Settlers attack a Palestinian woman in Hebron
IMEMC 21 Sept — Palestinian Medical Sources reported Wednesday that a Palestinian woman was hospitalized after being attacked by extremist Israeli settlers in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The woman, Intisar Al Rajabi, 44, was moved to the Hebron Governmental Hospital suffering concussions and bruises. The settlers attacked her as she was walking in the Old City of Hebron.
Medics: Teen hurt as settlers storm Nablus village
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 20 Sept 19:29 — A 14-year-old Palestinian was hurt by Israeli forces on Tuesday during clashes with settlers in Asira Al-Qibliya village south of Nablus, witnesses and medics said. Medics said Israeli forces shot Aref Aref in the back, during confrontations which erupted after dozens of settlers marched on the village. AFP said he was hurt by a tear-gas canister. A journalist, Ayman An-Noubany, was also injured by a rock, medics said, adding that they were both taken to Rafedia Hospital in Nablus. An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces used “riot dispersal means” to respond to clashes in the village … Volunteers from a watchdog committee set up to document settler attacks said around 40 settlers tried to raid Asira Al-Qibiliya, and that they were protected by Israeli forces.
Witnesses: Settlers set fire to field in Qalqiliya
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 20 Sept 14:14 — Residents of the illegal Zufin settlement on Tuesday set fire to fields behind an area of the separation wall in Qalqiliya, witnesses said. Witnesses reported seeing a group of settlers in the area before a vast area of olive fields was set alight. They said Palestinian firefighters were denied access to the area by Israeli soldiers stationed at a gate in the separation wall, which completely encircles the city of Qalqiliya. [End]
Israeli settlers march to protest UN bid
BEIT EL (AFP) 20 Sept 20:08 — A few hundred Israeli settlers were on Tuesday marching through the northern West Bank to protest against Palestinian plans to seek full membership of the United Nations. One group of several dozen people marched from Beit El settlement near the city of Ramallah towards a military base, waving Israeli flags and singing, while around 150 people joined a march from the Itamar settlement to a nearby military outpost south of Nablus. The Itamar marchers were escorted by a heavy military presence.
Settlers try to raid Yabad town, south of Jenin
JENIN (WAFA) 20 Sept – Settlers from ‘Mabo Dotan’ settlement tried on Tuesday to raid Yabad town, south east of Jenin, according to security sources. Sources told WAFA that a group of settlers from ‘Mabo Dotan’ settlement, located on the lands of Yabad, gathered on the military checkpoint set south of the town, and tried to sneak into it through the olive groves. They added that the Israeli forces went after them and tried to stop them from raiding the town, closed the main street, which connects it to the surrounding residential areas and reinforced their military presence in the area.
Hilltop Youth ‘guru’ behind ‘price tag’ acts?
Ynet 20 Sept — Alex Ostrovsky named as IDF base ‘price tag’ suspect. A troubled man who is outcast in his hometown of Eli, he has previous criminal record and is known for his connection to Hilltop Youth … The suspect’s Facebook page is filled with posts about “price tag” activities, including the one he is suspected of carrying out. He has a set ideological doctrine which he shared in detail with Ynet 18 months ago … Last year he was convicted of assaulting two Palestinian brothers and a police officer. — Video: 2010 Ynet interview with Ostrovsky
‘Holy water’ in Qusra attracts violent settlers
ISM posted 21 Sept — While farming their land in the village of Qusra, 50-year-old Fathalla and his three sons were attacked by a group of armed settlers on Friday morning [16 Sept] … [They] were working in a fig orchard, when one of the boys heard someone breaking the lock on their well. They saw 9 armed settlers, three of them with M-16s and the rest with pistols and a dog. The Abu Reida family decided to hold back the settlers until Israeli military arrived … As Fathalla and his sons approached the well, they noticed that one of the settlers was taking a bath in the well, which houses water used for both farming and drinking by the Palestinian family. ‘I’m afraid to drink this water now. I think they dirtied it, and maybe even poisoned it, as has happened in the past,” said Fathalla, adding that settlers believed that water from that area was holy and bathing in it rinsed all sins….
IOF troops, Jewish settlers block worshipers from heading to Ibrahimi Mosque
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 21 Sept – Palestinian citizens clashed with Jewish settlers, backed by Israeli occupation forces, in Al-Khalil [Hebron] on Wednesday after they tried to block worshipers from heading to the Ibrahimi mosque for prayers. Dozens of Jewish settlers organized a provocative march toward the mosque’s gates while chanting anti-Arab and anti-Muslim slogans and blocked entry of worshipers into the mosque.he settlers and the Palestinians threw stones at each other and the clashes spread to four suburbs surrounding the Ibrahimi mosque. IOF soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas at the youths who threw stones and empty bottles at them.
Israelis attack bus of prisoners’ families
JENIN (WAFA) 21 Sept — A group of Israelis [not necessarily settlers – supporters of Shalit’s family maybe?] attacked on Wednesday a bus carrying families of Palestinian prisoners on their way to visit their detained relatives in the Naqab prison, south of Israel, according to family members. They said the Israelis threw stones at the bus after they prevented it from continuing on the road. The bus was prevented from moving for more than an hour until Israeli police arrived and allowed the bus to continue. No one was hurt in the incident.
The threat of Jewish terrorism / Larry Derfner
972mag 21 Sept — Israel’s number one journalist, Nahum Barnea of Yediot Aharonot, wrote the following today about the immediate prospects for violence in the West Bank as a result of the UN showdown: “Surprising as it sounds, the IDF and Israel Police both figure that the greatest danger at the moment is not from the Palestinian side, but from the Jewish side. ‘Price tag’ operations by settler extremists are spreading. Eight mosques have been attacked in the last two weeks with no arrests of any culprits being made. The Shin Bet stands helpless in the face of these events. While the Palestinian leadership is calling for restraint, Jewish extremists are fanning the flames, which are liable to sweep thousands of Arabs up on both sides of the Green Line.’
Settler violence rises in West Bank; more expected before UN vote / Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
EI 20 Sept — JERUSALEM (IPS) – Amid reports that the Israeli military is arming and training Israeli settlers in advance of a United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood later this week, Palestinian activists in the West Bank have organized emergency response teams to document Israeli settler attacks and prevent more from taking place.. “This project came from the continuous and frequent attacks by the settlers in the last days. The settlers have many plans to attack Palestinian houses and lands and they announced that they will make the Palestinians suffer as a punishment for going to get full membership in the United Nations,” Issa Amro, a Palestinian human rights activist with the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements organization, said.
Mounting settler violence forces Palestinian youth to postpone first ever model UN / Jalal Abukhater
EI blog 20 Sept — Along with four of my high school mates, I have been working on organizing Palestine’s first local Model United Nations conference. It was going to be held in Ramallah this weekend. We wanted to offer many students in Palestine the opportunity to participate in a Model United Nations conference, for the first time, to understand and gain awareness of how the United Nations functions and how it deals with world issues.
And more news from Today in Palestine:
Violence by Israeli forces
15-year-old shot in face during Qalandiya demonstration; loses eye
Pop. Struggle 21 Sept — The Qalandiya checkpoint, the main gateway between Ramallah and Jerusalem, has been sealed off by Israeli soldiers this morning. On he day of opening of the UN General Assembly session in which the recognition of the Palestinian state is expected to be discussed, the act caused heightened tensions in an already tense time. Shortly before 1 PM, clashes commenced between the armed soldiers who laid razor-wire barricades at the entrance to the checkpoint and local youth. The soldiers shot tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition at the youth, some of which were hurling stones in the direction of the soldiers. Some 20 demonstrators were treated for wounds by local medics. One of the protesters, a 15 year-old, was struck in the eye by a rubber-coated bullet shot from a short distance in violation of the Israeli army’s own open-fire regulations, and lost his eye. Another, a 20 year-old, was hit in the lower abdomen by a shrapnel from live ammo.
Israeli army uses new weapon to disperse protesters
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 21 Sept — The Israeli army Wednesday used an acoustic weapon called ‘The Scream’ for the first time to disperse Palestinians demonstrating at Qalandia checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, in support of the Palestinian bid to the United Nations. Within seconds, the sound emitted by the weapon causes people to fall to their knees, unable to maintain their balance. The weapon also causes dizziness and nausea, and long exposure to the sound can cause damage to hearing. It can be heard even if sound-proof earplugs are used … Soldiers also used a new kind of tear gas bombs which causes people to faint giving them no time to move away, which made it hard for reporters to be at the scene.
Israel escalates its aggressive measures in Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 21 Sept — Israeli occupation forces Wednesday escalated their arbitrary, aggressive measures against Palestinians in Hebron governorate, south of the West Bank, according to security sources.
Sources told WAFA that Israeli forces stormed Sa‘ir, a town north of Hebron, and Tabaqa, a village west of Hebron, firing tear gas towards Palestinian houses.
Israeli foot patrols also stormed vineyards and orchards surrounding Palestinians’ houses in Kureisa, a village south of Hebron. They set up several military checkpoints at various entrances and side roads to the city [Hebron?].
A group of settlers from the Jewish settlement of Adora, under the protection of Israeli soldiers, raided ‘Ein Fares, an agricultural area south of Hebron.
Local committee: Soldiers occupy Beit Ummar building
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 20 Sept 13:00 — Israeli forces took control of a building under construction on Monday evening in the village of Beit Ummar near Hebron, a local committee said. The Israeli military took control of the privately-owned building and stationed 15 soldiers there, spokesman of the local popular committee Ayyad Awad told Ma‘an. The building is owned by Yousif Awad Badran, he added. The presence of the soldiers has unsettled village residents, Awad said. The reason for their presence in the village is unknown.
Tensions over Palestinian UN bid spur new patrols in West Bank
CS Monitor 21 Sept — Palestinian, Israeli, and foreign activists have launched a neighborhood patrol project to protect Palestinians from Israeli settler violence, rising amid tensions related to the Palestinian UN bid for statehood … The new patrols not only aim to protect Palestinians but also document attacks and property damage by settlers.
IDF prepared for upswing in West Bank violence ahead of UN vote
Haaretz 21 Sept — IDF chief tells Netanyahu he sees no signs of impending riots; source in PMO says IDF ‘taking all possibilities into account’.
Activism / Solidarity
Refusing to die in silence — in VIDEO and PICTURES
Occ. Pal. 20 Sept — Yesterday in Nabi Saleh, a new campaign was launched called ‘Refusing to Die in Silence’, which documents and confronts colonist “settler” attacks on unarmed citizens in the West Bank. The project aims to warn the colonists and make them feel pressured by the presence of media crews ready to document the attacks.
Trial of West Bank protest organizer Bassem Tamimi postponed again ; to resume Sunday
Pop. Struggle 21 Sept — Tamimi’s hearing was postponed for the 4th time, after the prosecution summoned the wrong witnesses. The trial will resume on Sunday, when three soldiers will testify.
Jury in Irvine 11 trial goes to deliberation after attorneys’ closing arguments
EI 21 Sept — After two days of closing arguments by the defense and prosecution attorneys, the jury tasked with reaching a verdict in the Irvine 11 trial finally broke for deliberation on Tuesday afternoon. The courtroom heard the arguments of defense lawyers Lisa Holder, Tarek Shawky, Jacqueline Goodman and Dan Stormer before the prosecution, Dan Wagner, argued a rebuttal and closed his arguments.
Land theft / Ethnic cleansing
Look us in the eye / Rawia Abu Rabia
Haaretz 18 Sept — The condition of the Bedouin citizens of Israel in the Negev reflects an inherently flawed state policy that dates back to 1948 — Imagine that tomorrow the government asks 100 Jewish communities in the Negev, each with an average population of 300 people, to amalgamate into 30 towns. Imagine it appoints the National Security Council to oversee these matters. And imagine that all this takes place without anyone asking those citizens for their input. Imagine that the government passes this decision without taking into account the populations’ specific needs. It is difficult to imagine, because these things do not happen to Jewish citizens of Israel.
New Israeli housing committee approves 90 settlement units
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 21 Sept — Israel’s new National Housing Committee approved in its first meeting on Tuesday plans to build 900 settlement units in Jewish settlements in occupied southern Jerusalem, Israeli Channel Ten has reported. “The Northern Regional Planning and Building Commission has also approved plans for 35,000 housing units in the north, which have not yet been implemented because of various obstacles,” said the Israeli Ministry of Interior.
Yediot: IDF investigation confirms all Eilat attackers were Egyptian, not Gaza / Richard Silverstein
21 Sept — Alex Fishman, Yediot Achronot’s veteran security correspondent, and one of the few Israeli journalists skeptical about the official government version of the Eilat terror attack, confirms what many of us knew all along: it was a tissue of lies. The government reported originally that the Popular Resistance Committees of Gaza were responsible for the attack and that the attackers were affiliated with it. Then an Egyptian newspaper reported that its military killed three of the attackers and that they were Egyptian. That’s one of the reasons many of us doubted the official version. Now Fishman reports that in fact, the military investigation confirms that all the militants were Egyptian … This explains why there were no mourning tents in Gaza and no reports there of any fighters killed by Israel. Ehud Barak knew the knowledge that the attackers were not Gazan, as he claimed, would sink Israel’s entire plan to blame Gaza on the attack and its plan to take vengeance on it instead of the source of the attack, Egypt.
Navy prevents tobacco smugglers from reaching Gaza
Ynet 21 Sept – The Israel Navy captured two Palestinians with dozens of bags of tobacco worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, destined to be smuggled from Egypt to the Gaza Strip, the IDF announced Tuesday. The Navy identified a fishing boat heading in the direction of moorings in the southern Gaza Strip. The boat was heavy in the water; a fact that indicated it was carrying a great deal of weight on board, in contrast to other fishing boats.
Egyptian authorities: Security forces detain 4 Palestinians
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 21 Sept — Egyptian security forces detained four Palestinians on Wednesday who had entered Egypt through underground tunnels connecting to the Gaza Strip. Egyptian authorities said that their visas to enter Egypt had expired and they are still investigating the reason for their entry to Egypt. Egyptian security officials said that the low number of passengers allowed to enter Egypt via the Rafah crossing leads people to try and enter the country illegally via other routes.
Palestinian human rights worker kidnapped in Iraq
IMEMC 21 Sept — The Palestinian Human Rights Foundation reported Wednesday that its representative in Iraq was kidnapped by gunmen wearing the attire of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior. The foundation said that, on Wednesday evening, Qusai Abdul-Raouf was on tour documenting the increasing attacks carried out by the Iraqi Forces against the Palestinian refugees in Al Baladiyyat neighborhood in Baghdad … Earlier in August, the Palestinian ambassador in Iraq, Daleel Al Qassous, stated that the situation of the Palestinian refugees in Iraq is the worst compared to any other place on earth … Al Qassous stated that the refugees in Iraq are being attacked for being Sunni Muslims, and for allegedly supporting the former Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein.
Israeli special forces arrest Palestinian
HEBRON (WAFA) 21 Sept — Israeli special forces arrested on Wednesday a Palestinian from Beit Ummar, a village north of Hebron, according to local activists. Spokesman of the National Committee against the Wall and settlement, Mohammed Awad, told WAFA that undercover Israeli soldiers disguised as Palestinians arrested Ibrahim Sabarneh, 20, in Beit Ummar, from his work place
Police arrest two worshipers in al-Aqsa Mosque
JERSUALEM (WAFA) 20 Sept – Israeli police stationed in al-Aqsa Mosque compound Tuesday arrested two worshippers for facing extremist Jews who were wandering the yard of the mosque, according to a witness. He said that extremist Jewish groups, under the protection of Israeli police, raided al-Aqsa Mosque yard from the Damascus Gate, where worshipers faced them to drive them out. The police arrested two worshippers in a detention center outside the compound.
Israel still detains five Gaza citizens as ‘unlawful combatants’
GAZA (PIC) 21 Sept — The Israeli occupation authority is still holding five Gaza citizens under the so-called law of unlawful combatant after concluding their terms in prison, the Palestinian ministry of prisoners in Gaza said on Wednesday. Riyadh Al-Ashqar, the ministry’s spokesman, said the IOA released Abdullah Abu Mughiseeb, 29, a week ago after serving a six-year sentence then two more years as unlawful combatant thus reducing the number of those detainees to five.
Racism / Discrimination
In Arab village Dabburiya, the classroom is the hallway to the toilet
Haaretz 21 Sept –The run-down building, which dates from around 1935, has no air conditioning units to cool teachers and students on hot September days … Students in this classroom don’t have to ask permission to go to the restroom. They just walk around the teacher’s desk and enter a stall.
Thousands rally for statehood in the West Bank
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 21 Sept — Thousands rallied Wednesday across the occupied West Bank, as Palestinians called on the United States to back down from its threats to veto Palestine’s bid for membership in the UN … Celebrations began early in Ramallah as scouts, students, civil servants and representatives of national factions visited the tomb of late president Yasser Arafat before they began marching to a central square. The renowned PLO band Al-Asheqeen performed for an audience of thousands. In Bethlehem, police officials offered an initial estimate of 3,000 participants in a large rally held outside the Nativity Church, the traditional site of the birth of Jesus. Local clergy were among the speakers. The largest rally was in Hebron, a Ma‘an correspondent reported … Fatah leader Mahmoud Al-Alul, the former government of Nablus, praised Abbas’ stance on going to the Security Council despite American warnings of the consequences. “It has become evident that the only person who dares to say no to the US nowadays is the Palestinian president, Abu Mazen, and other Palestinian leaders,” he said.
West Bank rallies for UN statehood in pictures
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 21 Sept — Tens of thousands rallied across the West Bank on Wednesday in a mass show of support for a campaign to become a member state of the United Nations. The demonstrations were hailed as the largest public gatherings since the end of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2005.
Palestinian Authority orders mosques to praise Abbas, UN bid / Ali Abunimah
EI blog 21 Sept — The Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled by Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah has ordered all mosques to join its campaign in support of Abbas and the PA’s bid for UN membership. An official letter posted on the website of the PA’s religious affairs ministry, in Arabic, and dated 20 September 2011, states the following:
Paris-based Palestinian composes anthem for homeland
PARIS (Reuters) 20 Sept — A Palestinian living in France has come up with what has become an unwitting anthem for his homeland’s bid for nationhood at the United Nations meeting later this week. Ahmed Dari, who until recently worked for the United Nations’ Educational, Social and Cultural Organisation, is the author of “Mestani Dawla be Aylol” — “I Am Waiting for a State in September” — a hit song that is played from Ramallah to Rafah. http://bit.ly/oTbapN
Women demonstrate in Gaza to support Palestinian UN bid
GAZA (WAFA) 21 Sept — A mass women’s demonstration took place in Gaza on Wednesday in support of the Palestinian request for a full United Nations membership of a Palestinian state this Friday. The demonstration, organized by the committees of Palestinian women’s struggle, began in front of the Red Cross and headed to the UN headquarters in Gaza City.
Analysts: Hamas quietly hoping for failure of UN bid
GAZA CITY (AFP) 21 Sept — Gaza’s Hamas rulers are quietly hoping that the Palestinian bid for UN membership fails, in the hope they can score some political points without a new split, analysts say. “If Abu Mazen fails, Hamas will be stronger than ever,” political analyst Akram Atallah said, using the nom-de-guerre of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. “It’s his last card,” he said, adding that failure would end the prospect of peace negotiations with Israel — “to the benefit of Hamas.”
Az-Ziq: Hamas opposition to UN bid a mistake
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 21 Sept — Popular Resistance Campaign coordinator Mahmud Az-Ziq said Wednesday that Hamas had made a huge mistake by opposing the UN bid and banning activities in Gaza which support the campaign. The UN bid is a national movement with implications that affect all the Palestinian people, a statement said, adding that the UN bid should not be viewed through a factional lens … Az-Ziq noted that Hamas should consider the negative effect its position on the UN bid has for achieving political reconciliation.
Mass rally in Argentina in support of Palestinians
BUENOS AIRES (WAFA) 21 Sept — An estimated 20,000 people Tuesday participated in a demonstration in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, in support of the Palestinian bid to United Nations … The police had to close the main streets due to the large number of protesters who carried the Palestinian flags and banners calling for an independent Palestinian state.
Rallies in other countries:
Rally in Romania
Rally in Bulgaria
Vietnam affirms support of Palestinian UN bid
HANO (WAFA) 21 Sept — Vietnam affirmed its support on Wednesday of the Palestinian bid to the United Nations to seek full membership and recognition of a Palestinian state later this week, according to a Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson
Qatar supports the Palestinian UN membership, condemns Israeli settlement activities
IMEMC 21 Sept — The Prince of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani: …”After the failure of peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and the ongoing Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territories and the Golan Heights, as well as the tightening Israeli blockade and the bombing of civilians in the Gaza, the Palestinians have the right to be free and create their independent state.”
Seychelles supports Palestinian UN bid
VICTORIA (WAFA) 21 Sept — President of the Republic of Seychelles, James Alix Michel, Wednesday affirmed his country’s full support for the Palestinian bid to United Nations
Al-Wazir: PA could collapse if US withdraws aid
NEW YORK (Reuters) 19 Sept — A formal call for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations this week could bring severe financial strains, even a potential collapse of the Palestinian Authority, the territories’ top banker told Reuters on Monday.
Analysis: Long-shot scenario to avoid Mideast diplomatic clash
NEW YORK (Reuters) 21 Sept — A scenario is emerging that might prevent an Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic train wreck at the United Nations this week but analysts and officials say it will require near perfect timing and diplomacy to pull it off. Under the scenario, described by people familiar with the diplomacy, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would submit a letter seeking full U.N. membership on Friday and the U.N. Security Council will put off action on it, perhaps for weeks. The so-called Quartet — the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States — would then issue a finely-balanced statement giving each side enough political cover to agree to resume peace talks, possibly within weeks.
Obama: ‘No short cut’ to Middle East peace
Al Jazeera 21 Sept — US president tells UN that Israel and PLO both have “legitimate aspirations”, but peace can only come via direct talks … Recognising that Abbas is likely to proceed with his bud, Obama is expected to privately ask the Palestinian leader to essentially drop the move for statehood recognition after Abbas delivers a formal letter of intent to the UN on Friday, after his address to the UN General Assembly.
International day of peace / Mazin Qumsiyeh
21 Sept — On Obama’s UN speech: Let’s be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. [false] Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. [correct but this should be balanced by explaining that 10 times more Palestinians were butchered] Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. [Israelis teach hate 100 more times than the other way around and hate of the colonizer to the colonized is not the same as the reverse]. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. [That is nonsense; Israel wiped Palestine including 530 villages and towns and now is the fourth strongest country plus having you Obama and Congress as its lackeys].
PLO Exec. Committee member Hanan Ashrawi on UN statehood bid
IMEU 21 Sept — interview hosted by Yousef Munayyer. She talks about Obama’s speech.
Netanyahu thanks Obama for Palestine stand
UNITED NATIONS (UPI) 21 Sept — Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked U.S. President Obama Wednesday for opposing the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations. The two men met briefly before reporters in a room outside the U.N. General Assembly in New York. “I think this is a badge of honor and I want to thank you for wearing that badge of honor,” Netanyahu told Obama, referring to a U.S. pledge to block the Palestinian statehood bid.
UK attempts to stop Palestine UN bid
Press TV 21 Sept — British foreign secretary, William Hague, has met with the head of the Palestinian Fatah party, Mahmoud Abbas, in order to dissuade him from seeking UN recognition of Palestinian statehood. As the British leaders have found themselves indecisive as to how to respond to the Palestinian Authority’s bid to win statehood recognition at the Security Council, Hague tried to prevent Abbas’s move in efforts to put an end to the deep uncertainty at the top of British politics.
All alone on Israel Island / Yousef Munayyer
Chicago Trib 21 Sept — …In short, the U.S. has consistently acted against its own interests to serve the interest of a right-wing Israeli government. The Palestinians’ aspirations have exposed this rather embarrassing American behavior internationally. This has been a way for Palestinians to say to the world: “You see, this is what we have to deal with when we participate in U.S.-led negotiations.” Israel Island is not simply a metaphysical place, it is a mentality — one that has preferred isolation over cooperation, stubbornness and recalcitrance over genuine concessions and abiding by law, vetoes over pressuring Israel.
Israeli army readies Twitter arsenal
Politico 21 Sept — With the possibility of large-scale protests in the Gaza Strip and West Bank in favor of a Palestinian request for statehood recognition at the United Nations, the Israeli military says that it is ready to respond on social media with an ‘arsenal of tweets’ … “Should we need to intervene from a security perspective, we have prepared an arsenal of tweets, clips and other forms of content,” Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich told POLITICO. “We respond every day, 24/7. That’s the idea of new media, isn’t it?” The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit has a new media desk that is staffed by soldiers, reservists in times of emergency and a commander, who constantly monitor Twitter, influential blogs and other new media sources.
NY Times: Israeli Prime Minister tightening connections with US Republican Party
IMEMC 21 Sept — According to a report published Wednesday by the New York Times newspaper ahead of Wednesday’s meeting between US President, Barack Obama, and Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Obama administration has solicited the assistance of Netanyahu to influence the Republican party in Congress on the Israel-Palestine issue.
Turkey’s Erdogan calls Israel’s offshore gas drilling ‘madness’
Reuters 21 Sept — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described offshore gas drilling by estranged ally Israel and Cyprus as “madness” on Wednesday, raising the stakes in a confrontation over potentially huge deposits in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
After disclosures by WikiLeaks, Al Jazeera replaces its top news director
NYTimes 20 Sept — CAIRO — Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news network financed by Qatar, named a member of the Qatari royal family on Tuesday to replace its top news director after disclosures from the group WikiLeaks indicating that the news director had modified the network’s coverage of the Iraq war in response to pressure from the United States … some people now cite what they see as a double standard in the network’s sensational coverage of the unrest in Syria on the one hand, and its relatively negligible coverage of the strife in Bahrain, Qatar’s Persian Gulf neighbor. United States diplomatic cables disclosed recently by WikiLeaks appear to open a new window into the network’s interactions with Qatar and other governments.
Al-Jazeera chief replaced by member of Qatari royal family
Irish Times 21 Sept — …Khanfar, credited with revolutionising the Arab media landscape, said he was resigning after eight years that consolidated the satellite network’s reputation and his own highly influential position. The new boss is Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani, a little-known executive at Qatargas and a member of the fabulously wealthy Gulf state’s ruling dynasty — pointing to a clear attempt to exercise greater control. It is thought that Khanfar had become too independent a figure for the Qataris, and that he had come under pressure from them. Recently al-Jazeera has been accused of pulling its punches over the uprising in Bahrain, where Saudi Arabia dominates regional policy. Al-Jazeera’s Lebanon chief, Ghassan Bin Jiddo, resigned in April, apparently in disagreement over coverage of some of the revolts.
Analysis / Opinion
A century-old warning / Adam Keller
19 Sept — A few days ago I found lying in the street near my home an old book – the collected writings of Micha Joseph Berdichevsky, a Zionist writer, poet and commentator who was born in 1865 and died in 1921 … “But one thing we have forgotten to discuss: we have forgotten that in the country we love there is an entire other people, which has been holding to it for centuries, and which never had any intention of letting go of it”. And he goes on to tell us of this living people as “a people with a sensitive heart and a loving soul”, which is bound to its his homeland by strong bonds and that “It is to be conjectured that many of them are descended from the scattered and refugee members of our own people, who had become assimilated among other peoples during times of persecution and destruction”, and share this blood relation.
Why the Middle East will never be the same again / Robert Fisk
Independent 20 Sept — The Palestinians won’t get a state this week. But they will prove — if they get enough votes in the General Assembly and if Mahmoud Abbas does not succumb to his characteristic grovelling in the face of US-Israeli power — that they are worthy of statehood. And they will establish for the Arabs what Israel likes to call — when it is enlarging its colonies on stolen land — “facts on the ground”: never again can the United States and Israel snap their fingers and expect the Arabs to click their heels. The US has lost its purchase on the Middle East. It’s over: the “peace process”, the “road map”, the “Oslo agreement”; the whole fandango is history. Personally, I think “Palestine” is a fantasy state, impossible to create now that the Israelis have stolen so much of the Arabs’ land for their colonial projects. Go take a look at the West Bank, if you don’t believe me.
Video book review: “Letters from Palestine” edited by Kenneth Ring and Ghassan Abdullah
PressTV 20 Sept — Letters from Palestine offers an American audience a rare opportunity to listen to actual Palestinian people as they describe what it is like to live in the occupied territories of the West Bank or Gaza, or to grow up as a Palestinian in the US Their accounts are lively, poignant, searing, and tragic, yet often laced with touches of surreal humor. By showing Palestinians in all their humanity, Letters from Palestine enables American readers to see beyond the usual stereotypes.