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November 19, 2005

Middle East News Round Up From a Sister WILPFer

Katharina Harlow is an amazing activist whom I have unfortunately only met via email and conference call. She occasionally sends out compendiums of Middle East News and our WCUSP leadership team would like to make this available to a wider audience. I re-ordered the clippings, to emphasize US involvement.

WCUSP = Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East, a national campaign of the US Section of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
Salaam-Shalom to you from Katharina

How did the Presbyterians move from passing resolutions to proposing action against corporations that support the Israeli occupation? This move did not start, as some critics would claim, with Naim Ateek, an Anglican priest in Jerusalem who directs Sabeel, the Jerusalem-based ecumenical peace center. Aggressive supporters of Israel have been attacking Ateek and Sabeel. The focus on Ateek is ironic, since he advocates a nonviolent approach to ending the occupation.

Rice Trip Raises Concern Over U.S. Pressure on Israel
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's unusual personal involvement this week in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations over a border crossing in Gaza has some Jewish organizations voicing concern about American pressure on (OCCUPIED) Jerusalem.

N.Y. Jewish leaders lobby Rice on Gaza Strip border deal
In particular, the sources said, they urged her to take a tough line against Israel, especially on issues such as a settlement freeze and dismantling illegal settlement outposts.

Dare We Hope?
For that, the United Nations called an urgent Security Council meeting which ordering Syria to cooperate with Mehlis, or risk economic sanctions, among other possible penalties. It seems the UN can only find effective means to enforce its resolutions when the offending party isn't Israel, toward whom the UN either turns a blind eye or claims powerlessness.

All he is saying is - give peace a chance
Coincidentally, that same morning, the special emissary of the Quartet had been the chief intermediary in an agreement that, for the first time, grants Palestinians a certain authority that bears a similarity to independence. Six months after complying with President George W. Bush's request to rescue the Gaza Strip from the siege imposed on it by his friend Ariel Sharon, the Australian Jew with the gray shock of hair was raising a glass and toasting "Lechaim."

Clinton: Iraq war "big mistake"
"The mistake that they made is that when they kicked out Saddam, they decided to dismantle the whole authority structure of Iraq. ... We never sent enough troops and didn't have enough troops to control or seal the borders," Clinton said. As the borders were unsealed, "the terrorists came in," he said.

Walls of Jerusalem's Old City in danger of collapse
Large sections of the 16th century walls surrounding Jerusalem's Old City are in danger of collapse unless they undergo immediate restoration. According to an engineering survey conducted by the Israeli Antiquities Authority, 380 metres (yards), or one-tenth, of the walls' extension are in immediate danger of collapse, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported on Friday.

VIDEO: Protests in Bil'in
The apparently un-Semitic features of some of the Israeli soldiers prompted us to question their origin, in which some willingly answered: Poland, Russia, and Bulgaria. A Palestinian standing behind us immediately asked: "So why are you here with guns forcing me out of my land?". One of the Israeli soldiers then stepped towards the questioning Palestinian in an attacking motion threatening hurt him for questioning the soldiers, reminding the Palestinian of his formidable power.

NCLD: "Israel is isolating Jerusalem"
The National Office for Land Defense based in the West Bank city of Nablus, warned that Israel is attempting to isolate Jerusalem from its surrounding Palestinian areas by announcing the EJ 1 settlement project which extends on 21.000 Dunham's of Palestinian lands between Maale Adumim settlement and Jerusalem.

Construction in West Bank continues despite road map

Tenders have been issued for 315 housing units in the territories since the beginning of the year. The most recent tenders were issued 24 hours after Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said "the settlement blocs will continue to be Israel's eastern border in the future."

IOF Wounds a Citizen East of Gaza, a Child in Ramallah

Local sources revealed that Israeli soldiers backed by tanks and armoured vehicles swept into Silwad town and opened fire at a child, seriously wounding him. They added that Israeli soldiers kidnapped the boy and took him into an unknown place.

IDF troops shoot Palestinian teen playing with toy gun

Israel Defense Forces troops in the West Bank on Friday shot and wounded a Palestinian teenager playing with a toy gun, whom they had mistaken for an armed militant, Israel Radio reported Friday.

Palestinians Reforming Foreign Service
The Palestinians are cleaning out their embassies around the world, removing entrenched ambassadors and establishing a code of conduct in reforms aimed at transforming their calcified foreign service into a professional diplomatic corps, officials said.

Let them breathe
The economy will rely on agricultural exports. Those and other products will leave not via Rafah but by the Kerem Shalom goods terminal to Egypt, which will stay under Israeli control with PA officers present; and via the Karni crossing, the gateway via Israel for goods both to the West Bank, virtually a separate part of the Palestinian economy since the second intifada began in 2000, and to the rest of the world, since Gaza does not yet have a working seaport or airport.

Court orders Ramle to renew bus service for Arab children
The Ramle municipality was yesterday ordered to continue to provide a bus service to 50 school children from an Arab neighborhood adjacent to the city. The order was given as an interim injunction by the Tel Aviv District Court, pending the continued debate on the petition filed by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) against the suspension of the bus service.

Ulster police chief to lead EU mission in Palestine
A senior officer with the Police Service of Northern Ireland has been chosen to head up a new European Union police mission in the Palestinian territories. Mr McIvor has spent the last 20 months working on the development of civil policing in the Gaza and West Bank areas.

PNA condemns killing of two militants in W. Bank
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) condemned on Thursday the killing of two members of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the armed wing of the ruling Fatah movement led by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, near the West Bank city of Jenin.

Palestinians postpone first-ever Fatah party primaries
The Palestinians' ruling Fatah party postponed its first ever primaries, which had been scheduled to start Friday, saying it was unprepared to run the poll and citing internal dissent and extortion attempts by violent activists.

Arab MK: Syrian FM told me he's pleased with Peretz's election
MK Talab al-Sana (United Arab List) told Israel Radio on Friday that Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Shara believes the election of Amir Peretz as Labor's chairman brings hope to Damascus he would be a partner to peace negotiations.

Shalom: If PA decides to fight terror, Israel will reciprocate
If the Palestinian Authority makes the strategic decision to fight terror then Israel will respond with a return to negotiations and the road map, Army Radio quoted Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom as saying Wednesday. ( Terror = Acting Against Illegal Occupation! )

Sharon to decide this weekend on quitting the Likud
Sharon's need to decide quickly stems from the fact that new elections are only a few months away: At a meeting between Sharon and Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz yesterday, the two decided that the vote would take place sometime between the end of February and the end of March.

Independent Sharon party would trounce Likud
Amid mounting speculation that the premier is about to jump ship, the survey for the Yediot Aharonot newspaper showed that a centrist party led by him would win 28 of the 120 seats in the Knesset (parliament) against 18 for Likud. The survey also showed that the centre-left Labour party would win 28 seats if an election were held today.

Sharon camp: Netanyahu bid is of little concern
Associates of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is expected to decide this weekend whether he will stay in the Likud or form a new party, say that a primaries challenge from MK Benjamin Netanyahu is not a major factor in his decision.

Israel detains whistleblower Vanunu at checkpoint
Israeli police detained nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu on Friday as he tried to pass through a West Bank checkpoint in an apparent violation of restrictions imposed after his release from prison in 2004.

India can push forward peace process: Palestine
"We are confident the Indian government will continue to take keen interest in solving the region's problems," he said. India's pledge of $15 million to the Authority would also go a long way in revitalising Palestinian economy, the ministry said in a statement.

Palestinian UN refugee agency appeals for cash
"We have a $13-million deficit and we have no new pledges except from Italy which promised one million dollars," Karen Koning Abu Zayd told a news conference in Shuneh, on the Jordanian shores of the Dead Sea.

Vatican sets conditions over Israel papal visit
Diplomatic sources said however that the Vatican had set firm pre-conditions for such a visit. The Vatican wants decade-long negotiations over the legal and financial status of the Roman Catholic Church in Israel to be concluded before Benedict sets foot in Israel, the sources said.

Bill offers funds to settlers who move inside fence
It's the second such bill to be proposed, as Labor Party chairman Amir Peretz has also filed a similar bill. Peretz's bill differs from theirs in that it looks at the settlement as a whole, offering compensation only if 60 percent of the community agrees to leave.

For justice, please hold
I innocently believed that the Or Commission's mandate included truth and consequences for the death of Asil Asleh, a beloved friend to me and his Arab and Jewish comrades in the Seeds of Peace coexistence program. Asil was killed by police at a demonstration in his village of Arabeh - one of 13 Palestinian citizens of Israel killed during the terrible days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur 2000.

Israeli-Arab to join Betar to dispel racism reputation
The reports noted that Betar has the reputation of being a racist, anti-Arab club, and Gaidamak, who wishes to build Betar as an international brand, decided the time was ripe for a dramatic move.

At least 82 killed in bombings in Baghdad, northeastern Iraq
The suicide attackers targeted the Sheik Murad mosque and the Khaniqin Grand Mosque - both homes to Shi'ite Muslims - in Khanaqin, 140 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, as dozens of people were attending Friday prayers, police said. The police command said 74 people were killed and 75 injured in the largely Kurdish town.

Posted by cj at November 19, 2005 7:41 AM


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