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In the last 24 hours an orgy of land theft and political arrests of children

Jan 24, 2012

Today in Palestine

Land Theft & Destruction / Attacks on Protests Against Land Theft / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid / Refugees

Breaking: Israeli bulldozer, soldiers destroy entire community of Beit Arabiya in West Bank, Philip Weiss
Tne tragic night in the West Bank. Israeli soldiers accompanied a bullodozer as it destroyed all the buildings in the Bedouin community of Beit Arabiya, northeast of Jerusalem in the West Bank. “People are somber, traumatized, and griefstricken,” says Itay Epshtain of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. (ICAHD). “Nearly 100 people are out in the elements now on a cold night. Children, babies, mothers, fathers. Some of us from ICAHD did try to block the bulldozer, but we were beaten back by soldiers.” The community was first hit with a demolition order in 1994, but it has been regularly targeted by the occupation forces in recent years since ICAHD set up a facility there in an effort to protect the people. The Bedouin community is in Area C, which comprises 60 percent of the West Bank. Epshtain says the demolition was launched at 11:30 p.m. tonight and is part of a government policy of ethnic expulsion in Area C, aimed at forcing Bedouins into the largely-urban areas of Area A, where they will be under Palestinian Authority control. We will keep you posted on the fate of the people of Beit Arabiya, who are in our thoughts and prayers tonight.
http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/breaking-israeli-bulldozer-soldiers-destroy-entire-community-of-beit-arabiya-in-west-bank.html

Israel demolishes 10 buildings near Jericho
JERICHO (Ma’an) — Israeli forces demolished ten buildings in the Jordan Valley village al-Auja on Monday, residents told Ma’an. The soldiers leveled new shops being constructed at the village’s northern entrance, belonging to residents Diab Abdul Hamid, Nujom and Yasser Abdul Rahman, Muhammad Abdul Rahman and Fesal Hussein. The owners told Ma’an the demolitions inflicted a serious loss on the Jericho-district village. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees noted in a December report that demolitions across the West Bank doubled in 2011, displacing 990 people — including 507 children.
link to www.maannews.net

Forces demolish home in Jerusalem village
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem village Anata early Tuesday, the owner told Ma’an. Ahmad Omar said troops and bulldozers surrounded his house in the al-Fheidat neighborhood at dawn, and summoned his relatives to empty the house contents.
link to www.maannews.net

Israel confiscates 350 acres in occupied Jerusalem in just three weeks
The Israeli occupation authorities have confiscated 350 acres of land in the occupied city of Jerusalem and the surrounding area in the past three weeks. Details of the land grab have been given in a report prepared by the Department of International Relations at the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), which described the illegal settlement operations in East Jerusalem as a “war crime” and “state terrorism”. The ongoing theft of Palestinian land is, claims the PLO, “undertaken by the right-wing extremist government in Israel for the purpose of the Judaisation of the city and its annexation, so as to make the implementation of any political solution possible.”
link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk

Israel ramps up settlement of East Jerusalem
According to the Palestinian news agency WAFA, Israel has seized over 1300 dunams of land in and around Occupied East Jerusalem in January alone. Since the new year began just three weeks ago, Israel has already approved over 700 new housing units for settlers in East Jerusalem, as well.
link to www.alternativenews.org

Israel High Court bars Palestinian from studying abroad over nonexistent evidence
Lawyer says High Court apparently mixed up two similar cases when it barred a Palestinian man from pursuing studies in Germany – and is refusing to acknowledge the error.
link to www.haaretz.com

23 Jan. ’12: B’Tselem to military: Investigate firing of .22-caliber bullets at stone throwers
On 5 Jan. ’12, B’Tselem wrote to the military advocate general, Brig. Gen. Danny Efroni, and to the commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Brig. Gen. Hagai Mordechai, demanding an investigation into the firing of .22-caliber bullets that hit a young Palestinian man who was throwing stones at soldiers during the weekly demonstration in a-Nabi Saleh, on 23 December 2011. B’Tselem also requested that the MAG clarify to senior commanders, to forces in the field, and to the Judea and Samaria Division’s spokesperson that using these bullets is tantamount to firing live ammunition, and is, therefore, forbidden as a crowd-control measure.
link to www.btselem.org

Violent attacks on peaceful marches in W. Bank continue
The weekly anti-wall march of Bil’in village was attacked yesterday with tear gas grenades and chemical waste. (RAMALLAH PIC) – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued, in blatant violation of human rights, their violent attacks on peaceful weekly marches organized in West Bank villages against settlement activities and the segregation wall. Two Palestinian young men and one paramedic were wounded on Friday when Israeli forces fired a barrage of rubber bullets and tear gas grenades at the anti-wall march in Nabi Saleh village and many others suffered suffocation. In Kafr Qaddum village east of Qalqiliya, violent clashes broke out between the participants in the weekly march and Israeli soldiers stationed at the main gate of the village, which has been closed for years. The soldiers started to fire tear gas grenades as hundreds of Palestinian villagers and foreign activists were marching towards the closed gate. The weekly anti-wall march of Bil’in village, west of Ramallah city, was also attacked yesterday with tear gas grenades and water mixed with chemical waste. The IOF also quelled the marches organized in Kafr Addik village, west of Salfit, and Masarah village near Bethlehem. Three protestors during the Masarah protest sustained injuries when they were physically assaulted by Israeli soldiers.
link to www.salem-news.com

One village’s nonviolent resistance to land confiscation
This short video tells the story of Kafr Qaddum and the village’s struggle to keep its land.
link to www.palestinemonitor.org

Israeli troops ‘raid east Salfit village’
SALFIT (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the Kifl Hares village east of Salfit and closed the entrances of the village, searching cars and checking identity cards, witnesses said. Omar al-Shater said he was stopped by Israeli soldiers in army jeeps. They searched his car and checked his identity, he said, alleging they were attacked by a Molotov cocktail.
link to www.maannews.net

Israeli judge to visit military checkpoint in Silwan
A group of Israeli judges organized a visit to an Israeli Military Checkpoint at 10:00 am Sunday to assess whether its presence is necessary. The judges will be accompanied by the lawyer Muhammad Mahmoud who has taken on the case on behalf of local residents who would like the checkpoint removed due to the obstacles it presents. The checkpoint has been positioned on the roof of a Palestinian home for more than a year. The checkpoint is manned for 24 hours and has proven to escalate confrontations and has caused the arrest of a large number of young people.
http://silwanic.net/?p=24271

The Grave Digger of Nahr al-Bared Camp
The work assigned to a gravedigger does not seem pleasant to most people, let alone the work one is tasked with in a Palestinian refugee camp. Said Swaidan, who is responsible for the Khaled Bin al-Walid cemetery at the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in northern Lebanon seems to be at ease while carrying out his various duties as head of the cemetery. But the camp has seen a high number of deaths in the past month. The siege of Nahr al-Bared by the Lebanese army in August 2007 and its delayed reconstruction has led to the cemetery being overcrowded.
link to english.al-akhbar.comViolence by Israeli Forces and SettlersSeveral Residents Injured In Air Strikes Targeting Gaza
Palestinian medical sources reported that several Palestinians were wounded, on Tuesday at dawn, after the Israeli Air Force bombarded a number of areas in the Gaza Strip. The sources stated that the wounded residents suffered mild injuries; damage was reported.  Also, two fighters were wounded when the Israeli Air Force bombarded two areas, believed to be training centers for resistance fighters, in Jabalia and Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.  Furthermore, an Israeli military spokesperson stated that the Israeli Air Force bombarded tunnels, and resistance fighters, in the Gaza Strip.

link to www.imemc.orgLive ammunition fired at peaceful demonstrators in Gaza Buffer Zone
In a peaceful demonstration into the Gaza buffer zone that began around 10:30am today, January 24 2012, demonstrators report that at least 50 rounds of live ammunition were fired directly at Palestinian and international solidarity activists.
link to palsolidarity.orgMan Dies Of Wounds Sustained In 2002
Palestinian medical sources reported on Thursday that resident Hamid Ahmad Sahloul, 42, from the western refugee camp in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, died of wounds sustained in an Israeli incursion in 2002.
link to www.imemc.org
 
Witnesses: Forces raid football match near Salfit
SALFIT (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the northern West Bank village Kifl Haris on Sunday evening, shutting down a football match with tear gas, witnesses said. Five military jeeps surrounded the pitch and launched gas and “sound bombs” as the players and spectators, onlookers at the Salfit village football game said. An Israeli military spokesman said he was looking into the incident.
link to www.maannews.netHebron woman goes on hunger strike over settler attacks, Mya Guarnieri
Settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank has risen 40 percent since 2010, and 165 percent since 2009, according to the UN. Protesting a wave of settler attacks on her home and property, one elderly Palestinian woman in Hebron went on hunger strike.
link to electronicintifada.netJewish Settlers Break into Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
NABLUS, January 24, 2012 (WAFA) – A large number of Jewish settlers broke into Joseph’s Tomb, east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, late Monday night, according to local sources. They told WAFA that around 10 buses carrying 1200 extremist settlers broke into the Tomb and performed rituals and prayers until dawn under the heavy protection of the Israeli army. Sources in the Israeli army said the breaking was coordinated between the army and the settlers. Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the eastern area of Nablus, particularly the vicinity of Balata refugee camp, as well as broke into a bookshop near An-Najah National University campus in the city, and confiscated contents.
link to english.wafa.ps

Political Detainees

Israeli Soldiers Arrest Palestinian Teacher Near Ramallah
RAMALLAH, January 24, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers arrested a Palestinian teacher from Aurora, a village near Ramallah, according to a statement released by Mandela Human Rights Group on Tuesday. It said Israeli forces raided and ransacked the house of Nermin Saleh and took over her personal computer, along with mobile phones. Saleh was handcuffed and blindfolded before she was taken to the Russian compound detention center in West Jerusalem, added the statement.
link to english.wafa.ps

Residents Detained in Hebron
On Tuesday Morning, the Israeli army kidnapped two Hebron residents near Ibrahim Mosque, and moved them to undisclosed location, the Palestinian news agency, Ma’an, reported.
link to www.imemc.org

Israel arrests another Hamas lawmaker in West Bank (AP)
AP – Israeli troops detained a Hamas legislator in the West Bank early Tuesday in the fifth such arrest in as many days, the Islamic militant group said.
link to us.rd.yahoo.com

Dr. Dweik Receives Six Months Administrative Detention
The Israeli Military Court at the Ofer Israeli prison, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, decided to imprison the elected head of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Dr. Aziz Dweik, to six months administrative detention.
link to www.imemc.org

Hamas prisoners in Askalan to go on hunger strike
Hamas prisoners in the Israeli jail of Askalan have declared they would go on hunger strike twice weekly to demand improvement of harsh incarceration conditions.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7JWMQbvkzi9PHp9eVTsCgFX4jdVDEnOY4naOz5OooqUYTfd6tBSsR3WuIkmIB5TMMIyNvhcGmRjb7VSxk0%2f1CuCMeVYJYn1zDl3xGU5PuI6I%3d

Red Cross urged to uncover fate of Palestinian detainee
The prisoners’ center for studies appealed to the Red Cross to work on uncovering the fate of a Palestinian prisoner from Jenin who has been barred from seeing his family for about seven months.
link to www.palestine-info.co.ukArrest and Detention of Children

IOF troops arrest two Palestinian boys

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained two Palestinian minors on Monday in the Yatta village of Al-Khalil, local sources said.
link to www.palestine-info.co.ukA youth arrested in Al Abbasyah at dawn
At dawn on Monday, Israeli forces arrested Yahya Sirhan, 19, in the neighborhood of Al Abbasyah. His detention was extended until Tuesday morning when there will be a hearing. One of the detainee’s relatives said that all of the charges involved throwing Molotov cocktails at the Israeli troops.
link to silwanic.net

Israeli forces arrest a youth in Wadi Hilweh
Israeli Forces arrested Midhaat Shwaki while he was outside his house on Wadi Hilweh Street in Silwan. Midhaat was detained for hours in a military jeep while his brother tried unsuccessfully to obtain an explanation for the arrest from the arresting officers.
link to silwanic.net

The Palestinian children – alone and bewildered – in Israel’s Al Jalame jail
Special report: Israel’s military justice system is accused of mistreating Palestinian children arrested for throwing stones. The room is barely wider than the thin, dirty mattress that covers the floor. Behind a low concrete wall is a squat toilet, the stench from which has no escape in the windowless room. The rough concrete walls deter idle leaning; the constant overhead light inhibits sleep. The delivery of food through a low slit in the door is the only way of marking time, dividing day from night.
link to www.guardian.co.uk

UK raises concerns over Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children, Harriet Sherwood
Foreign Office minister says he has raised concerns about treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli detention. The British government has raised concerns about Israel’s treatment of Palestinian minors arrested and interrogated for stone-throwing and other crimes, highlighted in an article in the Guardian. Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office minister for the Middle East, urged Israel to address the UK government’s concerns when on a visit to the country a fortnight ago. Burt told the Guardian he had “raised concerns about the treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli detention. I urged the Israeli government to address these concerns.”
link to www.guardian.co.uk

Cell 36: Palestinian children locked in solitary confinement in Israel – video,  Harriet Sherwood, Mat Heywood, Mustafa Khalili
Two Palestinian teenagers talk about their experiences of being held in solitary confinement within Al Jalame prison, northern Israel.
link to www.guardian.co.uk

Gaza

Medicines in Gaza are hostage to political rivalry that puts lives at risk, Rami Almeghari
Gaza health facilities continue to suffer shortages of medicines and equipment because of rivalry between Palestinian political parties, as well as the siege Israel has imposed on the Strip.
link to electronicintifada.net

Half a dollar a day: The life of a Gaza tunnel-digger
Did you know Gaza Strip has a Ministry of Tunnels? It’s an important ministry too, as tunnels are a lifeline bringing food and consumer goods to Palestinians. Without them, it’s doubtful that people here would survive the Israeli blockade. Tunnellers toiling in arduous conditions are happy workers – they earn a staggering $10 a day. Their cheerfulness persists despite having to do back-breaking work, under the ground, with no chance to stand up straight, without fresh air, constantly running the risk of being crushed in a collapse or dying of suffocation. The tunnels are bombed during air raids, so their entrances are disguised. The sand from the pit is removed under tents to keep the place inconspicuous. Until last year, almost all food and other items, except for limited supplies from the UN, were delivered via underground passages.
link to rt.com
   
Protest / Activism / BDS

Bethlehem University, student senate reach agreement
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The administration of Bethlehem University on Monday reached an agreement with the student senate to end a dispute which shut down classes for five days. BU Vice Chancellor Peter Bray announced the agreement in a statement Monday after weeks of student protests over rising tuition fees and fines for late payment.
link to www.maannews.net

In Palestine, to exist is to resist
Behind the headlines, Palestinians are using nonviolent direct action to protest the status quo. WEST BANK, PALESTINE – On November 15, Mazin Qumsiyeh and other Palestinian activists boarded public bus number 148, an Israelis-only bus that normally takes Jews from the Israeli West Bank settlement of Ariel to Jerusalem. The bus took the group to the Hizma checkpoint, just outside the northern entrance of Jerusalem, where activists resisted authorities’ efforts to remove them. Eventually, as a camera broadcast the action online, eight people were pulled from the bus and arrested. They were charged with “illegal entry to Jerusalem” and “obstructing police business.”
link to palsolidarity.org

Connect with the Palestinian Students’ Campaign for Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI)
A collective of students in Gaza has formed the Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI). These students are seeking to expand their collaboration and participation in events and activities with solidarity activists at international universities. PSCABI members participate in many activities here in Gaza and are heavily involved in supporting the international student solidarity movements, especially with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaigns. PSCABI members frequently write letters out of Gaza, some of which we have listed below, encouraging people to participate in the boycott and thanking people who have supported the Palestinian cause. PSCABI members are available to share ideas, participate via Skype or other technology in remote events, organize and strategize together, hear about your activities and provide information and narratives as Palestinian university students for your distribution, and provide access to voices speaking directly from besieged Gaza.
link to palsolidarity.org

Ana Moura’s audience doesn’t want her to play Israel
The opinions of Ana Moura’s audience at her recent Glasgow performance were clear, “Don’t perform in Israel – support the appeal from Palestinian civil society for a cultural boycott of Israel.”
link to www.alternativenews.org

Activists call on Globe Theatre to cancel performance
Responding to Palestinian civil society’s call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel, the Israeli group Boycott from Within has issued an open letter to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre asking it to cancel the May 2012 performance by thespians from Israel’s Habima theatre.
link to www.alternativenews.org

New Sabra hummus ad uses images of Arabs, Africans to cover up Israel army connection, Ali Abunimah
The Strauss Group, the company that openly supports the Israeli army and makes Sabra brand hummus, is trying a new advertising strategy to hide its Israeli connections and combat a growing boycott movement. It is to depict Arabs and Muslims in its ads as a form of cover. Should we call this “Arabwashing?”
link to electronicintifada.net

Hezbollah Denounces Arab Participation in Herzilya Conference
Hezbollah commented Monday on some Arabs’ intention to participate in Herzliya conference on “the Zionist national security”.
link to www.almanar.com.lb

Racism / Discrimination

The “anti-semite” Zionists are referring to is author and journalist Ben White… Zoabi endorses anti-Semitic author
Controversial Arab MK writes foreword for new book by British anti-Israel writer, says ‘racist’ settlement enterprise premised on ‘ethnic cleansing’.
link to www.ynetnews.com

 
Ethiopian immigrants with college degrees earn only half as much as native-born Israelis with similar degrees, study shows.
link to www.haaretz.comHaredim assault woman in Beit Shemesh
Woman trying to post fliers attacked by haredim who hurl stones at her car, puncture her tires.

link to www.ynetnews.com

Political Developments / Diplomacy

US: New UN council no more favorable to Palestinians
NEW YORK (Reuters) — Security Council dynamics are no more favorable now to a Palestinian UN membership bid than they were last year despite a partial change in the council makeup, the US ambassador to the United Nations said on Monday.
link to www.maannews.net

Abbas: Israel document ‘worthless’ to talks
MOSCOW (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that Israel’s response to a Palestinian proposal on borders and security as requested by Quartet negotiators was “worthless”. Speaking to TV channel Russia Today during his the final leg of his European tour, Abbas said his visit to British, German and Russian leaders was not intended to “isolate or delegitimize Israel,” but to look at different routes if current talks between negotiators fail.
link to www.maannews.net

Bardawil: Fatah blocking reconciliation, holding secret talks with Israel
Senior Hamas leader Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil has accused Fatah faction of planning to foil national reconciliation in favor of holding secret talks with Israel.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk

Buoyed by ‘Islamic Spring,’ Hamas considers new direction
Hamas’ political chief Khaled Meshal is stepping down as the militant Palestinian group faces a regional moment of change.
link to rss.csmonitor.com

Israeli Sources: Relationship between Israel, United States Deteriorating
On Monday, at the time that the Israeli issue escalated in the American presidency elections, Atlanta Jewish American newspaper caused a storm in politics and media that ended up in courts. The newspaper editor, Andrew Adler, published an article about the possibility of assassinating the US president Barack Obama, as a compromise to solve the Israeli-American differences about Iran’s nuclear weapons and how this issue should be confronted.
link to english.pnn.ps

Pro-Israel billionaire boosts Gingrich ‘Super PAC’
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Newt Gingrich’s supporters are celebrating his stunning win in South Carolina, but Mitt Romney has a big jump in the next battleground state thanks to millions of dollars his backers have already poured into the Florida contest for the Republican presidential nomination. Restore Our Future has spent $5 million in Florida for Romney since mid-December. That was when the political action committee launched get-out-the-vote efforts aimed at hundreds of thousands who have sought to vote by mail or at early-voting centers well before primary on Jan. 31.
link to www.maannews.net

Other News

IDF officer indicted for raping soldier
Female soldier says master-sergeant dragged her to his room and raped her, despite her pleas to stop.
link to www.ynetnews.com

Other Middle East News

Marine accepts plea deal in Iraqi civilian deaths
AP – A Marine accused of killing unarmed Iraqi women and children pleaded guilty Monday to dereliction of duty in a deal that will mean a maximum of three months confinement and end the largest and longest-running criminal case against U.S. troops to emerge from the Iraq War.
link to us.rd.yahoo.com

 
Hashemi: If Maliki Resigns He Will Go To Baghdad Court
Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi has offered to return to Baghdad to appear before a judiciary there, but only if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki resigns his post first. Meanwhile, at least 10 Iraqis were killed and 15 more were wounded in new attacks.
 
Saudi Arabia: the Middle East’s most under-reported conflict
Shia protesters, demanding long overdue and promised reforms, are bearing the brunt of a security crackdown. As the British prime minister, David Cameron, visited Riyadh in mid-January, wooing Saudi business and strengthening bilateral relations, a young Shia man in the eastern province was shot dead. Following the kingdom’s huge arms deal with the United States, Cameron apparently wanted to persuade the Saudis to buy Typhoon Eurofighters. His visit was a slap in the face for protesters, who are demanding human rights and more of a say in their country’s affairs.
link to www.guardian.co.ukU.S. to welcome Yemen dictator for medical treatment
Yemen’s embattled dictator said in a televised address this week that he was on his way to the United States for medical treatment, adding that he would not be returning to the country as its leader, but as the president of the General People’s Congress party as part of a series of democratic reforms.
link to www.rawstory.comSyrians feel sanctions as food prices double and power outages increase
Syrians are beginning to feel the brunt of economic sanctions as food prices have almost doubled in recent weeks with the Syrian pound having plummeted to its lowest records against the dollar, prompting the government to announce partial floating of its currency…
link to english.alarabiya.net

Syria attacks Arab League over ‘conspiracy’
Foreign minister says league is implementing a foreign conspiracy, as Gulf states withdraw from observer mission.
link to www.aljazeera.com

Officials: Car bombs kill 14 across Baghdad (AP)
AP – A wave of car bombings hit the Iraq capital on Tuesday, killing 14 people and wounding more than 70 as violence surges in the country amid an escalating political crisis a month after the U.S. military withdrawal.
link to us.rd.yahoo.com

Iraq: Intensifying Crackdown on Free Speech, Protests
Iraq cracked down harshly during 2011 on freedom of expression and assembly by intimidating, beating, and detaining activists, demonstrators, and journalists, according to the Human Rights Watch World Report 2012
link to www.hrw.org

Iraq’s execution of 34 people in one day ‘shocking’ – UN human rights chief
The United Nations human rights chief said today she was shocked at reports that 34 people were executed in Iraq in a single day last week and called on the country to institute an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty. “Even if the most scrupulous fair trial standards were observed, this would be a terrifying number of executions to take place in a single day,” High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stated in a news release.
link to www.un.org

US shifts embassy staff amid Bahrain unrest (AP)
AP – The U.S. State Department says it is moving American Embassy employees to safer locations in Bahrain after ongoing political unrest elevated security worries in the strategic Gulf kingdom.
link to us.rd.yahoo.com

Bahrain: Widespread Crackdown; Systematic Abuse
Bahrain’s government should address serious and systematic abuses that officials and members of its security forces committed during a widespread crackdown on anti-government protests, according to the Human Rights Watch World Report 2012. 
link to www.hrw.org

Bahrain Grand Prix: Don’t Start Your Engines Yet
Pro-reform Bahraini athletes are being publicly punished to set an example for the rest of the protesters. The standoff between protesters and the Bahraini regime, which started at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, has now extended to the Bahrain International Circuit. Bahraini athletes are the main target of a recent government campaign launched to end a year-long uprising in the island kingdom. The message that the Bahraini regime is sending through this campaign is clear: no one is immune to arrest and torture if he or she decides to speak up for their rights.
link to english.al-akhbar.com

 
U.S. flouts law at Guantanamo, despite Obama vow: U.N.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States is still flouting international law at Guantanamo Bay, despite President Barack Obama’s election pledge to shut the facility, the United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Monday. “It is ten years since the U.S. Government opened the prison at Guantanamo, and now three years since 22 January 2009, when the President ordered its closure within twelve months. Yet the facility continues to exist and individuals remain arbitrarily detained – indefinitely – in clear breach of international law,” Pillay said in a statement. 
 
Iran
‘Israel to Give Obama 12 Hours Notice on Attacking Iran’: US and Israel on ‘Collision Course’
The Netanyahu government also will not coordinate with the United States an attack on the Islamic Republic.
link to www.informationclearinghouse.infoIran scoffs at EU oil embargo
Europeans accused of waging “psychological warfare” as US says it would impose more sanctions.
 
U.S. sanctions another big Iranian bank
The Treasury Department today designated Iran’s third-largest bank, Bank Tejarat, as subject to new sanctions, on the same day the EU announced a complete oil embargo of Iran. “At a time when banks around the world are cutting off Iran and its currency is depreciating rapidly, today’s action against Bank Tejarat strikes at one of Iran’s few remaining access points to the international financial system,” Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said in a statement. “Today’s sanction against Bank Tejarat will deepen Iran’s financial isolation, make its access to hard currency even more tenuous, and further impair Iran’s ability to finance its illicit nuclear program.”
link to thecable.foreignpolicy.comSuppressing Press TV is deplorable – Ofcom should restore its licence now
Ofcom is banning the station on spurious grounds, and this move will only serve to increase anti-western sentiment in Iran. Ofcom, which regulates broadcasting media in the UK, has revoked the licence of Press TV, whose UK operation is based at studios in west London but whose editorial control is – so Ofcom argued – located in Tehran. Ofcom had given Press TV a choice: either move editorial control to London or transfer its UK broadcasting licence to Iran. Press TV apparently ignored this ultimatum. So now it is off the air.
link to www.guardian.co.ukAnalysis / Op-ed

Is the EU waking up from the Oslo dream?
Almost 20 years after the Oslo Accords, the European Union is beginning to wake up. Three recent reports by European diplomats are indicative of a welcome change of in Europe’s approach towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
link to www.alternativenews.org

Global Military Index Ranks Israel Most Militarized Nation in World, Richard Silverstein
The Bonn International Center for Conversion maintains the Global Military Index, which lists the nations of the world according to the level of militarization of their societies.  Coming in first again in 2012 is Israel.
link to www.richardsilverstein.com

Adelson Doubling Down on Gingrich, Richard Silverstein
Sheldon Adelson is doubling-down on his fair-haired white boy, Newt Gingrich, with a second $5-million Super PAC gift given through his wife, Miriam.  If God forbid, Newtie wins the nomination I’d bet we can expect gifts in the $50-100 million range from Big Shel.  This gift, and the NY Times article to which I linked, make clear that Newt is largely a creature of Adelson’s money.  Without it, Romney would already be the Republican nominee.
link to www.richardsilverstein.com

War Beckons at the Request of Israel, Iqbal Jassat – Pretoria, South Africa 
As the first month of 2012 ebbs away, a question dominating many conversations is whether war is still likely to break out in the Persian Gulf anytime soon. While tensions have been heating up as “war talk” between regional players adds greater anxiety, it remains unclear whether the Obama administration is willing to risk more American lives in pursuit of an Israeli agenda. Unlike former president George W Bush who seemed hell bent to settle personal scores with Saddam Hussein and was immensely assisted by a largely pliant media to “sell” America’s war on Iraq, Obama is not too certain of gaining similar levels of support.
link to palestinechronicle.com

Ynet manufactures new threat to promote Ben White book, Phan Nguyen
Israel’s self-delegitimization campaign intensifies as Ynet, the website of Israel’s second largest daily, publishes a news article headlined, “Zoabi Endorses Anti-Semitic Author.” The article, which also appears in print in Hebrew, is a shocking exposé that reveals that Palestinian-Israeli Knesset member Haneen Zoabi actually wrote a four-page foreword to Ben White’s new book, Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy.
link to mondoweiss.net

Hussein Ibish And The Language Of Anti-Arab Racism
Hussein Ibish, the Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), the Washington public relations outfit for the collaborationist Palestinian Authority (PA) in occupied Ramallah, continues to speak in the most disrespectful, condescending, and sometimes racist fashion when it comes to Arabs and Muslims especially those among them opposed to US criminal wars abroad and insist on combating and defeating the Zionist colonial project in Palestine. The language of the intellectual godfather of the establishment Arabs has grown increasingly abrasive and crude as he moves further and further to the political right and continues to adjust his unreasonably reasonable stance on Palestine to the demands of the most extreme elements of the Pro-Israel lobby.
link to ikhras.com

The Hypocrisy of Mark Leibler: Indigenous Rights Advocate Denies Indigenous Rights to Palestinians
“Australian Jew working to end discrimination against indigenous peoples,” reads a proud headline from the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) today, January 22, 2012. The article reports that a “high-profile Jewish Australian cited the effects of the Holocaust on his family as a driving force in his work to help ‘end the exclusion’ of Australia’s Indigenous peoples from the nation’s constitution”
link to www.wideasleepinamerica.com

Military indoctrination at Nazi death camps stokes… universal democratic values!, Nima Shirazi
Did you see this? From Ha’aretz, “Study: IDF officers less committed to Jewish values after visits to Nazi death camps.” The headline exposes unsatisfactory indoctrination levels in IDF soldiers.  The whole article is worth a read (especially to see how the paper doesn’t quote the actual report at all, yet then tries to do damage control by referring to a different survey that showed increased indoctrination levels among Israeli high schoolers who take similar trips).
http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/military-indoctrination-at-nazi-death-camps-stokes-universal-democratic-values.html

Video: Atlanta Jewish Times publisher’s tearful anti-apology

Jan 24, 2012

 Allison Deger

Sunday, Atlanta Jewish Times owner and publisher Andrew Adler issued a 20-minute tearful explanation for his January 13 column, which called for a “hit” on president Obama, in an interview with a public access channel. Despite this platform where the publisher could purify himself for his “deranged and morally repugnant” remarks, Adler never apologized.

Atlanta Interfaith Broadcaster’s Audrey Galex is point-blank:

Is there anything you would like to say, in terms of an apology, directly to the president or the institution of the White House?

Adler responds:

To the president, vice president, Benjamin Netanyahu, friends and family…I want to thank you for allowing me this time…I hope to continue as owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times.

Then, Adler follows up with regret for possibly causing backlash to Israel–a regret that seems to explain the teary remorse–stating, “my intentions were good,” and “I am Israel’s best friend.” Adler has since since stepped down from his position with the paper, through he remains the current owner.

Tribute to a Palestinian ‘Gandhi’ — Mahmoud Abu Rahma of Al Mezan
Jan 24, 2012

 Pam Bailey

mahmoud
Mahmoud Abu Rahma, who was attacked last week

The unrecognized heroes of Palestine are the human rights investigators.  Their job is to investigate and expose the atrocities committed against their people, no matter who the perpetrator — Israeli or Palestinian. Nine times out of 10, they are stymied, stonewalled at every step. Or — worse. Like Mahmoud Abu Rahma, director of international relations for Gaza’s Al Mezan Center of Human Rights. He is slowly recovering from his second assault in a month; this second time, he was lucky to escape with his life.

When I was filming vignettes in Gaza for the Palestinian Gandhi Project, I focused one of my interviews on two field workers for Al Mezan Center for Human Rights. (You likely have heard of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and its charismatic director, Raji Sourani. Al Mezan is less “slick” in its appearance — both virtual, on the Web, and at its physical headquarters. And its senior team does a lot less to generate publicity. But they are just as professional and have a “we try harder” spirit. It was with Al Mezan that I decided to volunteer my time as a Web consultant when I lived in Gaza for six months in 2010.) They told not only of the expected non-cooperation  by government officials (both in Israel and within the two ruling Palestinian parties, Hamas and Fatah), but also by the victims themselves. After all, investigations and a reliance on the rule of law usually yield nothing — or perhaps even life-threatening harassment. 

“The people can easily see that we investigate so many cases where the crime is obvious, but nothing happens. The ‘criminal’ is still there, and the victim does not receive any compensation,” Samir Zaqout, coordinator of Al Mezan’s fieldwork unit, told me.  

To international organizations and governments, he had this to say: “You need to prove your credibility. Your credibility is destroyed every day. ..The people hear about the (UN) Security Council, etc. But in reality, the criminal still keeps committing more crimes, and nobody protects or compensates the victims. Everything is turned into a case for international ‘relief’ — not justice. With this silence, the people feel they have no one to trust. This leads them to radical views, to perhaps look for more violent acts to defend their rights.” 

However, Israel is not always the perpetrator. On New Year’s Eve, Abu Rahma published a courageous essay on the Ma’an news site. He wrote, in part: 

“Facts on the ground indicate clear examples where Palestinian citizens in Gaza and the West Bank find themselves clashing with the government and/or resistance. These cases are many; beyond what most of us think.

“One can only wonder in such cases: Who will protect citizens from the mighty resistance and the powerful government when one, or both, of them harm them?

“Sadly, example after example has shown that the very notion of citizen protection simply disappears in such cases, and people fall into a situation of helplessness and misery. Resistance protects, but only from outsiders, ‘the enemy.’

“Government can protect us from private persons and gangs. Sadly, however, both the resistance and our government fail to protect us from our own-selves; from one another.

“It is safe to assume that neither the government nor the resistance is willing to step in to protect people who dare to criticize them.

“Every day we see detention and summoning of citizens by the dozens; not for unlawful acts they committed, but mostly for who they are and what they think, or for their mere political affiliation.

“We witnessed, with much agony, the outrageous attack upon free expression and peaceful assembly since March 2011. There are reports of hundreds of cases of torture and abuse. Several people died in detention and under torture in Gaza and the West Bank.

“No one was punished for these acts, and we know too little about whether their families were compensated according to a process of law.

“On the contrary, we only see overwhelming efforts exerted to protect the violators of people’s rights; be those torturers, teachers who abuse children, or doctors who act with utmost negligence.

“The government stands by them firmly and no one can get the reports, evidence, or public records that prove their innocence or wrongdoing. Nor do we hear of serious investigations seeking the truth.

“Many citizens also fell victim of the continuous negligence of the resistance groups who show little or no care for people’s life and well being, or, worse, fail to take responsibility for shocking acts by their members.

“It is clear the government is not willing to take the smallest act. It does not open investigations or even hold talks with the resistance groups to ensure that steps are taken to protect the vulnerable people. It is equally clear that the resistance continues to show the same carelessness towards violations committed by the government against the people…

“Welcome to the naked truth: the relationship between the government, the resistance and the people is moving in one way: the people support, nourish and protect their resistance and government. But the resistance and the government are not in the least bit interested to do the same for the people. This is an untenable situation and a dangerous reality.

“It is not the intention of the author to dismiss entirely either Palestinian resistance groups or the governments; or to attempt in any way to undermine their best qualities. Neither is an example of pure evil.

“People act and commit mistakes which can be forgiven; however, in order to forgive the mistakes of any kind of power or authority, there must be some indication that the power or authority wishes to make amends, to take responsibility for its past failings.

“Power and authority with a poor moral foundation are doomed to fail. They will destroy themselves and lead their people to corruption and injustice.

“The people of any nation have a responsibility to criticize those who lead them. We must look in the mirror before we can see ourselves clearly.

“This is a call for both the Palestinian resistance groups and the government to make sincere efforts to repair their relationship with the people they claim to represent and hope to help.

“Relationships go two ways. If the people do not enjoy respect and rule of law from the resistance groups and the government — two political bodies that claim to stand for their rights — they will all go down together.”

The internal response to Abu Rahma’s brazen “speech to power” was immediate. He says he received a series of threatening emails and phone calls, and just three days after publication a group of masked men entered his building and beat him up. He escaped unscathed. But he was not so luck last Friday. It was slightly before midnight when he was walking home from his office; before Abu Rahma made it to his house he was attacked by three masked men. He was stabbed multiple times in the leg and shoulder. 

The Hamas-controlled Information Ministry in Gaza said in a statement the government is investigating the circumstances of the attack and called it a violation of human rights. It also said Gaza authorities respected the right of political expression as long as it conformed with “national responsibility.”

But, according to the CNN blog, international rig

 

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