Al-Qasab demolished as hundreds of Israeli soldiers watch
ISM 15 Nov — This morning, on Tuesday 15th November, national day of Palestine, three houses in Al Qasab near Jericho were destroyed by the Israeli military. During the early morning, between two and three hundred Israeli soldiers entered Al Qasab with bulldozers and destroyed the houses. The village is in Area C; under full Israeli administrative and military control. The Fakhori family had some time to move some furniture and belongings outside before their house was destroyed as they were present when the Israeli military arrived. The two other families were absent and didn’t have the chance to salvage any possessions. They returned to find their homes reduced to rubble, with all their belongings inside.
No one in the village was informed of the reason for the demolition and no prior warning or legal order was delivered. One of houses was built just two years ago and the family had a permit to build from the Israeli administration.
Israeli forces demolish homes in Jericho
JERICHO (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished four homes west of Jericho in the central West Bank. Palestinian security officials said over 30 army vehicles and 100 soldiers deployed in the Ein al-Duyuk al-Tahta area early Tuesday morning and declared a closed military zone, before bulldozers started demolishing homes. Families did not have a chance to remove their furniture and belongings, security officials added. Majed al-Atawneh said Israeli civil administration officers ordered him to leave his home but he refused and sat on the roof with his family. He told Ma’an he preferred that the army demolished his home “over his head” than to become homeless.
Israeli municipality demolishes Palestinian house in Galilee
BASMA TABON (WAFA) 16 Nov — Bulldozers of the Israeli Ministry of Interior, under police protection, Wednesday at dawn demolished a Palestinian home in the village of Basma Tabon in Galilee, claiming it was built without permit, according to head of the village council Mohammad Yaseen. He condemned, in a press release, the demolition of the house and announced a general strike on Thursday in the village. Yaseen said there are dozens of houses threatened with demolition in the village, due to the Israeli authorities’ refusal to issue any new building permits.
Destroying Palestinian solar plant / Stuart Reigeluth
PC 15 Nov — With international attention focusing on the Palestinian UN bid, the prisoner swap and the absurd US response to UNESCO accepting Palestine, a much smaller event but no less revealing has been largely overlooked: Israel wants to destroy a Spanish-sponsored solar power plant in the West Bank. The solar plant is not particularly big — as far as solar plants go. This is nothing compared to China’s massive solar farms, but it does provide electricity for 40 Palestinian families, a school and a medical centre in a town called Emnaizel, south of Hebron in the West Bank.
West Bank solar panels risk demolition
AFP 16 Nov — Clouds of uncertainty hung over this tiny Palestinian village on Wednesday, as locals waited to see if the Israeli army would call off its demolition of the community’s solar panels. It was two years ago that Spanish NGO SEBA joined forces with Nablus’s Al-Najah University and installed two solar panels in the community, at the southernmost tip of the West Bank, replacing the gasoline generators that the village had been using as its only source of power. Since then, the 34 families living in Imneizil have sped into the 21st century, stocking their homes with appliances and rigging up light bulbs inside their tents and small makeshift homes. The panels also provide power for the local water pump, as the village is not connected to a water pipeline. But last month, the army, which controls civilian affairs in Area C where the village is located, issued a demolition order for the panels and a nearby control structure, saying they were built without a permit.
Land theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Palestinian culture in danger
Palestinian family stripped [of] Jerusalem residency rights
IMEMC 16 Nov — The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) reported that the Israeli Authorities stripped the residency rights of Ammar Khaled Badriyya, and his family, living in Al Matar neighborhood, in Qalandia, in occupied East Jerusalem. Badriyya lives in the neighborhood with his wife and three children. In March 2009 Israel suspended Social Security Services to the resident and his family, and claimed that they “do not live in Jerusalem.” In addition they demanded he pay a one million Israeli Shekels for “payments and services provided by the Social Security Administration to him and his family over the past 10 years.” He told the JCSER that he provided the authorities with all documentation proving that he lives within the boundaries of the Jerusalem Municipality, and even provided them official maps of Jerusalem drawn by Israel after it occupied its eastern side in 1967.
Israeli municipality seizes land in Silwan
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 16 Nov – The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem Thursday seized a piece of land belonging to a Palestinian Orthodox Monastery in the neighborhood of Al-Thawri, west of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, according to a press release by the committee for the defense of Silwan. The release said the Israeli municipality seized the 850 square meter piece of land in order to turn it into a Talmudic garden and a parking lot. It added that the Israeli municipality refused a request, submitted by a Palestinian school located near the land, to annex it to the school property in order to build extra classrooms and end the shortage in schoolrooms … To be noted, Israeli authorities’ measures in Silwan aim to remove the entire neighborhood after demolishing its 88 houses and displacing about 1600 Palestinian residents.
Israel offering bids on settlement construction in the West Bank
IMEMC 16 Nov — Israeli Housing Minister, Ariel Atias, of the Shas fundamentalist party, stated on Tuesday that Israel will advertise bids for the construction of hundreds of Jewish settlements units in the occupied West Bank. Atias stated that his ministry will market a total of nearly two thousand units in settlements across the West Bank. The Arabs48 news website reported that Atias decided to speed-up four settlement construction plans; one in occupied East Jerusalem, and three in the West Bank settlements of Ma’ale Adumim, Efrat and Har Adar.
Religious Zionism in Jaffa / Sophie Crowe
PM 15 Nov — In the heart of Ajami, the sole remnant of Jaffa’s Palestinian identity and culture, sits a hesder yeshiva, so called for its special blend of torah study and military preparation. The institution was established three years ago by the Garin Torani, a countrywide religious Zionist organization. The Jaffa branch includes about 50 families. Ostensibly the group exists to provide support for disadvantaged Jewish families. This is one of the faces the Garin Torani shows to the world. Another, their proliferation in mixed cities, is less innocuous. Judaization, which demands segregation between Jews and Palestinians, is an important part of the Garin Torani ideology. From this perspective, Jaffa, home to 20,000 Palestinians (alongside 40,000 Jews), is an internal frontier waiting to be settled. Sami Abu Shehada, Palestinian community activist and municipal member in Jaffa, muses on the agenda behind positioning the yeshiva in Ajami.
Israel’s shameful attack on Arabic must be stopped / Moshe Arens
Haaretz 15 Nov — Why demonstrate lack of respect for Arab citizens at a time when the most important challenge facing Israel is to integrate its Arab citizens into Israeli society?
Israeli right-wing activist: Rabbi Kahane is sitting in heaven and smiling
Haaretz 16 Nov — At a memorial, the jubilant mood showed the Kach party, banned from Knesset 23 years ago and outlawed for 17, is no longer on the margins .Once, his followers were a marginal bunch. But today – 23 years after his Kach party was banned from running for Knesset and 17 years after it was outlawed altogether – they are a huge crowd, including many seemingly normative young people. “Many people ask why we’re still doing this in such a small hall,” the emcee told the packed room. “But this is the only hall in Jerusalem that doesn’t employ Arabs. It deserves this honor.” … One of those present leafed through a book about Baruch Goldstein, who murdered 29 Arabs at Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994 [and therefore set off the suicide bombings five weeks later]. “That’s ‘Baruch Hagever [‘The Blessed Man’]’; you aren’t familiar with it?” the salesman asked. “You have to buy it. It’s a classic.” …
Activism, including Freedom Ride
Abbas says everyone should participate in popular resistance
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 16 Nov – President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday urged Palestinians from all ranks to take active part in the popular resistance, stressing that it should not be left for some people and international activists only. “I call for the widest participation in the popular resistance,” he said, addressing a special memorial held to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat. “Everyone, rank and file, should join this resistance to show the world that resistance is our right and to prove that Israel is the aggressor,” he said, explaining that the Palestinians will not allow fanatics in Israel to draw them into violent confrontations.
Palestinians embark on civil disobedience protests against demographic segregation / Amira Hass
16 Nov — ‘We have the right to reach Jerusalem. Why doesn’t a settler need an entry permit? We do not obey apartheid rules. We’re Palestinian, and this is Palestine,’ protesters insisted.
US protesters stand in solidarity with Palestinian Freedom Riders / Adam Horowitz
Mondo 16 Nov — You can download an mp3 of the song featured in the video here. Also, here are some photos from a New York City protest organized by Adalah-NY, Brooklyn For Peace, CODEPINK NYC, Jewish Voice for Peace—NYC, Jews Say No!, and WESPAC in solidarity with the Freedom Ride:
Let history note, on the day of the initial Palestinian Freedom Ride, NYT published story on Israeli ‘need to hit Gaza” / Philip Weiss
16 Nov — Just got my New York Times from the driveway and slid it out of its sleek blue bag. Can’t find a word about the Freedom Rides in Palestine yesterday. But this is on Page 8. Shocking: Israeli Army May Need to Hit Gaza, General Says By ISABEL KERSHNER
And this was the Associated Press story on the Freedom Rides yesterday. Not a word about Freedom Rides until the 7th paragraph. I am told that AP did better later in the afternoon. But this piece referred repeatedly to “travel restrictions” and said they were an answer to Israeli security concerns … And segregation is dealt with in euphemism:
one more-or-less mainstream American newspaper on the Freedom Ride (but then who reads newspapers anymore anyway? Anyone see anything on CNN? Me either.):
Palestinian freedom riders board Israeli buses in protest
Christian Science Monitor 15 Nov — Drawing what they say are parallels between Israeli policies in the West Bank and the laws in the Jim Crow American South, Palestinian activists emulating the ‘freedom riders’ of 1961 attempted to ride into Jerusalem on an Israeli bus today … “Under Israeli law we are forbidden to visit Jerusalem. It’s a racist law like the Jim Crow laws and the apartheid laws in South Africa,” says Bassal Araj, a 27-year-old pharmacist whose family is originally from a small village near Jerusalem. “We want to show the world that this is not a country of democracy. It is a country of apartheid and injustice.”
And we mustn’t mention ‘Freedom Rides’ on TV lest we cause Americans to make a connection between injustice in the US and the same in Palestine/Israel:
Palestinian activists locked in bus standoff
HIZMA CHECKPOINT, West Bank (Fox News) 15 Nov — Five Palestinian activists are locked in a standoff with Israeli soldiers after trying to enter Jerusalem on an Israeli bus. The activists, joined by dozens of reporters, boarded the bus Tuesday in the West Bank for a half-hour ride to Jerusalem. When they reached the outskirts, Israeli soldiers stopped them because they did not have permits to enter Jerusalem. The activists refused to get off the bus. Activist Nadin Sharabit says he wanted to draw attention to Israeli travel restrictions in the West Bank. He says Jewish settlers move in and out of Jerusalem, but Palestinians cannot. Israel has restricted Palestinian access to Jerusalem since a Palestinian uprising that started in 2000, with several bloody suicide bombings in the city. The Palestinians claim Israeli-controlled east Jerusalem as their capital.
Freedom Riders: I witnessed six Palestinian activists demand freedom
ISM 16 Nov — Yesterday I witnessed six Palestinian activists demand freedom, justice and dignity as they defied Israel’s apartheid policies when the group successfully boarded settler-only buses and attempted to enter East Jerusalem, where they were eventually brutally dragged off and arrested by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF). At the press conference and in the lead up to the event, the activists described how they had taken inspiration from the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and the heroic actions of Rosa Parks … However, it must be recognised that the formation and continued policies of Israel’s apartheid state have far superseded the actions of both the Jim Crow South in the U.S. and the white supremacists in South Africa … Unlike in the American South of the 60s, you will not see signs around the settlements or at the checkpoints stating “No Palestinians here” – Israel manages its PR machine far too well for such overtly racist statements to be witnessed by the other ‘democratic’ countries which fund its existence. Similarly, Palestinians are technically allowed to ride ‘settler-only’ buses and drive on ‘settler-only’ roads, something repeated by the Israeli media and the settlers who came off the buses yesterday. But the segregation, inequality and the denial of Palestinian’s rights to enter their own land is implemented in a far more covert way by Israel.
Independence Day in the Buffer Zone
ISM Gaza 16 Nov by Nathan Stuckey– Twenty-three years ago today the Palestinian declaration of independence was released. Written by Mahmoud Darwish, and unveiled to the world by Yasser Arafat in Algiers where he was living in exile like millions of other Palestinians. Today, in Beit Hanoun, we, the Local Committee of Beit Hanoun, the International Solidarity Movement, and local citizens of Beit Hanoun marched into the no go zone just as we have done every Tuesday for the last three years … We marched into the no go zone, this area of life transformed into a place of death. The scarred earth that so little is allowed to live in, ripped up every couple of months by IDF bulldozers. Beyond our flag is giant concrete fence lined with towers full of guns. Above us a giant white balloon to watch our every move. Demonstrations in Gaza are not met my soldiers with batons, or tear gas, or even rubber bullets, they are met with live fire, sometimes with tank shells.
Meanwhile in Gaza / Radhika S.
ISM Gaza 15 Nov — I awoke today with the news that the NYPD was clearing out Occupy Wall Street and that Israeli tanks were shelling ‘northern Gaza’. In the West Bank, Palestinian Freedom Riders, inspired by the US freedom riders of the 1960s, were getting ready to board segregated buses to occupied East Jerusalem. Here in Gaza, we head to Beit Hanoun for their weekly nonviolent protest in the buffer zone. For three years, Palestinians in the north have been marching into the barren, no-man’s land which encircles the inside of the narrow strip like a slowly-tightening noose … About two dozen people waving Palestinian flags marched down the dusty path towards the buffer zone. The landscape reminded me of home, of California, with its thorny tumbleweeds and cactus. It was hard to believe that only ten years ago fruit orchards and olive trees filled this area. But Israel had bulldozed it all, claiming it needed 300 kilometers of Gaza’s most fertile land, but in reality taking more.
2 injured in Gaza airstrikes
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 16 Nov — Israeli airstrikes injured two people in Gaza City early Wednesday, a Ma‘an reporter said. Israeli F16 jets fired at least one missile in the Tuffah neighborhood, lightly injuring one woman who was taken to Shifa Hospital. Several homes were also damaged in the strike, a Ma‘an correspondent reported. Meanwhile an Israel warplane struck a group of militants west of Gaza City. Medics said one man suffered light wounds in the attack. Shortly after the strike, a rocket was fired from an open area in western Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip but the projectile failed to explode.
The Israeli army said in a statement that its air force targeted “a terror tunnel and a terror activity site” in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. Earlier, an Israeli military spokeswoman said two rockets were fired into southern Israel. The projectiles caused no injuries but the official said locals were treated for anxiety. France reminded Israel of the need to avoid civilian harm after a French diplomat and his family were injured by an Israeli airstrike on Sunday.
France summons Israeli envoy over Gaza attack
Al Jazeera 16 Nov — France has summoned the Israeli ambassador to Paris to a meeting at the foreign ministry after an air strike wounded the French consul in Gaza, along with his wife and daughter. A spokesman for the ministry said on Wednesday that France’s ambassador in Tel Aviv had complained to Israeli authorities over the bombing, and that Israel’s envoy had been required to meet with senior officials in Paris. The consul, his wife and 13-year-old daughter were injured during an Israeli air strike on Sunday night, Bernard Valero, the French foreign ministry spokesman, said on Tuesday. Valero told reporters that the three were were hit by shrapnel at their residence in Gaza, which is located 200 metres from the site of an Israeli missile attack. “France condemns the consequences of the raid,” he said. “While we are all for Israeli security, France recalls the utmost necessity to avoid civilian harm,” Valero added. Though Valero did not comment on the nature of their injuries, French media reported that Majda Shaqqoura, the consul’s wife, suffered a haemorrhage and miscarried. The raid, which also killed one Palestinian policeman and wounded four others, is likely to strain already difficult relations between France and Israel.
Army chief warns of ‘aggressive action’ in Gaza
JERUSALEM (AFP) 16 Nov — Repeated rocket fire from Gaza will push Israel into taking “aggressive” action in the Gaza Strip,” the Israeli chief of staff warned MPs on Tuesday. “One round after another; we shall in the end need to move to broader, more aggressive action in the Gaza Strip,” Benny Gantz was quoted by a parliamentary official as telling the committee on foreign affairs and defense … Low-level unrest has rumbled on in and around Gaza over the last two weeks but it has not deteriorated into all-out fighting as it did on October 29-30 when violence left 12 Palestinian militants and an Israeli civilian dead. Militant groups say they are observing an Egyptian-brokered truce agreement, but during the last two weeks rockets have still landed in southern Israel and the army has responded with air strikes, which have killed five Palestinians and injured at least 13. “Every few months, we have to go back for another round of fighting” to stamp out rocket fire, Gantz later told reporters at a briefing.
VIDEO: Gaza lives on — a film by Ashraf Mashharawi
Al Jazeera World 16 Nov — “The more Israel thinks about wiping out our people and taking our land, the more we are determined to survive. Thank God we are still living. Some people ask how we can survive under this siege. Thank God, here we are.” — Abu Anwar, corn seller … Sharif Sarhan is a photographer from Gaza who works with several news agencies and international organisations. He is amazed by the Gazans’ strength and determination to live their lives and rebuild their city despite the siege and destruction. “You can always find life and hope in Gaza,” he says. “Amid this devastation, you can see that people still want to live.”
Israel to allow some raw materials into Gaza.
MEMO 16 Nov — EXCLUSIVE PICTURES Workers from some factories in Gaza have expressed their joy at being able to return to work after the Israeli occupation allowed the entry of certain raw materials into the Strip. Materials being allowed in include granite used in kitchen and bathroom fitting as well as decoratively in homes, hotels and restaurants. The owner of one of the factories that will benefit from this step forward is Abu Mohammad whose business has suffered hugely from the severe lack of raw materials in Gaza resulting from Israeli restrictions on their entry. Over the years, the situation has become so dire that Abu Mohammad was forced to lay off a significant portion of his work force. However, today’s news marks an anticipated improvement in the situation and the return of many of the factory’s former employees
IOF troops storm southern Nablus village, arrest old men in Al-Khalil
NABLUS (PIC) 16 Nov – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Madma village, south of Nablus, and Yatta village, south of Al-Khalil, at dawn Wednesday and detained an old man in the latter. Local sources said that more than 50 IOF soldiers stormed Madma and searched 20 homes in the village before dawn and confiscated two personal computers and three mobile phones but did not make any arrests. In Yatta, the soldiers detained a 60-year-old man in Karmal area. IOF soldiers stormed two other villages in Al-Khalil and searched cars.
Nine Palestinian residents kidnapped by Israeli army in West Bank
IMEMC 15 Nov — The Israeli army arrested nine Palestinian residents from different districts in the West Bank, the Palestine News & Info Agency reported on Tuesday. Local Palestinian sources stated that the Israeli military has invaded al-A’rrob refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Hebron, and broke into several houses … Head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society said that the army had arrested Rashad Karraja, an ex-detainee’s uncle who was freed within the prisoner-swap deal last month. He was called for interrogation two days ago. He added that large Israeli military forces have invaded Safa village, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Tuesday at dawn. The forces broke into and searched Qrraja’s house….
Girl detained: Israel escalates pressure at Hebron checkpoints
ISM 13 Nov by Emma Evertsson — On November 12 a young teenage girl was being detained at the main checkpoint in Hebron. When internationals were notified she had been detained for more than an hour without any obvious reason. The girl was on her way home with a friend when she passed the checkpoint and soldiers refused to hand her back her ID. When activists from the International Solidarity Movement got to the checkpoint, the two soldiers in question refused to give any further information or explanation. As a crowd of people was gathering one of the two soldiers said that he had a bad headache and that the people were driving him “crazy.”
IOA blocks entry of 82-year-old liberated prisoner into West Bank for 11 years
RAMALLAH (PIC) 16 Nov – An 82-year-old Palestinian who was recently released from Israeli jails in the prisoners’ exchange deal with Hamas was ordered not to enter the West Bank for 11 years. Israeli policemen went to Sami Younis’s home in Ar’ara village in the Triangle area, occupied since 1948, on Tuesday and told him he must visit the police station, which he did and was handed an order not to enter the West Bank for 11 years. The police also told the elderly man that he must desist from participating in any political activity or else he would be arrested. Younis was detained on his return from a ceremony to honor liberated prisoners in Deir Abu Mishaal village last Thursday and was released after a few hours. Meanwhile, the former two oldest serving prisoners Fakhri and Nael Al-Barghouthi said that the Israeli summons and interrogation of them was meant to humiliate them. Fakhri, who spent 34 years in Israeli detention, said that the Israeli intelligence tried to recruit him but he categorically refused to betray his own people.
Israel arrests 4 men accused of attacks
JERUSALEM (AFP) 16 Nov — Israeli forces have arrested four Palestinians accused of attacks against Israelis, including shooting at an army patrol, Israel’s domestic security agency Shin Bet said in a statement on Wednesday. The statement said the men, aged between 18 and 22, were suspected of throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles and opening fire on an army vehicle on patrol in the Bethlehem region. No one was injured in the incidents, the statement said, adding that the four were also suspected of planning attacks against Jewish settlers in the area.
Eilat attack in August and Israeli response by bombing Gaza
Egypt arrests another suspected Islamist operative
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 15 Nov — Egyptian security forces have detained a member of a militant Islamist group in the Sinai, bringing to five the number of arrests since the group’s alleged leader was caught Sunday. Walid Suleiman Mousa, 38, from the town of el-Arish, was arrested on his way back from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia … Al-Teehi is accused of planning an attack in southern Israel in August which killed eight Israelis, as well as a number of attacks in the Sinai Desert, a Ma’an correspondent reported earlier. Israel blamed the attack in Eilat on the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees and struck southern Gaza within hours killing five PRC militants and a two-year-old child. The strike sparked four days of intense cross border violence that killed 15 Palestinians and wounded dozens more.
IDF brass admits: We mishandled Egypt border attack
Haaretz 16 Nov — Talking at Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the head of the IDF’s operations directorate called decision to close Route 12 a failure recognized only after the fact. [But do they admit they punished the wrong group of people for it? No.]
Israeli racism / discrimination
IDF apologizes to Druze recruits for referring only to security of “Jewish people”
Haaretz 16 Nov — ‘Guide to those being recruited to the security forces’ sent to homes of teens reaching age of military service booklet causes dissatisfaction in Druze community.
Official: Abbas, Hamas leader to meet on November 25
RAMALLAH (AFP) 16 Nov — President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal will meet in Cairo on Nov. 25, a day later than originally announced, for new reconciliation talks, a senior official told AFP on Tuesday. Ahead of the meeting, the PLO, the umbrella group dominated by Abbas’ Fatah party and of which Hamas is not a member, said reconciliation efforts should be sped up.
Dweik: Mishaal-Abbas meeting last chance for reconciliation
AL-KHALIL (PIC) 16 Nov — Speaker of the Palestinian legislative council Dr. Aziz Dweik has said that the meeting between Hamas leader Khaled Mishaal and PA chief and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is the last opportunity for reconciliation. He told Quds Press on Wednesday that the meeting would be dedicated to signing a paper for implementing the Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement, describing it as a step to break the ice between the two parties. Dweik advocated adequate preparations to prepare the atmosphere before the meeting, adding that the ongoing Fatah-controlled Ramallah authority’s detention streak in lines of Hamas supporters in the West Bank was an attempt by certain quarters within that authority to foil the Abbas-Mishaal meeting.
link to Palestinian Information Center
Palestinian official: Rival Fatah and Hamas movements agree to hold elections next May
RAMALLAH (AP) 15 Nov — The rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed to hold elections next May, a senior official said Tuesday, in what would be a major step toward ending a four-year rift. Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior Fatah negotiator, said the sides agreed on the election plan in secret talks and are expected to formally approve it later this month. The plan calls for the establishment of a caretaker government to prepare for the vote — most likely without current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Dismissing Fayyad would be a huge gamble. The U.S.-educated economist is widely respected in the West and is key to ensuring the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars of international aid. Hamas objects to Fayyad’s participation in a caretaker government, claiming he is a pawn of the West.
Fatah: Fayyad remains candidate for PM of Palestinian unity government
Haaretz 16 Nov — Fatah parliament member Faisal Abu Shala says that the PM issue will be decided during the Abbas-Meshal meeting in Cairo next Friday.
The Palestinians’ new weapon / Gwynne Dyer
Occ. Palestine 16 Nov — U.S. law could force America out of international agencies, and into isolation – The Palestinians have finally come up with a strategy that may produce some results. But only by accident, so to speak. They were fed up with 19 years of “direct negotiations” with Israel that never made any progress toward a final peace settlement, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas badly needed some small victory to prop up his failing popularity. So he decided to seek international recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state. He knows very well that the Palestinians cannot get full membership in the United Nations, because the United States has promised to veto that. But membership in the various UN agencies like the World Bank and the World Health Organization is not subject to a veto, and each organization they join would move Palestine a tiny step closer to real statehood … Washington had no choice: it is obliged by a 1990 U.S. law to cut funding to any organization that recognizes the Palestine Liberation Organization. But this law, which the Palestinians were barely aware of when they adopted their current strategy, presents them with an extraordinary opportunity.
Palestinians will keep knocking on UN’s doort
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) -15 Nov — The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Tuesday endorsed a decision by President Mahmoud Abbas to request a United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution recognizing a Palestinian state, even though it is destined to fail. The endorsement came at a meeting in Ramallah of the PLO executive committee, the highest Palestinian authority, which set aside the alternative of asking the U.N. General Assembly to upgrade Palestine’s U.N. status short of full membership. It did not say when a Council vote would be requested.
Israel, Arab nations to attend rare round of nuclear talks next week
Reuters 16 Nov — Iran has yet to say whether it will take part in the meeting to be hosted by the IAEA in Vienna; meeting seen as symbolically significant in bringing together regional fores at the same venue to start a dialogue.
Kenya requests military aid from Israel to face young Islamists
MEMO 16 Nov — Reports on Hebrew radio claim that Kenya has requested military and security assistance from the Israeli government to deal with a “radical Islamic youth militia”. Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga apparently made the request to Israel’s President Shimon Peres during their meeting in Jerusalem on Wednesday. The request was confirmed in an official statement issued in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.
Analysis / Opinion
The burial of civil society bill / Zvi Bar’el
Haaretz 16 Nov — Informers must be defined as traitors, perhaps even as supporters of terror, and they must be placed outside the fence. Let’s start with the non-profits … No Israeli non-profit causes any country that contributes to it to intervene in the affairs of Israel more than does the government of Israel itself. American students or British consumers do not need Israeli non-profits to encourage them to eject Israeli representatives or boycott Israeli goods; the government of Israel does an outstanding job of this on its own … Even more astonishing is the MKs’ fear of foreign intervention. After all, it is hard to find a government that shows contempt for the demands of the international community more than does the current Israeli government. From what exactly are Ilatov and the other sponsors of the bill afraid? That Germany or Finland will smuggle a bulldozer through an Israeli non-profit and use it to uproot an illegal outpost?
Haaretz editorial: Netanyahu’s Likud set to limit Israel’s freedom of the press
15 Nov — Over the last few years, Channel 10 has published several investigative reports on Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, so it’s only natural that the prime minister would take a jaundiced view of the station. At the request of several lawmakers, the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee is due tomorrow to hold a revote on Channel 10 television’s request to defer payment of its debt to the state by one year. The debt in question comprises royalty payments and licensing fees, and the channel’s management has made it clear that failure to postpone the payment will lead to the closure of the station.
Netanyahu is less of a liar than past Israeli PMs / Amira Hass
Haaretz 16 Nov — Merkel, Sarkozy and Obama do not believe Netanyahu, but it seems that they and their governments are pissed off at him because he’s not as good a liar as his predecessors in the Prime Minister’s Office.
The real cost of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians / Amira Hass
Haaretz 16 Nov — The Israeli occupation is exacting a high price on the Palestinian economy, according to a report by the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy and the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem – which puts the damage at $6.9 billion a year – what it calls a conservative estimate. The figure is about 85% of the Palestinian GDP for 2010, $8.124 billion. The calculation includes the suspension of economic activity in the Gaza Strip because of Israel’s blockade, the prevention of income from the natural resources Israel is exploiting because of its direct control over most of the territory and the additional costs for the Palestinian expenses due to restrictions on movement, use of land and production imposed by Israel.
From Israel to Essex: Travellers not welcome
Al Jazeera In Depth 14 Nov — Travel anywhere in the Middle East, and you are likely to be greeted with the words: Ahlan wa sahlan wa marhaban. Literally translated, the phrase means “Welcome to this flat piece of ground”, a throwback to a time when Arab culture was traditionally more nomadic in nature, and visitors may have had a long, perilous journey before reaching friends on the plain. But the romantic image of the wandering traveller is a far cry from the daily reality experienced by travelling communities. From east to west, theirs is a life more often filled with discrimination, violence and oppression carried out by state authorities attempting to force them to conform with the urban lifestyle. “It was an experience I’ll never forget; police attacking people, beating people, Tasering people,” said Pearl, a member of the Dale Farm community. She is one of a group of more than 200 Irish Travellers who were forced from their own land near Basildon in Essex, south east England, in a series of violent evictions reported to have cost up to £18m ($29m). The isolation of their community, established in the 1970s, has eerie parallels with the experiences of the Bedouin residents of the Negev, who have faced frequent threats from Israeli state officials since that country’s founding – with “unrecognised” villages denied infrastructure services and occasionally simply bulldozed.