Saturday, April 30, 2011

Headlines for April 14 - April 20

A Stand For Justice

Italian Peace Activist Murdered by Islamist Militants in Gaza
Vittorio Arrigoni was murdered by the Tawheed and Jihad group, one of several extremist Islamic groups that operate in the Gaza Strip in opposition to the Hamas government. The group abducted Arrigoni in an attempt to force Hamas to release its leader, who was arrested last month.

U.S. Senate urges UN to rescind Goldstone's Gaza report
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to rescind the Goldstone Commission's report on the Gaza war, in light of its author's expressed regret for some of its claim. Further proof that Israel runs Capitol Hill.

Special Relationship
Rice, meanwhile, assured Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during an Oct. 21, 2009, meeting in Tel Aviv that the United States had done its utmost to "blunt the effects of the Goldstone report" and that she was confident she could "build a blocking coalition" to prevent any push for a probe by the Security Council, according to an Oct. 27, 2009 cable. The United States is Israel's bitch.

Passover brings further restrictions on Palestinians
The Ibrahimi Mosque lies to the east of the Old City of Hebron. The fourth holiest site in Islam, today the mosque was open only to Jewish worshippers. All of the gates allowing entrance to and exit from the Old City souq on its east side were locked or barred shut to Palestinian residents and non-Jewish international visitors.

Abbas rules out Israeli troops in future state
In an interview, Abbas said he would not allow any Israeli troops to be deployed in a future Palestinian state, despite Israel's insistence that it be able to maintain a military presence along the West Bank's border with Jordan.

Israel says it would need such a security presence for around 40 years to ensure the border between any Palestinian state and Jordan was secure

EU grants Palestinian produce duty-free access
The European Union announced Wednesday it would grant duty-free access to produce from the West Bank and the Gaza strip in a bid to support Palestinian state building.

Goldstone report: Statement issued by members of UN mission on Gaza war
We concur in our view that there is no justification for any demand or expectation for reconsideration of the report as nothing of substance has appeared that would in any way change the context, findings or conclusions of that report with respect to any of the parties to the Gaza conflict. Indeed, there is no UN procedure or precedent to that effect. I guess the holdouts here can now expect the pressure Goldstone received....

UN Gaza Report Co-Authors Round on Goldstone
Though they do not mention Goldstone by name, they shoot down several of the main contentions in his article and imply that he has bowed to intense political pressure.

Israeli teen wounded in April 7 bus attack dies
Two Palestinian teenagers, meanwhile, are in custody, suspected of the stabbing deaths of five members of a West Bank settler family, including small children, Israeli authorities said. .....

The two suspects, teenagers from Awarta, belonged to a small PLO faction, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, although it appeared they acted independently, said Col. Nimrod Aloni, a West Bank military commander. The mother of one of the suspects said her son is innocent.

Aloni said the teenagers said during questioning that they "wanted to test their courage and bravery" by penetrating the settlement and stealing a rifle. He said the pair claimed they did not initially plan to kill anyone, but panicked when the baby started crying, endangering their escape.

"My estimation is that they worked independently with no direction whatsoever," he said.

Israel's Channel 2 TV quoted from what it said was the interrogation of the two, saying that they intended to kill Jews and expressed no remorse.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the suspects confessed to a well–planned murder plot from the outset. It was unclear why his version differed from the military commander's account.

U.S. Report Details Rights Abuses
the report spends significant time on the activities of Israel in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. “Palestinians faced violence and discrimination in the occupied territories” from Israel, the report states. Its findings, some of which cite outside sources, include:

• Reports of killings of civilians by Israeli forces in the occupied territories.

• Concerns about the handling of 147 investigations by the Israeli military police of killings or injuries of Palestinians by Israeli security forces in the occupied territories. Few ended in convictions, the report noted. And human rights groups reported that many investigations began long after the incidents took place.

• A report that Israeli security forces had tortured children in detention, according to one NGO. The NGO found 28 children who were beaten and kicked by Israeli forces in the second half of 2010, and three who said that electric shocks had been applied to their bodies.

• Accounts of civilians, including three children, who were allegedly used as human shields by Israeli forces.

• Claims that Israeli forces did not respond sufficiently to settler violence against West Bank Palestinians.

Christians mark Palm Sunday in Jerusalem
Christians also celebrated at the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, and in the Gaza Strip, home to a small Christian population of about 2,000.

Wikileaks: 'US Helped Israel with UN Gaza War Probe'
The online foreign affairs magazine cited exclusive WikiLeaks cables, detailing moves by Washington's UN ambassador Susan Rice to prevent a more thorough UN investigation of alleged abuses in the conflict. The United States is Israel's bitch.

Bachmann: America ‘Cursed’ By God ‘If We Reject Israel’
At a Republican Jewish Coalition event in Los Angeles last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann offered a candid view of her positions on Israel: Support for Israel is handed down by God and if the United States pulls back its support, America will cease to exist.

AP Interview: Palestinians want Quartet deal
Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. observer, expressed regret that the United States blocked a meeting of the Quartet – the U.S., U.N., European Union and Russia – that had been tentatively scheduled to take place Friday in Berlin to discuss, and hopefully endorse, the outlines of a peace settlement proposed by Britain, France and Germany.

Goldstone Recants, Gaza Dies by Philip Giraldi
The United States has long been on the receiving end of Israeli misbehavior. Israel invades Lebanon or Gaza, the US vetoes UN Security Council resolutions condemning civilian deaths and destruction of infrastructure, and Washington winds up taking the blame for condoning Tel Aviv’s recklessness. Repeat that twenty times and it is no surprise that most of the world regards the United States as the enabler of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. Osama bin Laden has repeatedly cited American support of Israeli repression as one of his reasons for attacking the United States. The United States is Israel's bitch.

Goldstone's shameful U-turn
Just weeks ago, Israeli military intelligence announced it had created a special unit to monitor, confront, and possibly hunt down, individuals and bodies suspected of "delegitimizing" Israel abroad. In light of this, perhaps quite a few of the faint-hearted felt standing up to Israel was not worth it. Really now. Watch who you confront, boys. Some of us aren't your usual 'fish in a barrel', hmm?

Attorney general: Indict Israeli foreign minister
Lieberman is suspected of illicitly receiving money and laundering it through shell companies.

Egypt orders review of gas contracts with Israel
Egypt's contracts to supply gas to Israel have been widely criticized in the country as offering gas at rates far below market prices.

Ex-NY comptroller Hevesi gets 1-4 years in prison
Hevesi admitted that in awarding pension fund investments, he "improperly favored" a venture capitalist who paid for at least $75,000 worth of travel expenses to Israel and Italy for the comptroller, his family and other officials.

A Civility Deficit? Or an Indignation Deficit?
there is an informal ban on J Street, a ban so thorough that the possibility that a representative of J Street might be invited to make a presentation is not even raised. The curious thing about such a ban is that it is not imposed by mindless people, by people who believe that American Jews must act in lockstep with Israel’s government. There is some of that, to be sure, but more often, it’s simply all the noise that J Street’s opponents have kicked up that makes people nervous. Where there’s so much smoke, they conclude, there must be fire. The aspect of the controversy that most aggravates me is the assertion, loudly made in the Knesset at a recent hearing convened on J Street, that those who criticize the policies of Israel’s government do so to curry the favorable opinion of non-Jews, an outrageous and utterly baseless charge.

Why Christian Women Are Sporting Jewish Jewelry
On her trip last month to Israel, during which she met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and visited sites like the Kotel, Palin was seen sporting a sizeable silver Magen David. According to David Brog, the Jewish director for Christians United For Israel — see the Forward’s story on the organization here — Palin’s choice in jewelry is an increasingly common one for American evangelical Christians.

Poll: Americans strongly oppose some deficit proposals
Despite growing concerns about the country's long–term fiscal problems and an intensifying debate in Washington about how to deal with them, Americans strongly oppose some of the major remedies under consideration, according to a new Washington Post–ABC News poll. Too bad foreign aid isn't on the chopping block. Instead, schools are being closed and other major cuts to education are being implemented. Yet, Israel is still rewarded with billions of dollars a year to steal another people's land and occupy their territory. The wars fought on their behalf are also a major drain on the American budget.

House leader to ask Netanyahu to speak to Congress
Israel = Congress' real leader.

Brand Ahmadinejad rights abuser: US senators
At Israel's urging, no doubt.

FBI Counter-Terror Official: Al Qaeda 'Thrives' After Dictators Fall
Giuliano made the comments at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy WINEP is an arm of AIPAC, the Israeli lobby.

Iranian general accuses Siemens of helping U.S., Israel build Stuxnet
An Iranian military commander Saturday accused the German electronics giant Siemens with helping U.S. and Israeli teams craft the Stuxnet worm that attacked his country's nuclear facilities.

US helped Israel contain UN Gaza war probe: report
The United States worked behind the scenes to help Israel contain UN probes into possible war crimes committed during the 2008–2009 Gaza war, Foreign Policy reported Tuesday. The US is Israel's bitch.

JVP, Harsh Critic Of Israel, Seeks a Seat at the Communal Table

Bibi-Bieber Summit is Off, Bieber Hates Israeli Paparazzi and More
According to Netanyahu’s office, Bieber had requested a meeting with the Israeli leader this week, as part of the Christian singer’s first trip to Israel. Netanyahu obliged, but then — perhaps to justify meeting with a teen singer — invited children from near Israel’s volatile border with Gaza. The move appears to have displeased the singer, as have overly zealous local paparazzi.

Thus does the Hasbara campaign continue.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Headlines for April 7 - April 13

A Stand For Justice

Gaza: Israel kills 12 amid cross-border exchanges
Several of those killed in Gaza were civilians, including a Palestinian mother and her 21-year-old daughter, as well as a 55-year-old man in the southern city of Khan Younis, Palestinian medics say.

A 50-year-old civilian who had been sitting outside his home died when he was hit by tank fire on Thursday, an official in Gaza said.

Israel strikes hard in Gaza after school bus hit
Israeli aircraft and tanks pounded Gaza on Friday, killing seven Hamas militants and five civilians in a surge of fighting sparked by a Palestinian rocket attack on an Israeli school bus the day before.

...The early morning attack brought the two–day death toll from Israel's ongoing retaliation to 17 Gazans – 10 militants, a Hamas policeman and six civilians – amounting to the bloodiest tally since Israel and Hamas wrapped up their three–week–long war more than two years ago. Israel isn't any better than the 'militants' when they themselves take out civilians - in disproportionate numbers. Yes they in fact DO target civilians when they indiscriminately fire into neighborhoods - just like Hamas.

Death toll rises in deadly Gaza strikes
The death toll of 12 made it the deadliest 24 hours in Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead, the devastating 22–day offensive Israel launched in December 2008 that claimed the lives of some 1,400 Palestinians –– more than half of them civilians –– and 13 Israelis, 10 of them soldiers.

Palestinians to U.S.: Revive peace talks before we establish state
Given a continuing impasse despite 18 years of talks, Palestinian leaders aim to ask the UN General Assembly in September for recognition of statehood on all of the territory Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. That would include Gaza, over which the Palestinian Authority currently has no control

Call for no-fly zone over Gaza
Call for no-fly zone over Gaza
Monday 11 April 2011
by Our Foreign Desk
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The Arab League said on Sunday that it would ask the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone over the Gaza Strip to protect civilians against Israeli air strikes.

Gaza truce holds after days of deadly clashes
In Cairo, the Arab League said it would call on the United Nations to impose a no–fly zone over Gaza after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that continued rocket fire by Gaza militants would be dealt with harshly.

Haaretz WikiLeaks exclusive / Settler leader downplays comments on West Bank evacuation

MK Herzog: Israel May Take Back Gaza

Blowback: Israel's bogus narrative on Palestinian refugees
Contrary to the official Israeli version, still largely believed, that the Palestinian exodus of 750,000 people -- without which there would be no Israel today -- happened in the fog of war, people like me are living proof that many of us had been forced out of our homeland months earlier.

Hamas warns Israel: Halt air strikes on Gaza or we'll intensify rocket fire
Hamas said on Saturday it would escalate its attacks against Israel to include a wider range of targets if Israel failed to halt its aerial assaults on the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian official: Israel, Gaza militants agreed to a cease-fire
Although neither Israel nor the Palestinians confirmed the cease-fire, a significantly smaller number of rockets were fired from Gaza on Sunday and Palestinians reported no Israeli air strikes.

Missile from Gaza hits Israeli school bus; 2 hurt

Israel pounds Hamas targets in Gaza for third day

Israel and Hamas look to end Gaza flare-up

Hamas makes rare appeal to Israel to halt fighting
A senior member of Gaza's ruling Hamas movement on Sunday made a rare appeal to the Israeli public for a halt to the escalating cross–border fighting, telling an Israeli radio station in fluent Hebrew that Hamas is ready to stop its rocket fire if Israel ends its attacks on Gaza.

Hamas says didn't mean to target Israeli school bus
"It was not known that the bus targeted on the outskirts of Gaza carried schoolchildren," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters, adding that the road where the bus was travelling was often used by Israeli military vehicles.

Humanitarian Interventionism by the Numbers by Philip Giraldi
By any metric Israel should be attacked first to prevent massacres of civilians as it has killed thousands of Arabs in internationally recognized war crimes carried out in Lebanon and Gaza. That Israel is untouchable on humanitarian grounds raises the inevitable question about Washington’s hypocrisy. A friendly Saudi Arabia too has demonstrated that it is more than willing to use force to maintain its autarchic rule.

Haaretz WikiLeaks exclusive / Israel ruled out military option on Iran years ago
which is why they've been trying to get us to do it.

Latest WikiLeaks cables reveal Israel's fears and alliances
The cables show intimate co-operation between US and Israeli intelligence organisations. Israel's preoccupation with Iranian nuclear ambitions is well known and the US cables detail the battering on the subject that diplomats repeatedly receive from Tel Aviv.

Israel ruled out Iran strike in 2005: Wikileaks
Another telegram a month later, detailing talks between a US congressman and the then deputy chief of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission, Ariel Levite, offered a stronger suggestion that Israel considered a strike on Iran's facilities unfeasible. That's why they want us to do it for them.

Israeli official: We struck in Sudan
A senior Israeli military official told TIME Magazine Wednesday that the Jewish state was behind a mysterious air strike in Sudan Tuesday that killed two people.

Milwaukee County Sheriff going to Israel
The American Israel Educational Foundation is paying for the trip. Thus does the Israelification of America continue.

Ahmadinejad: U.S. seeking to divide Jordan to form Palestinian state
Ahmadinejad was quoted by the Iranian Mehr news agency as saying that a Western plot was in motion to divide Jordan, geared at saving "the Zionist regime from annihilation and tell the world that an independent state of Palestine has been formed"

Sudan says found proof of Israeli strike
Sudan said Sunday that remnants of a missile used in a mysterious attack that killed two people on April 5 proved that Israel carried out the strike.

Time running out for Israel and peace talks -
Part of the urgency is the Arab uprising. Israel’s longtime friend and peace partner, Hosni Mubarak, was ousted by democracy revolutionaries in Egypt in February. Demonstrations have taken place in Jordan, another friend, and are intensifying in neighboring Syria, from which Israel won the Golan Heights in the 1967 war. They won the land in war? I wonder if the writer of this op-ed piece realizes that a nation cannot 'win' territory in battle anymore. This is a violation of the Hague Convention and the Fourth Geneva Convention; international law. Biased much?

AP Exclusive: FBI thought Demjanjuk evidence faked
Throughout three decades of U.S. hearings, an extradition, a death sentence followed by acquittal in Israel, a deportation and now a trial in Munich, the arguments have relied heavily on the photo ID from an SS training camp that indicates Demjanjuk was sent to Sobibor.
Really now.

Amnesty urges Lebanon to trace civil war missing

AP’s Matti Friedman: Israeli citizen and former Israeli soldier

New Israeli system alters war against Gaza rockets
Israeli officials say the $200 million "Iron Dome" has performed beyond all expectations, raising hopes the military has finally found a way to rob Hamas militants of their most potent weapon: the short–range rockets that have made life miserable for large swaths of the population over the past decade.
American taxpayers footed the bill for this system.

Lieberman told he may face fraud charges pending hearing
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein informed Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday that he was considering indicting him on charges of fraud, money laundering, and breach of trust.

Haaretz Wikileaks exclusive / Bahrain King boasted of intelligence ties with Israel
After that meeting, Monroe wrote to Washington that "He [the king] revealed that Bahrain already has contacts with Israel at the intelligence/security level (ie with Mossad) and indicated that Bahrain will be willing to move forward in other areas."

corrected link to photos of demolitions in Amnyir

Ford Foundation, Big Funder of Israeli NGOs, Pulling Out
The director of one of those groups, Jafar Farah of Israel’s Mossawa Center, which advocates for equal rights for Arab Israelis, told the Forward he hopes that the Ford grants will no longer be needed by the time they end in 2013. “I hope that by then, Israel will be a real democracy with equality for all,” he said.

Safed rabbi says struggle to keep the city Jewish moving forward
"The struggle to preserve the special character of the city of Safed is beginning to bear fruit here and everywhere in the country and it is necessary to continue with this here. It has not stopped with one call and a rabbinical ruling," wrote Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Safed, in a statement he issued this week under the heading "Continuation of the Rabbis' Letter on the Issue of Selling Apartments to Gentiles."

Juliano Mer-Khamis, Activist Who Lived in Two Worlds, Murdered in Jenin
Born in Nazareth in 1958 to a Jewish mother and a Christian-Palestinian father, both citizens of Israel, Mer-Khamis was a unique cultural and activist figure. In recent years he divided his time between Haifa and Jenin. His assassination drew expressions of outrage both from many in Israel’s cultural world and from Palestinians whose cause he made his own.

Did a Private Meeting Prompt Goldstone To Change His Mind?
The meeting, an official parlay between Goldstone and a cross-section of 10 of the South African Jewish community’s top leaders, had a profound impact on Goldstone, said one participant and another senior official briefed on it afterward.

“Debating face to face with the community really shook him,” said David Saks, associate director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, who received a read-out on the meeting right after it took place. “When he saw the extent of the anger and he couldn’t answer the accusations against him… I think he realized he was wrong.”

...“I think the meeting with the Fed made a difference,” Saks said. “It was a heavy meeting. They went in very hard against him. There were no smiling handshakes afterwards. Avrom’s opening statement was pretty merciless.”
....“It has been like watching an innocent man whipped at the stake,” said Goldstone’s friend Letty Cottin Pogrebin, founder of Ms. magazine. “His dedication to Israel is so strong and rooted. He suffered at the thought that his work was being used to delegitimize Israel. It truly wounded and pained him.”

“His family is taking terrible strain,” reported a close South African friend who would speak only on condition of anonymity. “He told us, ‘If I had known what it would do to my family, I wouldn’t have done it.’”....

Goldstone’s acceptance of these closed investigations by the Israeli military of itself represented a dramatic turnaround. In an in-depth interview with the Forward in October 2009, he explicitly rejected such probes as inherently flawed.

...To those who know Goldstone, this willingness to relax his initial standards indicates a desire to soften the impact of his report on Israel, in particular as the enormity of this impact was driven home to him.

A Cynical Giveaway
They’re cheering in Kiryas Joel and other ultra-Orthodox enclaves in New York over a new provision in the state’s otherwise austere and demanding budget for 2011-2012. But the governor, the legislature and the Jewish leaders who pushed for this special-interest giveaway ought to be ashamed of themselves.

At the same time that public colleges and universities were handed a 10% cut in state aid, the legislature managed to find $18 million a year for tuition for needy students who attend private religious schools. But not just any student. And not just any school.

The lawmakers, rabbis and lobbyists who have been pushing for this change for a decade argue that it’s legal, and that’s probably true, since they took great pains to write a law that funnels the money to the student, not the school, and therefore likely passes constitutional muster in its narrowest interpretation. There's that philosemitism again.

Op-Ed Doesn’t Close the Book on Cast Lead
it is crucial to restate the basic facts: In Operation Cast Lead, Israel killed at least 758 Palestinian civilians who did not take part in the hostilities; 318 of them were minors. In excess of 5,300 Palestinians were injured, more than 350 of them seriously. More than 3,500 houses were destroyed, and electricity, water and sewage infrastructure were badly damaged. In many ways, Gaza has not yet managed to recover.

Demjanjuk defense asks for trial suspension
A defense attorney asked a German court to suspend John Demjanjuk's trial on Nazi war crimes charges Wednesday after giving judges an Associated Press story that uncovered documents showing the FBI believed a key piece of evidence was fake. The witchhunt never ends.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Headlines for March 31 - April 6

A Stand For Justice

Israeli Gaza strikes wound four Palestinians: medics
Israeli aircraft attacked two targets in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, wounding four people, among them a pregnant woman, Palestinian medics and witnesses said.

...On Tuesday, as Palestinian factions met to discuss tensions with Israel along the Gaza border, Israeli army fire killed a man in the north of the strip.

"A Palestinian was killed by an Israeli tank shell near Erez," Gaza medical official Abu Selmiya said at the time, identifying him as 21–year–old Mohammed Ziyad Shalha.

Palestinian man killed along border with Israel
Relatives of the man, Mohammed Shalha, say he was collecting gravel along the border when he was shot. Impoverished Gazans often search the area for scrap metal and other materials in hopes of reselling them.

Israeli Airstrike Kills Gaza Militants
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Adham Abu Salmia said three men were killed. No militant group has claimed the men as members but Gaza officials say they belonged to the Islamic Jihad group.

Official: Goldstone invited to visit Israel
South African jurist Richard Goldstone has accepted an invitation to visit Israel and promised to work to nullify his U.N. report accusing Israel of deliberately targeted civilians during its offensive in the Gaza Strip two years ago, the interior minister said Tuesday. They got to him.

Israel to Germany: drop Palestinian statehood plan
Germany, Britain and France support that position, and are expected to bring it up at a meeting of Mideast mediators next week as a way of restarting long–stalled talks. The Palestinians have said they won't resume talks with the hardline Netanyahu unless there's a clear framework and Israel halts all settlement construction in Israeli–occupied lands they want for their state.

U.S. 'deeply concerned' about Israel settlement expansion
The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee discussed the construction of 942 housing units in the Gilo neighborhood in the south of the city, beyond the Green Line on Sunday, and Haaretz was informed that same day that Defense Minister Ehud Barak plans to sign off on four settlement development plans.

Israel panel approving new east Jerusalem building
Israel doesn't want peace or a Palestinian state because they aren't done stealing Palestinian land.

U.S. committed to ending anti-Israel bias on UN council, envoy says
Rice said on Wednesday that she wanted the controversial report to "disappear" but did not think it could be amended despite Goldstone's admission that some of his assessments may have been wrong.

Israel has urged the United Nations to cancel the 2009 report to the U.N. Human, however, Rice told a congressional hearing that she is "not sure it [the report] can be amended." The US is Israel's bitch.

UN council: Goldstone regret not enough to rescind Gaza war report

Gaza: the Stain Remains on Israel's War Record
Goldstone has not retreated from the report's allegation that Israel engaged in large-scale attacks in violation of the laws of war. These attacks included Israel's indiscriminate use of heavy artillery and white phosphorus in densely populated areas, and its massive and deliberate destruction of civilian buildings and infrastructure without a lawful military reason. This misconduct was so widespread and systematic that it clearly reflected Israeli policy.

Israel to Launch Campaign Urging UN to Retract Goldstone Report
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Goldstone had expressed regret for his accusation that the IDF targeted civilians during the Gaza war.

"We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report," Goldstone wrote, adding, "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document." They got to Goldstone, as they have done with so many others. His report was a HUGE problem for Israel. You better believe they got to him.

Rising oil prices beginning to hurt US economy
The higher costs have been driven by unrest in Libya and other oil–producing Middle East countries, along with rising energy demand from a strengthening U.S. economy. Hey I know. Let's pour a couple more trillion into the Middle East.

Israel holds secret talks with Russia in bid to thwart recognition of Palestinian state
he visit comes just two weeks before the foreign ministers of the Quartet − the United States, Russia, the European Union and the UN − are to meet. France, Germany and the United Kingdom are pushing for announcing a new international peace initiative.

Ros-Lehtinen says that Obama stopped pressuring Israel because ‘the American Jewish community got mad’

46% of Israeli teens: Revoke Arabs' rights

SocDoc Studios - Documentaries about Palestine

Goldstone's Shameful U-turn
"If I had known then that the report would turn me into a self-hating Jew in the eyes of my beloved Israel and my own Jewish community in South Africa, the Goldstone report would never have been written at all." And if that wasn't the original sentence, it is certainly the subtext of Goldstone's article.

Jordan wants to retrieve major Christian relics
Jordan's archaeology chief says he has a solid legal case to press for the return of 70 ancient lead books stolen and smuggled into Israel

Israeli tells citizens to leave Sinai immediately
The government warned its citizens to "leave Sinai immediately and return to Israel," and quoted intelligence sources about "terrorist plans to kidnap Israelis and use them as bargaining chips."

Israel asks for Goldstone Report to be repealed
Here comes the whitewash.

Netanyahu seeks UN help to stop flotilla
The flotilla of about 15 ships with activists from 25 countries is to leave next month to mark the first anniversary of an Israeli commando raid on an aid convoy trying to get to Gaza that left nine Turkish activists dead.

Israeli map shows nearly 1,000 Hezbollah sites
The Israeli military on Thursday released a map detailing what it says are nearly 1,000 underground bunkers, weapons storage facilities and monitoring sites built by the militant Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon. Oh!! It was ISRAEL that provided the map. Oh OK. That means we know it's legit. AHAHAHAHAHA. Hilarious!

Washington Turns Toward Iran as Revolutions Spread in the Middle East
One sign that these approaches are evolving was a March 20 video address for the Iranian New Year of Nowruz by President Obama in which he pointedly highlighted the plight of Iranian dissidents.

Another indication of change was the formation 10 days later of a nongovernmental policy task force focused on developing and building backing for policies that would encourage democracy and respond to human rights abuses in Iran. The task force’s members include one current staffer and another former official with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Washington’s leading pro-Israel lobbying group.

..“No one has been more critical of Obama than I have, but you have to recognize good news,” said Michael Ledeen, a prominent neoconservative writer.

....Israel and its supporters remain focused on increasing the pressure on Iran and ensuring that Washington maintains a credible military threat against Tehran. Speaking at a New York fundraising event for Friends of Israel Defense Forces, Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, said that “it is essential to shift towards crippling and paralyzing sanctions while all options [are] on the table.”
Read on for the other members of the new task force - including more pro-Israelis, not surprisingly. They are the ones in charge of our foreign policy, folks. Read the entire article for the proof, and it's coming straight from the horse's mouth.

HRW Founder Charts Another Way To Probe Human Rights
underneath this new mandate, the clear motivating factor for Bernstein’s new initiative is his concern for Israel. It rises to the surface as soon as he is asked about the point of starting yet another human rights organization: Israel, as a democratic, open society, should not be under constant investigation by human rights groups, he said. The country and the way it wages war need to be better explained and defended.
Read the first 3 paragaraphs. Expect this to be an(other) organization that refuses to call Israel out on its violations of humanitarian and international law. Israel's minions on Capitol Hill and in the mainstream media will shamelessly promote this new 'human rights organization'.

US Approaching Insolvency but there’s always money for Israel

Military Tribunal May Keep 9/11 Motives Hidden
The motive? US support for Israel. Read the 911 Commission report. Poltiicans and media alike ignore this fact.

Neo-Cons Target Assad Regime
Indeed, the notorious 1996 "Clean Break" memo that was prepared for then-incoming Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by several prominent neo-conservatives who, seven years later, would take senior posts in the Bush administration, depicted the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as one crucial step in a larger strategy designed to destabilise Syria. Neocon foreign policy - always about Israel.

'U.K. didn't always feel safe to share intelligence with Israel'
Dearlove added, saying that he had frequent discussions "with Robin Cook as Foreign Secretary about what should or shouldn't be passed to our Israeli colleagues - and there are obvious reasons for that, because we could never guarantee how the intelligence might or would be used by the state of Israel." The Israelis are terrorists. The Brits were their first victims. Menachem Begin had a bounty on him. Do the research.

A Morning at an Israeli Checkpoint
We are Jewish, and began to weep. How was it possible that our own people, who have gone through such suffering, can inflict this ordeal, intended to humiliate and intimidate another people?

Lebanon-Israel Tensions Rise over Offshore Oil and Gas
Key to the tensions over the potential gas bonanza is that the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon has never been delineated because the two states are still technically at war. Since when does Israel care about crossing borders and stealing other people's property? It's been going on for 60 years.

ElBaradei Threatens Israel over Gaza

Egypt ready to re-establish Iran diplomatic ties
Egypt has long been an ally of the United States and Israel but since Mubarak was toppled there have been signs of warming ties between Cairo and Tehran

Cuba’s Remnant Rediscovers Religion
In 1992, Rafi Eitan, a former senior Mossad operative and current Israeli Cabinet minister, founded a company that owns several large citrus cooperatives in the country. He markets the cooperative’s fruits in Israel. Eitan, who was implicated in Jonathan Pollard’s Washington espionage scandal in the 1980s, has a personal relationship with Fidel Castro through his company. In 2006, Eitan joined Castro to inaugurate Havana’s Holocaust memorial monument — a large seven-branch menorah in a central city square.

New Book and New Guilty Plea Cast Syrian Jewish Community Back in Spotlight
“We were told over and over again: It’s bad for the Jews,” Margolin said, referring to the social pressures on the two reporters — both Jewish — to tone down their coverage.

Oh. Is that how it works?

'US firmly opposed to PA seeking statehood in UN'
“We have consistently made it clear that the way to produce a Palestinian state is through negotiations, not through unilateral declarations, not through going to the UN,” Dennis Ross told the Anti-Defamation League’s annual leadership conference. “Our position on that has been consistent in opposition.”

Is There Really a Goldstone 'Retraction'?

Facebook sued for $1 billion over Intifada page
Facebook and co–founder Mark Zuckerberg have been hit with a lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion in damages over a page on the social network which called for a "Third Intifada" against Israel.

Facebook this week shut down the "Third Intifada" page, which had almost 500,000 fans, but the lawsuit filed in a court here claims that the social network showed "negligence" by not quickly responding to appeals to remove the page.

US lawmakers urge support for Syrian opposition
Republican Senator John McCain and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman said Obama's effort to engage rather than shun Damascus had "little to show for it" and declared it was time to back protesters against Assad's rule. Here we go again. And it's 2 of Israel's top shills, no less.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Headlines for March 24 - March 30

A Stand For Justice

Israeli air strike kills two militants in northern Gaza
In the past week at least 10 Palestinians, including several civilians and children, have been killed by Israeli attacks.

Dan Rather aide: Crew harassed by Israeli security
Andrew Glazer, an Emmy–award winning producer at Dan Rather Reports, wrote that the legendary anchorman came to do a story about improving Israeli–Palestinian relations pitched by Israel's Foreign Ministry.

Glazer said problems mounted after they arrived. He said they were held up for hours at security checks. Israeli soldiers barred the crew's veteran Palestinian cameramen – a Jerusalem resident – from accompanying Rather to a West Bank neighborhood. And then came the a strip search before an interview with Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor.

UN chief: Israel's occupation is 'morally, politically unsustainable'
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel Wednesday to halt settlement building in the West Bank and put a stop to all forms of violence and incitement, the UN News Center reported.

Israel threatens unilateral steps if UN recognizes Palestinian state
European diplomats have confirmed to Haaretz that such a message was conveyed several days ago. One diplomat said his country did not receive a serious response when asked what unilateral steps Israel might take. Another diplomat, from a European country, said in light of the current deadlock in negotiations, international recognition of Palestinian statehood appeared unavoidable in September.

Drafting Palestinian constitution prepares for establishment of independent state

US casts only vote for Israel in UNHRC
The US was the only country to vote against all six United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolutions on Israel, which were approved in Geneva this Thursday and Friday.

Obama telephones Netanyahu over terrorist bombing
Another stoolie for Israeli.

Israeli, Palestinian hurt amid rise in violence
A Palestinian was shot and wounded by Israeli police Friday after he injured a soldier in the West Bank, police said, the latest incident amid a spike in violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the Palestinian attacked an Israeli soldier with a stone at a bus stop early Friday, inflicting a serious head wound. Police who arrived at the scene shot and wounded the Palestinian. Notice how the AP in this article plants the seeds of blame implicating Palestinians for the recent bombing and the attack on the settlers. The Associated Press is the main newswire that feeds nearly all mainstream news media in the United States.

Village of At-Tuwani honors recent victim of stabbing
On March 19, a settler from Havat Ma'on attacked and stabbed Awad on
the outskirts of At-Tuwani. Awad was traveling by donkey to the city
of Yatta for a medical appointment. A resident of the village saw the
attack and ran towards the settler, who ran back into the outpost.
Awad was transported to Alia Hospital in Hebron, where he is
recovering from stab wounds to his head, arm and chest.

Diplomats: New European proposal on Mideast peace
Britain, France and Germany want the United Nations and the European Union to propose the outlines of a final settlement of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state, U.N. diplomats said.

'Abbas would give up US aid to reconcile with Hamas'

European countries want UN, not U.S., to advance Mideast peace talks
The U.S. veto on February 18 of a Security Council resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlements as illegal and demanded an immediate halt to all settlement building spurred Britain, France and Germany, who supported the measure, to issue a joint statement expressing serious concern about the stalemate in the Middle East peace process.

Since the U.S. efforts have been unsuccessful, diplomats said the three European powers decided to try a new approach in hopes of breaking the deadlock.

Gaza militant groups agree Israel ceasefire, says Hamas
In the past week at least 10 Palestinians, including several civilians and children, have been killed by Israeli attacks.

US defense chief defends Israeli airstrikes
Israeli security officials have said little about the investigations into Wednesday's bus stop bombing and the knife killings of five members of a family in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank two weeks ago. No arrests yet made in the case of the murder of the settlers? Was it the work of Thai immigrants as has been suggested by locals in the area with knowledge of this case's background? Strange how it's still automatically assumed to be the work of Palestinians.

US defence chief arrives in Israel after bombing
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Israel on Thursday to push for peace overtures with the Palestinians a day after a bombing in Jerusalem left one dead and more than 30 wounded. So let me get this straight: a bombing occurs for the first time in years just before Gates arrives to get the peace process going, and none of the Palestinian militant groups takes responsibility for said bombing? And this coming on the heels of the murder of settlers, for which no one has been arrested, and just after which - Israel announced plans to build MORE settlements. Sounds to me like somebody isn't interested in making any peace and is looking for any excuse not to do so.

Israel violence complicates Gates' call for peace
Gates agreed that no sovereign state can tolerate having rockets fired at its people. But, he added that "we don't want to do anything that allows extremists or others to divert the narrative of reform that's going on in virtually all the countries of the region."
You don't say?....

Gaza militants fire rockets deep into Israel › Japan Today Japan News and Discussion
Citing gag orders, Israeli security officials have said little about the investigations into Wednesday’s bus stop bombing or the knife killings two weeks ago. Strange that.

US foreign aid faces cuts as China's reach grows
The Obama administration has sought to step up its engagement in Asia, the Pacific, Africa, Central Asia and Latin America. Development aid is a key plank of its strategy. The State Department argues it is "as central to advancing America's interests as diplomacy and defense."

But that aid, like all federal spending, is under pressure as lawmakers debate how to reel in the government's deficit, forecast at $1.5 trillion this year. Much of the red ink is financed by China. The lion's share of foreign aid goes to Israel, despite the fact that Israel is not an impoverished nation. To the contrary, Israel's economy is flourishing. We're going broke to maintain that, to the detriment of our national interest - in more ways than one.

Israel considering annexing West Bank settlements
In a related development, the Israeli Transportation Ministry is working on a plan to build an island off the coast of Gaza, where an Palestinian–run airport and seaport would be located. Ministry spokesman Ilan Leizerovich said this would allow Israel to cut all ties with Hamas–ruled Gaza.

Neocon Foreign Policy by Philip Giraldi
Mike Huckabee, Haley Barbour, and Mitt Romney were all recently in Israel where they pledged undying affection for Bibi Netanyahu and all his political progeny while Sarah Palin is doing the same this week. Comments about facing down the Iranian nuclear threat are obligatory. Netanyahu himself recently upped the ante regarding Iran by declaring that military action will have to be taken against the country if sanctions do not end its nuclear program. As sanctions are unlikely to accomplish that, it amounted to a demand that war should be the next phase. Netanyahu even expressed a preference for who should do the attacking: the United States.

Student-teacher invention wins plaudits at home and abroad
For the last two years, Maysoon and Iman, from Aida camp’s school, grew increasingly concerned about the many accidents related to gas leaks in Bethlehem, some of which have proven fatal. Starting out, the teacher and student experimented with various different designs, including an electronic window and a special gas-leak alarm, before arriving at the perfect idea

The ‘A-Word’ in Hebron
after 14 years, the main street looks like a ghost town, its crumbling buildings scarred with Hebrew graffiti: “Jews Only Buy From Jews.” “No Arabs, No Mice.” “Death to the Arabs!” and worse. My stomach heaved at the hate-filled words but even more so at the sight of the street split by a physical divider, one side for Palestinians, the other for Jews — the larger side for Jews — with Israeli soldiers on guard over the scene. Ofran said some Palestinians, because they cannot use the streets, must reach their homes via their neighbors’ rooftops.

Thank you, brave soul Letty Pogrebin, for having the guts to speak the truth.

Israeli military demolishes village of Amniyr for second time in five weeks
The Israeli military demolished the village of Amniyr
early this morning, destroying seven tent dwellings and a sheep pen.
This is the second time in just over a month that the military has
demolished the village

Netanyahu plays up Iran threat in Russia
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday played up the global danger of Iran as he sought to persuade Russia to scale down its cooperation with Israel's foes in the increasingly volatile region.

Palestinian president meets Hamas to talk unity

Obama Goes to War by Patrick J. Buchanan
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman thinks so. As he said in Paris: “The same principles, activities, the Western world has taken in Libya … I hope to see those regarding the Iranian regime and the Syrian regime.”

Is Libya the dress rehearsal for Syria and Iran?

Neocons could not be giddier. Weekly Standard editor William Kristol is ebullient: “Despite his doubts and dithering, President Obama is taking us to war in another Muslim country. Good for him.”

Perhaps. But will bloodying another Muslim country be good for America?

Lieberman: ‘Precedent’ for Syrian intervention
“There is a precedent now … we’re not going to allow Assad to slaughter his own people.” Lieberman doesn't give a rat's ass about the Syrian people.

Carter says can't bring home jailed US contractor
Gross was arrested while working on a USAID–backed democracy–building project and convicted of crimes against state security earlier this month in a case that has blocked improved ties between the U.S. and Cuba.

Gross has said he was working to improve Internet communications for Cuba's tiny Jewish community.

Clinton rules out U.S. Syria involvement
Syria, if it chose, could cause trouble for the United States in many ways, increasing its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, providing greater backing to anti–Israel Palestinian groups such as Hamas or possibly moving against Israel itself, the United States' closest ally in the Middle East.
To hell with freedom, if it endangers Israel.

Israel not eager to see Syria's Assad go
"That has been the working assumption in Israel for years: Better the devil you know than the devil you don't," said Eyal Zisser, director of the Middle East Studies department at Tel Aviv University. "(Syria) scrupulously maintained the quiet. And who knows what will happen now – Islamic terror, al–Qaida, chaos?"

81 Reasons Why Gaza Has The Right To Self-defense

Anti-Semitism Has No Place in Islam
The work we are doing is reinforced by our scriptures and by our American vision of pluralism and diversity. As Muslims, we must understand that there is absolutely no place for anti-Semitism in Islam, and we must speak out against all instances of anti-Semitism, wherever they may occur.

It also bears repeating that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism, no matter how hard pro-Israelis try to make it so.

Two dead, scores hurt in Jordanian clashes

Syria arrests US national 'for spying for Israel'

Impatient Palestinians eye Arab world in flux
Israel had previously dismissed the General Assembly as toothless, but that is starting to change.

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post Friday, former Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gabriela Shalev warned that a General Assembly resolution might be meaningful if passed under the auspices of so–called Resolution 377, a little–used device dating back to the Korean War that permits the body to recommend measures ranging from sanctions to the use of force in cases where the Security Council members cannot reach unanimity and peace is imperiled.

Is J Street a Threat? Not to Most Israelis
In polling commissioned by the Forward, only 14% of Jewish Israelis said they had heard of J Street. The remaining 86% had not.

The results call into question the stated rationale of politicians who initiated and supported a March 23 Knesset hearing to probe J Street’s activities and ideology. They claimed that public concern necessitated the hearing — especially since January, when the American group urged President Obama not to veto a United Nations resolution condemning Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Israel deploys system as shield from Gaza rockets
Israel deployed its newly developed "Iron Dome" rocket defense system for the first time Friday to defend its southern communities from attacks by Gaza militants after a bloody week of Palestinian strikes and Israeli reprisals.

Russians still intend to go through with Syria missile sale
The Russian sale of Yakhnot anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria is a "done deal," and Moscow has no intention of scuttling it, the Kremlin told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Thursday in Moscow Thursday, according to a senior Israeli diplomatic source.

Jimmy Carter to visit Jewish community in Cuba
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is scheduled to meet with Jewish leaders shortly after arriving in Cuba Monday, hinting that his visit will deal partly with the case of a U.S. contractor whose conviction has further dented relations between Havana and Washington.

An agenda released Saturday by Cuba's Foreign Relations Ministry says Carter is to visit a Jewish institution. The imprisoned contractor, Alan Gross, had said he was trying to improve internet access for the small Jewish community when he was arrested in December 2009.

On the Run, the Palestinian Youth Movement May Yet Get Its Way

State Police rabbi abruptly resigns
Freilich was appointed as a State Police liaison to the Jewish community by Gov. George Pataki in March 1995. The position, which pays $100,780, was created by Gov. Mario Cuomo.

Read more:

Growing Disenchantment on a Global Scale
And then we arrive at the bottom four: Iran, 16% positive, 59% negative; North Korea, 16% to 55%; Pakistan, 17% to 56%; Israel, 21% to 49%. In all, the samples in 22 of the 27 countries polled saw Israel in an unfavorable light; two (Ghana and Russia) leaned positive, and three were divided. The American sample gives Israel 43% positive and 41% negative — an increase of 10 points in the negatives since 2010

Oh dear.

JCCs Are a New Front in the Culture War on Israel
A small window into the way it all works. Pressure is put on organizations (and governments) to be more pro-Israel, else the money is cut.

The Man Behind ‘Miral’ Defends His Work, and No One Stopped Him
In an interview conducted in a conference room of Palazzo Chupi — the hot-pink West Village, Manhattan apartment building that Schnabel developed and calls home — the filmmaker weighed in on what he thinks is behind the allegations that “Miral” is anti-Israel.

“Maybe it’s the simple fact that a high-profile film written by a Palestinian is cause enough for Jewish opprobrium,” said Schnabel, who arrived wearing what has become a signature uniform: plaid shirt, pajama bottoms and sunglasses. “Maybe it’s because the director of the film, Julian Schnabel, is Jewish, and his commitment to any perspective other than the Jewish paradigm is akin to tribal and national betrayal.”

Schnabel, another brave soul. Kudos.

Facebook drops uprising page after Israel protest
A Facebook page calling on Palestinians to take up arms against Israel has been removed from the social–networking site after a high–profile Israeli appeal.

Yale's Secret Society That's Hiding in Plain Sight
Past speakers have included: former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Senator Joe Lieberman, comedian Charles Grodin, actor Elliott Gould, Muslim activists Tarek Fatah and Mona Eltahawy, Chief Justice Of Israel Aharon Barak, Nation columnist Eric Alterman, talk show host Jerry Springer, and the list goes on and on.