Thursday, October 31, 2013

Israel to demolish homes of over 15,000 East Jerusalemites

Israel has destroyed more than 500 Palestinian properties in the
West Bank and mostly East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year,
displacing 862 people, according to UNOCHA (MaanImages)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Municipality officers escorted by Israeli soldiers issued demolition warrants for thousands of Palestinian homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ras Khamis and Ras Shahada on Friday, a local Palestinian official said.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The only country on earth (to vote with the US on Cuba embargo)

(Via the Angry Arab)
"There were 188 votes for the non-binding resolution, entitled "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba," in the 193-nation General Assembly. The only country that joined the United States in voting against the resolution was Israel."

Egypt probes complaint into satirist Bassem Youssef

Egypt's state prosecutor ordered on Monday a probe into a complaint against television satirist Bassem Youssef after his show mocked both the military chief and the formerly ruling Islamists, a judicial source said.

Settlers destroy over 600 olive trees in Nablus using chemical agent

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Settlers destroyed over 600 olive trees in a Nablus village on Wednesday, a Palestinian Authority official said.
Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that settlers from Yizhar cut down hundreds of olive trees belonging to the Hamad, Hussein and Allan famlies in the village of Einabus.
Settlers also used a chemical agent to destroy the trees.
Read more

Israeli military court sentences Hebron man to life imprisonment

HEBRON (Ma‘an) 29 Oct — Israel’s Ofer military court on Tuesday sentenced Hussein Ali al-Qawasmeh to life imprisonment, a prisoners group said. Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights said that al-Qawasmeh, 39, was detained on May 28, 2011, for planning to carry out an operation in Jerusalem to kidnap Israeli soldiers. After sentencing was announced, he said to the judge: “I do not regret anything. You stole my homeland, killed my brothers, sisters, and you expect that I will dedicate a bouquet of flowers for you?” the group said. Al-Qawasmeh’s two brothers were killed by Israeli forces and another brother, Ziyad, is serving a 14-year prison sentence in an Israeli jail. Another brother, who was not identified, was released in the Shalit prisoner swap deal in 2011 and deported to the Gaza Strip. Al-Qawasmeh, a resident of Hebron in the southern West Bank, has spent a total of 11 years in Israeli jails.
Read more

Palestinian child could face a life term (Life-term!) for throwing stones

IMEMC 29 Oct — A Palestinian child, identified as Mohammad Mahdi Suleiman, 15 years of age, could face a life-term by an Israeli court for ‘throwing stones at the soldiers, and endangering their lives.

Eilaboun village massacre, 29 Oct 1948
"A terrifying massacre happened, with memories that hardly exist in our minds a massacre was forgotten by people who tried to describe those horrified days. In the early morning of 30.10.1948 which started as every morning, the sun shining over the world turning that day to a deep red day in the memory of everyone. The people refused to leave in spite of the horrible news about the Israeli army that was about to invade the village in any moment. The army entered the village and found the people inside the church holding white flags. The army took the people out of the church and killed 14 young men and the rest were kicked out towards the north heading to Lebanon, and in order to terrify the people and erg them to leave as quickly as possible  they shot another person turning the number of victims to 15 added to tens of injured people who survived miraculously. Eilaboun was like other Palestinian villages that were put under the Jewish authority, those villages suffered from ethnic cleansing."
Read more

Kafr Qassem massacre: We’ll never forget October 1956 say Palestinians in Israel

Photographs of the victims are displayed at the Kafr Qassem
 Massacre Museum.
(Dylan Collins)
KAFR QASSEM (Electronic Intifada) 29 Oct by Patrick O. Strickland — On 29 October 1956, Israeli border police carried out a massacre in the Palestinian village of Kafr Qassem, situated in the central district of present-day Israel. The massacre took place on the eve of the Suez crisis — in which Israel invaded Egypt with the backing of France and Britain. It followed the announcement of a curfew by Israel in the middle of that day. Although most Palestinians who were outside their villages were doing agricultural work in the fields and had no way of knowing about the curfew, Israeli border police were ordered by the military to shoot anyone who returned after 5pm. Many Israeli officers did not comply. Yet in Kafr Qassem, the order was carried out. Forty-eight men, women and children were slain — 23 of the victims were children between eight and 17 years old. One of those killed was a pregnant woman. “You won’t find any mention of the massacre in any Israeli schoolbook sealed by the ministry of education,” Lina Badr, a 19-year-old from Kafr Qassem, said in an interview with The Electronic Intifada. “So Arab schools around the country make sure to dedicate the week before the anniversary each year for educational events, school trips to the [Kafr Qassem massacre] museum, and distributing literature about the full story of what happened during the massacre.
Read more

Israeli attacks on Palestinian olive groves kept top secret by state

Haaretz 28 Oct by Amira Hass — Olive orchards are being destroyed in the West Bank, but defense and media officials have agreed yet again that everything should be done to respect the public’s right not to know — A document obtained by Haaretz details a series of incidents that have been kept confidential.
Read more

Settlement Pollution: Toxic gases poison Palestinian

SALFIT (PIC) 28 Oct — An old Palestinian farmer in Salfit was transferred to hospital on Sunday after inhaling poisonous gases coming from the industrial area in nearby Burkan settlement. Local sources said that Othman Jaber suffered from serious inflammation and vomiting, adding that he was taken to hospital where doctors told him his lungs were affected by the gases and were in serious condition. Jaber’s house is near to the settlement, which is to the west of Salfit, making him and his family the most affected along with other neighbors from the poisonous winds
Read more

Shrinking space for Palestinian farmers

Al Jazeera 27 Oct — The life of Palestinian farmers in the occupied West Bank is becoming increasingly difficult. Palestinian farmers are being driven off land that Israel has labelled a nature reserve. Israel’s decision to declare this area a nature reserve and frequent harassment by Israeli settlers have created severe limits on the land farmers can cultivate. Palestinians here say Israel only declared the area a nature reserve to stop them using the land. Al Jazeera’s Nadim Baba reports from the occupied West Bank.
Read more

Soldiers demolish an apartment building in Jerusalem

Image - Eye On Palestine
IMEMC — [Tuesday Morning October 29, 2013], several Israeli military jeep, and police vehicles, accompanied by bulldozers, invaded Beit Hanina, in occupied Jerusalem, and demolished an apartment building. Local sources have reported that the building belongs to a resident in Al-Ashqariyya area, in Beit Hanina. The owner, Amin Shweiky, said that dozens of soldiers invaded the area, declared it a closed military zone, and demolished the building without any warning. He added that that the families were not even granted time to remove their furniture and belongings from the building.
Read more

‘I wanted to show Americans what they’re paying for’–Max Blumenthal on why he wrote ‘Goliath’

Alex Kane
"Blumenthal’s book, based on four years of on-the-ground reporting and research, takes the reader from the occupied West Bank to prisons for African refugees to Palestinian areas within Israel. Through a series of profiles and vignettes, he paints a devastating portrait of a country obsessed with demographics bent on permanently subjugating the non-Jews who live between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River."

Obama meets with ‘small coterie’ of Jewish leaders, after Kerry appears to criticize Netanyahu for ‘fear tactics’

Obama talks to Netanyahu on the phone Oct. 28, photo by Pete Souza 
Philip Weiss (Mondoweiss)
Yesterday the White House sought to diffuse tensions over its Iran opening with a meeting between the president and a “small coterie of Jewish organizational leaders.” One of those leaders was Abe Foxman, who had lashed out at John Kerry for making “inappropriate” criticisms of Netanyahu. Though Kerry never mentioned Netanyahu by name.
Of course you would think Iran policy involves all of us, and that our Secretary of State should be free to criticize foreign leaders who slam our policymaking. But who counts the most: the official Jewish community, the Israel lobby (whose existence has been repeatedly pooh-poohed in the mainstream press).

What's behind Israel's biggest economic boom? The occupation

The period of Israel’s history that by far saw the largest economic growth, more than any other, was the six years following the Six Day War. And what agricultural, industrial, or hi-tech breakthroughs took place around 1967-1973? None worthy of mention. More than any other single factor, it was the establishment of the Occupation-Settlement Enterprise.

Discredited definition of anti-Semitism no longer in use, says BBC

"The reputation of a discredited definition of antisemitism has suffered a further blow with the news that the BBC’s governing body amended a ruling to reflect the abandonment of the text by a European Union body.
A working definition of anti-Semitism was originally drafted on the initiative of the European Union’s Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, which has subsequently been renamed the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). It described allegations that Israel’s establishment was a “racist endeavor” as an example of “anti-Semitism.”"

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pro-Israel money to Congress

• Senators (top 20)
• All cycles
Candidate ////// Amount
Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $2,281,424
Kirk, Mark (R-IL) $1,706,933
Levin, Carl (D-MI) $1,661,835
Specter, Arlen (D-PA) $1,376,605
Obama, Barack (D) $1,371,325
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $1,339,348
McCain, John (R-AZ) $1,303,682
Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $1,234,741
Wyden, Ron (D-OR) $1,058,857
Durbin, Dick (D-IL) $954,203
Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) $866,149
Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) $861,013
Cardin, Ben (D-MD) $824,865
Harkin, Tom (D-IA) $822,685
Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) $807,666
Daschle, Tom (D-SD) $797,141
Kerry, John (D-MA) $718,535
Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI) $717,621
Nelson, Bill (D-FL) $707,461
Reid, Harry (D-NV) $699,784
Lautenberg, Frank (D-NJ) $696,266 SOURCE – link to
Members of the House (top 20)
• All cycles
Candidate ////// Amount
Kirk, Mark (R-IL) $1,706,933
Berkley, Shelley (D-NV) $1,440,906
Wyden, Ron (D-OR) $1,058,857
Cantor, Eric (R-VA) $1,005,480
Durbin, Dick (D-IL) $954,203
Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) $866,149
Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) $861,013
Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (R-FL) $840,594
Cardin, Ben (D-MD) $824,865
Lowey, Nita M (D-NY) $786,063
Hoyer, Steny H (D-MD) $781,565
Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI) $717,621
Nelson, Bill (D-FL) $707,461
Berman, Howard L (D-CA) $694,090
Menendez, Robert (D-NJ) $681,823
Engel, Eliot L (D-NY) $628,197
Levin, Sander (D-MI) $579,877
Kyl, Jon (R-AZ) $551,297
Pelosi, Nancy (D-CA) $530,049
Israel, Steve (D-NY) $524,822
SOURCE – link to

Israeli lawyers group Shurat HaDin unmasked as Mossad proxy

Asa Winstanely (Electronic Intifada)
 The director of a supposedly independent group of Israeli lawyers privately admitted to a US embassy official it acted as a proxy for the Israeli government, a leaked US embassy cable shows. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner confided in 2007 that her Shurat HaDin group in the past “took direction … on which cases to pursue” and still “receives evidence” from the Mossad and from Israel’s National Security Council.

'Ex-U.K. FM Jack Straw: Jewish money biggest obstacle to Mideast peace'

'Unlimited' funds available to U.S. Jewish groups are controlling American Mideast policy, Jack Straw reportedly states in British parliament debate.

Jack Straw
Jack Straw, a British lawmaker and former foreign secretary, said “unlimited” funds available to U.S. Jewish groups are used to control American policy in the Middle East.
The comments reportedly were made last week during a debate in the British Parliament’s House of Commons. Former Knesset member Einat Wilf was at the debate and posted Straw’s remarks on her Facebook page.

Chris Hedges on why revolution is inevitable and why the hardest task at hand is to make sure the revolution is non-violent

Raised fists By Chris Hedges, TruthDig

Alexander Berkman was right. As long as most citizens believe in the ideas that justify global capitalism, the private and state institutions that serve our corporate masters are unassailable. When these ideas are shattered, the institutions that buttress the ruling class deflate and collapse. The battle of ideas is percolating below the surface. It is a battle the corporate state is steadily losing. An increasing number of Americans are getting it. They know that we have been stripped of political power. They recognize that we have been shorn of our most basic and cherished civil liberties, and live under the gaze of the most intrusive security and surveillance apparatus in human history. Half the country lives in poverty. Many of the rest of us, if the corporate state is not overthrown, will join them. These truths are no longer hidden.

Documents hint Israelis behind attempt to eavesdrop on France – but America takes the blame

Israel and the NSA: Partners in Crime

 by , October 28, 2013

It wasn’t the US government breaking into the private communications of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, according to top secret documents unearthed by Edward Snowden and published in Le Mondeit was the Israelis.
A four-page internal précis regarding a visit to Washington by two top French intelligence officials denies the NSA or any US intelligence agency was behind the May 2012 attempted break-in – which sought to implant a monitoring device inside the Elysee Palace’s communications system – but instead fingers the Israelis, albeit indirectly:
The visit by Barnard Barbier, head of the DGSE’s technical division, and Patrick Pailloux, a top official with France’s National Information Systems Security, was intended to elicit an explanation for the break-in, which the French media blamed on the Americans. The NSA’s inquiries to the British, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and other US allies all turned up negative. However, one such close ally wasn’t asked.

Bahrain cuts jail terms of two policemen who tortured protester to death

"Bahrain's appeals court on Sunday cut the jail terms of two policemen convicted of torturing to death a protester after a 2011 crackdown on anti-government demonstrations, a judicial source said.
The court reduced the terms of the men from seven years to three after a lower court had convicted them in December over Abdul Karim Fakhrawi's killing in custody in April 2011."

Israeli forces seize Palestinian's home, turn it into military base

Israeli security forces stand facing Palestinian protesters following a march in memory of Mohammed Assi, a Palestinian who was killed by Israeli troops three days before on October 25, 2013 in the West Bank village of Bilin, west of Ramallah. (Photo: AFP - Abbas Momani)
 Israeli occupation forces took over a Palestinian house in the northern West Bank on Friday and turned it into a military base, Ma’an news agency reported.

As'ad Abu Khalil's article in Al-Akhbar: Saudi Princes Fret

"Saudi Arabia’s status among Western governments and media has risen since Sept. 11. At first, Saudi Arabia was put on the defensive, given its decades-long policies of sponsoring (with total US blessings and support) jihadi groups and fanatical ideologies. Swiftly, the Saudi government moved to ingratiate itself with the Zionists in Congress: It moved closer to Israel and its interests in the region, and it unleashed an unprecedented campaign of anti-Shia rhetoric in order to undermine all manners of resistance to Israel and its terrorist occupation. Furthermore, the Saudi government elevated (if that is the right word) its subservience from the private realm to the public realm. The US and Europe were quite appreciative, and the US and British government moved to prevent any court proceedings against the Saudi royal families by families injured by Saudi policies, and the Sept. 11 Commission Report censored the entire section dealing with the embarrassing Saudi involvement with al-Qaeda."

Nasrallah: Saudi "anger" fueling Syrian war

Two injured men are transported on a fruit barrow in the Syrian city of Aleppo following shelling as fighting between pro-government forces and rebels continues on October 26, 2013. (Photo: AFP - Karam al-Masri)
 After two and a half years of relentless bloodshed, the whole world has reached the conclusion that there can be no military solution to the Syrian crisis with the exception of Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech Monday.
He accused the oil-rich kingdom of letting its "anger" over failing to topple President Bashar al-Assad cloud its judgement and prevent political dialogue from taking shape.

Week-long clashes kill 13 in Lebanon's Tripoli

A cat crosses the street with a mouse in his mouth as Lebanese army soldiers stand guard on Syria Street in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on October 28, 2013 following a week of clashes that have killed at least 13. (Photo: AFP - Joseph Eid)
 Overnight clashes left two people dead in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli Monday as army troops continued to deploy throughout the city in a bid to end a week of violence that killed at least 13 and wounded more than 90.

‘No Woman, No Drive’: Saudi activist’s Marley parody becomes online hit

'No Woman No Drive' [YouTube]
A Saudi video mocking the kingdom’s unique ban on female driving has gone viral, featuring a male performer singing “no woman, no drive”, an adaptation of Bob Marley’s famous song.
Nearly 3.5 million people had seen the 4:15-minute video by Monday, two days after the adaptation of the reggae legend’s “No Woman, No Cry” had been posted on YouTube.

Lard arses are proud..


Why It's Not So Bad that Saudi Arabia and Israel are Miffed at the US

Stephen M. Walt
  Some of America's Middle Eastern allies are reportedly not very happy with the United States these days. I refer, of course, to Saudi Arabia and Israel, who are troubled by U.S. discussions with Iran and upset by Obama's reluctance to plunge head-first into the Syrian quagmire. But those of us with a more strategic view of U.S. interests in the Middle East may welcome these developments, as they contain the kernel of a more flexible and effective approach that may be emerging.

Saudi Arabia forces Women to Cancel Driving Protest, Asserts Authoritarianism in Region

Juan Cole
A key group of Saudi feminists have called off their planned protests for Saturday against Saudi Arabia’s bizarre ban on women driving. (Some individuals may go ahead). They did so in response to dire threats from the Saudi Interior Ministry (i.e. secret police) of condign punishment against women who got behind the wheel today, and against those who gathered in public for protests. One woman protester in 2011 was arrested and sentence to ten lashes (yes). I am a worldly person who has visited countries in which, all together, perhaps a majority of the world’s population lives, and I am not quick to condemn other cultures. But really, whipping women with whips for daring to drive an automobile, is barbaric.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The decline of Wikipedia

Tom Simonite writes: The sixth most widely used website in the world is not run anything like the others in the top 10. It is not operated by a sophisticated corporation but by a leaderless collection of volunteers who generally work under pseudonyms and habitually bicker with each other. It rarely tries new things in the hope of luring visitors; in fact, it has changed little in a decade. And yet every month 10 billion pages are viewed on the English version of Wikipedia alone. When a major news event takes place, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, complex, widely sourced entries spring up within hours and evolve by the minute. Because there is no other free information source like it, many online services rely on Wikipedia. Look something up on Google or ask Siri a question on your iPhone, and you’ll often get back tidbits of information pulled from the encyclopedia and delivered as straight-up facts.

Obama’s tired of the Middle East — but is that a policy?

A New York Times report on a major reappraisal of President Obama’s approach to the Middle East tosses this sentence in close to the end:
After vigorous debate, the group decided to make the Middle East peace process a top priority — even after failing to broker an agreement during the administration’s first term — in part because Mr. Kerry had already thrown himself into the role of peacemaker.

Obama lied to Merkel when claiming to know nothing about NSA bugging her phone, says new report

"Obama has a dilemma. On the one hand it is becoming increasingly evident that he will need to steer some kind of reform in the NSA’s operations. But at the same time he doesn’t want to foster the appearance of the agency having become a rogue operation since that would also make him look like a negligent, ineffectual president. Neither does he want to get into an open fight since by their nature, intelligence agencies are dirty fighters. He can be reasonably confident that none of his communications are being monitored by any foreign intelligence agencies, yet why should he assume the NSA would never spy on an American president?"

Israel denies EU delegation entry to Gaza

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 Oct by Charlie Hoyle — The Israeli government on Wednesday denied an official European Union delegation entry to the Gaza Strip, claiming the visit would strengthen the ruling Hamas movement.
Read more

Settlers prevent Bethlehem farmers from reaching their land

BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 23 Oct — Israeli settlers and military forces prevented dozens of Palestinian farmers from reaching their land east of Bethlehem on Wednesday. Armed settlers assaulted villagers from Tuqu‘ while Israeli soldiers stood by and prevented them from reaching their land to harvest olives.
Read more

EU Parliament group: Israel ‘ethnically cleansing’ in Negev

"Israel’s tense relations with the European Union have seen another downturn after the Socialists and Democrats Group (S&D) in the European Parliament held a panel discussion on Thursday on Israel’s resettlement plan for the Negev’s Bedouin population under a banister describing Israel’s actions as “ethnic cleansing.” Israel’s ambassador to the European Union, David Walzer, sent a sharp letter to the parliament’s president, Martin Schultz, and to the S&D’s president, Hans Swoboda, and urged them to condemn the event organized by Belgian Parliament Member Véronique De Keyser."
Read more

Gaza researchers determined to record Nakba generation before time runs out

Electronic Intifada. 23 Oct by Joe Catron
"We hope to use them to produce a documentary film about the history of Palestine.’ ‘Building from scratch’ Its work with first-generation Palestinian refugees begins with finding them. ‘It is by experience, by relationships,’ said Habid. ‘“We built the archive from scratch. There is no systematic reference center for such information in Gaza.’ … The Gaza Strip has the highest proportion of refugees of any territory in the world."
Read more

For Israel's police, settler violence is but a fantasy

The Israeli right-wing likes to claim that Palestinians fabricate the destruction of their olive trees. The police disagrees. Not that they are any good at catching the terrorists

One of the most common, quiet kinds of settler terrorism, carried on an almost daily basis in the West Bank, is that of vandalizing trees. Yesh Din has dedicated its new data sheet to this phenomenon.
Destroying crops is an ancient tool of agrarian terror. Its purpose is generally disinheriting farmers from their land for the benefit of others. Aside from the economic damage – and the damage is immense in societies still making much of their living off agriculture – there is the crippling fear that even if you give your all to your crops, even if you wake up at unreasonable hours, even if you work in the blazing sun and the freezing rain, all your work will be in vain, for some human scum will creep up at night and set the fruit of your labor ablaze.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Einstein letter, on sale at Ebay, blamed Jewish terrorists for risking ‘catastrophe’ in Palestine

    Einstein letter, 1948
    Einstein letter, 1948
    Ebay is selling a letter written by Albert Einstein at the time of the Deir Yassin massacre in April 1948 to an American Zionist, denouncing the Zionist militias’ terrorist activities. It’s interesting that Einstein’s word, catastrophe, is also the Palestinians’ word in Arabic, the Nakba.
    " When a real and final catastrophe should befall us in Palestine the first responsible for it would be the British and the second responsible for it the Terrorist organizations build up from our own ranks."

    Settlers flood farmlands with sewage water

    IMEMC [Tuesday October 22, 2013] A number of extremist Israeli settlers used sewage water to flood Palestinian farmlands in the Al-Khader town, south of the West bank city of Bethlehem. Head of the Al-Khader Local Council, Tawfiq Salah, stated that settlers of the Efrat settlement, built on lands that belongs to the Al-Khader residents, drowned the lands with sewage water, flooding grapevines and other agricultural lands. Salah said that the lands are located in Al-Abyar and the Al-Bassa areas, close to the settlement. He further stated that this attack is not the first of its kind
    Read more

    Army tells Hebron area villagers their homes will be destroyed

    HEBRON (WAFA) 22 Oct — The Israeli occupation forces Tuesday notified several villagers in Deir Samet, southwest of Hebron, of their intention to demolish their homes, according to security sources. They told WAFA that Israeli soldiers informed at least three families of its decision without giving any more details.
    Meanwhile, according to the coordinator of the popular committees against the wall and settlement in south of Hebron, Rateb Jabour, Israeli forces raided Um al-Khair region, south of Hebron, and notified residents of its decision to destroy their bread ovens, known as taboun, because their smoke reaches the nearby illegal settlement of Karmael
    Read more

    The most spectacular libraries in the world

    From Rococo fantasies to nests of twigs and steel, a selection of the world's most beautiful libraries

    escorial library
    The Escorial's was the first major library to have its collection arranged in cases lining the walls, rather than in bays jutting out at right angles.

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013

    Saudi Arabia to restrict relations with USA

    Prince Bandar bin Sultan
    Middle East Monitor
    A source has revealed that Saudi intelligence services chief, Prince Bandar bin Abdul-Aziz has told European diplomats that his country would restrict relations with the United States in protest to their position on Syria.

    Settlers attack Palestinian farmers in first week of olive harvest

    Israeli settlers vandalized the mosque and torched cars in the 
    occupied West Bank village of Burqa.

    Electronic Intifada
    On October 10th, Israeli settlers raided Burqa. In addition to vandalizing the village mosque, three cars were also set ablaze in front of their owners’ homes.
    This attack and others appear to be in response to the recent killings of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.
    The group of settlers – calling themselves “The redemption of Zion” – spray-painted graffiti mosque wall. The message was ostensibly in revenge for the death of Tomar Hazan, an Israeli soldier killed in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya in late September of this year.

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    How long will Israel stay off the nuclear hook? / Akiva Eldar

    Al-Monitor 16 Oct — The agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons, and prospects for a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, will bring even more attention to Israel’s not signing either the Non-Proliferation Treaty or the Chemical Weapons Convention … The Iranians are asking, rightly so from their point of view, why the international community picks on Iran while ignoring the Pakistani bomb. According to various research institute estimates from 2011, Pakistan has a hundred operational warheads. The Shaheen-2 rocket produced in Pakistan, with a range of almost 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles), was supposed to have become operational, in addition to nuclear-capable land-based and airborne cruise missiles. The regime in Tehran is more stable and no less rational than the one in Islamabad. Osama bin Laden did not find refuge for years in an Iranian village. The danger that radical groups will overthrow the government in Pakistan and take control of the country’s nuclear weapons arsenal is greater than such a thing happening in Iran. The Iranians are wondering, rightly so from their point of view, where Israel gets off threatening to attack a sovereign state to prevent its acquiring weapons which a complete majority of experts in the world believe Israel itself has had for decades.
    Read more

    Lessons in hatred: Israel incitement is worse than that of Palestinians / Gideon Levy

    Haaretz 20 Oct –By excoriating ‘Palestinian incitement,’ Israeli leadership sets new records of chutzpah: It’s own incitement is far, far worse –  Here’s another record for Israeli chutzpah: Minister of Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Yuval Steinitz declares that because of Palestinian incitement there is no peace. In an article published in the New York Times last week under the headline “How Palestinian Hate Prevents Peace,” the national philosopher tallied Ramallah’s sins … The real incitement is denial of the Nakba; the real incitement is demonization and dehumanization of the Palestinians; the real incitement is the militarism, victimization and arrogance of the “Chosen People,” including Holocaust studies for six-year-olds that is designed to give the impression that the whole world is against us. The real incitement is that which will never acknowledge the context and motive behind Palestinian hatred. They don’t need lessons in school in order to hate Israelis – it’s enough for them to wake up terrified in the middle of the night to see soldiers brutally intrude their homes, bully their parents and degrade them in front of their eyes. Those are their real inciters.
    Read more

    Abbas: Israel has transformed political conflict into religious one

    BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 20 Oct — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview with a German television station that he blamed Israel’s “demands in East Jerusalem” for having “transformed the conflict’s political nature into a religious conflict in a region already burdened with sensitivities.” Abbas said that he rejected any attempt to make the Palestinian-Israeli political conflict a religious issue “on the basis of our rejection of extremism and terrorism in all its forms.”
    Read more

    ‘Lost’ Indian Jews come to Israel despite skepticism over ties to faith

    Haaretz (JTA) 20 Oct — Some 2,000 members of the Indian Bnei Menashe community live in Israel. Another 5,000 are waiting to immigrate — …The community has been permitted to move en masse despite practicing rituals in India with only glancing similarity to Judaism and claims of ancient Jewish ancestry that some politicians and experts find dubious. “
    Read more

    WATCH: An IDF love song set in the ruins of a Palestinian village

    "I recently came across a video that, at least for me, clarifies just how deep the denial of the destruction of Palestinian existence prior to 1948 runs in Israeli society. The video shows the Nahal Band – a music and theater troupe belonging to the IDF’s Nahal group, famous for their renditions of classic Eretz Yisrael songs – singing Haim Hefer’s timeless “He Didn’t Know Her Name.” The sepia-tinted clip, which looks as if it were filmed sometime the 1960s, opens with five members of the group driving their jeep through a rocky terrain lined with sabra cacti. As the camera zooms out, we see the ruins of a Palestinian village. The next two-and-a-half minutes show lead singer Sassi Keshet (who went on to become a famous Israeli entertainer), walking around the sabra field, finally reaching what is clearly an abandoned Palestinian home. There, he leans on the building, looking forlorn and dejected, before returning to his fellow troupe members and driving off."

    EU Parliament group: Israel ‘ethnically cleansing’ in Negev

    "Israel’s tense relations with the European Union have seen another downturn after the Socialists and Democrats Group (S&D) in the European Parliament held a panel discussion on Thursday on Israel’s resettlement plan for the Negev’s Bedouin population under a banister describing Israel’s actions as “ethnic cleansing.”
    Read more

    Sunday, October 20, 2013

    The young flee Israel because it is a ‘failure’ and ‘xenophobic theocracy’ — ‘Haaretz’ columnist

    "An amazing piece on the Israeli reality, by Neri Livneh in Haaretz, reflecting on what a failure it is, how the best young people are leaving. She connects this to Israel’s constitution as a Jewish state, in which Jews are superior to others, and to Yair Lapid’s belief that there is nowhere else in the world for Jews but Israel. The cul-de-sac. Note her lament that she lost a horrifying number of classmates to war. To produce a xenophobic theocracy."

    Christian Science Monitor asks, ‘Why do Israeli settlements expand during peace talks?


      Why do Israeli settlements expand during peace talks? is an impressive 10 page series of info-graphics published by The Christian Science Monitor. While they never actually answer the question why Israel settlements expand more during peace talks, the series walks the viewer, step by step, through Israel’s settlement expansion during Oslo, Camp David, Sharm el Sheikh, Annapolis, right up to present day…and then some. We’ve compiled just a few from the series here and recommend checking out the rest. Impressive and disturbing.

      Right-Wing Lunacy Never Sleeps: 10 Nutty, Vile and Absurd Utterances From the Fringe This Week

       1. Justice Antonin Scalia: “The 14th Amendment protects all races, not only the blacks.”
      'No friend of affirmative action, voting rights protections, or anything he deems “racial entitlements,” the high court's least inhibited conservative was at it again this week during oral arguments in a case in which advocates for minorities are challenging Michigan’s voter-approved ban on affirmative action in college admissions. The case reached the Supreme Court after a federal appeals court held the ban violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection guarantee, in that it prevents minorities from lobbying for racial preferences, when other groups can lobby for their favored programs, Huffpo explained.'

      Assassination pushes Libya towards civil war two years after Gaddafi death

      Muammar Gaddafi in 2010
      Muammar Gaddafi in 2010, a year before he was captured and killed. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters
      Libya marks the second anniversary of the death of Muammar Gaddafi with the country on the brink of a new civil war and fighting raging in the eastern city of Benghazi, birthplace of its Arab spring revolution.
      Violence between radical militias and regular forces broke out on Friday night and continued yesterday, while the capital Tripoli is braced for fallout from the kidnapping earlier this month of prime minister Ali Zaidan. Federalists in Cyrenaica, home to most of Libya's oil, open their own independent parliament in Benghazi this week, in a step that may herald the breakup of the country.

      Saturday, October 19, 2013

      “After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead” — Nothing alive for over 3,000 miles — No longer saw turtles, dolphins, sharks, birds — Saw one whale, it appeared helpless with big tumor on head

      "After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead," Macfadyen said.
      "We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.
      "I've done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I'm used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen."
      In place of the missing life was garbage in astounding volumes.
      "Part of it was the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan a couple of years ago. The wave came in over the land, picked up an unbelievable load of stuff and carried it out to sea. And it's still out there, everywhere you look."
      Ivan's brother, Glenn, who boarded at Hawaii for the run into the United States, marvelled at the "thousands on thousands" of yellow plastic buoys. The huge tangles of synthetic rope, fishing lines and nets. Pieces of polystyrene foam by the million. And slicks of oil and petrol, everywhere.
      Countless hundreds of wooden power poles are out there, snapped off by the killer wave and still trailing their wires in the middle of the sea.
      "In years gone by, when you were becalmed by lack of wind, you'd just start your engine and motor on," Ivan said.

      Thursday, October 17, 2013

      جرحى من "جبهة النصرة" يعالجون في إسرائيل Jabhat ul Nosra injured fighters treated in Israeli hospitals

      مراسلة الميادين في فلسطين تنقل عن مصادر طبية إستقبال مشفى نهاريا بالقرب من عكا نحو 106 جرحى من جبهة النصرة، وتوضح هذه المصادر لـــ"الميادين" أن نقل هؤلاء إلى المشفى يتم بسيارات إسعاف تابعة للجيش الإسرائيلي تحت حراسة مشددة.

      Rihanna and Other Artists Who Play Israel Feel the Pressure

      israel Rihanna
       Known in the Twittersphere as #BDS, the movement has been gaining momentum since its inception in 2005, and has caused ripple effects across Israel’s academic, agricultural and manufacturing sectors. Its proponents, who consider Israel’s policies against Palestinians tantamount to apartheid, have pushed — with success — for Israel’s detractors to adopt a total refusal to purchase Israeli products, to target corporations and universities that do business with Israel, and to encourage governments to levy penalties against the Jewish state until it fully withdraws from the territories it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and allow all Palestinian refugees the right of return to their pre-1948 homes.
      Artists and entertainers have been drawn into the fray, with directors bowing out of film fests, musicians scrapping concerts and intellectuals refusing Israeli awards in a bid to avoid traveling to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. In July, “Reluctant Fundamentalist” helmer Mira Nair spurned an invitation to bring her film to the Haifa Film Festival, writing on Twitter, “I will go to Israel when the walls come down … I will go to Israel when Apartheid is over … I stand with the (Palestinian Campaign) for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and the larger Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.”

      American-Israeli running for mayor of Pittsburgh... from Israel

      Joshua Wander, a 43-year-old father of six from the Ramat Beit Shemesh section of town, is running for mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the Republican ticket.

      Mortality in Iraq Associated with the 2003–2011 War and Occupation: Findings from a National Cluster Sample Survey by the University Collaborative Iraq Mortality Study

      "Previous estimates of mortality in Iraq attributable to the 2003 invasion have been heterogeneous and controversial, and none were produced after 2006. The purpose of this research was to estimate direct and indirect deaths attributable to the war in Iraq between 2003 and 2011."

      Egyptian coup leaders hire US lobbyist with ties to Israel

      "In response to the Obama Administration's announcement last week that it will be restructuring US military aid to Egypt in light of the ongoing military crackdown, officials in Cairo have hired a well-known lobby group to improve the image of Egypt's coup, according to a US newspaper."
      ........" The Glover Park Group is no stranger to Israel. The group's managing director, Arik Ben-Zvi, is an Israeli citizen who served in the Israeli army and consulted on Israel's elections. In addition, one senior executive previously served as the National Deputy Political Director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, also known as AIPAC, the most powerful arm of the Israel Lobby in the US, while another senior executive served in its legislative department."

      Surprise (Not really): Ashkenazi Jews Are Genetically European

      An Orthodox Jewish man wearing peyos. 
      Live Science
      "Richards and his colleagues analyzed mitochondrial DNA, which is contained in the cytoplasm of the egg and passed down only from the mother, from more than 3,500 people throughout the Near East, the Caucusus and Europe, including Ashkenazi Jews.
      The team found that four founders were responsible for 40 percent of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA, and that all of these founders originated in Europe. The majority of the remaining people could be traced to other European lineages."
      Read more

      Bill de Blasio’s campaign fundraising helped by pro-Israel donors

      Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio waves the Israel flag at the 2013 Celebrate Israel parade. (Photo: Bill de Blasio/Flickr)
      Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio waves the Israel flag at the 2013 Celebrate Israel parade. (Photo: Bill de Blasio/Flickr)
       a list of some of the pro-Israel donors who have helped de Blasio along for this mayoral campaign. While it’s by no means an exhaustive list–there’s probably more donors that fit into this category–it is a window into the role pro-Israel money plays in New York City politics, and indeed American politics writ large. My data is drawn from New York City’s Campaign Finance Board.   The limit on donations to New York City mayoral candidates per election cycle is $4,950.

      Glenn Greenwald: 'Most Shocking' NSA Stories Yet to Come

      Glenn Greenwald (Photo: AP)
      When it comes to the "shock" inspired by the recent National Security Agency revelations, the worst is yet to come, said Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been working with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on the leaks.
      “There are a lot more stories,” Greenwald told a large crowd at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference currently taking place in Rio de Janeiro. “The archives are so complex and so deep and so shocking, that I think the most shocking and significant stories are the ones we are still working on, and have yet to publish.”

      ‘Obama should be called the Bibi sitter’

        Netanyahu lecturing Obama
        Philip Weiss (Mondoweiss)
        If you go to 9:00 or so of this video of President Obama meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu on September 30 at the White House, you will see some fairly excruciating moments in body language as the prime minister explains a thing or two to the president. Netanyahu’s legs are apart and his gut is spilling out as he gestures at Obama, who has all but assumed the fetal position. Obama seems to want to be anywhere else, like dealing with the government shutdown.

        Tuesday, October 15, 2013

        How a Nazi planner shaped early Israel

        'A plan used in the 1950s to build a system of towns and villages in the northern Negev was based on a theory developed in the Third Reich, to be used for populating an Eastern Europe cleansed of Jews. Did Zionist planners not know, or not care?"
         Read more

        Radiation experts confirm polonium on Arafat clothing

        PARIS (AFP) 14 Oct — Swiss radiation experts have confirmed they found traces of polonium on clothing used by Yasser Arafat which “support the possibility” the veteran Palestinian leader was poisoned.
        Read more

        “May you be raped in your grave,” says new darling of Israel’s ruling Likud party

        May Golan with Israeli interior minister Gideon Saar (center) and Tel Aviv deputy mayor Arnon Giladi
        “I am proud to be a racist,” she proclaimed at an October 2012 rally to demand the mass expulsion of Africans.

        New 1500 units for settlers in Occupied Jerusalem

        Israeli Settlement Construction - File,
        IMEMC 12 Oct — Israeli sources have reported that bids for the construction of 793 new settlement units will be announced soon, as part of a plan to build 1500 new units in a number of Jewish settlements in the Jerusalem district, and around it …
        Read more

        Rights group: Israel cancels Jordan Valley evacuation

        BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 14 Oct — Israeli forces have canceled a planned evacuation of 75 people from their homes in the Jordan Valley, an Israeli rights group said Monday. Representatives of the Civil Administration visited the Palestinian communities of al-Burj and al-Mita to inform residents that they will not be required to leave their homes on Tuesday, the first day of the Eid al-Adha holiday, B’Tselem said. Earlier, an Israeli military officer visited the communities to inform them that 75 residents, including 35 children, would have to leave their homes on Tuesday between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. while Israeli forces conduct a military training exercise. Evicting Palestinian residents from their homes for military exercises is unlawful, B’Tselem said, adding that any evictions within occupied territory are only allowed when necessary for the welfare of the population or urgent military necessity.
        Read more

        How Bill de Blasio learned to love Israel

        Democratic candidate for mayor Bill de Blasio shakes hands with then-Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Photo: Bill de Blasio/Flickr)
        Alex Kane (Mnodoweiss)
        Bill de Blasio surrounds himself with hawkish supporters of Israel. But that wasn’t always the case for the likely next mayor of New York City. The Democratic candidate used to be surrounded by critics of the Israeli occupation while he was a member of a Latin American solidarity group. “There is a striking disparity between what he says now about Israel and what he thought about Nicaragua,” one activist who worked with de Blasio in the early 1990s said. Above, de Blasio shakes hands with the hardline former Foreign Minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman.

        Monday, October 14, 2013

        How much military aid (to Israel) do you provide?

        From 2009 to 2018, the United States is scheduled to give Israel--the largest recipient of U.S. assistance--$30 billion in military aid. Through its illegal 44-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, Israel misuses U.S. weapons in violation of U.S. law to kill and injure Palestinian civilians, destroy Palestinian civilian infrastructure, blockade the Gaza Strip, and build illegal settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem.
        How much of this total will your community provide?  Is this a good use of your tax dollars? What else could your taxes be used for in your community?  Find out on the interactive map below.
        (Thanks vza)

        Max Blumenthal: The Desert of Israeli Democracy

        "In case you hadn’t noticed, Israel has been in the news a lot lately. After all, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the U.N. in the midst of an Iranian "charm offensive," just as presidents Obama and Rouhani were having the first conversation between Iranian and American heads of state since Jimmy Carter’s day, and gave the usual hellfire sermon. He said Israel would, if necessary, "stand alone," implicitly threatening to launch an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities without Washington’s support (an act that is, in reality, increasingly unlikely), and generally acted like the odd man out. Soon after, he made a comment reflecting his ignorance of life among the Iranian young – "If the people of Iran were free, they could wear jeans, listen to Western music, and have free elections " – and the next thing you knew, indignant Iranian tweets were going up along with photos of jeans and Western music albums. And so another round of news stories hit the wires."

        Sunday, October 13, 2013

        West Bank village inhabited for 3,000 years faces eviction

        The High Court prepares to hand down a ruling that will seal the fate of the 130 residents of the village of Zanuta, an archaeological site in the West Bank.
        A resident of Zanuta photographed in July.  
        If the story sounds familiar, that is no coincidence. As they did in other West Bank villages such as Susya, Jinba and Duqaiqa that are situated in Israeli-controlled Area C, the Civil Administration is demanding that the residents of Zanuta leave their homes and move elsewhere. They want them to pick up and move to the crowded enclaves in the West Bank's Areas A and B, which are administered by the Palestinian Authority. 

        Saturday, October 12, 2013

        Thirty-five years after Israeli confiscation, a Palestinian village returns to its land

        Palestinian firemen from the village of Burqa near Nablus plant an olive tree sapling on land restored after a 35-year Israeli confiscation. (Photo: Allison Deger)
        After 35 years, deliverance has finally come to the village of Burqa. Decades ago the West Bank hamlet on a hilltop near Nablus lost part of its agricultural grounds when it was confiscated for an Israeli army post, and then later converted into the settlement of Homesh in the 1980s. But in a first in the West Bank, Israel’s high court has restored the former settlement back to the original Palestinian owners.“Homesh was evacuated and demolished, but still the military order to seize the land remained valid, and the Palestinians could not enter,” said Burqa’s counsel Anu Deuelle Luski, an attorney with the Israeli legal rights firm Yesh Din.“In 2010 Yesh Din started legal procedures. We went to the court, submitted a petition and demanded to cancel the seizure order that dated back to 1978,” continued Luski. “After a two and a half year trail the state finally cancelled the closed military zone designation,” she said.

        Friday, October 11, 2013

        A bar that used to be a mosque. (from Max Blumenthal book ‘Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel’

        The mosque from the Palestinian village of Ayn Hawd, which is now a bar in the Israeli village of Eid Hod. (Photo: Australians for Palestine)
        The mosque from the Palestinian village of Ayn Hawd, which is
         now a bar in the Israeli village of Eid Hod. (Photo:Australians for

        There Are No Facts: Excerpt from Max Blumenthal’s ‘Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel’

        The Palestinian village of Imwas in 1958. (Photo: Palestine Remembered)
        And after
        The remains of the Palestinian village of Imwas in 1968. (Photo: Pierre Medebielle via Palestine Remembered)
        Until 2006, the JNF (Jewish National Fund) omitted the history of the Palestinian villages from the explanatory signs it posted around the park, instead presenting details of life in the Second Temple, Hellenic, and Roman periods, adhering to a strictly Euro-centric narrative. When Zochrot, an Israeli non-profit dedicated to preserving the memory of the Nakba, petitioned the Supreme Court to amend the signs to include the history of Arab habitation, the JNF first attempted to deflect all responsibility onto the Israeli government before it finally conceded to the demand. But almost as soon as the revised signs were posted, one mysteriously disappeared, while vandals meticulously blacked out the section mentioning Palestinian villages on another.

        Syrian rebels accused of massacring civilians

        Armed group committed war crime in August by killing at least 190 Alawite villagers in Latakia, Human Rights Watch says.
        Syrian rebels allied with Sunni Muslim fighters killed at least 190 civilians and abducted more than 200 during an offensive against pro-government villages, an international human rights group has said.
        The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) described the August 4 killings as a "war crime", and said the attacks against unarmed civilians in more than a dozen villages in the coastal province of Latakia were systematic.
        In a 105-page report based on a visit to the area a month later, HRW said the attacks could even amount to a crime against humanity.
         Witnesses said rebels went house to house, in some cases executing entire families and in other cases killing men and taking women and children hostages.

        GOP now the most unpopular political party ever measured by Gallup

        The Republican Party has recorded the lowest favorability rating for a political party ever measured by Gallup.
        The polling company found the GOP’s favorability rating had dropped 10 percent, from 38 percent last month to 28 percent last week, in the wake of the government shutdown over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

        Thursday, October 10, 2013

        Israel demolishes his home then orders him out of cave he settled in

        Palestinian Khalid Al Zeer sits with his children inside a cave in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Al Zeer said the family moved into a cave after their home was demolished by Israeli authorities.
        Ramallah: A Palestinian man has been ordered to suspend all restoration work in the cave to which he and family had moved after the Israeli military bulldozers razed his house in the Silwan neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem.
        The order was made against Khalid Al Zeer by the Jerusalem Magistrates Court on Tuesday. Al Zeer has vowed to carry on the work in his cave no matter what the cost in order to provide his family with a place to live.
        Read more

        The Gulf’s Gas Conspiracy Against Lebanon

        Lebanon may be edging closer to extracting the large gas reserves located in its territorial waters in the Mediterranean, but there are forces working diligently to make sure that doesn’t happen.
        To many, it appears as if Lebanon is merely one or two legal steps away from becoming a gas producer, but they may find getting there nearly impossible, given the regional forces arrayed against it. These forces aim to either dominate the country or tip it over the edge, as some government sources describe the attempts to prevent Lebanon from exploiting its gas.
        Read more

        Qatar denies labor group inspectors access to World Cup sites

         A delegation from an international labor federation inspecting the situation of migrant workers in the 2022 football World Cup host country, was denied access Wednesday to a construction site in Qatar.
        "I can't allow you to visit this site without prior coordination," an official at the site told the delegation when they stopped for a "surprise visit."

        Syria: ISIS (Islamic State Iraq and Syria) Orphans al-Nusra Front, Cutting Its Funding

        Opposition fighters open fire during fighting in the Salaheddin district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on 9 October 2013. (Photo: AFP - Karam al-Masri)
        The conflict between jihadis in Syria is not over. Although the differences have not led to internal armed conflict, the financial impact has hit al-Nusra Front, whose funding was cut off recently by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Attempts at reconciliation have failed, and the ISIS emir rejects arbitration.

        Al-Qaeda’s New Orders: Avoid Killing Christians and Shia (Not too soon!)

        Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a new statement, considered to be orders for the coming phase. The emir of the international organization changed his old tone, and called to avoid killing Shia, Christians, Hindus, and Sufis in the context of "warding off sin," in order to "focus on striking the American spearhead."

        Rabbis Said to Use Torture, for Fee, to Force Divorce

        Joseph Goldstein- The New York Times
         The two rabbis offered an unusual service to Jewish women who could not get their husbands to agree to a divorce, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For a fee, they would convene a rabbinical court and authorize the use of violence to get a recalcitrant husband to agree to a divorce, the F.B.I. said.

        McDonald’s worker arrested after telling company president she can’t afford shoes

        Nancy Salgado speaks to The Real News
        A woman who has been employed by the McDonald’s Corporation for over 10 years says she was arrested last week after she confronted the company president at a meeting and told him she couldn’t afford to buy shoes or food for her children.
         “It’s really hard for me to feed my two kids and struggle day to day,” she shouted as Stratton was speaking. “Do you think this is fair, that I have to be making $8.25 when I’ve worked for McDonald’s for ten years?”

        Plans for memorial to Palestinian refugees displayed in Scotland

        Omar Mohammad imagines a Nakba museum where Palestinian refugees’ voices can be heard.
        As he prepared for the opening of his exhibition Al-Nakba Memorial: Palestinian Memories of Displacement, architect Omar Mohammad had to ask for extra room from the University of Edinburgh. The walls were filled up with two-dimensional representations of his vision of a vast monument, while all available table space was covered by scale models depicting buildings and landscapes.
        For Mohammad, this is far from a theoretical project. The son of refugees from the village of Jahula in the Galilee region of historic Palestine, he grew up in Damascus.
        Read more

        Since 1967, Israel has bulldozed Palestinian olive trees equivalent to 33 Central Parks.

         Visualizing Palestine released this new infographic today, highlighting the issue of Israeli destruction of Palestinian agricultural land. The group said in a press release:
        This week marked the start of the annual Palestinian olive harvest, an ancient tradition on which 80,000 families still rely for their livelihoods. Yet these families face growing economic hardship due to Israeli land confiscations, access restrictions, settler attacks, and not least the widespread uprooting, destruction and theft of the trees themselves. The infographic “Uprooted” focuses on the staggering fact that Israeli authorities have uprooted over 800,000 Palestinian olive trees since 1967, the equivalent to razing all of the 24,000 trees in New York’s central park 33 times.
        Read more

        Israeli Army 3rd in the world? No where near. 13th according to this most comprehensive assessment of world's military powers

        Countries ranked by military strength 2013. Our full ranked list puts the military powers of the world into full perspective.

        5- United Kingdom
        8-South Korea

        Wednesday, October 9, 2013

        In the New York Times: Genes Suggest European Women at Root of Ashkenazi Family Tree

        "A new genetic analysis has now filled in another piece of the origins puzzle, pointing to European women as the principal female founders, and to the Jewish community of the early Roman empire as the possible source of the Ashkenazi ancestors.
        The finding establishes that the women who founded the Ashkenazi Jewish community of Europe were not from the Near East, as previously supposed, and reinforces the idea that many Jewish communities outside Israel were founded by single men who married and converted local women."

        Squabbling over religion


        Before Jan 25, mosques had been hunting grounds for the MB. In the post-Jan 25 days, mosques evolved to become a place where they can meet, organize, mobilize, campaign, and more recently, treat fallen followers, count bodies and hide leaders. They also become the scene of political squabbles. At the time of the controversial Islamist-backed constitution, there were dueling campaigns to 1) challenge imams who used their sermons to support Morsi/the constitution (نزله من المنبار, "Get him down off the minbar") or 2) physically restrain worshippers who challenged the imam (ربته في العمود, "Tie him to a column"). The last thing the Brothers needed, after the eventful summer they've had, was to have their comfort zone fall back under government control and, now, the perked ears of pro-military residents, who would report an imam faster than he could compare what soldiers did to Muslims protesters in Raba’a al-Adaweya to what they haven’t done to the Jewish soldiers in Israel.

        Tuesday, October 8, 2013

        Saudis Fund New Rebel Force to Fight Own War on Assad

        October 08, 2013 "Information Clearing House - "UPI" - - BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia, exasperated with U.S. vacillation related to Syria's chemical arsenal and now its effort to reconcile with Iran, Riyadh's foremost adversary, is forging a new alliance of Islamist rebels in Syria under a pro-Saudi warlord to supersede the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army.
          Riyadh also wants to foment an Iraq-style "Sunni Awakening" to unite Syria's majority sect to topple the minority Damascus regime of President Bashar Assad.
        Middle East analyst Michael Weiss, writing in the Beirut Web portal Now Lebanon, observed Riyadh has "taken substantive measures to circumvent Washington altogether on Syria by activating a cadre of new clients in the form of a hard-line Salafist rebels who are now united under the umbrella of the army of Islam
        Beautiful! Enlightment and Democracy will be brought to Syria by the Kingdom of Darkness!..Aren't you excited? I'm excited! Here...Tfoooh!

        Anti-zionist Higgs-boson scientist wins Nobel prize in physics!

        The Nobel committee decided Englert and Higgs (right) should jointly take the accolade for the boson, discovered at Cern in 2012.
        In 2004, Peter Higgs was awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics but he refused to travel to Jerusalem to receive his prize as a protest against Israel's actions in Palestine.

        World Bank report: Palestinians Access to Area C Key to Economic Recovery and Sustainable Growth

        The World Bank released today its report Area C and the future of the Palestinian economy examining the economic benefits of lifting the restrictions on movement and access to Palestinian investment and economic activity in Area C.

        Quote of the day by the now defunct spiritual leader of the Israeli state 
        Chief Rabbi Ovadia Sofer (or is it Sulfur?)
        "Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world -- only to serve the people of Israel."
        “ Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat.”
        “In Israel, death has no dominion over them... With gentiles, it will be like any person – they need to die, but God will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money."