Grapel deal includes US F-16 sale to Egypt & Jordan’s King Abdullah reminds us he’s Israel’s only friend in region

on 28 Comments

and other news from Today in Palestine:

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Erasure of culture & history
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The “surreptitious and unscientific” removal of hundreds of bodies from ancient Muslim graves in Jerusalem violates international and Israeli law, a group of archaeologists warned Friday. Some 84 archaeologists and and professors of archaeology from universities and research centers around the world signed a letter appealing to Jerusalem’s mayor, the Israeli Antiquities Authority and the Simon Wiesenthal Center to abandon plans to build a Museum of Tolerance on the historic Mamilla cemetery.
Occupation is planning to build one million housing units in ten years
It was revealed that the Israeli occupation ministry of interior plans to build one million settlement housing units over the next ten years, which means a huge leap in settlement and Judaization.

Anata falls victim to militarized, illegal settlement once again
When Mohammad woke up on Tuesday, he still did not know about the Israeli forces or the bulldozers that were on their way to uproot his trees and demolish his entire farm. But before the day was over, all of his property was erased and one could hardly guess that there had ever been a building there. “I’m very sad because of the farm”, Mohammad said. The soldiers claimed that the buildings were illegal, referring to the Israeli Civil Administration. ”This is the land from my grandfather, and I have no other land,” Mohammad says.
Israeli Regime Terrorism

Israel rejects Palestinian lawsuit over IDF missile that struck family home
Jerusalem court calls incident, in which missile killed 2 Gaza family members during 2006 hit operation, legitimate act of war, orders family to pay NIS25,000 in legal fees.

Israeli aircraft have carried out three bombing attacks on the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip, witnesses say. The airstrikes targeted areas in eastern and western parts of the city during early hours of Thursday, AFP reported.  Israeli military officials confirmed the attacks, claiming that the air assaults were in response to “a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip late Wednesday,” a claim not yet verified by any official source in Gaza.  Witnesses said a base, belonging to the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement Hamas, was also targeted by the Israeli aerial attacks.  There have been no reports of casualties so far.

Israeli airstrikes on Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have carried out four air raids at an early hour Thursday on unpopulated open areas in Deir Al-Balah and Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip.

Child Suffers Quadriplegia After Being Shot By Israel Army Fire During Training
Palestinian medical sources in occupied Jerusalem reported that a 4-year-old child, was shot by a stray live round in her neck fired by Israeli soldiers during training at the Anatot military base, built on lands illegally annexed from the residents Anata Palestinian town, north of Jerusalem.

Stone-throwing met with huge military response
A group of children were reported to have thrown stones at a settler car in Al-Abbasiya neighborhood of Silwan on the evening of Monday 17 October, triggering an enormous Israeli military response. Despite the settler escaping unscathed, a huge force of Israeli troops immediately filled the neighborhood, spreading an air of tension throughout Silwan. Residents of Silwan live in perpetual fear of arrest. Arrest or abduction can come at unknown hours of the day or night, often without warning.


Israeli forces storm Silwan, house raided
A large number of Israeli forces stormed Silwan this morning, closing all entrances to Al-Hara al-Wasta neighborhood. Journalists were denied entry to the besieged area by troops. The operation was conducted in coordination with intelligence units and the regular army, which usually operates only outside of Jerusalem, in accordance with civil law enforcement codes in the district. The family home of Kifah Sarhan was raided by Israeli forces, who searched the house extensively. Personal documents, CDs, a computer and 20 NIS that Sarhan had received in compensation from the YMCA as a former worker were all confiscated.   While some stones were thrown at Israeli forces during the raid campaign, the atmosphere remained tense but did not develop into violent confrontations. Troops withdrew from the region after three hours.  

Settler Terrorism
Settlers attack Palestinians east of Nablus
Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian cars travelling on the Yitzhar settlement road to the south east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Jewish settlers carry out arson attack on house and car east of Nablus
Jewish settlers savegely attacked the house of a Palestinian citizen located between the villages of Beit Furik and Beit Dajan east of Nablus city and caused material damage to his property.
This is a testimony of A’, a 61 year old peace activist, who was beaten badly with clubs on his head and entire body by Jewish settlers during an olive harvest in the Palestinian village of Jalud; his ribs and several fingers were broken, and his camera and personal belongings were robbed.
Palestinian Reprisals

Army Vehicle Hits Roadside Bomb Near Bethlehem
Israeli sources reported on Wednesday evening that an Israeli military vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, near the Efrat settlement, south of Bethlehem. Damage was reported, no injuries.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A grad rocket launched from the Gaza Strip struck an open field near the southern Israeli town of Ashdod, an army spokeswoman said late Wednesday. There were no reports of injury or damage, she said.
Prisoners / Political Detainees
Troops Kidnap Three Residents In Beit Ummar
The Israeli military invaded, on Thursday at dawn, the village of Beit Ummar, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, broke into and searched several homes, and kidnapped three Palestinian youth.

Youth’s detention extended by court
The detention of Faris al-Zeer was extended by the Magistrates Court yesterday until 6 November 2011. Zeer, 22, was arrested 5 months ago and is accused of throwing stones in Silwan. Despite Zeer’s proof of innocence, Israeli authorities have persisted in lodging accusations against him. Zeer has presented many witnesses and video recordings proving, however, that he was not at the site of confrontations at the times claimed by authorities.

MADA: Israel extends journalist’s detention without trial
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israel on Wednesday extended the imprisonment of a journalist who has not been charged or tried for any offense, a press freedom watchdog said. Israeli forces detained Nawaf al-Amer, a program coordinator for Quds satellite TV station, in June from his home near Nablus in the northern West Bank. On Wednesday, Israel extended al-Amer’s detention for four months, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) said in a statement.


“I want to hug my son before I die”

An elderly mother has been waiting 22 years for her son to come home. He was not included in the recent prisoner exchange deal.

Fadwa Barghouti: `For peace to come, Israel must release my husband`
Donald Macintyre – The Independent – “I hope Abu Mazen will demand Marwan`s release as a precondition of negotiations, as he did with the settlements,” she says. “If Israel wants to release Marwan Barghouti it will support Abu Mazen. He is a force in Fatah and Fatah is supporting peace. If he is released it will mean that Israel is on the road to making real peace.”
Prisoner Swap & Related News
Report: Grapel deal includes US F-16 sale to Egypt
Cairo military source says deal brokered to ensure release of Israeli-American Ilan Grapel includes pledge by Washington to sell Egypt fighter jets.,7340,L-4139954,00.html
Egyptian detainees transferred to Beersheba prison in preparation for exchange
Egyptian prisoners being held by Israel who are included in the exchange deal agreed between Cairo and Tel Aviv have been moved to Beersheba prison ahead of the swap. The deal is expected to be concluded this week. According to Hebrew Radio, 22 Egyptian detainees have been moved to Beersheba; three children are being held in Ofek prison. There are a total of 81 Egyptians in Israeli prisons. Meanwhile, a member of the Knesset, Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union, has submitted a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court claiming that the Inner Ministerial Council for Political and Security Affairs does not have the authority to give the go-ahead for such an agreement. He has called for the swap to be stopped.

Report: Israeli spy suspect arrives at Egypt-Israel border
CAIRO (AFP) — US-Israeli national Ilan Grapel, who has been held in Egypt on espionage charges, has arrived at the Taba border with Israel ahead of a prisoner swap that would see 25 Egyptians freed, state TV said. Israeli security sources told AFP they have no information about him being taken to the border and are still expecting him to fly into Tel Aviv accompanied by Israeli representatives.

Senior Hamas official in Damascus tells Israel Radio that Shalit was allowed to watch television and listen to the radio and at times would even talk and ‘laugh’ with his captors.

Diskin: Swap deals bad for Israel
Former Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin claims prisoner exchange deals are not in Israel’s best interest, says Shalit deal enhanced Hamas’ prestige. ‘Government at fault for not holding peace talks with PA,’ he says.,7340,L-4139491,00.html

P.A. Demands The Release Of 550 Detainees
Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that, according to senior Palestinian officials, the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) in the West Bank will be asking the Quartet Committee to pressure Israel into releasing 550 detainees, to fulfill vows made by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to President Mahmoud Abbas.

Jonathan Pollard: Shalit release gives me hope
Israeli spy serving life sentence in US moved by end of Gilad Shalit’s Hamas captivity; tells wife: ‘I hope I’ll get out of here alive, too’.,7340,L-4139965,00.html

In pictures: the liberated prisoners
Prisoners released as part of the prisoner swap agreement between the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and the Israeli government return home to Silwan.

Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment / Solidarity / Activism 

Iranians have refused to compete against Israelis in other international sporting events this year, including the world wrestling championships in Istanbul in September and the world swimming championships in Shanghai in July.

BDS Victory: Alstom loses Saudi Haramain Railway contract worth $10B
Occupied Palestine- 27-10-2011 — The BDS National Committee (BNC) has declared a long sought-after victory as Alstom lost the bid for the second phase of the Saudi Haramain Railway project, worth 10 billion US dollars, after pressure from the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, including effective campaigning from the newly launched KARAMA, a European campaign to Keep Alstom Rail And Metro Away.
Heralded by the major French newspaper Le Monde as “the spokesman of a new generation,” DAM, the first Palestinian hip hop crew and among the first to rap in Arabic, began working together in the late 1990s. Struck by the uncanny resemblance of the reality of the streets in a Tupac video to the streets in their own neighborhood of Lyd, Tamer Nafar, Suhell Nafar, and Mahmoud Jreri were inspired to tell their stories through hip hop.

 After their timely song “Min Irhabi” (“Who’s the terrorist”) was downloaded over a million times shortly after its internet release in 2001, DAM became a household name among youth throughout the Middle East. Rolling Stone in France distributed the song free in one of their issues, and the song has been featured in various compilations.


New Ben Gurion Airport Fly-In planned for April 2012
Bienvenuepalestine – Activists of the France-based “Bienvenue Palestine” (Welcome to Palestine) initiative have resolved on a new international mission to Palestine, to be held on April 15 to 2012. A large number of international activists are to arrive in the Bethlehem Area at the invitation of local Palestinians. As in the previous “fly-in”, which caused great consternation to Israeli authorities a few months ago, activists intend declare openly their intentions upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport – thus challenging the government`s policy of turning back activists heading for the Palestinian territories.

Visit Palestine, it Makes a World of Difference
Julie Holm – MIFTAH – It is easy to sit in the comfort of your home, watching the (often one-sided) news and make up your mind about this very complicated conflict. Experiencing the uncomfortable situation at checkpoints, visiting settlements and refugee camps and seeing the separation wall with your own eyes gives it a very different perspective altogether.


Don’t Collaborate with Apartheid
A call from Palestinian civil society on European universities, academics, students and people of conscience from Palestinian academics, students and civil society organisations.


“Jesus, Justice, Palestine-Israel: Challenging the Politics of Empire”
Join US Campaing member group Sabeel for their exciting all day event, October 29, linking Jesus’ message to search for a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis today. Registration closes today, October 25. ”Jesus, Justice, Palestine-Israel: Challenging the Politics of Empire”—an all-day peace-and-justice symposium organized by Sabeel DC Metro, the Friends of Sabeel group in the Washington DC region–is happening Saturday, October 29, 2011, 9:30am-4:30pm at Ravensworth Baptist Church, 5100 Ravensworth Rd. (corner of Braddock Rd. at I-495 exit 54 east) in suburban Annandale, Va. Registration required by Oct 25 (see below).

Minneapolis panel pitting Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews gets no media attention, Sylvia Schwarz
On October 16, I spoke on a panel for the Joint Peace with Justice Committee of the Minneapolis and St. Paul Area synods, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, entitled “Seeking Israeli/Palestinian Peace: Varied Voices from the Jewish Community.” The forum was organized by Charles Lutz, a Lutheran pastor who has had an interest in the Middle East for many years, led delegations to Palestine, and brought Palestinians to Minneapolis to address this and other groups.

Diplomatic / Political Developments

Jordan king: We are Israel’s last ally in region
WASHINGTON (Ma’an) — Jordan’s King Abdullah on Tuesday said his kingdom was Israel’s last ally in the region and warned that Egypt may dissolve its peace treaty with Tel Aviv. “We are actually the last man standing with our relationship with Israel,” the king told The Washington Post, pointing to Israel’s troubled relations with Turkey and Egypt. Jordan will maintain peaceful ties with Israel because it is in both parties’ interests, he said.

Jordan’s Abdullah: Egypt could break its peace treaty with Israel
In interview with Washington Post, King says Jordan is effectively ‘the last man standing’ with Israel ties in Mideast, saying the Arab Spring is a ‘disaster’ for Israel.

Finnish FM: Israel’s occupation of West Bank – like apartheid

Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said Wednesday that Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories is tantamount to apartheid, warning that time was running out for a two-state solution. ”If you are occupying areas inhabited by… Palestinians who do not have the same rights as the Israelis in Israel, that is apartheid and that is not sustainable,” he told reporters. “I think that the majority in Israel has also realized this but they have been unable to provide a leadership that (can) move forward on the two-state solution,” he added.
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday reiterated his criticism of President Mahmoud Abbas, calling him an obstacle and urging him to quit. Abbas is the “greatest obstacle to peace” whose resignation would be a “blessing,” he said in the second such remarks in as many days since the ultranationalist first attacked the president.  His “resignation would be a blessing because he represents the greatest obstacle to peace,” Lieberman told Israel’s army radio, according to AFP.

Palestinian reconciliation back on the table (AP)
AP – A Palestinian official says the Palestinian president will meet with the leader of the militant Hamas movement next month to discuss uniting dueling governments in the West Bank and Gaza.*

Israel, Palestinians to offer peace proposals: Quartet (Reuters)
Reuters – Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to make proposals on issues of territory and security within three months, keeping peacemaking efforts alive, an official from the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators said on Wednesday.


Palestinian negotiator tells Quartet: Peace Talks can start when Israel ends settlement expansion
The International Quartet for Mideast Peace, made up of representatives from the US, EU, Russia and Great Britain, held separate meetings on Wednesday with Palestinian and Israeli officials in an attempt to re-start peace talks, which have been stalled for over a year since Israeli government officials refused to end expansion of Israeli settlement colonies on Palestinian land.

The Quartet is hoping to once again bring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the negotiating table, but peace talk preconditions are proving to be a problem. What are the two parties’ requirements for getting talks started?


Jewish groups: Don’t slam Obama over Israel
ADL, AJC issue joint ‘pledge’ asking Jewish organizations, individuals to avoid criticizing American president’s record on Israel ahead of upcoming elections. Initiative slammed by other Jewish group, calls it ‘an attempt to silence us’.

George Mitchell says Shalit deal strengthened Hamas, and weakened Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Tunisia is celebrating long awaited democratic elections but in Israel, defense chiefs express concern over growing influence of Islamist elements. Gantz: ‘This creates scope of threats that Israel, IDF must prepare for’.

Iranian official visits Germany despite Israel’s protest
Deputy Finance Minister Mohammad Reza Farzin to address German Council on Foreign Relations forum despite objections by Jerusalem, Opposition groups in Tehran.

Other News
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Members of Palestinian Civil Police have participated in a week-long study trip to Cyprus to learn about police practices, strategic planning and administrative matters. The four-member delegation met with the Cypriot chief of police Michael Papageorgiou, who explained Cypriot police organization and the function of different departments, the delegation’s EU sponsors said.  The Cypriot Police Strategic Planning Team discussed its Police Strategic Plan and different ways for following through on the strategic plan and activities which result from such a plan. ”The Palestinian delegation had many interesting discussions and learned a lot from the experience of the Cypriot Police,” said police adviser Ioannis Mavrochanna, who accompanied the delegation, in a statement.
Kamm allegedly stole some 2,000 documents from the office of then-GOC Central Command Yair Naveh, where she worked during her army service. She later passed the documents on to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau.
Other Mideast / World News
An Egyptian court jailed two policemen on Wednesday for seven years for their “cruel” treatment of an activist whose death helped kindle the popular revolt against Hosni Mubarak. Khaled Said, 28, died in the port city of Alexandria in June last year after two plainclothes police dragged him out of an Internet cafe and beat him, witnesses and rights groups say. Authorities said he died choking on drugs. “The court sentences the defendants to seven years in jail for using cruelty against the victim,” Judge Moussa al-Nahrawy said in a statement read out in court at the end of a case that began before the uprising erupted.
In the courtroom, families of the two policemen shouted angrily at the judge over guilty verdict, while activists and Said’s family complained the two police had got off lightly.

Arab League urges Assad to open dialogue 
Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad has met a delegation of Arab government ministers in Damascus. The Arab League has been urging him to open dialogue with the opposition after human rights groups said at least 24 people were killed across the country on Wednesday. Al Jazeeera’s Rula Amin reports from Beirut.


Ouster of Syria’s Assad would be ‘opportunity’ for Israel (video) (The Christian Science Monitor)
The Christian Science Monitor – Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said Tuesday it will take more time to determine how the Arab Spring, and the new governments it has ushered in, will affect Middle East nations’ relations with Israel.

Bahrain’s government is under pressure — not just from protesters in Manama, but also from parts of the Washington foreign policy community, who want to delay U.S. arms sales to the country. Bahraini Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa has been in town for over a week meeting with officials and lawmakers to assuage U.S. concerns over the kingdom’s domestic crackdown, and sat down for a lengthy interview with The Cable.

Muammar Qaddafi’s son and one-time heir apparent reportedly poised for surrender
Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the last of deceased Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s sons still at large, has reportedly asked to be transported to the International Criminal Court.

Padilla revives lawsuit against Rumsfeld for alleged torture
WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Jose Padilla, the US citizen arrested in 2002 for an alleged “dirty bomb” plot, launched an action to try to revive a lawsuit over his alleged torture at an American naval base. Padilla, who is incarcerated at a high security jail in Colorado, previously sued in an attempt to hold former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other US officials accountable for his suffering, but a district court judge granted the latter immunity and dismissed the case.

Occupy Wall Street
Police crack down on Oakland protesters
“Occupy” demonstrators marching in anger over arrests made earlier, meet with flash grenades and tear gas in US city.
Updates on Occupy Protests Nationwide
After a night of violence in Oakland, Calif., where police officers fired tear gas at protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement, The Lede is following the response of demonstrators in cities across the country on Wednesday. To share links to eyewitness accounts, video or photographs of the protests, post a comment in the thread below or send a message on Twitter [email protected]
Scott Olsen, marine wounded by Oakland police, is in ‘critical condition’
In a video published early Thursday morning, ex-Marine Scott Olsen, the 24-year-old who suffered a fractured skull in Oakland on Tuesday night and is currently in “critical condition,” is seen standing peacefully in front of a police barricade next to a uniformed sailor just moments before officers deployed chemical agents to disperse the crowd.

Marine veteran’s skull fractured by police projectile at ‘Occupy Oakland’ protest
A Marine veteran protesting with “Occupy Oakland” sustained a skull fracture Tuesday night after being shot in the head with an unidentified police projectile. Scott Olsen, a two-time Iraq war veteran and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, was at 14th Street and Broadway when he was struck in the head. “We need medic!” one protester was heard screaming. “Medic! Medic!”  “What happened?” another asked. “He got shot!” As Olsen was carried away, he appeared unconscious and bloody, unable to even respond when asked his name.

Oakland Police Critically Injure Iraq War Vet During Occupy March
WASHINGTON — The Oakland Police Department fired tear gas on Occupy Oakland demonstrators Tuesday night as they marched through downtown, determined to reclaim the camp that officers destroyed that morning. As the marchers zigged and zagged in search of safe ground, authorities bombarded and barricaded the activists into a drawn-out stalemate that resulted in further arrests. The local police’s use of force seriously injured an Occupy activist and Iraq War veteran. Scott Olsen, 24, remains sedated on a respirator, in stable but critical condition at Oakland’s Highland Hospital after being hit in the head with a police projectile.

People of Oakland under attack by thugs in uniform
I don’t want to jump to conclusions before we hear all the lies from the police department and the mayor of Oakland. After all, this protester from Occupy Oakland could have ties to al-quaeda, and maybe he tried to bite an officer. We need to hear all the lies first. If you want to get the lies in person, which is highly recommended and may be even entertaining, if not downright educational, the allegedly “progressive” mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan, will take your call at (510) 238-3141. Remember that she’s really on your side.

Palestine in Oakland,  Adam Horowitz
Last night police in Oakland, California cracked down on protesters in the Occupy Oakland movement in a possibly ominous sign of things to come. Mother Jones reports that law enforcement used rubber bullets, tear gas, and flash-bang grenades to attack the protesters. The tactical similarities to Israel’s treatment of nonviolent Palestinian protesters were obvious to many, but they go deeper than that. Max Blumenthal writes the Oakland police used many of the same weapons:

Protester: ‘Occupy Oakland’ not going away anytime soon
“Occupy Oakland” protester Fatima Mojadiddy appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Tuesday night to discuss the raid on the demonstration at Frank Ogawa Plaza. The two week-long demonstration was broken up, according to police, because of “continued violations of the law” including “numerous reports of fighting, assault and threatening/intimidating behavior.” Medical responders were denied access to the camp on at least two occasions.

Olbermann: Oakland mayor must fire police chief or resign
Keith Olbermann on his show Wednesday night called on Oakland Mayor Jean Quan to fire the city’s acting police chief after officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse “Occupy Oakland” protesters.  Police in Oakland repeatedly clashed with demonstrators Tuesday. Early Tuesday morning, hundreds of police officers cleared the protesters out of Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. The “Occupy Oakland” protesters regrouped later that night and marched towards City Hall in an effort to reclaim the site.


Maddow compares ‘Occupy Oakland’ to 1930s ‘Bonus Army’ protest
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on her show Wednesday night highlighted the similarities between the recent crack down on “Occupy Oakland” protesters and the crack down on the “Bonus Army” protesters in 1932. The “Bonus Army” was comprised of war veterans who camped out near the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. The demonstration was forcefully broken up the U.S. Army. When the public learned about the military’s intervention, they were outraged.

Stewart: ‘What the f*ck happened in Oakland?’
On Wednesday night’s show, Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart shamed authorities in Oakland who used tear gas, rubber bullets, bean-bag bullets, concussion grenades, flashbombs, sound cannons or other forceful methods to disburse protesters. “What the fuck happened in Oakland?” Stewart exclaimed. “What’s going on, Oakland? Chill out.” “So, the city was concerned about a public safety threat so they did this,” he said while watching footage of protesters running as tear gas filled the streets and explosions went off in the background. “Seems a little heavy handed. Unless, was one of the protesters Godzilla? That would justify an attack.” “Oh, are you fucking kidding me?” Stewart asked about a person in a wheelchair surround by a cloud of tear gas. “What do you think that chair comes on ramming speed? Come on!

Dozens Arrested at Occupy Oakland as Police Raid Encampment, Tear Down Tents
Oakland police stormed the Occupy Oakland protest encampment outside City Hall just before 5:00 a.m. PDT. Police lobbed flash grenades and reportedly fired tear gas. Initial reports say at least 70 people have been arrested and the police tore apart the protest camp. We get a live report from the park by legal observer Marcus Kryshka. Nearly 2,500 people have now been arrested in protests since the start of Occupy Wall Street movement on September 17.

Occupy SF shrugs off new police warning
There may have been tension across the bay while police cleared Occupy Oakland’s camps, but life carried on today at San Francisco’s Occupy home with barely a hitch – despite a new warning from city officials to limit activities there.

Occupy San Jose protester refusing to come down off City Hall wall
A protester from Occupy San Jose climbed a three-story wall near City Hall Monday and refused to come down. The protester, who goes by the name “Cracker,” was identified as 27-year-old Shaun O’Kelly by another demonstrator, according to KGO. O’Kelly told reporters that he was an itinerant construction worker who had been cited several times for living on the streets.

The Occupy LA movement has released an official statement in response to reports that Senator Dianne Feinstein and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have expressed concern about the length of their stay on the Los Angeles city hall lawn. The protesters reiterated their thanks to city officials and law enforcement, who, throughout the “occupation,” have decided to officially support the movement and stop enforcing an ordinance that restricts public assembly on the lawn between certain hours. “We sincerely hope that a positive working relationship between city officials and the LAPD continues,” said the Occupy LA movement in a statement.

‘Occupy Portland’ touts highly-organized peaceful protest in video
Although footage of protesters clashing with police has received an overwhelming amount of media coverage, peaceful assemblies of “Occupy” protesters have mostly gone ignored. “Occupy Portland” released a short video on Wednesday that shows how the group’s Peace & Safety Committee has maintained public safety and kept their actions peaceful.


‘Occupy Chicago’ protesters confront Rahm’s chief of staff
Volunteers from National Nurses United and “Occupy Chicago” demonstrators marched to City Hall on Tuesday to protest their arrest late Saturday night in Grant Park. About 130 people were arrested after they set up tents in protest against the consolidation of economic power and refused to leave the public park after closing time. The majority of protesters peacefully heeded police warnings and left the park. Those who stayed were charged with misdemeanor trespassing and kept in holding cells for several hours.

Outraged Brazilians ‘occupy’ downtown Rio
RIO DE JANEIRO — Around 150 Brazilian activists held signs with angry slogans in downtown Rio de Janeiro in an “Occupy Rio” protest inspired by similar demonstrations in Spain and the United States. “2012 Is the End of the Capitalist World,” read one sign. “Why is the world for everyone, but so many people are hungry?” asked another. The activists, inspired by the “outrage” protests in Madrid and the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators in New York, moved into Rio over the weekend and are staying in tents pitched in the Cinelandia Plaza. 
The arms firm behind the suppression of #OccupyOakland and Palestine’s popular struggle, Max Blumenthal
With the rise of the Occupy Wall Street, a new generation of mostly middle class Americans is learning for the first time about the militarization of their local police forces. And they are learning the hard way, through confrontations with phalanxes of riot cops armed with the latest in “non-lethal” crowd control weaponry. Yesterday’s protests in Oakland, California were the site of perhaps the harshest police violence leveled against the Occupy movement so far.

Occupy Oakland & Mercenaries of the Oligarchy:The 99% vs. The Iron Heel, Nima Shirazi
In response, thousands of protesters gathered later that same day and faced down a phalanx of Oakland’s Finest Fascist, who responded by repeatedly attacking the crowd with more tear gas, batons, rubber bullets, beanbags, concussion grenades, flashbombs, and sound cannons. At one point, Oakland authorities, claiming the protest was “an unlawful assembly,” issued this threat: “If you refuse to move now, you will be arrested. If you refuse to move now, chemical agents will be used” (see here) and later warned those peacefully standing their ground, “If you have respiratory problems now is the time to leave.” They weren’t kidding.

From Tahrir to Wall Street: Egyptian Revolutionary Asmaa Mahfouz Speaks at Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street received a surprise visit Monday from several leading Egyptian activists, including 26-year-old Asmaa Mahfouz. She is one of the founders of the April 6 Youth Movement, which is the group credited with helping to organize the January 25 protests that eventually toppled the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak. Prior to the protest in January, Mahfouz recorded a YouTube video urging people to fill Tahrir Square. Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman spoke to her at Occupy Wall Street. “Many of U.S. residents were in solidarity with us,” Mahfouz said. “I am here to be in solidarity and support the Wall Street Occupy protesters, to say to them, ’the power to the people,’ and to keep it on and on, and they will succeed in the end.”

To the Occupy movement – the occupiers of Tahrir Square are with you, Comrades from Cairo
In many ways we in Egypt are part of the same struggle, and we are watching in solidarity. Keep going, don’t stop, occupy more. To all those across the world currently occupying parks, squares and other spaces, your comrades in Cairo are watching you in solidarity. Having received so much advice from you about transitioning to democracy, we thought it’s our turn to pass on some advice.

The 1% Demands: Occupy Palestine, Free Wall Street
As pro-Palestinian discourse begins to be heard in the worldwide Occupy Wall Street movement, right-wing organizations and individuals in the US, including the Republican National Committee and the Emergency Committee for Israel, have denounced the protests as anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.

The Classroom at the End of the Occupation, Clifton Ross
The first tweet from the Occupy Oakland had gone out just a few minutes before three, and we managed to make it to the plaza in about half an hour. When my wife Marcy and I arrived at Frank Ogawa Plaza, now redubbed, “Oscar Grant Plaza”, the flimsy barricades, some consisting of milk crates, had already been installed in preparation for the police attack. The occupiers, most with bandanas or scarves covering their faces as some sort of protection or guard for anonymity, worked as if directed, though there was no one directing.  It soon became clear that this was a problem. This was, in a sense, THE problem. After two weeks occupying the plaza, the “leadership” wasn’t leading; the unity of cause wasn’t a unity of action, and the occupation was now facing a very highly disciplined, well-armed, uniform and uniformed force, organized in a strict hierarchy to move as one body with a very specific objective. It was the Spanish Civil War in miniature and this pathetic last stand of anarchists against a professional military force would end similarly, a fact that was obvious beforehand, at least obvious to many, despite all the bravado of a group carrying black flags and hidden behind hoodies and scarves and the laughable barricades, two-feet high in places.

Analysis / Op-ed
Finland foreign minister condemns Israeli “apartheid” but will he act?, Ali Abunimah
Finland’s Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja has strongly criticized Israel’s practices against Palestinians and declared that “No apartheid state is justified or sustainable.” But will Finland take action to end its arms trade with Israel?

Israeli effort to remove Bedouins from East Jerusalem is part of the plan to make two states impossible, Zach Resnick
The Israeli Civil Administration (ICA), which is in charge of all civil operations in the West Bank (though in practice routinely blurs the line between civil and military), “…is committed to removing all Bedouins from the West Bank”, and plan to start with the Jerusalem periphery. Forced deportation, the practice of forcibly removing civilians from their homes, is an example of a war crime (4th Geneva Convention, Article 49).

A Palestinian Authority diplomat came under fire from Canadian officials and was forced to resign because of a tweet; meanwhile Israel’s human rights abuses go unpunished by Ottowa.

Jalud: Another Day, Another Pogrom, Richard Silverstein
The High Holiday liturgy includes a moving prayer called Eyleh Ezkerah (“These I will remember”), which portrays the martyrdom of rabbis at the hands of the Romans in their struggle to suppress the practice of Judaism during Jewish revolts against Roman rule.


Former Obama envoy George Mitchell comes out as ‘Israel’s lawyer’, Ali Abunimah
While he held the job of President Barack Obama’s peace process envoy, former US Senator George Mitchell generally maintained a good reputation. He came into the job with high regard because of his role in Northern Ireland. During his Middle East tenure, Mitchell was notoriously tight-lipped, allowing people to believe that behind the stony face was a tough and fair “honest broker” who would privately take Israel to task in ways that the US could not do publicly.

Strike Three? Bronner is violating the Times’ ethics code — again, Max Blumenthal
By agreeing to speak at the Islamophobic Clarion Fund’s 92nd Street Y event on November 7 beside neoconservative Richard Perle and uber-hawk John Bolton, Ethan Bronner is explicitly violating New York Times ethical guidelines. After I published my report about Bronner’s unethical business arrangement with a right-wing Israeli public relations firm, the Times’ Standards Editor Phil Corbett sent out a memo to the entire Times staff reminding them about the paper’s guidelines for speaking engagements. A staffer leaked the memo to Gawker. It included the following stipulations, which Bronner is clearly violating.

Bad Elliott, Philip Weiss
Putting the controversy over his wife Rachel Abrams’s writing firmly behind him, Elliott Abrams has a sober post up at the Council on Foreign Relations about how Obama is coming to the Bush position on settlements 3 years too late. Well, call me seduced– by his wife’s enchanting literary style--  but I used some Bad-Rachel-translation software to make Abrams’s post more readable. I mean, isn’t this how they discuss it at the dinner table?

Leading progressive magazine gives Palestinian solidarity the Swastika stamp, Philip Weiss
One of these days I am going to do a post on Howard Jacobson’s award-winning and very superficial novel, The Finkler Question, drawing attention to the book’s climactic passage, in which a Jewish anti-Zionist assaults another Jew for being Jewish. Aha! Anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism. But the passage is pure fiction. I have never witnessed any such assault, or heard of any such assault. I dare Jacobson to substantiate the claim. And yet his claim is emblematic. The guardians of high culture, both in England and the U.S., have encouraged the belief that in the slimy bottom of their hearts those who criticize Israel really don’t like Jews. Exhibit B: Graham Sugden spotted the above cartoon in a leading leftwing journal.


About Today in Palestine

Other posts by .

Posted In:

28 Responses

  1. DBG
    October 27, 2011, 1:23 pm

    . Israeli military officials confirmed the attacks, claiming that the air assaults were in response to “a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip late Wednesday,” a claim not yet verified by any official source in Gaza.

    Wow, that is pretty priceless.

    • annie
      October 27, 2011, 2:12 pm


    • Cliff
      October 27, 2011, 4:07 pm

      He doesn’t know why.

    • Taxi
      October 27, 2011, 5:15 pm

      And you’re the cheap shit DBG!

      I refer you to annie post below.

      Don’t it remind you of nazi murder and abuse of jewish children at all?

    • Charon
      October 27, 2011, 5:41 pm

      Yeah, why? They verify and take responsibility for rocket attacks. If they don’t, then it probably wasn’t Gaza. That Sinai ‘attack’ was initially attributed to Gaza. They retaliated violently. Except it wasn’t Gaza… Story kind of disappeared without an apology. What kind of insane policy is this? “It’s a rocket, it MUST be Gaza, let’s show them! Let’s blow up a hospital!”

      A rocket that didn’t hurt anybody of unknown origin. Israel attacks based on an assumption and they are usually dead wrong. Iraq nuclear reactor remains inspected a few years ago and determined to be incapable of producing weapons. It was for energy purposes afterall. Oh and of course all those WMD we never found there. You Zionists assume too much and it’s always the worst. Example, advocating the fall of Zionism somehow becomes a violent military attack against Israel in your mind.

      • annie
        October 27, 2011, 6:18 pm

        yeah, remember the alleged ‘gonna kidnap a soldier’ rumor israel used to break the ceasefire to justify cast lead.

      • DBG
        October 27, 2011, 9:36 pm

        yeah, it is just an assumption the grads came from Gaza. it amazes me how detached you ppl are. Where else do you think it came from? the moon. Do you think it was one of those super grads which was fired from Iran?

      • Chaos4700
        October 28, 2011, 12:58 am

        Compare and contrast with DBG’s assumption that every boat carrying aid to Gaza contains weapons.

  2. annie
    October 27, 2011, 2:11 pm

    “a 4-year-old child, was shot by a stray live round in her neck fired by Israeli soldiers during training at the Anatot military base, built on lands illegally annexed from the residents Anata Palestinian town, north of Jerusalem.”

    shit shit shit

    • Cliff
      October 27, 2011, 4:08 pm

      Why did you skip over this DBG?

      How does this bode well for your delicate, attuned, humanism? I mean, since you’re a veteran of ‘interfaith dialogues’.

      • DBG
        October 27, 2011, 9:34 pm

        Cliff, you were chastising other posters because they respond to me. Why do you, out of the blue, try to ‘call me out’ and mock my interfaith group in the process? Talk about a troll.

        As for the stray bullet, if it happened it is absolutely horrible.

      • Chaos4700
        October 28, 2011, 12:59 am

        How many “stray bullets” are you willing to excuse? As if the occupation was an “accident.” Anyway, you’re right — we should stop talking about your phony interfaith delusion, it’s just propagating yet another lie.

      • mig
        October 28, 2011, 1:16 am

        DBG : Would you kindly go through this list, and come to the same conclusion ( or not of course ), how much children dies to head injuries by accident.

    • Avi_G.
      October 27, 2011, 5:43 pm


      This doesn’t make much sense. Know why?

      At its closest point, Anata is about one mile from Anatot. At its farthest point, it’s two miles away.

      On a good clear day, the farthest distance a rifle-fired 50 caliber sniper bullet can travel nowadays is a little over 2600 yards. That converts to about 1.5 miles.

      Now, since the shot didn’t result in the obliteration of the girl, then the caliber must be much smaller than 50.

      So, that should lead one to conclude that she was shot by a smaller caliber bullet, which means she was shot from a closer range. In other words, I find the claim “stray bullet” to be highly questionable.

      • ToivoS
        October 27, 2011, 8:49 pm

        Actually the range of a 30-06 (standard WWII infantry rifle) is 4 km. The smaller .223 caliber rifles and automatic machine pistols are about 2 km.

        So a stray bullet is deadly at those distances. Still we should entertain the possibility that this was a sniper exercise where someone at the base wondered if he could hit that little girl at one mile.

      • Avi_G.
        October 27, 2011, 11:57 pm


        I think you’ll agree that it’s highly unlikely that the Israeli military would be using WWII rifles in 2011.

      • ToivoS
        October 28, 2011, 12:49 am

        But they use 30 caliber rifles, I don’t know what they are called but the size of the cartridge and bullet is comparable to the 30-06 round. I suspect their ranges are comparable.

      • Hostage
        October 28, 2011, 2:31 am

        I think you’ll agree that it’s highly unlikely that the Israeli military would be using WWII rifles in 2011.

        She was near her village when she was shot and her home is next to the wall:

        Shortly after noon on Wednesday, a four-year-old Palestinian girl named Asil Arara was shot in the neck by Israeli troops near her village of Anata, northeast of Jerusalem. A PNN reporter in Jerusalem said the shot was fired from the nearby Anatot army training camp toward Arara’s home, which lies next to the wall separating Anata from Jerusalem.

        Arara’s grandmother Samiha spoke to PNN on Wednesday afternoon, describing her granddaughter’s condition as “between life and death” and said she was playing near the wall when the shot was fired.

  3. yourstruly
    October 27, 2011, 4:07 pm

    jordan’s king abdullah says he’s israel’s only friend in the region?

    when around 60% of jordanians are of palestinian descent?

    he’s nothin but an israel-firster

    does he believe this is gonna endear him in the minds of the people?

  4. patm
    October 27, 2011, 4:07 pm

    Here’s some good news, Seham.

    BDS Victory: Alstom loses Saudi Haramain Railway contract worth $10B

    • Walid
      October 28, 2011, 3:25 am

      Patm, Alstom is still heavily involved in the building of a couple of power and desalination plants there worth much more than the this fast rail line, so it’s a more a matter of a Saudi company winning the contract than of Alstom getting its ass kicked out because of BDS like what happened to it in Stockholm a couple of years back. While Alstom was building the Jerusalem light rail line into the occupied territories, it was also building the Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Morocco and other Arab states’ transit systems and have signed on to build one in Baghdad. The worst non-participants in the BDS effort are Arab states. Last week it was reported that an Arab state was discusing supplying Israel with LNG to offset Egypt’s unreliability with all its pipeline shutdowns.

      • patm
        October 28, 2011, 7:48 am

        Yes, Walid, Alstom is engaged in other projects in Israel, but no longer in the Haramain Railway. This I take it is the reason for the BDS victory claim.

        From the source I cited above:

        “In commenting on the fierce competition between the Alstom-led consortium and its Spanish-led rival over the second phase of the lucrative Haramain Railway project, Emirati newspaper, Al-Ittihad, referred to “multiple factors” affecting the decision to award the contract, suggesting that political factors may have been taken into consideration.”

        Why do you think “The worst non-participants in the BDS effort are Arab states”? Simple greed?

      • Walid
        October 28, 2011, 2:28 pm

        Why do you think “The worst non-participants in the BDS effort are Arab states”? Simple greed?

        No, not greed, patm, they don’t care what happens to the Palestinians. If they did, they wouldn’t be falling over each other in their rush to enter into business ventures with Israel; even Syria that’s still at war with it buys apples from Israel under some pretext that doing so helps Syrian growers on the Golan.

        Haaretz reported in Sept 2009:

        “… According to the U.S. officials, some Arab states have agreed to let Israel open offices in their territory, others have agreed to grant visas to Israeli businessmen and tourists, and still others have offered to allow direct telephone connections between Israel and their countries.

        A few Arab countries have agreed to hold high-level public meetings with senior Israeli officials, and others have agreed to let Israeli planes fly through their air space or even land at their airports. ”

        Not very helpful to the BDS campaign if the Arabs aren’t backing it.

  5. seafoid
    October 27, 2011, 5:31 pm

    Palestinians just don’t count in Erez Israel, Annie
    What a mess. Jews wouldn’t shoot a kid.

    Cognitive dissonance

  6. DBG
    October 27, 2011, 9:57 pm

    Turns out the US deal DIDN’T include F-16s for the Israeli ‘spy’

    • Chaos4700
      October 28, 2011, 1:02 am

      Right. And we found nukes in Iraq until we didn’t, and we weren’t torturing until we couldn’t deny it any more. Might I suggest you look somewhere besides IDF press release clearinghouses, once in a while, for your news?

  7. Kate
    October 28, 2011, 1:20 am

    The Palestinian Information Center has this to say Thursday about the little girl paralyzed by the bullet:

    OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A four-year-old Palestinian girl was paralyzed for life after being hit with an Israeli bullet in her neck on Wednesday.

    Professor Samy Hussein, a neurosurgeon at Maqased hospital in Jerusalem, said that a medical team had performed an operation on Aseel Ara’ra, 4, and that she was currently in the intensive care.

    He said that the Israeli bullet penetrated her neck from the left and got out from her right shoulder directly inflicting irreparable damage to her spinal cord.

    Hussein said that the bullet was most probably of a machinegun and not a pistol, adding that the chances of improving the child’s condition were very slim.

    The Jerusalemite child was hit by the bullet on Wednesday fired from a training camp for the Israeli army built on Anata village land to the north east of occupied Jerusalem.

  8. kursato
    October 28, 2011, 11:47 am

    Abdullah is the dictator of Jordan with the support of the west, sadly

Leave a Reply