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Israel Prison Service Begins Negotiations to End Palestinian Hunger Strike

Israel Prison Hunger Strike
In an effort to put an end to a mass hunger strike, Israel’s prison service (IPS) has agreed to lift some restrictions imposed on Palestinian prisoners.

There are currently 1,600 Palestinian prisoners who are refusing food to protest against the conditions in which they are being held. This includes detention without being formally charged and being denied visits from family.

The strike has definitely created a stir that grabbed the attention of the United Nations and European Union, which have openly expressed their concerns. Two of the protestors, Thaer Halahla and Bilal Diab, have now marked their 72nd day without eating.

A spokesman for Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights organization, has said in an interview that some progress has been made during negotiations between detainees and the Israel Prison Service.

IPS representative, Sivan Weizman, confirmed that a meeting had taken place in Nafha prison, located in Southern Israel. However, Weizman would not release any details about the proposals that were made.

Benyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark regev, has also spoke on the matter and added that the priority is to put the strike to rest as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of prisoners dying.

Haaretz newspaper and other Israeli media outlets have reported that the IPS has now eased some restrictions and are allowing visits from relatives and access to books and educational material.

The prisoners have received an outpour of support from Palestinians. Activists have took to the streets and occupied the headquarters of the Red Cross and the offices of the European Union to seek their support.

The demonstrations have also took a violent turn when 150 Palestinians clashed with police near Ofer prison near Ramallah. There was an exchange of stones being thrown by demonstrators and police responding with rubber bullets and tear gas.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas also got involved by paying a visit to hunger strike participants in El-Bireh. He released a statement wishing for the issue to be resolved as quickly as possible.

Dear Mr. Abbas: Good Luck in September Before the General Assembly

Abu Mazen said it! He means it! Go to the General Assembly in September and fight fight fight for statehood!

I hope he wins.

Meanwhile, too many hash smoking Hashemites need to reconsider the Palestinian refugee problem!

Jordan will reportedly be voting against a Palestinian statehood bid scheduled to be put before the UN General Assembly in September.

Et tu brute?

But these are your Muslim brothers and sisters. For many of you, your blood relatives!

One state official of the Hashemite Kingdom was quoted saying:

“Jordan’s top national interests will be in danger if the Palestinian Authority declares statehood unilaterally – especially in everything related to the issue of refugees, water, Jerusalem, and the borders…”

A unilateral Palestinian declaration of state is in Israel’s best interest, said a top-ranking Jordanian official, because it wants the state to be established “within the borders of the separation fence.” This would erase the border between the West Bank and Jordan.

Jordan vehemently opposes this.

Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit said during a press conference that this was:

“The beginning of the exposure of Jordan’s decision to publicly stand its ground before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas”.

Not only does Jordan deny responsibility for displaced Jordanians from the 1967 war, or for Transjordanians, Jordan is actually preparing to cancel the identification papers provided for Palestinian statesmen and their families. The decision is part of a 1988 ruling “to disengage from the West Bank and maintain Palestinian identity“.

Today, 1,951,603 Palestinian refugees are located in Jordan. 338,000 of them are still living in refugee camps. The percentage of Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps in Jordan to those who settled outside the camps is the lowest of all UNRWA fields of operations.

Former UNRWA chief-attorney James G. Lindsay said years ago:

“In Jordan, where 2 million Palestinian refugees live, all but 167,000 have citizenship, and are fully eligible for government services including education and health care.” Eliminating services to refugees whose needs are subsidized by Jordan “would reduce the refugee list by 40%.”

PA Unity Government Means No Cash from Israel

The World Bank says it will be providing $10 million in aid to Palestinian citizens.

According to the international body the funds will go to 5,500 families in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. A similar program in 2009 and 2010 also provided direct aid to some 25,000 families. The difference this year is the expected formation of a unity government between Hamas and Fatah.

When the World Bank donation happens it will be undermining a message much of the Western world stands for. That is ignoring a unity government whose charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish State.

UnityIn a letter to Mahmoud Abbas, Republican Representative Kay Granger and Democratic Representative Nita Lowey expressed their “serious concerns” about any efforts to seek UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state, with or without a unity government.

The message said:

“Our ability to support current and future aid would be severely threatened if you abandon direct negotiations with Israel and continue with your current efforts…”

Meanwhile, as an answer to news of the Fatah/Hamas unity government, Israel will be withholding tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority. The amount is $89 million dollars, being frozen by the Finance Ministry.

Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salaam Fayyad, however said Israel’s decision to withhold money from the PA will not stop the unity agreement.

Fayyad said the PA is:

“In contact with all international influential forces and parties to stop Israel from taking these measures…Threats … will not deter us from concluding our reconciliation process. It is our policy and we must work harder to end our divisions as soon as possible…”

Teaching the Holocaust in Palestine

Hamas and Fatah refuse to allow any form of Holocaust education in UNRWA-run schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Hamas says doing so would be a “challenge to the feelings of the Palestinians.”

They accused UNRWA of conducting a political agenda that is not conducive to the interests of Palestinians and “violates their culture and unchangeable values.”

They also said it would pave the road for normalization with Israel.

“This is an attempt to impose on us the culture of normalization with the occupation…They want us to accept the tales and lies to win sympathy.”

Hamas insists the Holocaust is a lie, concocted to win sympathy with the “usurping entity” at the expense of the rights of the Palestinians.

On the matter, the Hamas ministry warned UNRWA:

“This is a flagrant intervention in the internal affairs of the Palestinians and a violation of regulations that have existed since the establishment of UNRWA.”

Representatives said schools should dedicate classes to talking about the “occupation’s terror and racism” instead.

But it’s not just Hamas. Senior Fatah official and head of the PLO “refugee department,” Zakariya al-Agha, said he too is opposed to teaching the Nazi Holocaust in Palestinian schools.

Another Fatah representative, Salah al-Wadiyeh, said the Holocuast was a “big lie.”

He said, the Palestinians, “know more than any other people the history of their enemies and their false claims and lies.”

Despite their agreement on the big Holocaust myth, however, Fatah and Hamas will not be joining up to form a unity government. Fatah representatives have spoken out about their disapproval of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s plans to keep Hamas in control of Gaza.

Meanwhile, a new joint effort between the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum and the Shas party’s Ma’ayan Hinuch Torani is working on enhancing the Holocaust education of the educational network’s haredi Sephardi students.

Palestinian Areopagitica II

Journalists

The international press freedom organization, Reporters Without Borders, has claimed that Palestinian journalists are victims of:

Palestinian journalists

“Collateral damage in the years-long conflict,between the Fatah and Gaza factions. In both Hamas’ Gaza Strip and Fatah’s West Bank, journalists are participators in a depressing and desperate game of ping-pong.”

The Reporters Without Borders piece paid special attention to Palestinian journalists held in unlawful detention, urging politicians for their release.

In august, Ahmed Fayadh of the aljazeera.net news website, part of the Palestinian media opposition to Hamas was beaten by Gaza police.

In late October, 26-year-old atheist and blogger Walid al-Husseini was jailed in Qalqilya in the West Bank for “blasphemy against the Prophet and the Koran.” al-Husseini also, prior to his arrest had created a Facebook page called, “Allah.” On it he wrote poetic stanzas imitating Quaranic verses.

Here is a piece from the young man’s blog, “Nour Al Akl” or The Enlightened Mind:

“My dear visitors, I am seeking the truth. In my writings, I am not trying to twist facts to the favor of my arguments. I am just posing questions that many of us do not dare to ask and I urge you to be honest with yourselves while attempting to find the answers. We are not two parties at war against one another. We will not be dragged into a futile attempt to prove who is the fittest by discrediting each other. If someone can refute my arguments and prove the fallacy of my logic, I will listen and respond rationally. I will not mock his opinions or manipulate words to prove my points. I am not an enemy of Islam or Muslims; after all, we are all seeking the same thing – the truth. To be more precise, I know I am not the Muslim’s best friend. I am not against Islam in particular, I am just a human being who is tired of watching the world collapse around us because of religions and religious strifes. It is ironic how Islamic scholars contribute such wars and destruction to the lack of faith. My dear believer, I urge you to use the brains you were given to seek your own truth instead of lazily relying on the misleading pacifying translations and interpretations of others. I have faith in you! I know you will not settle for fake half truths that were clearly manipulated to serve the best interest of those who promote them. I hope you are a truth seeker not just someone who is looking for a validation for what he believes to be the truth.”

Politicians

Hamas-FatahOn Monday, Fatah accused Hamas of preventing their leaders in Gaza from traveling to the West Bank to attend a party meeting.

Mediators have been talking with Hamas about permitting the members of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council to travel to Ramallah “and there has been no positive result, ” said Faissal Abu Shahla, a Gaza-based council member.

For the third time this year, Hamas rejected travel requests to the nine members who are currently in Gaza, Abu Shahla told Xinhua.

Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, elected in 2009, will meet Tuesday to discuss the peace talk stalemate with Israel and other issues. President Abbas will chair the meeting.

A Case of D.C. Dyslexia

A video by the Associated Press showed left-wingers heckling Bibi down in New Orleans. Heck, they’d jibe him even if he cooked the whole lot potato pancakes. The Jewish left-wing believes more in Palestinian Nationalism than Jewish Nationalism. Even ol’ Yassar Arafat knew that, bless his soul.

If I went down to New Orleans, though, with a flag in my hand – I might throw it at Bibi and say, “Achi, ma koray? Are we building and sustaining a Jewish State in the Middle East or are we looking at your stock portfolio on Wall Street?”

Pulling a slick one on ol’ Obama and renewing the freeze is pulling a slick one on the Jewish Country. The U.S./Israel alliance is unconditional. Zionism is unbuyable; not when it is authentic. Kill Israeli vision, hunger, pride, ingenuity. It won’t dull the sword of extreme Islamism; nor, as a result of a renewed moratorium will any left-wing, American, Jewish protestor’s dad raise their allowance.

When a written agreement with Obama’s signature comes through, (and for the sake of entertainment, these politicians will make sure it does) Netanyahu will accept 20 F35 fighter jets from the Americans in exchange for a 3 month (90 day) partial moratorium on settlement construction in Samaria – with, of course, the superficial promise that it will not be renewed. A little quid pro quo to favor America’s politically-challenged (learning-disabled?) friends in Palestine. If I were Bibi, I’d offer Ms. Clinton a bona fide “no “. I’d laugh in her face and THEN check my Wall Street portfolio (and proudly grin because my Tel Aviv portfolio is growing THAT much faster).

The Palestinians, a.k.a P-funk All-stars, want a contiguous state with Jerusalem as its capital; a return of their refugees; and the release of their prisoners. This is why there is no point extending the freeze. Who the hell are we trying to please? Oh, I don’t think Obama cares whether Jenin and Ramallah break out in a case of the Bubonic Plague. The Americans must have total control over what goes on. Always. That is what Obama politics is saying. Let the Baby Have Its Bottle and throw Zionism down the well. That is what Bibi is doing. This is what Likud politics are becoming.

Mad Lebs:

Before the D.C. Dyonisia went down, and before we start talking seriously about conceding land to Hamas, we will concede land to Hezbollah. Bibi told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon that he will convene a meeting of his inner security cabinet to approve a pullout from the divided village of Ghajar. That is land which lies on the Lebanon border – babysat by the IDF since 2006.

Said Milos Strugar, the top political adviser in the UN peacekeeping force based in south Lebanon, (UNIFIL):

“We have been discussing with both parties the specifics of the withdrawal because of the specifics of the situation where the village is divided in two…UNIFIL within its mandate is there and ready to provide all the support required by all the parties.”

This Week in Palestine

Palestinian Soccer TeamKicking the Ball Against the Wall

On Tuesday, The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was chagrined by the cancellation of the scheduled soccer match between the Palestinian National Soccer team and the Central African soccer team in Palestine, by the Central African Republic government. FIFA had slated the match for the 17th of November 2010.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an official statement, the decision is a sign of deference to Israel. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said such incidents impede the path to peace in the region, which is supported by the International Community. The Ministry claimed that it illustrates the link between politics and sports. The Ministry forgot about the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

The so-called link between politics and sports, which the Palestinians claim should not exist, has slighted Israel so often in the past. Israeli tennis talent, Shahar Pe’er was refused a visa by the United Arab Emirates, preventing her from competing in the Sony Ericsson World Tennis Association Tour in Dubai, in February of 2009.

Ever since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iranian athletes have refused to compete against Israeli athletes in international sporting events. Iran lost a possible medal and points in the 2010 World Wrestling Championships in Moscow, earlier this year when the Greco-Roman wrestler Taleb Nematpour refused to compete against his Israeli rival for the championship match. He said:

“I avoided the match as a sign of sympathy with the people of Palestine.”

Esmail Kowsari, a legislator and staunch opponent of any direct competition between Iranians and Israelis, claims that:

“Such justifications – made to international athletic federations and committees to avoid penalties – are unnecessary and athletes should be proud of withdrawing…I say our athletes shouldn’t even use illness as an excuse for their honourable deed…We have repeatedly announced that we don’t recognize Israel.”

When the Iranian Arash Miresmaeili refused to fight Israeli Ehud Vaks in the Judo championship of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Ayatollah Khamenei told the young athlete, “This was worth a hundred medals.”


Hamas: Ahmadinejad, Visit Gaza Like You Visited Lebanon!

This week, Hamas invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Gaza.

In an interview Tuesday with the Fars news agency in Gaza, Hamas Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmed Yousef said a visit by the Iranian president would:

“Boost the morale of the Palestinian people and the resistance.”

“We invite Ahmadinejad to visit the Gaza Strip and we are confident that this trip will be of paramount importance.”

Yousef said to the Iranian Press TV network.


Obama Inhaled Too Many Volcanic Ash Fumes in Indonesia:

U.S. President Barack Obama criticized Israel on Tuesday during a news conference in Indonesia, following an announcement on Monday that Israel has proceeded with plans to build 1,345 homes in east Jerusalem.

“This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations.”

Said Obama in Jakarta.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin

The London branch of the Ahava cosmetics store was closed for three and a half hours (11:30 am until 3pm) on Shabbat when activists, acting on behalf of the International Solidarity Movement, locked their arms together on a concrete slab with tubing leading into the middle of the shop.

The protestors were removed and consequently arrested by London Police.

Ahava store in London shut down

The aggravated trespass charge will be challenged on grounds that Ahava is an unlawful business ergo no lawful activity was stopped by the provisional blockade.

For those who have not felt the mineral magic of Ahava’s Holy Land blessed face, body and hand, bath and hair, botanic, spa, anti-aging, dermud and various other products – I feel bad for you.

You don’t know what you’re missing!

A privately held Israeli firm founded in 1988, Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories’ central location and much-visited visitors’ center is located in Mitzpe Shalem, in the spectacular Judean desert; a spitting distance from the magical Dead Sea and the freshwater springs of Ein Gedi: playground for the Syrian Brown Bear, Mountain Gazelle and Nubian Ibex, where King David hid from his persecutors and composed Psalms to Elohim.

37% of Ahava company shares are held by the settlement of Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem, 37% by Hamashbir Holdings (investment fund of B. Gaon Holdings and the Livnat family), 18% by Shamrock Holdings (investment fund of the Roy E. Disney family), and 7% by Kibbutz Kalia.

Mitzpe Shalem is about 9 km from the green line, Kibbutz Kalia too lays in disputed territory.

According to international law, a person of any nationality may establish a factory in any country, so long as they pay taxes to the local government. The Palestinian Authority does not receive any kind of bursary from the lucrative Israeli cosmetics firm, and therein is found the grievance.

To put things into context, listen to this:

Last year, while on display in London at the British Library, the antiquities minister of Jordan urged the Britons to return the Dead Sea Scrolls to them, rather than to their home at the Israel Museum. The reason? The ancient Hebrew Biblical scriptures on sheepskin parchment, dating from 50 AD and backward were uncovered in Qumran in the Judean Hills before the founding of the State of Israel, in “annexed territory.”

Come on! Like Jordanians can read Hebrew!

The “pillage” or “plunder” of materials, referencing the all-natural ingredients of Ahava products is illegal under international humanitarian law; specifically Articles 23, 53 and 55 of the Hague Regulations; Articles 51 and 53 of the 4th Geneva Conventions and Article 8(2)(b) of the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court.

Once an Israeli government official was asked about the legality behind the activities of the Ahava firm and this is what they said:

“The Palestinians did nothing with this land when they had it…And the Palestinians still have access to the Dead Sea. If they wanted to, they could set up a factory themselves.”

In November 2009, the Dutch Foreign Minister launched an investigation into the conditions which Ahava products are made to determine if the firm’s practices and location flouted international law and European Union labeling regulations.

This is what a representative of Ahava had to say:

“The Dead Sea and its treasures are international and do not belong to one nation…The company was founded out of love for the magical environs of the Dead Sea and throughout the years has been driven by a deep passion to reveal the secrets of the minerals’ rejuvenating effects on the skin. Therefore, the natural location of the factory is along the western shore of the Dead Sea.”

The Ahava factory outlet in Israel is open Sunday through Thursday 8-5, Friday 8-4, and Saturday 8:30-5.

HAMSA HAMSA HAMAS

Local United Nations spokesman, Adnan Abu Hasna says that vandals broke into a camp site in the central Gaza Strip early on Monday. Tents were burned down and much of the facility damaged.

The facility was a summer camp for children in the Gaza Strip. The left-wing media would have you think that these two are in cahoots, right? The oppressed and those who keep humanity’s delicate flame closely guarded from the oppressors. Well, this is actually the second time an attack like this has happened in the last few months.


Hamas say that they have launched an investigation into the first incident. But think about it: who else could have committed such an act? Only Hamas armed personnel have the ability to carry out such behavior.

(Jumping up and down in laughable irony with my hand covering my mouth) – let me say that while Hamas investigates, no one has claimed responsibility.

Well, the United Nations aid agency stands accused by Islamic factions of corrupting Gaza’s youth with its summer program of sports, games and human rights lessons for about 250,000 children.

The UN’s competitor is none other than Hamas, which operates camps for some 100,000 children to whom they teach lessons of Islam and military-style marching.

Al-Zahar Tells It Like It Is In England

Meanwhile, in the British newspaper, The Independent, Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar said on Monday,

“After the Mondial (World Cup) at least eight ships will come from the Gulf.” Asked whether Iranian vessels will be included, al-Zahar said, “Why not?”

He said that there would be more flotillas “than in your imagination.”

Alluding to the chance that Egypt might prevent a flotilla from the Persian Gulf passing through the Suez Canal on its way to Gaza, al-Zahar was reported as saying:

“They have the right in international law to go as the Israelis go. Egypt will never be able to stop such a campaign.”

On the question of Iranian sponsorship of the floatilla, al-Zahar said:

“I ask you about morality. Where is your morality if Iran is going to give food and drugs? What justifies preventing that?”

Al-Zahar also expressed frustration on Israel’s ignoring attempts to strike a prisoner swap deal for the release of Gilad Shalit.

He also criticized Western leaders for ignoring the Palestinian Authority elections, in which Hamas had really come out victorious. The brilliant rhetorician and insightful politician answered his own question:

“Why did the Western people boycott Hamas after the election? Because they want a new Karzai in Palestine.”

He went on and on and on:

“What is the real border of Israel? What about the occupation of Jerusalem, what about the occupation of the Golan Heights? I ask Israelis to renounce violence…I ask your country (Britain) and then the Americans to renounce violence in Afghanistan and Iraq and Pakistan and then we are going to speak about renouncing violence.”

And so it goes – just another day in the insane Middle East.

PRACTICAL PALESTINE POLICY: Pushing Pragmatism Under the Magic Carpet

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research has conducted a new poll which revealed that the vast majority of Arabs who are living under the American-backed Palestinian Authority are opposed to attempts by the PA to prevent them from working construction jobs in local Jewish communities.

This was brought to Western attention last winter in the first laps of the settlement freeze by publications such as The Christian Science Monitor and OneJerusalem.com – that is the sheer lack of pragmatism behind the freeze.

The Palestinian Authority prohibition on working in Jewish communities, such as the boycott of local Jewish products, was essentially designed to augment the effect of the 10-month settlement freeze forced down the Middle Eastern throat by one US President, Barack Obama last September. The catch is that a high percentage of Arabs living under the Fatah-led PA earn their livelihoods, sometimes solely from local Jewish construction projects.
Therefore, as writes independent Israeli reporter Avi Yellin in the IsraelNationalNews.com

“They have been some of the most unrecognized victims of the politically-motivated building freeze…”

In addition to the cruel scarcity of construction work – that is the main source of income for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, which has resulted from the US-imposed building freeze, the PA boycott on Jewish products is being ardently enforced by PA security forces. Troops trained by United States Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton, have been working to furrow out Arab merchants suspected of violating the boycott.

According to the poll, conducted between June 10 and 13, the vast majority of Arabs in Judea, Samaria and the Hamas-controlled Gaza region are opposed to being kept from working construction jobs in Jewish towns. Contrary to the staunch song sung by the press portraying Palestinian nationalists set on driving Israel from Judea and Samaria, the majority of Palestinian Arabs just want to provide food for their families.
According to the poll, the majority, that is 60% to 38% of all Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza oppose the prohibition. Deducting ancient Gaza, where Jewish citizens may no longer roam, support for the ban drops to 34% percent.

Help on the Way

The Jewish Country recently unveiled a huge makeshift detention center in Ashdod, the state’s main southern port, announcing the end of intense naval maneuvers, vowing to stop a flotilla of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who are trying to break a 3-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Masked naval commandos are to greet the eight ships deep out at sea, which was held up in Cyprus on Saturday, to escort the vessels to port and give each activist a choice: either leave the country or go to jail.

750 activists, including a Nobel peace laureate and former U.S. congresswoman, have set sail for the Gaza coast recently, carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian supplies. They say they will find a way to succeed, even if faced with Israeli ultimatums.
They are bringing “desperately needed materials to the area,” that has been under blockade by Israel and Egypt since Hamas began to call the shots in June of 2007.

Hamas Honcho bringing Fascism into fashion, Ismail Haniyeh said:

“If the ships reach Gaza, it’s a victory for Gaza…If they are intercepted and terrorized by the Zionists, it will be a victory for Gaza, too, and they will move again in new ships to break the siege of Gaza.”

Zionist Spokesman Mark Regev said:

“If they were really interested in the well-being of the people of Gaza, they would have accepted the offers of Egypt or Israel to transfer humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza…Instead, they have chosen a cheap political stunt.”

This marks the ninth time that the Free Gaza Movement, the pro-Palestinian organization behind the effort, has sent a flotilla of supplies to the strip. Israel permitted five deliveries to reach Gaza, but has not allowed any ships through since the military offensive that ended in January 2009.

(viewer discretion is strongly advised for the video shown below)

We Can’t Go On Together, With Suspicious Minds

Israeli sources have stated repeatedly that the Jewish Country would reject any move by the Barack Obama administration to set benchmarks and a timeline for peace talks with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu & Obama

International forces such as Jordan’s King Abdullah, who met with Obama in Washington recently, said the US must put pressure on both parties by setting a timeline for the peace process.

US National Security Advisor, James Jones said that the administration was mulling over ways to renew the peace talks, but no final decision has been reached.

He also made comments on recent reports in the US media, according to which Obama was “seriously considering” declaring an American peace plan for the Middle East, this autumn, to be based on the outlines presented by former President Bill Clinton at Camp David a decade ago.

Jones confirmed that Obama recently met with former administration officials to discuss formulating a new strategy for the situation. According to him, there are ongoing talks, but no surprises are being planned.

Another senior US official had this to say:

“The principal difference between now and previous administrations is the Iran problem… From our perspective, it increases the urgency of Israel keeping the international community focused on that problem and not on other problems. And the Israelis need all of us to be working together on the common goal of keeping the pressure on the Iranians to back off.”

The Test

construction of new apartments in the West BankPalestinian construction workers should be finding new work soon, as Bibi has authorized the construction of new apartments in the West Bank.

Is it:

a) To put Palestinian construction workers back to work

b) To house more Jews in Samaria…resuscitating the injured Zionist dream

c) To tell the Obama administration that Israel is NOT a territory of a Middle-Eastern American empire, and therefore under Uncle Sam’s jurisdiction, despite any amount of welcome donations, as Vice President Joe Biden arrives in the Holy Land for a piece of the Peace Talks with our Bibi and Mahmoud Abbas.

d) To deny Palestinians of their human rights

Only G-D knows!

There will be 112 new apartments in the Beitar Illit ultra-Orthodox settlement, known as the “The Torah city of the Judean Hills.”

In this action, the Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of trying to undermine the peace talks even before they began:

“If the Israeli government wants to sabotage Mitchell’s efforts by taking such steps, let’s talk to Mitchell about maybe not doing this (indirect talks) if the price is so high… put a big question mark on what it is that we came to do.”

The Palestinians presented the U.S. envoy with a document outlining their desired agreement: a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, with minor border adjustments.
This is what Bibi said after speaking to Biden:

“I believe we will succeed in advancing the diplomatic process…But the diplomatic process is not a game, it is real, and rooted first and foremost in (Israel’s) security.”

Peace Now settlement expert, Hagit Ofran said:

“The Israeli government is welcoming the vice president by demonstrating, to our regret, that it has no genuine intention to advance the peace process.”

Hamas and other known trouble-makers, have condemned Abbas’ decision to renew talks, accusing moderate Palestinians of caving in to U.S. pressure.

On Monday Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad unveiled a $3.13 billion budget for 2010, about $80 million more than last year, funded by the international community. He said that after years of a conflict-driven downturn, Palestinian government revenues are up, partly due to economic growth projected at 7% this year. Fayyad also said he will more than triple spending on development projects to $667 million, in accordance with donor countries desiring to see more money earmarked for infrastructure, health and education.

Can You Feel The Love Tonight?

“Political or not political, when you stand up on that stage in Tel Aviv, you line yourself up with a racist state,”

wrote a group of British academics in an open letter to Elton John on Monday. The British Committee for Universities of Palestine, wants to convince the singer to cancel his upcoming performance in Israel this June.

Dear Elton John:

Like much of the world, we think you’re a good bloke. You came out when it was difficult; you admitted your addictions were stronger than you were; you’ve poured money into AIDS research. Oh, and then there’s the music – not bad at all…

…But we’re struggling to understand why you’re playing in Israel on June 17. You may say you’re not a political person, but does an army dropping white phosphorus on a school building full of children demand a political response? Does walling a million and a half people up in a ghetto and then pounding that ghetto to rubble require a political response from us, or a human one?

…You’re behaving as if playing in Israel is morally neutral – but how can it be? How can the cruelties Israel practices against the Palestinians – fundamentally because the Palestinians are there, on Palestinian land, and Israel wants them to go – be morally neutral?

…Okay, you turn up in Ramat Gan, and it gets to that ‘Candle in the Wind’ moment, and thousands of lighters flicker – but there won’t be any Palestinians from the Occupied Territories swaying along with the Israelis – the army won’t let them leave their ghettoes…

The organization requested that Elton John read the Goldstone Report as well as reports from human rights groups regarding the decades of what they labeled

“crimes committed against the Palestinians.”

Head of the organization, Professor Haim Bresheeth, said:

“The letter we published is on Elton John’s homepage and is already posted on all of his fan sites on the internet, and has drawn responses that we hope will influence him not to come to Israel.”

According to Bresheeth, a similar initiative resulted in the cancellation of Santana‘s Israel show, about two weeks ago.

Bresheeth, who spearheaded the demand to place an academic boycott on Israel more than two years ago, added:

“Unfortunately, we did not succeed in convincing Paul McCartney from canceling his concert, but we will continue to take similar action in order to prevent these respectable artists from arriving in an occupying country that breaks international law. The decision ultimate is in the hands of the artists themselves.”

Here’s why Elton John should not cancel his show:

The fundamental source of the Palestinian and Israeli conflict is the former’s unwillingness to broaden their horizons and accept the impressive artistic and other accomplishments of cultures which are different than their own.


I am quite sure that if residents of Jenin were given to roam freely throughout Ramat Gan, their first stop would not be the Elton John concert. That is ridiculous.
Palestinians are no friend of the arts in England or in America. And if this is unfair or untrue, then by all means, let the good people of Palestine step up and prove it!

The Palestinians have their own universities, artists, industry, etc. So if they’re jealous, let THEM book their OWN Elton John concert.

But please, please, don’t take my Tiny Dancer…

Over-Exaggeration at the Station

Former Senior officials of the IDF stress that despite the gravity of incidents of abuse against Palestinians, they are few and far between. This claim came as a defense after a report of female soldiers’ testimonies of abuse of Palestinians. Former IDF chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak said, “Cases in which IDF soldiers abuse civilian population do exist but they are rare, and cannot be called a phenomenon.”

Former Central Command chief Yair Nave says that indeed the incidents described by the female soldiers do in fact occur. According to Nave, the reality of a soldier facing a civilian is a “forceful” one and that the army would find itself in a problem if it does not put an emphasis on the disciplinary and normative aspects.
Nave said this:

“Power blinds the eyes of the righteous and puts man in an inhumane sphere, it exists in every society…We were blessed with good soldiers and a moral code, it’s not our point of view, but there are unusual cases and they must be handled immediately, and not a year or two after the event.”

Nave stands in criticism of the Breaking the Silence organization and claims that the incidents brought to light, by it are exceptions, if not fabricated altogether. Still, he stressed that during his term as central command chief, complaints were inquired about as fast as they were submitted. He is fully confident that the IDF operates according to the highest of standards.

“One cannot say this will always be the way, and that it’s human nature. The phenomenon must be eradicated.”

Nave says that the IDF is employing various measures, such as assigning the best combat units to the field, stationing an officer or senior commander in the checkpoints on a regular basis, providing soldiers and Palestinians with various complaint mechanisms and employing the services of the women of Machsom Watch.

“The soldiers must face the commanders, there are ways of reporting and one can do it anonymously too. In the IDF, once you investigate there is no bond of silence.”

Former Chief Education Officer Ilan Harari also believes that the problem cannot be fully eradicated:

“We have a fair and moral army, and the IDF handles and educates on any issue but one must bear in mind that nothing can be fully prevented just as traffic accidents cannot be prevented.”

Harari believes the way to deal with the problem is through education and enforcing discipline. In this school of thought, the root of the problem does not lie with the army. It is important to know that such irregular manifestations exist in every sector of society. Lipkin-Shahak said:

“Look at Israeli society; kids attacking and stabbing each other. I don’t know whether it reflects on the army, but there’s irregular behavior everywhere. Only clear statements and strict enforcement will send the right message.”

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