16-Year Old Arrested, Fined After Being Shot By Settler

Posted: 08 Jul 2010

And more news from Today in Palestine:


Land theft and destruction/Ethnic cleansing

Stop work orders handed down in Nablus village
Nablus – Ma’an – Israel’s Civil Administration handed down three stop work orders to residents in the Nablus village of Burqa on Tuesday, a Palestinian Authority official said.  Ghassan Doughlas, who heads the northern West Bank settlement file, said the Israeli army accompanied Civil Administration staff to deliver the orders to Muhammad Hamed Hajjeh, Jamal Radi Seif, Hilal Hamdeh Hijjeh.

Clashes Reported In Wadi Ara As Israeli Bulldozers Demolish Arab Home
Bulldozers belonging to the Israeli Ministry of Interior, supported by dozens of armored military vehicles and police cars, demolished on Wednesday at dawn the home of No’man Abu Salem from Ara village in the Northern Triangle area.

Israeli Border Police Destroy Vegetable Fields in Al Baqa`a Valley
CPT Hebron – For Immediate Release – Israeli border police destroyed several Palestinian fields in Al Baqa`a Valley just east of Hebron on July 6, 2010, directly impacting the livelihood of more than one hundred Palestinians. Landowners said that Israeli border police and the Israeli District Coordinating Office (DCO), responsible for the coordination of Palestinian civilian affairs in Area C, began implementing the destruction at around 8:30am. Israeli authorities, with the assistance of hired labor, damaged fields of vegetables and destroyed the irrigation systems of those fields.

PA official says settlers uproot trees in Nablus village
Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli citizens illegally residing in West Bank settlements uprooted several trees in the Luban As-Sharqiyya village in the northern West Bank district of Nablus on Wednesday evening, and attacked residents with stones, a Palestinian Authority official said.  PA chief of settlement activity in the northern West Bank Ghassan Doughlas said dozens of settlers entered the village and pelted residents with stones, injuring Muhammad Khalil Muhammad.

When Something is Hard to Ignore, Just Don’t Report It, Joseph Dana
On a cool summer evening in a forgotten corner of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, members of the Israeli left, the Palestinian Christian community, the ultra-orthodox anti-Zionist Jewish community and Jerusalem Hamas members, currently under fire by the Israeli government, met to discuss issues concerning recent Israeli initiates to arrest Hamas members in Jerusalem. The meeting took place at the International Red Cross in East Jerusalem, where the Hamas members are currently taking refuge for fear of arrest. Amira Hass has written an article in today’s Haaretz where she details the situation which the Hamas members currently find experience in Jerusalem.

Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment
Protesters greet Netanyahu in Washington as Israel expands settlements
Hundreds of activists in Washington, DC demonstrated outside the White House to protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit on Tuesday, 6 July. As protesters held signs calling on the US government to end military aid to Israel, Netanhayu met with US President Barack Obama in a meeting characterized by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as “empty theatrics.”

US Campaign member groups prepare to protest Netanyahu’s visit to NYC
Let’s tell War Criminal and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
You are NOT welcome! Let’s make sure they hear the real story. Thursday, July 8, 12-2 pm.
Council on Foreign Relations
58 East 68th St, near Park Ave
No to the Israeli Occupation!
No to the blockade and siege of Gaza!
No to U.S. tax dollars funding Israeli war crimes!
Yes to Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions!

Seven European Ships Will Join 2nd Gaza Aid Flotilla
The European Campaign to Lift Gaza Siege announced recently that seven European vessels will join the second Gaza aid Freedom Flotilla to break the Israeli blockade, Algerian Press Service (APS) reported.

Neturei Karta Members Visit Jerusalem Protest Tent
Members of the Neturei Karta religious Jewish organization that opposes Zionism visited the protest tent of Palestinian legislators from Jerusalem to show solidarity and express rejection to Israel’s intention to expel them from the city.

Suppression of Activism/Targeting Non-Violent Resistance/Pro-Apartheid
Israeli Arab strikes plea bargain over Hezbollah espionage charges
The plea bargain will now have Saeed charged with working for an illegal organization, a crime which will see him incarcerated for seven months.

Israeli professors slam education minister over stance on academic boycott

Petitioners include Haifa University rector Prof. Yossi Ben Artzi, Israel Prize laureates professors Benjamin Isaac and Yehoshua Kolodny, and former education minister Prof. Yuli Tamir.

Palestinian students, teachers condemn Italian university’s normalization project
The Italian Development Cooperation (DGCS), with the support of UNESCO, has engineered the partnership of three Israeli universities with that of Al-Quds University in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in a masters program that allows 20 Israeli and Palestinian students to participate in learning about “cooperation, humanitarianism, peace and cultural preservation.” This act of normalization aims to blur the boundaries between oppressor and oppressed, colonizer and colonized, occupier and occupied, executioner and victim, and ultimately aims at whitewashing Israel’s war crimes.

Violence and Aggression
16-Year Old Arrested, Fined After Being Shot By Settler
On June 3, an Israeli settler shot Ibrahim Al-Biss and his friend Moataz outside Al-Aroub camp. Three weeks later and only one week after the 16-year-old left the hospital, Israeli police detained the boy at Kiryat Arabat. After his father paid 1500 shekels to release him, the police served Ibrahim with a military court order. Written and photographed by Kara Newhouse.

Palestinian workers say attacked with electric batons
Hebron – Ma’an – Four Palestinians said they were beaten with electric batons while they were at work inside Israel Wednesday, Ma’an’s correspondent reported.  The construction workers, from Yatta, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, said they were attacked by five Israelis, who they identified as settlers, in the southern Israeli town of Masmiya.

Five Wounded In Hebron
Palestinian medical sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, reported that five residents suffered concussions and bruises in two separate attacks carried out by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the city.

Israeli Army Conducts Limited Invasion In Southern Gaza
A number of Israeli armored military vehicles carried a limited invasion on Thursday at dawn into an area close to the Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem) Crossing, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

MADA Report: Journalists Were Attacked by Israeli and Palestinian Forces
Palestinian Center for Development and Media freedoms issued its monthly report documenting violations committed against Palestinian Journalists during the month of June.  ImageThe MADA report shows that serious violations were committed when a Palestine TV cameraman Fadi Al Jayousi was used as a human shield while he was covering the weekly anti wall protest in Bil’in village, central West Bank.  During the month of June MADA says that journalists were beaten and prevented from filming including Pal Media cameraman Yousef Shaheen, The European Agency photographer Abdel-Hafiz Hashlmoun, Associated Press photographer Nasser Al-Shuokhi, APA agency photographer Mamoun Wazwaz, AFP  photographer Mousa AlSha’er, and ABA photographer Najeh Hashlamoun, while they were covering peaceful march in Beit Jala near Bethlehem city. Also in June, Associated Press photographer Arif Toufaha and WAFA Agency photographer Ayman Nubani were attacked by Israeli settlers in the town of Asira near Nablus city.

War Crimes
B’Tselem repeats call for Gaza war investigation
Bethlehem – Ma’an – As the Israeli military announced it indicted two soldiers for their conduct during its winter assault on Gaza, Israeli organization B’Tselem renewed its call for an independent Israeli investigation.  B’Tselem’s own investigations into the attack on Gaza echoed the findings of the UN fact finding mission headed by jurist Richard Goldstone.

‘Military has no sense of humanity’
Relatives of Gaza women killed in Operation Cast Lead say decision to indict soldier responsible not enough.,7340,L-3916708,00.html

Cases against soldiers have Israel wondering
Indictments and disciplinary actions stemming from Israel’s Gaza offensive are raising a prospect many might find unsettling: the controversial Goldstone report may have been on the right track.   A short but growing list of criminal indictments and disciplinary actions stemming from Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip 18 months ago is raising a prospect that many Israelis are likely to find unsettling: that the controversial Goldstone report might have been on the right track after all.,0,6407678.story

The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Humanitarian and Human Rights
Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 01-06 July 2010

Unraveling the closure of Gaza: What has and hasn’t changed since the Cabinet decision and what are the implications? Updated July 7, 2010
On Sunday, June 20, 2010 Israel’s Security Cabinet issued a six-point plan to facilitate access for civilian goods entering Gaza and expand economic activity, following three years of near hermetic closure of the Strip and in the wake of international criticism of restrictive access policies. In the following paper, Gisha assesses the Cabinet’s planned and the situation on the ground in Gaza in the weeks following the Cabinet decision.

No easing of travel ban for Gazans: Israel (AFP)
AFP – Israel’s defence ministry told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that its moves to ease its blockade on Gaza do not include relaxing regulations on Palestinians looking to travel out of the enclave.*

Gaza women can’t study in Ramallah 
The loosening of the land blockade of the Gaza Strip applies only to goods, not people, the state informed the High Court of Justice during a hearing on Wednesday on an appeal to allow a Palestinian woman from Gaza to study at Bir Zeit University north of Ramallah.  On June 20, the ministerial security committee decided upon “a series of moves to ease restrictions regarding the entry of various commodities and merchandise into the Gaza Strip,” the state informed the court.  “As far as the passage of people is concerned, the decision did not say anything about extending the current policy whereby the state permits entry [into Israel] of humanitarian cases, with the emphasis on urgent medical cases.”
Water in Gaza: “it’s not a simple problem”
For the last year Mark Buttle has been the coordinator for the “WASH cluster,” the group of aid organizations working on water, sanitation and hygiene in the Gaza Strip. A chartered water engineer, Buttle has worked for a development-oriented nongovernmental organization for more than a decade, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and has been based in Gaza since May 2009. He spoke to The Electronic Intifada contributor Sarah Irving about the challenges faced by international agencies working in Gaza.

These Explosions Are Saviours,  Eva Bartlett
GAZA CITY, Jul 7, 2010 (IPS) – At precisely 12 noon on a Thursday afternoon, among the rolling sandy hills in southern Gaza, a controlled explosion destroys another round of white phosphorous shells left in Gaza following the 2008-2009 Israeli war on Gaza.

OPT: Tough living conditions in Susya village, West Bank
I saw how disappointing it was for the children of Gaza not to be able to watch the FIFA World Cup 2010 games because of the electricity cuts (currently up to 16 hours per day) and the Israeli reconnaissance planes flying overhead, which disrupt TV broadcasts when the electricity is back on. I was convinced the children of Gaza were having a really tough time.

Cosmetic Easing In Gaza Keeps Hope On The ‘Banned’ List
As world leaders and mainstream news outlets sing the praises of Israel’s June 17 decision to ease its stranglehold blockade of the Gaza Strip, there is little prospect of change for Palestinians living under siege. Previously banned consumer items such as toys, newspapers, spices, and instant coffee are now passing through two of Gaza’s land border crossings, but the seaports remain tightly closed, all exports are still prohibited, and there is no sign of much-needed construction material. Written by Michael Carpenter.

Hamas Lawmaker: Gaza Flotilla Did More Than 10,000 Rockets
Who now doubts that strategic nonviolent action can transform the politics of the Israel/Palestine conflict?  Not Hamas parliamentarian Aziz Dweik, the Wall Street Journal reports: “When we use violence, we help Israel win international support,” said Aziz Dweik, a leading Hamas lawmaker in the West Bank. “The Gaza flotilla has done more for Gaza than 10,000 rockets.”

Trip from Gaza to Eilat then back, thru tunnels
altGaza, July 8, (Pal Telegraph – By Omar Ghraieb) Under the hardship of living that camps in the little space of his modest bungalow, and hindered from providing a somewhat decent living to his seven dependent little kids, M.K. -who oversaw the age of mid thirties- decided to take off on the adventure of his life through an arduous journey in the desert of northern Sinai, hoping to cross the Egyptian-Israeli border and reach the city of “Eilat”, which is the main destination of his dangerous unguaranteed trip.

25 Ways to Help Palestine Refugees, July – December 2010

Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was established in 1949 to provide much-needed relief and emergency aid to the Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war. Since then, UNRWA’s operations have expanded to provide essential relief and human development services to 4.7 million registered Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank. UNRWA’s mission is to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential despite the difficult circumstances in which they live.

Israel‘s Arab Helpers
Hamas: PA detained 4 affiliates across West Bank
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Hamas accused Palestinian Authority forces of detaining four party supporters across the West Bank, a statement issued Thursday read.  The Islamist movement said PA Preventative Security Services carried out the detentions in the northern districts of Salfit, Nablus, and Hebron.

Netanyahu to visit ailing Mubarak on way back from U.S.
Netanyahu will update Mubarak on his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and plans for holding direct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Egypt kills African migrant at Israel border
Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Egyptian police shot and killed an Eritrean migrant as he tried to cross the border illegally into Israel, a security official told Agence-France Presse on Wednesday.  According to the AFP report, Egyptian border police warned the 36-year-old man to stop and when he refused they fired shots, the official said.

Bardawil: Egyptian political siege of Hamas won’t serve reconciliation
Hamas MP Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil said that Cairo did not inform Hamas of a ban on entry and departure into and from Gaza Strip of Hamas cadres via Rafah crossing.
UN General Assembly cancels emergency session on Gaza flotilla
President of General Assembly sends letter to member states announcing cancellation of the planned session; some Arab states had reservations about holding the session.

Arab Zionists:  Jordanian Army Vets: Strip Palestinians of Citizenship
[Amman, Jordan] A recent statement made by a group of retired Jordanian army generals, which calls for Palestinian refugees to be stripped of their Jordanian passports, has sent shockwaves across the kingdom.  The unprecedented statement was provoked by the haunting fear of the so-called “Jordan option” to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at the expense of the kingdom by establishing a Palestinian state in Jordan.  The previously negligible group touched on sensitive issues that have been, until lately, considered taboo in the country’s political dictionary, namely Palestinian-Jordanian relations and the future of Palestinians in the kingdom.

Political Developments/American Support of Apartheid
Turkey in fresh Israel warning over flotilla raid (AFP)
AFP – Turkey’s foreign minister warned Thursday his country was entitled “to take any measure to protect the rights of civilians” in relation to Israel’s killing of nine people on a Gaza-bound aid ship.*

Erekat: Direct talks only after complete freeze
Palestinians insist on keeping Israel at arm’s length until it makes certain things clear. ‘The key to direct talks is in the hand of Prime Minister Netanyahu,’ says chief PA negotiator.,7340,L-3916634,00.html

Abbas’ office denies reports on direct talks
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh denied reports in Israeli media on Wednesday that Palestinian officials have put forward suggestions to enter into direct talks with Israel.  Speaking on the Ma’an Radio Network, Abu Rudaineh said “the Palestinian president needs to know the basis upon which Israel will negotiate, the borders it will discuss, and projects Palestinians could establish on the Dead Sea to support the Palestinian economy.”

Netanyahu: U.S. pullout from Iraq could leave Israel vulnerable
PM apparently implies that even after withdrawing from Palestinian territory, Israel would insist on maintaining troops along the Jordan Valley.

Fueled by White House success, Netanyahu heads to UN (AFP)
AFP – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed to the United Nations Wednesday to meet UN chief Ban Ki-moon, saying he could perform miracles to hammer out a peace deal if all sides come together.*

Netanyahu puts Obama back on leash: President now working with the PM, not against him
This time, there were no harsh demands, hectoring or patronizing.

Obama: “I Have Met Israel and It Is ‘Us'”, Robert Dreyfuss
Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu set up another illegal Jewish settlement, this time on the White House lawn. And, it appears, President Obama has agreed to serve as its armed guard.   So complete was Obama’s identification with Israel yesterday that he actually referred to Israel as “us” before correcting himself:  “We strongly believe that, given its size, its history, the region that it’s in, and the threats that are leveled against us – against it, that Israel has unique security requirements.”

Obama: Mideast peace possible, but Israel is right to be skeptical
U.S. president tells Israeli television in yet-to-be-aired interview that he is not ‘blindly optimistic’, day after talks with Netanyahu.
Obama, Netanyahu make show of mending US-Israeli ties

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed US-Israeli closeness after a White House meeting Tuesday. But strains remain over Iran and the peace process.

Netanyahu spells out Israeli security concerns to Gates (AFP)
AFP – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday underscored security concerns that would need to be addressed in peace initiatives, in talks with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Israeli officials said.*

INTERVIEW-Israel sees nuclear vindication in Obama comments

* Rare U.S. echoing of Israel’s nuclear justifications
* Relief in Israel after Washington stance in NPT review
* Minister: Obama comments important for Israel and region

Netanyahu in New York, toasts White House success (AFP)
AFP – Fresh from upbeat talks with US President Barack Obama in Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has flown to New York, where he spoke emotionally of the bond between Israel and the United States.*

Despite :”Rift”, Israel Gets More U.S. Aid Than Iraq
It was the most orchestrated photo op of the year. And even if Tuesday’s White House meeting between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was more show than action, it did reinforce what Capitol Hill and America’s taxpayers already know: Israel is America’s best buddy in the Middle East.

EU foreign affairs chief to visit Gaza, Israel: official (AFP)
AFP – European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton will visit Israel and the Gaza Strip on July 17 and 18, her spokesman said on Wednesday.*

Other News
Rabbis: Don’t rent homes to illegal aliens
Twenty five Tel Aviv rabbis endorse call against renting out apartments to illegal aliens; ads to be posted in city to warn residents of ‘Jewish law bans, dangers posed by renting homes to these people’.,7340,L-3916975,00.html

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest
ANALYSIS-In Gaza, Hamas may have weathered worst of storm
* As blockade loosens, Hamas sees worst times behind it
* Islamists’ rule seen lasting for foreseeable future
* Wants reconciliation, prisoner swap, but not at any price

Disloyalty on the part of the occupied, Amira Hass
Were it not for Mohammed Abu Tir’s red beard, this would perhaps be only a marginal news item: Israel is working to expel four Palestinian residents of Jerusalem affiliated with Hamas from the city of their birth.

Maybe the ‘Times’ reporter in Jerusalem shouldn’t be best friends with Charles Bronfman?, Philip Weiss
Last week we noted that a first-rate reporter, Taghreed El-Khodary, left the New York Times because she felt that its reputation was “tainted” by the fact that Jerusalem correspondent Ethan Bronner’s son had joined the Israeli army. El-Khodary is Palestinian. She is attuned to the Palestinian street–whose view of the Times is reflected by this savage graffiti reported by our correspondent, Anees of Jerusalem.

Wash. Post column suggests that discovering the ‘Israel lobby’ now helps careers, doesn’t hurt em, Philip Weiss
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank has a splendid/witty column on the Obama-Netanyahu meeting characterizing it as a “surrender” by Obama, pointing out that a reporter had to bring up settlements, Obama didn’t.

America and Israel’s Show Must Go On, James Gundun, Washington D.C.
Credit them this skill – they’re good performers. Not great. Great is convincing. But a good performer abides by the cardinal rule of show business. The show must go on whether someone flubs their lines, trips, or passes out, and Israel and America have kept going through it all.

The Chronic Failure of Israeli Leadership, PATRICK COCKBURN
President Obama was full of gushing goodwill towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their summit in Washington this week. There was no mention of an extension to the moratorium on Israeli settlement building or the Israeli commandos’ attack on the Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza. In private, the White House and even the Israeli delegation were quick to say that  Obama’s climb-down had not been quite as humiliating as it looked, and assurances had been given that the moratorium would be quietly extended. But the President was at pains to reverse the cool reception   Netanyahu got during his visit to the White House in March when when he was not even allowed a photograph with  Obama, who kept him waiting while he had dinner with his family upstairs.

A Palestinian Diary: A Cornucopia of Fruit from A Land under Siege
I doubt that I will ever again be able to utter that innocuous word “occupation” with equanimity. In Palestine it hits you smack between the eyes, trips you, ties you down. You can never put enough distance between it and yourself. It’s hard – when 90 per cent of your land is under the Israelis and only 10 per cent can be claimed as your own – with their permission. When the colour of your Identity Card – blue for Jerusalem, green for the West Bank, brown for Gaza – determines your mobility within your own country. When there are 570 checkpoints controlled by the Israeli Defence Forces in the tiny area of the West Bank.

Epstein hopes Gazans will be ‘free to pursue their lives in dignity’
Hedy Epstein has been fighting the good fight for more than 60 of her 86 years. She escaped death in 1939 by being placed on one of the British-sponsored Kindertransport ships that carried more than 10,000 children to England and Northern Ireland.

Breaking the Silence founder Yehuda Shaul, is there a crack in the Israeli army`s wall of silence?
Nir Hasson – Haaretz – “When the operation began I remember that we sat in the office and watched the broadcasts and said that this time it`s a different story, and it turned out that we were right. To date we have collected testimonies from 26 soldiers who served in Operation Cast Lead – half of them in the regular army and half of them reservists. Operation Cast Lead was the first time the IDF admittedly crossed lines that had not been crossed before. The soldiers were told not to risk their lives at all. It was the first time that the IDF said `I don`t care about the other side.` It`s not that they wanted a lot of casualties, but the familiar criteria of targets – a person with the means and intention of causing injury – were overturned.

Deadly attacks target Iraq pilgrims
More than 60 people have been killed in Baghdad in a wave of bombings targeting Shia Muslim pilgrims over the past three days, security sources say.  Iraqi officials said blasts on Thursday, the latest in a string of bombings in Iraqi capital, killed 12 people, pushing the death toll in the recent attacks to 62.  One bomb struck in central Bab al-Muazam neighbourhood while a second exploded in the southeastern Mashtal district, officials said.

Baghdad attacks kill 33 Shiite pilgrims (AFP)
AFP – A suicide bomber and a series of attacks in Baghdad on Wednesday killed 33 Shiite pilgrims gathering for a major festival with 99 others wounded, Iraqi security officials told AFP.*

Wednesday: 17 Iraqis Killed, 26 Wounded
Pilgrims are streaming in to Baghdad for Imam Kadhim observances; however, it was the towns west of the capital that suffered the most in today’s violence. At least 17 Iraqis were killed and 26 more were wounded in the those and other attacks.

Iraq’s Prospects Seem As Grim As Its Recent Past
As she leaves Iraq, where she spent much of the past eight years, NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reflects on the frustration and worry felt by many Iraqis in a country still plagued by bloodshed and political stalemate. “What was it all for?” Iraqis ask her. She has trouble finding an answer.

What do Shiite pilgrims want? A new Iraq government.
The need for a new Iraq government was high on the minds of Shiite pilgrims who defied suffocating heat and suicide attacks as they headed toward a Baghdad shrine Wednesday. They are observing the death of an 8th-century imam.

Iraq’s rowers step out of shadow of death (AFP)
AFP – Not so very long ago, dead bodies were seen floating down the Tigris river every day in Baghdad, the macabre toll of fierce sectarian violence that brought the country to the brink of civil war.*

Regional leaders pay tribute to Fadlallah legacy
BEIRUT: Local and international figures continued Wednesday to pay respects over the death of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, a top Shiite cleric. Among figures paying their condolences for Fadlallah’s death were former Prime Minister Omar Karami, Grand Mufti Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, Ali al-Adib on behalf of Iraqi Prime Minister.

Iraqi PM pays respects to late top Lebanese cleric (AP)
AP – Iraq’s prime minister is in Beirut to pay his respects for Lebanon’s late top Shiite cleric.*

The Sheikh Who Got Away
How the United States got Lebanon’s leading Shiite cleric dead wrong — and missed a chance to change the Middle East forever.

CNN’s Octavia Nasr Leaving Network After Controversial Hezbollah Tweet
In the latest case of new media (or oversharing) gone wrong, CNN’s Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs Octavia Nasr is leaving the company following the controversy caused by her tweet in praise of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.  Mediaite has the internal memo, which says “we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised.”  Nasr tweeted this weekend: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah… One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”  After a blog post expanding on her position, CNN promised the issue was “serious” and would “be dealt with accordingly.” That’s apparently her exit from CNN. Here’s an internal memo obtained by Mediaite: From Parisa Khosravi – SVP CNN International Newsgathering — I had a conversation with Octavia this morning and I want to share with you that we have decided that she will be leaving the company. As you know, her tweet over the weekend created a wide reaction. As she has stated in her blog on, she fully accepts that she should not have made such a simplistic comment without any context whatsoever. However, at this point, we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward.  As a colleague and friend we’re going to miss seeing Octavia everyday. She has been an extremely dedicated and committed part of our team. We thank Octavia for all of her hard work and we certainly wish her all the best. Parisa.

l’affaire Octavia Nasr, As`ad Abukhalil
The dismissal of Octavia Nasr proves this: 1) no matter how much you grovel and how much you insult Arabs and Muslims in the US, as Nasr has largely due to her ignorance of Middle East and Islamic affairs, it will never be enough. Unless you advocate the Likudnik positions as Fouad Ajami has, you will be suspect of you are of Arab origin; 2) Israeli orientalists rule supreme in US popular media. We may know that Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah has no position whatsoever in Hizbullah, but US media still insist that he is Hizbullah’s leader. 3) Octavia Nasr does not deserve our support or tears. She has played a lousy job inside CNN. Of course, she is first and foremost unqualified but she has started her “journalistic” work at LBC TV when it was a mere tool of the Lebanese Forces during the war years. I discussed this once with CNN’s Bernard Shaw and he expressed surprise and said that at CNN they thought that LBC TV stands for a state-run TV named Lebanese Broadcasting Company. The CNN’s Middle East correspondents did not think highly of Nasr and some expressed that privately to me. 4) In the US, you may only expressed sympathy and admiration for Jewish and Christian religious figures. Muslim religious figures are all a bunch of terrorists, Sunnis and Shi`ites alike, regardless of views. [end]

20 YEARS LOST IN A SINGLE TWEET: CNN Fires Octavia Nasr, a well deserved humiliating exit from the network
Those of us who followed Nasr’s career at CNN were a little surprised by her misbehavior.  After twenty years honing her skills at the network she understood what was expected of her.  She had a demonstrated ability of knowing what to say, and more importantly, what NOT to say. She clearly was not anticipating the backlash when she sat at her computer (or picked up her Blackberry) for that career-ending tweet.  The speed with which CNN moved to fire her shows just how restrictive and uniform the corporate dominated “free press” has become.  The unofficial propaganda arm of the US government has no tolerance for the mere suggestion of alternative sentiments or viewpoints.  Even a short tweet expressing an unauthorized feeling of sadness over the death of a cleric in Lebanon by someone who spent two decades carefully following the script is enough to land that person a spot among the shunned miscreants.  Nasr tried to backtrack but it was too late.  The decision to fire her was taken before she sat down to explain her aberrant behavior.

Israeli intelligence: the laughing stock of the Middle East

Look at this stupid article. They really don’t know anything about the topics at hand. They still think that Iran controls Nasrallah like it controlled Subhi Tufayli when he led the party.
Israeli media are as loyal to the Israeli government as are Ba`thist media to Ba`thist governments
“The publication of detailed information about Hezbollah’s intentions…” Look at this sentence. Publication of…intentions. Intentions? And the Israeli newspaper confirmed that these were the intentions of Hizbullah by penetrating into hizbullah’s leaders heads. And knowing the ignorance of Israeli leaders and their Middle East “experts” and Orientalists, they probably assumed the Amin Gemayyel is a Hizbullah leader too.

Christian MPs drafting law to give Palestinians limited rights
BEIRUT: Christian parties are drafting a law to grant Palestinian refugees humanitarian and social rights in a bid to counter two earlier drafts that would award them civil rights.  While Phalange party chief Amin Gemayel warned that the integration of Palestinian refugees into the Lebanese community would lead to their naturalization, the Maronite Bishops Council tied the refugees’ rights to responsibilities toward the Lebanese state, starting with the disarmament of Palestinian groups.

Death sought for three in failed Lebanon assassination (AFP)
AFP – A Lebanese military court on Wednesday sought the death penalty for three Palestinians fugitives over the attempted murder of the police intelligence bureau chief, the National News Agency reported.*

Sen. Lieberman: US ready to strike Iran if it must
Sen. Lieberman used some very harsh language at the Wednesday press conference to describe the Iranian nuclear program, saying the US must do everything it can to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

Blair ‘exaggerated’ Iran support for al-Qaida, says former ambassador
Richard Dalton said that the UK and US misread the intentions of the Iranian regime, believing it would inevitably be hostile to their mission in Iraq when in fact Tehran wanted them to succeed in installing a stable government in Baghdad.

McCain: Israel not planning strike on Iranian nuclear facilities

JERUSALEM — Israel is not at the moment considering a military strike on Iran to try to set back its nuclear program, U.S. Sen. John McCain said here Wednesday.

U.A.E. denies backing use of force against Iran
Assistant minister says earlier comments by envoy appearing to back a military strike were taken out of context.

Iran to limit trade with UAE: official
The Iran-UAE Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday that Iran reduced its trade ties with the UAE following the latter’s decision to freeze 41 Iranian bank accounts.

Military official: Iran did not send radar to Syria
A high-ranking military official denied reports that Iran installed a sophisticated radar system in Syria that could jeopardize Israel’s ability to strike the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities. The official said such a radar never reached Damascus.,7340,L-3916571,00.html

U.S. and other World News
UK torture inquiry must be independent and thorough
The UK government must ensure its inquiry into UK complicity in torture and other human rights violations of those detained abroad since 9/11 is thorough, independent and as transparent as possible.

UK troops to pull out of Sangin
The United Kingdom will withdraw its troops from the Sangin district in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, where they have suffered heavy casualties in recent months.

CIA and Pakistan locked in aggressive spy battles
Publicly, the U.S. credits Pakistan with helping kill and capture many al-Qaida and Taliban leaders. Privately, the relationship is often marked by mistrust and double-dealing as Pakistan runs double agents against the CIA and the agency tries to penetrate Pakistan’s closely guarded nuclear program.

Lazio: Cuomo Should Investigate Ground Zero Mosque
NEW YORK — Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio on Tuesday called on his Democratic rival, Andrew Cuomo, to investigate the development of a $100 million mosque being planned near ground zero. The mosque, just a block away from the Sept. 11 terror attack site, has been a source of controversy in the community even though Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials support its construction and have said that it poses no security concerns. Some survivors and family members of the 9/11 victims say building a mosque there disrespects the memory of those who died at the hands of Islamic terrorists.

Jon Stewart Rips Fox News For Their Fear Of Muslims (VIDEO)
Next up: Fox’s reaction to the growing number of Mosques being built throughout the nation, which many of their personalities feared would spread Islam, and consequently influence the laws of the nation. To be fair, Stewart mocked ABC News as well for their take on the situation as well. But both were asking for it.

Guantanamo detainee admits conspiring with al-Qaeda
Ibrahim al-Qosi, a Sudanese prisoner at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has pleaded guilty to providing material support to al-Qaeda. Al-Qosi, who was detained for more than eight years before the conviction, admitted that he was cook and driver to Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda. The conviction is the first in a military tribunal since Barack Obama became the US president in January 2009. Al-Qosi faces life in prison, or he could be released for time already served. The US defence department said in a statement that the tribunal process safeguarded “the rights of the accused”. Al Jazeera’s Nick Spicer

When will Israel Release Palestinian Political Prisoners?  Cuba agrees to release 52 political prisoners
The decision to free the largest group of political prisoners in a decade follows months of talks and the intervention this week of Spain, the Catholic Church says. The Cuban government has agreed to release the largest group of political prisoners in a decade, following months of talks and the intervention this week of Spain, the Roman Catholic Church in Cuba said Wednesday.,0,6657225.story

Wash. Post column suggests that discovering the ‘Israel lobby’ now helps careers, doesn’t hurt em

Posted: 07 Jul 2010

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank has a splendid/witty column on the Obama-Netanyahu meeting characterizing it as a “surrender” by Obama, pointing out that a reporter had to bring up settlements, Obama didn’t. And this:

Four months ago, the Obama administration made a politically perilous decision to condemn Israel over a controversial new settlement. The Israel lobby reared up, Netanyahu denounced the administration’s actions, Republican leaders sided with Netanyahu, and Democrats ran for cover.

So on Tuesday, Obama, routed and humiliated by his Israeli counterpart, invited Netanyahu back to the White House

This is significant. A few years back Milbank disgraced himself by attacking Walt and Mearsheimer as whiteknuckled Teutons, code for Nazis. Now he’s making the Israel lobby–correctly–the villain of the piece. It shows: a, how the conventional wisdom has changed in D.C., b, how ambitious journalists now regard the Israel lobby as a subject on which careers are made not lost, c, how desperate liberal Zionists, which is the rough camp I would put Milbank in off the cuff (he worked for the New Republic, he’s Jewish), are to see real pressure to save the Jewish state from the crazies, d, how competitive writers are with Peter Beinart, e, all the above. Of course there’s only one way this sort of inquiry goes: it brings you inevitably to the amount of Jewish money in the political process and the pro-Israel identity construction of American Jews. Why is Obama so scared? And can Milbank give him base?

Thaddeus Russell defends his piece on Israel’s dangerousness

Posted: 07 Jul 2010

Yesterday we posted twice on Thaddeus Russell’s groundbreaking and hugely popular piece on Daily Beast saying that Israel has proved to be a dangerous creation. Russell has gotten a ton of flak on the piece, and he offered us his response “to the criticisms I’ve received — from The Israel Project, Ronald Radosh, pro-Israel bloggers, and dozens of anonymous email correspondents.” Herewith:

The major criticisms are:
1) Many Islamist terror attacks have been unconnected to Israel.
2) There were attacks on Americans (by the Barbary pirates and against Christian missionaries and Zionist settlers in the Middle East) before 1968.
3) My argument relies on post hoc ergo procter hoc.
4) Al-Qaeda was motivated by more than just its opposition to the existence of Israel.
5) I am a coward for not standing up to America’s enemies.
6) I hate Jews.
My response:
1) I do not deny that many Islamist attacks were unconnected to Israel. That fact does not affect the argument that the existence of Israel and U.S. support for it provokes such attacks.
2) The Barbary pirates attacked American ships because they were pirates, not because they were political Islamists.
3) The post-Barbary, pre-1968 killings of Americans had nothing to do with the victims being Americans and everything to do with them being Christian missionaries or Zionist settlers in Arab and Muslim lands. Again, I do not claim that the existence of Israel or U.S. support for it has provoked ALL Islamist attacks. I only claim that they make such attacks — against Jews and Americans — more likely.
4) Though historical causality can never be proved in a scientific sense, the causal link between terrorist attacks and the existence of Israel has been stated by the terrorists themselves, in virtually all attacks by Islamists against Americans (and against Israelis, of course).
5) I acknowledge in the article that Al-Qaeda was motivated by more than just its opposition to the existence of Israel or U.S. support for it. But that does not eliminate the fact that Al-Qaeda did list U.S. support for Israel as a reason for its fatwa, nor does it undermine the claim made by Petraeus that U.S. support for Israel is the principal recruiting tool for Al-Qaeda.
6) If the U.S. withdrew from the Middle East and an Islamist attack were launched against the U.S., I would strongly advocate lethal self-defense against the attackers. I, unlike many who hold on to their sacred land no matter the cost, value my life more than any political or spiritual claim.
7) As for the assertion that I am motivated by “hate,” I must contend that I am in fact motivated by love — for myself and my Jewish and American family members and friends.

Today in Palestine: Only democracy in Middle East will finally allow…. newspapers into Gaza

Posted: 07 Jul 2010 08:10 PM PDT

And other news from Today in Palestine


Land theft and destruction/Ethnic cleansing

Israel to demolish 3 houses in Nablus
Nablus, July 7, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli authorities delivered demolition warrants to Palestinian residents in Barqa village north of Hebron in the West Bank, notifying them of their intention to demolish their homes.  “Israeli forces notified the Palestinian citizens of demolishing their homes under the pretext of building without permission” Ghasan Diglis, the Palestinian official of settlement file in north of West Bank, said.  He said that the Palestinian families have been living at the house to be demolished for ten years, adding that they are owned by the two brothers Mahmoud and Helal Hiji and Hejaz Reda.

Clashes Reported In Wadi Ara As Israeli Bulldozers Demolish Arab Home
Bulldozers belonging to the Israeli Ministry of Interior, supported by dozens of armored military vehicles and police cars, demolished on Wednesday at dawn the home of No’man Abu Salem from Ara village in the Northern Triangle area.

My state is giving up on me
The state is planning to lay a gas pipeline, Route 6 and a railway track on Druze lands in the Jezreel Valley.

Holy Christian pilgrimage site could become a shopping mall
Some believe that during her pregnancy Mary, Jesus’ mom, drank from the Ein Karem spring, the holy water of which is currently polluted.

Exposed: The truth about Israel’s land grab in the West Bank
Jewish settlers, who claim a divine right to the whole of Israel, now control more than 42 per cent of the occupied West Bank, representing a powerful obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state, a new report has revealed.

Lieberman Says Israel Won’t Extend Settlement Freeze
July 6 (Bloomberg) — Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said there was “no chance” Israel will extend a partial freeze on West Bank construction.  “It is important that direct talks resume and the government supports this but will not agree to pay for this,” Lieberman said in comments sent from Helsinki by text message. His remarks came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares for talks in Washington with President Barack Obama later today.

Americans for Peace Now to Obama: Extend settlement freeze
Ahead of PM Netanyahu’s White House meeting with U.S. President Obama, Americans for Peace Now deliver petition to Obama with nearly 16,000 signatures calling for extension of settlement freeze.

Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment
Hollywood stars snub film festival:  Meg Ryan, Dustin Hoffman snub J’lem Festival over ‘Mavi Marmara’
Hollywood actors Meg Ryan and Dustin Hoffman backed out of attending this year’s annual Jerusalem Film Festival, which is set to kick off this coming Thursday, following the international outcry over Israel’s attack on a Turkish-led flotilla that attempted to break the Gaza blockade on May 31, The Jerusalem Post learned Monday.  According to Cinematheque associate director Yigal Molad Hayo, while neither gave the political climate as a direct reason for canceling their participation in the festival, “it became quite clear that this was the reason,” he said.

Dockworkers at Indian port boycott Israeli ships
Dockworkers at the major Indian port of Cochin are refusing to unload Israeli cargo in protest of Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip.  According to the Indian communist publication People’s Democracy, “The boycott began on June 17 on receipt of information that cargo unloaded at Colombo Port [Sri Lanka] from Israeli ship m/v Zim Livorno 16 was bound to arrive at Cochin Port in a feeder vessel.”  “On June 23, trade unions held a joint protest rally in Cochin Port near the office of Zim Integrated Shipping Services (India) Pvt Ltd – the Israeli shipping line,” the report added. At the demonstration, labor leaders denounced Israel’s attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May which left nine people dead.  Representatives of several trade unions—including those aligned with both left and right wing parties— joined the demonstration.  The port of Cochin, in the state of Kerala, is one of the biggest ports in India.  The Chochin dockworkers join workers at ports in Sweden, South Africa, and other countries who have refused to unload Israeli cargo. Calls for boycotts against Israel intensified in the wake of the flotilla raid.  On June 20th, dockworkers in Oakland, California, refused to unload an Israeli cargo ship after protesters picketed at the dock.

Boycott the International Geographical Union’s regional conference in Tel Aviv!
Today, a month after the massacre of nine human rights activists in international waters aboard a flotilla carrying aid and supplies sailing to break the four-year closure of the Gaza Strip, we call once again upon the International Geographical Union to take a courageous and principled stand and cancel its Tel Aviv conference.

Human Rights Volunteers Needed in Palestine
Since 2002, the International Women’s Peace Service in Palestine (IWPS-Palestine) has been documenting and non-violently intervening in human rights abuses carried out by the Israeli military and Israeli settlers in the Occupied West Bank against the Palestinian civilian population.  We are the only all women team of internationals working in the Occupied West Bank and we are currently looking for new volunteers to join us on the ground in Palestine.
Violence and Aggression
Israeli armed boats open fire at fishing boats in Rafah
Gaza, July 7, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli armed boats shelled and opened fire today at Palestinian fishing boats in Rafah waters, local sources reported.  Local sources reported that Israeli boats were chasing Palestinian boats and opened fire at them, no injuries were reported.  Two days ago, Israeli armed boats opened fire at Gazan fishermen which injured Alam Baker while he was finishing.  Israeli gunboats stationed in the waters of Gaza target Palestinian fishing boats on a daily basis, claiming that they sail beyond the allowed distance of three miles.

Israel conducts limited incursion in Gaza
Gaza, July 7, (Pal Telegraph) Several Israeli militant vehicles broke into the farms of citizens east of the town of “Beit Hanoun” in the northern Gaza Strip.  According to eyewitnesses, four bulldozers, accompanied by four tanks penetrated a distance of 200 meters near the site of 16 amid heavy smoke to cover their advancement.

Soldiers, Policemen, Carried Out 50 Attacks In Jerusalem in June
The Land Research Center In Jerusalem reported that Israeli soldiers and policemen conducted 50 documented attacks against the Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem, and their property, during the month of June.

The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Humanitarian and Human Rights/Restriction of Movement
PCHR Response to Publication of New Israeli List of Items Banned from Entry to Gaza
On Sunday, 4 July 2010 the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs published two lists, detailing items not permitted to enter the Gaza Strip and those used for construction, which may only be imported and utilized under the supervision of the United Nations.  The response from the international community and diplomatic representatives, including the Quartet’s Envoy to the Middle East, Tony Blair, to the Israeli decision has been overwhelmingly positive. The Israeli government’s switch from a list detailing only the items that are allowed for import to the Gaza Strip to a list of items that are not permitted has been perceived as a positive step, the assumption being that all items not on the list will be allowed to enter Gaza. In this context, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) wishes to reaffirm its position on the illegal Israeli-imposed blockade of the Gaza Strip.

OPT: The Impact of the Barrier on Health – Special Focus, July 2010
Because of the extensive humanitarian impact of the Barrier, OCHA has been monitoring and reporting on affected Palestinian communities in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since 2003. The current update summarises the main findings of this research, while outlining developments since the last Barrier report, issued on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the ICJ opinion in July 2009. This year, in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), the update will focus on the impact of the Barrier on health, in particular patient and staff access to the specialized medical facilities only available in East Jerusalem.

German Parliament Demands End to Gaza Blockade, July 6, 2010
Germany’s Parliament has passed a cross-party motion demanding that Israel end its blockade of the Gaza Strip., In the joint motion passed July 1, five mainstream parties said the isolation of Gaza was not in Israel’s security interests. The text also decried weapons smuggling into Gaza and rocket attacks against Israel, and said they, too, must be stopped., Joining in what has been described as a rare show of united criticism of Israel in Germany were the conservative Christian Democratic Union party of Chancellor Angela Merkel; its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union; the center-right  Free Democratic Party, which is in the governing coalition; the opposition Social Democratic Party; and the Green Party.

5 EU states call for end to Gaza siege
Five European countries have called for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolution which calls for the blockade of the Gaza Strip to be lifted.

Gaza besieged, The Economist

Israel to allow newspapers into Gaza

Gaza – Ma’an – The Israeli military will allow newspapers into the Gaza Strip starting Wednesday morning, Ma’an has learned. The Israeli government recently informed the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Civil Affairs in Ramallah that it has removed three newspapers from its once-secret list of items with dual-use designation, goods which the army maintains could be used for military purposes by Palestinian militant groups like Hamas’ armed wing.

Qatar funds health and education in Jerusalem
Jerusalem – Ma’an – Minister for Jerusalem affairs Hatem Abdul Qader received financial aid from Qatar Tuesday to fund projects in Jerusalem.  Qader said the money was transferred following his meeting with the Qatari ambassador in Amman on Sunday. The aid will be focused on supporting health and education sectors.

PA minister banned from entering Israel
An un-dated archive photo of Qaraque with the family of Palestinian man serving, a life sentence in an Israeli prison. [MaanImages], Bethlehem – Ma’an – PA Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe was denied entry into Israel on Tuesday and stripped of his VIP card permitting him to cross Israeli military checkpoints without harassment., The minister told Ma’an that he was en route to a meeting in Nazareth with a follow-up committee on the cases of Palestinian prisoners in Israel who hold Israeli ID cards when he was detained.

War Crimes
Family of Gaza war victims doubt Israeli justice
An Israeli soldier has been charged with manslaughter in an Israeli court for the deaths of two Palestinian women during Israe’s war on Gaza. Majda Abu Hajaj and her 64-year-old mother were shot dead while carrying white flags they made out of bed sheets near their homes after the Israeli army forced the women to leave their house. But the victims’ relatives say they have have no faith in Israel’s justice system, especially since it has taken 18 months for the case to be filed in court. It is the first time an Israeli soldier has been charged with killing a civilian during the war, in which more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed. [July 6, 2010]

Amira Hass / In Gaza, Cast Lead felt like a war on civilians
IDF investigation of Gaza war crimes, including point-blank killing of civilians in front of their families, has yielded a scapegoat.

Report on long-term effects of Israeli white phosphorus
In a recent report into the white phosphorous used by Israel in its 2008-9 assault on the Gaza Strip, Italian experts have warned of the adverse long term effects of the three thousand five hundred shells that were dropped indiscriminately. In particular, the report addresses the impact of this weapon, the use of which against civilians is prohibited under international law.  The immediate effects of white phosphorous on human beings are well documented. When white phosphorous explodes it burns at high temperatures until deprived of oxygen and when it lands on skin it will eat through muscle and into the bone.  According to Amnesty International, during the war on Gaza, white phosphorous was the cause of horrific burns and suffocation which left dozens dead and wounded.

Israel to file 2nd Goldstone response
Conclusions drawn from IDF probes on Operation Cast Lead prompt another response to UN.,7340,L-3915978,00.html

Despite U.S. misgivings, UN Gaza flotilla probe to begin
Former International Criminal Court president Philippe Kirsch to head committee investigating deaths of nine Turkish citizens in clash with Israeli naval commandos.

Israel keeping flotilla ships until inquiry ends (AP)
AP – Israel says it will hold on to the six ships that sought to break an Israeli blockade of Gaza at least until it completes its investigation into a deadly raid on one of the vessels.*

The Israeli raid of the Freedom flotilla

Israel’s Arab Helpers
U.A.E ambassador endorses striking Iran nuclear sites
‘It’s a cost-benefit analysis: There will be economic consequences, as well as protesting and rioting, but we cannot live with a nuclear Iran.’

Political Developments… Amreeka, Amreeka
Abbas wants more ‘trust-building’ steps
Palestinian spokesman says more progress needed in proximity talks before direct talks begin.,7340,L-3916162,00.html

Report: Secret document affirms U.S.-Israel nuclear partnership
According to Army Radio, the U.S. has reportedly pledged to sell Israel materials used to produce electricity, as well as nuclear technology and other supplies.

‘Obama’s support of Israel’s nuclear ambiguity unprecedented’
Netanyahu’s entourage pleased with Obama’s warning against attempts to single out Israel over undeclared nuclear program, claim that Jewish state has ‘unique security requirements.’ Officials: Direct talks with PA within weeks.,7340,L-3916222,00.html

Obama says bond with Israel ‘unbreakable’
Barack Obama, the US president, and Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, have played down reports of a rift in their relationship, singing each other’s praises as they met at the White House. Obama reiterated his commitment to the security of Israel, calling the bond between the two countries “unbreakable”. The leaders also vowed to bring about face-to-face talks between Israelis and Palestinians, but gave no details about how and when that would happen. Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane reports. (July 07, 2010)

US and Israel put on show of unity
The leaders of the US and Israel have put on a show of unity at a White House meeting, playing down suggestions of a growing rift between the allies.  Barack Obama, the US president, and Binyamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, sought to portray warm relations on Tuesday, declaring after a White House meeting that any talk of a rift was unfounded. Obama reiterated that the US-Israeli bond was unbreakable.

Obama denies any Israel, US rift (AFP)
AFP – US President Barack Obama said he hoped for direct Middle East peace talks to start before the end of September, as he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied reports of a rift.*

Israel trumpets new era in US ties after summit (AFP)
AFP – Israel on Wednesday hailed a new chapter of warm ties with the White House after an upbeat summit between the United States and Israeli leaders which was big on backslapping but short on detail.*

US pushes direct Middle East talks

Obama tells Netanyahu he wants talks to take place before settlement freeze expires.

Rothman: U.S.-Israel Alliance in Better Shape Than Before
Today, modern Israel faces some of the toughest challenges it has encountered in its 62-year history. Chief among them is Iran’s threat to the Jewish state’s very existence. But — especially in the past several months — there has been progress in defending against, deterring and preventing Iran from fulfilling that evil objective.

ANALYSIS / Obama trying carrot, not stick, on Netanyahu
Netanyahu got off easy in Washington: He left strengthened by Obama and without having to make any real concessions.

Democracy Now:  After U.S. Praise for Netanyahu’s “Restraint”, Israeli Journalist Amira Hass Asks Obama to Imagine Life as Palestinian Under Occupation
Meeting at the White House, President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized the “unbreakable” bond between Israel and the United States. Despite ongoing Israeli settlement expansion, roadblocks, closures and the attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla, Obama said he thinks Israel “has shown restraint.” The meeting came on the heels of a decision by the Israeli military prosecutor to take disciplinary and legal action in four separate cases from Israel’s 22-day assault on Gaza last year. We speak to veteran Israeli journalist Amira Hass.

MJ Rosenberg: Obama Yields to Bibi, Plus Me vs. Petraeus
President Obama’s love-in (transcript here) with Prime Minister Netanyahu today demonstrates that the adage that “politics stops at the water’s edge” does not apply to the Middle East. The President invited Netanyahu to Washington to get relations back on course (i.e., make AIPAC happy) as we go into the critical fundraising quarter for the November elections.

Obama and Netanyahu All Smiles, Jim Lobe
Insisting that the bond between their two nations was “unbreakable,” U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged all smiles from their long-awaited White House meeting Tuesday.  Speaking before reporters, the two men, whose last encounter in March appeared to confirm a crisis in bilateral ties, lavished compliments on each other.

Other News
Gaza court issues death sentence
Gaza – Ma’an – Gaza’s Central Court handed down a death sentence on Tuesday morning, following the conviction of an An-Nuseirat refugee camp man for the murder of a child.  Nine-year-old Ahmad Mussa Faraj-Allah, also from An-Nuseirat camp, was found dead in a plastic bag in November, with his hands and feet bound. An autopsy revealed that Ahmad was struck over the head with a sharp tool, and sustained a second blow behind his left ear.

4 days left for collaborators to surrender
Gaza Interior Minister Fathi Hammad warned collaborators Tuesday they have four days left to hand themselves in.  The Gaza government announced a two-month amnesty in May for Palestinian agents in Gaza working with Israeli intelligence. The government said collaborators who handed themselves in would face no penalty, and would be guaranteed privacy and secrecy.

Fayyad sends group to help sexual harassment case
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has sent a team of mediators to assist in a case of three Palestinian women allegedly sexually harassed by an Israeli hospital worker in Jerusalem, Israeli media reported Wednesday.  According to the Hebrew-language daily Maariv, the delegation was sent to meet with the Bikur Cholim Hospital administration to request that the unnamed member of staff be relieved from his position. Fayyad said he would closely monitor the case and offer support.

Too absurd for words:  Abbas eyes Nobel Peace Prize

Diplomatic sources in Oslo say Palestinian president’s associates trying to convince Norwegian committee members to grant him prestigious award.,7340,L-3916497,00.html

Poland to extradite alleged Mossad agent to Germany
Warsaw court rules Israeli named ‘Uri Brodsky’, suspected of issuing forged passport used by assassins of senior Hamas figure in Dubai, to be tried in Berlin.,7340,L-3916555,00.html

Guns belonging to Israel PM’s security detail ‘missing’
NEW YORK (AFP) – Four guns went missing and were believed to have been stolen from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security detail after American Airlines lost luggage containing the weapons, NBC reported.  It said the Glock 9mm guns had been placed in checked baggage — as security protocol dictates — at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and were supposed to be placed on a flight to Washington for Israeli agents assigned to Netanyahu, who was meeting President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Rise in IDF suicides
Since start of year, 19 soldiers put end to own lives after decline in suicide numbers in recent years.,7340,L-3916239,00.html

Senator Pressures NRC to Clear NUMEC President of Illegal Uranium Diversions to Israel – IRmep
BusinessWire – The office of Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania attempted to obtain a statement from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission according to documents newly released under the Freedom of Information Act. On August 27, 2009, Arlen Specter wrote to Rebecca Schmidt asking that the NRC “issue a formal public statement confirming that he [constituent Zalman Shapiro] was not involved in any activities related to the diversion of uranium to Israel.”

Israeli economic growth: How it went wrong
The State of the Nation report on Israeli society, economics and policy is in places an alarming read, and not just because of what it reveals about the extent of poverty, economic inequality and Israel’s abysmal education system.

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest
Patrick Cockburn: American politicians face domestic constraints to talking tough with Israel
are usually preceded by speculation that the US leader will finally demand that Israel stop expanding settlements in the West Bank, displacing Palestinians in East Jerusalem and embarrassing the US by misjudged military actions.  Before yesterday’s White House encounter there were particularly loud criticisms of Israel from the US security establishment. The influential commentator Dr Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies said that America’s commitment to Israel’s security “does not justify or excuse actions by an Israeli government that unnecessarily makes Israel a strategic liability when it should remain an asset”.

American Opinion On Israel – And The Congress’s,  Andrew Sullivan
What accounts for this extraordinary discrepancy between the views of Americans and the views of the congressmen who allegedly represent them?

Does Israel Make Us Safer?, Thaddeus Russell
Israel just announced it has loosened Gaza blockade rules to allow in consumer goods and Turkey is demanding an apology for the flotilla raid. As Obama and Netanyahu await tomorrow’s meeting, historian Thaddeus Russell argues that it’s time to ask if the country makes Americans safer—even if the answer makes everyone very uncomfortable.


The deaths in the Gaza Freedom flotilla, more than decisions by the United Nations or several big powers, have forced Israel to loosen its blockade of the 1.5 million beleaguered Palestinians. The incident represents a tipping point toward substantial change for the Palestinians, Israelis and perhaps the Middle East in general. – Jack A Smith (Jul 7, ’10) This is the first article in a two-part report.

The deceptive rhetoric of “Invest for Peace”
The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is gaining significant momentum cross the United States and Europe, including at US campuses. In response, opposition to the movement is devising new ways to divert attention from efforts to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and flagrant abuses of Palestinian human rights. Charlotte Silver comments for The Electronic Intifada.

The ‘Times’ finally covers settler funding in the US, but there is still much to tell, Adam Horowitz
The New York Times has finally covered a story that has been sitting under its nose for years – the tax-exempt fund raising Israeli settlers are doing in the U.S. In an expansive article in today’s paper, three reporters combine to tell a familiar story of how nonprofit organizations are raising money in the US to help build settlements and in some cases arm settlers themselves.

Memo to American Jews: Discover the Nakba, Alex Kane
In today’s New York Times piece on how American charities are funding the settlement enterprise in Israel, Hadassah Marcus, the president of a group called the Central Fund of Israel, is quoted as saying that her group is “not a funnel. We’re trying to build a land. All we’re doing is going back to our home.”  I’m sure Marcus, who lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, truly believes that what she would call “Judea and Samaria,” biblical-era names for the occupied West Bank, is really her “home.” Except that it’s not, because there are Palestinians living on that land who have lived in historic Palestine for generations and generations.

Book review: pocket-sized volume deflates Canada’s “peacemaker” myth

In his latest book, Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid, Yves Engler contends that Canada’s lopsided support for Israel is neither a shift nor the product of current government policy but goes as far back as Zionism itself. Hicham Safieddine reviews for The Electronic Intifada.

The Zionist attack on the Free Gaza Flotilla
Black Panther Party veterans Malik Raheem from New Orleans and Kiilu Nyasha, who was active in both the East and West Coasts, meet up at a demonstration in San Francisco. Kiilu is wearing her keffiyeh, the scarf that symbolizes Palestinian resistance.  The vicious, premeditated and illegal attack on the six-boat Freedom Flotilla by Israeli Zionists on May 31 in international waters left nine humanitarians shot dead – one of whom was an American citizen – and over 40 wounded on the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, as well as many others traumatized and injured from being badly beaten, jailed and/or hospitalized.

The Book That Obama and Netanyahu Must Read, By George S. Hishmeh – Washington, D.C. 
It was my intention while cruising the Danube River, which is disappointingly muddy and not blue as Mozart claimed, for two weeks last month aboard a comfortable Viking boat with my wife that my attention would be mainly focused on the World Soccer Cup and the beautiful countryside and its rich history.  Regrettably my over 100 fellow passengers, mostly American and a few New Zealanders and Canadians, hardly watched the matches except for the two engaging Maltese couples who were eager for me to unearth the Arabic roots of their vocabulary which has been abundantly influenced by the rise of Islam and the Ottoman empire hundreds of years ago.  I was also glad that the few news channels on the boat did not have much to report on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict which has occupied my long career in journalism.

Israel & Apartheid South Africa: my interview with Sasha Polakow-Suransky
Sasha Polakow-Suransky, a senior editor at Foreign Affairs, poured through 7,000 pages of never-before-seen classified South African documents while researching his book, Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa.  In it, he relays the minutes and details of conversations between top level officials on both sides that shed light on the extent and nature of Israel’s cooperation with and enabling of South Africa’s Apartheid regime, both in military and non-military matters.  It was a relationship that benefited both sides: South Africa acquired vital components from Israel to help advance its nuclear programme, while sharing their knowledge and components with Israel as it pursued its own nuclear ambitions.

New booklet reveals Muslim acts of heroism during Holocaust
LONDON – A new publication highlighting Muslim acts of heroism during the Holocaust will be published on Wednesday, chronicling the role played by Muslims who defended Jews during World War II.  The 34-page booklet, titled “The Role of Righteous Muslim Persons,” was initiated by Faith Matters, a Leeds-based interfaith organization that works toward reducing extremism and fostering social cohesion in the UK. The aim of the booklet is to inform religious communities and the general public about the littleknown stories of courageous Muslims who stood up against injustice, protecting Jews during the Holocaust.

Tuesday: 2 Iraqis Killed, 3 Wounded
Although there were several important stories concerning Iraq today, reports of violence were sparse. An upcoming Shi’ite holiday could be the cause of the reduction in those news items. At least two Iraqis were killed and three more were wounded in attacks.

Three killed, 25 wounded in Iraq pilgrimage attacks (Reuters)
Reuters – Bombs and mortar rounds killed three Shi’ite pilgrims and wounded 25 others on Tuesday as they made their way to a shrine in northern Baghdad to commemorate the death of a medieval Shi’ite holy man.*

Iraq: Militants blow up police homes killing 3 (AP)
AP – Militants targeted the homes of Iraq’s security forces west of Baghdad on Wednesday, blowing them up and killing three family members despite heightened security around the capital for a Shiite religious occasion.*

Iraq: Sources Close to al-Maliki Confirm Agreement with Allawi
High level sources have informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Nuri al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition has sent a delegation to the National Iraqi Alliance that is led by Ammar al-Hakim to inform it that it may withdraw from its alliance in order to form a new alliance with Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc.

Shiite pilgrims stream into Baghdad amid high security (AFP)
AFP – Tens of thousands of Shiite worshippers streamed into the Iraqi capital on Wednesday amid heightened security for a major pilgrimage, a day after six people were killed in a string of attacks.*

Iraqi civilians who allege torture by UK troops demand inquiry
100 Iraqi civilians detained and allegedly tortured by British troops embarked upon campaign to secure a public inquiry.  As David Cameron announced the details of an inquiry into the UK’s role in rendition and torture, more than 100 Iraqi civilians who were detained and allegedly tortured by British troops embarked upon the first round of their campaign to secure a public inquiry into the orders and policies that governed their treatment.

Breaking the cycle: Iraqi refugee students in Syria need help to go back to school
DAMASCUS, Syrian Arab Republic, 6 July 2010 – Lulls in conversation with 16-year-old Iraqi refugee Gailan are soon filled with the gentle inhale-exhale of sleep. Outside, the Damascus streets are silent, except for the shuffling of those woken early by the intense morning heat.  Gailan has just worked a 16-hour shift in a textile factory. He snatches sleep as his two sisters ready themselves for school. Both girls have been studying since dawn – determined to capitalize on the opportunities offered to Iraqis by a strained Syrian education system.

Egypt to open two consulates in Iraq – FM
CAIRO: Egypt, whose head of mission in Baghdad was killed in 2005, is to open two consulates in Iraq, Foreign Minister Ahmad Abou al-Gheit announced on Tuesday.He told reporters that President Hosni Mubarak has approved the opening of an Egyptian consulate in the northern city of Arbil and another in the port city of Basra, southern Iraq.

Hundreds of thousands mourn Lebanon’s Fadlallah (Reuters)
Reuters – Lebanon’s Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah was buried on Tuesday, mourned by hundreds of thousands who paid homage to an early mentor of Hezbollah who became one of Shi’ite Islam’s highest authorities.*

Pictures of the Funeral

Fadlallah was Lebanon’s man in full
Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanon’s most influential Shiite Muslim leader who died in Beirut this past weekend, was a marja, or a source of emulation for Shiites, during his lifetime – just about the highest achievement a human being can attain in this world.

Condolences continue to pour in after Fadlallah’s death
BEIRUT: For the third day in a row on Tuesday, local and international figures voiced their sorrow over the death of one of Shiite Islam’s highest religious authorities, Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea offered his condolences to the Shiite sect and to all the Lebanese, and hoped Fadlallah would remain a symbol of dialogue and moderation

Patriarch Sfeir Boycotts Ayatollah Fadlullah’s Funeral, Doesn’t Give Condolences
07/07/2010 It is hard to understand how politics in Lebanon mingle with religion, personal interests, and in many cases intolerance.
When Ayatollah Sayyed Mohamad Hussein Fadlullah was pronounced dead, representatives from countries, parties, and associations as well as high level politicians, diplomats, and religious figures gathered at the Hassanein Mosque to offer condolences to the family of a man who became known for his openness, tolerance, knowledge, and dialogue. Shiite, Sunni, Druze, Christian, religious, non-religious figures expressed deep regret at the loss of Ayatollah Fadlullah.

Assad, Ahmadinejad, Erdogan planning visits to Beirut
BEIRUT: Lebanon is to witness a flurry of diplomatic visits in the upcoming period, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported on Tuesday. The CNA on Tuesday quoted ministerial sources saying a number of top Arab and regional officials have expressed to Lebanon their desire to schedule visits to Beirut.

Israeli commander warns tensions on Lebanon border likely to flare in September
BEIRUT: Commander of the Israeli Army Gabi Ashkenazi said on Tuesday that while the situation of the border with Lebanon was currently calm, it was likely to escalate in September in light of tensions between Hizbullah and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), several media reports said Tuesday.

U.S. and other World News
EU expands “safety” ban on Iran Air flights
The European Commission said on Tuesday it was extending a flight ban to include more aircraft from Iran Air.

China balks at new US sanctions
China warned other nations Tuesday against taking unilateral actions against Iran’s nuclear programme outside newly passed UN sanctions and denounced the United States for making such moves.

Turkey says PKK attacks may harm ties with Iraq and U.S. (Reuters)
Reuters – Turkey’s military and civilian leaders signaled growing frustration with the United States and Iraq Tuesday over their role in the fight against Kurdish rebels after a new attack on a Turkish base killed 15.*

MESS Report / Mubarak’s health seriously deteriorating, possibly from cancer
Gamal Mubarak, the Egyptian president’s youngest son, is considered a near shoo-in to inherit his father’s mantle in the event that the elder Mubarak does not seek another term as president.

NATO kills 5 Afghan soldiers in mistaken airstrike
The ‘friendly fire’ deaths spur an apology from Gen. David Petraeus and are strongly condemned by Afghanistan officials, who note: ‘This is not the first time.’ Elsewhere, three U.S. soldiers die Tuesday in a roadside bombing.  Gen. David H. Petraeus on Wednesday marked an early and unwelcome milestone in his tenure as commander of Western forces here: apologizing after his troops accidentally killed five Afghan soldiers.,0,4963552.story

“I Saw Them Taking the Bullets Out of the Body of My Daughter”; McChrystal Probe of Special Forces Killings Excluded Key Eyewitnesses,  GARETH PORTER and AHMAD WALID FAZLY
The follow-up investigation of a botched Special Operations Forces (SOF) raid in Gardez Feb. 12 that killed two government officials and three women, ordered by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal Apr. 5, was ostensibly aimed at reconciling divergent Afghan and U.S. accounts of what happened during and after the raid.  That implied that the U.S. investigators would finally do what they had failed to do in the original investigation – interview the eyewitnesses. But three eyewitnesses who had claimed to see U.S. troops digging bullets of the bodies of three women told IPS they were never contacted by U.S. investigators.

US Cuts Aid After Millions Siphoned Off to Dubai
Billions of dollars are being secreted out of Kabul to help well-connected Afghans buy luxury villas in Dubai. Amid concerns that the money could be the result of corruption, American politicians have temporarily cut off aid to the Afghan government.,1518,704665,00.html

Seymour Hersh on Journalism, Afghanistan and Iraq
UO Channel — Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh discusses journalism in the US in the atmosphere of a declining economy and the growing popularity of blogs and other unconventional mediums as news sources.

Rupert Murdoch takes stake in rival to al-Jazeera

A company headed by the Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says it plans to launch a new Arabic television news channel in partnership with Rupert Murdoch’s Fox network. The prince said the Kingdom Holding company’s 24-hour channel “will be an addition and alternative” for Arab viewers. It will compete with al-Arabiya and al-Jazeera. He named the veteran Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as chief of the new network, but did not say when it would begin broadcasting. Alwaleed, who owns the giant Rotana Group, was ranked last year by Forbes as the world’s 19th wealthiest person.

Roadblocks to Damascus, Frederick Deknatel
The weekend before Memorial Day, Senator John Kerry visited Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus—his third such trip as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and second in as many months. He was there, by all accounts, to defuse tensions and clarify Syria’s response to Israel’s unconfirmed accusations, echoed by the United States, that Syria had delivered Scud missiles to its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

Inside Story – France: Banning the veil
France moves closer to banning the full face veil. Supporters claim the covering of the face is a security threat, an insult to women’s dignity, and a threat to a secular constitution. Opponents say the move is a restriction on the freedom of expression and a breach of human rights. Would the law isolate Muslims rather than integrate them into the French society?

France set to vote on face veil ban
France’s parliament is set to vote on a proposed legislation banning the wearing of Islamic face veils in public places. If passed, prospective punishments for those violating the law include imprisonment and a hefty fine. Violators of the ban may also be forced to take educational classes on how to be a proper French citizen in a country home to five million Muslims. Rights groups have criticised the bill for being demeaning and stifling freedom of expression. Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee reports. [July 6, 2010]

Princess Hijab’s Paris art
A “graffiti artist” in Paris has been going around the city incognito late at night and painting face veils over models displayed in posters and billboards. The woman, who calls herself “Princess Hijab”, says the so-called “hijab-ising” of the models is just art and not a religious statement. Al Jazeera followed her one night. [July 6, 2010]

Tunisia to jail sick journalist
A court in Tunisia upholds a four-year prison sentence for a journalist who had covered violent protests.

‘Times’ prints call for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

Posted: 07 Jul 2010

Can we agree that calls for a government to violate international law are not a helpful contribution to the public debate? That’s what the New York Times offered when it published a call for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land in a letter from Richard Gertler of Teaneck, New Jersey.


Gertler argues against the “two-state solution” because it would lead to “the dissolution of Jewish sovereignty” and would amount to the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews living in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. He concludes by saying: “If the creation of a Palestinian state necessitates transfer of Jews from [the settlement of] Har Bracha in the West Bank, then the creation of the redefined Israel ought to necessitate the transfer of its Arab minority as well.”

Israeli settlements in the West Bank, though, are built illegally on Palestinian land and violate the Fourth Geneva Conventions, which prohibit countries from transferring “parts of its own civilian population into territories it occupies.” On the other hand, Palestinian officials have indicated that Israeli settlers living on land that became a Palestinian state would be offered Palestinian citizenship if they were to stay there.

Gertler’s letter is nothing less than a call to kick out Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up 20 percent of the total population there. Palestinian citizens of Israel are the remnants of the indigenous Palestinian population that at one point were the overwhelming majority in historic Palestine until the 1947-49 wars that lead to the creation of Israel and resulted in the expulsion and flight of over 700,000 Palestinians from their land.

Gertler’s notion of a “two-state solution” is straight from the playbook of the far-right Foreign Minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, who has in the past called for “loyalty” oaths that would strip Palestinians of their Israeli citizenship if they didn’t pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish state.

Regard for free expression does not require the Times to publish calls for nations to commit war crimes, anymore than the paper is obligated to provide a platform for those who see lynching or assassination as solutions to domestic problems. But when the proposed victims are Palestinian, corporate media seem to have a different standard.

This post originally appeared at the national media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s blog.

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