To collect and store water in the occupied West Bank there is a planning process. Israel has changed the laws to limit representation of local Palestinians in the process. Settler representation is guaranteed by military order. A disturbing document from the Swedish NGO Diakonia, http://www.diakonia.se/about.
A founder of Human Rights Watch has moved from complaints of a general anti-Israel bias to accusing the Arab media of genocidal propaganda and the UN of fuelling anti-semitism and sees no gulf between Mahmoud Abbas and those who make their name through hate speech . 1st, an Economist critique of the article by Robert L. Bernstein, 2nd.
Mahmoud Abbas has urged further Fatah/Hamas talks. Despite its spoken opposition to the UN bid, Hamas has agreed and talks are expected in the near future, to take place in Cairo
The super-rich president and vice-president of the European Jewish Union have launched a rolling 24 hour TV channel to give an ‘independent’ Jewish view of world news which would “give more voice to Israel”. With offices in Brussels, Tel Aviv and Kiev already, they have big plans for a global reach reports Luke Browne, Media Guardian
Reports from AP (1) and Reuters (2) that the Israeli state has approved the building of 1,100 new homes for Jews in East Jerusalem has shocked and angered its partners in the USA and Europe who have pledged support for its stance at the UN. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said settlement expansion was illegal and “corrodes trust and undermines the basic principle of land for peace. We call on the Government of Israel to revoke this decision.”
The Knesset has passed the first stage of a bill bringing eemergency regulations into permanent law. State powers of detention , secret evidence, the burden of proof amongst other judicial procedures wil be changed in favour of state prosecutors and against the ‘suspect’ if the bill proceeds. Report from electronic intifada, followed by a ;position paper on the new bill from ACRI
Edward Said, born in Jerusalem in 1935, Palestinians’ “most powerful political voice” and ‘”the great intellectual of the twentieth century”‘ died on September 25th, 2003. Anthony Alessandrini takes this anniversary to examine the actions and rigorous ideas of this great Palestinian-American, especially on the necessary transformation from national to political consciousness in colonised countries
Using extensive public records Yaman Salahi set out to find out how the Israeli lobby works on campuses. Their wining and whining and dining with the Admin was no surprise, nor was the pro-Israeli lobby’s reliance on fallacies about anti-semitism. The lack of any effective opposition or pro-Palestinian lobbying was, however, a revelation.
In 2007, an IDF soldier fired a rubber bullet which struck and killed 10-year-old Abir Aramin. The Israeli statae was held responsible and now has been ordered to pay compensation (1). The person who fred the shot in violation of orders has not been identified or held responible for hs action (2)
When did any state insist another state ‘recognises’ its definition of itself as a condition for talking? Richard Silverstein reports that the Quartet (UN, EU, US, Russia) was unable to produce a ‘substantive statement’ because of US insistence that it refer to Israel as a ‘Jewish state’
A split has opened on Palestine at the UN between J Street, founded 2008 to press for American diplomatic leadership in resolving the Israel/Palestine conflict (3), and less-establishment peace groups, represented here by Tikkun, founded 1986 as a new voice for the Jewish left. (1) and their petition of support for the bid, (2)
Here three individual Jewish Americans, all ‘friends of Israel’ argue why it is in the best interests of Israel to support the Palestinian request for UN recognition. 1, Jerry Haber of Magnes Zionist, 2, Yossi Alpher, co-editor of bitterlemons.net and writer for Americans for Peace Now, 3, Rachel Biale, Jewish community activist in the Bay Area, SF
The reaction of establishment Jewish groups to the PA’s statehood request at the UN has been uniformly hostile – though not to the point of demonstrating – item 4. Jewish groups in Britain independent of the British or Israeli states are more likely to welcome the initiative. JfJfP associates itself with the statement from Independent Jewish Voices, 1. The new group Yashad, 2, also welcomes the bid. The American Jewish Voice for Peace, 4, is divided but opposes the US’s use of its veto in the Security Council
JfJfP wishes all signatories and supporters a happy new year. Rosh Hashanah is 29-30 September this year. The Union Juive Francaise pour la Paix and the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel also say Shana Tova (Happy New Year) to JfJfP and supporters
Rare and immense applause for Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the UN is reported, along with some diplomatic repercussions, in the NY Times, Al Jazeera, AFP, and New Middle East News. Last, the manifesto for a Palestine state, signed so far by over 80 leading Israelis
The suspension of 4 members of the LPO – see Musicians punished for public criticism of Israel, this page – has shocked many in the cultural industries in particular. Posted here the letters that have been printed – 1 Daily Telegraph, 2 The Times, 3 & 4, Guardian, 5 JfJfP The Independent
Outside Israel and its circle of defenders, the Palmer report into the killing of nine Turks on the Mavi Marmara has been greeted by universal disbelief and criticism. Jeremy Salt of Bilkent University, Ankara, gives a particularly lucid account of the report’s blind spots and asssumptions
A mass rally in Ramallah marks the passage of the statehood bid into the UN chambers, 1; a perceptive account of the forces that have brought the Pa to this position by Phyllis Bennis, 2; and for those who have floundered in the mass of material, a clear guide from the Afro-Middle East Centre
An IDF reservist reports on the gulf between official policy – which includes enforcing curfews and not firing tear gas at civilians – and the reality of bored, anti-Arab soldiers and officers
On 30 August 24 professional musicians, several of them Jewish, published a letter calling on the BBC to cancel the Proms concert to be given by the Israeli Philharmonic (item 3). The four signatories in the LPO have been suspended for a year (news report, item 4) on the grounds politics and music don’t mix. !. Two Guardian music writers (1 and 2) point out the absurdity of this view