Israeli forces tear gas and arrest girls during home demolition in South Hebron Hills

ActivismIsrael/PalestineMiddle East
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Video: Israeli occupation forces demolish homes and mosque, arrests girls near Hebron, Ali Abunimah

On 24 November Israeli occupation forces demolished two homes, a mosque and a barn, killing livestock, and arrested two young women in the village of Umm Fagarah, in the South Hebron Hills in the occupied West Bank.

“Law Enforcement” Destroys Prayer House, Homes, School – Just Because They’re for Arabs, Assaf Oron
Last Thursday, November 24, employees of the Israeli company “E.T. Legal Services”, hired by the deceptively named “Civil Administration” arm of Israel’s military Occupation regime in the West Bank, demolished a mosque. Among other things.

The Israeli Army decided to demolish a home that belongs to resident Nawal Al Jahaleen in Jabal Al Mukabber area, in occupied East Jerusalem.

Having relatives in the West Bank is a problem. So is a school in the South Hebron Hills. The list of prohibitions is endless.

Lift Travel Ban on Human Rights Defender, B’Tselem
Israeli authorities in the West Bank should lift the travel ban imposed since 2006 on West Bank resident Shawan Jabarin, the director of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and B’Tselem said today. Israeli authorities violated Jabarin’s due process rights in imposing the ban and have not produced any evidence that would justify continuing to restrict him from travel, the groups said.
Witness looks at the struggle to get an education under occupation.
Israeli Regime Violence / Aggression
According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, 350 private Israeli security guards are currently employed in East Jerusalem by private security firm Modi’in Ezrahi, which is subcontracted by the Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction, to protect 2,000 settlers living illegally in the occupied territory.

Organized chaos and bare life (*): The non-story of the night raids
There exists a general, intentional, cleverly constructed misunderstanding surrounding the true nature of the Israeli occupation. Some say it’s a simple dispute over land, like many others in the world; other think the conflict is about national independence for the Palestinians, prompting statements like, “The Basques and the Kurds aren’t independent either, so why do people pick on Israel?”  But the occupation is something else. It is the ongoing military control over the lives of millions, and everything that comes with it: The lack of civil rights, the absence of legal protection, and perhaps more than anything else, a sense of organized chaos, in which the lives of an entire civilian population is run at the mercy of soldiers 18 to 20 years old. Most of the time, it’s almost hard to explain how bad it is for those who haven’t seen it with their own eyes.

Political Detainees / Interrogations / Other Prisoner News

On November 24, the Israeli army broke into the South Hebron Hills village of Umm Fagarah, demolishing several huts and detaining two girls.

Adnan Ghaith summoned for investigation again
Silwan secretary-general of Fatah Adnan Ghaith was summoned for investigation by Israeli police on 24 November, in Oz police station on Al-Moqaber. Ghaith was interrogated about his activities and correspondences during his 8 months of exile from Jerusalem this year, which he spent in Ramallah. He was also threatened by interrogators to cease all political work, lest he be punished again.


Israeli intelligence summonses two female ex-detainees for interrogation
The IOF violently stormed at dawn Sunday the homes of two Palestinian women released as part of the swap deal between Hamas and Israel and handed them summonses from the intelligence.

Self-Education: Story of a Palestinian Prisoner, Ben Lorber and Khalil Ashour

On the third floor of the Nablus Municipality Library, there sits a room of over 8,000 books set apart from the rest. Many of these books are very old and tattered; many of them, in lieu of a normal face, are adorned with images taken from old National Geographic or Reader’s Digest magazines. Some are laboriously written by hand. The spines of the books show a variety of languages, from Arabic to English, French and Spanish. ‘The New English Bible’ is flanked by ‘The Great American Revolution of 1776’ on one side and ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ on the other; across the aisle, Edward Said’s ‘Orientalism’ and ‘The Greek Myths’ look on silently, next to ‘Elementary Physics’ and a study of ‘The Chinese Road to Socialism’.

Aruri: 2nd stage of exchange deal should take place by 19 December
Political bureau member of Hamas Saleh Al-Aruri has said that Israel should set free the second batch of Palestinian prisoners by 19 December in accordance with the exchange deal.

Prisoners write to Abbas demanding PA support
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails sent a letter to President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday demanding support from the Palestinian Authority in their fight for better conditions. The letter highlighted that Israel had enacted punitive policies against prisoners since the swap deal in October between Israel and Hamas, and said the situation for detainees was “on the verge of explosion,” a statement from a prisoners’ society said.

Official: Fatah, Hamas to release political prisoners
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Fatah and Hamas are in talks to release political prisoners in a bid to end all outstanding disagreements, an official said Monday. “(President Mahmoud) Abbas gave instructions to the director of the Palestinian Authority’s general intelligence service, Majid Faraj, to release Hamas-affiliated detainees stated in a list received from Hamas,” Fatah affiliated lawmaker Faysal Abu Shahla told Ma’an.

Gazans wait on outcome of Egypt elections
Egyptians take to the polls, many Palestinians hope Egypt’s future foreign policy will be more sympathetic to their cause. Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood party. It is expected to do well in the elections that started on the 28th November. There is some concern that if the Muslim Brotherhood wins in Egypt and Hamas grows stronger, human rights in the Gaza Strip could suffer. After the Egyptian revolution, the military council announced it would re-open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza. This is the only crossing not controlled by Israel. Many Palestinians would also like to see Egypt establish a full commercial crossing at Rafah. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from Gaza.
Gaza Quarries: Resisting Ruin, Ruqaya Izzidien
The Gaza Strip is a small coastal enclave that is frequently bombed, destroying and damaging houses, agricultural land and businesses. But under the blockade that Israel imposes, construction material is banned from entering Gaza. Although a small amount of building materials does enter, it is assigned from the outset to internationally recognised organisations, making it seemingly impossible for regular Palestinian civilians to rebuild.

Despite Israel’s blockade on building materials entering the Gaza Strip, local entrepreneurs have come up with a way to turn destruction into reconstruction by recycling rubble into construction material.
Israeli Racism / Discrimination

Virtually all military court cases in West Bank end in conviction
Report shows the military appeals courts decidedly favor the prosecution, with judges accepting 67 percent of prosecution appeals, as opposed to only 33 percent of appeals filed by the defense.

Living in the grey area: African refugees in Israel
For years, Israel ignored African refugees rather than making a legal framework to process the requests of asylum seekers. Now, the state is building a detention center to simply lock them up. 

Solidarity / Activism / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
UN marks ‘day of solidarity’ with Palestinian people
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that a Palestinian state was “long overdue,” in a statement to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. “The need to resolve this conflict has taken on greater urgency with the historic transformations taking place across the region,” Ban said. The UN chief said that a solution to the conflict must end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and establish two states with Jerusalem as a shared capital.

As the Australian delegate on the Tahrir boat with the recent Freedom Waves initiative, Michael Coleman recently confronted all of the barriers that the government of Israel could muster.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo Donates Sport Boots for Palestinian Children Foundation
Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, showed his concern to the Palestinian children in Gaza by donating his sports shoes to the Palestinian kids foundation.
Original enclosure (ronaldo_with_palestinian_


Israel Declared an Apartheid State in “People’s Court”
…a panel of eminent jurists serving on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine heard testimony from expert witnesses regarding the apartheid practices of Israel against the Palestinian people.


PCHR Strongly Condemns WHO’s Decision to Conduct a Conference in Jerusalem
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of WHO Europe to conduct an official conference in Jerusalem, hosted by Israel. The first World Health Organisation (WHO) European Conference on the New European Policy for Health is to take place on the 28–29 November 2011.

DePaul University Students Declare Victory in Sabra Hummus Campaign
Just prior to Thanksgiving, US Campaign coalition member group DePaul University Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announced an important victory in its campaign against the sale of Sabra hummus in university dining halls. Earlier this year, DePaul SJP launched a campaign to have Sabra hummus removed from campus dining halls because it is partially owned by the Strauss Group, which provides material and financial support to Israeli military units. After an inquiry into the activities of the Strauss Group, the university elected to continue selling Sabra hummus. However, the university has quietly introduced the sale of an alternative brand of hummus in the university’s dining halls providing students with the opportunity to make ethical consumer purchases.

“On the morning of Black Friday – the single largest shopping day of the year – demonstrators went through three of the busiest shopping centers in Chicago: H&M, Nordstrom and the Water Tower Place Mall. The demonstrators asked holiday shoppers to think of the ethics behind their purchases, and organized brief two-minute chants in favor of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli apartheid and advocated a consumer boycott of Israeli products. 

Europeans hold 60 ‘Boycott Israel’ actions in 10 countries
In a European Day of Action under the banner ‘Take Apartheid off the Menu’, human rights activists in ten countries held actions on Saturday calling on consumers to boycott food products made in Israeli settlements, and urging supermarkets to stop carrying Israeli settlement-made products.


BDS success or health problem? MF DOOM mysteriously cancels Tel Aviv show
The Israeli news site Walla! reports that British-American rapper MF Doom canceled his Tel Aviv show, less than 24 hours before he was scheduled to take to the stage.

Citizens Sue Minnesota State Board of Investment for Illegal Investments in Israel Bonds
The lawsuit asserts that investment in Israel Bonds by the SBI is both unlawful and imprudent, and further contends that such investment violates the Minnesota statutes that control the types of foreign investments that the SBI is permitted to make.
Rare performance: Barbra Streisand will play a Dec. 8 LA gala for the Israel Defense Forces. Hosted by Jason Alexander, who is going to forge the two-state solution. Sponsored by Haim Saban. (Hebrew link) She’s a big Democrat, right? So’s Saban, more or less. No Christian Zionists in sight. Here’s Barbra talking about Bill Clinton’s dedication to human rights. And kids in Africa, and global climate change. Progressive except Palestine. This is what J Street is up against, inside the Jewish community. And what America is up against.
In 2006, at the 5th Annual National Organizers’ Conference of the US Campaign, coalition member groups overwhelmingly resolved to adopt the language of apartheid and Jim Crow segregation in describing Israeli policies towards Palestinians. Applying the apartheid framework to analyses of Israeli practices offers a methodical and startling assessment of conditions on the ground in occupied Palestine. The apartheid framework also explicitly highlights Israel’s grave violations of Palestinian human rights and international law. Palestinian solidarity activists Ana Nogueira and Eron Davidson have produced an important new documentary,“Roadmap to Apartheid,” comparing Israeli policies with those of apartheid-era South Africa. A film tour is being scheduled for 2012 (see below for more info) and we would like to encourage you to consider organizing a screening in conjunction with an anti-apartheid training seminar. For information on how to organize an anti-apartheid training in your community, please see our training curriculum.
Political Developments / Diplomacy
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli official said Saturday evening on live television that if the Palestinian Authority collapses it would not be the “end of the world for Israel.” Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Yedioth Ahronoth columnist Shimon Sheffer, former Palestinian minister Sufian Zayda, and Dove Viziglas, who was former adviser to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, were analyzing the possibility of the PA disbanding on the television show “Face the press.”
Lieberman fights PM over release of PA tax revenues but foreign minister backs down from threat to topple Netanyahu’s coalition.

Lieberman vows to stop release of Palestinian tax funds
FM fervently opposes transferring tax revenues to Palestinian Authority, says money is used to fund housing for terrorists.

Lebanon (now remember, Al Qaida in Lebanon is supported by Western allies, not by Hezbollah)

Rockets ‘fired from Lebanon hit Israel’
Several Katyusha’s fired from southern Lebanon landed in Israel, but there were no casualties, Israeli army says.

Israel hits suspected Lebanon rocket sites
Missiles land in the town of Ayta Shaab after rockets launched from south Lebanon strike northern Israel.

Hezbollah denies involvement in rocket fire on north
Militant Shiite group says had nothing to do with Katyusha fire on western Galilee; IDF says event likely an isolated incident,7340,L-4154670,00.html

Al-Qaida linked group claims responsibility for Katyusha fire against Israel
UNIFIL deploys extra troops and patrols along border, after four rockets launched into Israel overnight; no causualties reported in rocket fire, Israel responds with artillery rounds.

Egypt gas pipeline ‘blown up by saboteurs’ for the 9th time
Blast strikes pipeline carrying gas to Jordan and Israel, in the latest of a series of attacks on the export route.
Israel security unnerved by Egyptian politics 
The Egyptian revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak had particular resonance in Israel. The country lost one of its closest allies in the region, and a loyal partner in security and now with the Muslim Brotherhood poised to make great gains in the elections, Israel’s long-standing peace treaty with Egypt is again coming into question. Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley reports from Sinai.

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli Knesset member Benjamin Ben-Eliezer on Monday said Israel should be prepared for “the worst scenario” following changes in Egypt. Ben-Eliezer called for the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in order to improve relations with Egypt, Israeli Radio reported.
The attitude to Israel does not necessarily depend on a religious perception, but rather the understanding that Israel has caused injustice to the people it has occupied. Thus, for now, it would be deceptive to say the Muslim Brotherhood or Islam in general were responsible for the change in attitude toward Israel. Israel must recognize that the region’s political and social reality is changing. It would do well to consider how to adjust its policy to the change instead of lamenting the change itself.
Haaretz report from Alexandria / Activists hold another demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday as part of ongoing efforts to force the ruling military council out of power.

Mosireen, “Sayed Mohsen Abdel-Ghani, 17 Years Old, Tortured by Egypt’s Army and CSF” (Video)
On Sunday, 20 November, Sayed was arrested on Mohamed Mahmoud Street. For four days, the Central Security Forces and the army tortured him.


Egyptians demand an end to military rule 
Egyptians have started casting their ballots in the first parliamentary elections since former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising earlier this year. Over 50 political parties are contesting the elections, along with thousands of candidates running as independents. But the preparations have been marred by a new wave of demonstrations, as protesters occupied Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand the military council that replaced Mubarak hand power to a civilian government. Mike Hanna reports from Cairo on protesters demanding an end to military rule.

Alexandria getting ready for post-revolution vote 
Egyptians in Alexandria are going to the polls for Egypt’s first parliamentary vote since its revolution. Beside the mediterranean shore of Egypt’s coastal city, the variety of campaign banners erected represent members from more political parties than in the time of Egypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak, where the ruling National Democratic party was the main attraction. Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal takes a closer look at the political landscape of Egypt’s second largest city.
Long lines as Egyptians vote in historic poll
Large numbers, including a high turnout of women, go to the polls in the first election since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.


Women come out in full force for Egypt elections 
Egyptians voted for the first time since their Arab Spring uprising ousted former-leader Hosni Mubarak; and people say it’s the calmest vote they’ve ever seen in heavily armed upper Egypt. And it’s not only men who are casting ballots. Women, both Muslim and Christian, have come out in full force to vote – an unusual scene in this conservative region of the country where women don’t normally play a prominent role in politics. What’s more, there were no signs of violence or coercion. Some election violations did occur as few parties continued to campaign even as voting was underway. For the most part, however, voting went smoothly. Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh reports from Assiut, Upper Egypt. 


Government Association Breaks Egypt Election Law: Urges Tourism Workers to Vote for a Specific Bloc
The Red Sea hotel authority urged tourism-sector employees to vote for the Egyptian Bloc to counter Islamist blocs in the area. Statements issued by the Egyptian Hotel Association of the Red Sea Tourism Chamber in Luxor urging regional tourism-sector employees to vote for theEgyptian Bloc electoral alliance have surfaced on the net. Statement no. 718 included names of Egyptian Bloc’s candidates in Luxor, Red Sea, Fayoum and Port Said. Although government authorities are banned by law from supporting any candidate or bloc, the statement was even signed by their chairman in a clear violation of the law.


Egypt’s plethora of political parties 
No matter what one’s political leanings may be, Egypt appears to have a party to cater for them. On Monday, Egyptians will make their political choice heard when polls open for the country’s first post-revolution election. Over 50 political parties, along with thousands of independent candidates are running in the election. Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reports from the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on the political choices that Egyptians have not had the opportunity to select from for almost half a century.

While voices were being raised from the right, and part of the left, declaring the “Arab Spring” over and advising the rebellious masses to go back home, recent days have made it abundantly clear that the revolutionary process which was sparked in Tunisia late last year remains alive and well. Indeed, it has reinvigorated itself and is experiencing a fresh upsurge – to be followed by others undoubtedly over the course of the years to come.
 “The people in Muhammad Mahmoud [street] are decidedly not revolutionaries,” they are “vandals,” insisted a police captain on the phone to Yusri Foda’s prime TV show Akhir Kalam. The officer in the video has a point. Four days into what became known as “the Second Revolution”—though many emphasize that this is the part two of the same January 25 Revolution—the Egyptian state media admits that Tahrir Square is populated with “protesters” who might even have “legitimate demands.” But explaining, and even more so, understanding what has been going on in Muhammad Mahmud and large parts of Abdin remains problematic.

From onions, to milk, to shoe polish bombs, protesters in Cairo are coming up with new ways to counter the regime’s new weapons of stifling dissent.


For a boy on the streets of Cairo, revolution is his only hope
Hosni Mubarak’s ouster has done nothing to change the plight of Ibrahim Shaban — and many others among Egypt’s 3 million homeless children. But revolution is still in the air, feeding his dreams. Ibrahim Shaban said he was 15, but he looked much younger in his pajama pants and sweat shirt with the worn-away rhinestones, dirt caked on his bare feet, a knife scar on his face. He strolled through the crowds in Tahrir Square the other day, watching banners unfurl, listening to speeches. He sometimes sounded like a miniature rebel, distilling the nation’s rage in his narrow body.

Elections in the Midst of Revolution, Hesham Sallam
The resurgence of mass demonstrations in Egypt, in Tahrir Square and beyond, has raised many question marks in the minds of outside observers about what has often been described as “Egypt’s democratic transition.” Many question how Egypt will be able to advance its so-called journey toward democracy when the persistence of demonstrations and extended sit-ins seems to be “stifling” Egypt’s first post-Mubarak elections scheduled to commence today and last for three months. This perception happens to coincide with the SCAF-sponsored narrative that these demonstrations are simply a conflict between Tahrirists—who do not want the elections to happen because of their limited electoral fortunes—and the “elections now” camp led by the SCAF—along with political parties that are itching to try their luck at the ballot boxes. Demonstrators in Tahrir, the story goes, are standing in between Egyptians and their freedom to decide their own fate through free and fair elections, as well as their ability to build democratic institutions. Many mainstream international media outlets have adopted one variation of this narrative or another: basically boiling the issue at hand down to “Egypt is in crisis and its elections are at risk.”

There are an estimated eight million Egyptians living abroad, all taking an interest in what is happening back at home. With the unrest and elections taking place, many fear and hold hope for the future. Al Jazeera’s Will Jordan reports from Doha

Is U.S. Egyptian policy just an Israel policy in a galabiya?, Philip Weiss
The lead story in yesterday’s Times was titled “U.S. Urges Egypt to let Civilians Govern Quickly” and was about a new stance by the Obama administration pressuring Tantawi and the SCAF to get out of the way of the Egyptian people. Well nine times in that piece, reporter Helene Cooper states what the American government cares about most, the treaty with Israel. In fact, the last word in the article is Israel.

Bahrain / Saudi Arabia
The country’s Guardian Council approved a bill that expels the British ambassador and reduces diplomatic contact, a move in retaliation for increased sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program.

Qatar FM belittles Baharain’s deaths: ‘Barely 3 or 4 deaths’ he says!
Deaths in Bahrain have been said to be between 54 (Bassiouni’s fact findings) and 87 (Opposition)

Bahrain court adjourns retrial of medics
Retrial of medical workers accused of incitement to overthrow the government adjourned until January 9.

Bahraini medics face retrial over protests 
Bahraini doctors on Monday will face a retrial on charges of attempting to topple the monarchy and inciting hatred against the regime during the protests, quashed in March. The 20 medics, some of whom were forced to make televised confessions against each other, face prison sentences of up to 15 years for their involvement in the protests. An independent report released on Tuesday called for their trials to be reviewed. Al Jazeera’s Nick Clark spoke to Dr. Nada Deif – who was sentenced to 15 years – about her case.

AP – A civilian court in Bahrain on Monday postponed a highly anticipated ruling on the appeal of two protesters sentenced to death by a security court during a wave of anti-government protests earlier this year.


Rights group criticizes new Bahrain commission
A new national commission formed by King Hamad al-Khalifa took action on a report on human rights abuses last week is not credible, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights said. Khalifa issued a decree on Sunday to form a national commission that would implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI). Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, said that while he supports the formation of a commission, the newly-appointed body lacks credibility.


Wife of Bahraini Political Prisoner Condemns U.S.-Backed Regime For Killing, Torturing Protesters

Bahrain has announced a commission to steer reforms after an inquiry found systematic rights abuse during a government crackdown on pro-democracy protests this year, but opposition parties say they will not participate in the commission. Published last week, the 500-page report outlines various abuses committed by King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa’s government. According to the commission, nearly 3,000 people were detained during the protests and at least 700 remain in prison. Thirty-five people are believed to have died in the unrest between February and March, and 11 more are suspected to have been killed later on. Meanwhile, 20 Bahrain doctors and nurses are being retried by a civilian court today after being convicted by a military court of trying to overthrow the government of Bahrain. Well, for more on the situation in Bahrain, Democracy Now! correspondent Anjali Kamat recently spoke to Bahraini activist Ala’a Shehabi during a trip to Cairo. She is the wife of a Bahraini political prisoner seized and jailed during the uprising. 

Bahrain is the forgotten uprising. It does not seem to figure on the agenda of any state or party. Few still remember that the Syrian regime had also supported the suppression of the Bahraini uprising: it even supported the Saudi/UAE military intervention (Syria was hoping to win favor with Saudi Arabia and GCC members and to count on their support in a future suppression within its own borders).

Funerals in Qatif, Saudi Arabia
These are snipers for the House of Saud. 
Even Al-Jazeera English, which does better than its Arabic sister station, did not follow up its coverage of deaths at Qatif protests. Arab broadcasting has never been renowned for neutrality but the events of the past week in Saudi Arabia have revealed some interesting – if not surprising – bias. On 20 November, 19-year-old Nasser al-Mheishi was shot dead in Qatif, Saudi Arabia. When the authorities refused to hand over his body to his family, protests ensued the next day and security forces shot another young man, Ali al-Felfel. In the demonstration that followed on Wednesday, two more protesters, Munib al-Adnan and Ali al-Qarayrees, were killed.

Patrick Cockburn: Iran is not the monster it’s made out to be – yet
World View: By blaming the street protests at home on their Shia neighbour, Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are playing with fire


Revolt in Qatif, Saudi Arabia, Max Ajl
Historically Saudi Arabia’s eastern provinces have been the most rebellious, and Qatif, a Shi’a city in the east of Saudi Arabia, has a particularly strong history of civic engagement. There have been mass demonstrations there over the past few days, with the government responding brutally, accusing those involved in the unrest of being foreign agents.

Iranian protesters storm UK embassy
Demonstrators break into Tehran compound during anti-British protests, burning the UK flag and forcing staff to flee.

Iran passes law to expel British ambassador
Iran’s Guardians Council approved a parliamentary bill downgrading diplomatic ties with Britain and demanding the expulsion of the British ambassador in Tehran. The Guardians Council must confirm that laws are in accordance with Islamic and constitutional rules before they are put into effect. Iran’s foreign ministry must now apply the law. ”After discussions, members of the Guardians Council have passed the law unanimously,” Guardians Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei said. Britain said it would respond “robustly.”

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Iran will take revenge for past Israeli massacres if Tel Aviv attacks the Islamic republic, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Sunday, Iranian media reported. Addressing a parade of 50,000 army volunteers, Vahidi said Iran would teach the US “how to fight” if Washington attacked the Islamic republic, the Mehr news site reported. The defense minister said a war against Iran would be different to the America’s other wars, noting that Saddam Hussein “retreated” in Iraq while there was “no one to fight” in Afghanistan. 

Arab League approves Syria sanctions
The Arab League overwhelmingly approved sanctions Sunday against Syria to pressure Damascus to end its deadly eight-month crackdown on dissent, an unprecedented move by the League against an Arab state. The Arab League overwhelmingly approved sanctions Sunday against Syria to pressure Damascus to end its deadly eight-month crackdown on dissent, an unprecedented move by the League against an Arab state.


Syria calls Arab sanctions a “declaration of economic war” 
Syria’s foreign minister has responded harshly to sanctions imposed on his country by the Arab League. Al Jazeera’s Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from Jordan.


Inside Story – The impact of economic sanctions on Syria 
Arab states try to cut commercial ties with President Bashar al-Assad’s government in response to violence in Syria. We discuss with guests Ashraf Al-Moqdad, Patrick Seale, and Kamal Wazne.

Analysis: Iran adopts “wait and see” policy on Syria’s crisis (Reuters)
Reuters – Iran, its crucial anti-Israel alliance with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at risk from an uprising against his rule, has chosen a “wait and see” policy driven in part by concern not to alienate anyone who might succeed him, analysts say.

And …Hamad Bin Jassem’s Al Jazeera (just yesterday) went on and on about how Sari was killed by the Syrian Army.

Syria through the non-Western Gaze, Max Ajl

Of course we allegedly “know” from the native informants and Western diplomatic attaches inundating the air waves of the West that the revolt in Syria has swept across the whole country and has no dark elements. For those concerned with reality, we will be paying close attention to which of those four strands of opposition is going to be supported by the France-backed militias gathering strength in the those states bordering Syria. They will not be sectors (a) and (b).

Other U.S. / Mideast

Iraq’s Parliament Bombed; 29 Killed Across Country
Bombers staged several attacks against government and security forces today. Among them was a probable assassination attempt at the parliament building in Baghdad. That one was overshadowed by another at a prison just north of the capital, in which dozens were left dead or wounded. Less successful attacks targeting a Turkmen politician and a Sahwa commander also took place. Overall, at least 29 Iraqis were killed and 57 more were wounded.

Suicide bomber strikes outside Iraq prison
Officials say at least 19 people are killed and many others injured in an attack in Taji, 25km north of Baghdad.
Iraq emerges from war a society divided by sect (AP)
AP – The sounds of cars honking, shoppers shuffling and children laughing and playing drums fill the air in Hurriyah, a Baghdad neighborhood where machine gunfire and death squads once kept terrified residents huddled in their darkened homes.

UAE pardons jailed activists
Emirates pardons five activists convicted previous day for insulting country’s leadership, group’s lawyer says.

Kuwait PM resigns after protests
Kuwait’s prime minister resigns along with his government, following a growing row with his parliamentary opponents about alleged corruption.


Nobel laureate urges Yemen crackdown probe
Tawakkul Karman calls for International Criminal Court to investigate violent suppression of dissent by president.


VIDEO: ‘I spoke to Gaddafi before he died’
In the short time between Colonel Gaddafi’s capture and his death in September, rebel fighter Mohammed Sheba had the chance to speak to the deposed Libyan leader.

NATO Kills 24 Pakistani Troops in 2-Hour Assault on Pakistani Base, Tensions Flare in Region
NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two remote Pakistani military outposts on Saturday killing at least 24 Pakistani soldiers. The air strike took place along the Afghanistan border in Pakistan’s tribal district of Mohmand. Pakistan has said the attack was unprovoked, but a senior Kabul-based Western official claims NATO and Afghan forces came under fire and responded in self defense. Pakistan responded Saturday by blocking vital supply routes for U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan, and demanded the United States vacate a base used to launch drone attacks. We speak with Glenn Greenwald, constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for “We may never know what happened here. … But what is clear is that the endless war that the United States has been engaged in since 9/11 does not seem to be in sight of ending. Quite the contrary, it seems to be escalating by the week,” Greenwald says. 


Are Muslims allowed rights?
The New York Police Department and the FBI’s targeting of Muslim communities is unfounded and must stop, authors say.

Analysis / Op-ed

Israel is top destination for Congress, including 12 Texans, 26 times, Philip Weiss

Great reporting by Michael Duke at the Jewish Herald-Voice, a Texas publication. Now before you blame Christian Zionists for all these trips– and I agree, Christian Zionists are blameworthy as a component of the lobby–note that the organizations that are sending the congresspeople there by and large are Jewish ones, notably AIPAC’s spinoff American Israel Education Foundation. (As I reported last summer of AIEF funders, It’s people like the Kimmels, the heart and soul of the liberal Jewish establishment.)
From the Israeli settlers’ news source (emphasis mine):The Samaria (Shomron) Regional Council honored South Carolina State Representative Alan Clemmons, Sunday, for his pro-Israel resolution, which was passed by the South Caroline House of Representatives and forwarded to other states in June. Reflecting biblical promises made to Israel, the Jewish state’s relations with the United States and South Carolina in particular, as well as the enmity that some have for Israel and the United States, Clemmons’ resolution states the assembly’s support for Israel, “recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others, and that peace can be afforded the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people.”

Glenn Greenwald: Is Obama Fulfilling the Neocon Dream of Mass Regime Change in Muslim World?
Political blogger Glenn Greenwald recently wrote about retired General Wesley Clark’s recollection of an officer telling him in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks that the then U.S. Secretary of Defense had issued a memo outlining a plan for regime change within five years in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. We play an excerpt of Clark’s comments and ask Greenwald to respond. “What struck me in listening to that video … is that if you go down that list of seven countries that he said the neocons had planned to basically change the governments of, you pretty much see that that vision, despite the perception that we have a Democratic president and therefore the neo-conservative movement is powerless, is pretty much being fulfilled,” Greenwald says. 


4 Responses

  1. VR
    November 29, 2011, 5:20 pm

    They took the two women because they wanted to “liberate” them, don’t you know that this is what Israel does for Palestinian women (sarcasm)? They liberate them with false trials and imprisonment.

    One thing you always go away with here Seham, generally speaking, is a view of what is systemically taking place – look at all of the active oppression in all of these areas. Imperialism and its minions at work everywhere, that is why we will need all of the people to undo these tragedies. Thank you for that confirmation again with your hard work.

    • seafoid
      November 30, 2011, 5:20 am

      Agreed, VR. You have to look at the system. People will say they were only doing their jobs. The forces that drive them to do what they do must be understood. The whole Israeli system is irredeemably corrupted.

  2. seafoid
    November 29, 2011, 5:33 pm

    All for the coming of Moshiach I imagine.

  3. Avi_G.
    November 29, 2011, 6:34 pm

    Who said that being White and non-Moslem doesn’t pay?

    Anders Breivik was today declared insane by a court in Sweden. As a result, he will not spend time in prison, but instead will receive psychological/psychiatric help until he is no longer a danger to society. A court will review his case every three years to decide whether to extend his confinement in a mental hospital or to release him.

    Remember Jared Loughner?

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