Settlements / Land Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid & Occupation
The latest change is further proof that Israel is, without announcing it, implementing a racist one-state solution where there is no such thing as a Palestinian state.
The E1 plan and its implications for human rights in the West Bank
This past weekend, the media reported that Israel has decided to advance the planning of thousands of apartments in the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, as part of the E-1 plan, in the area connecting the settlement to Jerusalem. According to media accounts, this decision was reached following the UN General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as a state with UN observer status.
JERUSALEM, Dec. 2 (UPI) — Israel will continue to build in Jerusalem and anywhere considered to be in its strategic interest, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in Jerusalem Sunday. The West Bank city of Ramallah took on a festive mood Sunday as crowds thronged to the presidential compound to welcome Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas home from New York. Israel rejected the U.N. decision granting the Palestinian Authority non-member observer status, Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
Benny Kashriel tells ‘Post’ although the PMO has yet to be in touch, he has plans to build 3,500 new units in W. Bank city. Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel was hopeful Saturday night that after 18 years the Israeli government might be finally ready to authorize construction in an area of his West Bank city, known as E1.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A senior Fatah official said Sunday that Israel’s decision to accelerate settlement building was further proof that the Israeli government is not interested in peace. Israeli government officials unveiled on Friday plans to build 3,000 new settlement units and expedite building in the so-called E-1 area of the occupied West Bank, a day after Palestine was admitted to the UN as a non-member state.
Arab and Turkish foreign ministers on Saturday condemned Israel’s plans to build 3,000 settler homes in east Jerusalem after the Palestinians won non-member observer status at the United Nations. The ministers “condemned the Israeli decision to establish 3,000 housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank,” according to a joint statement released at the end of the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum in Istanbul. They called on the international community to exert all efforts to halt the Israeli settlement activities which they said “are illegal and contrary to (UN) Security Council decisions resolutions and international law.” Israel revealed plans to build the 3,000 new homes a day after the Palestinians’ historic success at the United Nations on Thursday.
Moves against Israel will be made in next the few days following Netanyahu’s decision to move ahead on construction in E1 and build 3,000 housing units in settlement blocs east of Jerusalem, say senior European diplomats.
German, Dutch, British, and French envoys communicated their protest over Israel’s plan to construct 3,000 housing units in East Jerusalem, as well as other West Bank settlement blocs, announced after UN vote on Palestine.
Washington and London have expressed disapproval at an Israeli plan to build 3,000 settler homes in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, but stopped short of condemning what is reportedly part of a larger “construction wave” planned by Israel. The settlements are widely perceived as a retaliatory move against the Palestinian Authority, a day after the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade its status from “entity” to “non-member observer state” – a resolution Israel and the United States had strongly opposed.
OIC condemns Israeli decision to build settlement units in Jerusalem
Ekmeleddin Ihsan oglu, Secretary General of the OIC, expressed strong condemnation of the Israeli authorities’ decision to approve construction of 3000 settlement units in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday brushed off world condemnation of Israel’s plans to expand Jewish settlements after the Palestinians won de facto UN recognition of statehood. ”We will carry on building in Jerusalem and in all the places that are on the map of Israel’s strategic interests,” a defiant Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting. In another blow to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Israel also announced it was withholding Palestinian tax revenues this month worth about $100 million because of a $200 million PA debt to the Israeli Electric Corporation.
Plans to build in Area E-1 would effectively bisect the West Bank and sever the physical link between the Palestinian territories and Jerusalem.
On the morning of November 28th, numerous soldiers came to the village of Susiya in the South Hebron Hills, unannounced from the nearby settlement, which is also called Susiya. The army jeeps and construction equipment came rolling in around eight o’clock and quickly went to work without giving any information as to why they were invading someone’s private land, and proceeded to demolish a tent in the village. Esha Ishboal erected a tent two years ago so that his workers could have some shade while picking olives on one of his families’ properties in Susiya, which is south of the city of Al Khalil (Hebron). It was a simple structure, not dirty or old. It had a metal frame and was almost always open on all sides but one, just enough to block some wind. Here Esha would invite his friends to have tea, or as in my case he’d ask a stranger if they would like some hospitality. That was the situation on his farm a couple weeks ago at least. The table and chairs were spared but the tent itself was leveled. This was an especially lazy demolition since it wouldn’t have taken a bulldozer to bring the tent to the ground. A couple of soldiers could have done it in less than half an hour.
The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) informed a Palestinian citizen in Beit Ummar village, north of al-Khalil, with a final court decision to demolish his house in few weeks.
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities issued demolition orders this week for a home in Beit Ummar, a local committee said. The order, written in Arabic and Hebrew, states that Muhammad Ibrahim Khalil Muqbil’s home will be demolished on Dec. 27, adding that the family must leave the house, Beit Ummar’s popular committee said. Muqil received the notice from Beit Eli military court on Nov. 27, the committee said, adding that 13 people live in the property and will be made homeless by the order. Several homes in the village have been issued with demolition orders by Israel’s military. The homes are located near the illegal Karmi Zur settlement.
Israeli military confiscate stock from Palestinian trader
On Friday, Israeli forces entered a shop in Beer Ayoud belonging to Hamudde Siyam and took 5000-7000NIS (around £1000) worth of his stock. Siyam’s relative reported that Israeli forces entered the shop with police dogs and then confiscated the stock, including fruit and vegetables, claiming he was not supposed to be selling it on the street. Dahud Siyam said; ‘Israeli forces tried to scare us with dogs. They tried to provoke us by swearing at us. The shop owner was told he would have to pay 50,000 NIS (nearly £10,000) to get his stock back.’ Siyam says that the actions are part of a strategy to get the people of Silwan to leave through ‘giving them fines, demolishing their houses, confiscating their merchandise.’
Israeli municipal council opens office for raids on stores in J’lem old city
Jerusalemite store owners said the Israeli municipal council opened recently an office in Bab Al-Amoud area in the old city of Jerusalem aimed at tightening its restrictions on them.
Gaza / Israeli & Egyptian Siege on Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A man was killed on Sunday when a smuggling tunnel collapsed under the Egypt-Gaza border, medics said. The body of Noman Qudaih, 38, was recovered from a tunnel near the Gazan side of Rafah city, medical sources told Ma’an. His body was transferred to the al-Najjar hospital in Rafah. In late October, three men were killed when a smuggling tunnel collapsed. Medics say that hundreds of Palestinians have died in the network of underground tunnels since Israel tightened its siege on the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Tunnels between Gaza and Egypt are back in business in a big way
Washington Post: Over 140 smuggling tunnels were destroyed in the recent Israel-Hamas fighting, but within minutes of the ceasefire announcement diggers were called back to work.
A survey conducted by the UNICEF showed that the recent Israeli war on the Gaza Strip affected the psychological health of children very badly.
Some farmers are back working on their land along the border with Israel for the first time in years. Before the recent ceasefire, the area – known as the buffer zone – was inaccessible to them. But the truce between Israel and Hamas appears to have changed that. Al Jazeera’s Casey Kauffman reports from Gaza.
Israeli Terrorism / Aggression / Attacks on Popular Protest
Two Palestinians Die Wounds Suffered Saturday, And During War
Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that a young Palestinian man died of wounds suffered on Saturday at dawn after the army opened fire at him in Rafah, and that another Palestinian died of injuries suffered during the recent war on Gaza.
Three Palestinian citizens including two brothers were wounded on Saturday evening in Israeli army shelling on eastern Deir Al-Balah city in central Gaza Strip.
Palestinian medical sources reported that a young Palestinian man was shot by a rubber-coated metal bullets in his abdomen in Doura city, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and was admitted to the surgery ward where the bullet was removed.
IOF soldiers, settlers assault 70-year-old farmer
Jewish settlers accompanied by Israeli occupation forces assaulted a 70-year-old Palestinian farmer while tending to his land to the east of Bethlehem on Saturday.
Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall and settlements in Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah; two residents were hit by gas bombs fired by the army while dozens were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. Similar protests were held in several west Bank villages.
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GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A man from the Gaza Strip died on Sunday from medical complications resulting from an injury sustained in the first intifada, a family member said. Issa al-Habbash told Ma’an that Ismail al-Habbash, from al-Nuseirat refugee camp, was shot in 1987 by an expanding bullet known as a dum-dum. Ismail, who was 17 at the time, was hit in the abdomen and lost his kidneys and part of his intestine, spending the remainder of his life moving from one hospital to another Issa al-Habbash said.
One of the most enduring images from the latest Israeli attack on Gaza is the picture of four dead children from the al-Dalou family. The Israeli airstrike on the al-Dalou home in central Gaza was one of the deadliest single attacks during the Gaza assault, killing 10 members of the family as well as two of their neighbors. And now, Israel is shifting their explanation as to how the deadly strike that caused the most controversy during the fighting happened. The latest explanation is that the attack was a deliberate one, the target of which was a Hamas member. The scrambling to find a line of reasoning to sell to the international community is indicative of how much attention has been given to the strike, and how much attention it will continue to command in the weeks ahead as human rights groups issue reports on the latest assault. Questions have been raised as to whether Israel committed a war crime in this specific case (though there are plenty more allegations of war crimes that will be aired as a result of the overall Israeli assault, too).
This is the fifth in a series of journal entries documenting life in Gaza during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Cloud. Previous entries can be read here
. Uncertainty’s claws severely lacerated a feeling of comfort I thought I had, and on that hill of injustice, scrambled with adamant, immovable blocks of brutality, the inexorability of the war’s inhumanity reached out to deliver its death notes to the uninformed little innocents and the elders of the al-Dalou family.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned that Israeli airstrikes targeted individual journalists and media facilities in the Gaza Strip between November 18 and 20. Journalists and media outlets are protected under international law in military conflict. A series of Israeli airstrikes struck two buildings that house news media, resulting in injuries to nine journalists, while separate missile attacks resulted in the deaths of three journalists, according to news reports and CPJ research. Israeli officials have broadly asserted that the individuals and facilities had connections to terrorist activity but have disclosed no substantiation for these very serious allegations. CPJ has repeatedly sought, by email and phone, supporting details or evidence from the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson’s office. We have yet to receive information from the spokesperson’s office to substantiate its allegations.
A delegation of European lawmakers and politicians arrived on Saturday evening in the Gaza Strip to report on Israel’s violations against civilians in the last war.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) repeats its condemnation of Israel’s violations against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip. PCHR is concerned over the escalation of Israeli attacks directed against fishermen since the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that was stopped following the cease-fire agreement reached between Palestinian resistance groups and the Israeli occupation forces, under Egyptian and international auspices. Attacks against fishermen escalated despite the Israeli authorities’ announcement of allowing the fishermen to fish up to 6 nautical miles off the Gaza shore in the context of the cease-fire. Since the cease-fire agreement came about, Israeli occupation forces have arrested 29 fishermen, including 14 who were arrested on Saturday, 01 December 2012. Additionally, 9 fishing boats were confiscated and damaged, including 3 boats that were confiscated on Saturday.
Israeli navy gunboats kidnapped ten Palestinian fishermen while fishing off the coast of Gaza city and confiscated their fishing boats on Saturday morning.
The Palestinian Detainees Research Center published a report on Sunday revealing that Israeli soldiers kidnapped 650 Palestinians in November; adding that 85 women and 7 children were among the kidnapped Palestinians.
Israeli soldiers and Navy kidnapped, Saturday, 19 Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; 12 fishermen were kidnapped in Gaza territorial waters in Gaza, and nine in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli occupation forces stormed at dawn Saturday three towns in Jenin district, where they questioned citizens and set up military checkpoints in several locations.
Israeli undercover agents have lately expanded their operations in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem and kidnapped more Palestinian civilians the latest was on Saturday.
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) nabbed five Palestinians in Shufat refugee camp north of occupied Jerusalem at dawn Sunday.
Other Prisoner News
West Bank security services still detain 35 political prisoners
The committee of political prisoners’ families in the West Bank called on all the parties to pressure on the Authority to immediately release all the political prisoners from PA jails.
Ofer prisoners threaten to escalate protest steps
Palestinian prisoners in Ofer prison threatened to step up their protests against the Israeli prison administration, and to take escalatory steps protesting the Israeli disregard of their demands.
Protests / Solidarity / Activism / BDS
29 November 2012 — We are delighted that an overwhelming majority of countries at the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine to a non-member observer status.
“Bahraini MP, Osama Al-Tamimi, smuggled in fuel in parliament to torch the Israeli flag without any warning, the UAE-based Gulf News reported Wednesday.”
Dozens of Egyptian youths plan to travel to the Gaza Strip to attend Hamas’s festival to celebrate its 25th anniversary, which will be held on al-Katiba al-Khadra in Gaza City center.
An Indonesian delegation consisting of 45 parliamentarians, journalists and civil society leaders arrived in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, 29 November. The delegation entered through the Rafah Crossing and met with Palestinian officials in the Dar al Quran and Sunnah in Rafah. After a brief reception, the Indonesian delegation visited the Legislative Council where they were received by a number of Palestinian deputies. Deputy Speaker of the parliament, Dr Ahmed Bahar, thanked the visitors for their strong and unwavering support.
(CNN) — A group of soccer stars have called for Israel to be stripped of hosting rights for a top European age-grade tournament next year following last month’s bomb attacks on Gaza. More than 60 players including Didier Drogba, Eden Hazard, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba signed a petition which was posted on the website of former English Premier League and Spanish La Liga striker Fredi Kanoute. ”We, as European football players, express our solidarity with the people of Gaza who are living under siege and denied basic human dignity and freedom,” the statement said. ”The latest Israeli bombardment of Gaza, resulting in the death of over a hundred civilians, was yet another stain on the world’s conscience.”
Sports Minister Amer Farouq threatened to pull funding from roller hockey club if it played against Jewish state
World Social Forum Free Palestine marks International Day of Solidarity
On November 29, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was marked in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil at the World Social Forum – Free Palestine, attended by delegations from thirty-eight countries and a rally of thousands that took to the streets of Porto Alegre alongside the workers’ movement, including Palestinian, Brazilian and international delegations, members of the Palestinian community in Brazil, and groups of children and youth.
Imagine you are a student activist trying to get tobacco products banned from your university. You insist that cigarettes cause cancer, as so much research has shown. Your opponents are other students who claim the connection is tenuous and controversial, that student government should not make judgments on complex health issues, and that some students are so attached to their cigarettes that their very identities would be under attack if such a measure were passed. What if these students called themselves regular smokers, but were in fact trained and sometimes paid representatives of Philip Morris and Marlboro? How much credibility would they have on campus?
Israeli Racism & Discrimination
Honorary chair of Israeli fund for UNICEF hates Palestinian children. Palestinian rights campaigners are demanding the removal of Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes from the position of honorary chairwoman of the Israeli Fund for UNICEF, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund, over racist and violent comments she has made. “During the latest Israeli attacks on Gaza, Shalom Nir-Mozes made several shockingly racist comments about Palestinians and Palestinian children,” the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) said in an action alert, urging people to write to UNICEF “asking them to remove Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes as the chairwoman of the Israeli Fund for UNICEF (IFU) and censure IFU for selecting someone so poorly suited to represent their work for children around the world.”
Knesset member Taleb Al-Sana warned that the Israeli regime launched an incitement campaign against the Bedouins in the Negev in order to justify any coming violations committed against them.
“The employment of Palestinians is forbidden”, Antony Loewenstein
Yet more evidence that a great part of the American and Israeli relationship is about assisting the defence industries in both countries. The Washington Post reports: “Security concerns are so great that non-Israeli employees hired by the builder can come only from “the U.S., Canada, Western Europe countries, Poland, Moldavia, Thailand, Philippines, Venezuela, Romania and China,” according to the Corps notice. “The employment of Palestinians is also forbidden,” it says.”
Political Developments / Other News
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Islamic Jihad’s military wing warned on Saturday that Israeli violations of a ceasefire deal last week would push the group to respond. The Al-Quds Brigades said in a statement that “ongoing and flagrant violations of the truce (by Israel) will undermine the deal and force factions to respond in a suitable manner.” The group said that the shooting of Palestinians near the border, detention of fishermen and the continued operation of surveillance and military planes in Gaza’s skies are considered violations of the deal which ended an eight-day bombardment of Gaza on Nov. 21.
‘Site 911’ is the latest and largest military construction project the U.S. has undertaken for the IDF at a cost of up to $100 million.
Leave it to legendary Walter Pincus from the Washington Post to flesh out a Request for Proposal construction project planned for Israel called Site 911.
The new leader of the Habayit Hayehudi party meets with the acting Egyptian ambassador and recounts his ‘calming plan’ for Israel’s foreign policy. The diplomat rejected these plans.
In pictures: Avigdor Lieberman, Ehud Barak, and Tzipi Livni schmooze at Washington gathering.
Finance Minister Steinitz says won’t transfer tax payments to Palestinians in response to UN bid. ‘I’ll use the money to offset their debt to the Electric Corp,’ he states. PM Netanyahu: We’ll continue building in Jerusalem.
Despite its decision to abstain in vote on Palestinian state at the UN this week, Germany ‘will always stand on the side of Israel’ on the issue of security, German chancellor says in weekly podcast.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked his Czech counterpart for Prague’s vote at the U.N. against recognizing a Palestinian state.
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, who delivered a supportive speech of Israel at the UN before its vote Thursday on the Palestinian statehood, said Friday “the bottom line is we will not let the Jewish people and the State of Israel stand alone when the going gets tough.”
Former prime minister criticizes Netanyahu at Saban Forum in Washington, says Palestinian UN bid could have been avoided. ‘The sooner we reach a two-state agreement, the better it is for Israel,’ he says.
Thousands in occupied territory celebrate upgraded diplomatic status as Israel withholds $120m in tax revenues to PA.
Ankara hosts Arab foreign ministers’ summit in show of support for Palestinians. FM Davutoglu says Turkey wants to ‘see Palestinian flag wave outside United Nations’ building’
The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted recognize the sovereign state of Palestine, upgrading its observer status from “entity” to “non-member state.” The move is viewed as a victory for Palestinians, but a diplomatic setback for the United States and Israel, who were joined by only a handful of countries in opposing the decision. With more than 190 members in the General Assembly, there were 138 votes in favor, nine against and 41 abstentions. Three countries did not take part. The vote came on the 65th anniversary of the adoption of U.N. Resolution 181 that partitioned Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. “This was a referendum on the United States’s mediation of the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians,” says Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the Jerusalem Fund and its educational program, the Palestine Center. “The vast majority of the world, I think, said yesterday that that has failed, and it’s time for a different approach.”
Khaled Meshaal, who has been in exile since 1967 Six Day war, to visit Palestinian territory to mark Hamas’ anniversary.
Secretaries general of all Palestinian factions are to meet in Cairo within days to finalize national reconciliation, Yasser Al-Wadiya, the head of the independent Palestinian figures, said.
RASED called on the Palestinian Authority to accelerate the accession to the Rome Statute, and all international human rights treaties and conventions.
Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip has called for Egyptian intervention to halt Israeli violations of the truce between them and Israel, according to Hamas Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ghazi Hamad. Hamad told reporters in Gaza on Saturday that “deterrant” measures should be taken against Israeli violations. He added that Egypt, as the official mediator of the truce agreement, should take a strong stance by reprimanding Israel.
Political advisor to the premier Yousuf Rizqa said his government keeps the Egyptian leadership, the sponsor of the truce agreement, in the picture of Israel’s violations in the Gaza Strip.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s ministry of interior will pardon collaborators who turn themselves into authorities, a Hamas official said Sunday. Interior minister Fathi Hammad, speaking at a graduation ceremony for Hamas security officers, said that anyone who confesses to collaborating with Israel will be pardoned and the details of their crimes kept secret from family and friends. They will then be trained as resistance fighters, Hammad added.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas will allow twenty Fatah members who fled Gaza during fighting in 2007 to return to the coastal enclave, a Fatah official said Sunday. Jamal Ubeid, a member of Fatah’s high committee in Gaza, told Ma’an that the party had been officially informed about the decision by Hamas, although a list of names has not yet been received. Earlier Sunday, Gaza’s interior ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan told Ma’an that Fatah members who had fled to Egypt would be allowed to return to the Gaza Strip.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Fatah is working on a list of affiliates in Gaza jails to be released by the Hamas government as part of conciliatory measures between the rival governments, officials said. Fatah has prepared a list to go before a committee to verify the inmates, Fatah official Yahya Rabah told Ma’an. He reiterated the importance of the decision taken by the Hamas administration in Gaza to release Fatah-affiliated prisoners in order to push forward the long-stalled reconciliation deal between the parties.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas and other Palestinian factions should be removed from international lists of designated terrorist groups, Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh said Sunday. ”It is time to remove Palestinian resistance movements, that resist under international law, from the list of international terrorist groups,” Haniyeh said during a meeting with a European delegation of politicians, academics and lawmakers. ”Hamas and other Palestinian factions are national liberation movements operating inside Palestine. We do not antagonize Jews anywhere in the world for their religious affiliation, but we have a problem with those who occupy our land.”
Palestinian poet Faysal al-Qarqati dead at 58
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Palestinian poet and critic Faysal al-Qarqati died Saturday morning in a hospital in Jordan at 58. Al-Qarqati suffered from a blood clot 15 days ago, and on Thursday he was transferred to a Jordanian hospital. Originally from Ramallah, al-Qarqati was born in Syria in 1954 where he finished high school. In 1978, he moved to Lebanon where he joined the PLO-affiliated magazine “Palestine the Revolution.” He then traveled to Bucharest, Romania and in 1982 he got a masters Degree in media, then returned to Beirut. Al-Qarqati moved to Tunisia in 1982 along with PLO leadership, then to Cyprus. In 1994, he returned to Palestine to join the union of Palestinian writers. He chaired the international congress of writers held at Birzeit University in 1996.
Police say taxi driver Shimon Cooper pretended to be a Mossad agent to kill two of his wives with the aid of an anesthesiologist girlfriend. Another wife said she almost met a similar fate.
Analysis / Op-ed / Human Interest
ith contrived drama and a fake sense of anticipation, Mahmoud Abbas rode on the wave of Palestinian popular nationalist fervor in the wake of the Israeli assault on Gaza, and came to the UN as he had long promised to submit – and obtain – a non-member status for the State of Palestine. The Palestinian people will now have a status comparable to the Vatican. As Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish, once said: the struggle of the Palestinian people over a century entitles them to much more than a state.
The vote is essentially an update of the partition plan of 1947, whereby the UN now grants Jewish colonists and their descendants 80-90% of Palestine, leaving the rest to the native inhabitants, and it risks abrogating the refugees’ right of return. A small minority native to the West Bank (about 1.3 million people), for whom the PA claims to speak, will gain UN status as a state under occupation, while the Palestinian refugees in the West Bank (1 million people), along with six million other refugees, risk losing their right of return. By recognising a diminished Palestinian state, the vote effectively abandons the UN understanding of the “Jewish state” as one that has no right to discriminate against or ethnically cleanse non-Jews. The new arrangement confers the blessing of this international forum on the Israeli understanding of what a “Jewish state” entails– namely, the actually existing legal discrimination and ethnic cleansing practised by Israel –as acceptable. That this occurred on 29 November, the date of the partition plan, reiterates this date as one of continuing defeats for the Palestinians who continue to suffer from Israel’s colonial laws, and repeats UN guilt in denying Palestinians their rights not to suffer dispossession and racism. The Palestinians, however, whose majority is not represented by the PA, will no more heed this new partition plan than they did the last one and will continue to resist Israeli colonialism until it comes to an end and until Israel becomes a state for all its citizens with equal rights to all regardless of national, religious, or ethnic background.
The Palestinian president has accomplished more for Israel than he has for Palestine. A day after the UN voted to admit “Palestine” as a non-member state, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly praised the Palestinian Authority (PA) led by Mahmoud Abbas for its collaboration with the Israeli occupation army. Speaking at a Zionist think tank in Washington on Friday, Clinton defended the PA from criticism by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. According to Ha’aretz Clinton said, “With very little money, and no natural resources, they [the PA] have accomplished quite a bit, building a security force that works every single day with the IDF (Israel Defence Forces). They have entrepreneurial successes. They are nationalistic – but largely secular. Israel should support them.” This is the same “IDF” that just a few days ago was massacring entire Palestinian families in Gaza and shooting dead West Bank Palestinians who dared to protest those crimes.
Palestine’s UN Bid Success: To what ends?
Photos by Lazar Simeonov. At midnight on Thursday a jubilant Palestine celebrated the overwhelming success of the United Nations General Assembly vote.
Up until the last moment, the United States and Israel were doing their utmost to change the positions of other countries, and to dilute the significance of the Palestinian step to upgrade the status of Palestine to non-member state observer status. Since the Palestinians announced their intention to go to the UN, many Western countries, including the US, did everything possible to convince Palestinian leaders to drop the move, or at least postpone such a step. In their contacts with the Palestinian leadership, European ministers, in particular the British, acted against the values and traditions to which Europe subscribes, values that call for freedom and human rights for all human beings around the globe.
The New New York Times had this headline today about the PA UN Bid: “Both Israel and Hamas are critical”. (Later edition of the Times removed the lie that is contained in the headline). And the story itself then said this: “Israel and the militant group Hamas both responded critically to the day’s events
“. But there is absolutely no evidence of criticisms by Hamas: if anything, Hamas (wrongly in my opinion) supported Abbas in his silly exercise. But the article in the Times insisted that Hamas was critical: “While Hamas had officially backed the United Nations bid of Mr. Abbas, it quickly criticized his speech because the group does not recognize Israel. “There are controversial issues in the points that Abbas raised, and Hamas has the right to preserve its position over them,” said Salah al-Bardaweel, a spokesman for Hamas in Gaza, on Thursday.” Tha t passes as criticism? Am I missing something here? The reason for this deception in the headline and the article is that the Times did not want show that Israel was the only country that was critical–along with the US, of course.
“The operation killed scores of Palestinians
“. And notice that Israeli wars and assaults and aggression are referred to as “operations”. So let me show you the difference: in the Munich Operation in 1972, 11 Israelis were killed (most by German police) and yet the operation is consistently referred to as “massacre”. So killing 11 Israelis is a massacre but Israeli killing of Palestinians (more than 160 in the recent war on Gaza) is never referred to as a massacre. And you think that we don’t notice?
The Saban Forum, which is named after the ardent Israel supporter Haim Saban, was held last night in Washington. And National Public Radio host Robert Siegel served as a moderator for the rightwing foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, above. Lieberman, an immigrant to Israel from Russia, has called for transferring Palestinians out of the Jewish state and for Israelis to have to take a loyalty oath to the state. From the event’s announcement: The 2012 Saban Forum begins on Friday evening with a gala dinner, and will feature a discussion with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman at 6:30 p.m., moderated by NPR’s Robert Siegel.
No balance: CNN slobbers over Peres, grills Meshaal, Habib Battah
In the news business, interviews are often judged by their ability to generate international headlines. If a reporter asks the right questions he or she can coax their subject into revealing new or previously unknown information to the public. But interviews also reveal a lot about those asking the questions.
Their long term aims, however, always come back to economics. This involves destroying infrastructure and production facilities. In its war on Lebanon in 2006, Israel followed this strategy, bombing bridges, roads, and commercial factories. According to their own political and military leaders, their aim was to turn back the clock of development.
Whether in terms of timing or substance, the October 2012 visit of Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to the Gaza Strip defies simple explanation. As so often where Palestinian politics is concerned, a cottage industry of explanations and interpretations rapidly materialized. Thus Qatar was either seeking to ensure the support of Hamas’s Gaza leaders for the re-election of Khalid Mashaal to the leadership of the Islamist movement’s Politbureau; using its considerable influence with the Muslim Brotherhood to help transform Rafah into a normalized and regularized border crossing between Egypt and Palestine; staking a claim to Mediterranean gas reserves on the basis of informal understandings between Hamas and Israel; promoting development in the destitute Gaza Strip to the tune of $ 400 million in order to vastly increase the cost of militancy within it; furthering an American -Israeli scheme to irrevocably institutionalize the Palestinian schism by laying the diplomatic foundations for a Palestinian entity limited to the Gaza Strip; and / or again challenging Egyptian hegemony over efforts to negotiate Palestinian national reconciliation.
The Israeli Paper Dome system, As’ad AbuKhalil
“”Initially, I drank the Kool-Aid on Iron Dome, just as initially I did with the Patriots,” said Theodore Postol, a physicist and missile-defence expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was Prof. Postol who, during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, debunked Pentagon claims that its Patriot anti-missile system was successfully shooting down Iraqi Scud missiles. “I’m skeptical. I suspect it is not working as well as the Israelis are saying … but there is great value in the strategic deception” in claiming very high success rates, Prof. Postol said in an interview. Although hard evidence is scanty, he pointed to the absence of secondary blasts – indicating the interceptor warhead exploded but did not ignite the incoming missile – and, more importantly, the lack of damage evident on missile carcasses recovered in Israel and filmed by the media.”
EI’s Rami Almeghari joins Norman Finkelstein and others to debate Palestine UN bid on RT’s CrossTalk, Ali Abunimah
Now that the Palestinians have had their international legal status upgraded at the UN, what difference will it make?
Gaza: Crisis of Our Humanity, Nozomi Hayase
In the second week of November, the Middle East caught fire once again; this time in Gaza. Twitter streamed with pictures of a city in flames resembling Baghdad during the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. For many, the brutality of Israel’s attack did not come as a surprise, as memories of Operation Cast Lead resurfaced. Not again!
Refusing to Acquiesce in Gaza, Joshua Brollier
GAZA CITY — The past few days have been harrowing, yet still deeply inspiring in Gaza as people in the strip must carry on with their lives after the Israeli army’s deadly 8 day offensive operation “Pillar of Cloud” which killed at least 160 Palestinians and left over 1000 wounded
, many of them severely. To “carry on” in Gaza does not mean returning to predictable routines or a reasonable set of expectations of calmness in what amounts to everyday life in most parts of the world. This is exceptionally true for Palestinian fishermen who return to the daily struggle with the Israeli Navy to fish in waters that are rightfully theirs.
Dr. T., a medical doctor, is a Palestinian living in Gaza City. He is still reeling from days of aerial bombardment. When I asked about the children in his community he told me his church would soon be making Christmas preparations to lift the children’s spirits. Looking at his kindly smile and ruddy cheeks, I couldn’t help wondering if he’d be asked to dress up as “Baba Noel,” as Santa Claus. I didn’t dare ask this question aloud. “The most recent war was more severe and vigorous than the Operation Cast Lead,” he said slowly, leaning back in his chair and looking into the distance. “I was more affected this time. The weapons were very strong, destroying everything. One rocket could completely destroy a building.”
It was hard to read the delegates’ expressions as they squinted at the board in the United Nations, searching for confirmation of who had and hadn’t voted for Palestine. As the camera zoomed into the results, the red figures revealed 138 countries were in favour, nine against with 41 abstaining; Palestine had won an overwhelming majority in their bid to reach non-member observer status at the UN.