Today in Palestine! ~ Sunday, 11 September 2011 ~

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid

OCHA: Movement restrictions in occupied West Bank affecting 200,000 Palestinians
A fresh report by OCHA said that the Israeli occupation authorities set up 522 obstacles across the West Bank, marking a four percent increase since a similar report made June 2010.

The Jaouni family, fighting for their right to remain in Jerusalem, is stuck in an area annexed to the capital but left outside the separation wall.
As schools around the world begin another year of instruction, one school, near to completion in one of the most grief-stricken and resilient areas of occupied Palestine, has suffered a massive set-back because the Israeli military has carried away its infrastructure- the Vittorio Arrigone school, in the small village of Ras Al Auja
George Rishmawi is a dedicated activist from Beit Sahour who I’ve known since 1999 when we stood in front of Deiheshe Refugee Camp as he told the story of Palestinian nonviolent resistance against the background of the ordeals of occupation. Over the years we have visited each other’s homes and met at conferences. I have had the opportunity to travel with George through the varied landscapes of Palestine which he knows so well and meet his network of friends and associates from Hebron in the south to Jenin in the north. Today Dara, Jared and I joined George as he translated speeches from elected officials in Jenin to a special program out of the University of California schools called the Olive Tree Initiative. About 33 Jewish, Israeli, Palestinian, Muslim and Christian students travel together to learn each other’s narratives and develop a sensitivity to ‘the situation’ by being on the ground.

At-Tuwani – During the night between the 8th and the 9th of September settlers from the Israeli settlement of Suseya set fire to a house-tent in the palestinian village of Susiya. Around 1.00 am the settlers took a tyre that was inserted in a nearby wall, set fire to it and threw it against the outside wall of the house. The plastic tent covering the house took fire immediately. The owner, awakened by the smoke was able to move out a of the tent a gas cylinder that was near the fire; once out of the burning tent the man saw some torch lights in the valley below the village heading toward the settlement of Suseya. When Israeli army and police arrived, called by the villagers, the lights were still in sight but nor the soldiers nor the policemen followed or stopped the people carrying them.
SALFIT (Ma’an) — Farmers say Israeli settlers unleashed pigs overnight Saturday to destroy their land in Salfit in the northern West Bank. Palestinian farmers told Ma’an that the pigs destroyed a fence and broke branches on fig trees. They said they were afraid to remain on their land and appealed for help to protect their property.
Rightist group, founded by late Rabbi Meir Kahane, is bringing volunteers to counter Palestinian marches on settlements planned for week of September 20.
Palestinian Activism / Israeli Regime Against Protesters

Help us release Ni’lin’s Ibrahim Srour from Israeli prison

When I was in prison for organizing protest in my village of Bil’in, I knew that if I make bail or have to pay a fine to be released, someone would pay it. Worrying about such technicalities was literally the last thing on my mind. But now that I am free and other protesters are in prison, that knowledge has turned into a responsibility. My responsibility is to make sure other don’t have to worry about it as well.

Today, twenty-five Palestinian, international, and Israeli activists peacefully marched towards an Israeli Apartheid fence built on Palestinian land in the village of Beit Ommar. When they reached the fence, several activists attempted to pull the fence down as an act of symbolism against the occupation and apartheid system in Palestine, while others peacefully demonstrated on the other side of the fence on Route 60. After ten minutes of trying to bring down the fence and protesting, several Israeli military jeeps arrived and the activists stopped pulling on the fence, and joined the others on the other side of the fence on the road.

Palestinians hold non-violent protests in four West Bank villages
This week, non-violent weekly protests in four villages were in support of UN resolution 194 and in support of the statehood bid at the UN later this month

Israeli Apartheid Regime Violence
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired a number of artillery shells at agricultural land in Shujaia suburb east of Gaza city at an early hour on Friday, local sources said.
NABLUS (Ma’an) – Palestinian police on Saturday dismantled ordnance left by Israeli soldiers in a village south of Nablus, officials said. Authorities responded to a call after a man discovered an ambiguous object in the Qabalan village, police said. The object was dismantled without causing any injuries, the officials said. Police reminded residents never to approach such objects, which could be dangerous.

Medics: Israeli forces shell car in southern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Saturday fired an artillery shell at a civilian car in southern Gaza causing no injuries, medics said. Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said the car was shelled east of Khan Younis. Locals reported hearing a huge explosion near the border in the area. An Israeli military spokesman said he was not immediately aware of any shelling in the area but said he would look into it. [end]

Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment / Solidarity
How Kobe Bryant blows a hole in the Irvine 11 prosecution’s case, Max Blumenthal
Did the Irvine 11 really “shut down” Michael Oren? Or did he simply have better things to do than finish his engagement with a packed auditorium of avid pro-Israel supporters?
Universities, colleges “may be liable for massive damages” if they fail to prevent anti-Semitism on campus, Israel Law Center warns. Hundreds of US college and university presidents were set to receive warning letters on Thursday morning, instructing them of their legal obligations to prevent anti-Semitism on campus. The letters also remind universities it is their legal duty to prevent university funds from being diverted to unlawful activities directed against the State of Israel.
Siege on Gaza

Turkish PM will not visit Gaza (AP)
AP – Turkey’s foreign minister says the prime minister will not cross the border into the Gaza Strip during his trip to Egypt but warns that Israel faces “growing isolation” in the region.

Haneyya: Erdogan’s visit to Gaza historic
Palestinian premier in Gaza Ismail Haneyya has said that his government was preparing for the historic visit of Turkish premier Recep Erdogan to the Strip even it was not yet formally determined.

Tunisian aid convoy to enter Gaza soon
The Tunisian aid convoy Karama (dignity) left Carthage airport for Cairo on Saturday afternoon to deliver symbolic humanitarian assistance to the besieged Gaza Strip.


Undercover Forces Kidnap Five Youths In Gaza
Eyewitnesses reported on Saturday evening that an undercover unit of the Israeli army infiltrated an area east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and kidnapped five Palestinian youths, the Palestine-Info reported.

Israeli navy abducts 7 Palestinian fishermen at sea
Israeli navy forces attacked and kidnapped seven Palestinian fishermen from Shati refugee camp to the northwest of Gaza city while fishing at sea off the coast of the Strip on Sunday.

A Call To Release Palestinian Journalist
Lawmakers and human rights advocates must intervene to free Samer Allawi, a Palestinian who works as Afghanistan bureau chief for Al Jazeera, says the organization UFree in a press release issued today. Allawi was detained without charges by the Israeli military on Aug. 9 when he was attempting to cross into Jordan from the West Bank, where he had been visiting family. He has been held in jail ever since.

RAMALLAH: The Palestinian Prisoners Club (Nadi Al-Asir) on Saturday said that the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) barred the entry of books into prisons. The club said that the IPS barred the entry of books, of all its fields, into 23 prisons and detention camps as punishment against some 7,000 Palestinian prisoners. The club said that it prevented the families from bringing books to their relatives during their visitation. In early July, the Israeli security authorities decided to bar six Palestinian families from entering Israel for smuggling cell phones into prisons. It added that the Palestinian prisoners who are held in solitary confinement are “the biggest sufferers from the Israeli decision since the books are a sole source of engagement for them.”

Racism / Discrimination 

Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to dominate UN racism conference, Thalif Deen
A high-level UN meeting on racism, scheduled to take place later this month, looks set to be dominated by questions relating to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Kiryat Arba culture center courts controversy
Kiryat Arba’s answer to artist boycott: The local council near Hebron where a culture center is set to open next week is mulling a proposal whereby only performers who served in the military will be welcome to perform at the center. The proposal also states that artists hoping to perform at the center will have to declare their loyalty to the State of Israel. But that is not all – they will be forced to undergo an “audition” from a spiritual committee led by Rabbi Dov Lior in order to certify that the content of the performance does not go against the character of the settlement.

Political / Diplomatic / International

Since the Egyptian-brokered “tahdiya” (“calming”) between Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza took effect June 19, rocket attacks from Gaza have decreased, and Israeli public pressure on the GOE to stop smuggling via tunnels into Gaza has relaxed. However, smuggling remains an important security issue. We are working closely with Egypt to develop a comprehensive counter-smuggling strategy. Assisting the GOE with deployment of a U.S.-supplied counter-tunneling system on the Egypt-Gaza border provides Egypt with an opportunity to more fully exploit tunnels and break up smuggling rings. As Egypt moves forward into a new phase of counter-smuggling efforts, we will continue our cooperation in a variety of areas: helping interdict smuggling on Egypt’s western, southern, and eastern borders; economic development in the Sinai; border security assistance; and de-mining. End summary.

White House Memo: Obama and Abbas: From Speed Dial to Not Talking
President Obama’s relationship with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has withered, creating more obstacles to Middle East peace.

Abu Marzouk rules out unity deal will be implemented soon
Deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouq has ruled out that the Hamas-Fatah unity deal signed on 4 May 2011 would be implemented anytime in the near future.

Statehood Bid
At not more than 15 days from the UN General Assembly session on Palestine, during which the Palestinian official leadership will present an initiative on the Palestinian state to the world community, many pros and cons are being hotly debated. Yet, even without entering these debates, one of the most serious concerns is the fundamentally flawed process underlying the UN bid. It appears to be a distressing dejá-vu of past mistakes.
Palestinian leadership to make decision during a meeting in Cairo that is likely to include supporters from other Arab nations.
JERICHO (Ma’an) — PLO official Saeb Erekat said Friday that a US veto at the Security Council of a Palestinian request to join the UN would amount to a rejection of the two-state solution, “destroying” the peace process.

Mahmoud Abbas Hangs Tough on Palestinian Statehood ( – In a meeting with the Western press, Mahmoud Abbas talks about how the Palestinian Authority is going to push forward at the U.N. in September.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has decided to support the Palestinian bid for membership in the United Nations, the faction’s deputy secretary-general said Saturday. [end]
Ethan and the Israelis are “horrified” In Seeking Statehood, Palestinians Stir Concern, Ethan Bronner

Israel is horrified. To abandon Oslo, its leaders say, is to destroy any hope of negotiations, because that will rip up the legal basis for talks. If a United Nations resolution defines Palestine as within the 1967 lines, that means 500,000 Israelis will be defined as occupiers in another country. To pre-empt that, there are suggestions here to annex certain areas first or withdraw travel privileges for Palestinian officials in the West Bank. “If the Palestinians go to the United Nations, it will begin a long funeral for the peace process and negotiations,” Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s minister for public diplomacy, told a group of visitors in Tel Aviv on Thursday night.

Egypt officer shot by Israeli forces dies from injuries
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Egyptian police officer shot by Israeli forces near the Egyptian border in August died from his injuries on Saturday, a rights group said. Egyptian Federation of Human Rights chairman Nadeeb Jubrail said he was informed by the military hospital in Cairo that Imad Abdul Malak had died.

Remember that Obama never expressed concern over Cast Lead slaughter of Gaza civilians: US ‘deeply concerned’ by anti-Israel violence in EgyptWASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States is “deeply concerned” about violence in Cairo where protesters stormed the Israeli embassy, and is doing all it can to keep vital Egypt-Israel ties from fraying further, the State Department said Saturday. “We have been in contact with the Egyptian and Israeli governments about this serious incident,” and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has “reached out” to Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr to highlight US concerns, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Tantawi didn’t respond to Netanyahu, Barak during crisis
Egyptian officials claimed head of Supreme Military Council ‘could not be located’. Stranded Israeli security guards evacuated from embassy while wearing keffiyehs and Muslim garments.

Israel yesterday sent two airforce jets to evacuate more than 80 diplomats and family members after its embassy in Cairo was stormed by demonstrators. Six Israeli security guards were trapped until they were finally rescued by an Egyptian commando unit.
Officials involved in attempt to resolve mob attack on Israeli embassy in Cairo say U.S. Secretary of Defense Panetta managed to speak with head of Egypt’s ruling military only after 2 hours of repeated calling.
Speaking less than a day after Israel’s Cairo embassy was attacked by protesters, PM says Israel committed to its peace treaty with Egypt, would work to restore Turkey ties.
Israeli exporters to Egypt fear a further weakening of trade between the two countries in the wake of the riots that left Israel’s embassy in Cairo ablaze over the weekend. Egypt’s government declared Saturday it is reinstating emergency laws following the protests, which reportedly left three dead and 1,000 injured and prompted the evacuation of Israel’s ambassador to Egypt and 80 other embassy staff and dependents.
The storming of Cairo’s Israeli embassy: an eyewitness account (part I)
Despite Israeli denials, eyewitnesses verify that indeed revolutionaries broke into the Israeli Embassy in Giza, sending hundreds of documents out of the building and into the streets below.
It’s all revolution goddamit, Sarah Carr
I don’t usually like to expound on events I haven’t witnessed first hand (I was stuck at home with flu) but can’t shut up about what happened at the Israeli Embassy last night, or more specifically the response to what happened at the Israeli Embassy last night.

Israel is paying for Gaza war with Turkey and Egypt crises
During that fateful Hanukkah, the Israel Defense Forces attacked failing to see that war on their televisions as people saw it in Istanbul and Cairo.

Netanyahu now hopes that Israel might be able to get close with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States, who also seek to block the possibility of an Arab Spring in the region.
BS alert, there was never peace between the people it was peace between a dictator and an apartheid regime: Beyond Cairo, Israel Sensing a Wider Siege, Ethan Bronner

“Seven months after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime, Egyptian protesters tore to shreds the Israeli flag, a symbol of peace between Egypt and its eastern neighbor, after 31 years,” Aluf Benn, the editor in chief of the left-leaning Israeli newspaper Haaretz, wrote Saturday. “It seems that the flag will not return to the flagstaff anytime soon.”

The dumbest comment of the day, As’ad AbuKhalil
“4.43pm: US blogger Daniel Serwer, who is in Cairo, reckons last night’s violence at the Israeli embassy had more to do with discontent against Egypt’s military rulers than Israel. He also suggests (see 11.12am post) that many of those protesting could be regarded as football hooligans.”  Basically, I was expecting that they would soon call the protesters terrorists.  But when I read the New York Times today, I realized that they will settle on describing them as “football hooligans”.  My Egyptian comrade who shared pictures of the protest with me yesterday (I posted them here) does not fit the New York Times’ profile and this dumb description by this “US blogger”–whoever he is–because she holds a PhD from Oxford University and is a young academic.  But let us go along with the “US blogger”–whoever he is: so according to him the crowd was mad at the Military Council so they take it out on the Israeli embassy? Why not the Swedish embassy or Chinese embassy?  Secondly, let us say that they are “football hooligans”: are they not Egyptians with rights? I mean, Zionist hooligans are so obvious when they are in denial and when they strive to twist and spin the news in way less damaging to Israel.

Israeli media denials, As’ad AbuKhalil
As Egyptian protesters yesterday were storming the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Israeli media were insisting that all is well and that no Egyptian has entered the embassy building.  Only when Al-Masri Al-Yawm newspaper aired footage from inside the embassy did they shut up.

Moment in the Egyptian uprising, As’ad AbuKhalil
Mark my word: what happened in Cairo yesterday was a watershed in the history of the on-going Egyptian uprising, and even in the history of the Arab uprisings.  It will cause the inevitable split between the radicals and the liberals–some of whom were tools for Mubarak regime.

Erdogan slams Obama for silence on Israel’s Gaza flotilla raid
Turkish premier reiterates Ankara’s intent to refer legality of Israel’s blockade on Gaza to The Hague, saying the world will see ‘who is standing alongside the victims’.
ANKARA (AFP) — Turkish parliament speaker Cemil Cicek on Saturday blasted ideas attributed to hawkish Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for hitting back at Ankara in the row between the two countries. Israel’s Yediot Aharonot daily reported Friday that Lieberman had suggested supporting recognition by the US Senate of Armenian genocide by Turkey, backing the Kurdish separatist PKK and launching a diplomatic offensive against Ankara.

Turkey on FM’s plan: No one will extort us
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu responds to an Israeli report according to which Avigdor Lieberman plans to ‘punish’ Ankara by cooperating with its rivals, says ‘PKK has become a tool for anyone wishing to harm Turkey’

Turkey wants strong ties with Arab Spring countries
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will on Monday begin an “Arab Spring” tour to Egypt, Tunisia and Libya in a bid to forge stronger ties as relations with Israel are sinking to new lows over a flotilla row. The visit to Egypt comes amid a state of high alert declared on Saturday in Cairo after protesters stormed the building housing Israel’s embassy and clashed with police, prompting a mass evacuation of the ambassador and other staff, a Turkish diplomat said.

STATE Official: “For decades we have counted on two rock-solid constants in Israel’s favor: good relations with Turkey & Israel. Both these are now in doubt”

The many events marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, including a keynote speech on counter-terrorism strategy by Secretary of State Clinton and the threat of a new attack on an American city, will have a lasting impact on US attitudes to the Middle East. The ideological divisions about the US reaction to 9/11 still run deep in the foreign policy community and the wider public. The US orientation to the Islamic world will undoubtedly feature – often in lurid terms – in the forthcoming election cycle. The implications are important in relation to policy toward Israel. Here, Obama has telephoned his Prime Minister Netanyahu to express sympathy over the September 10th attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. Among Administration officials there is rising concern about Israel’s growing isolation in the region. As a senior State Department official explained privately to us: “For decades we have been able to count on two rock-solid constants in Israel’s favor: good relations with Turkey and Israel. Both these are now in doubt.” As a result, second thoughts are emerging about the US posture toward the reform movement in Egypt. An NSC official commented to us: “We want to keep the Israeli factor entirely separate from the Arab Spring. If public opinion starts to be inflamed on this issue, it could turn the movement in ugly directions.”  The Administration continues to work hard to deflect the potential damage from the likely vote in the UN General Assembly to recognize Palestinian statehood. Officials now see very little prospect of avoiding this, but are firm in their opposition. To compensate for its stance on this issue, US officials are, as we have noted, increasing their references to Iran as a destabilizing element. We judge this to be mainly rhetorical at this stage. Even the most hawkish opponents of Iran are not calling for military action.

Israel to defend gas after Turkey vows to boost navy patrols in Mediterranean
Energy Minister Uzi Landau says Israel will secure its rigs after Erdogan threatens to make its presence felt in the eastern Mediterranean.

Barak: Israel must address its growing political isolation
Defense Minister calls for special cabinet session, says spiraling events in the Middle East are not within Israel’s control, but ‘we can certainly affect the way we face them’.



Question from an Israeli teacher on the 1st anniversary of 9/11: ‘So looking back, how did we benefit from September 11th?’, Keren Carmeli
“So looking back, how did we benefit from September 11th?” my teacher with the lazy eye asked as we all sat around in a circle in my 9th grade classroom in Or-Akiva on the first anniversary of the event. I’d been going to Israeli schools since my family relocated to Caesarea when I was four years old and as such those around me would often forget the fact that I was half-American.

‘DailyKos’ bans Simone Daud, who sought to inject Palestinian view into US political discourse
DailyKos, the popular political site whose goal is to elect “more and better Democrats”, has silenced yet another wonderful strong Palestinian voice, Palestinian Israeli blogger Simone Daud (formerly known as palestinian professor). The move comes on the same day that the Palestinian Authority officially applied to the UN for the recognition of Palestinian statehood and seems to possibly reflect pressure on DailyKos’s moderators to tamp down divisive argument over the US alliance with Israel.

Can US Congress see beyond the orchestration and opulence in Tel Aviv?, Rev. Carolyn L. Boyd
Despite the many pressing and unrelenting national challenges facing the United States, a record 81 House members, about a fifth of the chamber, spent a week in Israel last month, courtesy of a foundation set up by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest pro-Israel lobby group in the US.

Does Zionist lobby feel comfortable with fascists marching alongside them for Israel?, Antony LoewensteinIt would seem so, as I’ve read no condemnation by the lobby of the far-right supporting Max Brenner at a protest in Sydney and Melbourne over the weekend. Being “pro-Israel” clearly trumps decency, strategic depth or human rights…

Pappe reassesses legacy of Palestinian dynasty, Asa Winstanley
Ilan Pappe’s new political biography, The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian Dynasty, profiles the history of one of Jerusalem’s predominant Palestinian families.

Science, technology, education and research: these must become the new front lines of the Arab Revolt, Rami Zurayk
In every confrontation between the powerful and the weak there is a critical point when the everything suddenly becomes clear and the reality appears as it truly is. This is when the (formerly) weak realize that the powerful are made of flesh and bones, and not very strong ones too. The realization that the strong can can be hugely weak and cowardly and that they cry and lie and cheat is a pivotal step in every liberation struggle.


One thought on “Today in Palestine! ~ Sunday, 11 September 2011 ~

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