Israel doubles rate of Palestinian home demolitions and plans to uproot 30,000 Bedouin. Clinton says Palestinians need to be more flexible.

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 OCHA Report: “Home Demolitions Doubled in 2011”
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied territories (OCHA) reported that Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes have doubled in 20111 comparing to the figures of 2010.

Israeli parliament approves plans to transfer 30,000 Palestinian Bedouin
While attention is focused on the Palestinian Authority’s UN recognition initiative, Israel is quietly taking hugely significant steps to transfer 30,000 Palestinian Bedouin in the Naqab (Negev) desert from their ancestral lands.
The Palestinians need to show flexibility and get back to the negotiating table, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said in an interview with Egypt’s Al-Hayat TV released Saturday.  Asked about the Palestinians’ quest for full recognition at the United Nations, the top U.S. diplomat appeared to try to downplay the importance of the ongoing effort, which Washington opposes and has promised to veto. She said the U.S. concern was not what happened or did not happen there –but the need for negotiations to resume for real progress to be made.
Congress follows through on earlier warnings issued before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas officially submitted application for membership in United Nations.
And more news from Today in Palestine:

Merkel was incensed by the green light given to build beyond the Green Line as she has been helping to thwart the Palestinian statehood bid on Israel’s behalf.
TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces handed demolition orders to six people on Thursday southeast of Tulkarem, locals said.  Shufa village resident Abdul Fattah Enaya told Ma’an that the demolition orders gave him just one week to vacate his property. The other residents to receive demolition orders were Fuad Kamal Mustafa Ismail, Moaway Mussa, Ameen Odeh and Raed Muhammad Hassan Yousef, according to Enaya. 
RAMALLAH, October 1, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers Saturday declared the West Bank village of Iraq Burin, near Nablus, a closed military area and erected a number of checkpoints at the village entrances, according to local sources. They said soldiers prevented residents from entering or leaving the village. The Israeli measures against Iraq Burin aim to prevent international and local activists from entering the village to participate in a protest held there every Saturday against settlement activities, said the local sources.

Study group reveals plans to cut off Jerusalem’s Palestinian villages from their West Bank hinterland

The Jerusalem Society for Arabic Studies has revealed Israeli plans to build a new illegal settlement which will cut-off Palestinian villages in the Holy City from the south of the West Bank. The head of the Society, Khalil Al Tafakji, said that the Israeli Occupation Authorities plan to establish a large settlement on the Palestinian village of Walaja north-west of Bethlehem. Called Givat Yael, the new settlement will stretch from Walaja and Battir across to the western edge of the Gilo settlement to the south of Occupied Jerusalem. The huge settlement bloc will be a physical barrier between Jerusalem’s Palestinian villages and the southern part of the occupied West Bank. ”Israel is using the current international and domestic situation as a diversion to approve the construction of more illegal settlement units as part of a huge settlement scheme to provide 58,000 housing units,” said Mr Al Tafaki.
Palestinian Protests & Israeli Regime Violence Against Activists
Palestinian medical sources reported, on Thursday evening, that three residents were treated for the effects of teargas inhalation during clashes with Israeli soldiers invading Yasouf Palestinian village, near the West Bank city of Salfit.


Two Residents, Activist ,Wounded As Army Attack Nonviolent Protest Near Hebron
Two Palestinians women and one international peace activist were injured after the Israeli army during attacked a nonviolent protest against settlements and the Annexation Wall in the southern West Bank village of Yatta north Hebron on Friday, Palestine News & Info Agency (WAFA) reported.

Dozens Teargassed During Weekly Protest In Bil’in
On Friday, dozens of demonstrators were asphyxiated by tear gas during the weekly march organized by the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Bil’in. 


Demonstration against land confiscation for new bypass road in Beit Ommar
Friday September 30. : Residents of Beit Ommar demonstrated against recent received land confiscation orders. 800 dumums of Beit Ommar and Shwoukh land will be taken by the Israelies for a 8km bypass road, starting from Gush Etzion. The settlers have already built a watch tower on a hill top in the area – the first step to establish a new settlement. The road to the planned settlement on Halhoul land will go through Beit Ommar and Shwoukh land and join in on the route 60 by Halhoul.


Friday prayers held on land mapped out for separation barrier
In a step aimed at demonstrating the Palestinians’ right to the land, locals in Shuafat refugee camp held Friday prayers this week on land planned to be used by the Israeli apartheid barrier .
link to Palestine Information Center

Sakhnin; Thousands Mark 11th Anniversary Of Al Aqsa Intifada
Responding to a decision by the Arab Higher follow-up committee in the 1948 territories, thousands of Arabs, Palestinians, participated in a ceremony commemorating the 11th anniversary of the Al Aqsa Intifada.
Other Israeli Regime Violence
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces launched an airstrike on northern Gaza on Saturday evening seriously injuring one man and wounding two others, medical officials said. An Israeli army spokeswoman said forces struck Beit Hanoun targeting militants attempting to fire a rocket into Israel. Gaza emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said three men were hospitalized, adding that one man sustained serious injuries in the attack. 
QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided a village near Qalqiliya and placed checkpoints on roads leading to it, locals said.  Witnesses said soldiers were stopping residents from traveling through Kafr Qaddum village.  Murad Eshtewy, a Fatah spokesman in Qalqiliya, said Israel’s “repressive measures have escalated against Kafr Qaddum and other Palestinian villages in the past days, especially near settlements.”
Settler Attacks / Vandalism / Aggression
This morning (9/30) Israeli activists and Palestinians were attacked by settlers near the settlement of Anatot. The landowner of the plot to which the activists came in order to plant trees was also attacked by the settlers who cracked his head open, as well as attacking his wife. The two were have been hospitalized at Hadasa Ein Karem hospital.
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers burned farmland south of Nablus on Saturday, a Palestinian official said.  Ghassan Doughlas, who monitors settler violence and vandalism in the northern West Bank, said land in the Einabus and Huwwara villages burned as the result of a fire set by residents of the illegal Yitzhar settlement. The settlers had started a fire on the Einabus mountain but it spread to Huwara, he said. Residents of the villages were trying to control the blaze but strong winds hampered their effort.
Vandals sprayed Islamophobic and racist graffiti on the walls of a mosque and a university in the West Bank town of Birzeit near Ramallah on September 9 in attacks by suspected Israeli settlers. Palestinian security officials said that “Death to the Arabs” and slogans insulting Prophet Muhammad were painted in Hebrew and that they suspected settlers were to blame. It was the third mosque to be daubed with graffiti in Hebrew, when Israeli troops demolished three homes in the settlement outpost of Migron.
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Armed Israeli settlers seized 150 sheep from shepherds south of Hebron in the southern West Bank, a popular committee leader said. Popular committee secretary-general Azmi Shoyoukhi told Ma’an that residents of Shima, a settlement east of al-Dhahiriya, stole sheep belonging to Faris Samamrah. They took the sheep to Shima settlement after assaulting several shepherds and threatening to shoot them if they returned to the area, the local official said. 
Gaza Siege 

Three cousins die in Gaza tunnel collapse
Shortly after 5:00 pm on Sunday, September 25, three Palestinians died when sewage leaking from an Egyptian pipeline caused a tunnel connecting the Egyptian and Palestinian sides of the Rafah border, in which they were working, to collapse. It was the second time that the pipeline, which pumps sewage east into the Sinai, had sprung a leak in the area. The three, all cousins, lived in the south of the Gaza Strip. Feras Ahmed Al-Shaer, 18 years old, lived in Khan Younis with his parents, one brother, and seven sisters. He was completing his last year of high school. Fady Mostafa Al-Shaer, also 18, lived in Rafah with his parents, four brothers, and two sisters. He had decided to work in the tunnels to help support his family, which lived in two rooms. Anwer Eid Al-Shaer, age 22, lived in Rafah and needed money to finish his final year of studies at Al-Quds Open University.


Tunisian delegation visit Karama hospital in Gaza
A Tunisian delegation visiting the Gaza Strip paid a visit to the Karama Hospital to see for themselves the services provided to patients by the hospital.


Detention / Court actions

Isolated Detainees Announce Open-Ended Hunger Strike
Palestinian Minister of Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs, Issa Qaraqe’, stated Friday that around Twenty-five Palestinian detainees in solitary confinement at the Nafha. Ramon, Al Ramla and Asqalan Israeli detention facilities declared an open-ended hunger strike.
Racism / Discrimination
Law grants Israel’s finance minister the power to reduce budget of state-funded bodies that openly reject Israel as Jewish and democratic state or mark Independence Day as a day of mourning.

Arabs outraged over ban on October riots studies
Education Ministry warns schools in Arab sector against organizing political activity in classrooms. Many parents respond by keeping kids at home.

Demonstrators in several towns across Israel wave flags, chant anti-Israel slogans and hold up photos of the 13 Israeli Arab protesters killed in clashes with police at start of Second Intifada.

Activism / Solidarity

Following the convictions of the students known as the “Irvine 11” this past week, over thirty chapters nationwide of Students for Justice in Palestine have signed on to a message of support for the Irvine 11.  The students were arrested in February 2010 and charged with “conspiracy to disrupt a public meeting” and “disruption of a public meeting,” after interrupting a speech by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren.

How can one expect any art to take root under Israeli occupation, let alone for a small delegation of artists, DJs and rappers to make any impact?

Statehood Bid

Funding stopped by three congressional committees in response to UN statehood bid, according to report by U.K’s Independent newspaper; PA calls move ‘collective punishment.’
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Arab countries will cover a budgetary shortfall if the United States blocks aid to the Palestinian Authority, a senior Fatah official said Saturday. Muhammad Shtayyeh told Ma’an that Arab and Islamic countries had promised to fund the PA if the US followed through on threats to cut aid over the Palestinian bid for full UN membership.  The UK newspaper The Independent reported Saturday that the US Congress had blocked nearly $200 million in aid for the PA in response to President Mahmoud Abbas’ request to join the UN.
We are the victims of collective punishment, say Palestinians
The Palestinian leadership yesterday accused the US Congress of inflicting “collective punishment” upon its people by holding up almost $200m in aid earmarked for the West Bank and Gaza by the Obama administration.

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas is united in its rejection of President Mahmoud Abbas’ bid for UN membership despite reports of internal divisions, a party spokesman said Saturday. Fawzi Barhoum told Ma’an there was “no controversy” within the movement, and that all party decisions were being decided in comprehensive consultations with officials.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The prime minister in Gaza said Friday that his government supported the establishment of a Palestinian state on liberated lands, but not in exchange for recognizing Israel or giving up rights. Ismail Haniyeh said Palestinian land is an Islamic endowment that cannot be negotiated.


Mishaal: liberation first, then state declaration
In an address in Iranian capital Tehran to an international conference, Hamas political leader Khalid Mishaal said that Palestinian lands should be liberated first, then a state can be announced.

Iran “totally rejects” Palestine U.N. statehood bid
Reuters – Iran’s supreme leader rejected the Palestinians’ U.N. statehood bid on Saturday, saying any deal that accepted the existence of Israel would leave a “cancerous tumor” forever threatening the security of the Middle East.

Egypt accuses Quartet of encouraging Israeli settlements
The Egyptian Foreign Minister has condemned Israel’s latest settlement plans and blamed the Middle East Quartet for “encouraging” the Israelis. Speaking in Washington, Muhammad Amr said that the settlements remain illegal in international law and Israel’s move is “treachery” towards the international community. Palestinians deny attempt to oust Blair as Middle East envoyThe Palestinian Authority has denied it plans to make a formal request to remove Tony Blair from his position as a Middle East envoy.

BEIRUT (Reuters) — The era of one-man rule in Arab countries is drawing to a close and the change sweeping the region will take hold in Syria soon, a United Nations envoy said. ”Syria is in the midst of a profound crisis. I do believe strongly that there will be substantial change,” UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams told Reuters. ”When that will take place it is very difficult to ascertain but I don’t think we are talking about years”.

Political / Diplomatic / International

On the 11thAnniversary of the Al-Aqsa Intifada: Al Mezan Calls for Protection and Respect for Civilian’s Rights and Accountability for Violators. Wednesday 28 September 2011 marks the eleventh anniversary of the second Palestinian Intifada (the Al Aqsa Intifada), which erupted due to a provocative visit by Israel’s then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, accompanied by a heavy Israeli police guard which shot and killed dozens of Muslim worshipers.

Palestinian leaders renew attack on Tony Blair over Israel
Middle East envoy accused of ‘parroting’ Israeli demands during negotiations. The Palestinian leadership has stepped up its attack on Tony Blair in his role as envoy of the Middle East Quartet, saying that his “parroting” of Israeli demands casts doubt on his credibility. Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official, confirmed that Palestinian leaders had discussed whether to make a formal request to the Quartet that Blair be removed from his position, but had decided against such a move. ”Everyone had reservations about Blair’s performance, but we don’t want to embarrass him any more,” Shaath said. “If you want to do it, you wait until things have quietened down.”

Nabil Shaath says former British prime minister ‘talks like an Israeli diplomat’; states that Quartet proposal for renewal of direct peace talks is too vague.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshal addresses Tehran conference ‘in support of the Palestinian Intifada’; Iranian supreme leader tells conference that UN bid for statehood will fail.
JERUSALEM, October 1, 2011 (WAFA) – the European Union (EU) will be making on Monday an almost €9.9 million aid to the Palestinian Authority, its third contribution this year to quarterly payment of social allowances to poor Palestinian households, Saturday said an EU press release. EU will contribute €8.9 million while Finland €1 million, all channelled through the PEGASE mechanism, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA’s three-year Reform and Development Plan, said the press release.

Biden: Pollard pardon over my dead body
US Vice President Biden meets with rabbis in Florida, says US President Barack Obama was considering clemency for convicted Jewish spy ‘but I told him over my dead body are we going to let him out before his time’.


UK government conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism in Salah trial

Renowned Palestinian activist and religious leader Sheikh Raed Salah was at the UK’s Sheldon immigration court in Birmingham this week. His appeal against the government’s decision in June to ban him from the country is now being heard in earnest, with testimonies from Salah and several expert witnesses on Monday and Tuesday. In a related development, the High Court in London today ruled that part of Salah’s dention in June was unlawful.

International Support for Palestinian Intifada in Tehran

The Fifth International Conference for Supporting the Palestinian Intifada was held in Tehran Saturday and its slogan was “the Palestinians are not looking for a home… their home is Palestine”. Parliamentary representatives of over 170 states have joined the conference after receiving invitations from the Islamic Shura Council of Iran. The parliament speakers of Lebanon, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, and Algeria have joined the first session of the conference that discussed the regional developments, the future of Palestine, and ways for lifting the Israeli siege that has been imposed on Gaza since 2008.
The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, stressed that Palestine remained the first central cause in our Islamic world, calling on the Islamic world to adopt the resistance choice, since it had brought triumph for the nation. At the 5th International Conference on Palestinian Intifada, Imam Khamenei said: “Palestine had a special stature, since it holds within unique characteristics. It is a Muslim country that was occupied by dispersed people who committed brutal crimes.” 
Egypt / Israel
CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt said on Saturday it was considering the release of a US-Israeli dual national suspected of spying for Tel Aviv, the official MENA news agency reported. Ilan Grapel has been in custody since June 12. ”Cairo is considering the release of Ilan Grapel, a US citizen accused of spying for Israel during the 25 January revolution, especially after promises from the US of offering more political and economic support in return,” MENA said without elaborating.
Other Mideast & World News

U.S. Now Controls More than Half of World Arms Sales

The United States overwhelmingly dominates arms sales to the Near East, with the bulk of sales in the last four years going to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Iraq.

U.S. Congress Urged to Reject Arms Sale

More than a dozen U.S. and international human rights and arms control groups are urging Congress to block a proposed 53- million-dollar arms sale to Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, until it ends its crackdown against the opposition and adopts serious reforms.
UN condemns jail sentence for Bahrain medics
UN chief criticises “harsh” prison terms for medical workers who treated protesters during March uprising.

Thousands of Jordanians have taken to the streets in the capital, Amman, to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit and the dissolution of the lower house of parliament.

Second Bloody Day in Iraq: 22 Killed, 61 Wounded
Updated at 1:28 p.m. EDT, Sept. 30, 2011 At least 22 Iraqis were killed and 61 more were wounded in new attacks, including one that targeted mourners at a funeral in Hilla. This is the second day in a row that dozens have been killed or wounded in violence.
Four years after Blackwater’s license to operate in Iraq was revoked over the killing of 17 Iraqis, Xe Services LLC — the company formerly known as Blackwater — wants to return to the country. In an interview published Thursday, Xe President and Chief Executive Ted Wright told The Wall Street Journal that he would like to do business in Iraq again. ”Would I like to go back into Iraq?” Wright said. “Certainly.” ”Would the Iraqi government accept us in Iraq? That’s really the question.”

If you watch one of Anwar al-Awlaki’s hundreds of YouTube videos, the first thing that strikes you is the American accent in which he delivers his exhortations to jihad, a residue of his childhood in New Mexico.

Yemenis Say They Have Bigger Problems Than Al Qaeda
Most Yemenis had only a faint sense of why the United States considered Anwar al-Awlaki a highly significant target. If anything, Yemenis thought his death would only increase their woes.


Awlaki death rekindles legal debate on targeting Americans
The slaying of two Americans renews questions about whether killing U.S. citizens is legal under rules of war or constitutes an extrajudicial execution in violation of U.S. and international law. The killing of two Americans by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen has reignited a debate about whether targeting U.S. citizens — even terrorists — is legal under the rules of war or constitutes an extrajudicial execution that ignores their rights.


Inside Story – Egypt: Reclaiming the revolution 
Military rulers in Egypt are under mounting pressure as thousands take to Tahrir Square demanding political change. Joining Inside Story are: Ramy el-Swissy, Dina Zakaria, and Omar Ashour.

Funeral service held for executed US man
Friends and family of Troy Davis honour 42-year-old put to death despite pleas of innocence.


United Steelworkers announce support for ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest
The United Steelworkers, North America’s largest industrial union, announced on Friday that it supported the ongoing “Occupy Wall Street” protest that began in lower Manhattan and has slowly spread to other cities across the United States. The protesters have pledged to occupy Wall Street until something is done about corporate greed and corporate influence on the U.S. government. They have been camped out in New York’s old Liberty Plaza since September 17.

More than 750 turn out for ‘Occupy Los Angeles’ protest
Several hundred protesters gathered in front of City Hall in Los Angeles on Saturday to show solidarity with the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters in lower Manhattan. The demonstrators marched from Pershing Square to City Hall, where they plan to camp out indefinitely. LA Weekly estimated there were at least 750 people participating in the protest. They chanted slogans such as, “Hey hey, ho ho! Wall Street greed has got to go!” and “The people united will never be defeated.”

‘Occupy LA’ Protest Underway At City Hall (PHOTOS)

Fox host: Occupy Wall Street protestors are ‘dirty’ and useless
If a tea party group has a protest, Fox News is very happy to present coverage for that event. But if a protest has anything to do with “liberal views,” the network certainly doesn’t share the eager glee. In the midst of a Hannity segment Friday evening that criticized and mocked the Occupy Wall Street protests,The Five co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle denigrated the now two week protestors as being virtually useless. “It’s Woodstock meets burning man meets people with absolutely no purpose or focus in life,” she said. “They have nothing but free time to be down there, they make up a slogan or cause as they go along, and they’re just looking to go out there and dirty the streets. And they really don’t have any idea of what they’re doing there.” WATCH: Video from Fox News, which appeared on September 30, 2011.

Analysis / Op-ed
On September 26, The Los Angeles Times ran a short Calendar section item on the new belated 50th anniversary, fully restored DVD and Blu-Ray editions of William Wyler’s 1959 blockbuster biblical epic Ben-Hur. The film, which was based on an 1880 novel by former Civil War general and New Mexico territory governor Lew Wallace, is described by the paper as a “period drama [that] revolves around Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), a Palestinian nobleman who is enslaved by the Romans, engages in one of the most thrilling chariot races ever captured on screen, and even encounters Jesus Christ.”
Khalidi reflects on the ‘Palestinians’ Next Move’ in The National Interest, Henry NorrAmong the countless recent commentaries on the prospects and implications of the Palestinian leadership’s bid for membership at the United Nations, I find Rashid Khalidi’s “The Palestinians’ Next Move” exceptionally clear, concise, and convincing.

Forget the distractions; the realities of Israel’s Occupation demand its end
Tons of paper, gigabytes of email and hours of talking heads on TV, led up to the psycho-political drama of the unknown territory that was the application for UN recognition of a Palestinian state. The high-level rhetoric and the contradictory legal opinions; the sad, expected Obama betrayal of the Palestinians; the heavy arm-twisting of the Palestinian leadership; the shameless speech of Prime Minister Netanyahu to the UN; all were distractions from the realities of the Israeli Occupation, which demand a change in the world’s consciousness of Palestine today. 

Palestinian Youth Movement: Statehood Bid Harmful to Struggle
We, in the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), stand steadfast against the proposal for Palestinian statehood recognition based on 1967 borders that was presented to the United Nations this September by the Palestinian official leadership. We believe and affirm that the statehood declaration only seeks the completion of the normalization process, which began with faulty peace agreements. The initiative does not recognize nor address that our people continue to live within a settler colonial regime premised on the ethnic cleansing of our land and subordination and exploitation of our people.


Sullivan on Obama’s ‘capitulation’ at the UN
The explanation for the humiliation of Obama at the UN, where he gave the kind of speech a junior congressman might give at an AIPAC break-out session, is pretty simple. Obama was checkmated. Netanyahu and the GOP recognized immediately that the Cairo speech could have opened up a whole new chapter in America’s relationship with the Arab and further Muslim world. And so they, in active collaboration, did all they could to stop it in its tracks. They succeeded in handing Obama the clearest defeat of his first term.


A Palestinian-American view of the US veto
The Palestinians have been suffering for decades at the hands of one of the most brutal military occupations in the modern world. They are dehumanised on a daily basis, their civil and human rights are violated and their land is stolen; any attempt at self defence is considered to be an act of terrorism by the occupiers and their backers.

Alice Walker is Pulitzer Prize winning poet, author and activist. She participated recently in the U.S. Boat to Gaza, which was a part of the Freedom Flotilla, to break the Israeli embargo on the Gaza Strip. Last year, a flotilla was attacked by Israeli commandos and a number of people were killed and wounded. Walker’s boat was stopped by Greek authorities before it could traverse the eastern Mediterranean to Gaza.

Ikhras Shoe Of The Month Award Winner – September 2011

September 23, 2011, after leaving occupied Palestine with an Israeli-issued VIP pass, Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen), the head of the Israeli sponsored, Western-funded, American supervised collaborationist Palestinian (illusory) Authority in occupied Ramallah begged the United Nations for a facade of a state situated on 22% Palestine
On Charges of “antisemitism” at Occupy Wall Street, Max AjlFriends and comrades who have been down to Wall Street to look at and participate in the protests have told me that it’s been amazing: varied, non-sectarian, organized, flexible, spontaneous, bold, innovative, eloquentLabor unions and striking pilots have endorsed and supported the protests. The crackdown began early and has escalated, with hundreds arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge today and shipped off to the Tombs for a night or two of political internment. Has the spirit of Tahrir traveled across the Atlantic? Are these isolated spot-fires from Madison, soon Boston and Chicago, going to turn into a bloom of social revolt?

`Awlaki and Salih
So US killed `Awlaki.  I read the statement by the US government: it is unmistakable in expressing gratitude to the forces of `Ali `Abdullah Salih.  It all but paid tribute to the Salih regime.  It is certain that Salih delivered `Awlaki in return for continued US support.  The Yemeni regime is killing around 30 people a day, and the US government yesterday issued a statement criticizing repression in…Iran.  I kid you not. 

From an authoritarian perspective, that’s the genius of America’s political culture.  It not only finds way to obliterate the most basic individual liberties designed to safeguard citizens from consummate abuses of powe.  It actually gets its citizens to stand up and clap and even celebrate the destruction of those safeguards.
Bahrain’s military court has sentenced 20 doctors, nurses and paramedics who treated protesters injured during pro-democracy rallies earlier in the year to up to 15 years in prison. The defendants say they were tortured during interrogation to extract false confessions. The harsh sentences, handed down by a military judge, are likely to anger Bahrain’s Shia Muslim majority and torpedo hopes of dialogue between them and the reigning Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty. The court’s action may be a sign that hardliners within the royal family have taken control, since King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa has made a number of conciliatory statements which have been followed by intensified repression.
This week marks the beginning of what is supposed to be the final 100 days of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. But if U.S. troops are to leave Iraq at the end of this year as promised – repeatedly – it will take grassroots pressure to counter the growing “occupy-Iraq-forever” chorus in Washington. Despite the fact that there is a Bush-era agreement with the Iraqi government to leave, despite the fact that the majority of Iraqis and Americans don’t support a continued U.S. presence, and despite the fact that Congress is supposedly in an all-out austerity mode, strong forces – including generals, war profiteers and hawks in both parties – are pushing President Obama to violate the agreement negotiated by his predecessor and keep a significant number of troops in Iraq past the December 31, 2011 deadline.
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22 Responses

  1. Shmuel
    October 2, 2011, 2:12 pm

    Israel … plans to uproot 30,000 Bedouin

    And 27,000 more in the West Bank:

    • James
      October 2, 2011, 4:33 pm

      if that isn’t ethnic cleansing or clearing, what is it?

      • Chaos4700
        October 2, 2011, 8:55 pm

        A crime against the whole human race, certainly.

    • RoHa
      October 3, 2011, 7:34 am

      Does Israel have enough trains and cattle cars to do this?

  2. Whizdom
    October 2, 2011, 4:20 pm

    Watch the Negev, should the West Bank settlements be annulled, the Negev is the site of relocation. Pressure on the Bedu will increase exponentially.

  3. seafoid
    October 2, 2011, 5:32 pm

    And all the news that comes out of Israel now is bad. All self destructive as if Israel is the person long suspected to be an alcoholic who is now on 2 bottles of Jack a day , all pretence gone, seen hanging out at the bus stop by everyone, refusing all offers of help by those who care and want to stop the disease before it kills the patient.

    • Mooser
      October 3, 2011, 5:48 pm

      “an alcoholic who is now on 2 bottles of Jack a day , all pretence gone, seen hanging out at the bus stop by everyone, refusing all offers of help by those who care and want to stop the disease before it kills the patient.”

      Please leave my personal affairs out of this!

  4. john h
    October 2, 2011, 5:34 pm

    >> Speaking with Haaretz, one minister who participated in those meetings said that Israel’s answer to newly offered roadmap for peace amounted to a “yes, but” and that Israeli officials would present several qualifications concerning points included in the plan.

    Also commenting on Israel’s announcement on Sunday, Palestinian official Saeb Erakat told the French AFP news agency that Netanyahu’s statement was an “an exercise in deceiving the international community.”

    “If he accepts the Quartet statement then he must announce a halt to settlement activity, including natural growth, and accept the principle of the 1967 borders because this is what was clearly demanded by the Quartet statement.” <<

    Nothing new here, still in the deception game; yes, but.

  5. john h
    October 2, 2011, 5:43 pm

    >> German Chancellor Angela Merkel took Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly to task Friday over last week’s decision to approve 1,100 housing units in Gilo, precipitating an unprecedented diplomatic crisis.

    Senior German officials told their Israeli counterparts that Merkel was “furious” and “does not believe a word [Netanyahu] says.”

    Germany may now reconsider and support upgrading the PA’s status to that of a non-member state in the UN General Assembly. << (haaretz)

    Time will tell, but wouldn't that be something!

  6. john h
    October 2, 2011, 5:59 pm

    >> Khamenei told a conference on the Palestinian issue.

    “The two-state scheme, which has been clad in the self-righteousness of the acceptance of the Palestinian government and membership at the United Nations, is nothing but a capitulation to the demands of the Zionists or the recognition of the Zionist regime on Palestinian land.”

    While Washington seeks to accelerate a return to Israel-Palestinian talks in order to avoid a vote on statehood, Khamenei mocked Barack Obama’s support for Israel as a cynical ploy to retain the U.S. presidency at next year’s election.

    “In order to remain in power you have surrendered to humiliation and to the Zionists,” he said. << (yahoonews)

    Facts are facts regardless of who says them.

    • Hostage
      October 3, 2011, 5:28 am

      Tikun Olam reports:

      Hamas’s chief leader, Khaled Meshaal delivered a major address (Farsi) at a Palestine conference in Iran yesterday which shocked many by directly contradicting the view advanced by Ayatollah Khameini, who attacked the two state solution, the PLO’s support for it, and its UN bid. Meshaal, in contrast, praised Mahmoud Abbas for his campaign for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations. Keep in mind that Meshaal said this in front of the highest leaders of Iran including Khamieni and Ahmedinejad, all of whom lined up in vehement opposition. It took guts.

      Khaled Meshal, head of the political office of Hamas in Syria said that the request of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, for recognition of an independent Palestinian state and full membership in the United Nations is a courageous act that must be appreciated and supported. Meshal, who was speaking in the 5th international conference in support of Palestinian Intifada in Tehran, said regarding Abbas’ request, “We cannot deny that this action has had symbolic and moral achievements.”

      • DBG
        October 3, 2011, 10:10 am

        I thought Meshal said resistance was the only option? Either he is talking about of both sides of his mouth or Silverstein is lying. Both of which are quite possible.

      • Sumud
        October 3, 2011, 11:33 am

        So either Meshal or Silverstein are lying – and there are no other possibilities?

        From the Silverstein piece:

        Their deviation [from the path of resistance] hurt the cause of Palestine and it is still doing so. They, similar to some treacherous Arab governments, turned their backs to the ideals of resistance which were, and still are, the only way for Palestine salvation, and hurt not only Palestine but also themselves.

        The speaker though, is Khamenei, not Meshal. Perhaps a mistake has been made during translation, and the statement wrongly attributed to Meshal by AP or Haaretz. Both are which are quite possible.

  7. mig
    October 3, 2011, 1:14 am

    Israel want’s to start negotiations without preconditions. Until yesterday….

    “Israel to demand adjustment of Quartet Mideast peace plan, official says
    Despite Netanyahu’s acceptance Quartet statement, top minister says Jerusalem will demand several changes in the document, insist on freeze of Palestinian UN membership bid at the Security Council.”

    While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Sunday that he welcomed “the Quartet’s call for direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions,” the premier intends to present a list of qualifications to the Quartet’s statement on a resumption of Mideast talks that in effect enfeeble that statement.

    The plan, presented at UN Headquarters in New York by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, calls for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to renew direct talks within a month, to present proposals on borders and security within three months, and to reach a final agreement by the end of 2012.

    Netanyahu’s statement on Sunday, coming over a week after the Quartet on the Middle East published its roadmap for peace talks, was the result of two meetings between the PM and his top ministers.

    The delay in Israel’s response was due to ongoing talks with U.S. officials, in which Israel asked for certain clarifications and assurances regarding the Quartet’s statement.

    Speaking with Haaretz, one minister who participated in those meetings said that Israel’s answer to newly offered roadmap for peace amounted to a “yes, but” and that Israeli officials would present several qualifications concerning points included in the plan.

    One such reservation is the three-month timetable presented in the Quartet document, with Israel expected to claim that such a schedule was unrealistic.

    Israel will also object to separate negotiations concerning borders and security arrangements, and is expected to insist on a parallel discussion of the Palestinians’ recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, Palestinian refugees, and a Palestinian agreement to declare the conflict between the two peoples as resolved.

    In addition, Netanyahu is expected to demand that the Palestinian Authority, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, freeze its bid for full UN membership in the Security Council during peace talks.

    Responding to the Israeli adoption of the Quartet statement, several Palestinian officials reiterated on Sunday that the PA would not return to direct peace talks if Israel did not freeze all settlement construction and recognized the 1967 borders as the basis for a future Palestinian state.

    Speaking with Palestinian news agency WAFA, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, chief aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said that Israel had to freeze settlement construction and recognize 1967 borders for talks to resume.

    “[R]eturning to negotiations requires the commitment of Israel to halt settlement activities and to recognize the 1967 borders without any equivocation or any attempts to avoid the international resolutions,” Abu Rudeinah said.

    “If Israel is serious, it has to commit without any reservations to the international resolutions as stated in the road map, the resolutions of the United Nations and the Arab peace initiative,” he added.

    Also commenting on Israel’s announcement on Sunday, Palestinian official Saeb Erakat told the French AFP news agency that Netanyahu’s statement was an “an exercise in deceiving the international community.”

    “If he accepts the Quartet statement then he must announce a halt to settlement activity, including natural growth, and accept the principle of the 1967 borders because this is what was clearly demanded by the Quartet statement.”

    • annie
      October 3, 2011, 2:02 am

      The plan, presented at UN Headquarters in New York by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, calls for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to renew direct talks within a month, to present proposals on borders and security within three months, and to reach a final agreement by the end of 2012.

      you mean right after our next presidential election?


  8. Sherri Munnerlyn
    October 3, 2011, 10:45 am

    What we do not hear discussed is the fact that the Quartet has no UN Mandate to do anything at all. They act as if they have some authority to force the parties to negotiate, as they direct them to do. The have no Authority to do anything whatsoever.

    The Quartet is the US bullying the international community into accepting US proposals, and a just peace is not what they seek or support. I would like to see The Quartet dissolved.

    • john h
      October 3, 2011, 2:08 pm

      Yes, the Quartet is a contradictory nothing, just another US/Israeli tool in the so-called peace process.

      “It also says much about the so-called international Quartet, that the Bush administration appointed the body to prelaunch its sponsored negotiations in 2002, which were, of course, an utter failure.

      Why would the Secretary General of the United Nations that represents the whole community of nations accept being a junior partner in a geopolitical configuration? It is beyond me. Or, for that matter, why should Europe or Russia have their own seats at the negotiating table?

      Who said these hypocritical, cynical entities could deliver peace in the Middle East?”
      (Marwan Bishara, aljazeera)

  9. kursato
    October 3, 2011, 11:16 am

    really disgusting how israeli leaders try to get the spy Jonathan Pollard out of prison.

  10. kursato
    October 3, 2011, 11:17 am

    US defence chief says Israel ‘isolated’
    (On his firs visit to a foreign nation)

    Leon Panetta says US is committed to maintaining Israel’s military edge in Middle East ahead of first visit to region.

    Leon Panetta, the new US defence secretary, says Washington is committed to ensuring Israel maintains a “qualitative military edge” in the Middle East, but warned that the country is becoming increasingly isolated.

    Panetta, who is due to arrive in Israel on Monday on his first visit to the region since taking charge at the Pentagon, said he planned to use the trip to reaffirm US security commitments to Israel and try to improve its deteriorating relations with Turkey and Egypt.

    “It’s pretty clear, at this dramatic time in the Middle East when there have been so many changes, that it is not a good situation for Israel to become increasingly isolated. And that is what has happened,” Panetta told reporters on his plane.

    more on

    • Hostage
      October 3, 2011, 7:43 pm

      Leon Panetta, the new US defence secretary, says Washington is committed to ensuring Israel maintains a “qualitative military edge” in the Middle East, but warned that the country is becoming increasingly isolated.

      Leon Panetta and government officials who talk about Washington’s commitment to Israel are becoming increasingly isolated. Taxpayers are fed up with cuts to state, local, and federal programs that provide essential public services while the folks in the Beltway guarantee funding for Israeli military pork barrel.

      • Chaos4700
        October 3, 2011, 8:22 pm

        I’d like to think this will culminate in a third party candidate like Ron Paul taking the White House this next election cycle but I can’t say I’m holding my breath for it.

      • Bumblebye
        October 3, 2011, 8:57 pm

        It wouldn’t really do much. We’ll be waiting a few more years yet to hear the loud popping noise when Congress and the Senate get pulled out of Israel’s butt. RP can’t stand for every seat, and there aren’t a whole bunch of RP mini-me’s planning to stand for them with a ton of backing.

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