Knesset approves first reading of bill to extend Israeli law over West Bank museums
Haaretz 20 July — The Knesset passed a preliminary reading on Wednesday of a bill that would extend Israeli law to museums in West Bank settlements. The bill passed by a vote of 51 to 9. According to its creator, National Union MK Uri Ariel, the bill is the first in a series whose purpose is to strengthen Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank and put an end to the “humiliating discrimination” against the settlers.
And more news from Today in Palestine:
In Pictures: Village fights for survival
Al Jazeera 19 July — Wadi Fukin village, which sits just west of Bethlehem along the 1967 border, was destroyed when the Israeli army dynamited much of the town during and in the years following the 1948 war, and then rebuilt when residents returned almost 20 years later. It was the only time, as far as many Palestinians can recall, that residents rebuilt a town destroyed in the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Now the town’s 1,200 residents are facing what many fear could be its second death. The neighbouring Beitar Illit settlement has the highest birthrate of any settlement in the occupied West Bank and currently houses more than 40,000 Israeli settlers. The expanding settlement, deemed illegal under international law, continues to take more of Wadi Fukin’s land. Ironically, it is often the men from Wadi Fukin who run the jackhammers and build the settlement’s multi-story homes. Land confiscation, along with cheap Israeli produce that has flooded the Palestinian markets, is putting farmers in this verdant valley out of business and pushing them into construction jobs within the settlement. Under the proposed route of the Israeli wall, Wadi Fukin will eventually be surrounded on three sides, cutting the village off from the rest of the West Bank.
Once fertile valley dries up as Jerichoans face drought and demolition
IrishTimes 19 July — … On the second floor of an old building, the words “Egyptian Arab Land Bank est 1880” bear witness to the town’s heyday as the centre of a thriving agricultural area at the very time European Jewish colonies were being established in Ottoman- and British-ruled Palestine. At the turn of the last century, my friend Dyala’s grandfather, Mohieddin al-Husseini, built canals of clay and mud brick and brought water to Jericho from the foothills of the Judean range to the west. He was the first to plant bananas, citrus, wheat and barley alongside Jericho’s date palms, famous in ancient times. A fuzzy photo shows him in white kaftan and Arab headdress: a man of vision and vigour determined to make the desert bloom in Jericho and develop markets for its produce in Jerusalem, Nablus, and Tulkarem. Today the small Jericho enclave administered by the Palestinian Authority is surrounded by an Israeli trench that restricts the freedom of movement of the town’s 20,000 citizens, as well as its ability to expand.
Israel demolishes farm structure in the Jordan Valley
JERICHO (Ma‘an) 20 July — Israeli forces demolished a farm structure on Wednesday in the Az-Zbeidat village in the central Jordan Valley. An agricultural committee reported that an animal barn belonging to farmer Fayez Ahmad Ali was destroyed by soldiers. The barn had been built along with ten others as part of a project implemented by the committee to support farmers in the Jordan Valley. The cost of each barn was €1,372 … The demolished barn was built on February 23, 2010 in an area adjacent to the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Argaman. The Israeli settlement of Argaman has annexed more than 800 dunams of land belonging to Az-Zbeidat and the Tamoun Valley.
Israeli authorities raze Palestinian home, threaten to raze another
NAZARETH (PIC) 20 July — The Israeli authorities sent bulldozers to raze a two-storey Palestinian house in Majd Al-Kurum in the north of Palestine occupied in 1948 without prior notice at the pretext of lack of construction permit. Palestinian sources said that a big number of policemen and border police backed by a chopper surrounded the area at dawn Wednesday and blocked traffic in and out of it before breaking into the home of Fayez Khalaile and ordering all its occupants out without giving them time to take with them their personal belongings. Khalaile said that the Israeli authorities refused his repeated attempts to license the house at the pretext it was near to the main road of Akka-Safad.
IOF arrests teen after Silwan clashes
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 20 July — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a Jerusalemite teenager in Silwan town south of the Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday evening after clashes erupted between the inhabitants and IOF troops. Tensions ran high in Bir Ayub suburb in Silwan after the IOF soldiers installed a roadblock in the suburb and started searching cars and checking IDs. Eyewitnesses said that the teen Maher Sarhan was passing by in the neighborhood and did not take part in the clashes, adding that the soldiers detained him after failing to arrest any of the stone throwing youths. They said that soldiers used rubber bullets while young men threw stones at them.
Palestinian man assaulted, others arrested during attacks in the West Bank
WEST BANK (PIC) 20 July — A Palestinian man was hospitalized Wednesday morning after Jewish settlers assaulted him during riots in Al-Khalil city in the southern West Bank. The settlers raided several areas in the West Bank and set up military checkpoints. Locals said the gang pummeled Palestinian man Hilal Baradhi‘i near the Kiryat Arba settlement. He was taken to the government hospital in the city for treatment.
Poll shows new low in settler and haredi trust in legal system
Haaretz 20 July — People in ultra-Orthodox and settler communities are unlikely to consider the court system in Israel legitimate, according to a new poll. The report also showed that compared to other Western countries, degree of trust placed on the justice system by the Jewish population inside the Green Line is also low.
IDF commander Nitzan Alon visits haredi leader
Ynet 19 July — Following attacks from extreme right wing elements, Judea and Samaria Division Commander visits Rabbi Yosef Elyashiv, seeks blessing. Rabbi condemns infiltrations into Joseph’s Tomb
Video shows IDF officer pointing loaded gun at unarmed Palestinian
YouTube video uploaded by B’Tselem shows an IDF officer cocking his gun and pointing it at a Palestinian man during an IDF operation in the West Bank; IDF says will open investigation into the matter.
IDF officer aims rifle at Palestinian civilian’s head
Ynet 20 July – A video posted on YouTube Wednesday shows an IDF officer cocking his weapon and aiming it at the head of a Palestinian civilian during military operations in a West Bank village [Beit ‘Ummar]. While the video does not show whether the officer’s weapon was loaded, IDF officials admitted that on the face of it the incident appears to be grave, adding that a Military Police investigation has been launched. The video, filmed last month, shows the Israeli officer yelling at Rabi Abu Maria and aiming a rifle at his head twice. The incident followed after Abu Maria’s cousin was detained by IDF troops … Abu Maria recounted the incident in a conversation with Ynet: “I’m a taxi driver and I was next to a gas station. I saw my cousin who works at the station being detained, and I told the troops I only wish to say goodbye to him. The officer got upset at me and aimed his weapon at my head, saying ‘why do you care, go away.'” The Palestinian man told Ynet that since the incident he has been having trouble returning to the site and is no longer able to drive his cab. “I don’t understand why they did it to me. I’m just a person who wishes to live, with a wife and four children. My wife is also scared after a weapon was aimed at her husband, and the children aren’t doing too well either.”
Israeli forces arrest 2 in village raids near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 20 July — Israeli forces raided the village of Talluza near Nablus on Wednesday morning and arrested two Palestinians. The Israeli army carried out an air drop into the town at dawn on Wednesday, locals told Ma‘an, and raided several homes in the village, arresting a father and his son. Local residents accuse the army of stealing gold and other valuables from homes. Rabah Salahat, a resident of the village, told Ma‘an that soldiers stole gold belonging to his wife [probably her dowry, her ‘insurance’ against family disaster – death, divorce, etc] after raiding his home at 2.00 a.m. and ordering his family outside. Soldiers damaged the contents of the house, smashed windows and stole the identity card of his wife, in addition to taking jewelry worth four thousand dinars, he told Ma‘an.
In a separate incident, Israeli aircraft carried out air drops and military drills at the entrance to Tubas in the northern West Bank, while military vehicles patrolled the streets in the Jenin district. No arrests were reported. Security sources said that Israeli military vehicles had raided Jenin, and the villages of Faqqua, Deir Abu Da‘ef and Beit Qad. An Israeli army spokesman said he was unaware of any detentions or unusual activity in the district.
Air strikes hit targets in Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 20 July — Israeli jet fighters launched air strikes on two sites in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning. The Az-Zaitoun and Ash-Shujaiyeh neighborhoods south of Gaza City were targeted causing massive structural damage. No injuries were reported. Israel sources said that a home-made projectile had landed in Sderot on Tuesday night. No injuries were reported.
Israeli raid causes big damage in Gaza City
GAZA (PIC) 20 July – Israeli warplanes launched a fresh air raid on Gaza city at a late hour on Tuesday night causing big material damage but no casualties reported yet. Eyewitnesses said that an Israeli F-16 warplane dropped a bomb at Shujaia suburb east of Gaza city that exploded near a school. They added that the school and a big number of nearby homes were damaged as a result, describing the sound of the explosion as “powerful”.
Israeli navy attacks ‘Oliva’ boat
GAZA (PIC) 10 July — Israeli navy forces attacked the international boat, Oliva, run by human rights activists to monitor Israeli violations against Palestinian fishermen, on Wednesday inflicting damage to it. Sources in the marine police told the PIC reporter that the Israeli navy chased the boat then attacked it, adding that several international activists were on board. The navy used water cannons against the boat causing damage to its engine, they said, adding that the activists boarded a fishing boat to return to Gaza while Oliva was towed to shore by another boat.
In tweets: an encounter between Gaza fishermen and Israeli patrol boats/ Harriet Sherwoood
Guardian 20 July — Harriet Sherwood went out with Gaza fishing boats to check claims they were coming under attack from the Israeli military. She used Twitter to report what happened next.
Video: Gaza fishermen defy naval blockade
Al Jazeera 20 July — Israel responds with water cannons and live fire when Gazans try to fish beyond Israeli-imposed limit — Emboldened by the ‘Freedom Flotilla’s’ attempt to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza by sea, some Gazan fishermen have been trying to sail beyond the three nautical mile limit imposed by Israel. The Oslo Accords allowed fishermen to work within 20 nautical miles of the coast, but Israel later reduced the limit on the premise that allowing more space will potentially allow Gazans to receive smuggled weapons. Israel responds to the fishers’ actions with water cannons, and sometimes with live gunfire. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from Gaza. [This video should remind Americans of the fire hoses used full force on civil rights activists, even children, in the southern US in the 1960s. See this page. And their cause won in the end.]
Protesters blockade UNRWA headquarters in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 20 — The UNRWA headquarters in the Gaza Strip was blockaded by protesters for two hours on Wednesday. A number of Palestinians were protesting against what they described as UNRWA “minimizing its services.” “The UNRWA building was closed for two hours, during which time UNRWA vehicles were barred from moving,” an official in charge of the popular committee of refugees, Mueen Madares, told Ma‘an. “Today we began a warning strike and we allowed the cars to move after two hours after the beginning of the strike. But tomorrow an escalating strike will begin and will be comprehensive to all of the main entrances of the UNRWA building so that the UN body will submit to the demands of the refugees that were approved by the UN and international
bodies when UNRWA was founded.”
Video: Gaza’s building boom defies siege
Al Jazeera 16 July — With supplies from Egypt easier to get, the Palestinian enclave’s construction industry is thriving again — Thousands of construction workers are being asked to return to work as the Gaza Strip finds itself in the middle of a building boom. The Contractors’ Association says more than 14,000 new construction jobs have been created this year. The Israeli siege of the Palestinian enclave over the past four years had brought construction to a standstill. But since the Egyptian revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, supplies have been easier to come by. Gazans say rather than force them to haul construction material through the tunnels, Israel should end its siege and allow lorries to bring the material over the border. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from Gaza.
Wife battering and sexual abuse get attention in Gaza
GAZA (Reuters) 20 July — Most safe-houses in the Gaza Strip are meant to provide protection for armed militants on Israel’s target list. Now Gaza is offering protected shelter to battered Palestinian women. Its lone women’s safe-house, opened two months ago, has had eight clients, all guarded by police from the Islamist Hamas movement that runs the enclave and enforces a conservative though not radical Muslim religious code. So-called ‘honour killings’ are rare but not unknown among religious [? irrelevant] Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank, and like every society it is not immune to wife-beating … Sobheya Joma, a woman lawyer at the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), said there was no way to know for sure if honour killings were really eradicated. “The ICHR is worried because it has recently noticed that some deaths were listed as unexplained or accidental,” Joma told Reuters in her Gaza city office.
Freedom Flotilla II
All foreigners aboard seized Gaza flotilla yacht to leave Israel by end of day
Haaretz 20 July — Interior Ministry spokeswoman says five foreign activists have already flown out; Dignite Al Karame was intercepted by IDF on Tuesday.
AL slams seizure of Gaza-bound ship
PressTV 19 July — The secretary general of the Arab League has condemned Israel’s interception of a boat attempting to break the Gaza blockade, calling it an act of piracy. “I strongly condemn the act of piracy on the high seas that the Israeli forces carried out today,” Nabil al-Araby said, a Press TV correspondent reported on Tuesday. “I call upon the international community, as represented by the Security Council, to take a decisive stance on this act of piracy,” al-Araby added.
Video: Welcome to Palestine concluding press conference
AIC 19 July — Organizers of Welcome to Palestine Campaign held a concluding press conference at the AIC offices in Jerusalem on July 18, 2011. In response to a Palestinian invitation, hundreds of international visitors reserved flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion airport for July 8th. The Israeli government did everything in its power to stop them, including pressuring seven commercial European airline companies into abruptly canceling a large number of the flight reservations. However, the international guests who did did manage to enter participated in a week of solidarity activities from July 8th until July 16th. [Includes interview with Australian activist who successfully appealed her deportation order]
‘Welcome to Palestine’ deportee ready to try again / Mya Guarnieri
SARASOTA, Florida (Ma‘an) 20 July — Laura Durkay spent 100 hours in an Israeli prison simply for declaring her intention to visit Bethlehem and its neighboring Aida refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. But the 29-year-old activist and filmmaker says, if she had the money, she’d gladly do it again. And she’s quick to add that her ordeal is “nowhere close to what happens to Palestinians” who resist the Israeli occupation. Durkay participated in the July 8 fly-in, a protest organized to call attention to freedom of movement restrictions that affect both West Bank Palestinians and those who dare to sympathize with them.
Activism / Solidarity
‘Know your heritage’ participants visit ‘Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem
[a sort of Palestinian ‘Birthright’? But unlike diaspora Jews, these kids can’t come to stay] PNN 20 July — The young Palestinian Americans who arrived on Monday in Bethlehem were welcomed in ‘Aida Refugee Camp on Tuesday by a performance of the Boy Scouts, further highlighting the importance of their visit for the Palestinians. The group was composed of people from 18 to 25 years old and the organizers of the initiative, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HLCEF) with Ratbe Rabie as head of the programme, had a tour of the camp led by Karim Amira. A resident of ‘Aida himself, he told them about the creation of the camp in 1950, meant at first, along with the 84 other refugee camps all around Palestine, as a temporary facility until they could be relocated, the growth of its population, and the worsening of the living conditions there. He also told them about the richness of the culture in the camp, as it brought together at its birth Palestinians from various backgrounds such as farmers, employees, wealthy and poor people. The camp is now a mixture of these different experiences which have one common ground: the oppression from the Israeli occupier.
Jailed Fatah leader Barghouti urges mass protests
RAMALLAH (AFP) 20 July — Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti has called for large-scale peaceful protests in support of a Palestinian bid for United Nations membership in September. In a statement released from his cell in Israel’s Hadarim prison, Barghouti, who is widely considered as the architect of the second Palestinian intifada, said winning the “battle of next September” would require mass mobilization in the territories and abroad. “Winning the battle of next September, which is an important step in our struggle, requires the biggest peaceful popular protests here and in the diaspora, and in Arab and Muslim countries and international capitals,” Barghouti said in the statement.h
New Yorkers demand retirement fund giant TIAA-CREF divest from the Israeli occupation
July 19, New York, NY – At rush hour Tuesday in midtown Manhattan, seventy-five New Yorkers from diverse backgrounds protested outside the headquarters of US retirement-fund giant TIAA-CREF, demanding that it end its investment in the Israeli occupation. The New York demonstration is a part of national divestment campaign initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace which saw similar actions in twenty cities nationwide marking the day of TIAA-CREF’s annual shareholder meeting, held this year in Charlotte, NC.
ILO pledges $100,000 to entrepreneurial refugee women
Ramallah (PNN) 19 July — Today the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) signed a memorandum in Ramallah to support business start-ups for Palestinian refugee women with a financial pledge of $100,000. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at Anker Suites, Ramallah, where $100,000 was pledged in total. The funding, issued through the Spanish government, will help further the UN’s gender equality millennium objectives in the Occupied Palestinian Territories … The funding aims to allow at least 100 refugee women to create and expand their businesses over a nine-month period. The beneficial knock-on effects of this funding will not just be economic; the funding will help contribute to conditions at home and give the women’s daughters and young refugee girls’ positive role models to look up to.
Israel bolsters borders, wary of September protests
TEL AVIV (Reuters) 19 July — Israel will reinforce its border defences in anticipation of protests by supporters of a Palestinian state in September and could target protest leaders with live ammunition, a military commander said on Tuesday … The officer said there must be no repeat of the events of May 15, when scores of Palestinian refugees and sympathisers, some hurling rocks, crossed a fenced and mined armistice line on the occupied Golan Heights. “It is the military’s duty to defend the country’s borders and sovereignty, and that is what we will do,” said the commander, who declined to be identified.
Israeli prison administration cracks down on Palestinian academic
GAZA (PIC) 20 July — Professor Mustafa al-Shannar, 49, a prisoner in the Israeli Megiddo prison and lecturer at the Al-Najah National University, was transferred to the prison’s clinic two days ago after experiencing sharp chest pains, the Tadhamon international human rights organization has reported. Tadhamon researcher and prisoner rights expert Ahmed al-Beitawi said the prison did not do enough regarding his condition, as a few tests were only taken. Along with previous health problems, Shannar underwent a catheter operation and heart implant just days after his arrest from Nablus in early June. The senior Palestinian academic is being held in administrative detention without charges or an investigation.
Mother seeks care as prison neglects mystery ailment
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 20 July — A concerned mother says she does not seek condemning statements but only that her son, a Palestinian prisoner in the Israeli Gilboa prison, is given the proper treatment. Mohannad Juweihan, from Jerusalem, has complained of pain in the lower jaw and head. His mother, who managed to visit him recently, has called on rights groups to have a medical committee examine her son and ensure he is given the proper treatment, in a bid to circumvent the medical neglect he has experienced in the Gilboa prison. What concerns her most is not knowing the cause of the pain. She suspects that it could have been [caused] during his interrogation or arrest.
Political / Diplomatic / International
Report: Turkey PM delays Gaza visit due to possible Israeli apology
Haaretz 20 July — It is believed that Erdogan is using Gaza visit as bargaining chip to pressure Israel into apologizing for the killing of nine Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara.
Christian Zionists unite in DC to express support for Israel
Haaretz 20 July — Over 5000 Christians, mainly Evangelicals, gathered this week at the Convention Center in Washington for the annual conference of the organization CUFI, Christians United For Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Christian Zionist conference via satellite, telling them, “When you support Israel, you don’t have to choose between your interests and your values; you get both.” The prime minister encouraged the conference attendees to not only think of Israel as an ally of the Unites States, but as indistinguishable from it. “Our enemies think that we are you, and that you are us,” added Netanyahu. “And you know something? They are absolutely right.”
NZ PM keeps mum on espionage allegations
Ynet 20 July — New Zealand Prime Minister John Key downplayed reports of “suspicious behavior” by groups of Israelis who were in Christchurch during the February 22 quake, Ynet learned Wednesday. Key commented on the matter during a visit in the United States Tuesday, adding that the matter was under New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) investigation. He stressed that although Ofer Mizrahi, the Israeli who was killed during the devastating quake, was found to be in possession of five passports, none of them were New Zealand passports … Jerusalem and Wellington’s relations were strained once before on a similar matter, when in 2004, two Israelis filed false papers in an attempted to get NZ passports and a local court ruled that they were Mossad spies.
Israeli drones violate Lebanese airspace
PressTV 18 July — Three Israeli reconnaissance planes have penetrated Lebanese airspace again and have flown over parts of the country in blatant violation of a UN Security Council resolution … Israel violates Lebanon’s airspace on an almost daily basis, claiming the flights serve surveillance purposes.
Racism / Discrimination
Report: Only 8% of Ethiopians seek academic studies
Ynet 20 July — New study says less than 1% of Ethiopians have academic degrees; sector avoids scientific studies … Chairman of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora affairs, MK Danny Danon, addressed this important report saying, “It saddens me to see that even after dozens of years of Ethiopian immigration, the academic degree – which is considered a ticket into today’s job market – remains only a dream to this community…”
Last Arab-Jewish public school in Israel may close its doors / Issa Edward Bourseh
972mag 19 July — Coexistence in Jaffa is under attack, as the Ministry of Education and the Tel Aviv municipality refuse to ensure parity in classrooms of the “Weizmann” mixed Jewish and Arab school
PA reduces price of bread to counter economy crisis
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 20 July — The Palestinian Authority ministry of national economy decided to lower bread prices from 4 to 3.5 shekels per kilo (10 slices). The decision goes into effect Saturday. Economy minister Hasan Abu Libdah announced the decision Wednesday at a news conference in Ramallah. He said the ministry would introduce a series of procedures during Ramadan to cope with the dire economic conditions … Abu Libdah says his ministry will set prices for 16 more basic food products and 31 subsidiary products. Ministry inspectors will monitor the market and do inspections to make sure merchants comply. The Palestinian Authority remains unable to pay salaries as the new school year, Ramadan and the Eid Al-Fitr approach. Officials say there is no end in sight as the PA works to resolve the crisis.
Security academy in female recruitment drive
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 July — The Palestinian Academy for Security Sciences is trying to increase the number of female staff members in line with its goal to enhance participation. The academy’s vice-president Kamal Salamah said Wednesday that about 90 of the academy’s current 300 students are female. Salamah said the academy offers bachelor’s degrees in administrative information systems, security psychology, police sciences, public administration, and military sciences.
Palestinian mosaics on display in Hebron
[photos] BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) updated 20 July — Jericho’s Mosaic Center is displaying items in Hebron starting Tuesday. Mosaics from churches, mosques, palaces, and other locations and periods are “evidence of the rich and diverse historical, cultural and religious elements that coexisted in the past in the territory,” organizers said Saturday … Eight mosaic artists — two European and six Palestinian — joined to reproduce examples of some of the masterpieces realized in mosaics, following the ancient techniques and materials. The exhibition is on display in Hebron’s Old City Museum from July 19-August 8, then it heads to Europe.
Knesset votes against proposal to probe Israeli NGOs
Haaretz 20 July — Vote comes after Netanyahu urges Likud MKs to vote against the bill, put forth by Yisrael Beiteinu; Opposition leader Livni says bill is anti-democratic, damages Israeli interests … 28 Knesset members voted in favor and 57 voted against the two bills calling to set up two parliamentary panels of inquiry into NGOs
Jerusalem’s religious sector growing
Ynet 20 July — Figures released by Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies reveal national-religious population about to become capital’s second biggest sector as haredim search for housing solutions elsewhere … According to figures released by Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, since 2003 there has been a 19% increase in the traditional-religious population (36,000 people in 2009), a 15% rise in the national-religious population (54,000) and 14% in the haredi population (78,000). On the other hand, a 5% drop was recorded in the traditional-non-Jewish population (55,000) and a 10% drop in the secular population (55,000).
‘Some people think army is yeshiva’
As IDF officials continue to grapple over the subject of religious coercion in the army, the former head of Personnel Directorate said Wednesday that “there is indeed a problem with some people who don’t realize they have joined the army and not a yeshiva.” Brigadier-General (Res) Elaza Stern was responding to a letter circulated by the outgoing head of the personnel directorate, Avi Zamir, who complained that a battle for authority between the Education Corps and the Military Rabbinate was harming female soldiers and officers forced to abide by rules of modesty and religion … [Stern] added that some religious rules have no place in the military, such as the prohibition on hearing a woman sing. “This is a pathetic demand,” he said.
Opinion / Analysis
Bad news for Murdoch can only be good news for Palestinians / Omar Radwan
MEMO 20 July — …As far as the Palestinians are concerned, bad news for Murdoch can only be good news for them. Murdoch’s deeply held sympathy for Israel and his enmity towards the Palestinians is clear for all to see. His tabloid press have a track record of Islamophobia and of stirring up hatred against Palestinians. This was seen most recently when Sheikh Raed Salah visited Britain and was arrested on trumped-up charges of anti-Semitism. The Sun was at the forefront of the campaign of vilification against him, calling him a “hate preacher”. Over the matter of Sheikh Raed Salah’s arrest Murdoch’s press and David Cameron were in full agreement. Both were prepared to do Israel’s dirty work for it and victimise an innocent man.
There were many other examples over the years of Murdoch’s newspapers spreading hatred, disinformation, and lies against Palestinians. Perhaps the worst example took place during the Gaza war of 2008-2009. When Israel bombed the Fakhoura school on January 6 2009 killing scores of Palestinians who had been sheltering there, the Sun’s front page headline the following day did not say anything about this. Instead it published a story saying that a “hate hit list” targeting 100 British Jews, including well known entrepreneur and TV personality Alan Sugar, had been published on the Muslim website Ummah.com. This “hit list” was later exposed as being planted by a Sun journalist. The expression “gutter journalism” does not begin to describe the despicability of such actions. The list of infamy goes on and on.