Teachers (and students) in Hebron give lessons at Checkpoint 56

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On 11th October 2011 the children of Cordoba school in Hebron engaged in peaceful demonstration for their right to an education. The protest was triggered by the Israeli occupying forces changing the rules at checkpoint 56, refusing school teachers the right to pass around the side of the checkpoint as they have done for several years.
This morning the pupils and teachers from Qutuba School protested against the treatment of teachers at checkpoint 56. When, for the second day running, the teachers were not allowed to use the checkpoint gate that they usually use, they refused to pass through. In response at 8 AM the school closed, and the pupils came out to take their lessons outside of the checkpoint. Addressing the children at the beginning of a lesson one teacher said, ”Until the teachers are allowed to pass around the checkpoint we will have our lessons here.”

and other news from Today in Palestine:

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid
Settlers Set Fire to 300 Olive Trees in Bruqin
SALFIT, October 13, 2011 (WAFA) – Jewish settlers from the settlement of Brukhin Thursday set fire to about 300 olive trees in the town of Bruqin, in the northern West Bank, according to Bruqin mayor Ikrimah Samara. He said the fire engulfed about 150 dunums of Palestinian land adjacent to the settlement of Brukhin. One of the land owners told WAFA that a number of Palestinian farmers saw a group of settlers in the area the moment the fire occured. The settlers were seen leaving the area and returning to the settlement after residents and farmers arrived in the area to put out the fire. Samara said that settlers, a few days ago, burnt 120 dunums of land and about 45 decades-old olive trees adjacent to Ariel, an industrial area in Salfit. The settlement of Brukhin is one of the settlement outposts which has become with time, and with the expansion of settlements, a large one at the expense of lands that belong to several Palestinian families. It is composed of more than 80 houses.

Lauding planned government task force to approve construction on private Palestinian land, Likud MK says Israel must advance Jewish settlement out of a recognition that the West Bank ‘belongs to us.’

US opposes but will not halt giving all welfare necessary for Israel to carry out the continued theft of Palestinian land: US opposes Israeli plan to legalise outposts
Reaction follows creation of panel to explore ways to legalise illegal settlements on private Palestinian land.

After decade of demolitions, Susiya shepherd will continue to herd
On 10 October an Israeli army jeep filled with Israeli soldiers and a representative from the District Coordination Office (DCO) drove down the dirt track roads from the neighboring military base towards the small village of Susiya. The purpose of this visit was to serve yet another demolition order, the third since late August this year, to Muhammed Musa Muranam and his family.

The Israeli military ordered villagers to stop picking olives on their own land in Burin, near Nablus, today. The soldiers refused to give a reason for suspending the harvest. “It is nothing to do with us, we just get orders from our superiors,” they said. Villagers from Burin were picking olives on their land high up in the hills, near the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar. At around 8 AM Palestinian farmers and ISM activists entered the land closest to the settlement, and after just a few minutes an Israeli security truck was visible on the hilltop next to the land.  Four soldiers arrived in an armoured vehicle at around 8:30 AM and instructed villagers to immediately stop picking olives in the area. They stated that villagers must ask for permission and would only be given three days to finish picking all the olives on their land.  The farmers continued the harvest further away from the settlement.


On Monday, the Popular Campaign Against the Walls and Settlements launched the ‘You Are Not Alone’ campaign to support farmers in 150 Palestinian villages. These villages, adjacent to the Apartheid Wall and settlements, have witnessed the increasing frequency of attacks by Jewish settlers and Israeli occupation forces. Every year, these villages experience confrontations and attacks on farmers. Their harvests are often stolen, their trees butchered, and their lands burned to the ground. The occupation forces also prevent many Palestinian villagers from reaching their lands through the construction of security barricades and check points.
October 10th 2011: Beit Ommar farmers met today to discuss problems they are facing due to the occupation. The agenda addressed many serious problems, including land confiscation, land rehabilitation and problems on land adjacent to settlements.
Restriction of Movement

Israeli Violence Against Palestinians
Settlers Attack Qurtuba School Students Studying On Israeli Roads
A group of settlers again attacked students of Qurtuba School in Hebron on Thursday, October 13, the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) reported.

Extremist Jews Beat Palestinian Teenager in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM, October 13, 2011 (WAFA) – Extremist Jews Thursday severely beat a Palestinian teenager, Mohammad Maghribi, 15, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Musrara, according to a WAFA reporter. He said that extremist Jews severely beat Maghribi all over his body, when an Israeli police car arrived at the scene but did not arrest any of them. Maghribi was transferred to hospital where his condition was described as moderate. To be noted, areas in West Jerusalem are recently witnessing a major escalation of Jewish attacks on Palestinian residents, particularly those who work in the western part of the city.

Israeli Soldier Captured on Video Shooting Palestinian Youth in Beit Ummar
An Israeli soldier fired at a Palestinian youth, injuring him in the shoulder, in the village of Beit Ummar north of the West Bank city of Hebron, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported yesterday.

Israel increases use of bullets, tear gas against journalists
JERUSALEM (IPS) – As media freedoms throughout the occupied West Bank and Gaza continue to decline, human rights groups are urging that powerful governments put pressure on Israeli and Palestinian security forces to respect and facilitate the ability of journalists to do their work.

Jewish far-right groups responsible for a series of arson attacks on West Bank mosques over the past year broke dangerous ground last week when they turned their attention for the first time to holy places inside Israel. A mosque was torched, followed days later by an attack on Muslim and Christian graves. In each case the settlers left their calling card – the words “Price tag”, indicating an act of revenge – scrawled on their handiwork.

Crackdown on Peaceful Protest

IOA deports 17 foreign solidarity activists
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) deported 17 European solidarity activists from the West Bank after two days of detention for participating in pro Palestinian rallies.


Army Kidnaps Three Hebron Residents and Three Jenin Residents
The Israeli army arrested three residents from the village of Beit Ummar, in the northern part of the West bank city of Hebron on Thursday morning, breaking into their houses and causing damage to the furniture, the Palestinian news agency, Ma’an, reported.

Israeli occupation police revealed today that they have arrested a Palestinian man in Nazareth on suspicion of planning attacks against Israeli targets.

Occupation extends detention of MP Hatem Qafisha
Israeli occupation renewed the administrative detention of Dr. Hatem Qfisha, MP for al-Khalil, for another six months for the third time running.

Prisoners Exchange

Report: Israel, Egypt working on prisoner swap set to release suspected Israeli spy
Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm says deal is separate from a recent agreement between Israel and Hamas geared at securing Gilad Shalit’s release.

PNN Obtains Names of 41 Jerusalem Prisoners to be Released
The Palestine News Network (PNN) obtained a list of 41 Palestinian prisoners from Jerusalem who are due to be relased as part of the recently agreed deal between Hamas and Israel, among them three women. The full exchange includes more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, released in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Hamas releases names of prisoners to be freed
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas-affiliated website al-Aqsa posted a list of prisoners it said were due to be released in coming days as part of the prisoner swap with Israel. Israel and Hamas reached an agreement Tuesday to release over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier held by Gaza militants since 2006.

Aruri: Deal includes all prisoners demands, no more isolation
Saleh Al-Aruri, a Hamas leader and former prisoner, said that the exchange deal would include implementing all demands of the Palestinian prisoners and ending the solitary confinement policy.

Many freed Palestinian prisoners may be deported (AP)
AP – A Hamas official said Thursday that close to 200 of the 450 Palestinians to be freed in the first phase of a swap for a captured Israeli soldier will not be allowed to return to their homes in the West Bank, Gaza or east Jerusalem, suggesting a substantial number may face deportation.

Israel: Arab Spring forced us to accept Hamas’s demands for freeing Shalit
After losing all hopes for rescuing imprisoned Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit Israel has apparently agreed to accept virtually all Hamas’s conditions for a prisoner swap deal..


Nael al-Barghouthi: we are soldiers returning to their bases with high spirits
The longest serving captive Nael al-Barghouthi congratulated the Palestinian people on the conclusion of the exchange deal with the Israeli occupation.

RAMALLAH (Reuters) — Left out of a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, the Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti must now wait for a different type of deal to get him out of the Israeli jail where he is serving multiple life sentences. It may never happen. Hamas’s indirect negotiations with Israel to exchange the soldier Gilad Shalit for 1,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails were seen over the last few years as Barghouti’s best hope of release.
A daughter of a former prisoner who spent 33 days on hunger strike writes from the Gaza Strip, urging international solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails.

Hip-hop band DAM supports Palestinian prisoners’ actions with new track 
Yesterday, Palestinian hip-hop band DAM released a new track ‘A Letter From a Prison Cell’ to support the Palestinian prisoners in their hunger strike. 


Palestinian militants set to release video documenting Shalit’s Gaza captivity
Spokesman for Strip-based Salah al-Din Brigades, which participated in Shalit’s 2006 abduction, says recording will prove the IDF soldier was treated fairly.


Living with the enemy in the Gaza Strip
Yousef Bashir, 22, lives with a bullet lodged near his spine.  “When I imagine myself without the bullet in my back I ask myself would I be the same?” he said. “That bullet talks to me and I talk to it everyday. It is a very personal thing that I go through,” he continued. “I know that it was put there to destroy my life. I look at it and I say I am not destroyed yet.” Bashir has very personal ties to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. He grew up in the Gaza Strip next to the Israeli settlement Kfar Darom, which was evacuated in 2005. The battle lines ran right through his house. When the second Palestinian Intifada broke out, Israeli soldiers moved into his home. Bashir was 11 years old at the time. His father, Khalil Bashir, refused to leave the house and so the family – Yousef Bashir, his grandmother, parents and his siblings – spent five years living with the soldiers, who occupied the top two floors.

Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions / Solidarity / Activism
BDS: Israeli & Palestinian Journalists Discuss Revolutions in DC
This event is being promoted as a dialogue event about Arabs, when in reality the panel is made up of all but one Israeli.  While most Palestinians in Gaza or the West Bank cannot even travel to seek urgent medical care, much less to talk about their blogs, it seems patently unfair that Israelis are able to travel the world to discuss Arab issues with the privilege afforded to them because of their Israeli or other North American passports.  A cursory search on the internet did not net any evidence indicating that any of the Israeli participants support boycott of the Zionist state or condemnation of Zionism as a racist ideology.  A panel discussion about Arabs should be composed of a panel made up of Arabs, not 5 Israelis and 1 Arab that happens to work for them.

Lupe Fiasco holding a Palestinian flag throughout his powerful performance of Words I Never Said in front of millions in the 6th Annual BET Hip Hop Awards warms my heart. Sami Kishawi @ Sixteen Minutes to Palestine says of Lupe’s nationally televised performance: Watch this stunning performance and smile. The Palestinian cause is a people’s movement that will continue to grow in popularity. We are mainstream and we will stay that way. I smiling and Sami’s right.

Tunisian Fencing Champion Refuses to Face Israeli
Tunisian fencer Besbas Azzah refused to face her Israeli counterpart Naomi Mills in the final match of the World Fencing Championships, citing her support for the Palestinian case. The sports website Koora said Azzah, the African champion and 2008 Olympic semi-finalist, would give up on her dream to win the gold medal by withdrawing from the final. She reportedly came up to the fencing platform and did not defend herself, suffering five hits from Mills, who was declared the champion. Mills then collapsed in tears, according to Koora. On October 4, Algerian judoka Mariam Mousssa refused to face Israeli Shahar Levi in the knockout rounds of the Judo World Cup, endangering her chances at qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics. Algeria has never official recognized the state of Israel and Tunisia suspended relations in 2000.


Intifada Association announcement on interruption of Israeli ambassador speech and detention of its members
Tonight, members of the Intifada Association, supported by other solidarity activists, staged a peaceful protest raising the Palestinian flag during the first public speech of the Ambassador of the Israeli Apartheid in Greece, Arie Mekel. The Ambassador s speech was held in a conference organized by a host of pro-zionist entities (HEL.C.E.I.A., R.I.E.A.S., Defencenet). Many Greek parliamentarians attended the conference.  When the Israeli Ambassador stepped up on the podium, the members of the Intifada Association raised a Palestinian flag and expressed their solidarity to Palestinians with mottos such as “Free Palestine”, “Solidarity to Hunger Strikers”, “End torture in Israeli prisons”, and “Boycott The Israeli Apartheid”. Αgroup of undercover policemen intervened and violently expelled the two activists from the conference room, only to surrender them to a police unit outside the building where the conference was taking place.

For the fifteenth day in a row, our brave political prisoners continue their open-ended hunger strike in Israeli prisons, challenging the walls of silence and international complicity, and refusing indignation and the persistent  violations of their rights. While today marks the historic UN day of solidarity with South African  political prisoners, the UN, under US hegemony, has turned its back on the plight of Palestinian political prisoners, including hundreds of child prisoners, languishing under severe hardships in Israel’s notoriously inhumane prisons. This put the moral burden on international civil society to act, by applying effective pressure on Israel to release all Palestinian and Arab political prisoners and to respect their internationally recognized rights in the meanwhile.
“More than 200 professors and students from Sweden have signed on to a call for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions. The boycott petition was initiated by the Action Group for the Boycott of Israel at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. According to the petition, “Israeli academic institutions are deeply complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestine. They cooperate closely with the security-military establishment. They offer advice to military intelligence and assist in developing weapon technologies for the Occupation forces. So far, none of the Israeli academic institutions have dissociated themselves from the occupation regime, or condemned the entrenched system of discrimination of Palestinians.”
“Some people have been wondering why the word ‘normalization’ is being used by pro-Palestine movements more and more frequently. Many seem to be puzzled by this word, not knowing exactly what is meant by it. What probably strikes them the most is that this expression, based on the word ‘normal’ which ordinarily has a positive connotation, is used in this context as something that is looked down upon or even despised. It therefore seems important to clarify what it means, why it is seen as negative, and what its role is in the oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people.
The recent conviction of ten University of California students of two misdemeanor counts of disrupting and conspiring to disrupt a speech given by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on 8 February 2010, points to the stifling of free speech and academic work and inquiry in the university. Three of the Irvine 11 are students at the University of California, Riverside, and two of these UCR students have been my own: Taher Herzallah and Shaheen Nassar. Both were studious, inquisitive, and engaged, modeling for others, in their behavior, what being a university student ought to be about. I will even say, if memory serves, that I may in fact have been interrupted by them, and by other students, on more than one occasion. Yet this interruption is neither negative nor privative: it does not prevent or hinder speech or thought, but it gives place to them. It is not that interruption stalls the university, but that there will have been no university without the interventions, provocations, and interruptions of our students.
Alex Odeh’s murder, 26 years ago, was an early sign of Southern California’s treatment of Palestinian dissent
Today is the 26th anniversary of the murder of Alex Odeh in Southern California. Odeh — the ADC West Coast director — was targeted because he spoke up on behalf of Palestinians, earning him the hate of the extremist Jewish Defense League (JDL).  But what must be most noted about this case, is that even today, no one has been prosecuted for this hateful killing, a terrorist act that took place on US soil because of events related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  This is a failure of the state and in keeping with a Southern California tradition of a hostility to Palestinian dissent. I outline some of this history in this week’s The Nation where I compare the recent conviction of the “Irvine 11” to the 20-year witchhunt against the “LA 8”:
Diplomatic / Political Developments
Palestinians aim to join U.N. bodies (Reuters)
Reuters – The Palestinians will apply for full membership of as many United Nations agencies as possible as part of push to advance their national interests, an official said.
Turkey seeks Israeli arrests over flotilla raid
Turkish media reports prosecutor seeking arrest of 174 Israelis allegedly involved in 2010 Navy raid on Gaza-bound ship.


Egypt: Planes patrol Sinai without Israel’s consent
Egypt’s Air force chief dispatches warplanes to patrol border with Israel, despite peace treaty terms, MENA news agency reports; ‘We do not need permission to increase our forces on our land,’ General Reda Hafiz says


No problem– Obama’s State Dep’t spokesperson is married to Romney’s neocon foreign policy adviser
Here is a crazy story no one is talking about that is evidence of the Israel lobby’s role in our politics. Last week, Mitt Romney announced a foreign policy team that includes Robert Kagan, a neocon who pushed for the Iraq war.

U.S. and Mideast News
Human rights organisation says Canada must prosecute former US president during October visit for “authorising torture”.

Mistrial declared in case of Egyptian blogger
Maikel Nabil has been on hunger strike for 45 days in protest of his three-year sentence for criticising the military.

(Beirut) – Clashes in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Provinceshow the urgent need for Saudi officials to stop arbitrary arrests of peaceful protesters, relatives of wanted persons, and human rights activists, Human Rights Watch said today.  Interior Ministry officials said that the clashes, which broke out in ‘Awwamiyya, a Shia town, on October 3, 2011, and continued into the next day, injured 11 security personnel and three citizens, two of them women. Sources on the ground told Human Rights Watch that the likely trigger was the arrest on October 2 of two elderly residents of ‘Awwamiyya – Hasan Al Zayid, in his 70s, and Sa’id al-‘Abd al-‘Al, in his 60s – to pressure their sons to give themselves up to the police. The sons were wanted in connection with peaceful demonstrations from February to June in the Eastern Province.

UAE: Families’ Plea to Free Activists
The families of five activists jailed six months ago for “publicly insulting” United Arab Emirates (UAE) officials made a joint plea on October 9, 2011, to the country’s rulers to stop the activists’ trial and release them. (Abu Dhabi) – The families of five activists jailed six months ago for “publicly insulting” United Arab Emirates (UAE) officials made a joint plea on October 9, 2011, to the country’s rulers to stop the activists’ trial and release them, Human Rights Watch said today.

US Arms Bahrain While Decrying Russian Weapons in Syria
Peeved at Russia’s Security Council veto derailing a Western-sponsored resolution against Syria last week, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice implicitly accused the Russians of protecting the beleaguered government of President Bashar al-Assad primarily to safeguard their lucrative arms market in the Middle Eastern country. 


Bahrain opposition unites to decry “police state” (Reuters)
Reuters – In a defiant show of unity, Bahrain opposition parties have jointly denounced the Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab island as a police state and demanded a transition to a constitutional monarchy.

Israeli pundits argue that the Tartus naval base under renovation would facilitate Russian espionage and observation of the Israeli army and its different means of combat and channels of communication.

Suicide bombers, attacks hit Baghdad police, 28 dead (Reuters)
Reuters – Suicide bombers and roadside blasts targeted police across Baghdad Wednesday, killing at least 28 people and wounding dozens on the second day of serial bombings in the Iraqi capital in less than a week.

U.S. / Saudi Fabrications on Iran

The Lede Blog: Experts Question Alleged Terror Plot’s ‘B-Movie’ Qualities
Just 24 hours after American officials announced that they had disrupted an Iranian plot that sounded like a rejected Quentin Tarantino script — centering on an Iranian-American used-car salesman’s failed attempt to hire a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington — a number of prominent American experts on Iran have suggested that Iran’s government might not have been behind the scheme at all.


Leverett on al Jazeera: Thin U.S. Charges of Terror Plot Escalate Tension with Iran
Hillary Mann Leverett appeared on al Jazeera, please see video link above, shortly after news broke that the Obama Administration has accused Iran of trying to arrange the assassination of Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel al Jubeir. 


Why Iran assassination plot doesn’t add up for Iran experts
The US has blamed the specialist Qods Force in an Iran assassination plot. But those who track the group say the plot doesn’t reflect the careful planning, efficiency, and strategy the Qods Force is known for.

Criminal Mastermind Behind Saudi Terror Plot Was Failed Texas Used-Car Salesman, Richard SilversteinNo sooner was Eric Holder’s press conference done at which he trumpeted the government’s penetration of a Massive Plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S., than progressive bloggers and journalists like Spencer AckermanGlenn Greenwald and Prof. Muhammad Sahimi began to take it apart for its sheer lameness and lack of credibility.  Greenwald, for example, notes that the Washington Post itself, a credulous backer of the administration’s claims, conceded that the key conspirator, Manssor Arbabsiar, seemed a hapless fellow who couldn’t even run a business, let alone conduct a sophisticated plot to murder one of the most high profile diplomats in Washington DC.

Iranian Terror Plot: Fake, Fake, Fake
Fake, fake, fake – I’m talking about the latest anti-Iranian propaganda coming out of Washington, which claims the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were involved in a “plot” to take out the Saudi ambassador to the US and blow up both the Saudi and Israeli embassies.


Shaping the Narrative about U.S. Allegations of an Iranian Assassination Plot
Hillary appeared yesterday on CNN International to discuss the allegations of Iranian government involvement in a bizarre plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador in Washington (please click on the video above).   Since her appearance, Obama Administration officials have been scrambling around, back-grounding reporters in an effort to boost the perceived plausibility of the U.S. government’s […]


Justice Department Concedes: No ‘Conclusive Proof’ Linking Senior Iranian Officials to Terror Plot, Richard Silverstein
When stories like the so-called Iranian terror plot come your way, you just want to sit back and watch the action.  It’s like a political campaign in which your opponent is making a shambles of his candidacy, and you get the pleasure of watching him or her self-destruct before your very eyes.

Truthout: ‘Why I Published US Intelligence Secrets About Israel’s Anti-Iran Campaign’, Richard Silverstein
A number of readers (and even some provocateurs) were curious if, and when I would tell the story of my relationship with Shamai Leibowitz and why he leaked, and I published material from secret U.S. surveillance of Israeli diplomats who were escalating hostilities with Iran while also lobbying Pres.-elect Obama to be allowed to “finish the job” of Operation Cast Lead.  I’ve finally done so at Truthout.  It contains extensive excerpts from blog posts I wrote at the time which outline specific semi-covert interventions by Israeli diplomats in U.S. political life, which advanced Israel’s national interest (at least as portrayed by this far right government) in demonizing Iran and continuing the Gaza war.

US authorities linked Iran to a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US. Few contests have defined the modern Middle East like that between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Occupy Wall Street
NEW YORK — New York police arrested four people Wednesday during an Occupy Wall Street rally outside a skyscraper housing JP Morgan Chase bank. About 100 people took part in the protest, chanting “we are 99 percent” and “tax the rich!” The protest quickly dispersed after the arrests, an AFP journalist said. The Occupy Wall Street protest started September 17 with a camp in a small square in the New York financial district to highlight what demonstrators say is greed and corruption in the country’s business and political elites. Although the sit-in demonstration numbers only a few hundred people, swelling to several thousand during marches, it has struck a powerful note among US politicians and the media. Smaller sister demonstrations have also popped up in cities across the country. On Wednesday, the latest high-profile figure to react to the protests was Vikram Pandit, chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc. In sympathetic comments, he said he found the protestors’ complaints “completely understandable.” “Trust has been broken between financial institutions and the citizens,” Pandit said at a Fortune magazine breakfast. “I’d be happy to talk to them anytime they want,” he said in the comments posted by Fortune.
Police arrest ‘Occupy D.C.’ protesters in Senate building
Capital Hill police have arrested Occupy DC protesters trying to place banners on a U.S. state office building, according to local NBC affiliate in Washington D.C. The protesters were able to enter the third senate office building, known as the Hart building, and laid down signs saying “End War Now” and “People for the People.” Police immediately placed them under arrest the minute they put down the signs. WATCH: Video from local NBC affiliate in Washington D.C., which appeared on October 11, 2011.

Iraq Veterans at Occupy Wall Street Decry Financial Crisis Soldiers Face Returning Home
Protesters at Occupy Wall Street include veterans of the U.S. military, many of whom are struggling with their multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, mental and physical trauma and illness, and the hardships of pulling their lives back together when returning to civilian life. “It’s no secret that a lot of veterans are facing unemployment, homelessness, and a lot of other issues that are dealing with the economy,” says Jose Vasquez, executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Occupy Wall Street Organizer: Protest Expands Despite Police Effort to “Silence” Demonstrators
Now in its fourth week, the Occupy Wall Street encampment has attracted thousands of demonstrators who continue to tackle the challenges of self-organizing and building a movement. As their numbers swell and the media debates who they are, the Democracy Now! team packed up our gear and headed to Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan to hear people speak for themselves. We first talk to Justin Wedes, an organizer with Occupy Wall Street. He describes how New York City police have arrested people for peacefully demonstrating and exerting their free speech rights. “The reaction has been—and I think the whole world sees it now—that every time that you try to silence peaceful protests, you just get an explosion of new support. And I think that’s what’s happened. And it really bares sort of naked the truth about who theNYPD serve and protect. And if that’s not the people… then we have a problem.”
Hip-Hop Artist Immortal Technique: No More Free Passes for Our Government
Among the many artists supporting the Occupy Wall Street encampment is the hip-hop artist Immortal Technique. He shares his impressions of the protesters’ demands and performs his song “Toast to the Dead.” “People say, ‘You know what? I want concrete solutions. I want people held accountable for what they did wrong,'” Immortal Technique says. “‘I want governments to realize that they’re not just going to get a free pass for their horrific record of human rights, even if you’re supported by America, because we have deals to exploit your natural resources.’ I think that that’s what people are genuinely concerned with here.”

Iraqi-American Musician Stephan Said Performs at Occupy Wall Street
We speak with Iraqi-American singer-songwriter and activist Stephan Said, who joined Occupy Wall Street after working with the the antiwar movement since the 1990s. “I have been raised an all-American guy who had to deal with the fact that my family was being bombed in the first and biggest war of globalization,” says Said. “I had to realize from the very beginning that the only way to stop it was to create this movement that all humanity has always waited for, for a more equal world.” He also performs his song “Take a Stand,” from his new album.



‘Occupy Chicago’ crashes Mortgage Bankers Association party
On Tuesday night, a party for Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) members was greeted by “Occupy Chicago” protesters, who chanted “banks got bailed out, we got sold out.” The party was hosted by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at Union Station. The protesters gathered at the one of the entrances of the building near where the party was being held. “Occupy Chicago” began on September 23, when around 20 people gathered at Willis Tower and then marched to the Federal Reserve Bank to show their solidarity with the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters in lower Manhattan.


Tiananmen protest leader thrilled by ‘Occupy Boston’ demonstration
Chai Ling, former commander-in-chief of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student movement, on Wednesday visited “Occupy Boston” protesters to provide them with encouragement. “Without pressure to provide a public space for these protests to continue, the movement will not be sustained,” she said in a statement. “This lack of organization also plagued the Tiananmen Square movement early on and reminds me so much of what we went through.”


Silencing Occupy Wall Street and criticism of Israel through demonization, Ali Abunimah
What do the efforts to silence criticism of Israel and the attacks on Occupy Wall Street have in common?


Naomi Klein on Occupy Wall Street: Compassion is a radical act
Naomi Klein, a reporter whose work has been featured in Rolling Stone, The Atlantic and The Guardian, among others, as well as in her best-selling books “Shock Doctrine” and “No Logo,” has been reporting on today’s key activist causes: Occupy Wall Street and the Keystone Pipeline. Klein sat down for an interview with Thom Hartmann to explain her participation in the social justice and environmental movements.

Analysis / Op-ed
The US Congress has voted to freeze aid to the Palestinian Authority worth $200 million. The common theme of the freeze is the disruption of activities that might reinforce the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) drive for statehood.
In an article today on the Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange deal, The New York Times’ scandal-plagued Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner falsely blames an August attack from Egypt into Israeli-controlled territory near the Red Sea port of Eilat on Palestinians

Declaration of a Bantustan in Palestine
If the PLO’s UN statehood bid succeeds, it will lead to increased Israeli control, not real independence.

‘The Arab Spring … is the commencement of the Third Intifada on a transnational, pan-Arab and pan-Muslim scale.’

Burg, former Knesset speaker, endorses idea of one state from river to sea
Enormous. Former Speaker of the Knesset Avraham Burg has come out of the colonialism closet and endorsed one democratic state from the river to the sea if Israel fails to take real steps toward two states, which of course, it will not.

Cairo — Little is written about Palestinians who have been living in Egypt for more than half a century. For generations of Palestinians, Egypt has been their only home — and place of exile — an Egypt they love and hate. Generations of Palestinians have grown up fearing Egyptian security forces. They fear leaving Egypt and not being able to return and fear daily discrimination in education, work, and health. Palestinians lived in Egypt while the ruling party incited Egyptian public opinion against everything Palestinian, a strategy employed to distract Egyptians from their own repression. These developments created a Palestinian-Egyptian identity that is both distorted and confused, reflecting Palestinian fears of displacement and deportation.
In the wars currently waged on the backs of the Arab revolutions, one particular term stands out in the lexicon of Arab politicians and their columnist and media acolytes: the phrase ‘convergence of interests,’ which has made a big comeback.
Bernard-Henri Levy stuck his nose into the business of the Arab Spring from the outset. The French philosopher with Zionist leanings made an appearance in Tahrir Square, visited Benghazi to support the rebels, and organized a conference in support of the Syrian uprising in Paris. Al-Akhbar asked several Arab intellectuals for their opinions.
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One Response

  1. annie
    October 16, 2011, 4:17 am

    The Third Intifada has already begun ……this is how it happens isn’t it.

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