Archive | November 5th, 2010



November 5, 2010

by Eric L. Wattree  


Mr. President: I Hate to Say I Told You So, but I Told You So

This is a reprise of an article that I wrote in August of last year.  I’m revisiting it in hope that the “experts” in Washington, D.C. will start to see the light.  They are not the political experts in this country – we are.  While the so-called political experts are dealing in speculation about what we think, the people don’t have to speculate – we KNOW what we think, and the Democratic base has been screaming what we think at the administration for the past two years. But remaining consistent to your beltway arrogance you decided that you knew more about what was on our minds than we did, and this past Tuesday you paid a severe price for that arrogance. 

The political class needs to always remember that you’re not our leaders, you’re our employees, and sometimes it becomes necessary to remind you of that – even when the personal price is high:


Lofty Ideals are Only as Meaningful as the Backbone that Supports Them

Is it just me, or is anyone else curious about how the GOP managed to suspend the United States Constitution, thrust us headlong into a costly and unjustified war, ravage the global economy, and destroy America’s moral credibility throughout the world, while the Democrats, even after being handed the White House and a huge majority in both houses of congress, can’t even manage to pass a healthcare bill that would benefit every family in America?


If like me, you’ve been curious about this issue, scratch your head no more. The answer is screaming at us right before our eyes, but like the angry medicare recipient boisterously demonstrating against socialism, we simply refused to believe our lying eyes.

The fact is, while it is clear that the Democratic party desperately needs to get its act together, there are two issues in particular that need to be addressed immediately. The first is that there are too many Republicans-in-drag on the Democratic side of the isle. These people have been playing both ends against the middle for years, and their unconscionable treachery is destroying the party. They keep a constant tug-of-war going that makes Democrats seem indecisive, and cause the American people to doubt the resolve of the Democratic party for its own initiatives.

But the debate on universal healthcare could be a blessing in disguise in that regard. It’s a debate that so clearly separates what’s in the best interest of America from the greed of private interests that it’s forcing the hypocrisy of these self-interested politicians to the forefront.

America’s healthcare is one of those seminal issues – like civil rights, social security, and the G.I. Bill – that clearly delineates the difference between the Democratic and Republican agendas. Thus, it can, and should be used to separate the wheat from the chaff, and flush out those so-called Democrats who pay lip service to progressive principles while working subtly in the background to maintain and protect the status quo.

Healthcare provides the Democratic party with an excellent opportunity to reveal, and then openly rid itself of its dead weight – and it is essential that the party do just that, just as Democrats had to weed out the Dixiecrats during the civil rights movement. So instead of begging, whimpering, and compromising for the vote of politicians who have already been bought and paid for by the insurance companies, Democrats should stand firm and force these turncoats into the open.

These Bluedog and conservative Democrats serve no useful purpose other than helping their Republican conspirators to dilute the Democratic agenda. They’re also disillusioning the Democratic base. As a result, they’re having a weakening effect on the party that far exceed their numbers. So the DNC needs to take a page from the Republican playbook and use the primary system to replace these neo-crats with Democratic candidates who are loyal to the party and Democratic principles.

While the GOP is atrocious when it comes to governing, there are none better when it comes to keeping their troops in line. That’s why even though the Republican base has dwindled to it lowest numbers in years, recent polls clearly demonstrate that they’re still destructively effective. The reason for that is quite simple – they stick together. And they stick together because they all know that any member who falls out of line will be targeted for removal in the very next election.

As progressives, most Democrats are wedded to independent thought, so they tend not to want to adopt the Republican tactic of forcing members to toe the party line. But the GOP is using the Democratic party’s idealism against them, so if the Democratic Party wants to survive in this cut-throat political environment, they’re going to have to get use to adding practical political tactics to their lofty ideals.

As distasteful as this jingoistic practice is, tactically, there’s a lot to be said for it. After all, in spite of the fact that the GOP has dwindled down to a regional party, its diminutive wingnut base has managed to remain in firm control of the nation’s political dialogue. In fact, the Democratic party seems to be more concerned about them than it is its own much larger Democratic base.

It’s time to start playing hardball. If the DNC fails to take immediate action against these thinly veiled Republicans, and start running loyal Democrats against them, it’s not only going to perpetuate the neo-crats’ rebellious behavior, but these so-called “Bluedogs” and conservative Democrats are going to bring the entire Democratic party to its knees. After all, there’s a lot of money to be had in being a rebellious Democrat in a Democratically control congress.

Which brings me to the second issue that needs to be addressed – backbone.

For the most part, President Obama was elected based on his rousing oratory, his ability to lift the American spirit, and his inspirational ideals. But if we look back through history we’ll find that while the American people will eagerly embrace these characteristics initially, what they respect most is strength. We’re a scrappy bunch – we always have been, and we always will be. So while rousing oratory will often bring a tear to the eye, in the final analysis, here in America lofty ideals are only as sturdy as the backbone that holds them up, and President Obama needs to learn that lesson in a hurry.

Being from Chicago one would think that he would have already learned that, but obviously he hit the windy city a little too late in life. But Michelle grew up there, so I sure she’s telling him nightly that while patting your enemy on the back has its place, kicking them in the ass is also appropriate on occasion. That’s what the American people want to see in a leader, and we only need glance at history to see their attitude in that regard.

History will one day look back upon Jimmy Carter as a president who was ahead of his time. Actually, he was a very good president. He came very close to establishing peace in the Middle East, he was one of the smartest presidents we’ve ever had, and he was genuinely a nice guy. It was the latter that brought him down, however. He was too nice, and the American people saw that as a weakness.

The issues the GOP use to bring down Jimmy Carter had no more to do with him than the fall of the Soviet Union had to do with Ronald Reagan. Yet, while Ronald Reagan was clearly incompetent, and should have been both impeached and jailed on several issues, many remembered him as a great president. On the other hand, Jimmy Carter served with competence, honor and distinction, yet he’s remembered by many as weak.

It was all about image. Ninety-nine percent of the American mystique involves image over substance, and the Ronald Reagan mystique is based on pure fluff. Reagan is remembered fondly for one reason, and one reason only – he reminded the American people of John Wayne. That was his function, and that was all he was required to do – remind America of a silver screen fantasy that bore no relationship to reality. On the other hand, Jimmy Carter is remembered as weak because he was a nice guy, he tried to do what was morally correct, and he represented reality – something that America is determined to escape at any cost.

The American people don’t want reality – they want to live in a fantasy. They don’t want to hear about the bestial brutality of what it took to wipe out close to an entire population of Native Americans; they want to hear about the Manifest Destiny, and how God wanted them to take this land. And they don’t want to hear about the gross immorality of slavery; they want to talk about American exceptionalism as that shining light on the hill that serves as a beacon to all of humanity.

So if I could relay just one message to President Obama it would be the following:

Ok, Mr. President. You’ve shown me that you can be a nice guy. Now let me see you grab the GOP by the scruff of the neck and throw ‘em out the saloon. That’s what the American people are waiting to see. Sucking up to the Republican party is not helping your image at all. Have you ever seen Randolph Scott sucking up to the bad guys? America wants a gunslinger.

I know, Mr. President. Your ears are gonna look kinda funny in a Stetson. But that’s all right. The American people will overlook that. Just hit your mark, remember your lines, and do what you gotta to do when the clock strikes High Noon.

Eric L. Wattree

Religious bigotry: It’s not that I hate everybody who doesn’t look, think, and act like me – it’s just that God does.




November 5, 2010

by Franklin Lamb


The Republican party’s gain of 60 plus House Seats (10 seats, all held by Democrats, are still undecided at press time) and six Senate seats, is the largest Congressional increase for either party since 1948 when the Democrats gained 75 seats in the lower chamber and Harry Truman won the White House. Prior to this week, it was in 1938 that American voters, tiring of the great depression and some of Roosevelt’s expensive new deal initiatives plus unease over FDR’s “Supreme Court packing scheme’ as more than Republicans labeled it, allowed the Grand Old Party to pick up an all time record 80 seats in that year’s midterm elections.

Next January’s 112th Congress is already receiving rave advance reviews. Some coming from the more than half a million settlers in more than 100 illegal colonies in occupied Palestine who are pleased to see President Obama emasculated and the sentiments expressed in his June 2008 Cairo speech long forgotten. Many are hoping he will be replaced by likes of Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, or a Mike Huckabee in 2012.

Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council, which represents Jewish settlers in the West Bank, and whose representatives are increasingly on the rampage, by word and by deed, spoke for many when he told a post election news conference that he expected the new Congress “will facilitate a more open-minded approach to Israel’s needs (yet more Palestinian land – author) than what we’ve experienced over the last two years.”

AIPAC (American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee), as it does after every Congressional election, offered pro forma congratulations to the winners: “It is abundantly clear that the 112th Congress will continue America’s long tradition of staunch support for a strong, safe and secure Israel and an abiding friendship between the United States and our most reliable ally in the Middle East.”

No sooner had the election results been declared than key winners received what for decades has been a post election ritual, bestowed on new Members of Congress. That would be the delivery of US taxpayer subsidized invitations for all expense paid junkets to Israel. Of this year’s batch, Florida’s new Senator, Marco Rubio, who considers himself a Tea Party leader and who has been called “America’s great Right hope’ will lead the flock and arrive in Israel on Sunday 11/7/10.

As Rubio and other members of Congress board planes to fly to Israel they may actually near-miss Israeli officials, including PM Netanyahu, who will be coming the opposite direction for a five day US visit to meet with his personal choice to replace Obama for US President in 2012, Hilary Clinton. Netanyahu will also talk Congressional strategy with key Israeli lobby agents.

Those listed on the various passenger manifests between the US and Israel will share the common objective of making sure Israel’s interests are preserved and “remain eternally paramount” to borrow a phrase from VP Joe Biden. They will also try to assure and that the 112th Congress brooks no Obama administration unpleasantness such as increased demands for a broader freeze on Jewish settlements.

The post Congressional election euphoria has not extended to Lebanon and this region.

This is because over here it is widely believed that the new Congress, with respect to Lebanon’s arch foe Israel which has committed serial aggressions against it for half a century, will pick up right where the old Congress left off without missing a beat. Many Lebanese expect the result to be the same as if it had been the Democrats who had collected such a treasure trove of Congressional seats .

The unquestioning and blind support for Israel is expected to result in severely curtailing Obama’s pledged drawdown of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, as Senator McCain is again demanding. Many in Lebanon view Obama’s repudiation in the polls as a sign that he will be unable to pressure Israel into concessions in stalled peace talks. They expect the Congressional drum beat for war with Iran, pressure on Syria, deference to Netanyahu-Lieberman, and interference in Lebanon’s internal affairs including the targeting of the national Lebanese Resistance led by Hezbollah to increase.

To many foreigners, Lebanese appear gifted in many ways including their insights into American and Middle East politics even though they seem incapable of doing much about their own. The morning after the US election, at the open-air Café Younnes Coffee Shop off Hamra Street, some Lebanese students were explaining to foreigners, with remarkable grasp of the electoral details, their take on the US midterm election results.

One student explained that she expects the soon to be Speaker of the House, staunchly pro-Israel John Boehner (R-Ohio), with Eric Cantor as Majority Leaders and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)* Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will anchor Israel’s Congressional rule.

Ros-Lehtinen, the all time Congressional record holder for all manner of  anti-Arab congressional initiatives’ over the past two decades. Yesterday she called for all Members of Congress to sign her latest letter to President Obama opposing his administration’s proposed $60 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia, by the end of business on 11/6/10. Ros-Lehtinen is also expected to renew her call to cut off all aid to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. She has also expressed her intention to maintain what are essentially US sanctions against Lebanon by extending her predecessor Howard Berman’s ban on grants to the Lebanese Armed Forces until Hezbollah is disarmed to prevent it from benefiting from the military aid.

Other key committees chairmanships held by Israel loyalists are believed here to mean an even stronger choke hold on the US government starting January.

One Palestinian student who used to live in Nahr al Bared Camp near Tripoli before it was destroyed in 2007, explained how Cantor has already drawn pro-Israel skeptical reaction with his proposal that American assistance  to Israel be taken out of the annual foreign aid bill and be passed separately, on its own.

Cantor’s thinking is that, given his party’s intention to heavily cut foreign aid, he wants Israel’s annual $ 3 billion US taxpayer gift to remain untouched even as foreign aid to other nations get slashed. Some pro-Israel lobbyists worry that Cantor’s “going public” with his plan may result in the American public noticing how much aid Israel gets and begin to wonder why Israel’s aid is so sacrosanct. Voters might notice that Israel has received more foreign aid from the United States than any other country since World War II, according to a recent report compiled by the Congressional Research Service.

Voters may begin to learn about and perhaps even question the fact that over the years, multiple lobbying efforts have added countless perks to Israel’s special aid package such that Israel is the only recipient allowed to spend a portion of its military aid on purchases within Israel itself. Usually this kind of aid is designed for procurement of American-made weapon systems. Israel also receives its aid in the first month of the fiscal year as a deposit in an interest-bearing account. Aid to all other recipients is spread out throughout the year.

The Lebanese students verdict on the 2010 US midterm election:

Netanyahu and Israel won again.

Obama and America lost again.

Source:  Saturday Mideast Report, BEIRUT ( Al-ManarTV :: News )

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon. He can be contacted c/o

Related Video: 

Norman Finkelstein – Hezbollah, the Honour of Lebanon

YouTube – Veterans Today





Does anyone know anything about this Peace Olive Oil sold by Card Aid

You can read about the charitable claims of Peace Oil on their website here –

They claim that profits from Peace Oil® are used to support peace and reconciliation work in the Middle East. One of our members is a member of IMRI (Interfaith group for Morally Responsible Investment). They asked Card Aid where these profits went to in Palestine and were given the answer “Slimming Clubs in Gaza”.

According to wikipedia the product was launched at an Israel Expo Day organised by

the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, which promoted it as a way “to

support Israel’s vibrant trade…to make a difference to the actual future of Israel.” There is some speculation that it may have been launched to compete/undermine Zaytoun Olive Oil.

As you can see from their website, Card Aid shops are mainly in London but thy also have shops in Cambridge, Oxford, Bromley, and Guildford –
where we are based.  A number of us have emailed the church but we are yet to receive a receive a response. My understanding the church receives income from Card Aid for stocking the oil.

I am curious to know if anyone, particularly in London or Oxford, has
come across this product.


Posted in CampaignsComments Off on ZIONIST FEDERATION OF BRITAIN



T. 0121 429 4166 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              

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Planning Meeting

Wednesday 10th November7.30 pm

Committee Room 1 Council House

The Con-Dems and the Future of Higher Education

Introduced by Professor Alex Miller (UCU)

The meeting will also discussed forming a united campaign against the cuts in Birmingham

Don’t forget!

Coalition of Resistance Organising Conference

Saturday November 27th London





Dear Friends,

The 4 items posted below begin with incidents [items 1 and 2] and end with theorizing [item 4].  Item 3 is Neve Gordon’s report on the fascist bills now before the Knesset, and that very likely will pass to become laws.

The initial item is atrocious on several counts: 1.  a 13 year old boy is subjected not only to jail, but also to treatment there that no parent or decent human being would want a youngster to have to face.  2.  As if that punishment (for a crime he denies committing) were not enough, the boy is now under house arrest for 5 months, and not allowed to go to school (brilliant thinking of those who hand out punishments to Palestinian children.  Would they wish their own kids to be subjected to like circumstances?).  3.  Now when he needs to see a psychologist and needs medical care, the family fears to take him since that could be considered breaking the law and result in further imprisonment.  Small wonder that Ynet entitles its report with the question “Fair Punishment?” 4.  And the reply of IOF (there is no IDF—Israel’s military has never been strictly a defense army. It is an occupation army, hence IOF) of the spokesperson sounds good, but I invite any of you to try following the procedure to see where it will get you. 

The 2nd report is no better.  Israel obviously does not like Bedouins.  It demolishes their villages in the Negev, and has long been after this particular tribe.  Among other things, it does not want their children to go to school.  Months ago I sent you a video of the school at issue in the report.  It is a school built from tires and mud—a really wonderful innovation.  For those of you who have not seen the video, or wish to refresh their memories, the 3-4 minute video is still available, but begins with a minute of advertisement from CNN

And this is what the occupation forces wish to demolish!  What they are really saying is ‘get out of here, go to Jordan or disappear.  We don’t want you!’ 

Item 3, as I said above, is a summary of the bills awaiting approval to become laws/

Item 4 is an analysis of who cooperated with the Nazis and who cooperates with the occupation.  It is an important paper and worth your time.  My only comment about it is that governments allowed Hitler to commit his crimes, and then had to go to war to stop them, and governments allow Israel to commit its crimes against humanity.  Till when?  And how will it end?

If you have any spare time, please glance through Today in Palestine.  You needn’t read in depth (unless you want to).  The headings themselves reveal much about what is happening daily. 

All the best,



1. Ynet Friday,

November 05, 2010

Fair Punishment? 

Hebron: House arrest instead of school

Karem, 13, placed under five-month house arrest after six days in jail on suspicion of throwing stones at IDF soldiers. ‘What has he done to deserve such a punishment?’ his grandfather asks,7340,L-3980101,00.html

Ali Waked Published:  11.05.10 

A 7th grader under house arrest: Karem, a 13-year-old boy from Hebron, was arrested in late September on suspicion of hurling stones at Israel Defense Forces soldiers. After spending six days in the Ofer Prison, he was placed under house arrest for five months in his uncle’s home and can’t even go to school. 

The boy’s relatives say he is in a serious emotional state and is finding it difficult to recover from his days in prison. All he told his family members was that he was handcuffed and chained, and was sometimes left alone in a room or in solitary.

His friends and teachers have been visiting him in a bid to update him on the study program, which he hardly even began. 

The boy himself refuses to talk. Asked what he went through during the interrogation and in jail, he responds, “I don’t know, I don’t know.” 

Karem’s grandmother says his mental state has influenced his health. “You can tell that he is afraid and frightened from his days in jail. He has fungus on his body and his skin has peeled from all the pressure, fear, and nerves. He barely talks. Today we looked for him and found him hiding in the chicken coop because he didn’t want to talk to anyone.” 

According to his grandfather, the family is afraid to send Karem to the doctor due to the house arrest. “If they decide that he violated the house arrest conditions, he may go to jail together with his uncle who signed the bail, and we don’t want to take the risk,” he explained. 

“We hope this problem will be solved. He has been out of school for a month and a half now, and we are concerned. What has he done to deserve this punishment?” 

Israel Prison Service Spokesman Yaron Zamir said in response, “The IPS is acting in a professional manner, especially when it comes to minors, while ensuring that they are held together with other detainees, without being tied, and receive proper medical care. This was implemented in this case too.”

The IDF Spokesperson’s Office said that “according to the law applied in Judea and Samaria, any person who feels hurt by his arrest conditions is entitled to submit an appeal or request for a re-examination, which will be discussed by the suitable court without any delay and in accordance with the incident’s circumstances.” 

Raanan Ben-Zur and Yair Altman contributed to this report


2.  [forwarded by Today in Palestine list]

Summer camp supports Bedouin communities facing demolition threat

Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) 

04 Nov 2010

West Bank

“It’s not easy living here. You never know what will happen tomorrow,” says N. Abu Dahuk, a community play worker at the Jahalin School in the Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar, in the West Bank. The school is under imminent threat of demolition.

Despite uncertainty over the future of their school, the Jahilin Bedouin community held a series of fun activities there this summer with the support of UN agencies, national and international NGOs. N. Abu Dahuk, an assistant at the school, underwent training to put on fun summer activities. “Children need routine in times like this, and the summer camp has helped the children to have fun and keep learning so they are busy and happy,” she says.

“We all benefited from the activities. We hope we can keep our school, so we can do the activities again next summer.”

Demolitions and displacement

Khan al Ahmar is located east of Jerusalem, near the large Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Like many herding communities living in Area C, the Israeli-controlled area that comprises over 60 per cent of the West Bank, the community there faces threats of demolition and displacement, as well as harassment from Israeli settlers, restricted movement and collapsing livelihoods.

Israel’s closure regime has left these marginalised communities increasingly dependent on humanitarian assistance.

New school

In 2009 the Khan al Ahmar Bedouin communities, facing mounting levels of debt and increasingly unable to meet transport costs, had to cancel the private bus that transported their children to UNRWA schools in Jericho.

After some young children were killed by fast-moving traffic as they waited on the highway for the public bus, the communities decided to withdraw the primary school age children from school.

With the support of Vento di Terra, an Italian NGO, residents built a local school out of recycled rubber tyres.

Court ruling

In February this year, after a court challenge on the grounds the structure lacked a building permit, the Israeli High Court ruled that the school could be demolished in June, at the end of the school year.

The summer camp, held between mid-July and the end of August, helped make use of the building outside the school year. The camp established the school as a community centre where children, women and men gathered to play, to learn and to laugh.

Football match

The itinerary included children’s play activities and a football match between community members and UNRWA staff.

Ali, 9, said: “My favorite bits were the football and throwing the clay. That was funny, we were all laughing a lot.”

School representative Abu Raid Arare said: “The summer activities made us feel supported by the humanitarian community and that we are not a forgotten story. We welcomed the summer programme, and it was very good to see my children coming home with things they had made every day and telling us about all the activities.”

Equipment and classes

The summer camp provided important psychological support to children and adults facing the stress of demolitions and settler harassment.

The NGOs installed a safe-play area and provided educational materials, including toys, sports gear, story books and ‘back to school’ supplies for children entering the new school year.

UNESCO trained three local women to run literacy activities with the children, while UNRWA health staff provided first aid and health sessions for women and hygiene classes with the children.

Continuing support

UNRWA will continue to provide mobile health services, cash-for-work projects and food distributions, and its mental health staff plan to run further training sessions later in the year in the community.

The summer camp brought together UNRWA, UNESCO, Save the Children, Right to Play, UNICEF and YMCA. UNRWA’s protection project is supported by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO).

With the exception of public UN sources, reproduction or redistribution of the above text, in whole, part or in any form, requires the prior consent of the original source. The opinions expressed in the documents carried by this site are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by UN OCHA or ReliefWeb.


3.  Thoughtcrimes

Neve Gordon

2 November 2010

Would Meryl Streep, Spike Lee, Tim Robbins or Susan Sarandon be willing to swear an oath of loyalty to the United States and its policies in order to receive public funding for feature films that they star in, direct or produce? In Israel, the far-right Knesset member Michael Ben Ari has proposed a bill that would require entire film crews to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and to declare loyalty to its laws and symbols, as a condition for receiving public funding. It’s just one of more than ten bills to be discussed during the Knesset’s winter session that several commentators in Ha’aretz have characterised as proto-fascist.

As in most democracies, all new Israeli citizens must declare loyalty to the state and its laws, but the cabinet last month decided to support (22 in favour, 8 against) an amendment to Israel’s citizenship law that would require all newly naturalised citizens to declare loyalty to the Jewish character of the state. In Britain, this would be like requiring Jews, Muslims and atheists who wish to become citizens to declare loyalty not only to the laws of the United Kingdom but also to the Church of England.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has warned that this amendment, which will soon become law, is the tip of an iceberg. Some of the bills now going through the Knesset, which have a good chance of being ratified, would make support for an alternative political ideology, such as the idea that Israel should be a democracy for all its citizens, a crime.

A proposed amendment to the existing anti-incitement bill, for instance, stipulates that people who deny Israel’s Jewish character will be arrested. This extension to the penal code, which has already passed its preliminary reading, incriminates a political view. Another bill lays the groundwork for turning down candidates for membership in communal settlements built on public land if they do not concur with the settlement committee’s political views or are adherents of a different religion. The point of this is to make it legal to deny Palestinian citizens of Israel access to Jewish villages.

Still another bill that has already passed its first reading stipulates that institutions marking the Palestinian Nakba of 1948 will be denied public funds. This is like denying public funding to schools in the United States that wish to commemorate slavery or to memorialise the crimes perpetrated against Native Americans.

Then there is a bill against people who initiate, promote, or publish material that might serve as grounds for imposing a boycott against Israel. According to this proposed law, which has also passed a preliminary reading, anyone proven guilty of supporting a boycott will be ordered to pay affected parties about $8000 without the plaintiff’s need to demonstrate any damages.

Finally, eight Knesset members are proposing a bill to ban residents of East Jerusalem from operating as tour guides in the city, potentially putting hundreds out of work. The rationale behind this is that Palestinian residents of Jerusalem should not be certified guides because they do not represent Israel’s national interest well enough ‘and in an appropriate manner’. 

The sudden spate of these bills at this historical juncture is no coincidence. The struggle between the democratic demand that all citizens be treated equally and Zionism’s hyper-nationalist ideal seems to have been determined once and for all: Zionism’s aspiration to promote democratic values is giving way to its nationalist ethos.


4.  Gideon Spiro (translated by Mark Marshall) Israel is not a Nazi state—yet.


Posted in Middle EastComments Off on DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER



Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions week of Action 6 – 16th November 2010

For more than sixty years, the suffering of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli state has been met with the international community rewarding Israel economically and politically, and allowing the country to act with immunity.

Enough is enough.

Respond to the call from Palestinian civil society to people of conscience around the world to join them in the growing movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until the country complies with international law and recognises Palestinian rights.

Get involved:

sign the ‘boycott pledge’ and keep it in your wallet, as a reminder to check the label during your supermarket shop, or make conversation with the shop manager to show you’re a card carrying boycotter of Israeli goods. You can sign the pledge online and we’ll post you a card. Don’t forget to order extra card for your boycott stalls – ring us on 0207 700 6192 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              

0207 700 6192      end_of_the_skype_highlighting now or email

say no to stolen beauty – join the fortnightly protest outside the ‘Ahava’ flagship store in Covent Garden on Saturday 6th November from 11-1pm. Bring your union flags, bathrobes, towels – find out more at:

change your facebook profile, tag your friends and get them to change it too…

disconnect now: get involved in ‘A Just Peace for Palestine BT Campaign’ and send an email to the Chief Executive of BT for their links with Bezeq International, an Israeli company that provides telecommunications to illegal settlements – look out for our e-tool with a model letter on November 12th’

if your local council has a contract with Veolia, the company that provides refuse

and bus services to illegal settlements, then why not launch a campaign exclude

Veolia from future bids for contracts during the BDS week? Download our model

petition here

Ruqayyah Collector

Campaigns and Communications Officer

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

T: 020 7700 6192 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              

020 7700 6192      end_of_the_skype_highlighting






Cut US aid to Israel and do everybody a favour

05 Nov 2010

Andrew Sullivan, a leading American blogger and increasing critic of Israel, mirroring the justified mood of the times:

I’d cut off aid myself – because they don’t need it and we cannot afford it – not as a pressure tactic. But even if you did, the key issue seems to me to be the UN veto. Until the US stops protecting Israel from isolation in the Security Council, the US’s foreign policy and Israel’s Palestinian policy are inextricable from one another.


What media companies support (and it’s not mostly stray dogs)

05 Nov 2010

With news that MSNBC star Keith Olbermann has been suspended after donating money to some Democrat candidates – the lack of transparency is worrying and frankly no major media figure should want to get too close to any politician of any stripe – Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting unpacks the bigger picture:

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has been placed on indefinite suspension without pay in the wake of a Politico report (11/5/10) that revealed Olbermann had donated $7,200 to three Democratic candidates, in violation of NBC‘s standards barring employees from making political contributions.NBC, and at NBC‘s parent company General Electric?Center for Responsive Politics, GE made over $2 million in political contributions in the 2010 election cycle (most coming from the company’s political action committee). The top recipient was Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman from Ohio. The company has also spent $32 million on lobbying this year, and contributed over $1 million to the successful “No on 24″ campaign against a California ballot initiative aimed at eliminating tax loopholes for major corporations (New York Times, 11/1/10). , the cable company currently looking to buy NBC, has dramatically increased its political giving, much of it to lawmakers who support the proposed merger (Bloomberg, 10/19/10). And while Fox News parent News Corp‘s $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association caused a stir, GE had “given $245,000 to the Democratic governors and $205,000 to the Republican governors since last year,” reported the Washington Post (8/18/10).MSNBC host Joe Scarborough’s $4,200 contribution to Republican candidate Derrick Kitts in 2006 (, 7/15/07). When that was uncovered, though, NBC dismissed this as a problem, since Scarborough “hosts an opinion program and is not a news reporter.” Olbermann, of course, is also an opinion journalist–but MSNBC seems to hold him to a different standard.

A journalist donating money to a political candidate raises obvious conflict of interest questions; at a minimum, such contributions should be disclosed on air. But if supporting politicians with money is a threat to journalistic independence, what are the standards for Olbermann’s bosses at

According to the


Olbermann’s donations are in some ways comparable to fellow


Fisk on US lies over Wikileaks

05 Nov 2010

Oh I’ve missed seeing Robert Fisk talking about the Middle East. Recent Australian interview about the Wikileaks Iraq documents saying that the online release merely confirms what many journalists often thought; the Pentagon knew about Iraqi and US torture and abuses. And lied about it:


Why privatising our lives must be highlighted and stopped

05 Nov 2010

Investigating privatisation, the scourge of our times, receives an appropriate reward:

The Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism 2010, worth £5,000, has been won by Clare Sambrook for her investigating, reporting and campaigning against the government policy of locking up asylum-seeking families in conditions known to harm their mental health, and scrutinising the commercial contractors who run the detention centres for profit.


The Left don’t want or like Obama and that’s more than fine

05 Nov 2010

I’m still in shock to see two progressive Americans talking on American cable TV about Barack Obama and the Left. Enjoy the view, it happens so rarely:


The power of music in the horror of the Holocaust

04 Nov 2010

Very moving trailer about the oldest Holocaust survivor in the world, Alice Herz-Sommer:


Counterfire interview on Israel/Palestine

04 Nov 2010

I was recently interviewed by Elias Stoakes for the British website Counterfire on the Israel/Palestine conflict and the one-state solution:


Liberals should love Israel (if Palestinians are absent)

04 Nov 2010

A Zionist claims Israel is a left-wing paradise. Gay sex! Pot! Freedom!

Of course, Arabs don’t exist in this utopia.


Bush and Obama see “terrorists” in the same way

04 Nov 2010

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald spoke this week at the University of Wisconsin on “Civil Liberties and Terrorism in the Age of Obama”. Suffice to say anybody on the Left who thinks Barack Obama is radically different to George W. Bush needs to get their head read:


Glenn Greenwald on civil liberties and terrorism after Obama from The Badger Herald on Vimeo.


The colony building business is making less business sense

04 Nov 2010

Another victory in the growing BDS movement:

Africa Israel, the flagship company of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, announced this week that it is no longer involved in Israeli settlement projects and that it has no plans for future settlement activities. Africa Israel subsequently denied that this was a political decision. However, in the last few years numerous organizations, firms, governments and celebrities have exerted pressure and severed their relationships with Leviev and his companies over their involvement in settlement construction and other human rights abuses, in response to a boycott campaign initiated by Adalah-NY.

Israel’s Coalition of Women for Peace disclosed on Monday that in an official letter to the Coalition, Africa Israel stated, “Neither the company nor any of its subsidiaries and/or other companies controlled by the company are presently involved in or has any plans for future involvement in development, construction or building of real estate in settlements in the West Bank.” In follow-up articles in the Israeli media on Monday, Africa Israel said that the statement was “a description of the business today” and that “Africa Israel builds for all the public in Israel, and does not deal in politics or any other policy.”

Ethan Heitner from Adalah-NY explained, “Following years of settlement construction, and pro-settlement statements and activities by Lev Leviev, the public announcement by Africa Israel that it has no plans to build Israeli settlements is clearly a result of pressure from the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. This provides concrete evidence of the way in which the BDS movement can change companies’ behavior. But Africa Israel can’t speak out of both sides of its mouth and expect a clean bill of health. Africa Israel must unambiguously renounce settlement activity, and all other involvement in violations of Palestinian rights. And Lev Leviev needs to end his involvement in settlement construction through other companies like Leader Management and Development, as well as his support for human rights abuses in the diamond industry in countries like Angola and Namibia.”

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER





Burston on the Jewishness of Israel

Nov 04, 2010

Philip Weiss 

Yesterday I did a post on the crisis of liberal Zionists, and quoted visiting Israeli journalist Bradley Burston, Haaretz columnist, who spoke at Richard Silverstein’s synagogue in Seattle. Burston then sent a note to Silverstein and copied me. Here tis:

I certainly appreciate what you said about not sugarcoating Israeli reality for Diaspora audiences, though I don’t believe that’s what I was doing during that talk at the shul. I may see reality differently than you do, and I may be politically situated to your right, but I was telling them what I honestly think, for good or ill. 

One point that may be something of a misunderstanding: This is the word for word of what I said on the subject of Muslim and Jewish states:

“There is a name for the hard leftist who accepts the rights of Muslims to have formally Islamic nations, but rejects the right of Jews to have a state of their own – any state in any part of the Holy Land, no matter how democratic and respectful of minority rights: Anti-Semite.”

That is to say, I believe that it is a totally valid position to oppose the idea of any state holding one religion to be specifically and explicitly the religion of that state. But to say that it’s okay for Muslims and not okay for Jews, rubs me the wrong way, and I believe it to be bigotry. If I wasn’t clear in my talk, I hope I’ve been so now. I certainly do not believe you to be an anti-Semite in any sense whatsoever. Moreover, I’m in complete agreement with many of the points you made. Examples:

“I do support an Israel that has a Jewish identity, just as I support an Israel that has a Muslim and Christian identity for those religious groups. I do not support an Israel which affirms Judaism as its sole or primary national religion to the exclusion or detriment of others.”

Agree absolutely.

“If Israel is to be a true democracy it must not favor one religion over others.  It must treat religions equally.  That does not mean that Judaism or Jewishness will be disrespected or ignored or subordinated.  But it means that this particular religion will take its place as one of several religions practiced by the nation’s citizens.”

Again, agree absolutely.

Yes Feingold was fantastic and courageous and independent. But

Nov 04, 2010

Philip Weiss

Matthew Rothschild at Progressive is crushed by Russ Feingold’s defeat. So am I. I always loved Feingold. But.

Now Feingold leaves with his dignity and his principles intact. I didn’t agree with Russ Feingold on everything. He was too much of a deficit hawk for me. And his reflexive defense of Israeli government policies toward the Palestinians was at odds with his otherwise stellar human rights record.

But he was a fantastic Senator.

You won’t find a smarter, more diligent, more independent, more courageous person in that chamber.

He was the reincarnation of Fighting Bob La Follette, but with shorter hair.

He was the only Senator to vote against the USA Patriot Act, and his speech against it could have come right out of La Follette’s mouth.

Said Feingold: “There is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch the terrorists. . . . But that wouldn’t be a country in which we would want to live, and it wouldn’t be a country for which we could, in good conscience, ask our young people to fight and die. In short, that country wouldn’t be America.”

Right. And w

A tale of two ghettos

Nov 04, 2010

Adam Horowitz


The images above are raising some hackles, especially the comparison between the Warsaw ghetto and Gaza today. They are from the current issue of Adbusters magazine, which had 3,500 copies taken off the racks of Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada’s largest drugstore chain, after the CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Bernie M. Farber, called them anti-Semitic in the National Post. From Farber’s article Anti-Semitism on your magazine rack–courtesy of Adbusters:

In the current edition, Adbusters offers its readers a one page “photo essay” — Truthbombs on Israeli TV — that makes comparisons between the situation that Palestinians are experiencing in Gaza and what the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto experienced under the Nazis. There are pictures of people fighting fires in Gaza … and people fighting fires in the Warsaw Ghetto. There are pictures of people injured in the Warsaw Ghetto … and of people injured in Gaza. There are pictures of people smuggling food into the Warsaw Ghetto … and of people smuggling goods into Gaza. It’s truly a tour de force of investigative journalism.

The argument is obscene, and continues the disgusting tradition of some supporters of the Palestinian cause to turn Jews into Nazis and Palestinians into Jews. In so doing, these propagandists not only demonize Israelis (i. e., Jews), but minimize the murderous extent and intent of Naziism’s genocidal project. In other words, such vile analogies become a form of Holocaust minimilization.

Thankfully, Kalle Lasn, the editor of Adbusters, has had a chance to respond. It’s worth reading his piece, A tale of two ghettoes, at length:

Here is the story from the Adbusters viewpoint.

In October 1939, the German Wehrmacht reached the city of Warsaw, and over the following months, the Jewish population was forced into a small section of the city called “the Jewish quarter.” The situation inside the ghetto was unbearable: Nazis controlled the movement of goods, basic utilities and even food. Each person was allotted a starvation diet of 250 calories per day.

Acts of rebellion were brutally suppressed. When two German soldiers were killed in a local restaurant, 106 men in the ghetto were shot in reprisal. Arrests and random executions were common. In April 1940, the ghetto was walled off on all sides.

Services such as hospitals and schools were derelict, relying on an ever-decreasing stream of supplies allotted by the Nazis. For a while, the supplies were supplemented by goods smuggled in through tunnels, but such services were eventually forced to close.

A resistance movement was organized during the Soviet advance, but it was brutally defeated and the Warsaw ghetto was razed to the ground.

In September 2005, Israel dismantled its settlements in Gaza and withdrew its troops after 38 years of military occupation. For Israel, this marked an end to their occupation. For Palestinians confined in Gaza, however, the occupation had simply progressed into a new phase: the ghetto. The year 2005 marked the establishment of Gaza as an open air prison.

Israel controls the movement of all goods, including food and basic necessities, in and out of the Gaza strip. A study done by Johns Hopkins University in 2002 found that 17% of children aged 6-59 months suffer from chronic malnutrition, and almost half of women and children are anemic. Thirteen percent of children under five are stunted.

Israel controls all of Gaza’s borders and airspace. The long ocean border, once a viable source of income for Gazans through trade and fishing, is now strictly controlled. Humanitarian missions are turned away with lethal force.

Israel responds to every Palestinian provocation with disproportionate force. The Israeli response to the murder of three civilians by Palestinian rockets in 2008 was the wide-scale destruction of Gaza, the use of white-phosphorus munitions in the area of a UN school and the killing of over 1,000 civilians.

Comparing events today with events in Nazi-occupied Europe must never be done lightly. When events are so serious as to lend themselves to such comparisons, however, there is a moral imperative to speak up.

Though the stated goal of Israel has never been the complete destruction of the Palestinian people, many of the tactics and policies supported by the state of Israel are deeply troubling and worthy of an open public discussion.

Last week, in a move to silence criticism of Israeli policies, the Canadian Jewish Congress labelled Adbusters — and anyone who makes the above historical analogy — anti-Semitic. The CJC has lobbied Shoppers Drug Mart not to carry Adbusters. Three-thousand-five-hundred copies of Adbusters will no longer be sold at Shoppers Drug Mart’s 515 Canadian stores.

The Canadian Jewish Congress is not a representative voice of the full spectrum of Jewish perspectives. Last year, prominent Jewish Canadians including Naomi Klein, Ursula Franklin and Anton Kuerti signed an open letter criticizing the CJC’s use of “fear tactics” and condemning the “false charges of anti-Semitism against … groups and people exercising their democratic right to freedom of speech and association regarding legitimate criticism of the State of Israel.”

If you think that publishing side-by-side images of the Gaza and Warsaw ghettos is a valid expression of free speech, email the Canadian Jewish Congress and tell them to back off. And next time you walk by a Shoppers Drug Mart, go in and ask the manager to put Adbusters back on its shelves. In Canada, we should be free to choose from a diversity of viewpoints and decide for ourselves what is anti-Semitic and what is a legitimate critique of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Here is another piece that ran in Adbusters that raises a similar critique:

neveragain _1_

The real Yitzhak Rabin

Nov 04, 2010

Alex Kane 

Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of when former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli extremist for Rabin’s signing of the Oslo Accords with Yasir Arafat. With the anniversary comes the obligatory mourning of Rabin as a “man of peace,” as the Israeli leader who, had he survived, might have been the one who brought lasting peace to Israel and Palestine.

While that’s the conventional wisdom of Rabin, it’s based on a total erasure of his sordid role in the Israeli military establishment as well as a fundamental misreading of what the Oslo accords were intended to do. The only way that wisdom holds is if you shut out Palestinian views of Rabin, which is what happens in U.S. media and political discourse.

Former President Bill Clinton’s Op-Ed in today’s New York Times is emblematic of the narrative about Rabin in the United States. Clinton says Rabin had a “vision for freedom, tolerance, cooperation, security and peace”; that had he lived, “I am confident a new era of enduring partnership and economic prosperity would have emerged”; and that the “the cause for which Yitzhak Rabin gave his life” was “building a shared future in which our common humanity is more important than our interesting differences.”

The reality of Rabin is that he was a key player in the expulsion of tens of thousands of Palestinians during the 1947-49 war that led to Israel’s founding, which Palestinians refer to as al-Nakba, or the Catastrophe. During the First Intifada, or Palestinian uprising, Rabin infamously gave orders to “break the bones” of Palestinians participating in the uprising against the then-twenty year old Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. And the Oslo accords were never really about peace; it was a successful attempt to “subcontract” the occupation out to the newly formed Palestinian Authority, as Israeli professor Neve Gordon puts it in his excellent book Israel’s Occupation.

In The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Ilan Pappe writes:

Israel’s ‘peace’ axioms were re-articulated during the days of Yitzhak Rabin, the same Yitzhak Rabin who, as a young officer, had taken an active part in the 1948 cleansing but who had now been elected as prime minister on a platform that promised the resumption of the peace effort. Rabin’s death – he was assassinated by one of his own people on 4 November 1995 came too soon for anyone to assess how much he had really changed from his 1948 days: as recently as 1987, as minister of defence, he had ordered his troops to break the bones of Palestinians who confronted his tanks with stones in the first Intifada; he had deported hundreds of Palestinians as prime minister prior to the Oslo Agreement, and he had pushed for the 1994 Oslo B agreement that effectively caged the Palestinians in the West Bank into several Bantustans.

Ha’aretz columnist Amira Hass gave voice to what Palestinians think of Rabin in this article:

Before the handshake on the White House lawn, before the Nobel Prize and before the murder, when Palestinians were asked about Rabin, this is what they remember: One thinks of his hands, scarred by soldiers’ beatings; another remembers a friend who flitted between life and death in the hospital for 12 days, after he was beaten by soldiers who caught him drawing a slogan on a wall during a curfew. Yet another remembers the Al-Amari refugee camp; during the first intifada, all its young men were hopping on crutches or were in casts because they had thrown stones at soldiers, who in turn chased after them and carried out Rabin’s order.

As for the goals of the Oslo accords, here’s what Gordon writes:

The Oslo process was, to a large extent, the result of Israel’s failure to crush the intifada, and Israel’s major goal in the process was to find a way of managing the Palestinian population while continuing to hold on to their land. As Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, and several others pointed out from the outset, Oslo was not an instrument of decolonization but rather a framework that changed the means of Israel’s control in order to perpetuate the occupation. It constituted a move from direct military rule over the Palestinians in the OT to a more indirect or neocolonial form of domination.

And what has the creation of the Palestinian Authority, perhaps the most lasting legacy of the tenure of Rabin, brought to the Palestinian people? Collaboration with Israel and repression of dissent.

Let’s save the lauding of Rabin as a “man of peace” for someone who is really working towards peace and justice in Israel and Palestine.

This post originally appeared on Alex Kane’s blog.  Follow him on Twitter here, and donate here to help send him to Israel/Palestine.

Neocons didn’t gain traction with Jewish voters. Hmmm

Nov 04, 2010

Philip Weiss 

Eli Clifton at Lobelog says that Bill Kristol and his neocon outfit, the Emergency Committee for Israel, had little traction in the midterm election; and that Jews continue to vote Democratic, and Iran and Israel are not big issues for them:

Hawkish astroturf groups such as the Emergency Committee for Israel did their best to make the Iranian “existential threat” an issue in yesterday’s midterm elections.  ECI— which has derived plenty of negative attention in the blogosphere for its links (first mentioned here) to the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI)—did achieve moderate success last night in winning three out of the five House and Senate races where it endorsed candidates. However a closer look at a poll of Jewish voters indicates that neither Iran nor Israel played a significant role in how they voted.

A new poll commissioned by J Street—an organization which identifies as “for pro-Israel, pro peace Americans”—showed that Jews continued to vote overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates by a 66 to 31 percent margin. In a list of issues, Iran ranked as least important. Israel was identified as the most important issue by only seven-percent of respondents. Issues such as the economy, health care and government spending polled as the most important issues for Jewish voters.

Message to Obama, you have freedom to take a stand on settlements etc. I admit I’m not entirely persuaded for a simple reason: The issues of Iran and Israel are not politicized, they are not part of our democratic process. Show me the candidate who is running against giving aid to Israel. Show me the candidate who says, as so many realists do, we can live with a nuclear Iran. And then show me how Jewish voters in that district vote. I think that Jews are very conservative on these questions, and have not been put to the test because no candidate steps out of line and allows the issue to become an issue. Look at Kristol’s target Joe Sestak’s positions on Israel; they’re not far from AIPAC’s. The flap over Donna Edwards gaining the endorsement of, which wants to consider talking about a one-state solution; and J Street’s insistence that Edwards is a two-state gal merely demonstrates the orthodoxy here. If everyone’s on your side, why would you ever vote on those issues?

Or as Philip Giraldi says at

Numerous commentators have noted the complete lack of any debate over foreign policy in the run up to congressional midterm elections, a curious omission for a country that is at war in at least two places overseas with prospects for more.

Thank you sir, may I have another humiliation? Israel blocks Qureia’s entry to Jordan

Nov 04, 2010


And more news from Today in Palestine:

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

Jewish settlers annex Palestinian land south of Nablus
Jewish settlers from Eli settlement south of Nablus started to bulldoze Palestinian land near their settlement on Thursday without prior notice, eyewitnesses reported.

Israel razes two Palestinian homes in Ara
Israeli bulldozers razed two Palestinian homes in Ara village, in the Triangle area occupied since 1948, at the pretext of lack of construction permits.

3 Nov. 2010, Serious suspicion that settlers torched two vehicles in the village of Qusra, in the northern West Bank
On the night of 13-14 October 2010, two vehicles were set aflame in Qusra, a village in the northern West Bank.  Security-camera footage obtained by B’Tselem raises a serious suspicion that the arson was carried out by settlers in the framework of “price tag” actions aimed against Palestinians and Palestinian property.

Israel orders Bethlehem quarry closed
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli Civil Administration forces entered a stone quarry south of Bethlehem on Wednesday and ordered work in the facility to cease immediately.  The quarry, harvesting stone from the hills near Beit Fajjar, is owned by Hisham Dirieh, who said that officials handed him papers mandating the closure on the grounds that it was operating illegally in an area under Israeli administration.

More questions about the settler attack on church in Jerusalem
A group of extremist Israeli settlers attacked and set fire to an old Christian church in Jerusalem (Al Quds) on Friday night, 30th October. The church itself was built more than a hundred years ago and has housed Christian worshippers in the Holy city of Al Quds for decades.  For the leaders of the Church, Friday night’s attack was indicative of the slow but steady destruction of Al Quds itself; once a city of diverse religious beliefs and practices. Zakaria Al-Mashriqi, one of these Leaders of the Church spoke of the attack as a “sinful crime” and stated in a press conference that the destruction of the Church was in line with the attempts by the Israeli army, the settler force and the Israeli government to expel Palestinians from the Holy city.

IOA deliberately sabotages tourism in eastern Jerusalem
Jerusalemite merchants accused the Israeli occupation authority (IOA)of deliberately sabotaging tourism in eastern Jerusalem especially the Old City through directing tourists to Jewish areas.

Israel suspends cooperation with UNESCO over tomb dispute (AFP)
AFP – Israel suspended cooperation with UNESCO on Wednesday to protest at the cultural organisation’s description of the tomb of the biblical matriarch Rachel, near Bethlehem in the West Bank, as a mosque.*

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Court to hear first settlements case
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The first case of smuggling goods from settlements into West Bank shops was filed in a Bethlehem court Wednesday, in a move that will test a new Palestinian Authority law prohibiting the sale of such products.  Although customs officers have patrolled West Bank shops and detained several people since the law went into effect over the summer, the case of the Bethlehem merchant will be the first to see the inside of a courtroom.

Intimidation Continues in Susiya as Peace Activists Are Arrested, Palestine Monitor
Two activists from the Jewish-Arab equality group Ta’ayush were arrested while assisting olive farmers in Susiya village on Saturday. The harvest had been interrupted by Israeli soldiers who claimed the land was disputed, although Israeli government-issued aerial maps showed it to be Palestinian.

British Foreign Secretary Meets with Palestinian Activists in a Show of Solidarity, Joseph Dana
William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary, met with leading Palestinian grassroots organizers this afternoon in an unequivocal show of support in face of ongoing Israeli repression. This is a clear message that parts of the international community are aware of the grassroots non-violent work against the occupation among sectors of Palestinian society. Israeli officials expressed dismay at the meeting but did not file an official complaint with the British government.

UK foreign minister handed letter from Jerusalemite officials facing exile
A Jerusalemite delegation handed on Wednesday visiting British foreign minister William Hague a letter from the Palestinian officials threatened with expulsion from their native city.

BDS Week Of Action Planned In Cambridge, UK
By Polly Basak – Cambridge, UK – The Cambridge Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) in the UK has organized a number of events to coincide with the national Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) week of action against Israel which starts on Saturday 6 November.  Since the Gaza invasion in 2008, which resulted in the death of 1,400 Palestinians and the recent flotilla attack where nine peace activists were killed in international waters, support for the BDS movement in the UK has strengthened and grown.

Is Lev Leviev out of the settlement building business?, Adam Horowitz
Adalah-NY is claiming victory in helping to force Israeli industrialist Lev Leviev out of the settlement construction business. Adalah has been campaigning for years against Leviev, including some very creative protests outside his flagship Manhattan boutique. From an Adalah-NY press release…

Settlement Builder Africa-Israel Faces Trouble on Two Fronts,  Alex Kane
First a boycott campaign, and now a lawsuit.  Africa-Israel, an investment company which is implicated in the construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian land, has announced that it will no longer be “involved in Israeli settlement projects and that it has no plans for future settlement activities,” according to the New York group Adalah, which works on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.  The announcement follows a three-year boycott campaign against Lev Leviev, the Israeli billionaire and chairman of Africa-Israel, and companies that he is involved in.  Leviev is still involved with “settlement construction through other companies like Leader Management and Development,” as Ethan Heitner, an activist with Adalah-NY, noted in the group’s press release.

Help judge the International Israeli Apartheid Short Film Contest!
All are invited, by “Stop the Wall” and “” to participate in online judging of short films about Israeli apartheid. Voting is open from October 28 through December 15, 2010. See the contest’s long list of sponsors and endorsers, including the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

‘Israeli Occupation Awareness Week’ comes to Brandeis, Adam Horowitz
Next week at Brandeis University, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace will be co-hosting Israeli Occupation Awareness Week. From November 8th to November 12th, BSJP and JVP will be bringing an array of exciting speakers, including Professor Noam Chomsky, in order to raise awareness about the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

No loyalty to apartheid, Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
On October 10, 2010, the Israeli government proposed a bill obligating non-Jewish naturalized citizens to swear loyalty to a “Jewish and democratic state.” The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) deplores this attempt to demand recognition of Israel as a Jewish state – a state whose existence is premised on the removal of the indigenous people of Palestine.

‘Albuquerque Journal’ runs column by pro-Palestinian activist calling on Jewish groups to have open debate, Philip Weiss
I look for cracks in the wall, and here is one. The Albuquerque Journal has published a column by Danya Mustafa responding forcefully to local Jewish groups’ efforts to prevent Ali Abunimah from speaking at the University of New Mexico this weekend. Mustafa is a freshman who leads a coalition at the school; her column was co-signed by Margaret Leicester, a UNM graduate student, and Richard Forer, a community activist.

If you will it…, Michael Levin

I had a mighty hard time, but I’m on my way, to Canaan land; and if you don’t go, please don’t hinder me, Philip Weiss
This is the great Mahalia Jackson, gone but with us in spirit, adapted to the Gaza flotilla and uploaded yesterday. Beautiful. Notice the honor granted to Islamic prayer at 1:50; I had to pray so hard, I’m on my way. Thanks to Norman Finkelstein.

ADL seeks to submarine Gaza boat fundraiser at Rutgers, Philip Weiss
This is important. Tomorrow night at Rutgers, the New Jersey state university, Palestinian solidarity groups are exercising their right to assembly and free speech by gathering to raise money for the US boat to Gaza— which seeks to aid the 1.5 million people living in an open-air prison, with few political rights. The ADL is smearing the event as an aid to terrorism, inside a public university. Below is reporting from the north Jersey newspaper, followed by the flyer for the event.

Israeli Abuse of Palestinian Children
Palestinians building child torture case against Israel
Ramallah: The Palestinian National Authority is in the final stages of preparing files, especially those relating to child prisoners, to approach the International Court of Justice in The Hague with a solid case against Israel.  A total of 300 Palestinian children are currently in Israeli jails. “The Palestinian child prisoners are tortured the moment they are detained by the Israeli Army which starts beating them up in the vehicles in which they are arrested,” said Eisa Qaraqei, the Palestinian Minister of Detainees Affairs.

No Comment: Soldiers And Settlers Abuse A Palestinian Child
PNN – Hebron – The following is a video released on YouTube documenting Israeli soldiers and settlers abusing a Palestinian child in Hebron, southern West Bank.

Israel Police to Target Stone-throwers’ Parents
In a bid to quell the growing number of minors stoning Israelis in Jerusalem neighborhoods, Israel Police have announced they will soon start holding accountable parents of the suspects.  According to Israel Police, they plan to make parents of the suspected perpetrators pay deposits of up to 5,000 shekels, ($1,400) that become fines if the minor is convicted.

Violations Bulletin – Issue 2 – October 2010
DCI-Palestine’s monthly bulletin on child rights violations.

Restriction of Movement

Israel blocks Qureia’s entry to Jordan
Soldiers manning Allenby Bridge crossing tell former Palestinian PM and his wife they can pass only by bus; security officials say decision related to anti-Israel comments.,7340,L-3979450,00.html

Israel blocking Palestinian officials from using main Jordan crossing
Only Palestinian President Abbas and Palestinian PM Fayyad will be allowed to use the Allenby Bridge; nevertheless, former PM Qureia attempts to cross.

Siege/Other Rights Violations/Humanitarian Issues

Colussus: the giant Gazan prison
The blockade imposed on Gaza is a powerful psychological device aimed at wringing concessions from Gazans and Hamas.  Gaza “the giant open prison” are not the words of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president. Nor were they scripted by Hamas’ Khaled Mishaal or Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas. They belong to David Cameron, the young and charismatic British prime minister.

Adhan Banned at Hebron’s Al-Ibrahimi Mosque 54 Times in One Month
The Muslim call to prayer (Adhan) was prohibited by the Israeli authorities at Hebron’s Al-Ibrahimi Mosque for 54 times, during the month of October, the Middle East Monitor reported.

UPDATE: International Children’s Conference ”Protective Environment – Active Participation”
Under the auspices of the Prime Minister, Dr. Salam Fayyad, Defence for Children International – Palestine Section, in cooperation with DCI International Executive Council and DCI – International Secretariat – Geneva, is conducting its international child conference:

Racism and Discrimination

‘We didn’t come to Safed to steal anyone’s home’
Elderly resident of northern city receives threats following his intention to rent out apartment to Bedouins; Arab female students afraid to go out after dark for fear of being attacked.,7340,L-3978981,00.html

Israeli deputy mayor sacked for racism against Arabs
Oren Milstein fired after publicly objecting to Arabs living in the city of Carmiel.

Israel to discuss loyalty oath bill Sunday
HAIFA, Israel (Ma’an) — A controversial bill demanding new citizens of Israel declare their loyalty to a “Jewish state” will come up for discussion on Sunday, a move being decried by Palestinian minority groups.  Palestinian rights organization in Israel Adallah issued a statement on Thursday, saying the bill “joins the large number of bills currently pending which target the rights of the Arab minority in Israel, and indicates the serious efforts of the coalition to work against them.”

Violence & Aggression

Israel claims assassination in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel’s military claimed the assassination of a Gaza fighter hours after the 27-year-old was killed by an explosion that destroyed a car he was driving.  The military, which initially declined to comment, said Muhammad Jamal Nimnim was a senior leader in the Salafist military group Jaish Al-Islam (Army of Islam) and had been “personally involved in directing several terror attacks against Israeli targets in recent years.”

Israel hints it cleared killing of Gaza Islamist with Washington
IDF confirms assassinating Army of Islam operative Mohammed Nimnim, killed earlier Wednesday when his car exploded in Gaza City.

Gaza killing marks return of Israeli targeted assassinations
Israel claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s killing in Gaza of a Palestinian militant from a splinter group that Hamas is trying to rein in.

Army Invades Central Gaza
Israeli soldiers, supported by a number of armored vehicles and tanks, invaded on Wednesday evening an area east of al-Boreij refugee camp in central Gaza.

3 Nov. ’10: Firing at workers near the Gaza perimiter fence
Over the past year, B’Tselem has documented eleven cases in which soldiers fired at and wounded Palestinian civilians working in areas near the perimeter fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. In these eleven cases, the gunfire struck civilians who, because of the lack of jobs in the Strip, were compelled to earn a living by collecting building materials for recycling. The lack of jobs has grown since Operation Cast Lead and following the continuing siege on the Strip.


IOF kidnap two brothers of prisoner in PA jails in Al-Khalil
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Wednesday evening the house of a prisoner in Fatah’s jails in the West Bank called Bajis Amro and kidnapped two of his brothers.

Army Kidnaps Eight Palestinians In The West Bank
Israeli troops detained on Thursday at dawn eight Palestinian citizens in the West Bank allegedly wanted for ‘security violations’.

Israeli army seizes 4 brothers in raid
TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces seized four men, all brothers, during a raid on their home in the West Bank village of Kur, south of Tulkarem, early Wednesday, local officials said.  Village council head Jalal Al-Jayousi said Israeli soldiers in several armored vehicles entered the village at 3 a.m., firing flares and stun grenades. The soldiers raided and searched several houses, most of them on the western side of the village.

IOA detains Palestinian recently released after serving 25-year sentence
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) held Omar Al-Barghouthi in administrative detention for six months, his family members said on Thursday.

Israeli court sentences Gaza man
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Beersheba court sentenced a Gaza man to six and a half years in Israeli custody on Wednesday, the Center for the Study of Detainees in Gaza said.  Tareq Abed Rabbo, from the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, was born in 1976. He was detained in March, accused of affiliation to Islamic Jihad. The center said in a statement that Abed Rabbo was charged with “resiting the occupation.”

Israel’s Arab Helpers

Egypt shuts down tunnels along Gaza border
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egyptian security forces took over 16 tunnels and quantities of smuggled goods on Thursday.  During the operation, a suspected Egyptian smuggler was seized in possession of weapons in the Rafah border area, officials said.  Intelligence officials said iron and food were among the supplies seized en route to the besieged coastal enclave.

Egyptian authorities restrict travel of Gaza poet
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities prevented a Gaza poet from traveling to a poetry competition in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.  Suleiman Al-Hazeen, from An-Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip district of Deir Al-Balah, was accepted to be one of 7,000 contestants in the “Prince of Poets” competition hosted by the Gulf state.

Egyptian authorities denied 17 Viva Palestina convoy activists to enter Gaza
Cairo, November 4, (Pal Telegraph – IMRA) Egyptian authorities refused to allow 17 activists from the Viva Palestina  convoy to enter the Gaza Strip. Those denied entry included Viva Palestina leader George Galloway, several activists who had been aboard the Mavi Marmara, Muslim Brotherhood activists, and participants in the confrontation with Egypt’s security forces in January 2010.

Abbas accuses Iran of trying to sabotage Mideast peace
In interview with Kuwait newspaper, Palestinian leader also says he may ask U.S. to help draft framework agreement for permanent settlement if peace talks stay stalled.

War Crimes/Criminals past and present

Britain Caves To Israeli Pressure; Agrees To Revoke ‘universal Jurisdiction’ Law
In his visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories this week, British Foreign Secretary William Hague reported being ‘ambushed’ by Israeli officials who cancelled a high-level security briefing with Hague in response to a British threat to arrest an Israeli official for war crimes.

Israel ambushes Hague over arrest warrants
Israel and Britain moved last night to limit the damage of an Israeli diplomatic ambush that threatened to overshadow the first official visit to the Middle East by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary.

Britain working to change arrest law, Hague says
JERUSALEM (DPA) — The British government is working to change a law which has seen Israeli officials threatened with lawsuits in Britain, visiting British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in Ramallah Wednesday.  “We will soon be putting a proposal to change the law,” he told a joint news conference with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Kufur Qasim Massacre: The Triumph of Memory, Seraj Assi
On October 29, 1956, the Israel Border Police (Magav) announced a sudden curfew on the village of Kufur Qasim located on the Israeli side of the Green Line. Colonel Yiskhar Shadmi, then the Brigade Commander of Israel’s Central District, gathered the border patrol battalion commanders and instructed them to shot and kill anyone found outside his or her place during the curfew, including women and children. When asked what to do with those workers who were unaware of the curfew, he replied with the cynical Arabic term “Allah Yirhamhu (May God have mercy on him).

Political “Developments”

Hamas accuses Abbas of trying to fail reconciliation
GAZA, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — Islamic Hamas movement accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday of trying to hinder national reconciliation.  The accusation followed Abbas’ remarks that security control in the Palestinian territories can not be shared with Hamas. Abbas statements “meant to ruin Damascus meeting” next week, in which Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah party will discuss inter- reconciliation, especially the security issue, Hamas Spokesman Ayman Taha told Xinhua.

PA: Israel punishing our leaders
After Israeli soldiers’ refusal to let former Palestinian PM Qureia into Jordan with his car, telling him to take bus, Palestinian Authority spokesman says officials being punished for political positions in peace talks.,7340,L-3979698,00.html

Abbas: US trying to restart peace talks
MANAMA, Bahrain (Ma’an) — Continuous efforts have been made by US mediators to bring stalled peace talks back on track, President Mahmoud Abbas told the Kuwait News Agency KUNA on Wednesday.  As PA officials insist that the midterm elections – which took seats in the nation’s congress away from President Barack Obama’s Democratic party – will not harm the process, Abbas said officials from all parties involved were continuing efforts.

Abbas aide: Palestinians don’t expect change in US Mideast policy
TEL AVIV, Israel (DPA) — A senior aide to President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday he did not expect the outcome of the US mid-term congressional elections to affect the Middle East peace process.  “We will continue to work with the US administration as before,” Yasser Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine Radio from Kuwait, where he was traveling with Abbas.

Clinton: U.S. working non-stop to advance Mideast peace process
U.S. Secretary of State confirms plans to meet Netanyahu in Washington, says Obama administration believes Palestinians and Israelis will find a way.

Israel takes aim at Palestinian ‘incitement’ (AP)
AP – Israel announced Wednesday it will officially monitor “incitement” by the Palestinians, taking aim at what it says are widespread provocations against the Jewish state that undermine efforts to reach Mideast peace.*

Netanyahu says will meet Hillary Clinton during U.S. visit (Reuters)
Reuters – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday he would meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a U.S. visit next week in addition to previously announced talks with Vice President Joe Biden.*

PM: Palestinians not ready for peace
During debate titled ‘The world against Israel – how the Netanyahu administration isolated Israel in the international arena,’ PM says, ‘Rejecting Israel’s right to exist doesn’t advance reconciliation.’ MK Bar-On: Bold decision required.,7340,L-3979196,00.html

US Midterm Elections and the Middle East Peace Process
The outcome of Tuesday’s midterm elections in the United States marked the Republican party’s victory in the House of Representatives with a majority of at least 62 seats gained. No change is expected by Palestinians on the status of Palestine in the current peace negotiations.

Other News

U.S. Jews not turning their backs on Israel, says Jewish Agency’s Sharansky
Jewish Agency chairman says reality on the ground contradict abstract points made by pundits.

Forbes ranks Netanyahu as 24th most powerful person in the world
Chinese President Hu Jintao tops the Forbes magazine list; Netanyahu called ‘the biggest menace to Iran’s nuclear ambitions’.


Ramallah’s Olive Press, Palestine Monitor
The olive harvest is the definitive Mediterranean tradition. From the Pyrennes to the Atlases, Tunis to Athens, Jerusalem to Damascus, farmers and families are climbing trees and filling sacks in their grey-green groves. But before these kilos can be poured on pasta, heated to fry, or soaked in bread, the olives must go to a press.  Palestine Monitor visited Ramallah’s downtown olive press to see how the season’s harvest gets from the raw to the extra virgin.

Palestinian Artists Featured at Poetry International 2010
Renowned Palestinian-American poet Suheir Hammad will be performing with the newly formed Tashweesh for Poetry International 2010 at the Southbank Centre this Friday in London. She told me that audiences can expect the event to be “fresh, live, alive.” I caught up with Hammad briefly between rehearsals today. Here’s what she had to say.

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest

signs of the demise, As’ad Abukhalil
There are signs that Israel’s years are numbered.  They became clear to me in 2006 when a bunch of youngsters in South Lebanon humiliated the arrogant army of Israel.  People from South Lebanon were most impressed hearing the cries and screams of retreating Israeli soldiers around Marun Ar-Ras.  But for me the signs are seen also in the clumsiness and comical nature of Israel propaganda.  I never thought I would live to watch Israeli propaganda mimic Ba`thist propaganda.  These are signs that one relishes from a historical perspective.  There are those who are worried about the new Israeli (and US) insistence that Arabs and others recognize the permanent Jewish character of the state.  Are you kidding? This is another sign of demise.  It shows actual panic regarding the inevitable future and the demographic trend.  What will Israel do 50 years from now when the Jews in the “holy land” are outnumbered by Arabs?  No pledge of Jewishness of state would preserve the racist state of Israel.  Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe that Israel will be around at the time.  Then, you will most likely land in George Habash International Airport (formerly known as Ben Gurion Airport).  I already now discuss plans of visit to Palestine after its liberation.  I know what I would do there.

VIDEO The History of America’s Unconditional Support for Israel, Lawrence Davidson
Lawrence Davidson spoke on Palestine Studies TV (video and transcript) about American Presidents and pro-Israel foreign policy. His article, “Truman the Politician & the Establishment of Israel” showed how a “strong domestic Zionist lobby” interacted with President Harry Truman’s “wants and needs in order to influence his decision making.”

It aint over till AIPAC is skiing in Utah, and other thoughts on the lobby from Lawrence Davidson
Did you notice what a divisive election we just had in the U.S. and there wasn’t a peep about our Middle East policy? Here’s an interesting interview at the Institute for Palestine Studies with Lawrence Davidson, a professor of history in Pennsylvania, in which he argues that American policy in the Middle East is entirely-lobby-driven. Davidson is author of a piece on Truman and the establishment of the state of Israel, and he sees the Israel lobby as a growing force in American political life from the 1920s and 30s, when the Congress bought the lobby line and the executive dismissed it– and then Truman came to power. Interviewer is Clea Thouin.

Haaretz op-ed: Peace requires that Jews realize the Holocaust was a self-inflicted tragedy, Yaniv Reich
OK, that headline is deliberately and falsely sensationalistic in order to grab your attention.  Unfortunately, I believe Moshe Arens’ motivation for making an extremely similar statement about the Nakba reflects a far more insidious objective than simple attention grabbing.  A couple days ago, Haaretz published a revolting verbal attack on what was probably the most consequential moment in Palestinian history.

Arab Bishops Leading the Way, George S. Hishmeh – Washington, D.C.
A recent meeting in Vatican of some 200 Catholic bishops, mainly from the Arab world, will very likely go down in history for adopting the strongest condemnation by Christian church leaders of present-day Israeli policies and actions.  At the same time, it will be remembered for their call on all Christians, Muslims and Jews in the Middle East, where Muslims are the majority, to work together to end the  heart-wrenching bloody turmoil as a result of  the Palestinian-Israeli conflict  that has plagued the region for more than six decades and led to the emigration of tens of thousands, especially Christians.

Ramallah is Great, but it`s Not Jerusalem, Joharah Baker
As Ramallah blooms, Palestinian east Jerusalem inversely declines and there is not much the Palestinians are or can do about it. It is no secret that Israel has, for years, been systematically isolating Jerusalem from its West Bank surroundings in an attempt to sever ties between what they deem as their united capital and Palestinian aspirations to make it their own. As a result, the city has been physically separated from Ramallah (and Bethlehem) by airtight checkpoints and the separation wall, which keeps West Bankers almost completely out.

The Unquenchable Spirit of Resistance in Gaza, Tapani Lausti
It is hard to finish reading this book without tears in one’s eyes. Mohammed Baroud’s life story, as told by his son Ramzy, encapsulates the tragedy of the Palestinians in general and the Gazans in particular. It is a story of the amazing resilience of people whose life and dreams have been shattered for decades, with much of the world watching with indifference or incomprehension.

Imperialism, Islamophobia, and Torture, Adam Hudson
During the Nuremberg Trials, the chief American prosecutor, Robert H. Jackson, famously stated[i]: “To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” America has a long history of war and its accumulated evils. It began as thirteen small colonies that sat along the Atlantic coast. In over a century, the United States expanded all the way to the Pacific Ocean – from sea to shining sea. The process was not pretty. It involved the genocide of the native Americans and the enslavement of millions of black Africans whose free labor was needed to fuel the American capitalist economy.


Hizbullah strength growing, warns Israeli spy chief
BEIRUT: Hizbullah is growing stronger and could take over all of Lebanon in “a few hours,” the head of the Israeli Military Intelligence, Amos Yaldin, said Tuesday in a farewell address to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, according. to media reports.

Hezbollah Condemns Ban’s Report: Israeli-US Landmarks Clear
03/11/2010 Hezbollah vehemently condemned on Wednesday UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s stance in his fourteenth report over resolution 1701, in which he held the Lebanese army the responsibility for the Oddaiseh incident.  In a statement released by Hezbollah media relations, the Resistance party said that Ban’s stance was completed biased for the Zionist enemy, adding that, however, it was not surprising from the part of the top UN official.

US Gives Additional $10 Million to STL
03/11/2010 Day after another, the so-called Special Tribunal for Lebanon proves to be politicized more and more…  After the United States was reportedly interfering in the work of the “independent” tribunal and pressing its Prosecutor to accelerate the timing of the issuance of its final verdict, Washington officially and proudly announced on Monday it has decided to give an additional $10 billion to the tribunal, without any explanation.  “Efforts to discredit, hinder, or influence the tribunal’s work must not be tolerated,” US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said in a statement.  Rice said the tribunal can “help deter further violence and put an end to a tragic era of impunity for political assassinations in Lebanon.”  “Until Lebanon is able to achieve this, it will be very difficult to secure the peace and stability that all Lebanese citizens deserve,” Rice said.


Iraq: Rocket blows up in police vehicle, kills 4 (AP)
AP – A rocket confiscated by authorities blew up in the back of a police pickup truck in northern Iraq on Thursday, killing four people. Police and hospital officials also said two people died in a roadside bomb explosion west of Baghdad.*

Wednesday: 3 Iraqis Killed, 8 Wounded
At least three Iraqis were killed and eight more were wounded in light violence; however, the Islamic State of Iraq vowed to continue targeting Iraqi Christians. Also, the Iraqi Interior Ministery inspector general admitted that a “magic wand” used to detect explosives is completely useless, but Interior Minister Jawad Bolani continues to defend its use.

At least 113 killed in series of Baghdad attacks
Seventeen car bombs and other blasts shook the city at sunset in one of the bloodiest days this year.

‘Rivers of blood’: Al-Qaida in Iraq vows more attacks on Christians
The group said in a statement posted late Tuesday on militant websites, “All Christian centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers are legitimate targets for the muhajedeen (holy warriors) wherever they can reach them.”

After Baghdad bombings, Iraqis have harsh words for security forces
‘The politicians are fighting each other instead of the terrorists,’ says a Baghdad shopkeeper, reflecting widespread doubt the government will prevent further Baghdad bombings.

Baghdad reels from blasts to public spots
Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is understood to have ordered an investigation into the security breaches which preceded a series of bombings in Baghdad on Tuesday. Al-Maliki spent part of Wednesday visiting victims of the attacks, which struck mainly Shia districts of the Iraqi capital. At least 64 people were killed and hundreds injured in 16 separate incidents. Rawya Rageh reports.

Allawi to lead Iraq’s opposition
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, whose bloc won the most votes in the country’s general election, says he will quit power-sharing talks to lead the opposition.

IRAQ: Christians consider their future after deadly attack
BAGHDAD Thursday, November 04, 2010 (IRIN) – The latest attack on 31 October on Iraq’s dwindling Christian community, which left 58 people dead, and warnings by al-Qaeda that more killings will follow, is raising questions about the future of one of the oldest Christian congregations in the Middle East.

Baghdad school system struggling as pupils resume studies (AFP)
AFP – Discarded drinks cans and plastic bags litter the halls of al-Mamuniyeh state school in Baghdad where, despite over a billion dollars of US spending on Iraqi education, children squeeze into dim, crowded classrooms, often without books or electricity.*

U.S. and other world news

Attack on Wikileaks unites Congress
Despite talk of historic elections and change, expect business as usual from the nation’s capitol when it comes to rampant American militarism.

WikiLeaks urges U.S. to fully examine abuses
GENEVA, Nov 4 (Reuters) – The founder of WikiLeaks called on the United States on Thursday to fully examine abuses by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanstan and to halt its “aggressive investigation” into his whistle-blowing organisation.  Julian Assange said WikiLeaks would release thousands of documents this year concerning not only the United States, but other countries including Russia and Lebanon.

How will the Republican-controlled House affect U.S.-Israel ties?
Republicans are expected to take a tougher stance on Iran and put pressure on Obama administration to be easier on Israel.

Days after election victory: ‘Tea Party’ coming to Israel
Newly elected senator for Florida, republican Marco Rubio will arrive in Israel on Sunday; Pro-Israel AIPAC lobby expresses satisfaction with election results.,7340,L-3979390,00.html

U.S. midterms: AIPAC lauds re-election of pro-Israel stalwarts
Pro-Israel group hails success for supporters on both sides of the political divide, as well as election of three new Jewish members of Congress; polls shows 66 percent of U.S. Jews voted Democrat.

Bush claims he was a ‘dissenting voice’ on Iraq
georgewbush Bush claims he was a dissenting voice on IraqFormer President George W. Bush says he was a “dissenting voice” on the decision to invade Iraq because he “didn’t want to use force” but ran out of options.  “I was a dissenting voice. I didn’t want to use force,” Bush told NBC’s Matt Lauer in his first interview promoting his new memoir, “Decision Points.”  “I mean force is the last option for a President,” he continued, according to an NBC News transcript e-mailed to Raw Story. “And I think it’s clear in the book that I gave diplomacy every chance to work. And I will also tell you the world’s better off without somehow in power. And so are 25 million Iraqis.”

Bush: Kanye West calling me a racist ‘the worst moment’ of my presidency
In an interview slated to be broadcast next Monday at 8pm ET, former President George W. Bush will say that criticism by Kanye West — in which the then-president was dubbed a “racist” — was the “worst moment” of his presidency.  “I didn’t appreciate it then,” Bush says. “I don’t appreciate it now. It’s one thing to say, “I don’t appreciate the way he’s handled his business.” It’s another thing to say, “This man’s a racist.” I resent it, it’s not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my Presidency.”

Army ‘might need to intervene in Yemen’
The new head of the Armed Forces has refused to rule out military intervention in Yemen to stamp out the growing threat from al-Qaeda terrorists based there.

US Attack Kills 8 People In Pakistan
According to Pakistani security officials, an unmanned American plane fired two missiles at a vehicle in the North Waziristan Agency. The vehicle was destroyed completely, leaving five people dead. Hours later, another attack killed three people in the same region.

NATO choppers violate Pakistani airspace
The gunship helicopters came 600 meters inside Pakistani borders, and after flying in the area for 10 minutes they retreated to Afghanistan, the channel reported. daily times monitor.

US Republicans to target Afghan withdrawal timetable
Republican Representative Buck McKeon, who was all but certain to be the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, signalled that the party would ensure that US forces have the “time” to achieve their goals.

US to spend $511 million to expand Kabul embassy
Over the last two years, the U.S. has signed contracts to expand American diplomatic facilities in Kabul and consulates in Mazar-e Sharif and Herat provinces that total $790 million, he said. The figure includes the embassy expansion, which should be completed by June 2014.

4 “militants”, 2 children killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand province
Four “Taliban militants” and two children were killed Wednesday in Nad Ali district of Afghanistan’s volatile southern Helmand province when the insurgents clashed with security forces troops, provincial administration spokesman Daud Ahmadi said.

Russia starts arms shipments to Afghanistan
Russia has started shipping small arms to Afghanistan’s police forces. The first of the 16 planned cargo planes loaded with Russian weapons and ammunition landed on Tuesday in the capital Kabul.

Afghan election body in fraud probe
Candidates call for September election to be scrapped amid claims Independent Election Commission was involved in fraud.

Any hope I had in the ballot box bringing change in Afghanistan is gone
If Karzai’s re-election was a fraud, Obama’s surge of troops brought just more violence. For Afghans he’s the ‘second Bush’.

West using woman’s stoning case as ‘pressure’ – Tehran
TEHRAN: Tehran accused the West of trying to pressure it over the case of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning, as a judiciary official said she was in “perfect health” and her case still being reviewed. “They [Western nations] have become so shameless that they have turned the case of Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, who has committed crime and treason.

Revolutionary Guards criticize Ahmadinejad
TEHRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come under unprecedented criticism from the Revolutionary Guards, the elite military force usually considered his staunch supporter.

Election fraud fears raised ahead of Jordan vote
AMMAN, Jordan (DPA) — Jordan’s state-funded human rights watchdog said Thursday it was concerned about new methods of “vote buying” and other election fraud tactics ahead of next week’s polls.  “Such recurrent political and social pressures which seek to affect the fairness of the polling process do not live up to the internationally-approved criteria,” the National Centre for Human Rights said in a statement.

Protests as Egypt candidates barred
Government preliminarily denies 57 Muslim Brotherhood candidates from running in polls amid claims of a crackdown.

Egypt Muslim leaders denounce Qaeda threat to Copts (AFP)
AFP – An Al-Qaeda threat to Egypt’s Coptic Christians has met with growing condemnation from Muslim figureheads and the press in Egypt, which said it was an attack on national unity.*

Coptic pope says God turned Qaeda threat to ‘good’ (AFP/File)
AFP/File – The head of Egypt’s Coptic church said on Wednesday that an Al-Qaeda threat against Copts had inadvertently turned to “good” by creating sympathy for his church.*

Arab world faces worsening water crisis – report
BEIRUT, Nov 4 (Reuters) – The Arab world, one of the driest regions on the planet, will tip into severe water scarcity as early as 2015, a report issued on Thursday predicts.  By then, Arabs will have to survive on less than 500 cubic metres of water a year each, or below a tenth of the world average of more than 6,000 cubic metres per capita, said the report by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED).  “The Arab world is already living a water crisis that will only get worse with inaction,” the report says, adding per capita supply has plunged to only a quarter of its 1960 level.

Islam in the West

Case raises France veil ban issues
The case of a Frenchwoman on trial for attacking an Arab tourist wearing full-face veil raises questions over new law.

France wading into uncharted waters over veil ban
An elderly Frenchwoman has been on trial for allegedly attacking an Arab tourist, claiming she was outraged by the woman’s full-face veil. The incident in February occurred the same time the government of Nicolas Sarkozy was pushing to outlaw the full-face veil, worn by fewer than 2,000 women in France. Prosecutors have asked for the Frenchwoman to be fined and given a suspended jail sentence. Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland reports from Paris on how the case is highlighting potential problems once the veil ban is implemented next year. (Nov 04, 2010)

Bill Maher’s Anti-Muslim Fixation, M.J. Rosenberg
I know Bill Maher hates religion.  But it doesn’t take much watching of his show to see that there is only one religion in which he combines his fate for the faith with hate for its adherents: Islam.  Long before Islamophobia (actually Islamo-hatred) became the rage during the “Ground Zero Mosque” episode, Maher’s contempt for Muslims has been right out there. Check out his latest, covered here by Zaid Jilani at “Think Progress,” in which Maher expressed his fear that Muslim babies are taking over Europe. It’s ugly and embarrassing — embarrassing in that he is so utterly out of touch that he thinks that his admirers, liberals, share his bigotry toward Muslims.

I feel relieved. I mean, the danger of Shari`ah was looming over Oklahoma
“Oklahoma on Tuesday approved a ballot measure blocking judges from considering Islamic or international law when making a ruling.  Nearly 70 percent of voters in the state cast ballots approving the measure.

Lauren Booth: Conversion to Islam has made my life less materialistic, Philip Weiss
Lauren Booth, a pro-Palestinian activist who is the sister-in-law of Tony Blair, recently shocked the English establishment by converting to Islam. She wrote about her conversion yesterday in the Guardian. I’m not into organized religion generally, but this is interesting, and serves to humanize Muslims and de-otherize them.

‘Israeli Occupation Awareness Week’ comes to Brandeis

Nov 04, 2010

Adam Horowitz 

From a press release:

Brandeis University, America’s only non-sectarian Jewish University, has long been a hotbed of controversy on matters related to the conflict in Israel-Palestine. In contrast to conventional wisdom, the student body does not fall lock step in line with AIPAC, the ADL, and other un-nuanced approaches to the State of Israel and the Palestinian people. We do not support the increasingly racist policies of the State of Israel towards its own citizens, nor do we support the occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

We are young Jews, Muslims and Christians: Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Europeans and others. We envision Israel and Palestine as a place of justice, and we hold Israel accountable for its military occupation. Peace can proceed when all Palestinians reclaim their rights to free movement, land water, a home, a fair trial, cultural preservation, national identity and democratic representation.

You can read the full press release after the jump:

Next week at Brandeis University, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace will be co-hosting Israeli Occupation Awareness Week. From November 8th to November 12th, BSJP and JVP will be bringing an array of exciting speakers, including Professor Noam Chomsky, in order to raise awareness about the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

On Monday, Elisha Baskin, an Israeli, and Emily Schick, an American, will discuss their roles as activists against the occupation in Palestine. In addition the film “Slingshot Hip-Hop” will be shown.

On Tuesday afternoon, a Palestinian farmer Daoud Nassar will speak in opposition to the growing Israeli settlements in the West Bank. In the evening, Alice Rothchild, from American Jews for a Just Peace, will lead a discussion on the Jewish Community’s role in supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

On Wednesday, Diana Buttu, a former negotiator for the Palestine Liberation Organization, will discuss legal perspectives on the occupation.

On Thursday afternoon, we will screen two movies from the Boston Palestine Film Festival, “To Shoot an Elephant,” and “East Side Story.” After this film screening will be the keynote speaker of the week, Professor Noam Chomsky who will discuss the escalating policies of apartheid and his new book, Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians.

Brandeis University, America’s only non-sectarian Jewish University, has long been a hotbed of controversy on matters related to the conflict in Israel-Palestine. In contrast to conventional wisdom, the student body does not fall lock step in line with AIPAC, the ADL, and other un-nuanced approaches to the State of Israel and the Palestinian people. We do not support the increasingly racist policies of the State of Israel towards its own citizens, nor do we support the occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

We are young Jews, Muslims and Christians: Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Europeans and others. We envision Israel and Palestine as a place of justice, and we hold Israel accountable for its military occupation. Peace can proceed when all Palestinians reclaim their rights to free movement, land water, a home, a fair trial, cultural preservation, national identity and democratic representation.

For more information contact:
Jon Sussman

Liza Behrendt

Noam Shuster

Bill Clinton slightly tweaks Netanyahu, goes on to say very little

Nov 04, 2010

Philip Weiss


Rabin was assassinated 15 years ago today. Bill Clinton is on the NYT op-ed page with a piece called, “Finish Rabin’s Work,” saying it is time to cut the two-state deal we all know everyone agreed on. A reader writes, “The only really interesting part is the indirect pop at Netanyahu (and Peres) when he says Rabin would have worked out a comprehensive deal within three years [of 1995] had he lived. Clinton presumably cleared this with Hillary Clinton.  It’s probably not a big deal, but perhaps it’s a warning to Netanyahu that he better get with the negotiations. I doubt it, but it’s one possible interpretation.  Clinton really was angered by Netanyahu. I don’t know if it’s entirely accurate to say Abbas approved a plan based on the Clinton parameters of 2001.”   Also, 15 years is a long time. Per Clinton:

The end of his life overlapped with the emergence of the most interdependent age in human history, the explosion of the Internet and the era of globalization. We are linked in so many ways that we cannot get away from each other…. Therefore, each in our own way, we must all take up the cause for which Yitzhak Rabin gave his life: building a shared future in which our common humanity is more important than our interesting differences.

FYI, it was on this basis that the late Tony Judt urged one democratic state. Seven years ago. Time flies.

If you will it . . .

Nov 04, 2010

Michael Levin 

To learn more visit

No loyalty to apartheid

Nov 04, 2010

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

On October 10, 2010, the Israeli government proposed a bill obligating non-Jewish naturalized citizens to swear loyalty to a “Jewish and democratic state.” The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) deplores this attempt to demand recognition of Israel as a Jewish state – a state whose existence is premised on the removal of the indigenous people of Palestine.

In response to this bill, members of the Zionist “Left” in Israel issued a “declaration of independence from fascism.” Announced at a rally in Tel Aviv, the Middle East’s most ethnically cleansed city (indigenous population: four percent), the declaration asserts that the proposed law “violates [Israel’s] basic commitment to the principles of equality, civil liberty and sincere aspiration for peace — principles upon which the State of Israel was founded.”

The Zionist “Left” is distancing itself from this policy, but the proposed oath is entirely consistent with Israel’s racist foundations and continued ethnic cleansing – all of which the Zionist “Left” has played a central role in perpetrating and whitewashing.

In the 1930s, as the Zionist state was forming, the Histadrut and other Labor Zionist institutions campaigned to dispossess Arab peasants and workers, while helping crush the resulting 1936 Arab rebellion.

In 1947-1948, under the leadership of David Ben Gurion, Labor Zionism – the dominant force in the Zionist “Left” – also directed the Nakba (catastrophe), which established the “Jewish state” by terrorizing and expelling at least eighty percent of the indigenous Palestinian population.

In the following decades, “Left” Zionism imposed domestic apartheid, made apartheid South Africa Israel’s closest ally, and led or supported every Israeli war of domination — most recently in Lebanon and Gaza. Under Labor governments, Israeli settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank exploded in number.*

Today, “Left” Zionists, no less than their right-wing counterparts, view Palestinians as a “demographic threat” to Jewish supremacy. Like the “Right,” they insist that Palestinians ratify their own unequal status by recognizing 1948 Palestine (“Israel”) as a “Jewish state.” Ironically, this Zionist racism, violence and apartheid serve to deliver a segregation of Jews that parallels traditional European anti-Semitism.

The problem, then, is not alleged betrayal of Israeli “principles” at the hands of right-wing “extremists,” but Zionism itself — both “Left” and “Right.” For Israeli Jews who reject Israel’s racist foundations, we stand with you.

We ask others not only to join us in opposing the loyalty oath, but to reject the Zionist principles upon which it rests. Concretely, that means supporting Palestinian demands for an end to military occupation, implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land, and equal rights for all throughout Palestine.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on MODOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER



November 4, 201

By Charles Levinson

The U.S. midterm elections heartened some right-leaning Israelis, including settler leaders, who have seen President Barack Obama’s Mideast policy as antagonist and now view his repudiation in the polls as a sign he may be less able to pressure Israel into concessions in stalled peace talks.

Rooftops in a Balata refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus.

Throughout his first two years in office, Mr. Obama struggled to win over many Israelis. He took a tough initial line on Jewish settlements early into his presidency and his relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got off to a rocky start.

Mr. Netanyahu has been careful to avoid any perception of meddling in America’s domestic politics. But many on Israel’s right, including members of Mr. Netanyahu’s government, quietly advocated stalling on the peace process until after the midterms, when they believed a politically weakened Obama would be less able to apply pressure on Israel.

On Wednesday, Jewish settler leaders, praised the Republican gains. Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council, which represents Jewish settlers in the West Bank, said he hoped the new Congress “will facilitate a more reasoned and open-minded approach to Israel’s needs than what we’ve experienced over the last two years.”

“We are hopeful these changes will usher in a new era where Israel will be free to determine our own destiny rather than accept a hand that the Obama Administration has continuously attempted to force on us,” Mr. Dayan said in a statement.

But former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and a former adviser to Mr. Netanyahu, Dore Gold, said it was too early to say how the elections would impact Middle East diplomacy.

“There’s just no basis for saying with any kind of confidence that the peace process will be slowed up, accelerated, that the president will be more determine or less determined,” said Mr. Gold. “This election was completely about domestic U.S. issues. Even the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where U.S. troops were engaged, were not a factor, let alone Middle East diplomacy.”



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