Updates July 2010



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  We seek to keep you literally "updated" on movement in terms of truth and justice in the Middle East in general with a particular eye on Palestine.  The links below will take you to various articles and websites that offer the perspective of leaders in the religious, NGO, and human rights communities. Additionally, Al-Bushra, ever vigilant, provides links to regular reporting as well as opinion pieces by journalists. The dates given here indicate when the link was posted; the most recent posting is at the top. Check the article itself for the date of publication.  

Comments made over the years by Israeli leaders


31 July 2010 14:59:56 -0700


Jul. 31, 2010

From Susan Holder, Moderator, Interfaith Peace Initiative:

A compelling new list of "Global Actions to End the Israeli Occupation" is available through the Interfaith Peace Initiative at http://www.interfaithpeaceinitiative.com/globalactions.pdf. It demonstrates clearly that the era of ignoring Israel's excesses and its abuse of human rights has ended. The world will no longer be silent. The tide has turned.

In 2009, the Interfaith Peace Initiative posted a 44-page list of actions by countries and organizations around the world designed to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. On May 31, 2010, Israel's military raid on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip generated widespread global anger and opposition. It was followed by marches, demonstrations, declarations and plans for new flotillas by many groups around the world. The list has been updated, and now fills 88 pages, including actions by businesses, governments, labor unions and religious and consumer organizations. Among these are many Jewish and Israeli groups. Readers may obtain more information about each action using links provided.

Throughout history, regimes built on oppression and apartheid have failed. If the determined and creative actions documented in the new list are sustained, Israel's oppression of Palestinians cannot last. The Interfaith Peace Initiative wishes to celebrate the courage and initiative shown by countless individuals and organizations who have finally said, "Enough!" Special thanks should go to the committee of Ann Arbor Quakers who first initiated the list (piag_@mac.com) in the hope it would inspire others to action. The massive global surge of resolve reflected in the new report will hasten an end to Israel's occupation so a just peace may finally prevail.

Interfaith Peace Initiative | Global Actions to End Israel's Occupation Double After Flotilla AttackWorld Actions to End Israel's Occupation Double After Flotilla Attack


Jul. 31, 2010

MIFTAH | Sincerity a must for Mideast Peace - by Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh

...people count, not just politicians. Previous Mideast peace experiences (with Egypt and Jordan, for example) show that peace initiatives and the eventual agreements must be acceptable to the people. Otherwise, anything that gets signed will be ink on paper. Real peace, we should remind, is warm peace, not cold peace. And peace cannot be warm without the blessings of the people.


Jul. 31, 2010

Methodist missionary Lissa Caldwell writes:

This just came from a Jewish Israeli friend. As you can see Israeli discrimination and cruelty are not just reserved for those in the West Bank and Gaza.

Forwarded by a Jewish Israeli Friend | Going to Al Arakib Village

Today, about a hundred people arrived to demonstrate solidarity with the Al Arakib villagers. Many were Jewish Israelis and others were from other unrecognized villages. Nasser Ghawi, head of one of the East Jerusalem Palestinian families thrown out of their home one year ago on August 2, was there as well. A number of students from abroad (France, the Netherlands, the US, South Africa, to name a few) were with us.

Among the organizations represented were B’tselem, The Forum for Coexistence in the Eastern Negev, the Christian Peace-Maker Teams, and the Jewish-Arab Partnership for Peace.


Jul. 31, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | Bogeyman


Netanyahu has retrieved

From the Junkyard

The bogeyman called

“The Eastern Front”.


The aim:

Ethnic cleansing

Of the Jordan valley.

It started this week

With the eradication of

Parsieh village.

Ad published in Haaretz, July 30, 2010



Jul. 31, 2010

MIFTAH | "Never in My Life have I Experienced Such Pressure" [July 25 – July 31]

On July 29, the Arab League gave the Palestinians the green light to enter into direct negotiations with Israel, but said the final decision was President Mahmoud Abbas as to when the time was right to move forward. Qatari Foreign Affairs Minister Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Ath-Thani, who headed the meeting said that while "there is agreement, it is an agreement over the principles of what will be discussed and the manner of the direct negotiations," adding that he was "full of doubts" over Israel's seriousness....


Jul. 30, 2010

Iyad Burnat, Friends of Freedom and Justice Bil'in | Dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation and stun grenades in Bil'ins weekly demonstration, two injured

Today 30 July 2010 the people of Bil'in were joined by several groups of internationals, including a group of rappers from Britain and the US. A large part of the demonstrators managed to approach the soldiers who had already entered the gate. Two people were detained for a while, following large amounts of tear gas, eventually forcing the protestors back towards the village. One Israeli protestor was hit by a tear gas canister in his leg, causing pain, while another British citizen was dragged several meters by soldier, causing his back bruising and bleeding. About 200 protestors; Palestinians, Israeli and Internationals were today carrying posters asking for a boycott of Israel, and also honoring Rachel Corrie's hometown Olympia, that recently introduced a boycott of Israeli goods. 45 people were from Spain, another group from Italy and France, in addition to individuals coming to show solidarity. People were singing and dancing all the way up to the road leading to the illegal Wall....


Jul. 30, 2010

Daoud Kuttab | Will someone please pay attention to the suffering of those crossing the bridge?

The King Hussein Bridge is the only crossing point available to the 3.5 million Palestinians of the West Bank. It is officially open from 8:00am till midnight, but in reality the last bus leaves at 10:00pm and people are often turned back on the Jordanian side after 9:00pm because of the summer congestion. More people are leaving the West Bank than visiting it, according to statistics issued by the Palestinian side. The Palestinian Authority reported that the traffic was moderate in first week of June. It saw the departure of 17,473 people from Jericho and the entry of 9,411 into the West Bank. This doesn’t include East Jerusalemites who cross the bridge directly without going to the Jericho crossing. Estimates of Jerusalemites who end up at the same terminal on the Jordanian side is about 3,500 a week. No published statistics have been issued by the Jordanian authorities....


Jul. 30, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Wanted again, ethnic cleansing and more‏

After attending a workshop on developing curricula for nonviolence/popular resistance, I returned with a harrowing 12+ hour experience at the crossing from Jordan to the occupied Palestinian territories. This included being served with an order/warrant for an appearance at the apartheid colonial ‘security’ offices in ten days and rifling through the books I brought back. I recorded a 10 minute video telling of this experiences (common for Palestinians): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFwdl0r6hpY


Jul. 29, 2010

World Council of Churches | Young Muslims, Jews and Christians become peace facilitators

While peace is a commonly held value within Judaism, Islam and Christianity, other religious values can often become sources of conflict. In order to build community beyond faith boundaries a group of young adults from each of the three faith groups spent a week focusing on the common value of peace recently.


Jul. 29, 2010

America Magazine, the Catholic Weekly  | Of Many Things: Editor Drew Christianson, SJ, talks about Strategies of Peace: Transforming Conflict in a Violent World (Oxford) edited by Daniel Philpott and Gerard F. Powers

One of the notable contributions of this book is to highlight less examined fields like religious peacebuilding. The co-editors’ own contributions are especially strong in this regard. Philpott’s “Reconciliation: An Ethic for Peacebuilding” is a model of exact yet accessible interdisciplinary thinking on one of the promising peacemaking sub-specialties. Powers’s “Religion and Peacemaking” examines the engagement of organized religion in peacebuilding, a valuable resource in religio-ethnic conflicts and in failed states, where organized religion is often the only viable institution.


Jul. 29, 2010

Counter Currents  | Israeli Mother Addresses European Parliament -  Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan

Thank you for inviting me to this today. It is always an honour and a pleasure to be here, among you (at the European Parliament).

However, I must admit I believe you should have invited a Palestinian woman at my stead, because the women who suffer most from violence in

my county are the Palestinian women. And I would like to dedicate my speech to Miriam R`aban and her husband Kamal, from Bet Lahiya in the

Gaza strip, whose five small children were killed by Israeli soldiers while picking strawberries at the family`s strawberry field. No one

will ever stand trial for this murder...

Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan is the mother of Smadar Elhanan, 13 years old when killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem in September 1997. Click on the link above for Nurit's speech made on International Women's Day in Strasbourg.


Jul. 29, 2010

The Veritas Handbook  | The Veritas Handbook- Download Now!

The Veritas Handbook is an extensive handbook containing vital information and resources for anyone and everyone interested in the plight of Palestinians for justice and equality and will be distributed online, free of charge.


Jul. 29, 2010

If Americans Knew  | Red Cross: Israeli policies make many West Bank Palestinians worse off than Gazans; children's growth stunted, deaths because Israeli forces block access to medical care

The road to al-Hadidiya village in the northeastern West Bank district of Tubas is dotted with boulders etched with a warning in Hebrew, Arabic and English: “Danger - Open Fire Area”.

The boulders arrived about six months ago, and are positioned at the entrance to Palestinian villages, indicating that chunks of the Jordan Valley have become a closed military zone claimed by the Israeli army. They signal a further squeeze on the Bedouin communities here.


Jul. 29, 2010

Lutheran Worldwide Federation  | Palestinian Bishop Elected President of the Lutheran World Federation

Bishop Munib A. Younan is a Passionate Campaigner for Peace and Inter-Faith Dialogue in the Middle East


Jul. 28, 2010

Huffingtion Post | Chas Freeman Lets Rip on Israel as a Strategic Liability - by Sharmine Narwani

Freeman, whose nomination as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council was scuttled by Jewish-American groups in the early days of the Obama administration, could well become their worst nightmare. On the inside, he would have had to toe the party line. But having been very publicly and unfairly discredited by the pro-Israel crowd, Freeman can walk that rare line and speak honestly about the Jewish state without drowning in the caveats that accompany most such attempts in Washington.


Jul. 28, 2010

Christian Peace Team | At Tuwani: Palestinian shepherd videotapes Israeli settlers stealing sheep

As the activists began to walk down the remaining street, the soldiers and police followed; then several soldiers dashed into the crowd to seize demonstrators. CPTers observed the soldiers grabbing activists around the neck, violently pushing observers. A participant reported that the soldiers pulled one international by the hair as she covered the body of another woman to protect her on the ground. One activist later related that a soldier from behind him punched him in the side of his forehead. By the end of this chaotic scene, the Israeli Military and police had arrested 6 activists: 3 French, 1 Swede, 1 Israeli and 1 Palestinian....



Jul. 28, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Notes from Turkey

I am in Istanbul, Turkey where we (3 Palestinians plus 17 others from many countries) attended a workshop exploring development of curricula on nonviolent or popular resistance. The examples used include Eastern Europe, South Africa, Latin America, Palestine and elsewhere. It was a very useful opportunity to network and reflect on our common human struggles and strategize as to how to advance the causes of justice around the globe....


Jul. 28, 2010

Hassan Fouda, Northern California Sabeel, writes:

Keep in mind the Bedouin are Israeli citizens. They pay taxes and receive no services. Their only crime is that they are not Jews and are living in the "only democracy and equal rights" in the Middle East. Please follow the link below and take a look at the video.

BBC News | Israel police raze 'illegal' Bedouin village in Negev

"We were stunned to witness the violent force being used," Al-Arakib spokesman Awad Abu-Farikh told Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot following the razing.


Jul. 27, 2010

The Villages Group: Cooperation in Israel-Palestinel | Another Well and Another Goat - by David Shulman

Everyday, normative violence by settlers is the heart of that reality, and it hasn’t changed in recent weeks. We hear the usual stories. Shepherds were out grazing their sheep when armed settlers arrived and stole a sheep, loading it onto their vehicle as soldiers stood by and watched. Other settlers attacked a herd and shot several of the sheep and beat the shepherds. Yaakov Talya, the notorious settler-rancher near Bi’r al-’Id, tried to take possession of the well we cleaned of endless mud and stones just a few weeks ago. All this is standard, tedious, odious, and probably permanent.


Jul. 27, 2010

Haaretz Editorial | Thanks to the critics: It is time to thank the critics for forcing the IDF to examine itself and amend its procedures.

It is regrettable that so much time had to be wasted on false denials. It is also doubtful whether it is proper for the IDF to investigate itself.


Jul. 27, 2010

Palestine Note | Pink Floyd reunites for Palestinian benefit concert

For the first time in half a decade, rock legends Pink Floyd reunited for a benefit concert in England to raise money for young Palestinian refugees....


Jul. 27, 2010

Electronic Intifada | No words to console Gaza child after mother is killed by Israeli shelling - by Vittorio Arrigoni

Flechettes are small metallic daggers with barbed points, four centimeters long with four small fins in the back. According to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, flechettes are loaded into shells fired by tanks. When the shells explode in mid-air, 30 meters from the ground, they propel a swarm of 5,000 to 8,000 flechettes, covering a cone-shaped radius, 300 meters wide and 100 meters long ("Flechette shells: an illegal weapon").

Although flechette shells are considered an illegal weapon, Israel continues to use them. In 2002, the Israeli high court rejected a petition presented by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights to end use of the flechettes in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Flechettes were also used by Israel during is July 2006 invasion of Lebanon.


Jul. 27, 2010

Adam Keller, Gush Shalom | Law providing released soldiers with free higher education in settlements might damage Israeli academia 

As if it was not enough that Israeli youths are conscripted for three years of military service, which many of them spend in daily oppression of the Palestinians, from now on they will, also after discharge from the army, be directed towards an 'academic' strengthening of the occupation, settlement and dispossession of Palestinians. This is a stain on the entire Israeli academic system plunging it deeper into complicity with the occupation. "


Jul. 27, 2010

International Solidarity Movement | Hebron report: military violently repress protests, following heightened wave of settler violence

The recent escalation of settler violence in Al-Khalil (Hebron) was matched by unwarranted military violence and the arbitrary arrest of peaceful protestors at the latest protest against the closure of Shuhada Street and illegal presence of Israeli settlers on Saturday 24 July 2010.


Jul. 27, 2010

Occupation Magazine | Police destroys a whole Negev village - 200 children left homeless

Netanyahu calls Bedouin citizens of Israel `real threat` - and next, an entire village in the Negev is demolished

Early this morning police raided the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Arakib in the Negev, destroyed all 40 of its houses, and evicted more than 300 residents. The residents, mostly children, were left homeless. The unprecedented raid began at about 4:30 in the morning, residents were surprised to wake up surrounded by a huge force of 1,500 police with guns, stun grenades, helmets and shields, including hundreds of Special Riot Police (Yasam) as well as mounted police, helicopters and bulldozers.


Jul. 27, 2010

BBC News | UK Prime Minister David Cameron describes blockaded Gaza as a 'prison'

The British government's policy has been to call for an end to the blockade, but never before has a British prime minister been so blunt....


Jul. 27, 2010

Free Gaza Movement | UN Promises Delivery of Freedom Flotilla Cargo to Gaza - by Greta Berlin

London, July 26, 2010, Six weeks after the Freedom Flotilla ships were forcibly boarded in international waters, their passengers illegally jailed and the cargo impounded by the Israeli authorities, the office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East (UNSCO) has promised to deliver the full humanitarian aid cargo to UN. agencies in Gaza.


Jul. 27, 2010

Intifada Voice of Palestine | Exclusive Intifada Interview with Archbishop Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna

First of all, I should stress on the fact that the Christian Palestinians were here since Jesus times, where in the Books of Acts in the bible it was mentioned that there were Arabs listening to the Apostles in Jerusalem. Christians Arabs had and still have a big effect in the development of the Arab societies in the Middle East. We are not visitors or strangers to Palestine. Our history is deeply rooted in this area of the world. On the other hand, our numbers are dwindling due to the occupation and the bitter reality it is causing. But we are not afraid that Christians will disappear from Palestine, because there will be always Christians in Palestine to continue the message of Jesus Christ.


Jul. 26, 2010

DW World | Palestinian bishop elected to lead Lutheran Church

A Palestinian protestant bishop is the newly elected head of the Lutheran church around the world after a vote in Stuttgart. Bishop Munib Younan has said he will strive for peace in the Middle East.


Jul. 26, 2010

The Reverend James M. Wall, Methodist, Wall Writings | Freeman To Goldstone to Sherrod: An 18-Month Obama Nightmare

If agreement had been reached at that [11 July 2000 Camp David] summit, the history of the past ten years would have been completely different from what it has been. The Israelis and Palestinians would have experienced a decade of peace and security. We would not be talking about the presumed danger of an Iranian nuclear programme, or the estrangement between Turkey and Israel, and we probably would not have witnessed the terrible events of 9/11or the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.


Jul. 26, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | Jahanpour: Iran, Turkey and Israel: New Global Realities - by guest writer Farhang Jahanpour

The internet brings the Israeli and Arab media into every newsroom of every media outlet in the US. The story was there, but the media is a part of the alliance of the pro-Israel MSM media and American politics that protect the White House from having to face the unpopular truth about Israel. That is why it is called “enabling”.


Jul. 26, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | The Israel Lobbies and Breitbartism: Dirty Tricks, Taboos and the threat to American Democracy

Luckily, in this case CAMERA over-reached and as far as I can tell nobody cares what they think about my analysis of Israel-Turkish relations or about Mr. Wedeman´s citation of it. Nobody should care what they think of anything else, and should be doubly careful when they accuse journalists in future of getting some fact wrong about Israel, because they have repeatedly shown themselves dishonest.


Jul. 26, 2010

Christian Peace Team | At Tuwani: Palestinian shepherd videotapes Israeli settlers stealing sheep

According to the shepherd, a resident of Tuba village, two Israeli settler vehicles stopped on the nearby settler bypass road. A settler exited from one of the vehicles, walked toward the shepherd’s flock, grabbed a sheep by the ear, and dragged the animal a few yards. He then loaded the sheep onto his shoulders and walked back to the road, where two other settlers, one of them armed, were waiting. The settlers loaded the animal into a vehicle. During this time the shepherd remained at a distance filming the theft with a camera from the Israeli human rights association B’Tselem, given to Palestinians in the area to document attacks by settlers.

The young Palestinian pointed out that during the theft, on the road not far from the settlers cars, there was an Israeli military jeep. Although the soldiers were present during the incident they left the scene without intervening....



Jul. 25, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | A Bill



Knesset members,

From Kadima to

The Kahanists,

Signed a bill that says:

Boycotting the products

Of the settlements

Is tantamount to

Boycotting the

State of Israel,

And will be punished.


A law that says that

The settlements and Israel

Are one and the same –

Will inevitably intensify

The world-wide boycott

On the State of Israel.


Ad published in Haaretz, July 23, 2010


Jul. 25, 2010

Iyad Burnat | Urgent need for support to release 17 year old Ahmad Abed Al-Fatah from jail

Urgent need for support to release 17 year old Ahmad Abed Al-Fatah from jail

19. July 2010 Bil'in was subjected to yet another Israeli Occupation Forces night raid when an unusually heavy number of Israeli soldiers entered the outskirts of the village to arrest a local youth; 17 year old Ahmad Abed Al-Fatah Burnat – who unfortunately was arrested.



Jul. 25, 2010

Website of Father Dave, Anglican, Australia | What Drives Israel? - by Ilan Pappe

Probably the most bewildering aspect of the Gaza flotilla affair has been the righteous indignation expressed by the Israeli government and people.

The nature of this response is not being fully reported in the UK press, but it includes official parades celebrating the heroism of the commandos who stormed the ship and demonstrations by schoolchildren giving their unequivocal support for the government against the new wave of anti-Semitism.

As someone who was born in Israel and went enthusiastically through the socialisation and indoctrination process until my mid-20s, this reaction is all too familiar. Understanding the root of this furious defensiveness is key to comprehending the principal obstacle for peace in Israel and Palestine. One can best define this barrier as the official and popular Jewish Israeli perception of the political and cultural reality around them.

A number of factors explain this phenomenon, but three are outstanding and they are interconnected. They form the mental infrastructure on which life in Israel as a Jewish Zionist individual is based, and one from which it is almost impossible to depart - as I know too well from personal experience....


Jul. 24, 2010

Adalah - NY | New Yorkers Celebrate Five Successful Years of Palestinian-Led Boycott Movement Against Israel

New York, NY, July 11, 2010 – In a joyful celebration of the Palestinian peaceful and creative grassroots resistance, 40 New York human rights activists conducted a musical walking tour of businesses complicit in Israeli Apartheid in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The “Off-Off-Broadway BDS Tour” was part of the international commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the Palestinian United Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel....

Also: the video


Jul. 24, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | Rosemary's Baby

In Roman Polanski’s movie “Rosemary’s Baby”, a nice young woman gives birth to a nice baby, which turns out to be the son of Satan. The attractive leftist vision of the one-state solution may grow up into a rightist monster.


Jul. 24, 2010

Adam Keller, Crazy Country | Nasty words and white phosphorus bombs

For a whole year Judge Goldstone was attacked. Ministers of the government of Israel daily abused him, and the government's official spokespersons, and its unofficial spokespersons, and its friends and agents all over the world. He was called an enemy of Israel, and a self-hating Jew, and an antisemite, and a servant of the Iranian regime, and a servant of the Apartheid regime. Even at the Bar Mitzvah of his grandson an attempt was made to prevent him from attending. The Goldstone Report was continually denounced as a collection of lies and vicious propaganda.


Jul. 23, 2010

Electronic Intifada | Women prepared to break the siege of Gaza   | by Mona Alami

The Maryam, an all-female Lebanese aid ship, currently docked in the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli, is getting ready to set sail for Gaza in the next few days. The ship, which aims to break Israel's siege on the Palestinian territory, will carry about fifty aid workers, including some US nuns keen to deliver aid to the long-suffering women and children of Gaza.


Jul. 23, 2010

There's a story I've told a number of times in the past.  Please lend me an ear.  I'm motivated today to tell it again.  It was during the mid-1980s.  The month, if I remember right, was October.  I was the Vicar at St. Elizabeth's Church, San Diego at the time.  Elizabeth, as we know, was the mother of John the Baptist and a cousin of Mary, the mother of the Christ.  One morning I was sitting at the desk in my office drinking coffee and reading The Episcopalian magazine ... which has since been re-named Episcopal Life ...

"As we Christians make our rightful claim to Jerusalem, we acknowledge that Muslims and Jews also have rightful claims to Jerusalem from their perspectives. It is useless to argue about sovereignty in the Holy City."


Jul. 23, 2010

Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bil'in | Dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation in Bil'ins weekly protest

Dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation in Bil'ins weekly protest , former vice president of the European Parliament detained by the army and one Israeli protester arrested Today the people of Bil'in were joined by about 100 international supporters, among them an Italian group including Lousia Morgantini, the former vice president of the European Parliament. The army fired tear gas at the protesters, and managed to grab and detain Morgantini. She was released after about half an hour, while an Israeli protester who tried to help her ended up getting arrested....


Jul. 23, 2010

Mondoweiss | Netanyahu moves ahead on taking Jordan Valley - by Philip Weiss

Days after it was reported that Netanyahu said in 2001 that Israel would defeat the two-state process by declaring military zones all across the Jordan Valley, Amira Hass reports that Israeli soldiers destroyed a Palestinian village in the Jordan Valley on Monday for just that purpose....


Jul. 22, 2010

Foreign Policy | The problem with judging a blog by its commenters (updated) - by Stephen M. Walt

Smith's article is just another illustration of what has become a familiar and depressing story here in the United States. Anyone who writes or says something that is critical of Israeli policy, who questions the wisdom of the special relationship, or who talks about the negative influence of the Israel lobby, is almost certain to smeared, usually by being labeled either an anti-Semite or a self-hating Jew. It is as predictable as the sun rising in the east each morning.


Jul. 22, 2010

Just Vision | Stay tuned for the theatrical release of Budrus in LA, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Ann Arbor and other cities across the US

The film, Budrus, demonstrates the power of non violent resistance and follows the efforts of the inhabitants of a small Palestinian village to effect change. The filmmakers would very much like to pack the theater to show support for the film as well as reveal to the film festival that there is active support for this type of content.


Jul. 22, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace | Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 101

Q: What is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict really about?

A: The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is, in essence, a conflict over territory. Although religion plays a role in defining the identities of the parties to the conflict, and for some Jews, in justifying their claims to the land, the conflict is not, fundamentally, a religious conflict.

Click on link above for more Q and A.


Jul. 22, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | A day of celebration in the occupied Palestinian territories

Nearly 86,000 Palestinian students sat this year for the final high school unified matriculation exam (called Tawjihi) in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Today the results of the exams were released and they were phenomenal. It is a noisy day of celebration for thousands of people who worked very hard and achieved good results. There was no divisions here, the unified examinations were given in Gaza and the West Bank with cooperation of the ministry of education employees in both places and without political considerations. Considering the slaughter of Gaza last year, the results from Gaza were remarkable (and equivalent to the West Bank). The highest six students (4 females, 2 males) in the science section got the score of 99.5% and they represent refugees, villagers, and city dwellers, from Asira

Al-Shjamaliya (near Nablus), Khan Younis (Gaza), Nablus City, West Gaza, Shufat (Jerusalem), and Beni Nuaim (Hebron area). In the humanities section, the top ten come from Tulkarem, Rafah, Nablus, Khan Younis, Qabatiya, and Jenin. My own nephew got 93.6% even though his father died in the middle of these exam (I had shared the story of Hazem with you earlier). This remarkable result by our young people shows the possibilities of the people of Palestine. Of course, the colonial apartheid system limits the options open to our high school graduates but ultimately nothing can stand in the way of determined individuals.


Jul. 22, 2010

INDIE GOGO  |  Contribute to Corner Store: Help fund the TV Cut

$2700 in 27 days! The producers of Corner Store are anxious to continue to pursue oportunities to share this amazing story with the world. The next step is to create a shorter format to appeal to tv broadcaster. So don't wait - help us raise the $2700 we need to do this and keep us moving! All donations are made tax-deductible through this projects partnership with the San Francisco Film Society.


Jul. 22, 2010

The Independent  |  They’re All Grovelling and You Can Guess the Reason - by Robert Fisk

Needless to say, the only good guys in this story are the courageous Jewish Americans who oppose the thieves in Netanyahu's government and the racism of his foreign minister, the Ahmadinejad-like Avigdor Lieberman. And which Western newspaper was bold enough to point out that the house destruction in Jerusalem "effectively end(ed) an unofficial freeze of such internationally condemned demolitions"? The New York Times? The Washington Post? No, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, of course. And anyone who thinks Haaretz is alone in condemning the illegal actions of the Israelis should read the excellent Jewish magazine Tikun in the US, which goes for Israel's Likud lobbyists – for they are Likudists – like a tiger.


Jul. 22, 2010

Ann Hafften, a Texas Lutheran's Voice for Middle East Peace  |  ELCA Middle East Network Newsletter highlights boycott, divestment and sanctions policies

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Peace Not Walls Campaign has issued its July 2010 Middle East Network Newsletter. There is a lot of information in this edition, including an important memo detailing ELCA policies regarding boycott, divestment, and sanctions and relevant actions from 2005 and 2007 churchwide assemblies.


Jul. 21, 2010

Al Abram Weekly | White House Whiplash - by James Zogby

Administration officials point with pride to the quietening of Israeli behaviour in Jerusalem and the easing of the blockade on Gaza as the result of their efforts -- all of which they feel justified a White House embrace. (Although in both instances they acknowledge that much more needs to be done, and they insist that they are committed to seeing more done.) For battered Palestinians who lack trust in Netanyahu's words or, at this point, in the promises of any US president, "seeing is believing". They have experienced too many failed settlement freezes, too many rounds of fruitless talks, too many retractable "confidence building gestures", and more than enough unmet deadlines. They are feeling a bit of whiplash, themselves, not knowing whether to just be angry and believe that the Israelis won another round, or to trust this US president and his promise to help deliver peace.


Jul. 21, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

The International Community took another step in the right direction. Ways were discussed to improve relations between Fatah and Hamas. Palestine needs a unified government, a government which represents all the Palestinian people, to negotiate effectively with the Israelis. Peace, Roy

BBC News | Turkey foreign minister meets with Hamas leader

Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu has met with exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Syria, Turkey's official news agency reports.

The pair discussed ways of improving relations between Hamas and Fatah Palestinian groups, according to Anatolia news agency.


Jul. 21, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes writes:

Mark Braverman (Jewish) and Jim Wall (Methodist) and I (Episcopalian) see eye-to-eye on what was accomplished at the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly meeting earlier this month.  Mark writes about the Jewish-Presbyterian dialogue:  "The rules have changed."  Please read on.   Peace, Roy


Jul. 21, 2010

The Reverend Stephen Sizer | The Armour of God: Ephesians 6

With heightened anxiety over Iran’s aspirations and pre-emptive strikes by Israel and/or the USA, never before has the importance of diplomacy to solve international disputes been so critical. And yet, there is another war, a far more insidious, destructive war, that engulfs our world.

It is a war the Church appears as ill-prepared to respond to as our political leaders do in the Middle East. For this war has cosmic as well as eternal consequences.


Jul. 20, 2010

Common Dreams | Food Co-Op in Rachel Corrie's Hometown Boycotts Israeli Goods - by Natasha Mozgovaya

The Olympia Food Co-op announced last week that no more Israeli products will be sold at its two grocery stores.


Jul. 20, 2010

Adam Keller, Crazy Country | Death in the Fire Zone

Nowadays, everything is electronically sophisticated. Throughout the Gaza border area, machine-gun positions are linked to TV cameras, and they can be shot by remote control from secure and protected command centers several kilometers away. As the army reported with more than a bit of pride a few weeks ago, the unit responsible for the whole complex is composed purely of women – truly the height of Feminism. The most talented of the eighteen-year old girls joining the army in every annual recruiting cycle are given long and arduous training. At the end they are ready to take charge of a TV screen showing the situation on one sector of the border and of the remote-control machine-gun trigger, ready to flood the "Fire Zone" near the border with a deadly barrage. They themselves are never in any danger, other than perhaps some bad dreams at night.


Jul. 20, 2010

Adam Keller, Crazy Country | Latest News from the Only Democracy in the Middle East

In Jerusalem, the Eternal Reunited Capital of Israel it was decided this week to build 32 publicly funded housing units for Jews only in Pisgat Zeev, so as to increase the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem.

In that same City of Jerusalem the municipality this week demolished six houses that Palestinians built for themselves with their own money , because it is necessary to enforce the law and also make life hell for the Arabs who insist on living in Jerusalem. But the huge "Jonathan House" which the settlers built in the heart of Silwan, the, Municipality decided not to destrioy. Though it is illegal, these are after all Jews and they have a lot of good friends at City Hall.


Jul. 20, 2010

ynet | Jewish and democratic? Op-ed: Shulamit Aloni slams Citizenship Law amendment, ‘Jewish’ pledge of allegiance

The gist of the Citizenship Law amendment, which will entrench the ban on family unification between Arab-Israelis and Palestinians, through a demand to pledge allegiance to a “Jewish, democratic state,” is discrimination against these citizens. After all, they would not be able to make such pledge, and in fact I too would not be able to do it, because a Jewish state cannot be democratic....

...The Knesset unanimously approved these Basic Lines, and as noted, they are commensurate with the Declaration of Independence. The shift from “Israel” to “Jewish, democratic state” reflects harm to democracy, because “Jewish” and democratic do not go hand in hand. Just look at the laws pertaining to marriage and divorce and the horror of conversion, which are certainly reminiscent of the dark days in Spain when everyone was required to be Catholic.

Those who did not accept Catholicism considered doing so and faced less suffering than that inherent in Orthodox conversion, while Minister Eli Yishai watches over and seeks to expel any immigrant who had not converted. This, despite what we learned in Even Ha’ezer, which explicitly notes that those who were integrated and assimilated into us should not face inquiries and scrutiny, with all such families considered “kosher” Jews.


Jul. 20, 2010

Electronic Intifada | Water restrictions in the occupied West Bank 

Rights body Amnesty International accuses Israel of denying Palestinians the right to access sufficient water supplies in the West Bank by maintaining total control over the shared water resources and preventing the development of adequate water infrastructure there.

The Mountain Aquifer is the only source of water for Palestinians in the West Bank, but one of several for Israel, which also has sole access to water available from the Jordan river.


Jul. 20, 2010

Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate | Open Letter of Appeal to the Jewish people

I write to ask for your help in gaining the freedom of a good man, a man of peace, and a man of conscience.....


Jul. 20, 2010

Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) | Taking water to the Jordan - By Doris R., Ecumenical Accompanier in Yanoun, and the EAPPI summer team 2010

Yesterday evening I was handing out bottles of water within a few miles of Israel/Palestine’s only major river. The village of Al Fasayel lies in a desert landscape, a contrast to nearby Israeli agricultural settlements, which have access to almost unlimited water. Al Fasayel itself has not had clean water on tap for over seven weeks.


Jul. 20, 2010

From Mark Braverman, Jewish:

Mark Braverman, The Politics of Hope | Report from the Presbyterian General Assembly – Part 2, The Jewish Response

The struggle for justice in Palestine is not an interfaith project. It is not about repairing the damage of 2000 years of Christian anti-Jewish behavior and maintaining vigilance about anti-Semitism – although this is an important and valid activity. Confusing the pursuit of justice in historic Palestine with interfaith reconciliation has provided the basis for “the rules” for over six decades. The struggle for justice in Palestine is, rather, about building a universal community to confront the full range of urgent issues facing humanity and the planet.


Jul. 20, 2010

Christian Peace Team | Al Khalil/Hebron Release: Israeli Border Police Demolish Water Infrastructure in Al Baqa'a Valley

For the third time in 12 days, Israeli Border Police carried out demolitions in Al Baqa'a valley, a fertile farming area northeast of Hebron, along route 60. On July 19, the Israeli Border Police, with the assistance of hired laborers using heavy machinery, destroyed a cistern and removed irrigation pipes from 1.5 acres (6 dunams) of vegetable fields.


Jul. 19, 2010

Zenit | 1st Holy Land Christian Radio Station to Air Soon: Aims to Build Interreligious Bridges

"It will be a Christian voice, but it certainly will be a different kind of voice: a voice for peace and hope, dialogue and reconciliation," [Father Raed Abu Sahliye] affirmed.


Jul. 19, 2010


Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is working with the Community of Yes campaign to build broad bi-partisan support for balanced and determined U.S. leadership in working with Israel and the Palestinians to achieve a two state solution as part of a comprehensive Middle East peace.


Jul. 19, 2010

Huffington Post | Slandering the Good Guys: Some Basic Facts About IHH - by Iara Lee

We must remember that an attack on IHH is an attack on all humanitarian groups around the world. Given that IHH is among the most courageous humanitarian NGOs in the world -- risking their lives to work in places like Somalia, cleaning up American messes in Iraq and Afghanistan -- our politicians should perhaps be thanking them, rather than trying to tarnish their stellar reputation. Thankfully, IHH's track record speaks for itself, as do the actions of their accusers -- a comparison which does not calculate favorably for the Israeli government when asking just who, exactly, the terrorists are.


Jul. 19, 2010

Friends of Freedom and Justin, Bil'in | Night Raid on Bil'in 19-07-2010

Tonight, Bil'in was subjected to yet another Israeli Occupation Forces terror raid at 1.30 am when an unusually heavy number of IOF soldiers entered the outskirts of the village to arrest a local youth; 17 year old Ahmad Abed Al-Fatah Burnat - which unfortunately was effected. At least twelve jeeps were spotted most of which hovered as backup at the nearby Apartheid-Annexation Wall which coupled with a heavy IOF presence at last Friday's peaceful demonstration - peaceful that is, until the protesters were viciously deluged with salvoes of tear gas as soon as they reached the Wall which the shabab, commendably, fiercely resisted with stones - has given rise to well founded speculation that the IOF are currently blooding new recruits to occupation methods; heavy on violence, light on human rights.  


Jul. 19, 2010

The National | Netanyahu admits on video he deceived US to destroy Oslo accord - by Jonathan Cook

Seated on a sofa in the house, he tells the family that he deceived the US president of the time, Bill Clinton, into believing he was helping implement the Oslo accords, the US-sponsored peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, by making minor withdrawals from the West Bank while actually entrenching the occupation. He boasts that he thereby destroyed the Oslo process.

He dismisses the US as “easily moved to the right direction” and calls high levels of popular American support for Israel “absurd”.


Jul. 19, 2010

The Reverend James M. Wall, Methodist, Wall Writings | Who “Won” the PCUSA Assembly? The Answer May Surprise You

With respected Protestant leaders like Henderson as allies, the state of Israel tried to do exactly what the US private healthcare industry did when it kept a public option out of President Obama’s health care bill: Control the process in their favor.


Jul. 19, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:


Some days the news from the Holy Land is encouraging: Russian PM Putin condemns Israeli raid on Gaza-bound ship and EU Foreign Policy Chief urges Israel to open Gaza borders and UN voices concern over demolitions, settlement approval in East Jerusalem. Some days we are so surprised by the news that we don't know quite what to think: US State Department at Brookings Institute Discussion. One thing is certain. "Burnout" is not an option we can afford.

Peers, how would you manage the crisis if you were the President? I know what I would do. I would be doing most of the things President Obama is doing. I would find it necessary to assure the pro-Israel forces in the US that I'm working in Israel's best interests. I would continue to call for direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians even tho I know I would meet with opposition from many of my friends in Palestine. As soon as direct talks were underway I would signal for the Arab League to come forward with the Arab Peace Initiative one more time. As soon as the Israeli negotiators showed signs of hysterics I would make it possible for Fatah and Hamas to announce that they have reconciled and are ready to negotiate the final status issues. See: Haniyeh: Hamas willing to accept Palestinian state with 1967 borders - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News. Before panic could break out in the Israeli streets, I would give George Mitchell the nod to give the nod to Ireland (or Norway) to recognize Palestine's unity government, and nations around the world would be quick to follow suit.

All the while I would keep the USS George Washington on station in the Persian Gulf in the event that it became necessary to intercept Israeli missiles and/or bombers enroute to Iran. Please read on.



Note:   The United Nations .... along with the US, the EU and Russia ... is a member of the Quartet.  On 6 July of this year Benjamin Netanyahu was invited to the White House for talks.  What's going on?  In October of 2001 Ariel Sharon boasted:  "We Control America".  Was Sharon correct?  The article pasted below is dated 13 July 2010.


Jul. 19, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

I once heard a Muslim student in Jerusalem say: "I don't hate Jews. Hating Jews is against my religion. It's Israel's government that I hate." Peace, Roy


Jul. 19, 2010

Haaretz |The Orthodox Jews fighting the Judaization of East Jerusalem - by Nir Hasson

Leading the demonstrations of solidarity with Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah are some young Israelis with a religious background. They explain their activism and how it correlates to their conception of the true meaning of the Torah.


Jul. 19, 2010

Common Dreams | Demands for Release of Nuclear Whistleblower as Israel Holds Vanunu in Solitary Confinement - by Billy Briggs

Amnesty International is calling for Vanunu's immediate release and his brother, Meir, contacted the Sunday Herald to express fears over Vanunu's wellbeing after being the first person to visit him in seven weeks.


Jul. 18, 2010

BBC News | EU envoy urges Israel to open Gaza borders

Israel must go beyond easing its blockade of Gaza and throw open its long-closed border, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has said.


Jul. 17, 2010

Gush Shalom | Following Gush Shalom's appeal, Supreme Court opens way for Tirkel Committee to summon military personnel

In a compromise reached between the petitioners from Gush Shalom and the State prosecutors, based on the suggestion of Judge Naor, it was agreed that if the Tirkel Committee will ask to investigate military officers, and the Government will not enable it, the issue will go back to court. The compromise was given the status of a court decision.


Jul. 17, 2010

Lonely Planet | St. George's College: The Holy Land [video]

Students of all ages at St. George's College in Jerusalem make an emotional connection to their faith and the actual places described in the Bible.


Jul. 17, 2010

Huffington Post | Abbas says Israel must accept foreign border force - by MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he'll resume direct peace talks if Israel accepts its 1967 frontier as a baseline for the borders of a Palestinian state and agrees to the deployment of an international force to guard them.


Jul. 17, 2010

Friends of Freedom and Justice, Bil'in | Dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation in Bil'ins weekly demonstration 16 July against the wall

16 July 2010 -Today the people of Bil'in were joined by about 100 internationals. People were carrying posters to honor Fayyes Tanin, a Palestinian leader of the grassroot's movement who passed away 6 weeks ago. As the protesters stopped some meters from the gate, facing the soldiers on the other side, the army started shooting tear gas without any warning and without a single stone being thrown. Majd Burnat 12 year old carrying a camera to document military violence passed out from the inhalation, and had to be taken back to the village. Another young boy was hit by a tear gas canister in his stomach, and suffered from pain. Seven of the internationals joining today were from a French group named CCIPPP, arranged by Mustafa, coming to support the Palestinian struggle. Another five Palestinians came from Tulkarem, where Fayyes Tanin is from. A number of members of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front were also coming from all over Palestine to support Bil'in this Friday. The soldiers were already standing close to the gate as the protestors reached the top of the hill, accompanied by border police, obviously ready to run in and make arrests. After less than a minute, much tear gas was shot into the crowd, both cylinder shaped and the regular round shaped. As people ran towards the village, gas continued to be shot, in addition to a few stun grenades. About ten soldiers lined up on the road, preventing people to come close to the gate, while another ten went in among the olive trees, shooting tear gas from a closer distance. The cylinder shaped tear gas canisters can cause severe damage when they hit from a short distance. Today a young boy was hit in his stomach, fortunately from such distance that did not cause a serious injury. Another 12 year old boy carrying a camera to document military violence, passed out from too much tear gas, and had to be taken back to the village. No arrests were made today, in spite of much effort from the Israeli army, and the demonstration came to an end after 1,5 hours


Jul. 17, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Netanyahu exposed and more

Young people do what is called 'party hopping': going from one party to another in the same night when the parties are held in parallel time. You

get to meet more people but you have the disadvantage of not spending enough time at one place to really get connected. We decided this Friday to try a similar thing for the Friday demonstrations in Bethlehem area and hop-visit Al-Walaja, Al-Ma'sara, and Wad Rahhal. Maybe that was because we missed the action but in any case, it was not a good idea. While we did meet more people, we missed the real actions (although we had a small dose of tear gas remnants in Al-Ma'sara!). Life here never has a dull moment. Six homes were demolished in East Jerusalem on the 13th, we are giving lots of talks to internationals visiting here, there are many summer camps for young Palestinians, we meet new people every day who are interested in helping, popular resistance acts are everywhere, we have new projects and ideas that take work that are being launched.... The news around us (good and bad) give us fuel for further action.


Jul. 17, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

The United Nations .... along with the US, the EU and Russia ... is a member of the Quartet. On 6 July of this year Benjamin Netanyahu was invited to the White House for talks. What's going on? In October of 2001 Ariel Sharon boasted: "We Control America". Was Sharon correct? The article pasted below is dated 13 July 2010. Peace, Roy

United Nations | UN voices concern over demolitions, settlement approval in East Jerusalem

13 July 2010 – The United Nations today expressed concern over the demolition by Israeli authorities of buildings, including homes, and the approval of the construction of a new settlement in East Jerusalem, urging all parties to respect international law and avoid provocative actions.

United Nations | ‘Provocative’ settlement construction in Jerusalem undermines trust – Ban

1 July 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated his call for an end to the building of settlements in Jerusalem, stressing that the construction damages trust and stokes unrest in the region.

“Settlement construction should stop, as should measures which discriminate against Palestinian residents of the city and the ability of Palestinians to access the city,” Mr. Ban said at the start of the United Nations African Meeting on the Question of Palestine, which is focusing on the question of Jerusalem.


Jul. 17, 2010

MIFTAH | Threat to Peace Talks as Israelis Demolish Home - by Catrina Stewart

Israeli bulldozers razed six buildings in East Jerusalem, including three Palestinian homes, marking the end of Israeli efforts to refrain from contentious demolitions that could undermine peace talks.

With excavators preparing to tear down one of the homes in Beit Hanina, a Palestinian suburb of Arab-dominated East Jerusalem, relatives and friends were given just one hour to save the belongings of the owners, who were out at the time.

Amid the Obama administration's intensified efforts to bring the two sides back to direct talks after an 18-month hiatus, the renewed demolitions sparked fresh international condemnation of Israel's policies towards Palestinians in East Jerusalem.


Jul. 17, 2010

MIFTAH | Israel Set to Force all Citizens to Swear Oath to Jewish State - by Catrina Stewart

New Israeli citizens may soon be required to swear an oath of loyalty to a "Jewish and democratic" state, a step that has drawn harsh criticism from human rights groups.

Israel's Cabinet, which meets tomorrow, is expected to approve this and extend a raft of existing measures that make it harder for Palestinians to achieve citizenship.

The wording of the oath, which would apply to new applicants for citizenship, was slammed by Arab advocacy groups, who accused Israel of "racist" policies that attempt to link citizenship to ideology.

"It's another step in the direction of getting the Arabs out of Israel," said Uri Avnery, a former MP and founder of the Israeli Gush Shalom peace movement. "Parliament has become a lynching mob."


Jul. 17, 2010

MIFTAH | Waiting for November - by George S. Hishmeh

How can Obama close his eyes while Netanyahu proceeds glaringly in his two-faced policies. Or must we all wait until the election in November? And what are the choices for the Palestinians if he loses?


Jul. 17, 2010

MIFTAH | More Dollars to Israel as Settlements Grow [July 11 – July 17]

The United States will give Israel the largest "security package" ever, according to its Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro on July 16. Shapiro said the security aid package would be "the most extensive in history", elaborating that in 2010, the administration requested from Congress $2,775 billion in security assistance funding specifically for Israel. According to its own rationale, the US says this boost in money to Israel's security would help to advance the peace process with the Palestinians.


Jul. 17, 2010

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America | 2010 Holy Land Youth Trip Arrived Safe and Sound

July 13: We have crossed checkpoints and cultural boundaries, listened to Israelis and Palestinians, held our breath in the garbage-soaked refugee camp called Shufat Camp, the only refugee camp in Jerusalem, which is consequently being carved out of Jerusalem by the wall. We have been horrified by the evil that humanity can inflict upon others in the name of race, ethnicity or religion at Yad Vashem. We have sweated through a tour overlooking the continued illegal settlements of East Jerusalem, been dwarfed by the 30-ft. high separation wall built on Palestinian land. We gazed at the years-old rubble of a home demolition, even as today we continued to get alerts asking for us to come and try to help halt the Palestinian homes that were being destroyed in Beit Hanina, Issawiya and the Jordan Valley. We visited the area of Jerusalem known both as the City of David and Silwan, where Palestinians homes are being destroyed by archeology, policy and tunnels and Israeli settler violence invades Palestinians even in their homes.


Jul. 17, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | A Parliamentary Mob 

WHEN I was first elected to the Knesset, I was appalled at what I found. I discovered that, with rare exceptions, the intellectual level of the debates was close to zero. They consisted mainly of strings of clichés of the most commonplace variety. During most of the debates, the plenum was almost empty. Most participants spoke vulgar Hebrew. When voting, many members had no idea what they were voting for or against, they just followed the party whip.


Jul. 16, 2010

Reuters | Fidel Castro appears again, warns of war - by Jeff Franks

Castro's sudden re-emergence after four years in seclusion has raised questions about what it all means. But his message has been consistent -- a devastating war is at hand if the United States, in alliance with Israel, tries to enforce international sanctions against Iran for its nuclear activities.


Jul. 16, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | Libyan Aid Ship Extracts Concessions from Israel; Resumption of House Demolitions in Jerusalem

The Qadhafi Foundation is very unlikely to be the last NGO to attempt to get aid to Gaza, and each round of attempted relief will put Israel in a bad light in the eyes of the world and will risk Israeli violence against a humanitarian mission.


Jul. 16, 2010

BBC News | Israeli pig-farming kibbutz draws religious ire

The kibbutz faces strong criticism in a society with a deep-running secular-religious divide.


Jul. 16, 2010

BBC News | House-by-house struggle for East Jerusalem by Jeremy Bowen

Mr Luria [an Israeli who works for a Jewish group called Ateret Cohanim, an organisation that helps Jews buy houses, flats and land from Palestinians] says his side is winning. But there is no chance of peace in Jerusalem if Israel ignores Palestinian rights in the holy city that both sides believe is their birthright.


Jul. 16, 2010

BBC News | In pictures: Israel's alternative 'world cup'

The Football 4 Peace tournament brings together children from Arab and Jewish families, most of whom have never met a child from the other community.


Jul. 16, 2010

Letter from Maria Khoury | Taybeh News

Sadly, many people from Taybeh living in Jordan were denied an entry visa by Israel. We cannot understand why Israel is so unfriendly to visitors and for the first time in 30 years I have personally been denied the usual three month visitor’s visa that I have been able to get in the past which allows the freedom to move around with a foreign passport. I am no longer Palestinian just in spirit but also now on paper and unfortunately locked in a prison behind a huge wall.


Jul. 16, 2010

US TO GAZA | U.S. boat, The Audacity of Hope

We are planning to launch a U.S. boat to Gaza, joining a flotilla of ships from Europe, Canada, India, South Africa and parts of the Middle East due to set sail in September/ October of this year. In order to succeed in this essential but costly human rights project, we need significant financial support.


Jul. 16, 2010

Michael Heart | Song for Gaza available on internet

In January of 2009, during the war in Gaza, Michael wrote and released a song in support of the Palestinian civilian victims. The song is called "We will not go down (song for Gaza)". It was posted on YouTube and made available as a free mp3 download.


Jul. 16, 2010

Christian Peace Team | AL KHALIL/HEBRON: Israeli Border Police destroy vegetable fields in Al Beqa’a Valley

[This account was posted earlier in the month, but now there are links to the video and photos]

Israeli border police destroyed several Palestinian fields in Al Beqa’a Valley just east of Hebron on 6 July 2010, directly affecting the livelihood of more than one hundred Palestinians.

Jul. 15, 2010

Gaza Life | 3rd Annual Rachel Corrie Soccer Tournament Fundraiser

What: A community football tournament at the Unity Youth Field in the Yebna neighborhood of Rafah, Gaza.

Why: Cut off from the world by a brutal siege the people of the Gaza strip live with hunger, massive unemployment and frequent attacks by the Israeli army. Extreme vulnerability and insecurity, coupled with bleak prospects for the future, feed hopelessness and rage with the youth being particularly vulnerable. This innovative, community-developed football tournament gives neighbors a chance to strengthen bonds and relieve the stress caused by the dire situation.

When: The month of Ramadan, the 11th of August through the 9th of September.

Fundraiser Target: $10,000 U.S.

Fundraiser Ends: August 15th


Jul. 15, 2010

Common Dreams | Israel Chokes Gaza Despite Announced Easing - by Mel Frykberg

There appears to be "no change in the policy of inflicting economic warfare or by preventing entry of goods necessary for production," says the Gisha report. "Textiles, industrial-sized buckets of margarine, glucose, packaging boxes and other raw materials are still banned.

Jul. 15, 2010

Book TV |Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land - by Mark Braverman

  • Sunday, July 18th at 5pm (ET)
  • Monday, July 19th at 2am (ET)

About the Program

Mark Braverman takes a critical look at Israel's treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories. Mr. Braverman argues that Israeli security does not need to come at the expense of justice for the Palestinians. He spoke at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, North Carolina.

About the Authors

Mark Braverman

Mark Braverman is co-founder and executive director of Friends of Tent Nations North America, an organization that supports Palestinian land rights in historic Palestine. He also serves on the board of directors of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA and on the advisory council of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace. For more, visit: markbraverman.org.


Jul. 15, 2010

Palestinian Center for Human Rights | Israeli Forces Kill One Palestinian Woman and Wound Another Three Civilians, Including Two Women, in Central Gaza

On Tuesday evening, 13 July 2010, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) killed a Palestinian woman and wounded another three civilians (an elderly man and two women), all of the same family, after bombarding their home with artillery shells. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns this crime, which constitute the highest degree of disregard for Palestinian civilians' lives. PCHR stresses that failure to open investigations into the actions of suspected Israeli soldiers officially encourages them to commit further crimes.

Jul. 15, 2010

Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions | Jerusalem Municipality demolishes 6 houses across East Jerusalem

Yesterday, 13.7.10, the Jerusalem municipality demolished 6 houses in East Jerusalem claiming they were built illegally, ignoring the fact the municipality makes it impossible for Palestinians to obtain permits in order to build legally.

Jul. 15, 2010

Sojourners | A 'Hidden History' in the Holy Land - by Ben White

The Israeli group Zochrot seeks to introduce fellow Israelis to the people who lived on the land before them -- and to engage Jews and Palestinians in an open recounting of their painful common history.

Jul. 15, 2010

BBC News | UK Jews 'back Israel two-state solution'

A majority of British Jews believe Israel should swap territory for peace, and negotiate with Hamas, a survey suggests.

Jul. 15, 2010

American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights | Join the Palestine Freedom Walks!

Last year, AAPER launched its First Annual Palestine Freedom Walks, which are silent marches for an equitable U.S. policy toward Palestine that advances freedom and equal rights for the Palestinian people.  More than 25 cities participated and raised more than $25,000.  That was just the beginning...

Today, AAPER announces the Second Annual Palestine Freedom Walks, to be held on October 2, 2010!


Jul. 15, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace | Sign Petition TO TIAA-CREF: Please refrain from investing in any company that contributes to violations of human rights or international law

Petition: As one of the largest financial services companies in the world, changing your policies will send a message of hope to Palestinians and Israelis who seek peace and justice.

Jul. 15, 2010

Uruknet | Blockade! Dockworkers, Worldwide, Respond to Israel's Flotilla, Massacre  and Gaza Siege - by GREG DROPKIN

Three weeks after the massacre on the Freedom Flotilla, ILWU dockworkers in the San Francisco Bay area delayed an Israeli Zim Lines ship for 24 hours, the Swedish Dockworkers Union began a week-long blockade of Israeli ships and containers, dockers in the Port of Cochin, India, refused to handle Israeli cargo, and the Turkish dockworkers union Liman-Is announced their members would refuse to service any Israeli shipping. In South Africa, Durban dockers had already boycotted a Zim Lines ship in response to the invasion of Gaza last year. On the 5th Anniversary of the United Palestinian Call for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, Israel faces the prospect of targetted industrial action to implement boycotts. How did it happen, what does it mean, and how can the solidarity movement respond to the new opening?

Jul. 15, 2010

Common Dreams | Israeli Military Report on Its Gaza Flotilla Actions Underscores Need for an Independent Investigation - by Ann Wright

As a 29 year military veteran and a survivor of the Gaza Flotilla, I strongly believe that the Israeli military report on its conduct in boarding the six ships of the Gaza Flotilla underscores the need for an independent investigation. As we have found from investigations done by our own U.S military on its actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, militaries, to their moral and ethical peril, seldom are critical of the conduct of their operations.

Jul. 15, 2010

Zenit | "Mother Church" Develops '11 Christian Unity Week: Jerusalem Communities Point to 1st-Century Harmony

"This is the challenge before us. The Christians of Jerusalem call upon their brothers and sisters to make this week of prayer an occasion for a renewed commitment to work for a genuine ecumenism, grounded in the experience of the early Church."

Jul. 14, 2010

The Guardian | BDS campaign wants Israel to abide by international law by Dr Nev Gordon

There is a considerable amount of misunderstanding about Boycott Divestment and Sanctions. BDS is not a principle but a strategy; it is not against Israel but against Israeli policy; when the policy changes BDS will end.

BDS is not about a particular solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the demand that Israel abide by international law and UN resolutions.

It is, accordingly, something that you can support if you are for a two-state solution or a one-state solution. You can even support it as a Zionist.

It arises from the realisation, following years of experience, that the occupation will not end unless Israelis understand that it has a price.


Jul. 14, 2010

Common Dreams | Gaza Aid Ship 'Diverted to Egypt'

"Eight Israeli warships are surrounding the Libyan aid ship for Gaza and preventing the continuation of its journey," Yousseuf Sawani, executive director of the Gaddafi Foundation which charteredthe vessel, said early on Wednesday.

Sawani said earlier that the warships were "threatening" the Amalthea, also known as Al Amal, which he said was still headed for Gaza. But he made it clear that those on board would not violently resist any efforts to stop them.

"First and foremost, we want to arrive to Gaza. If this is impossible, we don't want to subject anyone to danger," he told Al Jazeera.

Sawani said that communications with the boat had been jammed and the vessel was moving at a slow pace because of the Israeli warships that were trailing it.


Jul. 14, 2010

MIFTAH | Olive Branches All Around: The Debate about Palestinian Non-Violence" - by Leah Hunt-Hendrix

I finally saw the olive trees. I had been in Ramallah for over a week, but had been so preoccupied with adjusting to a new environment and finding my way around, I had not even noticed all the twisted trunks and the thin grey-green leaves that filled the city. Until, one day, when I was walking home, an olive fell on my head. At first I reacted with displeasure, as we often do when impersonal forces set out to cause us embarrassment. But when I looked up to find the source of this annoyance, I was suddenly struck with the beauty. Above me was a web of branches and leaves that embodied the life source of this region. And as I began to look around, to look out over the hill upon which Ramallah is set, I realized that the horizon was full of these silent compatriots, whose branches have long been a symbol of peace.

Jul. 14, 2010

BBC News | Libyan ship with Gaza aid heads for Egypt, Israel says

Analysis by Malcolm Brabant, BBC New, Athens:

According to the ship's owner, Alex Angelopoulos, the Amalthea did not suffer a mechanical breakdown - the story about engine failure was a ploy, invented by the Cuban captain, after the Israelis surrounded the vessel and gave him an ultimatum to change course away from Gaza.

The captain was trying to buy some time for the Libyan charity to muster international diplomatic support to pressure the Israelis to let the vessel through. He restarted the engines around midday local time and is now underway.

Mr Angelopoulos earlier said this expedition was a risky venture, although he prided himself on taking chances.

He said he was motivated by humanitarian reasons, but he is also acting in the tradition of Greek shipowners like Aristotle Onassis, who made fortunes by breaching embargoes.


Jul. 14, 2010

Religion News | Why Not a Black-Palestinian Liberation Theology? - by Dallas Darling

Like Black Liberation Theology, that recognizes centuries of enslavement, Palestinian Liberation Theology calls attention to Jesus, who as a Palestinian Jew, also lived under the brutal and militant conditions of the Roman Empire and its religious perpetrators. Central to both theologies is an emphasis on land, that was either stolen through harsh abductions, or seized through violent expulsions. A Black-Palestinian Theology would confront both the narrow biblical interpretation of Jewish and Christian Zionism, and a White European ethnocentric history that still attempts to justify conquests and exploitation.

Jul. 14, 2010

Common Dreams | The Hypocrisy of Preaching Nonviolence to Palestinians - by Ira Chernus

Now, instead of waiting for another miraculously gifted leader, we should each be speaking out and acting up, doing whatever little bit we can. We may not see the greatness of a Gandhi or King again for a very long time. But that's no reason to give up the quest for nonviolent resolution of our problems. It's all the more reason for each of us to take responsibility for ourselves and our own people, to stop telling others what they should do and start, right now, changing what we do.

Jul. 14, 2010

Counterpunch, Jonathan Cook | Remote-control Killing: The Spot and Shoot Game

It is called Spot and Shoot. Operators sit in front of a TV monitor from which they can control the action with a PlayStation-style joystick.

The aim: to kill terrorists.

Played by: young women serving in the Israeli army.

Spot and Shoot, as it is called by the Israeli military, may look like a video game but the figures on the screen are real people -- Palestinians in Gaza -- who can be killed with the press of a button on the joystick.

The female soldiers, located far away in an operations room, are responsible for aiming and firing remote-controlled machine-guns mounted on watch-towers every few hundred metres along an electronic fence that surrounds Gaza.


Jul. 14, 2010

Dissident Voice, Jonathan Cook | Witch Hunt Begins in Israeli Schools and Colleges: Minister to Punish Boycott Supporters

Hundreds of Israeli college professors have signed a petition accusing the education minister of endangering academic freedoms after he threatened to “punish” any lecturer or institution that supports a boycott of Israel.

The backlash against Gideon Saar, a member of the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, comes after a series of moves suggesting he is trying to stamp a more stridently right-wing agenda on the Israeli education system.


Jul. 14, 2010

My Catbird Seat | Has Obamageddon signed the world’s death warrant? - by Stuart Littlewood

So, while Obama and Netanyahu take the floor for the Armageddon waltz, let us pray – fervently.

Jul. 14, 2010

Mondoweiss | J Street campaign, and Central Fund letter, show ‘Times’ settlement article hit a nerve - by Adam Horowitz

Please launch an investigation into whether or not the organizations funding settlement activities in the Occupied Territories, including those named in a recent New York Times report, have broken the law.

The alleged links between the named organizations and former officials and donors associated with far-right Jewish groups that are classified as terrorist organizations by the United States provide a reasonable starting point for an investigation.


Jul. 13, 2010

The Real News | ONE STATE OR TWO, THERE SHOULD BE ECONOMIC JUSTICE: Paul Jay Interview with Shir Hever is an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center

And so you could hear proposals: Let's give the Palestinians a state, but they'll have to use our currency, but they'll have to use our tax system, but they will be under a kind of a free-trade zone, which in reality would mean they will be completely subject to Israeli economic policies. So there is an economic interest in the one-state solution. There is also an economic interest for the two-state solution, because that would mean that although Palestinians will remain completely controlled under the Israeli economic regime and it will be completely dependent on the Israeli economy, they would not be Israeli citizens, and as such would not receive all the benefits, such as minimum wage law, such as pension plans, such as health care, which would make it a lot cheaper for Israeli companies to exploit them. So they will become consumers of Israeli products. They are already consumers of Israeli products. They would become the cheap labor for Palestinian companies. They're already the cheap labor.

Jul. 13, 2010

The Real News | RATIONAL AND IRRATIONAL ZIONISM: Paul Jay Interview with Shir Hever is an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center

And they're [Magal] also building equipment for the wall between the United States and Mexico. And they were interviewed by an Israeli journalist and were asked—their CEO was asked, is building the wall with Mexico the same as building the wall in the West Bank? And he said no, it's not the same, because the wall in Mexico is only designed to stop people, while the wall in the West Bank kills them. That is a company that analysts in the stock markets say is a good stock to buy whenever you hear there's a terrorist attack—their stock will go up.

Jul. 13, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | Erdogan vows that Turkey will not Let Israel Get away with Flotilla Attack

Eyewitnesses reported that one seated photographer was abruptly shot between the eyes, and that another innocent’s head exploded when he was shot from above.

Jul. 13, 2010

Zenit | Pope to Holy Land Catholics: Be Signs of Unity

Benedict XVI added that he was pleased to see the numbers of Catholics in the Holy Land on the rise, "due to the Latin residents and immigrants of other continents, including Europe, Africa and Asia."

Jul. 13, 2010

Reuters | Israel razes inhabited Palestinian home in Jerusalem - by Jeffrey Heller

Israel razed an inhabited Palestinian home in East Jerusalem on Tuesday for the first time in eight months, effectively ending an unofficial demolition freeze imposed under U.S. pressure to revive peace talks.

...Palestinians now wanted to know, he said, just "how the Americans will act...because things have started to escalate after Netanyahu's visit to Washington".


Jul. 13, 2010

Reuters | Israeli navy challenges Gaza-bound Libyan ship - by Dan Williams

"This story is not related only to delivering humanitarian goods, but also to breaking the siege on Gaza and opening a sea lane," Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters, noting that Egypt, which also borders Gaza, was maintaining its own closure.

Jul. 13, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

We're familiar with Sabeel's website: www.sabeel.org. Please note my highlight in Sabeel's weekly mailing pasted below. To learn more about the growing non-violent resistance movement, see this article: Stride Toward Peace. Peace, Roy

Each Thursday at noon in Jerusalem , Sabeel holds a Communion service that is open to the community. It is a time to join together to celebrate the Eucharist, to discuss how the scriptures apply to our lives today, and to pray for the needs of this region and our world. Starting in the Pacific Islands, passing through Palestine , Europe, the Americas and on around the globe, we pray for peace with justice.

Wave of Prayer, Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ø We give thanks for the growing movement of non-violent resistance in the West Bank and Jerusalem which is constantly challenging the Israeli occupation. It is also meeting increasingly violent tactics from the police and military forces. Last Friday in Sheikh Jarrah security forces kicked and hit protestors, including a former Israeli Attorney General. We pray for the safety and wellbeing of all who courageously challenge the occupation with non-violent tactics.

Ø In the coming two weeks, forty young adults from Palestine and around the world will gather in Jerusalem to participate in the fifth annual Sabeel international Young Adult Conference: "From the Belly of the Whale: A Palestinian Christian Cry for Justice." May their time of pilgrimage and learning inspire them to pursue peace with justice in Palestine and Israel and in all conflicts wherever they may be in the world.

Ø More and more churches are understanding that it is necessary to see justice applied to the situation here before we can progress to peace and reconciliation. There is substantial criticism now being made of the policies of Israel and pressure is mounting on the social and political leadership. We give thanks for these winds of change around the world and pray for energy, enthusiasm and imagination for all the movements and individuals who devote themselves to freedom for the Palestinian people.

Ø Ahlan wa Sahlan is the traditional welcoming greeting here. And it is heartily meant to all who come and visit. In the first half of the year over 1000 people have visited Sabeel to hear about this ministry and what it means to live as a Palestinian under occupation. We give thanks for this engagement and ask for prayers as we prepare for and seek interested people to participate in the Sabeel Witness Visit in October 2010 and the eighth international conference in February 2011.

This week we join with the World Council of Churches in praying for:

Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama


Jul. 13, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

There's a short article [click on link] below which all of us should read.

Other articles making the rounds on the Internet this week include: Senior Palestinian calls Jerusalem a ‘time bomb’ | Jordan Times and AIPAC works with Netanyahu to set colonization policy and Pro-Israel PAC Contributions to 2010 Congressional Candidates.

Please fit this one in: Palestine Think Tank: Israel's Negotiating Strategies.



U.S. Congress United in its Support of Israel, says Republican Minority Whip


Jul. 13, 2010

Information Clearing House | On Being Led By the Nose: The Unchallenged Power of the Israel Lobby - by [former Senator] JAMES ABOUREZK

Does anyone beside a few people in the United States see the danger to our country in being led around by the nose by the Israeli government?

Jul. 13, 2010

Shabbah Report | What Sort of Christians Become Zionists? - by Stuart Littlewood

"We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as a false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation" – The Jerusalem Declaration

Not all Jews are Zionists. Many reject the Zionist project and fight against it.

So why on earth would a non-Jew wish to be one? Indeed, how could a genuine Christian seriously consider becoming a Zionist? It has puzzled me for a long time. The two ideas are incompatible, are they not?


Jul. 13, 2010

Mondoweiss | In ‘NYT,’ commenters brand Israel ‘fascist’

Ethan Bronner got the scoop today on Israel's investigation of the flotilla raid concluding that the 9 killings were justified. The piece included one line at odds with the Israeli narrative, the last line: "Passengers aboard the flotilla have mostly told a very different story, with some witnesses accusing the commandos of shooting randomly as they came aboard." Funny; it's like a parody of propaganda.

But here's the news. Read the comments section. No one's fooled. The readers are going after Israel. What hath the internet wrought? A few examples...


Jul. 13, 2010

BBC News | Israel admits Gaza flotilla raid 'mistakes'

An Israeli military inquiry into the naval raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla says commandos were under-prepared and mistakes were made at a senior level.

Comment by Jonathan Marcus, BBC Diplomatic Correspondent:

"This Israeli military investigation confirms things went badly wrong when troops stormed the Mavi Marmara, but largely exonerates the naval commandos.

"However, its findings that serious mistakes were made confirm that questions also need to be asked of Israel's political leaders, who approved the operation."


Jul. 12, 2010

Salon | Octavia Nasr's firing and what The Liberal Media allows - by Glenn Greenwald

...All of this would be so much more tolerable if CNN would simply admit that it permits its journalists to hold and express some controversial opinions (ones in accord with official U.S. policy and orthodox viewpoints) but prohibits others (ones which the neocon Right dislikes). Instead, we are subjected to this patently false pretense of opinion-free objectivity.

The reality is that "pro-Israel" is not considered a viewpoint at all; it's considered "objective."


Jul. 12, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Palestinian Responsibility

Nowhere else in the world today is there a more obvious example of massive and blatant injustice of ethnic cleansing, colonization, murder, and distortions of reality than that associated with creation and maintenance of a ‘Jewish Zionist state’. That this process was initiated and promoted by Europeans and later Americans leaves the people of these countries with the duty to act to rectify this injustice. Many take this very seriously. I was touched by the passion and dedication of many Italians to the Palestinian cause. But ultimately, the main responsibility for Palestinian liberation and wellbeing falls on us Palestinians.

Jul. 12, 2010

The Reverend James M. Wall, Methodist, Wall Writings | This is No Longer Your Daddy’s Presbyterian Church (USA)

Two years from now a revised Jewish-Christian document could be available, reflecting a more Middle Eastern perspective.

That is when the ecclesiastical tectonic shift rumbled through the horse farms of Kentucky. The 219th General Assembly overwhelmingly chose to reach out to its Muslim co-religionists, in defiance of a still prevalent bias against Islam in American culture.

This shift shakes up the Jewish-Christian dialogue paradigm which has controlled American Protestant understanding of the Middle East since the 1947 creation of the modern state of Israel.


Jul. 12, 2010

America Magazine, Catholic Weekly | Book Review by Gerald J. Schiffhorst : An American in Damascus by Stephanie Saldaña

Many readers will value the book for its cultural importance, for the sharp observations Saldaña makes about Americans in the Middle East, based on her knowledge of the region and her ability to demolish certain stereotypes about Christian-Islamic relations. Although she stands out as an American woman in an anti-American setting, she finds in individuals a common bond of humanity that disarms her. Teaching The Book of Islam in English at a Koranic school for girls, Saldaña has her misgivings allayed by the students’ cheerful acceptance of her as a Christian and the Sheikha’s assurance that non-Muslims “can go to heaven provided that they follow what is in their own holy books.”

Jul. 12, 2010

America Magazine, Catholic Weekly | Christians and Statecraft: Taking stock of the new evangelical internationalism - by Dennis R. Hoover

Another longstanding characteristic of many evangelicals, especially those of a fundamentalist bent, is unwavering support for the State of Israel. This derives in part from a particular theological tradition called dispensational premillennialism, which leads many evangelicals to interpret the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy and as a sign of Jesus’ Second Coming. Evangelical Zionists have swelled the ranks of a variety of pro-Israel advocacy organizations like Stand for Israel, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Churches United With Israel, American Alliance of Jews and Christians and Christians United for Israel.

Jul. 12, 2010

America Magazine, Catholic Weekly | A Freedom Deferred: Why religious liberty schould be a U.S. foreign policy priority - by Thomas Farr

This much is clear: the advance of international religious freedom, while difficult, remains critical to individuals, societies, world peace and American national interests. Despite signs to the contrary, we should all hope that the advance of religious liberty will be part of the Obama foreign policy legacy.

Jul. 12, 2010

America Magazine, Catholic Weekly | Making Peace With Terrorists - Editors

Potential peacemakers, like those working for Catholic Relief Services, Caritas Internationalis, World Vision or Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, may now be liable to prosecution. Without special exemptions that will compromise mediators’ credibility, participation in programs to teach terrorist groups how to demobilize their weapons, enter into an electoral process or engage antagonistic religious groups in discussion will be considered illegal. Producing manuals for such activities may be regarded as treasonous if the manuals are found in terrorist hands, though their purpose is to wean the rebels away from terrorism. Even writing an op-ed on methods for engaging terrorists in conflict resolution may be held to be in violation of the Patriot Act.

Jul. 12, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace | Presbyterian Church USA: Don't profit from injustice

Caterpillar's unwillingness to engage with authenticity and openness is unique and disappointing. Their actions do not provide much encouragement about the possibility for real change coming through conversation and correspondence conducted “behind the scenes.”

Despite this realistic assessment, the church did not choose to divest from Caterpillar. Instead, the Presbyterian Church USA chose to denounce Caterpillar's profit-making from the demolition of Palestinian homes while continuing its own profits from these endeavors:

On the basis of Christian principles and as a matter of social witness, the 219th General Assembly strongly denounces Caterpillar's continued profit-making from non-peaceful uses of a number of its products. We call upon Caterpillar to carefully review its involvement in obstacles to a just and lasting peace in Israel-Palestine, and to take affirmative steps to end its complicity in the violation of human rights. We hope that, by God's grace, Caterpillar will come to exercise its considerable power and influence in the service of a just and lasting peace in Israel/Palestine.


Jul. 12, 2010

New York Times | Waiting for Gandhi - by Nicholas Kristof

I don’t know whether Palestinians can create a peaceful mass movement that might change history, and their first challenge will be to suppress the stone-throwers and bring women into the forefront. But this grass-roots movement offers a ray of hope for less violence and more change.

Jul. 12, 2010

Mark Braverman, The Politics of Hope | Report from the Presbyterian General Assembly, Part 1

Something Wonderful Happened

I’ve just returned from Minneapolis, having attended the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA at the invitation of the denomination’s Israel Palestine Mission Network. The PC(USA) is at the epicenter of the struggle of the Christian community in the U.S. to come to terms with the challenge of the Israel-Palestine conflict.


Jul. 12, 2010

Institute for Middle East Understanding | Presbyterian Church shouldn't accept bullying at the pulpit  -  Dr. Hanan Ashrawi

While the Presbyterians "affirm the legitimacy of Israel as a state," they rightly recognize the "continuing occupation of Palestine (West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem) to be illegitimate, illegal under international law, and an enduring threat to peace in the region." Without strong and immediate nonviolent action challenging the Netanyahu government's policies, the stated U.S. goal of a two-state solution will soon be derailed by Israeli settlement activity. Many Israel lobby voices will urge the Presbyterians not to act this week. But as Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. said in March of 1968, drawing on his spirituality, "...there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right."

Jul. 12, 2010

MIFTAH | Israel, The Master of Exploitation - by Joharah Baker

History and religion can be powerful tools in justifying the present. And nobody does this better than Israel. The problem is that Israel, its leaders and by proxy, its people, expect that they can exploit and twist history and religion without ever feeling the sting from the backlash of such exploitation from others. 

Jul. 12, 2010

MIFTAH | After End of Freeze, Settlers Plan Major Building [July 4 – July 10]

Netanyahu was sure to throw the diplomatic ball into the Palestinian leadership's court by offering to start direct negotiations, something the Palestinians say can only happen if settlement expansion is stopped completely both in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Jul. 11, 2010

BBC News | Gaza aid ship to dock in Egypt after Israel pressure

A ship with supplies for Gaza will dock at el-Arish in Egypt, officials say, after Israeli pressure to stop the vessel breaking its Gaza blockade.

Jul. 11, 2010

Letter from Dr. Maria Khoury | Miracle in Albania

My particular presentation was on the struggle and nightmare of the Palestinians to survive and keep their dignity and land with specific focus on the suffering Christian community.

Now, I am in need of your prayers to pass the Israeli security and return to my family.


Jul. 10, 2010

Life on Wheels | Week [19]67 – Remembering Palestine

This week, I travelled through Paris, Lyon and Geneve on my way to Frankfurt in Germany, to meet Hamde, who I lived with for most of my time in Bil’in, Palestine. Six months was a long time, so now he’s more than a brother.

Although most of our three days together were full of happiness, there was a sad element to the trip as it made us remember the months spent together under the endless frustration of occupation. It was surreal to traverse through the streets of Frankfurt together, him riding a bike and me sitting on a wheelchair and holding onto the side. Dark with the night, but not a soldier in sight…

“Jody, how do the people here not understand?” Hamde asked. Sometimes I’m left asking myself the same question.


Jul. 10, 2010

The Trench | America and Israel's Show Must Go On - by James Gundun

Having been invited by Netanyahu to tour Israel, Obama will touch down sometime before September for a whirlwind tour to swing support. This will be his last chance, either to pull off a heist or wreck his hopes along Israeli settlement blocs. Meanwhile the show will go on until curtains fall.

But based on its first and second act, Palestinians won't be applauding at the end.


Jul. 10, 2010

BBC News | Palestinians urge Obama to stop settlement tax breaks

"It simply makes no sense that on one hand the American government says the settlements are one of the primary obstacles to peace, and on the other hand gives tax credits for funding the settlements," said Ghassan Khatib, head of the Palestinian Government Media Center, in a statement.

Jul. 10, 2010

Arab Film Festival | Arab Film Festival Presents the films Gaza-strophe and Gaza’s Winter @ Roxie Theatre

Thursday, July 29th @ 7pm

Roxie Theatre

3117 16th Street

San Francisco, CA

Followed by a discussion with a distinguished panel


Jul. 10, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | The Orientalism of Israeli Troops Dancing

Some comments on the semiotics. The piece begins with the Muslim call to prayer in al-Khalil, a Palestinian city in the Palestinian West Bank, which Israelis call Hebron. Some 30,000 Palestinians are being kept in an urban prison for the sake of 600 far-right armed Jewish colonists who have squatted on Palestinian property in the city. Al-Khalil (“Hebron”), like the 2.5 million Palestinian residents of the West Bank, has been militarily occupied by Israel since 1967. Israeli squatters have stolen private Palestinian land and control 42% of the West Bank, according to B’Tselem. It is illegal in international law for Occupying powers to transfer their own populations into occupied territories or for them to usurp property from the occupied.

Jul. 10, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | US Ally Maliki & Octavia Nasr Both Praised Fadlallah

The whole conundrum only makes sense from an Israel Lobby point of view. It is better, the Israel lobbies in the US think, for al-Maliki to be in charge of Iraq than for Saddam Hussein to have been. Al-Maliki doesn’t actively funnel money to the Palestinians and is distracted by internal Iraq faction-fighting now that the Iraqi state and army have been destroyed. So that the new Shiite political elite in Baghdad reveres a figure like Grand Ayatollah Fadlallah is overlooked.

But with Ms. Nasr, it is not a comparative issue, it is an absolute one. No figure in US media is allowed to show any understanding of or appreciation for any aspect of the life and works of someone the Lobbies have decided must be demonized and vilified (and in Fadlallah’s case, preferably killed). Theirs is a politics of demonization and marginalization in which no rounded, considered judgment is permitted. Fadlallah had severe flaws, including his condoning of suicide bombings against Israelis. But he condemned the 9/11 attacks and the Morocco suicide bombings as pure terrorism, and that has to be reported, too. (It mostly wasn’t). And, he authorized Muslim women to actively defend themselves against domestic violence, which was the thing Nasr had in mind.


Jul. 10, 2010

Naharnet | Briton's Foreign Office Refuses to Condemn Frances Guy for Praising Fadlallah

The British Foreign Office has refused to condemn its ambassador to Beirut, Frances Guy, for posting a comment on her blog praising Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.

Jul. 10, 2010

Adam Keller, Crazy Country | Cinderella in Trouble

What a great ball it was, there in Washington. So wonderful. Dancing and dancing, on and on into the night. For a moment all the troubles were forgotten, the step sisters and the Palestinians and the Turks. And Prince Obama was so nice and friendly and considerate, not at all the way I thought.

But now the clock struck midnight and the carriage turned back into a pumpkin , and soon the settlements will get out of freeze. How, oh how am I ever going to get my foot into that '67-borders shoe?


Jul. 10, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | Two Sit-Ins 

AT THIS moment, two sit-ins are taking place in Jerusalem, two kilometers apart. In West Jerusalem, the Shalit family is sitting in a protest tent in front of the Prime Minister’s residence, swearing to remain there until the return of their son. In East Jerusalem, three members of the Palestinian parliament are holed up in the building of the International Red Cross.

The word that connects the two is: Hamas.


Jul. 10, 2010

Haaretz | Lift the blockade on us all - by David Grossman

Instead of focusing on just a prisoner exchange deal, Israel should seek to reach a broader understanding with Hamas.

Jul. 10, 2010

Presbyterian Peace Fellowship | GA approves ‘Breaking Down the Walls’ report on Middle East

The 219th General Assembly approved the recommendation of the Middle East Peacemaking Issues Committee on Friday regarding the report “Breaking Down the Walls,” which spotlights the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The full Assembly action followed a unanimous decision by the committee to accept an amended version of the report, which came to it from the GA Middle East Study Committee (MESC).

The was a lot of heat coming in regarding this report, Cindy Bolbach, Moderator of the 219th General Assembly, told members of the press gathered Friday. The committee worked hard to find an avenue on which the Assembly could agree, she said.

The action taken was “Presbyterians at our best,” said Bolbach.


Jul. 10, 2010

Presbyterian Peace Fellowship | Presbyterian Peace Fellowship Supports Jewish Ship to Gaza

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship announces a new nonviolent initiative, joining with European Jewish groups to send a boatload of humanitarian supplies to Gaza. The Peace Fellowship has raised $10,000 from its members to lend solidarity to the three groups organizing the unarmed civilian action: European Jews for a Just Peace in the Middle East, Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East (both in Germany) and Jews for Justice for the Palestinians (UK).

In an undisclosed Mediterranean harbor, the three groups are loading the boat with medicines, baby food, children’s clothing, outboard motors for fishermen, school supplies, art supplies and musical instruments. On board will be approximately 14 passengers, both Jewish and interfaith, with the possibility of a second boat. Also on board will be members of the media to document the unarmed attempt to break the state of Israel’s three year blockade on Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians are trapped in a humanitarian crisis in an area less than one-tenth the size of Rhode Island.


Jul. 10, 2010

Palestine News Network | Presbyterian Peace Fellowship To Partner With "Jewish-Ship-To-Gaza"

This week it was announced that the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship would partner with a number of European Jewish groups who are planning to sail to Gaza to break the Israeli blockade.

ImageThe vessels are scheduled to launch within the next few weeks from an undisclosed location. A press release issued by the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship detailed that the ship would be carrying “medicines, baby food, children’s clothing, outboard motors for fishermen, school supplies, art supplies, and musical instruments.”


Jul. 10, 2010

Palestine News Network | Presbyterian Peace Fellowship To Partner With "Jewish-Ship-To-Gaza"

This week it was announced that the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship would partner with a number of European Jewish groups who are planning to sail to Gaza to break the Israeli blockade.

ImageThe vessels are scheduled to launch within the next few weeks from an undisclosed location. A press release issued by the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship detailed that the ship would be carrying “medicines, baby food, children’s clothing, outboard motors for fishermen, school supplies, art supplies, and musical instruments.”


Jul. 10, 2010

Sabbah Report | Britain more interested in saving Israelis from garden shed rockets than British citizens from Israeli pirates - by Stuart Littlewood

Liberal Democrat party leader Nick Clegg is Britain's deputy prime minister. A month ago, while reports were coming in that Israeli gunboats had "intercepted" the Free Gaza flotilla 90 miles out to sea and told the humanitarian workers they would be boarded and towed to an Israeli port, I emailed Clegg: "Where is the Royal Navy when it's needed to protect life and limb of the 30-odd British nationals?"

Jul. 10, 2010

Zenit | Is Islam Part of God's Plan? Interview With Jesuit Father Samir Khalil Samir by Mirko Testa

The coexistence of Christians and Muslims is good for civil society because their mutual questioning of the other's faith acts as a stimulus and leads to deeper understanding, says a Jesuit priest who is an expert in Islamic studies.

Jul. 9, 2010

Friends of Freedom and Justice Bil'in | Bil'in Weekly Demo 9-07-2010

Besides Palestinians the demonstration drew activists and people with live conscience from far afield as Tulkarm, Tel Aviv, Turkey, the US, Egypt, the UK and Ireland and many others of indeterminate nationality who loudly and angrily called for signatories of the Geneva Conventions, Hague Conventions and defenders of international law to implement the advisory opinion of the ICJ and not allow this ruling to wither on the vine of indifference and the double standards of the so called “international community,” particularly Israel’s paymaster and protector, the US. To reinforce this point, large scales representing justice heavily weighted in Israel’s favour, was carried to the Wall and displayed to the Occupation Forces protecting it, who immediately responded with salvoes of gun fired and hand thrown tear gas resulting in much distress and an injury to a young Tulkarm man and outbreaks of fire in the tinder-dry olive groves to which a fire engine had to be summoned to quench them. To further terrorize the protestors, snatch squads were sent to arrest as many of the fleeing as possible, but met strong and obdurate resistance from the local stone throwing shabab who successfully forced their temporary retreat and their next two sallies.

Jul. 9, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

How would you have responded to CNN had you been in Octavia Nasr's shoes last Wednesday? See my highlight in BBC's report pasted below.

I know how I would have responded. I might not have said enough about the Shiite Cleric who died on Sunday because I don't know that much about him. But I would have had lots to say about Hassan Nasrallah. I admire the man enormously. From my perspective, that man is a TRUE Muslim, and he has been demonized over the years ... unfairly ... by the media and by the US State Department. Have you noticed? Hizbollah ... like Hamas ... has a vast social services network which provides extensive services for the needy, a fact that has gone unreported by the press. Dan Rather reported on it once while he was at CBS, but the word never got around because there was a blockage in communications someplace. Let the truth prevail. It was Hizbollah that persuaded Israel to end the 20-year-occupation of the southern 1/10th of Lebanon ten years ago. Israel still hasn't returned Shebaa Farms to Lebanon. See: Shebaa Farms: A Lebanese Land Occupied by Israel -- Brief History. Israel's government ... as usual ... cites "security reasons". Zionist Israel is a Culture of Fear.

Please [follow the link below to the article].



BBC News | UK envoy's praise for Lebanon cleric draws Israel anger

Two days ago, CNN sacked a veteran Middle East editor who wrote on Twitter that she "respected" the late cleric, saying that her credibility had been compromised.

BBC News | Thousands attend Beirut funeral of Ayatollah Fadlallah


Jul. 9, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

Please read Jim Wall's latest essay [link below]. As usual, Jim makes poignant observations.

I cannot agree with Jim when he writes that Obama has "surrendered" to Bibi. Don't ask me why. I'm still trying to make sense of it all myself. I'm trying not to jump to conclusions. See: Obama-Netanyahu Press Conference, 6 July (video).

But also see: Russia is conducting direct talks with Hamas. That development could not have come as a surprise to Obama. Russia's President Medvedev was at the White House for talks just a few days ago. Also see: European envoys accept Israel offer to visit Gaza. Read between the lines. It seems to me that international cooperative efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflicts are underway. What do you think, Peers? I honestly believe Obama is in the process of outsmarting Bibi and is positioning himself for a definitive move (behind closed doors). Notice the date on this article: Netanyahu hints at flexibility on Jerusalem | JTA. Where do you suppose Tony Blair fits in these days? If I couldn't trust President Obama and Tony specifically on the Mideast issues ... no matter what other folks say about them ... I'd go crazy and lose my dignity. Who else on the political track is there to trust? From my perspective, both men and George Mitchell need international support on the Holy Land issues, and we must hold them responsible to their offices and true to their previously stated positions. Study www.aipac.org and www.cufi.org and watch FOX News to learn where the snags are in the peace process. Realize that silence on our part is complicity. Please read on. Jim has a lot to say.



The Revered James M. Wall, Methodist | Post Columnist Milbank Calls Obama-Bibi Meeting A “Surrender”


Jul. 9, 2010

Palestine Center | Apartheid South Africa’s Secret Relationship with Israel with Dr. Sasha Polakow-Suransky

Carter was attacked for making this argument [Israel as an apartheid state], but when Ehud Barak said the same thing, or essentially the same thing this past February, and said that - I’m paraphrasing here – “If there’s only one political entity between the Jordan and the sea, and the Palestinians vote, then it’s a binational state, and if they don’t, it’s an apartheid state.” And he used the “A word.” He did not face the same level of vitriol as Carter did, when he said something similar. Ehud Olmert said something very similar without using the word “apartheid” in 2007 after the Annapolis Conference. He said that Israel would face a South African style struggle if it didn’t get out of the West Bank and move towards a two-state solution very soon. The argument is essentially the same as Barak’s. So the real question is whether this analogy is going to apply in the future, and I argue in the epilogue to my book that if Israel does not get out of the West Bank, and if there’s not a viable serious Palestinian state in the very near future, then this label is actually going to stick.

Jul. 8, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

Please read the memo from the Desk of Ambassador Warren Clark. It's pasted below. Who can frame the current situation in the Holy Land more accurately than that?

CMEP needs our help. See: www.cmep.org.

It's time for the American public to hear an objective perspective, an intelligent perspective on the matter. What's the alternative? Pastor John Hagee and those who share his duteous mindset in concrete?



Churches for Middle East Peace | From the Desk of Warren Clark: Pressures and Positioning on Israel-Palestinian Negotiations, July 8, 2010


Jul. 8, 2010

Haaretz | Obama: Israelis suspicious of me because my middle name is Hussein

U.S. president tells Channel 2 Israel is unlikely to attack Iran without coordinating with the U.S.

Jul. 8, 2010

Common Dreams | Norman Finkelstein: Results, Not Rhetoric

Since the Oslo Accords in 1993, there are three times as many settlers and Israel has annexed 42% of Palestinian land for even more expansion. Though Obama waxes eloquently about "direct negotiations," there are no signs of Israel withdrawing to the 1967 borders that would only begin to indicate a successful peace process.

Jul. 8, 2010

Electronic Intifada | Human Rights: Affidavits from eyewitnesses to Rachel Corrie killing (Schnabel, Dale, Purssell) 

I the undersigned, Nicholas James Porter Durie....

I, the undersigned, Thomas Edward Dale....

I, the undersigned, Richard, J.A. Purssell....


Jul. 8, 2010

Zenit | How to Get a Church Built Quickly in Egypt, New Cities Should Have Places for Worship, Says Government

Under normal circumstances, it can take as many as 30 years and a signature from the president to get a new church built in Egypt.

That's why Coptic Catholics are happy to be benefiting from a unique opportunity that will bring them a new church in no time.


Jul. 8, 2010

New York Times | In Israel, the Noble vs. The Ugly by Nicholas D. Kristof

He [Rabbi Arik Ascherman, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights] ] responds that he is struggling to uphold his religious and moral values. But he also argues that building bridges between Jews and Palestinians helps make Israel a safer place for his children. “In the long run, we’re going to live here together,” he says, “or we’re going to die here together.”

“When we get the death threats and people say we’re traitors and anti-Israel, I think, ‘Who is really doing more for Israel’s physical survival?’ ” he says. “ ‘Those who demolish homes and uproot trees, or those who rebuild homes and replant trees?’ ”


Jul. 8, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

Palestinians have been aware of Israel's negotiating strategies for a long, long time. The rest of the world should become aware of them, too. Peace, Roy


Reuters | Palestinians wary of direct peace talks with Israel by Ali Sawafta and Douglas Hamilton


Jul. 8, 2010

Gilah [AKATrudy] forwards this message from Ibrahim Abu El Hawa:

Dear Friends and Family,

We are the brothers and sisters from Jerusalem Peacemakers Around the World and We ask you to join us on a special day of the memory of our Holy Brother and Teacher, the Sufi Sheik, Abdulla Azziz Bukhari, who left us on the 31st of May to be with God, in the time when he had a ticket to fly to Turkey to meet with the Prime minister, but God welcomed him to put him in heaven and according to our Islamic traditions, we make a special gathering to pray and remember him as we invite you to be with us on Monday the 12th, starting 7;30 at The Redeemer Lutheran church in The Old City, next to the Holy Sepulchre Church in the Old City. We will be hosted by a Rev. Uwe Graeb, a Lutheran Pastor, a family member, a Sufi Sheik and an Orthodox Rabbi. As on the 12th of July at 7:00 pm. we will be happy to meet at Jaffa Gate and will walk down together to The Redeemer Church. For any information and any help, please call me on 050 554 8105 or call Eliyahu MacLean at 050 671 0087. We will be happy to Meet with you and welcome you.

Thank You So Much

Ibrahim Abu El Hawa


Gilah's reply:

Thank you for thinking of me. I will be doing a little Shma Yisroel on July 12. Will send list to those who will want to pray with you

xo xo Gilah aka Trudy


Jul. 8, 2010

Jerusalem Post | Sufi sheikh who preached nonviolence laid to rest: Bukhari was a proponent of interfaith unity by LAUREN GELFOND FELDINGER   

In a small and ancient family plot attached to his ancestral home in Jerusalem’s Old City, regional Sufi leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari was laid to rest on Tuesday at age 61, after a long struggle with heart disease. He was head of the mystical Naqshabandi Holy Land Sufi Order.

A longtime proponent of nonviolence and interfaith unity, Bukhari found his inspiration in Islamic law and tradition, as well as in the writings of Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.

“The stronger one is the one who can absorb the violence and anger from the other and change it to love and understanding. It is not easy; it is a lot of work. But this is the real jihad,” he once told the Globaloneness Project in an interview.


Jul. 8, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

An Israeli official said last month that the Foreign Ministers from Italy, Great Britain, France, Spain and Germany would not meet with Hamas. However, see: [Jewish Times] Russia holding direct talks with Hamas. Cooperative efforts, etc. Peace, Roy


Reuters | European envoys accept Israel offer to visit Gaza


Jul. 8, 2010

Common Dreams | Israel's Foes Embrace New Resistance Tactics: Hamas and Hezbollah Find Inspiration In Flotilla, Support Protest Movements by Charles Levinson

Hamas and Hezbollah, groups that have long battled Israel with violent tactics, have begun to embrace civil disobedience, protest marches, lawsuits and boycotts-tactics they once dismissed.

Jul. 7, 2010

BBC News |  Daily View: Israel's Netanyahu in the US

Commentators from the US, Israel, and the Middle East look at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington to meet US President Barack Obama.

Jul. 7, 2010

BBC News |  Analysis: Little room to manoeuvre by Wyre Davies

... a nice framed photo of himself with a beaming Mr Obama is indeed all that Mr Netanyahu may leave Washington with at the end of the week.

Jul. 7, 2010

BBC News |  Gaza hopes to get back to business as blockade eases

Israel has confirmed it will ease its four-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, allowing more materials into the embattled territory. The BBC's Jon Donnison asks some business owners in Gaza City what difference they think the decision will mean for them and for the people of Gaza. 

Jul. 7, 2010

BBC News |  Political theatre masks US-Israel tensions by Jeremy Bowen

The president appears to be an intellectually consistent man - the word professorial is used about him as a term of abuse by some of his critics in the United States - so unless he has performed a gigantic flip-flop, there is no reason to suppose that his views have been altered by a more civil couple of hours with Mr Netanyahu. 

Jul. 7, 2010

The Huffington Post | Obama Yields to Bibi, Plus Me vs. Petraeus by M.J. Rosenberg

Throughout the next week there will no doubt be a great deal of maneuvering between both sides as they seek to get their points across and bring the delegates over to their side.  We can only hope that they will remember the daily suffering of Palestinians when the final deliberations take place. 

Jul. 7, 2010

Palestinian News Network | Discovering Bethlehem by Joy Stacey

I had been shocked to find out that the location of my beloved Christmas story was now home to a community struggling for their freedom, and I wanted to see it for myself. My motivations were and still are purely humanitarian.

Jul. 7, 2010

Palestinian News Network | Report: Presbyterian General Assembly

Throughout the next week there will no doubt be a great deal of maneuvering between both sides as they seek to get their points across and bring the delegates over to their side.  We can only hope that they will remember the daily suffering of Palestinians when the final deliberations take place. 

Jul. 7, 2010

Christian Peace Team | Al Khalil/Hebron: Israeli Border Police Destroy Vegetable Fields in Al Baqa'a Valley

Badran Mohammed Jabber, looking out onto his destroyed fields, uttered in exasperation, "I have spent 43 years under the Israeli reign of terror. I have lived my life in fear; I never know what the Israelis will do tomorrow. They have destroyed my land; they have destroyed my life; these fields are my life."

Jul. 7, 2010

The Independent | Patrick Cockburn: American politicians face domestic constraints to talking tough with Israel

Meetings between US presidents and Israeli primes ministers are usually preceded by speculation that the US leader will finally demand that Israel stop expanding settlements in the West Bank, displacing Palestinians in East Jerusalem and embarrassing the US by misjudged military actions....

Jul. 7, 2010

The Independent | Soldiers indicted over civilian deaths during Gaza offensive by Catrina Stewart in Jerusalem

Sarit Michaeli, spokeswoman for the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, said that the army's actions were welcome, but did not go far enough to address the rules of engagement. "The main questions about the Gaza War concern policy, and a military investigation can't handle this," she told The Associated Press. "There must be an external investigation that will deal with the whole chain of command and chiefly with the people at the top who approved the directives." The Independent | Leading article: Time for action, Mr Obama

Two steps forward, two steps back. Middle East diplomacy often resembles the world of Lewis Carroll; no matter how fast the Red Queen runs, she stays put. Likewise, no wonder most people were not holding their breath for Barack Obama's White House meeting with Israel's leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, yesterday. How can anyone still feel optimism about a peace process that has consumed so much energy and yielded so little? It was clear this time that Mr Netanyahu would get a red carpet. In March, Mr Obama barely put out a welcome mat, because he was so deeply displeased by Israel's humiliation of his Vice-President, Joe Biden, who had recently arrived in Israel just in time to find that the government had signed off a new round of Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

Jul. 7, 2010

The Independent | Exposed: The truth about Israel's land grab in the West Bank Catrina Stewart in Jerusalem and David Usborne

As President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet, a report reveals 42 per cent of territory is controlled by settlers

Jul. 7, 2010

Jerusalem Post | Holywood [sic] stars snub film festival by RUTH EGLASH  

Hollywood actors such as Meg Ryan backed out of attending this year’s annual Jerusalem Film Festival, which is set to kick off this coming Thursday, following the international outcry over Israel’s attack on a Turkish-led flotilla that attempted to break the Gaza blockade on May 31, The Jerusalem Post learned Monday. According to Cinematheque associate director Yigal Molad Hayo, while neither gave the political climate as a direct reason for canceling their participation in the festival, “it became quite clear that this was the reason,” he said.

Jul. 6, 2010

H2onews | Bringing Holy Land News to the World

The Holy Land is marked by complex political tensions and religious disagreements which often reflect current events, feeding fear and division. Because of this, it becomes necessary to tell another "story", one that reveals the cultural, human and spiritual vitality of this strip of land upon which the peace of the world depends.

For this reason H2onews has decided to launch a collaborative initiative with the Franciscan Multimedia Center, the broadcast center of the Custody of the Holy Land in Jerusalem opened in 2008. Its purpose is not only to voice the needs and hopes of the local Catholic community but also to recount events related to cultural and religious realities of the Orthodox and Protestants, as well as Islam and Judaism.   

Jul. 6, 2010

New York Times  | Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank

HaYovel is one of many groups in the United States using tax-exempt donations to help Jews establish permanence in the Israeli-occupied territories — effectively obstructing the creation of a Palestinian state, widely seen as a necessary condition for Middle East peace.  

Jul. 6, 2010

Adam Keller, Crazy Country  | Ghost at the Table

Update: as yet, the army's bulldozers have bypassed the little village Al-Farsieyah, mentioned in my previous posting Get out - no matter where to!  The army handed its residents deportation orders, effective within 24 hours, but the immediate blow fell on their neighbors at Ras al Ahmar.
Daphne Banai, MachsomWatch activist who devotes much time and energy to residents of the Jordan Valley sent the following account....

Jul. 6, 2010

Jerusalem Post  | Encountering Peace: And we will dwell in peace... by GERSHON BASKIN  

...We must enter this process with the working assumption that we don’t trust each other. We don’t expect each other to fulfill our most basic obligations. That is simply the reality. If this is the case, developing a peace agreement cannot be based on a bilateral process which is predicated on mutual trust, and no amount of artificial confidence-building measures will create that trust. After years of failure, violence and suffering, new trust can only be based on the actual fulfillment of obligations and commitments agreed to in the context of treaties. But if we don’t trust them and they don’t trust us, how can we possibility proceed? We must insist that there be a reliable third party who will monitor implementation and verify that all aspects of all agreements are being fully implemented.

Jul. 6, 2010

International Middle East Media Center  | Soldiers Attack Palestinian Detainees In Majiddo

Israeli soldiers attacked several Palestinian detainees after raiding their cells in section 4 and 5 of the Majido prison. The army said that the soldiers were searching for a mobile  phone reportedly in possession of the detainees.

Jul. 6, 2010

Coteret | Hasbarapocalypse — Leaked Frank Luntz memo: Israeli public diplomacy in US on Flotilla failed dismally

Luntz’s findings are grim. Here’s a summary:
  1. 56% of Americans agree with the claim that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza;
  2. 43% of Americans agree with the claim that people in Gaza are starving;
  3. [Only] 34% of Americans support the Israeli operation against the Flotilla;
  4. [Only] 20% of Americans “felt support” for Israel following announcement of easing of Gaza closure.

Jul. 6, 2010

Haaretz | Leading Israeli figures accuse police of targeting leftist East Jerusalem protesters

A number of prominent jurists, intellectuals, writers and leftist public figures co-sign letter that charges Jerusalem police with 'illegal and inequitable' conduct towards Sheikh Jarrah protesters.


Jul. 6, 2010

B'Tselem | By Hook and By Crook: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank

Some half a million Israelis are now living over the Green Line: more than 300,000 in 121 settlements and about one hundred outposts, which control 42 percent of the land area of the West Bank, and the rest in twelve neighborhoods that Israel established on land it annexed to the Jerusalem Municipality. The report analyzes the means employed by Israel to gain control of land for building the settlements. In preparing the report, B'Tselem relied on official state data and documents, among them Attorney Talia Sasson’s report on the outposts, the database produced by Brigadier General Baruch Spiegel, reports of the state comptroller, and maps of the Civil Administration.

Jul. 5, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | In Vienna: Hitler and Hertzl vs Mozart, Popper, and Freud

[Quoting Freud] "...I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state, nor that the Christian and Islamic worlds would ever by prepared to have their holy places under Jewish care."


Jul. 5, 2010

Uruknet | Study suggests that Gaza siege will have long-term effect on Palestinian health - Middle East Monitor

Palestinian health experts who have studied the impact of the Israeli siege on Gaza have said that the siege will have long-term damaging effects on the health of Palestinians. Of particular concern is the fact that the siege has resulted in many cases of malnutrition in children.


Jul. 5, 2010

Uruknet | Enough With the Empty Words by Joharah Baker

That is not the point though. The point is, the US, the UN, Europe and Israel use these empty words to satisfy the press, offer up some limp semblance of concern and avoid any real responsibility towards an issue that requires decisive action. The demolition of 22 homes is not "concerning" or even an "obstacle". It is appalling, in complete violation of international law, in contravention of any decent value system that has any regard for human dignity and it is doubly as appalling since it is Israel – the self-proclaimed beacon of democracy in the Middle East – which is the perpetrator.


Jul. 5, 2010

Uruknet | Israel's Attack on Egypt in '67 was not 'Preemptive' by Jeremy R. Hammond

It is often claimed that Israel's attack on Egypt that began the June 1967 'Six Day War' was a 'preemptive' one. Implicit in that description is the notion that Israel was under imminent threat of an attack from Egypt. Yet this historical interpretation of the war is not sustained by the documentary record.


Jul. 5, 2010

Uruknet | Arab Intellectuals: rise up to the challenge – "Freedom First" by Laila Faisal

A nation under occupation cannot afford to stray off its course, neither to the right nor to the left, that is an intellectual luxury it cannot afford.

A fight for freedom and independence, such as that of the Palestinians, should not fall into the trap of turning into an internal ideological struggle or a rift inside a besieged – oppressed – cleansed nation.


Jul. 5, 2010

Amman News | Turkish Ambassador in Amman: "Israel must apologize"

Turkish Ambassador in Amman Ali Koprulu said that Israel must apologize "soon" to his country for the crimes it committed in killing and injuring a number of Turkish nationals who where on board the "Freedom Flotilla" humanitarian aid convoy that was en route to the Gaza Strip last month.


Jul. 5, 2010

This Is Bristol | Condemnation over Gaza attack

BRISTOL City Council has voted to condemn Israel for the Gaza convoy incident that saw nine human rights activists killed.

Members called for the Government to "hold Israel to account for this illegal action" and to impose sanctions on the country until it "complies with international law and ceases perpetrating human rights abuses".

Two Bristol men were aboard the Freedom Flotilla of ships when the Israeli military opened fire on May 31. One of them, Cliff Hanley, spoke in support of the motion before last night's council debate.


Jul. 5, 2010

Deutsche Welle | The German parliament has united in denouncing Israel's handling of Gaza, calling for an end to the blockade.

Germany's government called Friday for an immediate end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip after a unanimous vote in the country's Bundestag parliament condemning Israel's handling of the territory.


"We have repeatedly made it clear that Israel has to enable access to the Gaza Strip on humanitarian grounds and for the sake of reconstruction," said Ulrich Wilhelm, the German government's spokesman.


Jul. 5, 2010

MIFTAH | US Questions its Unwavering Support for Israel by Chris McGreal

There are questions that rarely get asked in Washington. For years, the mantra that America's intimate alliance with Israel was as good for the US as it was the Jewish state went largely unchallenged by politicians aware of the cost of anything but unwavering support.


Jul. 5, 2010

MIFTAH | For Netanyahu, to Freeze or Not to Freeze is the Question by Joharah Baker

A follow-up to this article will certainly be written after September 25, the cutoff date for the end of the Israeli government's so-called moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank. For now, however, the question is whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will heed to the probable pressure from US President Barack Obama to extend the freeze or will he kowtow to his right-wing ministers and settlers who demand that the freeze end just as Bibi promised?


Jul. 5, 2010

BBC News | Israel's rocky friendship with Barack Obama  by Jeremy Bowen

If anyone doubts the power of Israel's friends in the US, they ought to sign up now for Aipac's annual policy conference.

Take a look at their website, which boasts that it attracts half the Senate, a third of the House of Representatives and "countless Israeli and American policymakers and thought leaders".


Jul. 5, 2010

The Reverend James M. Wall, Methodist, Wall Writings | 219th Presbyterian Assembly Faces Its Moment of Truth

At some point during this week, the delegates (commissioners) will vote to approve or disapprove–parts or all–a report from their own Middle East Study Committee (MESC), a report two years in the making. written by a cross-section of church members, officials and clergy.


Jul. 5, 2010

The Huffington Post | How Gilad Shalit Will Save Netanyahu by Jamal Dajani

Mark my words, Gilad Shalit is coming home. He will soon be set free but not because of German mediations or the thousands of appeals made by his parents and their supporters. He's coming home because Bibi needs Gilad more than Gilad needs him.


Jul. 5, 2010

J Post | Schalit march ends day in Tel Aviv

Over 10,000 supporters joined the Schalit family towards the end of their march from Kibbutz Shefayim to Tel Aviv.


Jul. 4, 2010

BBC News | Netanyahu prepares to meet Obama

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will leave for the US on Monday for a meeting with US President Barack Obama. On his previous trip to Washington, Mr Netahyau was rebuked on how some Israeli policies were affecting prospects for peace with the Palestinians. The BBC's Wyre Davies reports from east Jerusalem.


Jul. 4, 2010

Morarwen's Mansion | A Rough Guide to Hebron, Part I (2008)

The man below is a religious Israeli who served in the army. Now he runs guided tours highlighting the abuse of the Palestinians. It's controversial and dangerous work - so why does he do it? Donald MacIntyre finds out on a unique tragical history tour.

Morarwen's Mansion | A Rough Guide to Hebron, Part II (2008)

The man who attracts such hatred from the Hebron settlers has, at only 24, already led a remarkable life. He was described by the celebrated Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, to whom he acted as a guide in the city two years ago, as "one of the righteous this country has". He was a co-founder of Breaking the Silence, the growing group of dissident ex-soldiers - the core of whom served in Hebron at the peak of the intifada like him - who have testified on the persistent abuses they say the military has committed during the years of warfare.

Morarwen's Mansion | A Rough Guide to Hebron, Part III (2008)

Another milestone in the long journey that led Shaul towards this point began early in his Army service. Shaul explains that the seminal historic event in every settler child's early education is the 1929 massacre during the riots against Jewish immigration to Palestine, when 67 Jews were slaughtered on a single day - though 435 survived after being sheltered by their Arab neighbours. And then he recalls how he saw an elderly Palestinian woman coming down from the hillside neighbourhood of Abu Snena to be greeted by settler children throwing stones at her. "I said to a child of about 10 'What do you think you are doing?' he said, 'Do you know what this woman did in 1929?'"


Jul. 4, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

The following news report is almost a week old, and the meeting has already taken place. Still we can learn what the entire Arab World is calling for.  The meeting between President Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, July 6 is critical. 

Peace, Roy 

Click here: Reuters AlertNet - PREVIEW-Saudi king seeks Obama action on Mideast peace


Jul. 4, 2010

Haaretz | Iran: World has not done enough to curb Zionist atrocities

FM Mottaki says Israel would not have raided Gaza flotilla if the UN had taken a stronger stance against 'Zionist crimes.'


Jul. 4, 2010

Haaretz | Report: Israel seizes oxygen machines donated to PA

Israel confiscated seven oxygen machines en route to hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza based on the claim that there was a chance the generators attached to the machines would not be used for medical purposes, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported Saturday.

Jul. 4, 2010

BBC News | Hezbollah 'mentor' Fadlallah dies in Lebanon

He welcomed the election of Barack Obama as US president in 2008, but last year expressed disappointment with his lack of progress in the Middle East, saying he appeared to have no plan to bring peace to the region.

Jul. 4, 2010

Haaretz | Israel can't be trusted to probe Gaza flotilla raid, say Rachel Corrie's parents

"Our personal experience has made it all too painfully clear that the Israeli government is unable or unwilling to adequately investigate itself and that the U.S. does not, apparently, have the ability or will to compel such an investigation," the Corries said.

Jul. 4, 2010

Crazy Country, Adam Keller | Get out -- no matter where to?

In 1967, just after the Israel Defense Forces soldiers captured the whole of the West Bank, Yigal Allon came to see the place. He was at the time a senior government minister, considered a serious candidate for prime minister. Allon went to Nablus and Hebron and didn't like what he saw: too many Arabs, they could become a demographic threat. But to the east, at the Jordan Valley, his eyes lit up - the Arab population there is thin on the ground, and the region seemed fit to be annexed, so as to expand the borders of Israel.

Allon's plan has never formally been approved by any government, but its implementation began vigorously, already in 1967. One by one model kibbutzim and moshavim were established (not settlements, God forbid, just enlightened communities of the progressive Israeli Labor movement.) There was only one remaining problem - the Arabs. True, their population was sparse and scattered all over the Jordan Valley, but still they are there. The ideal - a Jordan Valley completely free of Arabs - is still far from realization.

Jul. 4, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | A Broomstick Can Shoot 

Immediately after the Turkel Commission was set up to investigate the flotilla incident, Gush Shalom filed a petition to the Supreme Court of Justice against its appointment. We demanded its replacement by a full-fledged State Commission of Inquiry. The court hearing was fixed for last Wednesday. But on Tuesday afternoon, the Attorney General’s office called our lawyer, Gabi Lasky: the Prime Minister had decided at the last moment to increase the powers of the commission, and the government was about to confirm the change. Therefore, the Attorney General asked us to agree to a postponement of the hearing for ten days. Not a single Israeli newspaper had published a word about our application – something unthinkable if it had been the initiative of a right-wing organization. But after the change, it became impossible to ignore it anymore: almost all papers pointed out that our application had played an important role in Netanyahu’s decision.


Jul. 3, 2010

Ma'an News Agency | Gaza father appeals to Saudi king to save son

A father from Gaza appealed Saturday to the king of Saudi Arabia help secure urgent medical treatment for his son, not yet one year old, in need of a kidney transplant.

...A report released on Tuesday by Physicians for Human Rights accused Israel of severe violations of medical ethics, saying its policy of allowing treatment for only life-threatening cases, and then only at times of general political calm, was in contravention of international law, international human rights law, and the UN convention on torture.


Jul. 3, 2010

Ma'an News Agency | Paris: Donors call on Israel to live up to commitments

International donors funding projects and services in Palestine gathered in Paris on Thursday, where they called on Israel live up to its promises on the Gaza blockade, and to ease West Bank movement restrictions.


Jul. 3, 2010

Haaretz | Twilight Zone / A night in Hebron by Gideon Levy

Soldiers seized a high-school student, held burning cigarettes to his forehead and hands and cut his cheek with a penknife.


Jul. 3, 2010

Eileen Fleming, We Are Wide Awake | What's Wrong with American Christians?

This American Irish dissident with Russian and Jewish DNA came to know Jesus as a social justice NONVIOLENT Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who agitated Temple and State during my first of seven trips to Israel Palestine in 2005, and ever since I have irritated many Christians who are more interested in socializing than in the social gospel. 


Jul. 3, 2010

Holylander's Blog | The case of St. John’s Hospice

Is it the Israeli law or the incompetence of the lawyers of the Church?  


Jul. 3, 2010

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights | Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory ( 24-30 June 2010)

Israeli forces continue systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.


Jul. 3, 2010

Zenit | Holy Father's Address to Iraqi Envoy

"The Fundamental Rights of All Should Be Recognized, Protected and Promoted"


Jul. 2, 2010

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America | ELCA Presiding Bishop Leads Middle East Talks with White House Official

"The greatest antidote to religious extremism in the world is to see us, who are not religious extremists, consistently work with people of other faiths to achieve a just and lasting peace; and for people to see successes from these efforts," Hanson said.


Jul. 2, 2010

Letters from Palestine | New Book: Palestinians speak about their lives, their country, and the power of non-violence by Kenneth Ring and Ghassan Abdullah

Many books have been written dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the pro-Israeli perspective. However, relatively few reflect the Palestinian point of view. Letters from Palestine is one of the rare books that offers an American audience the chance to listen to and learn about the lives of actual Palestinian people as they describe what it is like to live in the occupied territories of the West Bank or Gaza, or to grow up as a Palestinian in the U.S. Their accounts are lively, poignant, searing, tragic, yet often laced with touches of surrealistic humor. Most of all, they show Palestinians in all their humanness and will help American readers see beyond the usual stereotypes. The stories in this book are meant to introduce Americans to contemporary Palestinians who represent both the traditions of their culture and the bright promise of their future.

All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Atfaluna School for the Deaf in Gaza or to NGOs in the West Bank fighting against the Occupation.


Jul. 2, 2010

Travel Weekly | Israeli tour guides permitted in Bethlehem by Michelle Baran

Israeli tour guides and tour operators have been permitted to return to Bethlehem for the first time in a decade.


Jul. 2, 2010


The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav  Fykse
Tveit has congratulated the United Kingdom's National Methodist  Conference
“important and forward looking resolutions by your church  around the
question of a just peace for Palestine and Israel.”

Jul. 2, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

Tuesday, July 6, is a day to mark on our calendars.  Benjamin Netanyahu will return to the White House for talks.  Note the concluding paragraph in particular.  

Also on Tuesday the Queen of England will address the United Nations General Assembly.  See:  Queen to make historic appeal for world peace

Peace, Roy


Jul. 2, 2010

Center for Constitutional Rights | Rights Group Files FOIA Requests Regarding Israel Attack on Flotilla Delivering Aid to Gaza

Yesterday, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed eight Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests regarding the United States government’s knowledge of, and actions in relation to, the May 31, 2010 attack by Israel on a flotilla of six vessels in international waters seeking to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, and U.S. policy towards the blockade of Gaza, which has entered its fourth year. The FOIA requests were made to a number of U.S. departments and agencies, including the Coast Guard, the Department of State, the Navy and the U.S. European Command.


Jul. 2, 2010

Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bil'in | Dozens suffer from tear gas inhalation in Bil'in Friday 2 July 2010

The protesters went together singing, some dancing and saying slogans up to the wall. There the soldiers were waiting on the other side, and the protest went on for about ten minutes before soldiers started shooting tear gas and sound grenades into the crowd, and into the farm land.


Jul. 2, 2010

The Methodist Church of Great Britain | Methodist Church to boycott goods from illegal Israeli settlements

The Methodist Church has today voted to boycott all products from Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, and to encourage Methodists across Britain to do the same.


Jul. 2, 2010

Zenit | Pius XII's Efforts to Save Jewish Culture Revealed

The recently opened sections of the Vatican Secret Archives have revealed that Pope Pius XII not only helped save thousands of Jews, but also their patrimony, from the Nazis.


Jul. 1, 2010

New York Times | The Two Sides of a Barbed-Wire Fence by Nicholas D. Kristof

The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is widely acknowledged to be unsustainable and costly to the country’s image. But one more blunt truth must be acknowledged: the occupation is morally repugnant.


Jul. 1, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Reflections: Italia-Palestina

Israeli colonization in Palestine over the past 62 years came rather late in the the history of humanity after most countries [had] abandoned colonialism. It has all the usual characteristics of colonization but also required the added 'feature' of being built on layers of religious and other mythologies.

...this issue of Israel/Palestine is critical for all. If we want our lives to be meaningful, we cannot ignore this issue. We are fortunate in being able to effect a change in history at this critical junction.


Jul. 1, 2010

World Council of Churches | Week of Prayer 2011 looks to Jerusalem for essentials of unity

Next year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be grounded in the experience of the churches in Jerusalem. Resources in five languages have already been made available on the website of the World Council of Churches (WCC).


Jul. 1, 2010

World Council of Churches | Statement on Status of Jerusalem drafted in 1998

The WCC has repeatedly addressed the question of Jerusalem since 1948. Jerusalem has been at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict since the time of the League of Nations Mandate and Partition, yet the issue of Jerusalem has consistently been postponed to "future negotiations" due to the complexities of the issues involved. The inability of the parties and of the international community to settle this question has left Jerusalem vulnerable to a series of unilateral actions which have radically altered its geography and demography in a way which violates especially the rights of Palestinians and poses a continuing threat to peace and security of all the inhabitants of the city and the region.


Jul. 1, 2010

Uruknet | Israel transfer of Hamas men from Jerusalem may be war crime, UN envoy says

Israel's intention to expel four Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem to the West Bank could constitute a war crime, a UN human rights expert charged on Tuesday.


...Falk also criticized Israel's plan to demolish some 20 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, calling it illegal and saying it reflected its systematic bid to drive Palestinians out of the holy city.


Jul. 1, 2010

If Americans Knew | The Costs of Occupation: A Better Blockade?

Here's a question: Since the blockade is illegal under international law, could the Palestinians of Gaza organize some kind of class action suit against Israel and seek compensation for the agonies they have suffered since 2006? For all those dead due to lack of access to care? The children stunted due to malnourishment? The school years lost, the crops and land and infrastructure destroyed. The list is long, but it is long past time to total up and claim the costs of Israel's occupation.


Jul. 1, 2010

Travel Weekly | Former U.K. leader focuses on tourism to build up Palestine by Arnie Weissman

Some pilgrims were willing to put up with a certain degree of inconvenience and unpredictability to visit Christianity's holiest sites, especially Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, built over the site believed to be Jesus' birthplace.

But other West Bank attractions, including ruins in Sebastia and Jericho, and even Old Testament sites like Jacob's Well in Nabulus or Abraham's Tomb in Hebron, disappeared from the itineraries of tour operators.


[Note: See Holy Land Institute for a pilgrimage that goes to Bethlehem, Nablus, and Jericho as well as Jerusalem and Galilee and Jordan]


Jul. 1, 2010

The Huffington Post | Gaza Flotilla: Global Citizens Must Respond Where Governments Have Failed by Stéphane Frédéric Hessel

"Non-violent citizen-led initiatives, exemplified by the Flotilla and the various boycott and divestment campaigns around the world, present the most promising way to overcome the failure of world governments to stand up to Israel's intransigence and lawless behavior." --Stéphane Frédéric Hessel


Stéphane Frédéric Hessel is a diplomat, former ambassador, French resistance fighter and BCRA agent. Born German, he obtained French nationality in 1937. He participated in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.




Disclaimer: The views expressed in the Al-Bushra articles and posts are not necessarily those of Al-Bushra or its owners or volunteers, but are solely those of the individual authors. Al-Bushra does not compensate the authors for their contributions and takes no responsibility for the articles and their contents.

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31 Jul 2010