And other news from Today in Palestine:
Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing
’625 housing units approved in northern Pisgat Ze’ev’
Report: Jerusalem’s District officially approves plan for the establishment of a new neighborhood called “North Pisgat Ze’ev.”
Israel unveils new residential plan near East Jerusalem (Reuters)
Reuters – Israel on Wednesday revealed plans to build new homes on West Bank land it has annexed as part of its Jerusalem boundaries, a move likely to further hamper any resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.
Clashes in East Jerusalem’s Al-Isawiya neighborhood
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Sporadic clashes broke out between teenagers and Israeli forces in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Al-Isawiya on Wednesday evening, injuring one journalist documenting the incident. Muhammad As-Sayyed, a journalist with Dubai TV said his car was stoned as he drove toward the area.
Evacuation in the neighborhood of al-Faruq, Silwan, in Photos
The Qaraeen family was evacuated from their home in the al-Farouq neighborhood in a move by the Elad settlement, which claims to have purchased the home. The settlers are seeking to expand their takeover, not just in Wadi Hilweh, but in all areas of the Holy Basin including the Mount of Olives, Silwan, and other locations in East Jerusalem. The pictures speak evacuation. Qaraeen’s belongings are removed from their home under the protection of Israeli police The Qaraeen family is forced out of their home under the scrutinizing eye of the Israeli police Tight security Israeli forces took positions on the roofs of Palestinian houses during the evacuation of the Qrain family home Direct installation of security cameras Amid tight security, staff members of the Elad settlement talk about peaceful coexistence with the Palestinian population Large Israeli forces surrounded the al-Farouq neighborhood during the evacuation process.
Palestinians: Israel has chosen West Bank settlements over peace
After Israel announces plans for 625 new homes in Pisgat Ze’ev, Palestinians say Jerusalem has signaled it is ‘not willing’ to resume peace negotiations.
US failed to secure settlement freeze: Palestinians (AFP)
AFP – The US has admitted it failed to secure a new Israeli settlement freeze, a Palestinian official said Thursday, dealing a potential knockout blow to renewed peace efforts.
U.N. reports ’sharp increase’ in demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem
Last week we published a friend’s paraphrase of a United Nations report on a wave of Israeli demolitions of Palestinian houses that happened without a peep from the U.S. government. Well yesterday our friend passed along another gloss of a U.N. report: Wednesday Israeli forces demolished several Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem. All of the demolitions were carried out by the Jerusalem Municipality. They included…
The Roof Is Now the Field, Eva Bartlett
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza, Dec 2, 2010 (IPS) – “We grow on our roof because we are farmers but have no land now,” says Moatassan Hamad, 21, from Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip.
Jaffa Sold to Zionists
Ajami is a predominantly Arab district of Jaffa, housing around 8,000 Palestinian Israelis. In May 2009, a plot of land on Etrog Street, hosting the local farmers’ market, was sold by the Israel Land Authority to B’emunah, a housing company that deals mainly in developing housing estates for Zionist communities in Israel.
Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
Druze Youth Imprisoned for Refusing to Serve in Israeli Army
Tel Aviv – PNN – Israeli troops arrested Ajoud Jamal Zaydan, an 18-year-old Druze resident of the village of Beit Jan, and sentenced him to 14 days of administrative detention for refusing mandatory service in the Israeli army. Ajoud went on Tuesday to the Recruitment Center in Tel Aviv as required by law, where according to the report of an official in charge, he refused to serve in the army no matter the consequence. He said his connection to his people was too deep for him to serve in an occupying army, whereupon he was immediately sentenced to 14 days imprisonment.
#BDS: For Peace in the Middle East, Stop AIPAC!
December 13th, Oakland Marriot, starting at 5pm. Protest the annual AIPAC membership event in Oakland.
Oakland Marriot Hotel 1001 Broadway, near 12th Street BART. “Occupation now, Occupation tomorrow, Occupation forever!” is the clear, if unspoken, agenda of this gathering. It is groups like AIPAC that block the door of any progress for peace in the Middle East. We know, however, that injustice will not survive, that it eventually an unjust order falls to those who demand their freedom, that no weapons system is ultimately effective against human solidarity and our collective desire to see justice realized.
That is why we will be out to protest this indecency. We will remind the people of aipac, and especially the politicians that support it, that we stand on the side of human rights and peace, and we demand an end to the unqualified support of Israeli policies. We stand for a future of peace and justice, not war and occupation.
Israeli Citizens to Leiden University: Please Do not Hold the 2010 Cleveringa Lecture at the Hebrew University!
Dear Officials of Leiden University, We are a group of Israeli citizens. It has recently been brought to our attention that Leiden University had decided to host a special lecture at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University on Thursday 25/11, commemorating a speech by Professor Rudolph Pabus Cleveringa during the Second World War, in which he protested the removal of Jewish faculty members. The statement issued by Leiden University reads as follows: “Cleveringa raised his voice right at the onset of the war, notably in regard of the freedom of expression. This is highly appreciated in Israel, all the more as there are still universities abroad trying to boycott Israeli professors and students.”
#BDS: A BDS initiative in California
Activists in California are organizing for a ballot initiative that would require the state’s massive retirement funds to divest from Israel.
California activists have launched a “Divest from Israel” ballot initiative to require the state’s huge retirement funds for public employees and teachers to divest from “corporations providing equipment and services to Israel that are used in the violation of human rights and international law, including but not limited to the building of the ‘Separation Wall’ and settlements.”
Chris Yatooma, a part of the organizing effort, spoke with Kitty Lui about the initiative.
Hebron: Israeli Occupation Policies, Palestinian Resistance Strategies
Hebron is an uncommon city, even in Palestine. Walking along the narrow streets of its Casbah (the “Old City”), admiring from a roof the landscape of its white-stone houses and bright, desert hills dotting the whole district, talking to everybody who offers you coffee or tea with mint leaves or kneeling to see through the grating the Cave of the Patriarchs is a privilege reserved to those who choose to overcome the appearance of misery, oppression and violence in order to discover the sparks of humanity and beauty still abounding in a city like Hebron. Moreover: Hebron’s beauty shines brighter and brighter, despite Israel’s efforts and practices of colonization and repression. The French writer Albert Camus wrote that “there is beauty and there are the humiliated. Whatever difficulties the enterprise may present, I should like never to be unfaithful either to the second or the first.” Hebron is still faithful to its beauty and to those who are humiliated each and every day.
#BDS: My Experience at a Palestinian Shop in San Francisco
Having moved from Beirut, Lebanon to Modesto, California no more than a month ago, the idea of meeting Arabs, let alone Palestinians, in the US is still quite an exciting experience to me.
Young Princeton Jews object to Koolaid being served in Jewish identity cafeteria, Philip Weiss
I love this story. Rachel Jackson had a report in the Daily Princetonian on the ballot initiative by the Princeton Committee on Palestine (PCP) to get Princeton’s dining services to provide an alternative to Sabra humus at the school (as part of an effort to boycott Sabra products because Strauss Group, a Sabra co-owner, supports the Israeli Defense Forces). Here’s the part I love. Jackson tells us that the Princeton Center on Jewish Life sent out a classic pro-Israel warning about the initiative–and promptly got in trouble from Jewish students. Because young Jews are sick of signing off on the killing of Palestinian children by the IDF; and maybe Rabbi Julie Roth should be absorbing that lesson from young Jews? Data below. Note that a signatory of the official stand-with-Israel letter was Mendy Fisch, who is “the executive opinion editor” of the Princetonian newspaper. Once again, an Israel lobbyist is ensconced in a high media position.
Abuse of Palestinian Children
No appeal in Gaza human shield case
Military prosecution won’t appeal conditional sentence of troops who forced Palestinian boy to open suspicious bags in Gaza war
Voices from the Occupation
Silwan (East Jerusalem): On 24 November 2010, a seven-year-old boy is grabbed and beaten by two soldiers on suspicion of throwing stones.
Siege/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement
Gaza man dies inside Rafah tunnel
RAFAH (Ma’an) — A man was killed Thursday morning by an electrical shock inside one of the tunnels in the Rafah district of the southern Gaza Strip, medics said. The young man was identified Muhammad Kaware, 25, from the city of Khan Younis.
Israel restricts Al-Aqsa access
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces closed most gates leading into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Thursday morning, leaving only two open. All worshipers under 40 years old were barred by Israeli police from entering the compound, and prayed together in the streets adjacent to the Haram Ash-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) which houses the mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
One Gaza crossing partially open
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A single goods crossing terminal between Israel and the Gaza Strip was opened on Thursday morning, officials announced, for the transport of 200-210 truckloads of aid and commercial products. Raed Fattouh, Palestinian liaison official for the crossings, said he was informed by Israeli authorities at the crossings that the southernmost Kerem Shalom entry gate would be open for the limited entry of goods.
Ministry: Feed shortage kills animals in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Ministery of Agriculture in the Gaza Strip warned Thursday of a shortage of animal fodder that has already lead to the starvation of several livestock animals in parts of the coastal enclave. The head of vetrenary services in the enclave Zakariyah Al-Kafarneh said chickens were the hardest hit by the shortage.
Strawberry Fields Forever
This week the Israeli Ministry of Defense announced the “beginning of the export season” in the Gaza Strip. “The export season” entails the continuation of a short-term program, sponsored – from planting through to distribution – by the Dutch government. The program allows a few farmers in Gaza to sell strawberries and flowers in European markets. So far this week, 7 trucks have left the Strip.
Racism and Discrimination
Shas urges Netanyahu to squash IDF-sponsored conversion bill
‘Conversions can’t just go along without a guiding hand, the authority has to be with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel,’ Shas MK says.
Education Ministry rethinks plan to give priority to Arabs who did national service
Plan to award points to Arab teachers who have completed national service is unreasonable, the ministry says.
Lieberman blames Arab leaders for rise in racism
‘Every day brings news about new manifestations of hate for Israel, of active cooperation with Israel’s enemies.’
IOF shelling targets Palestinian fishing boats, border areas
Israeli navy and ground forces shelled Palestinian fishing boats and border areas in the Gaza Strip at dawn Thursday causing material damage but no casualties, local sources reported.
IOF troops kill two Palestinians in Gaza, destroy water well in Al-Khalil
Two Palestinians were killed east of Gaza city on Thursday morning after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired at them, the Israeli radio said.
Houses raided, detentions in Al-Isawiya, Beit Hanina
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces entered three homes in East Jerusalem neighborhoods Thursday morning, detaining two men and a minor for unspecified reasons, family members said. In the Al-Isawiya neighborhood, the wife and children of Ahmas Moussa Mustafa, 28, said the patriarch was detained after police and sniffer dogs broke into the home shortly after 2 a.m. A second home was also raided, witnesses said, and troops escorted a minor into police vehicles. The teenager has not been identified.
Tadamun report: IOF troops killed 3 Palestinians, detained 200 in November
The IOF killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and arrested more than 200 citizens in the West Bank over the past month of November, the Tadamun institute said in a report.
2 Palestinians detained in Nablus raid
Israeli forces raided the northern West Bank city of Nablus overnight and detained two brothers after ransacking their home in the eastern part of the city. Palestinian security sources identified the detainees as 24-year-old Darwish Al-Usta and his 26-year-old brother Husam. They were taken to Huwwara military base south.
Citizen was arrested in the streets of Wadi Hilweh
Israeli police stopped a vehicle that was passing on a street in Wadi Hilweh in Silwan. The police demanded the driver to get out of the vehicle and snapped at him “You’re under arrest! And we are going to the police station!” The citizen, Mohammed Badr, expressed surprise at the arrest warrant, but willingly entered into the police car. There are permanent barriers and a police presence at the entrance of Wadi Hilweh near the settlement and the visitor center all of which is controlled by the Elad organization. This has caused a discomfort and great inconvenience to the Palestinian residents.
Israeli army raids Jerusalem, detains 3 Palestinians
altJerusalem, December 2, (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli occupation forces raided Thrusday two hosues in Al-Aswya and Hnina towns in north Jerusalem and detained three Palestinians. Local sources reported that Israeli soldiers broke into the house of Ahmed Mostafa, 28, after searching his house with police dogs. The sources added that they detained another citizen under 18 years, his name is unknown. Besides, Israeli soldiers broke into the house of Samer Smom,35, and searched it with police dogs and then detained him.
Israel Arrests Man Believed To Be Collaborating With Hamas
Israeli sources reported that the Israeli Security Forces have recently detained an Arab man from al-Fredees Arab village, north of the country, who is suspected to be collaborating with the Hamas movement and of committing “security offensives”.
Yediot: “Security establishment” warns of imminent Palestinian prisoner strike
The scenario that the security establishment is preparing for is threatening. The scenario envisions the security prisoners launching a hunger strike, setting fire to their cells, trying attack the guards, severing all contact with the prison authorities, refusing all visits by the Red Cross and family members, while their relatives will demonstrate outside the prisons and will enlist Israeli Arabs to the cause as well. Israeli security officials said that the Palestinian Authority is behind the planned prisoners’ strike, which is expected to include a hunger strike and rioting in the larger prisons in Israel—similar to the strike that was held in the prisons in 2004, when the security prisoners rioted for 18 days. Israeli officials said they anticipated that the signal to launch the strike would be given in the course of the next number of weeks. The assessment is that the Palestinian Authority will also launch a parallel “soft attack” that will involve the enlistment of Arab and other international media stations, as well as taking legal action to help shore up the prisoners’ struggle.
Hamas: Abbas betrayed prisoners with Shalit comment
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum spoke out against comments made by President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, during a press conference along side German President Christian Wulff. Abbas’ call to Hamas for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is an “indication that the prisoners issue is not on the president’s agenda, it was a call for the good of the occupation and not for the national cause” Barhoum said.
Amid security successes, Palestinians feel unease
NABLUS, West Bank (AP) — A senior Israeli commander in the West Bank recalled that he used to carry a thick notebook full of names of wanted militants. Today, the list is so thin it “almost doesn’t exist,” he said. And when Israel’s military chief recently visited a famous church in Palestinian territory, he had some unlikely escorts: Palestinian security forces.
Sharek Youth Forum Closed in Gaza, Palestine Monitor
The Sharek Youth Forum in Gaza City was forcibly closed by police on Tuesday. The forum’s liberal agenda had resulted in frequent clashes with the Hamas government prior to its closure. Sharek staff protest the action is illegal and unjust.
Britain placates Israel with war crimes arrest law change
Britain sought Wednesday to soothe strained ties with Israel by publishing an amendment to a law that puts visiting officials at risk of arrest for alleged war crimes, sparking outrage from rights groups.
At State Department briefing, reporters accuse ass’t sec’y of ’speaking for Israel’, Philip Weiss
Another sign that the wheels are coming off the cart. Years ago we learned that the U.S. acted as Israel’s lawyer in the peace process. Well, this is a press conference by P.J. Crowley, ass’t sec’y of State, two days ago, and a couple of reporters (unnamed) seem to gang up on him over the fact that the State Department is speaking for Israel and strongly condemning the Palestinians over one Palestinian “mouthing off”, but when Israel Judaizes East Jerusalem, the supposed capital of the Palestinian state, the U.S. doesn’t say a word. The interchange begins when Crowley “strongly condemns” the (yes, repellent) comments by a P.A. official saying that Jews have no historic connection to the Temple Mount area of the Old City. Notice that the interchange goes on to Hebron, whose old market area has been ethnically cleansed to allow Jewish colonists to live there, and strong doubts in the press corps about a “viable” Palestinian state.
Fayyad says Palestinians ready for statehood by August
With 2-year plan in final phase, Palestinian Authority PM says it’s time to challenge Israel’s exclusive control over vast tracts of the West Bank. Palestinians will be ready for statehood by August, as promised in a two-year action plan, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in an interview Tuesday, dismissing a host of steep obstacles to independence.
Palestinian delegate to U.S.: Congress shouldn’t interfere in Mideast peace process
Maen Rashid Areikat: Israelis and Palestinians, not the U.S. Congress, will decide the future of the conflict; parents of Rachel Corrie receive award at event marking International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Leaked US cable: Mossad says Palestinians unlikely to join Al-Qaeda
12/1/2010 – 17 March 2005, 10:32SECRET SECTION. . . . MOSSAD CHIEF TO CODEL CORZINE: SOME FOREIGN FIGHTERS BEGINNING TO LEAVE IRAQ. . . . Dagan predicted that these jihadis will have less of a direct impact on Palestinians, because Palestinians are already well aware of militant views and opinions via Internet chat rooms. Furthermore, Dagan said he feels that most Palestinians….
Hamas: No al-Qaida in Gaza but zealots on rise (AP)
AP – Gaza’s Hamas prime minister was adamant: There is no al-Qaida presence in the Palestinian territory, rebuffing what he said were Israeli allegations possibly meant to justify military action against the strip.
Sarkozy: Not negotiating with Hamas hurts PA
WikiLeaks cables show Jordan believes Iran’s ‘tentacles’ can be severed if deprived of Palestinian issue. French President Nicolas Sarkozy believes the Quartet principles that have nixed international engagement with Hamas until the organization recognizes Israel, forswears terrorism and accepts previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements hurts Fatah and the Palestinian Authority more than Hamas, according to a WikiLeaks document released late on Tuesday.
New WikiLeaks revelations show Ireland blocking U.S. arms to Israel
Cable sent in 2006 indicates that the Irish government has been making it increasingly difficult for American weapons shipments to Israel to pass through its airport.
US cable: French FM says Abbas ‘lost’
Kouchner told Clinton in 2009 that PA leader is ‘completely isolated’, secret document reveals.
SUBJECT: ISRAEL, A PROMISED LAND FOR ORGANISED CRIME?
(SBU) Organized crime (OC) has longstanding roots in Israel, but in recent years there has been a sharp increase in the reach and
impact of OC networks. In seeking a competitive advantage in such lucrative trades as narcotics and prostitution, Israeli crime groups have demonstrated their ability and willingness to engage in violent attacks on each other with little regard for innocent bystanders. The Israeli National Police (INP) and the courts have engaged in a vigorous campaign against organized crime leaders, including the creation of a new specialized anti-OC unit, but they remain unable to cope with the full scope of the problem. Organized crime in Israel now has global reach, with direct impact inside the United States. Post is currently utilizing all available tools to deny Israeli OC figures access to the United States in order to prevent them from furthering their criminal activities on U.S. soil. End Summary.
Wikileak : “xxxxx indicated that Jewish immigration from Israel to Russia greatly exceeded that of emigration from Russia to Israel..”
SUBJECT: RABBIS SHAYEVICH AND GOLDSCHMIDT CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT RUSSIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY
Classified By: Ambassador John Beyrle for reason 1.4 (d) Summary: The Ambassador met separately with xxxxx during the week of September 15…. xxxx indicated that Jewish immigration from Israel to Russia greatly exceeded that of emigration from Russia to Israel. xxxxx appeared impressed by the level of reverse immigration from Israel to Russia, saying that only approximately 1,000 Russians emigrated to Israel over the past year. xxxxx impressions, saying that approximately 2,000 Jews in the entire former Soviet Union moved to Israel in the past year. Both regarded the figures as the product of Russia’s growing stability and wealth. Adding greater depth on Russian-Israeli relations, xxxxx blamed the falling dollar for the reduction of Israeli support to the Russian Jewish educational system. xxxxx lauded the recently signed visa-free travel agreement between Russia and Israel since it would mean less work for him, no longer needing to help his community members receive visas.
Right of return: 10s of 1000s of Russian Israelis are working in Moscow, and immigration to Israel is ‘dead,’ says State Department cable, Philip Weiss
John Mearsheimer likes to point out that the reports that Palestinians will soon outnumber Jews in the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean do not take into account the huge number of Israelis who have left town. Well, this is a cable from an unnamed State Department aide in Moscow in 2008.
Syria’s Assad seems to suggest backing for Hamas negotiable, leaked cables say
But even as President Bashar Assad appeared willing to reduce ties with the Palestinian militant group ruling the Gaza Strip, he brushed off pressure to alter the dynamics of his friendship with Iran. Syrian President Bashar Assad described Hamas as an “uninvited guest” in his country in confidential conversations with American lawmakers, and appeared to suggest he would be willing to give up the alliance in exchange for incentives, according to several documents contained in the trove of leaked diplomatic cables posted online by the website WikiLeaks.
Take Action: WikiLeaks Exposes U.S. Militarization of Middle East
There it is–in black and white–in one of the WikiLeaks State Department cables. A senior Israeli military official, discussing U.S. military aid to Israel totaling $30 billion from 2009 to 2018, who acknowledged: “the sometimes difficult position the U.S. finds itself in given its global interests, and conceded that Israel’s security focus is so narrow that its…concerns often clash with broader American security interests in the region.”
Looks like the Empire is going after Wikileaks after all
Stuff is happening fast. First, Interpol has now issued a “red notice” to have Julian Assange arrested, and now Wikileaks is loosing its main website and mirrors. I still have no opinion about whether Wikileaks and Assange are for real or not, but if they are, the White House is being very very dumb about how it deals with this issue. If Assange and his friends thought this thing through, there will be literally thousands of mirrors and file sharing sites distributing all this stuff in days, including plenty of “insurance files“.More to follow soon, no doubt.
How Lieberman Got Amazon To Drop Wikileaks
Early this week, after hacker attacks on its site, Wikileaks moved its operation, including all those diplomatic cables, to the greener pastures of Amazon.com’s cloud servers. But today, it was down again and mid-afternoon we found out the reason: Amazon had axed Wikileaks from its servers.
WikiLeaks is holding US global power to account | Seumas Milne
The WikiLeaks avalanche has exposed floundering imperial rule to scrutiny – and its reliance on dictatorship and deceit. Official America’s reaction to the largest leak of confidential government files in history is tipping over towards derangement. What the White House initially denounced as a life-threatening “criminal” act and Hillary Clinton branded an “attack on the international community” has been taken a menacing stage further by the newly emboldened Republican right.
Why They Hate Julian Assange, Justin Raimondo
A revolution is indeed possible. That’s why the Establishment of both parties, and pundits on the neocon right and the Obama-ite left, are out to knife Assange and bring down WikiLeaks.
Why a Saudi King Might Want the US to Attack Iran
Some insights, some zany speculation. (for smarter, informed commentary see this CBC interview with Glenn Greenwald) Lawrence Wilkerson: The Wikileaks cable isn’t about Iran being a threat to security, it’s about rival elites defending oil wealth and power.
Wikileaks Comes to Latin America, NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
As more and more documents become available from Wikileaks, the public has gotten a novel and close up view of U.S. diplomats and their operations abroad. I was particularly interested to review heretofore secret documents dealing with Latin America, a region which has absorbed the attention of Washington officials in recent years. While it’s certainly no secret that the Bush administration, not to mention the later Obama White House, have both sought to isolate the so-called “Pink Tide” of leftist regimes in South America, the Wikileaks documents give us some interesting insight into the mindset of U.S. diplomats as they carry out their day to day work. Needless to say, the picture that emerges isn’t too flattering.
Hillary’s Blame Game, PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The stuck pigs are squealing. To shift the onus from the US State Department, Hillary Clinton paints Wikileaks’ release of the “diplomatic cables” as an “attack on the international community.” To reveal truth is equivalent in the eyes of the US government to an attack on the world. It is Wikileaks’ fault that all those US diplomats wrote a quarter of a million undiplomatic messages about America’s allies, a.k.a., puppet states. It is also Wikileaks’ fault that an American could no longer stomach the cynical ways in which the US government manipulates foreign governments to serve, not their own people, but American interests, and delivered the incriminating evidence to Wikileaks.
When will Chris Hayes’ Postcard from Palestine reach Rachel Maddow?, Léa Park
Chris Hayes, a frequent commentator and guest host on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, went to Palestine/Israel this fall as a guest of the New America Foundation. When he filed his Postcard from Palestine in November’s issue of The Nation, he didn’t pull any punches: Of Hebron, he reported: “It felt as if we were walking through a postapocalyptic urban video game brought to life.” Of East Jerusalem, he pointed out the “irony in the settlers using pre-1948 deeds to make their case for occupying the homes in Sheikh Jarrah: it is usually Palestinians, demanding their right of return, who argue that pre-1948 deeds are legitimate. “From a Zionist perspective, it’s suicide,” activist and writer Didi Remez says …” Hayes gets it. Can Maddow be far behind? In the past six months The Rachel Maddow Show, whose main beat is domestic, has not only gained in the ratings, but expanded its reach into foreign affairs by reporting directly from the streets of Baghdad and Kabul in two series that offered a clear-eyed look at facts on the ground. Here’s hoping Israel/Palestine is next. If Hayes’ passionate reporting from the area is any indication, it just might be.
Because that’s where the power is, Philip Weiss
The other day I pointed out that the Obama administration was “lobbying the lobby” going to Israel lobbyists like Bill Kristol to get their endorsement of the START treaty as being in Israel’s interest. Well now Senators Chuck Schumer and Carl Levin are pushing AIPAC to come out for the START treaty as being in Israel’s interest. Jennifer Rubin, the new Washington Post blogger, and Politico’s Laura Rozen have both mocked this. Lobbying the lobby, ha! Why are they doing it? Because AIPAC has power. Because it represents the Israel lobby, which is something of a shadow force in American government. Because a congressman from Illinois or Tennessee checks with AIPAC before he votes on some stuff because he gets at least $250,000 a cycle from being right with the lobby (as Bob Filner explained at J Street). Because it exists outside of our conventional political structures, and that is why men of whom the lobby approves– Stuart Levey, under secretary of Treasury, and Dennis Ross, Middle East negotiator in State Department– calmly float right into powerful positions in the Obama administration even though they served Republicans in years gone by…
SOAS Academic: “No Palestinian State While Zionism Exists”
Mushtaq Kahn, a lecturer from the School of Oriental and African Studies, was the speaker at a special development lecture convened in memory of the Palestinian development economist, Yusif A.Sayigh. Speaking at the Palestinian Economic Research Institute, Khan spoke plainly about the problems facing a potential Palestinian state.
Sami Moubayed: Ghosts of Israel’s Past and Future
If Israel’s crime is extending a ban on the release of its archives, the Arab world’s crime is that they have no archives at all to show the world what the real story of the Middle East was after 1948.
Cleaning House Essential for Mideast Peace, By George S. Hishmeh – Washington, D.C.
Considering that the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority have shamefully ran out of original ideas and remain deadlocked on the issue of peace negotiations, it may thus be time for all three to do some house cleaning. Whether this will herald a new and successful approach remains to be seen but certainly dependant on their commitment to fairness and peacemaking in the Middle East.
Israel can`t be a democracy with two classes of citizens
It must be reiterated at every opportunity that about a fifth of Israel`s citizens, the Arabs, are citizens with equal rights, and a democracy`s mission is, first and foremost, to defend its minorities. It must also be reiterated that a democracy cannot have two classes of citizens, first-class and second-class. And, most importantly, the next generation of Israelis must be taught these lessons.
Al-Akhbar Citing Wikileaks: Some Lebanese Figures were US Informers
02/12/2010 Al-Akhbar newspaper started on Thursday to release texts of correspondences between the American embassy in Beirut and the US Department of State in Washington concerning political and security details being published on the Wikileaks website. “The scandalous details of the meetings that took place between the US ambassador in Lebanon and Former Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications and Lebanese Defense Minister Elias el-Murr unveil they were collaborating with a foreign side like informers instigating against other Lebanese side without limits,” the daily said. It also revealed that if the list of expenses which was spent by Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman in Beirut was uncovered, “then one can understand the reason behind these officials’ enthusiasm and immoderation in submitting information to the US embassy.” Al-Akhbar said that these documents prove the extent of politicization in the UN investigation in the assassination of former premier Rafiq Hariri. “It also proves the internal involvement in the open war on Hezbollah and [Free Patriotic Movement leader] General Michel Aoun and the West’s indifference in anything in Lebanon except what is related with Israel’s security,” it added. The daily ended up by saying that “who wants to look into these documents should be ready first to accept that the majority of governments in our Arab World are ready to sell anything in order to stay in its power place… and then they tell you about freedom sovereignty and independence.”
Flash: Al-Akhbar releases a batch of Wikileaks documents not released before
They are explosive. They will change the nature of domestic Lebanese politics, and certainly not in favor of March 14. There is so much damage to the Hariri tribunal as Bellmare is seen taking marching orders and sharing minute details with the US. There is a lot of damage to the Commander-in-chief of Lebanese Army and president of Michel Sulayman because they seem to only discuss “terrorist” threats with US military officials and never bring up the treat from Israel. Here, there is an explosive document: it relates to Ahmad Al-As`ad (son of former speaker of parliament and who was supported by US and Saudi Arabia in the last election and he managed to receive less than 2% of Shi`ite votes in South Lebanon) and his discussion with US officials. Apparently, the US was being urged by Lebanese officials to strike and alliance with Subhi Tufayli (secretary-general of Hizbullah during its most horrific phase).
The conspiracy thickens
The story of how May 7 was shaped. The role of Marwan Hamadi is described. Mini-Hariri flew a private jet to provide Saudi King and Prince Muqrin with maps of Hizbullah fiber optics lines. Lebanese politics will be different after today. It wont be in favor of US/Saudi Arabia and their allies. That is for sure.
Lebanon’s Minister of Defense on Defending Lebanon
“Murr also gave guidance to Sleiman that the LAF should not get involved “when Israel comes.”
Elias Murr gives Israel Advice
“Two, Israel cannot bomb bridges and infrastructure in the Christian areas. The Christians were supporting Israel in 2006 until they started bombing their bridges. If Israel has to bomb all of these places in the Shia areas as a matter of operational concern, that is Hizballah’s problem. According to Murr, this war is not with Lebanon, it is will Hizballah.”
Elias Murr explains
“According to Murr, “when you want to fight terrorists,you are fighting Sunni and Shia; you need Christians in special forces to do this mission. If you maximize Christians, you will have the best results.”
This is Lebanon’s Minister of Defense
“Murr offered some ideas aimed at avoiding turning the Christian population against Israel when the next war with Hizballah occurs. Murr also outlined his orders to the Lebanese Army when/if Israel invades to counter Hizballah. End summary.”
The Lebanese government inside the refugee camps
“Since the United Nations will not go into the camps, Murr feels that the Government of Lebanon is obliged to continue stoking inter-Palestinian conflicts to keep all of the various groups on unsure footing. Citing UNSCR 1701 as an authorizing document for taking action inside the Palestinian camps, Murr plans on sending in his SF units into capture terrorists in the camps.”
The purpose of the Lebanese Army is not to defend the borders
Buffoon Elias Murr (I call him Field Marshal Lillu Murr, in my articles in Al-Akhbar) explains: ”The primary purpose of this transformed army would be to address terrorist threats inside Lebanon.”
SUBJECT: LEBANON: THEORIES ABOUT MUGHNIEH’S ASSASSINATION
4. (C) On a dreary and wet February 14 afternoon Hizballah buried its hero, Imad Mughnieh, in a mass funeral service that included speeches by Hizballah SYG Hassan Nasrallah and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. A few hours earlier, and just a short drive from Mughnieh’s funeral, the pro-government March 14 bloc held a mass rally in Martyrs’ Square commemorating the third anniversary of the assassination… Nasrallah vowed “open war” with the “Zionists,” The speechmaking at the peaceful March 14 rally …..only Druse leader Walid Jumblatt came out tough on Syria and its opposition allies, vowing that Lebanon will not be “handed to Damascus or to the black Syrian-Iranian world.”(C) On February 13, March 14 leader MP Saad Hariri publicly denounced Mughnieh’s assassination and offered his condolences to Hizballah SYG Hassan Nasrallah. Hariri also hinted at a Syrian role when he noted that Mughnieh was killed in Damascus, near an Iranian school, and in an area controlled by Syrian intelligence.(C) Meanwhile Druse leader and March 14 member Walid Jumblatt, believes that either the Israelis, for obvious reasons, or the Syrians, for reasons unknown, eliminated Mughnieh. In any case, Jumblatt, candid as usual, called Mughnieh’s death “good news.” (S/NF) Mid-level officials from Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) told emboffs they believe Syrian forces affiliated with President Bashar al-Asad may be responsible for the assassination …
Jumblat on Mughniyyah
“Laughing off (unsubstantiated) rumors of Druse involvement in the Mougnieh assassination, Jumblatt said, if we have the ability to get Mougnieh, why not Bashar Asad himself?”
Jumblat’s alternative to Hizbullah
“Jumblatt criticized Saad’s efforts to “import” Sunnis from the north, suggesting instead that Saad should speak with independent Shia leaders such as MP Yassine Jaber, Loukman Slim, and (former Minister of Energy and former Amal member) Mohamad Youssef Beydoun to build better Sunni-Shia relations. Naseer al-Assad was also a useful interlocutor.” If you know anything about Lebanon, you would know why this is so comical.
Line blurry between Hizbullah, Army – US congresswoman
BEIRUT: An influential US congresswoman said the line was disappearing between Hizbullah and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), in a statement that could impact $100 million in US military assistance planned for Lebanon.
Wednesday: 6 Iraqis Killed, 5 Wounded
At least six Iraqis were killed and five more were wounded in light violence. Meanwhile, U.S. Army Col. Darsie D. Rogers Jr. said that American special forces now conduct about 25 operations a week–mostly to advise Iraqi forces–or about half as many as they did this time last year. Also, the Sadrists have likely made the greatest gains of any political group since March elections.
Attacks on power installations continue in Iraq
There have been fresh Arson attacks targeting electricity installations in Iraq. The Electricity Ministry’s Information Officer, Musaab al-Mudaris, said major power supply lines have been disrupted following the destruction of three pylons. “The attack caused disruption of power lines feeding electricity to major plants in Akashat and al-Qaim,” Mudaris said. He said three high-voltage pylons between Haditha and Anbar were also destroyed. He said repairing the three pylons could take at least a week. Arson and bombing by explosives, particularly of high-voltage pylons, have continued almost unabated since the 2003-U.S. invasion. Major high-voltage lines are vulnerable to attacks as they pass through desert and terrain which is hard to guard and protect.
Iraq: Deadly Reminders of Unfinished Business
The deadly attack by Al-Qaeda-linked militants on a Catholic church in Baghdad, followed by an even deadlier spate of coordinated explosions targeting Shi’a neighborhoods and a series of bombings targeting Christian homes, has plunged Iraqis of all stripes into new despair. These atrocities bode ill for Iraq’s chances of putting such bloodletting in the past.
Saidi suggests Al Maliki quitting from Daawa Party
Iraqi MP Sabah Al Saidi suggested on Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki to quit from the Islamic Daawa Party since he is positioned as well as Armed Forces General Chief. The proposal comes in lines with calls to allocate Interior, Defense and National Security Ministries to independent figures.
Special photos of Al Qaeda leader in Iraq
Alsumaria obtained special photos of Al Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Baker Al Baghdadi and the group’s War Minister Nasserddin Sulaiman who were uncovered after the arrest of Baghdad Wali. The arrest of Al Qaeda Security Minister and Baghdad Wali led to uncover the real identity of Al Qaeda group.
Iraq calls for swift execution of terror suspects (AP)
AP – Iraq’s interior minister called Thursday for the death penalty for a group of 39 detained al-Qaida-linked suspects, even before they have been put on trial for allegedly plotting to bomb targets in Baghdad.
U.S. and other world news
Obama Administration Worked With Republicans To Kill Bush Torture Probe, WikiLeaks Cable Reveals
In its first months in office, the Obama administration sought to protect Bush administration officials facing criminal investigation overseas for their involvement in establishing policies the that governed interrogations of detained terrorist suspects. An April 17, 2009, cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State Department–one of the 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks–details how the Obama administration, working with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this potential prosecution.
WikiLeaks defends release of secret U.S. cables as ‘perfectly legal’
‘If global stability is based on deception and lies, maybe it needs a bit of a shaking up,’ says the spokesman of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks Down? Cables Go Offline After Site Switches Servers
NEW YORK — The WikiLeaks website has left its U.S. Web host, Amazon.com, and moved back to a Swedish provider. The site, which just released a trove of sensitive U.S. State Department documents, took up residence on Amazon.com Inc.’s self-service Web servers after a rash of Internet-based attacks started Sunday against its regular Swedish host, Bahnhof.
US State Department tells employees not to read WikiLeaks
The US State Department has pushed employees toward “digital diplomacy” with Twitter and iPhone apps, but the department has banned all employees from using WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is merely ‘fighting baddies,’ says his mom
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s mother Christine is defending her son as fighting a good fight, saying she gave him a strong grounding in ethics.
TIME Interview: Assange on Secrecy, China and WikiLeaks’ Growth
Assange explained that exposing abuses can lead to positive change in two ways.
Australia opens WikiLeaks inquiry
Release of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables “could have breached” Australia laws, attorney-general says.
Harper advisor calls for assassination of Wikileaks director
A senior advisor and strategist to the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper today called for the assassination of Wikileaks director Julian Assange.
Bradley Manning, in his own words
‘This belongs in the public domain’: In May last year, the man suspected of downloading the US embassy files began a series of online chats with a fellow-hacker.
Exposé: Gitmo detainees mass recipients of controversial drug
Jason Leopold and I have written an investigatory report for Truthout on the mass administration of the controversial antimalarial drug mefloquine (brand name Lariam) to all Guantanamo detainees through 2005. The drug was applied without regard to whether or not a detainee had malaria, and despite the fact there was no malaria in Guantanamo. Mefloquine has been a controversial drug since it received FDA approval in 1989, as evidence grows regarding its neurotoxicity and propensity to cause very serious neuropsychiatric side effects. “Adverse events” associated with mefloquine include depression, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, intense rage, paranoia, hallucinations and anxiety.
US embassy cables: Family of Spanish cameraman considers legal action
Family of television cameraman killed by US troops in Iraq might sue those who worked with US to prevent soldiers’ arrests. The family of a television cameraman killed by US troops during the invasion of Iraq said it was considering taking legal action against Spanish ministers and others who worked with US officials to prevent a Madrid court arresting the soldiers involved.
WikiLeaks: Israel cautioned U.S. not to arm Arabs against Iran
Netanyahu is quoted as warning that should Iran get the bomb, Arab powers could shift loyalties from Washington to Tehran.
Wikileak : “Sarkozy has sought to exaggerate the Syrian role deliberately …”
(SBU) Since August 11, when a French Presidency press release first singled out Syria for appreciation, French government officials, journalists, and academics have pondered the “important” and “influential” role Syria played as “mediator” between France and Iran in the conflict surrounding the July 1 arrest by Iranian security officers of French citizen Clotilde Reiss… MFA Syria Desk Officer Patrick Durel on August 18 confirmed that President Sarkozy called Syrian President Assad August 5 to ask for his assistance …. Assad did not, however, name his interlocutor or interlocutors. “I’m doing what I can to help” was the message he sent to Paris, Durel explained.
The most shocking revelation (but not a revelation, really, as many of us had warned about this for decades), is that Arab governments that have spent hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars on buying American and other foreign arms still find themselves totally helpless, vulnerable and fearful in the face of what they see as growing Iranian power and influence in the region. The assorted Arab leaders who are quoted as asking the United States to hurry up and do something about Iran’s growing nuclear technology capabilities reveal an apparent inability to take care of their own countries and citizens.
Unexpectedly, Israel Welcomes WikiLeaks Revelations
“There is no disparity between the public discourse between us and Washington, and the mutual understanding of each other’s positions,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters, not concerned about concealing his satisfaction.
WikiLeaks: Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Furious Over Leaked US Cable
ANKARA, Turkey — Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Wednesday reacted furiously to claims in a leaked U.S. State Department memo that he has money in Swiss bank accounts and said U.S. diplomats should be punished for allegations he branded as lies and gossip. The angry outburst broke from Turkey’s initial position of downplaying the significance of the leaks and saying that the documents would not affect Turkish and U.S. ties.
Turkish official says Israel behind WikiLeaks release
Deputy leader of Turkish PM Erdogan’s AKP party hints that Israel engineered the release of U.S. diplomatic cables as a plot to pressure Turkey, the daily Hurriyet reports.
Putin Criticizes Leaked U.S. Remarks on Russia
On Larry King Live, the prime minister responded sharply to criticism of Russia in leaked American diplomatic cables.
Obama’s isolation grows on the Afghanistan war
Just one in five Americans in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll agree with the 2014 timetable, one of Obama’s lowest levels of support on any policy position.Obama’s isolation grows on the Afghanistan war.
Billions Down The Drain In Afghanistan
The revelation that Afghanistan’s vice president was caught carrying $52 million in cash last year in a Persian Gulf tax haven (and was allowed to keep it) is only the latest bit of evidence that countless billions of U.S. taxpayer money have been wasted in Afghanistan due to mismanagement, fraud and endemic corruption.
Canada’s Afghan ambassador being dragged into the WikiLeaks mess
Canada’s ambassador in Kabul has put his job on the line in a secret memo that lays bare the extreme level of mistrust and antipathy that exists between the Afghanistan government and the NATO alliance.
WikiLeaks: Pakistan quietly approved drone attacks, US special units
Cables obtained by WikiLeaks reveal that in private the Pakistani government was not unhappy about the strikes, and secretly allowed small groups of U.S. special operation units to operate on its soil.
Drone attacks stepped up in Paksitan
The US has stepped up a campaign of alleged drone strikes in Pakistan, despite the Pakistani military refusing calls for an operation in the North Waziristan region. But the US Defense Department says Pakistan is not acting swiftly enough against armed groups in the region, and officials say it’s hurting US efforts to reverse the Taliban’s momentum in the Afghan War. Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr filed this report from Islamabad.
WikiLeaks disclosures are leading to diplomatic cracks for U.S.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemn disparaging cables made public by WikiLeaks. Further international fallout is feared. The leaders of Russia and Turkey on Wednesday blasted the Obama administration over leaked U.S. diplomatic cables in the most concrete signs yet that the disclosures are rattling America’s strategic relationships.
Appeal sought in US Sharia case
A case for including Sharia in state law will likely be appealed as judge who blocked it is labelled “liberal activist”.
Iran protests “Arabian Gulf” in U.S. Navy directive via Swiss envoy: report
TEHRAN, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) — Iran summoned Swiss ambassador to Iran Livia Leu Agosti on Wednesday to protest the use of the term “Arabian Gulf” for “Persian Gulf” in a U.S. Navy directive, state IRIB TV reported. In a note to the Swiss ambassador, the Islamic republic expressed its “strong opposition” over the use of the “forged” term “Arabian Gulf” instead of “Persian Gulf” by the U.S. Navy and by two U.S. officials in their recent interviews, said the report without further details.