Muammar Gaddafi killed in Sirte
NTC military chief says toppled leader died of wounds following capture near his hometown of Sirte.
Graphic video allegedly showing Gaddafi’s capture:
And more news from Today in Palestine:
Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of Movement
Russia Deeply Concerned at New Israeli Settlement Plan
MOSCOW, October 19, 2011 (WAFA) – The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed deep concern at the Israeli government’s plans to build new housing units in East Jerusalem, said a press release issued by the ministry on Monday. “The realization by Israeli authorities of such plans, just like the intention to legalize the many settlement outposts built in occupied Palestinian territories, run absolutely counter to the commitments of the Israeli side under the Roadmap,” said the press release.
Susan Lourenco – Machsomwatch – How much more will settler violence against Palestinians and plundering of their property increase during this year`s olive harvest? How much more theft of olive crops and damage to trees? And what about the ever increasing “blacklisted,” who find, from one day to the next, that their permits have been nullified by the ever insidious arm of the Civil Administration which does its dirty work behind the scenes, hoping to remain out of sight.
This is a picture of a Palestinian mayor, Haj Sami Sadeq. Beyond him is the Jordan Valley. Around him are the lands of his village, Al Aqaba. The Israeli army bulldozed the road to his village on Sept. 15, 2 weeks before I shot this picture– trying to cut his village off from the rest of the world. Despite the fact that the entire village is under Israeli demolition orders, despite the fact that Haj Sami is in a wheelchair because he was crippled by the Israeli army when he was 16 years old and just walking on his family lands, despite the fact that his village is not even allowed to drill for water and the people have been slowly leaving this starved place– the mayor believes in peace. Here is the mural on the wall of his school.
Plumbing the Depths of Deception:Naomi Scola Ignores the H2Occupation of Palestine, by Nima Shirazi
Among the ways Scola describes Israel’s victory over water scarcity through “a variety of technologies to try to squeeze the maximum possible water from dry land” are “projects focused on water reclamation — that is, using treated waste water, including sewage, to irrigate, cool, or in manufacturing processes.” What Scola omits – and considering she devotes considerable space (nearly 2,000 words) to this issue, the omission can not be anything but willful and deliberate – is Palestine. In fact, the word itself is never uttered once in the entire article, nor is the 44-year occupation and blockade that controls their lives each and every day.
In Photos: The survival of olives
The olive harvest started in theWest Bankin early October and will continue in some villages until mid-November. Olives have been cultivated in Palestinian land for thousands of years. Around 95% of the harvest is used to make olive oil, with the remainder for pickles, table olives, and soap. The harvest is worth around 364m shekels (£64m) a year to the fragile Palestinian economy, struggling under the burden of occupation. Up to 100,000 families depend upon the olive harvest for their livelihoods to some extent, according to the UN.
HRW: Lift blockade after prisoner exchange
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel and Hamas should follow the prisoner exchange with measures to improve human rights, such as by lifting the siege of Gaza, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. “The prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas should mark the beginning of an era in which all parties respect basic rights,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. In a statement, Stork said that “Gaza’s civilians should no longer suffer under Israel’s punitive blockade, and Hamas should end abuses of detainees, whether Israeli or Palestinian.”
Israeli Violence Against Palestinian, Past and Present
Jewish settler throws chemical material on Palestinian youth
A Jewish settlers threw an unknown chemical material on the face of a Palestinian youth in Hawara village, south of Nablus, on Wednesday, his family said.
Child abducted by settler and turned over to officials
A 10-year old boy was abducted from Abu Tur neighborhood by a settler yesterday, Monday 17 October. Muhammad al-Khaseeb was taken from the front of his preparatory school by a man said to be a manager in the Elad settler association. Khaseeb was physically assaulted by the settler and a Palestinian man connected to the settler. Silwanic uncovered the abduction yesterday and Khaseeb was eventually returned home to his parents. Details of the attack to be published tomorrow.
Rewards are offered by Israelis for murdering ex-prisoners
Reports from Israel allege that large financial rewards are being offered for anyone who murders some of the ex-prisoners freed as part of the exchange deal struck between the Israeli government and Hamas. The Israeli media claims that a number of radical Jews who lost family members in attacks by Palestinians resisting Israel’s military occupation have announced the formation of “Eye for an Eye”, an organisation with the objective of hunting down and murdering former Palestinian prisoners.
Palestinian Child Political Detainees
ISRAEL-OPT: Concerns over Palestinian children in Israeli custody
GAZA CITY 19 October 2011 (IRIN) – While there have been emotional scenes after the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, concerns are being raised about the plight of 164 Palestinian children from the West Bank in Israeli custody.
Israeli forces arrested one Palestinian from Beit Omar, north of Hebron in the southern West Bank, during nightly raids concluding on Wednesday morning. The spokesman of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Omar told Palestinian government news wire Wafa that soldiers arrested 44-year-old Ahmed Khader Abu Hashem in Beit Omar, searched his house, and confiscated three computers. He was taken to an unknown location. Soldiers also searched the homes of Imad Ahmed Abu Hashem and Imad Ramzi Sabarneh and “caused a mess” but made no arrests.
Wafa also quoted a “secure source” saying Israeli forces raided the town of Yatta as well, searching the homes of Mahmoud Khalil Rasheed, Mahmoud Younis Haroush and Mahmoud Ibrahim Abu Ali. Israeli troops also erected checkpoints at the entrances of Sa’eer, Halhoul and al-Fawar refugee camp, stopping cars and checking IDs.
Resident Kidnapped In Hebron
Israeli soldiers kidnapped a Palestinian resident from the southern West Bank city of Hebron while heading to the Israeli Liaison Office on Thursday morning, and moved him to an unknown destination, the Palestinian News & Info Agency reported.
Support Imprisoned PSP Organizer Participating in Mass Hunger Strike
Majde Za’aqiq, a 38-year-old school teacher from Beit Ommar and a long-time member of both the Palestine Solidarity Project and the Center for Freedom and Justice, has been imprisoned by the Israeli Authorities for nearly two months and is currently hunger striking against inhumane prison conditions. The mass hunger strike, now in its third week, has seen the participation of hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners in multiple prisons. The strikers are demanding an improvement in their conditions, including the ending the use of solitary confinement by Israeli Authorities to isolate and break the spirits of the prisoners.
Abbas: Israel Promised to Release More Prisoners (Time.com)
Time.com – In an interview with TIME, the head of the Palestinian Authority recalls an earlier promise by a previous Israeli prime minister — and he wants Netanyahu to keep it.
Aruri: Nine women will be freed soon from Israeli jails
Senior Hamas official in charge of prisoners’ file Salah Al-Aruri said the remaining nine female prisoners would be freed from Israeli jails within days.
Abu Obaida Provides Details On The 2nd Phase of Swap Deal
Abu Obaida, spokesperson of the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, stated that the second phase of the prisoner-swap deal will include the release of security detainees who are old, and sick, in addition to several detainees sentenced to 20 years of more.
Hamas leader: Shalit deal turning point in struggle against Israel
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh says deal in which prisoners from all factions released is testimony to Hamas dedication to entire Palestinian people.
Shalit deal throws Hamas a lifeline
Swap deal that freed abducted soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners is first significant achievement for Hamas since Gaza government established in 2006.
The Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said that it will not rest until occupation jails are closed behind the last Palestinian captive.
One of the longest serving and highly visible former prisoners in Israeli jails, Samir Kuntar, shares with al-Akhbar his reaction to the latest prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel. The joy shared by the prisoners freed in Tuesday’s exchange may only be describable by those who have experienced captivity like Samir Kuntar. A Lebanese fighter who was passionately dedicated to the Palestinian resistance, Kuntar entered Israeli prisons as a teenager and emerged in 2008 as a man after having spent 29 years in prison. Kuntar refuses to use the word “deal” to describe the recent prisoners exchange between Israel and Hamas, because that word is used when speaking about business, and not about human beings. He says Tuesday’s exchange occurred at the time it did because conditions were ripe on both sides. He calls the operation that captured Shalit a great achievement for the resistance, because it was the first of its kind to take place inside Occupied Palestine. He points out that Gilad Shalit was under indirect control of the Israeli occupation, but the Israelis could not secure his release. Moreover, the resistance was able to hold him for more than five years.
Released prisoners divided over passion and stomach for armed conflict as they see their brethren gambling on diplomacy. Since the day Wafa al-Bess failed to blow herself apart at an Israeli military post she has not relented in her personal struggle against the Jewish state. Sentenced to 12 years in prison for the attempted suicide bombing on the edge of the Gaza Strip, she agitated her jailers – going on hunger strike against a prison uniform, organising protests for the rights of detainees – until she was thrown into solitary confinement for months at a time.
For Palestinians released in Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, freedom is relative
The roughly 100 former Palestinian prisoners who were released to the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the Gilad Shalit deal are out of prison, but still don’t walk entirely free.
The Prisoners & Their Families
“My husband was kidnapped by Israel”
Salama Mesleh was sentenced to 99 years in prison by Israel; he is not being released as part of the “swap” deal.
Freed prisoner reflects on decades spent in jail
RAMALLAH (Reuters) — Nael Barghouti, released on Tuesday after more than 33 years in an Israeli jail, says he never gave up hope of being freed. “From the first day I was detained, I always expected I would released, that one day, someone would work to free me. Politics failed in setting us free, but another policy realized our liberation,” Barghouti told Reuters Television on Wednesday.
Released Prisoner Continues on Hunger Strike
GAZA, October 18, 2011 (WAFA) – The health of released prisoner Wafa al-Bis deteriorated Tuesday requiring her transport to hospital in Gaza, according to WAFA correspondent. He said Bis insisted to continue with the hunger strike Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails had started on September 27 demanding end to solitary confinement and improvement in prison conditions. Some of the striking prisoners suspended their hunger strike following the release of 1027 prisoners from Israeli jails on Tuesday, but others apparently continued with it.
Freed Prisoner Christian al-Bandak’s Date with the Sea
Two days ago, Christian al-Bandak left his cell, saw the sunlight and the sea and smelled the air, his first breath of freedom after nine years in Israeli military prison. He left a dark, small room smelling of sardines to meet the Mediterranean Sea. Al-Bandak, who hails from Bethlehem and has been imprisoned since 2003 with four life sentences, said it was like thunder when the jailer came in and told the prisoners about the decision to release some of them in two days. “Until now I still can’t believe what happened,” Christian told PNN by phone. “We watched the news in prison and we saw our names on the list, but then we heard that it was not the final list or an unofficial list. We couldn’t handle our joy when we heard about our freedom.”
Ahlam al-Tamimi arrives in Amman to a hero’s welcome
Freed Jordanian captive Ahlam al-Tamimi arrived Tuesday night to a hero’s welcome as hundreds of Palestinians and Jordanians waited for her arrival at Queen Alia Airport in Amman.
East Jerusalem welcomes 16 released prisoners
“It’s really good they’re being released, but I think there will immediately be two or three more Schalits,” says Fatah member., Ecstatic crowds stood for hours in the heat and sun on Tuesday morning in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiya to greet the 16 prisoners released there in the prisoner swap exchange., Crowds began gathering at 8 a.m., after the 16 prisoners were transferred from Ofer prison near Ramallah to Mezudat Adumim, the border police headquarters near Jerusalem, and waited tensely for more than four hours for the prisoners to be released.
VIDEO: Freed Palestinians enjoy freedom
Hundreds of former Palestinian prisoners have been enjoying their first full day of freedom since being released in exchange for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
A mother’s story: Om Fares
The prisoners’ families make sure not to miss any day of the weekly protest so the number of the people inside the Red Cross is more than usual on Mondays. Therefore, one should expect to see lots of tears and hear lots of tragedies, especially after the names of the soon-to-be released prisoners were declared. As I entered the Red Cross this Monday, an old lady was sitting in a corner, hardly noticeable. She was putting her hand on her cheeks, closing her eyes and saying nothing. The wrinkles on her face, with expressions of sorrow and burdens and the broken glasses of the picture she was holding, directed my steps toward her.
Mother still restricted from visiting son after his release from prison
Israel is deporting more than 140 released Palestinian prisoners to Gaza permanently, despite many being from Jerusalem and elsewhere in the occupied West Bank. Their families, therefore, remain unable to see their loved ones.
Prisoners Exchange Celebrations Extend to Palestinian Refugee Camps
Celebrations of the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners on Tuesday were not restricted to Gaza and the West bank. Many in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps woke up early to watch live coverage of the festivities and put on their own performances, while lamenting their exile and the lot of those remaining behind bars.
Palestine prisoner returns to hero’s welcome
Samud Karaja, one of the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners released in the Gilad Shalit exchange agreement brokered with Israel, has arrived home to a hero’s welcome. Two years ago, Karaja was 21-years old when an Israeli court sentenced her to 20 years in jail for stabbing an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint. On leaving prison, she was threatened with more jail time if she said anything to the media that would provoke attacks against Israel. Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford reports from the occupied West Bank.
Palestinians unite to welcome political prisoners home
On Tuesday, tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered in Gaza City’s Al-Katiba Park to celebrate the return of more than 400 Palestinian political prisoners released by Israel in return for captive soldier Gilad Shalit. The prisoners who were sent to Gaza, 334 of them, entered the Strip via Egypt at the Rafah crossing. While their families waited in keen anticipation, with some not having seen their loved ones free for almost three decades, busloads of the prisoners entered Palestine wearing sashes, waving in jubilation. They were met by senior members of the Hamas-led government, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Dr. Ahmed Bahr.
Festival of Victory and Triumph: Families in Gaza welcome return of prisoners
Thousands of Palestinians gathered in Gaza City’s Qatiba Square yesterday morning, swelling to over 200,000 as news arrived that the prisoners had safely crossed the border from Egypt into Rafah. ISM volunteers waited for hours with local families eager to catch a glimpse of the former prisoners as they exited their buses. “This is the best day of my life because today, good defeated evil,” said 45-year-old Saleem Abu Sa’ada. “For us, we want all the prisoners to be free,” he added. Qatiba Sqaure, a large sandy plaza, took on a festive atmosphere as women, men and children waved Palestinian flags, as well as flags of the various political parties. On the street, vendors sold juice, tea, coffee, bread as well as Palestinian flags.
In Pictures: Hebron Greets Return of Palestinian Prisoners
In the southern West Bank city of Hebron, a crowd of thousands gathered to greet the 30 Hebron-area prisoners released in today’s historic prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas.
Tuesday marked the first phase of the prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel. Of a total of 1,027 Palestinians to be released, 477 were freed today, in exchange for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been in captivity since 2006. Around 300 of the 477 freed from Israeli jails headed to Gaza and were greeted by their loved ones. Close to 130 others were freed in Ramallah, the West Bank. The second phase of the trade will be carried out in the coming two months, when the remaining 550 detained Palestinians will be freed.
Discrimination / Racism
Palestinian citizens of Israel are second class citizens, even in the Prague airport, Ruth Bronstein
I’ll never forget my trip to Prague about a week ago, unfortunately not because Prague is so beautiful, it actually is an amazing place to travel to and tour around for a week, but because of the traumatic expereince at the airport. A brief acquintance on the way with two normal and educated young Israeli “Technion” (a highly acclaimed technical institute) graduates gave us the perfect option to share a cab, as well as pleasant companionship. Everything was wonderful – yes, it is possible for Israelis of Jewish and Arab origins, Muslim or Christian to get along and feel great together, despite those dark forces of evil, that made us realize the huge gap between us. These young people were abused – their non-Jewish name caused them awful damage and awful treatment at the airport.
Rachel Abrams says Palestinian children are ‘devils’ spawn’– while Israeli children play with Transformers and draw your heart strings
Eli Clifton reports on Rachel Abrams,wife of Elliott Abrams: “Emergency Committee For Israel Board Member Calls Palestinians ‘Savages,’ ‘Unmanned Animals,’ ‘Food For Sharks’” Based on Rachel Abrams’s yawp. Be attuned to all the racism here amid the Joycean punctuation…
Israel in talks to buy gas from Qatar – report
Egypt’s “Youm7” reports that Qatar will sell liquid natural gas to Israel to be stored in an offshore floating terminal. The Qatari government is holding negotiations to sell liquid natural gas (LNG) to Israel, the Egyptian newspaper “Youm7” reported today. “Youm7” added that according to sources Israel is making preparations to receive Qatari LNG carriers, including the construction of large capacity tanks. The paper observed that Qatar recently expanded its production of LNG, and it intends to increase its natural gas development projects. Total annual liquid gas production in Qatar, “Youm7” said, recently reached 10 million tons, and it is expected to increase to 12 million tons by 2015.
Political Developments / Diplomacy
Time not ripe for Israeli-Palestinian talks: Fayyad (Reuters)
Reuters – The time is not right for meaningful Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Wednesday, saying they are only likely to produce a blame game rather than a settlement.
Fatah And Hamas Call For National Reconciliation
The Fatah movement in the Gaza strip expressed its hope in achieving national unity and reconciliation, by ending the split between themselves and Hamas, after the release of many Palestinian leaders, figures and symbols.
Mashal Calls On Abbas To Implement National Unity Agreement
Khaled Mashal, head of the Hamas Movement’s political Bureau in Damascus, called on President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, to hold a meeting with Hamas in Cairo next week. The object of such a meet is to conclude all outstanding issues, which are delaying the full implementation of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement.
Foreign Minister calls on Palestinians to complete national reconciliation
Egypt’s Foreign Minister has called on a Palestinians to make a breakthrough and complete national reconciliation. In a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday, Minister Mohamed Amr was presented with a draft document setting out ideas on how to move forward with the implementation of the reconciliation agreement by a group from the Palestinian Informal Dialogue Project, sponsored by Finland’s Crisis Management Initiative.
Israel Will Not Permit Prisoner Exchange to Pave Way for Negotiations, Reconciliation
An exchange of prisoners may signal the beginning of a reconciliation process between conflicting parties, or at least a transformation toward a path of reconciliation. This has not happened with yesterday’s exchange of the Israeli soldier held by Hamas, Gilad Shalit, and over a thousand Palestinian prisoners captured by Israel.
Abbas Receives Call from Colombia’s President
RAMALLAH, October 19, 2011 (WAFA) – Colombian President Juan Manual Santos telephoned President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday and the two leaders discussed bilateral relations and the peace process. Abbas, who had received on Tuesday at his Ramallah office Colombia’s Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, has visited Colombia two weeks ago in a bid to convince its president to vote at the United Nations Security Council in favor of Palestine’s UN membership bid. Colombia is a nonpermanent member state of the Security Council and its vote is essential in getting the Security Council to vote on the application request. The United States opposes the Palestinian effort and has said it would veto it if comes up to a vote. The Palestinians need at least nine votes in favor of the bid for the Security Council to have an official vote on it.
Palestinian Teachers Return to Schools in Libya
On Wednesday, the Minister of Education of the National Transitional Council of Libya Sulaiman Ali al-Saheli confirmed that the Council will allow Palestinian teachers to return to Libya and get their jobs back. Al-Saheli told Palestinian government news wire Wafa, “Some administrators tried to implement this decision selectively, excluding a number of teachers who were due to return”. “Whoever stands against the decision to bring back all the teachers removed from their posts in 2007 will be legally accountable,” said al-Saheli. “Palestinian teachers have a big role is raising the education level in Libya and their return to schools is a national duty.” Libyan Teachers Union Secretary Mohammed Ghazi al-Ayaseh said that almost 240 teachers from Benghazi and 200 others from al-Bayda will benefit from this decision. He said the list would only exclude those who had reached retirement age.
Other Mideast News
Iraqi mass graves still hold half a million unidentified corpses
The number of corpses in Iraqi mass graves is so huge that it is beyond the capacity of one single body to handle, an Iraqi minister said. Minister of Human Rights Mohammed al-Sudani said it was wrong to leave hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead bodies lying in the country’s mass graves to their fate. “The responsibility for the human rights file should not be shouldered by (my) ministry only. It is a joint responsibility in which judicial, executive and legislative powers as well as civil society organizations must bear together,” Sudani said. “There are 500,000 corpses still waiting to be properly uncovered and identified,” Sudani added. The issue of mass graves was given priority in the immediate aftermath of the downfall of the former regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Arms trade to Middle East and North Africa shows failure of export controls
A number of key arms manufacturing countries supplied large quantities of weapons to repressive governments in the Middle East and North Africa. The USA, Russia and European countries supplied large quantities of weapons to repressive governments in the Middle East and North Africa before this year’s uprisings despite having evidence of a substantial risk that they could be used to commit serious human rights violations, Amnesty International said today in a new report.
Bahrain panel delays report on protest unrest (AP)
AP – An independent fact-finding commission in Bahrain says it needs more time to review thousands of personal accounts and official documents as it probes alleged abuses during unrest between Shiite-led protesters and the kingdom’s Sunni rulers.
VIDEO: Bahrain poised for rights report
After eight months of clashes that have claimed close to 40 lives, the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain is bracing itself for the findings of a major investigation into alleged human rights abuses, including torture.
State Dept. cites inquiry in Bahrain arms sales
AP – The State Department said Tuesday it will consider a special investigation of alleged human rights abuses in Bahrain before moving ahead with $53 million in arms sales to the violence-wracked nation.
Fears for Bahraini teacher after pre-dawn arrest
More than 30 security officials dragged Bahraini teacher and activist Jalila al-Salman from her home early this morning. There are fears for the safety of a former vice-president of the Bahrain Teacher’s Association after she was arrested in heavy-handed fashion before dawn this morning after recently speaking out about earlier abuses.Jalila al-Salman was taken from her home in Bahrain by a force of more than 30 security officials, including riot police, who arrived in seven vehicles. The officials reportedly said that they were enforcing a court order for her arrest though they refused to produce a formal arrest warrant.
Bahrain arms deal moves closer to completion
US state department says it will move forward with a plan to sell $53m worth of weapons, despite concerns.
Saudi “alternative penalties” draft law to cut prisoners’ numbers to half
“Alternative penalties” is a new draft law that aims at limiting the number of prisoners in Saudi through devising other punishments that do not involve being physically present inside the prison.
The Lede Blog: Saudi Video Blogger Reportedly Detained for Showing Poverty in Riyadh
A popular Saudi video blogger was detained this week, along with his crew, after his report on poverty in the kingdom’s capital, Riyadh, was viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube, human rights activists said.
“Poverty in Saudi Arabia” Short Documentary and Carlos Latuff’s Take on Filmmaker’s Arrest
The below cartoon is by Carlos Latuff and depicts the recent arrest in Saudi Arabia of Firas Buqnah and his film team. Firas and his associates recently produced a short documentary film highlighting poverty in Saudi Arabia. Its release was responded with the arrest of Firas and his team by Saudi authorities. The film, entitled “Mal’ub ‘Alayna,” can be viewed below the cartoon.
Nadia Beshara recounts to al-Akhbar the harrowing experience of her son’s death at the Maspero massacre, her disillusionment with the armed forces and renewed faith in the need for change. Nadia Beshara, like most southern Egyptians, believes it is wrong to accept condolences for her son’s murder before his soul is avenged. Beshara is the mother of Mina Daniel, the Egyptian blogger and activist who was killed on October 9 in front of the Egyptian television building. In his will, he requested that his body be wrapped in the Egyptian flag and carried through Tahrir Square. The martyr’s mother, as she prefers to be called, is from Upper Egypt. There, under a merciless sun and in the midst of severe poverty, she came to the early realization that life is cruel. But her harsh environment shaped her character into one of love and charity, strength and freedom.
Anticipating more military violence after the killings of Coptic Christians, protesters show their determination to remain defiant to the end. In keystroke bursts of poetry, defiance and humor, Egyptian activists are posting their wills on Twitter.
Anti-Corruption Conference Attacked in Jordan
Pro-regime forces in Jordan attack participants and journalists at an anti-corruption conference, amid an increasingly repressive political climate. Tribal members in the village of Salhoub in northern Jordan organized a conference titled “Corruption is the Height of Extremism” on October 15. Thugs attacked the conference, firing shots that resulted in injuries among participants. They also broke equipment belonging to journalists in attendance.
Nobel laureate’s call to prosecute Saleh
The Yemeni Nobel peace laureate Tawakul Karman has made an impassioned plea at the United Nations to repudiate a plan that would grant immunity to her country’s “war criminal” President.
Saleh says he will sign GCC peace deal, but only if unspecified guarantees are provided by the US, EU and Gulf states.
Fleeing Syrians refused refugee status
Syrians fleeing the military crackdown are finding it hard to re-settle in neighbouring Jordan. Many have family ties there, but the government is refusing to recognise them as refugees. Al Jazeera’s Jane Arraf reports from the capital Amman.
It is getting more and more difficult to get news out of Syria. The propaganda war between the Saudi-Qatari camp and the Syrian regime camp has been intensifying. There is little news in what they release. Syrian regime TV lives in a fantasy world: camera crews find a handful of tourists from Europe, often inebriated, who insist on camera that Syrian cities and towns are all peaceful and that the news about killings in Syria are sinister rumors. The rhetoric of the regime (very much like Saddam’s rhetoric after 1990—it must be a Ba`thist thing when the regime seems on its way down) is getting more and more nationalistic (in the narrow qutri or provincial sense which was alien to the Ba`thist Arab nationalist ideology in its heydays). Syrian political rhetoric about Syria is almost mimicking the vulgar Lebanese nationalist rhetoric of March 14 movement in Lebanon. Dunya TV, presumably owned by the Makhlufs, is a notch more effective as a propaganda tool: it uses sarcasm and humor—two qualities that have historically been frowned upon in the Ba`thist media of Syria and Iraq.
Talk to Al Jazeera – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Iranian president talks to Al JAzeera’s Tony Harris about the latest diplomatic spat with the US and Saudi Arabia, the Arab spring, and Iranian politics.
Iran Says Saudi Plot Defendant Belongs to Exile Group
Iran injected a new argument into its rebuttal of American allegations that its operatives plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
Significant Holes in U.S. Legal Case Against Alleged Iran Plotter
“But we don’t yet understand why a man arrested — purportedly for an assassination attempt — waived his right to a lawyer and within hours started to give the government all the evidence it needed to fill in any gaps in their case. His cooperation is all the more curious given that four of the five charges against him (the fifth is using interstate commerce to arrange a murder for hire) are conspiracy charges that probably couldn’t have been charged before Arbabsiar implicated Shakuri. The government surely could have charged him with other things, such as wire fraud, without the conspiracy charges. So why would Arbabsiar provide the evidence for four new charges against him that could put himself in prison for life?
Saudi ambassador assassination plot suspect linked to Hezbollah and Bahrain unrest
The details of the assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador in the United States have always been intriguing but as more details unravel, the case gets more interesting.
Iran Alleges Saudi Plot Story is MEK Sting
alleges that it learned from Interpol that Gholam Shakuri is a member of the People’s Holy Jihadis guerrilla group (the Mojahedin-e Khalq or MEK). The MEK wants to see the rule of the ayatollahs in Iran overthrown. Shakuri is the second person named in the Department of Justice case that holds that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was involved with expatriate Manssor Arbabsiar in a plot to blow up the Saudi Ambassador in Washington.
Former Mujahadeen Khalq Leader Confirms Alleged Iran Terror Plot Conspirator Affiliated with MEK, Richard Silverstein
You’ll recall that the the U.S. claimed that the Iranian alleged conspirator in the terror plot against the Saudi ambassador, Gholam Shakuri, was a Revolutionary Guard (IRG) official. Though many Iranians have scoured every resource they could think of, none have found evidence of such a person with any IRG affiliation. If the U.S. has such evidence it ought to produce it if it wants to be believed. Yesterday, the well-placed Alef site, run by an Iranian majlis member who’s run for president twice, alleged that Shakuri is in fact a high level Mujahadeen al Khalq (MEK) leader. It offered evidence to support the charge.
Losing Another Opportunity for Nuclear Diplomacy with the Islamic Republic of Iran
Yesterday, Flynt did an interview with the nationally-syndicated Antiwar Radio on the diplomacy surrounding the possibility of some sort of fuel “swap” arrangement for refueling the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR). You can listen to the interview here.
Hawks Behind Iraq War Rally for War With Iran
Key neoconservatives and other right-wing hawks who championed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq are calling for military strikes against Iran in retaliation for its purported murder-for-hire plot against the Saudi ambassador.
The Alleged Saudi Envoy Assassination Plot: Mossad at Work
Despite its evidently make-believe facade, the cooked-up story of the Saudi envoy assassination plot does not seem to be something which can be easily banished from the minds of the American powers that be. The heat over Iran in the US government is growing rapidly. Some Republican congressmen have expressed their interest in waging an all-out war against Iran, a threat they keep refreshing every time they have an excuse. They have clearly stated that Washington should not dismiss the idea of resorting to military force against Iran, an idea which is being strengthened in Congress. “I don’t think you should take it off the table,” Michigan Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has said.
Fox-Werrity UK Scandal Exposes Meeting With Mossad Chief and New Wealthy Pro-Israel Donor, Richard Silverstein
The Daily Telegraph added some tantalizing new details to its reporting on the Liam Fox-Adam Werrity case. Fox, you’ll recall resigned last week as defense minister in the Tory led government. He had allowed a close personal friend to masquerade as a trusted aide in meetings around the world. All the while the friend, Werrity seemed to be carrying on his own personal freelance foreign policy that included, among other things, attempting to topple the Iranian regime à la Michael Ledeen. The difference is that Werrity actually had entre to the British political élite, while Ledeen seems to be a wannabe warrior long removed from his days of influence during the Reagan era.
Occupy Wall Street
‘Occupy Boston’ takes on the the occupation of Palestine
From the JTA: Tuesday’s march, under the moniker Occupy Boston –Not Palestine, was held in conjunction with dozens of members of Jewish Women for Justice in Palestine at Dewey Square, the center of the Occupy Boston movement, according to a report in the The Daily Free Press, a Boston University independent student publication.The protesters linked arms and marched down the street chanting slogans. Protesters told the student newspaper that Israel uses U.S. tax dollars to occupy Palestine, and that the new Middle East will marginalize the United States over its relationship with Israel. “We need to build houses in the U.S. instead of destroying houses in Palestine,” Murray said. “The occupation has gone on for so long because the U.S. vetoed 41 valid U.N. Security Council resolutions. They’ve given Israel the green light to abuse human rights,” Nancy Murray of Boston told the student newspaper.
The auction house Sotheby’s has become the latest target of New York’s ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters. The demonstrators are showing support for striking art handlers, who say the auction house wants to cut their pay – despite reportedly selling $3billion worth of art in the first half of this year alone. Al Jazeera’s Cath Turner reports from New York.
Protesters who have brought the Occupy movement to San Francisco are fighting for the ability to camp out from one night to the next. But the scene in Oakland couldn’t be more different.
Occupy Wall Street’s demand? No demands
NEW YORK — They brave the elements, the police and uncertainties of life on the street, but probably the hardest thing anyone in the Occupy Wall Street demonstration can do is join something called the “Demands Working Group.” As they enter the second month of a protest that has echoed around the world, the activists of Occupy Wall Street are under fierce pressure from the media and major commentators to do what protest movements usually do: issue demands.
Analysis / Op-ed
Through thick and thin: America continues to support Israel despite the economic crisis and global calls for social and economic justice
At least a quarter of a million Israelis protested in August over the cost of living. In Tel Aviv alone, 200,000 people took to the streets. The protests, however, were over more than simply against the high cost of basic essentials and housing: “The people demand social justice!” they cried. As the Occupy Wall Street protests grow around the world, it seems clear that demands for change in the economic stratification have arrived.
Celebration in the Middle East, But for How Long?
Mitzpe Hila, a small town in northern Israel close to Lebanon border must not have seen such a celebration in the recent years. Similarly the 200,000 Palestinians who assembled in Katiba Square in Gaza city last night did not have anything like this to cheer about for many years. The Egyptian brokered prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel meant that the world would witness an extremely rare moment in the history of Middle East when the people in Israel and Gaza celebrate for the same cause at the same time.
Mya Guarnieri: Who Are the Palestinians?
A collection of 51 in-depth interviews of Palestinians from all walks of life, Arthur Nelsen’s groundbreaking In Your Eyes a Sandstorm holds many answers.
Rick Perry religious ally predicts “death camps,” second Holocaust for Jews, Max BlumenthalBack in August, just before Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his candidacy for president, he spoke before an audience of tens of thousands at a right-wing evangelical Christian prayer event organized by Kansas City-based pastor Mike Bickle. The event, called “The Response,” served as a springboard for Perry’s national campaign, ensuring him the wholehearted support of a substantial faction of America’s powerful Christian Right.