Mondoweiss Online Newsletter


Iran airs footage of US drone intact

Dec 08, 2011

Annie Robbins

Amazing news,  Moon of Alabama has the story:

To bring down the most sophisticated U.S. stealth drone known nearly completely intact is something very few other countries would be able to achieve. A real technical feat.


Press TV

Iran has announced that it intends to carry out reverse engineering on the captured RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft, which is also known as the Beast of Kandahar, and is similar in design to a US Air Force B-2 stealth bomber.

The most interesting part to reverse engineer is probably not the drone itself but the sensor package and communication equipment it carries. Any decent engineer would love to get her hands on that. Reverse engineering it will save a ton of money one would otherwise have to be spend in research and development costs to achieve that knowledge.

There’s much more where that came from at the link. Thanks b.

For background check out: US loses stealth drone over Iran – accident or mobile jamming?

Lobbyist privately calls on journalists to hector Schumer & Pelosi about ‘anti-Semites’ at Democratic thinktank

Dec 08, 2011

Philip Weiss

Justin Elliott has an important story up at Salon on an email list of rightwing journalists called “The Freedom Community” to which former AIPAC staffer Josh Block sent a call-to-arms yesterday. Block was telling the list to flog Ben Smith’s important piece in Politico on a new rift inside the Democratic Party over Israel, evidenced by bloggers critical of Israel at the Center for American Progress. Block smears them. Elliott:

Block’s email to The Freedom Community list arrived under the subject line “Important piece to echo and the research to do it….” – a reference to the Politico story. He wasted no time throwing around more accusations of anti-Semitism.

“This kind of anti-Israel sentiment is so fringe it’s support by CAP is outrageous, but at least it is out in the open now — as is their goal – clearly applauded by revolting allies like the pro-HAMAS and anti-Zionist/One State Solution advocate Ali Abunumiah and those who accuse pro-Israel Americans of having ‘dual loyalties’ or being ‘Israel-Firsters’ – to shape the minds of future generations of Democrats,” Block writes. “These are the words of anti-Semites, not Democratic political players.”

The email continues by encouraging journalists on The Freedom Community list to ask Democratic members of Congress about the story.

“I wonder if Steny Hoyer or Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or Chuck Schumer or Dick Durban or James Clyburn agree with CAP?” Block asks. “I wonder if they will say they disagree and condemn this stuff and expect better.    You know how I feel – look at the below — and ask them how they feel about this discourse from CAP and Media Matters.”

He goes on: “YOU SHOULD AMPLIFY this.  And use the below [research] to attack the bad guys.”

What follows is thousands of words of opposition research focusing on CAP writers Eli Clifton, Matt Duss, and Ali Gharib and Media Matters’ M.J. Rosenberg. I’ve posted the full text below.

I asked Ben Smith if he’s on the list. He’s not. But he wrote about them before, declining to name names, last year, but outing

a secret… list of center-right foreign policy writers and thinkers called Freedom Mail.

The list is maintained by Jamie Kirchick and is, as I wrote, actually a secret.

“I know nothing of this ‘list’ you’re talking about,” Kirchick e-mailed me, and I’m told an American Spectator writer was expelled from the list for compromising its secrecy. (The writer declined to comment on the incident.)

The members include many people whose views and work I respect, and it’s composed, I’m told, largely of foreign policy discussion and argument, weighted heavily toward the Middle East. I’m not going to write up a list of names for harebrained conspiracy theorists.

I was struck, though, by the affiliation of one participant: The Daily Caller’s deputy editor Jamie Weinstein, who also weighed in on Fox on the website’s big Journolist scoop, in which the website sought to tar a broad swath of outlets, including POLITICO, as conspirators.

What I find interesting about Block’s call-to-arms is that this stuff transcends party lines: the lobby is there to ensure that neither party can stake out political ground that’s critical of Israel, which is Block’s anxiety now re the Center for American Progress. Salon is right to call this list “rightwing.” But if a rightwing activist on abortion issues sent out an email to rightwing friends saying The Democrats are pro-abortion– no one would care, they’d say, If you care about abortion, vote Republican. But Block’s constituency, the lobby, obviously is much wider than one party or another, it’s its own party and wants to keep it that way. So when he says Call Pelosi, Call Chuck Schumer, he’s asking for the Democrats to excommunicate the good folks at Center for American Progress– just as he’d turn around and ask Republicans to excommunicate writers supporting Ron Paul. He’s enforcing orthodoxy on our political debate. And Democrats fear this assault because they fear they could lose a pillar of the party, Jews. (Remember that LBJ gave up the southern white vote for civil rights…)

A Lebanese shepherd looks at the land of Palestine

Dec 08, 2011

Annie Robbins

AIPAC posterizes Obama in Senate, 100-0

Dec 08, 2011

Philip Weiss

The Israeli consulate in San Francisco celebrates the Senate vote on Twitter.

If you want to understand the pressure that Obama is under from the Israel lobby, consider this greasy story: Last week three high Obama officials urged Senators not to pass an amendment to the huge Defense Authorization Act that would apply far stiffer sanctions to Iran’s central bank than the Obama administration wanted. Two of the officials went to the Hill, and said the amendment would send oil prices higher, among other damaging effects.

But the Senate rebuffed the administration and voted  unanimously, 100-0, for the sanctions.

Why did the Senate put aside appeals from Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, under secretary of the Treasury David Cohen, and Wendy Sherman, #3 at the State Department, all saying that the bill would be bad for business and bad for the U.S.’s efforts to build a coalition on Iran? Why did John Kerry, chairman of Senate Foreign Relations, acknowledge Tim Geithner’s letter against the legislation, and then vote against his president?

The clear evidence is: because the lobby wanted this amendment and these guys feared for their political lives. AIPAC led the charge. AIPAC rolled the amendment out 3 weeks ago, and then led a letter-writing campaign to US Senators on the amendment, known as Kirk-Menendez (in part for the Senator from AIPAC, Mark Kirk of Illinois). Here’s the AIPAC memo from last month:

Time is running out to prevent Iran from obtaining sufficient quantities of higher enriched uranium to facilitate a quick breakout to produce a nuclear weapon. Together with like-minded nations, the United States must act quickly and with the full force of our remaining economic tools to prevent such a nightmare scenario.

The president should immediately designate the CBI [Central Bank of Iran] as a weapons proliferator or terror supporter under Executive Order 13224 or 13338. This designation would prohibit foreign banks with operations in the United States from conducting business with the CBI.

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs also applauded the amendment. And the Israeli government tweeted a celebration of the “UNANIMOUS” vote last Thursday.

And AIPAC took its scalp: It promptly organized a campaign to thank the Senators for voting for the sanctions.

Then after the Senate version passed, Adam Kredo reported that Howard Berman in the House was going to “fall on his sword” for the Obama administration and “water down” the legislation in the House. Stop the presses– Berman then sent Kredo a long email saying I will do nothing of the sort. And why? Because Berman’s district is being redrawn, and he’s in competition with liberal Democrat Brad Sherman, who is even more supportive of sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran.

Jeffrey Goldberg anchors the lobby relay team with this post calling for military strikes on Iran and saying Obama fails to understand the seriousness of the Iranian threat:

I have to say that I’m beginning to have doubts about the Obama Administration approach to this issue… If Iran’s nuclear program is actually unacceptable, then why the hesitancy to sanction Iran’s Central Bank? I know the reason, of course: Such sanctions might lead to a spike in gasoline prices. But either you think Iran’s nuclear program is the most serious foreign policy challenge facing America, or you don’t.

AIPAC famously can get 70 Senators’ signatures on a napkin inside of a day, as Goldberg himself reported. AIPAC got 76 Senate signatures on this letter to Obama rebuking his stance on Israel back in the spring of last year. There were 87 Senate signatures on this Senate letter of June 2010 telling Obama to back Israel’s murderous response to the flotilla. When Gerald Ford thought to “reassess” Israel policy, he got a letter with 71 Senate signatures.

This time AIPAC got 100 against Obama!

The point here is that Obama is actually the most moderate on Israel issues of anyone in high elective office– Ron Paul can’t get arrested in New York. And when Obama tries to do something a little bit helpful, like calling for the settlement freeze a year back, he gets undermined by his own party. Because Likudniks basically control the Congress on these issues.

Reuters tells us what Obama didn’t like about the amendment:

The Obama administration’s chief concerns appear to be that the amendment could be a blunt instrument that might send oil prices higher and undercut support for sanctions among U.S. allies, whose backing has been vital to pass four U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions against Iran.

And Ali Gharib reports on the administration’s efforts to head the legislation off. In essence, businesses would have to stop doing business with the Bank of Japan because the Bank of Japan does business with the Central Bank of Iran.

The Kirk-Menendez amendment, named for the sponsoring Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), would bar any companies or central banks abroad that do business through Iran’s central bank from doing any business in the U.S. Kirk has said the legislation was designed to collapse Iran’s currency and expressed indifference to the suffering of ordinary Iranians as a result of doing so.

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today, two administration officials pushed back against the Kirk-Menendez amendment, offering a critique that while they shared the goals that underly the bill — pressuring Iran — they feared consequences of the legislation might be counterproductive…

Cohen said the “threat of coercion that is contained in the amendment” could alienate even close and cooperative allies like Japan and European countries. The administration believes, Cohen added, that cooperation and coordination can be better achieved “if we approach this issue through an effort to coordinate action voluntarily.”

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, who also appeared at the hearing, said the administration’s analysis concludes that “there is absolutely a risk that in fact the price of oil would go up, which would mean that Iran would in fact have more money to fuel its nuclear ambitions, not less.”

Also today, as committee chair Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) acknowledged, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote a letter to Armed Services chair Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) stating the administration’s “strong opposition to this amendment because, it its current form, it threatens to undermine the effective, carefully phased, and sustainable approach we have undertaken to build strong international pressure against Iran.”[

Karen Greenberg’s evasion

Dec 08, 2011

Philip Weiss

Karen J. Greenberg

Karen Greenberg, a leading human rights thinker and source for Max Blumenthal’s importantpiece on the Israelification of American security procedures, has now said that Blumenthal made up the quotes, or misquoted her, it’s not entirely clear. She did so at the auspices of the Israel lobby– Jeffrey Goldberg.

Initially, Greenberg told Blumenthal:

“After 9/11 we reached out to the Israelis on many fronts and one of those fronts was torture… The training in Iraq and Afghanistan on torture was Israeli training. There’s been a huge downside to taking our cue from the Israelis and now we’re going to spread that into the fabric of everyday American life? It’s counter-terrorism creep. And it’s exactly what you could have predicted would have happened.”

Now she said to Goldberg:

“I never made such a statement. I’ve never seen any proof of this. I told him I had heard a story out there about this issue, but that he should look into it and see if he could find evidence, because I have no proof of this charge. You have to be particularly careful when it comes to torture, you have to be careful not to overreach. He was looking for corroboration but I told him I didn’t have any.”

Then she told Mother Jones that she might have said this stuff:

“What I remembered saying to him was you ought to look at these allegations that others have made about Israeli training in interrogation techniques. I did not intend to assert these allegations as fact…the entire sense of the quote is inaccurate.”

The story is at once laughable and disturbing.

It’s pretty clear, based on Max Blumenthal’s notes of the interview, which he allowed me to publish at the bottom here, that even if Greenberg was echoing others’ findings, she believes these findings to be true. Greenberg is an intellectual, and intellectuals do this all the time: they echo stuff they think is important, in their own words. Blumenthal says Greenberg brought the subject up, and as for “others,” she mentioned only one other source by name. From his notes of her words:

The Israelification of the entire security apparatus in the US is worth a book…. It’s worth some thought. After 9 11 we reached out to the Israelis on many fronts and one of those fronts was torture. The training in Iraq and Afghanistan on torture was Israeli training. There’s been a huge downside to taking our cue from the Israelis and now were gonna spread that into our cities. It’s counter terrorism creep.

Furthermore, the idea that the U.S. picked up torture techniques from Israel is not even controversial in Greenberg’s intellectual circle. A book that acknowledges Karen Greenberg’s friendship, The Dark Side by Jane Mayer (2008), addresses this issue directly. After 9/11 the CIA reached out to allies who had dealt with terror suspects. “Another former CIA official active at the time said the Agency also consulted closely with Israel….’The Israelis taught us that you can put a towel around a guy’s neck and use it like a collar, to propel him headfirst into a wall.'” Etc.

Greenberg’s own book, The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited with Joshua Dratel, is aimed at documenting the Bush administration’s path to embracing torture. I haven’t read it (it’s 800+ pages) but I see that it includes a discussion of Israeli torture policy. So this book addresses the very issue she brought up with Max Blumenthal: Israeli influence on the US treatment of detainees.

The disturbing part of this story is that any criticisms of Israel are so politically loaded that Greenberg, an insider if ever there was one, has to run away from her own views when they sneak out. That torture book, for instance, opens with an introduction by Anthony Lewis in which he praises the Israeli Supreme Court rulings on torture.

Greenberg is a leading left-lib figure in foreign policy circles because she has been so careful about what she’s said. Until this fall, when she moved to Fordham University, Greenberg ran the Center for Law and Security at NYU and ran it well: which is to say– she criticized the hell out of the United States on such matters as Abu Ghraib, but avoided direct criticism of Israel.

Here’s a list of the Center’s special concerns:

Special Topics in the Middle East and Muslim Communities Concentrating on Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Yemen; the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; radicalization and deradicalization; and al Qaeda.

The Middle East and Islam– but let’s not talk about Israel and Palestine. I looked through the Center’s publications, and Israel and Palestine almost never come up. For instance, this issue of the center’s quarterly review that Greenberg edited on fighting terror is filled with criticism of the Bush administration, but the Israeli penchant for torture is handled with kid gloves: There is a piece by Yigal Mersel, Senior Legal Assistant to President Aharon Barak, of the Supreme Court of Israel— who at the time was a scholar at NYU. (The Israelification of academia is worth a book…)

This typifies Greenberg’s careful approach. She is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which is to say part of the pro-Israel Establishment. Last year I heard her introduce a talk by Noah Feldman, a liberal Zionist, at which he said in so many words that Islam and democracy are irreconcilable. She also had Lawrence Wright as a fellow— the New Yorker writer whose trip to Gaza was so disappointing to anyone who cares about human rights.

And lately, just as Greenberg was leaving the Center, it hosted Jane Harman, the diehard Israel lobbyist, to speak. What a coup!

In the end, this is a story about how embedded the Israel lobby is in the Democratic establishment– and how craven even leaders like Karen Greenberg are as a result. Yesterday, for instance, Politico said that the Center for American Progress has Israel critics working for it– and sure enough, CAP issued a clarification by the end of the day, insisting we’re for Israel’s longterm security. I met Greenberg once with Max Blumenthal (they were friends) and remember the three of us sharing some snarky comments about Israel– it’s not a country she adores. But she’ll be damned if she says a public word against it.

Here are Blumenthal’s notes:

The Israelification of the entire security apparatus in the US is worth a book. Coordination of mayors is unprecedented. It’s not of course. It’s worth some thought. After 9 11 we reached out to the Israelis on many fronts and one of those fronts was torture. The training in iraq and Afghanistan on torture was Israeli training. There’s been a huge downside to taking our cue from the Israelis and now were gonna spread that into our cities. It’s counter terrorism creep. And it’s exactly what you coulud have predicted what would have happened. Why don’t we talk about Israeli coordination in public? The reason is the kind of things they taught us would require a major discussion. After 9 11 we had to react very quickly but now were in 2011 and were not talking about people who want to fly planes into buildings, were talking about young American citizens who feel that their birthright has been sold. And were using Israeli tactics on them? If this stuff bleeds into the way we do business at large were in trouble. To put these occupiers in a category of counterterrorism is philosophically dangerous and incorrect. It has implications in terms of who decides who an enemy is. Bit by bit we’ve allowed a creeping broadening of that category and it’s become closer and closer to Americans. It suggests that the walls that we built around this definition of terrorism can be expanded to whatever we want. Kids are not terrorists and it’s inappropriate to label them that way.

US continued arms shipments to Egypt despite proof they were being used on protesters

Dec 08, 2011



US-made tear gas used in Tahrir Square, November, 2011 (Photo: Maggie Osama)

USA repeatedly shipped arms supplies to Egyptian security forces

Data obtained by Amnesty International shows that the US has repeatedly transferred ammunition to Egypt despite security forces’ violent crackdown on protesters. A shipment for the Egyptian Ministry of Interior arrived from the US on 26 November carrying at least seven tons of “ammunition smoke” – which includes chemical irritants and riot control agents such as tear gas. It was one of at least three arms deliveries to Egypt by the US company Combined Systems, Inc. since the brutal crackdown on the “25 January Revolution” protestors.

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Shocking Clip: Israeli Checkpoint Cruelty

More video of Israelis in action…

Israeli Soldiers flirting with underage Palestinian girls
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Land, Property Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Apartheid / Exile

Israel OKs new settler homes in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel has approved construction of a new Jewish enclave in the heart of a Palestinian neighborhood of annexed East Jerusalem, state-owned Channel One TV reported Wednesday. The channel said the 14-home project, to be named Maale David, was approved late Wednesday by the Jerusalem city council’s planning committee and was likely to spark fresh international condemnation of Israel’s settlements policy.
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Muzaini slams Israeli demolition orders against two schools in Al-Khalil
Palestinian minister of education Dr. Osama Al-Muzaini strongly denounced the IOA for issuing demolition orders against two Palestinian schools, Manezel and Susya, south of Al-Khalil city.
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MP Tuteh: The Israeli intelligence told us to evacuate our tent in Red Cross
Palestinian lawmaker Mohamed Tuteh said the Israeli intelligence threatened them over the phone to evacuate their protest tent at the Red Cross headquarters within 48 hours.
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Israel hands confiscation, demolition orders in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces handed confiscation orders to ten landowners in villages near Hebron on Thursday, locals told Ma’an. The troops also handed demolition orders for 14 houses in southern Hebron village Susiya, residents said. Israeli authorities told four landowners in Surif village, which neighbors Susiya, that their land would be seized. The lands belong to Ismael Musa Othman Ighnnimat, Atef Atallah Ibrahim Ighnimat, Mohammad Abdullah Ahmad al-Qadi, and Mohammad Ibrahim al-Hour, a Ma’an reporter said.
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Jordan Valley: threat of imminent demolition hangs over the village of Al Hadidiya

Before the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Al Hadidiya, near the Jordan Valley villages of Tubas and Jiftlik, was inhabited by over 100 families. Today, only 14 families remain. Since 1967, the village has been demolished four times, and over 3000 dunums of land, necessary for shepherding and grazing of animals, has been stolen by the nearby settlements of Ro’I and Beqa’ot.
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Troops Demolish Another Home In East Jerusalem

Palestinian sources reported that Israeli soldiers demolished, on Tuesday morning, a Palestinian home in the Al Khalayla neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem. The home was the third to be demolished in just 24 hours.
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Living under threat of demolition in the Jordan Valley

The threat of imminent demolition hangs over the Palestinian village of Al-Hadidiya in the Jordan Valley.

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Jerusalem: Violence feared over Mughrabi Bridge closing
Authorities in capital decide to close hazardous walkway connecting Western Wall, Temple Mount; Muslim clerics warn of protests over measure.

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EU’s Ashton condemns West Bank mosque attack
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton on Thursday condemned the attack on a West Bank village mosque a day earlier, which local officials blamed on settlers. “The High Representative condemns the attack against the mosque of Burqin village in the West Bank on 7 December 2011, in which a flaming tyre was thrown into the entrance of the mosque and the mosque’s walls were sprayed with graffiti,” Ashton’s office said in a statement. “Accountability and the rule of law are essential. Attacks against places of worship are particularly troubling. The EU calls on the Israeli authorities to investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the statement added.
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Israeli Terrorism / Aggression

Two Palestinians killed in Israeli raid
Two Palestinian operatives were killed in downtown Gaza city on Thursday in an Israeli aerial raid while two citizens were wounded, medical sources said.
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Settlers Open Fire At Palestinian Shepherds Near Nablus

A group of extremist Israeli settlers opened fired, on Thursday, at a group of Palestinian shepherds tending their sheep in the eastern hills of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
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Witnesses: Israeli troops raid Ramallah villages
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A large Israeli force raided two villages near Ramallah on Thursday morning leading to clashes with locals, witnesses said. Around 300 soldiers in army jeeps, accompanied by bulldozers, entered Deir Ghassana and Beit Rima, ransacking homes and entering mosques in both villages, witnesses told Ma’an.
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Israeli Troops Break Into The House Of Imemc’s Board Member

Israeli soldiers broke into the house of Saher Al-Sous, in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem. Al-Sous is a board member of the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between People, the founding organization of the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC).

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Jewish terrorists rolled flaming tires into a West Bank mosque (Hebrew) in an attempt to burn it down.  It was the second such price tag attack on a Palestinian mosque.  They attacked the village of Burkina (or “Brukin”) near Ariel and also scrawled graffiti on its walls mocking the director of the Shin Bet’s Jewish anti-terror unit, Avigdor (Avi) Arieli (see accompanying image).  In Israeli media, the name has been blurred as intelligence officials may not be publicly identified.  Several Palestinian vehicles were incinerated in the latest arson assault.

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TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — An Israeli military court has acquitted a Palestinian defendant after it was found that he and his family suffered abuse and threats to secure a false confession, reports said Wednesday. Israel’s Haaretz daily reported that the Palestinian man was subjected to “physical and psychological abuse and threats involving family members to force a confession from the suspect.”

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Israeli military courts usually accept testimony of Shin Bet security service agents, even in cases where no one disputes confessions were obtained after suspects were beaten.

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Photostory: The brighter side of Gaza, Sami Kishawi

Photographs taken by The Electronic Intifada contributor Sami Kishawi this summer show the color of everyday life in Gaza.

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IN PHOTOS: Jenin refugee camp and Freedom Theater
At first glance, Jenin’s refugee camp seems different from other West Bank refugee camps. The streets are wider, the houses newer, the design of the camp is neater. The scenes of destruction from 2002–when the Israeli army invaded Jenin for 22 days, demolishing almost a third of the homes–are long gone, replaced by the light yellow three-storey houses that were erected in 2006.
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Detention / Court Actions / Prisoner Exchanges

Israeli court imprisons Jerusalemite youths for supporting Hamas
An Israeli court sentenced two Palestinian Jerusalemite youths to imprisonment for allegedly planning commando attacks and for raising money for Hamas.
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Israeli forces ‘detain PFLP members in Hebron raid’
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Thursday arrested three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine during a dawn raid on Sair in Hebron, locals said. Witnesses told Ma’an that soldiers, accompanied by dogs, ransacked several homes before detaining Mohammad Sharif Abdul Ghaffar Jaradat, 23, Khalil Rateb Jabarin and Rami Shalalda.
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Shin Bet Restricts Gag Orders, Detainee ‘Disappearances’, Richard Silverstein
When I first began writing this blog, a question that always nagged at me was: why?  Why write a blog?  Who does it impact?  What does it change?  Now, these questions don’t bother me as much.  But if I ever needed an answer to them I’d have it now, based on an Israeli security source, who notes that the new Shin Bet chief, Yoram Cohen, has ended (according to his/her claim) the agency’s use of gag orders and “disappearances” of detainees.  The new director appears to have learned a lesson his predecessor, Yuval Diskin, did not: that when they engage in such draconian conduct, they only prove the arguments of their detractors, who say they are among the chief violators of civil liberties in Israeli society.
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Solidarity / Activism / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

On International Solidarity Day with Palestine, Israeli Repression Continues

Coinciding with the international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, the weekly protests against the apartheid wall and settlements was suppressed by the occupation forces, who shot protesters with live bullets and metal bullets covered with rubber. The loud shooting, sound bombs, and tear gas bombs caused injuries to protesters and dozens of suffocation cases. Two journalists were arrested and three international human rights defenders.

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Twenty four years ago, on December 9, 2011 a revolution began.  The revolution began in Gaza, it was the First Intifada.  After twenty years of Israeli occupation Palestinian resistance exploded in full force.  Boycotts, demonstrations, tax refusal, all of these were the strategies of the Intifada.  Over one thousand Palestinians would be killed by Israel during the Intifada;over one hundred thousand Palestinians would go to prison during the course of the Intifada.  For six years the Intifada burned, Palestinians were united in a massive nationwide campaign of popular resistance.

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New Lupe Fiasco song honors Palestine, Rachel Corrie and Occupy Wall Street

Monday night, December 5, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, held one of four Northern California events “celebrating innovative lifesaving technology developed in the Jewish state” with the Keynote speaker Ari Sacher, a pro-Israel advocate, whose current profession is designing weapons for Raytheon Missile Systems. Tickets for the event were $95.00, however stipends were available to local youth at Kehillha Jewish High School.

The Swiss BDS Group has announced a statement signed by over 150 Swiss artists calling on artists, cultural institutions and the public to boycott the Culturescapes Israel festival and a “Swiss Season” program which hosts Swiss artists in Israel.
British students reject twinning with Israel’s Hebrew University
Students at Britain’s University of York have rejected a proposal to twin the institution with the Hebrew University in occupied Jerusalem. The vote on the issue was carried out by York University’s Student Union. According to newspaper reports, York student Jacob Campbell proposed the twinning agreement in order to defend Israel and curb what he described as “anti-Semitic” activities in British universities. York University’s Student Union asked its members to vote for or against the proposal, which sought to build links between the student unions of the two universities prior to a full twinning agreement with the Israeli university. The result was that 891 students voted against the twinning proposal, with 144 in favour; there were 127 abstentions. Student leaders said that the quorum for the vote to be carried was at least 5% of the total membership, equivalent to 784 participants. They pointed out that the relatively high turnout of voters reflected the importance of the issue to the students.
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“This Is Apartheid” Poster Contest

Art has always been an important part of liberation struggles. It can inspire and convey concepts beyond and its primary partner, Lajee Center, are sponsoring a competition for artists and graphic designers who are invited to submit posters on the theme of “Israeli Apartheid.” These posters should reflect the nature, realities, and/or consequences of apartheid policies in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Posters will be judged by a panel of distinguished activists and artists. The winning entries will be featured in an online poster gallery and disseminated widely on the internet and various other venues. Youth from refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank will participate in the contest.

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New poster series illustrates trade-offs in sending military aid to Israel

Help us continue to shape the political landscape to end U.S. military aid to Israel by signing up today to educate and organize people in your community. When you do so, you’ll join more than 2,000 people in 49 states and more than 900 cities who have received an organizing packet with fact sheets, flyers, petitions, stickers, and more–everything you’ll need to spark conversations in your community and identify more people who agree with us that we should be funding community needs, not Israel’s misdeeds against the Palestinian people.

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Activists Call on Fashion Icon to Sever Ties with Lev Leviev

In November, US Campaign coalition member groups Adalah-NY,CODEPINK, and Jewish Voice for Peace, along with human rights organizations in the UK, called on fashion icon Daphne Guinness and Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to sever ties with Israeli settlement builder and conflict diamond purveyor Lev Leviev. Leviev is a principal sponsor of Ms. Guinness’s current fashion exhibition at FIT. In an open letter to Guinness and FIT, the groups detailed Leviev’s sordid complicity in a multitude of human rights abuses that have led a number organizations and governments to distance themselves from Leviev’s companies. Citing Guinness’s own humanitarian work, the groups implored Guinness to sever all ties with Leviev:

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Dutch foreign minister Uri Rosenthal, who tried to stifle The Electronic Intifada, sponsors ‘Internet freedom’ conference, Ali Abunimah

The Dutch Foreign Minister, Uri Rosenthal, who attempted to stifle The Electronic Intifada last year by pressuring on one of its donors, and has directly threatened Dutch civil society for defying his pro-Israel policies, is now supposedly an advocate of “Internet freedom.”

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Update and resolution: Telemundo contractor terminated after racist anti Palestinian & Muslim tweets exposed

The speed and seriousness with which Telemundo responded to this matter is commendable.

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Israeli repression, discrimination, racism, and sexism

Bill aims to silence mosques
New legislation proposes to restrict call of Muezzin, claims that use of public address system disruptive to residents.
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Palestinian journalists’ freedom of speech in Israel threatened by security forces

A new report published by the I’lam Center highlights the difficulties Palestinian journalists face inside of Israel. According to the research, such journalists, who are citizens of Israel, contend with restrictions on their freedom of speech and numerous obstacles that block their professional advancement.

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Political / Diplomatic news / Other News

Israeli army officers ‘urge government to strengthen PA’
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Senior Israeli army officials say the Israeli government should strengthen the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority to avoid Hamas gains in elections next year, the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv reported Thursday. Israeli officers advocate giving more permits for Palestinians in the West Bank to work in Israel, approving job creation programs and opening more roads between cities in the West Bank, the report says. Coordination between PA security forces and Israel must be preserved, army officers told Maariv, adding that PA forces contributed to the “war on terror” in addition to maintaining law and order. But officers say Israel should focus on civil programs in the West Bank in order to stop Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, gaining a foothold in the West Bank in elections next year, the report said.
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Hamas demands Palestinian elections be held in East Jerusalem

Israel expected to object to May presidential, parliamentary elections taking place in East Jerusalem; Senior Palestinian source accuses Hamas of trying to torpedo election.

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RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said Wednesday that a unity government must be formed before elections can be held. During a meeting in Cairo on Nov. 24, Fatah leader and President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal approved a two-page document saying they would establish a joint government after elections in May 2012.

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Palestinians’ statehood bid part of Christmas (AP)
AP – At Christmas time the world looks to Jesus’ traditional birthplace of Bethlehem, and this year the Palestinians hope to use some of that attention to boost their quest for independence.

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Palestinian Authority: Bid for statehood is continuing

Representatives of the Palestinian Authority have announced that they will continue with their attempt to achieve recognition as a state by the United Nations, despite the Security Council’s inability to reach a consensus on Palestinian statehood last month.

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Human rights Monitor calls for bringing Obama and Netanyahu to int’l justice

The Palestinian human rights foundation (Monitor)on Tuesday called for prosecuting US president Barack Obama and Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu in an international court as war criminals.

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Muslim charity leaders lose appeal in Hamas case (Reuters)

Reuters – A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the convictions of five leaders of an Islamic charity on charges of funneling money and supplies to Hamas, designated a “terrorist” group following a 1995 executive order by President Bill Clinton.

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Palestinian mission considers legal action over ASA censure
Further to my posting yesterday, Palestinian mission breached ASA code by wiping Israel off the map, a spokesman for Palestinian Diplomatic Mission to the UK has been in touch. It followed the censure on the mission by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for carrying an online map promoting tourism

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