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Today in Palestine !

Headlines December 10, 2008

jeudi 11 décembre 2008

Subject : [PACUSA]  

Israeli Wall Fuels Migration

Palestinians With Economic, Social Services Ties to Jewish State Are Integrating Neighborhoods That Won’t Be Blocked by Barrier. JERUSALEM—Samih Bashir, a Palestinian lawyer, plans to move early next year to a large house with two living rooms, three bathrooms and a big backyard where his four children can play. It is in a Jerusalem neighborhood called French Hill—a part of the city that Israel says will never become part of a Palestinian state. Bashir worries that his current neighborhood, Beit Hanina, would end up under Palestinian control if the two sides ever reach a peace deal.

Rights group to Mazuz : Probe IDF targeted killings in West Bank

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel is demanding the attorney general order a criminal investigation to determine whether any crimes were committed in the planning and execution of past targeted assassinations. Attorneys Avigdor Feldman and Michael Sfard wrote Attorney General Menachem Mazuz a letter, asking him to clearly and unconditionally prohibit assassinations when detention is an alternative, and to prohibit giving advance approval to harming innocent bystanders.

Three boys have administrative detention orders renewed

Mohammad Balbol, Wa’ad Al Hidmy and Ahmed Mijermy all had their administrative detention orders renewed in the week commencing 24 November 2008. The three boys are currently being held by Israel without having been charged with any offence or having received the benefit of a fair trial. CategoryId=1

Demonstration in Hebron after two members of the Jabari family arrested following settler attacks on their house

At around 3 o’clock on Monday afternoon, the first day of Eid al-Adha, Israeli forces seized two members of the Jabari family from their home under charges of stone throwing.
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Israel releases Hebron settler filmed shooting Palestinian

An Israeli court on Wednesday released a settler filmed shooting two Palestinians last Thursday during the court ordered Israeli evacuation of settlers from a Palestinian house in the West Bank city of Hebron. Ze’ev Baruda, a resident of the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba, was placed under house arrest by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.

Gaza lawmaker : Settler attacks on Palestinians « terrorism »

A Palestinian lawmaker condemned recent attacks by settlers as acts of « organized terrorism » against Palestinians sponsored by Israel. Palestinian Legislative Council member Hussam At-Tawil’s comments came after weeks of escalating violence culminated in settler riots across the West Bank last Thursday as the Israeli government evacuated just one settler-occupied house in the city of Hebron.

Unsteady Calm Following Settler Violence Against Palestinian Residents in Hebron

We take a look at the troubled West Bank city of Hebron where the city’s Palestinian residents have been at the receiving end of a new wave of attacks from hardline Jewish settlers. Violence flared last week after Israeli riot police forcibly evicted some 250 settlers from a disputed Palestinian-owned home that the settlers had occupied last year. Tensions have been high ever since an Israeli High Court ruling last month that ordered the settlers to vacate the building. We go to Hebron to get the latest. following_settler_violence_ against

Local official : We’ll block rightists’ entry to Arab town ’physically’

The head of the Menashe Regional Council vowed on Tuesday that his constituents would « physically » block the entry of a rightist march into the Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm next Monday. Ilan Sadeh, the official, branded the march as « explosive. » « Right wing activists are likely to drag the area and the entire state into a violent clash, and bloodshed between Jews and Arabs. We must not let a handful of extremists ruin the fraternal relations between us in the area, » he said.

Olmert refuses to rule out Gaza offensive ahead of key talk

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is due to meet with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Wednesday to discuss the future of the Gaza lull, a day after Olmert threatened that Israel would lash out against Gaza militants in response to a recent escalation in rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip.

Livni calls for a large-scaled military offensive in Gaza

Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, stated on Wednesday that the Israeli army should carry a large-scaled military offensive in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for what she described as « the violation of the truce ».

Olmert, Livni for Gaza Op. ; Barak Against…

For now e Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot’s internet site Ynet said that Foreign Minister Tsibi Livni was pressing for a « more decisive response » against Gaza while Defense Minister Ehud Barak was advocating maintaining restraint. Ynet however suggested that « no dramatic decisions are expected » from PM Ehud Olmert. The question of restraint or launching a military offensive against Gaza is expected to dominate the agenda at Wednesday morning’s meeting between Olmert, Barak and Livni.

Aid trickles in as Israel opens Gaza crossings for second day

Israel will allow minimum shipments of humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip for the second day in a row on Wednesday, a Palestinian official in Gaza said. Nasser Serraj, the Assistant Undersecretary at the Ministry of National Economy in Gaza said Israel informed him that the Kerem Shalom crossing will be open to allow 55 trucks through.

Report : Israel to allow banks to transfer cash to Gaza

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak agreed on Wednesday to allow the transfer of 100 million Israeli Shekels (25 million US dollars) to Gaza from banks in the West Bank. The transfer, which will ease a critical shortage of banknotes, is expected to take place in the next few days. The sum falls short of the 185 million shekels the Palestinian Authority says is needed to pay salaries to its employees in Gaza.

Photo Essay : Gaza’s (Literal) Underground Economy

Photostory : The month in pictures, November 2008
The following slideshow is a selection of images from the month of November 2008. The month in pictures is an ongoing feature of The Electronic Intifada. If you have images documenting Palestine, Palestinian life, politics and culture, or of solidarity with Palestine, please email images and captions to photos A T electronicintifada D O T net.

Palestinians going through tough times
Chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmad Qureia said on Monday that The settler attacks prove that there can be no community integration, he told reporters after performing Eid prayers at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah. Establishing settlements is an aggressive and illegitimate act which needs to be uprooted from Palestinian lands so that there can be true peace, and for clashes and violence to come to an end, he said.

Siege breakers arrive in Gaza
A group of peace activists on board a small ship has broken the Israeli imposed blockade of the Gaza Strip in the fourth voyage of this kind. aspx ?id=77949&sectionid=351020202

Dignity boat arrives to Gaza amidst overwhelming popular joy
The Al-Karama « dignity » boat has anchored at Gaza shores amidst overwhelming joy from hundreds of Palestinian citizens after Israeli gunboats attempted to block and return it back to Cyprus.

No Eid celebration in Gaza
On Saturday, banks in Gaza were thronged by lines of disappointed Palestinians who were expecting to receive part of their salaries before the Eid al-Adha holiday, which begins on Monday. Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Authority’s appointed Prime Minister based in Ramallah, foresaw the cash crisis earlier in the week and urged Israel to allow the transfer of shekels to Gaza, citing a needed 250 million shekels ($63 million) to pay the salaries. EI contributor Eva Bartlett reports from the occupied Gaza Strip.

UN official seeks world court probe over Gaza
The International Criminal Court should investigate Israel and its leaders over the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, a UN official said yesterday. template_id=

Egypt recalls Iran envoy after public protest against cooperation with Israel
Egypt has recalled its diplomatic envoy from Tehran after a protest was held in front of its interest section, Iran’s Fars news agency reported Wednesday.

Rafsanjani slams Muslims’ silence on Gaza crisis
TEHRAN – Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Thursday the condition of the besieged people of Gaza is a source of shame for Muslims.

Haneya says world shares Israel crimes against Palestinians
Ismail Haneya, deposed Palestinian Prime Minister of Hamas, accused on Wednesday the international community of sharing Israel the crimes it commits against the Palestinians. Haneya made the accusation as the one and half million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, which has been under a strict Israeli blockade, are suffering from a severe shortage of food supplies, fuels, cooking gas, electricity and medicine.

Protecting Palestinian rights : A universal obligation
Today marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a watershed document of our time, in which the world community recognized the « inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world ».

Mental health group : World must protect Palestinians in Gaza
A Gaza-based mental health organization issued a plea on behalf of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the 60th anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights, in a statement sent to Ma’an. « This occasion comes as Palestine and the whole region are immersed in continuing incidents of violence, political instability, and violations of human rights, » the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme insisted. The group called the anniversary a « coincidence » as it is also « the anniversary of the Palestinian uprooting in 1948, still experienced by Palestinians up until today. »

UN attacks Israeli rights ’crimes’
Israel’s policies against the Palestinians are tantamount to a « crime against humanity », the United Nations’ human rights rapporteur has said. Richard Falk said in a statement on Tuesday that the UN must « implement the agreed norm of a responsibility to protect a civilian population being collectively punished by policies that amount to a crime against humanity ».

UN panel demands Israel lift Gaza blockade, free Palestinian prisoners
The 47-member-state Council adopted its list of 99 recommendations by consensus at the end of a two-day review of Israel’s human rights record.

Abbas demands release of all Palestinian prisoners
Speaking in Mecca, PA president says peaceful solution to conflict will not be reached until all 11,000 Palestinian prisoners are released by Israel ; condemns Hamas for blocking Fatah men from making hajj pilgrimage.,7340,L-3636077,00.html

DFLP : Israel discriminating among prisoners in upcoming release
The leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) decried on Wednesday what it said was discrimination in Israel’s list of Palestinian prisoners soon to be released. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had ordered the release of 230 Palestinians, most of them members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement. Scheduled to take place before the Eid Al-Adha holiday, their release was delayed without explanation.

Hamas raises specter of ’Intifada’ in reaction to Gaza siege, settler attacks
Hamas warned on Wednesday that settler violence in the West Bank and Israel’s crippling siege of the Gaza Strip could provoke a new Palestinian Intifada, or uprising.

Feiglin’s manifesto : Israel should quit UN, cut off water to Palestinians
An extreme right-wing text by Likud member Moshe Feiglin disappeared on Tuesday from the Web site of his Jewish Leadership movement. In the piece written five years ago, Feiglin says Israel should cut off water and electricity service to the Palestinian territories, withdraw from the United Nations and boycott the Olympics.

Feiglin : Israel should pay Palestinians to quit West Bank
In an interview Wednesday with the Israel’s Knesset TV channel, controversial Likud figure Moshe Feiglin said Israel should formally annex the West Bank and pay each Palestinian family $250,000 to move away.

Feiglin : State should demand loyalty of Arab citizens
Moshe Feiglin grants Ynet an exclusive interview following victory in Likud primaries, in which he secured 20th slot on roster, and says there is room to consider withdrawal from UN, as well as eradication of Waqf from Temple Mount.,7340,L-3636401,00.html

Yossi Sarid /Feiglin, his cronies are fascists by any definition
Each list of candidates is tinted with its own characteristic hue. Sometimes, one drop is enough to paint a whole list. Likud’s list offers quite a few rotten drops, and with each drop the cup overflows.

Tel Aviv turns right
Khaled Amayreh-Al Ahram Weekly-"..the bulk of party (Likud) members are opposed to the peace process as well as the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Some actually support ethnic cleansing of non-Jews from Palestine-Israel."I think this man (Netanyahu) represents real Zionism that believes in ethnic cleansing of non-Jews in this country. He does speak smoothly to a Western audience, but in terms of his real thinking, he doesn`t differ much from Meir Kahana.""

The far-right rises in Israeli politics
The Christian Science Monitor-Though opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu has opened up a lead in the race for Israel’s premiership, his campaign hit a snag Tuesday after members of his Likud party backed a parliamentary candidate linked with settler radicals.

Middle East Quartet to meet in New York on December 15
Reuters-The Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators will meet at U.N. headquarters in New York on December 15, together with some Arab foreign ministers, a U.N. spokeswoman said on Tuesday. meeting

Egypt, Syria Spar over Palestinian Conflict
Egypt and Syria are currently at loggerheads over accusations that Egypt is siding with Fatah in its mediation efforts to end the internal Palestinian conflict. The Syrian ambassador to Cairo, Yousuf Ahmad, left the country last Wednesday with his wife and five large suitcases, sparking speculation that he had been officially recalled. Ahmad insisted he was departing for Syria on a private vacation for ’Id Al-A’dha.

Egypt praises Morocco for promotion of Mideast peace
State-owned paper commends Moroccan kingdom for its role in ’persuading Israel to accept Arab peace initiative’, says Arab states will accept Israel as neighbor if it ’retreats from occupied land, allows for Palestinian state with Jerusalem as capital’.,7340,L-3636045,00.html

Palestinians’ hopes of reconciliation, peace deal in 2008 shattered
The Palestinian people’s hopes to achieve a national reconciliation between the rival parties and have an independent statehood in 2008 were shattered while Palestinian officials warned of a longer deadlock. One and a half year after the Islamic Hamas movement took control of the Gaza Strip by force and routed President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement and his security forces, the gaps between the two sides have been widened and the opportunities of reconciliations became mission impossible. 10486019.htm

Gaza’s Fatah youth bloc calls for unity during Eid
The head of the Fatah youth bloc in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday called on Palestinians to unite and work toward reconciliation, especially during Eid Al-Adha, according to a statement. Mahmoud Qanan called on Hamas to « make good use of these blessed days (Eid) » and work diligently toward a national-dialogue agreement. Qanan, speaking for the youth bloc’s leadership council, congratulated Palestinians during the Islamic holiday.

Shame on Europe : The Upgrade in EU-Israel Relations Voids the Substance of the International
On 6 December, Israeli settlers desecrated a Palestinian cemetary in Hebron during riots over the forced removal of settlers from a Palestinian home in the city. On the eve of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Union, through its decision to upgrade its relations with Israel, has, in essence, acted to void the international legal system created to prevent a repetition of the crimes committed during the 1940s on European lands : deportations, pogroms and unlawful executions.

So how did it happen ?
I’ve never taken enough notice of the European Union. I always thought it had more relevance for Ireland than for the UK so I noticed its huge capital projects over there and didn’t think too much more about it. Now I’m forced to take notice. Its increasing sycophancy towards the zionist colonisation project gives me no choice. I just don’t understand how the EU works. It has a presidency, maybe even a president. It has a council of ministers, it has a commission with commissioners who seem to be appointed by governments from ministerial level and it has Members of the European Union. The parliament has often been said to lack teeth. That is to say it doesn’t have power as such. I don’t know how true that it but with this upping of Israel’s status by unanimous vote of the foreign ministers of EU countries against the wishes of MEPs that would indeed seem to be the case.

Europe formalises link with its last settler colony
Despite the vote being put on the back burner by ordinary MEPs, Europe’s 27 foreign ministers have voted unanimously to upgrade Israel’s association with the EU. This is far worse than I imagined.

Academics ’have abandoned Israeli boycott’, say opponents
The UK lecturers’ union has abandoned attempts to boycott Israeli universities ending years of international controversy, opponents of the policy said today. In the face of legal threats, the leadership of the University and College Union has quietly dropped plans to implement a conference motion that instructed members to « consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation with individuals and institutions concerned, including Israeli colleagues ».

The last time I was out of prison, I went to see my dad. A note from Shministit Omer Goldman
Omer Goldman-creative-i-"during that demonstration Israeli soldiers opened fire on me and my friends with rubber bullets and tear-gas grenades. I was shocked and scared. I saw the truth. I saw the reality. I saw for the first time that the most dangerous thing in Palestine is the Israeli soldiers, the very people who are supposed to be on my side. When I came back to Israel, I knew I had changed."

Court reviews Palestinian children’s registration error
Israel’s High Court of Justice will hear the case of three Palestinian children mistakenly registered in Israel’s Palestinian Population Registry as Gaza residents, according to Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. Three Palestinian children were accidentally registered as Gaza residents, making their presence in the West Bank illegal under Israeli law. But 10-year-old Nasaam Sabah, seven-year-old Amir-Sa’id Sabah and four-year-old Amam-Sa’id Sabah were born and raised in the West Bank, according to their lawyer, Ido Blum of the human rights organization Moked-Defense of the Individual.

Four Sri Lankan housemaids stranded in Gaza
Four Sri Lankan housemaids are stranded in Gaza and unable to return to Sri Lanka because of Israel’s and Egypt’s closures of the Gaza border. They, along with their employers, are seeking immediate evacuation as a result of difficulties brought on by food, medicine and fuel shortages. Israel has kept Gaza’s borders closed for over a month, allowing only humanitarian deliveries on special occasions. With few exceptions, neighboring Egypt has gone along with the siege, rarely opening its Rafah crossing with Gaza.

Jordan : Daily snacks tempt children back to school
A nutrition programme run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in camps across Jordan is encouraging more students to stay in school. Teachers had become accustomed to seeing children ditch classes, under pressure to help parents at home or work to help the family finances. The midmorning snack provided by UNRWA throughout Jordan since the beginning of the school year has proved successful in tempting students to stay in class, according to teachers and education officials.

The UN Resolution That Time Forgot
Sixty years ago, on 11 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly passed an important resolution about Israel and the Palestinians. It called on the newly formed Israeli state to repatriate the displaced Palestinians « wishing to live in peace with their neighbours…at the earliest practicable date », and to compensate them for their losses. A Conciliation Commission was set up to oversee the repatriation of the returnees. Though never implemented and frequently ignored since then, Resolution 194 has haunted the Israeli-Palestinian peace process ever since, and has proved the most insurmountable obstacle in all peace negotiations. It is the legal basis for the ’right of return’, to which Palestinians have clung for sixty years.

The man who would tear down `scaffolding` of Zionism
« Give me a break, Mr. Netanyahu, » Mr. Burg says. « Did we have a state in `38 ?Did we have an omnipotent army in `38 ?Did we have the entire Western superpower world supporting us in `38 ?No we did not. » "And to equate Ahmadinejad to Hitler is actually diminishing Hitler," he insists." 20081209.wburg09/BNStory/International/home
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A hospital in East Jerusalem, 1983
Blank Jeff Blankfort sent along this photo today, which he took on his second trip to Israel/Palestine : In 1983, a year after Israel’s invasion of Lebanon which took 17,000 lives, excluding Sabra and Shatila, I made arrangements as a freelancer to go to Lebanon to witness the devastation that the IDF had wrought there and back again to Israel, where I heard about six kids in a Palestinian hospital in East Jerusalem who were being fitted for prostheses. They had been hit in Lebanon and they were the lucky ones. Between cluster and white phosphorus bombs, which the Israelis also used, many more children were victimized. The hospitals in Lebanon were full of victims from the war and those days there was scarcely any electricity to run them. At this Arab hospital in the hills east of the old city, they were treating six children who collectively were left with two legs from cluster bombs. The nurse brought two out to meet me. I wanted to weep, but their smiles prevented me and so I smiled back at them.
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John Mearsheimer-Invoking the Holocaust to Defend the Occupation, By John Mearsheimer
For American readers, the great virtue of Avraham Burg’s important new book is that he says things about Israel and the Jewish people that are hardly ever heard in mainstream discourse in the United States. It is hard to believe how stunted and biased the coverage of Israel is in the American media, not to mention the extent to which our politicians have perfected the art of pandering to the Jewish state. The situation got so bad in the recent presidential campaign that journalists Jeffrey Goldberg and Shmuel Rosner — both staunch defenders of Israel — wrote pieces titled « Enough about Israel Already. »

Poll : Most Israelis think human rights groups hostile to their country
Most Israelis believe that human rights organizations are hostile toward Israel and tarnish its international image, according to a recent survey. The survey, initiated by the University of Bar Ilan to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, revealed that 64 percent of Israelis hold that rights groups such as « Amnesty International » and « B’Tselem » act against Israel.

What ’yes’ means
Finally, six years after it was conceived and in the six years in which it has been reaffirmed annually, the Arab Peace Initiative has merited a discussion among the Israeli public. When the Arab world unanimously said « no, » we didn’t ask about its intentions. When the Arab world says « yes » to Israel, yes to normalization and an end to the conflict, the puzzled expressions multiply as to what exactly is meant by « yes. »

Nothing to enjoy
In a melancholy 1984 essay called « Reflections on Exile, » Edward Said told of a friend whose Armenian parents fled Turkey in 1915 after their families had been slaughtered. They traveled to Aleppo, and from there to Cairo. In the 1960s, when « life in Egypt became difficult for non-Egyptians, » they and their four children were sent to Beirut with the help of an international aid organization ; then to a stopover in Glasgow, Scotland ; from there they continued to Canada before ending up in New York.

Thousands expected for Egyptian pop star’s Jericho concert
Hani Shaker, an Egyptian pop singer known for her sympathy for the Palestinian cause, will perform at this year’s Eid Al-Adha Festival in Jericho on Thursday. Sources stated that 10,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem plan to attend the US $160,000 event. Shaker is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday and hold a press conference at the Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah.
Festival coordinators denied reports that Israel had been attempting to prevent the singer from coming to the occupied Palestinian territories. [end]

Carter, in Lebanon, says ready to meet with Hezbollah officials
Former United States President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday he is ready to meet with Hezbollah officials if the Lebanese militant group agreed to see him. Carter made the comments upon arrival in Lebanon where he will assess whether his Atlanta-based Carter Center would take part in monitoring next year’s parliamentary elections.

Carter says willing to meet with Hizbullah
Former US president in Lebanon, confirms he would sit down with terror organization’s leaders if they are willing to meet him. Carter was widely criticized for meeting with Hamas’ politburo chief in April during visit to Syria.,7340,L-3636013,00.html

May Shidyaq...Dismayed : And Feltman Pontificates
May Shidyaq had a special show commemorating the death of Jubran Tuwayni and Lebanese Army General, Francois Al-Hajj. She had Al-Hajj’s son, Elie, along with the daughter of Tuwayni, who can barely finish a sentence in Arabic. Al-Hajj’s son had excellent command in Arabic and always appears poised on TV. She asked him whether the Lebanese Army should monopolize force on Lebanese territory. He went on to speak about the suffering of South Lebanon under Israeli occupation, and said that Israeli agents bombed his father’s car early in the Lebanese civil war. He said the Lebanese Army does not have the equipments or the men/women to resist Israeli occupation and that resistance groups agaisnt Israeli occupation have the right to exist.

Tuesday : 4 Iraqis Wounded
Excerpt : Eid observances continue in Iraq so reports of violence remain low. Only four injuries were reported throughout the country. No Coalition deaths were reported. Meanwhile, the U.S. military refuses to honor an Iraqi court order to release a journalist from their custody.

Chieftain’s house detonated in Wassit
WASSIT /Aswat al-Iraq : Unknown gunmen on Wednesday detonated the house of Sheikh Salih al-Igaidi, northern Wassit, without causing any casualties, said a source from the Iraqi police. « The house is in Jwemesa area of al-Sowaira suburb, 135 km north of Kut city, » the source told Aswat al-Iraq. "The Sheikh’s family was not at home when the [...]

Iraq : Sticky bomb attacks increasing
Insurgent groups in Baghdad have added a new weapon to their urban warfare armoury by developing a small but deadly device to destroy vehicles carrying government employees, police officers and military personnel.,features,insurgents-terrorise-iraq-with-sticky-bombs?WTmc_id=rss

Official : Iraq war was both intel, policy failure
AP-Gently admonishing President George W. Bush, the nation’s newly retired chief intelligence analyst on Tuesday suggested that the Iraq war was as much the failure of policymakers as it was the flawed intelligence on which they relied.

U.S. official urges government to protect Iraqi judges
BAGHDAD /Aswat al-Iraq : The coordinator of the rule of law of U.S. justice department on Tuesday called on the Iraqi government to protect the Iraqi judges and prosecutors to guarantee the Iraqi justice integrity. « The Iraqi government should protect the Iraqi judges and prosecutors to guarantee their integrity and protect then from other pressures, » Philippe [...]

Iraqi oil dispute bubbles to the surface
Prospects for settling a protracted Iraqi feud over regional oil development have once again receded, following an apparent breakthrough last month over negotiations to export crude from the country’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

Tribal power stokes fears in fractured Iraqi province
AFP-In 2007 the main road through the Iraqi town of Al-Muqdadiyah was the frontier between Sunnis and Shiites locked in a bloody tit-for-tat of kidnappings, bombings, and the torching of mosques.

Maliki blames quota system for slow ministerial performance
KARBALA /Aswat al-Iraq : Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday blamed the quota system for what he described as the slow performance of Iraqi ministries in the aftermath of the collapse of the former regime. « The quota system has brought in unqualified persons, who are incapable of shouldering responsibility, » Maliki said in a speech during [...]

Iran to participate in Iraq’s oil projects
Managing Director of Iran’s Oil Industry Investment Company Ahmad Nasiri said that Iran would participate in Iraq’s oil projects, Iran’s semi-official Fars news reported Wednesday. « Iran will cooperate with Iraq on nine oil wells drilling programs in north Baghdad, » Nasiri was quoted as saying."Iran and an Iraqi company are partners in the venture with a total amount of 25 million euros (32.25 U.S. dollars)," he said.

Following Obama, black Iraqis run for office
Reuters-Barack Obama’s election in the United States has already had an impact in Iraq, inspiring some black Iraqis to run in a forthcoming election in the hope of ending what they call centuries of discrimination.

Leaving Iraq in ruins
James Denselow : The six-year adventure in Iraq has cost Britain dearly, though it has cost Iraqis more.

History lesson
Echoes of an earlier British campaign in Mesopotamia.

Iraq bears in mind orphans on Eid Al Adha
Aiming to draw a smile on the face of Iraqi deprived children on the occasion of Eid Al Adha, governmental and non-governmental institutions distributed gifts and money to orphans in Mosul Province. To view the video report of this topic, click on play movie.

The Detainees
Of the 779 people who have been detained at the United States military prison at Guantánamo Bay, at least 520 have been transferred and approximately 250 remain, according to the Department of Defense. In addition, five detainees died while in custody. The Pentagon has declined to release a list of the detainees currently at Guantánamo. By reviewing thousands of pages of government documents, court records and media reports, The Times was able to compile its own approximate list.

Five 9/11 Suspects Offer to Confess : But Proposal Is Pulled Over Death Penalty Issue
« Are you saying if we plead guilty we will not be able to be sentenced to death ? » Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed operational mastermind of the attacks, asked at a pretrial hearing here.

Gitmo Military Prosecutor Breaks His Silence : 9 Minute Video Report From The BBC
Former Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, a former U.S. prosecutor at Guantanamo, told BBC yesterday in his first interview since resigning earlier this year that Guantanamo detainees were treated in a « wrong, unethical and finally, immoral » manner.

Part 1-6, Video and Transcript : Torturing Democracy : The Documentary PBS Does Not Want You to See Before Jan 21, 2009
« Torturing Democracy » is a new documentary which details how the government set aside the rule of law in its pursuit of harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists. The annotated transcript of « Torturing Democracy » provides the script of every word spoken during the 90-minute documentary, backed up with specific citations, footnotes and links, and includes documentation for the dramatizations in the film. Posting the annotated transcript allows viewers to check the facts for themselves, and enables researchers to build on the reporting to take the story even further. To download this 385k file in PDF format, click here.

Majority of citizens in 25 nations oppose torture on moral grounds
A majority of people surveyed in 25 nations oppose the use of torture in all circumstances because it is immoral, according to data released Tuesday. The French and the British are likeliest to support clear rules banning the practice, with 82 percent of respondents in both countries saying any use of torture weakens human rights standards. Indians were the likeliest to support the use of torture in circumstances where innocent lives could be saved, at 59%, while majorities in Kenya, Nigeria, South Korea and Turkey agreed. pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

GeorgeW Bush:The Middle East has a brighter future than it did seven years ago
Iraq has gone from an enemy of America to a friend of America, from sponsoring terror to fighting terror, and from a brutal dictatorship to a multi-religious, multi-ethnic constitutional democracy.
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Interview on CBS News Radio with Dan Raviv and Charles Wolfson and Secretary Condoleezza Rice
SECRETARY RICE : Well, it’s shortsighted to worry about changing some negative perceptions about the United States in a matter of a couple of years. It’s just shortsighted. Sometimes people don’t like our policies. In some places in the Middle East, our steadfast support for Israel is not popular. But if you marry that with the President’s advocacy for a Palestinian state, people understand that the United States is really trying to bring peace. Sometimes, it’s not popular to tell the truth about the roots of terrorism and what needs to be done to make certain that terrorists can’t attack again.

Barack Obama plans to reach out to Muslim world
"I think we’ve got a unique opportunity to reboot America’s image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular,’’ Obama said Tuesday, promising an « unrelenting » desire to « create a relationship of mutual respect and partnership in countries and with peoples of good will who want their citizens and ours to prosper together. »,0, 5694976.story ?xid=

Barack ’Hussein’ Obama will use middle name
Vilified during the U.S. presidential campaign for its Arabic Muslim origins and for evoking the late Iraqi president Sadam Hussein, Barak Obama’s middle name will soon be etched in history as the president-elect plans to follow tradition and be sworn in using his full name : Barack Hussein.

Diane Tucker : De Niro Expands Tribeca Film Festival To Doha, Aims To Break Down Stereotypes
The Tribeca Film Festival and the Qatar Museums Authority recently announced a ground-breaking agreement to launch the first annual Tribeca Film Festival Doha next November 10-14 in Doha, Qatar. « By listening to each other’s stories, we will learn how much we have in common, and better understand our differences, » said Oscar winner Robert De Niro.