Archive | October 12th, 2010

BREAKING THE SILENCE

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Channel 10 Breaking the Silence documentary

Channel 10 Breaking the Silence documentary

Data & daily updated occupation related reading :

http://www.btselem.org
http://www.ochaopt.org
http://www.kibush.co.il

 

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10/12/2010

Bil’in leader Abdallah Abu Rahmah sentenced to a year in prison for organizing nonviolent protests against the Wall

Bil’in leader Abdallah Abu Rahmah sentenced to a year in prison for organizing nonviolent protests against the Wall
 

Oct 11, 2010

Adam Horowitz

Turn right at the end: The future of a country that gave up on democracy
 

Oct 11, 2010

Sivan Hurvitz

Follow Mondoweiss on the Kindle
 

Oct 11, 2010

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz

Israel’s ethnic cleansing drill a result of nationalists adopting the two-state solution
Oct 11, 2010 04:12 pm | Dimi Reider

Cross-posted from Dimi’s Notes.

Noam Sheizaf reports on his blog the police and army recently concluded an extensive drill, practicing response to riots that would follow the signing of a peace agreement covering “population exchange”. Here is a verbatim translation of the very careful phrasing used by Carmela Menashe, the IBA’s veteran military correspondent, from whose report Noam fished the info:

“The security forces completed yesterday (Thursday) a large-scale military drill simulating coping with Hamas attacks and riots by the Arabs of Israel following the signing of a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

“Our correspondent reports that among other [eventualities], the forces practiced radical scenarios of violent demonstrations in the Arab sector following an agreement on population swap with the Authority. A detention camp for the Arabs of Israel [sic] will be set up at the Golani Junction to absorb the detainees. The large scale drill managed and led by the Prison Service was attended by the Home Front Command, the Israel Police, the Military Police, firefighting forces and others.”

Menashe’s report also notes the Prison Service is prepared [sic] to release 1,500 illegal aliens from Israeli prisons to absorb new Palestinian detainees within 24 hours, although it’s unclear whether this refers to “the population swap” scenarion or the one described further on, that of a Hamas Gaza-style takeover attempt of the West Bank. If it’s the former, it’s enough to make one wonder just how many people the authorities are planning to detain, if they’ll need all normally available space in our detention system, 1,500 places more, and an entire new detention camp.

Noam writes:

I think we should not turn this into a conspiracy item. The fact that the security forces are training doesn’t mean that Israeli leaders have such a plan…

I beg to differ. First, a drill involving so many forces is by definition following a plan hatched  Israeli public servants and/or leaders. Second, bringing all those crowds costs enormous amounts of money in equipment, fuel, ammunition, and most importantly, important peoples’ time. Third, it’s worth noting that the other scenario practiced in the drill is that of a Hamas takeover of the West Bank – Israel’s number one conflict scenario in that region, one which the army and the politicians have been speaking about and preparing for to no end, ever since Hamas pulled off the Gaza coup.

 

Much of our policy in grooming the Bonsai kitten President, Mahmoud Abbas, and much of our ever-tighter cooperation with the PA’s security forces, are all centered precisely around preventing this threat from materializing. It would be good to have a full list of the scenarios in the drill, to see if only highly probable or also implausible but highly dangerous scenarios are practiced. But if the top brass are taking the possibility of preparing for transfer as seriously as they take the risk of a Hamas takeover in the West Bank, it means that what Israelis call רוח המפקד must be blowing in that direction very hard indeed; hard enough, as we see, to materialize into fairly detailed plans about who does what when they get the go-ahead.

The drill is also disconcerting for other reasons. As described by Menashe, it seems to assume that there will be a strong violent response from the Arab population, which means the expulsion-and-denial of citizenship “population exchange” will be forced, rather than agreed on (through, say, referendum.)  The plan’s apparent concentration on population, rather than territory swaps, evokes the possibility of not only fencing out entire Israeli communities in a “redrawing of borders”, but of actual physical expulsion and removal.

The report on the drill comes hot on the heels of other disconcerting developments. The ludicrous “loyalty statement” resolution due to be passed by cabinet on Sunday is one; another is the prime minister’s feeble response to Lieberman’s calls for population swap. More ominous still were commentaries by the omnipresent “sources in the Prime Minister’s circle”, who told Haaretz the day after the speech that “Liberman’s position has come up in internal discussions of the diplomatic process, but there is no official decision by the government of Israel on this position.” Read that again: No decision on ethnic cleansing also means not rejecting ethnic cleansing out of hand.

A natural outcome

But rather than seeing this drill as a conspiracy or a monstrous aberration, I propose seeing it as a natural outcome. When the Israeli Right took up the two-state solution it did so with every intention of living up to what this solution promises to the Israeli Jews: A secure and exclusive, ethnocratic nation-state for at least a few more generations. The presence of a large, rapidly politicizing Palestinian minority is a much bigger threat to this vision than either the West Bank or Gaza. The current developments are perfectly reasonable outcomes of a marriage between ultra-nationalist values and the two-state idea: The important thing about the two-state, the symbiosis goes, is to secure Israel’s Jewishness; how sovereign the Palestinian state is open to creative interpretation, but the important thing is that as many Palestinians are excluded from any influence and contact with Israel as possible.

Hence the frenetic anti-Arab legislation, aiming to limit the role Arabs play in Israeli politics and culture. Hence Netanyahu’s insistence on Abu Mazen, a foreign diplomat, recognizing Israel’s Jewish character; and hence the determination to resolve Israel’s relations with its Palestinian minority through the most exclusivist and segregationist interpretation of the two state solution; most importantly, hence the exceptionally broad acceptance of this interpretation from right to “center Left,” from Lieberman to Tzipi Livni. The beast of ethnic cleansing is well on its way to Bethlehem, and it’s rapidly becoming normalized and legitimized – by prettier names – to the general Israeli public. We’ll be seeing more and more of this careful, calculated slouch as the year goes on.

Update: So far, the only public official to take notice of the drill is MK Dov Khenin. Khenin, a member for Jewish-Arab party Hadash, has established himself the reputation of a diligent MK keen to work across our parliaments’ multilple aisles to forward green, social and human rights agendas. He also ran two years ago for mayor of Tel Aviv, spearheading a coalition of Hadash, Likud and student and community activists, coming in second with  third of the vote. The esteemed Yossi Gurvitz writes on his Friends of George blog that  Khenin takes an urgent view of the matter:

MK Dov Khenin has requested an urgent discussion in the Knesset. Speaking to this blog, he said it would be a mistake to focus on the fact that Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch [in charge of the police, DR], is a Lieberman man; it seems, he said, much bigger than Lieberman and may involve Defence Minister Ehud Barak himself. Considering the fact the Home Front Command took part in the drill, this is a more than likely supposition. Khenin said he intends to demand explanations of Barak, but admitted that considering the latter’s consistent avoidance of accountability to parliament (he strives for perpetual reticence, said Khenin), this will not be easy.

Gurvitz also notes that such drills were carried out ahead of the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, with the target of the forces being, obviously, settlers. If I recall, these drills were widely publicised and used in psychological war against the settler community, hoping to persuade them not to resist. Here it seems the state is keen to keep whatever it’s preparing under wraps.

Dmitry (Dimi) Reider is a journalist and photographer, working from Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He blogs at Dimi’s Notes and +972 magazine.

‘We wouldn’t eat their sandwiches!’ –an interview with Lillian Rosengarten
 

Oct 11, 2010

Philip Weiss

lillianpicLillian Rosengarten, the only American on the Jewish boat to Gaza, lives near me in the Hudson Valley, and the other day I visited her to interview her about her experience on the British-flagged catamaran that the Israelis had intercepted on the high seas on September 28.

I hoped the activist/therapist/poet could answer a big question. How did she reconcile two important events in her life: her family had fled Nazi Germany when she was a toddler, but now, 73 years later, the state created to rescue the Jews had deported her and said she could never come back?

It was Wednesday afternoon. The door was open and Rosengarten was in her kitchen. There were three pots on the stove. She was making beans and soup for a sick friend.

We sat down in the living room near a carving from New Guinea. Rosengarten was rested and relaxed, and I thought of how fretful she had been before she left, as she waited to hear from the secretive boat organizers in Europe. Her friends and family had been afraid for her, we kept hearing rumors that she was on the list or off the list, she had nearly taken off on a trip she’d planned to Indonesia. Since then she’d had an adventure on the high seas and become a public figure. She’d been quoted in the New York Times, people were calling her from all over.

I asked her whether she’d been afraid to go.

“I was afraid from the beginning. There was some ambivalence, and on the other hand I absolutely had to go on this mission. I knew damn well this is dangerous. I knew what happened on the Mavi Marmara, I knew what happened in Dubai. I am not a martyr and I wanted to survive the trip. But if I were to die, I thought, so be it, I have to go.”

 

From the moment when she had first heard about the German Jewish boat (its original name) early last summer, she had felt called to be on it. “I thought, I have to be on that boat. It was completely emotional, not intellectual.”

Rosengarten was born in Frankfurt in 1935. By 1937 her father had seen the writing on the wall and arranged to get most of the extended family out. Today her relatives are scattered around the world, on several continents. Many live in Israel. Though she was never a Zionist, Rosengarten went to Israel a half dozen times, the first time in 1971, when she fell in love with the country.

“Finally I was a Jew in a place where I felt no prejudice, no anti-Semitism.” Even on that first trip though, writer Hans Lebrecht, her father’s first cousin, a resistance fighter in World War II, now a member of Gush Shalom, pointed out to her the racism in Israeli society toward Mizrahi Jews– they were seen to be inferior– and she found it shocking. Later on she made Palestinian friends, and saw their lands taken and their houses demolished, and was appalled, and never shy about expressing her views.

Rosengarten said that the feeling on the Jewish boat had been wonderful for two days. The six passengers and three crew had melded around the hope that their dream would come true, that the Israelis would recognize the importance of reconciliation and of their symbolism, and allow the little catamaran to go on to Gaza. The passengers would come up on the beach into a crowd of Gazans and say, “We are Jews, and we find it despicable what’s going on toward you.”

They carried relief supplies, but these were largely symbolic. A high-tech device for purifying water, children’s books from a German’s school, backpacks, and musical instruments. Holocaust survivor Reuven Moskovitz brought harmonicas. In the evening, Moskowitz played one, and the group sang—traditional Jewish songs, American freedom anthems.

Yet they prepared for the worst, put off their arrival in waters twenty miles off Gaza till daylight, because they did not want to go through the Mavi Marmara’s experience of having percussion grenades and rubber bullets fired on them in the dark. So it was daylight when the Israeli boats came on to the horizon, and then surrounded them.

“We saw 9 or 11 warships, some with guns, and then they were at the front and the back and the side of our little boat—and why!? It was inexplicable to me. Inexplicable. That our little catamaran with nine Jews, survivors in their 70s and 80s and all of them human rights activists, that they should send nine boats with guns pointed. Because they were looking at us with binoculars and they had all this radar equipment, and machine guns.”

It had seemed so obvious what the Israelis ought to do, for “optics.” They would have served themselves best by sending a small boat out to intercept the catamaran. No guns, but an ambassador coming on to the deck, to say, Sorry folks, we can’t let you through.

“How is it that we are surrounded by – these soldiers dressed to the gills with the boots and the Tasers and the helmets and the gloves with the fingers showing?” Rosengarten said. “This to me was completely incomprehensible. That this platoon of soldiers and guns and everything else surrounded us as if they were looking at the face of the enemy, and they had to protect thmselves from something.

“And that is when I realized it was war. What war was this? Who were they fighting? They are fighting each other, and themselves. I did not know that you cannot dissent from the Israeli government position. You cannot say no. And since I got back I read Gideon Levy saying, that each year of occupation has made the Israelis harder. Gradually they have become dehumanized. And their enemies also are dehumanized.

“That it was day made it less ominous. Still they came on board with their boots and we were all sitting there, and Reuven, he was holding his bag of harmonicas, and they had scattered them on the deck of the boat. And their heavy boots were very close to the harmonica, I think one of them was smashed, and Reuven lost it. He was screaming. ‘Give me my harmonicas!’ They were so symbolic. At this point, they had kicked Glyn to the ground to get him off the wheel [captain Glyn Secker], and I was so afraid for Reuven. I thought, Oh my god they’re going to hurt Reuven, he’s lost it. But then he got his harmonicas, and later I thought if it hadn’t been for the Mavi Marmara, they might have shot this old man.

“And the two refuseniks, Yonatan and Itamar [Shapira, brothers and crew members]. Itamar’s being tied up on the other boat, and they’re tasering Yonatan. He was screaming. It was just fascistic. It could have been Haiti under Duvalier, it could have been Chile under Pinochet, it could have been Franco’s Spain.

“Then after all that, when another boat came to the side, and they handed off a big plastic bag, and what comes out of it, but sandwiches!”

“Did you eat them?” I asked.

Rosengarten glared at me. “NO! Why would we eat something from the Israeli army, why? Why would we eat their food? After what they had done to us? We were doing active resistance. Eating the sandwiches, that would be like turning the wheel when they asked us to turn the wheel. It was unbelievable. But you know– they were probably told to bring them to us, to the Jews.”

I laughed hard. “Were you afraid?”

“Of course. But physically was the least of it. I wasn’t afraid of being killed. Some of the soldiers, their eyes had softened, and you could see past the indoctrination. I was afraid for all of Israel, and all of Gaza.

“I saw first hand the dehumanization and the brutality and the single vision and rigid tunnel vision. I could see the truth of the most moral army in the world. No army is moral. And this army, it is brutal, not only to others in Palestine, but to Jews who dissent.”

I said, “I keep seeing a little sailboat surrounded by gunboats.”

“Yes. Why? Why? This is a really important question. What kind of political statement is it? What is this paranoia? What is this fear?”

How did she answer those questions?

“It’s very simple. What was revealed was really the most powerful component of this trip– Jews against Jews. I saw the side of the Jewish experience that will do anything to preserve the myth of Israel. And the Jews who dissent–against the Jews who’ve become a military state that seized Palestinian land and that has a siege of the entire Palestinian population and enforces collective punishment– well they lose their humanity, and that dissent has to be crushed, to keep the myth of Israel going. Look at Yonatan. When a man of conscience decides he can’t bomb Palestinians, he says, no I can’t do it, he is seen as a traitor instead of a patriot. And now it is to the point that a Jew who doesn’t go along with the right position is deported.”

She had brought up my question. I asked her what it means that she fled Nazi Germany as a young Jew and now she has been kicked out of Israel as an older one.

Rosengarten lowered her head and cried.

“That’s exactly what I’m feeling, behind all these words. Because Israel always did exist in my mind as an ideal. My image of Israel was this place of return, a refuge for all the Jews, a place where Jews are good to one another, a country where they can be free and safe.

“Now I think, what was it all about? That this country, that’s supposed to be a haven to Jews, where Jews are going to be safe, can act like this. Not just to us, but the way it treats the Palestinians, their land, their water. And this issue of deportation, it is absolutely horrendous. I thought that all Jews have a right to be in Israel. To be cared for. To be safe. But as soon as we voice a dissent against the actions of a government that is brutal, that dominates another people, that commits collective punishment, when we cry out, No that’s not right, we’re deported.

“I’m weeping because– you know, I think about my mentor Hans. He is 91. I can’t ever go to visit him. I can’t go there if he dies. And my Palestinian friends, I can’t see them again either.”

“So you are feeling grief?”

“Oh I’m feeling tremendous grief, but mostly it’s grief about Israel. The road that it’s taken.”

Rosengarten is a person of broad experience. She has been married and divorced, had three children, lost her first son to drug addiction. She has lived in beautiful places and had a fulfilling professional life. She has traveled widely, crossing many cultures. To Irian Jaya to see the bush, to Borneo to see the rain forest, to Vietnam to see the cu-chi tunnels that the North Vietnamese used in their resistance, to Cambodia to see the killing fields, to India, Ladakh, Kashmir, Mexico, Greece. But this trip had given a new arc to her life, it had connected her childhood as a refugee with her adulthood. I asked her how that felt.

“It’s surreal. It’s Felliniesque. The reality and the non reality of this experience are flowing through one another. I’m trying to come to terms with the reality of my own refugee background and of Israel. And my response is sheer nausea–at the truth of what Israel has become.”

Some relatives are angry at her. One was in Dachau, another was in the kindertransport that saved children from Germany even as their parents stayed.

“I understand. They are coming from a deeply personal background where they need to believe in that Israel. There’s no way to crack their dream of Israel, to change their dream.”

Her own understanding is different. “I feel like I’m transported. I’m not the Lillian I was, and I have a mission in life to speak up for human rights in Israel and I feel driven to do this.”

I said, “You said on the phone that you want to go back, to Gaza.”

“I’d love to go back. I want to see my Palestinian friends and my Israeli friends. I want to have dialogue with perceived enemies. I want to talk to them and have them talk to us.”

It sounded like she was going to be taking a more public role.

“How can I not be? I’ve gotten a taste. I was in the experience. Some things that were speaking to me unconsciously from my own childhood have surfaced since that first email, and they are growing ever since. I have to speak out. I have to speak out for as long as I can. To say, there are Jews who do not support what is happening.”

Rosengarten doesn’t have a political program apart from getting each side to see the humanity in the other side.

“I do believe in one state. Really, I think it can only be one state. People tell me, well it has to be in steps. OK, I understand that.

“But I’ve always been an activist and now I’ve found something to struggle for. A different sort of Israel. Wait what is that–”

Rosengarten jumped up. The beans were burning. She rushed into the kitchen.

More ‘best shots of Israel’
 

Oct 11, 2010

Adam Horowitz

Lara Elborno sent the following email and photos to the Israel Project as part of its “Best Shots of Israel” contest. Elborno is a Palestinian-American and currently a 2nd year law student in Chicago.

Attached are four photos.

jaffaI took this photo (right) in Kedumim Square, in the beautiful Israeli city of Jaffa in June 2010. It shows a hip Israeli S&M dungeon in a building that was erected over 300 years ago as a mosque.

The other photo I took in the beautiful illegal settlement of Ariel looking out to a highway (below). I think the natural ancient landscape mixed with the modernity of the highway really shows what Israel is all about. I hope it’s not a big deal that Israel does not allow Palestinians to use that road.

Ariel
 

Saffouryehnow

The final photos are my personal favorite! They show Israel’s lush green forests and an ancient castle in the village of Saffouryeh in Israel (left).

The castle is so old, I also attached a picture of what the castle looked like in 1948 (below). Don’t mind all the houses. They used to belong to the Palestinians of Saffouryeh. 6,000 houses were destroyed to make way for the beautiful, serene greenery. Thanks JNF!

  

Saffouryeh

Thanks! Hope to hear from you soon!

Lara.

Activists disrupt JNF conference, including ‘Not in my name’ Jews who are labeled ‘traitors’
 

Oct 11, 2010

Philip Weiss

benjamin

The Jewish National Fund, which pays for the purchase of land for Jews in Israel, and of trees to cover up Palestinian villages, is holding a national conference in Atlanta. Activists picketed the conference, and several walked in on the conference yesterday, some identifying themselves as Jews. Among them is Lisa Adler, above, being pulled out of the room by a JNF’r.

Explains Israeli-American sociology professor Jesse Benjamin (pictured in the still, above):

“[JNF’s] charter is racist in the sense that most 19th century organizations that were nationalist are racist… and it needs to be changed to catch up with the 20th and the 21st century. The land in Israel should be available to all of its citizens.”

JNF is responsible for ethnic cleansing, he goes on, in that its purchases result in the expulsion of Palestinians from their land. (Thanks to Max Blumenthal)

bye bye dog talking
 

Oct 11, 2010

annie

Donna Edwards flap fosters debate over one-state vs two-state
 

Oct 11, 2010

Philip Weiss

Last week we picked up the news that Congresswoman Donna Edwards is holding a fundraiser with a non-Zionist organization, New Policy.org, this weekend, Saturday afternoon, at the Sheraton Washington North in Beltsville, MD.

Well, Washington Jewish Week is stirring the pot on the event, painting Edwards as “anti-Israel,” and quoting various Israel lobbyists who trash J Street for its vigorous support of Edwards. J Street is holding firm for Edwards but insisting that she is for two states.

Interestingly, the flap has gotten the one-state/two-state conversation into the mainstream (as it blipped into the mainstream during the Winograd/Harman race last summer in California).

 

J Street and NewPolicy.org have both issued statements of their views of one-state versus two state, which I publish below. Where do you stand?

J Street: 

“JStreetPAC supports only candidates that are 100 percent committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to the existence of Israel as a democracy and as the homeland of the Jewish people. Rep. Donna Edwards has repeatedly reaffirmed her commitment to both of these principles and her opposition to the concept of a “one-state solution” based on a single, secular state for Israelis and Palestinians.

JStreetPAC disagrees fundamentally on this issue with New Policy PAC, as does Donna Edwards. That is the basis of our organization’s pro-Israel identity and the basis of our support for candidates like Donna Edwards.

That said, we do not believe that the candidates we endorse need to agree with every view of every other individual or organization that endorses them. We expect Representative Edwards to make her views on these issues clear when she speaks at the upcoming New Policy PAC event as she has consistently throughout her career.

There should and must be room for debate and discussion on issues related to Israel and the Middle East, and we encourage broad and open debate in the political and communal arena. There can, however, be no debate – at least among those whom JStreetPAC supports – about the right of the Jewish people to a national home of their own in Israel, living side by side in peace and security with the national home of the Palestinian people.”

In turn, NewPolicy.org also elaborates on its position:

NewPolicy.org would not oppose a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if agreed to by both Palestinians and Israelis. The two-state solution has been endorsed by the Arab League through the Arab Peace Initiative and the Organization of Islamic Countries under the auspices of Saudi leadership. The two-state solution has also been the basis of negotiations under the mediation of the quartet, which includes the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.

Unfortunately, the chances for a two-state solution have been strongly diminished by the continued building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The presence of 550,000 Jewish settlers in heavily fortified settlements in the occupied territories, along with the unlikely scenario of their evacuation and their unwillingness to become Jewish citizens of a Palestinian state, has emboldened the advocates of a one-state solution.

NewPolicy.org does not oppose a one-state solution in principle: a democratic secular state with a population half Jewish, half Arab can prosper and become a model of coexistence, human rights, secularism and democracy for the Middle East and the entire world. However, either solution if implemented by the two parties toward just end to the hostilities would pave the road to peace in the region and enhanced American security at home

 

 

Settlers run wild over the weekend

Oct 11, 2010

Seham

and other news from Today in Palestine:

Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

A Palestinian is arrested as his house is Demolished – West Bank
Israeli soldiers and border police officers scuffle with a Palestinian as a vehicle demolishes a Palestinian house in the south of the West Bank city of Hebron. 11/10/2010
http://www.demotix.com/news/472080/palestinian-arrested-his-house-demolished-west-bank

Palestinians attacked by armed settlers in Burin
People from the village of Burin were attacked by 20 settlers, 5 of which had guns. They wanted to make a road leading up to the house of one of the villagers, Bilal Eid. that is on the top of a hill inside the small village of 3500 inhabitants. Just as the bulldozer started working, about 20 settlers went down from the illegal settlement of Givat Arozi, shouting and throwing stones at the bulldozer. Five of them were carrying guns.
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/10/14880/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+palsolidarity+%28International+Solidarity+Movement%29


Israeli settlers attack peace activists attempting to harvest olives in Hebron
Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian and Israeli solidarity activists in the Northern settlement of Susya,in the Southern West Bank city of Hebron, while the activists accompanied Palestinian farmers to their olive groves to harvest.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59582


Israeli settlers assault Palestinian farmers in Nablus
On Saturday morning, in the village of Burin, south of Nablus, a group of right-wing Israeli settlers assualted Palestinian farmers during the olive harvest.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59580

Bethel Settlers Attack Village of Dowar al-Qare’, Destroying Irrigation Pipes
Ramallah – PNN – Israelis from the settlement of Bethel attacked the Naabie-area village of Dowar al-Qare’ last night, vandalizing and destroying its irrigation pipes.  Village council members said the settlers wrote racist slogans on the walls of houses near Naabie, including one about the Prophet Muhammad. Water from Dowar al-Qare’ is not only important to the people of that village, but services people from Ramallah to al-Bireh and al-Majawra. This is also not the first attack on Naabie area farms.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8870&Itemid=64

Filling the Security Gap: Vigilante Justice in Area C, Palestine Monitor
Under the Oslo agreement, Israel’s military rules 60% of the West Bank, but offers little protection for the area’s majority Arab citizens. The result is lawlessness where tribal justice has supplanted official security. ST McNeil reports.   Known as the occupation’s laboratory, the city is split like the larger West Bank between zones of Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli influence called H1 and H2, respectively. The Israeli-controlled eastern H2 is where 35,000 Palestinians live underneath 800 Jewish settlers. Sunlight filters to the alleys of the city centre through suspended sacks of waste caught in trash nets: faeces, stones and refuse thrown from settler apartments.
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1562

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment

Abdullah Abu Rahma gets one year in prison despite international outcry
Bil’in protest organizer Abdallah Abu Rahmah was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment today, for his involvement in his village’s unarmed struggle against the wall.
http://theonlydemocracy.org/2010/10/abdallah-abu-rahmah-gets-one-year-in-prison-despite-international-outcry/

Israelis Train to Suppress Demonstrations
Al-Nasir – PNN – Israel is speeding up its displacement policies to an extreme degree, making the Palestine of 1948 a kind of delirium.  The leaders of the nation describe it as “a communal project” to build walls and homes, echoing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of the rightist Yisrael Beiteinu party. Lieberman calls for the exchange of land and people with the Palestinian Authority to rid Israel of the half-million Palestinians living in their own lands of origin. The policy, which parallels the annexation of Palestinian land by Israeli settlers, is supported by the majority of Jews in Israel who have been obsessed for years with changing the demographic balance. Lieberman’s project seems to be ready for implementation by the Israeli government, and it would be in the center of Israeli’s security agenda if orders were given to execute it.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8869&Itemid=62

Two Journalists Wounded In The Weekly Non-violent Protest In Bil’in
Two journalists were wounded and dozens suffered effects of tear gas inhalation during the weekly nonviolent demonstration in the village of Bil’in on Friday.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59572

Israeli soldiers don keffiyehs to try to break the back of Palestinian resistance, then stop photographers from filming them, Philip Weiss
Notes from the moral battleground: an amazing post by Joseph Dana on a demonstration against the illegal colonization of the village of Beit Ummar in which Israeli security disguised themselves as Palestinian demonstrators in order to arrest three Palestinian protesters. Vicious. Look at Dana’s photograph.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/israeli-soldiers-don-keffiyehs-to-try-to-break-the-back-of-resistance.html

Weekly demonstrations: Israeli soldiers retreat when the ships arrive in Al-Ma`sara
On Friday afternoon, around 50 protesters, including many international and Israeli activists, gathered in the village of Al-Ma’sara, near Bethlehem, to demonstrate against the theft of village land by the Gush Etzion settlement block. Soldiers were waiting the demonstrators at the exit of the village, to prevent them from getting too close to settlement. After they showed a map indicating that it was a closed military zone, soldiers started to throw sound grenades.
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/10/14875/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+palsolidarity+%28International+Solidarity+Movement%29

A tour of the maze of Israeli (in)justice
Ron, the Irish activist arrested during the peaceful demo in Beit Ummar, will remain in prison till the 12th of October. On Sunday we went to see Ron’s trial at the Russian Compound in Jerusalem early in the morning, because they didn’t give us the exact time when it would be. It was very difficult to find out in what part of the building the trial would be since there was nobody at the information desk and everybody sent us from one place to another. It was like being lost in a Kafka’s novel.
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/10/14953/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+palsolidarity+%28International+Solidarity+Movement%29

No positive evidence supporting accusations against Ameer Makhoul
On May 8th, Jewish Peace News posted news of the arrest or, more precisely, abduction, of human rights defender Ameer Makhoul, “Director of Ittijah – The Union of Arab Community-Based Associations – … in the dead of night, while he and his family slept in their home in Haifa.” The arrest of this “Israeli citizen [and] … high-profile activist … [was] placed under a gag order … Israeli reporters, news outlets and even blogs” were forbidden from writing about it. On June 20th, JPN followed up with a letter from Makhoul, composed after he “had spent 3 weeks in prison without access to even pen and paper, not to speak of lawyers, family visits, due process, humane and legal conditions.”
http://theonlydemocracy.org/2010/10/no-positive-evidence-supporting-accusations-against-ameer-makhoul/


My father in prison, from Bil’in, a village of Palestine
At the moment, four of Bil’in’s villagers are in Israel jails on concocted evidence and the children of two of them were the focus of today’s protest. For many months now, Abdullah Abu Rahmah’s seven year old girl, Luma, has beeen marching in the protests holding up a placard of her jailed dad, drawing the awe and admiration of all who witness this spirited young girl doing her dad and Bil’in proud – Abdullah and his wife, Majida, have two other children: Lian (5) and nine-month-old baby Laith. Hero and inspiration of the village and the bravest man that I know, Adeeb Abu Rahmah has nine children and they are all suffering greviously, especially the youngest that are in the most need of his love and care: Tutu (4) and Falastine (8).
http://www.bilin-village.org/english/videos/8369-My-father-in-prison

Corrie family appeals decision allowing soldiers to testify behind screen
Lawyers for the family of Rachel Corrie filed an appeal with the Israeli Supreme Court on Sunday, challenging a decision to allow soldiers to testify behind a screen in the lawsuit filed against the State of Israel for the unlawful killing of the American peace activist in Rafah, Gaza.  State attorneys made the highly unusual request in court on Thursday, October 7 arguing that they were necessary to protect the soldiers’ safety and prevent their images from being circulated. Haifa District Court Judge Oded Gershon granted the request, ruling that all but two soldiers, who were both already known to the public, would be permitted to provide their testimony hidden from public view.
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/10/14923/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+palsolidarity+%28International+Solidarity+Movement%29

Rachel Corrie Trial: Commander Forgets What Happened, Palestine Monitor
The ongoing civil lawsuit lodged by Rachel Corrie’s family against the state of Israel for the unlawful killing of their daughter resumed on Thursday, October 7. The trial, which first began on March 10, is seeking prosecution for the killing of Rachel on March 23, 2003 in Rafah, Gaza. Rachel was killed by a bulldozer operated by IDF soldiers as she tried to block the demolition of a Palestinian home. Charlotte Silver reports
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1563

IDF did use violence on Gaza relief boat
The Israeli Defence Force says that there was no resistance and no violence in the boarding of The Jewish Boat To Gaza (Report, 29 September). In fact, when boarded, we cut the engines and I held the wheel with all my strength. With one commando standing by with an electric Taser, two others removed me (I am 66) and threw me hard to the floor. I grabbed the ignition keys, but they wrenched them from me. They violently shoved aside those sitting over the switches and started the engines. On the port side, commandos singled out Yonatan and Itamar Shapira, our two refuseniks. Itamar was violently dragged backwards across the safety wires to their boat and restrained dangerously by a commando who pushed his fingers deep into Itamar’s jugular artery. Yonatan was hugging Rami Elhanan, our Bereaved Families passenger. The commander fired his Taser twice into Yonatan’s shoulder, then with deliberation moved Yonatan’s lifejacket aside, placed his Taser directly over Yonatan’s heart and fired. Yonatan’s whole body went into spasm, he let out a fearful scream, crashed across the cockpit and was dragged backwards over the safety wires to the commandos’ boat.  As passive resistance, I turned off the fuel supply to the engines, so they towed us at very high speed through increasingly rough waters. The boat lurched and crashed about for hours to Ashdod. It was dangerous for the elderly passengers; most sustained serious bruising. There was therefore considerable nonviolent resistance by the crew and passengers to the illegal action by the IDF, and violent, reckless and very dangerous action by the IDF commandos. Glyn Secker,  Captain, Irene, The Jewish Boat To Gaza [end]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/11/idf-violence-on-gaza-boat

Deported: Israel no longer my Israel, Lillian Rosengarten
I have been deported, no longer a good Jew. I have dissented. How?  I along with five Israelis and three other Jewish passengers tried to reach Gaza  to show  solidarity with the occupied population of Palestinians held hostage by the Israeli “moral army”. By what hubris can any army be called “moral?” Armies kill and are taught to hate. Armies fight immoral wars. I am a pacifist and believe the only way to conflict resolution is through compassionate listening to our enemy. I was the only American passenger, a refugee from Nazi Germany. I am a cultural Jew with a deep connection to my roots.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/deported-israel-no-longer-my-israel.html

Call for International Solidarity: Stop Raids and Repression of Antiwar Activists
To all international solidarity activists;   We are calling on our international allies to take action in support of long-time peace and human rights activists who have come under attack for their work against U.S. occupation and military intervention abroad. Take action now and sign the letter using our online form!  On September 24th, 2010, the FBI subjected about a dozen anti-war activists and activists working in solidarity with struggles in Palestine and Colombia to searches and raids of their homes in Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan. Activists in California, Wisconsin and North Carolina were also harassed.
http://palestineconference.org/wp/2010/10/09/call-for-international-solidarity/

Annie Lennox: I have no interest in going to Israel
Ex-Eurythmics singer and human rights activist tells The Observer she is in no way anti-Semitic, but coming to Israel would be ‘too volatile.’
http://www.haaretz.com/culture/annie-lennox-i-have-no-interest-in-going-to-israel-1.318380?localLinksEnabled=false

500 civil activists from Asia will march to Gaza against siege
New Delhi: About 500 civil rights activists from 17 Asian countries will march to Palestine to press Israel to end the siege of Gaza. The activists will gather in New Delhi on December 1 and proceed to Gaza. The march is being organized by Asian People’s Solidarity for Palestine.  The group announced the schedule of the march in a press conference on October 5 in Delhi with similar press conferences on the same day in four other countries Turkey, Iran, Indonesia and Lebanon. According to the release, 500 civil resisters from 17 Asian countries will join the caravan from India and march through 18 Asian cities of Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey to break the siege of Gaza through the sea route in December 2010.  “This struggle is broad, varied and multi-dimensional. It is humanitarian and for peace, freedom and human dignity. It is against occupation, imperialism, apartheid, Zionism and all forms of discrimination including religious discrimination,” the group said.
http://twocircles.net/2010oct08/500_civil_activists_asia_will_march_gaza_against_siege.html

#BDS: Palestinian Civil Society Urges COOP to Boycott Agrexco
We, the undersigned Palestinian civil society representatives, including farmers unions, agricultural organizations and popular committees are writing to express deep concern at reports that COOP Italia is considering entering a direct commercial agreement (albeit including a traceability guarantee) with Carmel Agrexco, the partially state owned Israeli exporter that is responsible for marketing 60-70% of the agricultural produce grown in Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. We wish to emphasize that the proposed agreement does not mitigate, on the contrary it reinforces, COOP’s complicity in Israel’s system of occupation, colonisation and apartheid.
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/2010/10/bds-palestinian-civil-society-urges.html

#BDS: Ireland urged to join boycott of OECD tourism conference in Israel
London, (IRNA): The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) is urging the Irish government to join Britain and Spain in boycotting an OECD tourism conference that is due to be held in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem later this month.  In a letter to Irish Foreign Minister Martin, IPSC national chair Freda Hughes called on the government to follow the examples of its European partners to decline Israel’s invitation to attend the three-day conference, starting on October 20. 
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/2010/10/bds-ireland-urged-to-join-boycott-of.html

#BDS: Letter to Dulce Pontes to cancel his performance in Tel Aviv on December 21
Dear Dulce Pontes:  We write as fans love your music and your voice. We were disturbed to learn of your upcoming concert in Tel Aviv, scheduled for December 21, 2010. We ask that you cancel this action. Despite the breathtaking beauty of your tunes, if you act in Israel you will be doing an accomplice to the normalization of a situation which has nothing beautiful, but for those who suffer is quite close to horror. The State of Israel maintains a military occupation and economic exploitation, ie colonial rule on a territory to which no right under international law. The population of these areas suffer the oppression of living not even allowed to statehood and the helplessness of living in refugee camps scattered across the Middle East.
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/2010/10/bds-letter-to-dulce-pontes-to-cancel.html

#BDS: Ford Foundation Funds Anti-Israel Event
The Ford Foundation is paying to send at least eight anti-Israeli scholars to a conference at an Italian villa.  A total of 21 scholars will meet in the villa in Bellagio, on the banks of Lake Como, to discuss academic boycotts and their relation to academic freedom. More than a third of the participants publicly support boycotts of Israeli universities out of opposition to the Jewish state, according to the New York Sun.  The foundation is contributing $70,000 to fund the meeting and publish the conference’s proceedings.  The move comes less than three years after reports of Ford Foundation funding of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activity led to an international uproar. In November 2003, The foundation apologized for some of its funding and announced policies requiring grant recipients not to engage in bigotry.
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/2010/10/bds-ford-foundation-funds-anti-israel.html


Refugees/ Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement

Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – Sep 12 – Oct 9
http://www.gazagateway.org/2010/10/industrial-fuel-needs-vs-supply-sep-12-oct-9/

Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – Sep 12 – Oct 9
http://www.gazagateway.org/2010/10/goods-needs-vs-supply-sep-12-oct-9/

Syria strives to resettle Iraqi Palestinians
DAMASCUS // Nahya Mahmoud Abdulkader and her disabled son, Omar, are the victims of two major wars: the long-running Arab-Israeli conflict and the shorter but also devastating fighting in Iraq.  A Palestinian, her family was displaced by the creation of Israel in 1948. Mrs Abdulkader had been a refugee in Baghdad for almost six decades, only to be displaced once again after the US-led invasion of 2003.
http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/middle-east/syria-strives-to-resettle-iraqi-palestinians

German Minister Denied Entry to Gaza Strip
German Development Minister Dirk Niebel was denied entry to the Gaza Strip on Sunday. Once again, it would seem, Israel has failed to strike the correct diplomatic tone. And it shows that the country cannot deal with criticism.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,druck-701900,00.html

‘Eased’ Blockade Continues to ‘Strangle’ Gazan Economy, Alex Kane
The Gaza “Freedom Flotilla” of May 31 brought the world’s attention to the collective punishment the people of Gaza are going through.  But despite the much-heralded Israeli “easing” of the siege in response to a furious world, the situation in Gaza remain much the same, and even worse for businesses there.
http://alexbkane.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/eased-blockade-continues-to-strangle-gazan-economy/

Israeli Crushing of Economy Not Limited to Gaza, Alex Kane
Yesterday, I wrote about how the so-called “easing” of the siege of Gaza has in fact led to the further “strangulation” of the Gazan economy.  In the comments section, Chris, who blogs at Notes From a Medinah:  Perspectives on the Middle East and who is currently “living in the West Bank and working at a community development NGO,” makes an important point:
http://alexbkane.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/israeli-crushing-of-economy-not-limited-to-gaza/

Gazans suffer high unemployment due to Israeli blockade
GAZA, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) — Ten years ago, 42-year-old Mustafa Abu Jarad could earn 100 U.S. dollars every day as a carpenter, however, now he lives on international aid with income dropping to 150 dollars every month.  Abu Jarad, a father of eight living in al-Tufah neighborhood of Gaza city, used to be a talented carpenter and worked in Israel until the second Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, erupted in late Sept. 2000. Israel then closed its borders and tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2010-10/10/c_13550426.htm

Beit Safafa Schools: Overcrowded and Without Services, and With Two Curricula Under One Roof
Beit Safafa, about 10 kilometers from Jerusalem, has overcrowded schools whose classrooms are too small, and it suffers from a unique condition: it uses both Israeli and Palestinian curricula.  Abdulkarim Lafi, an engineer and president of the Jerusalem Parents of Students Committee, said in an interview that the Beit Safafa schools are perhaps the only ones in the world to pursue two different curricula in one building, under one administration, with one faculty. This division happened in two stages: first Israel imposed its curriculum, but then the people refused it, forcing the administration to teach the Jordanian curriculum alongside the Israeli version. This was later replaced with a Palestinian one.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8877&Itemid=1

Two Schools in Nablus
“Most of the students from age fourteen have had a prison experience.” A great short film from 2008 on secondary schools in Nablus. Parts 2 to 4 over the fold. I challenge anybody to watch the girls’ terror in part three and remain unaffected. We must redouble our efforts to strengthen the Palestinians and to weaken their enemies.
http://pulsemedia.org/2010/10/09/two-schools-in-nablus/

Israeli Artists, Intellectuals Protest Against New Israeli Bill
Shortly after the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu based a bill on Sunday requiring all non-Jewish citizens to pledge allegiance to Israel not only as a state but as a “Jewish and democratic state”, hundreds of Israeli intellectuals and artists held a protest in Tel Aviv to challenge the new bill.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59586

Detainees

Prisoners
During the journey from Ramallah to Nablus I got talking to the middle-aged man sitting beside me. It turned out he’d been in prison for five years, cramped in a cockroach-run tent with tens of other men. At the kiosk at the end of my street I got talking to a white-haired young man. A few nights earlier the two owners of the kiosk had been taken away in an Israeli jeep. The white-haired man’s brother had been killed in 2007. He himself had done eleven years inside. I got talking to a writing student whose brother was constantly detained. A Palestinian friend of mine who now lives outside did ten years in Israeli jails. Two and a half of them were underground. Almost every male I met in Nablus had been imprisoned at some point. There are at least 8500 prisoners currently inside. But my friend tells me he felt more free inside the small prison than he did inside the larger. So here’s the statistic that counts: in all the territories controlled by the apartheid state of Israel there are 5,300,000 Palestinian prisoners. The other half of the Palestinian people is locked outside in exile. Here’s Saed Abu-Hijleh describing temporary detention.
http://pulsemedia.org/2010/10/08/prisoners/

Israel’s Arab Helpers   

PA approves textbook offering both sides’ narratives
Study guide that presents both Israeli, Palestinian versions of history banned by Israel.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/pa-approves-textbook-offering-both-sides-narratives-1.318307?localLinksEnabled=false


PA denies backing textbook with Zionist narrative
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education official denied on Monday approving a textbook which teaches schoolchildren the Zionist and Palestinian narrative.  A member of the PA ministry’s curriculum committee Thwarwat Zaid rebuffed a report in Israeli daily Haaretz that the textbook had been approved and said the committee neither knew of the book nor read it.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=323091

PA: Hamas is dividing homeland
JERICHO (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority on Sunday said Hamas was acting to socially and economically separate Gaza from the West Bank.  Ministers at a weekly Cabinet meeting condemned Hamas’ imposition of import duty on goods entering Gaza from the West Bank. Further, the Gaza government was forcing companies registered in Ramallah to re-register in Gaza, and preventing some West Bank companies from trading in the Strip, a Cabinet statement said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=322857

ATFP Board Member’s Business Links With Israeli Army: More “Cooperation Towards Peace”?
A board member at  The American Task Force on Palestine which operates as the lobbying firm for the Israeli-sponsored, Western-funded, and American-supervised collaborationist Palestinian regime in Ramallah, has been conducting a very lucrative business relationship with an Israeli military firm.  The ATFP has recently had to defend its ongoing relationships with AIPAC and other racist, Zionist groups.  Hussein Ibish, the Washington concierge to PNA officials, has gone as far as describing such meetings with AIPAC and other fanatical Zionist groups as “cooperation towards peace.”  How will he describe this revelation?
http://ikhras.com/2010/10/atfp-board-members-business-links-with-israeli-army-more-cooperation-towards-peace/


Political Developments

Barghouthi: There is no authority in WB except that of occupation
MP Mustafa Al-Barghouthi has asserted that the Israeli assassination of resistance cadres in Al-Khalil proves that there is no authority in the West Bank except that of the Israeli occupation.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U

Barghouthi: Peace talks amid settlement activity an illusion
Palestinian National Initiative Secretary General Mustafa Barghouthi voiced outrage against Israeli settlers who looted olives in Qalqaliya and Nablus under protection of Israeli forces.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Q

Netanyahu offers settlement freeze in exchange for recognition, Palestinians say no
Prime minister says Israel will extend settlement freeze if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas spokesman says ‘issue of Jewishness of the state has nothing to do with the matter.’
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/netanyahu-offers-settlement-freeze-in-exchange-for-recognition-palestinians-say-no-1.318447?localLinksEnabled=false

PA rejects demand on Jewish state for freeze
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority on Monday rejected a demand earlier by Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for an extension to a settlement freeze.  President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh told British news wire Reuters that a return to peace talks required a freeze on Israel’s settlement building.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=323104

Israel backs bill on majority vote for territorial withdrawal
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli parliament’s Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a bill on Monday requiring a 60-MK majority and national consent on withdrawing from territory occupied by Israel in 1967.  The referendum bill on withdrawal from the Syrian Golan Heights and East Jerusalem mandates that any government decision be brought before Israeli citizens in a referendum, Israeli news site Ynet reported.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=323059

French, Spanish FMs: Lieberman violated every rule of diplomacy
European foreign ministers furious with Israeli counterpart, who told them to ‘solve their own problems before they complain to Israel.’
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/french-spanish-fms-lieberman-violated-every-rule-of-diplomacy-1.318404?localLinksEnabled=false

Lieberman To European Counterparts: “Go And Solve Your Problems First”
Israeli Foreign Minister of the fundamentalist right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, told his French and Spanish counterparts that Europe should first solve its own problems before trying to complain about Israeli policies.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59584

Other News

PA funds street repairs in East Jerusalem
When city didn’t listen, Arab residents turned to Salam Fayyad – and got NIS 1.2 million.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/pa-funds-street-repairs-in-east-jerusalem-1.318290

Palestinian dream city hits snag from Israel (AP)
AP – It is billed as a symbol of the future Palestine: a modern, middle-class city of orderly streets, parks and shopping plazas rising in the hills of the West Bank, ready for independence, affluence and peace.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101010/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_palestinians_suburbia_on_hold

OECD protest at Israeli minister
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says it could cancel a conference in Jerusalem over remarks by an Israeli minister.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/world-middle-east-11508953

Dubai police: Suspect in Hamas death nabbed abroad (AP)
AP – A key suspect in the killing of a Hamas operative in Dubai has been arrested abroad but details of the capture are secret, according to Dubai’s police chief.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101011/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_dubai_hamas_slaying

Ireland cancels arms deal with Israel reportedly over Mabhouh issue
The Irish ministry of defense has cancelled an arms deal with Israel by which the latter would supply Dublin with ammunition, a Hebrew daily reported on Monday.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Q

Newly declassified documents show that Israel considered using nuclear weapons in ’73 war
Thirty seven years ago, during the 1973 war between Israel and surrounding states, then-Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir considered the use of nuclear weapons against Syria, according to recently unsealed documents.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59587

Protesters to throw shoes at Obama effigy during TA rally
At rally titled “United Against Obama’s Brutality Towards Israel” organizers say protesting against US president’s policies towards West Bank settlements.  Demonstrators plan to throw shoes at an effigy of US President Barack Obama at a rally to be held outside the US Embassy in Tel Aviv at 7 p.m. on Monday.  The rally is titled “United Against Obama’s Brutality Towards Israel” and organizers they are protesting against Obama’s policies towards the West Bank settlements, policies they say are “undemocratic, anti-Semitic, and biased in favor of the Arabs,” according to the group’s Facebook page.
http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=190907&R=R2

Rabbi Yosef’s son: Newly religious must become Sephardic
In Israel one must embrace Sephardic traditions, yet one mustn’t abandon the tradition of one’s fathers, Rabbi Avraham Yosef says.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3967284,00.html

Rightist website marks anniversary of Rabin’s murder – with a conspiracy theory contest
Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew site promises to publish the ‘most interesting’ theory about the assassination of the prime minister in 1995.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/rightist-website-marks-anniversary-of-rabin-s-murder-with-a-conspiracy-theory-contest-1.318394?localLinksEnabled=false

celebration of bigots in the New York Times
This is a very long and largely celebratory piece about a self-described anti-Islam bigot. But what attracted my attention is the suggestion in the piece that the website Little Green Footballs (a known hateful site) is a rather moderate site that abhors bigotry when it broke with this woman for personal reasons.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/10/celebration-of-bigots-in-new-york-times.html

Looting the Holy Land
Since 1967 countless artifacts have been unearthed and removed from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Many are displayed in Israeli museums and private collections, while others are sold to tourists. Al Jazeera searches through the evidence, unearthing the facts and exposing a power struggle in which every stone has meaning.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NY0JF9VBQ8&feature=youtube_gdata

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest

Avigdor Lieberman: A Profile in Ultranationalist Extremism, Stephen Lendman
Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Lieberman represents the worst of Israel’s lunatic fringe, sort of a combination Dick Cheney/John McCain/Joe Lieberman, too extremist to be entrusted with power, but he’s got it.
http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/10/avigdor-lieberman-profile-in.html

the Lobby is powerful, but not all powerful, Max Ajl

Perhaps the most bizarre thing about attempts to really analyze the Lobby and find the limits of its influence is that they are frequently met by accu­sa­tions that the analyst who attempts to do so is “obfus­cat­ing” the role of the Lobby. If Jewish, the accu­sa­tion gets an endearing twist: he is indulging in “Jewish tribalist apolo­get­ics.” Stranger still is that these accu­sa­tions have no rational rhyme or reason. Instead, those making the most wide-ranging claims proclaim their monopoly on His­tor­i­cal and Ana­lyt­i­cal Truth, pretend counter-arguments are gra­tu­itous, and in the process talk very little about class, cap­i­tal­ism, and Empire. When we get to the Middle East, mate­ri­al­ism doesn’t matter for the Empire—according to this line of thought, we need to look to nation­al­ism, ideology, Zionism, special interests, and a bunch of other causal explanations. It’s a grab bag, but what you won’t find in the grab bag are the phrases “political economy” and “capitalist imperialism.”
http://www.maxajl.com/?p=4254&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+http%2Fwwwmaxajlcom%2Ffeedrss2+%28Jewbonics%29

Could Israel survive without Harvard?

A friend sent along this report from a strictly off the record event at Harvard that promptly was reported openly in the Israeli media.   The email which got directed to my Spam was titled: “CONGRATULATIONS.” The reference was to my winning a spot in a special study group with Tzipi Livni, which I attended yesterday afternoon. The instructions, apparently from Eric Andersen, a visiting scholar at Harvard Kennedy’s School Institute of Politics (IOP), were fit for a secret agent…
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/could-israel-survive-without-harvard.html

 Young Jew at Princeton: Yes, American Jews are to blame for ennabling injustice, Philip Weiss

Beautiful. Brandon Davis in the Daily Princetonian. And yes he identified as a Jew to write this piece. They wouldn’t a run it if he didn’t. But: Young Jews get this. They understand why I say that Palestinian statelessness is an American Jewish achievement, of 60 years standing. The young un’s are going to save American Jews from the incredible selfishness of the Israel lobby generation. Davis is a sophomore. You go, dude
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/young-jew-at-princeton-yes-american-jews-are-to-blame-for-ennabling-injustice.html

What I didn’t get to ask Tzipi Livni, Stephen M. Walt

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending a breakfast meeting with Tzipi Livni, former Israeli foreign minister and current head of the opposition Kadima Party, along with a group of Boston-area faculty, journalists, and other interested parties. The session was off-the-record, so I can’t tell you what any of the participants said. I can report that Livni was well-informed, articulate, direct, and engaging, and it was easy to see why she’s done well in political life.
http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/10/08/a_question_for_tzipi_livni

Back to Gaza, Jared Malsin

I arrived in Gaza on Thursday. This the first time I’ve been back to any corner of Palestine since I was deported by Israel in January.  It took a week of paperwork and waiting in Cairo to get approval from Egypt to enter Gaza. After obtaining the permit, I met up with Kristen Chick, the Cairo correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and together we hired a driver to take us to Rafah at one in the morning on Thursday. We raced across the Sinai in a taxi that appeared to be held together with scotch tape.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/back-to-gaza.html

What Does a “One State Solution” Really Mean?, ALAIN GRESH

Renewed Arab/Israeli negotiations, opened under the auspices of President Barack Obama in September, are undermined not just by settlement building but differing visions on other fundamental issues. The impasse has led to calls by some senior figures, including Israelis, for the creation of a single state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan
http://www.counterpunch.com/gresh10082010.html

Israel’s Other “Peace” Plan, Jonathan Cook

A ghost haunted the meeting of the Arab League in Libya at the weekend, as its foreign ministers decided to give a little more time to the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.  That ghost was the Camp David talks of summer 2000, when US President Bill Clinton publicly held Yasser Arafat, the then-Palestinian leader, responsible for the breakdown of the negotiations, despite an earlier promise to blame neither side if they failed.
http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/10/israels-other-peace-plan/

‘Jewish state’ demand is Israeli code for refugees, Jerusalem, Philip Weiss

Chris writes, at Notes from a Medinah, about the Israeli demand that Palestinian negotiators offer to recognize Israel as a Jewish state:  There is a distinct and important difference between recognizing Israel as a home for the Jewish people and recognizing Israel as a legitimate state, welcome in the UN and with the right to live in peace and security.  Yasser Arafat offered as much in an open letter to then PM Yitzhak Rabin during the Olso Peace Accords.  Recognition as a state for the Jewish people was absent in the Oslo accords and the peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt.  It was first introduced only in 2007 by Ehud Olmert and was rejected by both the Palestinians and then President George Bush as unreasonable.  Netanyahu, however, has reintroduced the idea with a vengeance, creating more questions, in my mind, about whether he actually is open to a free and independent Palestinian state.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/jewish-state-demand-is-israeli-code-for-refugees-jerusalem.html

Trying to watch the stars in the Palestinian desert

The Electronic Intifada contributor Sarah Irving recounts an attempt to enjoy the Palestinian night sky despite the obstacles of the occupation.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11562.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

Book review: “A Wall in Palestine”
The conflict in Palestine has become so all-consuming that even objects are central to the struggle. French journalist René Backmann’s A Wall in Palestine illustrates this fact.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11560.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

Lebanon

Nasrallah: STL protecting perjurers
BEIRUT: Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday accused the UN-backed court to try the assassins of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of protecting the so-called “false witnesses” into the case.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=120227

US tells citizens to ‘accept risks’ of remaining in Lebanon
BEIRUT: The United States’ Department of State urged the country’s citizens on Friday to avoid all travel to Lebanon “due to current safety and security concerns.” “US citizens living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks,” said a travel warning posted on the Department of State website.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=120230

Lebanon arrests spy ‘looking for info on Ron Arad’
Beirut’s media reports Lebanese intelligence has uncovered new espionage ring for Israel. Ring’s members allegedly tasked with finding new information on missing Israeli aviator.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3967555,00.html

HRW urges government not to bow to pressure to resume death penalty
BEIRUT: A leading human rights groups urged lawmakers on Sunday not to bow to political pressure for the resumption of the death penalty in Lebanon. On the occasion of the World Day against the Death Penalty, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called for recent demands of capital punishment sentences to be ignored by the judiciary.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=120216

LF website suffers from ‘organized’ hacking attack
BEIRUT: The Lebanese Forces (LF) website was hacked into at 1:30 am on Saturday, a statement by the LF media office announced. The statement said the hacking type was a DDOS attack (distributed denial-of-service attack). According to the statement, the hacking was similar to that which the website experienced following May 7, 2008, civil strife but with a double magnitude.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=120223


Iraq

Four killed execution-style in Iraq (AFP)
AFP – Four men were killed execution-style when gunmen swooped on their town south of Baghdad on Monday, as five people were gunned down in a robbery on a currency exchange office in the Iraqi capital.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101011/wl_mideast_afp/iraqunrest

Gunmen storm Baghdad money exchange, kill 5 (AP)
AP – Gunmen using pistols fitted with silencers stormed a money exchange office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing five people and wounding three in a brazen afternoon robbery, police officials said.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101011/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq

Sunday: 8 Iraqis Killed, 18 Wounded
At least eight Iraqis were killed and 18 more were wounded on a fairly quiet day politically and combatively. While Baghdad and Mosul suffered from the usual violence, Garma once again endured more than one attack. Although this city, just west of the capital, had been mostly quiet in recent years, insurgents are apparently stepping up their terror campaign there. Also, a court acquitted two Iraqis accused of murdering six British soldiers during a riot in 2003.
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2010/10/10/sunday-8-iraqis-killed-18-wounded/

16% of Iraqis suffer from mental disorders
16% of Iraqis suffer from mental and nervous disorders. 98% of these cases are not subject to any treatment. Iraq’s Health Ministry exposed alarming figures during the opening of a mental health special center inside the mental hospital of Ibn Roshod.
http://www.alsumaria.tv/en/Iraq-News/1-54998-16%25-of-Iraqis-suffer-from-mental-disorders.html

As Fallujah Rebuilds, the Bitterness of War Remains (Time.com)
Time.com – The city that was synonymous with the anti-American insurgency and rebellion has been largely rebuilt. But a former U.S. solder finds memories of war long and unforgiving.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20101008/wl_time/08599202418000

New ‘Green Zone’ emerging in Baghdad
The appellation ‘Green Zone’ is in fact a euphemism the U.S. coined to escape being accused of pursuing former leader Saddam Hussien’s oppressive tactics.  The U.S.’s Green Zone in Baghdad is exactly the site where Saddam had his fabulous palaces, prisons, security organs, the intelligence apparatus and the headquarters of his feared Special and Republican Forces.  Very little has changed since U.S. invasion troops removed Saddam Hussein. His palaces and security and army headquarters, which were no-go and highly protected areas, were turned into new bastions for U.S. military and civilian administration.
http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2010-10-09\kurd.htm

U.S. and other world news

US Attack Kills 7 People In Pakistan
The strike came just hours after Islamabad agreed to reopen a crucial border crossing to Afghanistan, ending a protest over the fatal shooting of two Pakistani guards by US troops.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/drones-kill-seven-as-afghanistan-crossing-reopens/story-e6frg6so-1225936840443


NATO loses 150 tankers in Pakistan
Almost 150 NATO oil tankers and supply trucks turned to ashes and at least 20 people were killed in Pakistan with 29 more containers burnt in a sixth terrorist attack on Saturday morning since the beginning of October.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-10/09/c_13548885.htm

US ‘tortured suspects’ in secret prison in Poland
The CIA used a secret prison in Poland to detain and torture its key 9/11 suspect, it has been alleged.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-11470379

Canadian jailed in U.S. on terrorism charge released
The 10-year-long saga of a Canadian man convicted in the United States of sending money to al-Qaeda may have drawn to an end Friday as he was released from prison and returned to Canada.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadian-jailed-in-us-on-terrorism-charge-released/article1750572/

Military suicide rates surge
For John Helfert, the problems started with the mortar shells screaming into the Abu Ghraib prison compound, the explosions sending furious shock waves.
http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/oct/10/na-military-suicide-rates-surge/

FBI allegedly caught using GPS to spy on student (CNN)
(Wired) — A California student got a visit from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do … The answer came when half-a-dozen FBI agents and police officers appeared at Yasir Afifi’s apartment complex in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday demanding he return the device.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/gaming.gadgets/10/08/fbi.tracks.student.wired/index.html

War against terror taking massive toll on human rights, conference hears
Governments and law-enforcement agencies around the world are using the war against terrorism as a pretext to clamp down on legitimate protest and free themselves from constraints on their activities, an international conference on human rights heard this weekend in Montreal.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/against+terror+taking+massive+toll+human+rights+conference+hears/3652141/story.html


Angle: Muslim law taking hold in parts of US
U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle told a crowd of supporters that the country needs to address a “militant terrorist situation” that has allowed Islamic religious law to take hold in some American cities.  Her comments came at a rally of tea party supporters in the Nevada resort town of Mesquite last week after the candidate was asked about Muslims angling to take over the country, and marked the latest of several controversial remarks by the Nevada Republican.  In a recording of the rally provided to The Associated Press by the Mesquite Local News, a man is heard asking Angle : “I keep hearing about Muslims wanting to take over the United States … on a TV program just last night, I saw that they are taking over a city in Michigan and the residents of the city, they want them out. They want them out. So, I want to hear your thoughts about that.”
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/angle-muslim-law-hold-parts/

Limbaugh: ‘Some people are just born to be slaves’
In a polemic almost worthy of Ayn Rand herself, radio host Rush Limbaugh explained Friday why equality is impossible and declared that “some people are just born to be slaves.”  But that’s fine, Limbaugh explained, because “everybody’s needed for something.”  “There is no equality,” Limbaugh said on his radio show. “You cannot guarantee that any two people will end up the same. And you can’t legislate it, and you can’t make it happen. You can try, under the guise of fairness and so forth, but some people are self-starters, and some people are born lazy. Some people are born victims. Some people are just born to be slaves.”
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/limbaugh-some-people-born-slaves/

California shooter says he saw Glenn Beck as ‘schoolteacher’
The 45-year-old “highway shooter” who engaged in a 12-minute shootout with California Highway Patrol officers earlier this year now says Fox News host Glenn Beck has been an inspiration for his activity. In a several thousand word expose for MediaMatters, Pacifica journalist John Hamilton interviewed the so-called highway shooter, Byron Williams, from prison.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/california-shooter-glenn-beck-schoolteacher/

Surprise — The Very Dark Side of U.S. History
When the United States inflicts unnecessary death and destruction, it’s viewed as a mistake or an aberration. In the following article Peter Dale Scott and Robert Parry examine the long history of these acts of brutality, a record that suggests they are neither a “mistake” nor an “aberration.”
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26550.htm

170 accused of Afghan vote fraud
Of those candidates accused, 136 were referred by the Independent Election Commission and 39 by security institutions, ECC spokesman Ahmad Zia Rafaat told reporters.
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1378606/170-accused-of-Afghan-vote-fraud

25 Afghan MPs Accused of Electoral Fraud
Officials in the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) said on Sunday that 25 Afghan members of Parliament are accused of committing electoral fraud.
http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/739-25-afghan-mps-accused-of-electoral-fraud

Over 60 percent of Afghans suffer mental health problems
Women and children are at particular risk from stress disorders and mental problems in a country which has suffered more than three decades of war and has an illiteracy rate of over 70 percent.
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/world/view/20101010-297005/Over-60-percent-of-Afghans-suffer-mental-health-problems

Iran says has proof of US nuclear aid to Israel
Tehran’s nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili says Islamic Republic has tangible evidence the Washington gave Israel enriched nuclear material.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3967661,00.html

Riyadh Islamic authority issues fatwa defending prophet’s wife
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Islamic authority issued a strong defense of the Prophet Mohammad’s wife Aisha on Saturday, after a Kuwaiti activist’s attack on her fed new tensions between the region’s Sunnis and Shiites.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=120194

Wife meets China’s jailed Nobel peace laureate
JINZHOU, China: The wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo met her jailed husband on Sunday, activists said, apparently to inform him he had won the prestigious award amid a media blackout in China.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=120192

Egyptian journalist tells poisoner’s tale
A former aide to late Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser has created an uproar in the Arab world by suggesting that Anwar Sadat was behind Nasser’s untimely demise in 1970. It isn’t the first time such theories have swirled around the death of a political leader in the Middle East. – Sami Moubayed (Oct 8, ’10)
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LJ09Ak01.html


Egyptian fiction growing, challenging conservative norms
The Egyptian fiction industry, formerly overshadowed by Beirut and Baghdad, is booming and evolving to challenge norms and reflect a changing society.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/-zjPu7N5mPQ/Egyptian-fiction-growing-challenging-conservative-norms

Death penalty is not the norm in the Middle East | Brian Whitaker
Executions in the US, Iran and China were the main focus of demonstrations on Sunday to mark the World Day Against the Death Penalty.  Last year, the US executed 52 people and handed out 106 death sentences; in Iran 388 executions were reported and in China the total is believed to run to thousands. Taking population into account, though, Iran probably has the world’s highest execution rate.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/11/death-penalty-middle-east

Gwynne Dyer: The rapid rise of Brazil’s Green party
Marina Silva, leader of Brazil’s Green party, has already done something remarkable: she persuaded one-fifth of Brazil’s voters to support the Green party.
http://www.straight.com/article-352155/vancouver/gwynne-dyer-rapid-rise-brazils-green-party.

www.TheHeadlines.org

a palestinian israeli poster i admire greatly on another site has made a very interesting claim wrt the new loyalty oath:

“You know that one of the reasons Israel under the proposed laws doesn’t require any Jew or any non-Jewish spouse of a Jew or any new immigrant whose grandparent was a Jew to give the pledge of allegiance to the Jewish state is because no Rabbi worth his salt would permit his congregation to do this.

“Indeed, no serious Rabbi would consider pledging allegiance to a or the Jewish state. None, no one.

“So they only impose it on Arabs. It is intended to humiliate. They want us to pledge allegiance to something that they themselves are not willing to pledge allegiance to. Let me tell you. Should either the Chabad (who are pro-Israel) or Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (the leading authority in the Jewish world and spiritual leader of Shas) declare openly that their followers will pledge this allegiance or even Barak’s equally offensive statement, then I will do so. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander! “

inquiries wrt this claim led one guy to say it was “gauche to discuss our religious beliefs in public” !!!! tsk tsk. then when i queried further he said “You’re not able to ‘challenge’ me. I don’t take you seriously. Never have. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there you have it.”

and then posted this charming video, which follows another poster at the site attacking me by posting a photo of a chihuahua whining  are there any posters who know enough about judaism to address this claim of the palestinian professor?

big viewer WIFI FACING RIGHT lrg  V188702452

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The following press release was issued today by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee:

Abdallah Abu Rahmah was sentenced today to 12 months in prison, plus 6 months suspended sentence for 3 years and a fine of 5,000 NIS. In the sentencing, the judge cited the non-implementation of an Israeli High Court ruling which declared the current route of the wall on Bil’in’s land illegal as a mitigating factor.

The military prosecution is likely to appeal this sentencing – as they did in the case of Adeeb Abu Rahmah, who was also sentenced for 12 months on similar charges but is still in prison after 15 months, pending the decision about the prosecution’s appeal. The defense attorney, adv. Gaby Lasky, is considering an appeal against Abu Rahmah’s conviction.

Today’s sentencing hearing was attended by diplomats from the United Kingdom, the European Union, Belgium, Germany along with representatives of UNSCO and Human Rights Watch.

“The Israeli army, which served as prosecutor, judge and jury in this case, is try to use Abu Rahmah to set an example that will deter people from protesting. They have even said so themselves”, said Mohammed Khatib of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee. “Their message falls on deaf ears, as we have no choice but to continue struggling for our lands, our freedom and our dignity”, he added.

 

Click here for the sentencing decision (in Hebrew).

Background

Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was arrested last year by soldiers who raided his home at the middle of the night and was subsequently indicted before an Israeli military court on unsubstantiated charges that included stone-throwing and arms possession. Abu Rahmah was cleared of both the stone-throwing and arms possession charges, butconvicted of organizing illegal demonstrations and incitement.

An exemplary case of mal-use of the Israeli military legal system in the West Bank for the purpose of silencing legitimate political dissent, Abu Rahmah’s conviction was subject to harsh international criticism. The EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, expressed her deep concern “that the possible imprisonment of Mr Abu Rahma is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest[…]”, after EU diplomats attended all hearings in Abu Rahmah’s case. Ashton’s statement was followed by one from the Spanish Parliament.

Renowned South African human right activist, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, called on Israel to overturn Abu Rahmah’s conviction on behalf of the Elders, a group of international public figures noted as elder statesmen, peace activists, and human rights advocates, brought together by Nelson Mandela. Members of the Elders, including Tutu, have met with Abu Rahmah on their visit to Bil’in prior to his arrest.

International human rights organizations Amnesty International condemned Abu Rahmah’s conviction as an assault on the right to freedom of expression. Human Rights Watch denounced the conviction, pronouncing the whole process “an unfair trial”.

Legal Background

Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was acquitted of two out of the four charges brought against him in the indictment – stone-throwing and a ridiculous and vindictive arms possession charge. According to the indictment, Abu Rahmah collected used tear-gas projectiles and bullet cases shot at demonstrators, with the intention of exhibiting them to show the violence used against demonstrators. This absurd charge is a clear example of how eager the military prosecution is to use legal procedures as a tool to silence and smear unarmed dissent.

The court did, however, find Abu Rahmah guilty of two of the most draconian anti-free speech articles in military legislation: incitement, and organizing and participating in illegal demonstrations. It did so based only on testimonies of minors who were arrested in the middle of the night and denied their right to legal counsel, and despite acknowledging significant ills in their questioning.

The court was also undeterred by the fact that the prosecution failed to provide any concrete evidence implicating Abu Rahmah in any way, despite the fact that all demonstrations in Bil’in are systematically filmed by the army.

Under military law, incitement is defined as “The attempt, verbally or otherwise, to influence public opinion in the Area in a way that may disturb the public peace or public order” (section 7(a) of the Order Concerning Prohibition of Activities of Incitement and Hostile Propaganda (no.101), 1967), and carries a 10 years maximal sentence.

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