MONDOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS


Stand behind Wikileaks and against secret war

Posted: 03 Aug 2010

I love the debate in the MSM about whether the great Julian Assange is as virtuous as Daniel Ellsberg. I bet they were trashing Ellsberg 40 years ago, too. Oh but this is so different! Yes, very true. Different times, different weapons. Ellsberg spent nights at a Xerox machine. 

Tom Hayden has sent out the following petition on behalf of Wikileaks. I missed the Rolling Stone bit. Good:

We believe that WikiLeaks and those whistleblowers who declassify documents in a time of secret war should be welcomed as defenders of democracy, not demonized as criminals. We support their First Amendment rights and welcome their continued disobedience in response to a long train of official deception.

Our government and its allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan have stretched the labels “national security” and “secrecy” beyond all reasonable definitions, because they wish to keep the realities of these wars hidden from the American people. “National security” is becoming the last refuge of scoundrels. Only consider. Our government prohibited the media from photographing the returning remains of our dead soldiers, until public pressure forced a change in policy;
– The Abu Ghraib torture scandal only came to public attention when photographs were leaked by an MP;
– The war in Pakistan is shrouded in secrecy because it violates that country’s sovereignty, results in the killing of innocent civilians, and is deeply unpopular;
– According to the new information from WikiLeaks, our Special Operations Task Force 373 operates outside the ISAF mandate to kidnap and kill targeted insurgents in a repeat of the discredited Phoenix program of the Vietnam era.
– Gen. Stanley McChrystal was forced to resign after a Rolling Stone reporter uncovered attitudes hostile to civilian authority;
– The same Rolling Stone article quoted a top official saying if the truth about these wars was known by the American people, they would be even more unpopular.
Given this context of cover-ups, whistleblowers have been a last resort in keeping democracy alive.
We understand the embarrassment of high officials when exposed, but it is Orwellian for the Pentagon to accuse the WikiLeaks of having “blood on their hands.” We are in the tenth year of a war which has claimed over 1,100 American lives, and where Afghan and Pakistan casualties are obscured deliberately. Many of America’s killed and wounded are listed as non-combat, minimizing the actual toll. WikiLeaks has been careful to delete information which might expose individuals to lethal risk. Those who really have blood on their hands are the authors of this war. We stand with those who expose them.
TOM HAYDEN
REV. GEORGE HUNSINGER, Princeton Theology Seminary [ret.]
ED BACON, All Saints Episcopal
MEDEA BENJAMIN, Cofounder, CODEPINK
TIM CARPENTER, Progressive Democrats of America
ARIEL DORFMAN, Author
PETER DALE SCOTT, Author
DONALD SHRIVER, President of Union Theological Seminary in NYC
JEAN STEIN, Editor/Author

Another prominent American Jew pronounces himself ‘disgusted’ with Israel

03 Aug 2010

Earlier today I called for more Jewish apostates in the face of Israel’s repulsive conduct (please watch this video). Well a friend pointed this out to me:

This Times piece on the ADL opposing the mosque near Ground Zero prompted a healthy rejoinder from Jay Rosen, the influential journalism prof at NYU (and a Jew), at twitter a few days ago:

My alienation from and disgust with the “organized Jewish community” (and the polity of Israel) is close to complete

Tom Shales takes more stupid swipes at Amanpour

03 Aug 2010

Tom Shales has repeatedly attacked Christiane Amanpour, on the most ad hominem grounds, in the Washington Post. He went after her for supposed anti-Israel bias last March. Lately he suggested that a prayer she offered on behalf of all the war dead was aimed at the fallen Taliban. Now ABC News has responded, reports Justin Elliott at Salon: 

[Shales:] “Did she mean to suggest that our mourning extend to members of the Taliban?”

Jeffrey Schneider, senior vice president at ABC, told Salon that Shales’ criticism here is “utterly fabricated.”…

I wonder how much of this is about Israel policy…

War of the hedges

03 Aug 2010

(Photo: Ronith Daher / AP)

The Israelis dangled a soldier over the Lebanese border today, to trim the hedges, or so they say. And an officer was killed by a Lebanese “sniper,” say the Israelis. Reminiscent of the tractors in the Golan before the Six Day War… In his speech today, Nasrallah accuses Israel of killing former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. Karon on the potential for catastrophe… Haaretz:

The violence apparently erupted over a move by Israeli soldiers to trim some hedges along the border…

Israel Defense Forces GOC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot …told Israeli media that “a routine operation was carried out during the afternoon near Misgav Am – an operation whose purpose was to trim some bushes near the border, in our [Israeli] territory. It was on both sides of the border but still within [Israeli] territory. Officers oversaw the operation from a permanent position. Sniper fire was directed at the officers, and two of them were wounded as a result.”

A tale of two very different droughts

03 Aug 2010

Haaretz contributor Nehemia Shtrasler writes:

“Israel is still drying up,” shrieks the Water Authority, and it’s right. The last winter did not end the drought, which has now lasted five years. It has been the worst uninterrupted period of aridity for 80 years. Yet does anybody really care?
The Shekel Drops / Water, hypocrisy and politics, Haaretz

I care, actually. But not for the same reasons.

I took an environmental science class during my senior year of high school. My teacher was tremendously enthusiastic and through him, I was introduced to various environmental crises including the global water shortage. For this reason, Israel’s water crisis doesn’t shock me.

But I wouldn’t be shocked anyways, and here’s why:

Israel’s citizens, like those of developed countries worldwide, benefit year-round from unlimited running water to meet their household needs. On the other hand, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians suffer from a severe water shortage throughout the summer.
B’Tselem

Water shortages are a daily occurrence for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the dry spell isn’t limited to just the last five years. Even before the water-sharing agreements of the second round of Oslo Accords in 1995, Palestinians have been forced to endure an even more extreme drought – one that is politically- rather than environmentally-induced.

I’ve experienced the dry spell first hand. In my last visit to the Gaza Strip in 2004, the faucets worked only half the time. I thought living without electricity or internet was hard, but water insecurity really puts a damper on one’s life. No bathroom, no laundry, no showers, and no homemade dinner. If I was thirsty, I had to travel to the nearest store for a warm juice box.

Luckily, experiences like these were recognized by delegates at the Third World Water Conference in Kyoto in 2003. Of the 21 international water disputes analyzed and assessed by the conference’s attendees, 18 involved Israel’s control of Palestinian water resources.

Although the underground reservoirs and surrounding river basins are to be shared equally by residents of the area, there exists a large disparity between the amount of water reaching Palestinian territory and the amount of water reaching Israeli territory. According to a United Nations press release:

[Since 1993] Israel had confiscated 85 per cent of Palestinian water
March 25, 2010

If the archeologists hired to dig through Jerusalem ever get an opportunity to dig elsewhere, they should come across an intricate underground pipe system that leads to various Israeli towns and settlements. Water use in Israel is unrestricted, and to keep up with demand, water is normally rerouted away from its intended Palestinian destination.

The difference in water consumption is astounding but expected. The average Israeli uses between four and six times as much water as the average Palestinian. While Israelis frolic in 400-liter oceans, Palestinians are forced to ration water just to reach the 70-liters-a-day mark. Sad thing is, the World Health Organization recommends daily access to at least 100 liters of water a day.

It is without a doubt that Israel is facing a five-year drought, if that’s what you want to call it. After all, it’s the Middle East, to which “arid” and “extremely hot” are synonyms. But it goes without say that Palestinians are experiencing a far worse and seemingly endless drought – one that involves petty politics as well.

Before Israel’s Water Authority convinces the Knesset to siphon off even more Palestinian water as a solution to its alleged water deficit, I have two solutions. First, cut back on water consumption. Second, but more importantly, eliminate illegal water restrictions against the Palestinians. While the Water Authority complains about a drought that has yet to impact water accessibility in Israel, Palestine has been drying up since 1967.

Sami Kishawi blogs at Sixteen Minutes to Palestine.

Israel’s PR war

03 Aug 2010

Lia Tarachansky‘s latest:

More at The Real News

What Zionism has wrought

03 Aug 2010

The above video shows 5-year-old Khaled Jabari crying as the Israeli military takes his father away for stealing water. In fact, he was only trying to access water that had already been stolen by Kiryat Arba, a nearby Israeli settlement. Palestine Monitor reports:

Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, commented the video, circulated yesterday on SKY TV and Al Jazeera, saying that “Palestinian children grow up under the Israeli occupation, surrounded by the Apartheid Wall, by oppression and destruction. Israel repudiates children’s rights and welfare and treats them like adults, clearly violating UN Declaration of Child’s Rights”.

After watching the footage, Hashem Abu Maria, of the Defence For Children International charity, said it was obvious the child thought his father would never return.

He said he was contacting child support agencies in the field to offer him psychological help to cope with the trauma.”This child does not comprehend the concept of arrest – he does not know what it means, like the policeman or soldier understands it,” he added. “I think that the child thinks that his father is leaving and not coming back – that he has lost him.”

Israeli forces raided the town of Bakka after accusing Palestinian farmers of stealing water from the nearby Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba. They pulled out irrigation pipes supplying vines and vegetable fields before arresting several villagers, including the boy’s father. Angry Palestinian residents say they have documents to prove they are registered with the Palestinian Water Authority, and are paying for the water they use.

They say it is the second time in a month police have removed their irrigation pipes. “This land is the source of our income, and it is the cause of our struggle with the occupation since day one of the occupation,” said Khaled’s grandfather Badran Jaber. “We live from it, we have no other job opportunity in light of unemployment reaching over 40% in the occupied territories.”

The child’s grandmother, Im Ghassan, added: “What right do they have to do this? Where can we go? This is our land, our home and nation, this is ours. We live here, we were born here, and we want to die here. Let them do what they want, we cannot do any more.”

(h/t Seham)

Uribe appointment undermines U.N. flotilla investigation

03 Aug 2010

It was announced yesterday, August 2nd, that outgoing Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez will be the Vice Chairman of the U.N.’s four-member international committee tasked with investigating the Israeli commando attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. On May 31st, Israeli forces attacked the MV Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship manned by international activists delivering aid supplies to the besieged Gaza Strip. The ensuing confrontation left nine activists dead and dozens wounded and sparked international criticism of Israel.

Prior international investigations and condemnation have done little to change Israel’s colonial policies in occupied Palestinian territories. Appointing Uribe to this latest investigation preemptively undermines its credibility.

It’s difficult to catalogue and summarize the various political scandals that have plagued Uribe’s 8-year presidency. Three days before the announcement of Uribe’s appointment to the U.N. committee, the Colombian press reported the outgoing president’s verbal attack against Colombian Supreme Court Magistrate Yesid Ramirez, after Ramirez asked the nation’s prosecutor general to open an investigation into allegations that the president’s son, Tomás Uribe, bribed congressmen to ensure his father’s re-election in 2006. The recent scandal is only the latest in one of many of Uribe’s public displays of contempt for the Colombian judiciary, the most famous of which was his outrage at the Court’s nixing of a referendum that would have allowed Uribe to run for a third presidential term.

More significant than political tumult or charges of corruption is Uribe’s contempt for international law, demonstrated by his government’s illegal use of the International Red Cross emblem in a hostage rescue mission in July 2008. Uribe admitted using the Red Cross emblem in the mission – which successfully duped the guerrilla into releasing several high profile hostages, including three Americans and one former Colombian presidential candidate – but dismissed the violation as a “mistake” committed by a soldier in a “state of angst”. Immediately following the mission, the Red Cross released a statement urging all sides to respect the ICRC emblem, but did not pursue the issue further. The Geneva Conventions prohibit improper use of the Red Cross logo.

As Uribe’s new appointment entrusts him with investigating the deaths of civilian activists, the most alarming aspect of his 8-year tenure is his government’s well-documented history of killing civilians and then presenting them as fallen guerrilla fighters or “terrorist sympathizers”. Starting in 2008, it was widely reported that the Colombian military had an established practice of luring poor young men from their homes with promises of employment, and subsequently killing them and presenting them as combat casualties. The practice not only served to stack battle statistics, but also financially benefited the soldiers involved, as Uribe’s government had, since 2005, awarded monetary and vacation bonuses for each insurgent killed. Human rights groups cite 3,000 or more of these so-called “false positives”. In response to the scandal, Uribe dismissed some of the military’s high command. But even when his critics are proven right, as was the case with the “false positives” scandal, Uribe steadfastly maintains a rhetoric that equates human rights defenders with armed terrorists. His attitude was most famously exemplified in a speech made in 2003:

“In Colombia, every time a security policy to defeat terrorism appears, when terrorists begin to feel weak, they immediately send out spokespeople to talk about human rights.”

Israeli claims that participants in the humanitarian aid flotilla, including those who lost their lives, were likely linked to “terrorist” organizations seem to echo Uribe’s vitriol. After the May 31st Israeli massacre in international waters, Fox News reported Israeli ambassador to Denmark, Arthur Avnon, as saying:

“Before the flotilla entered Israeli waters, rumor had it that the organizers [of the aid initiative] had links with the al Qaeda terrorist network… The people on board were not so innocent … and I cannot imagine that another country would react any differently.”

One might surmise that Israel bowed to international pressure to participate in the U.N. probe because it sees a kindred spirit in Uribe, hardly an impartial arbiter of international humanitarian law and human rights. While the eventual outcome of the probe is still uncertain, Álvaro Uribe’s participation as Vice Chairman calls into question the sincerity of the U.N.’s investigation.

Carmen Andrea Rivera is an independent journalist and activist based in Berkeley, California. She is currently a producer on the weekly radio magazine La Raza Chronicles (KPFA, 94.1 FM).  Nico Udu-gama is an activist based in Washington, DC.

Israel lobby’s man on Iran keeps his job from Bush to Obama, no problem

03 Aug 2010

Obama got past Hillary in 2008 because his opposition to the Iraq war was a litmus test for much of the Democratic base. Then he won the last presidential election in part by opposing Bush’s foreign-policy agenda and promptly reached out to the “Muslim world.”

So why is a Bushie with an ideological agenda hanging on into the Obama administration?

Below are excerpts of an important piece on Obama’s Iran policy, a piece about Stuart Levey, under secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Security who is responsible for Iran sanctions (penned by JTA’s Ron Kampeas six weeks ago). Levey was appointed by Bush in 2001. Obama has kept this Bushie in a key policy position in Treasury. Why? Because he is beloved by the Israel lobby. For the same reason that Martin Indyk said that Obama has folded on settlements with Netanyahu: because of the “Jewish factor” in elections. Do you think the Democratic base would tolerate a high-level Bush appointee at HHS or in the Justice Department? No way. But this is how policy gets made in the Middle East; and you can’t seriously critique policy-making without factoring in the ethnic-religious component.

Stuart Levey was given a big stick when the Bush administration made him the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence….

Levey is that rarity — a senior government official who has transitioned not just between two administrations, but between two presidents with profound foreign policy differences.

President Obama’s decision to keep Levey and his office in place has less to do with ideology and more with how Levey has made the office into a tool that has effectively squeezed Iran …

Most recently, on June 16, Levey had the floor in the White House press room when he outlined new sanctions targeting an Iranian bank, a number of shipping companies and individuals associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is believed to control the Islamic Republic’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

“Stuart has been the chief architect of our strategy to impose growing financial costs on Iran for its continued defiance and he has played a major leadership role on this issue internationally,” Obama’s Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, said in introducing Levey…

Levey’s children attend a Jewish day school…

Jonathan Schanzer, an analyst for Levey in the middle of the decade who is now a vice president at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy think tank, said Levey was exacting and probing in assessing evidence….

In making his case for sanctioning shipping companies, Levey at times has attracted headlines with a spectacular find — notably in 2008, when his agency helped linked the owners of a building in New York’s financial district to an Iranian bank with ties to weapons dealers….

Before joining the Bush administration in 2001, Levey was in law practice for 11 years at the Washington firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, where he worked with Nathan Lewin, well known for his work on behalf of Jewish groups…

“We were absolutely delighted when the Obama administration chose to ask him to stay in office,” said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, which honored Levey with the organization’s 2009 Public Service Award. “That really spoke to the reputation Stuart established.”

Levey welcomes submissions from nongovernmental groups, like the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, that track sanctions busters and terrorist financing. He tells colleagues that people behave better when they know they are being watched.

Notice the presence in this piece of David Harris of the American Jewish Committee, whose job is protecting Israel, and of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, a neoconservative shop, and of neocon Jonathan Schanzer, who lately in the Weekly Standard called it the terror flotilla.

These are Obama’s friends? Yes. Note that Levey is a longtime admirer of AIPAC and attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem as an undergraduate: “I have been an admirer of the great work this organization does since my days on the one-year program at Hebrew University in 1983 and 1984.”

Today in Palestine: 3 14-year-old boys arrested while walking near wall

03 Aug 2010  

And other news from Today in Palestine:

Land and Property Theft and Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

Israel demolishes more villages and houses

Jerusalem, August 3, (Pal Telegraph) A large force of Israeli army supported by bulldozers and special units raided today several unrecognized villages in the Negev region south of the occupied territories of 1948, and proceeded to demolish dozens of homes and the displacement of a large number of the families who own these homes.  Israeli bulldozers began demolition of unrecognized villages of ‘Dimona’’, ‘Ser’, ‘Abu Salb’ and ‘Hawasheleh’.  The Israeli bulldozers are scheduled to keep on invading many of the unrecognized villages in the Negev throughout the day and everyday according to sources in the Israeli Ministry of interior affairs, for the demolition of more houses and removal of the tents.
http://www.paltelegraph.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6848:israel-demolishes-more-villages-and-houses&catid=59:west-bank&Itemid=135
Army vandalism in Hebron: soldiers destroy family’s well in Wad Lerus

Yesterday morning (2 August 2010) a group of Israeli soldiers, reportedly drunk, used two bulldozers to destroy a well that belonged to a family living in Wad Lerus, Hebron.  Several ISM activists went out to talk to members of the Al Jaabel family in Wad Lerus, close to the Kyriat Arba settlement in Hebron, yesterday afternoon.
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/08/13525/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+palsolidarity+%28International+Solidarity+Movement%29
40 New Settlement Units Approved For East Jerusalem

Israel, on Monday, approved construction of forty new settlement housing units in the Pisgat Ze’ev settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

40 New Settlement Units Approved For East Jerusalem


Israel agrees new settlement homes

New homes to be built in east Jerusalem settlement as push for direct talks continues.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/08/201082183912359467.html
Israel approves new east Jerusalem apartments (AP)

AP – Israeli municipal officials have approved the building of 40 apartments in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem’s disputed eastern sector.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100803/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians
Erekat demands action over Jerusalem settlements

Bethlehem – Ma’an – As international pressure mounts on Palestinians to resume direct talks, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat appealed for the same pressure to be applied on Israel to end its “brutal policies.”  “At a time when world leaders passionately call for direct talks, I call on them to exert the same level of passion to preventing Israel from continuing its colonization process in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in East Jerusalem,” Erekat said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=304620
Update from the ‘Tent of Nations’, Ben White

In late May, I wrote a piece about the Nassar family’s ‘Tent of Nations’ project outside Bethlehem, and the demolition orders that had been issued by the Israeli occupation forces. I have just got back from a visit to Palestine and was able to visit the land, and get an update from Daoud.  I’d arrived by myself, and as I walked up the access track towards the land, I saw that there were four Israeli soldiers standing next to a tree along the way. As I neared, they moved across the track and stopped me. They asked for my passport and what I was ‘doing in Israel’. I told them I was coming to see my friend, and I walked on.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/08/update-from-the-tent-of-nations.html
Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment
U.S. group launches campaign against West Bank settlement construction

Americans for Peace Now urges U.S. citizens to record short videos in which they will explain how settlement construction could negatively Israel’s U.S. image.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-group-launches-campaign-against-west-bank-settlement-construction-1.305606?localLinksEnabled=false
Push begins to send US boat to Gaza, Philip Weiss

On Thursday this week, the group that is planning a US boat to Gaza is having a sunset cruise in New York harbor to raise money. The plans have touched a nerve, and there is a lot of excitement about the boat (the evolved Times ledeblog has covered it) and the cheap seats are almost sold out. Look at the list of people who are behind the US boat. Phyllis Bennis, Leslie Cagan, the Corries, Russell Banks, Anna Baltzer, Rashid Khalidi, Donna Nevel, Felice Gelman, Michael Ratner, Michael Smith, Judy Walker, Alice Walker, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Iara Lee. Good people.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/08/push-begins-to-send-us-boat-to-gaza.html
The Only Democracy? summer vacation: enjoy some boycott music

I keep meaning to make a mix tape of the ever growing “cultural intifada” of artists refusing to perform in Israel, maybe including a Meg Ryan film clip?  In the mean time, here’s where Gorillaz went after refusing to play in Israel. While Syria certainly has its own injustices, it sounds like an inspriing event.
http://theonlydemocracy.org/2010/08/enjoy-some-boycott-music/
Violence and Aggression (also see Lebanon)
Israeli forces fire on Gaza workers, injuring 1

Gaza – Ma’an – A young Gaza man was injured by Israeli fire east of Beit Hanoun on Tuesday, reportedly while he was gathering cement aggregates from the border area.  Medical services coordinator for the de facto government Adham Abu Salmiyeh identified the man as 22-year-old Bilal Ibrahim Obeid, saying he was hit in the shoulder and was moderately injured.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=304802
Detainees
Israel Arrests Children Walking Near West Bank Separation Wall

At 12pm on Monday August 2nd, three children who had been walking near the wall in Bil’in village where arrested by Israeli soldiers. The three 14-year-old friends Moatasem Ali Mansor, Majde Burnat, and Mohamad Abu Rahmah often take walks near the wall. Today they were detained by soldiers behind the wall for three hours. While behind the wall their families tried to negotiate for their release to no avail. They were then arrested and taken away in an army ambulance. This happened three hours ago, and no ones knows where they have been taken yet. Soldiers claim that the boys were throwing stones.
http://josephdana.com/2010/08/israel-arrests-children-walking-near-west-bank-separation-wall/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=israel-arrests-children-walking-near-west-bank-separation-wall
Israeli forces arrest 11 Palestinians in West Bank

RAMALLAH: Israeli forces operating in West Bank cities arrested 11 Palestinians, according to Israeli and Palestinian security sources.  Palestinian sources said that three Palestinians were arrested in Nablus, one in Ramallah, six in the Bethlehem area and one in Hebron. They added that all were arrested after meticulous house search operations.  Israeli security sources told the Army Radio that the detainees were wanted by the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet and were taken to unknown locations for questioning.
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article94549.ece
Rights group condemns wave of political arrests

Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority is waging a campaign of politically-motivated arrests in the West Bank, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights alleged Monday.  According to PCHR investigations, human rights activist Islam Hamed Khadayer, 35, was interrogated for seven hours at the General Intelligence Service headquarters in Nablus on Saturday. On his return home, PA Preventative Security Service officers arrested him. The detainee is the son of a Palestinian Legislative Council member.  The same day, Nasser Hamed Khadayer, 33, and his brother Ahmed, 28, were summoned to GIS headquarters. Ahmed, a journalist who also researches prisoners’ affairs, was immediately taken to Jnaid prison. Nasser has been summoned to GIS headquarters every day since. A third brother, Hatem Hamed Khdayer, 38, a Sharia judge, has been summoned to appear at the headquarters on Tuesday, PCHR reported.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=304573
The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Humanitarian and Human Rights/Restriction of Movement
Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – July 4 – July 31
http://www.gazagateway.org/2010/08/industrial-fuel-%e2%80%93-needs-vs-supply-%e2%80%93-july-4-july-31/
Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – July 4 – July 31
http://www.gazagateway.org/2010/08/goods-%e2%80%93-needs-vs-supply-%e2%80%93-july-4-%e2%80%93-july-31/
In the midst of Gaza’s calamity lies an opportunity

Beyond the most obvious hardships brought about by the Gaza blockade, there is another less commonly discussed environmental calamity in the making that could have terrible long-term implications. According to the United Nations Environment Program, the blockade on the Strip is causing severe water shortages and preventing farmers from tilling their land, leading to environmental damage that could take decades to repair.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=117762#axzz0vVMVwbcU
UAE Red Crescent takes anticancer drugs to Gaza

WAM GAZA, Aug 02nd, 2010 (WAM) — Representatives of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Gaza received today medical supplies sent by the UAE Red Crescent Authority to Gaza hospitals The convoy carrying the several life saving medicines had started to arrive in Gaza via the Rafah crossing.  The PRCS will distribute ten tons of medical supplies to various hospitals and healthcare centres in Gaza, according to the needs of each of them.
http://www.wam.ae/servlet/Satellite?c=WamLocEnews&cid=1278055869011&pagename=WAM%2FWAM_E_Layout&parent=Query&parentid=1135099399852
War Crimes
Case of 14-year-old used as a human shield submitted to the UN for investigation

[Ramallah, 3 August 2010] – On 3 August 2010, DCI-Palestine submitted a case involving the use of a child as a human shield to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture for further investigation.  DCI-Palestine has received credible evidence that on 16 April 2010, a 14-year-old boy was used as a human shield by units of the Israeli army whilst conducting operations in the village of Beit Ummar, near Hebron, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It is alleged that two soldiers forced the boy to walk in front of them in an attempt to shield the soldiers from stones being thrown during clashes with local Palestinian youths. The boy was subsequently tied, blindfolded and beaten, before being released several hours later, without charge. Part of the incident was photographed and reported in Ma’an News.
http://www.dci-pal.org/english/display.cfm?DocId=1563&CategoryId=1
Rockets

Jordan has ‘proof’ Aqaba rocket fired from Egypt (AFP)

AFP – Jordan has proof a Grad-type rocket that struck its port city of Aqaba killing a taxi driver and wounding five other people was fired from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, a senior official told AFP on Tuesday.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100803/ts_afp/mideastconflictrocketjordanegyptevidence
US calls rocket attacks on Israel, Jordan ‘deplorable’ (AFP)

AFP – The United States on Monday called rocket attacks that hit Israel and Jordan “deplorable,” and said the actions seemed designed to sabotage plans to revive direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100802/pl_afp/mideastconflictrocketjordanisraelus
MESS Report / World Jihad targeting Jordan and Egypt, not just Israel

Concern over possible missile strikes or major terror attacks has spurred the Jordanians to closer security collaboration with Israel.
http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/mess-report/mess-report-world-jihad-targeting-jordan-and-egypt-not-just-israel-1.305616?localLinksEnabled=false
Netanyahu: Terror groups are trying to thwart Mideast peace

PM’s comments to Egypt’s Mubarak, Jordan’s Abdullah come after rockets land in Eilat, Aqaba, killing one Jordanian citizen.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-terror-groups-are-trying-to-thwart-mideast-peace-1.305592?localLinksEnabled=false
Political/Other Developments
U.S.: Failure to advance peace talks will have consequences

State Dept. official reiterates Washington denial of reported threat to cut ties with the PA if Abbas failed to upgrade existing indirect peace negotiations.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-failure-to-advance-peace-talks-will-have-consequences-1.305596?localLinksEnabled=false
US insists now is the ‘right time’ for direct Mideast talks (AFP)

AFP – The United States said Monday now is the right time for Palestinians and Israelis to resume direct negotiations, warning there would be consequences if they failed to do so.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100802/pl_afp/mideastdiplomacypalestinianisraelus
PLO: no direct talks before Israel freezes settlement

RAMALLAH, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) — The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) ruled out going for direct talks with Israel before the latter halts settlement construction and set terms of reference of negotiations, a PLO official said Monday.  “Setting timetable, terms of reference and freezing settlement activity are the ‘sole guarantee’ for resuming direct talks with Israel,” Yasser Abed Rabbo, a PLO official, told reporters following a meeting of the organization’s executive committee in Ramallah.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-08/02/c_13426932.htm
Israel makes no obligations to U.S. for start of direct talks with Palestinians: PM

JERUSALEM, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet members that he made no obligations to the United States in his recent meeting with President Barack Obama for possible direct talks with the Palestinians, sources told Xinhua on Monday.  Addressing his cabinet ministers at a weekly session on Sunday, he estimated that direct talks with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) could begin within two weeks.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-08/02/c_13426930.htm
    
Mubarak, Netanyahu talk on phone to complete last discussions

CAIRO, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday received a phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a continuation of consultations between the two sides last month, Egypt’s official MENA news agency reported.  The brief report did not give more details.  On July 18, Mubarak held discussions with Netanyahu, as well as U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas respectively, to discuss the peace process in the region
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-08/03/c_13426970.htm
U.S. heavily involved in organizing U.N. flotilla probe

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced a new international panel to oversee investigations into the Gaza flotilla incident, a decision that came after heavy U.S. involvement and with the support of the Israeli government.  The four-member panel will be led by the former prime minister of New Zealand, Geoffrey Palmer, and the outgoing president of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe. Turkey and Israel will each appoint one member in the coming days, both expected to be high-level diplomats or judicial officials.  It will meet on Aug. 10 and issue its first report in September. U.S. representative to the U.N. Susan Rice issued a statement Monday praising the panel and clearly defining its limits.
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/08/02/us_heavily_involved_in_organizing_un_flotilla_probe
Head of UN panel: Gaza flotilla probe will be ‘challenging’

Former New Zealand premier Geoffrey Palmer says issue is very sensitive one; stresses need to maintain a sense of detachment.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/head-of-un-panel-gaza-flotilla-probe-will-be-challenging-1.305607?localLinksEnabled=false
Turkey summons Israeli envoy over Barak’s comments

Ambassador called in after defense minister expresses concern over appointment of new Turkish spy chief, dubs him ‘supporter of Iran’.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3929575,00.html
Other News

Report: Turkey could host advanced U.S. radar to confront Iran missile threat

American close to agreement that could make Ankara a vital link in a cross-European chain of anti-missile systems.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-turkey-could-host-advanced-u-s-radar-to-confront-iran-missile-threat-1.305719?localLinksEnabled=false
Sentence in Israel rape by deception case delayed (AP)

AP – Israel’s Supreme Court has delayed the imprisonment of a Palestinian man convicted of rape by deception.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100803/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_rape_by_deception
Gaza flotilla activist: IDF returned my bag, but not my belongings

Swedish author Henning Mankell, one of the passengers on May’s Turkish-sponsored flotilla to Gaza, has finally had the knapsack Israeli forces confiscated after the raid returned to him – and claims that most of what was inside it has disappeared.  Mankell told Haaretz that last Friday, he was summoned to the Gothenburg office of the Turkish airline he flew and given his bag, which had been sent from Istanbul by IHH, the organization that sponsored the ships. But most of his own belongings had disappeared, he claimed, and instead, he found women’s clothing inside.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/gaza-flotilla-activist-idf-returned-my-bag-but-not-my-belongings-1.305628?localLinksEnabled=false
Haredi press praises kids’ deportation

Jewish magazines say ‘Israel’s Jewish character’ endangered by foreign kids granted citizenship.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3929021,00.html
IDF refuses to recruit intersexed haredi man

Jerusalem resident who was born with both male, female genitalia files petition against Defense Ministry claiming that despite his high motivation to enlist, serve in combat duty army refuses to recruit him. ‘I want to fulfill my civic duty,’ he says.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3929003,00.html
Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest

Kill an Arab, any Arab, is longstanding and unquestioned policy, David Samel

So Israel’s rule of engagement is that any incident of violence directed at Israel from an Arab community may be answered by a lethal attack on an official of that community, regardless of whether there is any suspicion of the official’s personal responsibility for the act against Israel. The idea is that the leadership of a community is not only “responsible . . . for maintaining calm” among the entire populace, but that any random official could pay with his life for a breach of calm that he neither planned, carried out, or was aware of.  Let us imagine Palestinians employing the same rule.  If an IDF soldier, or a settler, committed a single aggressive act against a Palestinian, even if there were no resulting injuries, Hamas would be entitled to assassinate any IDF officer (and perhaps any Israeli official – the Minister of Transportation, or Education?) for failure to prevent the attack. Practically, of course, such retaliation is unthinkable, due to the overwhelming imbalance of power. Palestinians simply do not have the capability of killing any Israeli target. But the question here is one of law and morality, and random assassination of an Israeli official or even IDF officer for a settler’s attack would be indefensible.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/08/kill-an-arab-any-arab-is-longstanding-and-unquestioned-policy.html
James Zogby: Arabs Don’t Care About Palestine? Don’t Bet on It

There are bad polls, and then there are bad interpretations of polls. Putting them together (i.e. a bad interpretation of a bad poll) can create a mess of misinformation, which is exactly what the New York Times gave us this morning.  Prominently featured on the op-ed page was a piece, “The Palestinians, Alone” by Efraim Karsh (an Israeli-born professor at King’s College, London).
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-zogby/arabs-dont-care-about-pal_b_668043.html
Lo, another Israel apologist on the NYT op-ed page!, Philip Weiss

The staying power of neocons is amazing. Here is Efraim Karsh, the man who denied the Nakba, who wrote that Palestinians were “driven” out in 1948 by their own leaders, is on the Op Ed page of the NYT today, writing that there are no reasonable Palestinians.  Koozie summarizes: “Article states that an online poll of Arabs shows that 70-something percent of them aren’t interested in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which the author than uses as a launching point to argue that Arabs are not, and never really have been, interested in the Palestinians’ plight.  It’s an interesting little trick.  One can make the more convincing argument that Arab society still cares very deeply about the Palestinians and that the Arab society is perhaps a little better at acknowledging b.s. (and we can all agree that the Peace Talks have delivered nothing but hot air) than Americans are and so have decided not to waste another iota of energy or time on what is in essence a diplomatic diversion.  Was it ee Cummings who wrote the line ‘there is some shit I will not eat?’”
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/08/lo-another-israel-apologist-on-the-nyt-op-ed-page.html
Another Remarkably Stupid NYT Op Ed on the Mideast, Tony Karon

Okay, I don’t have much time here, it’s recycling night — and the New York Times seems to revel in recycling really tired Israeli PR lines. Today, it’s Ephraim Karsh trotting out a mish-mash of misrepresentations and tar-balls of wishful thinking to make the case that the Arab world has abandoned the Palestinians, and now that they’re on their own, they’re more likely to surrender to Israel’s terms at the peace table. The evidence for this claim, first and foremost, is an unscientific survey by an Arab news organization that found that ” a staggering 71 percent of the Arabic respondents have no interest in the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks”. Uh, Ephraim, buddy — you may not know this, but the percentage of Palestinians that have no interest in those peace talks is probably higher. Nobody outside the Netanyahu-AIPAC echo chamber believes anything will come of such talks as long as the U.S. declines to force the issue with Israel. That’s hardly the same thing as saying the Arabs have tired of the Palestinians; on the contrary, most surveys of Arab opinion find the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains their primary foreign policy concern. Arabs tiring of the Palestinians is wishful thinking.
http://tonykaron.com/2010/08/02/another-remarkably-stupid-nyt-op-ed-on-the-mideast/
Hateful Ground Zero Hypocrisy, Peter Beinart

The Anti-Defamation League’s opposition to building a mosque at the site of the 9/11 attacks betrays its own founding principles. Peter Beinart on the Jewish group’s Muslim double standard.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-02/the-anti-defamation-leagues-ground-zero-mosque-hypocrisy/
Foxman Really Outdoes Himself on Mosque Issue

Whatever diminishing credibility the Anti-Defamation League retains as a fighter against discrimination and bigotry against minority groups was shed today with the ADL’s announcement that it opposes the construction of the proposed Islamic Center two blocks from “Ground Zero” in downtown Manhattan.
http://www.lobelog.com/foxman-really-outdoes-himself-on-mosque-issue/
South Africa’s lessons for Gaza

The Palestinian national movement has overlooked this question: does the Gaza Strip resemble the racist Bantustans of apartheid South Africa? During the apartheid era, South Africa’s black population was kept in isolation and without political and civil rights. Is Gaza similar? The answer is yes and no. Haidar Eid analyzes.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11437.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29
Book review: Israel and apartheid S. Africa’s “Unspoken Alliance”

In The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa, historian and Foreign Affairs editor Sasha Polakow-Suransky explores the rise and fall of the Cold War-era alliance between Israel and apartheid South Africa. Jimmy Johnson reviews for The Electronic Intifada.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11439.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29
Globalisation – A Palestinian Context, Jamil Salman – Amman

Despite the recent surge in studies criticising the effects of globalisation and, by extension, the World Trade Organisation, Palestinian officials have remained steadfast in their desire to expose the economy to the effects of globalisation. To some, membership at the WTO has become the next integral step in not only ending economic depression, but achieving Palestinian statehood. This is in part due to the major deficiencies regarding the shared Customs Union with Israel.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16176
Young Palestinians With Cameras, Shooting Back, DON DUNCAN

Every Friday, the slingshot-wielding boys, or shabab, of the West Bank village of Ni’lin protest at Israel’s separation wall, which has deprived the village of 750 acres of farmland. But among the shabab are other youngsters with a different weapon – video cameras.
For the past three years, Btselem, the Israeli human rights NGO, has provided cameras and training to young Palestinians as part of its camera distribution project, to collect video evidence of abuses and misconduct by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and Israeli settlers in the West Bank. There are 150 such cameras all over the West Bank and Gaza, and most of the footage captured – 1,500 hours so far – ends on the floor-to-ceiling archive shelves of the Jerusalem office of Yoav Gross, who directs the NGO’s video project.
http://www.counterpunch.com/duncan08032010.html
Playing Soccer in Gaza, Andrew Ford

You’re watching your kid play soccer. It’s a chilly weekend morning and you may be upset at the lost sleep involved in getting up and getting him there. The grass is green and the net, goal posts, striping are new and unscarred from previous play; their maintenance secured through a school district budget that generally passes grudging voter approval every two years. You see the mix of parents, some of them groggy, some of them slightly too excited by the impending competition. And it’s all incredibly normal.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16178
Iraq

Monday: 14 Iraqis Killed, 36 Wounded

Despite indications of a surge in violence, U.S. President Barack Obama promised to end U.S. combat operations on schedule this month and shift the Iraq mission to civilian and diplomatic efforts. Still, at least 14 Iraqis were killed and 36 more were wounded in new violence. Meanwhile, Kuwait marked the 20th anniversary of the country’s invasion by Iraqi troops and start of the first Gulf War. Also, Saudi Arabia is welcoming the opportunity to strengthen relations with Iraq and reign in Iran’s influence in the region.
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2010/08/02/monday-14-iraqis-killed-36-wounded/
Unknown gunmen bomb policeman house

Three people were killed in Fallujah including a woman while three others were wounded due to the bombing of a policeman’s house.  Unknown gunmen detonated bombs around the house of the policeman in Al Karma region, eastern Fallujah, killing him, his wife and his two-year old daughter while his three sons were wounded, a security source told Alsumaria News.  Two people were killed and four others were wounded in a bomb explosion at a bus station in Al Shorta Al Rabiaa region, police said.  The Presidential Palaces compound at the Green Zone was subject to missile attack on Sunday night. Helicopters hovered above the incident site while no casualties were confirmed.
http://www.alsumaria.tv/en/Iraq-News/1-52542-Unknown-gunmen-bomb-policeman-house.html
Maliki says impasse over Iraqi govt not his fault (Reuters)

Reuters – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday his desire to serve a second term as prime minister was not holding up the formation of a new government and asked Iraqis to have patience.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100802/wl_nm/us_iraq_politics
Former Saddam official sentenced to death (AFP)

AFP – A senior official in the Baath Party of now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death for the draining of the country’s marshlands in the 1990s, the Iraqi court that tried him said on Tuesday.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100803/wl_mideast_afp/iraqtrialrightsenvironmentmarshes
Iraqi paper sued for one billion dollars over bribes story (AFP)

AFP – An Iraqi newspaper is facing a one billion dollar lawsuit from a key Kurdish party it alleged had taken kickbacks on oil deals with neighbouring Iran, a press freedom group said on Monday.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100802/wl_mideast_afp/iraqmediakurdsoil
Iraqi mothers take up arms in county’s wild west (AFP)

AFP – Sporting a long blue dress and white headscarf, Umm Omar barely blinks as she whips out a pistol in her garden. For her, the gun is a necessary evil to protect her young family.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100803/wl_mideast_afp/iraqunrestwomenqaeda
Kuwait: The class of 1990

On August 2, 1990, the Iraqi army invaded the emirate of Kuwait, which Saddam Hussein, the then Iraqi president, had declared Iraq’s 19th province. At the end of the school year of 1990, students in an international school in Kuwait said their final farewells as they headed off for the summer holidays. Many of them would never meet again. Twenty years on, Al Jazeera’s Nashwa Nasreldin returns to Kuwait to find out what happened to her friends and the school during the war that separated them.

Lebanon

Lebanese, Israeli troops exchange fire at border

Lebanese and Israeli Army troops exchanged fire along the Blue Line Tuesday morning in clashes that injured at least two, security officials said. The incident erupted in the southern village of Adaysseh, where Lebanese Army soldiers fired warning shots at a nearby Israeli patrol, who responded with rocket salvos.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=117787

Flash

Al-Akhbar correspondent, `Assaf Bu Rahhal, died from wounds caused by indiscriminate Israeli shelling over South Lebanon.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/08/flash.html
Deaths in Israel-Lebanon clash

At least three Lebanese soldiers and one journalist killed in exchange of gunfire along tense border.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/08/20108310240207599.html
Report: Israeli soldiers injured in Aadaiseh clashes

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Several Israeli soldiers were wounded in clashes along the Lebanon-Israel border following an exchange of fire in the Aadaiseh village Tuesday, Lebanese security officials said.  An unnamed security official said several Israeli soldiers had been wounded and that Israel was using loudspeakers urging a ceasefire in order to remove those who were hurt Agence France-Presse reported.  Israel has not confirmed the number of casualties to its forces.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=304886
4 Lebanese Martyred, 1 Israeli Officer Killed in Odeisseh Clashes

03/08/2010 Four Lebanese were martyred on Tuesday and five others were injured in the Israeli aggression along the Occupied Palestinian- Lebanese border.  Israeli occupation troops exchanged fire on Tuesday with the Lebanese soldiers along the Odeisseh southern village, sparking clashes that left three Lebanese army soldiers and one journalist martyred. The journalist was identified as Assaf Bou Rahhal working for Al-Akhbar daily.  Al-Manar correspondent Ali Shoaib was also lightly injured in the clashes.  Al-Manar TV quoted a security official as saying that a high ranking Israeli officer was killed in the shelling and the occupation forces were trying to pull him out of the Lebanese territories. Another occupation soldier was injured and he is in a critical situation.
“The Israelis fired four shells (from a tank) that fell near a Lebanese army position on the outskirts of the village of Odeisseh and the Lebanese army fired back,” a security official in the area told AFP, adding that two houses were damaged by the rockets.
http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=148884&language=en
Lebanese president: Stand up to Israel

Michel Suleiman vows to stand up to Israel ‘at any price,’ says Israel violated UN resolution.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3929584,00.html
Report: Lebanon army colonel arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel

Latest in wave of arrests sparks fears in Beirut that Israeli intelligence has extensively penetrated the country’s communications infrastructure.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-lebanon-army-colonel-arrested-on-suspicion-of-spying-for-israel-1.305705?localLinksEnabled=false
Israelis mull war on multiple fronts as STL indictment looms

BEIRUT: The Israeli Security Cabinet discussed Monday the prospects of an upcoming war on the Lebanese, Syrian and Gaza fronts in anticipation of tensions on the Lebanese domestic scene, Israeli media reported.  The Israeli reports said an impending indictment by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) against Hizbullah members in former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri’s murder could push the group to take action that would instigate strife in Lebanon, forcing Israel to react to protect its interests.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=117777#axzz0vVMfw8mP
New Israel-Lebanon war likely to be more violent, destructive: ICG

BEIRUT: A new Israeli-Lebanon conflict is likely to be far more violent, inflict greater damage to civilian and government infrastructure and lead to the direct embroilment of other regional actors, warned a new report released Monday by the International Crisis Group (ICG), the leading conflict-resolution think tank.  A new conflict will also likely affect greater parts of the country, especially the Bekaa Valley, and will not be isolated to the south or the Shiite areas of Beirut which were systematically targeted in 2006, said the report entitled “Drums of War: Israel and the ‘Axis of Resistance.’”
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=117779#axzz0vVMeWbPO
Jumblatt makes amends with Emile Lahoud

BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party MP Walid Jumblatt attended on Monday a dinner banquet hosted by former President Emile Lahoud, once Jumblatt’s political foe.  The meeting comes after five years of broken ties and follows Jumblatt’s centrist political realignment since his withdrawal from the March 14 alliance after the June 2009 parliamentary elections.  The PSP leader was one of the major figures who opposed Lahoud’s re-election for a second term in 2004.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=117781#axzz0vVMXwuBP
Baalbek Airdrop: Another Israeli Failure in July War Booklet

02/08/2010 It was the 22nd day of July war in 2006, Israeli occupation forces wanted  to recover its “dignity” which has been thrown away by the divine victory achieved by the resistance fighters “Mojahedeen”. Israeli forces in that day made an air drop in the eastern Lebanon town of Baalbek, the operation lasted for six hours and ended up by the arrest of five Lebanese civilians.  An Israeli occupation helicopter dropped commando forces in Baalbek on the night of Tuesday, August 2. The force was discovered as it moved towards the hospital of “Dar al-Hikmah” and gunfights took place in the area for several hours. Another force was dropped by other helicopter in to extricate the commandos and provide backup to the occupation troops.  While gun battles were taking place, other force attacked the hospital and inspected the identification of everyone there. The soldiers arrested five Lebanese civilians. One of the arrested was named as Hasan Nasrallah whose name is like the name of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.
http://www.almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=148730&language=en
Lebanon awaits a verdict

A special tribunal set up to investigate the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri in 2005 is expected to reveal its findings soon amid a widespread belief that “rogue elements” of Hezbollah will be implicated. The situation is tense, although some people are comforted by the fact that Hezbollah is just too strong to be undermined. – Ramzy Baroud
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LH04Ak01.html
Fadlallah

“Lebanese author and academic Dr. As’ad Abu-Khalil has also argued that commentators have not properly placed Fadlallah in context, and pointed to the schools and orphanages he founded in Beirut and southern Lebanon. Amira Al Hussaini of Global Voices quotes Abu-Khalil’s post, saying “His [Fadlallah’s] relationship with Hizbullah is always misunderstood…he broke from Wilayat Al-Faqih…and developed a new liberal thinking especially on issues of personal status laws.” He also “urged for a closer relationship between science and religion”, which drew the ire of both Iran and Hizbullah.”
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/08/fadlallah.html
Afghanistan/Wikileaks

Afghanistan shows signs of cracking

In fighting to “win” in Helmand or Kandahar provinces, we are fighting against the Pashtun people. This, in Galbraith’s view, is hopeless, and he is probably right. The same goes for regions bordering Pakistan, such as Paktia and Nangahar.
http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20100731/OPINION01/707319979
270 civilians killed in July in Afghanistan

‘Two hundred and seventy civilians were killed in different security incidents in July across the country which shows a 29 percent increase in comparison with the previous month,’ Xinhua quoted a spokesman for the interior ministry as saying.
http://story.irishsun.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/2411cd3571b4f088/id/667055/cs/1/
Civilian killed by NATO soldiers in southern Afghanistan

An Afghan civilian was killed as he was trying to approach a NATO military base in southern Afghanistan, the alliance said Saturday.
http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1574584.php/Civilian-killed-by-NATO-soldiers-in-southern-Afghanistan
A Civilian Casualty, Up Close, Kevin Sites

I try to imagine the incongruity of it all. You are riding in your car with your family and in one instant, by being in exactly the wrong place at the wrong time, your wife is now dead.
http://dispatches.globalpost.com/2010/07/29/a-civilian-casualty-up-close/
MIT graduate admits link in leak case

Says he met, exchanged e-mails with private accused of providing records, but denies role.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/08/01/mit_graduate_admits_link_in_leak_case/
Witness says WikiLeaks investigators sought to limit disclosure

The computer expert also said the Army offered him cash to, in his word, “infiltrate” WikiLeaks. “I turned them down,” he said. “I don’t want anything to do with this cloak-and-dagger stuff.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/31/AR2010073103058.html

Daniel Ellsberg’s WikiLeaks wish list

Outlook asked Ellsberg for his wish list of documents to be leaked, declassified or otherwise made public, documents that could fundamentally alter public understanding of key national security issues and foreign policy debates. He outlines his selections and calls for congressional investigations.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/30/AR2010073002673_pf.html

The Wikileaks Afghan War Diary, MAXIMILLIAN FORTE

The release of Wikileaks’ acquired records from U.S. forces in Afghanistan on 25 July 2010, and the simultaneous deluge of reports from the three newspapers (Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and The New York Times) that had the records for a month in advance of their release, is without a doubt an event of major significance in our time. In this article I will outline some of the main reasons those opposed to the war in Afghanistan and to the policies of the U.S. state should celebrate this event and what it signifies. In the next article, however, I will discuss some of the very serious problems with these records and the way that Wikileaks released them, pointing to several issues that the established news media have failed to raise, and about which Wikileaks has not yet been questioned.
http://www.counterpunch.com/forte08022010.html
Afghanistan: It’s Even Worse Than You Thought, Haroon Siddiqui

The buckets-full of leaked documents on the war in Afghanistan have elicited three responses, all misguided.
http://www.thestar.com/article/842623–siddiqui-afghanistan-it-s-even-worse-than-you-thought
Obama’s Afghan Formula, RALPH NADER

The war in Afghanistan is nearly nine years old—the longest in American history. After the U.S. quickly toppled the Taliban regime in October 2001, the Taliban, by all accounts, came back stronger and harsher enough to control now at least 30 percent of the country. During this time, U.S. casualties, armaments and expenditures are at record levels.  America’s overseas wars have different outcomes when they have no constitutional authority, no war tax, no draft, no regular on the ground press coverage, no Congressional oversight, no spending accountability and, importantly, no affirmative consent of the governed who are, apart from the military families, hardly noticing.
http://www.counterpunch.com/nader08022010.html
Do Disclosures of Atrocities Change Anything?, ALEXANDER COCKBURN

The hope of the brave soldier who sent 92,000 secret U.S.  documents to Wikileaks was that their disclosure  would prompt public revulsion and increasing political pressure on Obama to seek with all speed a diplomatic conclusion to this war.
http://www.counterpunch.com/cockburn07302010.html
U.S. and Other World News

Obama touts withdrawal in Iraq war. Does he sound like Bush? (The Christian Science Monitor)

The Christian Science Monitor – President Obama shifted his focus from domestic issues to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Monday, marking a month that will see the end of the US combat role in Iraq.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20100802/ts_csm/317514
Ahmadinejad offers Obama debate

Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he is willing to meet US President Barack Obama for “face-to-face” talks in front of the media.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/world-middle-east-10839986
Cluster bomb ban comes into effect

The United States, the world’s largest producer with the biggest stockpile of 800 million submunitions, has refused to sign the treaty so far, although it says it will ban the weapon from 2018.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2010/08/20108161921618518.html
Brazil’s President Offers Asylum to Woman Facing Stoning in Iran

In an about-face, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to send the woman convicted of adultery to Brazil.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/world/americas/02brazil.html
Iran to reject Brazil offer on stoning case

Iran is likely to reject Brazil’s offer to give refuge to a woman convicted of adultery and initially sentenced to death by stoning, officials said today.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-to-reject-brazil-offer-on-stoning-case-2042014.html
Egypt must drop charges against three activists

Amnesty International has urged the Egyptian authorities to drop all charges against two human rights activists and a blogger whose trial is expected to conclude on Saturday.  Amnesty International has urged the Egyptian authorities to drop all charges against two leading human rights activists and a well-known blogger whose trial is expected to conclude in Cairo on Saturday.  Gamal Eid, Ahmed Seif El-Islam Hamad and blogger Amr Gharbeia, a staff member at Amnesty International, are accused of “defamation”, “the use of threats” and “misuse of communication tools”.  The charges are connected to allegations made by a judge in 2007 that the two activists tried to extort money from him. Amr Gharbeia is charged with defaming the same judge on his blog.
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/egypt-must-drop-charges-against-three-activists-2010-07-30
Immigrant Maids Flee Lives of Abuse in Kuwait

Hundreds of maids who fled from their employers now sleep in improvised shelters in their countries’ embassies.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/world/middleeast/02domestic.html
Defying tradition in Syria to serve as a full-time surrogate mother

Fawzia al-Thiab has left behind the idea of having children of her own to be a foster mother to orphans – more than 35 of them so far.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/Eg2SdCSauhE/Defying-tradition-in-Syria-to-serve-as-a-full-time-surrogate-mother
Riz Khan – Policing the world

The US has the most powerful military in the world and its forces are currently involved in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Many feel the only superpower in the world has an obligation to enforce and protect global peace and democracy. But critics argue US foreign policy is driven by its “military industrial complex” that promotes war – not peace. Does the US have any moral right to police the world?

Despite Iraq Withdrawal, Greater Mideast Not Looking Good, Jim Lobe, August 03, 2010

While President Barack Obama Monday touted the continuing U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq as a key marker in the success of his regional policies, the latest news from the Greater Middle East, as well as a new public opinion survey, is far less encouraging.  Not only was July the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the Taliban’s ouster from power in late 2001, but the worst flooding in the critical frontier region of Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan in 80 years threatens to undo what progress the central government in Islamabad has had over the past year in regaining control of the area from the Pakistani Taliban and laying the groundwork for a U.S.-backed development plan.
http://original.antiwar.com/lobe/2010/08/02/mideast-not-looking-good/

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