Israel-Palestine News Compiler

The pitfalls of Palestinian national consciousness

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 28, 2009
Fatah leaders, including some of those newly elected to the Fatah Central Committee, pray next to the tomb of the late Fatah leader and founder Yasser Arafat, 13 August 2009.

Fatah leaders, including some of those newly elected to the Fatah Central Committee, pray next to the tomb of the late Fatah leader and founder Yasser Arafat, 13 August 2009.

True, the conference was held on Palestinian soil, but, ironically, under the watchful eye of Israeli soldiers. The failure of the Palestinian Liberation Movement (Fatah) to achieve any of its declared goals was symbolized in its holding the conference under occupation. This reflects not only the demise of Fatah — the faction that dominated the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for decades — but the general demise of contemporary Palestinian nationalism.

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Gideon Levy: Swedish article on organ harvesting was cheap and harmful journalism

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 27, 2009

The bizarre Swedish report led to a no-less-bizarre Israeli response. Bad and irresponsible journalism crossed paths with bad and irresponsible diplomacy. Instead of simply denying the report, Lieberman, true to form, acted like a bully. In his fiery response – from his disrespectful mention of the Holocaust to identifying every criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism, to his ludicrous demand that the Swedish Foreign Ministry condemn the article – Lieberman caused great diplomatic damage to Israel. He even scandalously attacked Norway for marking the 150th birthday of its greatest author. However, the article’s damage to the fight against the occupation cannot be ignored.

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Quiet slicing of the West Bank makes abstract prayers for peace obscene

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 18, 2009

The conclusion is obvious: while paying lip-service to the two-state solution, Israel is busy creating a situation on the ground that will render such a solution impossible. The dream underlying Israel’s plans is encapsulated by a wall that separates a settler’s town from the Palestinian town on a nearby West Bank hill. The Israeli side of the wall is painted with the image of the countryside beyond the wall – but without the Palestinian town, depicting just nature, grass and trees. Is this not ethnic cleansing at its purest, imagining the outside beyond the wall as empty, virginal and waiting to be settled?

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Abe Hayeem: Boycott this Israeli settlement builder

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on April 30, 2009

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office must be commended for its decision to cancel renting premises for the UK embassy in Tel Aviv from the company Africa-Israel, owned by Israeli businessman and settlement builder Lev Leviev. This is an encouraging step that should now be backed by stronger sanctions against the building of the separation wall and the building of illegal settlements by Israel. Furthermore, the governments of Norway and Dubai should emulate the example set by the UK and sever their relationships with Leviev’s companies.

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Mashal to British MPs: “If we find another way to end the occupation – we’ll use it”

Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on April 24, 2009

During the videoconference Mashal stressed the necessity of pressuring Israel to put an end to its occupation of the West Bank and its siege on Gaza. He explained that “if we [Palestinians] find another way to end the occupation – we will use it,” but noted that all efforts to seek help from the international community had failed.

The Hamas leader stressed the party position that it will recognize Israel when it withdraws to the 1967 borders, and reiterated that any settlement between the sides will necessarily include such a proviso.

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Robert Fisk: How can you trust the cowardly BBC?

Posted in Opinion Pieces by beyondtheborder on April 17, 2009

Even when the International Court in The Hague stated that the Israeli wall was illegal – the BBC, at this point, was calling it a “fence”! – Israel simply claimed that the court was wrong.

UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 called upon Israel to withdraw its forces from territories that it occupied in the 1967 war – and it refused to do so. The Americans stated for more than 30 years that Israel’s actions were illegal – until the gutless George Bush accepted Israel had the right to keep these illegally held territories. Thus the BBC Trust – how cruel that word “trust” now becomes – has gone along with the Bush definition of Israel’s new boundaries (inside Arab land, of course).

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Barak orders closure of Palestinian territories

Posted in Miscellaneous by beyondtheborder on April 7, 2009

Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, instructed the army to impose a strict closure over the occupied Palestinian territories starting on Monday at night until midnight on Saturday April 18th as the Jews mark the Pesah (Passover) holiday.

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Israeli soldiers physically abused a PRCS medical team during its humanitarian mission

Posted in Miscellaneous by beyondtheborder on April 6, 2009

When the PRCS ambulance reached the Beit Ummar junction, the Israeli soldiers stopped it and obliged the driver to step out of it. Without any provocation one of the soldiers hit the driver on the head using his weapon. The soldier said “what are you doing here in this time?” Another soldier forced the PRCS medic to get out of the ambulance and physically abused him. The medical team explained to the soldiers the urgency to reach the wounded. After 20 minutes had elapsed the soldiers allowed the ambulance to pass.

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Motorola drops bomb fuse unit following boycott campaign

Posted in Activism, BDS Campaign by beyondtheborder on April 6, 2009

Motorola has sold a controversial unit that produced bomb fuses and other equipment for the Israeli military, according to the Israeli financial newspaper Globes. The sale rids Motorola of some activities that had made it the target of a growing boycott in the US and worldwide. No explanation was offered in the media reports for the sale by Motorola Israel — a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola — of its unit called Government Electronics Department (GED) to the Israeli company Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd.

The sale came just days after a 30 March protest in Brooklyn by The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel (NYCBI) kicking off a city-wide campaign to boycott Motorola over its support for Israeli apartheid. Ryvka Bar Zohar from NYCBI commented, “We are heartened that Motorola has eliminated at least its production of bomb fuses for bombs that Israel dropped on the Palestinian and Lebanese people. But we will continue our campaign to boycott Motorola until it is clear that it has eliminated production and sale of all products used to support Israeli apartheid.”

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Stuart Littlewood: Student Foils Israeli Bid to Wreck Family’s Hopes

Posted in Arrests, Detentions, Kidnappings, Checkpoints, Restrictions on Movement, The West Bank by beyondtheborder on April 6, 2009

In 2004, the Israelis arrested her eldest brother, a 22 year-old artist who designed posters and banners for university student groups. They accused him of taking part in student political activities, which can mean anything from running for student council to organizing speaking events, and for this he spent 4 years in prison.

In 2007, they came back for Merna’s 18-year-old brother. He is still incarcerated under ‘administrative detention’, which means he hasn’t been charged or sentenced for any crime because the Israeli military claims to have secret evidence, which only a military judge can see. The Israelis use this device to lock up Palestinians – mostly students – for up to 6 months, to be renewed if the mood takes them. Merna’s 19 year-old cousin is also in prison waiting to be charged with a ‘crime’.

Merna in Azzeh Camp where she lives. The bright smile hides a steely determination

Merna in Azzeh Camp where she lives. The bright smile hides a steely determination

Then a few months ago the military came again, this time to take her youngest brother. Merna was in despair. He had only just turned 16. “As he was being taken away, he told us to take care of ourselves,” said Merna, her eyes brimming with tears. “He’s my little brother!  He is the one who needs taking care of. What is he doing in an awful prison cell and how are his spirits?”

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