Tag Archives | Palestine

Bethlehem Battle: Clergymen Clash At Birthplace Of Jesus

For once the police are called to a Christmas brawl and none of my relatives are implicated. From Bernat Armangue at Huffington Post:
BETHLEHEM, West Bank — The annual cleaning of one of Christianity's holiest churches deteriorated into a brawl between rival clergy Wednesday, as dozens of monks feuding over sacred space at the Church of the Nativity battled each other with brooms until police intervened. The ancient church, built over the traditional site of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, is shared...
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Vast Majority Of Israelis Want To Recognize Palestinian State, Poll Reveals

tumblr_lrvryfI92b1qbkts6o1_500Regarding the question of Palestinian statehood, Barack Obama nows hold a position far to the right of the Israeli populace. Raw Story writes:

Nearly 70 percent of Israelis surveyed recently said that Israel should accept a Palestinian state if the United Nations chooses to recognize it, according to a report in Thursday’s edition of The Jerusalem Post.

The poll results fly in the face of American conservatives and even President Barack Obama, who have taken the lead in discouraging the U.N. from voting on the matter, claiming that it could threaten Israel’s security.

The study was carried out by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. A further 83 percent of Palestinians said that turning to the U.N. for statehood is the right thing to do.

The United States has vowed to veto any request for Palestinian statehood at the Security Council, potentially sparking a new Middle East crisis.

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Palestinians Angry About Leaks Attack Al-Jazeera HQ

Palestine PapersIs this the kind of thing Americans would like to do to WikiLeaks? Linda Gradstein reports from Jerusalem for AOL News

Palestinians supporting President Mahmoud Abbas smashed windows and sprayed graffiti outside the West Bank headquarters of Al-Jazeera today, angry that it published documents that apparently showed Palestinian officials had agreed to Israeli sovereignty over nearly all Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.

About 250 protesters gathered outside the Pan-Arab TV channel office in Ramallah, and a few sprayed graffiti saying “Al-Jazeera are spies” and “Al-Jazeera equals Israel.” A few of the protesters then broke security cameras and windows.

The documents were published Sunday on Al-Jazeera’s website and by British newspaper The Guardian. They contradict the previously stated public positions of the Palestinians that all of East Jerusalem must be the future capital of the Palestinian Authority.

The cache of documents, which detail Israeli-Palestinian contacts over more than a decade, also show Abbas was warned in advance of Israel’s 2008 invasion of Gaza.

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Al Jazeera Publishes Confidential ‘Palestine Papers’

Palestine PapersFrom Al Jazeera’s own introduction:

Over the last several months, Al Jazeera has been given unhindered access to the largest-ever leak of confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are nearly 1,700 files, thousands of pages of diplomatic correspondence detailing the inner workings of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. These documents – memos, e-mails, maps, minutes from private meetings, accounts of high level exchanges, strategy papers and even power point presentations – date from 1999 to 2010.

The material is voluminous and detailed; it provides an unprecedented look inside the continuing negotiations involving high-level American, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority officials.

Al Jazeera will release the documents between January 23-26th, 2011. They will reveal new details about:

  • the Palestinian Authority’s willingness to concede illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, and to be “creative” about the status of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount;
  • the compromises the Palestinian Authority was prepared to make on refugees and the right of return;
  • details of the PA’s security cooperation with Israel;
  • and private exchanges between Palestinian and American negotiators in late 2009, when the Goldstone Report was being discussed at the United Nations.
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“They Are Our Government, Our Leaders—They Cannot Be Crazy”

Regions of the brain associated with stress and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Regions of the brain associated with stress and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Are the Israelis repeating Holocaust traumas upon the Palestinians?  From the July 1992 issue of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs:

Dr. Jan Bastiaans, a Dutch psychiatrist, is an authority on the Holocaust syndrome, and has treated many survivors. In 1973 he wrote, “In recent years the Ka-tzet (concentration camp) syndrome has suddenly received general recognition…This concept is concerned with…pathological processes that occurred after the war in former concentration camp prisoners…The Ka-tzet syndrome is the expression of a permanent, chronic obstruction of sound human relationships. The victims are not free from the concentration camp…Behind their adaptation facade continues to live the child or adult of [that time] in all fear, in all misery, in all powerlessness.”

Dr. Haim Dasberg, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Hebrew University and medical director of the Ezrat Nashim Jerusalem Mental Health Center, has written extensively on PTSD and the Israeli army.

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Why Won’t Israel and the U.S. Define Borders With Palestine?

israelSeems like a reasonable demand by the Palestinians – why the reluctance from Israel and big brother U.S.? From AFP:

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — The Palestinians on Wednesday called on the US administration and Israel to define borders in response to Israel’s demand for recognition as the Jewish state.

“We officially demand that the US administration and the Israeli government provide a map of the borders of the state of Israel which they want us to recognise,” senior Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo told AFP.

His remarks came after the US State Department asked the Palestinians to extend a counter-proposal to Israel’s call for recognition as a “Jewish state” in exchange for a possible extension of restrictions on settlement building.

The Palestinians rejected the offer, saying recognition of Israel’s Jewish identity had no relation to the peace process. They instead demanded that the US administration set the 1967 lines as the starting point for negotiations about final borders.

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During War There Are No Civilians

Rachel Corrie in front of Israeli bulldozers

Rachel Corrie in front of Israeli bulldozers

Was every human being on the face of the Earth just drafted?

According to Al Jazeera there’s been an unseemly instance of honesty:

“During war there are no civilians,” that’s what “Yossi,” an Israeli military (IDF) training unit leader simply stated during a round of questioning on day two of the Rachel Corrie trials, held in Haifa’s District Court earlier this week. “When you write a [protocol] manual, that manual is for war,” he added.

For the human rights activists and friends and family of Rachel Corrie sitting in the courtroom, this open admission of an Israeli policy of indiscrimination towards civilians — Palestinian or foreign — created an audible gasp.

Yet, put into context, this policy comes as no surprise. The Israeli military’s track record of insouciance towards the killings of Palestinians, from the 1948 massacre of Deir Yassin in Jerusalem to the 2008-2009 attacks on Gaza that killed upwards of 1400 men, women and children, has illustrated that not only is this an entrenched operational framework but rarely has it been challenged until recently.

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Idiot Soldier Ruins Planned Raid By Posting It On Facebook

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Generally speaking it’s a truism that nations send their most disposable, least educated and, often, dumbest, citizens off to war. But apparently there are some who are just too dumb to fight. Story from Reuters:

The Israeli military called off a raid in Palestinian territory after a soldier posted details, including the time and place, on social networking website Facebook, Israel’s Army Radio reported Wednesday.

The soldier — since relieved of combat duty — described in a status update how his unit planned a “clean-up” arrest raid in a West Bank area, the radio station said. Facebook friends then reported him to military authorities.

The Israeli military spokesman’s office had no immediate comment…

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