Thursday, March 31, 2011

Young Israelis moving much farther to the right politically

Study shows increase in number of Jewish youths that put defining Israel as a Jewish state as a number one goal, while fewer youths recognize the importance of Israel identity as a democratic country.
Young Israelis are moving much further to the right politically, according to a survey to be released Thursday.

The study found that 60 percent of Jewish teenagers in Israel, between 15 and 18 years old, prefer "strong" leaders to the rule of law, while 70 percent say that in cases where state security and democratic values conflict, security should come first. A similar picture emerges in the 21 to 24 age group.
The comprehensive survey was conducted on behalf of Germany's Friedrich Ebert Foundation, in cooperation with the Macro Center for Political Economics, by the Dahaf Institute.

According to the authors, the report shows a strengthening of Jewish-nationalist beliefs among Jewish youths, and a clear weakening of the importance given to the state's liberal-democratic base.
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Swiss President announces plans to break Gaza siege

GAZA, (PIC)– Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey has announced her country is developing a project to open up all crossings to the Gaza Strip, which has been suffocating for the last five years from an Israeli blockade.

She also said if Egypt would agree to open the Rafah crossing to bring in building materials and commodities, her country would be ready to restore it.

The statements came Monday during a meeting with several high-profile politicians in Europe staged by the European-Palestinian relations council.

They met to discuss Switzerland’s role in supporting the democratic movements sweeping the Mideast and issues affecting Palestine.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

BDS Flash Mob in Grand Central Station, NYC

As part of the Global BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Day of Action commemorating Land Day, Adalah-NY: the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel surprised commuters in New York's Grand Central Station with a song and dance. They performed to the tune of "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey, but with a little twist to remind people to boycott Israel.

Syrian government resigns amid violence

The Syrian government has resigned, state-run television has said.

President Bashar al-Assad accepted the cabinet's resignation following a meeting on Tuesday.

The resignation is the latest concession by the government aimed at curbing pro-democracy protests in which dozens of people have been killed.

President Assad is expected to address the nation in the next 24 hours to announce he is lifting the emergency law and restrictions on civil liberty.

The president has appointed outgoing Prime Minister Muhammad Naji Otari as caretaker prime minister until a new government is appointed, the official Syrian news agency has said.

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UN Chief: Israel occupation 'morally and politically unsustainable, must end'

Ban Ki-moon calls on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take advantage of this 'crucial time' to move peace talks forward and realize the two-state solution.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel Wednesday to halt settlement building in the West Bank and put a stop to all forms of violence and incitement, the UN News Center reported.

Speaking in Uruguay at the UN Latin American and Caribbean Meeting in support of Middle East peace Ban said it was a "crucial time" for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
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Facebook has removed a page calling for a new Palestinian uprising against Israel after more than 350,000 people signed up to it.

Facebook has removed a page calling for a new Palestinian uprising against Israel after more than 350,000 people signed up to it.

The page which appeared on the social networking site was called Third Palestinian Intifada after two previous uprisings against Israeli occupation.

It was removed for featuring calls for violence, a company spokesman said.

Israel had raised concerns about the page. Facebook has helped spread calls for protests in Arab states
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Earliest Christian writings in existence discovered in Jordanian cave - 70 new books almost 2,000 years old

Book found in Jordan

They could be the earliest Christian writing in existence, surviving almost 2,000 years in a Jordanian cave. They could, just possibly, change our understanding of how Jesus was crucified and resurrected, and how Christianity was born.

A group of 70 or so "books", each with between five and 15 lead leaves bound by lead rings, was apparently discovered in a remote arid valley in northern Jordan somewhere between 2005 and 2007.

A flash flood had exposed two niches inside the cave, one of them marked with a menorah or candlestick, the ancient Jewish religious symbol.

A Jordanian Bedouin opened these plugs, and what he found inside might constitute extremely rare relics of early Christianity.

That is certainly the view of the Jordanian government, which claims they were smuggled into Israel by another Bedouin

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Israeli doctors refuse to refer Palestinian girl run over by a settler to hospital

Israeli doctors refused to refer a five-year-old Palestinian girl to Isreali hospitals after she was run over by a colonist in the village of Turamah in Hebron, Gulf News has learnt. Sources said the Israeli motorist who ran over the girl reported the accident to Israeli medics but fled the scene immediately. The victim, Shahd Mohammad Ghannam, was crossing the street to her school when the colonist hit her and knocked her down ... When the Israeli medics arrived they administered first aid to the girl but refused to refer her to an Israeli hospital for treatment though she had suffered serious injuries and was in need of hospitalisation. The ambulance, with the medics, left suddenly and the victim's family called for a Palestinian ambulance to rush the girl to Hebron Public Hospital where she landed in the ICU.
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Bedouins beaten, their homes raised! Where are they supposed to go?

HEBRON (Ma‘an) 29 Mar -- Seven Bedouin were beaten by Israeli border police Tuesday morning, as Israeli officials from the Civil Administration office carried out a demolition order on 12 tents in a tiny herding hamlet in the southern West Bank. The twelve families of Khirbet Amniyr, a Bedouin encampment southeast of Yatta, were ordered out of their tent homes earlier in the year, but remained, saying they had little choice but to stay and had nowhere else to go ... According to observers with the Christian Peacemaker Teams, villagers said the military attempted to confiscate a tractor as well, but residents surrounded it and refused to leave. On 22 February, the Israeli military buried homes and water wells in the hamlet. The military later prevented ICRC workers from delivering aid equipment to the families.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Kill Team in Afghanistan

How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses – and how their officers failed to stop them. Plus: An exclusive look at the war crime photos censored by the Pentagon

Cpl. Jeremy Morlock with Staff Sgt. David Bram
By Mark Boal
Morlock and Holmes called to him in Pashto as he walked toward them, ordering him to stop. The boy did as he was told. He stood still.

The soldiers knelt down behind a mud-brick wall. Then Morlock tossed a grenade toward Mudin, using the wall as cover. As the grenade exploded, he and Holmes opened fire, shooting the boy repeatedly at close range with an M4 carbine and a machine gun.

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Israel threatens unilateral steps if UN recognizes Palestinian state

Foreign Ministry instructs envoys in 30 countries to send 'diplomatic protest' to host nations over plan for September vote in General Assembly.

Israel informed the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council last week, as well as several other prominent European Union countries, that if the Palestinian Authority persists in its efforts to gain recognition in September as a state within the 1967 borders, Israel would respond with a series of unilateral steps of its own.

Senior Foreign Ministry officials said the ministry's director general, Rafael Barak, sent a classified cable last week to more than 30 Israeli embassies, directing them to lodge a diplomatic protest at the highest possible level in response to the Palestinian efforts to gain international recognition for statehood at the UN General Assembly session in September.

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Egypt's Mubarak 'under house arrest'

Military council denies ousted leader has fled to Saudi Arabia and says emergency laws will be lifted ahead of vote.
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was rumoured to have fled to Saudi Arabia [Reuters]

Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's ousted president, has been put under house arrest along with his family, according to an Egyptian military statement.

Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on Monday said that the former leader and his family would not be allowed to leave the country and denied reports that Mubarak had fled to Saudi Arabia.

"There is no truth to reports that former president Hosni Mubarak has left Egypt for Tabuk in Saudi Arabia," the council said in a statement on the social networking site Facebook.

"He is under house arrest, with his family, in Egypt."

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Poll: 46% in favor of the despicable practice known as 'price tag' policy!

Ynet 28 Mar (right wing Israeli paper) -- Ynet-Gesher survey conducted after Itamar massacre shows nearly half of Jewish public believes extreme rightists' actions against Palestinians are justified ... While most seculars oppose "price tag" activities (36% in favor, 57% against), most traditional, national-religious and ultra-Orthodox Jews believe these actions are justified (55%, 70% and 71%, respectively) ... About 76% of the seculars and 66% of the traditional Jews believe the rabbis have the power to prevent the "price tag" activities, while the national-religious and haredim say the rabbis are incapable of doing so.
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Yemen: President 'to step down' to secure peaceful transition

A deal on a peaceful transition of power in Yemen is imminent and will be based on an offer by President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down by the end of the year, the Foreign Minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, said yesterday.
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"Gaddafi's men kidnap thousands in Zawiyah "

RABAT, March 25 (Reuters) - Government forces have kidnapped and beaten up residents of Zawiyah since recapturing the city near the capital Tripoli two weeks ago, a rebel spokesman said. "The (Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's) battalions have deployed checkpoints at every crossroad and street in the city," spokesman Ibrahim said by telephone from Zawiyah.
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Al Jazeera English's future in the United States

KabobFest 26 Mar -- The Arab Media & Society Journal recently published a study conducted by William Youmans and Katie Brown, which surveys the perception of Al Jazeera English amongst the American audiences. They found that that “[despite] filling a gap in the global market for televised international news, AJE did not receive a welcome reception in the United States” and that this lack in reception “persisted until the early 2011 uprisings in the Arab world, when AJE’s coverage was acclaimed even by Western media giants” and also increased by 2500% of which 60% was coming from the United States. With its relentless and uncompromising coverage, AJE set itself apart from other global competitors, even drawing praise from US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton who heralded the outlet as “real news”: The American discourse surrounding AJE was also found to be, albeit unsurprisingly, completely polarizing.
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Increase of birth defects and miscarriages in Fallujah

26 Mar -- Increase in time of birth defects and miscarriages in Fallujah since 2003 and its association with toxic metals load in the population and in newborns and children with birth defects and their families ... For 2010, medical sources in Fallujah reported to us 14.7% of birth defects. This is about 10 fold higher compared to the frequencies in the same families in the years 1991-2001.
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Once again the US vote against all other nations in favor of Israel!

US casts only vote for Israel in UNHRC
JPost 27 Mar -- Six motions condemn Israeli settlement activity and human rights violations in occupied Palestinian territories, Golan Heights. -- The US was the only country to vote against all six United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolutions on Israel, which were approved in Geneva this Thursday and Friday. "We are deeply troubled to once again be presented with a slate of resolutions replete with controversial elements and one-sided references that fail to address the real challenges of the region," US Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told the council.
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Anything that can keep the US out of it is for the better!

European countries want UN, not US, to advance Mideast peace talks
AP 26 Mar -- Britain, France and Germany want the United Nations and the European Union to propose the outlines of a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state, UN diplomats said.
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BDS in Australia: Fear and loathing in Marrckville

Samah Sabawi and Sonja Karkar
26 Mar -- It appears that once again the pro-Israel apologists have decided to single Israel out by making boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel a leading issue for the Marrickville electorate in the lead-up to the NSW state elections. Not surprisingly, the Palestinians are rendered invisible again as right-wing groups, politicians, the pro-Israel lobby and the Murdoch Press attack the Marrickville Council for their resolution to support BDS.
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Boycotting Israel . . . from within

Mya Guarnieri
AJ 26 Mar - Israelis explain why they joined the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement ... I have to admit that I was frightened by the movement. I did not think it would help. I was sure that BDS would only encourage Israel to dig its heels in deeper. It will only make things worse for everyone, I reasoned. Egypt was the tipping point for me. I was exhilarated by the images of people taking to the streets to demand change. And while the Palestine Papers prove that the government seems intent on maintaining the status quo, I know plenty of Israelis who are fed up with it. There are mothers who do not want to send their children to the army; soldiers who resent guarding settlers. I recently spoke with a 44-year-old man - a normal guy, a father of two - who told me he wants to burn something he is so frustrated with the government and so worried about the future.
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Israel destroys ancient wells near Bethlehem!

[six photos] BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 27 Mar -- Israeli authorities destroyed ancient water wells and natural reservoirs used by Bedouins southeast of Bethlehem, Palestinian officials said. A 3,000-cubic-meter well owned by Ali Madghan Rashayida and a 225-cubic meter reservoir belonging to Majid Rashayida were demolished last week, in a move Palestinian Authority officials said was illegal and "an obvious assault by the Israeli occupation." ... "It is difficult to understand the reasoning behind the destruction of basic rain water collection systems, some of them very old, which serve marginalised rural and herder Palestinian communities where water is already scarce and where drought is an ever-present threat," said Maxwell Gaylard, who heads OCHA in the Palestinian territories.
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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jewish settlers uproot 21 olive trees in Salfit

SALFIT, (PIC)-- Jewish settlers from Ali Zahav settlement on Saturday morning uprooted about 21 olive trees in Deir Ballut town west of Salfit city.

Head of the municipal council in the town Ahmed Mustafa said the settlers uprooted olive trees east of Deir Ballut belonging to a Palestinian citizen called Sami Ibraheem.

Mustafa added that the settlers destroy and flatten Palestinian agricultural lands around Ali Zahav settlement in order to expand it and build new housing units.

All villages and towns of Salfit city are facing a frenzied settlement expansion campaign aimed at expanding 20 settlement outposts already built on Palestinian lands.

“As Protests Mount, Is There a Soft Landing for Syria?” by Joshua Landis

As Protests Mount, Is There a Soft Landing for Syria?
Joshua Landis in Time
March 25, 2011

The regime has been rocked by protests and is offering to make changes even as it clings to power. But divisions of sect and social class mean that its fate may rest with the choices of the Sunni social elite

The Baathist regime that has ruled Syria for 48 years is on the ropes. Even President Bashar al-Assad himself seems to have been shocked by the level of violence used by Syria’s security forces to suppress demonstrations that began a week ago, and on Thursday afternoon his office announced unprecedented concessions to popular demands. But the question of whether those concessions assuage protesters’ concerns or prove to be too little too late may be answered on the streets after Friday prayers.

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Syria 'to lift emergency law'

Syrian government adviser confirms to Al Jazeera that the country's emergency law is to be lifted but fails to say when.

Bouthaina Shaaban, an adviser to Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, told Al Jazeera's Cal Perry in the capital, Damascus, on Sunday that the law would "absolutely" be lifted, but failed to give a timetable.

The repeal of the emergency law, in place since the 1963 coup that brought the Baath Party to power, has been a key demand of protesters who have taken to the streets in recent days to demand greater political freedoms.

The emergency law imposes restrictions on public gatherings and movement and authorises the arrest of "suspects or persons who threaten security".
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Libyan rebels advance on Muammar Gaddafi's home town

Revolutionary forces move more west along Libya's coastal road, seizing several towns without resistance, as they get closer to Sirte
A Libyan rebel fighter sits in his vehicle as rebel forces move towards Muammar Gaddafi's home town

A Libyan rebel fighter sits in his vehicle as rebel forces move towards Muammar Gaddafi's home town, Sirte.

Libyan rebels are advancing on Muammar Gaddafi's home town, Sirte, after retaking all the ground lost in earlier fighting as government forces broke and fled under western air strikes.

Revolutionary forces rapidly moved more than 150 miles west along Libya's coastal road, seizing several towns without resistance, as the first witness accounts emerged of the devastating effect on Gaddafi's army and militia of the aerial bombardment that broke their resistance at Ajdabiya on Saturday.

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Libyan rebels push west – in pictures

Revolutionary forces seize several towns without resistance after air strikes force Gaddafi military to retreat, Sunday 27 March 2011 (Libyan rebels flash the victory sign in front of a hotel in Ras Lanuf)
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Target Israel, not Libya

Steve Lendman
25 Mar -- On April 9, 1986, Ronald Reagan called Muammar el Gaddafi the "mad dog of the Middle East." Today, after an imposed no-fly zone, war rages to remove him. For decades, he ruled despotically, punishing enemies, rewarding friends. His days may now be numbered. Washington won't quit until he's gone, no matter how many corpses it takes to achieve it. In fact, however, a far greater Middle East menace threatens the entire region, the Israeli war machine based in Jerusalem. Besides illegally occupying Palestine, brutalizing Palestinians daily, persecuting Israeli Arabs, threatening and attacking its neighbors, its longstanding plan calls for dividing and dominating the region.
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Dan Rather's crew 'humiliated by Israeli security'

In a letter to Israeli officials, producer says legendary anchorman's crew held up for hours at security checks, strip-searched before interview with Deputy PM Meridor ... The allegations, made in a letter to Israeli officials that was obtained by The Associated Press, add to growing complaints about how Israeli security officials treat foreign media .. Andrew Glazer, an Emmy-award winning producer at Dan Rather Reports, wrote that the legendary anchorman came to do a story about improving Israeli-Palestinian relations pitched by Israel's Foreign Ministry ... "Mr. Rather said that in his career, he had never seen a crew forced to strip prior to an interview -- including the one he conducted with Saddam Hussein," Glazer wrote.
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Der‘aa protesters: Liberate Golan

Protesters in the Syrian city of Der‘aa shouted slogans on Friday denouncing Maher Assad, brother of the Syrian president and head of the Republican Guard, a Reuters witness said. "Maher you coward. Send your troops to liberate the Golan," thousands chanted as they headed to the main square in the city after the funeral of at least five protesters killed by security forces this week. Israel captured the Golan Heights in a 1967 war.
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Why so late?

Gates first US defense chief to visit Palestinians
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) 25 Mar -- Robert Gates on Friday became the first U.S. Defense Secretary to visit the West Bank, meeting Palestinian leaders keenly aware of every little nod to their hopes of achieving statehood. Children in Ramallah stared as the long motorcade of U.S. cars wound through the streets of the city north of Jerusalem. With U.S. diplomacy fully stretched over revolts in the Arab world and the air war with Libya, Gates was looking to revive stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, before another war fills the vacuum they have left for six months.
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Video: Gaza mourns children killed by Israel airstrikes

(Mosaic Video Alert: March 24, 2011) New TV reports on the Israeli airstrikes over the Gaza Strip which targeted the neighborhoods of al-Shuja‘eiya and al-Zaitoun and killed nine people, including several children. The public held funerals for the martyrs on what the government called the "day of mourning their souls." [not the usual news reports seen in the West]

Settlers 'install fence' at Palestinian home

Settlers from the illegal settlement of Miskiyut, protected by Israeli soldiers, installed a barbed wire fence around a Palestinian home on Thursday. The settlers barred residents from moving inside or outside the house while installing the fence around the barns of sheep and cows there, according to Palestinian and international peace activists who were also barred from the home. The owner of the house, Nabil Mutawe, told Ma’an that settlers made death threats against his family. Head of the village council of Al-Beida Mustafa Al-Fuqaha appealed to human rights organizations to urgently intervene to rescue the family noting that the settlers had previously attacked Palestinians in the area.
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Settlers squat on Church-owned land, demand farmers leave

24 March 2011 15:44 Israeli settlers have set up a tent next to a Palestinian family’s camp in the Jordan Valley and demanded that the family leave. The settlers arrived in ‘Ein Al Hilweh in the north of the Jordan Valley at 11pm on Monday. They carried guns and threatened the family, then set up a tent with generators and large Israeli flags, a few metres from the Daraghmeh family’s tent. Nabil Daraghmeh, who lives with his wife and four children on land he legally rents from the Catholic Patriarchate, told EAPPI that the police then came and told him to demolish his family’s tent or he would be arrested. He said he has lived and grazed his cattle here for around 15 years. "Neither the kids nor the adults can sleep," Nabil said. “We cannot sleep, and my children cannot go to school. They are very scared."
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Friday, March 25, 2011

The muzzling of Israel critics in European universities

David Cronin for Mondoweiss

If imitation is the best form of flattery, then the activists behind Israeli Apartheid Week have been paid an immense tribute. As students belonging to Palestine support groups across Britain held events to mark the annual March event, they learned of a rival initiative. A network of on-campus Zionist societies have declared their own Israeli Awareness Week over the same period.

The awareness week has relied heavily on gimmicks to try and counter impressions that Israel has a war addiction. Stalls staffed by visiting Israeli students have offered sugary delights labelled "Peace of Cake"; signatures have been collected for a "we support a two-state solution" petition.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Preliminary Historical Observations on the Arab Revolutions of 2011

Towards the end of his long, eventful life, in 1402, the renowned Arab historian Ibn Khaldun was in Damascus. He left us a description of Taymur’s siege of the city and of his meeting with the world conqueror. None of us is Ibn Khaldun, but any Arab historian today watching the Arab revolutions of 2011 has the sense of awe that our forbear must have had as we witness a great turning in world affairs.
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Children of the revolution

Youngsters from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya share their experiences.
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Anger in Syria over crackdown

Around 20,000 people chanting freedom slogans march in funerals for protesters killed by security forces.
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Yemeni protesters call for march on palace

Opposition groups vow to oust Ali Abdullah Saleh from power as parliament approves emergency laws after weeks of unrest.
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Obscene Sectarianism: Bahrain airlines stop Lebanon, Iran, Iraq flights

AFP - Bahrain's two carriers said Wednesday they have suspended flights to Lebanon, after a halt in services to Iran and Iraq, where Shiite communities have also slammed the kingdom's handling of protests.
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Libya rebels coordinating with West on air assault

Leaders of the opposition national council, in Benghazi and in Europe, are helping allied commanders identify targets for strikes. Allied officials walk a fine line as the U.N. mandate bars them from actively helping the rebels in their goal to oust Moammar Kadafi. Leaders of the opposition national council in rebel-controlled eastern Libya say they are making regular, secure contacts with allied military representatives in Europe to help commanders identify targets for the U.S.-led air assault.
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Airstrikes fail to deter Gaddafi forces

Residents say forces loyal to the Libyan leader shell area near Misurata hospital as explosions are heard in Tripoli.
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Charred corpses after Western strikes on Tripoli

TRIPOLI, March 24 (Reuters) - Eighteen Libyans killed by what officials say were Western air strikes and missile attacks in the capital Tripoli lay in a hospital morgue, some charred beyond recognition. Reuters journalists given access to the morgue on Thursday saw the corpses of adult males on metal beds beneath green and white sheets. It was the first time foreign reporters in Tripoli were shown the bodies of alleged victims of the Western strikes. The journalists were not shown bodies of women or children. "They are civilians. They are not guilty of anything," said morgue worker Abdel Salaam.
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Gaddafi makes first appearance since air strikes began

"We will not surrender," he said. "We will defeat them by any means ... We are ready for the fight, whether it will be a short or a long one ... We will be victorious in the end," he said in comments carried live by state television.
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Gadhafi's forces carry out massacre in Misrata

TRIPOLI: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces resumed their attack on the rebel-held town of Misrata Wednesday, moving back onto the offensive just hours after Western strikes silenced their guns.
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Not in the US press: Palestinian victims

This is one of the children who was killed by Israeli tanks yesterday. Not in the US press.

University of Johannesburg to officially sever ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has officially announced that it will cut ties with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev beginning on April 1. This will affect a joint project between the schools to reduce algae in South Africa's drinking water. The decision comes after months of debate and lobbying on both sides. Supporters of cutting off ties include Desmond Tutu, Breyten Breytenbach, John Dugard and Antjie Krog, in addition to international figures such as Judith Butler, Vijay Prashad, Ernesto Laclau, and John Berger. Here is a press release from the organizers behind to campaign to cut ties:

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Syrian regime launches crackdown by shooting 15 activists dead

Some were killed when security forces opened fire on protesters surrounding the Omari mosque; others were shot at a funeral
syrian police shoot protesters
Tyres burn in the street in Deraa, Syria, hours after police shot at least nine anti-government protesters. Photograph: Hussein Malla/AP

Violence escalated in the southern Syrian city of Deraa as protests entered a sixth day. At least 15 protesters are known to have been shot dead on Wednesday and scores more injured.

In a sign that the Syrian regime is using a brutal crackdown rather than concessions to quell protests, security forces opened fire on people in three separate incidents, according to human rights activists.

At 1am on Wednesday morning, at least six people were killed when security forces opened fire on protesters surrounding the Omari mosque, after cutting electricity and communications to the site that has become the focus of demonstrations. During the day, several were reported shot as they attended funerals of victims of the mosque shooting. Syrian security forces later opened fire on scores of young people from surrounding towns as they marched towards Deraa, offering support to the protests, activists said.

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God's Wife Edited Out of the Bible -- Almost

Bible Asherah's connection to Yahweh, according to Stavrakopoulou, is spelled out in both the Bible and an 8th century B.C. inscription on pottery found in the Sinai desert at a site called Kuntillet Ajrud. Click to enlarge this image.

God had a wife, Asherah, whom the Book of Kings suggests was worshiped alongside Yahweh in his temple in Israel, according to an Oxford scholar.

In 1967, Raphael Patai was the first historian to mention that the ancient Israelites worshiped both Yahweh and Asherah. The theory has gained new prominence due to the research of Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who began her work at Oxford and is now a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter.

Read more-Discovery News

(Thanks Molly)

Haaretz: The anti-democratic racism of Israel must end

If the regime that encourages incitement, racism and anti-democracy is not toppled soon, we will find that the future is already here.By Sefi Rachlevsky

"If there is one country in the world that should have heeded the commandment 'Thou shall not fall into the chasm of anti-democratic racism,' it is Israel. The traumas of World War II of the horrors that racism and hatred wreaked on democracy, along with the fact that Israel sits on the seam of the Islamic world, should have kept it away from that path. But the regime threatens to turn Israel into a rising anti-democratic power after all." Haaretz

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu
Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.
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Eight killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza Strip

Civilians among victims, including three from the same family
Palestinians mourn

A palestinian mourns a family member killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza. Israel claimed it had targeted militants. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

At least eight people have been killed and dozens injured after Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.

The dead included four civilians who were killed when a tank shell was fired at a Gaza City suburb. It is believed three members of the same family were killed. There were unconfirmed reports of a fifth victim.

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New law forbids Palestinians from living in Jewish localities and from building anywhere!!

Knesset passes segregation law
The Knesset passed a segregation bill today. Palestinian Israelis are not allowed to live in Jewish localities built on land confiscated from them. Government policy also makes sure they cannot build on the little private land that was left in their ownership. How long can Jewish Israelis continue pretending that Palestinians do not exist?
In a session lasting well after midnight, the Knesset passed (Hebrew) a new law, which allows communities of up to 400 members, in the Negev and Galilee (the south and north of Israel, respectively) to form “acceptance committees” that will screen candidates who wish to live in their locality, on the basis of various parameters, including vague wording relating to social and cultural compatibility. The law nominially forbids discrimination on the basis of race, gender or religion, but its effect and intent to segregate Palestinian Israelis are clear. I highly recommend reading the excellent post by Nimrod Lutz which outlines the background and implications of the bill. But there is an even broader context that should be remembered when this legislation is discussed.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How the No Fly Zone Can Succeed

Juan Cole
The United Nations no-fly zone over Libya is risky but it can have a good outcome under certain conditions. Above all, it should look more like Kosovo than like Iraq.
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War on Gaddafi is personal – and he is unlikely to retreat

Simon Tisdall
Capturing or killing the Libyan leader has now become an end in itself for the western allies. It's unlikely Muammar Gaddafi has watched the 1971 British film Get Carter, in which Michael Caine plays vengeful London gangster Jack Carter, who embarks on a violent rampage before being killed. But as the west's military might bears down on Libya, the Libyan leader might find the story line instructive.
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"Remember the civilian victims of past 'Allied' bombing campaigns"

Robert Fisk
How life past catches up with life present. The Americans killed Raafat al-Ghosain, puctured above, just after 2am on 15 April 1986. In the days that followed her death, United States officials claimed that Libyan anti-aircraft fire might have hit her home – watch out for similar American claims in the coming hours – not far from the French embassy in suburban Tripoli.
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3 high military commanders join Yemen's opposition

One is a major general with family ties to President Ali Abdullah Saleh. He blames the government for dozens of civilian deaths. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ruling coalition continued to crumble Monday as three top military commanders joined the opposition.
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"We and the Saudis will not accept a Shi'ite government in Bahrain."

Bahrainis cannot be subdued for ever
An official from the UAE put it even more bluntly: "We and the Saudis will not accept a Shi'ite government in Bahrain." In other words, as far as the GCC countries are concerned, democracy or majority rule can never be allowed there.
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Saudi Arabian intervention in Bahrain driven by visceral Sunni fear of Shias

Despite an official stance that the Saudis were there to restore order, the real aim was to crush the rebels. Saudi Arabia and the UAE between them sit on tens of billions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art military equipment. They have both backed calls for UN-sponsored "no-fly zones" over Libya. Even if they are now willing to risk their expensive toys against the relatively meagre threat from Colonel Gaddafi's air defences, they will play a junior role to western forces.
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Saudi Shi'ite protests simmer as Bahrain conflict rages

Reuters - Hundreds of young Shi'ite men marched down a commercial street in the Saudi city of Qatif, near the heart of the kingdom's oil industry, pounding their fists in anger over their country's military intervention in Bahrain.
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Joshua Landis, "Syria: Demonstrations Grow"

Momentum is building for the opposition. The demonstrations are getting bigger with each day. They started out gathering between 100 to 300. Today's demonstration was well over 1,000 in Deraa. . . . The killing of four in Deraa is new. Many Syrians claim that this is the first time President Assad has drawn blood with the shooting of demonstrators. The Kurdish intifada of 2004 in the Jazeera ended with the death of many but that occurred following the successful constitutional referendum in Iraq and was blamed on external factors. To many Syrians, this time seems different. It is unclear where this can lead as the opposition has no leadership and Syria has no organized parties. . . The top brass of the armed forces are unlikely to abandon the leadership as they did in Tunisia or Egypt; all the same, loyalties would be divided for many. The next few days will be telling.
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Thousands of Moroccans demand change, end to corruption

Despite pledges of comprehensive constitutional reforms by King Mohammad VI, thousands of Moroccans took to the streets in cities nationwide on Sunday raising their demands to more political reforms, including the immediate departure of the government and the end of corruption.
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Bahrain and Yemen declare war on their protesters

Patrick Cockburn
With 42 killed in Sanaa, regimes show they will keep power at any cost
Abrutal counter-revolution is sweeping through the Arabian Peninsula as Bahrain and Yemen both declare war on reform movements and ferociously try to suppress them with armed force. In Yemen police and snipers on rooftops opened fire on Friday on a mass demonstration outside the main university, killing at least 42 people. The government has since declared martial law and set up checkpoints throughout the capital, Sanaa.
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Thousands in Beirut rally against sectarianism

BEIRUT: Thousands of protesters congregated in Beirut Sunday calling for the end of "the sectarian regime."
The march was the third of its kind in less than a month and attracted more than double the numbers seen at the last event on March 6, when some 10,000 were estimated to have hit the streets, organizers said. Beginning at Sassine Square at noon.
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Ex-Israeli president jailed for rape

Moshe Katsav sentenced to seven years in jail for rape and other crimes.
Moshe Katsav (C) was last year convicted on two counts of rape and other sexual assault charges

Moshe Katsav, Israel's former president, has been sentenced to seven years in jail for rape, Israeli media reported.

The judges also handed the former leader a two-year suspended sentence and ordered him to pay a fine of 100,000 shekels ($28,000).

The sentence was approved by two of the three judges at Tel Aviv district court on Tuesday, which was presided over by Judge George Kara.

Katsav was convicted in December of rape, sexual harassment, indecent acts and obstruction of justice following a four-year scandal that shocked the Jewish state.

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The globalisation of revolution

Revolutions are caused by human agency; not telecommunications technologies, scholar argues.
Around the world, people are wondering what kind of example Egypt will provide in their future struggles for democracy and equality, says Tarak Barkawi

To listen to the hype about social networking websites and the Egyptian revolution, one would think it was Silicon Valley and not the Egyptian people who overthrew Mubarak.

Via its technologies, the West imagines itself to have been the real agent in the uprising. Since the internet developed out of a US Defense Department research project, it could be said the Pentagon did it, along with Egyptian youth imitating wired hipsters from London and Los Angeles.

Most narratives of globalisation are fantastically Eurocentric, stories of Western white men burdened with responsibility for interconnecting the world, by colonising it, providing it with economic theories and finance, and inventing communications technologies. Of course globalisation is about flows of people as well, about diasporas and cultural fusion.

But neither version is particularly useful for organising resistance to the local dictatorship. In any case, the internet was turned off at decisive moments in the Egyptian uprising, and it was ordinary Egyptians, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, who toppled the regime, not the hybrid youth of the global professional classes.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Iranian Intervention in Bahrain

"Saudi propaganda outlets, like Al-Arabiyyah TV (the news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law) don't know that Saudi Arabia sent troops to Bahrain. Today, the station discussed Bahrain under this headline: Iranian Intervention in Bahrain. I kid you not."
As'ad AbuKhalil

Aljazeera and the Counter-Revolution

"Comrade Joseph (Massad) has reminded me of the unprecedented praise by Hillary of Aljazeera weeks ago. It now should be better understood. IT was an early indication that the station has joined the US/Saudi/Israeli counter-revolution."
As'ad AbuKhalil

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Noam Chomsky warns against intervention in Libya

The linguist and philosopher Professor Noam Chomsky talks to Jeremy Paxman about the likely consequences of the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa and the prospects for any western intervention.
He also gives his interpretation of the Obama administration's foreign policy.
Broadcast on Tuesday 8 March 2011.

5 questions few are asking about Libya

The Arabist
Not to rain on anyone's parade, but while I'm glad that the multinational intervention is giving cover to Libyan insurgents, I'm rather shocked at the desultory coverage of what might come out of the military intervention. A tragedy has been taking place in Libya, whose people deserve help, but that doesn't mean not thinking through consequences. Here's a shot at it:
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The results (on Egyptian referendum) are in

The Arabist

18 million voted, 14 million (77%) said "yes" and 4 million said "no."

It's a mandate for the military to some extent, but the minority is substantial enough to make it clear consensus is not overwhelming — even if there were different reasons for voting yes or no.

One nice aspect of this is that the commission overseeing the referendum is taking critical questions from the press, explaining where there was fraud, assuring that perpetrators will be punished (2-5 years in prison). That's pretty unprecedented, previously the government just ignored allegations of fraud.

My analysis what is problematic with the referendum still stands, and we'll have to wait to see if the case for massive fraud can convincingly be made. Overall, though, I suspect that this referendum, is in its conduct, was generally a step forward for Egypt.

Some Thoughts on Libyan Intervention

Adam L. Silverman

After following all the recent SST posts and comments pertaining to Libya, as well as some of the reporting and commentary in other places, I think the issues pertaining to American intervention in Libya come down to the broad categories of why and how. While I think that The Twisted Genius and COL Lang certainly have laid out and proposed the best variant of how US intervention should take place, after observing both the politics surrounding the uses of American military force for the past decade, as well as the actual way the US ultimately uses force, I'm not feeling too optimistic that what they are delineating, based on year's of hard learned experience, will actually be done. In fact I'm pretty sure we will see something of the usual suspects version of the use of force: a no fly zone that doesn't do much to remove Qathafi (which is now, if I understood the President's remarks correctly, the overall stated US objective: that he has to go), followed by pressure from both our allies (France, Britain) and from the internal foreign and defense policy mavens that we must do more, America is looking weak, we're not living up to our standards - the usual arguments for boots on the ground intervention, which will result in said intervention. Then we will start hearing the arguments that we have to expand operations so as not to discredit those who have already risked so much and because we can not allow Libya to descend into an ungoverned state of chaos, destabilize the region, and become a haven for al Qaeda, other extremists, and/or international criminals. This will then become the basis for the need for the US to build a modern Libyan nation-state. Since only time will tell how what we do plays out, let me move on to a brief discussion regarding whether we should or should not intervene.

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The Battle for Libya

"The imposition of a no fly zone over Libya, backed primarily by France, Britain and the United States, and the invasion of Bahrain by Saudi Armed forces, mark a new stage in the tumultuous revolutionary events in the Arab world. The joyous revolutionary victories secured by mass protests on the streets and squares of Egypt and Tunisia have given way to bloody and ferocious conflict drawing in national and international military forces.

In the past the Imperialist powers were happy to see dictators in power throughout the region, provided they appeared to serve the economic, political, military and strategic interests of European and US capitalist states. It was European powers that colonised, plundered and divided the peoples of the region; leaving a legacy of artificial lines from which nations were carved out of the sand.

After the Second World War the United States wove a complex web of intrigues in the region. This involved the staunch defence of its local allies through massive financial and military aid, but each adventure produced poisonous fruit.

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From the Angry Arab on Western intervention in Libya

Bush Doctrine Revised: Obama puts his stamp

The Western/Saudi/Qatari military intervention in Libya sets a dangerous precedent. The charade of overthrowing regimes and invading countries in the name of democracy was a bloody farce in the case of Bush era. They now don't need to do that. They can just jump on the case where they see a potential for a real democratic change and then guarantee the installation of a puppet regime without having "boots on the ground", as Obama kept warning in White House meetings. They bomb and kill and manage to maintain a high tone of moral uprightness while the puppet Arab League puts its ugly stamp to make it look like an Arab affair. A useful idiot is needed, of course, and Mustafa `Abdul-Al-Jalil is perfect for the role and he has been so chummy with Saudi propaganda as of late. Obama has modified Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: not only maintaining the occupations but guaranteeing long-term presence in both countries. He has also started a war in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen where the US is a major force in the war there. Western enthusiasm for intervention in Libya has never even been explained: why the hundreds of deaths in Egypt or Tunisia did not warrant any condemnation (the State Department did manage to condemn the protesters in Egypt, lest we forget too soon)? Israel manages to kill far more than Qadhdhafi and in shorter periods of time, and we never encounter the "humanitarian" impulse of Western governments there. Western military intervention in Libya is far more dangerous: it is intended to legitimize the return of colonial powers to our region and 2) perhaps as importantly to abort democratic uprisings all over the region. Bahrain of today is the vision for Libya of tomorrow, as far as the West is concerned.

Settlers break Ayman’s horse’s neck before his eyes

Three days ago, Ayman, a boy of eleven years old from Ein Il Hilwe, was attacked by three settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Maskyyot. The settlers arrived in a blue car when Ayman was playing with four friends near the spring water.

This spring water is 30 meters far from his home, however, Ayman, his family, and all the Palestinian living in the Jordan Valley, are banned to use them and usually threatened and attacked by settlers when they are around.

In this occasion, the settlers who attacked Ayman, took his horse, tied a cable around its neck and after tried to asphyxiate the animal, the settlers broke its head. The settlers carried out all this brutality in front of the eyes and horror of Ayman and his friends.

Ayman’s sisters were attacked in the same place when they approached the spring water to give water to their cows. Also two month ago, Ayman’s mother was also beaten by settlers.

The Israeli illegal occupation is also working with bulldozers in this area preparing the land for expending Maskyoot settlement.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Attack by Gaddafi forces kills 25 in Misrata-TV

CAIRO, March 18 (Reuters) - The death toll from an attack by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi on the rebel-held town of Misrata rose to 25, Al Arabiya television reported, quoting medical sources.
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Nutanyahu doesn't like the idea of Palestinians being united. Israel has done everything imaginable to divide them!

Netanyahu slams Palestinian unity efforts
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 18 Mar -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has slammed Palestinian unity efforts, saying national Palestinian reconciliation would be the end of the peace process with Israel. In a CNN interview broadcast Thursday, Netanyahu compared Hamas to Al-Qa‘eda, and said the Palestinian Authority could not be "for peace with Israel and peace with Hamas that calls for our destruction."
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Invisible settlements in Jerusalem

Hagit Ofran
Jerusalem tourist sites and settlements are being used to promote an exclusively Jewish narrative of the city’s history ... It would seem that the most successful model of a tourist settlement in Jerusalem is in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in Silwan ... It is indeed unfortunate that touristic, archaeological sites are being used as a tool by the right to torpedo the chance for a solution in Jerusalem. The increased presence of Israelis as tourists in the Palestinian areas of Jerusalem -- while ignoring the complexity and the importance of these same sites to other cultures and other nations -- is the type of settlement with far-reaching implications for daily life in the east of the city and for the future of the conflict.
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Friday, March 18, 2011

When the Israelis celebrate one of their holidays, they, post swift, encage the Palestinians! It has become a routine part of the celebration

As Israel celebrates Purim, Palestine placed under siege
IMEMC 18 Mar -- The Israeli army enforced a full closure on the occupied territories as Israel and its West Bank settlers celebrate the Purim holiday. Effective Thursday midnight until midnight Monday, the occupied territories will be under full closure and siege. The Palestinians who have permits to enter Israel will not be allowed to do so until the closure is lifted. All Gaza terminals were also shut down.
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Israel's latest PR bid has failed

Amos Harel
Haaretz 17 Mar -- Netanyahu wants to sell the missiles' capture as proof of the Palestinians' murderous intentions, but the U.S. and Europe clearly distinguish between the PA and Islamic organizations -- Israel's chance of achieving political or PR gain out of the takeover of the Iranian missile shipment to Gaza was limited from the start. The authorities' strange conduct at the display at the Ashdod port yesterday reduced it to zero.
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Egypt loses LE 100 billion from gas exports to Israel since 2005

Egyptian petroleum experts have estimated that the country's losses over the past six years from supplying natural gas to Israeli to be more than one hundred billion Egyptian pounds ... He pointed out that the most important reason behind these losses was the use of diesel in power plants as an alternative to natural gas, which is being exported.
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A new trick to up their sleeves!

Jerusalem residents behind wall exempted from municipal tax before exclusion
JERUSALEM, Mar 17 (WAFA) – Palestinian residents of Jerusalem living behind the concrete wall Israel had built to separate East Jerusalem from its West Bank environs said they were told by the West Jerusalem municipality that they do not anymore have to pay the municipal tax known as arnona, Thursday said a Palestinian rights center. The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights said in a report that this new policy aims at getting rid of thousands of Jerusalem residents who live behind the wall from the city. It said that by telling residents of these areas that they do not have to pay the arnona tax anymore after years of paying it, it means they will eventually not be considered Jerusalem residents and therefore lose all their residency rights.
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Al Araqib has been demolished 19 times but the villagers say we won't leave!

Palestinian Bedouins in al-Araqib: We won't leave / Charlotte Silver
EI 17 Mar -- Reclining under a recently constructed tent in the Bedouin village of al-Araqib, Sheikh Siyakh al-Turi gestured toward the bare terrain surrounding his home. "This is a great example to the world of what Israel is doing to its citizens," he said. Only a kilometer away from one of Israel's largest highways, the village is utterly quiet; most villagers have left for their day jobs outside of al-Araqib, leaving only a few to stand watch in the event that the Israel Land Administration returns to demolish the village yet again.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Syria protests

The Angry Arab:
"There is no question that the Western press is far more eager and enthusiastic about protests in Syria and Iran because the repressive governments there are not puppets of the US--or not yet. So the BBC had an extensive report on Syria yesterday and began with a headline in the news round up saying: hundreds of protesters took to the street in Damascus. So when the BBC correspondent came to speak to the anchor, she was asked: how big was the protest? She answered rather defensively--fearing of disappointing: there were a hundred or maybe a 140 protesters. "

Israel to build another wall along the Jordan river!

PM says IDF to build fence along Jordan border
Ynet 15 Mar -- During Eilat conference, Netanyahu says illegal infiltrators from Africa change make-up of population, take away jobs from Israelis. Yishai: They damage Zionist enterprise -- During a tour of the fence that is being constructed along Israel's border with Egypt on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had instructed the IDF to begin planning the construction of another fence along the border with Jordan.
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UNIFIL troops 'pelted with stones from Israel'

BEIRUT (AFP) 16 Mar -- A UN peacekeeping force in south Lebanon said its troops were pelted with stones on Wednesday from the other side of the border with Israel, which in turn denied involvement in any "aggressive" act ... "An IDF (Israeli army) position is located in the vicinity and an IDF patrol was also present in the area during the incident," Singh said, adding that the stones had targeted Lebanese and UNIFIL soldiers.
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Israeli columnist: Media dehumanizes Palestinians

Ynet 15 Mar -- Senior Haaretz writer Gideon Levy claims Israeli 'occupation' is 'tyranny' that won't last forever, says settlements are crimes, slams media for legitimizing attacks against Palestinians
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Sarah Palin to visit Jerusalem in solidarity with Israelis struck by Sushi shortage disaster!

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Sarah Palin, darling of the US Republican right, is to arrive in Israel at the weekend for a "private visit" during which she will meet Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, media reports said on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Israeli premier could not immediately confirm a report in the top-selling Yedioth Aharonot newspaper that the former Alaska governor was due to arrive on Sunday with her husband Todd for a two-day visit.
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Israel fears sushi shortage after quake! (Oh, deary dear! )

Situation in Japan may affect regular supply of ingredients for one of Israelis' favorite dishes
Ynet News
While Japan continues to deal with the aftermath of last Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami, and has yet to recover from one of the greatest disasters in its history, Israelis fear a shortage in the ingredients of one of their favorite dishes: Sushi.

Many of sushi's basic components come from Japan or are imported through the battered countries. Will Israelis soon suffer from a shortage of the beloved rolls' necessary ingredients?
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Mustafa Barghouthi: 'Protest is a great moment in history'

RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 16 Mar -- Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Bargouthi on the unity demonstrations late Tuesday: "This is a great moment in history, the struggle of Palestinians and Palestinian youth in particular." "We regret that some factions are trying to co-opt the movement," he told Ma'an. "We're calling for unity and bringing back democracy to Palestine. We want a right to elections. We want the right to elect our leaders democratically and freely," he added. "Palestinians have inspired youth in the Arab world for a long time. Now the youth here are inspired by them."
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Mother nature have been cruel to the Israelis!! Sushi may well be in shortage!

Israel fears sushi shortage after quake
Situation in Japan may affect regular supply of ingredients for one of Israelis' favorite dishes

While Japan continues to deal with the aftermath of last Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami, and has yet to recover from one of the greatest disasters in its history, Israelis fear a shortage in the ingredients of one of their favorite dishes: Sushi.
Many of sushi's basic components come from Japan or are imported through the battered countries. Will Israelis soon suffer from a shortage of the beloved rolls' necessary ingredients?
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Schnabel opens up on Israel: ‘You shouldn’t have to be Jewish to be free in Israel . It is apartheid, that’s what it’s like there! It is shocking.’

"First of all, they have to stop building these settlements. Take them out. That’s not a military solution, it has to be a humanitarian solution. It is like black people living in the United States in 1960. It is apartheid, that’s what it’s like over there. It is shocking. I didn’t want to say these things when I made the movie. I wanted people to look at the movie as a work of art. But now I see it as a vessel, about opening your heart, understanding, and non-violent solutions. There are things that are controversial in the film, things that are shocking to see. But it is so light in the context of what really goes on. Under the guise of state security, a little girl can’t go to school. The orphanage depicted in the film had 3000 girls at its peak, and there’s hardly anybody in it now. Because of the wall, the security fence that goes all around these illegal settlements and makes life impossible for the Palestinian people. It kills any kind of industry they could have. Only Jewish people can drive to Jerusalem in 15 minutes. These other people, it takes hours for them to get anywhere. It is totally dehumanizing and unacceptable. I was so ashamed of my people, so ashamed to see somebody throw a rock at a young man, hit him in the head, while two soldiers are watching. A young Hasidic kid throws a rock at a Palestinian guy, who hits the ground. And soldiers are standing there, watching this happen, and they don’t do anything. Our tax dollars are paying for this. The government is paying for two soldiers for every settler."
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Gadhafi threatens to join forces with al-Qaida if West attacks Libya

Libyan leader says he is shocked by betrayal of European leaders, his former allies, who have slapped economic sanctions on Tripoli following a violent crackdown on protests in the country.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Press report: Itamar settlement assassin an Asian worker (?!)

NABLUS, (PIC)– An Asian worker is suspected of the murder of the Fogel family, a settler family from Itamar settlement near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to Palestinian press sources.

Quds Net news quoted local residents fro at infuriated with an Israeli settler for not paying him his wages carried out the killing of the settler’s family in Itamar, Palestinian press sources reported.

Quds Net news agency on Monday quoted a Palestinian family from Awarta village next to the settlement as saying that Mr. Fogel refused to pay 10,000 shekels in wages which he owed an Asian worker he hired. The worker threatened to kill the settler and his family.

The worker is suspected of committing the crime after midnight Friday using a knife then fleeing the scene to nearby Palestinian villages, the report added.

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Israel wanted the film canceled; De Niro and Penn back Palestinian film at UN

De Niro and Penn back Palestinian film at UN

Director Julian Schnabel and actor Robert DeNiro attend the premiere of Schnabel's "Miral," …

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – Sean Penn and Robert De Niro joined stars who appeared at the UN headquarters for the US premiere of a contested movie on the Middle East conflict that Israel tried to get cancelled.

Penn, De Niro, Josh Brolin and Steve Buscemi on Monday turned out to support award-winning American-Jewish director Julian Schnabel at the premiere of "Miral," the story of two Palestinian women after the creation of Israel in 1948.

The Israeli mission to the UN had said that showing the movie in the UN General Assembly hall was "clearly a politicized decision" that "shows poor judgment and a lack of even-handedness."

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Israel calls for Miral UN premiere cancellation

Freida Pinto in Miral Miral stars Slumdog Millionaire actress Freida Pinto

Israel has urged the United Nations to cancel the US premiere, at its New York headquarters, of a film about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Miral, directed by Jewish film-maker Julian Schnabel, traces the conflict after 1948, from a Palestinian angle.

In a statement, Israel accused the UN of making "a politicised decision" that showed "a lack of even-handedness".

A UN spokesman denied a "political link" to the film, saying the General Assembly hall was "just a venue".

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Armed Jewish settlers savagely attack Palestinians in Hawara

NABLUS, (PIC)- 13 Mar - Hundreds of armed Jewish settlers attacked at midnight Saturday Palestinian homes in Hawara village, south of Nablus city. Eyewitnesses told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that the settlers went on the rampage through the villages damaging property, assaulting residents, burning cars and throwing stones at everything ... The cities of Bethlehem and Al-Khalil also witnessed similar savage attacks by Jewish settlers. A group of settlers under military protection attacked on Saturday morning Palestinian homes near Rumeida neighborhood in Al-Khalil city. Samaan Abu Haikal said that armed settlers hurled stones at his daughters and threatened Palestinians that they would be shot dead if they left their homes .. In the Laban souk near Ibrahimi Mosque, other settlers severely beat a Palestinian citizen called Sufiyan Abu Asneineh as he was on his way to the Mosque for prayers....

Is Libya already lost?

by Virginia Tilley for Mondoweiss
Libya may already be lost. “Lost”, that is, for people-power democratisation. The Arab freedom wave has seemed an irresistible force, smashing down old post-colonial crony dictatorships in four Arab states and counting. But it has run smack into world oil politics in Libya and crashed to a stop. The rebel’s ill-organised ground battle faces a reversal almost too painful to watch. Yet more painful is that, in western rhetoric about what to do next, the rebel movement itself is now largely marginal even to debate about how to “protect” it. The West itself inflicted mortal blows on that movement and, although still holding on, its momentum now appears irreparable, its eulogy ringing in Western debates about imposing a no-fly zone.
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Settler attacks against Palestinians escalate

As the Shabbat ended Saturday evening, Israeli settlers raided Palestinian villages and towns across the West Bank, injuring several Palestinians.

The raids followed the killing of a family of five Israelis in Itamar settlement in Nablus overnight Friday. A three-month-old baby Hadas, Elad, 4, Yoav, 11 and their parents Udi and Ruthie were all stabbed to death in their home.

During the day settlers stormed several villages in Nablus, including Burin and Huwwara, entering homes and harassing residents. Settlers handed out leaflets threatening the lives of villagers in Beitillu, near Ramallah, and threw rocks at Palestinian cars in Hebron.

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Israel announces massive settlement expansion in response to murders

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israel on Sunday announced massive expansions to illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank, a day after a five Israelis were killed in a brutal attack in Itamar settlement.

The move was immediately slammed by the Palestinian Authority. Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeina said the decision was "unacceptable and wrong," in a statement. He told the official PA news agency Wafa, "the atmosphere this decision creates isn't helpful, it creates problems, and peace needs courageous decisions."
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