What’s good for Gaza was not good enough for Shalit

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 ‘Shalit was poorly nourished in captivity’
A relative of the formerly captive soldier told Ynet on Friday that while Shalit wasn’t starved, he was not provided with a nutrient-rich diet. ”There wasn’t a shortage of food, they didn’t starve Gilad, but the menu was primarily Gazan and not really nutritious,” he said. “There were pitas and a lot of hummus.”

The Gaza diet (and the Congo diet and the Zimbabwe diet)
Several months ago, ministry officials approached the United Nations to consult with them about their dietary plan for the Gaza Strip. The UN officials – as one might guess – politely told them to go to hell, refusing to have anything to do with such a policy. The Israelis then turned to a Health Ministry dietician, whose advice might have led to the present policy according to which, as Israeli officials have stated, “the minimal requirements for the sustenance of Gaza Strip residents are being observed without inflicting a humanitarian disaster.”

 And more news from Today in Palestine…

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Erasure of culture & history

Oxfam: Settlers cost farmers over $500,000 this harvest
Ma`an News Agency “Burning an olive tree is like burning a farmer’s bank account,” said Oxfam director Jeremy Hobbs.”Over 100,000 Palestinian families depend on the money they earn during harvest season. Especially because this is a bad harvest, every olive counts.” Oxfam says over 2,500 olive trees were destroyed in September, and 7,500 this year. Since 1967, 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted resulting in a loss of around $55 million to the Palestinian economy, the international organization estimates.”

SALFIT (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities have started the construction of a watchtower near the illegal settlement outpost of Nofei Nehemia, the head of a local village council said Saturday. Samir Hareis, head of Iskaka’s village council in the Salfit district, told Ma’an that the watchtower was being built to monitor Palestinian farmers and citizens in the village.
TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israel’s army has informed the Palestinian Authority that the Innab military checkpoint in Tulkarem will be closed Sunday until Nov. 1, a Ma’an correspondent reported. The checkpoint, which blocks the eastern entrance to Tulkarem, will be closed for maintenance, according to officials with the District Coordination office. Locals will have to take another route.
Forested hilltops surround the land of Jabai. It is a quiet village that displays the beauty of a typical Palestinian village. Less than one thousand people live here and rely on farming to provide for their basic needs. Yet Israel’s policy of land confiscation and the nearby settlers of Beit Ein have disrupted what would be a serene place to call home.  Land confiscation began in 1948 when Israel confiscated over 2,000 dunams of farmland. Later, another 5,000 dunams were taken to create a “natural zone,” which is now under the control of Israel. This natural zone was confiscated in order to become a natural, “green” space to preserve the environment. This land is now guarded by a checkpoint and where shepherds once brought their goats to graze now the goats and the farmers are forbidden. Many villagers now fear that if they try to access this land they may risk being shot.

Village of Nahalin
The sun shines on Nahalin’s jasmine bushes that welcome visitors to this village close to Bethlehem. With a population of 7,000, it is situated on a small fraction of its former 17,000 dunams, about 6,000 dunams. Since the Oslo Accords, only 1,000 dunams of Nahalin is located in Area B, the rest is under the harsh restrictions of Area C. Eleven thousand dunams of land have been lost to the four settlements surrounding Nahalin: Betar Illit, Neve Daniyel Rosh Tzurim, and Jabout. Today, a high-pressure electricity system is being built. On both sides of the 6 – 7 kilometer line surrounding the village, an area 60 meters on each side will be confiscated.


Village of Husan
The small community of Husan sits between Bethlehem and Hebron. Husan has existed for almost four hundred years, with the original inhabitants coming from Saudi Arabia. Today, its 6,000 inhabitants consist of farmers, employees of factories, and workers, however the majority are children and students. From the hills of Husan one can see Jerusalem and on a clear day, even the Mediterranean Sea. At first glance, it is a serene village. The people here are satisfied with their lives, their land, their families and their farms. As one farmer says, “There is only one obstacle and that is the occupation, which is killing and shrinking Palestine, making life miserable.”


The Village of Battir
A village study of Battir was conducted by Stop the Wall around December 1, 2010. Battir is a village in the West Bank of Palestine with a population of around 5,000 people. People are employed as farmers or employees working in small projects or businesses. From the 1940s to today, farmers and the community fight against confiscation of their lands by Israel. Battir’s is a story of resistance through the court system.

Wadi Fuken, population 1,300, was once a village that represented the agricultural wealth of Palestine. Its sage, fruits, and vegetables were the main supply in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Hebron markets. Yet Israel’s illegal occupation and oppressive policies have suffocated the farmers in Wadi Fuken by attacking the village’s economy. Land confiscation, settlement development, the Oslo Accords, closure of nearby Jerusalem, and  stipulations on trade have all affected Wadi Fuken farmers for the worse, paralyzing their economy.
Israeli Regime Violence

Israel attempts to assassinate PRC leader
The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) said that the Israeli occupation tried to assassinate one of its leaders on Friday evening by planting an explosive device under his car.

JENIN (Ma’an) — Four people were injured by fragments of Israeli ammunition after troops fired into the air while a funeral procession passed through a gate in the separation wall in the northern West Bank on Saturday. Mourners from Dhaher al-Malih, a Palestinian village cut off from the West Bank behind Israel’s separation wall, tried to pass through a gate to bury Fathi al-Khatib in a cemetery near Tura, in the Palestinian West Bank.

Resident Kidnapped In Bil’in, Dozens Treated For Effects of Teargas Inhalation
Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and settlements, in Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and kidnapped one resident; dozens were treated for the effects of teargas inhalation. 

HEBRON, October 22, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers Saturday attacked the weekly non-violent protest against settlements and the Apartheid Wall in Beit Ummar, a town north of Hebron, said local activist. Spokesman of the National Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Ummar, Mohammed Awad, said Palestinian, Israeli and international activists headed to Karmi Tzur settlement constructed on Beit Ummar property to protest against settlement activities and construction of the wall. Israeli soldiers declared the area a closed military zone, prevented the protesters from reaching the settlement gate and battered them before firing tear gas, stun and smoke grenades at the protesters. Many activists suffered from suffocation, added Awad.

Local sources in Nablus said that IOF troops entered the Daheya neighbourhood in the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday and went around the streets of the neighbourhood.

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces attacked 3 Palestinians on Saturday in the East Jerusalem village of Beit Iksa, a Ma’an correspondent said.  Two others were detained as Israeli forces closed the military checkpoint to the village, reportedly in pursuit of an attacker who had earlier stabbed an Israeli man in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot. An Israeli police spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Settler Violence & Aggression

Settlers attack olive harvesters in Nablus district
Jewish settlers on Friday attacked a group of around 200 Palestinians who were picking olives in the village of Jalud near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.


Jewish settlers perform religious rituals at the Aqsa Mosque
In a provocative step, a group of extremist Jewish settlers on Friday performed religious rituals near Bab al-Qattanin gate, one of the Aqsa Mosque gates.

In recovery: Hit and run victim’s will is stronger than ever
Sajah Bilal Abd el Raouf Jum’a, 19, who was seriously injured in a hit and run attack by an Israeli settler is still in need of treatment for her injuries. After ten days in the hospital she is now back in her home in Kufr Qaddoum. She will need to stay two more weeks in bed before she is able to walk. This Sunday her 20 days off from university will expire, and she will continue her studies from her home.
Siege on Gaza
Israel: Follow Prisoner Exchange by Ending Blockade
Israel and Hamas should follow the announced prisoner exchange with measures to improve human rights. Israel should end its punitive closure of Gaza, which Israeli leaders have said was partly to pressure Hamas to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, but which extends far beyond denying military shipments to Hamas. Hamas and Israel should also ensure that everyone in their custody is treated humanely. (Jerusalem) – Israel and Hamas should follow the announced prisoner exchange with measures to improve human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Israel should end its punitive closure of Gaza, which Israeli leaders have said was partly to pressure Hamas to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, but which extends far beyond denying military shipments to Hamas.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Six US medics arrived in Gaza on Friday to provide treatment not available in the blockaded coastal strip, the Union of Health Work Committees said.  The delegation will work in Al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia and Al-Awda Specialist Health Day Care Center in Gaza City during their five day visit, a press statement said. Delegates include a urologist, cardiologist, psychiatric nurse and pediatric nurse, the release said, adding that the visit was UHWC’s fourth humanitarian mission in cooperation with the Gaza Community Mental Health Program. 

An open letter from Palestinian students to their peers in Europe

We Palestinian students of the Gaza Strip wish to send a message to all European student groups in solidarity with the Palestinians to do all they can to increase Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel this academic year. We also reiterate our support for the recent call by Palestinian Civil Society, of which we are a signatory, to end all collaborative research between European Universities and Israeli universities.[1] Research centers in Israeli academic institutions are actively involved in fuelling Israel’s huge weapons industry and tools of its military occupation and siege. It is this apparatus of violence that makes studying in Gaza so difficult, not to mention the daily toils and tragedy of Israeli apartheid policies. We, therefore,  call for an end to this compliance on all campuses with those directly complicit in the war crimes and colonial subjugation of us the Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank,‘48 Palestine and throughout the Diaspora.

Child & Political Detainees
UN human rights rapporteur for the Palestinian territories Richard Falk calls on Israel to adopt international guidelines for protection of Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation.
No children were released from Israeli jails and detention centers as part of the recent prisoner exchange, while human rights agencies add that many Palestinian children in Israeli prisons are being tortured.
A boy soldier returns home to assuage the “righteous indignation” of Israel, no longer “sensitive [even] to its image of democracy.”   Palestinian soldiers and civilians of no blame, who were incarcerated and held in Israeli prisons for resisting the brutal occupation of their land, return to find themselves in another prison, Gaza, while others were forced into exile.  All of the Palestinians released face an uncertain future.  The future remains even more bleak for the Palestinian children left behind Israel’s prison walls, however. Does Israel really care for its returned son Sergeant Shalit? Or was he used as a political pawn? Was “partial intelligence” soon after his capture enough to effect a rescue operation? Evidence suggests it was, but what of Gaza and the conditions inside Israel’s notorious prisons? The world must seek the testimonies of the returned sons and daughters of Palestine and learn of and from their ordeal.

5300 Palestinian captives are still incarcerated in occupation jails
The Ministry of Captives and Freed Captives in the Palestinian government of Gaza said that the Israeli occupation is still incarcerating 5300 Palestinian captives in its jails.

GAZA, October 22, 2011 (WAFA) – A total of 530 Palestinian prisoners serving single or multiple life terms remain in Israeli jails after the latest swap, according to a report published on Saturday. The report, prepared by Abdul Nasser Ferwaneh, a researcher specialized in prisoners’ affairs, said that the swap between Israel and Hamas, in which Israel has released 477 prisoners on Tuesday with a promise to release 550 more in two months, was number 38 in Arab and Palestinian swaps with Israel since 1948.
Released Prisoners

Qar’awi criticise PA security for summoning recently freed captives
Fathi Qar’awi, member of the PLC, stressed that the positive atmosphere created by the release of Palestinian captives should be utilised to expedite the implementation of reconciliation.

On almost every street in Gaza, tents have been erected to host welcome home ceremonies and receptions for the Palestinian prisoners freed in the recent prisoner exchange deal between Israel and the Palestinians. However, among the conditions to the deal stipulated by the Israeli side, was for more than 160 of the prisoners released to be deported to the Gaza Strip rather than returned to their homes in the West Bank or Jerusalem. As such, a tent was also set up to welcome the deportees to the Strip where large numbers of Gazans alongside well-known personalities gathered to welcome and congratulate them. The government in Gaza has also expressed keen readiness to receive the exiled prisoners, a number of whom have spent more than twenty years in Israeli prisons. They are currently being put up by the government in hotels along the coast until they adjust to their new lives.  

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian prisoners who were released in the prisoner deal and sent to Gaza will stay in hotels for three weeks or until they each get a private apartment, car, and a job.  Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh gave each of the 294 prisoners $2,000, and future income will be gained through jobs provided for each prisoner, said Saber Abu Karsh, a prisoners advocate in Gaza. 
“I will remain committed to Islamic principles and will not renounce Hamas; the movement has taught me a lot.” Just before she was due to fly to Amman, I met the only female Palestinian prisoner from Jordan involved in the Hamas-Israel prisoner exchange agreement, the woman dubbed the “gem of the deal”, Ahlam Al-Tamimi. She was released after spending 10 years in Israeli prisons and detention centres and the deal with Israel means that she has been spared having to spend the rest of her life in a prison cell; her original sentence was 16 life terms.
Fifty Palestinian youth marched from Gaza’s International Committee of the Red Cross compound to the Commodore Gaza and Al-Quds International Hotels, celebrating the release of 477 political prisoners Tuesday and welcoming those exiled to Gaza, who are currently housed in the hotels. The demonstration ended in the Al-Nour Cultural Center, where four exiled prisoners, as well as the son of a current prisoner from Gaza, addressed the crowd. “We are trying to awaken youth about the situation of the prisoners through ongoing activities,” said Majed Abusalama, one of the organizers of the event.
Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
22th October 2011: Accompanied by a big crowd of international and Israeli activists and residents of Beit Ommar, PSP had a peaceful demonstration towards the illegal settlement of Karmei Tsur. The internationals carried slogans for “justice,” “freedom for all”, and “dignity for the Palestinians”.  Slogans supporting freedom for the prisoners and the occupation were also present. Speeches were held in Arabic, English and French.
Monday 24th October, 5.30 pm, Friend’s Meeting House, Ramallah. Hosted by Al-Haq and Diakonia in cooperation with 
Birzeit University and the Konrad Adenaur Stiftung.
Hundreds of student activists from dozens of colleges and universities across the US are expanding the grassroots movements for Palestine solidarity activism despite aggressive smear campaigns by pro-Israel groups.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian civil society groups called on European research bodies to halt cooperation with Israeli institutions implicated in violating human rights, in a statement issued Thursday.  The release said Israel’s association agreement with the EU gives it equal access to research funding as members, “despite Israel’s consistent violation of the Agreement’s human rights clause.” The campaigners pointed to European collaboration with and funding of military companies Elbit Systems and Israeli Aerospace Industries, which it said were involved in building Israel’s wall and supplying drones for military strikes on Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.
Member group Adalah-NY recently brought to light changes to the TIAA-CREF website, which no longer features the slogan, “For the Greater Good” as prominently as it once did.  For more information about TIAA-CREF click here.

Israel brochure on British Airways breaches UK ad rules, promotes apartheid
A tourist brochure advertising Israel aboard British Airways flights falsely claims that occupied territories are part of “Israel.” It is in clear breach of a ruling by UK advertising regulators.

Gary Ackerman, the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, has issued a statement attacking an effort by New York University students and faculty to divest from TIAA-CREF over its investments in companies benefiting from the Israeli occupation. An open letter to TIAA-CREF CEO and President Roger W. Ferguson from NYU faculty and staff has already received over 130 signatures. Ackerman’s statement reads in part…
Sexism and Discrimination

Haredim assault officers with concrete blocks
Activists protesting against gender segregation in Mea Shearim driven out with stones, dirty diapers. Officers dispersing rioters sustain light wounds after being pelted with concrete blocks.

The commanders of the women soldiers decided to have the women board buses and leave after some objected to their being directed to a separate area cut off from the main event.

Jerusalem city council member fired after opposing gender segregation
Jerusalem city hall justifies Azaria’s dismissal: Loyalty to city council policy is the issue.

Municipality officials deny change in policy, refer to several campaigns that featured images of women. Yet figures in city’s public relations industry say women have been entirely removed from public billboards and advertisements.

New York authorities threaten to shut down segregated bus run by Orthodox Jews
The Private Transportation Corp has come under criticism following publicity about its practice of making women give up their seats in the front to promote ultra-Orthodox customs of gender separation.

Political Developments / Diplomacy
Egypt and Israel on verge of prisoner swap
Cairo to hand over accused US-Israeli spy Ilan Grapel in exchange for 28 Egyptian prisoners, including three children.

Egypt is working to establish communications between Hamas and European nations in the wake of their brokering of a prisoner swap deal between the Gaza rulers and Israel, Egyptian daily Al-Mesryoon said Thursday., Officials hope to build on European contacts with Hamas during the swap negotiations, including by German and French mediators, to convince European states to deal with the faction governing Gaza, the report said.
In TIME interview, Mahmoud Abbas says former PM Ehud Olmert promised to release Fatah prisoners after any deal to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
RAMALLAH (Reuters) — The PLO wants the Security Council to decide on its bid for full UN membership soon so it can pursue “other options”, the UN envoy said, repeating charges that Washington is procrastinating to avoid a vote. Riyad Mansour, in comments to a Palestinian newspaper, did not say what he would do once their bid for UN membership reached its conclusion. It is widely expected that the bid will fail because of US opposition. However, Palestinian officials have said that failure at the Security Council would push them to seek an upgrade in their UN status to that of a “non-member state”, something they can secure from the General Assembly without Security Council approval.

Erekat: “Israel is responsible for The Collapse Of The Peace Talks”

Dr. Saeb Erekat, member of the Central Committee of the Fatah Movement and Palestinian negotiation chief, held a meeting with the former Portuguese President, Jorge Sambaio, currently appointed the High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, the Palestinian News Agency, Maan, reported earlier on Thursday.

Other Mideast & World News

Obituary: Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud 
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud has died. He was the seventh of King Abdulaziz Al Saud’s 36 sons, each of whom have had significant and powerful roles within the kingdom. Prince Sultan was never educated at a conventional school but learnt to read and write using tradition methods. In 1947, his father named him the Emir of Riyadh. He was appointed minister of agriculture in 1953, then minister of transport on 1955, and minister of defence in 1962. Prince Sultan became deputy prime minister in 1982 and was named the heir apparent after his elder brother Abdullah Abdulaziz was crowned King in 2005. Al Jazeera’s Stefani Dekker reports.

Saudi crown prince dies, leaving succession uncertain
The younger brother of King Abdullah was in his 80s, and there is no formal method to name a replacement from the sprawling royal family.


NTC to declare Libya war ‘over’
Transitional council to announce civil war against Gaddafi over, leader says free elections “within eight months”.


UN calls for probe into Gaddafi’s death
Special Rapporteur says the manner of the deposed Libyan leader’s killing could be a war crime.


Gaddafi corpse on display raises concerns 
In a matter of hours, Libya’s new leaders will gather in Tripoli to officially announce their country has been ‘liberated’.   The historic moment comes after the killing of Muammar Gaddafi outside his hometown Sirte on Thursday. But there are still many questions over his death; but those queuing to see his corpse are happy that he is gone. The former leader’s body is still on display, alongside one of his sons, in Misrata and the delay in burying them is raising concerns that proper religious traditions are being ignored. Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports from Misrata.


Report: Gaddafi to be buried in secret location
Libyan government gears to give fallen dictator hasty Muslim burial; aims to keep location secret to prevent it from becoming pilgrimage site for Gaddafi loyalists.


Trump upset Gadhafi killed before U.S. got Libya’s oil

Real estate mogul Donald Trump released a video on YouTube following the death of Muammar Gadhafi in which he complained about the fact that the Libyan strongman was killed before the United States had a chance to take the country’s oil reserves. Libya’s National Transitional Council announced Thursday that Gadhafi had been captured and later died during the assault on his hometown Sirte. “Big deal,” he said. “What do we get out of it? They have the oil. The rebels would have given us everything if we had some leader that knew how to negotiate.”


Bahrain court to hear medics’ appeal
Twenty medical staff convicted of incitement and taking over a hospital during protests to argue against “retrial”.


Polls open in historic Tunisia election
Birthplace of Arab Spring holds first democratic elections in decades, as Tunisians pick a constituent assembly.


US blast kills 10 Afghan civilians

A US rocket has struck a residential area in war-torn Afghanistan, claiming the lives of at least 10 Afghan civilians Press TV reports.
Former Guantánamo Prisoner Speaks Out on Lawsuit Seeking Bush’s Arrest in Canada for Torture
Police in British Columbia have taken extra security measures ahead of today’s visit by former President George W. Bush, who is set to speak at an economic summit. The security is to handle hundreds of protesters, but Amnesty International has also called on the Canadian government to arrest Bush and either prosecute or extradite him for the torture of prisoners in the so-called “war on terror.” Meanwhile, four men who say they were tortured in U.S. prisons under the Bush administration will lodge a private prosecution today against the former president in a Canadian provincial court. The Center for Constitutional Rights and the Canadian Center for International Justice have already submitted a 69-page draft indictment to Canada’s attorney general, along with more than 4,000 pages of supporting material, that set forth the case against Bush for torture. We are joined by one of the alleged torture victims, Murat Kurnaz, a former Guantánamo prisoner. He is a Turkish national who was born in Germany. He was detained in Pakistan at the age of 19 in 2001. “I believe George Bush is a criminal, and he has to pay for this, what he did. And even in my own case, even though I was got proven that I’m innocent and never had done anything wrong, so they kept me for like five years. After that I got proof that I’m innocent, they kept me five more years, and they never stopped the torture.” We also speak with Katherine Gallagher, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights who is assisting the plaintiffs in the case.


US Military sexual assault and rape ‘epidemic’

One in three female soldiers are raped during their US military service.


Immigrant Detainees Report Nearly 200 Instances Of Sexual Abuse
WASHINGTON — More than 180 sexual abuse complaints have been reported in immigration detention centers since 2007, according to government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a class-action suit filed this week.

Occupy Wall Street

Police break up ‘Occupy Sydney’ protest in raid
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Police broke up a Sydney protest camp inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement in an early morning raid on Sunday, making dozens of arrests, police and protesters said. The ‘Occupy Sydney’ protest against corporate greed and economic inequality in the Martin Place business district had been going on for a week, with a small group sleeping out in the square despite seizure of camping equipment, setting up solar panels to charge mobile phones.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) abruptly canceled an economic address Friday at the University of Pennsylvania after learning that the event could be flooded with protesters aligned with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
About two dozen Occupy Cincinnati protesters were arrested overnight at Piatt Park after refusing to leave, according to Cincinnati police.
Mayor Bloomberg announced this morning that the city is going to take a hard line with demonstrators making camp in Lower Manhattan after going easy on the throngs for weeks.
The police commander whose over-zealous use of pepper spray on Occupy Wall Street protesters was caught on video believes he used the correct amount of force and ‘would do things the same way’ if given a second chance.
Oakland officials warned activists with the Occupy movement Friday that their 11-day-old encampment in the shadow of City Hall was illegal and that they would be arrested if they didn’t leave.
‘World Of Opera’ Dumped By NPR Because Host Participated In Occupy DC Protest
WASHINGTON — NPR will no longer distribute the member station-produced program “World of Opera” to about 60 stations across the country because the show host helped organize an ongoing Washington protest, a network official said Friday evening. Instead, North Carolina-based classical music station WDAV, which produces the show, said it will distribute the nationally syndicated program on its own beginning Nov. 11. The station said it plans to keep Lisa Simeone as host and has said her involvement in a political protest does not affect her job as a music program host.

Occupy Wall Street protests ‘police brutality’
About 500 people, including activists from the Occupy Wall Street movement, marched through New York on Saturday in protest at police abuses. The demonstration through Manhattan marked the nationwide Annual Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. However, the rally came under extra attention this year against the background of the anti-establishment protest camp near Wall Street and its growing number of imitators around the world. Police “defend the one percent,” one placard read, referring to the Occupy Wall Street movement’s slogan of “We are 99 percent.”


Occupy Wall Street not Palestine!
“So as you break your own chains and build your own effective resistance against corporate tyranny, we ask you to demand a just peace for all the peoples in the Middle East, based on international law and equal human rights. Palestinians too are part of the 99% around the world that suffer at the hands of the 1% whose greed and ruthless quest for hegemony have led to unspeakable suffering and endless war.”


Tim Wise: White folks have been ‘occupying’ Manhattan for hundreds of years
Indigenous activists have recently expressed concern over “language of occupy.” On Friday night, Melissa Harris-Perry and anti-racist activist and educator Tim Wise took on the topic on The Rachel Maddow Show. Wise is the author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son. During their discussion, Wise said that Occupy Wall Street is taking place on the “site of long-standing racial injustice …and if we’re trying to build a solidarity movement, we have to be clear, we’re trying to decolonize a colonized and occupied place, not just re-occupy it for better purposes.” Watch the full segment below, originally uploaded by MSNBC on October 21, 2011.

Analysis / Op-ed
As a Palestinian member of the Knesset, I know American lawmakers aren’t being shown the reality of life here.
I do so love it when Israeli political figures seek to appear to offer Palestinian leaders a leg up, only to stab them in the back as they’re doing it.  Haaretz reports today that Bibi Netanyahu has offered a vague formula for a settlement freeze that has, as far as I can tell, no provision for duration and only refers to construction on government land.  This, of course, is supposed to mark Bibi as a generous fellow willing to lend a hand to his Palestinian interlocutor.

Maariv on Palestine Statehood Vote: “We Lost Gabon”

With a headline that reminded me of the old Republican 1950s smear–”Who lost China”–Maariv’s headline yesterday (h/tDidi Remez) says:  ”Fear in Jerusalem: We Lost Gabon”  If this is true, and the African nation hasagreed to support Palestine’s UN bid, this would bring it, by my informal count, the nine votes it would need to approve its statehood bid.  This in turn would activate a U.S. veto, something Obama is loathe to do because it will even further underscore the hypocrisy of our professed policy supporting the creation of a Palestinian state.

Israeli Embassy promotes paid speech by Ethan Bronner, Max BlumenthalSoon after I revealed the unethical business relationship between NY Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner and Lone Star Communications, a right-wing Israeli PR firm, Times “ethics cop” Phil Corbett circulated a memo to staffers reminding them of the paper’s rules on speaking engagements.
So here is Walter Reich weeping in the New York Times about “the many abductions — and the numerous dead — that his release will yield.” The spokesman for the military wing of Hamas has stated publicly that the sergeant “will not be the last soldier kidnapped by Hamas as long as Israel keeps Palestinian prisoners detained.” There’s a very simple solution to this, unconsidered by Reich, which is that Israel could release the Palestinian prisoners, the overwhelming majority of whom are illegally detained. Someone please explain this to Dahlia Scheindlin, who in an astoundingly unselfconscious racist spectacle comments on the sergeant’s “perfect innocence,” as though he had not been part of a terrorist army carrying out an over 40-year occupation and which has made it so most males in Israeli society are war criminals. Scheindlin goes on to write that “Hamas has reduced your prisoners to one-thousandth of an Israeli.” Think about the prisoner, she suggests,”on your way to the ballot box – inshallah soon – and you will see the fate of your own sons and daughters, if they ever run afoul of this gang.”
Bibi sauntered.  He swaggered.  He spoke freely, seemingly unguided by any text. He irreverently made circles with his fingers. He called the group of diplomats and interns assembled in front of him actors in “a theater of the absurd.” He proudly modeled his thick coat of indifference just as he called the United Nations, a “house of lies.” Indeed, so capable was the UN in presenting the false as true, Bibi gestured assuredly, they could go so far to declare that the sun set in the West.
Palestinian olives / Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh
Sabbah 20 Oct 09 — My thoughts wander to the Palestinians who lost their olive groves to the colonial settlement activity (over 1 million trees have been uprooted) … I feel at peace with the sorrow and anger overwhelmed by emotions of gratitude and serenity under the old olive trees. The olive harvest is after all a ritual that borders on an act of worship (and maybe it is). The stimulation of our senses during the harvest is hard to describe. It is not just the invigorating smells of the olive leaves and whiffs of olive oil but the shape and feel of each olive as our hands comb the tree like a mother combing her daughters hair, the sight of beloved ones tending the same tree before moving to the next …It is hard to describe to non-Palestinians what the olive tree means to us. 
[Ikhras note: Michael Oren is not only Israel’s Ambassador in Washington representing a criminal regime, he’s also a war criminal himself who participated in Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 in which over 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians were killed.  He’s also Hussein Ibish’s dinner companion: See here] We  interact very frequently and on a friendly basis with the ATFP,” he said. “We view them as partners and as friends.”
The group is led by president and founder Dr. Ziad J. Asali, Ghaith Al-Omari, a former foreign policy advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Senior Fellow Hussein Ibish. The trio has managed to attract high-level administration favor (Secretary of State Hillary Clintonkeynoted their gala last year) and praise from the pro-Israel community. The downside of their strategy, however, has been a notable absence of grassroots Palestinian support…”
AIPAC Spokesman on ATFP
ATFP is respected in Washington policy-making circles, including the pro-Israel community, “because they are seen as serious players with ideas and access — on the Hill, with the White House, and in the region…One of the things that distinguishes them from the other actors in the Arab pro-Palestinian camp is their willingness to challenge corruption, condemn terrorism without equivocation and meet with other stakeholders without precondition…Credibility in Washington is hard to come by, and Ziad Asali has certainly earned it.”
Hillary Clinton On ATFP
Thank you very much, Ziad, for that introduction and for your leadership of this important organization, and for you and the steadfast support that ATFP has given to the cause of peace…Now, when it comes to the conflict in the Middle East, it is all too easy for positions to harden into dogma, for tempers to flare, for rhetoric to outpace reality. But you have provided a welcome voice of reason and a steady advocacy on behalf of a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.”

The Plot behind Iran Plot, Aijaz Zaka Syed – Dubai
A great deal of time in my adolescent years was spent with my father’s books. I was introduced to some of the finest names in Urdu and Western literature in my dad’s library. Many of them have stayed with me, enlivening many a dull moment and showing the way when one was lost in the face of life’s complexities. One of them was Inayatulla Altamash, the author of Dastan Iman Faroshon Ki (The merchants of faith). Woven around Europe’s Crusades to wrestle the Holy Land from the hands of the “infidels,” the five-part series is a riveting saga of endless bloodshed, bravery, perfidy and spy games. Altamash’s protagonist is Salahuddin Ayubi or Saladin for the West, the Liberator of Palestine. Salahuddin repeatedly faced the combined might of Christendom, eventually succeeding in driving it out by the sheer dint of his courage, self belief and perseverance.

Dagan: Iran Won’t Have Nuclear Weapon Until 2014-15, Hasn’t Even Yet Decided to Make One, Richard Silverstein
Haaretz reporters Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff write about the political manuveuring within Israel over a potential attack on Iran.  They reveal that Meir Dagan, the former Mossad chief, proclaims that Iran will not have a nuclear weapon till 2014-15 at the earliest, and that in the meantime it hasn’t even definitively decided to make one.
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15 Responses

  1. Chaos4700
    October 23, 2011, 12:57 pm

    Gee, yeah, how terrible, an Israeli Jew had to find out what it’s like to live like a Gazan. What a crime!

    • seafoid
      October 23, 2011, 5:00 pm

      I thought it was wonderful to see Gilad Shalit, the Israeli legend, kitted out in a cheap Gaza tracksuit top.


      What a PR coup for the ghazzawiyeen. There was no way he was going to that press conference in an Israeli uniform and they can’t afford Tommy Hilfiger.

  2. Dex
    October 23, 2011, 1:23 pm

    Here you go Galit. It’s Tuesday, which means it’s egg-white omelet, orange juice, and power-bar day. Now you should have enough nutrients to tunnel your way outta here with a spoon. Go gett’em tiger!…

  3. annie
    October 23, 2011, 1:32 pm

    “There wasn’t a shortage of food, they didn’t starve Gilad, but the menu was primarily Gazan and not really nutritious,” he said. “There were pitas and a lot of hummus.”


    • Chaos4700
      October 23, 2011, 1:43 pm

      Israeli. Meh.

    • Bumblebye
      October 23, 2011, 3:02 pm

      But it’s a bare-faced admission of the results of Israeli policy!
      If a diet is lacking nutrition as a result of Israel’s enforced diet, and this leads to Shalit’s ‘malnutrition’, then how many people confined in Gaza are also likely to be suffering from malnutrition? Any complaint they make about his treatment over this should be met with the answer that they restricted his food as much as they did everyone else in Gaza.

      • Proton Soup
        October 23, 2011, 5:22 pm

        anyone want to take a guess about what this diet has done to Shalit’s fertility? i mean, we know it’s had its intended effect on the Gazans, as fertility has gone down.


        anyone want to make some suggestions as to what laws are being violated when you actively take steps to reduce the birth rate of a people? (hint: the general population is ignorant of what it really means)

  4. Sumud
    October 23, 2011, 3:11 pm

    From the Ynet article:

    Asked about Hamas’ statement that Shalit was not tortured in captivity, his father said: “I suggest you take anything Hamas says with a grain of salt. Gilad underwent very difficult things during his captivity. I won’t go into that now… His treatment did improve a little bit over time.”

    Who’d a thunk it? Shalit was in Gaza and underwent “difficult things”. Well, when in Rome…

    I’ve been wondering if Shalit will have a touch of Stockholm Syndrome. He will have experienced the 2008/9 attack on Gaza just like a local.

    • Chaos4700
      October 23, 2011, 5:48 pm

      I’m rather wondering if it’s crossed Shalit’s mind yet that Tzipi Livni wanted him dead, because he would have been more useful to the interests of Israel as a martyr then as a prisoner who was released after, apparently, not being tortured and being relatively well cared for.

  5. eGuard
    October 23, 2011, 3:41 pm

    Quite aside, and related, I’d like to point to Lawrence of Cyberia, who is adding posts these days. Well written (enjoy!), well sourced, and an interesting angle as always.

    • Walid
      October 23, 2011, 4:15 pm

      Isn’t hummus another Israeli national dish?

      • Chaos4700
        October 23, 2011, 8:27 pm

        They invented it you know! It goes well with cherry tomatoes. ;)

  6. mig
    October 24, 2011, 1:50 am

    I guess that hamas doesnt have right to enter to those wonderful markets that they have in Gaza. According to those ziobots in Israel ( how about our zbots in here ? ).

  7. Theo
    October 24, 2011, 1:35 pm

    What a pity!
    If I had Shalid´s address I would have given an order to the finest restaurant in Gaza to deliver a meal every day to him.
    Meanwhile I just wonder, what kind of food those palestinians locked up in Israel do enjoy every day? Do they have a one star or two star cook?

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