and other news from Today in Palestine
Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing
Settlers attempt to kidnap toddler in al-Khalil, beat up boy in Jerusalem
A number of extremist Jewish settlers tried on Wednesday evening to kidnap a 3-year-old Palestinian toddler in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil, according to Palestinian security sources.
Settlers Attack Olive Pickers In Nablus
Israeli settlers attacked, on Friday morning, Palestinian olive pickers, and fired rounds of live ammunition at them, near the village of ‘Azmout, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
Settlers fire at Palestinians in West Bank
Settlers, Palestinians blame each other for torching of fields, other violence during olive harvest
Israel expels residents from Bethlehem village
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Thursday demolished storage units and tents in a village east of Bethlehem. Forces threatened residents of the Kahlet Abu Hamad village east of Rashaydah with arrest in the event they opted to stay in the area. Calls to Israel’s Civil Administration placed outside business hours were not immediately returned.
PA condemns land confiscation
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday condemned an Israeli military order to confiscate 1,000 acres of the Palestinian Al-Jalud village, south of Nablus. The order says that the commander of the Israeli army “believes that this is necessary for military needs, following the special security conditions which prevailed in the area and the need to take steps to prevent terrorist acts.”
Netanyahu approves tenders for 238 homes east of Green Line
Neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot included in nation-wide building plan despite controversy over construction in East Jerusalem.
E. Jerusalem construction bid underway
New Housing Ministry tender includes 240 homes slated for construction in east Jerusalem. Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly okays bid. PA says act will be ‘final nail in negotiation’s coffin’.
Rightist plans to settle 10 new Jewish families in East Jerusalem neighborhood
Delivers eviction orders to families living in Sheikh Jarrah and to the south of the neighborhood.
Erekat: We won’t accept population exchange
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The head PLO negotiator said Wednesday he would never accept proposals to “swap” Palestinian citizens of Israel for settlers in the occupied territories. Saeb Erekat told Ma’an radio that Israel’s recent drills involving mass imprisonment of Palestinians were “test balloons” to see the potential reaction to such an initiative. Addressing Palestinians in Israel, Erekat said, “We will not harm you in any way, nor will we accept Israel’s racist proposals including recognizing it as a Jewish state or a land swap or population swap or whatever.” He said the PLO would conduct negotiations solely according to international law.
Palestinians: Netanyahu harming chance for peace by approving East Jerusalem construction
Netanyahu approves tenders for 238 homes east of Green Line; neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot included in nation-wide building plan despite controversy over construction in East Jerusalem.
Palestinians protest new Jerusalem housing plan
RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel on Friday of choosing “settlements over peace” in a protest over publication of a plan to build 238 housing units in East Jerusalem. Israel issued the building tenders on Thursday in a little-noticed move that may further complicate U.S.-backed efforts to rescue direct peace talks with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu: We will continue to build and to create
Washington – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the Independence Museum in Tel Aviv, hours after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed thousands of Hezbollah ralliers in southern Lebanon. Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that Israel’s very existence discredits its opponents, Haaretz reported Thursday. “And since then, look at what a nation, what a state, what an army we have,” said Netanyahu. “We will continue to build and to create, and we will know how to protect ourselves as best we can.” Prime Minister Netanyahu was asked if Israel had considered assassinating Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his Lebanon visit. In response to this query, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “We consider with reason what needs to be done to protect the state.”
Smothered by Settlements, MUSTAFA BARGHOUTHI
Negotiations between two unequal parties cannot succeed. Success in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations requires a reasonable balance of power, clear terms of reference and abstention of both sides from imposing unilateral facts on the ground. None of that existed in the talks that were re-initiated in September. Much like previous rounds of talks, these negotiations were dominated on one side by an Israeli government that controls the land, roads, airspace, borders, water and electricity, as well as the trade and economy of the Palestinian side, while possessing a powerful military establishment (now the third military exporter in the world) and a robust gross domestic product, which has tripled in the last decade.
Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment
Many Protesters Suffer From Tear Gas During The Weekly Non-violent Protest In Nil’in
Many suffered from the effects of tear gas inhalition during the weekly non-violent demonstration against the wall in the village of Nil’in, near the centrel West Bank.
Israeli Troops Attack Nil’in Anti Wall Protest; Number Of Injuries Reported
Nil’in – PNN – A number of civilians suffered effects of tear gas inhalation on Friday when Israeli troops attacked them during the weekly anti wall protest in the central West Bank village of Nil’in. Villagers along with international and Israeli supporters marched after midday prayers towards the Israeli wall, which is being built on local farmers’ lands. The protesters demanded to reach the villagers’ lands on the other side of the wall to harvest their olive trees. Palestinian farmers start harvesting their olive trees on the first week of October, with the season lasting until the end of the month. During this time, settler and military attacks often escalate against West Bank farmers. As soon as protesters reached the gate of the wall, stationed troops fired tear gas and sound bombs at the protesters. Around a dozen locals and internationals were lightly wounded, suffering tear gas inhalation. They were treated at a local clinic.
Bethlehem Village Protest The Israeli Wall, Troops Injuries An International Supporter
Bethlehem – PNN – On Friday, villagers from Al Ma’ssara village near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem organized their weekly anti wall protest. The protest started at midday, as Israeli and international protesters joined the villagers and marched to farmer’s land, where Israel’s wall is under construction. Troops stopped the protest at the village entrance. During the face-off, troops fired tear gas and sound bombs at the protesters to force them back to the village. An international supporter was hit in the head with a sound bomb and transported to the local clinic for treatment. Others were treated for effects of tear gas inhalation.
Bil’in: Troops Use Tear Gas To Suppress Weekly Anti-Wall Protest
Bil’in – PNN – Israeli and international supporters joined the village of Bil’in on Friday for the weekly nonviolent action against the Israeli wall being built on farmers’ lands. Image Today’s demonstration was comprised of about 100 local residents, Israeli activists and internationals. As the group moved peaceful y towards the site of the wall, they chanted demands to free Palestinian political prisoners, including Abdullah Abu Rahma and Adib Abu Rahman, who were arrested last year for their leadership of the popular resistance in Bil’in.
Protest tent set up again in Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A member of Fatah’s revolutionary council said Wednesday a protest tent was erected in Jerusalem. The tent has been repeatedly taken down and replaced over a period of years protesting settlement activity and expulsions of Palestinians. Demetri Deliani said the tent was set up yet again after Israeli forces tore it down this week.
Socialist youth call for settlement freeze
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The International Union of Socialist Youth insisted Friday that the continuation of illegal settlement expansion prohibited the 2-state solution as a choice for the future. The IUSA in Austria passed a statement calling on the government of Israel to put an end to all settlement activities within the Palestinian territory and lift the blockade in the Gaza Strip. It also deplored the idea that the displacement of population should replace the internationally recognized principle of “land for peace” as recently stated by the Israeli Foreign Minister in his speech at the UN. The statement was passed after lobbying by Fatah youth delegates.
Bilin organizer’s wife talks about his trial, detention
Magda Abu Rahme, the wife of detained Bilin community organizer Abdullah Abu Rahme, speaks of her relief after his sentencing this week to one year in prison. “This was a difficult period,” she told JMCC.org. “We lived on the edge of our nerves. They dragged their feet and postponed this farce of a trial so much just to weaken the morale of Abdullah.” Abu Rahme says that the family was expecting a heavier sentence. The prosecution asked for a jail term of two years. And still she fears that Abdullah’s sentencing could be relived if the military court accepts further arguments from the prosecution. Abu Rahme was originally charged with incitement, organizing and participating in illegal demonstrations, breaking the law, throwing stones and possession of weapons.
From Budrus to Bilin: Arresting Heroes
One stark lesson from the collapse of the Oslo process ten years ago is that no top-down approach to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking will succeed without widespread support from the grassroots. Yet as talks predictably falter once again, the very civic leaders who are willing to risk their lives to promote a dignified, free, secure and rights-respecting future for both peoples are being jailed, harassed and silenced. In recent months, Palestinian nonviolence leaders in particular are facing a severe crackdown, just as their unarmed movements to end the occupation in cooperation with Israeli and international allies are picking up steam.
Criminal Complaint Lodged Against Dutch Company for Construction of Settlements and the Wall
Oct 14, 2010– Al-Haq has announced that it has lodged a criminal complaint against a Dutch private rental company, Riwal, for its involvement in the construction of the Annexation Wall, ‘the Wall,’ and illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank.
#BDS: BDS Victory: Veolia Sells Shares in Jerusalem Light Rail
Veolia has signed a principled agreement to sell its shares in the Jerusalem Light Rail to the Israeli transportation cooperative Egged, reportsTheMarker today (15 October). This sale marks a substantial victory for the Palestinian-led international campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. According to the agreement, Veolia will receive NIS 45 million (approximately EURO 9 million) for its shares, which will be gradually transferred to Egged over a five year period from the first day of the light rail’s operation. This gradual transfer ensures compliance with conditions of the initial tender, which mandate that the light rail operator must have a minimum of five years experience in operations. Egged will also pay increasing percentages of the sale as the light rail becomes increasingly profitable.
#BDS: Another Firm Boycotts Israeli Settlements
In case you need an introduction to the whole boycott thing against Israel, I’ll repost my prompt before I get to the new news: If Israel refused to respect Palestinian rights and national aspirations when the world was offerings carrots in the forms of international recognition, then a new tactic was to now be adopted: using sticks in the form of international isolation.
#BDS: Unions want ACTU to endorse protest plan against Israeli settlements
AUSTRALIAN unions are signing up to an international campaign to boycott Israeli goods. But a fight is brewing over a proposal for the Australian Council of Trade Unions to endorse the movement. The broad-based divestment and boycott campaign is targeting companies that profit from the Israeli settlements. The Electrical Trades Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, the Queensland branch of the Rail Tram and Bus Union and the Finance Sector Union have all passed a resolution supporting the international campaign of “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) against Israel.
Communications Electrical Plumbing Union national secretary Peter Tighe told The Australianthe electrical branch of his union had adopted the resolution and he would now take it to the broader CEPU, then the ACTU.
#BDS: Pro-Palestine initiative urges directors to return Israeli prizes
The Initiative of Boycott against Israel for Palestine, a Turkish civil society organization that aims to raise international awareness of a long-running blockade on Gaza and the plight of Palestinian refugees, has called on Turkish filmmakers Semih Kaplanoğlu and Reha Erdem to return the awards they won at this year’s Haifa International Film Festival.
There’s a great new website and billboard campaign by the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
It launched in Chicago on Oct 4th with billboards on the city’s mass transit system that read “End U.S. Military Aid to Israel.” The campaign website, www.TwoPeoplesOneFuture.org is full of well-documented information and talking points. I consider myself well-versed and I was taking lots of notes! Take a look…
Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement
Israel blocks teen from visiting home
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police have decided to temporarily prevent a Palestinian teenager from returning to his home, apparently as punishment for his involvement in an altercation with Israeli settlers. Ayman Nasser Al-Ghawi will not be permitted to return to the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah for 15 days, police determined Thursday, after he was detained in connection with a clash with settlers in occupied East Jerusalem. The youngster was initially detained for interrogation after being attacked by a group of seven settlers in the flashpoint Jerusalem neighborhood. His nose was broken and he sustained bruises to the face.
Israeli Occupation Set Up Roadblocks In Jenin
The Israeli army erected, on Friday afternoon, a roadblock at the entrance of the town of ‘Aja, south of Jenin, and hindered the movement of palestinian citizens.
Soldiers Install Roadblocks In Hebron
The Israeli soldiers installed, on Friday morning, several roadblocks at the main entrances leading to the southern West Bank city of Hebron, searched Palestinian vehicles and inspected the ID cards of residents.
Finland urges Israel to ease Gaza blockade
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Finland’s foreign affairs minister on Thursday called for Israel to open its crossings with the Gaza Strip. Alexander Stubb arrived in Gaza via the Erez crossing for a brief trip during which he visited homes destroyed in Israel’s 2008 assault. The visit marks the fourth time an official EU delegation has visited the besieged enclave, following Norway, Sweden and Ireland.
Israel allows 20 new cars into Gaza
GAZA (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities will allow 20 cars to enter Gaza on Thursday via the southern Kerem Shalom crossing, a Palestinian liaison official said. Raed Fattouh said approximately 220 to 230 truckloads of goods for the commercial, agricultural and transportation sectors would enter through the same crossing, as well as limited quantities of domestic gas and industrial diesel.
Gaza tunnels used to export goods
The network of tunnels in Gaza, long used to import life-saving goods, are being repurposed to export material to Egypt.
Without Water, There is No Life, ZIAD ABBAS
Since I started working at Middle East Children’s Alliance, the MAIA Project to bring clean water to the children of Palestine has become closest to my heart. All of our projects are important for people in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq, but the MAIA Project is connected to my history and my family. It takes me back to the days when I struggled with my family to bring clean water to our house so we could drink, cook and, sometimes, have a shower. My mother, sisters and I would carry gallons of water in heavy containers on our heads. Providing this essential for our family made my mother physically strong, her arms and shoulders shaped by her efforts, but her health suffered greatly. Much work and time is required to achieve the basic necessity of clean water. I still remember the weight of the water and the great responsibility on our necks and backs everyday.
Racism and Discrimination
Poll: 36% of Jews want to revoke Arabs’ voting rights
While few Israeli Jews say they are nationalistic, many favor anti-democratic values, survey finds.
Kahane’s vision for loyalty oath was not so different than Barak’s
Late extremist rabbi proposed every non-Jew wishing to become a naturalized Israeli would have to pledge to ‘the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.’
Settler-style thugs operating inside Israel, Jesse Bacon
One after another, the parallels to fascism pile up in Israel, like the sticks (which is what the root of Fascism means) on a fire. Now a town in Israel has adopted perhaps the most visible feature of many a dictatorship: paramilitary police. The settlers have long functioned in this role in the Occupied Territories, but in the borderless Israeli occupation such methods do not stay contained. What’s more the mission of the militia sounds uncomfortably like the thousands of “sundown towns” of American racism, keep ethnically-defined “outsiders” out of a town with the threat of violence.
10 Palestinians injured in Silwan clashes
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Ten Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets and dozens inhaled tear gas during clashes with Israeli forces after noon prayers Friday in the Al-Bustan area of Silwan in East Jerusalem. Fatah official Hatem Abdul Qader and Sheikh Ikrima Sabri were among those who inhaled gas. He told Ma’an that forces threw the gas canisters at worshipers without cause. Abdul Qader also claimed the gas affected muscles differently than the usual kind.
A woman is injured and two youth are arrested in renewed clashes in Silwan
Clashes between local Palestinian youth and IOF soldiers erupted again on Thursday evening in the Silwan suburb to the south of the Aqsa Mosque in the holy city.
3 Palestinians injured in clashes in Silwan
Three Palestinians were injured including a 35-year-old woman in clashes between young men and Israeli forces Thursday in the Silwan area south of Jerusalem., Jawad Seyam, head of Wadi Helwa Information Center, said that “Israeli soldiers violently and harshly beat Abdallah Gheith, 17, and Mohammad Maher Abed Al-Wahed, 19, before arresting them.
Shooting in “buffer zone,” air strikes across Gaza
Israeli snipers shot a Palestinian boy collecting scrap building material in the northern Gaza Strip yesterday. The shooting follows several air strikes across the Gaza Strip, injuring a total of eight Palestinians, according to medical sources.
Fayyad sends letter to imprisoned child
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Prime Minister Salam Fayyad sent a letter to an imprisoned child Thursday. The letter, to Sayel Abu Queider of Hebron, who was detained in September, came as part of a new letter-writing initiative launched by the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs to improve communication with prisoners.
Detainees in Nafha prison Attacked by Israeli Military
Detainees in Nafha prison reported to the ‘Wa’ed’ society for detainees and ex-detainees that Israeli military invaded, on Friday afternoon, the Nafha prison and attacked detainees.
Israel’s Arab Helpers
Hamas: PA arrested 1,000 party members last month
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas said Thursday that Palestinian Authority security forces arrested 1,008 party members in September. “It’s clear that the arrest campaign being waged by the Palestinian Authority did not exclude anyone and did take into consideration the circumstances and titles of the people being arrested, whether they were former detainees from Israeli jails, university professors, teachers, or members of city councils and other categories.”
National campaign wants immediate halt of torture in Abbas’s jails in W. Bank
The National campaign for the defense of kidnapped Palestinian citizens in the PA jails in the West Bank has expressed anxiety over the continued torturing of kidnapped Palestinian activists.
Hamas leaders banned from entering Egypt
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities will prevent a number of Hamas leaders from traveling through the country en route to Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj. Hamas officials told Ma’an that among the leaders prohibited from accessing Egypt are lawmaker Salah Al-Bardawil and spokesmen Sami Abu Zuhri and Fawzi Barhoum.
Dismay, disillusionment prevail in Palestinian camp
RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct 15 (Reuters) – The stalemate in direct peace talks with Israel risks undermining the moderate Palestinian leadership and should force world powers to reassess their Middle East strategy, senior Palestinian officials say. The U.S.-brokered negotiations kicked off in Washington last month, but stalled less than 4 weeks later after Israel refused to extend a freeze on settlement building in the occupied West Bank, prompting the Palestinians to refuse to carry on talking.
Abbas: We’ll never sign deal demanding recognition of Israel as Jewish state
‘PA recognized Israel’s existence in 1993, and now Israel needs to recognize the Palestinian state in line with the 1967 borders,’ Abbas tells left-wing Mk’s in Ramallah.
Abbas: No choice but 2 states
President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that the Ramallah-based government had yet to rule out the 2-state solution to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination., “We fully support the 2-state solution, a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders living side by side with Israel in peace, security and stability,” Abbas said after meeting with Finland’s President Tarja Halonen.
Fatah: Netanyahu is politically bankrupt
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conditions for negotiations demonstrate his government’s “political bankruptcy,” a Fatah spokesman said Thursday. Ahmad Assaf said Israeli violations against Palestinians and their land, and the racist laws passed by the Israeli government, would not weaken the resolve of Palestinians to achieve peace. Further, Fatah’s determination to establish an independent Palestinian state would not change, Assaf added.
Turks accuse Israel of war crimes at ICC
Complaint filed with International Criminal Court accuses Israel of war crimes including torture, inhuman treatment during IDF raid on Gaza-bound flotilla last May. ICC’s jurisdiction unclear.
Families of Gaza flotilla victims accuse Israel of war crimes in The Hague
Delegation representing 300 activists files complaint over Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla which left 9 activists dead.
Army chief to testify again before Israel flotilla probe (AFP)
AFP – Israel’s armed forces chief Gabi Ashkenazi was on Thursday asked to testify for a second time before an Israeli committee probing the navy’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, a spokesman said.
Israel Raid on Gaza Flotilla: US Failure to Condemn Despite UN Findings
If Iran had attacked a humanitarian flotilla in international waters and killed 9 people, there would be certain retaliation from Washington. Until our government stands up to the powerful Israel lobby in the United States, the Palestinian people, and our own humanity, will continue to be held hostage.
J’lem unfazed by US stuttering over ‘Jewish state’
Sources close to PM note that Obama told UN: ‘Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people’. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley’s difficulty on Tuesday answering with a simple yes or no as to whether the US recognizes Israel as a Jewish state is no cause for concern, since Israel knows full well where Washington stands on the issue, diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said Thursday.
ADL lists top 10 anti-Israel groups in U.S.
Jewish Voice for Peace included on list, drafted based on groups’ ability to organize events, attract supporters, form relationships with like-minded groups.
Ex-President Carter to start Mideast peace tour (Reuters)
Reuters – Former President Jimmy Carter will start a tour of the Middle East on Saturday to build support for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Accepting ADL award, Murdoch decries ‘ongoing war against Jews’
Media magnate accuses Leftists of spurring anti-Semitism under the guise of legitimate criticism of Israel.
‘Rabbis committed to Torah, not democracy’
Elon Moreh’s Elyakim Levanon says rabbis don’t have privilege of keeping opinions to themselves, even if opinions are contradictory to values of democracy.
Margalit Har-Shefi to be exonerated?
Right, left-wing politicians in uproar over request to reverse conviction of Yigal Amir’s accomplice.
Intellectual Healing At The Freedom Theatre, Palestine Monitor
At Jenin’s Freedom Theatre, the guiding principle is to use art as resistance. As Nabil Al-Raee, director and acting instructor says, “theatre can open the minds of people, it can make them free from the occupation mindset.” This is the message the theatre wants to send to Jenin, Palestine and the world.
Watching ‘Budrus’ in Gaza, Jared Malsin
I just got back from a screening in Gaza of Budrus, Julia Bacha’s film about grassroots resistance against the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank village of the same name. Some 100 people, Palestinians and a few foreigners, came to the screening in the courtyard of the French Cultural Center.
Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest“The Elders” in the Middle East, As’ad Abukhalil
I received an announcement that a group who call themselves “Elders” are going on a fact finding mission to the Middle East. The group includes the lousy Jimmy Carter (whose proudest achievement (Camp David) is one of the worst US foreign policy legacies in our region), and the most lousy AlAkhdar Al-Ibrahimi. The lousy work of Ibrahimi (who spent his last working years as a mere tool of the Bush administration) can still be felt in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you read about Iraq under US occupation, you realize how much Ibrahimi assisted the American occupation of the country.
Michael Oren’s Rhetorical Erasure of 1948 Palestinians, Alex Kane
Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren’s column in today’s New York Times is part of what the Zionist project has attempted to do for the last 60-plus years: erase the Palestinian narrative out of existence and deny that the Nakba ever occured.
Letter from an Israeli (Birmingham) Jail, Dallas Darling
If Martin Luther King would have been a Palestinian, I sometimes wonder how Israeli authorities would have treated him. This came to mind again when it was reported that an Israeli military court sentenced Palestinian nonviolence activist Abdullah Abu Rahmeh to one year in prison. Evidently, the military tribunal found him guilty of “incitement” and for organizing illegal protests. It also fined him $1,400, a stiff penalty for someone who lost over half of his farmland to land seized by Israeli settlement programs.
Postcard From Palestine, Christopher Hayes
HEBRON. The first thing you notice when you drive into Hebron is the lack of cars. Since 1997 this second-largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, the only one with an Israeli settlement in its midst, has been formally divided. Within the Israeli section, which takes up much of the historic downtown, Palestinians are not allowed to drive, so they walk or use donkey carts. When people are ill or injured, they are carried to the hospital. It is not surprising, therefore, that many of the 30,000 Palestinians who once lived here have moved out. According to a 2007 report from Israeli human rights organizations, more than 1,000 Palestinian housing units in the area have been left vacant, and more than 75 percent of the businesses in the central district have closed. A handful of shops remain open; a cluster or two of children play in the street. But that’s it. The streets are buried under the heaviness of an ominous quiet. Periodically, buses rumble past bringing settlers to and from the adjoining settlement, Kiryat Arba, and Israel proper. In the absence of routine urban noise, their engines sound like gunshots.
Victims of our Visions: Asa Winstanley on the Kibbutzim, Max Ajl
The idea of the kibbutzim was beguiling to many socialist Jews looking at different ways of living in the world: agricultural communes, the seeds of the new society germinating in the interstices of the old, and all that saccharine stuff. The anarchist publisher AK Press recently put out a book by James Horrox entitled, A Living Revolution: Anarchism in the Kibbutz Movement. It was very positively reviewed by Keith Kahn-Harris in the Forward (not a shock). Curious to see what exactly Horrox had to say, I had been thinking of reading it. Asa Winstanley has convinced me that it may not be worth it. In a review essay originally published in the New Left Project, Winstanley dissects the Utopian visions of the founders of the kibbutzim by sharply reminding us that they were nearly uniformly racist institutions, unprincipled and opportunistic in their purportedly socialist commitments, and far too frequently built on illegitimately bought or stolen land.
Jewish, “democratic”, and racist as a matter of habit, Yaniv Reich
The big story at the moment is the forthcoming law that would require all non-Jews, who want to become Israeli citizens, to make a loyalty oath to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic” state. Although revealing in the insecurity of identity and purpose that motivates it, it really is just one more law (among at least 30) that forces the ideology and privilege of Jews, as an ethnic group, over (and very frequently against) the status of other ethnic groups in Israel. This bill is a problem and I encourage readers to click through some of the following commentaries for important criticism (e.g. here, here, here, and here).
My Oath to Israel’s “Jewish Democracy”, Jonathan Cook
In all likelihood, I will be one of the very first non-Jews expected to swear loyalty to Israel as an ideology rather than as a state. Until now, naturalising residents, like the country’s soldiers, pledged an oath to Israel and its laws. That is the situation in most countries. But soon, if the Israeli parliament passes a bill being advanced by the government, aspiring citizens will instead be required to uphold the Zionist majority’s presumption that Israel is a “Jewish and democratic state”.
The ATFP Is “Proud And Honored” Hillary Is The Keynote Speaker At This Year’s Gala
Despicable Arabs lacking any self-respect are always “proud and honored” when an American politician agrees to attend one of their events. Clinton is a pro-Israel, anti-Arab, politician that has adopted all of AIPAC’s views. That won’t be a problem for the folks at the ATFP. They have also befriended AIPAC lately, and adopted many of its views themselves. Hillary is a cheap and fraudulent politician whose knowledge of the Middle East doesn’t extend beyond the traditional, pro-Zionist narrative, and standard American talking points. She is likely to reiterate the “strong US desire for peace.” She will also engage in some blathering about a “two-state solution.”
A Handful of Washington Arabs (WA WA’s): Our Community’s Collective “Wa Wa”
The ATFP clique in Washington has still not responded to the revelation (see below) that one of its own board members has a lucrative and ongoing business relationship with the Israeli army. The ATFP also appears to be very fond of Yasser Abd Rabbo whose smug face is currently featured on the front page of their website. Arab-American “activists” are required to be impressed with pro-Israel, pro-American “leaders” in the Arab world. What is clear is that the ATFP does not represent any grassroots Palestinians in the US unless you want to count the one (does he even live in the US?) doing business with the Israeli army, the PNA does not represent the Palestinian people, the ADC does not represent Arab-Americans, Jim Zogby and the AAI do not represent the Arab community, and all the Kings, Queens, Ambassadors, and oil-Sheiks representing pro-American tyrannies invited to attend the events, banquets, and galas organized in Washington by these individuals and groups do not represent anyone in the Arab world.
Israeli Policies are Manifestly Evil: Philip Giraldi
Philip Giraldi joined me in an exclusive interview to discuss the latest developments of the Middle East, the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the possibility of a peaceful compromise between Iran and the United States and the impact of Israeli lobby on the long-term policies of the White House.
Slate and Orientalist trash
Slate, like many other liberal-minded publications and websites in the US, suspend its liberalism when it comes to Muslims and Arabs. Look at this trash (the person she sites is a well-known pro-Hariri right-winger, by the way, who supported the candidate who received a whopping 1% of the Shi`ite vote in the last election): ”"In Arabic poetry and in the Quran, camels are one of the greatest gifts, because they are a means of survival,” Lokman Slim told me. “So it is an honor to sacrifice them for a guest.” Or, he added, you could cynically interpret their slaughter as representing the bodies of Rafik and Saad Hariri—one assassinated physically, the latter politically. As I got into a taxi, I saw the camels’ bright red blood running into the gutter and heard the click of a camera shutter as people took photos to commemorate the moment.” Of course, the reporter knows neither Arabic or Persian but she talks to right-wingers and taxi driver. Long live Western journalism.
Hezbollah’s gift for Ahmadinejad: An Israeli rifle (AP)
AP – The leader of Hezbollah gave Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a unique gift to cap off his two-day trip to Lebanon — an Israeli assault rifle captured during the militant group’s 2006 war with the Jewish state.
Southern Lebanese give hero’s welcome to ‘Nejad’
BINT JBEIL: They have been waiting for over three hours in the broiling sun. Tens of thousands heave and sway, shouting and sweating in equal measure as music pumped through giant speaker stacks struggles to maintain feverish levels of anticipation.
Ahmadinejad speaks in rebuilt Lebanese town near Israel
Iran’s president travels to within miles of archrival Israel and delivers a pointed if typical speech to tens of thousands of supporters, most of them backers of Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah militia. Iran’s controversial president on Thursday traveled to within a few miles of his nation’s archrival Israel and delivered a pointed if typical speech to tens of thousands of supporters, most of them backers of Lebanon’s Shiite Muslim Hezbollah militia.
Ahmadinejad tells Israelis their country is doomed
BEIRUT: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday Israel was doomed to perish as he addressed thousands of supporters of Hizbullah at a rally in Bint Jbeil, just four kilometers from the Israeli border. Ahmadinejad’s tour in south Lebanon drew sharp criticism from the US and Israel as tensions ran high on the Lebanese-Israeli border.
Speech: Ahmadinejad in Bint Jbeil and Qana: Lebanese Are United, Steadfast, Victorious
Iran leader in Lebanon’s Hezbollah stronghold
In a rare and controversial visit to south Lebanon where he received a hero’s welcome, Iran’s president praised the people’s resistance to Israel. Speaking just a few hundred meters from Israel’s border, Ahmedinejad told Hezbollah, the Lebanese group that fought two wars with Israel, that “the people of Iran will support you forever.” But some Lebanese officials considered Ahmedinejad’s visit a sign that Iran is interfering in the country’s affairs to pursue its own agenda. Zeina Khodr reports from south Lebanon. [October 15, 2010]
In Ahmadinejad’s Lebanon Visit, the Ruins of Bush’s Mideast Doctrine, Tony Karon
As Israeli bombs killed hundreds of Lebanese in the summer of 2006, then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the people of Lebanon that they were simply experiencing “the birth pangs of a new Middle East.” That new Middle East was on view during the two-day visit to Lebanon this week by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — and it looks nothing like the vision pursued by the Bush Administration’s military-driven strategy of dividing the region into “moderate” and “radical” camps locked in a fight to the finish.
Ahmadinajad in Lebanon, As;ad Abukhalil
So Robert Worth said: ”President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran arrived here on Wednesday morning and was given an ecstatic welcome by supporters of Hezbollah, the militant Shiite movement his country backs.” What is inaccurate is the suggestion that only supporters of Hizbullah welcomed him to Lebanon. In fact, the Amal Movement has also been enthusiastically welcoming him to Lebanon too: I am now watching him live on TV give a speech in Qana. And the affair in Qana has been officiated by the Amal Movement. (By the way, people don’t know that Iran also financially supports the Amal Movement). But the popular support and enthusiasm for Ahmadinajad among Shi`ites is genuine and sincere and it has–to a degree–surprised me a bit particularly because the man has no charisma or oratorical skills. Of course, every article on the visit has to mention the slaughter of the sheep. If they were slaughtered in honor of a Zionist leader, they would have not been mentioned, or would have mentioned with admiration and glee. Spare me Orientalist cliches and focuses.
A Small Shove Back, By RANNIE AMIRI
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s first state visit to Lebanon elicited a schizophrenic reaction among Lebanese. An ecstatic reception awaited him along Beirut’s airport highway Wednesday as his motorcade drove toward Baabda presidential palace to meet President Michel Suleiman. With great fanfare, Iranian flags, balloons sporting its green, white and red colors, thrown flower petals, and greetings shouted in Farsi by mostly Shia Lebanese welcomed him to the city—a remarkable sight in an Arab capital. It likely left allies of Lebanon’s ruling, Western-backed March 14 Coalition in Amman, Cairo and Riyadh bewildered.
Baghdad roadside bomb kills 4, wounds senior politician
Iraqi officials say a roadside bomb has hit a senior politician’s convoy, killing four people and wounding six others, including the politician. Police and hospital officials say Thursday’s blast struck the car of Abdel-Karim al-Mohammadawi, a prominent member of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya alliance, while he was traveling through southeast Baghdad.
Thursday: 8 Iraqis Killed, 24 Wounded
The U.S. military has released an Iraqi casualty tally that likely lead to more acrimonious debate over the true extent of deaths the country has suffered. Meanwhile, at least eight Iraqis were killed and 24 more were wounded in today’s violence.
Lies, damned lies, and US statistics: 77,000 Iraqis killed over 5 years
A new US military tally puts the death toll of Iraqi civilians and security forces in the bloodiest years of the war thousands below Iraqi government figures.
Syria offers Maliki a life jacket
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s visit to Damascus repairs ties strained by his accusation that Syria harbored Ba’athists responsible for last year’s massive bombings in Baghdad. Maliki has likely reasoned that Syrian support lends him the legitimacy he needs among Sunnis and Kurds to stay in power and end the country’s seven-month post-election stalemate. – Sami Moubayed (Oct 15, ’10)
U.S. Other Mideast/World News
WikiLeaks says funding has been blocked after government blacklisting
Founder Julian Assange hits out at decision by Moneybookers, which collects the whistleblowing website’s donations.
“War on terror” psychologist gets giant no-bid contract
The Army earlier this year steered a $31 million contract to a psychologist whose work formed the psychological underpinnings of the Bush administration’s torture program.
Justice Department clears FBI in imam shooting
No federal crimes were broken when four FBI agents killed a Detroit mosque leader during a raid last year, according to a U.S. Justice Department report released Wednesday.
Keeping Christians in Mideast ‘Islamic duty’: Muslim leader (AFP)
AFP – Christian presence in the Middle East is a “necessity” and keeping Christians there is “an Islamic duty”, the secretary of the Lebanese national committee for Muslim-Christian dialogue said Thursday.
Denmark Denies Apologising For Mohammad Cartoons
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark’s foreign minister denied Thursday that she had apologised on a Middle East trip for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, initially published by a Danish newspaper in 2005, that angered many Muslims.
French Woman on Trial For “Burqa Assault”
PARIS (Reuters) – A French woman accused of ripping off the full face veil of an Emirati tourist and biting and scratching her when she put it back on faced prosecution demands for a two-month suspended prison sentence on Thursday.
Magda Abu-Fadil: Egyptian Clampdown on Press Freedom Gaining Pace
“The ‘free speech’ spring in Egypt is nearing its end,” headlined a report in Lebanese daily An-Nahar www.annahar.com in describing the sacking of noted controversial media figures critical of the regime ahead of legislative elections in November.
AN ATOL EXCLUSIVE : Pakistan frees Taliban commander
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s commander in Afghanistan who was arrested in Pakistan in February, has been set free. Asia Times Online has learned that Baradar has been reunited with his Taliban “family”, and that he has been earmarked to play a key role in backchannel talks through the Pakistani army with Washington. – Syed Saleem Shahzad (Oct 15, ’10)