Archive | July, 2010

ZIO=NAZI BOMBS GAZA

NOVANEWS

bombs rock Gaza

Yesterday evening, an attack rocked Gaza City, in “reprisal” for a tin-foil Kassam that landed in Ashkelon, causing no injuries. The New York Times hasn’t reported this attack–or rather, the New York Times is refusing to report this attack, since they were sent a press release about it, in line with well-documented racist double standards. 17 Palestinian injured, three seriously.
 
My friends Adie and Tilde were thankfully on the scene, providing the reports and photographs below. (Police stations are civilian targets according to international law.) This report is pasted from Adie’s blog, Out of Gaza, providing ongoing documentation for the 20XX Gaza City Truth and Justice Commission. Please check out his blog for updates on the situation on-the-ground in Gaza. 30th July 2010
One of the victims of the huge bomb dropped on Gaza City

Major bomb attack in central Gaza City

At around 11:30pm Friday night, ‘The Arafat Compound’ Police College was bombed by Israeli F-16s, in the area of ‘Al Montada’ injuring 17 people, 3 seriously. 3 children were also among the injured. We felt the enormous impact of the bomb in a nearby café, the massive explosion shaking buildings and smashing windows.

The edge of the scene later in the night from where the bomb had struc

The power of the bomb was described by a Gazan resident as a rocket of over a ton in weight, the likes of which had not been seen frequently since the horrific three week bombing over the new year of 2009. As well as reports of other bombings near the Gaza City port there were also rocket attacks on Deir el Belah and Rafah.

Those first at the scene described building debris and burned out cars, one man had been severely injured to the eyes and head by shrapnel from the bomb.

When we arrived at Shifa hospital there were scenes of chaos as loved ones were not allowed inside to visit while the patients were being treated, intermittently more of the injured arrived amidst a flood of waiting media. Others had arrived at the hospital with psychological trauma caused by the enormous impact of the bomb, some were confused such that they couldn’t describe whether they had an injury or not. Many had been reminded of the attacks during operation Cast Lead when 300 F-16 bomb attacks took place during the first 2 minutes of the campaign, the operations sent terror through the Gaza Strip and killed over 1400 people, including over 400 children. 

Another injured man is brought from an arriving ambulance at Al-Shifa Hospital

 

Israel’s  attack late Friday night followed a rocket that landed in Askelon, Southern Israel that caused no injuries, suspected of being fired by small militant factions in Gaza.

Technorati Tags: Adie Mormech, Gaza, ISM, Israel, Out of Gaza, Palestine, Tilde de Wandel, ZionismRelated posts:

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Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on ZIO=NAZI BOMBS GAZA

WATCH THE MONEY-GO-ROUND

NOVANEWS

July 31, 2010

Here’s a little chunk of a Robert Fisk article from today’s Independent:

an extraordinary – almost obscenely beautiful – financial arrangement in “Palestine”. The EU funds millions of pounds’ worth of projects in Gaza. These are regularly destroyed by Israel’s American-made weaponry. So it goes like this. European taxpayers fork out for the projects. US taxpayers fork out for the weapons which Israel uses to destroy them. Then EU taxpayers fork out for the whole lot to be rebuilt. And then US taxpayers… Well, you’ve got the point.

That’s just by the by. The article is titled Israel has crept into the EU without anyone noticing.

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on WATCH THE MONEY-GO-ROUND

DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

  NOVANEWS

Dear Friends,

The 5 items below are brief, for a change, but show a face of Israel that is anything but pretty.  Of course, for those who hide their heads in the sand, who do not wish to know, it is entirely possible to ignore events and ideas as those below.  And obviously, the fact that one Rabbi and followers believe it ok to kill non-Jews (including children) does not necessarily represent all Israeli Jews. 

But the atmosphere here is bleak, and it’s time that Jews in particular, and the world in general, woke up to the fact that for all its advances in science and the arts, Israel is not a nice place.  It might not be worse than the United States and many other countries that committed atrocious crimes against humanity.  But it is not better.  And in any event, that is no comfort.

The initial item below is about the rabbi condoning murder (he apparently never heard the Golden Rule).  The 2nd item informs us that Israel’s KKK, Baruch Marzel and friends, will once again be allowed to demonstrate in the Palestinian community (in Israel) of Um al-Fahm.  Item number 3 relates that the state refuses to pay the medical bills of a young woman who lost her eye thanks to a canister shot by a soldier, and that hit her face.  Well, the state never wants to pay—not for Rachel Corrie (who, the State claimed killed herself), not for Tom Hurndall, not for Tristan Anderson (who has years of physical therapy to look forward to) and now not for Emily Henochowicz. 

Item 4 informs us that work on the separation barrier has picked up a pace, and that consequently soon the village of Wallajeh will be cut off from its lands and will be surrounded on 3 sides by this barrier.  Most Israelis who cite Robert Frost’s poem on mending walls like to quote the line ““Good fences make good neighbours,” without reading the whole of the poem and realizing that the narrator disagrees with his neighbor (who stated that good fences make. . .).  The narrator in fact counters the neighbor, stating, 

“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That wants it down.” . . . 

And indeed, ‘something there is that doesn’t love a wall’ and just as other walls have fallen, so will this one.  But till that happens, Palestinians will suffer.  And it is not unlikely that Israeli Jews will, too, eventually.  One cannot forever enslave a people and expect it to remain docile.

The final item reveals that Israel is afraid of its past.  Is it because it does not want Israeli youth to know the truth?

What a country.  What a pity.  And this is even without adding yet another depiction about the tragic destruction of an entire village yesterday.

Dorothy

—————————————

1. Haaretz Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book condoning murder has another rabbi in hot water

Head of yeshiva in West Bank settlement of Yitzhar detained by police over book permitting murder of non-Jews who threaten Israel.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/book-condoning-murder-has-another-rabbi-in-hot-water-1.304836

By Chaim Levinson

The police’s Unit of International Crime Investigations on Thursday detained rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, the president of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar in connection to a book that condoned the killing of non-Jews.

Ginsburg was detained for questioning days after the alleged author of the book, rabbi Yitzhak Shapira was arrested for inciting to violence. Shapira is also a rabbi at the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva.

The book, named “The King’s Torah,” deems the killing of non-Jews who threaten Israel as legal. “It is permissible to kill the Righteous among Nations even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation,” the book says, adding: “If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments – because we care about the commandments – there is nothing wrong with the murder.”

Ginsburg, who recommended the book to his students, is a follower of Chabad. He has faced prosecution in the past for incitement to racism after having published a book insisting that there is no place for Arabs in the state of Israel. The charges were dropped after Ginsburg issued a clarification letter.

Ginsburg is a well known radical in his views on Israel’s Arab public. The police declined to comment on the ongoing investigation against him.

The Od Yosef Chai yeshiva issued a letter on Thursday condemning the police, saying that in any other enlightened country it would be inconceivable to question such an admirable man as rabbi Ginsburg. 

This story is by:

 Chaim Levinson

========================

2.  [Buruch Marzel’s complaint below that rightists deserve the same priviledges as Arabs and leftists ignores the facts—that Arabs and leftists in Sheikh Jarrah, in Bil’in, and in dozens of other villages and areas experience soldiers firing tear gas, live bullets, rubber bullets, stink water, and other pleasant means, not to mention beatings and frequent detentions.  And when leftists go to defend Bedouins or Palestinians in the South Hebron hills, or try to prevent demolitions they are likely to find themselves in jail.  As for Arabs who demonstrate, the conditions are much worse.  Yes, Baruch Marzel should be treated as Arabs and Leftists are! Indeed he should be.

Dorothy]

==============

Ynet Thursday. July 29, 2010  

 07.29.10

    Deal reached: Rightists to protest in Arab town

Rightists, officials reach compromise; Marzel clashes with judge: We deserve same rights as leftists

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3926961,00.html

Aviad Glickman

Rightist activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir have received permission to demonstrate in Umm al-Fahm but not outside the city’s Islamic Movement offices, following a compromise with the State Prosecutor’s Office. 

According to the agreement, the activists will be allowed to protest in Umm al-Fahm’s northern entrance.

A harsh verbal exchange between Marzel and Supreme Court Judge Asher Grunis took place before the compromise was reached.

“We are citizens and we deserve the same right as leftists – whose views may be closer to yours . I shouldn’t have to take my yarmulke off when I come in here to get the same rights. What Arabs and leftists deserve, we deserve too,” Marzel said.

Judge Grunis replied: “If you keep this up, we’ll throw you out of here. You should learn to behave like your friend (Ben-Gvir).”

Marzel answered: “I always get that,” to which Grunis replied: “It must be right.”

‘Important step.

Ben-Gvir said the compromise was an important step: “The High Court has made it clear to the police that we have a right to protest against Raed Salah and his Marmara-supporting friends. I hope that eventually the High Court will allow us to demonstrate outside Salah’s private residence and be awarded the rights given to Arabs and leftists.”

Marzel and Ben-Gvir in court (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

Ben-Gvir, Marzel and MK Michael Ben Ari demanded to be allowed to protest outside the Islamic Movement’s offices in Umm al-Fahm during a hearing at Supreme Court on Thursday.

Ben-Gvir also compared the rightist protest to Thursday’s Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem.

“It’s unacceptable that Umm al-Fahm be immune from protests. In several hours there will be a parade which bothers me greatly with people wearing clothes I wouldn’t wear to the beach. Nevertheless, we accept the court’s ruling,” he said.

During the hearing, a police official warned that the protest will be met with resistance and may lead to injuries. The State’s representative said that police officers were injured during the last rally and estimated the demonstration would require the deployment of 2,000 police officers

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===========================

3. Haaretz Thursday, July 29, 2010

Published 10:50 28.07.10

Israel refuses to pay medical bills for American-Jewish protester who lost eye

Emily Henochowicz was wounded by a tear gas canister in a demonstration following Israel’s Gaza flotilla raid.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-refuses-to-pay-medical-bills-for-american-jewish-protester-who-lost-eye-1.304544

By Avi Issacharoff

The Israeli government is refusing to pay the cost of medical care for an American-Jewish activist who lost an eye when Border Police officers fired a tear gas canister at her during a demonstration.

Emily Henochowicz, who studying at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem and also holds Israeli citizenship, took part in a protest on May 31, shortly after Israel killed nine pro-Palestinian activists in a raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

Dozens of activists took part in the protest against the Israeli blockade of Gaza next to the Qalandia checkpoint, south of Ramallah.

According to the IDF, demonstrators began to throw stones at the Border Police, after which the army responded by firing tear gas canisters.

According to Henochowicz, one policeman shot a canister directly at her face, shattering her jaw and causing her to lose her left eye. A Haaretz reporter witnessed the incident.

Following her her treatment at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, Henochowicz’s father, who had traveled from the U.S., was handed a bill for NIS 14,000. Under advice from his lawyer, Michael Sfard, he asked the Defense Ministry cover the expense, but officials refused.

In justifying the refusal, the Defense Ministry claimed the tear gas was not fired directly at Henochowicz.

“The canister ricocheted at her after it rebound off a concrete barrier and changed direction – it was not shot directly at her,” the ministry said in a statement drafted by lawyer Sharon Zimmerman. The statement also accused Henochowicz of putting herself at risk by voluntarily participating in a breach of the peace.

In response, Sfard said that as police were still investigating the incident, it was impossible for the Defense Ministry to judge exactly what occurred.

“Either way, even if wounding of my client was the result of negligence and not criminal intent -even then the State of Israel has a moral, ethical and legal obligation to pay for her treatment,” Sfard wrote.

The Defense Ministry responded: “From our reports, we know that the Border Police acted in accordance with the law at the violent demonstration at Qalandia, and that the shooting of tear gas canisters at demonstrators was justified. Of course, we regret that Emily Henochowicz was wounded in her eye. But under such circumstances, the Defense Ministry does not cover the expenses of medical treatment.”

This story is by:

 Avi Issacharoff

=====================

4. Haaretz Thursday, July 29, 2010

Israel speeds up West Bank barrier construction following court injunction

Planned route for the West Bank separation fence surrounds village of Walajeh on three sides, separating it from large tracts of its land.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-speeds-up-west-bank-barrier-construction-following-court-injunction-1.304685

By Nir Hasson

The Defense Ministry picked up the pace of work on the separation fence near the Palestinian village of Walajeh, south of Jerusalem this week, village residents and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel say.

The residents had petitioned the High Court of Justice, asking it to order the state to find an alternative route for the fence. The current route would surround the village on three sides and separate it from large tracts of its land.

The SPNI, which joined the petition as a “friend of the court,” opposes the route, which it says would critically damage the area’s unique terrace landscape.

During a court hearing Sunday, it came out that the order to expropriate village lands for the fence, which enabled the work to begin, had expired a year ago. The state’s representative had no satisfactory explanation for this, so the court issued an injunction requiring the state to explain within 45 days why the work should not be stopped. However, the justices did not order the work stopped.

The Palestinians and the SPNI say that since the injunction was issued, the Defense Ministry and the contractors have been working much faster than before. Yesterday, for example, there were five bulldozers and other heavy equipment working on a half-kilometer stretch of the fence, and other heavy equipment working elsewhere around the village.

“Yesterday and today they’ve been working like crazy,” said Ahmed Barghut, a resident of Walajeh whose house is near the work site.

The Defense Ministry says the construction is continuing at the same pace as before, and that the court rejected the petition to stop the work.

“An appeals committee found the route met the demand to limit damage to the fabric of Palestinian life and took nature and landscape into consideration,” it said.

This story is by:

Nir Hasson

========================================

5 Haaretz Thursday, July 29, 2010

A state afraid of its past

The role of the security establishment and intelligence services is to protect the state in the present, not to hide the past.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/a-state-afraid-of-its-past-1.304711

Haaretz Editorial

About two weeks ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed regulations restricting access to government archives. As Barak Ravid revealed yesterday in Haaretz, 50-year-old materials that were to be opened to the public for historical study will now remain classified for two more decades.

The decision was preceded by intense pressure from the defense establishment and intelligence services on the state archivist, Prof. Yehoshua Freundlich. The archivist accepted their position, and said “these materials are not fit for public viewing.”

The information that remains classified deals, among other things, with the expulsions and massacres of Arabs in the War of Independence, Mossad operations in foreign countries, surveillance of opposition politicians by the Shin Bet security service in the 1950s and the establishment of the Biological Research Institute in Nes Tziona and the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona.

The material was not accessible to the public previously, and the new regulations merely put a retroactive stamp of legality on the closure of the archives, which until now was sealed illegally. The state archivist warned that some of the classified materials “has implications over [Israel’s] adherence to international law.”

His words suggest that the state will be seen as an outlaw if the past deeds of the security and intelligence services are made public. But his explanations are not reasonable. Israel, which this year celebrated its 62nd birthday, can and must confront the less than heroic chapters in its past and reveal them to the public and for historical study. The public has a right to know about the decisions made by the state’s founders, even if they involved violations of human rights, covering up crimes or harassing political opponents by security means. The country is mature and strong enough to absorb the criticism that could arise if, for example, previously unpublished testimonies are discovered about the events at Deir Yassin.

The role of the security establishment and intelligence services is to protect the state in the present, not to hide the past. The new regulations, prepared in response to petitions by journalists to the High Court of Justice, reverse the trend of openness set in the Freedom of Information Law, which the Supreme Court called “a guiding law.” Israelis should study history as it happened and as it was documented, not just a censored and prettified version.

This story is by:

 Haaretz Editorial

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

Land and Property Theft and Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

Israel demolishes Bedouin village

About 300 residents of a village in the Negev desert have lost homes and possessions.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/07/2010727133151458970.html

Alert: Thousands of police evacuating and demolishing the village of El-Araqib in the Israeli Negev

Thousands of police are in the village of el-Araqib right now – beginning a mass evacuation, demolition, and erasure of this historical Bedouin village. if you have access to the media, please send them to this village as soon as possible! the village of el-Araqib is between Rahat and Beer Sheva, and in a location that the Goldberg commission deemed outside of the areas allowed for the Negev Arabs… an area designated only for Jews… the JNF (Jewish National Fund) is planting a forest on this village lands – to make sure that the Bedouin cannot live on their village lands or use them for agriculture. the villagers turned to the israeli courts, as the JNF were planting this forest at the bequest of the Israeli government, but against Israeli law… the people of el-Araqib won the court battle… but this morning it seems that the Government of Israel has started a war — of the Government against its own citizens. for more information:  Dr. Yeela Raanan, Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages (RCUV).

Tel:00972 54 7487005 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting

oo +972 54 7487005      end_of_the_skype_highlighting yallylivnat@gmail.com.
http://theonlydemocracy.org/2010/07/
alert-thousands-of-police-evacuating-and-demolishing-the-village-of-el-araqib-in-the-israeli-negev/

1000s of Israeli police said to be evacuating/erasing historical Bedouin village, Philip Weiss
“Thousands of police are in the Negev desert village of el-Araqib right now (5:30 a.m. in Israel), beginning a mass evacuation, demolition, and erasure of this historical Bedouin village,” writes Yeela Raanan of the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages (RCUV).  “If you have access to the media, please send them to this village as soon as possible! The village of el-Araqib is between Rahat and Beer Sheva, and in a location that the Goldberg commission deemed outside of the areas allowed for the Negev Arabs… an area designated only for Jews…

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/
1000s-of-israeli-police-said-to-be-evacuatingerasing-historical-bedouin-village.html

JCSER: “Hundreds of Palestinians Losing Residency Rights In Jerusalem”

The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economical Rights (JCSER) issued a report detailing the latest numbers of Palestinians who lost their residency rights in occupied East Jerusalem due to Israeli restrictions and measures.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59189

Settlers block West Bank roads to protest building freeze

Settlers blockaded 11 intersections across the West Bank on Monday evening in response to the home demolition on Monday at the Givat Ronen outpost.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/settlers-block-west-bank-roads-to-protest-building-freeze-1.304315

Israel’s New Land Grab Master Plan, Stephen Lendman

The new plan updates older ones, going back to the first, what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe documented in his 2006 book, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” on David Ben-Gurion’s Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew), his final master plan following Plans A, B and C, what Palestinians call the Nakba, the catastrophe, commemorated annually to never forget.  By bombarding and besieging villages and population centers, destroying communities, and expelling or killing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, it planned an exclusive Jewish state, excluding Arabs by any means, including mass-murder, dispossession, and persecution, ongoing to this day, what Palestinians heroically resist. 

It took six months to complete, expelling or slaughtering about 800,000 people, and destroying 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and other cities. It was barbarous ethnic cleansing, Palestinians shown no mercy, including women and children, yet it was just the beginning, much more yet to come, including new ethnic cleaning plans.
http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20Editorials/2010/July/27%20o/
Israel%27s%20New%20Land%20Grab%20Master%20Plan%20By%20Stephen%20Lendman.htm

Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment
Ahmad Burnat needs your support to get out of prison

At 1:30 in the morning on July 19th armed Israeli soldiers drove into our village, Bil’in, under the cover of the pitch black night, and raided the house of my friend and well known activist Wajeeh Burnat, who was featured in the documentary Bil’in Habibti. This time, the raid was conducted to take Ahmad, his 17 year-old son.  It is not often that we ask for such help, but we turn to you today asking for a donation, large or small, to help in securing his release.
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/07/13264/

Report: Christian Peacemaker Team In Hebron

Hebron – PNN – Finding the way to the Christian Peacemaker Team (or CPT for short) office was not easy. We eventually found our way down Chicken street, so called for the chicken market which used to flourish just a couple of years ago. Now, every shop is closed down. At the end of the street is a 6 foot high stretch of barbed wire, with around 8 feet of concrete behind it.  Our guide, a local named Salaam, shows us a doorway, right next to the wire, where a sign clearly says ‘Doctor’s surgery’. However, with further inspection, there is a doorbell with CPT written above it, next to the rather misleading sign. After around 5 minutes of waiting, a call comes down to, “come on up.”
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8581

Turkey working to prevent Lebanese sail to Gaza

According to Israeli officials, Ankara deems additional flotillas pointless after partial lifting of blockade on Gaza. ‘Turkey wants to lower its profile, let diplomacy take its course,’ official says.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3925690,00.html

Violence and Aggression
Israel army fires tear gas at funeral

Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli forces raided a cemetery during a woman’s funeral processionnorth of the West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday.  Soldiers chased the mourners into the cemetery in Beit Ummar and fired tear-gas canisters at them, Palestine Solidarity Project spokesman Muhammad Ayyad Awad said.  An Israeli army spokeswoman said the soldiers fired in response to rocks which were thrown at them from the funeral procession.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=302380

Army Invades Beit Forik

Israeli soldiers invaded on Monday at night Beit Forik village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus after closing all of its entrances.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59190

IOF attacks Burin villagers in efforts to protect settlers

July 27th, 2010– Israeli Occupation Forces arrested four Palestinians and wounded three others after a group of approximately 20 settlers attacked the home of Ibrahim Eid, which is located close to Bracha, a new Israeli settlement in the area.
http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/2331.shtml

Settlers riot in Burin, shooting and setting fire to olive trees

At 11:30 yesterday, 26th July 2010, settlers from the Berakha Shomronim settlement began shooting at Palestinians in the village of Burin and setting fire to crops on their land.  Trouble flared when Israeli authorities ordered the demolition of a structure in an illegal settler outpost because of the freeze on settlement construction. Israeli police failed to contain the settler riot which followed and closed Huwara checkpoint, near Nablus, in response.
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/07/13270/

Settlers launch new attack

Nablus – Ma’an – On Monday evening, settlers launched their second attack of the day on a northern West Bank village, setting fire to land and olive trees and throwing rocks., Ambulances and firefighters rushed to Burin village to control the flames apparently started by residents of the illegal Yizhar settlement, Palestinian Authority settlement affairs officer Ghassan Doughlas said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=302706

No words to console Gaza child after mother is killed by Israeli shelling

Around 8:45pm on 13 July, 2010, a few of the women of the Abu Said family in the northern Gaza Strip were enjoying the cool of the evening in the courtyard in front of their house. They heard a muffled shooting sound, followed soon after by another, and then by a loud buzzing noise, as if a swarm of insects was approaching at full speed. Vittorio Arrigoni reports from the occupied Gaza Strip.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11419.shtml

Revolving Door For Israeli Criminals
Police release rabbi arrested for inciting to kill non-Jews

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, head of the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva, released from police custody hours after being arrested for encouraging the killing of non-Jews.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/police-release-rabbi-arrested-for-inciting-to-kill-non-jews-1.304261

Detainees
PA police arrest 6 in Beit Ummar

Hebron – Ma’an – Police arrested five residents for using fireworks and one for firing a weapon in the southern West Bank village of Beit Ummar on Monday.  A police statement said the gun, which was fired in celebration, was seized and warned of the dangers of fireworks and weapons.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=302684

Returning doctor detained by Israeli intelligence

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli authorities detained a doctor returning Monday from five years of medical study in Ukraine, witnesses said.  Bahaa Abdullah Jaradat was taken by Israeli intelligence officers at the Allenby crossing on the West Bank-Jordan border, onlookers said.  It is not known where Jaradat, from Sa’ir in the southern West Bank Hebron district, was taken.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=302710

The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Humanitarian and Human Rights/Restriction of Movement
Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – June 27 – July 24
http://www.gazagateway.org/2010/07/goods-needs-vs-supply-june-27-july-24/

Cameron calls Gaza ‘prison camp’ (AFP)

AFP – Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday urged Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip, slamming the current state of the Palestinian enclave as a “prison camp.”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100727/wl_uk_afp/mideastconflictgazabritainturkeydiplomacy

Clean Water for Gaza: Maryam’s Story

Early last year, Israel destroyed much of Gaza’s rudimentary water infrastructure in a protracted bombing campaign. Since then, an ongoing economic blockade has prevented Gazans from importing materials they need to rebuild the water system. Contaminated drinking water is putting people at risk for cholera, typhoid and other diseases.
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/MUMA-87R3LG?OpenDocument&RSS20=02-P

Taking water to the Jordan – International humanitarians deliver water to parched Palestinians

Date: 26 Jul 2010, YANOUN, West Bank, A few days ago, I was handing out bottles of water within a few miles of Israel/Palestine’s only major river, the Jordan., The village of Al Fasayel lies in a desert landscape, a contrast to nearby Israeli settlements, which have access to almost unlimited water. Al Fasayel itself has not had water on tap for over seven weeks.
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/MUMA-87R3CP?OpenDocument

Gaza kids struggle to leave their world of silence

GAZA, July 26 (Xinhua) — The four-year-old Gaza boy Noor stuttered when he tried to utter the word “baba”. A deaf specialist, sitting next to him, was teaching him to say the easy word, hoping to help the boy leave the world of silence.  Noor and another eight hearing-impaired children were in one room with their specialist mentor who produced several musical sounds and slowly moved her tongue and lips to teach them the correct pronunciation of the early childhood expressions.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-07/27/c_13416138.htm

Life on hold as construction material restricted into Gaza

BEIT LAHIYA, Gaza Strip — Salah Jalal Abu Leila lives in a crowded tent with his family of 12 beside a dusty main street in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya; they have been living here for more than a year.  “Our home was completely destroyed in the war. I worked for 16 years in Israel to build my home and in one attack the Israelis destroyed everything I worked to build,” Abu Leila says.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=302904

Political/Other Developments
Israel signals new cooperation with UN over Gaza flotilla (The Christian Science Monitor)

The Christian Science Monitor – Israel appears to have improved its cooperation with the United Nations over its controversial Gaza policy after coming under pressure from activists seeking to break Israel’s sea blockade of the Hamas-controlled territory. The latest fleet of activist ships is preparing to set sail from Lebanon.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20100726/wl_csm/316152

U.S. warns Abbas: Direct talks or lose backing for state

U.S. President Barack Obama may not help set up a Palestinian state if PA President Mahmoud Abbas does not enter direct negotiations with Israel soon, according to an internal Palestinian document.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/u-s-warns-abbas-direct-talks-or-lose-backing-for-state-1.304255

Hamas warns Abbas to reject direct peace talks (AFP)

AFP – Hamas on Tuesday warned Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas not to relaunch direct peace talks with Israel, which it said “would only serve the Zionist occupation.”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100727/wl_mideast_afp/mideastdiplomacyuspalestinianhamas

Abbas to ask for extension to proximity talks

Bethlehem – Ma’an – President Mahmoud Abbas will request an extension to US-mediated indirect talks with Israel from the Arab Peace Initiative Committee when in Cairo on Thursday, a PLO official said Monday.  Executive Committee member Hannah Amireh told Ma’an radio that Abbas would ask for talks to continue until 8 September, one month over the 4-month deadline sanctioned by the Arab League.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=302652

Fatah lawmakers to assess rumored cabinet shuffle

Ramallah – Ma’an – Palestinian lawmakers affiliated to Fatah are scheduled to hold a meeting Tuesday in Ramallah in the central West Bank to discuss the expected PA government’s reshuffle and other developments.  Azzam Al-Ahmad, speaker of the Fatah bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council, will head the meeting which all Fatah lawmakers based in the West Bank are expected to attend.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=302901

Report: Mitchell tells Abbas Bibi here to stay

George Mitchell urges Abbas to enter direct talks, says Netanyahu unlikely to be replaced soon, according to Palestinian document.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3925526,00.html

Mishaal Explains Hamas’s Strategy in Dealing with the Israeli Occupation

DAMASCUS, (PIC)– Khaled Mishaal, the head of Hamas’s political bureau, has explained Wednesday that his Movement follows firm and well-studied strategy in dealing with the Israeli occupation, the internal Palestinian social fabric, and the international community.  In an interview with the Jordanian Al-Sabeel newspaper, Mishaal said that his Movement doesn’t reject negotiations with the enemy as an option but he explained that the Israeli occupation is an extraordinary condition being a foreign body implanted in Palestinian uprooting millions of Palestinian people out of their homes at gunpoint. Such a situation made negotiation with the Israeli occupation as the only option something unacceptable because it was proven that negotiations without having force to back your stand is a waste of time, he elaborated.
http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2010/07/
mishaal-explains-hamass-strategy-in-dealing-with-the-israeli-occupation/

Israeli, Jordan leaders discuss Palestinian talks (Reuters)

Reuters – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah discussed on Tuesday ways of launching direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, a Jordanian palace official said.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100727/wl_nm/us_jordan_israel

Israel PM meets king on surprise Jordan visit (AFP)

AFP – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah II on the Middle East peace process during a previously unannounced visit to Amman on Tuesday, the palace said.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100727/wl_mideast_afp/mideastjordanisraeldiplomacy

Other News
Gazans want “Marshall Plan”, Israel policy falls short (Reuters)

Reuters – Wael El Wadiah’s Gaza snack food factories once employed 250 people. Today, denied access to the West Bank market by Israel, he employs a few dozen workers in what is left of a business built up over 25 years.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100727/wl_nm/us_palestinians_israel_gaza

Hamas leader says group considering Gaza draft

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The top security official in Hamas-ruled Gaza said Tuesday he is considering setting up a bigger military force, first with volunteers and eventually with conscripts as well.  Such a step could further tighten Hamas’ control of Gaza and deepen the rift with the group’s Western-backed rivals in the West Bank. Hamas seized Gaza by force in 2007, wresting control from forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  Currently, Hamas has a paid security force of about 18,000.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ioi_0jtO9RjMwPNRoXNCndRPRq3gD9H7CMGO2

Paying the price of lies:  Arab man convicted of raping Jewish sex partner because he lied to her speaks out

One of the most prominent features of Sabar Kashour, with the exception of his large puppy eyes, is the presence of a massive wedding ring on his finger. Had this ring been on his finger in September 2008, he might have avoided the entanglement that currently stirs up great emotion among members of Israel’s legal system and human rights group.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3925330,00.html

Law providing released soldiers with free higher education in settlements might damage Israeli academia

Gush Shalom – As if it was not enough that Israeli youths are conscripted for military service often spent in daily oppression of the Palestinians, from now on also after discharge they will be directed towards an `academic` strengthening of the occupation, settlement and dispossession of Palestinians.
http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=41336

Press freedoms fall victim to Fatah, Hamas disunity

The split between the the Hamas-run Gaza wing and the Fatah-run West Bank wing of the Palestinian Authority (PA) has overshadowed every aspect of public life, including, many rights groups have documented, infringements on press freedoms and the work of journalists. Rami Almeghari reports from Gaza for The Electronic Intifada.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11420.shtml

Foreign investors took time off from Israel in 2009

Foreign direct investment in Israel fell by 64% in 2009 to only $3.9 billion, down from $10.9 billion in 2008. Israel fell from 54th place in 2008 to 80th in 2009 in terms of FDI.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/business/foreign-investors-took-time-off-from-israel-in-2009-1.304050

MESS Report / Crash raises questions over Israel’s ageing helicopter fleet

Decisions to replace helicopters, like the CH-53 that crashed in Romania on Monday, are complex, involve heavy costs and take a long time.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/
mess-report-crash-raises-questions-over-israel-s-ageing-helicopter-fleet-1.304243

Mubarak’s Racist Pen Pal: Mubarak says ‘fully recovered’ in letter to Rabbi Yosef
Egyptian president responds to letter sent by Shas spiritual leader inquiring after his health, says he’s in best condition ‘contrary to several reports in Israeli press’.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3925720,00.html

Oliver Stone apologizes for saying Jews control the media

Less than 24 hours after Sunday Times interview, in which Oscar-winning director says Hitler’s actions should be ‘put into context’, Stone issues apology.
http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/oliver-stone-apologizes-for-saying-jews-control-the-media-1.304387

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest
Abu Mazen and Obama’s Peace Pantomime, Tony Karon

Obama is unable to offer Abbas an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, because that is not what Netanyahu has in mind. Indeed, recent reports suggest that during his meeting last weekend with Egypt’s President, Hosni Mubarak, the Israeli prime minister presented a proposed map of a Palestinian State that fell well short of the Arab League’s proposal for peace. Nor is Netanyahu under pressure from the US to offer more. In fact, Netanyahu believes that he can bend Washington to his will, as he so memorably explained to a family of Israeli settlers in a recently surfaced video clip from 2001: “I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction.”
http://tonykaron.com/2010/07/26/abu-mazen-and-obamas-peace-pantomime/

Israel’s Secret Police Exposed, Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

The arrest by Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, of an Israeli Jew accused of killing at least four Palestinians has thrown a rare light on the secret police, including attempts by one of its agents to enlist the accused to assassinate a Palestinian spiritual leader.  Chaim Pearlman, who was arrested a fortnight ago, has been charged with murdering four Palestinians in Jerusalem and injuring at least seven others in a series of knife attacks that began more than a decade ago. Police are still investigating whether he was involved in additional attacks.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16165

Joel Rubin: Swiftboating Sestak on Israel

A new right-wing neoconservative attack group on Israel policy has been formed by the same ideologues that brought you the war in Iraq. This group — the Emergency Committee for Israel — has decided to make Pennsylvania’s upcoming Senate race its pivotal moment to enter national politics. It has done so by running television ads against Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak that turn Israel into a political wedge issue, cynically playing on the worst fears of Americans who do not share their policy views on Israel.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joel-rubin/swiftboating-sestak-on-is_b_659490.html

Progressive Brian Lehrer channels intolerant rightwingers in grilling a Muslim leader, Philip Weiss

WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer is progressive. He reflects liberal Manhattan values and he takes on rightwingers on countless issues, gun control, gay rights, feminism, economic justice. But not when it comes to the Middle East. Last week Lehrer did an interview with a woman who supports the mosque at Ground Zero. Daisy Khan, executive director for the American Society for Muslim Advancement, is married to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is leading the mosque plans; and anti-Muslim prejudice suffused Lehrer’s interview. He channeled Rick Lazio, the Republican candidate for N.Y. governor, who has made attacks on the Cordoba mosque a centerpiece of his campaign.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/
progressive-brian-lehrer-channels-intolerant-rightwingers-in-grilling-a-muslim-leader.html

L.A. Times: ‘Many’ Palestinians ‘prefer the one-state solution’, Alex Kane

The one-state solution debate is picking up steam and media coverage in the wake of Israeli journalist Noam Sheizaf’s Ha’aretz article on prominent right-wing calls for the incorporation of the West Bank into Israel. For more on the significance of Sheizaf’s article and the growing calls from the right for some type of one-state solution, I would recommend reading Ali Abunimah’s analysis here.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/l-a-times-%e2%80%98many%e2%80%99-
palestinians-prefer-the-one-state-solution.html

The Forgotten American, ROGER COHEN

TROY, New York — The Dogans were a quiet family little noticed by their neighbors here in upstate New York. Ahmet Dogan had come to the area from Turkey to study accounting at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  He was a serious student; the Dogans did little entertaining. But when their younger son, Furkan, was born in 1991, the family threw a party and a neighbor recalled a toast “to the first U.S. citizen in the family.”  Furkan Dogan would live just two years in Troy, returning to Turkey with his family in 1993. But he was proud of his American passport and dreamt of coming back after completing medical school. Five Israeli bullets — at least two of them to the head — ended that dream on May 31. Dogan was 19.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/opinion/27iht-edcohen.html

Caterpillar Caught in Web Of Middle East Politics

At first glance, the contention that a construction equipment company in Peoria, Ill., is implicated in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems strange. But earlier in July, the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States adopted a resolution that strongly criticized Caterpillar Inc., the manufacturer whose tractors, bulldozers and mining equipment help build and farm America, for its role in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.
http://www.forward.com/articles/129547/

Iraq
Monday: 28 Iraqis Killed, 74 Wounded

Despite extra precautions, belligerents detonated a car bomb in Karbala. A separate car bomb destroyed the al-Arabiya studios and a lawmaker’s home in Baghdad. At least 28 Iraqis were killed and 74 more were wounded in those two attacks. Curiously, no other attacks in Iraq were reported. Meanwhile, members of the Iraqiya party refuse to allow the political impasse preventing the formation of the next government to become “internationalized.”

http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2010/07/26/monday-28-iraqis-killed-74-wounded/

Iraq’s parliament fails to convene as scheduled (AP)

AP – A lawmaker from Iraq’s largest Shiite bloc says a parliament session expected Tuesday will not be held as discussions faltered again over the formation of a new government.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100727/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq

Iraq’s political impasse is a bad omen for the Arabs

In June 2004, I was invited for a dinner at a restaurant near an airport in the Gulf. I saw a group of bodyguards dressed in traditional Gulf attire entering the restaurant. Before I knew it, we were sitting next to a table whose guest of honor was Iyad Allawi, the newly appointed prime minister of Iraq, who was being hosted by the foreign minister of that Gulf country. I witnessed how warm their relationship seemed to be. They were exchanging laughs as though they were two old friends, catching up after a prolonged absence.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=117489#ixzz0upJAt0bB

Iraqi Shiite group promoted ‘virtue’ by the sword (AFP)

AFP – A group of masked, sword-wielding Shiite youths aiming to “promote virtue and fight vice” terrorised a southern Iraqi city from early July until its members were rounded up.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100727/wl_mideast_afp/iraqunrestarrest

Iraq fights another form of violence – in the home (Reuters)

Reuters – As the violence of sectarian warfare ebbs, Iraq’s government has taken tentative first steps to combat another kind of violence — domestic abuse, primarily against women.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100727/wl_nm/us_iraq_women_abuse

IRAQ: My Baghdad field trip

Fifteen kidnapped people released, 238 raids, 14,008 searches, 227 arrests (including 126 without warrants), 18 mortars found, 213 weapons found, eight explosive belts found, four terrorists killed, 167 IEDs dismantled, 18 sticky IEDs dismantled and one car bomb dismantled.” I was reading the achievements of an Iraqi army division in the four months leading up to June. I went on reading: “The enemy activities: 24 clashes, 46 IEDs, 38 sticky IEDs, nine car bombs, 10 bodies found, 15 assassinations, nine houses exploded, three grenade attacks, three explosive belts.”We were spending our day with a general, who narrated his achievements before Western and Iraqi reporters. “We were honored by the killing of the heads of terrorism Abu Omar al Baghdadi and Abu Ayoub al Masri,” he said.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2010/07/iraq-my-day-in-baghdad.html

Lebanon
Lebanon arrests alleged German spy

Engineer accused of passing sensitive information to handlers.  A German engineer was arrested in Lebanon Tuesday on suspicion of espionage in the country’s latest attempt to root out alleged Israeli spies, Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar reported.  The suspected spy, reportedly named Manfred Peter Mog, was employed at a cheese factory in the Bekaa valley in eastern Lebanon, were he was in charge of machine maintenance. He was suspected of using transmitters to pass sensitive information to his handlers, according to the report.
http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=182778

Natural gas could lead to new Lebanon-Israel war (AP)

AP – The discovery of large natural gas reserves under the waters of the eastern Mediterranean could potentially mean a huge economic windfall for Israel and Lebanon, both resource-poor nations — if it doesn’t spark new war between them.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100727/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_lebanon_israel_gas_threats

Lebanese Druze leader warns against sectarian tension

BEIRUT, July 26 (Xinhua) — Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblat on Monday called for dialogue among political factions in order to defuse rising tensions.  Jumblat told Al Anbaa newspaper that dialogue is the only way to preserve “calmness” in Lebanon.  “For those who forget, let’s remember that we were talking to each other at the peak of political divisions and the period of sharp tensions,” said the Lebanese MP.  “Why don’t we return to dialogue in order to prevent Lebanon from sliding again toward divisions and sectarian tension,” he added.  Jumblat said that the capability to return to dialogue is possible if the factions showed the “political will.”
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-07/27/c_13416171.htm

Saudi king to visit Lebanon amid tensions: govt official (AFP)

AFP – Saudi King Abdullah will visit Lebanon on Friday and will urge rival parties to exercise restraint amid tensions over the possible implication of Hezbollah in the murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, a government official said on Monday.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100726/wl_mideast_afp/lebanonsyriasaudidiplomacy

Egyptian FM warns against harming Lebanon’s stability

BEIRUT: Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu al-Gheit warned on Monday against undermining Lebanon’s stability by resorting to force to resolve regional and international disputes. Abu al-Gheit made his statements ahead of scheduled talks between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz in Egypt on Wednesday.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=117498

Ghanem: Labor Ministry will boost Palestinians’ conditions

BEIRUT: West Bekaa MP Robert Ghanem conveyed assurances by the labor minister that the government will enhance the living and working conditions of Palestinians in Lebanon, on Monday.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=117502

Iran
West should discard carrot-stick policy before dialogue with Iran: MP

TEHRAN, July 27 (Xinhua) — A senior Iranian lawmaker said Tuesday that the West should first discard the carrot and stick policy prior to any dialogue on Iran’s nuclear program, local media reported.  “The European Union (EU)’s call for the continuation of nuclear talks with Tehran is in direct contradiction to its recently approved package of anti-Iran sanctions,” head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran’s Majlis (Parliament) Alaeddin Boroujerdi was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-07/27/c_13417800.htm

Iran: U.S. will likely attack 2 Mideast countries within 3 months

Speaking on state television, Iranian President Ahmadinejad also list of demands before Iran will resume nuclear talks.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/
iran-u-s-will-likely-attack-2-mideast-countries-within-3-months-1.304361

EU to hit Iran with ‘toughest ever’ sanctions, diplomats say

Proposed EU sanctions are understood to go further than current UN sanctions, calling for a ban on ‘dual-use’ goods which can be used for both military and civilian purposes.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/eu-to-hit-iran-with-toughest-ever-sanctions-diplomats-say-1.303690

Iran won’t trade with countries imposing sanctions

“Any country that creates limitations for Iran’s assets, we will stop trading with them,” Hamid Borhani, deputy head of the Central Bank of Iran, told the semi-official Mehr news agency. “We have to protect our assets.”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100724/wl_nm/us_iran_banks_assets

Iran delivers response to IAEA

“Through submitting an official letter, I expressed the Islamic Republic of Iran’s readiness to engage in negotiations over fuel [provisions] for the Tehran nuclear reactor,” Soltanieh said.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=136323&sectionid=351020104

Pipes: To Get Obama To Act, Netanyahu Should Threaten To Nuke Iran

“I think it’s realistic for the Israelis to attack and do real damage,” Pipes said.
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/25/pipes-to-get-obama-to-act-netanyahu-should-threaten-to-nuke-iran

U.S. and other World News
US Attack Kills 52 In Afghan Village

A Nato rocket attack on a village in Afghanistan last week killed 52 civilians, including women and children, the office of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, has said in a statement.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2010/07/2010726143021529494.html

Download Afghan War Diary, 2004-2010
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Afghan_War_Diary,_2004-2010

Wikileaks Afghanistan files: download the key incidents as a spreadsheet

Key incidents from the Wikileaks Afghanistan war logs selected by Guardian writers. As a spreadsheet, with co-ordinates
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/datablog/2010/jul/25/wikileaks-afghanistan-data

US criticises Wikileaks release of Afghan war documents

The White House has condemned the leaks of more than 90,000 classified documents on the war in Afghanistan posted by the whistleblower website, Wikileaks. The Pentagon earlier called the release “criminal”, and said it could take weeks to assess any damage that the leaks may have caused. Rosiland Jordan reports on Washington’s reaction to what is now being called the Afghan war logs. (July 27, 2010)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfKgRAwxYIc&feature=youtube_gdata

Documents leak leaves White House on defensive about Afghanistan policy

There are few bombshells, but the volume of data and the focus on the conduct of the war are likely to embolden critics at a time when Congress has expressed doubts about Obama’s Afghanistan policy. The leaking of a trove of U.S. documents has put the Obama administration on the defensive about its Afghanistan policy and may deepen doubts in Congress about prospects for turning around the faltering war effort.
http://feeds.latimes.com/%7Er/latimes/middleeast/%7E3/XVNNCbXT3xI/la-fg-
leaked-documents-20100727,0,6215714.story

WikiLeaks emerges as powerful online whistle-blower

WikiLeaks website and founder Julian Assange operate in relative secrecy even as they seek to publish classified or private documents to spark public debate. Partnering with news media adds new heft. Though propelled to fame by its recent disclosures about the U.S. military, WikiLeaks has homed in on targets as wide-ranging as corruption in the family of a former Kenyan ruler, alleged illegal activities by a Swiss bank and Sarah Palin’s private e-mail account.
http://feeds.latimes.com/%7Er/latimes/middleeast/%7E3/_y7cy04CWCc/la-fg-
wikileaks-20100727,0,7443621.story

Leading article: A light shone on the dark side of this war

The tens of thousands of secret US military documents passed to the Wikileaks website paint a far grimmer picture of the war in Afghanistan than our political leaders have ever conveyed. They show that Western forces are often scandalously careless of civilian life in that country. Some 140 incidents are recorded in which Afghan civilians were killed. They died in misdirected airstrikes, shooting sprees by panicking troops, or raids by Special Forces. And it not only the US military which has been responsible for such carnage. Polish, French, German and British troops are also recorded as killing civilians. While it is impossible to verify all that is contained in these documents, it is clear enough that appalling events have gone unreported by Western forces.
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/
leading-article-a-light-shone-on-the-dark-side-of-this-war-2036231.html

The Wikileaks ‘source’: Former army analyst facing 52 years in prison

As governments around the world assessed the damage done by Wikileaks’s Afghanistan war logs, thoughts also turned to a lonely US Army private, who goes by the screen-name bradass87, currently behind bars in Kuwait.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/
the-wikileaks-source-former-army-analyst-facing-52-years-in-prison-2036181.html

Pakistan ex-intelligence chief denies aiding Talban

US officials believe that the intelligence agency of ally Pakistan has been secretly supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan, leaked records say. Wikileaks, the online whistleblower organisation, published more than 90,000 secret US military documents on Sunday, revealing alleged support for the Taliban in their conflict with US-led Nato troops. The unverified files say that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, the country’s spy service, has been holding strategy sessions with Taliban leaders to aid them. Al Jazeera interviewed to the man mentioned in that report – retired Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, the former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence who accused of being actively involved in supporting the Afghan Taliban. He denies the allegations against the ISI and says the sources of the leaks have ulterior political motives. [July 26, 2010]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2OvMhxkQZo&feature=youtube_gdata

Digesting the Wikileaks document dump, Stephen M. Walt by Stephen M. Walt

I’m just starting to digest the Wikileaks material on Afghanistan, but suffice it to say that it confirms all my misgivings about our current commitment there.  As I’ve said since I started blogging, the stakes in Afghanistan are not worth the current level of cost and effort, and the prerequisites for a meaningful “victory” are lacking.  Obama made a basic error when he escalated the war effort (not once but twice), and our best hope now is to shift from a largely military strategy towards one that reduces our military footprint, emphasizes power-sharing, political reconciliation, and broader diplomatic engagement with other regional stake-holders.   If you want a quick survey of other reactions, look at the digest offered by Andrew Sullivan here.
http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/07/26/digesting_the_wikileaks_document_dump

Who will explain the havoc wreaked to the families still reeling with grief? | Rachel Reid

Since the period covered by these leaked war logs, the situation on the ground has got worse – not better – for Afghan civilians.  Seven children killed by rockets in a mosque, a 16-year-old girl abused by a district police chief, more than 80 civilians killed in bomb attacks written off as insurgents. This dismal glimpse into the relentless chaos of war, seen through the hazy eyes of international soldiers in Afghanistan, comes from the massive leak of military field reports. And while US department of defence officials were quick to say that things have changed, this is sadly only half true.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/26/afghan-war-logs-more-afghans-might-suffer

Revealed: Document Exposes US Double-talk On Lockerbie

The document, acquired by a well placed US source, threatens to undermine Obama’s claim last week that all Americans were “surprised, disappointed and angry” to learn of Megrahi’s release.
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article353568.ece

Inside Story – Al-Qaeda’s French hostage killing

A French national held hostage by al-Qaeda’s North African wing has been confirmed dead. Seventy-eight-year old Michel Germaneau was kidnapped in Niger some three months ago by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Is this killing a show of force? And how much of a threat is this al-Qaeda-affiliated armed group becoming?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvfhdhG5B9g&feature=youtube_gdata

www.TheHeadlines.org

Posted in Middle East3 Comments

MAOIST MARTYR

NOVANEWS

Sidhu Soren’s family refuses to take body

Rajeesh | July 28, 2010 at 9:06 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pglpM-1Rf
NARESH JANA
27soren.jpg
Sidhu Soren (top); Lakshmimoni, his mother, on Tuesday. (Samir Mondal)

Goaltore, July 27: Sidhu Soren’s family has refused to take his body and claimed the leader of the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities was a martyr “for his country” who was killed in sleep.

“My son has laid down his life for his country. We will not take his body from the police. What will I do with a dead son?” asked Sidhu’s father Jamadar Baskey, shortly after turning away policemen who had gone to his the family’s house this morning and asked him to identify Sidhu’s body in the morgue of the Midnapore Medical College and Hospital.

Sidhu, 23, was gunned down with five other Maoists yesterday in the Metala jungles near Lalgarh.

Jamadar’s comments almost echoed the claims by a Maoist source after the encounter yesterday that Sidhu had “committed suicide while fighting like a hero” without specifying if he did so to avoid imminent capture.

Jamadar sounded defiant and warned of retaliation. “I told the policemen I will not go (to the morgue). The police have killed my son in cold blood while he was sleeping. The police can’t take control of Jungle Mahal by killing my son. The villagers will resist the police with bows and arrows,” said the 55-year-old small farmer, sitting in the courtyard of his two-storey mud-walled house in Karkata, a small tribal village 15km from Lalgarh town.

Sidhu alias Bhuta Baskey — the secretary of People’s Committee and the chief of its armed wing Gana Militia — was the second of Jamadar’s five sons and a daughter.

All of Sidhu’s family had gathered at their house. Neighbours streamed in to console them. Sidhu’s mother, Lakshmimoni, sat with her other sons and daughter, occasionally breaking down.

The villagers backed what Sidhu did as a leader of the People’s Committee. “In our village there is no electricity and the only tube-well is out of order. No political party has ever thought of our plight. What Sidhu was doing is right. The police have killed him to take revenge,” said Gurudas Soren, who had come from adjoining Bandhgora.

Sidhu’s elder brother Sagen echoed Gurudas. “We don’t believe he was a Maoist. The police shot him dead and then placed the arms and ammunition on him,” said Sagen.

Jamadar said Sidhu was a Class IX dropout and had been out of home for the past seven years.

Sidhu’s youngest brother Gopi, a Class VII student at Ramgarh High School, said the People’s Committee leader had called about two months ago. “He asked me to take care of my parents.”

West Midnapore police chief Manoj Verma said the authorities would have to cremate the body if the family remained adamant. “Sidhu Soren was a hardcore Maoist. If his family does not identify and take the body, we will cremate it according to the law.” Telegraph

Posted in ChinaComments Off on MAOIST MARTYR

INDIA: THE GOVERNMENT HAS KILLED MU SON

NOVANEWS

“He did the right thing. He had the guts to fight the CPM harmads”

Rajeesh | July 28, 2010  | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pglpM-1Ri

RAMGARH: There is no road to this village tucked away in a forest, 58 km from Midnapore town. A winding dirt-track leads to the forest hamlet, interrupted by ponds and ditches. It’s Parkota, a village that has not seen electricity. This is the birthplace of Sidhu Soren alias Bhuta Baskey the topmost Maoist leader to have been killed in Bengal.

On Tuesday morning, a police team from Lalgarh turned up at his mud hut when the Baskey family was busy with their usual chores. A constable handed out a message written in English to the dead rebel’s father Jamadar Baskey and left. Jamadar took it as yet another “police paper” that he has been getting since Bhuta left home to join the Maoists. He kept it along with the other papers he couldn’t read.

The note was about his son’s death. Jamadar had no clue till TOI gently gave him the news. The father broke down. His wail brought his wife Lakshmimani running outside. One look at him, and she knew her worst fears had come true. She collapsed by his side.

The tears quickly gave way to anger. “The government has killed my son. Is this expected from a government? The police could have arrested him, jailed him. But they did what marauders do,” Jamadar said. He isn’t going to bring his son’s body from Midnapore. “Why should I? I won’t bend before the government for help. Let it do whatever it feels like with the body,” an agitated Jamadar said.

Sidhu left home 10 years ago, soon after he took his Madhyamik examination. “There was no trace of him for a month till he sent a message through a courier that we should not worry for him or try to trace him. He said he would not return. We could sense what he was doing when police came to our hut a few days later looking for him. They told us that Bhuta (Sidhu) had become a Maoist and that he had got in touch with the rebels when in school. We didn’t have any inkling of it,” he said.

“My son returned to this area when the movement began in 2008. One of my neighbours saw him in Kantapahari. I and my wife rushed to meet him, but we could not find him. We met him the second day. Bhuta asked about our health and how his other brothers and sisters were doing. He looked quite composed and committed. He left after a few minutes. That was the last we saw of him,” the father said.

The family has eight cottahs of land and Jamadar works as a wage labourer to run the family.

Poverty and oppression are common to most of the young men and women in Jangalmahal who left home to joint the Maoist-led People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA). PLGA member Ganga alias Alo and section commander Arjun alias Biswanath Murmu, who were killed in the Duli encounter last month, come from families that starve for half the year.

Eighteen-year old Ganga hailed from Champashol village in Salboni’s Madhupur. She lived with her brother Sudhan Tudu, a landless labourer. Their family was among the few who did not rally with the CPM. “That was why CPM toughs used to harass my sister and beat her up once for refusing to join their rally. Alo was an introvert. She wouldn’t let anyone know about the anger building in her and joined the Maoists in 2008. She left home this January,” the brother said.

Arjun’s mother Tushu Murmu was shattered by his death but is proud of him. “He did the right thing. He had the guts to fight the CPM harmads. I would appreciate if any other youth from this village takes up the cudgels against the marauders,” said the mother at Kanyabali village.

While moving through one of these villages, TOI met a PLGA area commander of the Bengal-Jharkhand belt. “The Jharkhand government is corrupt. The politicians tried to grab our land too. My brothers were graduates but could not get a job because we have no money to satisfy the powers that be. I chose this route so that families like us do not have to suffer,” he said. TOI

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NAZI BARBED WIRE FENCE ON AL-WALAJA

NOVANEWS

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11430.shtml

Bedouin village razed in Negev as Israelis cheer on
Report, The Electronic Intifada, 28 July 2010

Early morning on 27 July, Israeli bulldozers, flanked by helicopters and throngs of police, demolished the entire Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the northern Negev desert. Despite their land rights cases still pending in the court system, hundreds of al-Araqib villagers were instantly made homeless a month after Israeli police posted demolition orders.

Eyewitness reports say the police were accompanied by several busloads of right-wing Israeli civilians who cheered during the demolitions.

The Electronic Intifada spoke with Dr. Yeela Ranaan of the Regional Council for Unrecognized Villages (RCUV) in the Negev, who was in al-Araqib all day long during the demolitions.

“Approximately 1,500 Israeli police came at 5:30 in the morning and evacuated everyone from their beds,” Ranaan said. “They brought tear gas and water cannons, but didn’t use them. There was a handful of Israeli peace activists who had come the night before to stay with the villagers, and the police beat them up and detained them. Once they evacuated everyone in the village, they started to demolish it. It took three hours to flatten the village. For the people of al-Araqib, it was a nightmare to see their village destroyed.”

Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, al-Araqib villagers have been fighting for recognition in the courts. Ranaan told The Electronic Intifada that in the early 1950s, after they were forcefully expelled from their land by Israeli forces, villagers were fined for “trespassing” in their own homes by the Israeli government. Israel has refused to acknowledge al-Araqib villagers’ land deeds and receipts of land taxes paid to the Ottoman authorities well before Israel’s establishment.

“As we speak, the fate of al-Araqib hasn’t been decided in a court,” Ranaan said. “Despite this, Israel came and demolished the homes. Israel is not just changing the facts on the ground, it’s erasing them.”

“Israel is treating us like cockroaches”

More than 110,000 Palestinian Bedouin live in dozens of so-called “unrecognized villages” throughout the State of Israel, and nearly 80 percent live in the Negev. Since 1948, Israel has refused to acknowledge the villages, and therefore deny basic services such as water, electricity, roads, schools and waste management.

During the demolitions yesterday, Sulaiman abu Mdian, a 29-year-old father of four who works as a chicken farmer, told CNN that “the State of Israel is treating us like cockroaches.”

In an emailed press release following the destruction of al-Araqib, RCUV admonished the Israeli government’s policies of accelerating home demolitions against Palestinian Bedouin communities across the state.

“The destruction’s declared aim is to facilitate plans by the Jewish National Fund to plant a [forest] on the site,” the release stated. “We regard this demolition as a criminal act. Bedouin citizens of Israel are not enemies, and forestation of the Negev is not a reasonable pretext for destroying a community which is more than 60 years old, dispossessing its residents and violating the basic rights of hundreds of Israeli civilians, men, women and children.”

“This act by the state authorities is no ‘law enforcement’ — it is an act of war, such as is undertaken against an enemy,” RCUV added. “This act cannot be dissociated from yesterday’s statement by Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, who at the cabinet meeting sounded a warning about ‘a situation in which a demand for national rights will be made from some quarters inside Israel, for example in the Negev, should the area be left without a Jewish majority. Such things happened in the Balkans, and it is a real threat.’ Presenting the Bedouin citizens of Israel as ‘a real threat’ gives legitimacy to the expulsion of Israel’s Bedouin citizens from the Negev in order to ‘Judaize’ it. We call on all who care for democracy to give their support to this threatened community.”

The Electronic Intifada asked Ranaan if the situation in al-Araqib will look similar to what’s happening in the nearby Bedouin village of Twail abu Jarwal, which has been demolished more than forty times in the last few years.

“These are the two villages that the Israeli government wants to beat, to make an example of,” Ranaan remarked. “The government is experimenting with these villages. People in al-Araqib and Twail abu Jarwal have more determination and more resources than other villages. Israel wants to find out how much force is needed to evacuate and erase a village. They want to replicate the methods. And they want villagers elsewhere to see what’s happening here as a threat.”

Ranaan told The Electronic Intifada that solidarity actions are being planned as villagers of al-Araqib set up temporary housing on their land.

“They already put up a few tents, and they’ll be staying at different locations until every family will put up a makeshift home on their land,” she said. “But they know that their homes will be demolished again and again. People should put pressure on the Israeli government. International pressure is important. Activists can come and visit, and they can join villagers on their land for Friday prayers. The more people in solidarity, the stronger they are. Once their resistance breaks, then we’ve lost everything.”

More al-Walaja land confiscated

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank, Israel announced construction of at least 100 settlement colony units in the Bethlehem district as Israeli bulldozers and construction vehicles confiscated more Palestinian land in al-Walaja. At the same time, Israeli occupation forces demolished homes in Area C, continuing a pattern of increased demolitions and rights violations there in the last few months.

The 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (also known as Oslo II) categorized land in the West Bank into areas A, B and C. According to the agreement, Area A is under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Area B under the joint control of Israel and the PA. Approximately 95 percent of the Palestinian population live in these two areas, though they make up only 40 percent of the land area. Israel has full military control over Area C.

Secretary General of al-Mubadara Palestinian National Initiative Dr. Mustafa Barghouti told the Bethlehem-based Maan News Agency that Israeli forces began bulldozing land and constructing barbed wire fence on al-Walaja land in “an attempt to thwart Palestinian land owners from protesting the confiscation” (“Barghouthi: 100 settlements underway in Beit Jala,” 18 July).

Barghouti reported that the work began in secret to “avoid the exposure of the Netanyahu government’s false claims of freezing settlement construction.”

Israel is also finishing construction of its wall in the Bethlehem suburb of Beit Jala, next to al-Walaja. When finished, the wall will completely encircle the Bethlehem area and will cut off thousands of Palestinians from their land. Israel began building the wall in the Bethlehem district in 2004.

Palestinian residents of al-Walaja and Beit Jala, accompanied by international human rights activists, have been trying to resist the ongoing encroachment of the wall and settlements in the area. Protesters have been fired upon by Israeli forces using stun grenades and tear gas.

Property destruction in Jordan Valley

And last week, Israeli forces destroyed Hmayyir and Ein Ghazal in the Farasiya region of the Jordan Valley, demolishing approximately 55 homes, livestock pens, tents, clay ovens, bathrooms and storage structures. More than a hundred Palestinians were displaced, including 52 children. The villages had been declared “live fire zones” by Israeli officials last month, and eviction orders were posted on the homes of families in the village, according to Amnesty International.

Amnesty stated in a press release that along with the Farasiya villages, families living in the smaller villages of Ein al-Hilwe and Ein al-Beida — also in Area C — were served with eviction and demolition orders.

Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, stated in the press release that “these recent demolitions intensify concerns that this is part of a government strategy to remove the Palestinian population from the parts of the West Bank known as Area C, over which Israel has complete control in terms of planning and construction” (“Israel intensifies West Bank home demolitions,” 21 July 2010).

Amira Hass reported for the Israeli daily Haaretz that during the past year, the Israeli military had set up “hundreds of warning signs” near Palestinian villages and farming areas, marking them as “closed military areas … Such a sign was set up at the entrance to Farasiya” (“IDF destroys West Bank village after declaring it military zone,” 21 July 2010).

Haaretz spoke to a coordinator with the popular committee in the Jordan Valley who reported that Israel has consistently cut off Palestinian farmers and villagers from their water sources, destroyed drinking and irrigation pipes from streams and prohibited them from using water wells that the Israeli water company Mekorot had established in the region.

“Since 1967, Israel has prevented Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley from growing, whether by cutting off their water supply, declaring large areas as live fire zones or banning all construction,” Hass reported.

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PROTESTORS AT AL-ARAQEEB VILLAGE

NOVANEWS

Interview with Khalil Alamour, organizer of protest at demolished village

 

By Jesse Bacon

I spoke with Khalil Alamour at the protest tent at Al-Araqeeb, the village demolished by Israel this week. Protestors plan to return tomorrow and rebuild it.

More Recent Articles

 

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DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

Dear All,

While it might benefit some to have Israel as a member-in-good-standing in the OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development], it is totally unjust. Yet worse is the organization’s decision to hold its annual Tourism Conference in Jerusalem.  What could have been going through the minds of the decision makers when they selected Jerusalem—the city now undergoing Judaization and ethnic cleansing, neither of which those attending the conference are likely to see. 

Please do your best to induce your organizations to write to the OECD (as instructed below), and to protest the decision.  And please also write your own letters, or send the one below adding your name, to the first four members of the OECD mentioned below.  I have copied the attachment below for your convenience.

Thanks,

Dorothy

================================

Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2010 4:03 PM

Subject:  An Open Letter to the OECD regarding the decision to holdthe annual Tourism Conference in 2010 in Jerusalem

———

Dear friends,

 Please find attached the text of the Open Letter we have sent to the OECD regarding their decision to hold their annual Tourism Conference in Jerusalem. We oppose this decision and the Open Letter discusses this and urges a change of venue for the Conference.

In solidarity with us, please assist us in widening the advocacy in the following ways:

Send our letter to the OECD with the endorsement of your network/group/organization on your letterhead, OR, rewrite the Letter as suitable for you and send it. (It is sufficient to send the letter to the first four listed in the Open Letter which provides the email addresses).

Send the letter or your version to your own OECD country representative, if relevant, listed among the addresses.

Also send the letter to the relevant/appropriate people in your government and opposition (if it applies) in your country.

Please circulate the letter to the other networks you collaborate with, requesting them to do as in 1, 2, and 3 above.

Please circulate the letter and an accompanying press release to the media you deal with in your country and beyond. 

This advocacy needs to be extended as widely as possible around the world in the interests of justice in Palestine and Israel.

Thanks for your help and solidarity.

On behalf of ECOT, Kairos Palestine and ATG,

Rami Kassis

Executive Director

————————————————————————————

Alternative Tourism Group – Study Center

Beit Sahour, 74 Star Street, P.O.Box 173, Palestine

Tel: +972 2 277 2151, Fax: +972 2 277 2211, Mobile: +972 598 944144

e-mail: rami@atg.ps, website: www.atg.ps

Alternative Tourism Group

_____________________________________________________________________

29 July 2010

An Open Letter to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) regarding the decision to hold the annual OECD

Tourism Conference in 2010 in Jerusalem

OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development –

Attention Mr Sylvain Giguere: cfe.contact@oecd.org

The Tourism Committee, OECD: tourism.contact@oecd.org

cc: The Secretary-General, OECD: Angel.Gurria@oecd.org

Head of Public Affairs, OECD: Willemien.BAX@oecd.org

OECD Permanent Delegations:

Australia: info.paris@dfat.gov.au                          

Austria: oecdpost@bka.gv.at

Belgium: ParisOECD@diplobel.org                     

Canada: poecd@international.gc.ca

Czech Republic: oecd.paris@embassy.mzv.cz     

Denmark: pardel@um.dk

Finland: sanomat.oec@formin.fi

France: dfra.OCDE-PARIS@diplomatie.gouv.fr

Germany: delegation@germany-oecd.org            

Greece: delegation@greece-oecd.org

Hungary: secretariat@delhongrie-ocde.fr             

Iceland: icemb.paris@utn.stjr.is

Ireland: irish.del@dfa.ie                                        

Italy: segreteria.ocse@esterI.it

Japan: info@deljp-oecd.fr                                                               

Korea: kor.oecd1@mofat.go.kr

Luxembourg: paris.amb@mae.etat.lu                   

Mexico: delocde@sre.gob.mx

The Netherlands: pao@minbuza.nl

New Zealand: nzembassy.paris@fr.oleane.com   

Norway: oecd.paris@mfa.no

Poland: pol.deleg@oecd-poland.org

Portugal: delegation@ocde-portugal.com

Slovak Republic: slovak.del@oecd-sr.com

Spain: consejeria.paris@mpr.es

Sweden: oecd-del.paris@foreign.ministry.se

Switzerland: vertretung@pao.rep.admin.ch

Turkey: turkdel.oecd@mfa.gov.tr

United Kingdom: uk-del.oecd@wanadoo.fr

US: usoecdpao@usoecd.org

European Commission: DELEGATION-PARIS@ec.europa.eu

(Slovenia: gp.mg@gov.si; Israel: sar@tourism.gov.il  Chile: contacto@sernatur.cl)   

Dear Mr Giguere, and OECD officials,

We are amazed and appalled at your announcement that the OECD Tourism Committee will hold its annual Conference in Jerusalem in October 2010. It appears that the OECD and the deliberative processes within it seem to have belittled the sensitivity and seriousness of the conflict between Palestine and Israel. Perhaps without intending to do so, it appears by its action that the OECD is siding with one party in a dispute whose ramifications are significant for peace in the whole world, especially in the Middle East.

Nevertheless, we write to you with the confidence that the OECD is a fair and transparent organisation, committed to a just peace in the world. After all, the ‘D’ in OECD would be meaningless as no genuine development can occur without a context of justice and peace.

We protest the decision to hold the OECD Tourism Conference in Jerusalem, and urge that another more suitable venue be found. Please consider the following:

1.       One of the stated aims of the conference relates to considerations of “green growth”, in line with the OECD’s commitment to promote a green policy linked with economic development.  It is an anomaly that a conference which is designed to identify green business opportunities and green tourism will take place alongside the violent reality of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Any objective analysis will demonstrate, and the OECD will undoubtedly acknowledge, that the occupation has had a disastrous record of ‘ungreening’ vast tracts of Palestinian land, and blocking development for Palestinian people, just to reinforce the Israeli presence.

2.       It is envisaged that delegates will visit important tourist sites at the end of the conference. Has the OECD considered that there are an increasing number of historical sites under dispute, and under false and illegitimate claims by Israel? Such visits, therefore, carry the risk of creating historical distortions in the minds of the visitors. Further, in keeping with Israeli patterns of tourism, delegates are unlikely to have the opportunity to meet and encounter Palestinians, and understand their legitimate claims to a just share in the travel and tourism sector in the Holy Land.

3.       The OECD Tourism Committee has decided to use a dangerously divisive tactic – one that is directed at giving Israel an important vote of confidence by promoting Israeli tourism and improving Israel’s image around the world.  It should be known that Israeli tourism has generally been an instrument of propaganda against the Palestinians, presenting them in a very unfavourable and untruthful light – as a dangerous and violent people, void of history and culture. OECD’s announcement then becomes an endorsement of Israeli racist propaganda, assisting Israel in keeping the tourism industry of Palestine invisible to visitors from around the world. 

4.       Given the centrality of Jerusalem to final status solutions, Palestinian exclusion will only serve to deepen the political chasm and render permanent resolution of the claims and counter claims even more complex and difficult to achieve. In that sense, the very choice of location is indefensible, one fraught with risks, while communicating one sided messages. 

There are other dimensions that need to be spotlighted. By making Jerusalem the site for this conference with Israel as the host country, the OECD ignores the fact that Jerusalem is a city under occupation. While it is expected to be evenhanded, OECD would implicitly unendorse the Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem, and legitimise Israel’s exclusive claim to the city.

The announcement potentially undermines OECD’s stated goals of sustainable economic growth and financial stability, increased employment and living standards, and participation in world trade – all of which have been impossible goals for the Palestinians as long as they are under military occupation by Israel. Tourism practices consistent with the values of OECD would have meant that the income generated by tourism is fairly distributed. This has not occurred. And given the implementation of Israeli policies, there will be little flow on from the conference to Palestine.

OECD’s upcoming conference in Jerusalem will only serve to bolster the stranglehold and monopoly that Israel maintains on tourism in the Holy Land that denies the Palestinian economy and Palestinians their fair share. The Israeli Ministry of Tourism deliberately downplays the occupation as an inconvenience to ignore, but discourages tourists from entering Palestine while disseminating racist propaganda. Discerning visitors who trickle into the Palestinian areas are often appalled by the way in which Israeli tourist packages allow tourists to spend no more than just a few hours, for instance, in the West Bank to visit Bethlehem, if at all. Such destructive imbalance is highlighted by the unsurprising fact that while there are more than 6000 Israeli tour guides, there are only 300 Palestinian tour guides, with a mere 42 Palestinians guides who are permitted by Israel to work beyond the West Bank in Israel.

The OECD should also consider that the conference would shut out the participation of Palestinian professionals in the tourism industry, since the vast majority has been denied entry into Jerusalem since 1993. The Israeli military will not let them past the checkpoint to reach Jerusalem.

What message does OECD want to send to the world by hosting a conference in a city occupied by a government that actively violates international law? These and many other questions will never get to be posed – and hence will be hidden from view – simply because Palestinians will not be present.

We urge the OECD in the light of the above considerations, in the interests of evenhandedness, in the pursuit of what is just and right, to identify another more appropriate venue for the Tourism Committee Conference.

We call on OECD to re-examine their thinking for hosting the Tourism Committee Conference in Jerusalem, and ask that a new location be considered consistent with OECD’s vision of a “fairer world economy.”

Yours sincerely,

Rami Kassis                     Caesar D’Mello                         Rifat Kassis

Executive Director                 Executive Director                     Coordinator

Alternative Tourism Group          Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism          Kairos Palestine

www.atg.ps                     www.ecotonline.org                 www.kairospalestine.ps                   

rami@atg.ps                     caesar@ecotonline.org        rkassis@kairospalestine.ps     

 

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NAZI’S UPROOTED PALESTINAN OLIVE TREES

NOVANEWS

Haaretz , July 28, 2010

Police destroy dozens of buildings in unrecognized Bedouin village in Negev

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/police-destroy-dozens-of-buildings-in-unrecognized-bedouin-village-in-negev-1.304443

By Jack Khoury and Yair Yagna

Juma al-Turi and his family sat for hours yesterday looking with disbelief at the ruins of their unrecognized village of al-Arakib, north of Be’er Sheva. The houses, the storage building and the bird cage were all destroyed, and the olive trees uprooted.

The village was destroyed after government officials determined it was built illegally on state land. Israel Police forces destroyed about 35 buildings, said residents. Confrontations broke out between the police and residents, and in the end one woman was arrested and six people were detained. Over 1,500 police came to guard the demolition.

What really bothered al-Turi, though, was the degradation etched in his heart.

“I saw the smiles of the policemen and the inspectors who did it, they simply enjoyed it while the children were left without a home. They made victory signs with their hands after the destruction. It seems they were confused and were certain they were in Lebanon in the war against Hezbollah,” he said.

Al-Turi, who made his living importing food for sale in the south, Egypt and Jordan, is among the village’s more well-off denizens. To village residents he is a man of the world and a symbol of success. A large number of his friends are Jews who come every once in a while to his house in the village to eat and close deals.

Shai Shalom, a friend of al-Turi’s, came yesterday to console him.

“I simply can not believe my eyes, they destroyed all his houses. It is sad, I don’t know why they did it,” he said.

In the wake of the destruction al-Turi lauded the quick help by the Islamic Movement to donate new tents.

“The Jews destroyed, the Muslims help. See what you’ve done. You are pushing us directly into the welcoming arms of the Islamic Movement,” he said. “These were my grandfather’s lands, why does someone want to take them from me? I live here peacefully and quietly and don’t bother anyone. It is simply embarrassing. I am a man of peace, I always got along with everyone, but you are pushing us to dangerous directions.”

Inspectors from the Israel Lands Administration arrived yesterday morning in al-Arakib along with large numbers of police. The ILA said the evacuation was conducted after many years of legal – and physical – battles against the Aturi tribe. The ILA said it demolished 46 illegal buildings, 11 made of cinderblock and 11 shacks. It also said it uprooted 850 trees that were transferred for replanting elsewhere.

The ILA said the Bedouin invaded the area, which is state land, in 1998 and in 2000 a court order was handed down banning them from entering the area. But the tribe moved in and planted trees. The ILA offered to rent them the land at a price of NIS 2 per dunam, but they refused to pay. The ILA received a court order to evacuate the residents in 2003 and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said they were shocked by the demolition. “Destruction of the village was a brutal act by state authorities against its citizens and residents, which destabilizes the foundations of democracy and human rights,” said Rawia Abu Rabia, a lawyer with ACRI.

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee said yesterday it would rebuild the destroyed homes. In an emergency meeting held in al-Arakib, the committee also decided to establish a fund to help the families, as well as asking the UN and international human rights organizations to look into the matter.

A mass prayer rally will be held at the site on Friday.

This story is by:

Jack Khoury

Posted in Palestine Affairs, PoliticsComments Off on NAZI’S UPROOTED PALESTINAN OLIVE TREES

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