Monday, December 31, 2007

Headlines for 12-30-07

Gunfire kills one Palestinian pilgrim, wounds four Medical workers said the pilgrims were hit by Israeli gunfire at the Erez border crossing in southern Gaza.

Middle East conflict toll 'falls' Israeli security forces killed 373 Palestinians, and 131 of these were not involved in hostilities.....Palestinians killed 13 Israelis in 2007 - seven of them civilians........"In addition, Israeli authorities often exploit security threats in order to advance prohibited political interests, such as perpetuating settlements and effectively annexing them to Israel ."

Palestinian political detainee dies due to medical negligence Palestinian sources reported on Saturday that a Palestinian political detainee held in an Israeli detention facility died on Friday night after the Israeli authorities refused to provide him with the needed medical help.

Barak: Anti-terror operations in the Gaza Strip are achieving their goals IDF operations in the Gaza Strip are achieving their goals, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told ministers on Sunday during the weekly cabinet meeting.

Hebron: Israeli army, in search of injured gunmen, lays siege to Hebron hospital The CPTers then made their way to the hospital. Hospital personnel told them that during the blockade the Israeli military refused entry to the hospital to a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance transporting a patient. Israeli soldiers also threatened human rights workers who tried to facilitate entry to the hospital for the patient.

Palestinian pilgrims stuck in Egypt refuse to be moved to camps

Abbas approves new Palestinian central bank chief

EU disavows suspect chemicals seized by Israel The European Union on Sunday denied any connection to bags that Israel said were marked as containing EU aid "sugar" but actually filled with bomb-making chemicals bound for the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Olmert warns Palestinians on security after attack Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday ruled out relaxing Israel's grip on the occupied West Bank until the Palestinians rein in militants after a shooting attack killed two off-duty Israeli soldiers.

Hamas claims deadly West Bank shootout "This operation came in response to the assasinations and air strikes against the fighters and resisters in the Gaza Strip, and the assassinations and arrests in the West Bank,"

Hamas raids rival Fatah offices in Gaza Armed men from the Islamist Hamas movement raided the Gaza offices of the rival Fatah movement overnight ahead of a key anniversary of president Mahmud Abbas's party, officials said on Sunday.

PM: Israel won't take security risks until PA fights terror There were conflicting claims of responsibility for the attack from Hamas, which claimed it teamed up with Islamic Jihad, and the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a violent offshoot of Abbas' Fatah. Palestinian officials also said the gunmen may have been criminals caught off guard by the Israeli hikers.

Palestinian: Israel's prisoner committee has no real power for swap deal The Israeli ministerial committee to look into exchanging Palestinian prisoners for a captive Israeli soldier had a low authoritative ceiling that can't secure a swap deal, a Palestinian official said Sunday.

Pollution without borders In some cases, downstream Palestinian towns receive Israeli waste. There are at least 10 transboundary streams in the region, with flows that go both ways. Untreated waste water from the West Bank can even end up flowing via Israel into the Gaza Strip and then the sea.

Israel rejects easing of West Bank curbs

Ashkenazi supports change of criteria for prisoners 'with blood on hands'

PLO official to visit Washington ahead of Bush's Middle East tour The ongoing expansions of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank will be on the top of the agenda when Bush visits Israel and the Palestinian territories, according to Abed Rabbo.

Barghouti: Israel doesn't want peace "Israel has not made a strategic decision to make peace with the Palestinians," Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti said in an interview with the Saudi paper Al Wattan on Sunday.

OPEN LETTER TO THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS BY THE SURVIVORS OF THE USS LIBERTY it. The power the Israeli Lobby has over you is only slightly less sickening than what is your willingness to bow to their every damned demand. You are as guilty of murdering my shipmates as the Israelis are.

Candidates Keep Their Distance From Bush, aka 'Mr. Palestine' In 2000, right-of-center pro-Israel voters were attracted by his vow to quickly move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and his determination not to following the footsteps of his father and Bill Clinton into the Mideast peace process swamp

Assad ready for peace? After meeting Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) told The Associated Press he believes Assad is ready to discuss peace with Israel. U.S. Rep Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) also attended the meeting.

Olmert oversees east Jerusalem projects Israeli residential construction in eastern Jerusalem will now be subject to Ehud Olmert's approval

Israel's population rises in 2007 Some 5.46 million, or 75 percent, of Israel's citizens are Jewish, and 1.45 million, or 20 percent, are Arab, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics report released Sunday. Another 4.4 percent, or 320,000, are classified as other, including non-Arab Christians and residents who are not registered by their religion.

Democracy: An existential threat? Inspired in part by the South African Freedom Charter [1] and the Belfast Agreement [2], the much humbler One State Declaration, authored by a group of Palestinian, Israeli and international academics and activists, affirms that "The historic land of Palestine belongs to all who live in it and to those who were expelled or exiled from it since 1948, regardless of religion, ethnicity, national origin or current citizenship status."

Israel wants US and EU to snub Durban II Israeli diplomats are quietly working to convince the United States and the European Union to boycott - and defund - a possible follow-up to the 2001 World Conference Against Racism conference in Durban, South Africa.

US Congressmen secure Syria pledge to free dissidents Specter also sounded an upbeat note about the prospects for movement on the peace process between Syria and Israel which has been frozen since 2000, saying it was now generally accepted that Israel would have to return the Golan Heights which it seized in 1967 and unilaterally annexed in 1981.

Palestine Is Being Destroyed I am the grandson of a fifth- generation Palestinian Jew. My grandfather, born in the Old City of Jerusalem, emigrated to the United States early in the last century. I am a proud Jew, loyal to my tradition and to my people. Zionism was as much a part of my religious upbringing as praying in the synagogue and observing the Jewish holidays. But I am strongly opposed to the policies of the state of Israel toward the Palestinian people, policies supported by the U.S. and by many of my fellow Jews here in the United States Mr. Braverman is a brave soul. God bless him and those like him.

A disturbing note in Bethlehem story the real question for all of us on the delegation and many others is why the Globe felt the need to consult Kaufman. If "balance" is the issue, then I trust that the next time anyone expresses views that are uncritical of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians, the Globe will consult a member of our delegation or of one of the several Boston-area groups concerned with Palestinian rights.

Special Palestinian Envoy Visits Cuba

Releasing Palestinians hopeful sign I read the article about Israel releasing 441 Palestinian prisoners as part of a goodwill gesture (Erie Times-News, Nov. 20). I do agree that is a goodwill gesture, but not when there are about 11,000 Palestinians still being held in Israeli prisons.

Israel may get 'super-cannon' ISRAEL is trying to buy a super rapid-fire cannon from America to protect strategic installations from primitive Palestinian rockets.

France to halt links with Syria Links will be restored only when France has proof that Syria is not blocking progress towards installing a consensus president in Lebanon, Mr Sarkozy said.

Letter: Pro-Israel stance is harmful to U.S. Americans are paying attention and becoming increasingly critical of our Middle East foreign policy, especially our problematical relationship with Israel.

Make peace not division, say Jerusalem church heads

Rice Compares Israeli Occupation to Infamous US Segregation Abe Foxman of America's Anti-Defamation League and other apologists for Israel scream at ex-President Jimmy Carter for attacking West Bank Israeli apartheid. And Haaretz says that American Zionist ultras are dumping on Rice for using the s-word, which, if it sticks to Israel, will ultimately be fatal for Zionism in the US.

IDF soldier gets prison sentence for entering Bethlehem An Israel Defense Forces soldier arrested by the Palestinian police on Saturday upon entering Bethlehem was sentenced Sunday to 28 days in military prison

Mubarak, Sarkozy urge Syria to help solve Lebanon's crisis Both leaders agree to mobilize the necessary political and economic support for the Palestinian National Authority to ease the suffering of the Palestinian people and to provide the proper atmosphere for serious negotiations to achieve their aspirations to set up an independent state, Mubarak said

Can't silence foes of intolerance I wondered exactly how long it would take other Bee readers to assail this position, as always happens when anyone openly embraces the Palestinians. The answer: nine days ("Admit you want Israel's destruction," Dec. 14).

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Headlines for 12-29-07

Egypt rerouting Palestinian pilgrims "We are aware of the Israeli and American pressures on Egypt, and we urge Egypt to reject these pressures and to allow the pilgrims a safe return through Rafah," Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Armed Israeli among three arrested in Bethlehem Palestinian security forces on Saturday arrested three Israelis, one of them armed, outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestinian and Israeli officials said.

At-Tuwani: The Birth of Jesus and the occupation of Palestine We were there to protect the people from possible attacks from the occupiers, from the people with guns, from those who wield worldly power. We were standing with the shepherds, with the dispossessed, people like those to whom the angels announced good news 2,000 years ago.

Israeli military raids Hebron hospital in search of two wounded fighters

Report: Hamas to ban Fatah from marking 43rd anniversary in Gaza Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which rules Gaza Strip, is going to prevent rival Fatah faction of President Mahmoud Abbas from celebrating its 43rd anniversary, a pro-Hamas newspaper reported on Saturday.

Islamic Jihad vows not to disarm A senior leader of Islamic Jihad (Holy War) movement in Gaza said on Saturday that his movement would not disarm since resistance against Israel was a way to achieve the Palestinian people's goals.

Erekat: Exceptions to Israeli settlement freeze not to be accepted

Arab League ministers to meet on Israel settlements

Fatah armed wing rejects PNA declaration on its dissolution

Fatah militias dismantled: Palestinian minister

Hamas accuses Fatah over stabbing in Lebanese camp A Hamas member was fighting for his life after he was stabbed in the head on Saturday at the Rashidieh refugee camp in Lebanon in an attack which the Palestinian Islamist group blamed on rivals Fatah.

14 Hamas members arrested in West Bank: officials

Israel says finds explosive chemicals in EU aid bags "We are looking into this report," said an EU official in Israel. "If it is found to be accurate, this is an illegal act that should be condemned."

Palestinians say West Bank security better despite attack

Abbas's govt condemns shooting attack on Israelis

Palestinians arrested in Israeli deaths The Palestinian prime minister said Saturday his security forces had arrested a number of suspects in the killings of two off-duty Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and had given Israeli authorities weapons taken from the dead men by their attackers.

Bin Laden says U.S. seeks to exploit Iraqi oil The militant leader also vowed in a recording posted on an Islamist Web site on Saturday to expand jihad to liberate all Palestinian land "from the (Mediterranean) sea to the (Jordan) river" and said his group will never recognize Israel.

A program for Civil International Solidarity with Palestinians

ANALYSIS / Nipping new W. Bank Jewish terror group in the bud

U.S. court overturns $156 million award in terror case The decision is the latest setback for U.S. government efforts to implicate U.S. Muslim charities in funding Islamic terrorism.

Palestinians also have claim to land

Balance of Power Is Continuing to Shift From the US the US military "surge" in Iraq, coupled with the growing expectations that America is not going to attack Iran in 2008 and that the Israeli-Palestinian peace will continue to "process," will allow the Bush Administration will sit out most of next year without igniting a major explosion in the region that could put even more downward pressure on the US geo-strategic position and bring about a massive increase in energy prices, unless that is, Israel decides to attack Iran.

Syria sees no peace before Israel quits Golan Heights

Brownsville Muslims pray for Bhutto, victims of attack ?(Terrorists) are opportunists and hypocrites. They are criminals, they are not clerics. When the terrorists attacked America they were not fighting for Islam, they are fighting for themselves,?

Bhutto killing sets off alarms in Israel over Pakistan's nukes "If the government fell into extremist hands, the bomb also falls into the hands of extremists," Rosen told JTA "You don?t need to worry about a nuclear Iran; you have a nuclear Pakistan in the hands of extremists."

U.S. funds to Israel on human trafficking The State Department this year removed Israel from its Tier Two watchlist in human trafficking but kept it designated as a Tier Two nation -- one with identifiable problems in human trafficking but making strides toward addressing them.

Italian delegation denied entry to Gaza - Another soon to follow

Faith in a World of Conflict The three photographs of Christmas in Bethlehem that appeared on Page A12 on Dec. 24 under the headline "In Bethlehem, Tourists Return Amid the Checkpoints" looked as if they could have been acquired from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism rather than Reuters and the Associated Press.

Mustafa Barghouthi Talked at Dar An-Nadwa Hall

Headlines for 12-28-07

Two Israelis and two Palestinians killed in West Bank An Israeli army spokeswoman said Palestinian gunmen opened fire at the soldiers who live in a nearby Jewish settlement and were on leave at the time of the incident.

Two International peace activists injured in Bil'in

Israel offers settlement concessions ahead of Bush visit: report

Seven Palestinians kidnapped from Nablus by Israeli army

A West Bank struggle rooted in land For nearly a generation, Nassar and his family have stood their ground, unarmed, against pistol-toting settlers who have barricaded the farm's dirt lanes, uprooted its olive groves, tried to bulldoze their own roads and disabled a tractor and a rooftop water tank

Jordan mediates return of Palestinian pilgrims (Roundup) About 2,200 Palestinian pilgrims left Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba to the Egyptian port of Nuwaibe Friday after the Jordanian government obtained Egypt's approval to allow them to return to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing point, an official spokesman said

Palestinian Authority: Al-Hurria radio resumes broadcasting after six months

Israel to freeze some settlement projects In a word - BS. Per yesterday's news batch, Olmert maintained that Israel will not halt the settlement-building.

Conference in Bethlehem in support of Nonviolent Resistance

Olmert seeks to tighten grip on West Bank building Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has ordered the Housing Ministry not to unilaterally issue any additional building permits on occupied land in the West Bank, Israeli officials said on Friday.

Abbas to get armoured vehicles but not with guns

Tubas governor slams Israeli settlement expansion policy in the plains area

Foreign Ministry plans to drop Syria from 'radical axis' list

Pro-Palestinian to make Israel anniversary film A British film-maker known to be a critic of Israeli policy has been appointed by the British Council to play a key role in a presentation to mark Israel?s 60th anniversary.

Tech Startup Bridges Mideast Divide Taking on Microsoft is tough enough. But Schreiber is embracing another challenge: He's helping create a high-tech economy in the Palestinian territories, one of the most poverty-stricken, crisis-riddled spots in the world. He has located the development center for in the West Bank.

Arab, Jewish women protest occupation Hundreds of Jewish and Arab women staged a protest in Jerusalem on Friday against Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, witnesses said.

Hundreds of Palestinian pilgrims stranded at Aqaba Over 2,200 Palestinian pilgrims, mostly affiliated with the radical Hamas group, were Friday stranded at Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba after Egyptian authorities insisted they should pass through an Israeli-controlled crossing point in order to reach the Gaza Strip, Palestinian and Jordanian sources said.

Palestinian filmmakers defy circumstance

Ha?aretz: From Bil?in to Madison Avenue: Demonstrations Outside the Leviev Jewelry Shop in New York over Danya Cebus? Construction in the Territories

Campus Leaders Gain Firsthand Experience on Mission to Israel The students are traveling on two annual missions, taking place concurrently this year, that serve as a cornerstone of the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) efforts to raise awareness of the issues involving Israel and the Middle East on U.S. college campuses......"These smart, informed young college leaders will have an opportunity to visit key sites in Israel's history and to hear firsthand from a wide variety of experts on the current situation and the peace process launched in Annapolis," said Abraham H. Foxman The Israeli lobby in action - propagandization.

9,000 refugee children from Nahr El Bared camp return to school because of 'Dubai Cares' Most of the children from the heavily damaged Nahr El Bared camp in Lebanon have already been able to return to school thanks to a donation of US$ 1.277 million made by Dubai Cares

Orphanage Founder Returns to Home Destroyed by Fire Palestinian-born Norma Nashed is the founder and director of Reaching Hearts for Kids. She was in Ethiopia finalizing plans for a new orphanage

Monday's Talk Shows Charlie Rose Authors Akiva Eldar and Ramachandra Guha; Palestinian delegate Maha Abu-Dayyeh Shamas and Israeli delegate Naomi Chazan, International Women's Commission. 11:30 p.m

Kucinich: Candidates Must Answer for Their Foreign Policy Stands on Pakistan and the Middle East They have failed to offer substantive approaches to address continuing tensions and hostilities among Israelis, Palestinians, and the Lebanese people."

France could provide Egypt with nuclear help: Sarkozy

Jewish groups respond to cleric's anti-Israel remarks Sabbah called on Israel to abandon its Jewish character in favor of a "political normal state for Christians, Muslims, and Jews," according to the Jerusalem Post.
....."We are deeply disturbed that Father Sabbah would politicize the holy season of Christmas by denying the Jewish people?s right to a Jewish state," said the ADL in a statement. That's not what Sabbah said at all, geniuses.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Headlines for 12-27-07

Seven militants killed in Israeli raids in Gaza: medics Seven Palestinian militants, one of them a senior commander, were killed and 16 other people wounded in the Gaza Strip on Thursday in four Israeli raids on the Hamas-run territory, medics and witnesses said.

After the meeting: IDF kills Qureia's bodyguard The incident was the first in months in which a Fatah member was killed by IDF fire in the Ramallah area.

Report: Progress made on Shalit deal

Israeli army fire wounds a Palestinian youth in a West Bank village An Israeli soldier shot and wounded on Tuesday a Palestinian youth in the West Bank village of Nahalin, Palestinian media sources reported.

Egypt asks for national troop deployment in Sinai, Israeli refuse

Pregnant Palestinian women forced to give birth at home because of fence

At-Tuwani Update: 1-15 December 2007 At first the soldiers showed no interest in talking but then asked about CPT. They responded by saying that all the problems here are caused by the Arabs. ?There can never be peace with Arabs. They cause all the problems. The Arabs are animals. The only answer is to arrest all the Hamas people,? they said. Gish challenged these remarks and asked why they needed to escort school children past the Ma?on settlement every day.

Unholy dust-up at Nativity church Palestinian police formed a human cordon to separate the battling dark-robed and bearded priests and deacons, said to number about 80, so that cleaning could continue

Olmert courts Abbas over construction dispute

Two missiles fired at a civilian area in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, no injuries reported

A female prisoner is about to give birth in Israeli detention center

Israeli tanks roll into southeast Gaza As Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday, Israeli tanks thrust into southeastern Gaza Strip, sparking clashes with Palestinian militants and residents said

Hamas: fighters escape Israeli retaliation attacks in Gaza In a press statement, Ezz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades said its fighters fired 14 mortars at Israeli army vehicles before Israeli could launch missiles against them.

Gaza terrorists nearly down Israeli helicopter Israel's Channel 2 News showed footage on Thursday of Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists nearly downing an Israeli military helicopter providing cover for ground forces

The Israeli army attack school boys near Hebron

Israel captures Islamic Jihad members in West Bank Israeli troops captured two top members of the Islamic Jihad militant group in raids in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian security sources and witnesses said.

UN needs $500 mn for Palestine's emergency relief The UN will need $500 million next year for implementing emergency relief programmes in Palestinian territories, Prensa Latina news agency reported Thursday.

'IDF delaying replies to sick Gazans' Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) on Thursday accused the IDF of deliberately delaying its responses to requests by the Palestinian Civilian Committee (PCC) and PHR to the Civil Administration to allow seriously ill Palestinians from Gaza to enter Israel for life-saving or urgent hospital treatment.

Palestinians: Deal reached with Israel on armored vehicles Palestinians have received Israeli permission to import 50 Russian-made armored personnel carriers into the West Bank next month, after resolving a dispute with Israel over arming the vehicles, the top Palestinian security official said Thursday.

Olmert, Abbas meeting leaves major issue unresolved Following the talks, an Israeli official told wire services that Israel continued to claim a right to build new residences in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian resistance fighter dies as tunnel collapses on him in Gaza

Report: Mubarak says Israeli foreign minister "crossed my red lines"

Olmert balks at committing to full settlement halt "The prime minister has not promised to freeze tenders that have already been published and are already under way," a senior Israeli official told reporters.

Ron Paul insists: 'Israel encourages Americans to go into Iran' ** Russert showed him a quote of something he said on CNN: "Israel is dependent on us, you know, for economic means. We send them these billions of dollars and then they depend on us. They say, well, you know, we don't like Iran. You go fight our battles. You bomb Iran for us. And they become dependent on us."

South Africa found peace, why not Middle East? by Desmond Tutu We condemn all acts of terrorism by whoever they are committed. The suicide bomber has to be condemned for targeting innocent civilians. But equally, the Israelis are to be condemned for their acts of indiscriminate reprisal that, too, target innocent civilians. We say: please, please, learn at least one positive lesson from apartheid South Africa.

Journalist: U.S. Should 'Rape' Israel The editor in chief of Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper, David Landau, confirmed yesterday that he has pleaded with Secretary of State Rice to "rape" Israel and its neighbors into resolving their problems.

Report: Turkey using drones in N. Iraq with help of Israeli crews

Egypt: Israeli lobby harms US relations "The latest months have seen the Israeli lobby's efforts to harm Egypt's interests with the Congress," Ahmed Aboul Gheit told reporters. "The Israeli lobby inside the (U.S.) Congress was behind some positions adopted by Congress and the Israeli media campaign in the last few months falls within this trend."

Christmas tree isn?t Jewish The Law of Return is currently a mirror image of the Nuremberg Laws legislated by the Nazis against the Jews. Anyone considered a Jew based on Arian race laws is also considered as a ?Jew? entitled to return to Israel. In defiance of the cursed Nazis and out of a genuine will to openly prove that the Jewish people is alive and well despite the terrible Holocaust it suffered, we created our main naturalization law based on the law implemented in the Diaspora by our most cursed enemies.

AMIA prosecutor in Israel to discuss terrorism Iran was connected to two terrorist attacks in Argentina, their prosecutor asserted during a visit to Israel.

Mubarak gives Israel message from Assad Egypt passed Israel a peacemaking message from Bashar Assad.

Jewish Agency gives evangelical Christians powerful seat at table The Jewish Agency announced last week it has forged a "strategic partnership" with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, an organization that depends primarily on conservative Christian donors to raise tens of millions of dollars per year to help Israel and impoverished Jews in the Diaspora.

Spending bill has earmarks Spending bill has earmarks President George W. Bush signed a $555 billion omnibus spending bill that includes funding for Israel, the Palestinians and domestic programs championed by Jewish groups -- but he also expressed strong qualifications about some of its provisions, including those of concern to Jews.

Saudi arms sale may spark Bush-Congress battle A plan to sell Saudi Arabia highly accurate Boeing Co bomb-guidance kits is roiling Israel's backers in the Congress, setting up a potential clash with President George W. Bush.

Kosovo Push for Independence Raises Some Concern Israel is concerned that if it recognizes Kosovo's independence from Serbia, it will be more difficult for the Jewish state to oppose unilateral Palestinian independence in the West Bank, should that moment ever arrive.

U.S. Congress Conditions Aid on Border Containment "It is well-known that Israel's lobby (in the U.S.) played a role in the matter in order to achieve its own objectives."

Syria says Israel's aura of invincibility is long gone

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Headlines for 12-26-07

Islamic Jihad shells S Israel with 10 missiles

Hamas won't budge in demands for Israeli soldier Hamas will not release a captured Israeli soldier unless Israel meets its demand to free nearly 1,400 Palestinian prisoners, including 350 with life sentences, a leader of the Islamist group in Gaza said on Wednesday.

Israelis target rocket launching site in Gaza: military Israeli forces fired a missile at a suspected rocket launch site in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, Palestinian witnesses and the Israeli military said

Rice calls Abbas on eve of talks with Israel: Palestinians

Olmert, Abbas try to revive stalled peace talks Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met on Thursday to try to end an impasse over Jewish settlement building that has paralyzed month-old peace talks.

Israeli airport profiling reviewed Israel is reviewing the security practice of profiling Arab passengers at its international airport.

13 Palestinians kidnapped across the West Bank by Israeli army

U.S. lawmakers: Egypt aid may hinge on Gaza border

Hamas hardliner slams revived Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

Hamas says ready to hand over Gaza crossings to neutral side

Tense talks as Israel, Egypt spar over smuggling into Gaza Barak denied there was an Israeli government initiative to target Cairo's coffers, but the exchange with Gheit coincided with a visit to Israel this week by U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), who voiced support for withholding U.S. aid to Cairo as leverage to get the Egyptians to take concrete actions against the smuggling.
"We do not push anything in the Congress, but of course our relationship is very close and we answer when we are asked questions," Barak told Egyptian reporters Wednesday.

Poll: More Saudis like U.S. Forty percent expressed a favorable opinion of the United States, up from 11 percent in May 2006. At the same time, 50 percent have an unfavorable opinion, down from 89 percent.

OSU's Abdallah faces bittersweet homecoming Abdallah cannot wait to get to New Orleans, the city where he was raised after his parents emigrated from the Palestinian territories and built a life around their small store

Alasra centre for research warns of the continuous medical negligence in the Israeli detentions The centre appealed for the Red Cross and Human Rights organizations to intervene to bring and end to this misconduct.

Immigration center's closure leaves detainees in limbo Aburajab, 40, who is Palestinian but was raised in Kuwait, is fighting to stay in the United States based on the hardship to his wife and two children, all U.S. citizens. Since he has been in Texas, the San Pedro judge has issued a decision in his favor, but the government has not released him from custody.

Russia offers Iran missile defense The S-300 is similar to the United States' Patriot missile defense system which can stop incoming missiles and warplanes. We arm Israel and Russia arms Iran. So is it basically a US-Russian proxy war?

Palestinian kids avoiding school Arab residents of east Jerusalem say the situation in the schools reflects wider discrimination they face in every aspect of life. They point to piles of uncollected garbage and an absence of state medical clinics in their neighborhoods

U.S. senators talk Israeli-Syria peace

Israel, Saudis, Egypt buy most U.S. arms Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are consistently among the top five purchasers of U.S. arms.

Egypt accuses Israel over aid cut Egypt has accused Israel of interfering in its relations with the US by causing Congress to suspend $100m (£50m) of its annual military aid.

Harvests of hope in the Middle East

Report: NIEs have value, with limits Pro-Israelis still trying to debunk the NIE.

Iranian Jewish leader calls immigration of 40 Jews to Israel a 'misinformation campaign'

Shooting Back: The Israeli Human Rights Group B?Tselem Gives Palestinians Video Cameras to Document Life Under Occupation.

About 2000 Palestinian Refugees to Settle in S. Early Next Year UNHCR is exerting efforts to arrange necessary funds for resettlement of 2000 Palestinian refugees in Sudan by the beginning of the next year. These refugees are currently staying on common borders between Iraq and Syria

Anti-Semitism Vs. Criticizing Israel

GOP Leader Calls For Revisions to Fatah Movement?s Outdated Charter Klein raised the issue in July with Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who, according to the ZOA president, promised to act upon it but has yet speak out publicly on the issue. In Washington, however, Klein?s efforts paid off last month with a resolution in the House, co-sponsored by Republican whip Roy Blunt,

Bethlehem is full with foreign tourists, but without local families Hani Mussa, a Muslim from Ramallah, said he and his family made the trip to Bethlehem to share in the Christian holiday as they have been doing every year. "There is no difference between us and the Christians. We want to share in their celebration," he said.

PM: Israel "very careful" about settlement expansion

Court criticizes state for misinformation on Gaza The High Court of Justice has sharply criticized the state for providing incorrect information regarding its plans to reduce the amount of electricity it supplies to the Gaza Strip.

The Benefits of Palestinian Economic Collapse By Daniel Pipes

Palestinians blamed

Police: Hebron purchase papers forged

Away from Palestine, at home in Delhi When Basil Yousef, a Palestinian came to Delhi in 1996, he was just out of school. But even at that young age he had made his plans. He had come to Delhi to complete his higher studies, after which he wanted to go back home to Hebron, a city located south of Jerusalem.

Olmert said awaiting Syrian signal about talks

After six years trapped in Gaza, child returns to parents in the West Bank

She combines spiritual and spirited sides She acknowledges that both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict have been imperfect. And she has pushed for more interfaith dialogue with Muslims and Christians.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Headlines for 12-25-07

Hamas: Past negotiations bring nothing for Palestinians A spokesman for Hamas said Tuesday that years of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians gave everything to the occupation but nothing to the Palestinians.

In pictures: Christians around the world gather to mark the birth of Jesus

With Shalit on table, Israel weighs ceasefire with Hamas Although they are not talking to each other directly, Israel and Hamas may be about to strike a deal that would include a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of the abducted Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

6 Qassams fired at western Negev; no injuries reported

UAE reaffirms solidarity with Palestinians

In photos: 'Bethlehem Christmas Eve'

Two Palestinians injured in beating by Jewish settlers in West Bank Masked Jewish settlers beat and injured Palestinian farmers in a field near the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday, Palestinian witnesses and doctors said. The farmers need escorts over there for protection from the increasingly violent inhabitants of the illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Whaddya suppose Americans would do if squatters showed up to take their land, and then beat them when they tried to farm what little they were left with? Palestinians have a lot more patience than I would, particularly given that international_law is on their side and yet still no one stops Israel from breaking it.

Palestinians throw explosives at IDF soldiers operating in West Bank

Fatah official: Hamas takeover of Gaza "a political gift to Israel"

Egypt rejects Israeli criticism on arms smuggling Egypt on Tuesday rejected Israeli criticism of its efforts to clamp down on arms smuggling into Gaza, also announcing the discovery of two tunnels a day before a visit by Israel's defence minister.

Palestinian cooking ‹ LOW PROFILE, HIGH FLAVOR With so many families destroyed by poverty and fighting -- more than 80 percent of Gazans and almost 50 percent of West Bankers live on less than $2 a day -- the attention paid to food elsewhere in the world can seem frivolous.

Hamas concerned over Israeli army actions against resistance

A Ramallah cabinet member: the government ready to control Gaza's crossings.

Palestinian interior minister: security arrangements in the West Bank efficient

Fatah loyalists break out of Egyptian police camps

Two Palestinians injured in Israel air attacks

Hamas releases senior Fatah sympathizer, six months after arrest

UN Observer: Group demands end to israeli infiltration of British Parliament Israel?s deep penetration of our political system, says the group, is preventing Britain from taking a principled stand on Middle East matters, including the long catalogue of grotesque violations of Palestinian human rights, of which the Gaza siege is only the latest example. Conservative Friends of Israel, for example, claim the support of 80 percent of Tory MPs.

Jews and Muslims see the US as a place to make peace

IAF interested in new US-made jet Fearing the possibility that airfields will be bombed and destroyed during a war, the Israel Air Force has expressed interest in purchasing a squadron of Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) with vertical take-off and landing capabilities.

US institute: Israel could survive nuclear war ** Even if Iran gained the means and knowledge to create nuclear weapons, according to the report it would still be limited to 100 kiloton weapons, which can cause a far smaller radius of destruction than the 1 megaton bombs Israel allegedly possesses. .......The report cites Israel's Arrow missile defense system as an obstacle facing a possible Iranian strike and says that it could shoot down most of the missiles. Israel, on the other hand, would be capable of hitting most of the Iranian cities with pinpoint accuracy due to the high resolution satellite imagery systems at its disposal.

Iranian Jews immigrate to Israel The new immigrants were offered $10,000 each by Zionist charities to make the move, officials said. More than 200 Iranians have immigrated to Israel in 2007, up from 65 the year before.

Israelis, Palestinians believe Annapolis failed A majority on both sides believe that the peace conference last month in Annapolis, Md., was a failure.

Idea of McCain-Lieberman ticket is the buzz at Orthodox parley "Do you believe we're facing an existential threat to the state of Israel and the United States from Islamo-Nazi terror?" he asked with rhetorical flourish at one point during the session at the O.U. event. "Or do you believe, as the Democrats do, that President Bush is more of a threat to world peace than the Iranian mullahs?" Across the board, Medved insisted, the Republican candidates are more solidly pro-Israel and ready to take on Iran than any of the Democrats. "

Debunking Israel Lobby, Study Shows Growing Alienation of American Jews From Israel In an interview with Tikkun, Rep. James Moran (D-VA) described AIPAC as "very well organized...If you cross AIPAC, AIPAC is unforgiving and will destroy you politically...Every member knows it's the best-organized national lobbying force...Most people that are involved in foreign policy especially look at a broad range of issues and consider a person's entire voting record. AIPAC considers the voting record only as it applies to Israel."

Religious group aids Palestinian seniors "Caring for Palestinian elders is one way we contribute to bringing peace and goodwill to the world," said Mary Baich, president and CEO of Vesper Society. That's one of the sweetest things I've heard in a long time. God bless 'em.

GOP field's focus on immigration has some Jewish groups worried Even Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor seen as moderate on immigration, recently introduced a get-tough policy plan, which includes a call for a crackdown on dual citizens -- a move that might make it a crime for Americans who hold Israeli citizenship to use Israeli passports to enter the Jewish state or vote in its elections.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Headlines for 12-24-07

'Worsening crisis' in Gaza Strip "So whether it's medical supplies, whether it's access to clean water - 15% of Gazans no longer have sufficient clean water - or whether it's access to food, there are real humanitarian difficulties in Gaza and they are getting worse by the day."

Hamas says can't accept ceasefire under Israeli military escalation

Bethlehem sermon calls for peace in the Middle East "This land of God cannot be for some a land of life and for others a land of death, exclusion, occupation, or political imprisonment," Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah said in a sermon for the Christmas midnight mass......."It is not up to the weakest to submit themselves and continue to live a life of deprivation; it is up to the strongest, to those who have everything in hand, to detach themselves and to give to the weakest what is due to them."

Pilgrims flock to most peaceful Bethlehem in years "The new year, God willing, will be a year of security and economic stability," Abbas, who later attended the mass, said in Bethlehem. "We pray next year will be the year of independence for the Palestinian people."

Settlements stall new round of Mideast peace talks

Israel weighs change to free Palestinian prisoners

Little Christmas joy in Gaza for Palestinian Christians Under an Israeli blockade imposed after Hamas fighters seized control of Gaza in June, the economy has collapsed, prices have gone through the roof and Gaza is even more isolated than in the past. That's why so many Christians want out, even if just for the holidays.

Chairman of PFLP's armed wing dies of wounds sustained months ago

YEARENDER: Gaza conflict was painful during 2007

Israel prepares to broaden definition of Palestinian prisoners who can be freed

Music soars in the land of sadness Palestinian violist unites musicians of all faiths for Christmas concert in tiny Christian outpost

In Gaza, Santa Is Insolvent Christmas comes this year amidst stories that continue to surface in Western media accusing the Hamas government or Muslims in general of persecuting Christians in Gaza or Palestine. Not many Christians in Gaza say that. "Hamas has never done that," Jilda says emphatically. "They send representatives from Hamas to our celebrations. Last year, as the year before, they came and offered Christmas greetings at our Church to the entire congregation."

Report: Iran Would Suffer Up to 20 Million Casualties in Nuclear War With Israel ** The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) also estimates that between 200,000 and 800,000 Israelis would be killed, the Jerusalem Post reported.......It estimates that a nuclear war would last approximately three weeks and ultimately end with the annihilation of Iran, based on Israel's alleged possession of sophisticated and powerful nuclear weapons. So you see, it is difficult to imagine that Iran would ever even think of using its nuclear weapons that it is purportedly developing (according to Israel) against that nation.

Palestinians hope Israel changes criteria of prisoners' release

Israel allows the exit of 19 patients for referral outside Gaza

Abbas highlights China's just, constructive role in Middle East Abbas appraised the positive development of ties between the Palestinian territories and China, expressing gratitude for China's help to the Palestinian people.

Thousands gather at Manger Square, Bethlehem waiting for the Midnight Mass

Second soldier arrested on suspicion of abusing Palestinian He is accused of being involved in the abuse of a Palestinian who was hit in the head repeatedly with a blunt object while he was held at a military facility in the West Bank. During the court proceeding on Monday, it came to light that the Palestinian detainee in question also had his wooden prayer beads stolen form him during the incident

In Christmas Homily, Holy Land Latin Patriarch appeals for Palestinian independence «To all of you Christians in this land, you who are tempted to emigrate, you who are the object of everyone's preoccupation, I say to you what Jesus told us: Do not be afraid,» he said. «To those who are tempted or pressed by difficulties to leave the country, we say: 'You have a place here, and more than a place, you have a vocation: to be Christians here, in the land of Jesus, and not elsewhere in the world.
St. Katherine's , adjacent to the Church of the Nativity

Hamas says no progress over seized Israeli soldier

Refusing to accept apartheid in Beit Jala The olive tree orchard continues on Abu Salim's land on the other side of the bypass road. All the roads to Abu Salim's lands have been closed off to Palestinians. We refused to accept that Palestinians are not allowed to walk here and together we walked all the way back on the road which Palestinians are not allowed to travel. Back in the car we continued our way along the projected route of the wall.

Israel Upholds Use of Cluster Bombs Israeli military prosecutors have decided not to take any legal action over Israel's use of cluster bombs during last year's war in Lebanon, the army said Monday, closing an investigation into a practice that has drawn heavy criticism from the U.N. and international human rights groups. Israel exonerates itself again.

Jeb Bush to arrive in Israel for private visit

Christians flock from Gaza for Christmas Most were hoping to pray on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem, the small town in the West Bank where the Bible says Jesus was born.

Livni slams Egypt over Gaza smuggling

A Wise Man Looks at the World The thing is, is the government willing to at least listen to some of these grievances? When Mrs. Rice says publicly, Israel must continue to bombard Lebanon--it never happened since the UN has been created...that the Security Council says, Go on. Israel planted these fragmentation bombs after the ceasefire. These fragmentation bombs are from America. It's allowed by the Americans. So, people don't believe anything the Americans say, and it's not bias.

Russia ready to host Mideast conference Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday his nation is ready to hold a Mideast peace conference if all concerned sides are interested in the matter.

Italian delegation turned down at Eretz crossing into Gaza Strip

Hatred, discrimination have no place in Islam: Al-Mahri Saying he hopes peace and prosperity will reign in the Muslim and Christian worlds Shiite leader Sayed Mohammed Baqer Al-Mahri was recently quoted as saying Islam not only respects all heavenly religions but also the Prophets including Prophet Jesus Christ.....He added the Palestinian Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land share a common culture and beliefs.

Thinking of Edward Said

Richmonder among those visiting Bethlehem for Christmas The Christmas Eve pilgrimage included American tourists, clergymen in brown flowing robes and Palestinian scouts wearing kilts and playing bagpipes.

Olmert courts Israel's non-Jews Around 20 percent of Israel's population is not Jewish, and inter-faith ties have been strained by the last six years of Palestinian violence. Among Israeli Arabs there is increasingly open opposition to Zionism, provoking animosity among the Jewish majority. Even the traditionally loyal Druze minority has voiced complaints about discrimination.

Rising to the challenge And when he was 15, Qupty said he became the first Palestinian to win a gold medal in the junior division 200 breast at the Maccabiah Games, which is the Jewish Olympics.

Doctors unite for Bethlehem hospital It will be the 12th medical facility established by CURE, which has treated more than 50,000 children around the world from Afghanistan to Zambia. It also will be the first dedicated children's hospital in the Palestinian territories. CURE will train local doctors in complex surgery and treat up to 10,000 children every year.

Scottish carols connect biblical story with modern challenges suddenly in Scotland, writing carols is seen as a "cool" thing to do. Mike Gonzalez, an academic from the University of Glasgow, has been applauded by mentioning Bethlehem as it is today in a carol written by Scott Twynholm of the Sounds of Progress Orchestra. It tells how a huge barrier constructed by Israel in Palestinian territory divides races and religions, stopping ordinary people getting to the place where the founder of Christianity was born around 2000 years ago.

ADL Lists Top Issues Affecting Jews in 2007 ? Restarting the Peace Process
? The Iranian Nuclear Threat

Obama: Israel Must Remain a Jewish State "I think everyone knows what the basic outlines of an agreement would look like. It would mean that the Palestinians would have to reinterpret the notion of right of return in a way that would preserve Israel as a Jewish state. It might involve compensation and other concessions from the Israelis but ultimately Israel is not going to give up its state."

Alexander hopeful on Gaza Mr Alexander pledged UK aid to the Palestinian Authority as part of a conference of donors in Paris last week.

They Do Not Exist, And That Is Official With the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, many Palestinians fled their homeland to Lebanon. Today, there are approximately 400,000 refugees living in the 'Land of the Cedars', some with no documentation, and not registered with either the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) or the Lebanese authorities.

Graffiti Artists Decorate Bethlehem Barrier

Monday, December 24, 2007

Headlines for 12-23-07

Israel kills two militants in Gaza - Hamas

Olmert rules out ceasefire as strikes on Hamas continue

All beds booked in Bethlehem for first time in seven years

Israel confirms settlement plans "Every day we hear a new settlement expansion plan - this cannot be tolerated."

Christmas under Hamas rule "Of course, I am a Christian believer, but politically I am a Palestinian Muslim. I resist Israel's military occupation, obviously not with weapons. ......"We have lived alongside Muslims here since Islam was born," said Fr Musallam, waving his arm at the stage.

Israel defends new apartment plans for Jerusalem The housing ministry's budget includes funds for 500 homes in the Har Homa neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, and 240 in the nearby settlement of Maale Adumim.

Housing budget confirms disputed plans The proposal comes two days after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told jounalists that Israel has taken steps showing that it understands the seriousness of the settlement issue and its responsibilities under the 'road map.' Total shysters.

Peace compliance reports will be secret Israel wants to keep the judging process secret, while the Palestinians are in favor of disclosure. Israel just announced plans for MORE new settlements. Hello...

Rice: Israel 'understands' settlement issue Rice may have been referring to a freeze Israel put recently on apartment building in Har Homa, an east Jerusalem neighborhood abutting Bethlehem. Two days later, however, the proposed 2008 budget presented by Israel's housing ministry included requests for funding to construct 500 apartments in Har Homa and 240 apartments in the settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim.

Israeli, Palestinian talks to resume amid disputes The Palestinians said substantive negotiations over borders, and the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees would not begin until Israel committed to halting all settlement activity, as called for under the long-stalled "road map" peace plan.....Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he could not understand why Israel was "carrying out frenzied settlement activity during final status negotiations".

Christians in Gaza want cheer back in the Holy Land Mr Talhami was leading a group Palestinians, and western peace activists, dressed as Santa to demonstrate against the barrier Israel is building to separate the Jewish state from the West Bank.

Israel preparing public for war

Palestinians Still Reject Hamas Rule in Gaza The vast majority of Palestinian adults are against Hamas? military takeover in Gaza, according to a poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

Hamas says uncovered network of collaborators

High Court defers evacuation of disputed Hebron house Court suspends Civil Administration's decision to remove Jewish residents from house allegedly owned by local Palestinian

Palestinian prisoner battered, soldiers shield culprit Dozens of Givati Brigade soldiers present as one of their own batters Palestinian prisoner with blunt object. None of the soldiers willing to confess. One soldier, still in custody, refuses to name guilty party, claims 'I am innocent'. IDF Prosecutor?s Office: ?This is aggravated assault?

In Bethlehem, a bond is born The 15-member delegation, called the Cambridge-Bethlehem People-to-People project, set out to gather stories of the city's residents, and investigate how the separation barrier that Israel has built around and through the city has affected life in the region. Among their conclusions: The barrier has devastated the local economy and, as described in the familiar carol, Bethlehem does indeed lie still......As a Jewish member of the delegation and as someone who had escaped from the Nazis in Vienna, Eva Moseley, 76, said the trip left her with "complicated feelings about the Holocaust," because "on top of the usual outrage and horror at what it was, I feel another layer of outrage at the way it is used to punish the Palestinians, who had nothing to do with it."

Palestinian Christians say they are invisible to visiting U.S. evangelicals "They think of us as terrorists. They think everyone living in the Palestinian territories and Arab countries is Muslim," Fida Mousa said. "They only come to visit Nativity Church and leave. They give us no chance to show that we're normal human beings."

Qassam lands near factory in Ashkelon; no injuries reported

Erekat: Abbas-Olmert summit necessary Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Sunday that holding a summit between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "is necessary."

Palestinian security men take charge in Bethlehem Hundreds of Palestinian security officers deployed in Bethlehem on Sunday as Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's forces continue their Western-backed drive to take charge of West Bank cities.

Fatah strongman prefers political settlement with Hamas

Two more Palestinians arrested for breaking in to judge's Jerusalem home

Senators write Bush on Christians Two U.S. senators cited the Holy Land's dwindling Palestinian Christian community in a letter to President Bush.

N.J. to disinvest from Iran Gov. Jon Corzine is expected to sign the bill, initiated in New Jersey by NORPAC, a pro-Israel political action committee

Room, but few children at Bethlehem 'inn' Sister Sophie, who runs the home, said: "The wall makes Bethlehem feel like a zoo. It makes it difficult for mothers to travel and so these children are being delivered in poor conditions and then abandoned on the street.

In Nablus, improved security promises a safer Christmas "What people have been interested in seeking, both Christians and Muslims, is a sense of the rule of law and to stop those who violate it," says Mr. Awad. "I know many Muslims who felt scared, too, who were also having difficulty with criminals targeting them. Now, the government making a very tough stand with militant groups who carry guns in the streets. This was a very prominent scene, and Christians and Muslims suffered from it. Now this is illegal and the government has taken some real steps to stop it."

Syria says US 'torpedoing' Lebanon deal: report "At the moment when Syria and France were searching for a way forward on Lebanon, the US scurried to send two envoys to Lebanon --- Elliott Abrams and David Welch -- known for their partiality to Israel, with the aim of torpedoing an accord between the different factions in Lebanon,"

Israel to spend $230m on defence shield

National title game brings Abdallah family back to New Orleans to finish their story The most telling tale, Nader said, belongs to his dad, who grew up in a refugee camp outside Nablus in the West Bank: "Thirteen people lived in one tent. It was a war-torn area, and they had nothing."

Struggle over identity of Zionism organization symbolizes dispute over Israel's character The challenge to the JNF's longstanding resistance to selling its land to Arabs highlights the frictions inherent in Israel's description of itself as both a Jewish and democratic state, at once wanting to be part of the Western democratic tradition, but still fearing it might be swallowed up by the region's Arab majority.......Anticipating the court action, Israel's parliament overwhelming passed in an initial reading a bill that would bar the agency from selling land to Arabs. Any further readings will depend on the agreement the court reaches with the JNF and the state, its sponsors say.

Graffiti Artists Decorate Bethlehem Barrier

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Headlines for 12-22-07

Two Palestinians wounded near Gaza crossing Two Palestinians were wounded in a missile attack near the Karni crossing on the border with Israel on Saturday, according to Palestinian medics.

Better times return to Bethlehem "I feel safer here than I do walking down some streets in the UK," says Mike Quincy, 61, a retired police officer from Britain, visiting the city with a group of friends. "The Palestinians feel hopeless and abandoned and the fact that people are coming here shows them that they are not completely forgotten by the outside world," he adds.

Reality in Bethlehem mars Christmas tradition "You look at the political situation, there's a lot of stress, a lot of depression. There are headaches and unemployment," said Naim Khoury, pastor of Bethlehem's First Baptist Church. "Building of the wall has prevented people from finding work. People see there are better opportunities outside the country." Who's driving the Christians from the Holy Land?

Exodus from the Holy Land The explanation often cited by the Israeli media and officials for the flight of Palestinian Christians has been that they lived in fear of their Muslim cousins. As so often is the case in the Middle East, many Palestinians had a different view.
"Our relations with the Muslims is not really the problem," said George Abdo, a social worker with the Shepherd Society. "It is the occupation and all that it produces -- the economic, social, medical and educational hardships."
Who's driving the Christians from the Holy Land?

Negotiations useless if settlements continue, Palestinians say

Israel fears clash with U.S. over impasse in negotiations "Israel has created a series of far-reaching expectations in the international arena," this official said, referring to the implementation of the first part of the road map, "but this is not going to happen." "There is no political capability either to evacuate settlements or freeze construction in the settlements," the second official added.

Even if Palestinians stopped the rocket fire thereby depriving Israel of its pretext to do so under the guise of 'security', Israel would still continue building the settlements (on Palestinian land). Israel never stops building settlements, judging by its record and the recent announcements of late. They decided against the building of the new apts in E. Jerusalem, but the construction in Har Homa is not going to cease. It's a slap in the face to the US, and to the Palestinians. If our leadership had any balls, they would cut off aid to Israel immediately.

Barak-Mubarak to meet in Cairo: Israel "Security and strategic" issues will be on the agenda, but not the possibility of a ceasefire with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip, he said.

'Ceasefire not an option' Islamic Jihad says Hamas did not ask group to join reported ceasefire efforts. 'Truce is not on the table in light of Israeli aggression' says Jihad spokesman

Sabbah slammed for challenging 'Jewish state' "God made this land for all three of us [Muslims, Jews and Christians]," Sabbah, who was born in Nazareth, was quoted as saying. "If it's Jewish, it's not Muslim or Christian...If there's a state of one religion, other religions are naturally discriminated against. This land cannot be exclusive for anyone," he said.
What's the problem with his statements? He doesn't insist that one religion is held supreme over the others? Get over it.

'Children of Jihad' Author Hits at Misconceptions about Middle-East I remember one of them put his hand on my shoulder and said, "We don't care that you're Jewish, we don't care you're American. We hate the American government and we hate the Israeli government, but Jewish people and American people have done nothing to us." ......What I hope and one of the main reasons I wrote "Children of Jihad" was because on paper as a young American Jew, I'm probably the last person that should be able to get along with people from different backgrounds in the Middle East. And the reality is, I found that youth culture there was more similar to me than it was different. Everyone should read this in its entirety. He speaketh the truth. Most of the folks int the Middle East,particularly the youth, are NOT masked jihadis hell bent on killing us. Fact.

Ayalon: IDF lacks intel' to launch Shalit rescue mission

Surveyed Americans Believe in Biblical Truth How about David killing the massive Palestinian warrior Goliath? Approximately 63 percent of surveyed adults believe that he hurled a stone at the giant with a sling shot - a fatal blow described in the Old Testament.

Present day realities dictate that it's the Palestinian David using his slingshot to throw rocks at the IDF giant (which gets David shot at with live rounds, in most situations, and he's usually a kid).

Studying The Appeal Of The Underdog in one study using the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, the participants were given the same essay about the history of the area, but with different maps to reference - one showing Palestine as smaller than Israel (and thus, the underdog) and the other showing Israel as smaller. No matter what scenario the participants were presented with, they consistently favored the underdog to win With the IDF being the fourth best military in the world, and the borders of Israel growing steadily since its foundation (at the expense of the Palestinians), it is safe to say that Palestine is definitely the underdog here.

Iran Polls Better Than US in Saudi Arabia 57 percent of respondents said they opposed the development by Iran of nuclear weapons. Thirty-eight percent said they would favor the US and other countries taking military action to prevent the Iranians from obtaining such a weapon, compared to 27 percent who said the US should accept a nuclear-armed Iran.

Time To Enage Hamas & Alterman On The Lobby had the Palestinians handled Ehud Barak?s tentative offer at Camp David in the summer of 2000 (imperfect as it was) in a more positive manner?rather than letting the summit collapse?a Palestinian state would perhaps already exist. Sorry, M.J., I diasgree. The Palestinians were being asked by Israel to nullify the right of return - which is guaranteed to them under UN resolution 194 - which was a dealbreaker. Any Palestinian leader that would agree to such a deal, would likely be assassinated (and they know it).

Christmas in Bethlehem (Bethlehem, Carmarthenshire, that is) The pilgrims are coming, but the Christians are leaving. Before Israel's creation in 1948, 92 per cent of the city's population was Christian. The mayor puts the current figure at 35 per cent.

Let us hope for peace next year in David's city Visiting the security barrier next to Shu'fat refugee camp in east Jerusalem, I saw how sometimes it can almost completely exclude Palestinian communities from Jerusalem and from vital services - such as schools and doctor's surgeries. At a school in the Qalandiya refugee camp, a Palestinian mother told me of her fears for her teenage son.

Girl hit in missile strike fights to stay in Israel Last week she was given the good news that she will be allowed to remain where she is for at least another year - providing a flicker of hope for reconciliation in a part of the world that sorely needs it.

Palestinians Not Hopeful on Full-Fledged State Given Israel's recent behavior with respect to the continued construction of settlements, who can blame them?

Egyptian Guard Killed in Clash With Smugglers at Israeli Border An Egyptian border guard was shot dead on Friday night in a clash in the Sinai Desert with Egyptian smugglers escorting African migrants to the Israeli border, according to news agency reports.

Russia seeks role in Israel-Syria talks Turkey has also played this role in recent months. But while the Turks are believed to have better personal contacts with the Syrians, the Russians - because of their arms sales to Syria and their overall status as a world power - are believed to have much more leverage with Damascus.

Religious outpost takes over secular settlement in West Bank "The trouble started in 1992 after Likud lost the elections," said Haim, who did not give his real name out of concern for his livelihood and is a veteran settler at Heinanit. "The head of the regional council pressured and even threatened us to allow caravans to be placed in the upper part of the settlement near industrial structures. The settlement department of the [World] Zionist Organization also pressured us to allow them to settle next to us. Everybody said it was temporary. They started with six or seven caravans and soon there were 40."
Israeli settlements are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (Article 49), war crimes.

Surgery paves way for future AN altruistic alliance with the blessing of Yasser Arafat changed the lives of two children in Geelong yesterday. Plastic surgeon Ian Holten removed disfiguring birthmarks from the faces of two Palestinian children.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Headlines for 12-21-07

Palestinian shot dead near Gaza border The 17-year-old was shot in the chest near the fence separating Israel from Gaza, east of the central town of Khan Yunis.

Peres apologizes for 1956 massacre On October 29, 1956, a Border Police platoon shot and killed 48 unarmed Arab civilians in the village of Kafr Kassem east of Petah Tikva because the residents were unknowingly in violation of a curfew imposed on the village due to the onset of the Sinai Campaign.

Gaza residents discuss the closure Two months ago my wife had our first baby. I look at him and I want to give him a better life, but I don't know how to.

Israel ministers urge Hamas talks "What is essential is that it stop rocket fire and all other attacks against Israel from Gaza and that it agrees to stop arms smuggling on the Egypt border,"

UN Council urges donors to meet Palestinian pledges

Candle procession in Beit Sahour calling for a Just Peace On Friday Palestinian residents of Beit Sahour marched through the town, east of Bethlehem marking the beginning of the three-day, Joy to the City festival. The marchers carried signs, calling for a Just Peace, and signs against the annexation wall that is being built on Palestinian land.

O little (divided) town of Bethlehem "It's disgusting," he says. "We are in a chicken cage." For Mr Salsaa, who last managed to get a permit, as part of a church delegation, to visit Jerusalem a year ago, it is one of several factors behind Bethlehem's marked economic decline. This in turn helped to trigger the much-discussed flight of (often, but not always, relatively prosperous middle-class) Christian Palestinians from the city, and indeed from the West Bank altogether. This in turn helped to trigger the much-discussed flight of (often, but not always, relatively prosperous middle-class) Christian Palestinians from the city, and indeed from the West Bank altogether. He calculates that since the Six Day War, but mainly since the beginning of the intifada in September 2000, which made Bethlehem a frequent theatre of conflict between militants and Israeli forces, about two-thirds of his extended family or clan ? between 250 and 300 people ? have gone abroad, chiefly to the US. "The reason was economy and no security; people didn't feel safe." He insists that this had nothing to do with reported friction between Muslims and Christians. "We have warm relations," he says. Who's driving the Christians from the Holy Land?

EU: International force for Gaza will be set up as soon as agreement is made

Israel may buy rapid-fire cannon The Jerusalem Post has learned that the Defense Ministry is holding high-level talks with the Pentagon on purchasing a rapid-fire cannon to protect strategic installations from the primitive Palestinian rockets.

Security Council hails donors' aid pledge to Palestinians

'Father Christmas' beaten in West Bank demo: organisers Israeli guards beat five demonstrators, including one dressed as Father Christmas, during a protest on Friday against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank, organisers said.

Soldiers indicted on charges of abusing Palestinian prisoners During the journey, the soldiers grabbed the prisoners by their hair, struck their chests and necks and demanded they repeat the number soldiers had previously assigned them with. When a prisoner would say the correct number, the soldiers would fall upon him in a beating frenzy.

Outgoing senior FM official calls for military pact with Washington ** Signing a defense pact with the U.S. would mean that Washington would treat any attack on Israel as an attack on the U.S. and would act to protect Israel or retaliate against the assailant. However, such a pact could also limit Israel because it would require the Americans' approval for any military act Israel would consider.
Oh bullsh#t. The sovereignty of this nation, the national security of this nation has been utterly compromised by foreign elements. Israel seeks to make ITS problems OUR problems to the detriment of THIS nation.

Inside Gaza: The challenge of clans and families

Project to lure Jews out of Iran proves unsuccessful "If there is an attack by either the United States or Israel on Iran, it seems clear to me that even the Iranian Jews know it would be too late at that point for them to get out or not be persecuted," Eckstein said. "In my opinion, they are playing a very dangerous game of not committing to come out to Israel.".......For the past 25 years, the IFCJ has given millions of dollars solicited from evangelical Christians in the United States to help Jews immigrate to Israel from the former Soviet Union, India, Argentina and the United States. Some evangelicals believe that the return of Jews to Israel will hasten Christ's second coming.

Rabbis join clerical call for Iran talks A number of rabbis have joined Christian and Muslim clerics in signing a plea for direct U.S.-Iran talks.

Conference of Presidents backs united Jerusalem

Rice: Sharon's settler ties were an issue Condoleezza Rice said Ariel Sharon's ties to the settlement movement discouraged her from promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace

Bolton back on JINSA board JINSA, which promotes security ties between Israel and the United States and other U.S. allies, shares Bolton's outspoken criticism of Bush administration overtures to North Korea and what he says is the slow pace of U.S. efforts to confront Iran.

Congress must stand up to Israel If we get a new president next year we can hope that person has the courage to assert our sovereignty and require the State of Israel to honor the U.N. Security Council resolutions and return the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinian people. It is in the interest of all of us. Amen.

Congress gives qualified OK to Bush request on P.A. aid "To ensure maximum accountability and full transparency, Congress has required mandatory audits of P.A. finances and withholds part of the funds until the P.A. enacts a series of specific civil service and budgetary reforms," AIPAC, the pro-Israel powerhouse, said in a statement. "In order to provide the funds, the president must report on specific steps that the P.A. has taken to arrest terrorists, confiscate weapons and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure."

What Will Israel Do? ** "I came back from a trip to Israel in November convinced that Israel would attack Iran," Bruce Riedel, a former career CIA official and senior adviser to three U.S. presidents--including Bush--on Middle East and South Asian issues, told me Thursday, citing conversations he had with Mossad and defense officials. "And that was before the NIE. This makes it even more likely. Israel is not going to allow its nuclear monopoly to be threatened." .........One reason for Bush's abruptly announced nine-day visit to the region in mid-January is to deal with the fallout from the NIE, which includes not only the possibility that Israel will act unilaterally but also that Bush's prized Annapolis peace process will stall.

A journey to the Holy Land The Palestinian Christian community has been in decline in recent years due to strong anti-Christian sentiment.
Says Woods, "The Israeli Government appears to have been actively trying to encourage Palestinian Christians to leave because they have seen them as able to get jobs and so forth elsewhere?they want to occupy more territory and the Palestinian Christian community is more mobile than the Muslim community." Who's driving the Christians from the Holy Land?

Hariri court to be based in former Dutch intelligence HQ: official

Jo's Holy Land return A THRELKELD grandmother will visit the Holy Land to join Palestinian farmers and Israeli volunteers in the olive harvest.

Wiesenthal Center: Vatican must repudiate Sabbah's call to end Jewish state In the wake of the Catholic Church's chief cleric in Jerusalem declaring that Israel's identity as a Jewish homeland discriminates against non-Jews, the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the Vatican to reject Patriarch Michel Sabbah's demand for Israel to "discard its identity as a Jewish State".

In photos: 'Bethlehem - Christmas preparations'

Comedic Trio Takes Tour to Middle East Mr. KADER: Because that's where you see bad headlines, in the paper, where the Israeli - Israeli tank was scratched by a rock. (Soundbite of laughter) Mr. KADER: Damn Arabs.
(Soundbite of laughter) Mr. KADER: Palestinian attacks bullets with body.

Israel must call W.Bank building freeze now -Qurei

No More Slam Dunks by Philip Giraldi ** An alarmed Israel, where the report?s conclusions have been rejected by both politicians and media, is considering taking unilateral action against the principle Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz. If Israel were to attack Iran, it would need Washington?s help, and U.S. forces would almost certainly be involved in any Iranian retaliation......Both the Iraq NIE and the 2005 NIE on Iran suffered from White House staffers, mostly neoconservatives from Vice President Cheney?s office, participating in the review process. To deal with the problem of such political pressure, Director of Central Intelligence Michael Hayden and DNI Mike McConnell isolated analysts from policymakers and also took steps to deal with the groupthink problem. The efforts of these guys who refused to be cowed by the neoconservatives can not be overstated. God bless 'em.

Palestinian gas project 'is wrecked by Israel' Industry sources blamed Israel for the failure of negotiations with the British multinational BG Group after the Jewish state repeatedly reduced its offer price for the gas.

Notes from underground: the secret life of Gaza's most wanted With respect to the last sentence: Israeli soldiers refer to themselves as Yahood, which in Arabic means Jews. So when the IDF come knocking on the doors in Palestine, they identify themselves as the such.

Holy Land exhibition shows rare religious harmony

The writing on Bethlehem's wall: British artist seeks to lure tourists

Bush proposal threatens Lebanon stability: Hezbollah Hezbollah said on Friday a proposal by U.S. President George W. Bush for Lebanon's Western-backed governing coalition to elect a new president unilaterally was a threat to the country's stability.

Tourists see writing on Bethlehem's walls