JERUSALEM, Sept 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. ambassador to Israel reaffirmed on Tuesday Washington’s opposition to a Palestinian call to halt Israeli settlement building before peace negotiations can resume. Facing renewed urging from international mediators to return to negotiations and defuse a row over his bid for a full seat at the United Nations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeated his demand for a settlement freeze first. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated on Tuesday that he was not about to offer one. U.S. envoy Dan Shapiro said Washington had never favoured making a freeze a condition for negotiations: “We’ve never set that, in this administration or any other, as a precondition for talks,” he told Israeli Army Radio, in response to a question on whether he favoured the Palestinian demand.
Israel approves 1,100 new homes in east Jerusalem (AP)
AP – Israel’s government has given the final go-ahead for the construction of 1,100 new housing units in east Jerusalem.
Netanyahu suggests new settlement freeze unlikely
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested in an interview published Tuesday that he would not seek to lure the Palestinians back to peace talks by renewing a freeze on settlement building. “We already gave at the office,” Netanyahu told The Jerusalem Post, referring to a 10-month partial settlement freeze that expired in late September 2010.
Israel must annex West Bank settlements, right-wing MKs tell Netanyahu
In letter to premier, leaders of several Knesset factions say Israel must retaliate against the Palestinians’ ‘unilateral’ statehood bid at the UN, or risk losing its deterrence.
Silwan Committee says Israel Steals Palestinian Water
JERUSALEM, September 25, 2011 (WAFA) – The committee for the defense of Silwan revealed on Sunday that Israeli forces are stealing Silwan’s water reserves, according to the committee’s statement. The committee stated that the occupation authorities set huge water pumps and prepared enormous tanks to speed up the steeling from Ayoub’s well (Job’s well) in Silwan, a town south of Jerusalem. It indicated that the occupation forces set huge pumps in Wadi al-Rababah area, near al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, to draw water from the historical Ayoub ‘s well, which lies to the south of al-Aqsa mosque, which is 130 meters deep and is considered the underground water reserves for the area.
Blaming or inciting in Hebron
Access to the H2 area of Hebron (Al Khalil) is being denied to Palestinians this evening for the funeral of an Israeli settler and his daughter who died in a car accident near Kiryat Arba. Despite the fact that an investigation into the deaths is yet to reach a conclusion about the cause of the crash, it has been speculated that it may have been caused by a Palestinian throwing stones. Soldiers on the scene echoed the proclamations of Israeli media sources labelling the incident ‘a terrorist attack.’
Wikileaks leaked information about suspicious bargains made with the Israeli police to build a new police station on Palestinian lands close to the Settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, the biggest settlement in theWest Bank. Ilan Baz the former head of the Civil Administration in the West Bank disclosed information about his meeting with officials from the American Embassy in Tel Aviv during which he told the officials that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Shaul Mofaz former defense Minister attempted to interfere personally to convince Baz to approve the building of a police station in the E1 area, on the lands of the Red Khan- but he refused. Baz added that at that time, Sharon and Mofaz claimed that their requests to build the police station there was for security reasons. The plans of the project included building conjunctions which belong to the Palestinians. The project was approved after Baz left his position. The police station was built on the lands of the Red Khan as an alternative to the one which was inside the neighbourhood of Ras Al Amood. This was done through a suspicious bargain which was funded by Elad. The bargain included transferring ownership of the building in Ras Al Amood to Elad in exchange for Elad funding the construction of the new police station on thelandofRed Khannear Ma’ale Adumim. When the American Ambassador asked about the funding of the project, Baz answered that there were rumours the settlers will be given the Ras al Amood building as soon as they finish building the new station at the Red Khan. Jewish extremists harassing Arabs in front of the Ras Almoud Settlement. Elad’s Chairman David Bairy (white shirt) watching protesters demonstrating against the settelment policy of his institution.
Settler kills Palestinian boy in hit-and-run incident
An eight-year-old Palestinian boy died on Monday after he was critically injured in a hit-and-run incident involving a Jewish settler on Friday in the southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil.
link to Palestine Information Center
An intense build-up of Israeli military was observed in Silwan on Saturday night, 24 September, after a Molotov cocktail was reported to have been thrown at the Israeli settlement block between Wadi Hilweh Street and Ein Silwan Street. Israeli forces are a regular fixture on the streets of Silwan, often coordinating their operations with armed settlers and their security guards.
The summary of the anniversary of martyring Samer Sarhan
The day started with confusion for the residents of Silwan. Some heard that there was going to be a march to commemorate the anniversary of the Martyr Samer Sarhan. Others didn’t hear about the march at all, and according to one religious personality’s analysis, “the confusion is in the interest of the settlers and biased people, so don’t be taken by rumours.” At noon the situation became clear when separate clashes took place in many neighbourhoods where stones were thrown. At the first hours of sunset, the first Molotov cocktail was thrown at the ‘House of Yonothan’ settlement block in the neighbourhood of Batn Alhawa. Then, three more Molotov cocktails were thrown at a settlement block which lies between the Spring of Silwan Streetand the neighbourhood of Wadi Hilweh. A few seconds later, a mass of armed Israeli forces headed toward the neighbourhood of Ein Alouzeh and the Protest Tent in Al Bustan neighbourhood. The Israeli forces kidnapped one child, Wajdi Qaqoor, 15, while he was standing at the bus station. The Israeli Forces solidified their presence in many neighbourhoods, for instance, at the junction of the Martyr’s street, at the same spot where Sarhan was killed. The atmosphere is still tense with the potential for further confrontations. Violent confrontations in front of City of David settlement which was built on the land of the Qaraean and Sumrain Families. The land was confiscated by the Absentee Custody Law ( archive). Numerous Israeli forces are protecting the City of David SettlementonWadi Hilweh Street A windshield of an Israeli settler’s vehicle as broken by angry crowds reacting to the illegal settlement and the martyrdom of Samer Sarhan)
Newly released transcripts reveal how Shin Bet agents blew the whistle on agency chief Avraham Shalom in the 1984 Bus 300 affair. According to transcripts recently released and being published here for the first time, on that night, Hazak and two former Shin Bet department heads, Rafi Malka and Peleg Radai, gave evidence that led Zamir to launch a criminal probe against senior Shin Bet officials, who were accused of covering up the killing of two Palestinian terrorists who had been captured alive after attacking Bus 300 on April 13, 1984. The order to kill the two had come from Shin Bet head Avraham Shalom.
Palestinians detained in Israel start hunger striked in Israeli jails
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails have started a hunger strike to protest their treatment by the Israeli prison services, Palestinian Authority Minister of Detainee Affairs Issa Qaraqe said Tuesday. Detainees are threatening to disobey all prison rules if their demands are not met, Qaraqe said, adding that the move would be unprecedented.
The health ministry in the Gaza Strip has said that the shortage in medicine and medical supplies was still plaguing hospitals and primary care clinics in the coastal enclave.
Al-Jazeera Video: Gaza shipbuilders adapt to blockade
Gaza was home to a strong shipbuilding industry before Israel imposed its land and sea blockade on the territory. But with fishermen prevented from sailing beyond three nautical miles, there is no longer any demand for large boats. In a bid to stay afloat, a donor-funded project is teaching fishermen how to repair and build small boats using fibre glass. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from Gaza.
A women’s tennis table team is set to leave Gaza for Jordan to participate in an international Arab table tennis tournament in October. The four-strong team is traveling for the first time since Israel imposed tightened closure measures on Gaza in 2007.
The Civil Peace Service (CPS) Gaza human rights observation boat has returned to the waters off the Gazan coast after being grounded for two months due to Israeli naval attacks. CPS Gaza aims to monitor human rights violations committed off the coast of Gaza, in which Gazan fishermen are invariably the victims. However in July, the CPS boat, Oliva, was attacked three times, with the final attack forcing the boat to retire to shore after the engine was rammed beyond repair. On September 25th, the boat made her first trip at sea, in which she was not attacked by the Israeli Navy.
Why the Irvine 11 are true American heroes, Nora Barrows Friedman
The conviction of the Irvine 11 is a testament to the degree that Islamophobia has grown in the West. Moreover, it is a testament to how unwilling the United States has become to question its relationship with Israel.
Berlin Demonstrates in Support of the Palestinian Struggle
Berlin, Germany, 22nd September 2011: Palestinian residents of Berlin, alongside German solidarity activists and Members of Parliament, demonstrated in the center of the German capital in support of the Palestinian struggle. Demonstrators gathered outside the German parliament to hear speeches in support of the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN. Speakers also called for a campaign of boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, for an end to the occupation and the seige on Gaza, and in support of the Palestinian popular struggle.
Dear all, Edward C. Corrigan has been accused of being an anti-Semite because of his criticism of Israeli policies. If you can help him in any way, either with a letter or with money, or both–please do. He is no more an anti-Semite than I am. To oppose Israel’s policies and conduct is no more anti-Semetic than opposing America’s war in Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan is anti-Christian. To oppose injustice, criminal activities, ethnic cleansing, land theft, and the like is never anti-Semitic.
Blast hits Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel
The incident happened in the region near the town of el-Arish in the north of the Sinai peninsula.
Taba hotel area closed to Israelis
Security establishment restricts passage of Israelis to hotel, casino area near southern border due to imminent terror threats. Foreigners allowed to cross as usual.
Erdogan urges UN sanctions on Israel
In interview with Time magazine Turkish PM says Israeli-Palestinian conflict would have been resolved long ago if UN had imposed sanctions on Israel; says Israeli gov’t not honest about flotilla.
Lieberman: Erdogan is excellent for Israeli PR
Toasting the Jewish New Year, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman took opportunity to criticize Abbas’ UN speech, said statements made by Erdogan in CNN interview ‘excellent for Israel’.
AP – The Obama administration pressed other members of the U.N. Security Council to take their time in considering the Palestinians’ bid for statehood, arguing on Monday that going slow may allow Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to resume without a confrontation at the world body.
UN debates Palestine statehood bid
Security Council holds closed-door negotiations as world powers press for direct Israeli-Palestinian talks.
I want to make myself clear: It is one thing to denounce anti-Semitism, and an entirely different thing to passively accept that Zionistic barbarism enforces an apartheid regime against the Palestinian people. From an ethical standpoint those who denounce the first, must condemn the second.
Report: Tony Blair romantically linked to Ofra Strauss
Britain’s Daily Mail reports former British prime minister closely associated with one of Israel’s richest women. Ofra Strauss’s spokesman denies affair rumors.
AP – Hand signals are passed from the rooftop spotters to the street protesters below: Another group of riot police are moving in their direction.
Senior Bahraini police officers suspended for torturing detainees are being swiftly reinstated in a sign of a growing struggle for power within the al-Khalifa royal family over the extent of the repression to be used against pro-democracy protesters.
Syrian unrest blamed on foreign intervention
Foreign minister tells UN that President Assad had to shift priorities from reforms to containing external conspiracies.
A Syrian activist tells of the recent arrest of his father and brother, after the brother filmed pro-reform protests in a Damascus suburb.
Saudi women given voting rights
King Abdullah says women will be allowed to run as candidates in municipal polls and will even have a right to vote.
Saudi woman faces driving lashing
A Saudi woman is sentenced to 10 lashes for breaking the country’s ban on female drivers.
The Storming of the Embassy in the Building, As’ad AbuKhalil
To Habib Shartuni, wherever you are, On your anniversary. Make no qualms about it. We hate Israel (while disliking Amr Moussa and Husni Mubarak). We hate it immensely. No shame in admitting to that. Political spite is not only justified; it fuels fundamental change. Would the apartheid regime in South Africa have collapsed had Blacks not abhorred it? Zionist propaganda not only wants to crush armed resistance, but it depicts our hatred of it as a kind of racism per se, because racism is reserved for the white man (and the Israeli – the latter strives to model himself after the white man, ignoring Israel’s non-European population). The storming of the embassy was a television and internet moment.
Disowning Palestine: Canada Took Wrong Side, Paul Heinbecker
‘To see ourselves as others see us, would from many a blunder free us,’ advice as sound and pertinent today as when first offered the world by Robbie Burns a couple of centuries ago. Our government’s opposition to the Palestinians’ application to join the UN may be such a blunder; it will in any case likely burden Canadian foreign policy for years to come.
The Palestinian cause is hindered, not helped, when the left fails to notice or confront anti-semitism. Gilad Atzmon is a world renowned jazz musician, and a former soldier in the Israeli army, so his advocacy of the Palestinian cause is guaranteed to draw attention. Indeed, a small leftwing publisher, Zero Books, has commissioned Atzmon to write a book on the Jews as part of an otherwise entirely credible series by respected left figures such as Richard Seymour, Nina Power and Laurie Penny. The trouble is that Atzmon has often argued that the Zionist oppression of the Palestinians is attributable not to the bellicose politics of the Israeli state, but to Jewish lobbies and Jewish power. Atzmon’s antisemitic writings include, for example, a 2009 article – Tribal Marxism for Dummies – in which he explains that while “Marxism is a universal paradigm, its Jewish version is very different. It is there to mould Marxist dialectic into a Jewish subservient precept”. Atzmon argues that it is merely a “Judeo-centric pseudo intellectual setting which aims at political power” and that “Jewish Marxism is there to … stop scrutiny of Jewish power and Jewish lobbying”.
Palestinian Moves Reshape Attitudes
RAMALLAH, West Bank—The Palestinian bid for United Nations statehood, whatever its outcome, is already helping reshape Palestinian attitudes to expect less of negotiations—which most feel have failed to deliver after nearly two decades—and embrace a more confrontational stance toward Israel. That could mean challenging Israel using boycotts, demonstrations and international diplomatic forums more aggressively—ideas that are gaining currency among young Palestinians. In a year when peaceful demonstrations have radically altered the political landscape of the Arab world, they increasingly embrace notions of nonviolent resistance.
Palestine, yes, but Israelis draw the line at Jerusalem, Robert Fisk
They wear their wounds well, the buildings of the old “green line”. Forget the new Jerusalem hotels across the road, the state-of-the-art tramway that glistens down the highway; just take a look at the bullet holes on the walls to the left, the shell gashes in the preserved façade of what was once an Israeli army bunker and is now Raphie Etgar’s little art gallery.
Obama Throws Palestine Under the Bus, Jim Lobe
The right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not be more pleased. Not only did the allegedly most “anti-Israel” president ever repeat, for the nth time, that “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable,” he also made it crystal clear that Washington will veto any Palestinian application to the U.N. Security Council for [...]
Obama Paraded on Netanyahu’s Leash, Ahmed Amr
The sight of Netanyahu parading Obama on a leash at the United Nations must gratify the egomaniacs lounging around the Israeli Lobby; it certainly ranks as one of the greatest stunts ever pulled by the American wing of the Likud party. But for many Americans, it was humiliating – even degrading. Watching Obama mouthing his Netanyahu scripted lines left little doubt as to who was the Alpha Dog in the American-Israeli ‘strategic’ relationship.
Nelson Mandela once said that “only free men can negotiate” and these failed talks between the PA and Israel which have come at the expense of Palestinians and the increasing loss of their rights only give the illusion to the outside world that the relationship is between two partners, two equals, not the occupier and the occupied.
The Third Intifada, RAMI G. KHOURI
It remains to be seen what actually changes on the ground in the months ahead following the Palestinian initiative to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state in the 1967 Israeli-occupied territories as a UN member or observer state. The move could be a substantive gain for the Palestinian people, a symbolic victory only, or a measurable setback if the United States and Israel translate their vindictive rhetoric into hard policies. While we wait for the impact of the UN move to become clearer, we should acknowledge nevertheless that this has been a historic week in several ways.
Israel has a good friend in Rupert Murdoch. Here in the UK, I’m still not sure which is worse – to see a mob of MPs suddenly united against the police, press and seemingly themselves or a mob cowering before Rupert Murdoch and his empire. But aside from the cesspit that is civil life in Britain being exposed via the murder of a teenage girl, there are many revelations to come, decades of them. Some even connect up with the head of the Palestinian Authority’s curious application for UN statehood.
Headlines for Monday, September 26, 2011
Land & resources theft / Ethnic cleansing & Exile / Apartheid / Restriction of movement
MP Attoun kidnapped from the Red Cross in Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 26 Sept — An Israeli Border Guard unit, dressed as Arabs, kidnapped, at noon Monday, Palestinian MP Muhammad Attoun at the entrance of the Jerusalem Red Cross in a move expected to spark rage among local Palestinians. The operation was coordinated also with the Israeli occupation police unit’s minorities division, according to media reports. MP Attoun, along with another Palestinian MP Ahmed Totah and the Palestinian Authority’s former minister of Jerusalem Khalid Abu Arafeh, were staying at a protest tent at the Red Cross compound in the Sheikh Jarrah district after the Israeli occupation authorities revoked their right of residence in their native city of Jerusalem and sought to banish them. [Haaretz described Attoun as 'hiding' from Israeli police, though it was well known that he had openly taken refuge with the Red Cross]
ICRC: Israel must comply with law over lawmaker’s detention
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 Sept — The International Committee of the Red Cross on Monday urged Israel to comply with international humanitarian law following the detention of a Palestinian lawmaker … “Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits Israel, regardless of its motive, from forcibly transferring Palestinians. Under international humanitarian law, East Jerusalem is an occupied territory, and its Palestinian residents are protected persons within the meaning of Article 4 of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” the statement added.
New Israeli pumps aimed at stealing Silwan water supply
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 26 Sept — A group in Jerusalem has accused the Israeli occupation authorities of using large pumps to steal the water supply from the historic Ayyoub well in East Jerusalem’s Arab Silwan district. Located 450 meters south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the 130 meter deep well had supplied Jerusalem, Jericho, Ramallah, and Bethlehem with water, said Fakhri Abu Diab, a member of the Silwan defense committee.. Before Israel, the UN Relief Works Agency installed pumps there in order to supply Palestinian communities in the occupied territories and Jordan. Abu Diab said a few years ago the Israeli authorities began stealing part of the well’s water and transferring it to the Jewish settlements. A few days ago, those authorities installed large pumps and tanks in a step aimed at transferring the water to the western half of the city, he said.
Elsewhere, Israeli authorities flooded a large area of the historic Muslim Ma’manullah cemetery with threat of serious damage, sources familiar with the incident said Sunday.
Witnesses: 2 Palestinian children detained in Silwan
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 26 Sept — Israeli forces detained two Palestinian children on Sunday evening in East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood, witnesses said. Israeli forces raided the al-Bustan area of Silwan and detained Wajd Abu Hlayyil, 8, and Umran Mansour, 10, locals told Ma‘an. The arrests sparked clashes between Israeli soldiers and local residents, with Israeli forces firing rubber bullets and tear gas. Witnesses added that Israeli soldiers broke into several homes and stationed themselves on rooftops …
Palestinian children are considered adults from the age of 16 years under Israeli military regulations governing the occupied Palestinian territories. In Israel, children are considered adults from the age of 18.
Evacuation of Muslim graves ahead of hotel construction challenged in court
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 25 Sept — Al-Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage condemned during an appeal heard Sunday by the Israeli Magistrate’s Court the ongoing removal of human remains from a Muslim graveyard in occupied Jaffa, where plans are underway for a Jewish tourist site.
Video: The real cost of Al Rumeida roadblock
ISM West Bank 25 Sept — For the last three days Ahmed Sau and Khalil have been loading bushell loads of white building material on carts pulled by a horse and a donkey as they trek up the steep hill going to Jabel Al Rahmeh. At the other end is a truck filled almost to the top. Several men await Ahmed and unload the wooden cart and the trek begins anew. As the horses struggle up the last part of the hill, Ahmed and some children help to push the heavy load to its destination. It is in these ways that the Israeli occupation affects the common people. Slowly, it attempts to strangle the economy. A simple truck ride down the hill is turned into a laborious undertaking by several men, children and beasts of burden.
Emek Shaveh – Archaeology in the shadow of the conflict
Jerusalem began as a small village in a place known as the City of David where the Palestinian village of Silwan sits today. Buried under the village lands, 5000 years of history bind the stories of ancient nations and rulers with the present life of the local residents. Dozens of excavated archaeological strata tell the complex multi-cultural saga of Jerusalem. We, a group of archaeologists and residents of Silwan, invite you to hear the story of ancient Jerusalem and of life in the village today. Our tour sheds light on the role of archaeology in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in the discourse of the future of Jerusalem. We will offer a different perspective: archaeology without an ownership, one that bridges between periods, cultures and nations; archaeology which involves the local residents and examines the past as a shared asset regardless of religion or nationality.
Settlers hang posters calling for killing Arabs, Palestinians
IMEMC 25 Sept — Dozens of armed Israeli settlers hung Israeli flags and posters on main and bypass roads close to Jewish settlements in the southern part of the West Bank, calling for slaughtering Arabs and Palestinians. Racist posters were also placed along the Jerusalem-Hebron road, and around all settlements extending from the southern part of Bethlehem district to the northern part of Hebron. Some of the posters read “We Will Slaughter All Arabs,” “This is the land of our fathers and forefathers,” and dozens of similar racist posters.
The settlers also camped in Palestinian farmlands and orchards south of Bethlehem, and preventing the residents from reaching their own lands.
PA: Settlers uproot 400 olive trees near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Dozens of Israeli settlers on Sunday uprooted over 400 Palestinian-owned olive trees near Nablus in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian Authority official said. Settlement Affairs official Ghassan Doughlas said settlers attacked fields between Qusra and Duma villages south of Nablus.
On Friday, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man, Issam Kamal Odeh, 33, during clashes sparked by settlers who entered Qusra.
Palestinian killed as West Bank unrest continues
WEST BANK (PIC) 25 Sept — …Locals reported that settlers ambushed Palestinian motorists on a main road south of Nablus stoning vehicles …
On Saturday, a Palestinian motorist from Nahalin village was left with bruises in a crash that came after a group of Jewish settlers from nearby Beitar Illit pelted his vehicle with stones.
Also on Sunday, informed Palestinian sources said a vehicle was struck by stones while passing a road to Jewish settlement Yitzhar, south of Nablus city.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
Settlers throw rocks at Hebron home, terrifying residents
Hebron (PNN) 26 Sept — Sate at night on Sunday, a group of Israeli settlers living inside the old city of Hebron threw rocks at a Palestinian home, reportedly terrifying the residents. Eyewitnesses reported the story to Wafa, the official Palestinian news wire.
Israeli forces also set up at least four military checkpoints on Monday morning at the entrances to Hebron, searching passing cars and demanding Palestinian IDs.
Two Palestinian children were released from Ofer military prison as well: Amjad Nidal Taha, a ninth-grade student, and Hosam Hussein Abu Sneineh, in the eighth grade. The bail for each was 500 shekels, or about $150, and each had been held for eight days.
Settler car strikes Jerusalem man
PNN 26 Sept — Hosam Hamouda, 31, suffered severe injuries on Monday morning when an Israeli settler deliberately struck him with his car near the French Hill settlement of Jerusalem. The settler fled the scene immediately, according to eyewitnesses reporting to the official Palestinian news wire Wafa. Hamouda lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and three children, and was waiting for a car to pick him up and take him to work.
Fatal West Bank car crash caused by Palestinian stone-throwing
Haaretz 25 Sept — Israel Police confirmed on Sunday that the road accident that killed a man and his infant son near Kiryat Arba on Friday may have occurred after a rock was thrown at their vehicle. Police investigating the death of Asher, who was 25-years-old and his one-year-old son Yonatan Palmer, who were found in their car after it flipped over near the West Bank city, discovered a large rock with signs of blood on it.
West Bank parliamentarians say security coordination with Israel protects settlers, not Palestinians
MEMO 24 Sept — Elected parliamentarians belonging to the Change and Reform bloc have denounced the attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian citizens, their properties and mosques in several villages in the occupied West Bank. They called on the Palestinian security services to protect Palestinians against such attacks. Security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel is blamed by the MPs for the lack of action by the PA’s security apparatus. In a press statement, the MPs called upon the Palestinian security services to use the personnel they have recently recruited, trained and equipped to play their the natural role in defending Palestinian citizens and their properties against repeated attacks by Zionist settlers.
IDF-Palestinian coordination remains effective despite heightened tensions
Haaretz 26 Sept — Security coordination between the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian security forces has proven its effectiveness in the face of heightened tensions over the Palestinian Authority’s application for membership at the United Nations last week. Large-scale demonstrations in PA-controlled towns were kept from spilling over into other areas of the territories that are controlled by Israel. … Five standing IDF battalions that were deployed in the West Bank in preparation for a possible escalation have not been necessary as of now.
MADA condemns Israeli aggression against journalists
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 25 Sept — A delegation from the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, MADA, on Sunday visited a French journalist wounded by Israeli forces. Chris Hoby was covering a march in the village of Nabi Saleh last Friday when a soldier threw a metal grenade on the ground beside him, causing severe contusions to his right leg, a statement from MADA said. Hoby received treatment at the scene before being transferred to a hospital. The general director of MADA, Moussa Rimawi, said Hoby was yet another victim of Israeli aggression against journalists.
Israel ‘confiscates truck’ in Jenin
JENIN (Ma‘an) 25 Sept — Israeli forces confiscated a truck transporting firewood overnight Saturday in the northern West Bank district of Jenin, relatives of the driver said. Abdul Abu Baker was transporting firewood to a factory in Jenin when 10 Israeli jeeps surrounded the truck, his brother Fathi Abu Baker told Ma‘an. Israeli forces took Abu Baker and his vehicle to Bartaa al-Sharqiya checkpoint, where he was held for several hours, his brother said. [and are they going to give back the truck, which is probably the man's livelihood?]
Israel to compensate Palestinian family $432,000 for daughter’s death
AP 26 Sept — An Israeli court has ordered the government to pay $432,000 to the family of a prominent Palestinian peace activist whose 10-year-old daughter was killed by an Israeli rubber bullet in 2007. Abir Aramin was standing at a distance from stone-throwing demonstrators in the village of Anata, north of Jerusalem, when Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse the protest. One hit Abir, and she died of her wounds two days later. Her father, Basam Aramin, is a founder of Combatants for Peace, a group of former Israeli and Palestinian fighters who now promote peaceful coexistence. Originally, police claimed a rock killed the girl. But an autopsy ended up showing she was hit by a stray bullet.
Haiya of Qalandia Refugee Camp
ISM 24 Sept — Haiya and her family are originally from a village called Ber Maael know called Mudaeen near what is now Tel Aviv. Haiya’s brother was a close friend of Ali Khaleefa, one of the young men who was killed when the Israeli army raided the Qalandia Refugee camp on the second of August. He told us he was with Ali just hours before the soldiers raided the camp and killed him. Haiya speaks.
We were at the funeral and people were so shocked and angry, the army came in the middle of the night right at the start of Ramadan to arrest two boys about 13 years old. And they killed 2 people even though no one there had any weapons apart from the soldiers. The Palestinians from Qalandia cannot forget something like this.
Medics: 1 injured, 2 missing as Egypt pumps sewage into Gaza tunnel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Sept — One Palestinian man was injured on Sunday and two others were reported missing after Egyptian authorities pumped sewage inside a Rafah smuggling tunnel running underneath the border with the Gaza Strip, medics said … Egyptian security officials said in early September that they were cracking down on the network of tunnels used by smugglers from the coastal enclave.
UNRWA denies claims it is moving Gaza offices
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Sept — The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Sunday denied claims by a Hamas official that it is planning to relocate its Gaza offices to Amman, Jordan … UN Relief and Works Agency spokesman in Gaza Adnan Abu Hasnah dubbed the claims completely “baseless,” saying the UN agency is operating as normal and new employees have even been hired in some departments.
One Gaza family celebrates Palestinian statehood despite Hamas ban
CSM 25 Sept — Though it was forbidden to celebrate President Mahmoud Abbas’s request to the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state, the parents of Ayloul Abu Asser celebrated by naming their girl Ayloul, meaning September.
Report: Israel restricts travel at Egypt border
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 26 Sept — Israel on Saturday closed its Taba border crossing to Egypt to Israeli travelers due to security concerns, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. On Sunday, the ban was restricted to areas around the border crossing, including hotels and casinos in Taba. The border remained open to non-Israeli tourists, Haaretz reported. On Friday, the Israeli military said it had “increased its preparedness and raised its alertness following concrete information regarding the Hamas’, as well as other terror organizations’, intentions to execute another terrorist attack along the Egyptian border in the very near future.”
Tawil: I was interrogated 13 times while handcuffed
RAMALLAH (PIC) 25 Sept — The daughter of Al-Bireh mayor Jamal al-Tawil said she was bound, photographed, isolated and questioned by some 13 investigators after Israeli forces arrested her on 6 July without charges in an apparent bid to pressure her father. Bushra al-Tawil was transferred between three detention centers in Beit El and Ashkelon and kept in isolation for sixteen days before ending up in HaSharon prison, where she is currently being held, said Botheina Daqmaq, head of the Palestinian Mandela rights organization, who at length managed to visit Tawil and collect statements. Daqmaq learned that Tawil was denied freedom by an Israeli court although no formal charges have been placed against her.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
Al Jazeera says Israel frees journalist
DOHA (AFP) 26 Sept — An Israeli military court decided on Monday to release Al-Jazeera journalist Samer Allawi who was detained on August 10, the Doha-based news channel said. Allawi, a Palestinian, is Al-Jazeera’s Kabul bureau chief and was arrested by Israeli security officials as he tried to cross from Jordan into the West Bank after a family visit. An Israeli military court in the northern West Bank had accused Allawi of being a member of Hamas and of having “contacts” with the military wing of the Islamist movement, which rules the Gaza Strip.
Al-Jazeera reporter convicted over Hamas conspiracy
Ynet 26 Sept – Cleared for Publication: Samer Allawi, Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief in Afghanistan was convicted on Monday of conspiracy to commit a crime against the State of Israel over his connection with Hamas. The conviction was part of a plea bargain agreed upon between the IDF and Allawi. Allawi was sentenced to time served and will pay a $1,400 fine … Allawi said that: “I was subjected to a great deal of pressure during my arrest and the interrogations.” He claims that he denied the charges ascribed to him and eventually agreed to the plea bargain with the prosecution over “meetings with a terror organization” in return for his release.
Lawmakers: West Bank arrest sweep signals PA political crisis
WEST BANK (PIC) 25 Sept – Palestinian lawmakers lashed out Sunday as the Palestinian Authority security forces resumed an intense arrest campaign affecting hundreds of Hamas supporters, including the sons of jailed MP Omar Abdul-Razzaq, saying the sweep signals a political crisis for the PA. Within the past two days, the PASF have arrested and summoned for questioning hundreds of members of Palestinian resistance groups in the West Bank, a statement by Hamas’s Change and Reform parliamentary bloc confirms
Muslim students who heckled Israeli envoy Oren: We have no regrets
AP 26 Sept — Eight of the Muslim students convicted of misdemeanors for disrupting a speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren at the University of California, Irvine last year thanked their supporters at a public meeting in an Anaheim mosque and expressed no regrets for their actions. Student Mohamed Abdelgany told an audience Sunday at the Islamic Institute of Orange County that while they are upset about the verdict, the activism that brought the eight and two others a sentence of community service and probation is part of higher education, the Orange County Register said. Abdelgany said their lives would be “hollow shells” if they didn’t stand by their principles.
Gaza flotilla probe to examine IDF’s handling of past war crimes charges
Haaretz 26 Sept — …International law stipulates that for soldiers of one country to be prosecuted by another the country in which the war crime was committed has to be proven as unable to properly investigate the incident. In order to legally verify that indeed the IDF has conducted a thorough investigation of soldiers accused of war crimes — a determination that would defend IDF soldiers from foreign prosecution — the Turkel Commission, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel, requested military advocate general Danny Efroni to hand over information concerning 50 past cases in which IDF soldiers were accused of war crimes.
A third of Jewish Israelis ‘marginalize Arab citizens’
JERUSALEM (AFP) 25 Sept — A survey by an Israeli think tank published on Sunday said while most of the country’s Jews deny claims of discrimination against its Palestinian citizens, one third view them as outside Israeli society. “The data show that at present the Arab population feels discriminated against to a great extent, while a majority of the Jewish population rejects the allegation,” the Israel Democracy Institute said in its annual survey. It said that asked if they considered “Arab citizens of Israel” as “part of Israeli society,” 67.9 percent of Jewish respondents and 86.1 percent of Palestinian-Israelis answered in the affirmative.
Poll asks about prospects of female, haredi, or Arab PM
Ynet 25 Sept — A survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute sought to reveal, among other things, the public’s reaction to the prospects of a female, haredi or Arab prime minister … The most resistance, however was recorded in relation to the concept of an Arab prime minister: Some 79% of seculars; 88.2% of traditionalists; 91.4% of haredim; and 98% of the religious public expressed opposition to the idea of an Arab premier. The data indicated that none of the leftists opposed a female prime minister but 58.5% said it would bother them to see an Arab prime minister.
Israeli holding facility for minors violates international child protection law, Haaretz learns
Haaretz 26 Sept — A little more than a year since the reopening of an Israel Prison Service holding facility for unaccompanied minors, most of whom are refugees from Sudan and Eritrea, the prison service’s own data reflects major problems at the facility – problems that constitute a violation of the international Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a signatory. Haaretz has learned that since the facility has been in operation, there have been 19 serious suicide attempts among the 179 children that have been held there.
Supermarket chain sued for firing 19 Arab workers
JPost 26 Sept …According to the complaint, the national chain, which is owned by the Ramle-headquartered Zim Group and has 27 branches across Israel, simultaneously dismissed 19 Arab-Israeli employees in March without any prior warning.
Club to compensate partygoers for discrimination
Ynet 26 Sept — A central Israeli night club was ordered to pay NIS 35,000 ($9,450) in damages after it refused entry to two partygoers due to their dark skin tone. The Elyakhin residents, Ziv Sayag and attorney Elad Ovadia, said that they attempted to enter the Kinsey club, located near Hadera, on two separate occasions, but failed to pass the selector’s scrutiny.
Abbas receives hero’s welcome in Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 25 Sept — Thousands of Palestinians gathered to welcome President Mahmoud Abbas at his Ramallah headquarters on Sunday on his return from delivering Palestine’s bid to join the United Nations in New York. After laying a wreath on the grave of his predecessor Yasser Arafat, Abbas told masses of flag-waving Palestinians: “The Palestinian spring is certainly underway, with the creation of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
Associated Press bungles fact-check of Abbas speech / Roi Maor
972mag 26 Sept — AP tries to fact-check Abbas’ speech at the UN, and ends up accusing him of insufficient adherence to Israeli talking points, while making a series of embarrassing factual errors itself … Occupation: Abbas said Palestinians live under “the only occupation in the world.” AP argues that other groups say they are also occupied. All of those groups, however, live in areas officially annexed by their oppressor, and are citizens of the state that controls their lives. Palestinians, on the other hand, live under military law and have no citizenship. Israel refuses to take responsibility to them or relinquish control. That is what makes it the only occupation in the world.
UN Security Council starts talks on Palestinian statehood bid
AFP 26 Sept — The UN Security Council on Monday embarked on tortuous negotiations on the Palestinian bid for UN membership as major powers stepped up pressure for new Palestinian-Israeli talks. There is little sign, however, that the two foes are ready to resume negotiations frozen for the past year, despite their proclamations since Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas made his historic application to the United Nations on Friday … Ahead of the meeting, experts from the 15 council nations started contacts on how the bid will be dealt with, diplomats said. The council must refer the application to a special committee which will make a recommendation.
Shaath: We will push for quick UN vote
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 Sept — Senior PLO official Nabil Shaath said Sunday that the Palestinian UN team would push for a vote on their application for full UN membership “as soon as possible.” … Shaath told Ma‘an that the presidents of nine countries in the 15-member council had promised to vote in favor of Palestine’s bid to join the UN as a full member. Nigeria, India and Gabon are among the countries who have pledged their support, said Shaath, a member of the Palestinian UN delegation.
US lawmaker: Palestinians must return to peace talks of suffer possible divestment
Haaretz 26 Sept — A U.S. Congressmen said Monday that the Palestinians should think twice about their bid to gain recognition at the United Nations,urging the Palestinian Authority to “reverse course” and get back to the negotiation table. Speaking at a gathering of Congressmen and leaders of Jewish organizations outside the United Nations headquarters in New York, Rep. Gary Ackerman, member of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, stressed that “There may need to be a total cutoff of all aid to the Palestinians for pursuing this course of action which is very dangerous and ill advised.”
China: Palestinian state should come as result of peace talks with Israel
DPA 26 Sept — Chinese Foreign Minister says Beijing supports independent Palestinian state that enjoys full sovereignty with East Jerusalem as its capital, urges Israel, Syria, and Lebanon to hold peace talks. … Yang reaffirmed Beijing’s support to grant membership to the Palestinian people in the United Nations.
Issue of Israel as Jewish state sank Quartet moves
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 26 Sept — The issue of whether and how to suggest that Israel should be a Jewish state ultimately sank diplomatic efforts to draft a substantive statement to revive peace talks, sources familiar with the matter said. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel and the Palestinians — and their effective proxies in the negotiations, the United States and Russia — remain too far apart on that issue and others.
PLO official: All agreements with Israeli will be reviewed
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 26 Sept — PLO Executive Committee member Taysir Khaled said Sunday that all agreements signed with Israel would be reviewed. Khaled said in a statement that the PLO would convene to discuss the “next phase” following President Mahmoud Abbas’ submission of a bid to join the United Nations in New York. Dissolving the Palestinian Authority is “an option,” he said, adding that it was “too early” to discuss specific plans … Khaled said disbanding the PA would be an “additional burden” on the PLO, but that all options were being considered. Regardless of the outcome of the UN bid, the PLO will review all agreements signed with Israel, particularly in light of Israel’s threats to withhold Palestinian tax revenues, the PLO official added.
Video: Palestinian negotiator Hanan Ashrawi pressed on next steps for Palestinian statehood / Sam Huseni
Mondoweiss 26 Sept — Big story this week was the Palestinian U.N. bid. Palestinian negotiator Hanan Ashrawi was on ABC’s “This Week” and Christiane Amanpour of questioning revolved around when the Palestinian delegation would resume talks with the Israelis that have gone on for decades. I asked the opposite question: What are they going to do to make the U.N. state membership bid real instead of relying on more “negotiations”? Are they going to let the bid get bogged down in the Security Council, where the U.S. wields a veto or are they — as noted international lawyers have recommended — move it in short order to the General Assembly, where an overwhelming majority of countries favor Palestinian state membership?
Hamas bans Gaza restaurant from screening Abbas’ UN speech
DPA 25 Sept — The party’s General Investigations Service arrived at the establishment in western Gaza City late Friday and ordered the owner to stop the broadcast, threatening to close his restaurant … The GIS members then contacted the Hamas police, who arrested the owner, the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) said. They also confiscated the ID card of a journalist who filmed the incident and refused to hand over his tape.
Hamas: Abbas’ speech to UN bore ‘serious contraditions’
DAMASCUS (PIC) 24 Sept — “Serious contradictions” were obvious in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s address to the United Nations ahead of the PLO’s appeal for full membership in the international organization, Hamas said in a statement on Friday. The Palestinian resistance group highlighted inconsistency in how the pathetic speech personified the Palestinians’ woes but meantime was detrimental to their cause. “Although Abbas described (Israel’s) crimes and the displacement (of Palestinians), he concedes 80 percent of Palestine to such an enemy,” the statement says.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
Hamas refugees bureau: Israel has no right to any part of Palestine
GAZA (PIC) 26 Sept — Hamas’s refugees’ affairs bureau reiterated Sunday that the Israeli occupation authorities have no right to any part of Palestine in response to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ request for recognition of only 22 percent of the occupied territories. Officials in Gaza have welcomed recent calls by Abbas to follow through with reconciliation deal with Hamas but questions and expectations still surround the move.
Peres: Abbas best Palestinian president ever
Ynet 26 Sept — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “is the best president Israel could have gotten,” President Shimon Peres said at a Rosh Hashana toast Monday. Peres was addressing foreign ambassadors at his Jerusalem residence. He called on Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel. “I call on Abbas, the Palestinian president, whom I greatly respect and for whom I have sympathy – lets commence talks, openly and quietly, even if there are disagreements and criticism.”
Haaretz poll: More Israelis approve of Netanyahu after UN speech
26 Sept — Poll also finds Labor’s Yachimovich rapidly picking up popularity, and that Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu would get same number of seats as Kadima if poll held now.
Netanyahu: No peace without negotiations
NEW YORK (Reuters) 26 Sept — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday criticized the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, and reiterated his call for direct negotiations between the two parties. Speaking on NBC’s Meet The Press on Sunday, Netanyahu said the Palestinians wanted a state, but were not willing to offer Israel peace and security.
Antigua and Barbuda recognize Palestine
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 25 Sept — The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda announced Wednesday that his government recognized the state of Palestine, the Caribbean news site Caribarena reported.
Spain recognizes Israel as Jewish homeland for first time
Haaretz 25 Sept — Spain’s Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez presented a new policy for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on Saturday, declaring Israel as the homeland of the Jews for the first time and saying that the issue of Palestinian refugees should be solved in such a way that it does not compromise Israel’s current demographic makeup of a Jewish majority.
Jiménez’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly is particularly dramatic in light of the fact that Spain is considered the leading EU country to support Palestinian rights. Adopting such a pro-Israel stance may lead to other countries to follow suit.
Turkey — Israel
Turkish government releases identities of IDF soldiers who attaked the Mavi Marmara
[photos] Mondoweiss 26 Sept — … The Turkish Intelligence Service as well as other agencies have conducted the identification and image hunt by meticulously combing thru all video and photographic evidence available thru worldwide media including leads thru thousands of Facebook and Twitter accounts. Members of the crew as well as passengers on the Mavi Marmara also participated in the investigation. Turkish experts in Hebrew were vital in following leads thru Israeli social media sites. IDF soldiers who have been identified thus far are:
Report: Turkey operated agents in Israel to track soldiers
Ynet 26 Sept — Turkey compiles list of 174 Israelis, topped by Prime Minister Netanyahu, who were directly or indirectly involved in 2010 raid on Gaza-bound ship. Turkish paper reports Ankara even sent intelligence agents to Israel to confirm soldiers’ identities … According to the report in the Sabah newspaper, the Israelis were identified from photographs and various media sources. “Almost all of the Israeli soldiers who killed nine Turkish citizens and injured 30 others have been identified,” the report claimed.
Turkey to Azerbaijan: Stand with us against Israel
Ynet 25 Sept — US-based Persian-language website says Turkish ambassador to Baku urges the former soviet republic to ‘reconsider’ its relations with Israel; warns against ‘possible problems’ with oil supply
Erdogan reiterates threat to escort Gaza aid flotillas
ANKARA (PIC) 26 Sept — Turkish Prime Minister said broken ties with Israel could only be mended after it lifts its embargo on Gaza, warning that his country’s navy may escort future aid convoys to the besieged Gaza Strip for lack of trust of Israel. In an interview with CNN, Erdogan said that Turkey had been very patient with its once strong ally Israel even after Israel’s attack on a Gaza aid convoy that killed eight Turks strained relations.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
Israel and Turkey: It’s hard to fight with your hands in each other’s pockets / Karl Vick
TIME blog 23 Sept — …The erstwhile allies may be at each other throats now — with Israel’s prime minister refusing to apologize for the killing of nine civilians on the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara last year, and Turkey’s premier threatening to confront Israeli gunboats off the Gaza Strip — but they get along famously in the marketplace. “If the trend continues we might be looking at approximately $4 billion this year, imports and exports,” says Joe Abraham, commercial attaché in the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. Ankara booted out Israel’s ambassador this month, and downgraded relations to the lowest level that actually keeps diplomats in the country. But those who remain say they are not only busy but welcome, at least in boardrooms and business lunches.
Ban apologizes to Erdogan over UN guard assault
Ynet 24 Sept — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a personal apology on Saturday over his assault at the UN building.
Erdogan was assaulted by a man the Turkish media identified as a member of the UN Guard during Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.
Fatah, Hamas officials to meet in Cairo
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 26 Sept — Fatah and Hamas officials are scheduled to meet in Cairo by the beginning of October for further dialogue over reconciliation talks and political issues, Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said Monday … A ban by Hamas on rallies in Gaza to support the UN bid had no influence on reconciliation efforts, al-Ahmad added.
Bardawil says unaware of new round of talks with Fatah
GAZA (PIC) 26 Sept — Senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil has denied reports that his party was invited to meet with Fatah party for a new round of reconciliation talks, stressing that Fatah is still obligated to carry out its terms of the reconciliation deal … In a separate context, Bardawil denied that Hamas broke a pact with Fatah by limiting demonstrations in the Gaza Strip for and against the Palestinian Authority’s request for UN membership.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
Israel’s population stands at 7.8 million on eve of Rosh Hashanah
Haaretz 26 Sept — On the eve of the Jewish new year 5772 Israel’s population stands at 7,797,400 people, of whom 5,874,300 are Jewish, 1,600,100 Arabic and 323,000 of other ethnicity (most of which are immigrants from the former USSR who are not registered as being Jewish), a survey released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics showed on Sunday. The statistics show a growth rate of 1.9% since 2010, like that of the past eight years.
Egyptian media: Children with Palestinian fathers granted citizenship
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 Sept — The Egyptian Ministry of Interior has granted citizenship to 664 children of Palestinians married to Egyptian women, Cairo-based Al-Ahram newspaper reported on Sunday. Prior to 2004, the children of Egyptian women married to foreigners were not allowed to obtain Egyptian citizenship. The law was amended in 2004 after legal battles and protests to allow children of foreign fathers to obtain Egyptian nationality, Al-Ahram said. However, Palestinians in Egypt were left out of the changes amid justifications according to the Arab League’s position which seeks to protect the Palestinian right of return. Two years later, the Arab League announced that there was no connection between the right of return and the right to be granted Egyptian citizenship.
Opinion / Analysis
Haaretz editorial: Retreat from reality
26 Sept — Sharp contrast between disinterest in real diplomatic events and addiction to delights of television ‘reality’ is both saddening and worrisome … only one-fourth of television viewers evinced interest in the speeches delivered by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations – a key event in the history of the ongoing conflict between the two peoples. This proportion would not have seemed so low had it not turned out that, just 24 hours later, on Saturday night, a new record was set for the highest rating ever recorded since ratings were introduced in the 1990s: About half of all Israeli television viewers – some 1.5 million people – sat glued to the concluding episode of Channel 2′s reality television show “Master Chef.” [the same could be said of the U.S.]
Netanyahu’s speech of lies / Akiva Eldar
Haaretz 26 Sept — Benjamin Netanyahu promised he would feed us the truth, not another campaign speech, but a test of this promise seems apposite.