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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

AIPAC slams White House on Iran

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee criticized the White House for not pushing the U.N. nuclear watchdog to recommend sanctions for Iran.

The Bush administration backed a European Union bid last week to reopen negotiations with Iran that would allow Iran to continue with its nuclear program as long as it exports its uranium to Russia for enrichment.

The agreement, which kept the International Atomic Energy Agency from referring Iran to the Security Council for sanctions, would supposedly keep Iran from obtaining weapons-grade uranium. AIPAC and some leaders in Congress oppose the plan, saying Iran could work around it and suggesting that Russia is not trustworthy.

“Last week’s decision allowed Iran to win a critical round in its game of cat and mouse with the international community,” AIPAC said Wednesday in a rare public disagreement with the White House. The statement released by AIPAC added: “We disagree with these decisions and are concerned that these efforts will facilitate Iran´s quest for nuclear weapons, hampering the diplomatic effort to stop Iran before it is too late. This poses a severe danger to the United States and our allies, and puts America and our interests at risk.”

Israel bothered by Gaza crossing

Israel complained over insufficient Palestinian Authority cooperation in running a Gaza Strip border terminal.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Wednesday that Israeli security officials were not receiving full information on those using the Rafah terminal on the Gaza-Egypt border, contrary to a U.S.-brokered agreement that led to its opening last week.

“There are a few gaps in the Rafah crossing, when it comes to everything to do with passing data from the Palestinian side to the Israeli side, which I hope will be filled soon,” Mofaz told reporters.

He threatened the Palestinian Authority with the closure of border crossings from Israel. “If there is not a positive Palestinian response, we will close the Erez and Karni crossings until the information is transferred,” he said.

Israel sees Iran nuclear countdown

Israel’s military intelligence chief said time was running out for the U.N. Security Council to punish Iran over its nuclear program.

Addressing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday, Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze’evi-Farkash noted that the International Atomic Energy Agency decided last week not to refer Iran to the Security Council in order to give Europe more time to talk Iran into abandoning its uranium-enrichment efforts.

“If, by the end of March, it does not succeed in transferring the issue to the Security Council, it will be possible to say that the diplomatic effort has failed,” Ze’evi-Farkash said. “Iran understands the international efforts are weakening, that there are internal problems in the United States and oil prices are rising. They feel confident.” Foreign experts speculate that Israel could resort to military action against Iran if diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from developing a bomb fail.

Germany’s new leader backs Israel

Germany will stand by Israel, the country’s new chancellor said.

In her first speech as chancellor to the German Parliament on Wednesday, Angela Merkel stressed her commitment to the Jewish state and said Iran, whose president recently called for Israel’s destruction, must cooperate with International Atomic Energy Agency inspections.

In the first official contact between the new chancellor and a representative of the Israeli government, Merkel told Israeli Cabinet minister Ehud Olmert that she’ll visit Israel in the near future.

According to Yediot Achronot, Merkel said she opposes Hamas participation in Palestinian Authority elections slated for January.

O.U.: Hands off Israel elections

The Orthodox Union called on U.S. Jews not to intervene in Israel’s electoral process. Passion for Israel “ought not be channeled into inappropriate interventions in the policy decisions of the duly elected Israeli government, Israel’s elections or into lobbying the American government to pressure Israel to make concessions it would not otherwise make,” said Stephen Savitsky, president of the group. Israel is going to general elections March 28. Savitsky singled out the Israel Policy Forum, which met with Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, ahead of her intervention in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations this month. Rice pressed Israel to allow the Palestinians to open up a border station between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, despite Israeli security concerns. Urging American officials to press Israel “to make certain concessions is not only disrespectful to Israel’s government but offensive to millions of American Jews who categorically reject such an approach,” Savitsky said. The IPF advocates a greater U.S. role in the peace process, but its leaders did not report asking Rice to specifically intervene in the border issue.

posted by Somebody @ 10:19 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 11-29-05

11-29-05 - Israeli, Palestinian forces clash in Bethlehem

11-29-05 - Three Palestinians murdered in refugee camp

11-29-05 - P.A security, Israeli Special Forces clash in Bethlehem, two residents injued

11-29-05 - Israeli Security officer attacks a Palestinian at Maali Adumim settlement

11-29-05 - UN holds meeting to observe Palestinian Solidarity Day

11-29-05 - Hoyer looks to Israel aid Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he believes the United States will approve a supplemental aid package for Israel next year.
This aid will be used to develop the Negev and Galilee while New Orleans still lays awaste

11-29-05 - European solidarity with the Palestinian people

11-29-05 - Assembly president urges Israel, Palestine to build peace along Road Map In an address marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Eliasson said "it is crucial that Palestinians and Israelis cooperate to the fullest extent possible. "

11-29-05 - Palestinian FM warns that Israeli settlements threaten chance for Palestinian state

11-29-05 - U.S., Israel discuss Iran Iran was a focus of the renewed Israel-U.S. strategic dialogue.

11-29-05 - Abbas condemns Israeli raid on W. Bank city Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned on Tuesday an Israeli raid on the West Bank city of Bethlehem which led to a clash with Palestinian police.

11-29-05 - Fatah vote delayed by gunmen, fraud charges

11-29-05 - Israel begins trial run of new West Bank crossing Israel has said it is building dozens of checkpoints -- from simple gates through which farmers can access their land to massive passenger and cargo terminals -- along its barrier.

11-29-05 - Chief Palestinian negotiator urges US to back upcoming polls "These elections, mark my word, will constitute a turning point in Palestinian political life,"

11-29-05 - EI EXCLUSIVE: Did UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw help sell out Jerusalem? British officials in Tel Aviv were treating Occupied East Jerusalem as if it were a part of sovereign Israel.

11-29-05 - Court nixes petition to connect power for young cancer patient How many Jewish settlements and neighborhoods in both Israel and the Occupied Territories are without power?

11-29-05 - E.U. official blasts Hamas Hamas will remain on the European Union?s list of terrorist organizations until it renounces violence and recognizes the State of Israel, E.U. officials said.

11-29-05 - Ongoing humanitarian commitment: Commissioner Michel visits the Palestinian Territories

11-29-05 - PARC calls for supporting the people of Salem village number of Jewish settlers from "Elon Moreh" settlement near Nablus uprooted at least 300 olive trees owned by the families of Salem from which they make a living

11-29-05 - Mofaz Urges Mushrooming Settlements in Private Palestinian Lands

11-29-05 - Palestinian youths put lives on line with checkpoint arrests "I wanted to go to prison as I am fed up with life. I would prefer to be in prison for I can study inside and my family will be entitled to a monthly allowance,"

11-29-05 - War against Olives Yesh Hok Israeli organization, reported that 15 complaints were filed to the Israeli police since April 2005, after the settlers uprooted and burnet hundreds of olive trees.
So far, the police closed five cases without progressing them.
The total number of complaints filed since April is 84; the complaints were filed after the settlers attacked and damaged Palestinian properties and orchards.

11-29-05 - Clashes in Ofer detention facility dozens injured Dozens of Palestinian detainees in Ofer Israeli detention facility were injured last night after an Israeli army special force broke into the branches of the facility, sprayed gas at the detainees and fired rubber-coated bullets.

11-29-05 - Palestinian Christians face struggles

11-29-05 - Sabbath Riot by Settlers in Hebron

11-29-05 - Ayalon: ?I killed Arabs more than Hamas killed Jews?

11-29-05 - UAE urges world community to force Israel dismantle wall

11-29-05 - Day in pictures Palestinian children are made to wait at an Israeli roadblock in Hebron after an upsurge in tensions there. Photo number 2.

11-29-05 - Peace team loses narrowly to Barcelona Spanish champions Barcelona beat a joint Israeli-Palestinian soccer team 2-1 on Tuesday in a "match for peace" aimed at promoting reconciliation in the Middle East

11-29-05 - New Book Exposes Pervasive Anti-Semitism in U.S. Higher Education Thus does the propaganda campaign (which is naturally playing the 'anti-Semite' card and equating anti-Israelism to anti-Semitism) to force colleges and Universities to be more pro-Israel continue.

11-29-05 - The Pro-Israel Campus Besides the dearth of Israel scholars and plethora of anti-Israel faculty, the situation on campus was never as bad as it was portrayed. This article contradicts recent ones that claim that criticism of Israel on campus (now deemed anti-Semitism) is out of control in America.

11-29-05 - Jihad denounces Israeli arrest campaigns in W. Bank

11-29-05 - Settlers 'cut off' by W Bank barrier Rabbi Fruman disagrees and has formulated his own peace plan to the Palestinian Authority under which the settlers would be allowed to stay. The BBC is running an awful lot of settler-sympathetic articles these days. Wonder why?

11-29-05 - Canada sets up peace center Canada will establish a center to provide wide-ranging support for peace efforts in the West Bank, Gaza and throughout the Middle East, Canada?s foreign affairs minister announced yesterday.

11-29-05 - Sharon calls for strict control over Egypt border

11-29-05 - Peres prepares to leave Labour to join Sharon Senior Labour figures warned Mr Peres that the prime minister's plan to create a Palestinian state was a "hoax" which would perpetuate the conflict

posted by Somebody @ 1:22 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

Hoyer looks to Israel aid

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he believes the United States will approve a supplemental aid package for Israel next year.

The U.S. House of Representatives’ minority whip said he believes an aid package, to develop the Negev and Galilee regions in the wake of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, will find support in the next congressional session. Israel had been expected to ask for additional aid this year, but held off after the U.S. government incurred huge costs from fall hurricanes.

“Next year, hopefully it will get serious consideration,” Hoyer said Tuesday in a meeting in New York with JTA’s editorial staff. “If we have the willingness to do so, we can afford to deal not only with tragedies at home but continue to invest in parts of the world that are critical.”

In a wide-ranging discussion, Hoyer said he believes Iran will come under increasing European pressure to end its presumed nuclear-weapons program, and said the United States should do more to end genocide in the Sudan. He called national security policy the Democratic Party’s “Achilles heel,” adding that the party must do more to showcase its security credentials and communicate a coherent foreign policy vision to Jews and other voters.

U.S., Israel discuss Iran

Iran was a focus of the renewed Israel-U.S. strategic dialogue.

“Discussions covered a broad range of regional issues,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement Tuesday. “Both sides also expressed concern at the Iranian government’s growing radicalization and its irresponsible policy on nuclear issues.”

The dialogue, which resumed Monday, had been suspended for three years because of U.S. displeasure over Israeli arms sales to China.

A memorandum of understanding signed this summer gives the United States a veto on Israeli arms sales.

Leading the dialogue are Tzachi Hanegbi, an Israeli Cabinet minister; and Nicholas Burns, a U.S. undersecretary of state.

E.U. official blasts Hamas

Hamas will remain on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations until it renounces violence and recognizes the State of Israel, E.U. officials said.

E.U.’s ambassador to Israel, Ramiro Cibrian-Uzal, made the comments Monday to reporters.

At the same time, Cibrian-Uzal said he respected the Palestinian Authority’s decision to allow Hamas to participate in Palestinian legislative elections slated for January.

Jewish leaders meet new German official

Jewish officials met in New York with Germany’s new foreign minister.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in the United States for talks with American officials, met separately Monday with Jewish leaders from the American Jewish Committee, the World Jewish Congress, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Leo Baeck Institute.

The Jewish officials said they discussed issues ranging from the allocation of funds to home-bound Holocaust survivors to German-Jewish relations to Germany playing a role in fostering interreligious dialogue in Europe among Jews, Christians and Muslims.

“We dealt with all of the outstanding issues that the Claims Conference will have to deal with the new government on,” said Rabbi Israel Singer, chairman of the WJC. “I wanted him to know that these are not just internal issues, but external issues as well.”

Leaders also raised the issue of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Germany is a member of the European Troika negotiating with Iran on nuclear issues.

Presidents Conference Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein said he has “every reason to believe we will have a good relationship with” Steinmeier, who recently was named foreign minister in Germany’s new government.

Canada sets up peace center

Canada will establish a center to provide wide-ranging support for peace efforts in the West Bank, Gaza and throughout the Middle East, Canada’s foreign affairs minister announced yesterday.

The Canada Centre for Peace and Democracy in the Middle East will provide a platform for increased Canadian activity with both the Palestinian Authority and Israel, and will serve as “a concrete symbol of Canada’s dedication to supporting Palestinians in their nation-building,” Pierre Pettigrew said.

“Our goal is to contribute to the foundation of a viable Palestinian state, with a dynamic society and vibrant economy,” Pettigrew said. “We want to improve living standards and help create a Palestinian state that includes democracy, the rule of law, strong public administration and good governance.”

B’nai Brith Canada expressed concern that the plan for the Centre “conspicuously omits any references to Palestinian terrorism.” The center “should have as its cornerstone an insistence by Canada that Palestinians live up to their repeated promises to rein in terrorists,” said Frank Dimant, the organization’s executive vice-president.

posted by Somebody @ 10:32 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 11-28-05

11-28-05 - Secretary-General, in message to mark Day of Solidarity with Palestinians, reiterates call for renewed action on Road Map obligations

11-28-05 - No evacuation of settlement outposts before the elections

11-28-05 - Police accused after brother and sister are cleared of failing to tell of bombing plan Months before the discovery of the note Israel had asked Britain to be extra vigilant for suicide bombers being recruited in Britain, Israeli sources told the Guardian.

11-28-05 - End of the road for the Bedouin Israeli police and ministry of interior officials arrived to put formal notices on 12 houses slated for demolition in what the villagers believe is the first of a multi-stage operation in which they will be moved off the land they regard as having been theirs since Ottoman times.

11-28-05 - Fatah halts polls amid violence The main Palestinian political group, Fatah, has halted its primary elections in Gaza after militants raided some polling stations and fired in the air.

11-28-05 - Blair accused as summit on anti-terrorism ends in failure A Spanish foreign policy adviser was caught on an open mike yesterday accusing Tony Blair of preparing to "throw the towel in" and blaming the Israelis for being intractable at a summit on countering terrorism which ended in failure.

11-28-05 - Israelis, Palestinians to play for Mideast peace

11-28-05 - New Sharon party seeks demilitarised Palestinian state Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's new party Kadima will seek the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state and keep Israeli control of occupied east Jerusalem, a senior party member said...It also wants to retain the larger Jewish settlement blocs elsewhere in the occupied West Bank, which account for the majority of the 240,000 Jewish settlers there.

11-28-05 - Supreme Court Passes Up PLO Case Clark said U.S. courts "are marching off to the conflicts of the Middle East and elsewhere carrying with them the integrity of the U.S. judiciary and risking the foreign perception that U.S. courts will extend their jurisdiction globally deciding the most sensitive political questions affecting the foreign policies of the U.S. and other nations as they go."

11-28-05 - One of our lions is still missing Sawar hopes that the zoo will have a therapeutic effect on the children of Gaza, many of whom suffer from trauma after the violence of the past five years.

11-28-05 - BBC chief holds peace talks in Jerusalem with Ariel Sharon Understandably, an official BBC spokesman was anxious to downplay talk of an exclusively pro-Israeli charm offensive.

11-28-05 - Palestinians grow frustrated waitingfor the expected economic recovery

11-28-05 - UN applaudes Syria?s Role In Helping Palestine

11-28-05 - Soldiers fire 10 tank shells at the Gaza Strip

11-28-05 - E.U. won't press Israel on Barghouti

11-28-05 - No casualties in bomb attack on Israeli troops

11-28-05 - Israel Carries out Ethnic Cleansing Policy in Hebron City

11-28-05 - Israel alone against joint Euromed declaration: source Israel was not ready to accept a general reference to the Middle East peace process.... The chairman's statement calls for "a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement consistent with the Road Map and principles of the (1991) Madrid Conference including land for peace and based on relevant UNSC (UN Security Council) resolutions, including 242, 338 and 1397."

11-28-05 - China marks International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians The United Nations designated November 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people in a resolution adopted in 1977

11-28-05 - Young guard rises in Palestinian politics

11-28-05 - A History of Violence Dreyfuss also reveals how Israel helped to create and empower the forerunners of Hamas as a bulwark against Palestinian nationalism (as embodied by Yasser Arafat and the PLO). The Likud-Hamas link - with both organizations thriving in unstable, warlike environments - is sure to be one of the book's most controversial points

11-28-05 - PALTEL to be listed on ADSM in landmark agreement

11-28-05 - Finding a future between walls and trees This place honored by Christians for almost 2,000 years as the place where Jesus was born is a city isolated from Israel, isolated from the world, isolated from portions of its own community as the barrier and restricted roads cut through the boundaries of the city.

11-28-05 - Train track from Jerusalem to Ramallah

11-28-05 - Israel-U.S. dialogue resumed The United States suspended the dialogue in recent years because of Israeli arms sales to China

posted by Somebody @ 6:32 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Monday, November 28, 2005

Israel-U.S. dialogue resumed

Israel-U.S. dialogue resumed

Israel and the United States renewed their strategic dialogue.
Tzachi Hanegbi, the Cabinet minister who heads the Israeli team, joined the directors general of the foreign and defense ministries in Washington on Monday to meet with U.S. counterparts.

The United States suspended the dialogue in recent years because of Israeli arms sales to China. A memorandum of understanding signed this summer that allows the United States a veto over Israeli arms sales paved the way for the dialogue to be renewed, and Monday’s meeting was the first under the new system.

posted by Somebody @ 10:22 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 11-27-05

11-27-05 - Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian olive trees

11-27-05 - Armed robbers snatch lion cub from Palestinian zoo

11-27-05 - Extremist Jews attack eight Arab residents in Shfa-Amr, eight injured

11-27-05 - Palestinian police crack down on Gaza chaos

11-27-05 - Russian analyst: Israel had motivation in the Hariri crime Bogdanov underlined that Israel intends to destabilize Lebanon, replace it with a financial center in the Middle East. It also aims at weakening the positions of Syria and Iran who are two regional states that have big influence in the region.

11-27-05 - Theofilos III decries Israeli attitude toward Greek patriarchate Theofilos says the Israeli government is exercising a type of "blackmail" in making its recognition of him conditional upon validation of real estate deals conducted by Irenios, in which church-owned property was leased for hundreds of years to companies owned by Jews living in East Jerusalem

11-27-05 - Israeli troops attack a voting station Bethlehem

11-27-05 - Fatah set to play Barghuti trump-card to counter Hamas

11-27-05 - Pact may aid Israeli Red Cross bid Officials from Israel's Magen David Adom (Red Star of David) said the deal, to be signed in Geneva, would guarantee speedier passage for Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances through Israeli military checkpoints in the occupied West Bank


11-27-05 - US Report Calls on Israel to Begin Nuclear Disarmament This is the correct URL for that PDF file

11-27-05 - Army closes the Erez Crossing

11-27-05 - Shopkeeper Shot, Daughter Killed In Robbery Fakri Elayyan, a Palestinian immigrant, had run the shop for 18 years, but family members said he was planning to sell it because the neighborhood had become so dangerous.

11-27-05 - Security court sentences a Palestinian lawmaker to 7 years in prison

11-27-05 - Israel urges citizens to refrain from entering Gaza

11-27-05 - Israeli Occupation Tightens Grip on Old City of Hebron As Settlers Flock to Ibraheem Mosque

11-27-05 - After several surgeries, Palestinian goes home

11-27-05 - Arab leaders' absence dims summit But while nearly all 25 EU leaders attended, only two of the 10 Mediterranean partners -- Turkey and the Palestinian Authority -- sent their top leaders to the two-day conference.

11-27-05 - Caritas Backs Day of Solidarity With Palestinians

11-27-05 - Arab Christians are nationalists, not 'fifth-columnists'

11-27-05 - Israel says it uncovered an organization that finances Hamas? military activities

11-27-05 - Israel Hinders Use of Palestinian International Dialing Code

11-27-05 - EU reaffirms support for "two-state" solution in Middle East

posted by Somebody @ 6:24 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian olive trees

A Palestinian woman embraces the trunk of an olive tree after it was destroyed as an Israeli troop looks on in the West Bank village of Salem, near Nablus November 27, 2005. Jewish settlers cut down and uprooted hundreds of olive trees on Palestinian farms near the West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday, residents and Israeli police said. Settlers from the most radical enclaves in the occupied West Bank have often attacked farms since the start of the Palestinian uprising in 2000. Settlers say that the land, which Palestinians want for a state, is theirs by biblical birthright. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini

source more photos

Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian olive trees
27 Nov 2005 13:13:09 GMT

Source: Reuters

NABLUS, West Bank, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Jewish settlers cut down and uprooted hundreds of olive trees on Palestinian farms near the West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday, residents and Israeli police said.

Settlers from the most radical enclaves in the occupied West Bank have often attacked farms since the start of a Palestinian uprising in 2000, in which settlers have often been targeted by militants.

Settlers say that the land, which Palestinians want for a state, is theirs by biblical birthright.

Residents of Salem said dozens of settlers from Elon Moreh chopped down hundreds of the town's olive trees, the main source of income for 5,000 residents.

"This is not the first time that settlers have cut down dozens of olive trees. Among them were trees more than 30 years old," said Adli Eshiya, a local councillor. Villagers said it was the sixth such attack this year.

Police said that at least 200 olive trees had been destroyed near Salem and that an investigation had begun.

A spokesman for Elon Moreh settlement, Benny Katsover, said he was not aware of the incident.

More than 245,000 settlers live in the West Bank, home to 2.4 million Palestinians. The World Court has said that all of Israel's settlements on land captured in the 1967 Middle East war are illegal. Israel disputes this.

Settlers' anger has grown more intense since Israel removed settlements from the Gaza Strip this year under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan for breaking from conflict with the Palestinians.

Although Sharon has said he has no further plans for unilateral withdrawals, he has said that some isolated West Bank settlements would have to go under any eventual peace deal. Elon Moreh is one of the smaller settlements.

posted by Somebody @ 9:24 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 11-26-05

11-26-05 - Landmark day on Gaza-Egypt border Among the first to cross was wheelchair-bound mother Naimeh Bayah, travelling from Jabaliya refugee camp to Egypt for surgery. "I am so tired, but happy, because I made the crossing as a human being for the first time,"

11-26-05 - Settler Mobs Attack Palestinians and Besiege Internationals In Hebron Other quotes from settlers throughout the day: "death to the Arabs", "we hate all the Arabs", "Palestinians are animals who should be in cages", "they shouldn?t be caged just in Hebron but everywhere", "I hope that God burns all the Arabs in hell? they are not men but dogs".

11-26-05 - Smooth Debut for Palestinian-Run Border

11-26-05 - Palestinians assert control of frontier Travellers exchanged embraces and some flashed V-for victory signs, happy to be freer to travel and to be processed by Palestinian police rather than Israeli soldiers who occupied the Gaza Strip for 38 years before they withdrew in September

11-26-05 - Christian leader signs secret document The man enthroned last week as Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem signed a secret document obliging him to nullify the recent sale to Jewish groups of land comprising much of a key entrance to Jerusalem's Old City, WND = pro-Israeli mouthpiece, if you couldn't already tell.

11-26-05 - Pre-Emptive Selling of Ariel Sharon as a Dove Ariel Sharon has dedicated his career to destroying any sort of peace negotiations, and to denying the Palestinians a viable state. Far from representing a Damascene conversion, his statements reveal the underlying continuity of his plans.

11-26-05 - Kibbutzniks help Palestinians restore destroyed olive groves Ten volunteers from the Kibbutz Movement's assignment division, headed by Yoel Marshak, arrived Saturday at the olives grove of the West Bank village of Salem, in order to help its Palestinian residents restore the olive groves that were destroyed by settlers from Elon Moreh a month ago.

11-26-05 - Future of West Bank at stake in Israel polls: president Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has set himself the target of finalising Israel's borders while retaining the main Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank.

11-26-05 - Jailed intifada leader heads list for Palestinian polls

11-26-05 - In pictures: Rafah re-opens

11-26-05 - Attacks getting more personal

11-26-05 - The New Israel Lobby in Action (David Noble) After its first year of operation, the CIJA boasted of its "success stories." These included "new initiatives initially sponsored by Israel Emergency Cabinet," like symposia, conferences and seminars designed to promote pro-Israel "education." They more than doubled the number of visits, dubbed "missions," to Israel arranged for Canada?s politicians and "opinion makers"

11-26-05 - Prime minister plans to draw 'the final shape of Israel' "Either the borders are those from 1967, or there is a swap of land that is equal in quality and quantity," said Ghassan Khatib, the Palestinian Authority labour minister. "Palestinians will not settle for less." Israel- the only nation in the world that gets to draw up its own borders at will, at the expense of another people, AND with the full backing of the United States.

11-26-05 - Soldiers close the Ibrihimi Mosque for Jewish feasts

11-26-05 - Holy Land Christians: An Endangered Species Israel today seems to welcome only those pilgrims known as Christian Zionists, who stand with Israel?s political and religious right. Mostly American, these groups routinely refuse to meet with indigenous Christians, who are considered theologically and politically "incorrect."

11-26-05 - Female detainees in Telmond complain of bad conditions

11-26-05 - UNRWA plans to construct 600 new homes for refugees Neocon John Bolton wants to abolish UNRWA

11-26-05 - Bethlehem passport launched to protect city from wall

11-26-05 - From 2001: Israel: Sharon Investigation Urged A criminal investigation into Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon´s role in the massacre of civilians in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla should be launched, Human Rights Watch urged today. The Israeli leader will meet on Tuesday at the White House with President Bush.

11-26-05 - ?Arab Talk With Jess and Jamal? Debuts in San Francisco

11-26-05 - Philanthropists Vow to Keep Seeking a Just Peace on Both Sides of Apartheid Wall

11-26-05 - Spielberg set for an Oscar-winning row Clinton has read the screenplay and encouraged several of his former aides to help Spielberg prepare for the political fall-out

11-26-05 - Palestinian-Americans Offer Coloring Books to Palestinian Refugees

11-26-05 - Walker's World: The Mideast's new map

11-26-05 - Total Embrace of Israel Threatening Judaism?s Ethical and Humane Tradition

11-26-05 - Dr. Margaret Kay (Maggie) Grater (1942-2005) She traveled throughout the Middle East and provided training to teachers and administrators throughout the occupied territories.

11-26-05 - Time to send a letter opposing $1.2 billion more for Israel

11-26-05 - Anti-Semitism on the rise on college campuses "We would argue that anti-Semitism in the form of anti-Israelism " Anti-Israelism has now become 'anti-Semitism'. The definition is drawn up at will just like Israel's borders.

11-26-05 - UN Amb. John Bolton And Jerusalem Post's Caroline Glick The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is pleased to announce that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton will be the Keynote Speaker at the annual ZOA Louis Brandeis Award Dinner. He will also receive ZOA?s Defender of Israel award Defender of Israel award? Why would that be? Because John Bolton is ISRAEL'S new ambassador to the U.N., that's why.

11-26-05 - Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and The Abuse of History

posted by Somebody @ 10:37 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Palestinian Cuties

Via Yahoo News Photos

Mostly men in the Palestinian Authority Police force.

For a view of the full-sized collage click here

posted by Somebody @ 6:40 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 11-25-05

11-25-05 - Soldiers attack a peaceful procession against the Wall in Aboud, eight injured

11-25-05 - Palestinians Assume Control of Crossing "From this moment, we feel that we are free," said Fathia Najar, 55, one of a group of Palestinian travelers waiting to cross the border when the terminal starts operations Saturday. "Before this, we lived in a jail."

11-25-05 - P.A security foils infiltration of Bethlehem by Special Forces A bloody clash was prevented when the Palestinian Police and security officer fist-fought with the soldiers in order to bar them from opening fire in an area which was filled with civilians, children and vehicles.

11-25-05 - Jailed man leads in early Fatah vote count Jailed Palestinian Marwan Barghouthi was emerging as one of the most popular candidates in a vote called to choose people to run for Fatah in Palestinian elections in January, an official said on Friday.

11-25-05 - EU accuses Israel over Jerusalem

11-25-05 - Foreign Office 'unrelentingly pro-Palestinian' says Israel It's worth noting, the British were once the victims of the terrorism of the Irgun and Stern gangs.

11-25-05 - B?Tselem calls for compensation for demolished home They said the soldiers did not bother to tell the people inside, including small children, to get out of the house. Instead the residents were awoken after their home went up in flames while they were still inside.

11-25-05 - Israel to build 310 lots to Maleeh Adumim Settlement

11-25-05 - State officially admits politics are preventing evacuation of illegal outposts The State of Israel announced on Wednesday for the first time - in an official document - that political considerations such as the upcoming general elections are preventing the evacuation of illegal outposts, including those that have been established on private land taken from Palestinians.

11-25-05 - EU mulls renewing ties with Palestinians in East J'lem After a terrorist attack in 2001, Israel shut down Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, and they have not been reopened since. Former Shin Bet security force head Avi Dichter considered the move one of the most important Israeli achievements during the intifada.

11-25-05 - Aoun: no Palestinian refugees Speaking Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, Aoun said he favored repatriating the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees to their original homes, a solution Israel flatly rejects and that Palestinian officials have backed away from in recent years.

11-25-05 - "Honor killings" in Israeli Arab sector Most recently, 23-year-old Samar Hasan was allegedly killed by her Christian father and uncles because she was living with a Muslim man

11-25-05 - Palestinians open Gaza gateway to the world "We want the roadmap to be implemented. We are asking for nothing more but we will accept nothing less,"

11-25-05 - EU downplays leaked memo on east Jerusalem

11-25-05 - Army taught a lesson in Bil?in

11-25-05 - Palestinians Oppose Armed Attacks from Gaza Many Palestinian adults believe the "Disengagement Plan" should not become an excuse for violence, according to a poll by An-Najah National University. 58.7 per cent of respondents reject launching armed resistance operations against Israel from the liberated areas in the Gaza Strip

11-25-05 - Call for sanctions on Israel as West Bank and Gaza suffer at their hands "There is an appaling level of poverty and child malnutrition throughout the West Bank and Gaza as a result of land confiscation, and restriction on movement and trade in the area. Due to Israel's persistent flouting of international agreements and human rights conventions, the European parliament has voted for a suspension of the preferential trade agreement and this has only been blocked by a lack of a majority among the Council of Ministers."

11-25-05 - Agreement on neutral 'red crystal' Magen David Adom and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society have reached agreement on the adoption of a new neutral symbol.

11-25-05 - Putting a face on the Arab world

11-25-05 - Egypt's ties with Israel bolster Islamist campaign In Egypt's textile heartland, popular support for the opposition Muslim Brotherhood in the parliamentary election has also fed off anti-Israeli sentiment since the government developed a trade agreement with the Jewish state.

11-25-05 - Arafat report 'broke BBC rules'

11-25-05 - Presbyterians meet with Hezbollah MEMRI said that a delegation of families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks also met with Hezbollah officials. MEMRI=an Israeli-run outfit.

11-25-05 - Speakout: For Palestinians, situation not so rosy

11-25-05 - U.S.: Elections shouldn?t hinder progress Forthcoming elections in Israel and the Palestinian areas should not hinder Palestinian-Israeli cooperation, the U.S. State Department said

11-25-05 - Israeli held as Hezbollah spy

11-25-05 - Koizumi plans Middle East visit

11-25-05 - The Reality in "Paradise Now"

11-25-05 - Abramoff used DeLay to fund anti-intifada militia It is hard to stomach the irony. If there is any group in the US that can empathize with the occupation of the Palestinian people -- it's the Native Americans. But here Abramoff's clients were, unknowingly donating tens of thousands of dollars so that Israeli settlers in the West Bank could continue to occupy defenseless Palestinians. You can bet that DeLay and Abramoff snickered all the way to the (West) bank.

11-25-05 - Hizbollah says has duty to abduct Israeli troops

11-25-05 - Israel trip brings Bible to life for local woman She recalled a visit to the city of Hebron, where she was baffled about the cage-like sheets of wire that overhang the streets. When she asked her tour guide about it, she was told the wire exists to protect Palestinians in the streets below from the rocks and garbage thrown from the windows of apartments above by Jewish settlers.
Van Riesen said she wouldn?t have believed the claim, had her tour group not been showered with rocks shortly thereafter.
Christian Peacekeeper Teams, who are stationed in Hebron, are there to protect the Palestinians (children, in particular) from soldier and settler violence. Their blogs are here

11-25-05 - Bulldozer rolls on To keep its national identity, Israel must consolidate its shrinking Jewish majority over a smaller territory. This means keeping Jerusalem and the adjacent settlement blocks, where most settlers live, in Israeli hands behind the security barrier. This will leave about 10% of West Bank territory under Israeli control and gradually free the rest from occupation

posted by Somebody @ 11:08 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Friday, November 25, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

Presbyterians meet with Hezbollah

Representatives of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. met once again with Hezbollah officials.

The Middle East Media Research Institute cited Oct. 20 Lebanese media reports that Presbyterian officials met with Nabil Qawuk, the terrorist group’s commander in southern Lebanon.

“The Americans hear in the Western media that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, and they do not hear any other opinion,” the Lebanese reports quoted Presbyterian spokesman Robert Worley as saying. “They know nothing about the party´s concern for the people of the south.” Worley was also quoted as saying that the church “suffered” because of Jewish organizational pressure after it decided to divest from Israel.

A similar meeting in October 2004 led to the firing of two delegation members from the Presbyterian church.

MEMRI said that a delegation of families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks also met with Hezbollah officials.

Although Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 to U.N.-certified lines, the organization continues to refuse to recognize the Jewish state.

Agreement on neutral ´red crystal´

Magen David Adom and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society have reached agreement on the adoption of a new neutral symbol.

The understanding between the two aid societies on the “red crystal” emblem is expected to be signed Monday in Geneva, according to a report by The Associated Press citing the Swiss Foreign Ministry.

The agreement could help smooth the way for Geneva Convention signatory nations to accept the emblem, a red square perched on one of its corners.

Opposition from Arab and Muslim nations to the MDA’s use of the Star of David as its symbol has been among the major stumbling blocks to MDA´s acceptance in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Passage of the red crystal by the signatory nations is expected to lead the way to Israel’s acceptance after decades of exclusion.

U.S.: Elections shouldn’t hinder progress

Forthcoming elections in Israel and the Palestinian areas should not hinder Palestinian-Israeli cooperation, the U.S. State Department said.

“What this requires really is, at this point, a lot of hard work at the working level,” said spokesman Sean McCormack. “There really aren’t at this point any political decisions that need to be taken at, sort of, the leadership level.”

One example he gave was the purchase and installment of scanners in order to facilitate the movement of Palestinians in and out of the Palestinian areas. Israel and the Palestinians achieved a breakthrough agreement to cooperate on transiting Palestinian people and goods after Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, intensified U.S. pressure.

Palestinians go to legislative elections in January and Israel goes to general elections on March 28.

Aoun: no Palestinian refugees

Palestinian refugees can never become permanent citizens of Lebanon, that country’s opposition leader said, and their fate must be decided as part of an agreement with Israel.

Michel Aoun was in Washington this week to meet with top U.S. officials, including Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. Secretary of State. Aoun, a Christian who recently returned from 15 years in exile, leads the opposition to the Syria-allied president, Emile Lahoud.

Speaking Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, Aoun said he favored repatriating the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees to their original homes, a solution Israel flatly rejects and that Palestinian officials have backed away from in recent years.

“The Palestinians did not integrate,” Aoun said. He said that a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict must include the repatriation of Palestinians living in Lebanon, some of whom are third or fourth generation. “The international community, which has helped the establishment of the state of Israel, can assist also in the absorption of those people.”

Human rights groups have criticized Lebanon for not even attempting to absorb its Palestinian refugees, unlike Syria and Jordan, which also have large Palestinian refugee populations.

“Honor killings” in Israeli Arab sector

“Honor killings” have taken the lives of some nine Israeli Arab women so far this year.

According to the Women Against Violence organization, the murders — in which women who are believed to have broken certain social norms thereby shaming their families are killed — are only “the tip of the iceberg” as far as violence against women in the Israeli Arab sector is concerned, Ha’aretz reported.

Most recently, 23-year-old Samar Hasan was allegedly killed by her Christian father and uncles because she was living with a Muslim man.

Israeli held as Hezbollah spy

An Israeli Arab is on trial on charges of spying for Hezbollah.

The 38-year-old Nazareth man was charged in the city´s District Court on Thursday with espionage. According to prosecutors, he was recruited for cash by a member of the Lebanese militia while visiting relatives in South Africa over the summer. At Hezbollah´s behest, the defendant planned to set up a restaurant in Haifa to attract Israeli security officials, who could later be tapped for information on military installations, prosecutors said. It was not clear how the defendant would plead to the charges.

posted by Somebody @ 10:20 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 11-24-05

11-24-05 - Secret EU report launches scathing attack on Israel The confidential report, prepared by top diplomats representing the 25 EU governments in the city, warns that the chances of a two-state solution are being eroded by Israel's "deliberate policy" - in breach of international of law - of "completing the annexation of East Jerusalem". Who leaked the report, and why? To abort the opening of the Rafah crossing?

11-24-05 - Secret British document accuses Israel It adds: "Israeli activities in Jerusalem are in violation of both its Roadmap (peace plan) obligations and international law."....The Foreign Office also concludes that the vast concrete barrier, which Israel asserts is a security measure, is being used to expropriate Arab land in and around the city. "This de facto annexation of Palestinian land will be irreversible without very large-scale forced evacuations of settlers and the re-routing of the barrier."

11-24-05 - In pictures: Palestinian student protest Palestinians objected to having their bags searched and being made to lift their shirts before being allowed to pass.

11-24-05 - Olive trees uprooted in Palestinian village The residents of the West Bank village of Bil'in were amazed to discover several weeks ago that dozens of olive trees had been uprooted from the village's orchards, tearing down the livelihood of dozens of families

11-24-05 - PNIC: Three Killed, Eight Wounded in 41st Week of Ceasefire

11-24-05 - On hatred the Israeli ex-Londoner was not finished. 'Have you got cancer
yet? I hope so,' he said to me. 'Please don't say that. My husband died
of cancer six years ago,' I replied. 'I am happy about that,' he said.

11-24-05 - Hebron Update: 1 to 7 November 2005 The committee's assumption is that Israel will try to connect the new wall
segment with an existing segment by confiscating more land. This would
complete a wall looping around the Israeli settlement of Eshkalot, locating
3,200 dunams (800 acres) of Palestinian land on the Israeli side of the
Wall. Some fifty Palestinian families would be affected by this larger
confiscation in an area where many families have already lost their land.

11-24-05 - At-Tuwani Update 1-11 November 2005 the Israeli military DCO arrived and told the villagers that the
Palestinians needed to leave the valley by 3:30 PM, because the settlers
wanted to come down and pray in the area. The Israeli police then said that
they would not protect the Palestinian land unless the Palestinian owners
showed documents proving ownership. A Palestinian man said that it was their
land and that they stay as long as they needed to finish the harvest (which
ended up being 3:30 PM). No settlers appeared in the area to pray at any
time during the afternoon.

11-24-05 - Hundreds of Israeli spies in Lebanon: Syria press charges "You have to recognize the danger of having more than 400 men from Israel's Mossad in Lebanon who are working with the other (Lebanese) agents who once supported the Zionist enemy and its militias,"

11-24-05 - Lebanon fighting shows UN-Beirut rift over Hezbollah Highlighting the differences in perspective, Foreign Minister Fawzi Salukh complained that "the aggressor (Israel) is being treated as if it were the victim" by international organisations such as the United Nations

11-24-05 - EU prepares for Gaza-Egypt border opening

11-24-05 - Hamas: No plan to renew truce

11-24-05 - US resigned to waiting with Mideast agenda till spring

11-24-05 - THE MISERABLE OCCUPATION ON A MISERABLE MORNING Yesterday, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD) received information that the Israeli government was planning on demolishing houses in Anata, Beit Hanina and Silwan. Although the demolition of Palestinian homes was supposed to end with the first phase of the Road Map, Israel insists disingenuously that we are only in a "pre-Road Map" phase ? even though the Road Map was initiated in mid-2003.

11-24-05 - Top West Bank militant surrenders

11-24-05 - Court gives Mofaz 10 days for plans to demolish illegal outpost

11-24-05 - Death in French Park Were the high school students Mohammed, Ala, Ramzi and Ahmed members of a dangerous terrorist band, or an innocent group of hikers?

11-24-05 - Teachers, students hold classes near a military checkpoint in Hebron

11-24-05 - Israel concerned about EU report slamming J'lem policy On the same day Israel officially invited the European Union to be the third party monitors at the Rafah border crossing, Israeli officials were bracing for a "problematic" report on Jerusalem the EU is expected to release next month It's such a coincidence that the reported was leaked TONIGHT the eve of the opening of the Gaza-Egypt border crossing which is being helped along by the EU, no?

11-24-05 - Human Rights Observer to be Deported from Palestine by Israel. He had just finished escorting Palestinian children to school and was walking home on Shuhaddah street when he was stopped by an armed Border Police unit in a targeted arrest.

11-24-05 - Inside Iran Part III: The Jewish Question

11-24-05 - Sharon names his party 'Forward'

11-24-05 - Israel agrees to return Hezbollah remains

11-24-05 - Appearance in Toronto causes headaches back home for Hardball host

11-24-05 - Tense situation in Lebanon's south sparks fear The fear among the southern villagers was sparked by the latest clashes that took place on Monday between militants of the Shiite group Hezbollah and Israeli troops

11-24-05 - Pro-Israeli media 'watchdog' outfit tells the CBC how they are to report

11-24-05 - Israel close to foreign currency financing independence Who is buying up these bonds? Many US cities, towns, states - "In addition to attracting Israeli business to Georgia, the trip was a nod to the local Jewish constituents. According to Israel's Consul General in Atlanta, Shmuel Ben-Shmuel, Georgia's Jewish community is 100,000-strong. The recent repeal of a state law against investing in foreign national bonds, which will clear the way for the purchase of $5 million in Israel Bonds, will also help to strengthen ties between Georgia and Israel."

11-24-05 - Financial Boost For Aliyah? Nefesh B?Nefesh, an organization promoting North American immigration, is poised to score government resources ? but only if an Israeli cabinet decision is actually implemented.

posted by Somebody @ 6:26 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Thursday, November 24, 2005

News for 11-23-05

11-23-05 - Palestinian killed by Israelis during Jenin incursion Saleh Fuqahaa, 24, died after being shot by Israeli soldiers who opened fire to disperse Palestinian stone throwers

11-23-05 - Six Palestinians wounded as Israeli army enters Jenin The six youngsters were wounded when Israeli soldiers opened fire towards schoolchildren throwing stones in defiance of a curfew imposed after troops rolled into the flashpoint town

11-23-05 - Israel's message to Lebanon from above only adds insult to injury Imagine if the Lebanese flew combat aircraft deep into Israeli airspace and littered messages for the people of Tel Aviv, Haifa and northern Israel. How would the citizens of Israel and the international community react to such a blatant intrusion?

11-23-05 - Israel drops anti-Hizbollah leaflets over Beirut Reda Nemeh, a 41-year-old security guard who saw the leaflets on his way to work in downtown Beirut, slammed them as an Israeli attempt to terrorize Lebanese citizens

11-23-05 - Israel shelves 'drastic steps' to halt building of illegal settlements

11-23-05 - Israeli-Hezbollah Clashes Erupt Again Israeli soldiers clashed with Hezbollah guerrillas Wednesday to cover the escape of an Israeli hang glider who had inadvertently floated into Lebanon and landed across the border

11-23-05 - Israeli Army Knocks Down Suspected Hideout

11-23-05 - Sharon Saying Little About Peace Plans In the absence of a peace partner, Israel will go on building its West Bank separation barrier and expanding Jewish settlement blocs Israel wants to keep under a final deal, said Lior Horev, a Sharon political adviser.

11-23-05 - Abramoff and the Israel Connection That an Israeli firm should be given such a contract through a selection process that was described as "deeply flawed and unfair" is inexplicable, particularly as there were American suppliers of the same equipment, and it suggests that the private conversations of some of our congressmen might not be so private after all

11-23-05 - Palestinians to build 10 industrial zones: minister Sanakrot said among the 10 zones, one will be built near the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun with a 3 million US dollar donation by the United States.

11-23-05 - Jenin: Officers injured from friendly fire

11-23-05 - Gaza to reopen window to outside world Hailing the reopening of the terminal as an "extremely important step" for Gaza residents, telecommunications minister Sabri Saydam said a functioning border would help to revive a moribund economy overly dependent on Israel.

11-23-05 - Israeli parachutist falls inside Lebanon There was also dispute over the parachutist's identity, with the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah telling AFP he was a soldier and Israeli military sources insisting that he was a civilian.

11-23-05 - Six Palestinian ministers to resign for election bid

11-23-05 - Dahlan Heads for Cairo to Discuss Rafah Terminal as Reopening Preparations Draw Near

11-23-05 - Palestinian kids hold classes at checkpoint Palestinian schoolteachers taught pupils in the road outside an Israel Defense Forces checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron on Wednesday to protest what they consider to be unnecessarily intrusive searches of the children on their way to school.

11-23-05 - Syria wants Israel expelled from UN over its "terrorist" policy "The international community, with the United States at its leader, should apply Chapter Seven of the UN Charter to Israel and if necessary expel it to force it to renounce its terrorist policy and preserve global security."

11-23-05 - Israel sets date for early poll

11-23-05 - Campuses team up against terror Israeli and American universities plan to cooperate on national-security issues.

11-23-05 - Israeli right: purists vs. pragmatists

11-23-05 - AIPAC seeks Iran sanctions ?It will be very disappointing if the IAEA fails this week to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council,? the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said in a statement Wednesday.

11-23-05 - Sharons seen as corrupt Israelis consider Ariel Sharon and his son to be among the most corrupt elected officials in the country, a poll found.

11-23-05 - Rabbis: Take back Gaza Strip Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon must immediately take back the Gaza Strip and cease any future land transfers to the Palestinians, a group of prominent rabbis told WorldNetDaily

11-23-05 - Reform Head Blasts Right For 'Bigotry,' 'Blasphemy' It comes just two weeks after the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, delivered a November 3 speech in which he warned of a growing campaign to "Christianize America" and called on Jewish organizations to join him in coordinating a communal strategy for confronting religious conservative groups.....Jewish organizations, including ADL, have shown a much-discussed tendency to ally themselves with pro-Israel evangelical Christians on foreign policy issues, while downplaying or even overlooking their deep disagreements on domestic issues.

11-23-05 - Calls To Monitor Pro-Arab Bias Rejected The main proposal, which Jewish groups have been lobbying Congress to write into law, would be the establishment of an "advisory board" to monitor Middle Eastern studies departments and report to the Department of Education on whether these departments are balanced in their teaching of regional affairs. The advisory board would include political appointees.

11-23-05 - The French flow rightward Although he was put out to pasture against his will, Lionel Josepin foresaw what the suburban uprising would do to the French soul. Last week, as a dinner guest of the French ambassador to Israel, the former socialist premier predicted strong erosion toward the right and even the extreme right

11-23-05 - Hamas rejects amending Palestinian elections law

11-23-05 - Signs of hope Because they did not visit the West Bank, which includes Bethlehem, Hillary and husband Bill, who joined her on the trip, missed an opportunity to see firsthand the hardships that the wall has imposed on Palestinians

11-23-05 - President Decorates Former Swedish FM "Bethlehem 2000"

11-23-05 - The Times smears Robert Fisk Bronner also takes Fisk to task for calling the Israeli occupation of Palestinian areas as the ?last colonial war.?

11-23-05 - OPT: Palestinian children's right to quality education

11-23-05 - Protest for Pollard The rally was called to mark 20 years since Pollard, a U.S. Navy analyst, was arrested for spying on behalf of Israel.

posted by Somebody @ 10:22 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

Syria sanctions extended

President Bush signed a bill that extends sanctions already in place against Iran to Syria as well.

The Iran Nonproliferation Amendments Act of 2005, signed Tuesday, significantly toughens existing law by enabling sanctions against third parties or countries that deal with Syria.

Currently, sanctions are limited to direct U.S.-Syria trade. Bush may choose to suspend the provisions of the bill for now, but his administration has suggested in recent weeks that sanctions may be toughened because of Syria’s failure to cooperate with a U.N. investigation into the murder of a former Lebanese prime minister; its alleged support for Iraqi insurgents and its failure to shut down the Damascus offices of Palestinian terrorist groups.

U.S. favors Europe-Russia plan on Iran

The United States favors a plan that would allow Iran to use uranium enriched in a third country. The point is “to get Iran back to the negotiating table, to come to an agreement whereby they are able to develop peaceful nuclear energy,” U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Tuesday, as long as “Iran would not have access to those critical nuclear fuel cycle activities, i.e., enrichment or reprocessing, on their territory.” Israel sees a nuclear Iran, whose president recently called for Israel’s destruction, as an existential threat. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, meets later this week to consider whether to ask the Security Council, which could impose sanctions, to discuss Iran’s refusal to allow inspectors full access to its nuclear facilities. The United States and Israel favor a Security Council referral, as did the European Union until recent weeks, when it backed a proposal to have Russia enrich the uranium, but not to a level that could be used in a nuclear bomb. Congressional Republicans oppose the plan, saying Russia is not trustworthy.

AIPAC seeks Iran sanctions

The pro-Israel lobby called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council for pursuing nuclear weapons. “It will be very disappointing if the IAEA fails this week to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said in a statement Wednesday.

Iran was found to be in non-compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in September, and the IAEA is meeting this week to debate sending the country to the Security Council for sanctions. “With time running out, the international community must work tirelessly to ensure that Iran is not allowed to develop the capability to produce nuclear weapons or acquire such a capability from others,” AIPAC said. “The time for Security Council action is now.”

The organization also expressed concerns about a Russian proposal that would allow Iran to continue making precursors to bomb-quality uranium.

Protest for Pollard

Hundreds of Israelis demonstrated for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Linked by handcuffs, the protestors formed a human chain Wednesday between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s residence and the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem.

The rally was called to mark 20 years since Pollard, a U.S. Navy analyst, was arrested for spying on behalf of Israel.

Supporters say successive Israeli governments have not done enough to win his release from U.S. jail, where he is serving a life sentence.

Sharons seen as corrupt

Israelis consider Ariel Sharon and his son to be among the most corrupt elected officials in the country, a poll found.

According to the study conducted for an economic conference in the southern town of Sderot this week, Israelis named the prime minister as the fifth-most corrupt Cabinet member, and his son Omri Sharon as the most corrupt lawmaker. Topping both lists were members of the ruling Likud Party. By contrast, Israelis named the Labor Party’s Isaac Herzog as the least corrupt Cabinet member and Shinui Party chief Yosef Lapid as the least corrupt lawmaker. Omri Sharon recently pleaded guilty to illicitly financing his father’s 1999 run for the Likud leadership. While related charges have been dropped against the prime minister, many Israelis consider him tainted.

Campuses team up against terror

Israeli and American universities plan to cooperate on national-security issues. Under the deal announced Wednesday, the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and Syracuse University in New York will develop joint study and research programs in counter-terrorism and homeland security. There also will be exchange programs for undergraduate students and reciprocal visits of researchers and lecturers. Special executive education programs are also in the planning stages for senior officers in the security forces and for researchers from around the world.

posted by Somebody @ 10:30 PM Permanent Link 0 comments

News for 11-22-05

11-22-05 - Lawmakers want U.N. Palestinian bodies nixed The Bush administration has proposed abolishing the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division of Palestinian Rights. The congress members, all senior members of the U.S. House of Representatives? International Relations Committee, also proposed doing away with the Special Committee to investigate Israeli human rights practices affecting the Palestinian people More legislation for Israel.

11-22-05 - Harsh UN resolution condemning Israel removed from agenda The resolution on the state of Palestinian children and humanitarian aid they receive contains very negative references to Israel. Among other things it expresses serious concern for the fact Palestinian children are still denied basic rights anchored in the Convention on the Rights of Children. Israel managed to garner sufficient support for its initiative to remove the proposal from the agenda of the current assembly and prevent a second vote. Israel's main support came from EU country members. The rejected proposal will be replaced by an old resolution on a Palestinian issue, but it will be devoid of any negative mentions of Israel.

11-22-05 - EU stays mum on East Jerusalem as ties with Israel improve EU foreign ministers discussed the Middle East in a meeting Monday and decided to express "deep concern" over Israel's activities in East Jerusalem and its environs, including establishing settlements, constructing the West Bank separation fence and demolishing homes.

11-22-05 - Lebanon celebrates Independence Day amid border bloodshed Siniora blamed the Jewish state for the latest clashes, saying that Israeli aircraft "have never stopped violating Lebanese airspace in the past weeks", fuelling tension at the frontier

11-22-05 - Palestinians closely follow Israeli political upheaval "I don't see Sharon's new party as a centrist party. It's a party that represents a unilateral approach," said independent MP Hanan Ashrawi.
"He wants to annex most of the West Bank and impose a unilateral solution on the Palestinians," she added.

11-22-05 - East Jerusalem residents fume over lack of mail delivery Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says Jerusalem is the "undivided" capital of Israel. But many Israeli Arabs and Palestinians in East Jerusalem say there is a big divide between the two sides when it comes to the quality of government services.

11-22-05 - Sharon rejects land for peace approach, says aide Arad fails to mention that during Oslo, Israel DOUBLED the number of settlers in the Occupied Territories. Pres. Bush I, to his credit, threatened to withhold aid to Israel if it did not stop building the settlments. He was cowed by the Israeli lobby and backed off in the end, but he gets credit for trying.

11-22-05 - Palestinians doubt Israel's political regrouping will help their cause

11-22-05 - Lawmakers want Hamas out Six lawmakers introduced a resolution calling on the Palestinian Authority to prevent Hamas participation in upcoming elections.
More legislation for Israel.

11-22-05 - Peretz criticized over housing plan Amir Peretz allowed the Israeli housing minister, Isaac Herzog of Labor, to allow for the construction of 350 apartments in Ma'aleh Adumim this week, despite a clause in the U.S.-led "road map" peace plan calling for a freeze on settlement expansion

11-22-05 - Canadian Arab Federation takes Martin to task for pro-Israeli remark "Canada does not share common values with some countries - like Israel - who break international law and whose human-rights record is clearly questionable."

11-22-05 - Israeli Warplanes Hit Targets in Lebanon

11-22-05 - Abbas to discuss re-opening Gaza crossing

11-22-05 - PA security detains IDF undercover troops spotted operating in Bethlehem The IDF refused to respond to the Palestinian report of the incident

11-22-05 - Annan: barrier, settlements and security challenge two-State Israeli-Palestinian

11-22-05 - SYRIA: Palestinians from Iraq seek shelter in Syria

11-22-05 - Catholic villagers join protest against Israeli separation barrier "We are the Catholic Church here. There are few Christians here, and if they take our land what should we do? We live from our olives and if they take them, how can we live?"

11-22-05 - Children, troops scuffle in West Bank Here are some photos from Yahoo of this event. See this one in particular.

11-22-05 - PNA: EU Monitors Can Contact Hamas Members

11-22-05 - EU sends police to monitor operations of Rafah

11-22-05 - Thankfulness blooms at Palestinian dinner

11-22-05 - Erekat welcomes EU decision to send 70 monitors to Gaza crossing

11-22-05 - New Jerusalem patriarch sworn in

11-22-05 - Are Israel's values Canada's values?

11-22-05 - Israel sets March election

11-22-05 - Israel maintains its strategic advantage, says Jaffee Center The Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University has determined that the strategic balance in the Middle East clearly favors Israel No kidding? Who would've guessed it?

11-22-05 - Israel talks tough after border clash Israel blamed Syria and Iran for a fierce clash with Hezbollah militiamen on its northern border.

11-22-05 - Trudeau?s documentary about Mideast draws criticism Trudeau equated the Palestinian cause with the plight of the Canadian aboriginal people. "It's like asking (Canadian aboriginals) why haven't they developed and progressed despite their conditions? There is a slow process of restoring dignity,"

11-22-05 - Sharon?s Game of Ping Pong Wastes US Taxpayer Money; Imperato Speaks Out "I stand up for the American people to say that it?s about time that we truly evaluate our stance and financial input behind the Israeli policy and the country of Israel. I believe the United States has been in a ping pong match and is the ball being pinged and ponged. It is time that the United States stands up, and stops the game of ping pong that is continuing to milk billions of dollars from the American people paying taxes."

11-22-05 - Bribe plea cites Israeli deal A guilty plea in a congressional bribery scandal included allegations that an Israeli high-tech firm played a role.

11-22-05 - Poll: Elites more likely to blame Israel

11-22-05 - Whom Do We Really Fear? GOP and Dems take aim at Jewish vote with calls to arms against different foes The affair was yet another demonstration of the wall-to-wall support for the pro-Israel agenda of AIPAC among both officeholders and activists

11-22-05 - Discovery of Ancient Church Highlights Lure of Christian Tourism there's a catch: Christian pilgrims, especially Catholic, don't consider the tour complete without a visit to Bethlehem See this article Bethlehem gets a wall for Christmas

11-22-05 - Hossan Villagers Protest Land Seizure Policies

11-22-05 - Annan condemns Lebanon-Israel border clash

11-22-05 - Quakers, Jews and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

posted by Somebody @ 6:29 AM Permanent Link 0 comments

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

Israel talks tough after border clash

Israel blamed Syria and Iran for a fierce clash with Hezbollah militiamen on its northern border.

“It is absolutely clear to us that Syria and the Iranians stand behind this Hezbollah operation,” Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Tuesday, referring to raids a day earlier in which four militiamen were killed and 11 Israeli troops wounded.

Lebanese officials said Hezbollah had tried and failed to kidnap Israeli soldiers in order to swap them for Arab prisoners held in Israel.

Mofaz said Syria, under mounting international scrutiny, approved the operation as a distraction. Hezbollah is also backed by Iran. Israel shelled southern Lebanon in retaliation but ceased fire after U.N. peacekeepers conveyed an appeal from Beirut, Israel’s military chief of staff said. “This is the first time that the Lebanese government, albeit indirectly, through UNIFIL, has requested that the State of Israel cease fire,” Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz said, referring to the U.N. peacekeepers.

Lawmakers want Hamas out

Six lawmakers introduced a resolution calling on the Palestinian Authority to prevent Hamas participation in upcoming elections.

U.S. Reps. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) referred the resolution last Friday to the House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee.

The Bush administration and Israel have expressed unhappiness with the fact that Hamas and other terrorist groups will run, but have said it’s an internal Palestinian matter.

The Palestinians are obligated under the “road map” peace plan to dismantle Hamas, but have said they have no intention of doing so.

Lawmakers want U.N. Palestinian bodies nixed

Top members of the U.S. Congress urged the “Quartet” working for Mideast peace to back a U.S. proposal to abolish U.N. bodies dedicated to the Palestinians. Letters sent Monday by Reps. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) said the bodies “are nothing more than U.N.-funded propaganda organs dedicated exclusively to the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel.”

The Bush administration has proposed abolishing the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division of Palestinian Rights. The congress members, all senior members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee, also proposed doing away with the Special Committee to investigate Israeli human rights practices affecting the Palestinian people.

The “Quartet,” made up of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union, guides the “road map” peace process. The letters were sent to U.N. representatives of France, Britain and Germany — the three most powerful E.U. members — and Russia.

Peretz criticized over housing plan

Israel’s new Labor Party chief was criticized for approving the construction of new West Bank settlement homes.

Amir Peretz allowed the Israeli housing minister, Isaac Herzog of Labor, to allow for the construction of 350 apartments in Ma’aleh Adumim this week, despite a clause in the U.S.-led “road map” peace plan calling for a freeze on settlement expansion.

The left-wing Yahad Party said the decision suggests Peretz is not serious about peacemaking. Peretz ousted Shimon Peres as Labor chief earlier this month, pledging to leave the ruling Likud Party’s coalition government in order to restart peace talks with the Palestinians, but polls show that keeping West Bank settlement blocs under a final accord is part of the mainstream Israeli consensus.

Bribe plea cites Israeli deal

A guilty plea in a congressional bribery scandal included allegations that an Israeli high-tech firm played a role.

Michael Scanlon pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to bribe federal officials, including Rep. Robert Ney (R-Ohio). Scanlon was a partner of Jack Abramoff, the Jewish Republican lobbyist at the center of a burgeoning influence-peddling scandal.

Scanlon, who faces five years in prison, is expected to cooperate with the government against Abramoff. One alleged bribe cited in the plea involved Foxcom, an Israeli wireless company hired in 2002 to rewire the Capitol for better cell-phone reception.

Ney, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Administration Committee, approved the deal, despite Congress’ “Buy American” policy.

Foxcom had contributed $50,000 to a charity favored by Abramoff and later signed on with Abramoff as a client.

Poll: Elites more likely to blame Israel

Members of American opinion-making elites are much likelier than average Americans to see Israel as a cause of international discontent with the United States, a survey found.

Such attitudes are particularly widespread among members of the news media (78 percent), security experts (72 percent), military leaders (72 percent) and foreign-affairs specialists (69 percent), the Pew Research Center said Sunday in announcing results of its America’s Place in the survey. “But just 39 percent of the public sees U.S. support for Israel as a major reason that America’s global image suffers — most (52 percent) say it is only a minor reason, or not much of a reason,” the report said.

One of the survey questions that assessed whether a respondent was “low knowledge” was to name what country recently ceded the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians; only 46 percent correctly answered Israel. The perception that Israel is a reason for America’s negative image does not suggest a lack of support for the Jewish state, the pollsters noted; evangelical Protestants were likelier than secular respondents to name Israel as a reason America’s image suffered, but evangelical support for Israel remains strong.

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