Jerusalem planning committee’s contribution to the peace process: 1,362 new housing units in the West Bank

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And other news from Today in Palestine:

Land and Property Theft and Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing
Israel demolishes entire village for fifth time, immediately after holiday, Jesse Bacon
The Bedouin unrecognized village of Al Arakib was demolished this morning for the 5th time,immediately after Eid Al-Fitr (one of the most important Muslim holidays marking the end of Ramadan). The village is located 7 kilometers north of the city of Be’er Sheva, in the Israeli Negev Desert. Dozens of policemen came to the village before dawn to secure the bulldozers which started to destroy the tents and the all other structures in the village.

Settlers Occupy Palestinian Farmlands Near Nablus
A group of armed fundamentalist Israeli settlers occupied on Monday morning Palestinian farmlands close to Doma village in the Nablus District and started bulldozing the lands and uprooting the trees.

Shalom: Settlement building to resume in 2 weeks
Ahead of direct Israel-PA talks in Egypt, minister slams suggestion to only partially lift construction moratorium in West Bank, says ‘we have a right to build there.’ MK Elkin: Netanyahu must tell world we were chosen to build, defend Land of Israel.,7340,L-3953700,00.html

Settlement freeze ‘ends’ for Modiin Illit
Construction company whose damages claim over suspended project was rejected resumes planned building outside Green Line despite lack of conclusive government decision on settlement activity. ‘This was a business decision,’ says CEO.,7340,L-3954061,00.html

Settlers receive 22% more budget grants than other Israelis, probe shows
Interior Ministry allocated NIS 265 million in balancing grants to West Bank settlements in 2009, just over 10 percent of all the grants it distributed that year.

Likud MKs threaten to withdraw support for budget if settlement freeze extended
As PM Benjamin Netanyahu prepares for another round of direct peace talks, elements within the Likud party are working to ensure the settlement freeze ends as scheduled.

Thousands of new settler homes planned as Netanyahu mulls construction curbs
An Israeli settlement watchdog said Monday that construction could begin on thousands of new homes this month if Israel does not renew a moratorium seen as key to US-backed peace talks due to restart Tuesday.

Clinton: Israel must extend settlement freeze for peace talks to succeed
Speaking upon her departure to Sharm el-Sheikh summit, U.S. secretary of state says a breakdown in negotiations would hurt chances for continued Israel security, Palestinian statehood.

Settlements row to dominate U.S.-led Mideast talks (Reuters)
Reuters – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads a second round of Israeli- Palestinian peace talks Tuesday, looking to prevent the new negotiations from collapsing days after their launch.*

Daoud Kuttab: AP’s Robert Burns Playing Politics by Replacing “Settlement Freeze” With “Curb on Housing Construction”
Burns’ piece unilaterally changes the terminology and phraseology connected to one of the major obstacles of the Palestinian-Israeli conflicts. By changing this terminology, Burns has clearly taken a biased stand.

Why the Israeli ‘consensus’ on settlements is not so simple
Israelis often refer to a ‘consensus’ that several major settlement blocs should be incorporated into Israel as part of a two-state solution. But some Israelis can’t even find them on a map.

East Jerusalem housing plans cast new shadow over Israel-Palestinian peace talks
As Israeli and Palestinian leaders wrap up Egypt summit already marred by row over West Bank settlements, Jerusalem council announces plan to debate building 1,362 housing units beyond Green Line.

Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment
Israel tries to lock up Abu Rahmah for two years for disturbing the “peace”, Jesse Bacon
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.  Abdallah Abu Rahmah’s trial will resume on Wednesday, as it will enter the sentencing phase, in which the prosecution will argue its case for a harsh sentencing, and is expected to ask for a sentence exceeding two years imprisonment. The defense will argue Abu Rahmah had already been devoid of his freedom for too long, and should be released immediately.

Demonstrations against the illegal wall on the first day of Eid ul-Fitr
The weekend of 10-11th September saw the start of Eid ul-Fitr, which ends the fasting observed during the holy month of Ramadan in the Muslim religion. Three villages around Ramallah – Bil’in, Ni’lin and An Nabi Saleh – held protests on Friday 10th September despite it being the first day of Eid.

Think Before You Ink!
Hewlett Packards sells the Basel System technology to the Israeli military, so BDS activists targeted stores in California, asking back ti school shoppers not to buy HP products.  Here is a video documenting a recent action against Hewlett Packard in Emeryville.

Theodore Bikel: Legitimizing an Obstacle to Peace
If the refusal of the artists to perform in the territories beyond the Green Line is tantamount to ‘delegitimization’, it follows that any agreement to perform there would amount to legitimizing the single most glaring obstacle to peace.

Rachel Corrie Trial In Haifa

Seven and half years after their daughter was crushed by an armored bulldozer, Cindy and Craig Corrie stood in front of a courthouse in Haifa, Israel. Far from home, they were surrounded by Israelis carrying signs of support in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. The Corries came for the truth of 16 March, 2003.  “I’ve looked forward to today,” Craig said. “For seven and a half years our family has waited for the ‘complete, credible and transparent investigation’ promised by President Sharon to President Bush.”

Hillel prepares from another year of BDS on campus, Adam Horowitz
As Daniel Sieradski pointed out on twitter, that is a rather awkward analogy between vampires and Palestinians towards the end of the video.

The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Humanitarian/Restriction of Movement/Human Rights/Racism
Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply –Aug 15 –Sep 11

Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – Aug 15 – Sep 11

IOF erected new checkpoint in Nablus
Nablus, September 14, (Pal Telegraph) Israeli occupation forces erected today morning a checkpoint on the western entrance to the city of Nablus going to the direction of Qalqilya and detained dozens of vehicles. Witnesses said that Israeli forces erected this morning a checkpoint at the crossroads of “Surrah” village west of Nablus, and stopped vehicles outside the city of Nablus going to Qalqilya.  Witnesses added that the Israeli soldiers detained vehicles coming from Nablus and checked the identity cards of the owners.  Israeli occupation forces opened the road between Nablus and Qalqilya, less than a month ago after a closure that lasted more than eight years.

Report: 35 foreign kids kept in prison
Hotline for Migrant Workers says minors kept in Saharonim Prison under tough conditions despite attorney general’s decision to prohibit imprisonment of children.,7340,L-3953573,00.html

“They don’t want our boys educated”
Located just north of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, the entrance to the Palestinian village of Beit Ommar is also the site of an Israeli military post. A large yellow gate is opened and closed at the will of the Israeli army, which can cut off the inhabitants of the town from the rest of the West Bank at any time. Jody McIntyre interviews Beit Ommar resident Amal al-Montallab for The Electronic Intifada.

Nativity deportees appeal to Abbas ahead of talks
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Nativity Church deportees, exiled by Israel to Gaza and Europe following the siege of the Bethlehem church in 2001, appealed to President Mahmoud Abbas and his Egyptian counterpart on Monday to bring their case up during direct talks.

Violence/Aggression & Provocations
Jerusalem man killed over allegedly fleeing from Israeli police
Israeli police shot and killed a young man from Jerusalem early Tuesday morning in Tel Aviv for allegedly not stopping when police instructed him to do so.  [Hamas website, not accessible to all]

Gaza subjected to air strikes, water crisis
Three Palestinian farmers were killed by Israeli tank shelling late at night 12 September in the northernmost occupied Gaza Strip, along the no-go “buffer zone” enforced by the Israeli military.

Settlers Break Into The Yards Of The Al Aqsa Mosque
Local sources reported that nearly 130 settlers broke into the yards of the Al Aqsa mosque on Monday morning while the Israeli police kept the Palestinians away.

Hamas minister condemns Al-Aqsa ‘raid’
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Gaza-based Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs Taleb Abu Sha’ar condemned on Sunday what he described as raids by tourist groups of settlers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque area.  The minister said the event was nothing new, especially saying they entered “allegedly as tourists.” He expressed concern about Israel’s willingness to accompany the visitors, as it amounts to tacit approval for the project of “Judaizing” the area.

Israeli Troops Kill Palestinians With Impunity
The report, Void of Responsibility: Israel Military Policy not to investigate Killings of Palestinians by Soldiers, issued on Tuesday by B’Tselem, deals with events in the years 2006 to 2009 in which soldiers killed Palestinian civilians who were not taking part in hostilities (not including Operation Cast Lead).  Soldiers who killed Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are almost never held accountable, even if the circumstances raise a grave suspicion that they acted criminally. This is the conclusion arising from B’Tselem’s report, which analyzes the policy of the Judge Advocate General’s Office over the past four years. The main reason for this dismal situation is that the army refrains, as a rule, from conducting a Military Police investigation in cases in which soldiers kill Palestinian civilians. In addition, the research shows that the Judge Advocate Generals’ Office routinely procrastinates in making decisions on files for many months, even years.

Death of Gaza civilians ‘a mistake’: Israeli general (AFP)
AFP – The Israeli army’s killing of three Palestinian civilians at the weekend, among them an elderly Gazan and his grandson, was a mistake, a senior commander admitted on Tuesday.*

Yishai: Ease weapons laws for settlers
In aftermath of West Bank attacks, interior minister says MKs must work to afford settlers firearms.,7340,L-3954049,00.html

Source: 4 detained from Tulkarem overnight
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested four Palestinians from the Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarem overnight Monday, a security source told Ma’an.  The source identified those detained as Issa Odeh, 18, Yousef Fayyad, 25, and Ayman Abu Safaqa, 23. Ma’an’s correspondent reported that Anwar Naji, 20, was detained by Israeli forces in a private car outside the camp overnight and was released Tuesday. Earlier, an Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed one detention in Tulkarem overnight.

IOF breaks into Hebron, arrests 1
Hebron, September 14, (Pal Telegraph) IOF troops backed by undercover special force broke into Nour Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm in the West Bank, and arrested a young man then took him to an unknown destination.  Local sources said that Israeli specialundercover units was traveling by car and they were pretending to be Poultry dealers, then broke into the alleys of the camp and surprised a group of young men surrounding them then arrested them.  Sources added that Israeli soldiers arrested Anwar Hassan Naji (20 years), who was the target of this military operation, and chained him and put him in a car then left the area within minutes.

Israeli forces detain Palestinian from refugee camp
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli special forces detained a Palestinian at the entrance of the Nur Shams refugee camp east of Tulkarem overnight on Monday.  Ma’an’s correspondent said Anwar Naji, 20, was detained by Israeli forces in a private car and was taken to an unknown location.  An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the overnight detention.

Source: Israel shuts down prison, transfers detainees
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israel’s Prison Service will shut down the Shitah prison in northern Israel and transfer 60 Palestinian detainees to the Megido-Salem prison in the same region, a source said Tuesday.  The source told Ma’an that the prison agency did not provide a reason for the jail’s closure but the Detainees’ Society will follow up with those detainees who have been transferred.

Israel’s Arab Helpers
Hamas affiliates tortured while held by PA militia
Prisoners released from Palestinian Authority security militia jails in Al-Khalil say a number of detainees were tortured while being held.  [Hamas website, not accessible to all]

Hamas says 65 affiliates detained by PA
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas on Tuesday accused Palestinian Authority security forces of detaining 65 party affiliates in the West Bank.  The Islamist movement said in a statement that among those arrested were 40 supporters previously released from Israeli custody.  Hamas says up to 750 affiliates in the West Bank have been detained by PA forces, and several others have been summoned by the intelligence services since the movement claimed responsibility for two separate shooting attacks in the West Bank, in which four Israeli settlers were killed and two others were injured.

“Peace” Talks/Political Developments
PM, Abbas to meet in Egypt amid Palestinian threats to quit peace talks
PA officials reiterate that the Palestinian delegation will walk out if Israel resumes settlement construction, even if only in the main settlement blocs.

Israel: “Talks To Be Held Away From The Media”
The office of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, declared Monday evening that the press conference that was supposed to be held with U.S secretary of state, Hilary Clinton, at the Egyptian resort of Sharm Al Sheikh, was cancelled as direct talks with the Palestinians will be held away from the media due to enormous difference between Israel’s position and the stances of the Palestinian leadership.
Abbas Not Authorized to Negotiate on Behalf of Palestinians’
13/09/2010 Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said on the eve of a summit on Tuesday in Egypt that the latest round of US-backed peace talks were “humiliating and degrading.”  Radwan said his movement remained vehemently opposed to the talks being carried out by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. “He is not authorized to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people and any agreements produced by these negotiations will not be binding on our people,” he told AFP, referring to Abbas.  Abbas was to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El Sheikh on Tuesday.

Hamas says peace talks ‘humiliating and degrading’ (AFP)
AFP – The Islamist Hamas movement said on the eve of a summit on Tuesday in Egypt that the latest round of US-backed peace talks were “humiliating and degrading.”*

PFLP urges Abbas: Don’t go to Sharm summit
(Ma’an) — The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said Monday that talks scheduled for Tuesday are pointless and do not serve the interests or rights of Palestinians., The leftist movement said in a statement that the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership and PLO negotiations team ought to stop “chasing after illusions” and should cancel talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm Al-Sheikh.

Al-Qassam leader: We’re committed to resistance
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A senior commander of Hamas’ armed wing the Al-Qassam Brigades vowed Tuesday to “continue the path of resistance against the occupation until victory.”  “With the power of faith, weapons and missiles, tunnels and commandos we will achieve victory for Palestine and we’ll end the occupation in Gaza too,” Ahmed Al-Jabari said.  Denouncing the latest round of direct negotiations hosted by Egypt, Al-Jabari said in a statement published on the Al-Qassam website that Israel should “only be treated with weapons and battle.”

US recognizes ‘immediate obstacles’ to Mideast peace (AFP)AFP – The United States acknowledged Monday “immediate obstacles” were obstructing the latest peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, noting the coming weeks would be “decisive.”*

Secretary Clinton Traveling to Sharm el-Sheikh, Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Amman
On Tuesday, Secretary Clinton will participate in the continuation of direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians in Sharm el-Sheikh. She will also have a bilateral meeting with Egyptian President Mubarak. On Wednesday, she will join the parties for further discussions in Jerusalem and will participate in bilateral meetings with Israeli officials. On Thursday, Secretary Clinton will meet with Palestinian President Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad in Ramallah and will conclude her trip by meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah in Amman.

Other News
Gaza economy grew 16 pct in 2010: IMF (AFP)
AFP – The easing of the Israeli blockade allowed the Gaza Strip’s economy to grow 16 percent in the first half of the year, an official at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday.*

‘Arab spy’ celebrates release: I was persecuted
Balad member Omar Said, who was suspected of severe security offences, returns to his Kfar Kana home following release from prison. ‘When it comes to Arabs the Shin Bet is quick to pull the trigger,’ he tells dozens of friends, relatives.,7340,L-3953640,00.html

Report: Quartet lobbying enriched Abbas’ family
LONDON (Ma’an) — Middle East Quartet envoy to Jerusalem Tony Blair’s lobbying in favor of a Palestinian telecommunications company enriched the family of President Mahmoud Abbas, a UK tabloid reported Sunday.  A special investigation published in The Daily Mail’s weekly edition on Blair’s financial gains from lobbying on behalf of Wataniya includes allegations that Abbas’ son made a fortune through the former British prime minister’s actions.

EU training for crime scene technicians
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — EU police trainers participated Sunday in the opening ceremony of a 6-week training program for crime scene technicians that took place in the headquarters of the judicial police in Al-Bireh., This training program has been tailored-made for 36 police officers in comprehensive crime scene investigation consisting of the processing of crime scenes, the collection of forensic evidence, the handling of forensic evidence and the use of chemicals., Palestinian Civil Police will receive a number of CSI vans carrying necessary equipment and last-generation technologies for criminal investigation, the EU police training commission said in a statement.

After rebuke, Mossad to hand material to Turkel
In rare move, commission probing Navy raid on Gaza-bound flotilla sends letter to secret service director, says ‘despite our continued requests, the material hasn’t been sent to us. We will consider taking disciplinary measures’.,7340,L-3953605,00.html

The new frontiers of Israeli diplomacy: Lieberman to address UN General Assembly (!)
You don’t need to be an expert to understand that this is not a very wise matching of speaker and venue. But the PR expert at the country’s helm apparently had no choice, because he will be at the main diplomatic show, which the Foreign Minister is boycotting.

Poll: One in three Spaniards is anti-Semitic
One in nine Spaniards, the survey found, supports the statement that “Israel should disappear because it was established on Arab land.” Another 77 percent disagree with the statement. The results of the study indicate that the major cause of the rise in anti-Semitic feelings is Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians in the territories.

Plea bargain readied in Anat Kamm espionage case
Ex-soldier Anat Kamm allegedly stole classified documents while serving in the IDF Central Command and passed them on to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau.

Shas minister shuts down online payments on Shabbat, holidays
Eli Yishai order comes after the National Insurance Institute website also does not accept payments on Shabbat and Jewish holidays.

Nude pictures used for extortion in haredi concert conflict
Bnei Brak man with violent criminal record allegedly threatens to spread nude pictures of Rabbi Yitzhak’s lawyer if latter does not retract his opposition to haredi artists performing before mixed-gender audiences.,7340,L-3953681,00.html

Poll: Americans’ support for Israel up following restart of talks
Fifty-eight percent of U.S. citizens polled think America should back Israel – up 7 percent since July.

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest
Palestinian Authority Has Its Back to the Wall, Mel Frykberg
BANI NAIM, Occupied West Bank – The village of Bani Naim, near Hebron in the southern West Bank, was under curfew and sealed off by Israeli soldiers stationed in troop carriers and jeeps, as peace talks continued in Washington.  The only way IPS was able to enter was by taking a circuitous route over a dirt track through another village. Upon our entry, nervous Israeli soldiers pointed their guns and demanded identification.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi: Netanyahu’s remarks serves as a death penalty for the so-called peace process
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative stated that Netanyahu’s insistence on the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and his refusal to halt settlement activity is an ultimate death sentence against the so-called peace process.  Barghouthi said that what is going on is in fact confirming the validity of what was warned, which was to not engage in negotiations without a halt of settlement expansion, including in the Jerusalem area.

The Most Moral Army in the World?: The New ‘Ethical Code’ of the Israeli Military and the War on Gaza, Muhammad Ali Khalidi
This article examines the content of and justification for a new “ethical code” designed for the Israeli army to take into account the “fight against terror.” It argues that the code contains two innovations: it includes acts aimed exclusively at military targets in its definition of “terrorism,” and it contains a principle of distinction that prioritizes the lives of citizen combatants over those of noncitizen noncombatants, contrary to centuries of theorizing about the morality of war as well as international humanitarian law.

Sixty-two years after the Nakba
Sixty-two years after the Nakba we continue to be preoccupied exclusively with its exterior façade of aggression and conspiracy on the one hand and the internal suffering and oppression on the other.

Notes on international law and the right of return, Ben Zakkai
My thanks to Ahmed Moor for his continuing efforts to advance the search for political solutions in Israel-Palestine, and I offer my apologies for my extended absence from the discussion. I hope to respond to his latest proposals in the near future, but first I’ll answer a question that Adam Horowitz raised in response to my  previous post discussing the Palestinian right of return. The question was, “what is the relation of international law to the right of return?” I’ll refer to some long answers and short answers to that question before providing my own medium-length response.

BBC Bias: The Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Anthony Lawson
Whatever happened on the Mavi Marmara on the morning of May 31st, 2010, the BBC’s Panorama team failed to give a balanced view of it in its so-called documentary, Death in the Med.  Even the title sounds more like that of a paperback mystery, rather than a serious analysis of Israel’s worst atrocity since Operation Cast Lead.  Documentaries should be truthful and informative and expand our understanding of situations and events; their content should be rigorously checked for errors in statements which are presented as facts and conjecture, and the personal opinions of their writers and presenters should be explicitly identified as such.  But  Death in the Med failed any test based on those parameters.

Update on the peace talks, Ilene Cohen
Considering the reality of the occupation, why should the Palestinians continue with the peace talks farce? Mark Landler and Isabel Kershner’s article from today’s New York Times, updates the rocky state of the nonnegotiations. The Palestinians are being pressed by the Americans to do Netanyahu a favor and close their eyes because it’s too difficult for him politically to continue a settlement freeze that was never a freeze in the first place. But think about it, if he can’t even pretend to freeze the settlements, why should anyone believe that he’ll be able to decolonize for real in exchange for an agreement with the Palestinians? And if Israel is unable/unwilling to decolonize (the future state of Palestine), what’s the point of this exercise from the Palestinian perspective? They’re in line for nothing but more humiliation.

Will Harvard drop honor for Peretz?, Ibn Tufayl
Marty Peretz is finally receiving some long overdue recognition: Harvard’s Committee on Social Studies in its forthcoming 50th anniversary celebrations will pay homage to the man. Participants in the 50th anniversary celebrations include: Michael Walzer, Stanley Hoffmann, Marty Peretz (who will speak over lunch), Amy Gutman and Harvard President Drew Faust. But questions are starting to be raised as to whether it should go forward.

Ramadan Reflections from a Christian, Tammy Obeidallah
As of this writing, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is coming to a close. The past month has been a time of unprecedented turbulence for Muslims around the world. While both natural and man-made disasters plague our brothers and sisters overseas, media-fed controversy strains Muslim/non-Muslim relations here in the United States.

The Occupation’s Many Faces, Joharah Baker for MIFTAH 
There is an overriding reality that cannot be dismissed here in Palestine. Israel controls just about every aspect of our lives. No matter how we try to turn it around, candy coat it or look at it from a “different perspective” this is the truth and the main reason why no partial agreement will ever hold.  One only has to travel in the occupied Palestinian territories to know this to be true. Over the Eid Al Fitr – the Muslim holiday following the month of Ramadan – the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem (itself only a recent reality) was jam packed to kingdom come. People spent literally two, three and four hours trying to make their way out of a one-kilometer area because the Israelis had decided to block all traffic going out of Ramallah towards Jerusalem. It did not matter that people had plans, needed to get back to their children and parents or in the worst case scenario, get to a hospital. At the iron gate opened in the separation wall at Qalandiya, a group of young Israeli soldiers stood with their weapons cocked and smirks across their faces as they watched desperate Palestinians trying to inch their way out of the mess. Rather than the [Israeli] authority responsible for the chaos trying to alleviate the situation, instead young Palestinian men exited their cars and tried to direct traffic.

Al-Manar Reporter: Lebanese and Israeli Armies on Alert at Dheira
13/09/2010 Al-Manar reporter said on Monday that the Lebanese and Israeli armies went on alert at the Dheira region.  The Dheira region is located in the western sector in the South.  Reports said that the Lebanese army went on alert when an Israeli bulldozer started digging a water duct into Lebanese territory from the Israeli side of the border.  A patrol from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon soon arrived at the scene and stopped the bulldozer’s activity.

Palestinian killed in Lebanon camp clashes
BEIRUT (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was killed Monday amid clashes in the Lebanon refugee camp of Ein Al-Hilweh, Lebanese media reported.  Palestinian sources told the online news site NOW Lebanon that Mohammad Nazar was shot and killed after fighting broke out between Nazar and Haitham Ash-Sha’bi, a member of the Jund Ash-Sham factions, following a personal dispute.  Ash-Sha’abi was transferred to the governmental hospital in Sidon for treatment.  According to the news site, Nazar was affiliated with Islamic Palestinian factions in the refugee camp. Representatives from the factions held an urgent meeting over Nazar’s killing.

Egyptian Embassy lashes out at Sayyed’s collusion accusations
BEIRUT: A potential diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and Egypt loomed Monday, as the Egyptian Embassy in Lebanon issued a statement in response to charges made by Former Major General Jamil al-Sayyed against Egypt and its embassy in Beirut.

On digital martyrs,  Time stops for Hariri
During my last visit to Beirut, I asked a Lebanese friend why the digital billboard downtown marking the number of days since the February 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri had been switched off if Hariri was still dead. My friend suggested that stopping the clock gave the appearance that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, charged with prosecuting Hariri’s murderers, was actually accomplishing its task.

Monday: 20 Iraqis Killed, 66 Wounded
Fighting between suspected al-Qaeda elements and Iraqi security personnel continued in a small town just northeast of Baghdad. Including those casualties, at least 20 Iraqis were killed and 66 more were wounded in the latest violence. Almost all attacks were in Diyala province, while no violence was reported in Mosul. Although Diyala is one of the more violent provinces, it is unlikely that Mosul has seen no attacks since the end of Ramadan.

Amnesty International report: US may be complicit in Iraqi prison mistreatment and torture
A new Amnesty International report on Iraq estimates that 30,000 untried detainees are currently being held by Iraqi authorities, many of them transferred from US prisons.

Marine’s defense lawyer steps down in Iraq case (AP)
AP – A major Iraqi war crimes case that has dragged on for five years hit another snag Monday when a military judge excused one of the attorneys for a Marine sergeant whose squad was charged with killing 24 Iraqis.*

Report: Baghdad Embassy misspent millions on phantom meals, Josh Rogin
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad paid millions to a government contractor for meals and snacks that nobody ate, according to a new internal State Department report.  The State Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the embassy overpaid by over $2 million, including over $1 million in snacks alone. The funds went to contractor KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton that runs food service for the over 1,500 employees of the world’s largest embassy complex.

Business as Usual in Iraq,  MARJORIE COHN
Last week, President Obama ceremoniously announced that U.S. combat operations had ended in Iraq. As Democrats face an uphill battle in the upcoming midterm elections, Obama felt he had to make good on his campaign promise to move the fighting from Iraq to Afghanistan. But while he has escalated the killing in Afghanistan, it’s business as usual in Iraq.  The United States, with its huge embassy in Baghdad and five large bases throughout Iraq, will continue to pull the strings there. Last week, Vice President Biden delivered a power-sharing plan to the Iraqis, who have been unable to form a government in the six months since the March election resulted in a stalemate. “We think that’s better for the future of Iraq,” Biden declared. The New York Times speculated about whether “the Americans can close the deal.”  But the United States will continue to do a lot more than simply make suggestions about how Iraqis should share political power.

U.S. and Other World News
Iran ‘releases female US hiker’
Iran has released an American woman held for more than a year on suspicion of spying, reports from Iran say.

US refuses to bail out jailed hiker
Government refuses to pay prison bail for US woman accused of spying, who Iran says it will release on health grounds.

U.S. urges Arab states to drop Israel nuclear treaty demand
U.S. envoy to IAEA says resolution calling on Israel to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty would send a negative signal to Middle East peace talks.

Group offers $100,000 for ‘information leading to the arrest and conviction of Karl Rove’
Amid the launch of a new campaign to encourage greater scrutiny the right-wing “American Crossroads” groups known to many as the “shadow RNC,” an activist organization declared that it would give $100,000 to any person who comes forward with “information leading to the arrest and conviction of Karl Rove.”

Egyptian activist released after 40-hour grilling, detention
CAIRO: An Egyptian activist snatched last week by suspected security agents was released after being quizzed for 32 hours about his political views, his employer the Cairo Institute for Human Rights said on Monday.  Amr Saleh, a researcher at the non-governmental organization, was “abducted” at dawn on Thursday by four men in civilian clothes, who according to witnesses said they were security agents, the group said.  He was released on Friday, 40 hours after being held in detention during which “he was interrogated for 32 hours about his political views,” a spokesman for the group, Ziad Abdel Tawab, told AFP.

Egypt sentences Bedouins to life imprisonment
ISMAILIA, Egypt, Sept 13 (Reuters) – An Egyptian court sentenced seven Bedouins for life imprisonment on Monday, in a case some tribesmen said would refuel long-running tension in the Sinai Peninsula.  Bedouins, among nomadic Arab tribes in the Sinai, often complain of neglect by the Cairo government and say tough living conditions have led some of their people to resort to smuggling and other activities considered criminal by the state.

Banning Slaughter, Kathy Kelly
In the early 1970’s, I spent two summers slinging pork loins in a Chicago meat-packing factory. Rose Packing Company paid a handful of college students $2.25 an hour to process pork. Donning combat boots, yellow rubber aprons, goggles, hairnets and floor length white smocks that didn’t stay white very long, we’d arrive on the factory floor. Surrounded by deafening machinery, we’d step over small pools of blood and waste, adjusting ourselves to the rancid odors, as we headed to our posts. I’d step onto a milk crate in front of a huge bin full of thawing pork loins. Then, swinging a big, steel T-hook, I’d stab a large pork loin, pull it out of the pile, and plop it on a conveyor belt carrying meat into the pickle juice machine. Sometimes a roar from a foreman would indicate a switch to processing Canadian pork butts, which involved swiftly shoving metal chips behind rectangular cuts of meat. On occasion, I’d be assigned to a machine that squirted meat waste into a plastic tubing, part of the process for making hot dogs. I soon became a vegetarian.

Islam in the U.S.
Hartford Says No To Muslim Prayer Before Meetings
HARTFORD, Conn. — Officials in Connecticut’s capital city say they won’t include Muslim prayers before council meetings after getting mostly negative feedback from the public.  The reversal has led the state branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to plan a prayer vigil Monday night at Hartford City Hall in protest.

New hearing ordered in holding-cell hijab suit
A federal appeals court granted a new hearing Monday to a Muslim woman who was ordered by sheriff’s deputies to remove her hijab in a courthouse holding cell.

Peretz issues 50 percent apology for latest anti-Muslim racism, James North
Editor-in-chief Martin Peretz, who has become the crazy uncle in The New Republic’s attic, says he is sorry for half of his most recent anti-Muslim tirade.  He has been under great pressure, from Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times and from an eloquent coalition of students at Brandeis, his alma mater.  Peretz says he is sorry for writing, “I wonder whether I need honor these people [Muslims] and pretend they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut sense that they will abuse.”  He admits he wrote the sentence, but he says now he does not believe it.  Let’s take him at his word, although you wonder because it doesn’t read like he accidentally dropped something or misplaced a modifier.  But maybe he just had a couple of extra glasses of wine before hitting the send button.

MJ Rosenberg: I Make Marty Peretz Apologize For Anti-Muslim Screed
After years of writing racist screeds, Martin Peretz of the New Republic finally had to apologize.  He is writing in response to the brilliant and, in my opinion, wonderful Nick Kristof who wrote a column excoriating Peretz yesterday. Kristof, to his credit, wrote in his New York Times blog that I (along with my friend, Emily Hauser) was the one who brought the Peretz piece to his attention.  This is for me the beauty of the internet and of my job with Media Matters Action Network. Thanks to the blogosphere and Media Matters Action (which moved me from working within the confines of the Jewish world to the rest of it!), I can make my own small difference in the battle against racial and religious prejudice like that which is consuming America right now.

Inside Story – Anti-Islam sentiment on the rise
Amnesty International asys anti-Islam sentiment is on the rise in the US. The human rights group has pointed to rising crimes committed against Muslims in the country including the stabbing of a cab driver in New York and attacks on mosque sites around the country. Is Islamphobia motivated by politics? Or is it just exaggerated and blown out of proportion by the world’s media?

Riz Khan – Islamophobia in the US
Tension and acrimony marked the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the US. Relations between Muslims and people of other faiths appear to have slipped to a new low with the controversies over Quran-burning and the proposed Islamic centre near ‘ground zero’ in New York City. Is the US becoming increasingly intolerant towards Islam?

Empire special – Islam and America
On the 9th anniversary of 9/11, the fault lines between the US and the Muslim world seem to have expanded. As America’s internal cultural wars begin to affect its foreign policy, what are the options for President Obama? Which is the real US: The one that fights for Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the one that considers US Muslims as the enemy within? And have Osama bin Laden’s hopes of driving a wedge between the US and the Muslim world become a reality?

Quit thanking Zionists for “tolerating” you already!
One good thing that has come out of the Park51 controversy is that it has showed us just how desperately certain Arab/Muslim-Americans will plead for approval. A politician could give unconditional support for Israel and the US occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and still get House Arabs’ and House Muslims’ gratitude as long as s/he supports Park51.

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