Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization / Restriction of movement / Apartheid
Infographic: The demographic success of Israel’s settlement project / Yinon Cohen & Neve Gordon
Counterpunch 5 Dec — The United Nations General Assembly recognised Palestine as a “nonmember state”. But it may very well be that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has already missed the boat. With the help of graphic designer, Michal Vexler, we have created an infogram to illustrate and explain how demographic changes within the West Bank obstruct the possibility of the two-state solution. The numbers suggest that Abbas’ bid to the United Nations was too little, too late. In the early 1990s when the land-for-peace formula was embraced internationally, Jewish immigration from Israel to the Occupied Territories was necessary to guarantee the success of Israel’s settlement project. Now, however, the Jewish population’s natural growth rate (births minus deaths) suffices to safeguard Israel’s expansionism.
Google Mapping apartheid / Yousef Munayyer
[interactive maps] Permission to Narrate 3 Dec — Few things depict the absolute absurdity and injustice of Israeli apartheid policies better than maps. Google Maps offers us a unique tool with which to do this. Let’s take a virtual drive through Apartheid … The truth is E-1 didn’t kill the possibility of a two-state solution. Maale Addumim, founded in 1976, did. The size and location of Maale Addumim and settlements like it in the West Bank, like Ariel for example, made it impossible for Israeli leaders to imagine any agreement without territorial contiguity with them. In other words, for all practical purposes, the only thing they could imagine was a one-state outcome. Of course the one-state outcome they have in mind, one of perpetual occupation and apartheid, is not the type Palestinians or anyone who loves freedom and justice can accept.
Occupation forces a Jerusalemite citizen to demolish his house
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 5 Dec — The occupation authorities forced a Jerusalemite citizen, Dr. Mousa Olayan, to demolish his house, which is located in the town of Beit Safafa, with his own hands … The Information Center in Wadi al-Hilweh quoted Olayan as saying that he had tried to obtain a building permit, but the occupation municipality has been refusing that, under the pretext of its intention to open a street in the area.
House in East Jerusalem demolished
JERUSALEM 4 Dec (WAFA) – Workers from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem Tuesday demolished a two-story house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Mount of Olives under the pretext it was built without permit, according to local sources. The 90 square meter house belonged to Mohammad Abu al-Hawa. Residents confronted the workers, who were protected by police, said residents. No injuries or arrests were reported.
Aqsa Foundation: Occupation escalates its excavations around Al-Aqsa
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 5 Dec — Zaki Igbaria, head of “Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and heritage” in 1948-occupied Palestine, warned of the expansion of occupation’s excavations down and around the vicinity of Al Aqsa Mosque, and specifically in the region of the Umayyad palaces located in the southern side of Al-Aqsa. Igbaria pointed out that the occupation seeks to turn the entire region to Biblical-Talmudic Gardens, around al-Aqsa and the Old City of Jerusalem.
Israeli occupation demolishing a 2 floor building in al-Tur in East Jerusalem
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 5 Dec — Video of a man describing the destruction of his house
Israeli forces demolish agricultural structures
NABLUS 4 Dec (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday demolished agricultural structures in Khirbet al-Taweel, southeast of Nablus, according to an official. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern part of the West Bank, said that a large military force surrounded the area before demolishing the structures. He accused Israel of trying to force the area residents out to take over the land for settlement purposes.
Bedouins face displacement in West Bank corridor, regardless of Israel’s construction plans
Haaretz 5 Dec by Amira Hass — Ten Palestinian Bedouin communities living in the West Bank corridor connecting Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem are concerned that if recently approved plans for construction in the area materialize, they will be the first to be harmed by the move, a member of the local Bedouin council told Haaretz on Tuesday. But even if Israel continues the freeze on the development plans in the area known as E-1, these ten communities and another approximately ten communities living in the area – some 2,300 people – face displacement. Israel has been planning to resettle the Bedouin communities living in the West Bank, starting with the areas surrounding Jerusalem, in permanent settlements, against their will.
Reflections on a brief exchange in the aftermath of a home demolition, 4 December 2012
[photos] ISM 5 Dec — The pain and anguish on the woman’s face was penetrating. Earlier this morning two Israeli military jeeps, one civil administration vehicle, and a bulldozer had arrived at her home with orders to level the structure. This is in spite of ongoing legal proceedings seeking to preserve the home. The modest twenty square meter home was erected by the owners of the land in November of 2011. Just three days after the building was complete, the Israeli Civil Administration arrived and informed the owners that the structure was not permissible due to their failure to acquire appropriate building permits. But as these civil servants knew full well, for Palestinians acquiring building permits is no simple matter. The family lives in a small Bedouin village part of Aqraba, located in what is known as Area C of the Jordan Valley
Forces to demolish private-owned property near Hebron
HEBRON, 5 Dec (WAFA) – Israeli forces Wednesday handed three Palestinians demolition orders of a house, a grocery shop, and a marble factory, in different areas in southern Hebron, according to an official. Spokesman of the National Committee against the Wall and Settlement, Mohammed Awad, said that forces handed two brothers of Abu Salem family a demolition order of their marble factory, which was built almost 17 years ago. Forces handed another Palestinian, Ibrahim al-Alami, a demolition order of his grocery shop located on the main road to Hebron, as well as photographed several other structures in the area. They also handed Ribhi Jawabreh a demolition order of his three-story house located at the entrance of al-Aroub refugee camp.
Settlers uproot 200 olive trees
BETHLEHEM, 4 Dec (WAFA) – Jewish settlers, protected by Israeli soldiers, uprooted and stole around 200 olive trees from land in the village of al-Jabaa, west of Bethlehem, a local official said Tuesday. Nomaan Hamdan, head of al-Jabaa village council, told WAFA that settlers brought a bulldozer to uproot the trees from a land that belongs to Ibrahim Hamdan, demolished several retaining walls and razed a large area of the land. He said the settlers, who took the trees away, claim they own the plot.
UNESCO likely to recognize West Bank village’s terraces as heritage site
Haaretz 6 Dec — UNESCO has informed the Palestinian Authority that it will accelerate the process of recognizing the ancient terraces near the West Bank village of Battir as a world heritage site. The Palestinians, along with green organizations, hope the designation will aid their battle against the separation fence that Israel is building near Battir, south of Jerusalem … The Battir terraces are considered both the oldest and the largest in the Judean Hills. They have been cultivated and irrigated via traditional methods for hundreds of years, and perhaps even thousands
Israel relaxes movement across Hambra checkpoint
NABLUS 4 Dec (WAFA) – The Israeli army relaxed movement across Hambra checkpoint that connects the northern West Bank with the Jordan Valley allowing Palestinians to cross the checkpoint with their cars without inspection, residents said on Tuesday. The checkpoint, erected more than 10 years ago, prevented Palestinians from moving across it unless they were residents of the Jordan Valley. Even when residents cross, they had to undergo heavy car and body inspection. Residents said the Israeli army opened the checkpoint for free movement on Monday and allowed cars with Palestinian plates to go through without having to stop for inspection. Nablus governor Jibrin Bakri called for removing the checkpoint altogether and not just relaxing movement across it.
Israel’s education ministry ‘suspends program’ over Palestinian novel
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 Dec – Israel’s Ministry of Education has suspended a literature program for fifth graders because a Palestinian novel was on its syllabus, Israeli media reported Wednesday. The ministry suspended the program after parents complained that pupils were asked to read and summarize “The little lamp,” a book by renowned Palestinian novelist Ghassan Kanafani, Maariv newspaper reported. The literature program is funded by the Jerusalem-based Abraham Fund Initiative, an NGO to advance coexistence.
Israel moves ahead with E1 settlement plans
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 5 Dec — Israel moved forward on Wednesday with plans to build some 3,000 settler homes in one of the most sensitive areas of the occupied West Bank, in defiance of international protests. A Defense Ministry official said architects and contractors appeared before a subcommittee of the military-run Civil Administration in the West Bank and registered their plans for construction in the E1 corridor near Jerusalem, a preliminary step before any building permits are issued.
Palestine to protest Israel’s settlements to UN Security Council
RAMALLAH 5 Dec (WAFA) – The Palestinian leadership decided Tuesday to complain about Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied Territory to the United Nations Security Council, according to a statement issued following a meeting in Ramallah. It said it wants the Security Council to issue a binding decision that would force Israel to stop all forms of settlement activities.
Abbas: E-1plan crosses ‘red line’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — Israeli settlement activity in the Palestinian territory, especially the newly announced projects in the E-1 area, is a red line which cannot go unanswered because it divides the Palestinian land, President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday. Speaking to reporters at his office in Ramallah, Abbas said the PA contacted international sides to try and stop the settlement project Israel announced in response to Palestine’s upgraded status at the UN.
EU summons Israeli ambassador over settlement expansion
BRUSSELS (Reuters) 5 Dec — The European Union has summoned Israel’s ambassador to discuss the bloc’s concerns over Israeli plans to expand its settlements in the occupied West Bank, an EU foreign affairs spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Egypt summons Israeli ambassador to protest settlement plan
CAIRO(PIC) 5 Dec — The Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs on Tuesday summoned Israel’s ambassador to Cairo to protest his government’s decision to expand settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Report: Panama, Italy summon Israeli ambassadors
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — Panama on Wednesday summoned Israel’s ambassador to protest Israel’s decision to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, Hebrew media reported. Panama was one of nine countries to vote against a resolution upgrading Palestine to a non-member state of the UN in November. Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi on Wednesday summoned the Israeli ambassador to a meeting to express strong disapproval of Israel’s settlement expansion plans, the foreign ministry in Rome said.
Islamic Jihad warns Israel over settlements plan
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — Islamic Jihad warned Israel on Wednesday against unilateral policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. “The aggressive polices of the occupation require confrontation,” the group said, claiming that it would respond to Israeli policies of expanding settlements and displacing Palestinians.
Violence / Raids / Illegal arrests
191 Palestinians killed, 1,492 injured [in Gaza] in November
IMEMC 5 Dec — The Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip reported that 191 Palestinians, including children, women and elderly, have been killed by Israeli military fire in Gaza in November, and that the number of injured Palestinians in the same month stands at 1,492. The Health Information Center of the Ministry reported that 48 children, including 16 under the age of five, have been killed by Israeli missiles and shells, in addition to 12 women and 20 elderly. The Center added that 1,492 Palestinians, including 533 children (195 under the age of 5), 254 women and 103 elderly have been injured by Israeli fire and shells.
Furthermore, four Palestinians have been killed after the ceasefire agreement was reached, and 54 have been injured.
Army kidnaps 9 Palestinians in Ramallah
IMEMC 5 Dec — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, the West Bank city of Ramallah and the nearby town of Birzeit town, and kidnapped nine Palestinians before taking them to an unknown destination…
In related news, Israeli soldiers closed the Atara roadblock, at the northern entrance of Ramallah, and searched dozens of vehicles causing a huge traffic jam. The Atara roadblock is installed on an essential area that links between Ramallah and several towns and villages in the area, and also links between the central and northern parts of the occupied West Bank.
Prisoners / Court actions
Ad-Dameer expresses concern regarding lives of hunger-striking detainees
IMEMC 5 Dec – The Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Ad-Dameer) said that it is deeply concerned regarding the lives of Palestinian detainees who are conducting extended hunger strikes in Israeli prisons, especially due to sharp deterioration in their health conditions. Ad-Dameer lawyer, Fares Zayyad, visited on Monday December 3, detainees Ayman Sharawna and Samer Al-Esaawy, but was not allowed to visit detainee Odai Al-Keelani who started his strike 45 days ago. Detainee Al-Esaawy, from Jerusalem, who was released under the Shalit Prisoner Swap Deal, and was rearrested by Israel. He started his hunger strike 126 days ago, and informed the lawyer that he will not end his strike “until he is free or until he receives martyrdom”.
Ruling: ‘Price tag’ acts akin to terror
Ynet 5 Dec – The State is bolstering its actions against Jewish terror: The Supreme Court rendered a precedent-setting ruling Wednesday, in the case of three “price tag” suspects, saying they could not meet with their attorneys. The three were arrested earlier this week after setting a Palestinian car on fire and spraying “price tag” on its surroundings. A legal source told Ynet that the ruling effectively likened such “price tag” acts to acts of terror. According to the source, the ruling represents the State Prosecutor’s Office’s new policy: “This move aims to illustrate the severity in which the legal system views ‘price tag’ acts.”
Salem court issued different sentences against eight prisoners
NABLUS (PIC) 5 Dec — Salem Israeli Court issued lately different sentences against eight Palestinian prisoners, Tadamun Foundation for Human Rights confirmed. The foundation explained in a report that its lawyer has followed the detainees’ files since the moment of their arrest, pointing out that these sentences ranged between four months and twenty-two months.
Israeli & Egyptian blockade of Gaza
Israeli soldiers fail to cease firing on Palestinian farmers / Eva Bartlett
[with photos] In Gaza 4 Dec — “It was the first day of the cease-fire. An Israeli soldier shot once in the air and within seconds shot me in the leg. He was only a few metres away.” Haithem Abu Dagga, 26, an electrician and farm labourer, will not be able to work for as many months as it takes his right leg to heal. The bullet exited his leg but fractured his shin bone in the process. The Nov 21 Gaza cease-fire stipulates that, among other things, the Israeli army will not wage incursions into Palestinian land, air, and sea, and Israel will not target Palestinians in the border regions of Gaza. As of the first day of the cease-fire, Israel had already violated these provisions.
Egypt seizes 8,000 liters of fuel headed to Gaza tunnels
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — Egyptian authorities in Sinai on Wednesday seized 8,000 liters of fuel destined to be smuggled into Gaza, a security official said. Authorities stopped the truck near the city of el-Arish, the Egyptian official told Ma‘an. The driver told officers he was taking the fuel to Rafah where it would be smuggled into Gaza.
Energy Authority expects to use 4 generators in January
GAZA (PIC) 5 Dec – The Deputy Chairman of the Gaza Energy Authority, Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, expects to use 4 generators in January next year, if there is enough fuel. Sheikh Khalil talked about the authority’s plan which enabled the continuation of electricity supply as usual to the people of the Gaza strip during the last Israeli aggression on the coastal Strip, despite targeting the main electricity supply lines and the shortage in fuel received from the Egyptian side.
3 wounded Palestinians from Gaza arrive in Turkey for treatment
ANKARA (PIC) 5 Dec — Three wounded Palestinians and their companions arrived to the city of Ankara after leaving the Gaza Strip, transferred by a private ambulance plane belonging to the Turkish Ministry of Health. The Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, ordered the transfer of the three wounded to Turkey to receive treatment, after he had seen the situation at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza. The Palestinian patients were received, at the Esenboga airport in the Turkish capital, by the Turkish deputy Minister of Health Wagah Kavkaz.
Indonesian parliament head arrives in Gaza
IMEMC 5 Dec — Indonesian Parliament head, Ali Marzouki, arrived in the Gaza Strip via the Rafah Border Terminal on Wednesday heading a senior Indonesian delegation to observe the massive destruction caused by Israel during its recent war on Gaza, and to express solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Did Israel fire chemical weapons on Gaza last month? / Rami Almeghari
EI 5 Dec — …Among those receiving treatment in Nasser hospital in Khan Younis is a man who was hit by an Israeli drone that struck a farm owned by his family in southern Gaza. A friend of his was killed in the attack. “I was hit directly in my abdomen and two legs,” said the man, who is in his thirties and asked not to be named. Baker al-Derdy, the head nurse in Nasser hospital, said that when this man was first admitted, there was “a strange smell, almost chemical” from him. Al-Derdy pointed to other indications that Israel may have used chemical weapons during its offensive. “Some of the symptoms we have seen are abnormal,” al-Derdy added. “The type of burns that appear on the bodies suggest that the weapons employed were not conventional. The burns go deep into the skin and the skin itself turns blue. And I can tell you that the burns hit even the third layer of the skin.” Israel is known to have used white phosphorous — a highly combustible substance — during Operation Cast Lead, its three week attack on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009. In January 2009, Amnesty International investigators reported finding white phosphorous wedges on residential buildings in Gaza City. Once it comes in contact with human skin, white phosphorous can burn deeply into the muscle and bone (“Israel used white phosphorous in Gaza civilian areas,” 19 January 2009).
Rights group calls for ICC action over Gaza siege
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — Human rights group Al Dameer on Wednesday called on the Palestinian Authority to seek an investigation into Israel’s siege of Gaza at the International Criminal Court. Al Dameer specifically urged an investigation into Eitan Dangot, Israel’s coordinator in the Palestinian territory, whom it held responsible for imposing the siege on Gaza … Israel’s siege, imposed since 2006, is a form of systematic collective punishment on a civilian population, illegal under international law, Al Dameer said in a statement.
Leila Khaled enters Gaza celebrating resistance, the intifada, and the Front
PFLP 5 Dec — Leila Khaled, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and icon of the Palestinian national liberation struggle, entered Gaza on Tuesday, December 4, met by a reception at the Rafah Crossing from Egypt. She will speak at a march and rally on Thursday, December 6 that will proceed from the Square of the Unknown Soldier at 11 AM, marking the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the 25th anniversary of the Intifada. Comrade Khaled greeted the Palestinian people in Gaza, saying that their valiant resistance has taught the Zionist enemy a lesson it will never forget and thwarted its goals in its most recent assault.
Islamic Jihad chief to visit Gaza, sources say
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — Secretary-General of Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Shalah, is due to arrive in the Gaza Strip on Friday to participate in Hamas’ 25th anniversary celebrations, Palestinian sources said … Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab confirmed to Ma’an that Shalah will visit the Gaza Strip, but could not confirm the date. The visit by Shalah, who is currently based in Egypt, has extensive security concerns to consider, Shehab added.
Hamas seeks to reopen airport in southern Gaza
JPost 5 Dec — The Hamas government is working toward reopening the only airport in the Gaza Strip. Named after Yasser Arafat, the airport, which is located close to the Egyptian border, opened in 1998, when the Palestinian Authority was still in control of the Gaza Strip. The airport was closed in 2001 after being damaged by the IDF. Ziad al-Thatha, Hamas’s deputy prime minister, said that his government has asked the Egyptians to help reopen the airport. He did not say when and if it would resume operations.
Official says reconciliation top priority following UN bid
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — Political reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is the Palestinian Authority’s top priority following the successful UN move to upgrade Palestine’s status, a former PA official said Wednesday. Nasser al-Shaer, former PA official and Hamas member, told Ma‘an that President Abbas chaired a meeting with PLO members, Fatah’s Central Committee and prominent national figures on Tuesday to discuss implementing political reconciliation.
Hamas: ‘We are going to Cairo this month to implement unity agreement’
IMEMC 5 Dec — Osama Hamdan, head of the International Relations Department of the Hamas movement, stated that Hamas will be heading to Cairo this month to participate in meetings meant at implementing the Palestinian unity and reconciliation agreement, and warned Israel against continuing its violations to the ceasefire in Gaza … “We do not want to go to Cairo just for the sake of talks”, Hamadan said, “We want actual implementation of steps that will lead to unity, and an agreement on all national standards”. He added that the Palestinian factions need to reach an agreement on reforming the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), an agreement on a new government, and an agreement on new elections.
Hamas: Egypt unrest may disrupt unity talks
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — Meetings to discuss Palestinian reconciliation depend on stability in Egypt, a senior Hamas official said Wednesday. Ahmad Yousef told Ma‘an that unrest in Egypt could delay unity talks, mediated by Egyptian officials, as Cairo will be preoccupied with internal issues.
Canada to continue financial aid to PA
OTTAWA, 5 Dec (WAFA) — Canada announced that it will continue its financial support to the Palestinian Authority, despite voting against the Palestinian bid at the United Nations, Wednesday said a statement by Canada’s foreign ministry spokesperson. He said that Canada’s aid to the PA, which amounts to 399 million over five years, will continue despite its position not to recognize Palestinian at the UN. Canada was one of the nine countries that voted against the Palestinian bid that granted it a non-member state status in the UN.
Canada votes against UN call to open nuclear facilities
AP 4 Dec — Canada votes with U.S., Israel on losing side of 174-6 vote — Canada was one of only six nations in the UN General Assembly to vote against a resolution Monday that called on Israel to quickly open its nuclear program for inspection and that backed a recently cancelled conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East. All the Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the conference in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the United States announced on Nov. 23 that it wouldn’t take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran’s defiant stance on non-proliferation. Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel’s refusal to attend. The resolution, approved by a vote of 174-6 with 6 abstentions, calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty “without further delay” and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Those voting “no” were Canada, Israel, the U.S., Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau..
Netanyahu says Israel still committed to peace deal
PRAGUE (Reuters) 5 Dec — Israel remains committed to a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, despite worries among Israel’s European allies over its plans to build more settlements.
“We remain committed to a negotiated settlement between us and our Palestinian neighbors,” Netanyahu said during a visit to Prague. “That solution is a two-state solution for two peoples, a peace in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognize the one and only Jewish state of Israel.” Netanyahu’s comments came ahead of a visit to Germany
Jailed PFLP leader Saadat backs UN bid
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 5 Dec — The jailed leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Ahmad Saadat on Wednesday praised Palestine’s admission as a non-member state of the UN. Speaking from Hadarim prison through his lawyer, Saadat said Palestine’s new UN status was a step in the right direction, and must be followed by efforts to pressure the UN to make Israel comply with international law and previous UN resolutions.
King Abdullah of Jordan to visit Ramallah
IMEMC 5 Dec — Jordanian Al-Ghad Newspaper reported that that King Abdullah of Jordan intends to visit the central West Bank city of Ramallah, on Thursday December 6, to hold an official meeting with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.
Resheq denies giving statement on lifting Hamas from European list of terrorism
PIC 5 Dec — Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Al-Resheq has denied a statement attributed to him that the European Union was studying lifting Hamas from its terrorism list. The Iraqi news agency and other media outlets had quoted Resheq as saying that there were “encouraging signs” that the EU would lift Hamas from the list of terrorist organizations.
Racism / Discrimination
Apartheid lines: Video shows Israeli public bus driver refusing to let Palestinians ride / Ali Abunimah
EI 5 Dec — A Palestinian laborer from the occupied West Bank, carrying an Israeli occupier permit to be in Tel Aviv, was trying to ride back home. The driver refused to allow him to board, saying, “Palestinians don’t ride to the territories with me.” According to the video, this worker and several others were detained and harassed for two hours before police finally let them board the bus. The incident was filmed at the Tel Aviv central bus station in October by Eran Vered for the organization Kav LaOved (Worker’s Hotline) which describes itself as a group “committed to protecting the rights of disadvantaged workers employed in Israel…” …
‘Security’ excuse for blatant racism — Last Week Haaretz reported that Israeli police were systematically removing Palestinians from buses and that Israel’s transport ministry planned to set up segregated bus lines for them: “Police have begun ordering Palestinian laborers with legal work permits off buses from the Tel Aviv area to the West Bank, following complaints from settlers that Palestinians pose a security risk by riding the same buses as them.”
Knesset advisor: Jewish-only communities — racism
Ynet 5 Dec — Ministers, MKs promoting Judaization of Negev and Galilee regions face legal opinion calling move racism … On Tuesday, while the admission committees issue was discussed by a special panel composed of nine judges, Knesset Legal Advisor Eyal Yinon addressed the campaign urging Israelis to move to the Negev and the Galilee, saying “If (the campaigns’) slogans mean to block out minorities than they are of a racist nature, and are utterly invalid.”
Analysis / Opinion / Interviews
Electing apartheid: How the settlers impact the vote in Israel / Yousef Munayyer
Permission to Narrate 5 Dec — As Israel moves toward another election on 22 January 2013, a right-wing Israeli government has announced even more colonial expansion projects in recent days. To better understand the reasoning behind this move, you have to understand the relationship Israeli political parties have with the settlement enterprise and the overlapping political interests they share. In the past, understanding the impact of the Israeli settlers on the vote in Israel has been somewhat difficult. Haaretz put together this tool to understand the vote in the last Israeli election in 2009. It helps to understand basic trends, but as you can see, it only includes information on voting patterns in two Israeli colonies, Ariel and Maale Addumim. However, over 120 Israeli colonies exist in the West Bank … I’ve compiled aggregate and dis-aggregate data on Israeli voting patterns in the 2009 election by locality. This allows us to isolate the vote in the settlements and understand their impact. Below is a chart below that helps explain.
Of symbolic victories and real defeats / Ramzy Baroud
GulfNews 5 Dec — The latest UN vote favouring Palestine’s observer-state status may be a positive outcome of a legitimate claim, but to what extent it will add to the bigger picture of realising a Palestinian dream is the big question … Thousands are once more dancing in the West Bank and Gaza, hailing yet another more recent “victory” scored by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) at the UN … Of course, there are reasons to permit a degree of hope — no thanks to the very entity that guarded Israeli interests in the Occupied Territories for all of these years. It is simply gratifying to witness the global show of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle, one which has always existed, but was overshadowed by futile “peace talks” and US-hegemony over all Middle Eastern conflicts. Moreover, the support that ‘Palestine’ has received at the UN must be heartening, to say the least, for most Palestinians. The overwhelming support, especially by Palestine’s traditional allies (most of humanity with few exceptions) indicates that the US dominion, arm twisting and Israeli-US propaganda were of little use after all. However, that should not be misidentified as a real change of course in the behaviour of the PNA, which still lacks legal, political and especially moral legitimacy among Palestinians
Now you show up, Europe? / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 6 Dec — Good morning, Europe. The sleeping beauty, the enlightened white continent, is “rebuking” Israel for its intention to build in the forbidden E-1 region. The ambassadors are duly rebuked, and the rebukers feel satisfied: They’ve made a contribution to peace. It’s classic Europe in the best tradition: a dance of hypocrisy and sanctimoniousness. Why, what happened, Europe? Now you’re showing up? Now you’re rebuking? Where were you before?
Europe is rebuking Israel because this time, America permits it. Before, America forbade it; hence the self-restraint. While public opinion in Europe has been raging against the occupation for years, European governments have continued to be its greatest collaborators: They finance the virtual Palestinian Authority and give Israel carte blanche to rampage and settle to its heart’s content. It’s the shadow of the past, you understand.
“More settler than the settlers”: Canada’s UN policy and Israel / Jon Elmer
Al Jazeera 2 Dec –Since Israel’s inception, Canada has been at the forefront in its unwavering support of the Jewish state — Even before Canada officially cast its “no” vote at the United Nations on Thursday, Palestinians knew which way the Canadian wind would blow. At the gates of Canada’s heavily guarded “embassy” in Ramallah the day before the vote, protesters carried signs of Prime Minister Stephen Harper emblazoned with a dogs snout and the dismissive slogan, “this dog doesn’t hunt” … Indeed, the very next day Canada voted against six more resolutions on Palestinian rights that were adopted, including one on the “peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine” (163-6).
Video – Fault Lines — Canada-Israel: The other special relationship
Al Jazeera 2 Dec (23 min 25 sec)– Seen as an honest broker in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Canada has become one of Israel’s most fervent supporters. Avi Lewis investigates.
The privatization of Israeli war – interview with Shir Hever
Real News 5 Dec — JAY: So let’s start this series of reports talking, obviously, about the recent Israeli attack on Gaza. What are the various factors, in your view, that led to this attack? HEVER: In many ways this attack seems like an irrational attack. There doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why Israel suddenly chose to attack Gaza. Certainly we can see how the Israeli army escalated the violence by first killing a 13-year-old child close to the fence surrounding Gaza, and later by assassinating the commander of the military arm of Hamas. And now, after eight days of pounding Gaza, more than 130 people killed, the ceasefire that was achieved doesn’t really change the situation in any significant way to what it was before. So in many ways people wonder why this entire attack was even necessary … The reason that they wanted to use Iron Dome in this context is because this was not a test for the internal research and development teams of the military industries. This was a show for the rest of the world and for armies around the world what this unit is capable of doing. And, of course, this will be translated immediately into sales.
End the immunity / Oudeh Basharat
Haaretz 6 Dec — The International Court of Justice was established following World War II, during which horrendous crimes were committed. The establishment of the court is a blessing, not a curse. It’s good that the world is helping Israel come to its senses …The war crimes committed against the Palestinians are an open wound, and it is time to thoroughly investigate. More than 1,400 Palestinians, including civilians and armed individuals, were killed in Cast Lead, compared to 10 Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians. But while the Israelis are immune from prosecution, Israel has appropriated the right to punish anyone who accuses it of criminal acts. This isn’t just true of Operation Cast Lead.
We won’t give up our occupation / Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz 5 Dec — Forty-five years of successful occupation speak for themselves. Another 87 years remain before Israel has occupied Palestine for as long as France ruled in Algeria, although in demographic terms Israel achieved its aim long ago … It was all going so well, until something went wrong. Something always goes wrong. Just as the Shah of Iran didn’t understand why his subjects no longer loved him, and Hosni Mubarak scorned the opposition movement and let slip “let them have fun,” Benjamin Netanyahu has not understood what’s gotten into the Palestinians. After all, Ramallah’s discos were functioning just fine, the pretty malls were flourishing, and the city of Rawabi was being built.