. troops by the end of the year. Shi’ites supporting Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr held an anti-U.S. protest in Basra to oppose Biden’s visit. Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that numerous investment bankers are arriving in Iraq to secure potentially lucrative reconstruction and oil deals even though security remains a concern. We’re joined by Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi-American blogger and political analyst who just returned from Iraq two weeks ago. “Biden’s visit is widely seen in Iraq as the last attempt by the U.S. government to keep U.S. troops beyond the deadline and rename them as military trainers,” Jarrar says. “Most Iraqis are worried [that] the Pentagon has not let go of its plan to leave behind 3,000-4,000 troops under the title of ‘trainers’, and that there will be one last showdown in the Iraqi parliament within the next few days.”

State Dept. Veteran Peter Van Buren Defies U.S. Censors to Recount Failed Reconstruction in Iraq
In “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People,” State Department official Peter Van Buren provides a first-hand account of the faltering and often misguided attempts at reconstruction in Iraq undertaken by the U.S. government. Van Buren published the book after rebuffing heavy State Department pressure to redact a number of passages. Van Buren joins us to discuss the failed efforts he witnessed in Iraq and his struggle to tell his story to the world. “The State department is very much like the Mafia,” Van Buren says.

link to www.democracynow.orgBahrainis Protest AL Double Standards
Bahraini demonstrators took to streets on Wednesday, protesting Arab League double standards towards the popular uprisings in the Arab world. Protester staged the rally in the port city of Sitra. They also blasted the regime of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and his Saudi-backed security forces over their brutal crackdown on peaceful protest rallies across the country.
link to, US Navies Continue Joint Maneuvers
Bahrain and the US navies continue their joint military maneuvers in the Gulf, diverting international attention from suppression of Bahraini protesters at the hands of the Al Khalifa regime. The maneuvers, dubbed “rapid reaction,” started on November 14 and will continue until November 23, Mehr News Agency reported. Handling explosions, defusing marine mines, preparation and planning for marine combat and taking defensive positions are among the exercises during the war games.
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Saudi Arabia: Protesters and reformists targeted in name of security
The last nine months has seen a new wave of repression in Saudi Arabia as authorities have cracked down on protesters and reformists on security grounds, Amnesty International said today.  In Saudi Arabia: Repression in the Name of Security, the organization says hundreds of people have been arrested for demonstrating, while the government has drafted an anti-terror law that would effectively criminalize dissent as a “terrorist crime” and further strip away rights from those accused of such offences.
Saudis accused of new repression
Amnesty International accuses Saudi Arabia of reacting to the Arab Spring by launching a new wave of repression, with thousands of people arrested.

LIBYA: Uncertain future for returnees in Qaddafi’s hometown
SIRTE 29 November 2011 (IRIN) – Sirte, the final battleground between rebels and fighters loyal to former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, is a broken city.

General Martin Dempsey says he acknowledges differences in perspective between the United States and Israel over the best way to handle Iran and its nuclear program.
link to www.haaretz.comIsraeli warmongering: Israeli defense chief: Iran strike may be needed 
AP – Israel does not want to take military action against Iran over its nuclear program, but at some point may have no other option, Israel’s defense minister said Thursday.

U.S. senator says new Iran sanctions won’t disrupt oil
Saudi Arabia has expressed “great willingness” to boost oil production to ensure potential new US sanctions on Iran don’t disrupt global petroleum markets, a key U.S. senator said Tuesday.

link to www.alarabiya.netEU approves new sanctions on Iran
European foreign ministers increase economic pressure as Tehran frees some of the UK embassy attackers.

Britain to expel all Iranian diplomats
Foreign minister announces move after attack on UK’s embassy in Tehran by a crowd of Iranian protesters.

The banking ban behind the attack on the British embassy in Iran
George Osborne’s decision to force UK banks to cease trading with Tehran has inflamed diplomatic tensions. Militants have stormed the British embassy in Tehran, burning the British flag and replacing it with the flag of the Islamic Republic. Fars News Agency, which describes the attack as “spontaneous”, says more than 1,000 students were involved. There are reports also of documents being seized from the British embassy. In their statement, the students call for the breaking of all relations with the UK.

Mahan Abedin, “Iran Delivers Major Blow to the CIA”
Iran’s claim last week to have arrested 12 spies working for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is potentially a major blow to American intelligence-gathering efforts in Iran and to American intelligence generally. The arrests come on the heels of the arrest of 30 alleged CIA spies in late May and are indicative of steadily improving counter-intelligence capabilities. The recent success is reinforced by the unraveling of a CIA spy ring in Lebanon operating within the Hezbollah organization. These reports have been grudgingly confirmed by current and former US intelligence officials, which is suggestive of a major American intelligence defeat, if not a full-blown disaster. . . . But despite clear improvements in counter-espionage capabilities and protective security measures, Iran is still some way away from making it prohibitively costly for Western agencies to operate inside the country. Indeed, all the major West European, North American and Israeli intelligence services are either active inside Iran or work closely with some elements of the Iranian diaspora. Nevertheless, there are clear signs that in the pure intelligence war (as opposed to sabotage) Iran is beginning to turn the tide.

Mahan Abedin, “Saboteurs Flying under Iran Radar”
As Western nations impose yet more sanctions on Iran in the wake of the latest International Atomic Energy Agency report, the psychological warfare between the two sides continues to escalate. This psychological warfare has two dimensions; one visible and rhetorical and conducted through official and unofficial media and the other secret and centered on sabotage. In so far as the former is concerned Iran has risen to the challenge by superseding tough American and Israeli rhetoric with even tougher rhetoric. However, it is on the sabotage front – where Iran appears to be under attack from several directions – that the Islamic Republic is raising eyebrows even amongst its hardcore supporters by displaying remarkable tolerance in the face of intolerable provocations.

No, Really, Iran Isn’t Developing Nuclear Weapons
It’s just as easy for a nuclear disarmament advocate as a hawk to believe that a state such as Iran that has not only established a nuclear energy program but also experimented with nuclear weapons until 2003 is still developing them. Nevertheless, however much Tehran may experience lust in its heart for nuclear weapons, the […]

Analysis / Op-ed / Human InterestCapitalism vs Nationalism in Palestine, Max Ajl
According to an important recent study by Issa Smeirat, an MA student in economics at Al-Quds University, private Palestinian investment in Israel amounted to 2.5 billion dollars in 2010, according to the most conservative estimates. Less conservative estimates put the number at more like 5.8 billion dollars. Private Palestinian investment in the West Bank is just 1.5 billion dollars. The study has all kinds of important implications: on the way Palestinian collaboration is being built into the structure of the Palestinian elite, as it has since Oslo, presaging what the sort of two-state settlements envisaged at Geneva or in the Saudi Peace Plan would look like – emasculated states with no economic sovereignty (the question of political sovereignty can barely arise, especially when bamboozled leftists are too often cheering for NATO to save brown people from their brown leaders).
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America’s Aid for Israel’s Political ‘Continuum’, Clive Hambidge
‘… We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours … When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do will be to scurry round like drugged roaches in a bottle.’ (Rafeal Eitan)

Jay Moore, “Deconstructing the Foundational Myths of Israel”
By this time already, after 60-plus years of heatedly arguing the topic back and forth, is there anything new and insightful to be said that might have a bearing on the Israel-Palestine conflict and help to bring some political and intellectual closure at long last — at least for those who have an open mind? Yes, in fact there actually is! And the left-wing Israeli-born historian Shlomo Sand, the son of Holocaust survivors, has said it in his book, The Invention of the Jewish People, a book that first came out in Hebrew in 2008 and which has now been translated and published in English by Verso Press. Shlomo Sand goes right to the heart of the matter. He attacks and dismantles the foundational myths of the State of Israel that have provided the Zionists with rationalizations for taking over and occupying the homeland of the Palestinians, driving a stake right through them. The terms of the discussion should never be the same again, once people have read and digested Prof. Sand’s book.

Palestinian Paradigm Shift, Stuart Reigeluth
Despite the eruption of turmoil in the centre of Cairo, the Palestinian factions met in the Egyptian capital on November 24, to advance an agreement of national reconciliation. This accord is long overdue for the Palestinian people but it comes now more out of necessity for Hamas and Fatah — both of which seem to be drifting now towards a new paradigm.

This is the dominant story now – Islamists are winning all over the Arab world. It is not being mentioned that there are many factors working in their favor. They have been organized for decades while some leftists and liberals have just started. It is not mentioned that Islamists have been benefiting from Gulf money and have utilized that external funding effectively.
No other Arab regime has been as loyal to Zionism and imperialism as the illegitimate regime of Jordan.  In this special guest submission Sumaya Al-Shawish takes a look at how the Hashemite King is spending his time pursuing his families’ traditional role as a puppet regime in the service of Western imperialism and a pliant tool of Zionism.   Jordan’s King Abdullah II has been a busy man of late.  Last week, he paid a visit to the West Bank for the first time in ten years to meet with Palestinian President and fellow House Arab Mahmoud Abbas. Then he played host to Israeli President Shimon Peres during a brief visit to the Hashemite Kingdom. Next week he is reportedly heading to Washington.

The Cult of Mona Eltahawy
Mona Eltahawy’s broken arms have now become a part of Egypt’s revolution, or so she says. In each media appearance wherein she dons two casts, now full of signatures, well wishes and smiley faces, Mona Eltahawy draws attention to her alleged abuse while in the clutches of Egyptian officers. All the while she sits in green-room studio’s around the United States she makes passerby acknowledgment of abuse other Arab women have faced.
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When the ethnic cleansing of millions of Palestinians throughout the years of occupation imposed by the only democracy in the Middle East, “Israel”, and the inhumane actions of mass killings and rape of land is enough to make your blood boil, one more thing can be added to multiply the amount of steam coming out of your ears: the cleansing of Palestinian culture. In Palestinian tradition, el koffiyeh has been used as headdress by men. The cotton material and texture was mainly used to keep out the heavy dust and sand, and for farmers to keep their heads cool as they plowed in their fields. The checkered pattern was said to refer to many things: a fishing net, a honeycomb, the joining of hands, or the marks of dirt and sweat wiped off a worker’s brow.

Palestinian cooks know that pizazz doesn’t always mean better food
At an annual Palestinian cooking competition, the most successful competitors know that more spices and fancier ingredients don’t always translate to more success.


The Iran plot thickens
Dec 01, 2011
Iranian riot police stand guard as protesters gather outside the British embassy in Tehran
Iranian riot police stand guard as protesters gather outside the British embassy in Tehran Photograph: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images
Regardless of the fact the IAEA report was a complete flop the PTB are trudging forward with exactly the same agenda because they will not be stopped. The internet is aflutter:  EU to slap new sanctions on Iran’s officials and firms. Nothing shocking here.
Here’s the NYT today, announcing Britain Closes Embassies, Iran’s Isolation Could Complicate Nuclear Issue.
We’re a little behind on covering the storming of the UK embassy in Tehran so let’s do some catching up. Big event. On Tuesday Iran protesters attack UK embassy in Tehran . Here is a brief summary from the Guardian.

• Dozens of Iranian protesters forced their way into the British embassy in Tehran, tearing down the Union flag and throwing documents from the windows. They also pulled down a picture of the Queen and burnt an embassy vehicle, as well as US, Israeli and UK flags. The protesters said they wanted to shut down the embassy. Protesters also targeted Gholhak Gardens, a British diplomatic compound in north Tehran that has been a source of contention between Iranian and UK officials over its ownership. Both of the protests have now ended.• The UK foreign secretary, William Hague, said he held the Iranian government responsible for failing to protect the embassy, despite Tehran’s expressions of regret for today’s events. The foreign office advised British nationals in Iran to stay indoors and keep a low profile after the attacks. The Iranian foreign ministry said it regretted the events and was committed to the safety of diplomats on its soil but Hague said it “remains a very serious failure by the Iranian government”.• The semi-official Fars news agency said six UK embassy staff were rescued by police after being held hostage by the protesters who it described as “self-motivated university students”. The UK foreign office would not comment directly but Hague said that all staff had been accounted for.• Clashes between police and protesters were reported at the UK embassy. One protester was in a critical condition, according to Fars. It said several protesters and police officers were injured. Police used teargas to try to disperse protesters. Some were reportedly arrested at Gholhak Gardens.6.10pm GMT / 1.10pm EST: The UK’s foreign secretary, William Hague , has issued a strong statement on Iran. He said all embassy staff are accounted for but his anger has clearly not been mollified by Iran’s expression of regret for today’s events…

So, that explains why the UK kicked out the Iranian embassy staff today.
And now the fun begins, hot off the press: UK embassy attack orchestrated by Iranian authorities: sources. Huh? what sources?

The storming of the British embassy in Tehran was not staged by a group of students expressing their indignation at UK policies, but was rather orchestrated by the Iranian authorities, sources said on Wednesday.According to the sources, the attack was planned under the auspices of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and supervised by Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij paramilitary forces.Photographs that depicted the attack on the embassy showed that a special force affiliated with the Basij, in addition to the other regular Basij troops, took part.Other photos showed that revealed that members of al-Quds brigade also took part in the attack.The sources added that two official channels broadcast the storming of the embassy live. The channels were Press T.V. and al-Alam News Network, both directly controlled by Khamenei.

Of course, why didn’t I think of that? It makes perfect sense that because the storming was captured live on networks controlled by Khamenei they ordered the storming of the embassy, or not.

Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, described the attack on the British embassy as an “unwise step,” while the statement issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry labeled it “unacceptable.”Meanwhile, the authorities arrested youths involved in the attack and sent 22 of them to court.

As a wrap, following up on his earlier article , Craig Murray reported “Gould-Werritty Plot Finally Mainstream” on Sunday. From the Independent Liam Fox, Adam Werritty, and the curious case of Our Man in Tel Aviv.
 “Our Man in Tel Aviv” would be UK’s Matthew Gould, ambassador to Israel and the UK’s ex ambassador to Tehran. Craig Murray today:

“The importance of the Fox-Gould-Werritty scandal is that it lifts the lid on the fact that the move to war with Iran is not a reaction to any street attack or any nuclear agency report. It is a long nurtured plan, designed to keep feeding the huge military industrial war machine that has become a huge part of the UK and US economies, and whose sucking up of trillions of dollars has contributed massively to the financial crisis, and which forms a keystone in the whole South Sea Bubble corporate finance system for servicing the ultra-rich. They need constant, regenerative war. They feed on the shattered bodies of small children.”Gould, Fox and Werritty were plotting with Israel to further war with Iran over years. The Werritty scandal was hushed up by Gus O’Donnell’s risibly meagre “investigation” – a blatant cover-up – and Fox resigned precisely to put a cap on any further digging into what they had been doing. I discovered – with a lot of determination and a modicum of effort – that Fox, Werritty and British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould had met many times, not the twice that Gus O’Donnell claimed, and had been in direct contact with Mossad over plans to attack Iran. Eventually the Independent published it, a fortnight after it went viral on the blogosphere.

Speaking of spies, I recommend Robert Fisk for an excellent history lesson: Sanctions are only a small part of the history that makes Iranians hate the UK

Anyway, the Iranians trashed us yesterday and made off, we are told, with a clutch of UK embassy documents. I cannot wait to read their contents. For be sure, they will soon be revealed.

Last but not least, a little comedy via Michele Bachmann:

Did Michele Bachmann have her “oops” moment?:In light of the British Foreign Ministry pulling all U.K. nationals out of the British embassy in Tehran after students stormed the building in protest, GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told a crowd in Waverly, Iowa, today that she would close the U.S. embassy in Iran.One small, tiny note: The U.S. hasn’t had an embassy in Tehran since 1980.

Even I knew that, Michele.

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