Mondoweiss Online Newsletter


Israeli lawmaker targeting dissidents praises… Joe McCarthy’s ‘every word’
Dec 04, 2011
Philip Weiss
Ofir Akunis
Ofir Akunis
Joe McCarthy
Joe McCarthy
Haaretz, on the case:

Likud MK Ofir Akunis, who sponsored the bill to limit foreign funding to Israeli human rights organization, stood behind Senator Joseph’s McCarthy’s actions in the 1950s. Speaking on Sunday on the “London and Kirshenbaum” television show on Channel 10, Akunis said McCarthy – who in the 1950s presided over a committee that investigated Americans suspected of harboring Communist views – said “was right in every word, the fact is -there were Soviet agents.”According to the bill, which was proposed by Akunis and has been backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, political NGOs in Israel would not be allowed to receive donations exceeding 20,000 shekels provided by foreign governments and international organizations, such as the UN and the European Union.

Joe McCarthy
Letter from Cairo: A general’s torture– Nada Zatouna’s story
Dec 04, 2011
Scott Long
Nada Zatouna
Nada Zatouna (photo courtesy of Zatouna)
Nada Zatouna is 23 and an independent filmmaker. Originally from Aswan in upper Egypt, she lives in Cairo. She’s been an activist since the Revolution began in January, “involved with Tahrir from the start,” she said, “as an Egyptian citizen, and as an Egyptian woman.”
“I have my work, and my tools as a filmmaker,” she explained, “and I wanted to use them for my country. For my Revolution, to document what was going on – on our side, the victories, and also the things they did against us.
Police arrested Nada on Sunday, November 20, early in a week of steady fighting in downtown Cairo. The battles began when the military junta’s security forces raided a sit-in occupying Midan Tahrir. After that, police kept raiding Tahrir and seizing activists, using nearby Mohamed Mahmoud Street (which leads from Lazoghly Square and the Ministry of Interio) as a point of entry. Protesters started confronting them along the street. Days of fighting ensued. Tear gas filled the city. Police snipers fired directly in demonstrators’ faces, and many lost their eyes permanently. More than 40 protesters died.
Nada herself was held for over a day, and tortured. Here is her story.
In the middle of the week, Thursday and Friday and Saturday [November 17-19], I was in a camp near Alexandria — we go there and take a rest from life. After that, I returned to Cairo, and was I shocked by what was happening in Tahrir Square and Mohamed Mahmoud. I called one of my friends, and he said, “Don’t go, Nada, it’s very dangerous.” But I decided to go, and take a camera, any camera, to document what was going on.
When I got there, I began to go deeper and deeper down Mohamed Mahmoud Street to where the worst of the fighting was. I found a lot of people from different classes, different sects, different identities — anything, everything. But they were falling down right and left from tear gas and from rubber bullets. Everyone was extremely tense. They were shouting: “No SCAF [Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the ruling junta], no police! We want to see the military go!”
I reached the front lines. Between me and the police and the CSF [Central Security Forces, Amn el-Merkazi, a division of the national police] there were only about twenty meters. There were maybe forty people there. I saw two or three other women there. But there was no talking in the chaos.
Once we got there, I noticed that when guys stopped throwing stones at the CSF and police, the CSF would come forward with police cars and grab them. Or they would fire tear gas directly at them. So I felt we all had to take defensive measures. But at the same time, I was trying to document things with my small camera. And in the middle of that, I found at least six or seven CSF soldiers came on me — in just two seconds, they were very fast; people beside me ran quickly, and I couldn’t run quickly.
And they beat me on the head, grabbed me by the hair — I was shocked, I didn’t know what to do — they broke my camera, they were kicking me, beating me with sticks, everything. One of them, wearing civilian clothes, grabbed me by the shirt and dragged me down the street. I was dizzy, I was a bit unconscious from the beating on my head. He began to ask me: “How much do they pay you to do this?” And things like that.
They marched me to the Ministry of Interior [nearby at Lazoghly Square] on foot. I was alone – they caught each one alone. They put me in a sort of kiosk, a small office in front of the Ministry of Interior, inside the gate. There were officers beating me once we arrived. One of the officers was high rank – there were three stars on his epaulets. He used an electric stick on my arm, and he kept doing this again and again. I was saying “Stop!” – I was trying to get him away.
Then they shoved me in the kiosk. In a while one of the officers [inside], who was a little bit nice, told me to come behind him – to stand behind his back and he wouldn’t let anyone reach in and beat me from outside.
They began to go through my bag and throw everything on the floor. And they began to push other people in the kiosk. Within two or three minutes this space was full of guys – a lot of them teenagers, maximum fourteen years old, just kids. They were all beaten – there was blood everywhere. My head was also bleeding from the injuries, and my lips and mouth too.
They took our mobile phones, and our sim cards and everything. They took my ID. And they kept calling us names. The [CSF] soldiers outside the kiosk acted as if they wanted to grab me and drag me outside again to beat me again. They were saying to the officers, “Let her outside and we’re going to fuck her! We’ll screw her whole life!”
After a while a van came, to deliver us to the police station. The officer who had told me to stay behind him, came to me to prevent anybody from beating me – to prevent the soldiers outside. As I walked out, he was holding me between his arms, to guard me. Then I went inside the car. [The CSF outside] kept on trying to get me, to pull me out. But one of the officers pushed them away: “Enough, she’s a girl and she’s young, stop!”
After this, we went to Abdeen police station [in central Cairo]. The prisoners in the van were something like forty men, and I was the only woman.
I was the first one who got down. I told one of the CSF officers there, “Please don’t let anybody beat me again.” But inside the station, an officer who was standing on the stairs kept looking at me, up at down, and calling me names and threatening me – very bad. He’d say, “Get her upstairs. We’re going to fuck her, we’ll screw her life, do a lot of bad things to her.”
We all had to go upstairs, into an office. And there, they threatened me again: “We are going to hang you on the wall. And we’ll bring a woman in to beat you.” There was blood everywhere on the walls – we kept asking, “What is this?” It’s like psychological war.
We stayed upstairs for something like seven hours. We wanted to go to the bathroom: they told us it’s forbidden. It’s funny, almost – no; it was horrible, really. At 2 A.M. they got all of us downstairs to go to the truck again, and go to the niyaba [the public prosecutor].
We went to a civilian, not a military niyaba – that at least was a relief. But it was 5 A.M. by the time we got there. They put us in a cage, maybe three meters by three meters. And when it was my turn I went in to meet the niyaba. He acted very civil; he told me, “Don’t worry, sit down, how did they arrest you? You are young, you’re a girl, you look peaceful. I have been in Tahrir Square myself; I was calling for change. Don’t worry, I am going to release you.” And so on.
He kept writing, questions. And he was giving the answers instead of me: “No,” “I don’t know,” “It didn’t happen.” As if he were going to help me. I didn’t tell him about the torture. [Prosecutors are required by Egyptian law to include accounts of torture in their reports if prisoners give them, or if they see evidence of torture.] But he could see – I was bruised and bleeding. He didn’t ask me about it. And of course he already knew that the police do this.
I went out. We were all waiting for six hours to know what was going to happen to us. They kept telling us, “After five minutes there will be a decision from the general prosecutor.”
At first we were all in one cell, but after a while another group came, and there were something like 100 of us, or 150—I was still the only woman. They then took me out of the cage, and let me sit on the floor between two cages in the same area. By two or three in the afternoon, we were all starving. This was now Monday. All the guys were screaming, “We’re hungry, we’re human!”
There was a lower-ranking guy who kept harassing me all that day. I was completely terrified of him. While I was waiting between the two cages, I was alone, and he entered the area, and was trying to touch me, stroke me, touch my shoulder, and I was trying to push him away. Another officer entered and scared him, and he went away from me
At 6 P.M., they told me, “We’ll release you — you just have to go back to Abdeen station to process the release.” But the lower-ranking officer came along in the van. And in the van he kept telling me, “I want you.” All this in front of other soldiers, and officers – until finally one of them told him, “Stop, Osama. It’s enough, yanni.”
The car kept taking turns and detours—going in circles. We realized we weren’t going to Abdeen. People were singing at first, but then they started asking, “Where are we going? What’s happening?” Suddenly we saw through the cracks he’d entered a road to the desert. And we reached a military camp, and stopped. We were all so depressed and discouraged — really shocked. They’d tricked us.
We entered this camp. I saw from the little window more soldiers from CSF surround the car, with sticks and everything. The officers inside the car were laughing: they told us “These people will screw your life, motherfuckers, they will beat you to the edge of your life.” They were very happy! I was so down. I told one of the officers, “Please don’t let anyone beat me again.”
And we go down. I told myself, “OK, it’s my destiny, I will stay here forever.” They beat all of them, but this time, not me. The police took off their belts, and used them to beat them, and punched them on their backs, and kicked them.
There were two cages, each about four meters square, with a little distance between them. Ad there were sixty or so men from the van, and me. The officer at the camp asked, “Where are we going to put this girl?” I was so down. I thought, “OK, do whatever you want with me.”
They put me in one cell, alone, with everyone else in another, and they let an army soldier stay with me. I asked him, “Please get me a blanket, it’s too cold for me” — I was sleeping on the floor. I spent two hours asking for a cover, and he finally consented to get me one, this way: He told the other soldier outside to get a cover for him. That soldier asked, “Is it for you or her?” He said, “For me, don’t worry.” So after one or two hours, the other soldier brought the blanket, and this one let me have it. Then I slept. I was telling myself, “Nada, you are going to live here for days. You don’t know what will happen to you. There’s nothing you can do.”
Suddenly at 10 P.M. they open the door, and they tell me they will release us. But seven of us will stay with them. Among those who stayed were people with very serious injuries. Among us was a young guy both of whose arms had been completely broken. They didn’t release him – they didn’t want the injuries to be public. They also kept others from the April 6 Movement [the April 6 Youth Movement is one of the main revolutionary coalitions]. I didn’t want to believe them again. But they took our fingerprints, and then they really released us in front of the camp.
We were outside eastern Cairo, and we had to make our own way back.
Talking and talking is useful for me. Saying what happened, it’s very useful for me. Just now, before we met to talk, when I was in the street after finishing my work, I decided to pass by in front of the Ministry of Interior where I was beaten. I was scared at first, it was heavy: it was not easy, psychologically, for me. But I told myself, “You have to do this, to feel OK.” And I passed in front of cars, and soldiers, and I wasn’t … Well, I thought they might identify me, and I didn’t have an ID on me [Egyptians are legally obliged to carry identity papers]. The street was closed to cars, but they let pedestrians pass, and I walked by. But I wasn’t afraid in the end.
And after this, I felt so proud of myself, and I was so happy that I could do this.
I’ve changed as a person since the Revolution, and because of the Revolution. I feel stronger than before. I can say loudly, “I want this and this and this.” I can be myself more and more, in my personal life, in society. That’s what the Revolution means to me, that strength. Before the Revolution, what they did to me might have broken me. But not now. Not now.
This post originally appeared on Scott Long’s blog, A Paper Bird.
Students stage dramatic walkout on Avigdor Lieberman mouthpiece in Michigan
Dec 04, 2011
Philip Weiss
Bilal Baydoun, a senior at the University of Michigan, writes:
Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor recently staged a walkout on Israeli Bedouin diplomat and Ministry of Foreign Affairs apologist Ishmael Khaldi. He came to our campus at the invitation of Israel lobby group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) to whitewash the marginalization of minorities in Israel. I’ve included a video of our walkout.
Israeli forces prevent Palestinians from reaching their fields as gov’t announces another 650 settlement units
Dec 04, 2011
and other news from Today in Palestine:
Clinton concerned over Israeli democracy
US secretary of state voices deep concern over wave of anti-democratic legislation, particularly bill targeting leftist organizations; criticizes exclusion of women from public life in Israel.
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Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement / Refugees
Israel Approves 650 Units In Pisgat Zeev Settlement
The Israeli “Regional Construction and Planning Committee” at the Jerusalem Municipality approved a plan to construct 650 units in Pisgat Zeev settlement that was built in 1985 on lands that belongs to Palestinian residents of Beit Hanina and Hizma, north of occupied Jerusalem.
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Israel paving road to link East Jerusalem neighborhoods to city center
Akiva Eldar – Haaretz – Peace Now representatives argue that the “road`s current route isn`t legal, since the plan designates occupied territory for permanent infrastructures for the occupying power, while completely disregarding the needs of the Palestinian residents in Beit Hanina and the area.”
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JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A joint Muslim and Christian organization warned Thursday that the rabbi of the Western Wall plans to build a second level at the holy site abutting Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The Islamic Christian Commission in Support of Jerusalem and the Holy Sites said the design was highly dangerous to the Haram al-Sharif compound as it would involve drilling directly under complex housing the mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

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Earlier this year, the group 1948 Lest We Forget filed an application to the World Monuments Fund (WMF) to include the Palestinian village of Lifta in its 2012 World Monuments Watch List. The WMF was chosen because it accepts nominations from individuals, institutions and organizations without the need for national or state endorsement. The fund is an independent organization registered as a charity and based in New York City. It is concerned with saving some of the world’s most treasured places, whether great buildings, sites or singular monuments. In preparing the application, we carried out extensive research on Lifta — its rich history, its unique architectural, cultural and social character — and found it to be an embodiment of everything Palestinian.

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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces closed the West Bank’s Allenby crossing to Jordan on Thursday evening, witnesses told Ma’an. The terminal, the sole entry and exit point for Palestinians in the West Bank to travel abroad, was shut down around 5 p.m. as ambulances, fire services, and Israeli police entered the closed zone, travelers said.  Crossings authorities could not be reached to comment on the unscheduled closure.

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Israel Prevents Thirty Farmers From Entering Their Lands
The Israeli Authorities prevented on Thursday thirty Palestinian farmers from Anin village, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, from entering their lands and orchards isolated behind the Annexation Wall in the area.
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HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces blocked a group of Palestinians from working on their land in southern Hebron on Thursday, farmers told Ma’an.  Ibrahim Abu Subha said around 30 farmers went to the fields near Susiya village, close to the southern edge of the West Bank, on Thursday morning. When they began work, Israeli forces arrived and ordered them off the land, declaring the 2,000 dunum area a closed military zone. Settlers from nearby Jewish-only communities inside the West Bank “incited forces against the Palestinians,” when the group told soldiers they owned the fields, Abu Sabha said.

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As part of the weekly nonviolent protests against the occupation, settlements, the Wall, and the illegal Israeli attempts to annex lands that belong to the Cremisan Christian Monastery In Beit Jala, Palestinian Christians held prayers on lands that belong to residents of the town, located near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
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Israeli academics have condemned the construction of the so-called “Museum of Tolerance” on the site of a historic Muslim cemetery in Occupied Jerusalem. They have also warned that should the museum on top of the Ma’aman Allah Cemetery go ahead, Israel risks major and bitter confrontation with the Muslim world. The comments were made at a seminar organised by the Jerusalem Institute for Israeli Studies on Wednesday, November 30, to mark the publication of a book by Yitzhak Reiter about the Ma’aman Allah Cemetery and the construction of the museum in question. Speakers said that building the museum in such a location will have dangerous repercussions at local and international levels. They suggested that the decision to build should be reversed, especially in the light of the increasing international objections to the project.

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Israeli Aggression
PCHR Weekly Report: 2 Palestinians wounded, 23 abducted by Israeli troops this week

In its Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 24- 30 Nov. 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that two Palestinians were wounded when Israeli forces attacked peaceful protests in the West Bank. Troops also abducted 9 Palestinians in the West Bank.

link to www.imemc.orgClashes between Palestinians and occupation forces at Sha’fat roadblockIsraeli occupation forces arrested on Thursday evening eight Palestinian youth from the Sha’fat refugee camp to the north of occupied Jerusalem during a to

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers assaulted a 60-year-old man cultivating land in the northern West Bank on Saturday morning, a Palestinian Authority official said.  Najih Abdul-Qadir was tilling his fields near the illegal Itamar settlement east of Nablus when a group of ultra-orthodox Israelis approached him and beat him severely, PA settlement monitoring official Ghassan Doughlas told Ma’an.

Jewish settlers attack Salem village in Nablus
Dozens of Jewish settlers under military protection savagely attacked Saturday morning Salem village east of Nablus city and assaulted its Palestinian farmers.

Settlers Attempt to Enter Beit Ommar After day of Demonstration

Today, Saturday, December 3, residents and the Popular Committee of Beit Ommar, along with international and solidarity activists, held their regular demonstration at the illegal Israeli settlement, Karmei Tsur. Demonstrations have been held at Karmei Tsur, a religious extremist settlement built on privately-owned Palestinian land, regularly for nearly 3 years. Today, the demonstration was met with a small force of soldiers, and though demonstrators were pushed and hit as they tried to pass the line of soldiers, there were no arrests and the demonstration ended without incident.
Detention / Courts / Other Prisoner News

Palestinian children imprisoned in violation of international law
In September 2009 Israel established the Military Youth Court. Two years later, in September 2011 Israel finally met its obligations under international law and raised the age of majority in the military courts from 16 to 18. However, none of these changes brought major improvements in practice and the abuse of Palestinian children arrested and detained by Israeli authorities continues…link to www.alternativenews.orgIOF soldiers detain young woman, four Jerusalemite schoolchildrenIsraeli occupation forces (IOF) detained a Palestinian young woman at a roadblock leading to the Ibrahimi mosque in Al-Khalil on Thursday, local sources to

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a young man seeking medical treatment in Israel at the Erez crossing from Gaza, a prisoners organization said on Thursday. Ahmad Khamis Alika was leaving for an urgent eye operation in an Israeli hospital when he was detained on Wednesday, the Hussam prisoners organization said. Alika’s father received a phone call from Israeli intelligence services notifying him of the detention, the group said. An Israeli army spokesman said he could not confirm the detention.

IOF soldiers round up 9 PFLP activists including one with disability
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched a large scale search operation in Jenin before dawn Thursday and rounded up nine activists of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Troops Arrest Three Residents In Balata
Israeli soldiers arrested, on Friday at dawn, three Palestinians in the Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus city in the northern part of the West Bank, the Palestine News Network reported.
NABLUS (Ma’an) — An Israeli military court extended the detention of a Fatah lawmaker for a further six months on Thursday, months after he was imprisoned without charge, the party’s press office said. Hussam Khader, who is also chairman of the Committee for the Defense of Palestinian Refugee Rights and a known champion of reconciliation with Hamas, was detained by Israeli forces on June 2.
PA security arrest seven Hamas supporters in the West Bank
PA security agencies arrested seven Hamas supporters in the districts of Tulkarem, Salfit and Qalqilya. The same agencies got a teacher sacked and summoned a university student for interrogation.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two journalist organizations in the West Bank have accused Gaza’s security services of detaining five journalists, but the government says the group are working for the rival government in Ramallah. The Union of Journalists in Ramallah and the Fatah bureau for journalists said in a statement Friday that security forces in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip detained four male and one female journalist last week after ransacking their homes and offices.

Soldiers Attack Detainees In Nafha Prison
Israeli soldiers attacked on Thursday several detainees held in the Nafha detention camp, in the Negev Desert. In a letter sent to Husam Society, the detainees said that they have been without electricity since more than three days.

Palestinian prisoners in Nafha jail on 2nd day of hunger strike
Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli desert prison of Nafha have gone on hunger strike since Wednesday in protest against Israeli penal measures, the Wa’ad for prisoners affairs said on Thursday.

Large participation in the sit-in to demand release of political prisoners

Palestinians in large numbers on Thursday participated in the weekly sit-in to demand the release of political prisoners from PA jails in light of the claimed major progress in the to Health ministry: Gaza lacks 260 types of medicine

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip has said that there is a medical crisis in the coastal enclave, with over 260 types of medicines unavailable to residents. On Saturday, the ministry called on President Abbas to protect the rights of sick Gaza residents, a statement said. It urged international and local humanitarian organizations to pressure the Palestinian Authority to better regulate the quantities of medicine exported to the Gaza Strip, which it said were only half of the amount hoped for by the World Bank. The ministry in Ramallah is not following the principles of reconciliation, the Gaza ministry added.

Israel faces legal challenge over block on Palestinians exiting Gaza to sue state
Human rights body says those seeking damages for actions of Israeli military are refused entry to the country to appear in courtAn Israeli human rights organisation has launched a legal challenge to the state’s policy of denying Palestinians permission to leave Gaza to pursue claims for damages resulting from military action, which has led to dozens of cases being dismissed by the Israeli courts.

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Residents of the Gaza Strip urged officials on Saturday to resolve an electricity crisis which has engulfed the coastal enclave. “The electricity crisis in Gaza has been worsening for days without solving the issue by the government. This is unacceptable, we are during winter time and we need to get warmth,” Abdullah Abu Shaban Taleb told Ma’an. The shortage in electricity has been exacerbated by the breakdown of a sea line which has only worked for 20 hours since it was fixed on Nov. 17.

It’s 6.30am when Ahmad’s fishing boat leaves the Gaza City fishing port. Together with his three nephews and a friend, he will stay at sea for 48 hours, trying to catch as many fish as possible within the Israeli-imposed 3 nautical-mile limit.  Ahmad (Abu Mahmoud) Sha’ban al-Hissi turned 60 a week ago and has been working as a fisherman since he was 18 years old. As we look back and see how Gaza City becomes smaller and smaller, Ahmad speaks about the hardship he has faced in his four decades as a fisherman: “The sea is like a prison. We can’t move here freely. Our entire lives have become like prisons.”link to

Turkey To Grant Hamas $300 Million
Turkish sources reported that Turkish Prime Minister, Receb Tayyip Erdogan, sent a confidential letter to Ismail Haniyya, Prime Minister of the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip, inviting him to visit Turkey, and informing him that he decided to grant the government $300 Million.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Egyptian official denied on Saturday rumors that the country is planning to open an embassy in the Gaza Strip, Arabic media reported. The unnamed official told London-based newspaper Al-Hayat that Egypt has no problem opening a representative office or embassy in Gaza, but only after a reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas has been completed. Egypt brokered the deal signed by the rival factions in May, and hosted party leaders last week in a push to move the deal uniting Gaza and the West Bank forward.

A delegation of Russian journalists, media figures and writers intends to visit the Gaza Strip in the coming days in the context of a solidarity program in support of the besieged to

“Where Should the Birds Fly?” is the story of two women in Gaza – the filmmaker, Fida Qishta, and a young survivor of Operation Cast Lead, Mona al Samouni. Through their eyes, we learn how people live, survive, and dream of a normal life, while facing Israeli attacks. We are more than halfway to the finish line in raising the money we need to complete “Where Should the Birds Fly?”.  Please donate generously and email your friends and lists and urge them to support this project.  You can see a short trailer of the film and make a tax deductible contribution at link to
Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
HEBRON, December 3, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Saturday arrested an international activist and a Palestinian who were protesting in the weekly non-violent demonstration against settlements and the Apartheid Wall in Yatta, a town south of Hebron, according to a local activist. The Popular Committee Coordinator in Yatta, Rateb Jabour, said that Israeli soldiers assaulted dozens of demonstrators who protested against the Israeli arbitrary policies, demolition of Palestinian property and the demolition notice for Susiya school. Soldiers arrested an international activist and a Palestinian, and battered protesters causing bruises to several of them.
Tristan Anderson civil suit delayed as new evidence emerges
A civil suit filed by the family of Tristan Anderson, a US activist seriously injured by the Israeli army during a protest, has been delayed due to the revelation of new material evidence.

Israeli Repression / Discrimination & Racism
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities have extended the closure of four Palestinian NGOs in Jerusalem for another year, the Palestinian Authority said Friday. Police sealed the entrance of the four NGOs on Wednesday, said a statement calling the action reflective of a policy to control and undermine the role of Palestinian civil society in Jerusalem. The NGOs provide services for Palestinian community in Jerusalem, the PA says.  The statement listed the closed institutions as the Shua’a Women Association, the Al-Quds Development Foundation, Work Without Borders, and the Saeed Educational Center.
Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are under attack, according to Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
“Every year the [population] gap between the Arab citizens of Israel and the Jewish citizens of Israel is closing by 60,000 a year. So we need 60,000 Jews a year to come to freeze the gap between us and the Arabs.
Settlers claim presence of Evangelical volunteers in religious community violates fabric of their society. Community Rabbi Eliezer Melamed approves their stay, says ‘they’re not missionaries’
Rabbi Shmuel Tal, head of the Torat Haim Yeshiva, calls the state an ‘abomination’ and says he has cut himself off from ‘the secular leadership.’

Row over UK lawmaker’s “Jewish” comments a reminder that Zionism is anti-Semitism, Ali Abunimah
Controversy has broken out in the UK over alleged anti-Semitic comments made by Labour MP Paul Flynn about the British Ambassador in Tel Aviv. According to The Jewish Chronicle (a publication whose record demonstrates that its accuracy can never been taken for granted) Flynn questioned whether Gould could be properly loyal to the UK because he is Jewish and has declared himself a Zionist…

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Political / Diplomatic News

Barhoum: Accepting the Quartet’s conditions eradicate Palestinian fundamentals
Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, affirmed his movement’s rejection of the International Quartet’s conditions, pointing out that the government that will be formed as a result of the to

Qasem: The PA proposal presented to the quartet destructive to Palestinians
Political science professor, Dr. Abdel-Sattar Qasem said that the PA proposal to the quartet “takes the Palestinian people toward destruction”.

Haaretz: Palestinian Authority accepts a demilitarized state
Hebrew press sources revealed that the Palestinian Authority presented a new proposal on the “final status” issues to be settled between the Palestinians and the Zionist entity.

Panetta: Israel must get to the “damn” peace table (Reuters)Reuters – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Israel on Friday to get back to the “damn” negotiating table with Palestinians and take steps to address what he described as the Jewish state’s growing isolation in the Middle to blames Palestinians for deadlock in talks

A day after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Israeli leaders to ‘just get to the damned table,’ Netanyahu spokesman says Palestinians ‘playing games.’

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AMMAN (Ma’an) — The Palestinian ambassador to Jordan lauded the role of King Abdullah in pushing Israel to release frozen tax revenues to the PA, Jordanian media said Saturday. Ambassador Atallah Khayri told Amman-based daily Al-Arab Al-Youm that the Jordanian king secured international and regional pressure on Israel to unblock the held funds. Khayri said King Abdullah’s efforts — including contact with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the British Prime Minister David Cameron — paid off when Israel finally released the payments on Dec. 1.

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In interview with Avi Issacharoff, Palestinian PM says it ‘was an honor for me to serve and I will continue to do so until my last day in the j

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ROME (Ma’an) — Italy has upgraded the top Palestinian diplomat in the country to the level of ambassador, official Palestinian Authority media said Thursday. The head of the Palestinian delegation to Italy Sabri Attiyah, will be made ambassador as part of Italy’s efforts to raise the level of the Palestinian representative office in the country, Wafa said, citing the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

link to www.maannews.netPLO subpoenas Palestinian who spied for IsraelPalestine Liberation Organization served Mosab Hassan Yousef, who says he is a former Shin Bet spy, with a subpoena in the U.S. last month; PLO wants his notes, details of his Israeli spy to www.haaretz.comEgypt

JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel is preparing for a more precarious future with neighbor Egypt where Islamist power appears to be a rising tide forecast by Israeli leaders at the beginning of Arab unrest 10 months ago. Already preoccupied with the nuclear ambitions of Iran, the widely predicted electoral triumph for mainstream and ultraconservative Islamist groups in Egypt has strengthened the sense of encirclement.

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel voiced deep concern on Saturday at the electoral rise of Islamism in Egypt but urged the Arab power to consider it had “no alternative” to maintaining its peace accord with Israel. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which had been curbed under former President Hosni Mubarak’s US-backed regime, expects to win the most seats in the new assembly after this week’s first round of voting, with ultra-conservative Salafis the likely runner-up.

link to“As long as they remain steadfast and hold their ground in Tahrir, my son Ahmed is alive.”, Max Ajl
After the atrocious massacre that began on the 19th of November, and following the aggressive charade staged by the MB and the SCAF since Monday, the revolution continues throughout the country.  Please watch this video and circulate it as widely as possible throughout the day. Follow @mosireen( ) for more documentary footage, interviews and ongoing coverage of the continuing uprising in Tahrir and around the Cabinet, as well as testimonies from victims of CSF & military violence, torture, and military to www.maxajl.comYossr Abdel Hadi: I stand with TahrirAfter a career in a deeply corrupt organisation, high-ranking Police Officer Yossr Abdel Hadi says that it is still possible for his institution to be purged of corruption and transformed into force that serves the people rather than harries and robs to League gives Syria deadline on observers
Regional bloc slaps sanctions on 19 Syrian officials and gives Damascus until Sunday to accept monitors.

Syria now in a civil war with 4,000 dead: United NationsCivil war has been the worst-case scenario in Syria since the revolt against Assad began eight months ago. Damascus has a web of allegiances that extends to Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah movement and Iran’s Shiite theocracy, raising fears of a regional conflagration.

Syrians Say They Are Feeling Grip of Economic Sanctions
Measures by Turkey, the Arab League and others are already unraveling the most significant change of President Bashar al-Assad’s tenure: linking Syria to the global economy.

A Syria run by the country’s main opposition group would cut military ties to Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas, the group’s leader told the Wall Street Journal in an articlepublished Friday.

Burhan Ghalyun presents his credentials to American Zionism, As’ad AbuKhalil
I read the interview with Burhan Ghalyun in the Wall Street Journal.  It is quite revealing.  It comes to vindicate my stance against the Syrian Military Council (I fiercely oppose the council to the same degree that I oppose the Syrian regime).  The interview should be read as an attempt to present the credentials of the council to American Zionism.  It was quite telling.  On the Golan, this major body of the Syrian opposition, which for decades rightly mocked and ridiculed the Syrian regime stance on the Golan, now says–as Ghalyun told the WSJ–that it will get back the Golan through negotiations and not through armed struggle.  THAT IS EXACTLY THE POSITION OF THE LOUSY BA`THIST REGIME, Mr. Ghalyun. So basically you promise to continue to the walk on the path of the Syrian regime.  Ghalyun said all the “the right things” against Iran and Hizbullah (not clear why Hizbullah is brought into the picture even if Ghalyun rightly opposes its verbal support of the lousy regime), but noticeably did not say one word against Israel.  Ghalyun now speaks like a typical Arab government official: he explained the absence of Kurdish and Christian representation on his council by saying that Kurds have too many parties and that Christians, well he never managed to explain that one.  Ghalyun is being dishonest and he knows it.

The Ghalyun Interview: he offers more than normalization, As’ad AbuKhalil
This is a remarkable interview and should dispel any illusions some progressive supporters of the Syrian National Council may have had.  So he said that he would reclaim the Golan through “negotiations” with Israel. That can mean one thing only: that Ghalyun is willing to offer Israel more than what the lousy Syrian regime has offered: full normalization.  So Ghalyun’s new slogans in the Arab-Israeli conflict should be: more than normalization.  That is a logical inference form the interview.

Why Russia is backing Syria
Russia isn’t just protecting its business interests – it fears Syrian civil war could have knock-on effects in Dagestan and beyond. While an international noose is tightening around the neck of Bashar-al Assad’s regime in Syria, with Turkey this week doing most of the pulling, one country, other than Iran, is intent on bucking the trend – to / Other Mideast NewsRights group urges Bush’s arrest during tour
Amnesty says Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia have an “obligation” to bring former US president “to justice”.link to

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