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Source: PACUSA via El Taller International - Tunis


Vendredi, 30 octobre 2009 - 14h45

Friday 30 October 2009


Land Theft/Destruction/Settlers

Palestinians homeless again after eviction - 29 Oct 09
The United Nations is calling on Israel to immediately stop demolishing Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem. The UN says 60,000 Palestinians may be at risk of being forcibly evicted. Israel says the houses are built without construction permits, which Palestinians say are almost impossible to obtain. Our correspondent Jacky Rowland is in Sheikh Jarrah where Israeli police dismantled a tent set up by a Palestinian family already evicted by Israeli orders in August.

UN calls on Israel to halt demolition of Palestinian homes
The United Nations today called on Israel to immediately halt forced evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, warning that as many as 60,000 people there may be at risk of forced evictions, demolitions and displacement.

Court accuses government of ignoring settlement construction
Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch accused the government yesterday of ignoring illegal settlement construction in one of several barbed remarks that could presage a first High Court of Justice decision ordering the demolition of illegal housing in the West Bank.

Israeli military gives settlers free rein | Seth Freedman
The IDF is offering ever more support to settlers as its influence by religious-nationalist politics increases. During a swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem last Thursday, two soldiers held up a banner that sparked a wave of condemnation by soldiers and civilians alike. The slogan on the banner – "Shimshon [Brigade] does not evacuate Homesh" – referred to the prospect of the soldiers being ordered to evict settlers from an illegal outpost on the site of the former Homesh settlement.

VIDEO / Settlers clash with Palestinian ’security threat’ olive growers
Residents of the settlement of Shvut Rachel clashed with Palestinians picking olives in the northern West Bank on Tuesday, after the settlers held a march to protest the "security threat" posed by the harvest. The settlers, who were joined by residents of nearby illegal outposts, said the Palestinian harvesters were a threat because could gather intelligence and launch attacks from the olive groves. "If they harvest near us, then we’ll be near them," one of the settlers said as they headed out for the march.

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment
Mustafa Barghouti and Anna Baltzer on the Daily Show with John Stewart. Read Adam Horowitz’s account of the interview and watch the full video here.

Jamal Juma: It Will Take More Than a Wall To Silence Us
My friend and fellow organizer Mohammad Othman, a 34-year-old Palestinian human rights advocate, was detained by Israel on September 22 while returning home from meetings with Norwegian government officials. I suspect he was not surprised. A few months earlier, Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint within the West Bank had taken him aside and threatened him with arrest. "We’re going to arrest you," one said, "but it’s difficult with you because all you do is talk."

No Israeli firms in Baghdad International Trade Fair
Iraq will not let Israeli firms take part in trade fairs it organizes, said Hashem Mohammed, head of the State Company for Trade Fairs. “Iraq is one of eight Arab states which does not deal with Israeli firms or businessmen,” said Mohammed. “We will not strike deals with them.” He made the remarks three days before the opening the annual session of the Baghdad International Fair in which five foreign countries are taking part in addition to numerous foreign firms.

Violence and Aggression

Israeli settlers obstruct fire fighters en route to Hebron blaze
Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli settlers residing in illegal outposts in the heart of Hebron obstructed the work of Palestinian fire fighters on Wednesday night, as crews attempted to access a burning building owned by a Palestinian family.

Women, elderly among those beaten with Israeli rifle-butts in Hebron
Hebron – Ma’an – Ten Palestinians including a 70-year-old woman, seven women and two journalists were attacked by Israeli forces south of Hebron on Thursday, local sources said.


Hamas party reports that PA security services arrested six of its members in West Bank within 2 days
Ramallah / PNN – The Hamas party reported today that Palestinian Authority security services continue the policy of arresting its members in the West Bank. Politically motivated arrests have been part of the ongoing struggle between the PA and the Hamas government for at least two years.

Palestinian sentenced to 20 years in jail on charge of resisting the occupation
An Israeli court sentenced a Palestinian citizen from Gaza called Juma’h Azzam to 20 years in prison on charges of involvement in military acts against Israel and his affiliation with Hamas.

Humanitarian Issues

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory 22 - 28 Oct 2009

Hamas member dies in Rafah tunnel
Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas’ armed wing said on Thursday that one of its members was killed while carrying out a “Jihad mission” in the city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. The Al-Qassam Brigades said that 26 years-old Suleiman Abu An-Najja was killed. A statement from the group did not explain what the nature of his mission was.

150 patients and their companions return to Gaza
Gaza – Ma’an – Egyptian authorities allowed 150 Palestinian patients and their companions enter Gaza on Wednesday following treatment in Egyptian hospitals, sources said. The director of Emergency Services in the Health Ministry in Gaza Muawiyah Hassanein noted that seven of the patients returned in ambulances.

US medical delegation in Gaza shocked by devastation caused by Israel
A visiting American medical delegation expressed its shock at the magnitude of destruction caused by the last Israeli war on the Gaza Strip as well as the impacts of the blockade on citizens.

Gisha’s Petition Under the Freedom of Information Act: Lack of Public Oversight Raises Questions of Corruption, Impropriety in Transfer of Goods to Gaza
Gisha - News Release - The petition was filed following six months of attempts to obtain information relating to the entry of food and goods to the Gaza Strip. The Ministry of Defense and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories refuse to reveal documents and procedures without offering any reason. The Ministry of Defense refuses to reveal its document ostensibly defining the minimum number of calories necessary for the subsistence of 1.5 million people.

Rights group: Israel exploits and cheats foreign workers
About 30,000 migrant workers hired by farms in Israel pay thousands of dollars to middlemen for their jobs but earn less than the minimum wage and are cheated out of overtime, according to an Israeli rights group report. The rights group Kav LaOved says the workers come mostly from Thailand but also Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Palestinian Territories.

The Invisible Men
One of the cruellest ironies of the occupation is that Palestinians are building it. Tens of thousands of labourers are employed in construction of the wall, settlements and the industries around them. Their co-operation does not go unpunished. Despite a 2007 Israeli High Court ruling that gave the same rights to Palestinians working in settlements as Israelis, the reality is still low wages, hazardous conditions and no job security.

Gazan stranded at Jordan airport, turned away from Saudi, Egypt
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Rami mahmoud Abdullah Abu Karsh has been stranded in Jordan’s Amman airport for ten days after being refused entry in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, his family reported Thursday.

Empty and Insulting Gestures
Egypt sends 160 tons of cookies to Israel for transport into Strip
Al-Arish – Ma’an – The World Food Program and Egyptian authorities sent 160 tons of cookies through the Al-Oja crossing into Israel on Thursday, with the hope that Israeli officials will allow the goods into Gaza, officials said.

War Criminals

UN General Assembly to take up Goldstone report Nov. 4
The UN General Assembly announced late Wednesday it will meet next week to consider a report that accused both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during their war in Gaza last winter.

UN envoy: Goldstone won’t go away
Israeli ambassador to UN Gabriela Shalev presents grim prediction regarding UN report.

Herzog: Israeli leaders’ remarks led to Goldstone war crime accusations
The minister added that in order to shield Israel’s actions from being discussed in international forums, Israel will have to carry out an internal investigation into its conduct during the Gaza offensive. He added that in order to cope with the report and its ramifications Israel must also advance the peace process and ease restrictions in Gaza. According to Herzog, the report’s accusations should be investigated fairly in a way that won’t lay all the blame on the army. Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, said that the report didn’t pose a legal issue, but rather that it was a diplomatic one. "We must not delude ourselves that if we investigate the investigation this report will disappear," she said.

Did Richard Goldstone hide more sinister crimes in Gaza? - Part 1: White Phosphorus and Flechettes
Gaza, October 28, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - There was much praise for the UN investigations into war crimes committed in Gaza, led by Richard Goldstone. However, I feel that this report did not go far enough to investigate some other more serious allegations that were made.

Political Developments

Clinton to meet Abbas, Netanyahu in Middle East (AP)
AP - The State Department says U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders over the weekend to push ahead with efforts to restart stalled peace talks.

Jerusalem must be capital of both Israel and Palestine, UN chief says
UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) — Jerusalem must be the capital of two States — Israel and Palestine — living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all, if peace in the Middle East is to be achieved, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Wednesday.

Report: 125 "heavy" prisoners sticking point for swap talks
Bethlehem - Ma’an - The release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners is snagged over the names of 125 leading Palestinian figures that Israel is refusing to include in the deal, a report from the Israeli news site Ynet reported Wednesday.

Islamic Jihad: Abbas serving occupation, targeting resistance
Islamic Jihad has denounced the continued arrest campaigns by PA security militias in the West Bank against Palestinian resistance cadres, describing it as a free service to the IOA.

Other News

Palestinian Majority in Jerusalem ... Within 20 Years
"A new report presented to Israeli parliamentarians has found that despite decades of government attempts to ensure a Jewish majority in Jerusalem, Palestinians will make up the majority of the city’s population within 20 years. The report, issued by the Israeli Macro Center for Political Economics in partnership with the Washington-based Friedrich Ebert Foundation, found that the Palestinian population has grown from 25.5% of the city’s population in 1967 to 35% today...

De facto military court sentences PA policeman to death for treason
Gaza – Ma’an – A de facto government military court in Gaza issued its second death penalty ruling in as many months on Thursday, sentencing an Az-Zaitun resident to death by firing squad.

Fayyad talks Dayton, resistance and statehood in new magazine
Ramallah - Ma’an - US General Keith Dayton is involved in “training and only training,” and does not interfere in the security mission of the Palestinian Security Services, Prime Minister of the caretaker government Salam Fayyad commented.

White House slams Obama’s poor standing among Israelis
U.S. President Barack Obama has videotaped a message to be shown Saturday night at the annual memorial ceremony for Yitzhak Rabin in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. The message will relate to the murdered prime minister’s legacy and the need to advance the peace process. It was prepared in response to a request from Rabin’s daughter, Dalia Rabin.

MP Romaneen castigates Abbas’s security for interrogating his wife
Palestinian lawmaker in Israeli jails Ali Romaneen strongly denounced Abbas’s security apparatuses for detaining his wife Rowan Ibrahim and interrogating her for more than three hours.

PA minister: Selling settlement-made goods is treason
Ramallah – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority’s new minister of national economy vowed on Wednesday to bring to justice anyone who deals in products produced in Israeli settlements as traitors.

Barak: Peace with Syria is central to regional agreement
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday responded positively to remarks by Syrian President Bashar Assad, who declared that Syria was ready to resume peace talks with Israel, saying that peace with Syria is pivotal in the path toward regional peace.

Turkish TV show consultant resigns over Palestinian protest
Content advisor of series which depicted Israeli soldiers shooting children in Gaza quits over episode portraying Palestinians in negative light. ’Show insulted Palestinian women and resistance forces,’ he says.

Where’s Peta? Knesset: Animals don’t have legal rights
The Knesset rejected a bill to change the name of the Animal Welfare Law to the Animal Rights Law, since Israeli law does not recognize animals as legal entities with rights, according to coalition members. "The proposed law is based on the unacceptable premise that animals have rights," Religious Services Minister Yaakov Margi (Shas) told the Knesset.


Israeli Exceptionalism
Why is an economist writing a book on the geopolitics of Zionism? This is easily explained. I could have written a book about the economics of Zionism, the Israeli economy, or the economy of the West Bank and Gaza, but how would any of that have helped me to understand the cold logic and the deep passions that have driven Zionism?

Israel’s European Lobby
In their 2006 article “The Israel Lobby,” John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt famously assert, “Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical.” Having for decades successfully steered policymaking in Washington in a pro-Israel direction, Israel’s American Lobby has more recently turned its attention to Europe. Despite its brief presence in Brussels, it appears to have already had marked success in influencing the nascent foreign policy of the European Union.

Rima Tarazi – "Legitimacy?" (part of the First Word War)
legitimacyI think most of us feel completely lost these days, not merely in the labyrinth of the Road Map, but in that of words, some of which are deeply cherished in our hearts and others, strewn, aimlessly in our path. Words such as legitimacy, rights, freedom, steadfastness, unity, dismemberment, hope, despair, impotence, boycott, normalization, apartheid, armed struggle and peaceful resistance. A barrage of charges and counter charges and a network of TV channels with a wide spectrum of points of view do not seem to help us find the right direction toward achieving our national goals. It is indeed disastrous to realize that the only seeming constant around us at this juncture, is the Occupation and its ramifications, a bulldozer taking its course and heading unflingchingly towards our destruction and our displacement and replacement.

Who dares condemn war criminals?
At a time when most countries of the world feel a sense of relief for the positive steps taken by Iran and the West, which promise a let-up in tensions on the regional and international level, Israeli analysts, writers and rulers single themselves out by expressing exasperation at this agreement and concern regarding the call for international monitoring of Israel’s nuclear facilities.

My Problem with J Street, Philip Giraldi
As readers of Antiwar.com certainly are aware, J Street was created a year and a half ago to serve as an alternative to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). J Street supports creation of a viable Palestinian state that would exist side-by-side in peace with Israel. Unlike AIPAC, J Street advocates first negotiating issues rather than dropping bombs and it rejects the view that American Jews should close ranks and reflexively and unconditionally support every government in Israel. J Street targets liberal minded American Jews who are troubled by the Israel Lobby’s right wing-Likud orientation. It promotes itself as pro-Israel, pro-American, and pro-peace, maintaining that it is possible to support Israel without having to endorse all Israeli government actions. It has recently concluded its first Washington conference which attracted a smattering of politicians. General James Jones, President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser, was a featured speaker.

My own war crime: personal reflections following the Goldstone Report
Noam - Promised Land - Every generation of combat soldiers in the IDF has its own active experience on the front: a war, a limited operation, an Intifada. I was lucky: I served in the nineties, when things were fairly quiet. I had two full tours in Lebanon and more time in the West Bank and Gaza than I care to remember, but I only took part in one large operation: “Grapes of Wrath” in 1996 – another one of these violent escalations between the IDF and the Hezbollah that takes place every few years.

Preview of Ramzy Baroud’s ’My Father was a Freedom Fighter’
(Reserve Your First Edition Copy Today. Book will be available in Jan 2010. Click Here.) Ramzy Baroud is a veteran Palestinian-American journalist and former Al-Jazeera producer. He also taught Mass Communication at Australia’s Curtin University of Technology, is a frequent speaker, a regular media guest, and is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Chronicle, a leading resource for information on Israel/Palestine and much more.