Mondoweiss Online Newsletter


Emma Thompson among group of prominent British actors calling on Globe theatre to withdraw invite to Israeli National Theatre

Mar 29, 2012

Eleanor Kilroy

UK groups have for three months been pressing Shakespeare’s Globe to withdraw its festival invitation to Habima in response to the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli cultural institutions, and now a group of prominent actors, playwrights and directors have published a letter in the Guardian, ‘Dismay at Globe invitation to Israeli theatre’

We notice with dismay and regret that Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London has invited Israel’s National Theatre, Habima, to perform The Merchant of Venice in its Globe to Globe festival this coming May. The general manager of Habima has declared the invitation “an honourable accomplishment for the State of Israel”. But Habima has a shameful record of involvement with illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory. Last year, two large Israeli settlements established “halls of culture” and asked Israeli theatre groups to perform there. A number of Israeli theatre professionals – actors, stage directors, playwrights – declared they would not take part.

Habima, however, accepted the invitation with alacrity, and promised the Israeli minister of culture that it would “deal with any problems hindering such performances”. By inviting Habima, Shakespeare’s Globe is undermining the conscientious Israeli actors and playwrights who have refused to break international law.

The Globe says it wants to “include” the Hebrew language in its festival – we have no problem with that. “Inclusiveness” is a core value of arts policy in Britain, and we support it. But by inviting Habima, the Globe is associating itself with policies of exclusion practised by the Israeli state and endorsed by its national theatre company. We ask the Globe to withdraw the invitation so that the festival is not complicit with human rights violations and the illegal colonisation of occupied land.

David Aukin producer

Poppy Burton-Morgan artistic director, Metta Theatre

Leo Butler playwright

Niall Buggy actor

David Calder actor

Jonathan Chadwick director

Caryl Churchill playwright

Michael Darlow writer, director

John Graham Davies actor, writer

Trevor Griffiths playwright

Annie Firbank actor

Paul Freeman actor

Matyelok Gibbs actor

Tony Graham director

Janet Henfrey actor

James Ivens artistic director, Flood Theatre

Andrew Jarvis actor, director, teacher

Neville Jason actor

Ursula Jones actor

Professor Adah Kay academic, playwright

Mike Leigh film-maker, dramatist

Sonja Linden playwright, iceandfire theatre

Roger Lloyd Pack actor

Cherie Lunghi actor

Miriam Margolyes actor

Kika Markham actor

Jonathan Miller director, author and broadcaster

Frances Rifkin director

Mark Rylance actor

Alexei Sayle comedian, writer

Farhana Sheikh writer

Emma Thompson actor, screenwriter

Andy de la Tour actor, director

Harriet Walter actor

Hilary Westlake director

Richard Wilson actor, director

Susan Wooldridge actor, writer

Israel stands by debunked story of Palestinian child’s death

Mar 29, 2012

Allison Deger

Khalood Badawi (Photo: Luis Jaume)

A Palestinian working for the United Nations, Khulood Badawi, is at the center of a raging controversy over her March 12 tweet about a three-year-old Palestinian girl who died as a result of an Israeli attack in 2006.

During Israel’s latest air strike in Gaza, Badawi, an employee of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, tweeted a graphic image of the dead girl, Raja Abu Shaban, and wrote: “Palestine is bleeding. Another child killed by #Israel. Another father carrying his child to a grave in #Gaza.”

After the photograph circulated, hasbara-ites started an online petition calling for the UN to “immediately terminate” Badawi, claiming, “Badawi has proven unreliable as a source of information by using her Twitter account to spread false and harmful information about Israel.”  That same day, March 15,  the Israeli ambassador to the UN, and the IDF also called for the UN to fire Badawi, saying that she inaccurately attributed the death to Israel.

Screen shot 2012 03 27 at 4 16 41 PM
Screen shot of Israel’s UN Twitter account tweeting for Khulood Badawi’s dismissal from the UN.

However, on Monday Ma’an News Agency reported Israeli missiles were indeed responsible for the young girl’s death.

Despite the new information, Israeli officials are still calling for the UN to dismiss Badawi, maintaining Israel had no involvement in her death.

Ma’an now states: “medical records, interviews with relatives of the girl, and news reports from that day suggest otherwise.”

Last weekend Ma’an interviewed the family and human rights groups regarding the photograph:

‘Israeli rockets fell near the house, causing the playground slide to fall on top of her,’ Raja’s father Salam Abu Shaban said Sunday, pointing out the strike occurred less than 200 meters away. Her mother agreed.

The cause of death registered in a hospital medical report, seen by Ma’an, from that day in 2006 concludes that Raja died ‘due to falling from a high area during the Israeli strike on Gaza.’

It notes: ‘The Gaza prosecutor registered her as a martyr,’ a term commonly used to describe Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.

Human rights organizations also say Raja died after the impact of the explosions. Israeli and Palestinian groups maintain her fall was the result of the army activity targeting militants in a nearby field.

In a register of Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli forces, the rights group B’Tselem reports that Raja ‘fell off a swing and bumped her head when a missile fired by the IDF hit an orchard 100 meters from the house.’

Recent investigations have re-confirmed this account, B’Tselem official Sarit Michaeli said Sunday.

Research by the Gaza-based rights group Al Mezan, in the days after Raja’s death, also found the impact of the strike caused her to fall, the rights group confirmed Saturday.

‘While the (Israeli army) did not target the girl directly, they launched an attack with three missiles on a densely populated area, which caused the death of the girl, the injury of three civilians and the damage of several houses in the area,’ Al Mezan noted in a statement.

The photograph that was circulated is a graphic image of three-year-old Raja Abu Shaban who died after falling from a swing, indirectly from Israeli missiles in 2006. In a correction that same year, Reuters reported with the picture:

The head of the Palestinian ambulance service, Muawiyah Hassanein, said the girl fell from a swing at her home near the scene of the attack that killed two gunmen. He believed the girl had fallen because of the sound of the blast.

Bradley Burston dips his toes in one-state water

Mar 29, 2012

David Samel

In his latest Haaretz column, Bradley Burston dares to go where he has never gone before, taking the first tentative steps toward consideration of the one-state solution. Burston strikes me as a true “liberal Zionist,” one whose expressions of decency are genuine rather than cynical, but he has never, to my knowledge, allowed himself to question the continued existence of the Jewish State, until now.

Burston draws inspiration from both left and right. He cites the recent revelation that as early as August, 1967, none other than Menachem Begin proposed granting citizenship to any West Bank Palestinians who desired it (a proposal kept secret until now). He notes that in a 2010 Haaretz article, Noam Sheizaf reviewed right-wing voices who have broached the subject of citizenship for OPT Palestinians. Burston even credits Peter Beinart, who has publicly favored a limited boycott, for moving the dialogue, even though Beinart lags behind on even the possibility of a 1ss.

Interestingly, Burston does not arrive at this position out of placing the fundamental concept of equality for all above the notion of the Jewish State. He is purely motivated by the increasing physical impossibility of achieving the two-state solution, referring to himself as someone who still believes that two independent states would provide Israelis and Palestinians with their best chance for a future of freedom, justice, security and well-being. I disagree with him there, and disagree even more when he blames the disappearance of a potential 2ss on both Israelis and Palestinians: There is no denying, however, that settlement construction, Palestinian disunity, and other factors are fast rendering the two-state concept impracticable.

Still, Burston comes a long way, seeing “something of a Jewish Spring in rethinking the future of Israel and its relationship to the Palestinians, the Mideast, and the Jewish people.. He agrees that Israel, if left to its druthers, will probably choose to continue the status quo of “temporary” occupation, which he recognizes is profoundly immoral. He also knows that most Israeli Jews, himself included, would be fearful of remaking their state less committed to preservation of an inherent Jewish character, but he concludes with a plea to think what had previously been unthinkable:

In another week, it will be Pesach. The enemy of fear. Time to cast out the chametz, which is everything we put up and hoard and refuse to part with and acquire and consume too much of, as our insulation against everything that scares us. Ideas included. Time to burn it. Time to burn what we are so comfortable believing, knowing to be true. It’s Spring. Time to start again. Time to think again, to leave behind what we know. Time to hit the road. Even if we can see that the route leads between gigantic, threatening walls, with nothing visible holding them from falling in on us, drowning us, annihilating us. Nothing, that is, but faith and a willingness to try something we hadn’t, until now, considered.

Obama and Republicans have to support Iran war ‘because of funding from certain ethnic groups’

Mar 29, 2012

Philip Weiss

Watch the latest video at

Blunt talk about the Israel lobby, and how it could push war and sink the economy.  No, not on Chris Matthews. On Lou Dobbs’s Fox Business show last night, a money manager named Harvey Eisen of Bedford Oak Advisors.

DOBBS: Bottom line — a gist of how your outlook here. Complete the thought.

EISEN: The market is fine, but markets have to consolidate and correct. And I think we are going to have that over the next few weeks, months. Then people are going to say, wait a minute. And they’re going to cite all the problems. And of course, the big bugaboo in the closet, which nobody knows the answer to. If Israel has a war with Iran before the election and the president must support. Even the Republicans have to support it because of the funding from certain ethnic groups. The bottom of line is that could cause the market to go down, except we are in good shape. Rates are low, low, low and not rising. That’s the key.

DOBBS: In good shape. I would not go beyond that for anything. Let’s conclude there. Harvey Eisen, thanks a lot. We appreciate it. Good to see you.

Settlers take over house in Hebron, PA detains owner

Mar 29, 2012

Today in Palestine

Settlers take up residence in Hebron house
Several dozen settlers move into property located near Cave of Patriarchs; say they have legal ownership. Palestinian owner detained by PA police.
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New book shows how the PA enriched an elite and normalized occupation, Mayssun Sukarieh
Globalized Palestine: The National Sell-Out of a Homeland explores the rise of a new Palestinian elite that works together with international organizations against the will of the majority of its compatriots.
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Ethnic Cleansing / Land & Resource Theft & Destruction / Apartheid

Demolitions: Israel’s path of destruction through the Jordan Valley
Families and their livestock are left without shelter as Israeli Occupation Forces soldiers and bulldozers leave a path of destruction El Hemmi, al-Farisiya and Khirbet Homse in the Jordan Valley. On the 26th of March several houses and animal barricades were demolished in the small communities of El Hemmi, Al Farisiya and Khirbet Homse in the Jordan Valley.  The convoy of military vehicles started out in El Hemmi in the morning and  continued to Al Farisiya and ended in Homse close to Hamra Checkpoint by the afternoon.
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ISRAEL: Water being used to coerce Bedouin villagers, says NGO
UMM AL-HIERAN, NEGEV DESERT 29 March 2012 (IRIN) – Salim Abu al-Qi’an’s family live in Israel’s Negev desert in the “unrecognized” Bedouin village of Umm al-Hieran, 9km from the nearest source of clean water.
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Israeli occupation to raze water wells in Al-Khalil villages
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) served water wells demolition notices to a number of Palestinians in villages near Al-Khalil on Thursday, local sources said.
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Thirsting for justice, Palestinian rights to water and sanitation
On Thursday 22 March World Water Day was celebrated as a means of drawing attention to the importance of fresh water. Every day human beings consume a lot of water for their daily needs, wasting more liters than necessary. Efficient use of water is imperative because,although it is reusable, water is not an inexhaustible resource.  In the Palestinian occupied territories especially, the access to sufficient water and hence the food supply is under pressure. Last Thursday on World Water Day, a protest called ‘Thirsting for Justice took place in front of the Israeli High Court of Justice is Jerusalem to demonstrate for the Palestinian right to water. Meanwhile another protest was going on in Ramallah. Employees of the Palestinian water authority, the Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene group (EWASH) and students walked to the Ministry of Agriculture to hand over a petition. In this petition they asked for more action on the current water situation in the Occupied Palestinian territories.
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Violence / Aggression

Israeli forces fire at demonstrators in occupied Jerusalem
Israeli occupation police forces fired rubber bullets and teargas canisters at Jerusalemite youths in Silwan and Tur towns in occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday.
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Khamis, injured by the Israeli navy while fishing in the waters of Gaza
A Palestinian fisherman, Khamis Baker, was injured on Sunday morning when the Israeli navy opened fire on a group of Palestinian fishing boats in the waters of Gaza. The Khamis family’s home, in Al-Shati camp (“Beach” camp), is poorly lit , the ceiling falls into pieces, and there is no glass on the windows.
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Witnesses: Israeli forces raid Tulkarem camp
TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained two men from a refugee camp near Tulkarem in the northern West Bank early Thursday, witnesses said. Soldiers detained Ahmad Ali, 21, and Amer Masharka, 23, after ransacking their homes in Nur Shams refugee camp, locals told Ma’an. Troops handed Amjad al-Sayyed a summons to report to Israeli intelligence and raided an internet cafe in the same area, onlookers said. Soldiers also raided homes in Kifl Haris, east of Salfit, and detained 28-year-old Firas Fares who works at the prime ministers’ office in Ramallah, villagers said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers detained nine Palestinians across the West Bank overnight, including one man in Kifl Haris. She had no reports of arrests in Nur Shams.
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Soldiers, Settlers, Break Into The Al-Aqsa Mosque
The al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage issued a press release on Wednesday morning stating that dozens of Israeli soldiers and fundamentalist settlers broke into the al-Aqsa Mosque through the al-Magharba Gate and provoked the local Muslim worshipers.
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Settlers Attack Internationals Accompanying School Children on Shuhada Street
Today at around 1 PM  extremist settler Anat Cohen attacked a Canadian woman accompanying school children, and a few minutes later sent two teenage settlers to throw rocks at the Canadian woman and a Finnish man.  The attack occurred at the bottom of the stairs connecting the Qordaba Girls School with the section of Shuhada street where Palestinians are allowed to walk.
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Following an extremist settler’s announcement to take over Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, the right-wing leader, Aryeh King published an ad in a newspaper seeking “strong men [who] are wanted to legally evacuate Arab squatters.” Adding, if the state will not remove the family,  “the Jews will do it without the police’s aid.” The settler leader, speaking to Haaretz, estimated his call will attract, “dozens of unmarried army veterans [will] arrive this week and clear out the [Palestinian] tenets.”

Israeli settlers protest re-opening of road to Palestinian village
After the Israeli military re-opened the road to Beit Dajan, near Nablus, on Tuesday, a group of several dozen Israeli settlers gathered Wednesday at the entrance to the Palestinian village, many armed with automatic weapons, to block the Palestinian villagers from using the newly-reopened road.
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Gaza Siege

Power crisis leaves Gazans in the dark
In a small room in Gaza City, Lisa Masharawi reads by candlelight, dreaming of being able to study for her upcoming exams by the light that even a small generator could provide.
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Occupied Lives: Dying for medical supplies
Israeli restrictions on the entry of medical supplies to the Gaza Strip means that lives are in danger.
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Losses in millions of dollars due to Gaza power crisis
The Gaza Strip has lost millions of dollars in economic damages as a result of the fuel and power crisis that has been plaguing the enclave for more than a month, an economic expert said.
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Palestinian shanty town emerging south of Gaza City
Dozens of Palestinian families are currently being forced to live on a plot of government land to the south of Gaza City in makeshift accommodation. Most of these families live in extreme poverty and are unable to find adequate shelter as a consequence of the five-year old Israeli imposed blockade of the Sector, as well as the crisis of continued unemployment. These families live in tents, nylon or metal sheet dwellings which do not provide them with adequate protection from the cold and rain during winter, or from the heat during the summer months.
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Gaza Fishermen unable to catch ‘a single fish’
According to the Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza, fishermen in the beleaguered territory are complaining bitterly over the escalating effects of the fuel and electricity shortages on their ability to make a living for themselves and their families. Their boats are now nearly all confined to port. A press statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture warned that Gaza’s food chain, represented by the vital fishing, livestock and agricultural industries, faced the imminent threat of grinding to a halt. It highlighted the direct impact of the shortages on the fishing sector, stressing that fishermen do not have the necessary fuel to power their boats, or the necessary gas for light when night fishing. Refrigerators to keep stock fresh, the retail fish business and other aspects of the industry related to production have all been affected by the current crisis, leading to significant losses.
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In Gaza, it is sometimes better to be sick
Three female hairdressers and two barbers will not be able to leave the Gaza Strip to participate in the “Palestinian Beauty and Tradition Spring Fair” in the West Bank city of Tulkarem, not because the military has any security related suspicions against them, but simply because “in view of the current political-security situation, residents of the Gaza Strip are not permitted to enter Israel other than in exceptional humanitarian cases, with an emphasis on medical cases” (Hebew).
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Gaza: A PR “Power” Struggle – Fuel shortage crisis, Omar Ghraieb
Gaza, March 27, Mohammed Al-Helo, a four-month-old infant, died when the shortage of electricity in the Gaza Strip caused the artificial respirator his life depended on to shut down. His death was a personal tragedy for his family, but for Hamas – the Islamic movement that governs the Gaza Strip – it was an opportunity to illustrate how difficult its struggle is to keep its citizens safe and secure. Portraying it as the first recorded death due to the energy crisis, the movement’s spokesmen and the family said Mohammed’s lifeless body had been brought to Shifa Hospital last Friday.
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Hana Shalabi

Prisoners society: Shalabi in serious condition
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian hunger-striker Hana Shalabi reiterated Tuesday she will not back down, while a lawyer for a prisoners rights group says the detainee is now in serious condition. Jawad Bulus of the Palestinian prisoners society visited Shalabi in Maer hospital in Kfar Saba and reported that she was in serious condition. The visit was to inform Shalabi about the decision of the military court’s judge who rejected her appeal, and to inform her of a petition submitted to the Israeli supreme court in her name.  Hana expressed anger upon hearing the decision but has not lost hope, Bulus said.
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It has been more than forty days since Hana Shalabi began her courageous fast – and her protest is still being ignored. A group of students from universities across the US and Europe have banded together to highlight her struggle and that of the Palestinians more broadly.

Hana al-Shalabi on Day 41 of Hunger Strike

Hana al-Shalabi is a 30-year-old Palestinian woman and resident of Burqin village near Jenin who was taken from her home and arrested on February 16. On February 23, she was given an administrative detention order for six months. She has been on a hunger strike for 41 days in protest of her violent arrest, the harmful and degrading ill-treatment she suffered following her arrest and of her administrative detention.
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Demo held for Shalabi in Gaza Strip
A demonstration has been held in the Gaza Strip in solidarity with a Palestinian woman who has been detained by Israel without charge or trial.
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Gaza children demonstrate for Shalabi’s release
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Dozens of children demonstrated outside Red Cross headquarters in Gaza City on Thursday calling for the release of hunger-striking detainee Hana Shalabi. Shalabi has refused food for 43 days since Israeli forces detained her from her home in the northern West Bank on Feb. 16. Israel has sentenced her to four months but she has not been charged with any crime.
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What we can do: Hana Shalabi-University Campuses Stand With You
The following call is being distributed by student activists across North America and Europe. Please consider joining in at your campus!  Check the Facebook page for this day of action: As students from American and European universities, we stand in solidarity with Hana Shalabi and her pursuit of justice and human rights as her voice is silenced by arbitrary administrative detention.  We call on you to stand this Thursday March 29, 2012 with Hana Shalabi on her hunger strike.
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Lawlessly detained without charge, Hana’s 40th hunger strike day began. She wants freedom or death, and not just for herself. It’s for thousands of wrongfully imprisoned Palestinians. On Sunday, an Israeli military court rejected her appeal. The judge spuriously claimed grounds to continue holding her. Turning reality on its head, she threatens Israeli security, he said. On Sunday, Addameer twittered: “Despite her critical condition, the Israeli military judge rejected (her) appeal today, on the 39th day of her hunger strike.” On Monday, Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said a PHR-I doctor examined her on Saturday in Meir Hospital where she’s now held. Blood tests confirm more deterioration. Hana agreed to ingest calcium and Vitamin K. They protect her from imminent heart attack.
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Letter to Hana
My Dear Hana, I honestly don’t think it’s sexism anymore. It simply can’t be that there aren’t any people in the street demanding you justice because you’re a woman. It goes much deeper than that and asking your forgiveness is humiliating. There aren’t many people that know who you are because there are many people who choose to brush off the reality of the occupation smothering us. You probably laugh at their naiveness, or maybe you cry once you realize how hopeless they feel. Then maybe you feel enraged, thinking of your mother who lost a son for the sake of Palestine, enraged in wondering why everybody else is not like your mother; Empowered. Steadfast. Faithful. Im sorry they choose to ignore your empty stomach growl like a lioness. They hear it, Hana, wallahi they do. But they ask themselves, “What can we do?” and go about their everyday activities. Shopping. KFC for dinner. No politics at the dinner table, wash your hands with Sheva and stop dreaming. Leadership, the say. Leadership failed us, so why keep trying? They’re stronger than us. Yaffa is a dream, they say.
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Other Palestinian Detainees & Prisoners

IOF kidnap three school children in Al-Khalil yesterday

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped on Wednesday three Palestinian children under age 15 at a checkpoint in Al-Khalil city.
link to forces ‘detain 2’ in overnight raid near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained two men in al-Khader near Bethlehem before dawn Thursday, witnesses said. Soldiers detained Nader Salih Salah, 35, at around 2 a.m. after raiding his home and cell phone shop and confiscating his computer, his brother told Ma’an. Witnesses said troops also detained Dirar Abdul Rahim Salah, 33, from his home and seized his computer. Before the arrests, soldiers also raided the home of Abdul-Hakim Salah, a journalist at Ma’an news agency. Abdul-Hakim Salah said that around 10 soldiers arrived at his home at 1.30 a.m. and ordered his family into the street at gunpoint.
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IOF soldiers round up 9 Palestinians
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched several raids in a number of West Bank areas at dawn Thursday and rounded up nine Palestinian citizens.
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Israeli wardens arrest 50-year-old lady
Israeli wardens arrested Wasfiya Jaber while waiting for her turn to visit her detained brother Nur Jaber who is serving 17 life sentences.

IOF soldiers arrest Palestinian
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a Palestinian man in the eastern suburb of Jenin city at dawn Wednesday and patrolled a number of the city’s streets, local sources said.
link to court sentences Jerusalemite for alleged affiliation with Hamas
The Israeli central court in Jerusalem sentenced Mohammed Duweyat, from Sour Baher in occupied Jerusalem, on Tuesday to seven and a half years in jail for alleged affiliation with Hamas.

IOA carries detained elderly man to hospital

The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) rushed 65-year-old detainee Hussein Abu Hadid to a Jerusalem hospital after his health deteriorated on the same day of his arrest on Tuesday.
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Administrative Detention of MP Ramahi for the Fourth Time
A Zionist court decided to renew the administrative detention, without trial or charge, of Mahmoud Al-Ramahi, secretary of the Palestinian legislative council (PLC) for four more months.
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Barghouti urges civil resistance

A jailed leader of the Palestinian Fatah movement, Marwan Barghouti, calls for a new wave of civil resistance against Israel.

link to Barghouti: A Decade of Defiance
Despite spending the past 10 years in prison, Marwan Barghouti remains at the forefront of the Palestinian liberation movement. In mid-April 2002, Israeli occupation forces invaded Palestinian cities under Operation Defensive Shield. The Israeli government at the time was after Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who managed to disappear for three weeks before he was arrested under circumstances that remain unclear to this day. Barghouti is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Secretary-General of Fatah in the West Bank, but the Israeli state accused him of leading al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and deemed his arrest a great success.
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History of the Palestinian Prisoner Movement
The individual hunger strikes of administrative detainees Khader Adnan and Hanaa Shalabi could not have happened in the past, when the strike would have been collective. A history of the Palestinian prisoner movement.
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Popular Protests / Activism / Solidarity / BDS

End peace with Israel: Sign a petition to end peace with the Zionist entity
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A call for massive march in solidarity with Jerusalem in Morocco
Moroccan political bodies called for the largest march in Morocco’s history for Jerusalem, on Sunday. While Al Adl Wa Al Ihssan called Moroccans to make Friday a day of solidarity with Jerusalem.
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International pro-Palestinian activists descend on Lebanon ahead of Land Day protest

Lebanese activists say dozens of delegations begin arriving at Beirut, Tripoli airports; organizers of planned march to Israeli border fear foreign activists may cause protests to turn violent.
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A massive march to the city of Jerusalem is planned for this Friday with communities from around the world calling for “freedom for Palestine and its capital Jerusalem” in an event that has attracted the support of Desmond Tutu, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as well as the nation of Iran. The event, called “Global March to Jerusalem,” is being orchestrated by the International Central Committee, a group comprised of 42 delegates representing five continents. The delegates seek to have one million people march in solidarity along the borders of Israel in surrounding Middle Eastern countries in an attempt to come “to the nearest point possible” to the ancient and historically significant city.
link to global.christianpost.comHammad: “Land Day Marches Are Nonviolent”
Nimir Hammad, adviser to Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated that all marches planned for commemorating the 36th anniversary of the Palestinian Land Day, on Friday March 30th, are nonviolent in nature and will keep away from direct contact from the Israeli military, as much as possible, in order to avoid any clashes with the army.
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The Manipulation of Israeli Occupation Soldiers- A Day in Nabi Saleh
“SABAYA!” Let’s continue the demonstration, let’s go around another way, via the hill. Like flies attracted to honey, the thundering chants lead by Palestinian women lured many of the lingering foreign activists, some of which were first-timers, towards the hill leading to Nabi Saleh’s stolen spring, AlKaws. Around 10 Israeli activists were on their way to Nabi Saleh when they got into a horrid car accident; fortunately they survived with minor or no injuries. There was the usual faces of Palestinian participants not from Nabi Saleh (not a large number as usual but I wont be going there today). The village’s men and youth (shabab) were already dispersed along the village facing Israeli occupation forces, throwing rocks and hurling tear gas canisters back like some macabre game of football.
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Roger Waters supports World Social Forum Free Palestine
Roger Waters on tour with his “THe Wall Live” show in Brazil today issued his support for the World Social Forum Free Palestine: “Since visiting Israel and the occupied territories in 2006, I have been part of an international movement to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality. I am honored to have been asked by the Palestinian BDS National Committee, to announce an initiative, to hold the World Social Forum Free Palestine in Porto Alegre, Brazil in November of this year, in cooperation with the Brazilian social movement and international civil society networks.The object will be to create an international gathering there, that will encourage the basic human instinct in all men and women of good faith to unite in support of the Palestinian people in their struggle for self determination. All over the world, our movement is growing. Encouraged by events like the one coming here to Brazil, our voice will grow.
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Jewish establishment-backed mayoral candidates rush to denounce Park Slope BDS effort, Alex Kane 
The campaign to boycott Israeli products at Brooklyn’s Park Slope Food Co-optakes a big step tonight, with members set to vote on whether to hold a referendum on the boycott question. And as Matthew Taylor notes here, the city’s leading officials have raced to see who can make the most hyperbolic claim about what the boycott movement represents (Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a man who flew into Israel just as the brutal assault on Gaza was getting underway, wins with his “massacre” line). and Discrimination

Netanyahu’s housing reform ignores Israeli Arab communities, says new research
Policy paper: Only 3 percent of planned housing units are located in Arab towns.
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Arab attacked by Israeli soccer fans: There were hundreds, we had no chance
N., a 20-year-old East Jerusalem resident, describes his account of the night a mob of Beitar Jerusalem supporters assaulted workers in one of the capital’s malls.

link to www.haaretz.comFormer Arab soccer player: Beitar Jerusalem fans, the ‘most dangerous’ in Israel
Abbas Suana, a former member of Israel’s national soccer team, has also been the target of racial abuse by Beitar Jerusalem fans.
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Open letter to Michael Oren ahead of Easter
As Christian leaders in Palestine, we were appalled by the baseless allegations you published in the Wall Street Journal on March 9. Your attempt to blame the difficult reality that Palestinian Christians face on Palestinian Muslims is a shameful manipulation of the facts intended to mask the damage that Israel has done to our community. As has been stated in our Kairos document, we Palestinian Christians declare that “the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives Palestinians of their basic human rights, bestowed by God.” The Israeli occupation is the primary reason why so many members of the oldest Christian communities in the world have left the holy land, Palestine.
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Political Developments / Other News

Sen. Cardin tells how he and Hillary Clinton muscled foreign ambassadors to block ‘anti-American’ Palestinian statehood
While 2600 participants gathered in downtown Washington this weekend for the third annual J Street conference, another group of about 250 Jews met at a synagogue in the DC suburb of Chevy Chase Sunday night to hear Maryland Senator Ben Cardin and Israeli diplomat Eliav Benjamin discuss “how pro-Palestinian forces have manipulated the UN to isolate, demonize and delegitimize Israel.” For Phil and me, two of the youngest people in the audience, it was an instructive lesson in how the United States exercises its not so soft-power to protect Israel.

Israel summons envoys over settlement probe
Two EU ambassadors called to foreign ministry over their support for UN inquiry into impact of West Bank settlements.

link to www.aljazeera.comCBS predicts Arab-haredi majority in 2059
Haredim, Arabs will outnumber Jewish secular population in 47 years, Central Bureau of Statistics predicts.
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High-level Israeli-Egyptian talks held in Cairo
Negotiations focus on new location of Israeli embassy, possible prisoner exchange.
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West Bank civil servants threaten protest strikes against Fayyad government
The Deputy Chairman of the Civil Service Union in the West Bank, Ma’en Ansawi, has threatened to begin protests and strikes if Salam Fayyad’s government in Ramallah doesn’t respond to his members’ demands “and provide a decent life for them”. In a press statement, Mr. Ansawi said that living conditions have become “unbearable” and accused the Fayyad government of “obvious negligence”. According to Ansawi, “All of the union’s attempts to open a real dialogue with the government have failed due to the lack of seriousness on the part of the relevant committee assigned to discuss issues with us.” The union boss also said that his members should be given what’s due to them, including promotions and bonuses, as well as travel costs as approved by the Ministry of Transport. “Civil servants are dedicated to their jobs,” he said, “and deserve justice in these matters.”
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Abbas: ‘Unity is frozen’
BAGHDAD (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that the reconciliation deal between his Fatah party and Hamas has broken down. “Unity is frozen,” said Abbas, who is in Baghdad to attend the Arab League summit. The president said he had agreed “on many points” with Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal during their meeting in Qatar in February. “We agreed on the vision and objectives and conditions in full,” Abbas said. “I confirm that Mashaal was honest and we were ready (to proceed).”
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Gaza group calls for armed resistance
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Popular Resistance Movement on Thursday said armed resistance is the only strategy which will liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation. At a news conference in Gaza City, the movement called on all factions to approve an agreement to protect the Palestinian resistance. “The enemy’s threats won’t scare us. The killing will be met by killing, the destruction by destruction. The resistance knows how to respond to the crimes of the occupation,” a spokesman for the group told reporters. He also warned that Israel’s continued provocations against the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian people could lead to a third intifada, or uprising, and urged Palestinians to join international protests planned to mark Land Day on Friday.
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Analysis / Op-ed

After banning Beinart, East Bay Jewish Federation leader vows to kill Muslims
Last week, when Peter Beinart embarked on a tour to promote his new book, “The Crisis of Zionism,” leading pro-Israel figures initiated an assault that was as hysterical as it was predictable. The campaign scored its first victory on March 23, when Bay Area pro-Israel groups including the Jewish Federation of the East Bay (the same group thatblocked a Gaza children’s art exhibition last year) successfully pressured the East Bay Jewish Community Center to cancel Beinart’s scheduled appearance. The pressure began when Jonathan Wornick, a Jewish Federation board member, took to Facebook to urge his friends in the local pro-Israel community to call for the cancellation of Beinart’s talk. “Write or call

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