164 essential drugs are completely unavailable in Gaza

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Gaza: Residents deprived of critical medications and medical care
By late September, 36% of necessary supplies were lacking, compared to 25% in 2010. The Israeli embargo of the Gaza Strip, which began in 2007, together with years of financial crisis within the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and the chronic lack of cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Gaza authorities, have caused harm and threaten Gaza’s health system and its patients.  Last spring, drug companies stopped supplying the Palestinian Authority. The situation, which had been worsening steadily for several years, deteriorated further in 2011 and has reached an alarming level. As Israeli bombs struck the Gaza Strip in mid-August, local health authorities called on international aid actors working in the area for help. Since that time, they have asked for donations on a regular, long-term basis. However, no humanitarian actor – including Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – has the financial and/or logistical resources to provide the drugs and medical supplies needed by the Territory’s health facilities.

Over 26% of Palestinian Children Live in Poverty, says PCBS
RAMALLAH, November 17, 2011 (WAFA) – Over 26% of Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza Strip lived below the poverty level in 2010, according to a new release by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) published Thursday marking the International Child Day. It said poverty average among Palestinian households according to patterns of consumption was 21.4% in 2010, divided into 16% in the West Bank and 31.9% in Gaza Strip. Children who are suffering from poverty form the proportion of 26.9% out of all children, divided into 19% in the West Bank and 38.4% in Gaza Strip. Poverty among Gaza households who have children was 53.8% of the total poor households who have children compared to 46.2% in the West Bank.

In early November, the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement published a report titled, “Scale of Control: Israel’s Continued Responsibility in the Gaza Strip.” It explained little changed after its alleged 2005 “disengagement.” A 2007 Gisha report titled, “Disengaged Occupiers: The Legal Status of Gaza” argued that as an occupying power, Israel’s obligations continue. Its new publication updates it. Despite Israel claiming no further responsibility, it exercises full control of Gaza’s airspace, waters, borders, territory, infrastructure, power, and more. It collects customs and value added taxes for imported goods, conducts regular incursions, excludes most exports, and maintains a physical presence.

Land theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Palestinian culture & history

Under the proposal, Israel’s construction and housing minister would be obligated to publish annual tenders for construction in West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israeli housing ministry to build 5000 new housing units in OJ
The Israeli housing and construction ministry has published tenders inviting those interested to bid for the construction of 5000 new housing units in occupied Jerusalem.

Israel to build 2,000 West Bank apartments
Move seen as latest Israeli retaliation for Palestinian Authority’s UNESCO bid; construction plans condemned by US, Europe in past.,7340,L-4148801,00.html

Palestinian land in Wadi Hilweh to be converted to Municipal park
Jerusalem Municipality officers and Israeli troops raided a plot of Palestinian land in Wadi Hilweh yesterday morning, 16 November. Troops removed the iron gate to the land, which belongs to the Al-Helaisi family of Wadi Hilweh. Several olive trees were destroyed by troops, the Municipality later claiming that they had been planted there “without permission”.

Municipality earmarks Palestinian land for park in Silwan
Jerusalem Municipality officers officially surveyed a piece of land in Silwan on 15 November, claiming that the land has been earmarked for construction of a public park. The land in question belongs to two Palestinian and lies between Abbasiyeh, Abu Tur and Rababeh Valley neighborhoods, and next door to an elementary school for girls. There is fear that the land could be the next Israeli appropriation of Palestinian land under the auspices of the Nature Authority. Municipality officers conducted the visit in conjunction with representatives of the Mount of Olives Development Center, an organization linked to the Municipality. Palestinian residents of Silwan have expressed fear that the land will be taken over by the Israeli Nature Authority for conversion to a protected green space, completing the Israeli-controlled encirclement of Al-Bustan and Wadi Hilweh districts. The adjacent school had requested permission to expand on to the land but was refused by the Municipality. Municipal officers stated that the park project will commence implementation in the coming week.

Urgent: Stop Home Demolitions in Al Hadidiye
Stop the Wall has issued an urgent call to action to stop nine fresh demolition orders issued by the Israeli authorities in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Al Hadidiye. The destruction of Palestinian homes and the ongoing colonization of Palestinian land is being carried out under the cover of US acquiescence and with the assistance of US companies like Caterpillarand Motorola. Stand in solidarity with the Palestinian families facing demolition and heed Stop the Wall’s call to action!


Haaretz: The Israeli gov’t hid a report against illegal Derech Ha’avot outpost
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has withheld a report prepared about one year ago on Derech Ha’avot outpost, so as it would not be used in a court of law, Haaretz newspaper said on Monday.


Israel stalling release of report proving West Bank outpost built on Palestinian land
Chaim Levinson – Haaretz “The Military Advocate General (MAG ) is delaying the publication of an internal report from a year ago which shows that most of the West Bank outpost of Derekh Ha`avot is on private Palestinian land. The report, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz, indicates that 60 percent of the Etzion Bloc community is on Palestinian farmland.

The Independent: Jewish settlements are encroaching on Palestinian territory
The Independent newspaper said Monday that the Jewish settlers are expanding their presence in the occupied city of Jerusalem as the number of Palestinian natives continues to shrink.

Russia and France slam Israel’s settlement expansion in O. Jerusalem
Russia and France denounced Israel’s declared intention to build 800 settlement units in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Speaking to the Congress in May, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remarked that Israel would maintain a long-term presence in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley. In the months that followed, the Israeli army stepped up its attacks on the water wells of the Palestinians who live there.  On November 14th, two water wells were demolished in Baqa’a, east of Tammun, robbing hundreds of families of the ability to irrigate their land. On October 13, farmers received demolition orders on several water wells in Kufr al-Deek, a village in the town of Salfit near Nablus. In September, Israeli military forces demolished 6 water wells belonging to Palestinian Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley, and have threatened to demolish six more. In all these cases, the unilateral actions are explicitly illegal because these wells were built with full permission from the Palestinian Authority, in areas of the Valley supposedly under exclusive Palestinian civil and military control.

AICafe 19.11.11: discussion with Dr. Adnan Musallam, Bethlehem University history professor
Please join us at the AICafe on Saturday, 19 November 2011 at 8:00 p.m. as Dr Adnan Musallam, professor of history at Bethlehem University, discusses the Balfour Declaration and Jewish attempts to establish a national homeland before the Holocaust


AICafe 15.11.11: Palestinian independence from 1988-2011, a discussion with Dr. Mohammed Naem Ferhat
Please join us at the AICafe on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 at 8:00 p.m. as Dr Mohammad Na‘em Ferhat, Professor of Sociology at the Bethlehem University and Al Quds Open University, discusses Palestinian attempts to secure independence between 1988-2011.

Include Silwan settlements in visiting dignitaries’ tours, says minister
Silwan’s settlements should be included in the official tours conducted for visiting diplomats, said Israeli deputy foreign minister Dani Ayaloun on Tuesday, 15 November. The statement was made despite evidence that all settlements in Silwan, such as the best-known City of David settlement, is constructed on confiscated Palestinian land. The City of David was visited recently by Dani Ayaloun, accompanied by Elad settlement group head David Beiry. Ayaloun visited one of the tunnels in the archaeological site, which Elad claims to be the remains of King David’s biblical palace. The visit was made with the agenda of promoting Silwan as a site of Jewish heritage – a claim that excludes a long Palestinian history in the area. Excavations at the City of David site have yet to produce any evidence that the site is in fact what Elad claims. Residents of Silwan have pursued court cases against Elad in an attempt to halt the dangerous tunnel-digging. While partially successful, the digging has now recommenced after a 14 month pause. Elad conducts the excavations in cooperation with the Israeli Antiquities Authority.

Israeli Violence / Abuse

West Bank: Jewish teens hurl stones at cars
Yeshiva students aim to pelt Palestinian cars with stones but accidentally hit Israeli vehicle.,7340,L-4148832,00.html

Summary of the Judgment Concerning the Legality of the GSS’ Interrogation Methods
The Court has held this day that the General Security Service (“GSS”) is not authorized, according to the present state of the law, to employ certain investigation methods that involve the use of physical pressure against a suspect. Several applications were brought before the Supreme Court (sitting as the High Court of Justice), in which it was argued that certain methods used by the GSS (for instance, the shaking of a suspect, holding him in particular positions for a lengthy period and sleep deprivation) are not legal. This, among other reasons, is due to the lack of authority permitting the use of these interrogation methods.
Political Detainees / Former Prisoners
Army Arrests Seven Palestinians in Hebron and Qalqilia including 4 children
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC – army invaded Azzoun town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and arrested four children identified as Qusai Shaher Salim, Rashad Raed Shbeita, Ehab Taleb Mashal, and Ibrahim Ahmad Enaya, all 17 years old.

Army Kidnaps Palestinian Journalist In Jerusalem
Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Wednesday evening a Palestinian journalist in Jerusalem after she was ordered to head to a security center for questioning.

Qaraq’e: “Long-Term Detainees Must Be Released”
The Minister of Palestinian Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs, Issa Qaraq’e, has urged Egypt to exert pressure on Israel to free long-term prisoners, the Palestinian news agency, Ma’an reported on Thursday.

The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Tuesday refused to allow travel of liberated prisoner Amal Juma to Jordan for medical treatment, her brother Jamil told the PIC reporter.

Israel forces ‘ransack home’ of freed prisoner
TULKAREM (Ma’an) — A recently-released prisoner said Israeli forces ransacked her home and threatened her on Thursday. Duaa al-Jayousi told Ma’an Israeli troops raided her home in Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, searched her and told her she was “being watched.” The soldiers warned her that she could return to prison, she added. Al-Jayousi’s mother witnessed the raid. “It was brutal,” she said, adding that she couldn’t cope if her daughter was imprisoned again. A prisoner affairs’ center described the raid as “barbaric.” Al-Jayousi was released in October in a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas. She had spent 10 years in an Israeli jail. She was sentenced to three life terms and 32 years.

The West Bank’s de-facto financial and political capital, Ramallah, is abuzz with the spectacle of prosperity and statehood. Enormous portraits of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas holding his government’s statehood application at the United Nations bedeck multiple billboards about town. Construction on government ministries, hotels, and large-scale commercial real estate projects continues around the clock.
Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
Dear Brothers and Sisters, We, Herak Al-Shebabi Al-Mustaqil, an independent Palestinian youth movement working for the liberation of Palestine, are proud to stand in solidarity with those fighting global injustice, environmental degradation, and inequality.. We are proud to stand alongside those fighting corporate greed, military occupations that are profiting from wars. We are proud to be united with the Occupy Wall Street movement that began on September 17, 2011 in New York and has recently spread worldwide.

Interview: Hunger strikes created “new sense of solidarity”, Maureen Clare Murphy
In an interview with The Electronic Intifada, activist Janan Abdu describes how Israeli prison authorities tried to break the spirits of political prisoner who recently went on hunger strike, including her husband Ameer Makhoul.


Palestinians protest ‘racist’ bus policy
Israeli authorities accused of operating a policy of racial segregation similar to that in the American south in the 1960s. Six Palestinian activists calling themselves “freedom riders” after the campaigners of the American civil rights movement have been arrested while attempting to enter Jerusalem on an Israeli bus carrying settlers through the occupied West Bank. The activists said they aimed to demonstrate that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank had resulted in a community segregated on racial lines, comparable to those of the American south in the 1960s, where African Americans defied segregation by using buses reserved for “whites only”.


‘If Rosa Parks could have called a press conference it would have looked like this’

Today I appreciate the Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Spier for his video coverage (above) that begins with his saying, “If Rosa Parks could have called a press conference, it would have looked something like this,” as well as  referencing the Freedom Riders as “Freedom Riders” and interviewing stellar and brave Huwaida Arraf and Badee’ Dwaik. It thrills me to no end to hear their voices. I love hearing Palestinian voices, the universal voice of sumud against the oppressor, a voice they own like none other in our time.

CCH Pounder (“Avatar” ) was the only member of the group who said she encountered opposition to her visit here – in her case, from South African friends. Schiff, for his part, was upset upon leaving the hotel to encounter a small group of demonstrators holding signs telling the actors they should be ashamed of themselves and denouncing Israel’s “apartheid” policies.

Despite attacks and slander, the Palestine solidarity movement in Poland is pushing ahead and is able to influence media coverage and popular education on Palestine.

ADL promotes conspiracy theories to undermine support for Palestine at Occupy Wall Street, Ali Abunimah
In an move reminiscent of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews in America’s past, the ADL is seeking to isolate and cast suspicion on supporters of Palestinian rights at Occupy Wall Street.

Israel seeks minorities, gays for propaganda effortsby communications
The Israeli government hopes to draw attention away from its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and ongoing human rights abuses by recruiting minorities and members of the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual (LGBT) community to conduct “public diplomacy” and to “sell Israel as a democracy”
Heritage / Culture
Fair trade for Palestinians
A local Palestinian businessman has brought fair trade to the West Bank, buying olive oil and other produce from more than 1,500 West Bank farmers and guaranteeing them a higher price.


Hani Almadhoun: From Resistance to Pop: Liberating Palestine with an Auto Tune
Thanks to social media and talent competition shows like Super Star, Star Academy and now, Arabs’ Got Talent, many young Palestinians are getting prime time exposure and introducing the Arab world to their voices and their art.

Israeli Racism / Discrimination
Israeli-Arab MK tells Arafat memorial ceremony in Ramallah ‘Lieberman a fascist settler living in my homeland.’ Abbas: Peace, settlements don’t mix.

Why is this not made famous?
Khelil sent me this:  ”I’m reading a book on surfing by Michael Scott Moore, Sweetness and Blood, and came across this passage in the chapter on surfing in Gaza and “Israel”: ”Tel Aviv has a ‘separate beach,’ were a high concrete wall runs from the sand into the water. Orthodox Jews avail themselves of the beach to swim without breaking mitzvahs against mixing without the opposite sex. On certain days only women can swim there; on certain other days, only men.”pg. 184. ”


Israeli reactions to Freedom Riders
Mya Guarnieri – +972 “The reaction of Israeli onlookers was overwhelmingly negative, with bystanders making racist remarks; after Israeli forces arrested the six activists, a Palestinian journalist was also detained.”

Repression of Israelis
Former IDF soldier convicted of passing thousands of classified documents to journalist petitions Supreme Court, saying sentence ‘too harsh’.,7340,L-4149183,00.html

Israel’s Supreme Court rejects Anat Kamm’s request to delay prison sentence
Kamm, who as an IDF soldier gathered, held and passed on classified information without authorization, will begin serving a prison sentence of four and a half years on Sunday.
Prof. Idan Landau has refused reserve duty for past 11 years, has been imprisoned three times; first time university has taken steps against him.
Tonight another major breaking story fresh from the Land of Milk, Honey and the Filthy Rich as reported by a confidential authoritative Israeli source.  A few days ago, Forbes Israel published a list of the wealthiest members of the Knesset.  No sooner was the article published than Shargel reports it disappeared, as tends to happen when there are powerful interests opposed to revelation of such information.  I’ll unravel this mystery further on.
Political Developments / Diplomacy
Palestinians are prepared to suspend their efforts to achieve full membership in such agencies as the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization.
On Wednesday, the PLO Executive Committee condemned Israel’s continued withholding of the more than $100 million in Palestinian tax revenues and said it would protest the move at the UN Security Council.

PLO says Palestinian reconciliation will hit those opposed to UN membership
The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has said that national reconciliation will remove one of the excuses used by opponents of Palestine’s membership of the UN. “Some parties questioned Palestine’s eligibility for membership as long as the division remained,” said a statement from the Committee. At a meeting on Tuesday in Ramallah, in the presence of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the Executive Committee called for “real progress towards national reconciliation and comprehensive elections”. With presidential, legislative and National Council elections, the PLO believes that Palestinians will be able to develop a unified political vision, vital in the face of regional political events.
According to Israeli intelligence, Israeli warplanes struck and destroyed a Hamas surveillance site on Monday night. The house 200 meters away, however, housed 44-year-old French consul in the Gaza Strip Majdi Shakoura, his wife, and 13-year-old daughter.  Even after Shakoura’s wife lost the baby she was carrying due to the trauma, the French government said it had not asked Israel to apologize. 
MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) said that Israel has had an intelligence problem in the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula in recent years, speaking in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday. Mofaz, a former IDF chief, said that regarding those to “In that regard, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Military Intelligence need to put their house in order.” Addressing the budget battle between the Finance and Defense Ministries, Mofaz said that ways to reduce the budget must be found without hurting the IDF’s capabilities. The IDF budget, he added, “is only one part of the wider defense budget.”
‘Ireland most hostile country in Europe’
Foreign Ministry accuses Irish government of inciting against Israel. Dublin City Council sponsors display presenting IDF soldiers as ‘Nazi troops’ abusing Palestinians.,7340,L-4149059,00.html

Suha Arafat: I never took money from Palestine
Yasser Arafat’s widow denies corruption allegations, says she refused many offers by Leah Rabin to visit Israel.,7340,L-4149488,00.html


Weighing in at 30,000 pounds, U.S. unveils new bombWASHINGTON — The US Air Force has a new 30,000-pound bomb in its arsenal designed to penetrate targets buried deep underground, a spokesman said Tuesday. The Air Force started taking delivery of the giant bomb, the “Massive Ordnance Penetrator,” in September, said Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miller. Under an August 2 contract worth $32 million, the aerospace firm Boeing is due to produce eight of the giant MOP bombs to fulfil the Air Force’s “operational needs,” according to Miller.

Study: Execution capital of Texas mostly kills black prisoners
An examination of records in one Texas county shows that 92 percent of the men recently condemned to die have been African Americans. A report published Monday by The Houston Chronicle found that of the last 13 men sentenced to death in Harris County, 12 have been black.

Before being was known for his “999″ tax plan and sexual harassment of women, Herman Cain garnered a reputation as the Islamophobia Candidate in the Republican presidential race. In a March interview with ThinkProgress, Cain declared that he “will not” appoint any Muslims in his cabinet if he were elected president. Cain went on to qualify this position over the ensuing weeks, bouncing from a blanket ban on Muslims to no restrictions at all to only allowing Muslims if they took a special loyalty oath. Four months later, Cain relented and issued an apology to Muslim Americans after meeting with a group of Muslim leaders.
Other Mideast

ICRC repatriates body of Lebanese from Israel

BEIRUT: The body of a Lebanese civilian was repatriated from Israel Wednesday, facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ras Naqoura on the Israeli-Lebanese border. 

Arab League gives Syria 3 days to end ‘bloody repression’
If the Assad government fails to stop the violence, the league says it will impose economic sanctions. Arab foreign ministers Wednesday gave Syria three days to cease what one league official called its “bloody repression” against its people or face economic sanctions, the latest sign of President Bashar Assad’s growing isolation.

Turkish PM says Syria on ‘knife edge’
Scores of people reported killed over the past 24 hours in one of the country’s bloodiest days of violence.

Eric Bruneau, “Kurdish Leader: We Oppose Foreign Intervention in Syria”
It is surprising to see that, while the rest of Syria is torn by violence, the Kurdish populated provinces remain quiet. “It’s a tactical choice,” say politicians from the Syrian Democratic Union Party, a Kurdish opposition party. “There is a de facto truce between the Kurds and the government. The security forces are overstretched over Syria’s Arab provinces to face demonstrators, and cannot afford the opening of a second front in Syrian Kurdistan. On our side, we need the army to stay away. Our party is busy establishing organizations, committees, able to take over from the Baath administration the moment the regime collapses,” said one PYD leader. To enforce this truce, their cells in Afrin and Kobane stopped some Kurdish activists from organizing demonstrations. They claim that all their efforts are about maintaining calm to avoid a bloodbath. . . . Syrian Kurdish leaders are skeptical about the Syrian opposition that met several times since the unrest started in Syria in March. The Kurds say the Arab parties do not recognize the rights of the Kurdish population of Syria. . . . Meanwhile, the Syrian Kurdish opposition is skeptical of Turkey’s intimate involvement with the Syrian Arab opposition. A high-ranking PYD leader said, “We want change. But it must come from the Syrians, and be for the Syrians. It must not come from any external power willing to make Syria a satellite state. The PYD so opposes any foreign intervention in Syria.”


Protesters storm Kuwaiti parliament 
Dozens of Kuwaitis demanding the prime minister’s resignation have briefly stormed parliamentary buildings as hundreds demonstrated outside. The protesters had earlier on Wednesday marched to Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah’s home to demand his resignation, an opposition MP said, but police used batons to prevent them. Al Jazeera’s Will Jordan reports.


Analysis: U.S. arms deal for Bahrain hinges on rights report (Reuters)
Reuters – The future of U.S. military support for Bahrain, starting with a $53 million arms deal now on the line, hinges on the findings of a human rights investigation into the Gulf kingdom’s handling of popular protests earlier this year.


Iraqi women ‘afraid for country’
Three women tell how their lives have changed in the new Iraq.


Did U.S. troops bring democracy? Iraqis have doubts (Reuters)
Reuters – Sitting in a barber shop in Baghdad’s Shi’ite Sadr City slum, three friends agreed after a long and hard argument that U.S. forces brought democracy to Iraq.


Sami Moubayed: Preparing for a Sunni Arab Spring in Baghdad
The uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and now Syria have undoubtedly awakened a Sunni appetite for change in Iraq. 


Saudi moral committee threatens to cover “tempting” women’s eyes
Women with sexy eyes in Saudi Arabia may be forced to cover them up, according to the spokesperson of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) in the conservative Gulf kingdom. Spokesman of the Ha’eal district, Sheikh Motlab al-Nabet said the committee has the right to stop a women whose eyes seem “tempting” and order her to cover them immediately.

Europe to Israel: Military strike on Iran nuclear program not an option
Iran and Israel are still issuing incendiary comments in response to the release of the Iran nuclear report. European leaders are pushing for harsher sanctions instead of a military strike. 


Powers close to deal on IAEA Iran resolution (Reuters)
Reuters – World powers look set to overcome their differences and agree on a U.N. atomic agency resolution aimed at putting diplomatic pressure on Iran to address mounting fears about its nuclear program, Western diplomats said on Wednesday.


Barak: I’d want nukes if I were Iranian
(Video) Defense minister tells PBS’ Charlie Rose should Iran obtain nuclear capabilities there would be no way to stop Saudi Arabia, Turkey or Egypt from following suit. ‘Israel allegedly has nukes,’ he says.

Yisrael HaYom, Israel’s bought and paid for (by Sheldon Adelson, to the tune of $3-million in losses monthly) propaganda sheet on behalf of Bibi Netanyahu, writes (Hebrew) that U.S. Republicans have been reassuring Israel that if the latter attacks Iran, the U.S. will stand behind it 100%.  The article claims that Congressional Republicans are attempting to “pre-empt” Obama administration opposition to such a strike with legislation that will obligate the government to stand behind Israel as it defends itself against the Iranian nuclear threat, up to, and including an Israeli attack.
Cult Killers of Iranian civilians & American officials are guests on Capitol Hill
The US overlooks the history of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq because they could be of service against Tehran. That would not be the first time: From assisting anti-Shah forces, through assisting Saddam Hussein against Tehran, the MEK’s history of cult-for-hire is rich!

Missile Blast Disrupted Research on New Iranian Weapon Designed to Counter Israel, Richard Silverstein
Earlier today, Iranian officials made two contradictory sets of statements about the blast at the missile base two days ago, which killed 17 IRG soldiers including the “father of the Iranian missile program.  Majlis speaker Lariani denied any Israeli involvement in the incident saying it was a “fiction” not even worth wasting time discussing
Analysis / Op-ed

Israeli-Palestinian jolt? Why some want to dismantle PA
Their UN membership bid failed. They don’t want to resume Israeli-Palestinian talks without a settlement freeze. Now some Palestinian officials have a new idea: dismantle the Palestinian Authority.


Israel blames Abbas for choosing Hamas over peace. Is he?
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed today to accelerate reconciliation with Hamas, a sworn enemy of Israel, with elections to be held in May.

Great interview of Israeli journalist Amira Hass by Jasmin Ramsey at Guernica. Read the whole piece for Hass’s analysis of Jewish Communists’ accommodation of Zionism. Guernica: How often do you go to Israel to visit family? Amira Hass: It’s not about [real] distances. The distance is psychological. It’s social. The distance is not in kilometers. I can go to Jerusalem, I have my privileges. That’s one thing you have to understand. When I lived in Gaza it was more difficult because of the closure policy, because of this restriction of movement so you had to be checked. But I have the privilege that I am not restricted. As a Jew and a journalist I have my privileges, and if one doesn’t work I use the other one. Israelis are not allowed to be in Palestinian cities. But I am allowed as a journalist. I never asked permission to live there. I just moved there. Now after seventeen years nobody can tell me it’s forbidden. I have privileges even in comparison to a Palestinian Israeli because Palestinian Israelis who live permanently in Ramallah risk their status, not as citizens but as residents. They might lose their social rights if they move to Ramallah. But I won’t, so I live with privileges. That notion is very difficult for me as a child who was raised in a left-wing family, a family of people who suffered discrimination as Jews abroad. The notion that I am so privileged is disgusting. But this is what it means to live in a white society. You are white, so you are privileged.

Dubious Charlie Rose asks Ehud Barak why not one state?, Philip Weiss

Last night, Charlie Rose asked Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak what would be so bad about a one-state solution. 34:00 or so. The dialogue (partial transcript below) is not in itself that remarkable, but it followed on Rose expressing great discomfort with the Gaza onslaught of 2008-2009– “was it the appropriate response in your judgment?” Barak came off as rigid and a bit high-handed. I sense Rose is reflecting growing establishment impatience with Israel’s actions, cf. David Remnick saying, “I can’t take the occupation any more.” 

A Whiff of Egyptian Freedom for Gaza, Eric Walberg
The ongoing Freedom Waves campaign to break the siege of Gaza hit the world headlines last week with the attempt by the Canadian Tahrir and the Irish Saoirse — Arab and Irish for freedom — to bring aid to Gazans directly. This time the boats left from Turkey, not Greece, where last June authorities refused to let the Freedom Flotilla depart. “Our efforts in Greece only fuelled our determination to challenge the imprisonment of the people of Gaza. We said we would continue to sail and so we are,” according to a Freedom Waves press statement.

In Saturday night’s Republican debate, Mitt Romney gave a defiant statement about Iran: he will stop it from getting nukes by any means, Obama won’t. Yesterday Obama sought to parry Romney, saying that he is taking no option off the table. Are we witnessing a primary between Romney and Obama right now, for the support of the Israel lobby?

Just When You Thought Hussein Ibish Couldnt Sink Any Lower

With his pretentious, not to mention disingenuous, erudition the “pragmatic”, peace-loving, peace-processing Hussein Ibish has become the intellectual godfather of the establishment Arabs in this country. We don’t expect the unreasonably reasonable “realist” to condemn the Zionist colonial project, call for the liberation of Palestine, or take any principled and moral stance against the usurping entity in Palestine.  Such language, of course, would fall outside the strictly defined parameters of acceptable public discourse in Washington and render him a shunned miscreant cast out with the rest of us “fanatics” and “extremists.”

Syrians continue to be victimized, not only in violent clashes with the Syrian military, but also by regional and international players with various agendas. Protests in Syria began on January 26, and a more inclusive uprising was set in motion on March 15. The initial demand was for serious political reforms, but this was eventually raised to a demand for full regime change, encompassing the unconditional departure of President Bashar al-Assad and his Ba’ath Party, which has ruled Syria for decades.


The election monitors gaffe, Max Ajl

First rule of solidarity: ask what the people under the gun want. They speak! “There is also the issue of substantial American debt that was accrued by an unjust dictatorial regime without the consent of the people, that still hangs over our head,” Ranya adds. “Working to help us get this debt dropped would be a powerful show of solidarity.” One thing Allesandrini notes, that is also worth highlighting, is the sheer politeness and the tone of camaraderie in the letter from Cairo to the comrades in Occupy Wall Street.

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Civilians in Gaza need medicine and surgical facilities. Who would disagree with that? Good news: Israel doesn’t stop medicines from entering Gaza. (See article below, paragraph 4) For those who want to make a donation through the UNRWA or the International Red Cross for the quickest possible delivery, the… Read more »

A holocaused lack of medicine? Maybe Adolf is burning in hell, but is somehow enjoying the suffering that followed him. He was after all a very evil man, but he is dead… We can not punish him. He WAS evil. The LIVING leaders of the world, that continue to let… Read more »