Friday, September 30, 2011

What's behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?

What's behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?

A few hundred demonstrators protesting against corporations march from nearby Zucotti park to Wall Street, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, in the Manhattan borough of New York.

It's unsurprising that establishment media outlets have been condescending, dismissive and scornful of the ongoing protests on Wall Street. Any entity that declares itself an adversary of prevailing institutional power is going to be viewed with hostility by establishment-serving institutions and their loyalists. That's just the nature of protests that take place outside approved channels, an inevitable by-product of disruptive dissent: those who are most vested in safeguarding and legitimizing establishment prerogatives (which, by definition, includes establishment media outlets) are going to be hostile to those challenges. As the virtually universal disdain in these same circles for WikiLeaks (and, before that, for the Iraq War protests) demonstrated: the more effectively adversarial it is, the more establishment hostility it's going to provoke.

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Son of Israeli general, Miko Peled, speaks for Palestine

Miko Peled.

Israeli activist and author Miko Peled, currently touring Australia, is convinced that the Israel-Palestine conflict can be solved.

But, he told public meetings in Sydney and Newcastle, he doesn't believe that it will happen while the government of Israel remains committed to Zionism (the maintenance of Israel as an exclusively "Jewish" state) and continues its ethnic cleansing operation by moving Palestinians off their land.

“It is not some inexorable process of nature,” Peled said. “It is a conflict between people, and it is therefore something over which people can have control.”

Peled was raised in a prominent Zionist family in Jerusalem. His grandfather, Dr Avraham Katsnelson, was a Zionist leader and signatory to the May 14, 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence.

Read moreLink

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Palestinians were under curfew today for Jewish New Year, but for settlers it was just like any other day

Palestinian farmers inspect their destroyed olives trees.
Jewish settlers Thursday from Shima, a settlement built illegally on the land of Ad Dahriyeh, a town south of Hebron, destroyed 55 fruitful olive trees and wrote several threatening slogans to Palestinian residents, according to security sources. Sources said that settlers attacked an area located between two agricultural valleys in the town, destroying 55 fruitful olive trees and writing threatening slogans to Palestinians such as ‘you will pay the price’.

The Best Among Us

Protesters march past Federal Hall on Wall Street on Monday. The Occupy Wall Street protest is in its second week in New York City as demonstrators speak out against corporate greed and social inequality.

By Chris Hedges

There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.

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Why Fewer Young American Jews Share Their Parents' View of Israel

Lauren Fleishman for Time
"What I didn't hear much about was the lives of Palestinians. It was only after I went to college, met Muslim friends and enrolled in a Middle Eastern history and politics course that I was challenged to reconcile my liberal, humanist worldview with the fact that the Jewish state of which I was so proud was occupying the land of 4.4 million stateless Palestinians, many of them refugees displaced by Israel's creation."
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US donations funding radical settlers and extreme yeshivas in the settlements

For years, many bloggers and journalists including myself, Phil Weiss, Didi Remez, Akiva Eldar and David Ignatius have been calling for cutting off tax-deductible donations to radical settlers, settlements and the organizations that support them. The NY Times reported that total giving to such groups reached $200 million over a number of years. As far as the Obama administration and the IRS, it’s fallen on deaf ears. Now, perhaps the most credible source imaginable has weighed in in favor of the proposition: the Shin Bet:

The army’s GOC Central Command, Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi, recently issued restraining orders that forbid several students affiliated with the yeshiva to enter the West Bank. This decision was based on what security sources termed well-founded suspicions that these students had been involved in attacks on Arabs, including “price tag” attacks on Arab property (so-called because they seek to deter the army from razing houses in the settlements ) and the torching of mosques in nearby Palestinian villages.

The head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, was filmed in the past accompanying some of his students to a nearby Arab village; the students then threw stones while the rabbi looked on. Shapira is the author of the controversial work “The King’s Torah,” which, among other things, discusses circumstances under which Jewish law might permit the killing of non-Jews.

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Extremist settler attacks shepherd and brutally abuses flock

"With ideology based on extreme interpretation of Judaic law, his reaction was to start beating Ahmad’s sheep with stones and sticks. 3 sheep lost their eyes, one died, another one was pregnant but lost her kid, and four others tried desperately to escape."
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Tony Blair's job in jeopardy as Palestinians accuse him of bias

Tony Blair's future as Middle East peace envoy was in jeopardy after the Palestinian Authority said it was set to sever all contact with him because of his "bias" towards Israel.
Tony Blair in a scull cap

"There is no one within the Palestinian leadership that supports or likes or trusts Tony Blair, particularly because of the very damaging role he played during our UN bid," a second Palestinian official said.

"He is considered persona non grata in Palestine. Although we can't prevent him from coming here, we can hopefully minimise the role he can play because he is not a mediator, he is totally biased on one side.”

Palestinian anger towards Mr Blair exploded into the open last week when Nabil Shaath, a senior negotiator, denounced him for peddling a US-backed peace plan that failed to call for a halt to Israeli settlement building.

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Expert says New Settlement to Divide West Bank

Israel’s approval of a plan to build new 1100 housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Gilo is a prelude to an Israeli project to build a new settlement that will separate south of the West Bank from the Palestinian villages bordering Jerusalem, Wednesday said Khalil Toufakji, a Palestinian expert on Israeli settlements.
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Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year): Will God forgive?

Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks

Chief Rabbi, do you really believe that God will forgive the Jews if they don’t say sorry to the Palestinians and then play their necessary part in righting the wrong done?

Alan Hart
At the start of the Jewish New Year I have some questions for Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks. They are for him in particular because of what he said in a recorded message of preparation for the New Year, but they are also questions that could and should be asked of rabbis everywhere.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Settlers' monstrous children destroy vine. Soldiers look away

Israeli journalist (Amira Hass) visiting Vancouver has tough words for home country

Israeli journalist Amira Hass. Handout photo.

VANCOUVER -- Amira Hass, a reporter and the daughter of Holocaust survivors, doesn’t pull any punches in her description of Israeli-Palestinian relations in the West Bank.

“You have a policy of ethnic cleansing in vast areas of the West Bank....It’s very open,” she said.

“You just go and count the number of people who are being driven out of their places where they lived for tens of years, if not more. And this goes without notice mostly, on the part of the Israelis,” she said, noting that there are some Israeli groups that are aware and are fighting against this practice.

“But it goes without notice of the general public and of course without the international media noticing. So that’s why I say I don’t need hidden information. I just need to write about what people don’t want to know.

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Look what land (and culture ) thieves are up to. "Israeli zaatar manquish"! In Wikipedia no less!

File:Israeli zaatar manakeesh.jpg

Settler runs over an 8 year old boy and kills him. The settlers preferred method of slaughter

On Tuesday morning, 8-year-old Farid Jaber died of injuries sustained last Friday when an Israeli settler struck him with his car on a settler bypass road 60 east of Hebron. During his funeral, Hebron governor Kamel Hamid demanded "actual international protection" for Palestinians in his province...
On Friday, September 23, eyewitnesses told AFP that the incident happened at the entrance to the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba, and that the driver fled the scene immediately. Israeli troops arrested two of the boy’s relatives for “attacking a police officer” afterwards.
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In memory of the only Arab leader in modern history who was worth his salt.

Oh, he had his faults all right but in retrospect he was a visionary. Every single other Arab leader is dwarfed in comparison. One might argue that Nasrallsah has it and I believe he does, but I'll never ever feel comfortable with all the theocratic nonsense. If only...

Knesset to vote on full Israeli annexation of the West Bank

Danny Danon, who recently appeared with Rick Perry in New York, announced today that the Knesset will vote on his bill to annex the West Bank at the end of October. The bill also nullifies the Oslo Accords, ending all Israeli agreements with the Palestinian Authority.

The JTA reports it mirrors a bill being considered in the U.S. congress and seems to have support among leaders of the coalition government:

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Take this Obama, Hillary and Co.

Israel okays new 1,100 buildings in east Jerusalem
Construction of 1,100 housing units cleared, despite Palestinian demands for settlement freeze to renew peace talks.

Netanyahu has refused to halt settlement building despite repeated calls from Palestinians

Israel's government has granted the go-ahead for construction of 1,100 new housing units in illegally occupied east Jerusalem, raising already heightened tensions fuelled by last week's Palestinian move to seek full UN membership.

Israel's interior ministry said on Tuesday that the homes would be built in Gilo, a Jewish enclave in southeast Jerusalem. It said construction could begin after a mandatory 60-day period for public comment, a process that is largely a formality.

The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as their future capital. They have demanded that Israel halt all settlement construction in east Jerusalem and the adjacent occupied West Bank - territories captured and illegally occupied by Israel since1967 - as a condition for resuming peace talks.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

A Facebook hunt for Israeli Navi Marmara assassins

Intelligence units have successfully identified the names of the i soldiers that took part in the raid, through the use of social media and images. The individual names on the 174-person schema have been handed over to Prosecutor Mehmet Akif Ekinci.

Important details have been acquired in the investigation into the raid by i soldiers on the aid flotilla which was headed for Gaza. Practically each and every name of the soldiers involved in the May 31st, 2010 raid in which Israeli forces killed nine Turks and injured 30 others have been detected by Turkish intelligence.
According to information obtained by SABAH's Special Intelligence Department, when the Israeli government refused to pay heed to the Turkish judiciary's request, Prosecutor Mehmet Akif Ekinci, who is leading the investigation into the ongoings on the Mavi Marmara ship, decided to go about obtaining the necessary information in another manner. Turkish intelligence units proceeded to inspect footage of the Mavi Marmara raid second by second. Later, agents hunted down the commandos on social media sites such as and Twitter.
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Turkish Intelligence Identifies 174 IDF Soldiers Allegedly Responsible for Mavi Marmara Massacre

mavi marmara idf list

IDF personnel allegedly involved in Mavi Marmara assault (Sabah)

Turkish media reports (Hebrew report and Zaman’s English version) that a special Turkish intelligence unit delved into social networking sites and used its fluency in the Hebrew language to identify 174 IDF personnel who participated in the Mavi Marmara assault. By reviewing frame-by-frame video footage of the attack, the investigators have also identified those who killed the nine Turkish passengers. The list has been transferred to the Turkish prosecutor pursuing the case and will eventually be given to Israel as well. Israel will be asked to confirm whether or not the individuals took part in the operation.

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Map redux

Political recognition:
Green=Recognises the state of Palestine
Grey= Does not recognise the state

Special diplomatic status:
Light green=Palestinian general delegation
Khaki= Palestinian special delegation
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The Mystery Behind Gadhafi's Birth: Some Say He's Jewish
What if the biggest mystery surrounding Col. Moammar Gadhafi had nothing to do with his long, brutal reign as the world's most eccentric and violent leader turned pariah?

And what if a long-lost letter from a Catholic cardinal who knew Gadhafi's true identity was evidence that could have solved the mystery?

To many Libyan people, the biggest question mark about Gadhafi does not involve his repressive and dictatorial rule, delusional statements or brazen lies. Behind closed doors, for years, they've wondered if he is Jewish. Last week the issue came out in the open, as NBC's Richard Engel reported from Libya that one in five rebels was fighting Gadhafi because he believes the leader is Jewish.
Read moreLink

Has Western capitalism failed?

BBC News
Twenty years ago, the fall of communism in Eastern Europe seemed to prove the triumph of capitalism. But was that an illusion? Constant shocks to the world's financial system over the past few years prompted the BBC World Service's Business Daily programme to ask leading figures whether they thought Western capitalism had failed.
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Mecca for the rich: Islam's holiest site 'turning into Vegas'

Historic and culturally important landmarks are being destroyed to make way for luxury hotels and malls, reports Jerome Taylor

Over the past 10 years the holiest site in Islam has undergone a huge transformation, one that has divided opinion among Muslims all over the world.

Once a dusty desert town struggling to cope with the ever-increasing number of pilgrims arriving for the annual Hajj, the city now soars above its surroundings with a glittering array of skyscrapers, shopping malls and luxury hotels.

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Map of countries that will support Palestine's UN bid for statehood this month.

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Gideon Levy: Netanyahu proved Israel doesn't want peace

Netanyahu shows to the world that Israel wants neither an agreement nor a Palestinian state, and for that matter not peace, either.

Every decent Israeli must be ashamed of their prime minister, who stands before the world and tries to sell it the same old shopworn, even rotten goods that are long past their expiration date, expounding on ancient, irrelevant chapters of history and attempting to market cheap sentimentality like a beggar who exposes his wounds, both real and imaginary, to passersby. And the beggar is in fact a regional power.
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UN Security Council to begin consultations on Palestinian state full memembership

The UN Security Council is to begin consultations on an application by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for full state membership of the UN.

The request needs the support of nine of the 15 members of the council, but the US has said it will veto the bid.

Diplomats say it could take weeks before the issue comes to vote.

Mr Abbas last week urged the council in New York to back a state with pre-1967 borders. Israel reiterated its call for peace talks without preconditions.

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Historic victory for the French left

French left captures Senate in setback for Sarkozy
French President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative government has lost its majority in the Senate for the first time in recent French history.

The Socialist Party and its Communist and Green allies have won enough seats to gain control of the upper house.

Their victory comes just seven months before the country's presidential election in April.

Right-wing parties have controlled the Senate since the Fifth Republic was founded in 1958.
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Women in Saudi Arabia to vote and run in elections (At long last, I should add!)

Women in Saudi Arabia are to be given the right to vote and run in future municipal elections, King Abdullah has announced.

He said they would also have the right to be appointed to the consultative Shura Council.

The move was welcomed by activists who have called for greater rights for women in the kingdom, which enforces a strict version of Sunni Islamic law.

The changes will occur after municipal polls on Thursday, the king said.

Read moreLink

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mahmoud Abbas: the Second Coming

Electronic Intifada

One could be forgiven for thinking de facto President Mahmoud Abbas seemed like the second coming since Jesus of Nazareth not only by the reception he was given at the UN General Assembly when he spoke there on Friday but by the reaction throughout his speech from crowds amassed in West Bank cities.

Abbas’ speech, calling for admission of Palestine as a full member state of the United Nations, was surprising in that it was unusually strongly worded and lacked the usual skirting of core issues regarding the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Characteristically, Abbas’ public addresses to audiences reflect the interests of the Palestine Authority (PA) and not of the Palestinian people, highlighting the importance of negotiations with Israel to achieve any lasting peace agreement as the sole tactic, effectively undermining resistance in all of its forms to the occupying regime.

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French far right terrorist group JDL joining settlers in the West Bank

Armed French citizens 'tanning under the sun' in a West Bank settlement [Photo: Jewish Defence League]

Two weeks ago, an announcement appeared on a French website, calling for "militants with military experience" to participate in a solidarity trip to Israel between September 19 and 25. "The aim of this expedition is to lend a hand to our brothers facing aggression from the Palestinian occupiers, and to enhance the security of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria," it explained. The dates of the trip coincide with the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations.

As of yesterday, in response to this call, there were 55 French citizens, both men and women, with military experience, stationed inside the illegal Israeli settlements up and down the West Bank. Organised into five separate groups of 11, their mandate is to "defend the settlements against any attack from Palestinians", and to "aid" in areas where they feel there is a lack of Israeli army personnel or police forces.

The website belongs to the French chapter of the Jewish Defence League (JDL), a far-right Jewish group founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane in the United States in 1968. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has refered to the JDL as a "violent extremist organisation".

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Alquds: Abbas is considering dismantling the P.A.

According to Alquds newspaper, on September 14, President Mahmoud Abbas had a confrontational meeting with Tony Blair, the current Quartet envoy. During the meeting, which took place in Amman, Abbas presented Blair with a possible plan B should the Palestinian UN bid fails

Alquds quoted Abbas as saying, “I will return to the Palestinian leadership, which will make a decision on whether the time has come for Israel to re-assume its responsibility as an occupying authority.” He also said, “We will not keep the Palestinian Authority as a name.”

Yesterday, the Palestinian Authority president called upon the international community to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to an independent state.

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Palestinians Declare Independence from U.S.

Henry Siegman
The outpouring of commentary on the request that Palestinians intend to submit to the United Nations to affirm their right to statehood within the pre-1967 borders has fallen into two categories. The first supports the Israeli and American view that sees the Palestinian initiative as endangering the Oslo Accords and prospects for a two-state solution. As described by President Obama, it is a “distraction” from the serious business at hand. The second view supports the Palestinian right to apply for UN membership, or for non-member-state observer status, and rejects the notion that this would set back the peace process.
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Lieberman warns Netanyahu of coalition break-up if punitive measures aren't taken against the Palestinians

Lieberman warns Netanyahu of coalition break-up if punitive measures aren't taken against the Palestinians

Israel, claimed Lieberman, "won't stand still" if a Palestinian state is recognised by the UN.

Israel's Foreign Minister has warned Benjamin Netanyahu that the governing coalition will fall part if the Prime Minister doesn't take punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority for its decision to bid for independent statehood at the United Nations. A report in Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper claims that Avigdor Lieberman has demanded that Netanyahu responds to the unilateral Palestinian step by cancelling the Oslo Accords, annexing the large West Bank settlement blocs and withholding tax transfers to the Authority.

Earlier reports said that Lieberman had threatened the Palestinians with "very serious" consequences in the event of a UN vote in favour of an independent state. Israel, claimed Lieberman, "won't stand still" if a Palestinian state is recognised by the UN. Lieberman's deputy, Danny Ayalon, backed the call for punitive measures, although he expects the UN to reject the Palestinian application.
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(Thanks vza)

Abbas at the United Nations a game changer? Maybe.

Phyllis Bennis
There was a potential game changer in Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the General Assembly – but it wasn’t in the words he said: that this marks the end of the 20-year-long U.S.-backed failed peace process, and the potential beginning of a whole new approach to Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy, one based on international law, human rights and equality for all.
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Villagers v settlers

Outgunned, outnumbered, but now fighting back

The Economist

AT MIDNIGHT the Palestinian vigil against the predations of nearby Jewish settlers begins. Five students, armed with a pocket-torch, stand guard at the hilltop entrance of the small Palestinian village of Kfar Qusra. Farmers and their wives pitch camp in their fields, watching their flocks.

It is not an even fight. Jewish settlers wield M-16 rifles. Villagers have mobile phones and stones. But after religious zealots from the nearby Esh Kodesh (“Holy Light”) outpost scrawled “Muhammad is a pig” in Hebrew on the walls of the village mosque and rolled burning tyres inside its prayer hall, the villagers decided that the moral high ground was no longer enough. “The age of sumud (stubborn steadfastness) has passed,” says a local businessman. “We must defend ourselves. The whole town is prepared.” At an evening planning meeting, an 85-year-old landowner encourages his sons to abduct the next settler who chops down trees in his olive groves or slaughters one of his sheep.

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Israeli intellectuals back Palestinian statehood in Tel Aviv rally

Haaretz 23 Sept
Former MK Yael Dayan criticizes Israeli leadership for calling Palestinian bid at UN 'unilateral,' asking: 'Isn't the occupation unilateral?'
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Uri Avnery on Obama's speech

A WONDERFUL SPEECH. A beautiful speech.

The language expressive and elegant. The arguments clear and convincing. The delivery flawless.
A work of art. The art of hypocrisy. Almost every statement in the passage concerning the Israeli-Palestinian issue was a lie. A blatant lie: the speaker knew it was a lie, and so did the audience.
It was Obama at his best, Obama at his worst.
Being a moral person, he must have felt the urge to vomit. Being a pragmatic person, he knew that he had to do it, if he wanted to be re-elected.
In essence, he sold the fundamental national interests of the United States of America for the chance of a second term.
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Wall Street Is Occupied - And The Mainstream Isn't Reporting It

Expert Reactions to Abbas & Netanyahu Speeches at UNGA (September 2011)

Following today's speeches by PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the United Nations General Assembly, the IMEU offers the following expert reactions for publication.
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Wikileaks cable: Israel Objects to Palestinian Statehood to Avoid War Crimes Investigations

A secret State Department diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks has revealed that one of the primary reasons behind Israeli objections to Palestinian statehood is that lack of statehood keeps Palestinian territories outside the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which prosecutes war crimes.
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PLO chief: Abbas going to Security Council

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Abbas will apply to the Security Council for United Nations membership as scheduled on Friday, PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo said Thursday.

Abed Rabbo said there has been no agreement to give the UN Security Council more time to discuss the bid other than the legal period which the UNSC takes to review any submission, official news agency Wafa reported.
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Obama: America's 'first Jewish president'?

After the president's speech to the UN, our senior analyst wonders why US leaders continue to pander to a foreign power.
Barack Obama has become even more pro-Israel than George W Bush, analyst argues

Obama is the "the first Jewish President". That's the title of New York magazine's lead article, written by John Heilemann and quoting a major Obama fundraiser.

Listening to Obama speak at the United Nations on Wednesday many would nod in agreement, not less in Palestine and the Arab world.

The US president has embraced the rejectionist Israeli position on the question of international recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

But that's not a Jewish position. It's a radical Zionist position. Many Jews, including US and Israeli Jews, do not embrace such extremist views.

But the fact that Obama surpassed his predecessor George W Bush, the most radical supporter of Israel among all US Presidents, has left everyone in Israel dumbstruck. The latest Zionist US president sounded like Israel's own founding fathers.

Never have they heard a US president read straight from the papers of the Israeli government.

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Erdogan: Israel's mentality is a barrier to Mideast peace

Turkish PM, speaking before Arab League meeting in Cairo, attacks Israeli government's policies, says recognition of Palestinian state is 'an obligation.'

File:Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan cropped.jpg

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on Tuesday that the mentality of the Israeli government serves as an obstacle to peace in the Middle East, and stressed the need for recognition of a Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a tour on the Egyptian border that "eventually common sense and logic prevail, both on our side and on the other side."
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Bill Clinton: Netanyahu isn't interested in Mideast peace deal (not that we haven't noticed, mind you)

Former U.S. President says a cynical perspective of Prime Minister's calls for negotiations 'means that he's just not going to give up the West Bank'.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is responsible for the inability to reach a peace deal that would end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Thursday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York, the former U.S. president was quoted by Foreign Policy magazine as claiming that Netanyahu lost interest in the peace process as soon as two basic Israelis demands seemed to come into reach: a viable Palestinian leadership and the possibility of normalizing ties with the Arab world.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quote of the day

“there are few things in our political discourse more meaningless than the words that come from Barack Obama’s mouth.”
Glenn Greenwald

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Palestinians have a better chance of getting a state on Craigslist than from Barack Obama

Avigdor Lieberman is thrilled by a speech that called Israel the "historic homeland" of "the Jewish people." AIPAC is over the moon: "President Obama demonstrated his understanding of Israel’s legitimate requirements." J Street is happy, too.

Netanyahu called the speech a "badge of honor." Of course. Because Obama's description of "the Jewish people's burden of centuries of exile, persecution"-- and the Palestinians' burden to amend for that-- is straight from Netanyahu himself.

Read more-Mondoweiss

Ashrawi and Tibi say Obama made it sound like Palestinians are occupying Israel

Ira Glunts

Hanan Ashrawi, who is part of the Palestinian delegation at the UN, reacted angrily to President Obama’s UN address. Here are some quotes from a Ha'aretz interview in Hebrew that took place immediately after the speech (Barak Ravid, “Palestinian Anger Over Obama Speech at the UN” (original title), Ha’aretz (Hebrew))

I did not believe what I heard, it sounded as if the Palestinians were occupying Israel. There was no empathy for the Palestinians, he only spoke of the Israeli problems.

He told us that it isn’t easy to achieve peace, thanks, we know this. He spoke about universal rights – Good, those same rights apply to Palestinians.

[The Americans] are applying enormous pressure on everybody at the UN, they are using threats and coercion. I wish they would invest the same energy in an attempt to promote peace, not threats.

Read more-Mondoweiss

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The humiliation of Barack Obama

As he prepares to singularly veto Palestine's statehood bid, he must be thinking to himself: 'This isn't right'.

Netanyahu has no qualms with rejecting President Obama's terms outright

Sooner or later, it's going to happen. Most likely, the moment will come just before his first head-of-state meeting in New York. Or perhaps it will happen just before his first side-bar meeting with Binyamin Netanyahu. Or then again, it may come as the cumulative reaction to a series of embarrassing encounters with fellow world leaders. But the moment will come.

At some point this coming week, during his visit to the this year's opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, US President Barack Obama is going to have a nearly irresistible urge. He is going to want to stand up to his hovering political handlers and the smothering bureaucracy which tries to dictate his every move, summon his personal dignity, and say "Enough".

Read moreLink

BBC poll: 49% support Palestinian bid to UN. Strongest in Egypt and China. Lowest in India.

LONDON (WAFA) 19 Sept -- A BBC poll, jointly conducted with GlobeScan and surveying residents of 19 countries, Monday showed that 49% of the respondents supported the Palestinian bid to gain full United Nations membership of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, while 21% said their government should oppose it ... The BBC said that the participants’ support for the Palestinian bid was strongest in Egypt, where 90% were in favor and only 9% opposed; however, the lowest level of support was in India, with 32% in favor, 25% opposed and many undecided ... The Chinese were among the most enthusiastic supporters, with 56% in favor and just 9% opposed. US and the Philippines both had 36% against the resolution, but 45% of Americans and 56% of Filipinos backed recognition, said the BBC....
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Palestinian analysts continue to debate, oppose PA 'statehood' bid

Ali Abunimah
EI blog 19 Sept -- short summaries, links to articles by Joseph Massad, Omar Barghouti, Samah Sabawi, Raja Khalidi, Khaled Elgindy, and to Facebook pages.
Read more-Eloctronic intifada

Ban of Egyptian palm fronds export to Israel..

Egypt bans export of palm fronds ahead of Jewish holiday of Sukkot
Haaretz 19 Sept -- Egypt has barred the export of palm fronds - used ceremonially in the upcoming Sukkot holiday - to Israel and to Jewish communities abroad, the Agriculture Ministry has learned. The move by the Egyptian government comes just weeks before the fall holiday when the lulavs are in demand. In the past, Israel has imported about 700,000 palm fronds a year prior to Sukkot, representing about 40 percent of the total demand for them every year here.
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Maybe Israel is starting to pay a price for its arrogance and thuggish behaviour after all.

Turkey: We thwarted Israeli NATO request
Ynet 18 Sept -- Speaking to CNN Turk, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu claims Ankara had previously threatened to veto Israeli request to open NATO Mediterranean Dialogue initiative office in Brussels
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Monday, September 19, 2011

U.S. Republicans submit resolution supporting Israel's right to annex West Bank

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) introduces House resolution that supports annexation if the Palestinian Authority continues to push for UN vote.

U.S. Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL), introduced on Monday a resolution (with 30 co-sponsors) to support Israel’s right to annex the West Bank in the event that the Palestinian Authority continues to push for vote at the United Nations.

“We’ve got what I consider to be a potential slap in the face coming up with the vote in the UN, which is absolutely outrageous,” Walsh told Politico website last July.
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I wonder if those asses thought trhough what should be done to the Palestinians there. I doubt they did unless transfer is what they have in mind. Otherwise it's the dreaded (by Israel) one-state solution!

Turkey, Israel row: US told to butt out

stanbul - Turkey does not need United States' mediation to solve a long-lasting crisis with Israel over a deadly 2010 flotilla raid, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday.

"We do not need mediation ... for Israel in any way," Davutoglu said during a televised press conference in the central province of Konya when asked to comment on the possibility of the US helping to resolve their differences.

"There is no such situation in which mediation is needed. The demands of Turkey are clear" if its former ally Israel wants to improve relations, Davutoglu said.

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Vetoing Palestinian bid will damage US relationship w/ Muslim world for years to come –former ambassador

Philip WeissLinkThere seems to be a late effort to lobby Obama not to veto the Palestinian bid for statehood at the Security Council. Jimmy Carter was on NPR's All Things Considered today urging the president to stand out of the way (and host Guy Raz seemed incredulous). Now this letter to Obama from a former ambassador, Charles O. Cecil, ambassador to Niger under Clinton, is getting wide circulation in email lists I'm on.
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Top 5 things the tea party will cheer

1. Executions
2. The deaths of uninsured people
3. Guns
4. Comparisons of health care reform and the Holocaust
5. Christian values

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Final push begins to head off Palestinian crisis

By Arshad Mohammed and Patrick Worsnip

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A last-ditch international push began in New York on Sunday to try to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and avert a crisis over Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.

Officials met two days after President Mahmoud Abbas said he would demand full membership of the world body for a Palestinian state at the U.N. General Assembly this week, setting up a diplomatic clash with Israel and the United States.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Asked before the meeting if either could report any progress, Clinton replied, "We are meeting to talk about the way forward." Asked if that meant no progress, she said, "I didn't say that."

Senior diplomats from the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations -- the so-called Quartet of Middle East mediators -- also met on Sunday, an EU official said, as part of an intense effort in recent weeks to persuade the Palestinians to drop their U.N. plans.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

29th Anniversary of the Israeli orchestrated Sabra and Shatila Massacres.

Journalist Robert Fisk returns to the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Fisk recounts how Lebanese Christian militias who were under the control of the Israeli military murdered over 2000 Palestinians in the camps. Fisk also points to a building in the distance from where he insists the Israeli forces could witness the massacre. The Israeli government's own Kahan Commission found that future Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was personally responsible for the massacre. This is from a documentary Fisk made about "why so many Muslims have come to hate the West." But we know the real reason is because they hate our freedom, right?

Analysis: Turkey tough talk boosts Mideast stature

Treated to a hero's welcome in Egypt this week and flexing his military muscle in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is basking in growing popularity in an Arab world being transformed by revolution and war. After years of being cold-shouldered by the club of European countries it has sought to join, Ankara has been strengthening its role as regional leader while also unleashing invective against Israel -- a move which has rapidly bolstered its standing in the Muslim world.
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Israeli plans to uproot Jahaleen Arabs out of E. Jerusalem in order to expand settlements

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 16 Sept -- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has issued a military order Thursday of removing the Jahaleen Arabs out of their homes in the city so as to build and expand new settlements, Hebrew sources revealed. In an interview with channel 1 in the Israeli television, the spokesman of the Israeli "civil" administration said that the Jahaleen Arabs residing in Alaizariah suburb in occupied Jerusalem will be moved out of their homes because they pose "security threat" to the area. He added that new Israeli settlements will be built on the hundreds of thousands of square meters of the lands of the Jahaleen Arabs that they currently use as pastures for their livestock. Dozens of Bedouin families are dwelling in the area, but they said they don’t know where to go in case the IOA carried out the order.
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News you wouldn't find in the US media: Military whistleblower: We fired teargas indiscriminately in Nabi Saleh to quash their right to demonstrate

Troops fired tear gas during a curfew in a West Bank village to stop peaceful demonstrations

By Donald Macintyre- The Independent

Israeli troops fired tear gas indiscriminately and sometimes dangerously to enforce a daytime curfew inside a West Bank village to stop Palestinians holding a peaceful demonstration on their own land, a military whistleblower has told The Independent.

The soldier's insight into the methods of troops comes as the Israeli military prepares for demonstrations predicted when the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas submits an application for the recognition of statehood to the UN next week.

The testimony also reinforces a report by the human rights agency B'Tselem which argues that the way Israel deals with protests in the small village of Nabi Saleh is denying the "basic right" to demonstrate in the West Bank. The right to demonstrate is enshrined in international conventions ratified by Israel.

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Congress mulls closing PLO mission in Washington in light of UN bid

Haaretz 16 Sept -- Congress considers cutting PA aid; former terrorism finance analyst at U.S. Treasury accuses PA President Abbas of being corrupt, recommends that Abbas presidential budget be scrutinized and power of PA PM Fayyad be increased ... The Americans were frustrated that years of financial aid, currently comprising 600 million dollars annually, intended to promote peace negotiations and stability did not yield many material results.
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Their masters' voice

On the 29th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre

Sabra and Shatila
Sabra and Shatila

"The following morning, at 11:30 a.m. on Friday 17 September, General Drori ordered the militiamen to stop their operation, but after a further meeting with Phalangist officers the Israelis agreed to let them remain in the camps until the following day. Hobeika was also given permission to use two battalions of fresh troops and in the afternoon another force of militiamen entered the camps where they began a new round of killing. The Israeli commander in Beirut, General Yaron, has since admitted that, in spite of the fact that Israeli officers had known for several hours that the massacres were taking place, the Phalangists were allowed to call up reinforcements and remain in the camps for a further thirty-six hours. The militiamen rampaged around Sabra and Shatila until Saturday morning killing indiscriminately: nurses were raped by the killer gangs and then shot, children were scalped, patients from two hospitals were dragged from their beds and knifed to death. The Phalangists left most of their victims where they killed them, in their homes or in the streets, but some of them borrowed Israeli bulldozers and tried to cover up their deeds by shovelling corpses into mass graves. Because some of the victims were taken away and never seen again, and because it was decided not to open up some of the graves, it will never be known how many people were butchered. But perhaps as many as 2,000 people were killed and not even Sharon can pretend that these were the 'terrorists' he was allegedly looking for."

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Jeff Halper: 'Israel illegal occupier if Palestine recognized'

The Israeli Defence Force is reportedly preparing settlers for the mass uprising of Palestinians, expected after the UN votes on a Palestinian statehood in September. The preparations include handing out tear gas and stun grenades to civilians.

Military resistance to Palestinians will only bring international sanctions on Israel after Palestine is recognised in September's vote. That's the view of Jeff Halper, a political activist and co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Softening Stance After Setbacks. Israel Fears Complete Isolation

Israel's relations with Turkey are ruined, the Palestinians plan to seek UN recognition for their own state, the embassy in Cairo was stormed: Jerusalem is under massive pressure. Even hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is starting to sound conciliatory.

Read more-Spiegel online

Egypt PM says peace deal with Israel not sacred

<p>Egypt's new government Prime Minister Essam Sharaf addresses the nation at his office in Cairo on March 7, 2011 as new ministers were sworn in today by the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, at a ceremony in the capital.</p>

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf said Egypt's peace deal with Israeli was not sacred and was always open to discussion or change if that would benefit the region or enhance peace, speaking in an interview with a Turkish television channel.

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Remaining Israeli diplomats in Cairo leave for Tel Aviv

Al Masry Al Youm

Israel's remaining diplomatic staff left Cairo on Thursday, following the Israeli ambassador and some other embassy officials in leaving for Tel Aviv after the Israeli Embassy was stormed last Friday.

Sources at the Cairo airport said the embassy staff, composed of Israeli Plenipotentiary Minister Yisrael Tuckachinsky, the embassy’s security chief, and the security chief's deputy, left on board an Air Sinai flight for Tel Aviv.

The same sources did not disclose if any of the embassy’s staff remained in the building.

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Britain changes law that enabled war crime charges against Israelis

Reform began after arrest warrant issued in 2009 against opposition leader Tzipi Livni; British Ambassador says change in law means it 'can no longer be abused for political reasons.'

Britain has amended a law that allowed for issuing arrest warrants against Israeli politicians who visit the country, British Ambassador Matthew Gould announced Thursday. Gould called opposition leader Tzipi Livni, against whom an arrest warrant was issued in 2009, and told her the Queen has signed the amendment "to ensure that the UK’s justice system can no longer be abused for political reasons."

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French branch of Jewish terror group (JDL) coming to Israel 'to defend settlements'

PARIS - The French branch of the Jewish Defense League - an organization banned in Israel and America as a terrorist group - is recruiting people for a mission here next week to help "defend the settlements" of the West Bank.

According to a spokesman for La Ligue de Defense Juive in France - where the organization is legal - the mission will take place between September 19 and September 25 and will be made up of five groups of 11 people each, who will take up their "stands" in five different West Bank villages.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gideon Levy: Israel does not want a Palestinian state. Period.

On Wednesday, a coalition of Israeli peace organizations published a list of 50 reasons for Israel to support a Palestinian state. Assuming that you only accept five of them, isn't that enough? What exactly is the alternative, now that the heavens are closing in around us?

What will we tell the world next week, at the UN? What could we say? Whether in the General Assembly or the Security Council, we will be exposed in all our nakedness: Israel does not want a Palestinian state. Period. And it doesn't have a single persuasive argument against the establishment and the international recognition of such a state.

So what will we say, that we're opposed? Four prime ministers, Benjamin Netanyahu among them, have said that they're in favor, that it must be accomplished through negotiations, so why haven't we done it yet? Is our argument that we object to it's being a unilateral measure? What's more unilateral than the settlements that we insist on continuing to build? Or perhaps we will say that the route to a Palestinian state runs through Ramallah and Jerusalem, not New York, a la the U.S. secretary of state. The State of Israel itself was created, in part, in the United Nations.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Israel to forcibly evict Bedouins from occupied West Bank too

State accelerates relocation of thousands of Bedouins from Area C, which is under complete Israeli control.
The Civil Administration is expected to begin forcefully moving Bedouin in the West Bank to a permanent location as part of a plan to remove all the Bedouin in Area C (under both Israel's civilian and military aegis) from lands they have been living on for decades.

The plan will eventually relocate Bedouin living in other areas of the West Bank. According to various calculations, some 27,000 Bedouin live in the West Bank, mostly in Area C.
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How to run for Congress in the United States? You need two flags..


Bob Turner gave his congressional victory speech tonight flanked by two flags.( photo via Mondoweiss)

U.N. experts say Israel's blockade of Gaza illegal

An Israeli naval vessel (front) patrols near the port of Ashdod July 19, 2011. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

GENEVA | Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:03pm BST

(Reuters) - Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip violates international law, a panel of human rights experts reporting to a U.N. body said on Tuesday, disputing a conclusion reached by a separate U.N. probe into Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

The so-called Palmer Report on the Israeli raid of May 2010 that killed nine Turkish activists said earlier this month that Israel had used unreasonable force in last year's raid, but its naval blockade of the Hamas-ruled strip was legal.

A panel of five independent U.N. rights experts reporting to the U.N. Human Rights Council rejected that conclusion, saying the blockade had subjected Gazans to collective punishment in "flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law".

The four-year blockade deprived 1.6 million Palestinians living in the enclave of fundamental rights, they said.

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Confessions of a GOP Operative Who Left "the Cult": 3 Things Everyone Must Know About the Lunatic-Filled Republican Party

Former GOPer: "If you think Paul Ryan and his Ayn Rand-worshipping colleagues aren't after your Social Security and Medicare, I am here to disabuse you of your naiveté."
It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.
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Settlers destroy Beit Ommar farmer’s crops

This morning, Beit Ommar farmers arrived at their lands to discover that large areas of grape vines had been attacked by settlers from the illegal settlement of Karmei Tsur. The farmers immediately notified Mahmoud Ahmad Coql, who owns the destroyed fields.

In total, the settlers severed two dunums (two thousand square meters) of Mahmoud’s grape vines in fields near the illegal Karmei Tsur settlement.

Israeli authorities and the Israeli civilian police – upon seeing a number of Palestinians, press, and international activists – soon arrived on the scene accompanied by roughly twenty-five soldiers.

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Jordan protest threatens to emulate embassy storming

Facebook page calls Jordanians to attend 'million-man rally' outside Israeli embassy in Amman on Thursday; organizers announce masses will attempt to break through building, take down Israeli flag

Could Saturday's violent events at the Israeli embassy in Cairo repeat themselves, this time in Jordan? Jordanians are planning a "million-man protest" near the Israeli embassy in Amman to take place on Thursday, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
Organizers have already announced that the protesters will try to break through the fortified embassy building and take down the Israeli flag.
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The Decade of 9/11: war without end

The wars that have defined the last decade, better represent the actions of an Empire not a Republic, says scholar.
Mark Weisbrot

"Most of the victims of America's wars that are supposedly "against terror" have been civilians, and torture has also been deployed as a weapon. Civilians in Pakistan are killed on average every week in drone strikes, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and also regularly in Afghanistan in "night raids."

And sometimes they are just shot point blank, as in March 2006 when US soldiers reportedly executed at least 10 civilians, including a 70-year old woman and a 5-month old baby, and then called in an airstrike to bomb the house and cover it up. A recently discovered US diplomatic cable from Wikileaks provides evidence of this crime. Iraq veteran Ethan McCord says that killings of civilians by US forces was "standard operating procedure" while he was deployed there."
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Arab states 'to back Palestine statehood bid'

The Arab League met in Cairo on Monday to discuss the PA's bid for statehood at the UN later this month

Arab states will push for a fully-fledged Palestinian state at the United Nations next week, the Qatari prime minister has said despite a US threat to block such a move.

Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, Qatar's prime minister and foreign minister, told a late Monday night consultation session that he hoped the gathering would support the Arab plan to take the Palestinian bid for statehood to the UN General Assembly.

"The Arabs had agreed to apply to the United Nations for a full-fledged Palestinian state with its capital East Jerusalem," al-Thani, chairman of the follow-up committee on the Palestinian UN bid, said at the start of the meeting.

He did not mention the option of taking a resolution to the Security Council and forcing the US to fulfill its pledge to cast a veto.

"We will review in this meeting the steps taken to go to the UN, because this is an Arab demand," he said.LinkUS President Barack Obama said on Monday that if the Palestinians try to achieve statehood in the UN Security Council, the US will oppose the proposal.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Shin Bet: Israel's extreme rightists organizing into terror groups

Peace Now activist targeted with threatening graffiti in latest settler 'price tag' attack.

Extreme right-wing Jewish activists in the West Bank have moved from spontaneous acts against Arabs - following the demolition of Jewish homes by Israeli authorities, or terror attacks against Jews - to organized planning that includes use of a database of potential targets, according to new analysis by the Shin Bet security service.

The small groups of Jewish extremists are difficult to infiltrate and carry out surveillance on Arab villages and collect information about access points and escape routes in the villages. They are also collecting information about left-wing Israeli activists.

Price tag - Tomer Appelbaum - September 2011

A settler 'price tag' attack on a Peace Now activist's home in Jerusalem.
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Congratulations East Bay Jews on your triumph over children's art!

Jewish Federation
Great news! The "Child's view from Gaza" exhibit at MOCHA has been canceled thanks to some great East Bay Jewish community organizing
7 Sep via Twitter for iPhone