Israel razes the Bedouin village Al-Araqib for the fifth time

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And other news from Today in Palestine:

Land and Property Theft and Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing
Israel razes Bedouin village for fifth time
AL-ARAQIB, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities reportedly destroyed a rebuilt unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev on Monday for the fifth time in two months.  Bulldozers entered the Al-Araqib village to raze what residents had rebuilt after the village was destroyed less than a month earlier. Israeli police reportedly detained a number of peace activists present at the scene to stop the latest demolitions.  A spokesman for Israel’s National Police did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the demolitions and arrests.

Peace Now: 2,066 settlement homes to be built as soon as freeze ends
New report indicates an overall of 13,000 previously authorized West Bank housing units, construction sites could be built after the Sept. 26 freeze expiration date.

‘13,000 West Bank housing units ready for construction’
Peace Now: At least 2,000 W. Bank units have foundations laid, ready to be built as freeze expires; 11,000 ready for construction without further gov’t approval.

Netanyahu silent on Obama settlement freeze remarks (Reuters)
Reuters – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ignored in public remarks on Sunday a nudge from U.S. President Barack Obama to extend a partial settlement freeze on land Palestinians want as part of their future state.*

PM: We won’t build massively in West Bank
Benjamin Netanyahu tells Quartet envoy Tony Blair that while Israel will not build tens of thousands of housing units, it will not freeze lives of Judea and Samaria residents either.,7340,L-3953004,00.html

Settlers threaten to topple Netanyahu
Settlers upset over PM remarks suggesting partial construction freeze in store, say such move would terminate his term in office; Netanyahu again betraying his voters, settler leader says.,7340,L-3952886,00.html

Settlers vow to keep on building – at any cost
Catrina Stewart in Kiryat Arba–As Israeli and Palestinian leaders prepare for key peace talks in Egypt, hardline Jewish settlers are vowing to sabotage a political process that they fear, if successful, could endanger the survival of the Jewish state.

Israel rejects proposed visit by senior EU foreign ministers
A senior official in Jerusalem said the official reason Israel declined the request was scheduling problems, but the real reason was a desire to avoid heavy European pressure on Israel to extend the settlement construction freeze beyond the end of this month.

West Bank settlements seek to revolutionize image with a new kind of tour
Samaria Regional Council’s new strategy: forget politics and bring as many media personalities and opinion-makers as possible to see the region.

Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment
Bil’in’s Abdallah Abu Rahmah’s Trial to Enter Sentencing Phase on Wednesday
The trial of Bil’in protest organizer, Abdallah Abu Rahmah will renew this Wednesday, after his conviction of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations was harshly criticized by the EU, the Spanish Parliament and human rights organizations.

Palestinian federation launches campaign against settlement products
RAMALLAH: The Palestinian federation of Laborers on Saturday launched an international campaign to boycott the products of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories.

Boycott leadership: solidarity with French activists
Uruknet September 10, 2010 – The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), on behalf of its constituent organizations and unions representing the majority of Palestinian civil society, strongly condemns the decision taken by French authorities to prosecute people of conscience for calling for a boycott of Israeli produce. These state-sanctioned forms of repression amount to active support for Israeli violations of international law and have serious implications on political freedoms in France and across Europe.

(en) Israel, Alasbarricadas interview with Ilan Shalif (Anarchists Against the Wall) (ca, it)
Alasbarricadas interview Shalif Ilan, a veteran Israeli anarchist activist. We discuss in this interview his views on the situation in Palestine-Israel, following the attack on the Freedom Flotilla, and the latest developments in those lands. The situation there is very interesting for anarchist action, since, as Ilan himself said: —- “No one would expect that anarchists could lead the main struggle of the radical left of a country. Nowhere in the world the anarchist confront state forces in a non-violent, week after week, gradually extending the scope. .. and still walk free, even if sometimes few of us are detained for a few hours… or a day or two in rare cases. No one would expect that the fundamentalists of Hamas will support in public the united struggle with the Jewish anarchists atheists. No one would expect the popularity of, and the media attention given to a few dozen anarchist activists, who in less than seven years changed the meaning of the label “anarchist” to the public. No one would expect the Israeli repressive machinery apparatus had to treat the anarchists’ activity as the legendary mosquitoes.” Ilan Shalif, August 3, 2007.

The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Humanitarian/Restriction of Movement/Human Rights/Racism
Israel calls off Hague’s Gaza aid visit
Israel has called off a visit planned for this week by William Hague and a group of European Union foreign ministers after objecting to the bloc’s “gross insensitivity”.

HEBRON: Israeli Military and Policemen Shut Three Palestinian Shops
Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine – Israeli soldiers and police weld shut three Palestinian shops near a regular “Open Shuhada Street” demonstration site, leaving one injured, one expelled, four imprisoned (and thousands still under military occupation).

Palestinian shopkeepers in Hebron are drowning in the rubbish of Israeli settlers
In Hebron, shopkeepers in the old town are obliged to cover their stalls with metal grills to protect them from rubbish thrown from the windows of Israeli settlers.  On the West Bank, the town of Hebron is known for being the site of frequent incidents between the several hundred settlers, supported by the Israeli army, and the inhabitants of the town. It is the town’s shopkeepers who bear the brunt of these confrontations. Indeed, the Israelis who have houses which overlook the street do not hesitate to throw their rubbish onto the stalls below.

AL BWEIREH, PALESTINE: Settlers “heat up the air”; outpost dismantled
Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine – Roadblocks are emblematic of a decade of military and settler harassment of Palestinians in Al Bweireh.  Will the new one be more than a bump in the road for the Hill 86 settlement outpost?

Gaza poverty worse than Rwanda
A new study has revealed that the population of those living below the poverty line in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip exceeds the same population in Rwanda.  The survey, carried out by the Palestinian Authority (PA), shows that 63.1 percent of the 1.5-million Palestinians in the impoverished coastal sliver, where Tel Aviv’s siege has prevented access to food, fuel and other necessities, live below the United Nations-defined poverty line, Press TV’s correspondent in the enclave Akram al-Satarri reported on Tuesday.

Stranded at Erez, Israel’s deportees mark Eid
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Thirteen Palestinians, who once had Israeli identity cards allowing them to live with their spouses, celebrated Eid alone, in Gaza City on Friday.  The men, who lived in what is now the Israeli city of Beersheba (formerly Beir Seba) were detained and deported because of small mistakes or oversights in their registration processes with Israeli ministries. Under the passing of Military Order 1650, Israel’s military expanded the definition of an “infiltrator” to include any individual living in areas controlled by the country without express permission.

Israel to allow car parts into Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities will allow the entry of car oil and spare parts into Gaza on Monday for the first time since the blockade of the coastal territory was enforced in 2006, a Palestinian liaison official said.  Raed Fattouh said one terminal, the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza, would be open for the transfer of five truckloads of car parts and oil, as well as 165 truckloads of other goods.

Israeli authorities continue to unjustly dictate lives of Palestinians
GAZA, Sept 13 (KUNA) — From demolishing Palestinian towns to the planning of more settlements, the Israeli authorities seemed to be determined to dictate the lives of Palestinians in an unjustified manner.  Earlier Monday, Israeli police bulldozers demolished the Palestinian village of Al-Araqeeb in Negev, making such an incident the fifth of its kind in the history of the village.  Meanwhile, Israeli (Peace Now) group noted that around 2,066 housing units are planned to be in 42 settlements within the occupied Palestinian lands with construction beginning on September 26.  The settlement issue is one of the major key items within the direct peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis but such announcement reflects a sentiment that Israel is not planning of the halt of settlement plans anytime soon.  More on the Tel Aviv policies, Israel allowed today the entrance of car parts to the Gaza Strip for the first time since the blockade began in 2007.  Such steps are within the Israeli government decision in last July to ease the blockade on the strip which came after international pressure which came after the Israeli marine attack on the freedom Flotilla.

East Jerusalem Palestinians Denied Basic Rights, Stephen Lendman
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) is the country’s leading human and civil rights organization through litigation, legal advocacy, education and public outreach. Its new report is titled, “Unsafe Space: The Israeli Authorities’ Failure to Protect Human Rights amid Settlements in East Jerusalem,” explaining how Judaization harms basic Palestinian freedoms. In fact, the Israeli military, police, and hostile settlers deny them, ACRI saying:  Palestinians “complain of physical and verbal abuse (by police), settlers and their security guards; the intimidation of their children; various forms of harassment (including videotaping them in their homes); the barricading and closing off of streets and public areas; and more.”

Violence/Aggression & Provocations
Israel troops kill Palestinian grandfather, grandson: medics (AFP)
AFP – Israeli troops on Sunday shot dead three Palestinians, including a 91-year-old man and his teenage grandson, in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, a Palestinian medical official said.*

91 year old, and his grandson, among three farm workers killed by Israeli shells in Gaza, Adie Mormech
When 91 year old Ibrahim Abu Sayed left his home this morning to check on his land and animals by the remains of his old house, he took with him his 17 year old grandson Hossam and his friend and neighbour Ismail Abu Oda, who was 16. His son and Hossam’s father didn’t want to come because it was the final day of EID, the muslim celebration that follows Ramadan.  Despite his age, Ibrahim Abu Sayed was still mobile enough to regularly check his three dunums of land, as he had done for decades, the last decade being the hardest as his house was destroyed in 2000 by Israeli bulldozers and his rebuilt house destroyed in the three-week attacks by Israel on Gaza over the new year of 2009.

Settler Violence Report, July-August 2010

PA official: Settlers set fire to car in ‘revenge’
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers set fire to a Palestinian-owned car in the Urif village in the northern West Bank district of Nablus on Monday, spraying the word “revenge” on it, a Palestinian Authority official said.  Ghassan Doughlas, charged with the northern settlement activity file, said settlers from the Yizhar settlement in the district torched Daoud Hassan As-Safadi’s car, which was parked near his house at the village’s entrance.  He added that settlers also tried to set fire to a number of other cars without success.    

Soldiers pictured aiming rifle at Palestinian detainee
Nahal soldiers photograph themselves pointing rifles, making offensive gestures at blindfolded Palestinian detainee. Defense counsel: Many soldiers, officers have done the same.,7340,L-3953086,00.html

Iftar with the army: a Hebron story
At about 17.00 on the 9th September 2010, right before Atta Jaber and his family were about to sit down to break the fast on the last day of Ramadan, eight soldiers appeared on the doorstep.  One of them said that they wanted to come into the house, in the Baqa’a Valley, east of Hebron, to “have a look”. Atta Jaber opened the door, and did not ask for further explanation, as over the years he has become accustomed to soldiers turning up in this way. His four kids, aged 10 to 17 have all grown up with daily harassment by soldiers and settlers. Still, they seemed anxious and stressed as eight armed soldiers made their way through the hallway and into the living room, most armed with M-16s, one with a machine gun. A couple of soldiers asked for Atta’s son’s name, and shook the 13 year old boy’s hand, before searching the house. The boy replied to the greetings politely.

Israeli extremist settlers break into Al Aqsa
Jerusalem, September 13, (Pal Telegraph) Dozens of Jewish extremists stormed today morning Al Aqsa Mosque from the Mughrabi Gate, accompanied by reinforced Israeli police forces.

IOF raids Hebron, arrests 1
Hebron, September 13, (Pal Telegraph) Israeli occupation forces arrested at dawn today a citizen resides in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, after a raid on his house.  Security sources said that the Israeli occupation forces arrested citizen Dirar Abu Monshar (30 years), after raiding his house in Hebron and tampering with its contents, pointing out that he was taken to an unknown location.

Al Jazeera English: Palestinian prisoners denied visits
Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid, a festival that brings families together. However, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails find it very difficult to receive visits from their families and relatives. Human rights organizations say that while Israeli convicts are allowed family and home visits, Palestinians are denied even a phone call . Al Jazeera’s Nour Odeh reports from the West Bank in the Palestinian Territories.

Israel’s Arab Helpers
Hamas: PA detains 35 affiliates in West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas accused Palestinian Authority forces of detaining 35 party affiliates across the West Bank and summoning dozens to the intelligence services.  The Islamist movement said in a statement Monday that the PA has “renewed its campaign against [Hamas] leaders and affiliates” in the West Bank, claiming that forces opened fire in the air as they detained an affiliate in the Nablus district village of Tel. Hamas said the arrest was met by stone-throwing by those seeking to thwart the detention.  On Wednesday, Hamas called on party members and supporters in the West Bank not to turn themselves in to PA security forces and “to confront all attempts at arrest.”

Hamas: PA night raids target 2 leaders
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Hamas officials in the West BAnk accused Palestinian Authority security services of raiding the homes of two leaders overnight on Saturday and detained relatives of the men.  A statement released by officials on Sunday said the Nablus homes of Sheikh Hamed Bitawi, elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006, and a second Hamas leader Majed Hamami.  In Bitawi’s home, forces reportedly detained Fadel Al-Bitawi, son of the PLC member, and Hamami himself was taken by the officers.

Muhammed Natshe freed from Zionist custody, PA tries to disrupt hero-reception
Muhammed Jamal Natshe, a prominent Islamic leader from al-Khalil, was freed from Zionist custody on Sunday, after spending more than eight years in Israeli dungeons and detention camps.  [Hamas website, some might not be able to access]

“Peace” Talks/Political Developments
Palestinians: Netanyahu to accept understandings reached by Olmert
PA sources say prime minister will respect understandings reached by his predecessors despite his reservations; Palestinians decide renewed settlement construction insufficient reason to stop talks.,7340,L-3953106,00.html

Israel and Palestinians clash over agenda for Sharm peace talks
Netanyahu wants to begin with security arrangements, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a Palestinian willingness to declare an end to the conflict when an agreement is signed – but Abbas and his colleagues want to begin by defining the borders of a future state.

Minister: PA issues not Iran’s business
9/11/2010 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinain Authority Minister of Waqf and Religious Endowments Mahmoud Al-Habbash called Hamas leaders “preachers of sedition,” at an Eid Al-Fitr prayer at the government headquarters in Ramallah on Friday. Ramping up the rhetoric, Al-Habbash called on Hamas leaders to “stop their deeds,” and to take responsibility for the “coup in Gaza.

Abbas phones Assad to thank him for supporting Palestinians
Jeruslalem Post 11 Sep 2010 – PA chairman calls talks “important period in history,” completes week of holiday greeting calls to Peres, Netanyahu, and Mitchell, many of them touching of the progress of peace talks.

Who will replace Abbas in peace talks?; Al-Ahram reports Shaath, Erekat waging ‘silent battle’ over substituting for head of negotiation team
Two Palestinian Authority officials are waging a quiet battle over who will stand at the head of the negotiating team in the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, in case President Mahmoud Abbas cannot be present or requires assistance.  The Egyptian Al-Ahram reported Saturday that Palestinian leaders were divided over Nabil Shaath and Saeb Erekat, both of whom are members of the Fatah central council and both of who have experience in heading negotiations with Israel.,7340,L-3952515,00.html

Maariv: French and American envoys working to re-start Israeli-Syrian talks
Maariv summarizes a news item from the Lebanese A-Safir. It’s unclear, however, whether the section on Mitchell visit is also from that source.  The byline is unusual. Bardenstein is the junior diplomatic affairs correspondent and probably does not speak Arabic. Items based on direct monitoring of the Arab press are usually bylined by the Arab or Palestinian affairs correspondents. Bardenstein’s sources are almost exclusively in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Other News
‘Arab spy’ released from jail
Upon leaving prison, Dr. Omar Said tells Ynet his arrest was ‘political’.,7340,L-3953316,00.html

Israel’s Gaza flotilla probe panel summons Mavi Marmara captain
Turkel committee approaches Turkish embassy in bid to compel captain of ship, aboard which 9 activists were killed on May 31, to testify.

EU court clears Aqsa foundation of terror charges
A European Union court ruled Thursday that the EU acted illegally when freezing the assets of the Aqsa charity foundation’s Holland branch.  [Hamas website, some might not be able to access]

Poll: Fewer than half of Israelis see themselves as secular
8% of Jewish Israeli adults define themselves as ultra-Orthodox, 12% as religious, 13% as traditional-religious, and 25% as traditional but ‘not very religious,’ according to Central Bureau of Statistics survey.

‘Auschwitz being promoted as a ‘Disney-style’ tourist site’
Notorious Holocaust-denying historian defends decision to set up tour of Nazi sites as an alternative to what he sees as Poland’s fixation with Auschwitz.

‘Gaza’ premiere set to shake up TIFF; Anti-war doc offers first-hand account of Gaza bombings
Anti-war documentaries are a popular staple of the festival circuit, but few will be as emotionally devastating, or controversial, as “Tears of Gaza,” which has its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival today.  Norwegian director Vibeke Lokkeberg, with her unvarnished, first-hand account of Palestinian children killed or maimed during the Israeli military’s bombing of Gaza in 2008 and 2009, will have it no other way.  “We need to bring reality of war to the screen,” she said of the English and Arabic-language documentary from Nero Media that shuttles between footage of bombs dropping on screaming children as they run for cover, and the aftermath on the streets and in the hospitals of Gaza.

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest
Remembering Gaza, Ahmed Moor
The unending death-news maelstrom assaults the reader with what seems like daily frequency. Our digital distance simultaneously transports us to and shields us from the bedlam. We are assaulted virtually – our empathy enables that – but experience none of the flechette-mangled corpsifying assault that the victim does. We are free to imagine, knowing full well we are wholly incapable of adequately doing so.  News of the murders of Ibrahim Abu Sayed, Hossam Abu Sayed and Ismail Abu Oda struck me with a dull thump. I was saddened, but exhausted. The endgame is within reach – the end of apartheid is knowable and doable – and the Zionists destroy human lives senselessly. I can’t do anything for them. They’re dead already, so just stay focused on the horizon. Remember, this is a marathon effort.

Fatah: Collaborationist Israeli Ally, Stephen Lendman
At least since the Oslo Accords, Fatah has served Israel more than its own people. On August 25, Haaretz highlighted the latest example, headling “PA arrests dozens of Hamas, Islamic Jihad militants in West Bank,” saying, a PA source confirmed dozens made, including “high ranking officials in (both) organizations.”  On September 6, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said hundreds were made in response to the killings of four West Bank settlers, adding, “The decision to carry out the attack was politically motivated and intended to embarrass the Palestinian Authority.”

Jerusalem or Gaza – where is it worse to be Palestinian?, Amira Hass
Is it the isolation and insulation that Israel has imposed on Gaza, or the cynicism with which the decision makers continue to turn the population of East Jerusalem into welfare clients and slum dwellers, and then pride themselves of the national insurance payments they grant them?

Gazans Desert Their Donkey-Zebra, Eva Bartlett
ZEITOUN, Gaza, Sep 12, 2010 (IPS) – “We haven’t had a single visit yet through Ramadan, what kind of zoo doesn’t get visitors during holidays?” asks Mahmoud Barghoud, 22, co-creator of the Marha zoo.

Ofra Yeshua-Lyth: National Jewish State: Not a Good Idea, for Palestinian and Jews Alike
The concept of the “nation state for the Jewish People” entails a green light for human rights violations sanctioned by the openly xenophobic decrees of a very ancient, unreformed and outdated version of the Jewish religion.

Palestine’s Gain is Lebanon’s Pain, Greg Felton
The greatest effects of the Cast Lead massacre and the murders aboard the aid ship Mavi Marmara have been the confirmation of Israel as a criminal state, and the outpouring of overwhelming support for Palestinians as victims of Jewish fascism.  The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement has become so successful that its effects have felt in the Jewish colonies and the foreign companies that trade with Israel. Perhaps most important is the BDS cultural component. Most recently, 150 Irish artists announced a boycott of Israel; 53 Israeli actors, playwrights and directors pledged not to perform in Ariel, the largest illegal Jewish colony; and more than 150 U.S. actors and actresses endorsed the Ariel boycott.

Sayyed accuses Hariri of backing false STL witnesses
BEIRUT: Former Major General Jamil al-Sayyed lashed out Sunday at Prime Minister Saad Hariri, accusing him of being behind false witness in investigations into former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s murder. “Your right to demand the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has fallen – enough, the issue is over.

Sami Gemayel defends Phalange party’s past, allies
BEIRUT: Metn MP Sami Gemayel reiterated that his Phalange party was proud of its past and not ashamed of its alliances. “We will not bow to anyone and we are not ashamed with our history, our resistance, and out policies,” he told delegations who visited him in his hometown of Faraya to express support.

Sunday: 12 Iraqis Killed, 13 Wounded
At least 12 Iraqis were killed and 13 more were wounded in the latest violence. Curiously, the only reports of attacks today came from Diyala province, but coverage from Iraq has been scant for days as Muslims observe the end of Ramadan. In neighboring Turkey, voters passed a large constitutional reform package even though some polls saw related violence.

Saturday: 4 Iraqis Killed, 12 Wounded
Thanks to Eid al-Fitr observances, violence seemingly took a holiday. Only four Iraqis were reported killed over the last pair of days. Another 12 were wounded.

Rights group says detainees were tortured; Iraq holds 30,000 without trial: Amnesty
Tens of thousands of detainees are being held without trial in Iraqi prisons and face violent and psychological abuse as well as other forms of mistreatment, Amnesty International said Monday.

Inside Iraq’s torture dungeons
British national Ramze Shihab Ahmed went to Iraq to help his jailed son, but was arrested and tortured himself.

U.S. handover puts Iraqi prisoners at risk: Amnesty (Reuters)
Reuters – The United States has released several thousand Iraqi prisoners into Iraqi custody despite documented evidence that Iraqi security forces have abused detainees, Amnesty International said Monday.*

Journalist: Women raped at Abu Ghraib were later ‘honor killed’
Some women who were raped at the US’s Abu Ghraib prison facility in Iraq were later “honor killed” by their families, says a Jordanian reporter who writes on women’s issues.

Al Qaeda in Iraq rises again
The militant group exploits a political vacuum in Baghdad and anger among minority Sunni Arabs to regain control in some areas.  Sheik Sabah Janabi wears a painful-looking metal brace on his left hand, its rods pressing into the puffy flesh like the spring on a mousetrap. He fumbles a Marlboro from a pack with his good hand, sucks in the smoke and frowns.,0,2035120.story

Al Jazeera English: Inside Iraq – Maintaining security
Another series of deadly attacks in Iraq has raised new fears about security after the US drawdown. Less than two weeks after the Obama administration announced the end of combat operations in Iraq, US troops have already been drawn back into combat. Despite the hype surrounding the August drawdown, there was never any doubt that US soldiers would continue to engage the enemy when necessary – but the latest series of violent incidents have again raised questions about the rationality of US policy, and the difficulties of maintaining security in Iraq. Are Iraqi forces strong enough to cope? And what is the real role of the remaining US soldiers?

Iraq: a country of orphans
One in every six Iraqis is an orphan. That is the toll Iraqi children are paying in a country which is supposedly under the occupation and protection of the world’s only superpower. Not all the orphans are the result of the violence that swept the country in the aftermath of the 2003-U.S. invasion.  But the invasion has caused untold miseries for Iraqis, surpassing those inflicted on them by their former tormentors, the clique that ruled Iraq under Saddam Hussein.  There were unconfirmed reports that Iraq has turned into a country of orphans. But the exact figure only became a reality recently, when the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs made public its own statistics.  The statistics points to dangerous demographics with grave social, health and economic consequences for a country which still lacks basic infrastructure.\2010-09-13\kurd.htm

Iran to release US hiker Sarah Shourd once $500,000 bail is deposited
US hiker Sarah Shourd, one of three American hikers detained in Iran for more than a year on espionage charges, will be released as soon as $500,000 bail is deposited, a top Iran prosecutor said Sunday.

Iran diplomat in Finland resigns to protest hard-liners at home
Veteran diplomat Hossein Alizadeh says he quit because he believed Iran’s presidential election was unfair and marked by cheating. He also declares support for Iran’s opposition ‘green movement.’  The No. 2 diplomat at the Iranian Embassy in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, has resigned in protest of the hard-line government in Tehran, Finland’s national news agency reported Saturday.,0,6559468.story

Netanyahu said Iran was 3-5 years away from nuclear capability– back in ‘95!, Philip Weiss
Back in 1995, Benjamin Netanyahu published a scary book called Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat the International Terrorist Network that says that radical Islam is trying to conquer the west and extend Muslim rule. I carried a copy out with me to Jordan

In the Wake of 9/11, Israel Put Iran into the ‘Axis of Evil’, Marsha B. Cohen
On September 11, 2001, after two terrorist attacks occurred on U.S. soil, Israeli political figures anticipated that the Americans finally be able to empathize with Israel’s vulnerability to terror. In the hours immediately following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Israeli leaders envisioned a massive U.S. retaliation in which Israel was uniquely equipped to be a partner, even a mentor, of the U.S. (1)

U.S. and Other World News
British servicemen suspected of murdering Iraqi civilians
Exclusive: Soldiers and airmen are suspected of killing significant number of civilians, but have not been put on trial. British soldiers and airmen are suspected of being responsible for the murder and manslaughter of a number of Iraqi civilians in addition to the high-profile case of Baha Mousa, defence officials have admitted. The victims include a man who was allegedly kicked to death on board an RAF helicopter, another who was shot by a soldier of the Black Watch after being involved in a traffic incident, and a 19-year-old who drowned after allegedly being pushed into a river by soldiers serving with the Royal Engineers.

Nelson Mandela ‘felt betrayed by Tony Blair over decision to join Iraq invasion’
Furious phone call to cabinet minister in protest at military action.  Nelson Mandela felt so betrayed by Tony Blair’s decision to join the US-led invasion of Iraq that he launched a fiery tirade against him in a phone call to a cabinet minister, it emerged today.  Peter Hain, a lifelong anti-apartheid campaigner who knows the ex-South African president well, said Mandela was “breathing fire” down the line in protest at the 2003 military action.

Pentagon Plan: Buying Books to Keep Secrets
Defense Department officials are negotiating to buy and destroy all 10,000 copies of the first printing of an Afghan war memoir they say contains intelligence secrets, according to two people familiar with the dispute.

WikiLeaks readying the ‘biggest leak of military intelligence ever’
Whistleblower website WikiLeaks is teaming up with news outlets to release a “massive cache” of classified US military field reports on the conflict in Iraq, Newsweek magazine reported recently.  Newsweek quoted Iain Overton, editor of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a London-based journalism nonprofit, as saying the material constitutes the “biggest leak of military intelligence” ever.  Newsweek said the stash of Iraq documents held by WikiLeaks is believed to be about three times as large as the number of US military field reports on Afghanistan released earlier this year by WikiLeaks.

US marks 9/11 anniversary
Ceremonies have taken place in the US to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Nearly 3,000 people were killed when al-Qaeda hijackers crashed airplanes into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon, located near Washington DC, and a field in Pennsylvania. Al Jazeera’s Cath Turner reports.

Castro says he was misinterpreted on Cuban economy
Appearing at the University of Havana on Friday, the 84-year-old ex-president says he meant “exactly the opposite” of the quote contained in a blog by Atlantic magazine reporter Jeffrey Goldberg.

Turkey referendum boosts Erdogan’s Islam-rooted AKP party
Today’s Turkey referendum resulted in a significant boost to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP party as voters approved 26 amendments to the country’s 1982 Constitution.

Kuwait to build nuclear reactors
Four plants to be in place by 2022, each with 1,000 megawatts, senior energy committee official tells state media.

U.S.-Saudi Arabia Arms Deal Would Be Largest Ever
The Obama administration is set to notify Congress of plans to offer advanced aircraft to Saudi Arabia worth up to $60 billion, the largest U.S. arms deal ever, and is in talks with the kingdom about potential naval and missile-defense upgrades that could be worth tens of billions of dollars more.

Saudi diplomat seeks US asylum
Diplomat says Saudi Arabia terminated his job after discovering that he was gay and had befriended a Jewish woman.

The Shiites of Saudi Arabia
As the Saudis move to restrain the rising strength of Iran and the Shiites outside the kingdom, they keep an ever-watchful eye over their own Shiite population. The ascendancy of the Shiites in Iraq and Lebanon has given rise to a feeling of empowerment amongst the Shiites of Saudi Arabia. They are proud of the accomplishments of their brethren. At the same time, they are cautious in what they hope for and how they express themselves, because much of the Wahhabi ulama in Saudi Arabia fears the rise of Shiism, and vocally opposes it. The Saudi Shiites expect the government to condemn anti-Shiite fatwas, and act as a protector, but the government has not done so. The Saudi government, in fact, has its own concerns. Its base of support is amongst the Wahhabi, anti-Shiite majority. It is a religious state that derives its legitimacy from a form of Islam that is, almost by definition, anti-Shiite.

Tony Blair and the Great Islamic Threat, Gwynne Dyer
Blair has never publicly acknowledged that Saddam was actually an enemy of radical Islam: admitting that would drain the last dram of logic from his justification for invading Iraq. So he only talks in general terms about fighting “radical Islam” and hopes that the more ignorant part of the public will think that includes the Iraq war.

Hamid Karzai is loved by his people.  Here, he is seen mingling with a crowd.

Patrick Swayze’s dream to play an Arab hero
The late actor’s wish to portray a sheikh inspired the ruler of Sharjah to write The White Shaikh.

Islam in the U.S./Quran Burning
Kashmir protests against Quran burnings leave 13 dead
Kashmir protests broke out today after local news reported that the Quran had been desecrated in the United States.

Iraqi Christians denounce Quran burning
Iraqi Christians extended their greetings to Muslims in the occasion of Eid Al Fitr and denounced the threats of the US pastor calling burn copies of the Quran in memory of September 11 attacks. For more details, click on play movie.

NYC imam: I don’t support Hamas
Cleric behind plan to build Islamic center near ground zero tells ABC controversy fueled by politicians ahead of midterm elections; says moving center would ‘strengthen radicals in Muslim world’.,7340,L-3953067,00.html

Black Muslims Hear Echoes Of Jim Crow In Current Anti-Muslim Furor
WASHINGTON (RNS) Imam Mahdi Bray is feeling a sense of deja vu these days, with threats and attacks on Muslims reviving memories of his younger days working and marching alongside civil rights activists.

Israeli mourners [racists] reject ground zero mosque
Family of woman killed in the 9/11 attacks says plan for Muslim center ‘like bringing pig into holy place’.,7340,L-3952526,00.html

Korans vandalized in New York, Washington on 9/11 anniversary
UPDATE: Two religious leaders at a recently-founded offshoot of the Baptist church burned Korans in a Tennessee back yard on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, reports the NBC affiliate in Nashville.

9/11 Protests Over Proposed Islamic Center (VIDEO REPORT)
On the anniversary of September 11, thousands of people came within blocks of Ground Zero in downtown Manhattan to rally against and in support of the proposed Islamic cultural center.

Michael Moore: ‘Islamic center shouldn’t be near, but inside Ground Zero site’
Controversial documentarist Michael Moore parallels plight of N.Y. Muslims with the struggles of the Jewish community in city’s early years.

Jesse Jackson backs mosque plan
Al Jazeera asks the Reverend Jesse Jackson, spiritual leader and former US presidential candidate, whether the recent Quran burning threat, and protests over plans for an Islamic centre to be built near Ground Zero in New York, signal rising Islamophobia in the US.

Focus U.S.A. / Sept. 11 bereaved families group: We support efforts to build NYC Islamic center
“I am an American citizen, and I know that my family and many American families have the same story – families that came here to escape religious persecution. It doesn’t make sense in America that we say no to the Muslim people – to the very people who denounced this horrible tragedy. This is, in our opinion, an act of peace and understanding and reconciliation. That’s what 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows stands for.”

On night before 9/11, New Yorkers voice strong support for Muslim community center, Alex Kane
As the the anniversary of 9/11 and the Islamophobic rally led by far-right blogger Pamela Geller converge today, over 1,000 New Yorkers gathered Sept. 10 at Park Place in lower Manhattan for a candlelight vigil in support of the proposed Muslim community center two blocks from Ground Zero that has ignited a national firestorm over Islam in America.

Tariq Ramadan Debates Moustafa Bayoumi On Proposed Islamic Center Near Ground Zero
On the ninth anniversary of 9/11, thousands take to the streets of Lower Manhattan for and against the plans to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero. We host a different kind of debate: Tariq Ramadan—one the world’s most renowned Muslim scholars who was barred from entering the United States for six years under the Bush administration—says it should be built elsewhere. He debates Mustafa Bayoumi, an associate professor at Brooklyn College, and author of How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America.

Ground Zero mosque Imam blames Sarah Palin for ‘growing Islamophobia’
The Muslim cleric behind plans to build a mosque close to the Ground Zero site has blamed politicians such as Sarah Palin for fuelling a “growing Islamophobia” that led to the burning of Korans on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

The New Republic of Hate
“For a glimpse of how venomous and debased the discourse about Islam has become, consider a blog post in The New Republic this month. Written by Martin Peretz, the magazine’s editor in chief, it asserted: “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims.”  Mr. Peretz added: “I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”  Thus a prominent American commentator, in a magazine long associated with tolerance, ponders whether Muslims should be afforded constitutional freedoms. Is it possible to imagine the same kind of casual slur tossed off about blacks or Jews? How do America’s nearly seven million American Muslims feel when their faith is denounced as barbaric?”

People of the book, The true history of the Koran in America
No book states the case more plainly than a single volume, tucked away deep within the citadel of Copley Square — the Boston Public Library. The book known as Adams 281.1 is a copy of the Koran, from the personal collection of John Adams. There is nothing particularly ornate about this humble book, one of a collection of 2,400 that belonged to the second president. But it tells an important story, and reminds us how worldly the Founders were, and how impervious to the fanaticisms that spring up like dandelions whenever religion and politics are mixed. They, like we, lived in a complicated and often hostile global environment, dominated by religious strife, terror, and the bloodsport of competing empires. Yet better than we, they saw the world as it is, and refused the temptation to enlarge our enemies into Satanic monsters, or simply pretend they didn’t exist.  Reports of Korans in American libraries go back at least to 1683, when an early settler of Germantown, Pa., brought a German version to these shores. Despite its foreign air, Adams’s Koran had a strong New England pedigree. The first Koran published in the United States, it was printed in Springfield in 1806.

Quran Burning and US Inconsistency, Lamis Andoni
Why does the US government think burning Qurans is less civilized than drone attacks on civilian populations?

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