Israel Once Again Murders Unarmed Palestinian Protester, Richard Silverstein
Mustafa Tamimi, a 28 year old resident of Nabi Saleh, was fatally shot
in the head at close range by a tear gas canister fired by an IDF soldier from the rear of a patrol vehicle. You can see the moment just before Mustafa was hit in this photo. The original caption for the photo offered by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee says it was fired from 30 feet. Using the high velocity weapon they use, it is quite easy to kill someone from that distance. Not to mention that the purpose of the firing of this weapon in this circumstance had nothing to do with crowd control as tear gas is normally used. Rather in aiming the shot at the protesters head, it was a deliberate act of murder:
Ministry of Hasbara: IDF Has Become Israel’s Chief Delegitimizer, Richard Silverstein
In the aftermath of the murder of Mustafa Tamimi
, Israel’s Ministry of Hasbara (that IS what they call it in Hebrew, in English it’s called the Minsitry for Public Diplomacy) last night issued an unprecedented statement acknowleding for the first time that the worst delegitimzer of Israel in the world today is not the BDS movement, nor the New Israel Fund, nor even Iran. The worst delegitimizer is the IDF itself.
Land, Property Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Apartheid / Refugees
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A French foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday that Israeli approval of a new settlement complex in a Palestinian neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem was a “provocation” that harms peace. Jerusalem city council’s planning committee accepted the proposal to build the 14-home project, to be named Maale David, in Palestinian Ras al-Amud on Wednesday. ”The building of a settlement in this neighborhood constitutes a direct obstacle to the two-State solution that Israel claims to support,” the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Spokesman said in a statement. It called on the Israeli government to “prevent the effective implementation of this project.”
Seventeen settler families move into new Ras al-Amoud settlement
Seventeen Israeli settler families moved into a settlement in the Palestinian neighborhood of Ras al-Amoud in Silwan today, 8 December. The building, formerly an Israeli, then Jordanian police station, is claimed by Israeli police to now belong to the Bukharist political party. Police made a deal with settlers allowing them to take the building provided they be prepared to leave it at a later date if Israeli police require it for its original purposes. The main Israeli police station in East Jerusalem is currently under construction next to Ma’ali Adomim settlement. The new deal provides yet another example of insitutional support to the Israeli settler movement in East Jerusalem.
Wadi Hilweh under attack
Israeli authorities have escalated their push to take over the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi Hilweh in Silwan in recent weeks. Two families have been issued eviction orders, while local children have been abducted by Israeli forces from the local playground that was built by residents of Wadi Hilweh. The land on which the playground was constructed is coveted by the Municipality for conversion to a carpark to service the City of David settlement, but the landlord has so far resisted attempts to appropriate the property. Municipality officers and armed troops conducted a neighborhood sweep this week, confiscating the iconic “I Love You Silwan” flags that adorn many homes and the color wire lamps used for fest celebartions Such acts serve only to frustrate residents and further complicate their lives. Two representatives of the settlement association ELAD accompanied Municipality officers and troops, taking any opportunity to provoke Palestinian residents. One representative compared a local resident to a cat lying on the side of the road, who had been run over by an Israeli settler guard. Arguments erupted when several residents demanded that Municipal officers remove Israeli flags and logos from settler homes in return, a request refused by officers. One Municipality employee stated that “this is a Jewish area now, and we can do whatever we like here.”
On the 63rd anniversary of UN General Assembly Resolution 194, the BADIL Resource Center for Residency and Refugee Rights issued a statement to bring the attention of the international community to the enduring denial of the Palestinian right to reparation, rehabilitation and in particular to their right to return.
Ibrahim Nasrallah was born in the Wihdat Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan in 1954. As with many members of his generation, he found himself living outside of Palestine and destined to despair
The reality of growing up in one of Lebanon’s camps is not just restricted to the age of childhood. For adults, childhood turns into a formative state of being etched into memory and at times expressed in art of all forms. In this series, two young Palestinian artists reveal the impact and presence of childhood in Palestinian art, including their own work.
Popular Protests & Israeli Attacks On Them
The Israeli military fired tear gas canisters directly at demonstrators in Kufr Qaddoum today in an aggressive response to the weekly protest against the closure of the main road linking the village with Nablus. Many people suffered from severe gas inhalation. After midday prayers, over 200 people marched to the edge of Kufr Qaddoum where several people made speeches calling for the road to be re-opened to the village, including officials from the Palestinian Authority and the Chief of the Palestinian District Coordinators Office. The route to the road was blocked by around 10 Israeli soldiers, supported by armoured vehicles and soldiers on the hill overlooking the village.
Today, in the town of Qalandia, north of Ramallah, Palestinian and international solidarity activists tried to stop the illegal construction of the separation wall. The Israeli government issued a map that shows the new tracing of the wall. According to this map the wall would take more Palestinian land. After several meetings with members of the Qalandia’s community, organizers, and PA members, they decided to organize an action today in order to stop the construction of the wall.
Other Israeli Violence
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A man and his daughter were injured early Sunday after an Israeli airstrike hit the Gaza Strip overnight. Palestinian medical sources said ambulances evacuated Imad Aqel and his daughter from the Zaitoun neighborhood in Gaza City after their house was hit by the strike.
Israeli warplanes blast Qassam position
Israeli warplanes blasted a position for the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, west of Rafah, to the south of the Gaza Strip, at dawn Saturday.
Palestinian taxi driver hospitalized after assault by Israeli soldiers at checkpoint
Israeli troops beat a Palestinian taxi driver with their fists, feet and rifle butts, fracturing his back, on Saturday afternoon at the Barta checkpoint, near Jenin in the northern West Bank, according to eyewitnesses.
Report: “19 Children Killed, 200 Injured, By Israeli Shells In 2011”
Adham Abu Salmiyya, spokesperson of the Higher Committee for Medical and Emergency Services In Gaza, reported that, in 2011, Israeli soldiers killed 19 children, and injured more than 200, in Air strikes and bombardment targeting the Gaza Strip since the beginning of this year.
At 2am on Thursday 9 December the first of three Israeli airstrikes hit meters away from the home of Migdad Elzalaan in northern Gaza City. The attack killed Elzalaan’s uncle and injured 13 of his family members. Israeli authorities claim to have targeted a nearby military base, but the only reported casualties were civilian.
Army Bombards Sheep and Chicken Farm In Beit Hanoun
On Saturday, Israeli soldiers fired artillery shells targeting a chicken and sheep farm in Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip — dozens of livestock died in the attack; excessive damage was reported.
Israel Arrests Three Brothers In Nazareth, One Of Them Paralyzed
The Arabs48 news website reported Saturday that the Israeli District Court in Nazareth ordered an extension on the remand of Mohammad Sa’id, 19, for additional ten days.
Israeli forces kindnapped a child in Bustan
Israeli forces kidnapped the child Bassel Hamzeh Shalody 12 years from Al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan.
IOA court sentences young woman to 28 months imprisonment
The Israeli military court in Ofer on Friday sentenced the Palestinian young woman Haneyya Nasser, 20, to 28 months behind bars for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier.
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian forces detained five Palestinians on Saturday evening who had entered the country via Gaza smuggling tunnels. Egyptian security sources told a Ma’an correspondent that the infiltrators were detained at a security checkpoint in the city of Bir al-Abed in the northern Sinai. A taxi carrying the five Palestinians was stopped at a checkpoint on the main road between El-Arish and al-Qantara city. The group had been staying illegally in Egypt since entering the country on Nov. 24. Soldiers seized an unknown quantity of hashish from the car.
On 26 November, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon threatened to cut Israeli electricity, water and ties to Gaza’s infrastructure serving the 1.6 million residents of the Gaza Strip.
Swimming in Gaza: Do I Dare?, Eyad Sarraj – Gaza
Yesterday, my six year old son Ali went to his swimming hour after school in Wafa hospital for the elderly in the eastern part of the town. It contains the only heated and covered swimming pool in Gaza. Ali must swim as often as possible by doctors orders because of what is called ‘Perth’s disease ‘ which affects his pelvis joints. So he goes to the pool every day. His doctors are confident that as long as he gets his exercise there will be a spontaneous recovery and no further specific treatment is needed. I was told that Messi, the famous football player, also had this ailment.
Reconstructing the Gaza Strip, Stuart Reigeluth
When you see Gaza in the news and you hear about the siege, you imagine that the Strip is entirely cut off from the world — hermeneutically sealed and slowly but surely putrefying, dying. The amount of trash on the sidewalks, streets and beaches is simply astounding and attests for this possibility. One UN worker has predicted that “the environment is ripe for a cholera outbreak.” Despite the dire situation, the continual threat of Israeli bombardments and the lack of trade and raw materials, the Gazans have found holes in the siege and are reconstructing the Strip. This is manifested by the relative building ‘boom’ — relative because it is far below any global standard — but unexpected and impressive considering Gaza’s isolation.
Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
The International Solidarity Movement is appealing for activists to join our team in the besieged Gaza Strip. After being barred from Gaza in 2003 following the murders of Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall, ISM Gaza was reinstated in August 2008 when ISM and other volunteers traveled aboard the historic, siege-breaking voyage of the first Free Gaza Movement boat. ISM has maintained a constant presence in Gaza since that time, for over three years of Israel’s crippling siege.
Since its foundation in 1979 by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, Home Depot has become a huge player in the North American home improvement market. 1. With over 2000 stores across Canada, the US, Mexico, and China, Home Depot‟s business decisions hold a great deal of economic weight worldwide. Currently, Israeli companies such as Keter Plastic, Smart Storage and Zag supply more than $150 million worth of Home Depot‟s products.2. How is Home Depot encouraging Israel’s colonial expansion?
Israeli SodaStream: Maybe Green, Definitely Not Clean, Theresa Wolfwood
It seems like a great idea – to buy a counter top device that converts tap water into sparkling fizzy water. Add a line of 100 flavours of sweet syrups; in the words of the sales clerk I spoke to, ‘it’s a fun thing.’ SodaStream (sometimes marketed as Soda Club) is sold around the world including in my city, often by big chain stores like Costco, Kmart and Amazon (USA); Sears, The Bay, and Home Outfitters (Canada); Tesco, Asda and Argos (UK); Migros (a large coop network in Switzerland); Carrefour (France & other countries); Edeka, Adler, and Karstadt, (in Germany where it is distributed by Brita, the international water filter company. Brita products are sold in Israel by SodaStream.)
Israel Racism, Discrimination
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was in town to address the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum
, and Mohamed Arafi, a Moroccan-born U.S. citizen, was ready to work. An entire Israeli delegation, including Barak, was staying at Washington, D.C.’s high-end Mandarin Oriental Hotel
, where Arafi has been a valet dry cleaner since late 2009. But when he showed up to work on December 10, 2010, he was told that he was barred from working the two floors where the Israelis were staying. The reason given, according to Arafi, was because he is Muslim, and the Israeli delegation did not want to be served by Muslims.
Political News & Developments & Other News
Arab sector to launch general strike Sunday
Arab-Israelis to shut down schools, businesses, local authorities on Sunday in attempt to fight State’s Prawer Report, which calls for eviction of several Bedouin communities in Negev. ‘Fed up with racist laws,’ says protester.
Gul boycotts Vienna event over Israel
Turkish president decides not to attend luncheon organized by Austrian counterpart after learning of Defense Minister Barak’s presence.
Army Demands More Leverage For Palestinian Authority In West Bank
Senior Israeli military officials have demanded that the Israeli Government increase the Palestinian Authority’s control in the West Bank in order to enable it to prevent the Hamas Movement from toppling the Fateh-backed Palestinian Government, the Ma’an News Agency reported Thursday.
Gingrich defends comments on Palestinians (AP)
AP – Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich says he is being factually accurate when he calls the Palestinians an “invented” people and says they are the creation of anti-Israel propaganda.
Gingrich ‘likely’ to support Pollard pardon
Republican presidential hopeful says he is ‘leaning towards clemency’ for convicted Israeli spy.
Some members of Tunisia’s small Jewish community have responded after Israeli Vice-Prime Minister Silvan Shalom made another call on the Tunisian Jewish community to immigrate to Israel, this time in a Jerusalem ceremony in honor of Tunisian victims of the holocaust on December 7th. According to the Tunisian news site “Business News” the Gabes, Tunisia born Israeli Vice-Prime Minister said, “I call on the Jews living in Tunisia to come and live in Israel as soon as possible.” But getting the nearly 1,800 strong Tunisian Jewish community to “make aliyah” or immigrate to Israel may not be an easy task for Shalom for now. The owner of La Goulette’s Kosher restaurant, Mame Lilly, and former Constituent Assembly candidate Jacob Lellouche insisted that to him, Shalom’s comments were shallow. “Silvan can say whatever he wants. I am Tunisian, this is my country. I will stay here. Silvan can not tell me where to live.” He added that the only fear he had of the Islamists currently in Tunisia’s government was that they would not succeed in improving Tunisia’s situation. “I fear for Islamists that god will turn against them,” he joked with a tint of sarcasm. Avraham Chiche, is the director of the Jewish Old Age home in La Goulette. His family immigrated to Tunisia over 500 years ago from Spain during the Spanish inquisition. Chiche feels that Shalom’s comments have been political and he has no plans to leave Tunisia. “Silvan Shalom needs to mind his own business and let us choose to live where we want to live, instead of making publicity statements for Israel,” said Chiche.
Other Mideast News
Bahraini riot police fire tear gas to disperse a march by hundreds of anti-government protesters east of the capital, Manama.
Bahrain: Release People Jailed for Speaking Out
Bahraini authorities should quickly address the systematic and egregious rights violations documentedby the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. As a first step, the government should immediately release hundreds of people wrongfully detained or convicted following unfair trials. And it should investigate high-level officials responsible for serious human rights violations. (New York) – Bahraini authorities should quickly address the systematic and egregious rights violationsdocumented by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, Human Rights Watch said today.
U.S. commends Bahrain on reconciliation, sending rights envoy (Reuters)
Reuters – The United States commended Bahrain on Friday for moving quickly to implement steps toward political reconciliation and said it was sending its chief human rights official to the island nation for further talks.
Morocco: Free Popular Columnist
Moroccan authorities should void the conviction of a journalist who is serving a one-year term for “gravely offending” public officials and disparaging the courts. Rachid Nini’s incarceration belies the commitment of Moroccan authorities to freedom of expression as affirmed in the country’s new constitution. (Rabat) – Moroccan authorities should void the conviction of a journalist who is serving a one-year term for “gravely offending” public officials and disparaging the courts, Human Rights Watch said today.
Barring any last minute backtracking by the Arab League, the partial ban on commercial flights to and from Syria is supposed to go into effect on December 15. All the League’s member states, including Syria, are to reduce their flights to and from the country by half, according to a December 3 statement from the League.
Passionate field health workers in Tahrir Square suffer psychological threats, violence and even kidnapping. The risks they face may be undermining the viability of revolutionary street politics.
Basra Sues To Terminate Baghdad-brokered Oil Contract
Yesterday, Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaybi complained that Iraqi Kurdistan is not playing by Baghdad’s rules when it comes to oil sales. Now it is Basra’s turn to criticize the ministry for ignoring its own rules. Local politicians are suing the central government because they were not included in negotiations that lead to a deal between Baghdad and its new partners, Shell and Mitsubishi, in the southern oil fields. At least 11 Iraqis were killed and 12 more were wounded in the latest round of attacks.
“He said Iran is surrounding Israel – driven by ideological conviction – and will threaten Israel’s existence should it go nuclear
“An arms deal with the United States that will give Israel 25 of the most sophisticated fighter-bombers in the world, with a range of 3,600 miles, has slid through Congress with no objections by legislators and virtually no comment in the American media,” says a report
from The Independent (UK) before elaborating that the “twin-engined aircraft would enable the Israelis to carry out strikes deep into…Iran without refueling.” The article continues, “The US, which is known to be worried about the development of weapons of mass destruction in the region, particularly weapons of a nuclear capability by Iran, appears to be reappointing Israel as local deputy sheriff, a role which ended with the disappearance of the communist threat in the Middle East.”
Opinion / Analysis
Take Your Hands off Palestine, Max Ajl
On 9/12/2011, the opening ceremony of the Arab Games in Qatar, in the presence and under the approval of the Palestinian delegation -representative of the Palestinian Authority of Oslo- the organizers, with the utmost audacity, displayed a disfigured map of Palestine (the West Bank and Gaza). As we are surprised by their ability to draw such a mutation that does not represent us, this behavior was a slap in our face on the 24th anniversary of the First Palestinian Intifada and at the height of the Arab Spring.
Gingrich comments on Palestinians a “play” for “Jewish” money, former strategist says, Ali Abunimah
Newt Gingrich, the US Republican presidential hopeful and former House Speaker who said Palestinians are an “invented people,” was making a “play” to attract “Jewish” money to his campaign, a former advisor said
In Exile: Families relate stories of prisoner exiles
Although Palestinian prisoners endure harsh conditions in Israeli prisons, including and physical and psychological torture, their families are also severely punished through the policies of the Israeli authorities. The prisoner release deal brokered between Hamas and the Israeli authorities saw the release of 477 Palestinian ‘security’ prisoners on 18 October 2011 (with a further 550 to be released in a second phase thought to be in December) in exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas in 2006.
I don’t know how many of you caught the echo of the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup (“To war, to war, Fredonia goes to war!”) in my post title. But apparently, as Aipac joins in eager anticipation with the Israeli political élite for an attack on Iran, the progressive policy wonks at Media Matters and Center for American Progress have taken aim at this war fever. And Aipac doesn’t like it one bit. M.J. Rosenberg, Eli Clifton and Matt Duss have used their blogs to poke holes in the arguments behind the Israeli-neocon march to war. They’ve been tweeting and posting furiously, doing what they can to make the case for diplomacy, pragmatism and moderation. All of these qualities are anathema to Aipac and Israeli interests.
Football in Burin, Ben Lorber
On the 7th of December, a windy Wednesday morning behind the boys’ school in the Palestinian village of Burin, 15 teenagers, dressed in red uniform, took to the football field under the coach’s whistle. As the team began its warm-up exercises, another youth team arrived from the neighboring village of Huwwara, led by its determined coach. Under the morning sun, the football game began. As fans, coaches and players cheered and yelled from the sidelines, a Burin teenager scored a goal in the first ten seconds, setting the tone for the rest of the match. Two hours and two injuries later, Burin came out on top 4-0 against Huwwara, bringing the season’s record to 8 wins for Burin, 1 win for Huwwara, and 2 draws. As the boys walked away sweaty and satisfied, the school bell rang and children poured outside for recess.
Slouching toward Bethlehem, Vacy Vlazna
My friend, the late Father Percy Church MSC wrote a dramatic description of his Christmas in Bethlehem: The bitter wind, the road blocks, the x-rays and the body searches had robbed the mass of joy, leaving the strange sensation that we were not in church but held in prison. And at the mass the military there, so evident, alienated all sacred sense. It seemed to be a play before TV cameras, to deceive a watching world that all is well, giving me an uneasy sense of guilt for cooperating in a sacrilege or being a puppet in a lying show. Selling my own self and all I held dear.
A Lebanese shepherd looks at the land of Palestine, Annie Robbins
A Mondoweiss commenter shares a conversation with a shepherd in the Galilee.
Gilbert Achcar’s book, The Arabs and the Holocaust, is a very good study of the subject of Arab attitudes toward the Holocaust. First, I must confess that Achcar and I engaged in a lengthy intellectual/political duel on the pages of al-Akhbar newspaper in Lebanon. Our debate was related to the subject of his study.
Frantz Fanon, the Caribbean philosopher and revolutionary who joined the Algerian Revolution, died of leukaemia at the age of 36 on the 6th of December 1961. His last book, The Wretched of the Earth, was published soon after his death and so we are fifty years on from both Fanon and the first major attempt to think through the limits of newly independent Africa.