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Vittorio’s missing hours

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and other questions from Lia Tarachansky, amid the news from Today in Palestine:

Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers

On the wrong side of the wall
JERUSALEM (IRIN)  20 Apr — The one-room school building in the Palestinian village of An Nabi Samwil, near Jerusalem, serves as a classroom for eight pupils, a staff room, storeroom and the principal’s office. During the winter months or on hot summer days, it is also the children’s playground … The school serves 30 families in the picturesque village, which has panoramic views of Jerusalem and the West Bank. But a major problem for residents is that it is a struggle to reach either, as the village – along with 15 others – lies on the Jerusalem side of Israel’s “Separation Wall”.

Haaretz editorial: Illegal theft of olive trees must be stopped
20 Apr — The immoral wealthy have a new and tasteless toy: ancient olive trees adorning the gardens of their villas. According to an investigative report by journalist Maya Zinshtein published in the Haaretz Hebrew edition on Monday, for around a decade now, illegal trade in ancient olive trees – including uprooting, stealing and smuggling them from the West Bank into Israel – has been flourishing … The Haaretz report uncovered suspicions of criminal activities in this regard, along with an ugly greediness for pet trees that has nothing to do with the love of the land and its arboreal species.

Yatta herders fear demolition
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Villagers in the southern West Bank governorate of Yatta said they feared the imminent demolition of their homes and animal sheds Wednesday, as a demolition order handed out by Israeli forces the week before came into effect … A dozen tents and animal shelters were listed as illegal by the orders. The majority of buildings set for demolition belong to the families of Mahmoud Abu Taha, Muhammad Abu Taha and Ibrahim Al-Da‘ajneh, the residents said. The demolitions come as UN officials warned of a doubling of home and building demolitions carried out by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2011.

New shelter in Khirbet Samra
JVS 19 Apr — A new animal shelter has been erected in the Bedouin community at Khirbet Samra, with help from Jordan Valley Solidarity volunteers. Sheep and goats owned by local families have been sleeping outside, or even within homes, since three animal shelters were demolished by the Israeli Occupational Force on 7th April … In an act of resistance against attempts by the occupational forces to destroy their livelihoods, the Khirbet Samra community erected their new shelter from coffee sacks, wooden poles and sheets of metal.

Settlers attack villager in Burin
ISM 20 Apr — On Tuesday 19 April in Burin a small village in the West Bank of Palestine, Aby Rusli-Eid, 36 year old Palestinian was savagely attacked by an armed gang of Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Arusi. Aby Rusli-Eid is a policeman for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and was attacked at around 6 pm. His house is the closest in the village to the illegal settlement. Aby Rusli-Eid was sat in the living room with his wife and his five children when he heard loud shouting from outside the house, he went outside sure in the knowledge that there were armed settlers nearby but bravely choosing to keep the violence as far away from his home and his family as he could, he closed the door behind him to try and protect them. There were around 20 heavily armed settlers outside, carrying both semi automatic rifles and handguns. Aby was shot twice almost immediately, once in the arm and once in the stomach. He is currently stable and recovering in hospital but whether he will regain the mobility of all of the fingers on his right hand is currently unsure.

Union says three journalists injured near Nablus
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 20 Apr 19:29 — Three journalists were injured Tuesday when Israeli soldiers and settlers attacked them in the Burin village near the West Bank city of Nablus, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate said Wednesday.

IOF soldiers, settlers storm WB cities, villages
QALQILIA, (PIC) 20 Apr — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the city of Qalqilia on Wednesday, detained citizens, and questioned them before handing six of them summonses to the intelligence headquarters …
The soldiers in Awarta village installed electricity poles east of the village, its municipal council chairman Qaid Awad said in a radio statement. He added that the electricity poles would be used to supply power to a number of settlers’ caravans in addition to an army base to be pitched on 1,000 dunums of village lands that were earlier confiscated. Awad warned that the IOA was planning to confiscate 4,000 more dunums of the village land.
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses in Burin village, south of Nablus, said that dozens of Jewish settlers entered the village in buses on Wednesday morning. Locals warned of possible attacks after the settlers on Tuesday assaulted and wounded a farmer. The head of the municipal council in the village said that the settlers were planning to set up a settlement outpost south of Nablus near the village.

Israeli soldiers escort Palestinian children to school / Abdul-Rahman Ubbayat
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 20 Apr — The unimaginable has a tendency to become acceptable in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In Hebron, in the southern West Bank, many Palestinian families do not send their children to school unless Israeli troops escort them. In Tuba, a small village to the south of Hebron, instead of waiting for the school bus to take them to school, pupils wait for Israeli troops to escort them as they walk to school. Sometimes, the soldiers do not arrive in time, so the pupils just go back home … families never feel their kids are safe escorted by soldiers whose presence in the area is mainly to protect the settlers. International volunteers are present almost every day documenting abuses against residents and reporting to human rights organizations.

Thousands of Israelis head to nature to celebrate Passover
Haaretz 20 Apr — Jewish National Fund says it had more than 170,000 visitors to its forests, with cyclists coming out in particularly large numbers this year … Most of yesterday’s visitors to JNF forests favored those in the center of the country, the organization said, with Ben Shemen Park and British Park topping the list. The Aminadav Forest and the ancient agricultural site at Sataf also drew their fair share of day-trippers. [How nice. Forests mostly built on the ruins of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages]

Turmoil in Syria resonates in Golan
BUKATA, Golan Heights (AP) 19 Apr — Druse in the Israeli-held Golan Heights have been turning out in thousands in shows of support for Syria’s president as he faces anti-government protests. But the pro-reform wave stirs mixed feelings for the 20,000 Druse, who never stopped seeing themselves as Syrian but have grown up used to freedoms under Israeli rule ... There have been no protests backing Mr. Assad’s opponents. Still, even if residents hold emotional and family ties to Syria and no love for Israeli occupation, there’s little sign of eagerness to live under Mr. Assad’s regime, 43 years after Israel seized the strategic Golan from Syria..

Detention / Exile

Administrative detention / Sawsan Ramahi
20 Apr — A largely neglected instrument of legal Israeli repression used against the Palestinian people is that of administrative detention. Thousands of men as well as women and children are held indefinitely and under horrendous conditions in detention centres dotted across the occupied territories without charge, access to a fair trial or even having been accused of committing a crime. This renders administrative detainees exceptions to the rules that would govern convicts, placing them outside the normal legal system and procedures and beyond the remit of the Red Cross.

Israel holds Australian accused of Hamas ties
JERUSALEM (AFP) 20 Apr  — Israel has charged a Palestinian-born dual Australian-Jordanian citizen with links to Hamas after arresting the man as he tried to enter the country through Ben Gurion airport. The arrest was made nearly a month ago, and the man appeared before a district court on Sunday, but his indictment was only made public on Tuesday. A copy of the charges obtained by AFP named the man as Eyad Rashid Abu Arja, born in 1964 in the northern West Bank, and said he was detained on March 24. He has been charged with “belonging to an illegal organization” and “activities on behalf of an illegal organization,” in this case Hamas, which is considered a terrorist group under Israeli law.

Israeli Bedouin jailed in Egypt since 1999 appeals for release
Haaretz 20 Apr — Amnesty International slams Egyptian government treatment of Ouda Suleiman Tarabin, who was arrested after entering Egypt illegally; report says Tarabin never brought before judge or lawyer … Tarabin, who is a Bedouin, was arrested by Egyptian authorities after entering the country illegally in 1999 to visit his sister, who lives in El Arish in Sinai.

Hamas: PA continues to detain members
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 20 Apr — Hamas accused Palestinian Authority security forces of detaining four of its members for political reasons during the week, in a statement issued Wednesday morning. Men were detained from Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah, Hamas said calling for their immediate release.

Man found dead in Hamas prison
IMEMC 20 Apr — On Tuesday, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that Abdel Rizik, 52, died in a Gaza prison. He had been arrested on the previous Thursday. His family were informed by the Gazan police that he had died on Tuesday, but the circumstances of the death are not yet known. The PCHR has demanded that Hamas, which is the de-facto government of the Gaza Strip, investigate the matter as a matter of urgency. Hamas has accepted the need for such an investigation and has stated that Rizik was found dead in his prison cell in mysterious circumstances.

DFLP leader returns to Gaza from Libya
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 20 Apr — A Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader returned home Wednesday after decades in exile. Ahmad Abed Al-Aziz, 63, a DFLP leader who was barred for 40 years from returning to Deir Al-Balah, lived in Libya until this week. Abed Al-Aziz, who sustained injuries defending refugee camps in Lebanon, was met by a delegation from the secular Palestinian faction after he crossed through the Erez terminal on the Israeli border.


Colonel Pinhas (Pinky) Zuaretz to testify in Corrie trial Wed, April 27th
20 Apr — Colonel Zuaretz was the commanding officer of the Gaza Division’s Southern Brigade in 2003, when American peace activist Rachel Corrie was killed. Troops under Zuaretz command were responsible for the military’s actions resulting in Rachel’s killing in Rafah, Gaza that day. Zuaretz is the highest ranking officer called as a government witness in the civil trial, and possibly, the highest ranking Israeli military officer ever to face cross examination in a civil suit regarding the actions of the Israeli military against civilians in Gaza during the second intifada. His testimony is expected to shed light on the Israeli military’s failures as an occupying power to protect civilian life and property in the region.

Attorneys accused of conspiring with security prisoners
Ynet 20 Apr –  Four Arab attorneys from northern Israel were arrested over the past few weeks, for allegedly serving as go-betweens for Islamic Jihad security prisoners and the terror group’s Gaza Strip headquarters. The attorneys reportedly relayed messages, in the form of missives, between the parties. The communiqués focused on appointments within Islamic Jihad in Gaza, the group’s internal hierarchy and its stance vis-à-vis Hamas.,7340,L-4058898,00.html

Activism / Solidarity

Pro-Palestinian activists set sail to ‘help’ Gaza fishermen ward off Israeli attacks
dpa 20 Apr — The crew of the Oliva is to be provided with cameras to document activities and ‘the suffering of Gaza fishermen in their sea,’ says ISM activist — The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) launched a fishing boat Wednesday with the aim of protecting Gaza fishermen from what they termed Israeli violations, and ending Israel’s naval siege of the coastal enclave. Activists from the pro-Palestinian group and local fishermen attended the launch ceremony at a dock in the Gaza Strip.

Hundreds celebrate popular struggle at the opening of the 6th Bil‘in conference
20 Apr — Dozens of diplomats and senior figures from across the Palestinian political spectrum joined hundreds of activists in the opening of the 6th International Bil’in Conference on Popular Resistance. Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad called for the international community to promote Palestinian self determination. The 6th International Bil’in Conference on Popular Resistance opened today in a festive opening session participated by Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, the recently released protest organizer, Abdallah Abu Rahmah, Abbas Zackie of behalf of the PLO, and former Vice President of the European Parliament, Luisa Morgantini.


How much do you know about Gaza? Test your knowledge
How much do you know about Gaza? Test your knowledge with AFU’s new interactive quiz! The quiz has five questions and only takes about one minute to complete.

Gaza crossing reopens briefly
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 20 Apr — …The crossing is expected to be open Wednesday and Thursday, and close again Friday as Passover celebrations resume. Imports to Gaza have been sporadic over the past weeks, with a seven-day closure imposed in early April, causing shortages of both cooking gas and wheat reserves.

Goods: needs vs. supply Mar 20 – Apr 16

Murder of Vittorio Arrigoni

Chasing ghosts — questioning the death of Vittorio Arrigoni / Lia Tarachansky
19 Apr — As many answers and suspicions as I receive, I’m left only with more and more questions. Questions such as — If he did know the people who kidnapped him, why did he order food from a restaurant shortly before being kidnapped but fail to pick it up? If the kidnappers were Salafi, did they come from the south to Gaza city especially for the operation? If Vittorio disappeared on Thursday, as Hamas alleges, why did he, a man who updated his Facebook status every few hours, stop on Wednesday night at 8:12pm? And in my mind, the most important question remains — what happened in the hours between when Vittorio went missing and when the world found out about him being gone?

WATCH: Vittorio Arrigoni, a winner
Poignant video of ‘Vik’ in a WW I cemetery in Gaza – “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up”

WATCH: Hamas commandos take on activist’s killers
(VIDEO) – Hamas in action: In an exclusive video by al-Jazeera Television, Hamas commando forces are seen raiding the Nuseirat refugee camp hideout of the three men suspected in killing Italian pro-Palestinian activists Vittorio Arrigoni, last week.,7340,L-4058978,00.html

Interior ministry: Two killers of Arrigoni die in a house raid
GAZA, (PIC) 20 Apr — The Palestinian ministry of interior said the police attack on Tuesday on the whereabouts of the three men accused of killing an Italian activist was an important lesson for everyone tempted to tamper with the security and stability in Gaza … Spokesman Ghussein affirmed the policemen acted wisely and responsibly and demanded the suspects to surrender themselves and show no resistance, but they refused to comply and started to open fire at the police force wounding three of its members. Despite what happened the police force showed restraint and brought mediators to the scene including families of the fugitives in order to convince them to surrender and avoid bloodshed, but they, especially Abdulrahman Al-Berizat declined all mediatory efforts and insisted on dying instead of turning themselves in, the spokesman elaborated.

Father of Arrigoni suspect: Hamas killed my son
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) 20 Apr — The father of a Jordanian man who died Tuesday during a raid on a building in the Gaza Strip suspected of housing the killers of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni says Hamas killed his son. “It does not make sense that he killed himself. Islam forbids that. They killed him,” Mohammad Al-Birizit said in Amman, disputing the interior ministry’s claim that his son Abdul-Rahman committed suicide. “My son used to read the Koran, pray and fast Ramadan. We do not know what to do now. If we are officially informed of his death, the family will meet to decide,” he told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

A crime against Palestine / Wissam Abu Zeid
21 Apr — The last thing a supporter of the Palestinian cause expects is to be kidnapped and killed in an atrocious way by a ‘Palestinian group’.  These supporters started their struggle alongside the Palestinian struggle many years ago. Many of them died for the sake of our freedom, like Rachel Corrie … As a Palestinian I was shocked to hear that a Palestinian group kidnapped Arrigoni and demanded a ransom to set him free. Those who committed this crime are not Palestinians in patriotism nor in traditions. They are strangers to our struggle and serve a non-Palestinian agenda.

Rights group: Investigate deaths of kidnap suspects
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 20 Apr — The Palestinian Center for Human Rights called Wednesday for an investigation into the death of two wanted persons killed during an armed clash with security services a day earlier in Gaza. Two suspects in the murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni died and another sustained injuries Tuesday

Political/Diplomatic/International news

Israel intellectuals and artists back Palestinian state
BBC 20 Apr — Dozens of Israeli intellectuals and artists have signed a petition calling for a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and an end to the occupation. The signatories include 16 winners of the Israel Prize, the country’s highest civilian honour. Among them are rights pioneer Shulamit Aloni, historian Yehuda Bauer and sculptor Dani Karavan. The petition also backs the Palestinian drive for recognition by the UN, in the absence of progress in peace talks.

Abbas: Britain and France would recognize Palestinian state
Haaretz 20 Apr — In interview to Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam, Palestinian President says PA seeks to fulfill Obama’s vision to see a Palestinian state established in September.

Palestinians: Israeli peace plan ‘reinvents occupation’
JERUSALEM (AFP)  20 Apr — Leaked details of a purported new Israeli peace plan show it to be “a reinvention of Israel’s occupation,” a senior Palestinian official said on Tuesday. Hanan Ashrawi, a leading member of the PLO, made the remarks after a report suggesting the international community could try to pressure Israel into unveiling a new peace initiative.

Abbas: There will be no new uprising
Ynet 20 Apr — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that he is opposed to another armed uprising against Israel, even if faltering peace efforts fail altogether. Abbas told reporters in Tunisia that he remains committed to a US-backed target of reaching a negotiated peace agreement with Israel by September …  Abbas said whatever happens, he “will not accept” a third armed uprising. He noted last decade’s uprising against Israel was “disastrous” for the Palestinians.,7340,L-4058984,00.html

Fatah: Door remains open for Hamas
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 20 Apr – The head of Fatah’s unity delegation said Tuesday that the party would “keep the door open” for Hamas to sign a unity deal, despite the expected announcement of a newly appointed Palestinian Authority cabinet next week.

Other news

Israeli Arabs reject government educational programs
MEMO 20 Apr — The Follow-up Committee on Arab Education in the 1948-Occupied Territories (Israel) has rejected the Israeli Ministry of Education’s plan for the school year 2011-2012; the plan emphasizes the “Jewish and Zionist values” of the state. The Committee called on the ministry to approve the Identity Book issued on the 35th anniversary of Land Day; the book includes basic information on the Arab-Palestinians’ 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe), the Kafr Kassam massacre and other key events in the recent history of Palestine. The book also provides definitions and text for Palestinian cultural features, as well as suggestions for 40 educational trips across the country.

Traditions foil fire exit at Jerusalem church
JERUSALEM (AP) 20 Apr — Thousands of Christian believers will fill the medieval chambers of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem on Saturday for a ritual known as the Holy Fire, packed shoulder to shoulder and holding burning candles as pilgrims have done for centuries. And, as in centuries past, the church will still have only one door and no fire exit. The saga of the emergency exit at the storied church has pitted common sense against religious politics and tradition at one of Christianity’s most sacred sites. The winner was never in doubt. Despite dire warnings from Israeli officials, safety concerns have been outweighed by a reluctance to upset a brittle balance of power among the six Christian sects in the Sepulcher. A fire exit still does not exist … There is only one way out: the front door, which leads to a small stone courtyard. This courtyard is unreachable by ambulances.–sUo5ee7oeQBS-PjISNbtQ?docId=cd208191d2634288ba655f09fb2a5694

Israeli, Palestinian Olympic officials issue pleas for improved ties at meeting
ROME (AP) 20 Apr — Israeli and Palestinian Olympic officials reaffirmed their desire to build stronger ties Wednesday, but came away without any tangible breakthroughs during a “Sports for Peace” meeting in Italy … Palestinian Olympic Committee president Jibril Rajoub pushed for Israel to allow Palestinian athletes and coaches more freedom to travel from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and to make it easier for visiting teams to play football friendlies … Israeli Olympic Committee secretary general Efraim Zinger responded by calling for an end to instances of some athletes refusing to compete against Israelis, and invited the Palestinians to train together for next year’s London Games.

LISTEN — Audio slideshow: Gaza music school
BBC 20 Apr — The al-Qattan Music School in Gaza is a unique project. It is the only place for children to learn music in the Gaza Strip. The school specialises in Arabic instruments such as the Kanoun and the Oud. The academy was destroyed during the conflict with Israel in January 2009 – but under the leadership of its director, Ibrahim al-Najjar, it has now been rebuilt and the lessons have resumed.

Nablus woman awaiting never-met fiancé in Israli jail
Xinhua 19 Apr — Ghufran Zamel, 28, from the northern West Bank city of Nablus, always bears a hope to arrange a wedding ceremony with her fiancé who is serving a 48- year sentence in an Israeli jail. Forty-year-old Hassan Salama was a prominent leader of Islamic Hamas movement’s armed wing al-Qassam Brigades. He had spent 15 years in jail. Zamel, who was deeply impressed by Salama’s character, is eagerly waiting for the moment to see him out from jail soon and get married. Zamel used to be imprisoned for 10 months also for being a Hamas activist. In the jail, she managed to reveal her feelings towards him through mediators.

U.S. human rights report slams Israel’s conduct toward asylum seekers
Haaretz 20 Apr — The 2010 Annual Report on Human Rights, published by the U.S. State Department, sharply criticizes Israel’s conduct toward refugees and asylum seekers entering its territory. The report, published shortly before Passover, also takes aim at the Population and Immigration Authority for granting visas to asylum seekers that do not include basic social rights, for preventing Eritrean and Sudanese citizens from acquiring refugee status, and for its “hot return” policy, which allows the army to return illegal immigrants to a neighboring country if 24 hours have not elapsed since their entry.

Analysis / Opinion

Repressing historical truth: a form of slavery / Carlo Strenger
20 Apr — Israeli children need to know about the Palestinian tragedy in the same way that Australian children need to know about the tragedy of the Aborigines — Passover’s central theme is the transition from slavery to freedom, and every generation needs to reinterpret this theme for its own times. I believe that for Israel and Jews around the world, freedom today means knowing that we need not repress historical truth; that fiddling with the truth is a hallmark of weakness; and that those who try to suppress truth are bound to disappear into the dustbin of history – today, in the age of global communication networks, more than ever.

Itamar murders don’t justify stripping Palestinians’ rights / Amira Hass
20 Apr — …today we must take seriously the words of the former chief rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces, Brig. Gen. Avichai Ronski, one of the founders of Itamar. Speaking in an interview with the Walla news website, even before the release of the names of the suspects in the murder of the Fogel family, Ronski said: “A village like this, like Awarta, from which the murderers of the Fogel family and of the Shebo family emerged, must suffer as a village. A situation must be created whereby the inhabitants prevent anyone in this village from harming Jews. Yes, it is collective punishment. They must not be allowed to sleep at night, they must not be allowed to go to work, they must not be allowed to drive their cars. There are many ways.” Not a single word about the two murderers who came from Itamar or about the Authorities of Law and Order which excelled at not finding the murderers of two other Palestinian farmers who had been shot to death near Itamar.

Palestinians find trade, not an economy / Ray Smith
NABLUS (IPS) 17 Apr — The Palestinian Authority is preparing to establish a state in near future. But the Palestinian economy remains strongly tied to Israel, and manufacturers are struggling to recover from the second Intifadah.

Israel and Palestine don’t need more friends — but the peace process does / Jonathan Freedland
Guardian 20 Apr — Roleplaying PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat made me see how easily one slips from problem-solving to point-scoring … If this is how I behaved after less than 24 hours, no wonder the two sides act the way they do. Gradually I became aware of the enormous gulf that separates those of us who view the conflict from afar — whether from our perch on liberal newspapers or in well-meaning thinktanks — from those who have actually to solve the problem. From this distance, the solution might seem painfully obvious: any cool-headed moderate can see where the midpoint between the two sides lies. But that is to reckon without the pressures on the negotiators within their own team, from a public opinion always ready to cry sell-out, and from the US. And that’s even before you get to the demands of the other side.

Qana: A lesson still unlearned / Brenda Heard
… on 18 April 1996.  Israeli Forces shelled the compound of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the village of Qana, Southern Lebanon … Amnesty International, on its own research, concluded that the attack was knowing and deliberate.  Amnesty states: “the IDF intentionally attacked the UN compound. . . . the bombardment of the UN compound was not the result of an artillery scatter of stray shells which overshot the Hizbullah mortar, as claimed by the IDF, but was the result of a separate barrage of shells aimed at the compound itself. . . . even if the IDF did not have specific information regarding civilians sheltering there, the general information it did possess concerning civilians in UN compounds — in addition to Israel’s recognition that UN positions as such are not legitimate targets — should  have been sufficient to prevent such an attack.  The fact that the attack proceeded can only indicate a callous disregard for the protection of civilian lives and therefore a clear breach of the laws of wars prohibitions on directly or indiscriminately targeting civilians.”

Palestinian Sam Bahour reviews Fatal Embrace
Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews, and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land by Mark Braverman is a courageous book, filled with urgency and hope. In the expanding library of literature that seeks to shine a rational light on the ever-deteriorating situation in Palestine and Israel, Braverman’s contribution has a very particular and useful focus. It speaks personally and intimately to Jews and Christians about the interconnectedness of the roles of their respective faith communities (the “fatal embrace”) in the evolution of the ghastly mess in the Holy Land and in what needs to be done to repair it. Along the way, the author demolishes the claim that facing up to the devastation wrought by the Zionist enterprise is somehow anti-Semitic.


Monday: 17 Iraqis killed, 148 wounded
Some Iraqi soldiers are now expressing an eagerness to see U.S. troops stay past a Dec. 31 deadline. Underscoring their belief that security concerns warrant the extension, at least 17 Iraqis were killed dead and 148 more were wounded across the country. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, secret memos are revealing to the public a link between oil companies and British officials in the months leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. In Baghdad, a pair of suicide bombers detonated two carloads of explosives at the western entrance to the Green Zone. At least 11 people were killed and 19 others were wounded in the early morning bombing….

Tuesday: 10 Iraqis killed, 30 wounded
At least 10 Iraqis were killed and 30 more wounded in violence that included clashes during demonstrations in Iraqi Kurdistan. As Kurdish authorities banned “unofficial” demonstrations, anti-riot police and Peshmerga fighters broke up new protests in Suleimaniya. At least seven people were wounded in today’s altercations, and gunfire was reported. Some eyewitnesses said that student protesters were among those arrested today. Police also scattered their parents who had gathered demanding information on their children. It is believed the students are in the custody of the Kurdish government. This is the third day of intensified clashes in the province. Protesters have staged almost daily demonstrations since Feb. 17.

About Kate

American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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