Archive | June 3rd, 2011

Gates Cautions Against Ending U.S. Support in Libya



by Jim Garamone

American Forces Press Service

SINGAPORE, June 3, 2011 – If the United States unilaterally ended support to the NATO mission in Libya, it would have enormous and dangerous long-term consequences, Pentagon officials said here today.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is concerned over the prospect of Congress voting against continued U.S. support to the NATO mission in Libya, said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell, who is here with Gates at the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit.

That would send “an unhelpful message of disunity and uncertainty to our troops, our allies and, most importantly, the Gadhafi regime,” Morrell said, adding that the secretary is particularly concerned about the impact such a move could have on U.S. relations with NATO allies.

“As a key NATO partner, they have asked us to provide support, just like we have asked them over the years to support difficult operations in Afghanistan,” he said.

Morrell said the secretary understands the concerns that some in Congress have expressed, and that he welcomes the legitimate policy debate. Still, he wants the debate to proceed in ways that do not undermine the NATO allies and military operations, Morrell added.

The operation began in March with U.S., British and French naval and air forces launching attacks to prevent those loyal to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi from continuing attacks on innocent civilians and rebel forces in Libya. NATO took over command of the effort at the end of March, and U.S. forces now play a support role in the effort.

The U.S. military provides support to NATO forces, including air-to-air refueling; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets; and unmanned aerial vehicles. President Barack Obama said when he ordered American forces to support the mission that there would be no U.S. boots on the ground, and that is still the case.

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The Morgenthau Plan for Israel

Israel Must Perish!  It’s a Cancer Eating Up the World

by J.B. Campbell

The Morgenthau Plan for Germany was presented to Franklin Roosevelt by his treasury secretary, Henry Morgenthau, Jr. George Patton said in his diary that the idea was presented to Morgenthau by Dwight D. Eisenhower during a visit to Patton’s camp in France a few weeks after D-Day. Harry Dexter White (Weit), a Soviet agent in Morgenthau’s Treasury Department whose parents were Lithuanian Jews, designed our post-war genocide of the Germans based on a book written in 1941 by Theodore N. Kaufman entitled “Germany Must Perish!”

The Morgenthau Plan was the reason that millions of Germans, both prisoners of war and German civilians, were slaughtered on Eisenhower’s orders in the months and years following World War II. It was the reason that German industry was dismantled and taken to the Soviet Union. It was the reason that German children and adults were put through Jewish brainwashing to hate themselves and obey the Jews. It was all in the plan, all based on Kaufman’s vicious little book.

I don’t like to criticize Jews. It gives them too much power over our minds, by making us think about them, which is what they crave. It must however be done occasionally. We should therefore let them do the work.

Roy Arthur Topham up in Canada has come up with a truly brilliant way to do this. He has simply taken Kaufman’s book and replaced “Germany” with “Israel,” “Germans” with “Jews” and “Nazi” with “Zionist.” In so doing, he has given us the weapon we need, a means of describing the menace of Israel as I myself could never do, either for lack of writing ability or inclination or both.

Israel and Judaism are deserving of our hate but it is not in our nature to do this properly. This is easily proven by reading Kaufman’s words. He knew how to hate and how to write about it. It is so odd that his lies about Germany become the truth about Israel. So odd but so fitting.

Israel must perish. It is a cancer eating up the world. Cancer is killing so many people because the ones we have trusted to fight cancer have deliberately made the disease more widespread by using cancer-causing but lucrative quack remedies such as radiation and poisonous chemicals. Surgery often spreads cancer but sometimes there’s no other way to get rid of a tumor. That is what is called for in the case of Israel. This malignant tumor must be cut out. Or starved out, the way Germany was starved out.

Henry Morgenthau and President Roosevelt

Of course, there is no political will in DC to do this. We need to get rid of the institution that represents only the interests of Israel, the US Congress. This body should be devoted to American interests, mainly in the creation of debt-free currency. But it certainly mustn’t be devoted to the military superiority of Israel, as is currently and traditionally the case.

What would have been the reaction of US Jews if it were revealed that all congressional candidates had to sign a pledge to maintain the military superiority of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and ‘40s? Would we ever have heard the end of it?

So here is Roy Arthur Topham’s conversion of anti-German lies into anti-Jewish truth. What can Jewish critics say? The language is Jewish, written by someone with a blinding hatred of the German people, without doubt the finest and most creative and decent people on earth. It is only fair that the language is turned back on those who supported the mass murder of the Germans, a crime against humanity based on this very book.

The Germans have been libeled as “Hitler’s willing executioners,” for going along with the German extermination of Jews, something we now know neither happened nor was attempted nor even contemplated. But something that we do know is happening is the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by Israel, something generally supported by Jews everywhere. Some Jews may say they do not support this but how many Jews say that Jews must get out of Palestine, which is the only solution to this crime against humanity? I’ve never heard one say it. Only Helen Thomas said it.

Therefore, we can say that Jews everywhere are “Netanyahu’s willing executioners.”

Here is how Theodore N. Kaufman prescribed the treatment of such a bloodthirsty people, with the names changed to attack the guilty:

Arthur Topham has done something brilliant yet simple that it makes people such as myself ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

What Eisenhower’s army killers did to the Germans after World War II was so horrific and dreadful that you cannot find films of it on YouTube or Google, the owners of which naturally don’t want us to see what their synagogue brethren did to a prostrate and helpless people. If we could see what was done to Germans we could better grasp the same crimes being committed today against Arabs, by the same people.

What can anyone say about this idea? That it is hateful? Consider the source. This is just the Morgenthau Plan for Israel. It’s only fair.  What follows is an excerpt from Arthur Topham’s conversion of Kaufman….

ISRAEL MUST PERISH! The Book that the Jews Fear

By Arthur Topham

May 27, 2011

Author’s Preface:

What is contained herein is but a synopsis and partial review of the verbatim text of an actual book first published in the USA back in early 1941 when America was still a neutral country. That book, Germany Must Perish! was written by a Jewish writer by the name of Theodore N. Kaufman. Its exact proposals are those contained herein.

It is assumed that the reader will already be fully cognizant of the Zionist agenda for global governance that is a given in today’s political reality, especially within the alternative media and on the Internet where Zionist “hate” laws are still not fully in place to restrict the natural flow of ideas and opinions that proceed from historical research and experience.

In 1941 Kaufman’s book was a brilliant piece of Zionist Jew propaganda designed to stir up anti-German hatred in America. Some say that it formed the basis of the infamous “Morgenthau Plan” that was later signed in Quebec, Canada by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill; one designed to dismember Germany after its defeat and reduce it to the status of “a goat pasture.” It was probably remains to this day the foremost example of hate literature ever to have been published and dispensed to the general public.

As the reader will surmise from viewing the image of the back page of Kaufman’s book some of America’s most prestigious newspapers and magazines were in full support of the objectives set down in this classic book of Jewish hate literature. Again, the reader is cautioned to bear in mind that I have changed the word “Nazi” to “Jew” in the quote from the Philadelphia Record as I have changed all the other words “German” and “Nazi” to “Jew” and “Zionist,” etc.

The striking thing about the vileness of the text is how, today, it seems to roll off the mind’s tongue as if it were as truthful and factual as the rising sun. As such I firmly believe that all of what the Zionist Jews write about others is actually but a reflection of their own inner, perverse, dislocated self. By projecting outward on to others their innate paranoid and deep-seated hatred for the rest of the world they’re able to meet the requirements of the Israeli state’s motto which reads, “By Way of Deception Though Shalt Cause War” and feel a sense of superiority and self-righteousness in doing so.

I would humbly ask the reader to be aware of these features as they read both the text and the context in which it was first written. I have, as the saying goes, only changed the names to protect the innocent. As for any further extrapolation I will leave that up to the reader.


In ISRAEL MUST PERISH! The Book that the Jews Fear, beginning with the Table of Contents page Topham makes this dramatic initial statement  “This dynamic volume outlines a comprehensive plan for the extinction of the Jewish nation and the total eradication from the earth, of all her people.”  How do you like those apples so far? Talk about cutting to the chase!

From Chapter One: About This Book

“Today’s wars are not wars against Netanyahu. Nor are they wars against the Zionists… Netanyahu is no more to be blamed for these Israeli wars than was Sharon for the last one. Nor Begin before. These men did not originate or wage Israel’s wars against the world. They were merely the mirrors reflecting centuries-old inbred lust of the Jewish nation for conquest and mass murder.  These wars are being waged by the Jewish people. It is they who are responsible. It is they who must be made to pay for the wars. …This time Israel has forced a TOTAL WAR upon the world.   As a result, she must be prepared to pay a TOTAL PENALTY.

And there is one, and only one, such Total Penalty, Israel must perish forever!  In fact – not in fancy!”

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Zio-Nazi Netanyahu thanks France for intervening in Libya




Zio-Nazi  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked France Thursday for its actions against the regime of Moamer Gaddafi in Libya, saying they sent out a message of determination and helped prevent a massacre.

Meeting visiting French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, Naziyahu noted that Gaddafi had ‘was never a friend of Israel or the Jewish people and Israel will not be sorry to see him disappear from the map.’

Gaddafi has a long history of support for international terrorism and violence against his people,’ a communique issued by Naziyahu’s office after the meeting with Juppe quoted the premier as saying.

The Nazi leader added that he hoped that, when a new government was formed in Libya, it would advance peace and security for all people in the region.


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Russia’s NATO envoy says alliance in ‘ground campaign’ in Libya



Dmitry Rogozin

Dmitry Rogozin


The NATO-led military campaign against Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi has in fact turned into ground operation, Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday.

“Several members of the Western coalition fell outside the limits of UN Security Council’s resolution long ago and started pounding ground targets, started taking sides, putting their advisors on the ground…to some extent this already is a ground operation,” Rogozin said on Rossiya 24 TV channel.

Al Jazeera on May 30 broadcast TV footage showing a group of armed Westerners with rebel fighters near the city of Misrata.

Fourteen of the 28 NATO countries are taking part in operation Unified Protector in Libya, which includes airstrikes, a no-fly zone and naval enforcement of an arms embargo in response to attacks on civilians.

Russia abstained in the Security Council vote authorizing the NATO-led military operation, and has strongly criticized the alliance’s handling it.

On May 25, NATO assured Russia that no ground operation was planned for Libya.

On June 1, NATO Secretary General Andres Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance would continue its military campaign in the war-torn African country until at least September.

Western media reports claim the United States has suggested the Libyan rebels open a representative office in Washington.

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Rahm Emanuel: Obama committed to IsraHell



In ‘Washington Post’ op-ed former White House chief of staff reassures US Jews of president’s steadfast support in Israel

WASHINGTON – Former White House chief of staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel published an op-ed in the Washington Post attempting to reassure US Jews of President Barack Obama’s support of Israel.

In the opinion piece, Emanuel stressed that the president’s call for Israeli-Palestinian talks based on the 1967 borders referred to them as a mere starting point – not the end result.

Obama’s political standing among US Jews has suffered a blow in wake of his recent Middle East policy speech.

“As an American and the son of an Israeli immigrant, I have a deep, abiding commitment to the survival, security and success of the state of Israel,” Emanuel says in the op-ed.

“President Obama… understands that the shifting sands of demography in that volatile region are working against the two-state solution needed to end generations of bloodshed… Israel’s survival as a Jewish, democratic state is at stake because of many factors, including uncertainty brought by the Arab Spring, growth in the Palestinian population, unilateral efforts to create a recognized state of Palestine and technological advances in weaponry.

“That is why, from his first days in office, the president has invested so much in encouraging meaningful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” he continued.

“(Obama’s) goal has been one shared by a succession of Israeli and American leaders: two nations, the Jewish state of Israel and Palestine for the Palestinian people, living side by side, in peace and security.”

Obama’s speech, Emanuel asserted, was meant to “reaffirm his strong commitment to Israel’s safety, security and prosperity. He said the US relationship with Israel is unshakable. He said that the conflict cannot be resolved through unilateral actions or a UN vote establishing a Palestinian state but only through negotiations between the parties.”

As for the statement on border that evoked a maelstrom of criticism, Emanuel said that the 1967 concept was “a concept that has been the basis of every serious attempt at resolution since the negotiations President Bill Clinton held at Camp David in 2000.

“That statement does not mean a return to 1967 borders. No workable solution envisions that. Land swaps offer the flexibility necessary to ensure secure and defensible borders and address the issue of settlements.”

The US president also made another important stance clear, the former White House chief stressed: “He said that Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with a Palestinian Authority that embraces Hamas, a terrorist organization sworn to Israel’s destruction, and he reaffirmed his commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge.”

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Surprise, Surprise–Rabbi Avoids Jail Time in Money-Laundering Case


Rabbi Saul Kassin, a spiritual leader of the Syrian Jewish community in America, was sentenced to two years of probation for illegally sending money to IsraHell through a charity he operated.

Kassin’s sentencing Wednesday culminated a legal saga that dates back to the summer of 2009, when more than 46 individuals – including Kassin, the chief rabbi of Congregation Shaare Zion in Brooklyn; two rabbis from the Syrian Jewish enclave of Deal, N.J.; and a string of high-ranking elected officials and civil servants – were brought down in a federal sting.

Citing the rabbi’s age, U.S. District Judge Joel Pisano did not give jail time to Kassin, 89, though he fined him $36,750. The sum is in addition to the nearly $370,000 Kassin agreed to give up when he was nabbed in the sting, New Jersey’s largest-ever corruption bust.

When Kassin began to profess his innocence, Pisano reminded him that such a display could jeopardize his lenient sentence, The Associated Press reported. Kassin could have received 18 to 24 months in prison.

The AP reported that Kassin appeared frail and confused at the sentencing, requesting that his lawyers clarify the proceedings and lambasting the FBI and the court in a long statement he read aloud.

“You did all this to me under almighty God,” Kassin said. “Aggravation, sorrow, many nights I could not sleep.”

Kassin pleaded guilty in March to one count of unauthorized money transmitting.

According to the AP, he had used the Magen IsraHell Society, a charity he controlled, to deposit checks from Solomon Dwek, the son of a prominent Deal rabbi. Kassin then issued checks to other organizations Dwek requested, taking a 10 percent commission.

Dwek cooperated with the FBI after pleading guilty to $50 million in bank fraud, wearing a wire as he presented the illegal deal to Kassin.

Though he had pleaded guilty and came clean about his role in the money laundering, Kassin tried to backtrack at his sentencing, even demanding that the $367,500 he forfeited be returned to him, the AP reported.

“I want that money back, to donate it,” Kassin said. “They kept it for two years almost – it’s enough.”

Pisano denied the request, telling the rabbi he ultimately bore responsibility for any economic woe that came his charity’s way.

About half of the individuals charged in connection with the sting – dubbed “Bid Rig” by federal authorities – ultimately pleaded guilty.

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Why are the Libyan Rebels seeking Zio-Nazi support?


Why are the Libyan Puppet’s seeking Zio-Nazi’s support?



By Anissa Haddadi


As mediation and ceasefire initiatives such as the Road Map proposed by the African Union via South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma failed, a French writer, Bernard Henri Levy announced that he delivered a message on Thursday from Libyan rebel leaders to Israel’s Prime Minister, saying they would seek diplomatic ties with the country if they came to power.

This move, which is set to be ambivalently received in the Muslim world,  also breaks the National Transitional  Council from the Gaddafi regime, which does not have any diplomatic relations with Israel. Also it comes as the rebels are slowly gaining advantages over Gaddafi. In the last few days  they have progressed on the battlefield while the Libyan leader’s regime is facing an increase in defections and is becoming increasingly isolated internationally, especially after last week when Russia shifted its position and called on Gadaffi to step down.

The latest high-profile defection to further demoralise the regime was that of Shukri Ghanem, the regime’s oil minister and former prime minister. He was followed by the defection of eight Libyan army officers, including five generals, who were part of a wider group of 120 military personnel that defected in recent days.

In Africa, five other countries do not formally acknowledge Israel  as a state or have diplomatic relations with it. They are Algeria, Comoros, Djibouti, Somalia and Sudan, while in the Middle East Iraq, Lebannon, Kuwauit, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen and the United Arab Emirate share the same position.

So why are the rebels interested in obtaining Israel’s support, and affirm they will acknowledge the existence of Israel as a state as soon as they gain power?

Well, according to Levi “The main point was that the future Libyan regime would be moderate and anti-terrorist and will be concerned with justice for the Palestinians and security for Israel,”

It seems that the move will infuriate Gaddafi, not because of the new born relationship between the rebels and Israel but rather because it assumes the transitional council will, no matter what, gain control of the state.

Interestingly, the council’s stance and newly found  interest in playing a major role in the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict comes just after the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Occampo revealed  this week that following accusations of arbitrary imprisonment and ill treatment of foreign workers by the rebels fighters, he was “investigating reports of unlawful arrest, mistreatment and killing” of sub-Saharan African civilians wrongly perceived to be mercenaries.

Also, as members of the fighters on the ground were accused of having ties with Al-Qaeda, it seems that expressing support for (and gaining support from) Israel will help the council steer away from accusations of having links with terrorist movements or of harbouring Muslims fundamentalists, who are not generally noted for their love of Israel.

If the new regime (if it arrives) wishes to be taken seriously by Western countries and become a successful  intermediate between Israel and Palestine, then recognition of Israel would give it some initial international brownie points by putting it firmly on the international geopolitical map in a region where the West and Israel are actively seeking new allies.

Of course another possibility is that after the surge of negative reports in the last few days the regime felt it had to take a very public stand to reassure Western liberal democracies of its dedication to democracy but also to their ideals and values.

While only time will tell us what really motivated the move, the conflict is still on-going.

Today, the Libyan government tried to play down the significance of yesterday’s defection of the country’s oil minister Shukri Ghanem,

While Libyan officials had previously insisted that Mr Ghanem was on an official trip to Tunisia, Europe and Egypt, a government spokesman was forced to dismiss Mr Ghanem’s departure was a blow to the regime.

“This is a country, a state, a government, not just one person,” Mussa Ibrahim told reporters and insisted Libya would be still represented at the meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) in Vienna on June 8. “I don’t have a name yet but we’ll have somebody.”

An executive with the state-owned National Oil Corporation, Mosbah Ali Matoug, took Mr Ghanem’s place today at a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Cairo.

Meanwhile in rebel-held eastern Libya, an explosion damaged a hotel used by rebels and foreigners in Benghazi, wounding one person while 270 people, who were fleeing the country, went missing after a fishing boat carrying migrants from Libya to Italy broke down just off the Tunisian coast.

According to a state run agency, 570 people were rescued and seven people injured, and passengers were mainly said to be migrants from Africa and Asia who planned to enter Italy illegally.

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Mondoweiss Online Newsletter



Looking good

Jun 02, 2011 06:39 pm | Philip Weiss

Screenshot of the president on June 1 from the American Center for Law and Justice’s TV show.

Looking better

Jun 02, 2011

Philip Weiss

Sarah Palin visited New York today. The Daily News had a shot of her wearing the bling at left. Mentioned at this site.

Ahram reports that Israelis name a settlement ‘Obama’ in gratitude
Jun 02, 2011 06:26 pm | Kate

and other news from Today in Palestine:

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers

Rightists in Jerusalem: Muhammad is dead, butcher Arabs
Ynet 2 June —  Dozens of right-wing activists marching through Jerusalem Wednesday were filmed chanting inflammatory messages and singing provocative songs in the capital, including “Muhammad is dead, ‘  ‘May your village burn, ‘  ‘Death to leftists, ‘ and  ‘Butcher the Arabs. ‘ The disturbing utterances were made during the traditional “Flag Dance” on the occasion of Jerusalem Day [see video (in Hebrew)],7340,L-4077292,00.html

In photos: right-wing extremist Jerusalem Day march in Sheikh Jarrah
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 2 June — some captions: A settler attempts to kick a Palestinian child out of his native Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood; Palestinian merchants close and barricade their shops in anticipation of the march’s destruction; One of the Sheikh Jarrah homes seized by settlers

What is Jerusalem Day to the Palestinians?
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 2 June — …To Palestinians, the day marks the occupation of the entire eastern half of the city in 1967, reflected in present day by the demonstrations staged on the date by Israeli extremists, who flock to East Jerusalem in their thousands. The day is one of danger for Palestinian residents. In the past many have been physically attacked and had property damaged or destroyed by right-wing marchers, who enjoy the support and protection of Israeli state security forces. The marches immobilise the entire eastern city as the streets are overtaken by marchers chanting racist slogans and given free rein to cause havoc in the Palestinian neighborhoods. Many are seen to engage in binge-drinking during the marches, upping the aggression they inflict on residents.

Palestinian woman beaten by colonists during march
GulfNews 1 June — Ramallah: A Palestinian teacher from Occupied East Jerusalem was admitted to hospital after a group of Israeli colonists attacked her and severely beaten her up. The attack on Noor Al Hussaini took place while she was in a supermarket buying items for her special needs students, when a group of ultra orthodox Israeli colonists attacked her for no apparent reason. Colonists did not stop beating the teacher until Palestinian residents interfered, according to sources.

Jewish celebrations organized near banished Jerusalem officials
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) 2 June — Jewish settlers celebrated Wednesday morning the occupation of Jerusalem near where the Palestinian officials have been seeking sanctuary at the Jerusalem Red Cross. The officials, two members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a former Palestinian Authority minister, have been sitting in for almost a year after Israeli authorities ordered them to leave their native holy city … Ahmed Attoun, one of the PLC members stationed at the site, called choosing the location for the celebrations a “provocative move that reflects an extremist mentality.”

Muslim worshipers counter provocative Aqsa raid
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) 1 June — Worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem fought back after Jewish fanatics infiltrated the sacred site during the forty-fourth anniversary of the Israeli military occupation of Jerusalem. Muslims who had gone in reclusion since dawn prayers were dragged into intermittent clashes with the Jewish fanatics and Israeli police, the mosque security guards said … Jewish groups had announced beforehand that they would infiltrate the mosque in a bid to enforce “Israeli sovereignty” over it

Netanyahu’s office promoting plan to relocate 30,000 Bedouin
Haaretz 2 June — The government is to consider a plan drafted in the Prime Minister’s Office to relocate close to 30,000 Bedouin residents of unrecognized villages in the Negev to expanded areas of existing Negev Bedouin towns such as Rahat, Kseifa and Hura. The plan would involve transplanting about 40 percent of the 71,000 Bedouin residents in the unrecognized locales. The relocated Bedouin would receive both monetary compensation and alternate land.

Israel temporarily expels residents of Jordan Valley village
TUBAS (Ma‘an) 2 June — About 200 Palestinians were forced to leave their village in the Jordan Valley on Wednesday, locals said, instructed by Israeli forces to vacate the northern West Bank area as a training mission was conducted. According to villagers, who said soldiers and civil administration officials instructed them to move two kilometers outside the village of Khirbet Yarza, they were not told when they would be permitted to return. Residents told Ma‘an that they feared the move preempted [presaged?] their permanent expulsion from the area.

Israeli settlers clash with police during West Bank outpost demolition
2 June — Some 200 IDF soldiers, police arrive at outpost near Shilo settlement to dismantle four illegal structures; 11 lightly wounded in fray; three settlers arrested as result of clashes; video inside shows police car ablaze … The residents, who were prepared for the evacuation, blocked all roads to the outpost using large rocks and nails. During the confrontation, settlers hurled a firebomb at the vehicle of the police commander of the settlement of Benyamin.

[‘price tag’] After outpost evacuation, settlers smash 12 cars
TUBAS (Ma‘an) 2 June — Twelve Palestinian vehicles were vandalized Thursday morning, along the Nablus-Ramallah road not far from the Shilo settlement, where violence erupted before dawn as Israeli soldiers evacuated an illegal settlement outpost there. The cars’ windshields were broken by rocks, bats and sticks, locals told Ma‘an, doors dented, paint scraped and decals ripped off in what residents blamed on settler aggression … Under the policy, settlers make Palestinians “pay” for each evacuation of an outpost. In the past, the “price” has included arson, shootings, beatings, burning fields, uprooting trees and poisoning water wells belonging to Palestinians.

[‘price tag’] Settlers torch crops in Nablus villages
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 2 June — For the second time this week, villagers reported fires set by settlers in farmlands south of Nablus, with Burin residents pointing the finger at residents of the Yitzhar settlement. Farmlands near the Madama and Burin villages, both south of Nablus, were ablaze Thursday afternoon, and villagers told settlements observer Ghassan Doughlas that settlers were seen in the area. Palestinian fire crews were able to contain the blazes, but several dunums of lands were wrecked, the official said. The fires came following the evacuation of a settlement outpost fifteen kilometers south of the villages.

Israel creates ‘Obama’ settlement, more obstacles for viable Palestinian state / Saleh Naami
Ahram 31 May — In a move that comes as gesture of deep gratitude, the Israeli government permitted an extreme rightwing Israeli association to name a new settlement Obama. The building of settlements makes the establishment of a connected Palestinian state an impossible task … The location of the Obama settlement is along the main road that connects the West Bank’s northern and southern regions; a consequence of building the settlement would therefore be to separate those territories permanently. [not sure about this article – Ahram Online seems to be the only source],-more-obstacles-fo.aspx

Jerusalem area settlement asks nearby mosques to turn down loudspeakers
Haaretz 2 June — The Ma’aleh Adumim local council is demanding that the loudspeakers announcing the Muslim call to prayer from some mosques in the adjacent Palestinian village of al-Eizariya be turned down because the volume is disturbing residents of the settlement, Palestinian sources told Haaretz … Beyond the religious sensitivities involved, the issue also has political implications. Last July, the Palestinian religious affairs ministry in the West Bank ordered mosques to stop reading from the Koran before the call to prayer, except during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, saying that the decision had been made in 2007 by the Palestinian Liberation Organization-Hamas unity government. Officials explained that Sunni Muslim experts did not consider the innovation to be required. Other religious figures in the West Bank disagreed, however, calling it an acceptable custom cherished in many parts of the Muslim world. About two months ago, the order eliminating the reading of the Koran was withdrawn.

Gaza – under siege for 1450 days now

Gaza fishermen: Israeli navy hit skiff, 1 injured
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 June — Gaza fishermen said one skiff was hit and sunk Wednesday night by an Israeli naval boat off the Rafah coast. Fisherman Ahmad Abu Salmiyeh, 20, was injured after sinking with his boat following the collision, which took place near Tal As-Sultan in the southern Gaza Strip, his colleagues told Ma‘an. A group of fellow fishers rushed out to rescue him, Ma‘an’s correspondent reported.

Rafah border: a dream that remains a dream
Gaza, June 1 — A major crisis mounted between Egypt and the de facto government of Gaza yesterday regarding Rafah border, which left both sides to exchange accusations of failing to create a mechanism to facilitate the crossing of Palestinians in both directions through Rafah crossing.

Open border at Gaza is not so open, Palestinians find
NYTimes 1 June — GAZA — Days after Egypt, with great fanfare, opened its border permanently with Gaza, new restrictions have been imposed on Palestinians who want to cross, and the area’s Hamas rulers spoke on Wednesday with frustration and anger. Only three buses, carrying a total of 150 passengers, entered the Egyptian hall at the Rafah crossing on Wednesday, while five others remained stuck on the Palestinian side, Hamas officials said two hours before closing. “Since Tuesday, we are witnessing complications that we cannot understand,” said Salama Baraka, director of the crossing, who blamed “the Egyptian side for the nearly paralyzed movement of travelers.” Local reports said that Hamas was considering shutting the border in protest.

Gaza crossing opens for limited goods
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 June — Three-hundred truckloads of goods were slated for import Thursday into the Gaza Strip, Israeli crossings officials told their Palestinian counterparts. The last shipment before the weekend will supply the commercial and humanitarian sectors serving Gaza’s 1.6 million residents, but it falls short of pre-siege levels by nearly 60 percent.

Aussie surgeons to give Gaza girl ears
ABC TV 2 June — Towards Hope, a fledgling charity in Melbourne, has brought five-year-old Malak Al Ghoul across to potentially restore some hearing. Life in the Gaza Strip is hard enough, but especially so for those with a disability; Malak, one of triplets, was the only one born with a congenital condition called microtia …It was an arduous logistical and bureaucratic task to get them to Australia, and a remarkable outcome for a family that had unsuccessfully sought help in Egypt, Israel and Jordan.


30,000 Turks protest against Israel on Gaza flotilla raid
Xinhua 31 May — Some 30,000 Turks staged a protest against Israel on Istanbul’s main street Monday night on the anniversary of the Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla. Holding candles, waving Palestinian flag and flags of Turkey and Iran, and shouting slogans such as “wait Palestinians, Mavi Marmara ship is coming” and “blockade is crime against humanitarian,” the protesters marched on the Istiklal street, the most important and prosperous business street in Istanbul, and gathered in the Taksim square. The event was organized by the Turkish nongovernmental organization the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief (IHH)

US: All flotillas provocative
Ynet 2 June — US State Department reinforces objection to Gaza-bound flotilla stressing ‘there are efficient mechanisms for getting humanitarian assistance.’ Spokesman: We’ve raised our concerns with Turkey,7340,L-4077318,00.html

‘We are unarmed and we are sailing’  – on anniversary of Mavi Marmara killings, US Boat to Gaza announces passenger list
New York, NY 31 May — Organizers of the U.S. Boat to Gaza announced today that they expect some 50 people will be aboard The Audacity of Hope when it joins the second “freedom flotilla” in late June to break the siege of Gaza. So far, 34 passengers and four crew members have confirmed that they will be sailing on The Audacity of Hope. They range in age from 22 to 87 years old and live in 14 states in every region of the U.S. All are committed to non-violence. Members of the press will also be on the boat … Passengers and crew will gather in Athens on June 21, 2011 in advance of the anticipated sailing date, which will depend on weather conditions and logistics.

Americans are joining flotilla to protest Israeli blockade
NYTimes 1 June — When an international flotilla sails for Gaza this month to challenge Israel’s naval blockade of the Palestinian territory, among the boats will be an American ship with 34 passengers, including the writer Alice Walker and an 86-year-old whose parents died in the Holocaust … Organizers said the new flotilla, scheduled to leave in late June from a port they would not identify, had at least 1,000 passengers on about 10 boats. One boat will carry Spaniards, another Canadians, another Swiss and another Irish.

Detention / Court actions

Hamas, Fatah leaders detained in West Bank
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 2 June — Israeli forces detained two members of the Palestinian Legislative Council from the Hamas and Fatah blocs overnight on Wednesday, following raids on their homes in Nablus and Tulkarem, official sources told Ma‘an. Fatah lawmaker Hussam Khader, a long-time proponent of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, was taken from his home at 2 a.m., officials said … Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that An-Najah University professor Ghassan Thoqan was taken from his house in Nablus, as was Yasser Badersawi, the director of the Right of Return and Refugee Affairs Center. The [Israeli] spokesman confirmed, however, that Hamas lawmaker Abdul Rahmad Zeidan, also elected to the legislature in 2006, was detained from his home in Tulkarem.

Trial of West Bank protest organizer Bassem Tamimi to begin Sunday
PSCC 2 June — After more than two months in custody, the trial of Bassem Tamimi, a 44 year-old protest organizer from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, will finally begin Sunday. Tamimi, who is the coordinator of the Nabi Saleh popular committee, will plead not guilty to the charges against him. He will, however, admit to having organized demonstrations against settlement expansion and argue that it is, in fact, the Israeli Occupation that should be on trial.

Claim of swap deal raises hopes, ruffles feathers
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 2 June — A former Egyptian ambassador told a Cairo-based paper Thursday that 1,000 Palestinian prisoners could be released “within hours,” in exchange for the freedom of a captured Israeli soldier. The report sparked immediate reactions; hope from the families of prisoners, and swift denials from officials in Israel and Gaza. Finally, speaking to Ma‘an, the source quoted in the Egyptian paper denied the information, saying his comments were misrepresented.

Naksa Day

Lebanon seals off Israel border ahead of planned demonstrations
Haaretz 2 June — Palestinian groups are planning to organize a demonstration on Sunday near the Israel-Lebanese border to commemorate the naksa, or defeat [setback], of 1967, which saw Israel occupy the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, Syria’s Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula …The Lebanese army’s decision came after Israel warned Lebanon and Syria against allowing any naksa-related protests. “We shall use all means to prevent an attack on our sovereignty. You will be held accountable,” Israeli radio quoted a military source as saying.

Israel puts up barbed wire on border: Lebanon
MARJAYOUN, Lebanon (AFP) 2 June — Israeli soldiers on Thursday put up new barbed wire on the border with Lebanon, three days ahead of a planned Palestinian march, a Lebanese security official said. An AFP journalist at the scene saw the soldiers adding the wire on top of a fence already in place in the Adaisseh-Kfar Kila sector facing the Israeli town of Metulla.

Netanyahu: Israel will defend its sovereignty during planned border protests
Haaretz 2 June — Prime Minister says Syria, Iran behind Nakba Day mass protests earlier this month, adding that the same elements were pushing for riots in rallies scheduled for Sunday.

Activism / Solidarity

Palestinians plan mass fly-in
Ynet 2 June — Amid heightened tensions over the next Gaza-bound flotilla set to depart in June, pro-Palestinian elements are planning to send a large number of activists on commercial flights to the Ben-Gurion airport in the beginning of July, with the aim of showing solidarity with the Palestinians, embarrassing the Israeli government and raising awareness for the Palestinian right of return. A report published by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center claims the organizers of the event believe the “end the siege” convoys are “too limited” and broader actions are needed to “remove the blockade from the entire land of Palestine.” … According to the organizers’ website, the date of arrival to Ben-Gurion airport is set on July 8,7340,L-4077266,00.html

Returning to Safed in shackles / Budour Youssef Hassan
EI 31 May — Much attention has been paid to the marches of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Syria to the borders with occupied Palestine, as well as the courageous protests at the Qalandiya checkpoint in the occupied West Bank and in Gaza. But Palestinians inside what is known as the green line, Israel’s internationally recognized armistice line with the occupied West Bank and Gaza, marched on 15 May as well. We converged on the borders with Lebanon in a symbolic protest of the apartheid regime that has confiscated our lands, discriminated against us and attempted to strip us of our national identity.

Watch: Israeli Channel 2 (poorly) covers the protest in Nabi Salah / Joseph Dana
972mag 1 June — Recently, a popular Israeli news program visited the village of Nabi Saleh, just west of Ramallah, in order to investigate the demonstrations for an Israeli audience. They ended up producing half of hour of misleading Border Police testimonies while missing the fascinating story of Palestinian-Israeli cooperation inside the village.

Deir Qaddis protesters stop construction of new settler road
PSCC 31 May — Demonstrators managed to drive away bulldozers that cleared path for a road connecting Route 446 to the settlement of Nili though village lands — This morning, residents of the West Bank village of Deir Qaddis noticed Israeli bulldozers working on their lands near Route 446, apparently to pave a new road to the Jewish-only settlement of Nili. At approximately 1:00 PM, villagers accompanied by activists from nearby villages went down towards the bulldozers, who have already advanced a significant distance of a few hundred meters away from Route 446 and into the lands. The protesters approached the vehicles, blocking their path and disrupting the work. The contractor, in turn, started throwing stones at the people but was eventually forced to pull back the bulldozers back towards Route 446. As soldiers arrived, it turned out that construction was being carried out without a permit.

Kufer Malek to protest new settlement on Friday
PSCC 2 June — Roughly two weeks ago, settlers from the Kohav Hashahar settlement put up two tents on a hilltop belonging to residents of Kufer Malek and set up a new outpost. Despite repeatedly raising the issue with the Israeli Civil Administration, directly and through the Palestinian coordination office, the settlers remain on the land. The people of Kufer Malek, located 17 km north east of Ramallah, will protest the establishment of the new outpost tomorrow, together with Israeli and international supporters. The procession will set out from the village’s mosque after the midday prayer, and will head towards the seized lands.

A summary of the Move Over AIPAC 2011 conference
1 June — On Friday we kicked off our actions with a demonstration outside the White House, and participated in the Hava Nagila parody flashmob, which has been seen by more than 50,000 people so far! See it here. On Saturday we had the privilege to hear keynote talks from The Israel Lobby authors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, renowned authors, and a stellar panel of analysts discussing the way forward. The afternoon featured great workshops.  Video coverage of Prof. Walt’s talk is now up on our website here. On Sunday we surrounded the AIPAC meeting at the convention center with chants, music and amazing visuals like the apartheid wall that turned into a Palestinian village scene and a human-powered flotilla to Gaza.  See a slideshow of photo highlights here….

Scottish councilor: Hamas are freedom fighters
Ynet 2 June — Scottish boycott leader backs Hamas, says equality and justice ‘words unknown to Zionists’; Councilor Jim Bollan tells Ynetnews terror group ‘elected with a bigger majority than the Israeli government’,7340,L-4077577,00.html

Extrajudicial executions

Blog: Ofers’ ships took Mossad agents to Iran
Ynet 1 June — Ships belonging to the Ofer Brothers Group docked in Iranian ports dozens of times over the past few years, allowing Mossad agents to enter the Islamic Republic to carry out secret operations, American blogger Richard Silverstein claimed on Wednesday. Silverstein recounted that Israeli secret service agents who were allegedly involved in the assassination of senior Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai last year escaped the emirate to Iran using ferries. “That always struck me as odd given Iran’s animosity toward Israel,” he wrote. “But if there was an Ofer Brothers ship waiting to take them home it wouldn’t be strange at all.”,7340,L-4077015,00.html

Political / Diplomatic / International news

US to give Israel millions for missile defense
Ynet 2 June — WASHINGTON – The US pledged record-breaking funding for Israeli defense programs Wednesday as Congress voted to add $235.7 million dollars in aid for the David’s Sling and Arrow 3 missile defense systems. The additional funding will also go towards additional Arrow 2 batteries, as well as the development of a system to defend Israel from outer space, against Iranian missiles.,7340,L-4077314,00.html

France presents plan to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
dpa 2 June — During Ramallah visit, France FM says plan largely based on Barack Obama’s speech last month calling for 1967 borders with agreed land swaps; Juppe proposes world peace conference in France in July.

Hamas in Gaza, Damascus spar over unity deal
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 June — Senior Hamas figures are trying to play down a public spat between leaders in the Gaza Strip and Damascus over which base makes decisions on negotiating with Israel. Mahmoud Zahhar, a senior official in Gaza, and Izzat Ar-Rishiq, a high-ranking politburo member in Damascus, have spent years as party delegation members in and out of Cairo, trying to broker unity with rival movement Fatah.

Report: Clinton refuses to meet with Israeli FM
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 June — An Israeli television station reported Wednesday that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had refused to meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during last week’s OECD meeting in Paris … Channel 10 said Clinton refused the meeting because of her frustration with the Israeli government over the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, saying she holds Israel accountable. Lieberman, who lives deep in the West Bank in an illegal Israeli settlement, is against an end to settlement construction, or a return of lands housing settlements to Palestinians under a peace deal.

AIPAC praises US for boycotting UN racism conference
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 June — The pro-Israel group AIPAC praised the Obama administration Thursday for its decision not to participate in the UN’s commemoration of the Durban World Conference Against Racism. The event, scheduled to take place in New York in September, “unfairly singled out Israel” and “displays intolerance and anti-Semitism,” a US senator’s letter circulated in an AIPAC statement explained.

Israel spurs work on Egypt border fence
Ynet 2 June — The Defense Ministry vowed Thursday to spur construction on the border fence between Israel and Egypt, saying Israel hopes to complete it by 2012, a year ahead of schedule. The decision was made just days after Egypt opened the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Sinai.,7340,L-4077368,00.html

Egypt reviewing timetable to resume gas exports to Israel
Haaretz 2 June — Gas flows from Egypt to Israel halted in April after gang attack on metering station in North Sinai; Egypt oil minister says working to achieve ‘fair, sustainable relationship between sellers and buyers’.

Other news

Knesset rebukes Israeli Arab MK for attending Hamas-Fatah unity ceremony
Haaretz 2 June — Ahmed Tibi rebuked for failing to obtain Knesset Ethics Committee consent before traveling to Cairo with funding from a Palestinian foundation.

Israel to use trees as missile defense
Ynet 2 June — The Defense Ministry said Thursday it was working on paving a “secret road” between Gaza vicinity towns in order to make it more difficult for terrorists to fire at vehicles … The new road passes between trees, which block it from view. Currently being paved with asphalt, it is 3.5 km long and has been estimated to cost around $1.3 million.,7340,L-4077534,00.html

Closing Gaza gap, Israel posts Iron Dome in Sderot
SDEROT, Israel (Reuters) 2 June  – Israel has deployed an Iron Dome rocket interceptor outside a Gaza border town that has borne the brunt of Palestinian shelling attacks, posing a new test for the fledgling system underwritten by Washington … Noting the recent ebb in violence along the frontier of Islamist Hamas-ruled Gaza, Rubin said: “Let’s hope action by Iron Dome is not required. But as a rule, Israel does not bring systems that are not operational into a war zone.”

42%: Rabbis worsen conflict with Arabs
Ynet 2 June — Poll finds differences in perception of religion’s influence on relations between Jews, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. Forty-five percent believe religion pushes nations apart,7340,L-4075335,00.html

Gaza official: Progress on smoking ban
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 June — As World No Tobacco Day was marked in Gaza, the Hamas lawmaker responsible for health policy said progress would be made in banning smoking in public places in the coastal enclave. The Palestinian legislative council passed a law forbidding smoking in public space in 2005, but it has yet to be fully implemented.

Foreign ministry, IDF at odds over Russia military attaché expulsion
Haaretz 2 June — …While the Foreign Ministry says Leiderman was responsible for getting himself booted out of Russia, senior Israel Defense Forces officials contend that the decision to expel the attaché was made at the highest levels of the Russian government and that its purpose was to send a message to Jerusalem.

Analysis / Opinion

Fear is driving Israelis to obtain foreign passports / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 2 June — More and more Israelis apply for a foreign passport, not for easier travel but because something has gone terribly wrong here … The foreign passport has become an insurance policy against a rainy day. It turns out there are more and more Israelis who are thinking that day may eventually come … Passports? If the Palestinian people already had one real passport, maybe the Israelis wouldn’t need two. If Israel were to try at long last to be accepted in its region, with all that entails, then maybe the region would open to it by means of a single, blue and white passport.

Pro & Con: Should the 1967 borders guide Israeli-Palestinian peace plan? / Mustafa Barghouthi
Yes. But the details matter: no conditions, no ‘swaps,’ no settlements … Our best West Bank land and aquifers would go to Israeli settlements in exchange for sub-standard land elsewhere. Already, Israel uses 80 percent of West Bank water resources and on a per capita basis Israeli settlers use approximately 48 times more water than Palestinians. The current unjust water distribution is likely to be made permanent if Israel keeps settlements, all of which are illegal under international law. Israel’s retention of settlement blocs and a military presence in the Jordan Valley will make our state noncontiguous and nonviable. Our state would be little more than disconnected Bantustans.

A Palestinian call to engage with the ‘Jewish question’ / Marzouq El-Halabi
972blog 2 June — The Palestinian discourse must  leave denial behind and engage seriously with the Jewish and Zionist questions. No more talk of the victorious and the defeated, victims and victimizers, but a new narrative shared by both sides of the conflict … I believe the Palestinians have avoided engaging with the Holocaust and its implications for fear it would detract from their right over the land and shake a central tenet of their narrative — that the Jews are not a people, that their arrival in Palestine was a purely colonialist development and that they, the Jews, are not the ultimate victim they believe themselves to be.

Time running out for two-state solution / Mel Frykberg
RAMALLAH (IPS) 2 June — Time is of the essence if the implementation of a two-state solution to end the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to succeed. Changing demographics both within Israeli and Palestinian society could render this impossible, with a one-state solution the only feasible outcome. An eventual one-state solution, however, would lead to two possible scenarios. Either Israel would extend the franchise to all Palestinians in the occupied territories, which would lead to the end of Israel’s Jewish character, or Palestinians would be denied the vote and Israel would be officially pronounced an apartheid state. (listserv) (archive)

Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, Rest in Peace

Jun 02, 2011


and other news from the Arab uprisings:

Security forces attack Bahraini protesters
Bahraini troops attack anti-government protesters in villages near the capital, hours after martial law is lifted.

Men raped, tortured in Bahrain
BAHRAINI men have been raped, tortured with electric shocks and beaten by government security forces holding them without charge in recent weeks, The Times of London reports.

France 24 correspondent tortured for covering pro-democracy demonstrations
When Nazeeha Saeed, the Bahrain correspondent of France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, was summoned to a police station in the city of Rifa’a for questioning at midday on 22 May, she expected to be back home two hours later and had no inkling of the nightmare awaiting her.

On arriving at the police station, she took a seat and waited calmly. Other women, mainly nurses, were also waiting, sitting on the floor. An hour later, she was called. She entered an office where there was a male officer. In a quiet but unsettling voice, he told her to answer the questions that would be put to her. He then left her with a female officer, who accusing her of “lying” in her reports and told her to admit her links with the Hezbollah TV station Al-Manar and the Iranian Arabic-language TV station Al-Alam“You must confess,” the woman kept repeating, going on to accuse her of participating in the pro-democracy demonstrations that have taking place in Bahrain since March.  An hour later, she was taken to another office. There, a woman police officer mocked and insulted her. When Nazeeha ignored her, the policewoman grabbed her by the chin, held it hard, and slapped her with the other hand. “You must tell me the truth,” she screamed, continuing to slap her and then seizing her by the hair and throwing her to the ground. Four policewomen proceeded to slap, punch and kick her repeatedly. One of the women took her shoe and forced it into her mouth. “You are worth less than this shoe,” she said.,40374.html

Guardian Video: Bani Jamrah, Bahrain: Police ‘shoot at unarmed protesters’
Video posted on YouTube purports to show the moment Bahraini police open fire on unarmed protesters on Wednesday in the north-west village of Bani Jamrah.

Bahrain Shi’ites talk of abuse under martial law (Reuters)
Reuters – Bahraini Shi’ites say they have endured a reign of terror during 11 weeks of martial law imposed to break up a pro-democracy movement that for the first time threatened the control of a Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab dynasty.*

Bahrain halts demos as emergency rule ends (AFP)
AFP – Bahraini security forces were accused of using violence on Wednesday to halt an attempt by pro-reform protesters to stage new demonstrations, even as a state of emergency was lifted.*

Locked up for reading a poem
Bahrain’s security forces are increasingly targeting women in their campaign against pro-democracy protesters despite yesterday lifting martial law in the island kingdom.

Tanks, troops leave heart of Bahrain’s capital (AP)
AP – Tanks and soldiers left the heart of Bahrain’s capital as emergency rule was lifted Wednesday, but authorities warned they were not easing pressure on anti-government groups in the Gulf kingdom.*

Silencing Bahrain’s journalists
Lamees Dhaif tells Al Jazeera: “They can stop us from telling stories now, but they can’t stop us forever.”

Bahrain’s Dark Secret
As Bahrain is torn apart by protests and brutal government repression, Dateline gains access to investigate a series of mysterious deaths and disappearances.

U.S. yanks diplomat from Bahrain after he’s threatened
BAGHDAD — The United States pulled its human rights officer from Bahrain last week after he’d become the subject of a weeks-long campaign of ethnic slurs and thinly veiled threats on a pro-government website and in officially sanctioned newspapers. Ludovic Hood left the island nation Thursday. During his final days in Bahrain, Hood was given security protection equal to that of an ambassador, U.S. officials said.

US says diplomat faced threats in Bahrain (AFP)
AFP – The State Department said Tuesday that a US diplomat in Bahrain faced threats over his work in the Gulf Arab kingdom, a US ally, but denied reports he was brought home for his safety.*

Bahrain: Tough line remains on protest groups (AP)
AP – Bahrain’s Justice Ministry warned Tuesday that authorities will not ease pressure on anti-government groups after emergency laws are removed even as the nation’s king appealed for dialogue.*

Bahrain wary of protests before Formula One ruling (Reuters)
Reuters – Bahrain, eager for Formula One organizers to reinstate a motor race postponed after popular protests erupted in February, acted to prevent any unrest on Thursday after lifting martial law earlier in the week.*

Bahrain king calls for national dialogue
July talks “to push forward reform” announced day before martial law is scheduled to be lifted in the Gulf nation.

US Should Move Navy Base from Bahrain, Juan Cole
In the wake of the brutal crackdown by the monarchy of Bahrain on the largely peaceful protest movement this winter and spring, the United States needs to decouple from the small Gulf kingdom. Although the kingdom is lifting its state of emergency, distrust and tension remain high between the Shiite majority and the dominant Sunni minority.

Israeli defense official visits Egypt
Amos Gilad arrives in Cairo for brief visit, slated to discuss Shalit deal, opening of Rafah border crossing.,7340,L-4077238,00.html

Mubarak and sons to stand trial in August
Former Egyptian president and his two sons to go on trial on August 3 for graft and killing of protesters.

Mubarak’s sons have remands extended 15 days, and military summons journalists
The two sons of Egypt’s toppled President Alaa and Jamal Mubarak had their custody remanded for another 15 days over unfair means of accumulating wealth, Alarabiya reported on Monday.

Mubarak ‘too sick for jail move’
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is too sick to be moved from hospital to prison to await trial on murder charges, officials say.

For the first time since Camp David accords, US shows concern for fair trials in Egypt
“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the United States hoped Egypt would ensure due process when former President Hosni Mubarak is put on trial in August.  “Obviously we want to see the rule of law,” Clinton told reporters, saying it was up to the Egyptians whether to try him or not.”  Did the US ever care about fair trials and rule of law during the Mubarak regime? How pathetic.

Egypt ‘reviewing’ timetable to resume gas exports to Israel
Gas flows from Egypt to Israel halted in April after gang attack on metering station in North Sinai; Egypt oil minister says working to achieve ‘fair, sustainable relationship between sellers and buyers’.

US still trying to bribe Egypt…Dispute Grows as Egyptian Gas Is Still Not Flowing to Israel
The gas deal has been an integral part of the two countries’ relations and has been supported by Washington. President Obama recently offered Egypt $1 billion in loan guarantees and $1 billion in debt relief on the condition that it meets its commitments. The United States has told Egypt that its security obligations in the northern Sinai are among its commitments, an American official said.

Ethan Bronner: marketing Israeli propaganda, daily
Read the end of this article.  Bronner actually devotes time and effort to justify the reduced prices at which Mubarak sold gas to Israel.

Meet Egyptian political sentiments
“A former deputy chief of Egypt’s court of appeals, Judge Mahmoud al-Khodheiri, recently expressed a common sentiment about the gas deal in an interview with Al Jazeera. “I consider the export of gas to Israel an act of treason, and we should stop it,” he said. “I salute the people who bombed the gas pipe because this is my blood that is being transferred to theenemy.”

Egypt: Admission of forced ‘virginity tests’ must lead to justice
A senior Egyptian general has admitted female protesters were forced to undergo ‘virginity tests’, which the government has previously denied.  The Egyptian authorities must bring those responsible for ordering or conducting forced ‘virginity tests’ to justice, following a senior military figure’s admission that the army subjected female protesters to them, Amnesty International said today.

Oh and by the way… ‘Virginity Tests’ On Migrants Ordered By U.K.: Report
Newly discovered documents indicate that the British government concealed how often it administered so-called “virginity tests” to female immigrants hoping to enter the country in the 1970s on marriage visas. The documents, unearthed by legal researchers Marinella Marmo and Evan Smith from Australia’s Flinders University, showed that the tests – meant to prove that women coming into Britain to marry were virgins – had been administered more than 80 times.

Egyptian army denies ‘virginity tests’
Egyptian military official denies comments saying the military had conducted forced “virginity tests” on female protesters in March.

Egypt’s Military Censors Critics as It Faces More Scrutiny
The military’s intervention concerns human rights advocates who worry that such efforts could undermine attempts to bring it under civilian control or investigate charges of corruption.

Egyptian army questions blogger and TV host
Move follows televised comments accusing military official of instigating abuses against civilians.

Hossam and Reem Follow up : A chitchat more than an investigation
Hossam El-Hamalawy and Reem Maged left the military prosecution with no charges what so ever, it was more of a chitchat meeting !! From three hours or more Reem and Hossam came out of C28 , the headquarter of military prosecution and according to their lawyers who attended the meeting , there were no accusation at all. Hossam Hamalawy was asked to report the incidents he spoke about in the show with evidence. Hossam did, already he went loaded with video clips , reports and testimonies on military police violations.

VIDEO: Workers seek higher wages in Egypt
Egypt has experienced a surge of industrial unrest since the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February, as workers exploit new freedoms to push for better pay and conditions.

This is hilarious: Now Israel found evidence of Al-Qa`idah presence in Sinai
A day or two after the partial and restricted opening of Rafah crossing, Israeli propagandists (including the occupation’s prime minister) claim that Al-Qa`idah has suddenly made its way to Sinai.

The New Fath in the New Egypt
Fath leader, `Azzam Ahmad, tells Al-Masri Al-Yawm that Fath has never recognized Israel and that it will confront Hamas if the latter did.

Salafis in Egypt: link to Mubarak Regime
The brave Egyptian journalist, Muna `Ashmawi (the Cairo correspondent of New TV), did a report on New TV about links between Jihaz Amn Ad-Dawlah (Apparatus of State Security) and the Salafites in Egypt.  Such links have not been reported in the Saudi or Qatari Arab press, nor in the Western press.

Egypt denies Israel’s allegation of Al Qaeda presence in Sinai
Egypt on Thursday denied the presence of Al Qaeda members in Sinai, following charges by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that terror groups were mobilizing in the peninsula. “There are no members of the Al Qaeda organization in Egypt.

Lilian Wagdy, “Crossing Egyptian Military’s Red Line: Speaking Up against Military Tribunals”
A few months ago, just walking too close to the Military Prosecution Complex in Cairo’s district of Nasr City could have landed you in jail. But on May 31, the area surrounding the complex was the stage for a demonstration in solidarity with OnTV’s presenter Reem Maged, socialist activist and blogger Hossam El Hamalawy, and journalist Nabil Sharaf El Din. The three were asked to appear in front of the military prosecution following remarks El Hamalawy and Sharaf El Din made against what they said were military police violations against civilian detainees and what they saw as an ambivalent attitude from the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) towards the revolution. . . . Although all three were released, activists say they will keep lobbying for the rights of thousands of Egyptian civilians who received swift and tough sentences by military tribunals and are now in military prisons. In doing so, these activists are, as well, increasingly challenging what the military establishment deems as its ‘red line’ asserting that the only Red Line in post-Revolution Egypt must be the Egyptian people themselves.

Adam Hanieh, “Egypt’s ‘Orderly Transition’? International Aid and the Rush to Structural Adjustment”
At the core of this financial intervention in Egypt is an attempt to accelerate the neoliberal program that was pursued by the Mubarak regime. . . . There are two common elements to all the financial support offered to Egypt to date — an extension of loans (i.e. an increase in Egypt’s external debt) and promised investment in so-called Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). Both these elements are tied to Egypt’s implementation of structural adjustment. Strategically, it appears that the initial focus of this structural adjustment will the privatization of Egypt’s infrastructure and the opening of the economy to foreign investment and trade through PPPs (these are discussed below). In addition to the US government, World Bank and IMF, the other main institutional actor in this process is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). . . . Currently Egypt’s external debt runs at around US$35 billion and over the last decade the country has been paying around US$3 billion a year in debt service. From 2000 to 2009, Egypt’s level of debt increased by around 15%, despite the fact that the country paid a total of $24.6 billion in debt repayments over the same period. . . . Obama’s offer needs to be understood accurately. Contrary to what has been widely reported in the media, this was not a forgiveness of Egypt’s debt.

“V for Vendetta”: The Other Face of Egypt’s Youth Movement
“Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea […] and ideas are bulletproof.” – From the film V for Vendetta

Into Egypt
Suheir Hammad’s new poem-turned-video is an artistic and highly stylized tribute to Egypt.

Samir Amin, “The Reactionary Bloc in Egypt”
Just as in past periods of rising struggle, the democratic social and anti-imperialist movement in Egypt is up against a powerful reactionary bloc. This bloc can perhaps be identified in terms of its social composition (its component classes, of course) but it is just as important to define it in terms of its means of political intervention and the ideological discourse serving its politics.

The Stunting Role of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces After the Revolution: Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mohamed Waked
During our trip to Egypt we had the fortune of meeting and interviewing a mumber of distinguished journalists, bloggers, and activists, as well as a host of other Egyptians from all walks of life. Our coverage of Friday, May 28, protests can be found hereand here. Today, we begin publishing the video interviews we conducted, starting with our own Jadaliyya Co-Editor, Mohamed Waked. Mohamed is a researcher and an activist who led and participated in the mobilization leading up to the Egyptian revolution. He was also arrested in the process by the Mubarak regime.

Philip Rizk, “Pity the Nation” (Video)
“Those who are making decisions, whoever they are, do not have the right to let local food consumption be determined by the international market. When Law 92 was introduced, the legal shield was taken away from the ‘fellaheen.’ Firstly, around a million tenant farmers were forced to stop cultivating, and the government returned the land to its landowners [without any rights to the farmers who worked it]. And now the market and the owner solely determine the rent price. . . . The Egyptian government now subsidizes large farms and the export of their goods, rather than supporting small farmers. We’ve moved from a situation where food security was based on local production of foodstuffs to a situation where food security is based on the constant export of everything that can be exported and the use of profits from this to import foodstuffs from abroad” (Dr. Habib Ayeb, Sociologist).

Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mehdi quits
As the public grows more frustrated with the government’s performance, the official’s decision is meant to serve as an example to the rest of the bloated establishment. One of Iraq’s three vice presidents has quit the post, his political party said Monday, amid growing public frustration with the government’s performance nearly six months after most of its ministers were sworn in.,0,7232898.story

Iraq protest clouds loom (AFP)
AFP – Iraq risks a return to massive street protests when a 100-day deadline for progress expires next week, experts say, with no core issues having been addressed and a summer heatwave coming.*

Iraq: Protest Organizers Beaten, Detained
(Tunis) – Iraqi authorities have detained, interrogated, and beaten several protest organizers in Baghdad in recent days, Human Rights Watch said today. Iraqi authorities should stop the attacks and charge or release those being held, Human Rights Watch said. In Iraqi Kurdistan, a protest organizer, Isma’il Abdullah, was abducted, stabbed, and beaten on May 27, 2011.

Group calls for rally to liberate Shebaa Farms
June 02, 2011 01:44 PM BEIRUT: The Lebanese Resistance Movement called for a rally at Birket Naqqar in south Lebanon Sunday to “liberate” the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, the state-run National News Agency reported.

Report: Lebanon to close borderland
Border area declared closed military zone ahead of ‘Naksa Day’, which may emulate recent ‘Nakba Day’,7340,L-4077522,00.html

Gaddafi to send representative to OPEC
Libyan government says its delegate will attend June 8 meeting of global oil cartel after defection of oil minister.

Explosion rocks hotel in Benghazi
A large explosion is reported outside a hotel in Benghazi, the rebel stronghold in eastern Libya, with one rebel officer reportedly killed.

NATO extends Libya air campaign
Air strikes to continue until late September as Gaddafi officials complain of high civilian death toll in bombing.

U.S. concerned over Libya weapons reaching al Qaeda
ALGIERS (Reuters) – The United States has real concerns about weapons from Libya ending up in the hands of al Qaeda, the commander of the U.S. military’s Africa Command said on Wednesday. “There is a very real concern for all the regional partners, and the United States shares this concern, about the proliferation of weapons from Libya to other places, including those under the control of al Qaeda and others,” General Carter F. Ham told a news conference.

Qaddafi and Zuma Meet But Reach No Agreement
President Jacob Zuma of South Africa received a raucous red carpet greeting on Monday as he arrived in Libya for meetings with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

Is Jacob Zuma Qaddafi’s only hope?
The South African leader is going to bat for Muammar Qaddafi after a bad couple of weeks for the Libyan strongman.

Muammar Gaddafi: I Will Not Leave Libya
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi is emphatic he will not leave Libya, South African President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday after talks with the Libyan leader that left prospects for a negotiated end to the conflict looking dim. But new questions emerged over how long Gaddafi could hold on after a senior United Nations aid official said shortages of food and medicine in areas of Libya controlled by Gaddafi amounted to a “time bomb.”

Misurata’s residents remain resolute despite sufferings
Residents in Libya’s Misurata endure as months of unending siege have taken its toll on the population. But the longer the war goes on, the deeper the divisions may become leaves many wondering what kind of Libya will emerge after the last bullet has been fired. Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley reports from Misurata.

‘Evidence for the first time of allied boots on the ground’ in Libya?’
Armed western men have been filmed on the ground with rebels in central Libya in the first apparent confirmation that Nato has sent military advisers to train anti-government forces…. The westerners were seen by al-Jazeera on rebel lines late last week, days before British and French attack helicopters are due to join the Nato campaign. They are likely to be deployed on the outskirts of Misrata, from where pro-Gaddafi forces continue to shell rebel positions to the east….  The subject is sensitive as the UN security council resolution in March authorising the use of force in Libya specifically excludes “a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory”

Morocco urged to end violent crackdown on protests
Moroccan authorities must not use excessive force against protesters, Amnesty International said today, as activists called for renewed pro-reform demonstrations  across the country on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia
The Lede: Saudi Activist Speaks for Herself
A Saudi woman who was detained for more than a week for driving released a statement on Tuesday, after she was allowed to leave prison.

Real News Video: Saudi Arabia and Western Hypocrisy
Madawi Al-Rasheed: Washington is calling the worst repression in the Arab world “evolving reform”

Protesters ‘killed’ in Syrian town
Crackdown in Rastan continues, as opposition conference ends with declaration demanding Syrian president’s resignation.

Syria must release all prisoners of conscience under amnesty
The Syrian government must release prisoners of conscience and take concrete steps  to stop grave abuses by security forces.

Syrian abuses are ‘crimes against humanity’
Human Rights Watch finds evidence of systematic killings, beatings, torture and detentions.

Syria Troops Pound Town WIth Artillery; At Least 43 Dead
BEIRUT — Activists say Syrian government troops are pounding a central town with artillery and gunfire, killing at least 15 people. The Local Coordination Committees, which help organize and document the country’s protests, said the deaths occurred in the town of Rastan Thursday. With the latest deaths, at least 58 people have been killed in the town in the past three days.

33 killed in crackdown in two Syrian towns
A government crackdown on two Syrian towns in the country’s centre and south killed at least 33 people, including an 11-year-old girl shot dead by troops during a fierce shelling, activists have said.

Video of Tortured Boy’s Corpse Deepens Anger in Syria
Images of the mutilated body of a 13-year-old boy apparently killed by security forces have become a focus of anger in Syria.

The story of Hamzah Al-Khatib: story of brutality of the Syrian regime

I will not reveal the name of the person in Syria who sent this:  “Hello guys: I went two days ago (on Monday) to Hamza’s home and heard the entire story from his father. The martyr went on the Friday 29th to break the siege on dar3a the father (65 year) said: ” he wore wonderful clothes… he looked amazing and he took some stuff to dar3a nd went with the rest of the families.. I heard the shooting later on and so then the dead and injured people.. I asked about him the people told me he was wounded and arrested.. he was taken by the bus.. we asked about him everywhere and nobody had an answer.. until somebody called his cousin who is his his teacher too, to say that there is a body for a kid in the morgue in Dar3a, the cousin went there and after staring in the body for 45 minutes he could be sure that this was 7amze (I don’t know how the Dunia TV recognized him immediately when they have no names) the doctor checked the body and wrote his report (the report is genuine) the doctor tried to find his penis inside the body coz he did not believe his eyes!! the body was then taken and buried and the police called the father and asked him to make an interview with the Syrian TV and he did but saying the entire story as it happened but they did not broadcast it!! the mother has now a nerval breakdown and I could not see her”.

The face of the Syrian uprising
The Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, appeared on state television last night to offer a general amnesty to protesters who have taken to the streets for the past two months to call for an end to his rule.

Syrian president issues amnesty
After weeks of massive media-censored protests, Assad grants amnesty to “all members of political movements”.

Syria opposition talks off to a shaky start
Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall reports from the Syria opposition talks.

Syrian Opposition Meeting in Antalya: Day Two
Both were impressed by the constructive nature of the second day. George Washington was not born, they conceded, but hard decisions were made. The Muslim Brothers and Islamists were under intense pressure to accept the notion of a secular government where religion and state would be separate. They resisted this most of the day but ultimately conceded at the eleventh hour. We do not have the statement or wording on this “secular” statement. But the MB accepted to not contest the separation of state and religion in the conference statement. I will publish as soon as I can get the wording of the conference statement.

“Dissipating concerns …”
were suspicious at first that some of the opposition exiles would advocate negotiations with Assad, something protesters long ago rejected. But after delegates jumped on chairs and chanted, “The people want to topple the regime!” during the welcoming reception, those concerns apparently dissipated (in Syria or in the conference room?). Many secular activists expressed concerns at the strong showing of the Muslim Brotherhood, even though Brotherhood leaders said they would not seek a prominent role on the committee. Some Kurdish groups boycotted, and a scuffle in the hallway between an Arab and a Kurdish delegate highlighted the tensions that could erupt among Syria’s diverse religious and ethnic constituencies if the minority Allawite-led government falls. Some delegates pointed fingers and whispered that others were beholden to the government, or perhaps affiliated with the loathed former vice president Abdul Halim Khaddam, who fell out with Assad in 2005 but was not invited to attend…

Syrian opposition conference in Turkey
“I hope you are well. So, being Syrian and all, I was following the supposed opposition meeting in Turkey and from the get-go I find it fishy (I don’t know, maybe it’s the typical paranoia we all have). For one thing, I don’t trust the MB, nor any ‘activist’ who resides in the US (perhaps, I’m just closed-minded).  Anyways, here are some interesting things i found. here is the Wall Street Journal account of the events: Within this piece, our ‘friend’, Ammar Abdulhamid, is of course quoted: “The platform for us is agreed upon: to bring down the regime,” said Ammar Abdulhamid, a Washington-based activist. “Every single person here is in consensus on this,” he said, sitting in the corner of a hotel lobby where men huddled, women planned a fast in solidarity with their relatives in Syria, and children ran around wearing “Free Syria” caps and pins. Chiefs of Syria’s large Bedouin tribes roamed in traditional robes. “We know it’s a logistical nightmare,” Mr. Abdulhamid said. “But there seems to be a consensus.”  here is the Washington Post account: In it, there is this quote: “Nor do the delegates want the committee to assume leadership of the revolt on behalf of those protesting inside Syria. “This uprising is leaderless. No one can speak on behalf of the revolution,” said Radwan Ziadeh, one of the organizers and director of the Washington-based Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies.”The Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies has an advisory board, which is weirdly composed of a lot of white folks (Joshua Landis, whom I have issues with), and Patrick Seale….andAmmar Abdulhammid.  Perhaps I’m being too picky or reading into things, but there are so many dirty forces at work here and we (the Syrian public) don’t really have any true representative for the people (other than of course, the people demonstrating).  I hope to hear your thoughts.”

Syrian Communist Party (Unified), “Message to Communists of the World”
The Syrian Communist Party (Unified) issued a statement — which has won wide support among national forces — demanding the convening of a national conference of all political parties, including the national opposition inside Syria, representatives of trade unions and professional associations, intellectual, cultural, economic, and religious leaders, for dialogue and reconciliation. The task of the national conference is to reach consensus on a national program to put the country on the path to a comprehensive political, economic, and social reform which would help create a new democratic Syria under the rule of law, a state that guarantees public liberties for all citizens and for all components of civil society such as political parties, trade unions, and civic associations, a state that recognizes political pluralism and the freedoms of assembly and expression. . . . Our party has said that the Syrians have been aware of the shortcomings of their own internal affairs. They can also distinguish those who are demanding political reforms and social and economic development in order to strengthen the home front from those who are trying to exploit the situation to stir up strife that only serves the enemies of Syria. It has become quite clear that imperialist interventions in the internal affairs of Syria under the pretext of “democracy,” led by the governments of France and the United States, together with the British and German governments, are behind the mass media campaign against Syria, the campaign employing a number of Syrian dissidents in exile who have associated themselves with the US-Israeli project in the region. Our people take the threats to our country seriously and stand together in confronting them. The foreign plots thus will not succeed in changing the national policy of our country: Syria’s opposition to the US-Israeli project; Syria’s struggle to liberate the Golan Heights; Syria’s support for the struggle of the Palestinian people to liberate their land, to build an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, as well as for the struggles to liberate Iraq from the US occupation and South Lebanon from the Israeli occupation.

Kurdistan Commentary, “Syrian Kurdish Parties Boycott Syrian Opposition Conference in Antalya, Turkey”
In an article published in Asharq al-Awsat, a group comprised of 12 Kurdish political parties in Syria (National Movement of Kurdish Parties in Syria) announced that they intend to boycott the opposition summit. The group stated that ‘any such meeting held in Turkey can only be a detriment to the Kurds in Syria, because Turkey is against the aspirations of the Kurds, not just with regards to northern Kurdistan, but in all four parts of Kurdistan, including the Kurdish region of Syria.’ . . . Kurdish Leftist Party representative Saleh Kado stressed that ‘we, the Kurds in Syria, do not trust Turkey or its policies, and that is why we have decided to boycott the summit.’ Kado also said part of the reason for the boycott was the attendance of the Muslim Brotherhood. But other reasons have also surfaced. Two weeks ago the National Movement of Kurdish Parties in Syria announced its own plan to resolve the current crisis in Syria. The Kurdish initiative, which outlined a comprehensive plan for democratic change and fundamental reform at all levels, was largely ignored by non-Kurdish groups. Abdul Baqi Youssef, a leading member of the Kurdish Yekîtî Party in Syria, told AKNews that they do not know who supports this conference or what its goals are. Nor, he said, did the conference organisers make any contact with the Kurdish Movement during the preparations for the conference. This feeling of lack of inclusion in the process and not receiving any support from other opposition groups in Syria on its own proposal could also be contributing factors in the decision not to attend the Antalya summit. Additionally, not all Kurdish parties were invited to attend the conference either. Only five of the parties were asked to attend. They are: the Kurdish Democratic Party of Syria [KDP-S], the Kurdish Leftist Party in Syria, the Kurdish Azadî Party, the Kurdish Future Movement, and the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party [PDPK-S].

Syrian intellectuals in exile in Francs slams BHL
So this guy tries to do the act that he performed in Libya.  The reaction by Syrian dissident intellectuals in France was swift.  They asked him to butt out and they pointed out his Zionist track record and said that the Syrian opposition movements needs no support from his ilk.

Syrians are tired of Assad’s ‘reforms’
A new bill promising fair elections is not going to wash with Syrians – they’ve had carrots dangled in front of them too long. It is ironic that while Syria’s much-heralded general elections bill has been released for public feedback on several official government websites including Tasharukia (an e-government portal), the justice ministry’s website, the interior ministry’s website and the local administration ministry’s website, many villages that are now under siege by Syrian security services have no internet or telephone access.

Syrian Amnesty
So the Syrian regime has been saying for years that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization that has links with the enemies of the Arabs.  But yesterday the regime offered an amnesty for the organization.  This is like the regime lifting the state of emergency when the regime faced a real emergency.  This only means that the lousy Syrian regime would do anything to stay in power.  Are you aware that if you watch Syrian regime media you would not find one trace of the Arab nationalist ideology of the Ba`th Party? It is all Syrian nationalism along the lines of the vulgar and crude manifestations of Lebanonese Phoenician nationalism.  How pathetic.  I also read that Bashshar Al-Asad met with the family of Hamzah Khatib (tortured and killed by security services).   How could Bashshar not say one public word about the case?  The developments in Syria prove that when push comes to shove (here, I just used an American cliche), Bashshar can be as ruthless and brutal as his dictator daddy.

Regime suicide in Syria?,Issandr El Amrani
I really liked the column below, by Peter Harling in Le Monde, on Syria. It explains the uprising in Syria in two parts: first, a regime that once came from the provinces having, in its second and third generations, abandoned them and re-centered its economic policy on Damascus to the detriment of the provinces; and second, the return of a security elite that had previously been marginalized by Bashar al-Assad but that he is now relying on to repress the protesters. The conclusion: that Bashar probably does not have the clout or vision to dismantle that security core of the regime, and that the regime is headed for “collective suicide.”

Refugee camp attacked in Tunisia
Thousands of people who fled the fighting in Libya have spent weeks living in tents in neighbouring Tunisia – unable to return to their homes. But after local residents attacked, burned, and looted the Chucha refugee camp in southern Tunisia, many are once again struggling to find another safe haven.   James Bays reports from the Chucha camp.

In a changed Tunisia, dismay over an unchanged media
Many Tunisians who supported the revolution are dismayed by the continued presence of print and TV reporters who never challenged the status quo under former President Ben Ali.

Dozens killed in overnight clashes in Sanaa
At least 41 people were killed as street battles continue to rage in the Yemeni capital.

No sign of ceasefire in Yemen
Chaotic clashes in Sanaa and Taiz have been ongoing for days. Dozens have been killed, and scores more injured. Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker reports from Yemen.

Yemen slides into civil war
President Ali Abdullah Saleh has retained control of Yemen for 32 years by managing the country’s numerous unrelated conflicts. Now, they are flaring up again – and appear to be beyond his control.

‘Fifty dead’ in Yemen’s Taiz city
More than 50 people have been killed in demonstrations in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz since Sunday, the UN human rights office says.

Fighting raises Yemen civil war fears
Truce collapses as forces loyal to the embattled president and opposition tribesmen clash in the capital, Sanaa.

Tribesmen seize government buildings in Sanaa
Street battles rage in the Yemeni capital while conditions in Taiz and Zinjibar remain tense.

Yemen’s Saleh cedes Al Qaeda hotbed to militants. Why?
President Saleh, increasingly embattled as civil unrest spreads and tribal leaders intensify their fight, says that Al Qaeda seized the capital of Abyan province. But residents saw no evidence of a fight.

Saleh: Suppressing opponents from within
In Yemen, president’s regime has long used torture as part of its “security apparatus”.

The Lede: Doctor’s Video Blog Offers a Window on Yemen’s Revolution
Speaking in English, and occasionally wearing a Harvard baseball cap, a Yemeni doctor offers a guided tour to the revolution there on his video blog.

Yemen in Flames
The political situation in Yemen continued to deteriorate on Tuesday. Since Sunday, 50 protesters have been killed by troops and security forces in the country’s second-largest city, Taizz. The government insisted on forcibly removing the protesters from their own version of Tahrir Square, which accounts for some of the casualties of the past two days, which include according to some reports hundreds of wounded.

Yemen: a map ruled by conflict
The movement to oust Ali Abdullah Saleh may not be able to save Yemen from its long-exploited divisions. Since the beginning of Yemen’s popular uprising in February, President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been putting into practice his skilful art of “dancing on the heads of snakes”.

Yemen 101: Who’s who in the escalating conflict
As Yemen’s crisis escalates, President Ali Abdullah Saleh is battling opponents on multiple fronts who have diverse backgrounds and agendas. Here’s a rundown of the players you need to know in order to understand the unrest in Yemen.

Other News/Analysis/Op-ed
National security adviser worked for Israeli firm accused of Iran dealings
Yaakov Amidror, newly appointed head of National Security Council, worked with many Ofer-controlled companies; the Ofer brothers are uspected of illegal trade with Iran through subsidiaries registered abroad.

Iran Nuclear Scare Timeline Update XXXVII:Meir Javedanfar’s Continued Fear-Mongering and Shoddy Journalism
Writing this past weekend in The Guardian, perennial Iran alarmist and Israel defender Meir Javedanfar addresses the latest IAEA Safeguards Report on the Iranian nuclear program. He leads off with this hysterical attention-grabber…

The Young Conservative’s Hip Hop Guide to Muslims (Satire)
The Young Conservative’s Hip Hop Guide to Muslims is social commentary through satire on the gross, yet common misconceptions perpetuated about Muslim people. Cutaways to competing facts are provided to help fight ignorance and intolerance.

We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it

Jun 02, 2011

Philip Weiss

Wow, this isn’t cool. This afternoon, an email informs me, “the NYC LGBT Center summarily cancelled all future meetings of NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid — and all queer groups organizing around the Israel-Palestine conflict.”

The Center claimed in a press release that it has been diverted from its “primary purpose of providing programming and services” by the protest and rhetoric around the question of meeting space. Here’s the announcement, passed along by Queers for an Open LGBT Center:

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center today announced a moratorium, effective immediately, on renting space to groups that organize around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The decision comes after months of divisiveness, protest, and heated rhetoric regarding whether the Center should rent space to two groups organizing around these issues. The Center has been forced to divert significant resources from its primary purpose of providing programming and services to instead navigating between opposing positions involving the Middle East conflict.

Knuckleheads. I remember the great slogan that’s in my headline, a slogan that I had to take to heart. Don’t these folks understand: navigating these positions takes time because people need to talk about them.

The night refuge

Jun 02, 2011

Philip Weiss

Gideon Levy reports that 100,000 Israelis have German passports. More and more are applying for foreign passports. Hesays:

“If the Palestinian people already had one real passport, maybe the Israelis wouldn’t need two…. In an irony of history, Europe is in fact becoming a haven for Israelis.”

My headline refers to Herzl’s words favoring Uganda as a temporary home for the Jews, an escape from Europe. Though he dropped that idea under pressure. Thanks to Matthew Taylor for this item.

State Department blames flotilla participants for ‘risks’ they incur from Israel

Jun 02, 2011


This statement at yesterday’s State Department briefing is appalling.  Note how spokesman Mark Toner passively refrains from attributing agency.  They don’t want to see people harmed, but Toner says nothing about insisting that Israel not harm passengers.  It’s practically an acknowledgment that Israel will harm people and that those people have been warned by the US, so Israel can now have a free hand.

QUESTION: Israeli – Israel television’s Channel 10 is reporting that the Secretary refused to meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman when they were both in Paris last week for the OECD events. Is there any truth to that?

MR. TONER: I don’t know, frankly.

QUESTION: Mark, sorry, about Israeli and Gaza aid ships. The Israeli military said it will stop new Gaza flotilla. Do you —

MR. TONER: Flotilla, yeah.

QUESTION: Yeah, do you know, flotilla. They said – and one of the reasons from last year’s raid was, they said, especially Turkey is waiting for apology and compensation. Are you talking to Israeli government? Are they going to intervene in international waters or in Israeli waters?

MR. TONER: I’m sorry, so what’s just – the question is?

QUESTION: Yeah. Israeli military says they will stop new Gaza —

MR. TONER: Who says?

QUESTION: Israeli military.

MR. TONER: Okay.

QUESTION: They said they will stop new ships, new aid ships, international —

MR. TONER: Right, right. Okay.

QUESTION: — flotilla. Yeah. Are you talking to the Israeli government? Are they planning to intervene these ships in international waters? Is it okay with U.S. Government? Or in Israeli waters?

MR. TONER: We have made clear through the past year that groups and individuals who seek to break Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza are taking irresponsible and provocative actions that entail a risk to their safety. I think I’ve talked about this specifically. We’ve raised our concerns with the Turkish Government as well, and we’ve also met and said publicly as well as privately, meeting with some of these NGOs, that – about our concerns, about the risk for attempting to break this blockade. We want to just reiterate that there are established and efficient mechanisms for getting humanitarian assistance through to Gaza, and that’s been our message consistently. You’re asking me if we’ve raised it with the Israelis?

QUESTION: The Israelis, and if they’re going to intervene these ships in international waters (inaudible).

MR. TONER: You have to – I mean, I’d have to refer you to the Israeli Government as to what their actions may be if people attempt to break the blockade. Our message has been consistent, that there established mechanisms for getting humanitarian assistance into Gaza and that flotilla actions are indeed provocative, and we don’t want to see anybody harmed.

QUESTION: And you contacted NGOs, right, the special NGOs?

MR. TONER: Yeah.

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you, Mark.

He wrote me back

Jun 02, 2011


After reading one beautiful hopeful sentence on a blog by a Gazan friend I wrote him and told him it made me cry.

You should not cry. The other day when my Dad returned back from Egypt carrying my 26-year old sister’s dead body along with him, and crossing from an Israeli checkpoint, an Israeli soldier asked him” Why do you cry?? All of us will die”! my Dad didn’t reply. This very soldier spared no effort to prevent her from getting medical attention outside Gaza so that she passed away. We should not cry, right?

Slaughter and Rubin say Syrians are brave. What about this boy raising a flag in Gaza?

Jun 02, 2011

Philip Weiss

Annie sent along this video from Nakba Day protests at the Erez Crossing in Gaza on May 15, it’s pretty horrifying. Israeli snipers start shooting into the defenseless crowd of protesters at 7:00 or so (with Ken O’Keefe’s vigorous interpolations) and you see wounded young men being carried away. An American flag is shredded. But I would direct you to the flagcarriers at 11:50 or so– Two young men climb a pylon to stick up Palestinian flags. One of them appears to be shot as he climbs and falls inside the pylon. The second youth continues to climb the pylon to stick his flag up high. Could you do that? I sure couldn’t!

Last night on Eliot Spitzer’s CNN show Jamie Rubin formerly of the State Department and now of Bloomberg News and Anne-Marie Slaughter formerly of the State Department and now Princeton both praised the bravery of the Syrian demonstrators. “We’re seeing people with incredible bravery” –Slaughter. Rubin– “These are very very brave people.”

And Spitzer chimed in that Bashar Assad is as bad as Qaddafi. A comparison that surely reflects Spitzer’s unreconstructed viewof Israel as a beacon.

Have these folks even considered the bravery of the Palestinian protesters? Have they noticed how uncannily similar are the optics of this people rebelling against occupation and the optics of the Syrian demos? Really what is the difference? The Israeli regime has no legitimacy for the youth of Gaza, even less so that Israel’s snipers pick off defenseless boys, and the Syrian regime no legitimacy for the Syrian people…. Something’s got to give.

Pitying ‘Coldplay”s angry commenters

Jun 02, 2011

Eleanor K

It is easy to gloat at this smallest of victories – UK rock band Coldplay posts on their Facebook fan page a one-lineendorsement of the extraordinary single released by their friends, ‘Freedom for Palestine – OneWorld’. Within a few hours the post has attracted close to 2,000 comments, many congratulatory, others furious; in the Israel apologists’ threats and tantrums there is nothing new, but for the first time I found them pitiful, and I recalled the words of a Palestinian friend who insisted that he felt sorry for his Israeli oppressors, and how incredulous I was at the time.

Their desperation is almost painful to watch: ‘you just prove how COLD you can be!! shame on you and the whole anti jewish people!! freedon for palesitne equals freedom for rape, murder, terror and disturbed people. i hope all the israelis we join together and ban you as well as roger waters. AM ISRAEL HAI!!! LONG LIVE ISRAEL!!! THE ONLY VOICE OF PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST!!’ and ‘this is a very very bad decision you maid to support teror groups in gaza and thinking that in throwing jews to the sea youll achive peace to the palestinians that are bombing busses killing babys’ (sic) – typical examples of the histrionic talkback, alternated with the odd pathetic attempt to patch it all up with a piece of frayed Israeli propaganda: ‘Israel is the only country in the middle east where arabs live with democratic rights.’

‎Our humanity rests on our ability to feel empathy for every victim of injustice, or fate – be they family or strangers; those who feel no pity in the presence of grotesque suffering are deserving of pity themselves. Here is a young generation of Coldplay fans whose confused and angry responses reveal them to be psychologically damaged by an aggressive ideology. Their wretched ignorance of the historical facts and present realities of Israel – of the dispossession, violence and apartheid that are the origins and consequences of decades of brutal military occupation and settlement of an indigenous people’s land – exposes them to ridicule and leaves many clinging to a flimsy, fictional narrative of ongoing Jewish victimization in ‘Eretz Yisrael’.

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Zio-Nazi Peres urges (orders) Russia to cease sale of advanced weapons to Syria



In meeting on sidelines of event in Italy, Zio-Nazi Peres tells Russian counterpart that weapons systems likely to find their way to Hezbollah.


According to a statement released by the president’s office, Peres discussed ongoing turmoil in the Arab world with the Russian leaders, saying that Syria was undergoing a critical time of change.

“Assad has killed thousands of protesters in cold blood and I do not know what the future may hold,” Peres said.

In the face of such uncertainty, Peres urged his Russian counterpart to avoid selling advanced weapons systems to Syria, since “there was no way to know who would eventually hold those weapons,” the president said, adding Russia must aid in stemming the flow of weapons from Syria to “terrorist groups, first and foremost Hezbollah.”

Speaking of the Mideast peace process, Medvedev told Peres that Russia fully supported the principles presented in U.S. President Barack Obama’s Mideast policy speech, adding that Russia, like many other nations around the world, was concerned with Israel’s settlement expansion activities.

In response, Peres said that a change in Hamas’ policies and conduct, and their renouncement of terror, would lead toward a positive and creative direction.

Earlier Thursday, Peres called for the creation of a missile defense system that would surround Iran, in an interview with Israel Radio.

The United States, NATO and countries in the region must join forces, Peres said in the interview, adding that all countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are under Iranian missile threat.

The president explained that Israel has a short-range missile defense system, whereas the United States has a long-range missile defense system. Therefore, he told Israel Radio, a medium-range system must be implemented to deal with Iran.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Zio-Nazi Peres urges (orders) Russia to cease sale of advanced weapons to Syria

Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,

The 6 items below begin with infuriating news!  The US apparently wants at all costs to stop the upcoming flotilla, and to this end will supposedly offer Turkey a deal: hold a peace conference but stop the flotilla.  Hopefully Turkey will refuse.  A peace conference is likely to go nowhere right from the beginning, as have all those till now, and not because the Palestinians always refuse!  If Turkey does agree, Netanyahu will insist as a starter that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, which the Palestinians will refuse to do.  Obama, however, seems hell-bent on doing everything to make sure that Israel remains a power or perhaps I should say ‘the’ power in the ME.  To this end, I presume, is Rahm Emanuel’s op-ed in June 3 Washington Post on Obama’s commitment to Israel —

An utterly disgusting piece that wants all for Israel but nothing for the Palestinians.  Apparently this piece represents things as they are, not as we would wish them to be!

In any event, to return to the flotilla, I repeat once again, the main purpose is not humanitarian aid but breaking the blockade!  How can Obama justify the blockade—the imprisonment of over a million people in Gaza, people like you and I who just want to live a normal every-day life with a bit of hope for the future.  How can the world close its eyes and turn its back on Gaza?

Item 2 reports that 2 Palestinian youngsters were badly burnt apparently by white phosphorus in a canister left by the IOF near Hebron.  On top of this Israel refused the boys treatment at an Israeli hospital.

Item 3 shows once again how undemocratic Israel really is.  Two people born in Jerusalem do not have equal rights if one of the two is a Muslim the other a Jew.  A Jew who is born in any part of Israel aside from Jerusalem, and who leaves the country for several years, can return to Israel and settle in Jerusalem with no problems.  But a Palestinian who is born in Jerusalem and who goes abroad or leaves Jerusalem for any length of time loses his/her rights to reside in Jerusalem. Imagine Jews being so treated in any country!

Item 4 reports the intentions of Israel’s government to build a Jewish town in the Negev on the lands of two Bedouin tribes. What will happen to the Bedouins of these tribes, whose homes, by the way, are not tents but actual buildings?

Item 5 is ‘Today in Palestine,’ whose summaries I hope that you will read.

Item 6 is one of the most beautiful tributes that a spouse can give to one’s other who has died.  I think that this must be one of Uri Avnery’s finest, if not the finest piece.  It’s not newsy.  It won’t inform you about what is happening here.  But it is beautiful.

All the best,



1.  Ynet,

June 3, 2011

Turkish Marmara ship. Ready for sail Photo: AP

US: Peace summit instead of flotilla

Turkish newspapers say Washington considering asking Ankara to host Israeli-Palestinian conference in exchange for stopping Gaza-bound sail, ending diplomatic crisis with Jerusalem,7340,L-4077939,00.html


The American administration is considering offering the Turkish government a deal, which would see Ankara hosting a peace conference attended by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in exchange for restoring its relations with Jerusalem and stopping the Gaza-bound flotilla planned for late June, Turkish newspaper Zaman reported Friday.

According to the flotilla organizers, vessels from several European countries will leave Turkey towards the end of June.

Eight Turks and an American national were killed last year as Israeli Navy Commandos raided a Turkish ship attempting to reach the Gaza Strip. In response, Turkey recalled its ambassador and demanded that Israel apologize and compensate the victims.

Turkish daily Hurriyet quoted sources as saying that the United States would officially ask Turkey to host an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit in exchange for stopping the flotilla and ending the diplomatic crisis with Israel.

According to the offer, the summit will continue previous gathering held in the past, including the 1991 Madrid Conference and the secret Oslo negotiations in 1993.

A US State Department spokesperson said Wednesday that his country had raised its concerns with the Turkish government regarding any flotilla sailing towards the Gaza Strip.

According to the US, any flotilla would be considered an act of provocation since there is already an effective protocol to transfer humanitarian aid into Gaza.

‘Irresponsible and provocative actions’

State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner raised the issue during a daily press briefing in Washington, saying that in recent conversations with the Turkish government the US warned against organizations planning to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

“We’ve raised our concerns with the Turkish Government as well, and we’ve also met and said publicly as well as privately, meeting with some of these NGOs, about the risk for attempting to break this blockade,” said Toner.

“We have made clear through the past year that groups and individuals who seek to break Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza are taking irresponsible and provocative actions that entail a risk to their safety. I think I’ve talked about this specifically.”

Toner reiterated that “there are established and efficient mechanisms for getting humanitarian assistance through to Gaza, and that’s been our message consistently”.

UN Chief Ban Ki-moon called on governments last Friday to discourage pro-Palestinian activists from sending a new aid flotilla to Gaza.

In letters to Mediterranean governments, Ban said all aid for Gaza, which is blockaded by Israeli forces, should go through “legitimate crossings and established channels” – which in practice in recent years has meant through Israel.

But he also called on Israel to “act responsibly” to avoid violence.


2.  [forwarded by Rupa]

Israel accused after Palestinian boys burned by mystery canister

Military experts say unidentified devices found in West Bank may have contained outlawed white phosphorus

Conal Urquhart in Buweib

The Guardian, Friday 3 June 2011

Eid Da’ajani, 15, suffered severe burns after picking up a mysterious silver canister close to his home Link to this video

The Israeli army has been accused of leaving dangerous munitions near Palestinian homes after two boys were seriously burnt when they picked up a mysterious silver canister which exuded toxic white fumes.

A second canister, discovered nearby less than a week later, was destroyed by the army in a controlled explosion

The army does not deny leaving the devices, but would not identify them and suggested they were left over after training exercises. But the area where they were found does not feature on an army map of designated training areas and the canisters appeared new and unweathered.

Eid Da’ajani, 15, found the canister on 20 February, around 100 metres from his home in the village of Buweib, south of Hebron. The device, around 20cm (7.9 ins) long and 5cm in diameter, was lying in a scrubland where the boys were watching the family’s goats.

A metal canister found by Mohammed and Eid Da’ajani near their home. Photograph: Conal Urquhart for the Guardian

Eid showed it to his cousin, Mohammed, also 15, who said that it might be a bomb, but Eid picked at the tube’s foil-like covering, causing it to emit dense white fumes. The boys ran away but the gas clung to them and burnt their clothes, melting their shoes and burning their skin.

“The moment the smoke came. I dropped it, but the smoke followed us. When we escaped that’s when the pain started, ” said Eid.

Military experts consulted by the Guardian said the effect of the smoke was similar to that caused by white phosphorous but could not speculate on the nature of the devices from photographs alone.

One suggested that it could be chaff – projectiles fired from an aircraft to decoy enemy missiles – which had not ignited.

The use of white phosphorous in civilian areas is banned by the Geneva conventions yet it is often used by armies for marking and creating smoke screens. Israel used white phosphorous in civilian areas during the Gaza war in 2008-2009 but stopped after international criticism.

Khalid Da’ajani, the boys’ grandfather said that 10 people in the area had been killed by discarded army bombs. “We knew it was the army [which left the cannister] but we had never seen anything like this. The burns seemed to spread along their bodies and all we could do was pour water on them which didn’t seem to help,” he said.

Both boys were taken to the local hospital in Yatta, but when contacted by Eid’s father the Israeli army showed little interest until told that there had been an explosion. Soldiers then questioned the boys and doctors eventually gave them an intravenous transfusion which eased their pain. The family’s request to receive treatment in an Israeli hospital was denied, but two days later, the boys were taken to hospital in Hebron where a team of visiting Italian doctors spent three hours cleaning their wounds.

The hospital report states that boys suffered first to second degree burns to their faces, hands, ankles and legs due to “the explosion of a foreign body”. They were then referred to a burns unit in Nablus, around 60 miles from their home, rather than to an Israeli hospital less than half the distance away.

But last week, Lo’ai, Mohammed’s younger brother discovered an identical canister not far from where the first was found.

He ran away and his family contacted the army. After inspecting the device, troops piled rocks and explosives around it before blowing it up.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Israeli army said: “The area under discussion served in the past as a training field and is no longer in use. The young men were treated on site by a military medical team. Because their injuries were light, they did not require evacuation to an Israeli hospital, and they were evacuated by the Red Crescent.”

Almost two weeks after the event the boys have stopped vomiting and suffering from headaches. Large parts of their skin remain bleached white and blistered. Both seem to be recovering but still find it hard to walk.

A spokesman for Physicians for Human Rights and Israeli non-governmental organisation said that the incident represented a violation of the Palestinians’ right to the health by the Israeli army.

“Leaving bombs unattended on the lands of Palestinians where children and others spend most of their time is a violation of human rights. Worse, is the fact that the army denied these children a better treatment in Israeli hospitals despite the fact that they admitted it was a bomb they had left in the field,” the spokesman said.

Physicians for Human Rights have said that they have written to ask the army for answers about the incident and will take legal action with the family if the army does not explain how two of these dangerous devices appeared in village lands that are regularly frequented by children, adults and animals.


3.  Haaretz,

June 03, 2011

From residents to prisoners

The logical and moral thing would be for the Interior Ministry to differentiate between residents who were born here, and should thus always be allowed to come and go as they wish, and others who immigrated here and whose status may be considered conditional.

By Ronit Sela

I share my office space in Jerusalem with Mahmoud, a colleague at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. Regardless of our enormously different backgrounds and upbringing, we get along well and enjoy working together. We both live in Jerusalem: Mahmoud was born and raised in Silwan, just south of the Old City, while I was born in Kfar Sava and relocated to the city about a decade ago.

Looking ahead to the future, I can anticipate living elsewhere some day, knowing I can return to the city later on. My Jerusalem-born colleague, on the other hand, knows that if he were ever to live abroad for a period of seven years or more, he would run the risk one day of only being allowed to enter the country on a three-month tourist visa. He would no longer be able to live in the city, work here or raise his future children near his parents and extended family. As Jerusalem Day was marked here this past Wednesday, what caught my attention was the division that exists between us two residents of this professed unified city.

The Interior Ministry has made it a policy, since the city’s reunification in 1967, to try to block the return home of people who, like Mahmoud, were born in Jerusalem, but who have relocated elsewhere, temporarily or permanently. The majority of Jerusalem’s 300,000 Palestinians have permanent resident status. According to Interior Ministry regulations, there are two conditions that serve as grounds for revocation of residency, which together ostensibly prove that the person has moved “the center of his life” elsewhere: that he or she has not resided in Israel for a period of seven years, and has acquired citizenship or similar status in another country (this includes receipt of a green card ). A full-fledged citizen who chooses a similar path does not face the same threat.

Palestinians born in East Jerusalem technically fall into the category of “permanent residents” – but not in essence. They are in fact non-citizens in a city that is also their hometown, and therefore the reality of their lives is unique. Unlike other people with permanent residency status, they did not choose to relocate here but rather were born into an area that was annexed to Israel. By and large, they do not feel they are part of the State of Israel. Neither they nor the Israeli government wish to see them all pledge their allegiance to Israel and become full-fledged citizens. However, the residency status, though it allows them to remain in their homes, in effect turns them into prisoners who are not allowed to freely leave their small corner of the world. For Mahmoud, even a decision to relocate to Jerusalem’s surrounding areas that are under the control of the Palestinian Authority could theoretically cost him his rights, as it would mean that the “center of his life” has been moved to a different country.

I, on the other hand, as a citizen, can choose to move overseas for as long I wish and acquire another national citizenship, and still be allowed to return at any time to the city that has gradually become my home.

In 2008, a peak was reached, in which 4,577 Palestinians who were born in Jerusalem and were at the time living in other locales, including the West Bank, had their permits revoked by the Interior Ministry. Since 1967, Israel has revoked the residency status of over 13,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem, turning them from natives to foreigners. Israel could have easily chosen to renew their permits. Unfortunately, it decided instead decided to block their return.

The logical and moral thing would be for the Interior Ministry to differentiate between residents who were born here, and should thus always be allowed to come and go as they wish, and others who immigrated here and whose status may be considered conditional. The unique legal status of East Jerusalem and its residents makes this a necessity.

ACRI and Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual petitioned the High Court in April demanding that this differentiation be anchored in law so as to safeguard the basic rights of Palestinians living in Jerusalem. The petition listed Mahmoud as a petitioner, an example of a young man whose life is still ahead of him, who wishes to enjoy all the possibilities his future can hold, including the mobility so many other young people enjoy, without having the natural course of modern life cost him an unbearable price.

For many Jews, June 5, 1967, marks the breaking of the walls and barriers that for two decades made West Jerusalem a small and isolated capital. Four decades later, however, the walls of the legal ghetto imposed upon a third of the city’s residents are only getting higher.

Ronit Sela is a spokesperson for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.


4.  Haaretz ,

June 03, 2011

Jewish town to be built on Bedouin land under Negev relocation plan

Bedouin residents did not squat on the land, but were transferred there in 1956 by the direct order of the military administration in place at that time, but now, their lands lie within the master plan of the Be’er Sheva metropolitan area.

By Jack Khoury and Yanir Yagna

The land of one of the Bedouin communities slated to be evicted under a proposed government plan will be used for the construction of a new Jewish community, documents revealed by Adalah, the legal center for Arab minority rights in Israel, and obtained by Haaretz show. In the coming weeks, the cabinet is expected to approve the forcible relocation of some 30,000 Bedouin to new neighborhoods of existing Bedouin towns.

Residents of the community in question did not squat on the land, but were transferred there in 1956 by the direct order of the military administration in place at that time. But now, their lands lie within the master plan of the Be’er Sheva metropolitan area.

The community comprises about 1,000 people, all members of the Abu Alkiyan clan. They reside in two villages, Atir and Umn al-Hiran, located near Wadi Atir, close to Route 316 and east of the village of Houra.

Until 1948, the clan held the land now used by Kibbutz Shoval. After the war, it traveled across the Negev looking for new land, but did not find any, because most was already claimed by other tribes. In 1956, it approached the military administration and was transferred to the Wadi Atir area.

A classified military administration document dating from 1957 says that the clan received 7,000 dunams of land near the wadi. It then split into two hamlets that shared the land. Unlike in many Bedouin communities, the houses in Atir and Umm al-Hiran are built of stone.

In November, Haaretz reported that the Prime Minister’s Office had prevented Atir and Umm al-Hiran from being recognized as legal townships, contrary to the recommendations of a professional committee of the National Planning and Building Council. The residents have appealed their eviction orders, and some appeals have already reached the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, a plan to construct a new Jewish community, to be called Hiran, has been submitted to the regional planning and building committee, which has already heard the Bedouin residents’ objections. The Interior Ministry told Haaretz a detailed plan for the first neighborhood of Hiran is already being discussed.

The government agency responsible for regularizing Bedouin towns in the Negev said the Abu Alkiyan clan was moved to this area by the British High Commissioner before the establishment of the state, but has since invaded state lands. It said the state was preparing new neighborhoods suited to the clan’s needs in the town of Houra.

“We came here in 1956, after the state decided to move us from Beit Kama,” said one resident, Salim. “We don’t want to move away; we have nothing to look for in Houra. They want to build a Jewish community on this land and call it Hiran. We have no problem with being annexed to Hiran as long as we stay on our land.”

“If anyone in the government thinks they can evict us, they’re mistaken,” another family member said. “If they demolish our houses, we’ll live in tents. If they take our tents, we have no problem living under the open sky. We’re not going to use force against anyone, but we will not leave our lands.”


5.  Today in Palestine latest


6.  Dear friends,

As a personal favor, please abstain from reacting to this

article by messages to me. Thanks.

Shalom, Salamaat,



Uri Avnery

June 4, 2011


I HAD the unqualified blessing of living with Rachel Avnery

for 58 years. Last Saturday I took leave of her body. She

was as beautiful in death as she was in life. I could not

take my eyes off her face.

I am writing this to help myself accept the unacceptable. I

beg your indulgence.

IF A HUMAN BEING can be summed up in one word, hers was:


She had an uncanny ability to sense the emotions of others.

A blessing and a curse. If someone was unhappy, so was she.

No one could hide their innermost feelings from her.

Her empathy touched everyone she met. Even in her last

months, her nurses were soon telling her their life


Once we went to see a film set in a small Slovak town

during the Holocaust. A solitary old woman did not

understand what was happening when the Jews were summoned

for deportation to the death camps; neighbors had to help

her to the assembly point.

We arrived late and found seats in the dark. When the

lights came on at the end, Menachem Begin got up in front

of us. His eyes, red from weeping, locked with Rachel’s.

Oblivious to everybody around, Begin walked straight up to

her, took her head in his hands and kissed her on the brow.

IN MANY respects we complemented each other. I tend to

abstract thought, she to emotional intelligence. Her wisdom

came from life. I am withdrawn, she reached out to people,

though she valued her privacy. I am an optimist, she was a

pessimist. In every situation, I sense the opportunities,

she saw the dangers. I rise in the morning happy, ready for

another day’s adventures, she got up late, knowing the day

would be bad.

Our backgrounds were very similar –  born in Germany to

Jewish bourgeois intellectual families, who believed in

justice, freedom and equality, coupled with a profound

sense of duty. Rachel had all these in abundance, and more.

She had an almost fanatical sense of justice.

The first words Rachel ever spoke, when her family had fled

the Gestapo to Capri, were “mare sch?n”, Italian for sea,

German for beautiful.

She never read nor wrote German, but learned the language

perfectly from speaking with her parents – she even

corrected my German grammar.

Rachel, alas, lacked Prussian punctuality. It was a

constant source of friction between us. I feel physically

ill if I am not on time, Rachel was always, but always,


THREE TIMES I met her for the first time.

In 1945, I founded  a group to propagate the idea of a new

Hebrew nation,  integral to the Semitic region like the

Arabs. Too poor to rent an office, we met at members’


At one such meeting, a 14-year-old girl, the daughter of

the landlord, came in to listen. I noticed fleetingly that

she was beautiful.

Five years later I met her again when I was running a

popular magazine aimed at revolutionizing everything,

including advertising: girls instead of the usual dull


We needed a pretty girl for an ad, but there were no

professional models in the new state. One of our editors

ran a theater group.  He introduced me to a member called


We took some pictures by the sea, and I took her home on my

motorcycle. We fell off in the sand and just laughed.

The third time was at the same experimental theater. There

she appeared again, and at some point she tried to guess my

age, pledging a kiss for every year she was wrong. She

guessed I was five years younger than I was, and we made a

date for settling the account.

We continued to date on and off.  Once I was to meet her at

midnight in a cafe. When I did not arrive, she went to look

for me. She found a crowd outside my office, and was told I

was in hospital. Some soldiers had attacked me and broken

all my fingers.

I was helpless. Rachel offered to help me out for a few

days. They lasted 58 years.

We found that living together suited us. Since we despised

religious weddings (there being no civil marriage), we

lived happily in sin for five years. Then her father fell

seriously ill. To set his mind at rest, we married in a

hurry, in the private apartment of a rabbi. We borrowed the

witnesses and the congregation from another wedding, and

the ring from the rabbi’s wife.

That was the last time either of us wore a ring.

FOR 58 YEARS, she inspected every word I published. That

was not easy. Rachel had strict principles, and stuck to

them. She covered some of my pages in red ink. Sometimes we

had bitter arguments, but in the end, one of us usually

conceded – generally me.  On the rare occasions we could

not agree, I wrote what I felt like (and more than once

regretted it).

She struck out all personal attacks she considered unjust.

Exaggerations. Every weakness of logic – she would spot

contradictions that had escaped me. She improved my Hebrew.

But mostly she added the magic word “almost”.

I tend to generalize. “All Israelis know”, “Politicians

are cynical” – she would change that to “Almost all

Israelis “, “Most politicians” We joked that she was

sprinkling “almost”s on my articles as a cook sprinkles

salt on food.

She never wrote an article herself. Nor gave interviews. To

such requests she would respond: “What did I marry a

spokesman for?”

BUT HER real talents lay elsewhere. She was the ultimate

teacher, a calling she pursued for 28 long years.

This happened quite unplanned, after she was sent on an

army course for teachers.

Before the course finished, she was practically kidnapped

by an elementary school principal. Long before she received

her teacher’s certificate, she was a legend. Parents with

connections pulled strings to get their children into her

class. There was a joke that mothers planned their

pregnancies so that the child would be 6 years old when

Rachel taught the first grade. (She agreed to teach only

the first and second grade, as the last chance of shaping a

child’s character.)

Her pupils included the children of illustrious artists and

men of letters. Recently, a middle aged man called to us in

the street “Teacher Rachel, I was your pupil in first

grade! I owe you everything!”

How did she do it? By treating children as human beings and

nurturing their self-respect. If a boy couldn’t read, she

put him in charge of tidiness in the classroom. If a girl

was rejected by prettier classmates, she would be the good

fairy in a play. She drew satisfaction from seeing them

open up like flowers in the sun. She spent hours explaining

to backward parents their children’s needs.

During the school holidays, her children were raring to get

back to class.

SHE HAD a purpose: to instill human values.

There was the story about Abraham and the burial site for

Sarah. Ephron the Hittite refuses money. Abraham insists on

paying. After a long and beautiful exchange, Ephron winds

it up: “The land is worth four hundred shekels of silver.

What is that betwixt me and thee?” (Genesis 23). Rachel

told the children that this is still the Bedouin way of

doing business, leading up to the deal in a civilized


After the lesson, Rachel asked the teacher of the parallel

class how she explained this episode to her pupils.  “I

told them that this is typical Arab hypocrisy! They are all

born liars! If he wanted money, why didn’t he say so


I like to think that all of Rachel’s children – or almost

all of them – have turned out as better human beings.

I followed her experiments in education closely, and she my

journalistic and political exploits. Basically we were

attempting the same: she to educate individuals, I the

public at large.

AFTER 28 YEARS, Rachel felt that she had lost her edge. She

did not believe a teacher should continue after their

eagerness has been blunted.

The final push came when I crossed the lines in Beirut in

1982 and met Yasser Arafat. It was a world sensation. With

me were two young women on my editorial staff: a

correspondent and a photographer. Rachel felt left out of

one of the most exciting events in my life, and decided to

change direction.

Without telling me, she took a course in photography. Weeks

later, pictures of an event were laid before me. I chose

the best – which just happened to be hers. The secret was

out. She became an enthusiastic photographer, with a

remarkable creative talent – always focused on people.

IN EARLY 1993, when Yitzhak Rabin deported 215 Islamic

activists across the Lebanese border, protest tents were

erected opposite his office. We camped out for 45 wintry

days and nights. Rachel, the only woman who was there the

whole time, struck up a beautiful friendship with the most

extreme Islamic sheikh, Ra’ed Salah. He really respected

her. They joked together.

In these tents, we founded Gush Shalom. For her, the

injustice done to the Palestinians was intolerable.

She was the photographer at all our events. She took

pictures of hundreds of demonstrations, rushing around,

taking shots in front and behind, sometimes in clouds of

tear gas – despite her doctor’s warnings. Twice she

collapsed in the burning sun, crossing harsh terrain to

protest against the Wall.

When the Gush needed a financial manager, she volunteered.

Although it was completely against her nature, she became a

meticulous administrator, with a Prussian sense of duty,

working on the kitchen table late into the night. She much

preferred her unofficial function – maintaining human

contact with activists, listening to their problems. She

was the soul of the movement.

SHE COULD be very abrasive, too. Far from being a starry-

eyed do-gooder, she detested liars, hypocrites and people

who did wrong.

She never liked Ariel Sharon, even during the years when we

visited each other’s homes to talk about the 1973 War.

Lili Sharon loved her, Arik liked her too. There is a photo

of him spoon-feeding her with his favorite dish (food was

unimportant for her). Rachel did not let me show anyone the

picture. After the 1982 Lebanon invasion, we broke contact.

Once, Sharon’s confidant, Dov Weisglas, whom she could not

forgive his nasty remarks about the Palestinians, spotted

me in a restaurant, came over and shook my hand.  But

Rachel left his hand dangling in the air.  Embarrassing.

When she liked people, she showed it. She liked Yasser

Arafat, and he liked her. We went to see him many times in

Tunis and later in Palestine, and he treated her with

utmost courtesy, allowing her to take pictures of him at

any time, showering her with presents. Once he gave her a

necklace and insisted on putting it on her himself. With

his poor eyesight, he fumbled for a long time. It was a

wonderful sight, but his official photographer did not

react. Rachel was furious.

When we served as a human shield for the besieged

Palestinian President, Arafat kissed her on the brow and

led her by the hand to the entrance.

FEW PEOPLE knew that she carried an incurable disease –

Hepatitis C. It lay like a sleeping leopard at her

doorstep. She knew that it could wake up any minute and

devour her.

The unexplained infection was discovered more than 20 years

ago.  Every doctor’s appointment could have meant a death

sentence. She collapsed five months ago. There were many

signs of this approaching, which I ignored but she clearly


During these five months, I spent every minute with her.

Every new day was like a precious gift for me, though she

was inexorably sinking.  We both knew, but pretended that

everything was going to be alright.

She had no pains, but increasing difficulty eating,

remembering, and, towards the end, speaking. It was heart-

rending to see her struggling for   words. For two days she

was in a coma, and then she slipped away unconsciously and


She had insisted that nothing be done to prolong her life

artificially. It was a terrible moment when I asked the

doctors to stop their efforts and let her die.

In accordance with her wishes, her body was cremated,

against Jewish tradition. Her ashes were scattered on the

Tel Aviv seashore, opposite the window where she had spent

so much time gazing out. So the words of William

Wordsworth, which she loved and often repeated, do not

strictly apply:

“But she is in her grave, and oh,

The difference to me.”

ONCE, in a moment of weakness exploited by a film-maker,

she complained that I had never said “I love you”. True

enough: I find these three words incurably banal, devalued

by Hollywood kitsch. They certainly are not adequate for my

feelings towards her – she had become a part of me.

When she was fading, I whispered “I love you”. I don’t know

if she heard.

After she died, I sat for an hour with my eyes fixed on her

face”. She was beautiful.

A GERMAN friend sent me a saying which I find strangely

comforting. It translates as:

“Don’t be sad that she left you,

Be glad that she was with you for so many years.”

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