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Here are the headlines from Mondoweiss for 10/14/2010:

Last man out of mine greets Chilean president with fervent statement about worker safety
Oct 14, 2010 12:03 am | Philip Weiss

I'm a fool for the Chilean mine story, I've watched a lot of the rescue. It has produced in me the warm fuzzy global feeling that the story has been staged to produce as international spectacle; and yes I've wondered about the political consequences of this historic event.

Well I just saw Manuel Gonzalez come out, the last rescue worker, a few minutes ago. Chilean President Pinera asked him what his last thoughts were underground, and he said, per the translator (and my memory), "I do not want this ever to happen again. I want Chile to change the way it conducts mining. I want small mines to be safe for workers."

Pinera talked about the legislation that Chile will consider to change work place safety for workers in many industries.

I find it thrilling that a workman confronted a rightwing president, at the end of a spectacle that made workers heroes, and talked about basic rights. If the miracle has global political resonance, let it be a blow for the dignity and rights of labor.

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Groundwork laid for media narrative of failed peace talks: It’s the Palestinians’ fault
Oct 13, 2010 07:10 pm | Alex Kane

With direct “peace talks” between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government headed nowhere fast after the Netanyahu government let the so-called “settlement freeze” lapse, the groundwork for the media narrative on who to blame if the “peace talks” officially break off is being laid. Predictably, it will be, and already is, a narrative of Palestinian rejectionism versus Israeli generosity.

Matt Duss, a must-read blogger on Middle East issues over at Think Progress’ Wonk Room, picks up on this, pointing to the headlines written after the Palestinian Authority said “no” to Netanyahu’s “offer” of a partial extension of the “settlement freeze” in exchange for the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestinians recognizing Israel as such would effectively sign away the Palestinian right of return and relegate once and for all Palestinian citizens of Israel to institutionalized and official second-class status (which is the case already.)

Duss writes:

As opposed to a settlement freeze, the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish State is an entirely new one. What Netanyahu is essentially saying to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, then, is that, in return for Abbas meeting this new demand, Netanyahu generously offers to partially, temporarily meet one of Israel’s already existing obligations.

Of course the Palestinian Authority has refused this “offer.” Is it really unclear why? Now let’s look at some of the headlines:

The Washington Post: “Israeli prime minister offers conditional settlements freeze”

Associated Press: “Israeli PM offers conditional settlements freeze”

Ha’aretz: “Netanyahu pleads to save talks as Palestinians threaten walkout”

Jerusalem Post: “PA quashes PM’s offer for renewed building freeze”

And thus, magically, the Palestinians have threatened the talks by rejecting yet another generous Israeli offer.

Here’s some more headlines on that theme:

-Palestinians Reject Israel’s Offer on Settlement Freeze, Voice of America News

-Palestinians Reject Israel Offer, Wall Street Journal

-Palestinians reject Israeli offer on settlement freeze, BBC News

-Palestinians reject Israeli demand, Reuters

You get the picture. Israel is now essentially saying: we will partially obey international law for 60 days (and then go back to violating it), as long as you sign away basic human rights–refugees and their descendants returning to homes they were expelled from and equality for all–forever. And media, both in the U.S., in Israel and around the world, are adopting Israel’s framing of the issue.

The media narrative of Israeli generosity and Palestinian rejectionism is an old one that was prominently displayed in the aftermath of the collapsed Camp David peace talks in 2000.

Seth Ackerman, writing for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s Extra! magazine in July/August 2002, documented the U.S. media’s telling of the Camp David story in an excellent article:

The seemingly endless volleys of attack and retaliation in the Middle East leave many people wondering why the two sides can’t reach an agreement. The answer is simple, according to numerous commentators: At the Camp David meeting in July 2000, Israel “offered extraordinary concessions” (Michael Kelly, Washington Post, 3/13/02), “far-reaching concessions” (Boston Globe, 12/30/01), “unprecedented concessions” (E.J. Dionne, Washington Post, 12/4/01). Israel’s “generous peace terms” (L.A. Times editorial, 3/15/02) constituted “the most far-reaching offer ever” (Chicago Tribune editorial, 6/6/01) to create a Palestinian state. In short, Camp David was “an unprecedented concession” to the Palestinians (Time, 12/25/00).

But due to “Arafat’s recalcitrance” (L.A. Times editorial, 4/9/02) and “Palestinian rejectionism” (Mortimer Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report, 3/22/02), “Arafat walked away from generous Israeli peacemaking proposals without even making a counteroffer” (Salon, 3/8/01). Yes, Arafat “walked away without making a counteroffer” (Samuel G. Freedman, USA Today, 6/18/01). Israel “offered peace terms more generous than ever before and Arafat did not even make a counteroffer” (Chicago Sun-Times editorial, 11/10/00). In case the point isn’t clear: “At Camp David, Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians an astonishingly generous peace with dignity and statehood. Arafat not only turned it down, he refused to make a counteroffer!” (Charles Krauthammer, Seattle Times, 10/16/00).

This account is one of the most tenacious myths of the conflict. Its implications are obvious: There is nothing Israel can do to make peace with its Palestinian neighbors. The Israeli army’s increasingly deadly attacks, in this version, can be seen purely as self-defense against Palestinian aggression that is motivated by little more than blind hatred.

As the cliche goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

This piece originally appeared on Alex Kane's blog.

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Gaza man, 26, dies of heart disease after waiting weeks for an exit permit
Oct 13, 2010 01:17 pm | Seham

and other news from Today in Palestine:

Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing
Settlers Launch Attacks On Palestinians Olive Groves In Nablus, Stealing Fruit
Palestinian sources reported on Wednesday that settlers attacked Palestinian olive groves in Boreen village, in the southern part of Nablus. The attack comes at the beginning of this year's olive harvest.

Settlers violently attack Ezra Nawi’s car in the South Hebron Hills, Joseph Dana
Last Saturday afternoon, Ta’ayush activists were helping Palestinian farmers in the South Hebron Hills near the settlement of Susya as is the custom for the last seven years. The group’s name, which means ‘working together’ in Arabic, conveys its mission to work together and break down the physical and psychological barriers between Israelis and Palestinians. The majority of Ta’ayush’s work is based on the joint agricultural  work with Palestinian farmers. The agricultural work on Saturday began quietly as it usually does. After one hour of peaceful work, settlers from the illegal outpost of Mitzpah Yair descended on the group and incited violence against them. Army patrols quickly joined the settlers and monitored the situation while the settlers verbally threatened the Israeli and Palestinian peace activists. The double standards of the occupation were on display as the settlers incites violence towards peace activists under the eye of the army while a non-violent human rights defender has just been put in jail for one year on the grounds of incitement for leading non-violent demonstrations against Israel’s separation barrier in Bil’in.

Israeli bulldozers raze 40 Araqib homes for the sixth time
The Israeli municipality teams tore down 40 Palestinian homes in the Araqib village in the Negev desert, occupied since 1948, on Wednesday under heavy police protection.

Israeli forces remove Sheikh Jarrah sit-in tent
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israel forces removed a Fatah-affiliated sit-in tent in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on Wednesday, which was erected in solidarity with 28 Palestinian families threatened with expulsion.  Fatah Revolutionary Council member Dimitri Diliani said forces had attempted to dismantle the tent overnight, but families had stayed the move. Officers returned the day after to remove the tent under tight security, he added.  Ma'an's correspondent said confrontations between forces and the families concerned broke out while the tent was being dismantled.  Diliani said Fatah would continue their protests despite the tent's removal.

Demolition, clashes and 'price tag' at West Bank outpost
Soldiers, police arriving in Ramat Migron to raze illegal structures confronted by stone-throwing settlers, who also attacked Palestinians; three Jews arrested. MK: PM appeasing Abbas.,7340,L-3968898,00.html

Israel expands 2 West Bank settlements
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli settlers on Tuesday bulldozed farmland in order to expand the illegal Eli settlement south of Nablus and in Beit Ummar expanded the Karmei Tzur settlement north of Hebron, officials in the West Bank said.  Palestinian Authority official responsible for settlement observation in the northern West Bank Ghassan Doughlas said that since morning, the bulldozers have been working on Palestinian lands south of Nablus.

Israeli Settlers Expanding A Settlement Near Nablus
On Tuesday, Ghassan Doughlas, the Palestinian official in charge of monitoring Israeli settler and settlement issues in the northern West Bank, said that Israeli settlers began to expand the settlement of Eli, South of the city of Nablus.

As Occupation Plows Lands, Caravan Returns to Property of Ra’ed Taqataqa in Beit Fajjar
Bethlehem – PNN - Occupation authorities plowed lands on Monday night and a caravan returned to the property to Ra’ed Taqataqa of Beit Fajjar, west of Bethlehem, in spite of a decision from the Israeli High Court of Justice that ruled the land belonged to Taqataqa. The hill in question falls near the main road between Beit Fajjar and Wam Salmuna.  Taqataqa reported that after soldiers began plowing parts of the land, a wheeled caravan arrived with a rotating team of guards, including civil administration officers. He explained that the decision of the High Court had given him the right to reclaim the land and use his own agricultural machinery, therefore he had the right to resist any occupation effort to take it over.

Settlers learn how to circumvent IDF to strike at Palestinian olive harvest
Settlers settlers are believed to be entering Palestinian olive groves before IDF can send troops to protect the harvesters and in the darkness harvesting the olives themselves.

Palestinians to court: Let us harvest olives beyond fence
Villagers appeal against Civil Administration decision forbidding them from crossing security fence to reach olive groves.,7340,L-3968472,00.html

Tormusayya: In West Bank, Symbol of Peace Now Signifies Struggle
But when Mr. Abu Aliya and his family from the neighboring village of Al-Mughayer — 36 of them in all, including grandchildren — drove out to their land this week in a snaking convoy of cars and pickup trucks with others from Turmus Aya, they found scores of their trees on the rocky slopes in various stages of decay, recently poisoned, they said, by Jewish settlers from an illegal Israeli outpost on top of the hill.  Branches drooped, the once lush, silver-green leaves were turning brown and the few olives still clinging on, which should have been plump and green or purple by harvest time, were shriveled and black. Dozens of trees nearby that Mr. Abu Aliya contended were similarly poisoned with chemicals last year stood like spindly skeletons, gray and completely bare.

Jordan Valley joins list of peace obstacles (AP)
AP - The Jordan Valley, a tranquil stretch of West Bank desert dotted with date palms, Jewish settlements and Palestinian hamlets, is joining the already formidable list of potential obstacles to Mideast peace.*

Hebron Palestinian cave dwellers between poverty's hammer and settlers' anvil
RAMALLAH, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Not far away from modern western- style red-roof homes of a Jewish settlement in Hebron, 34-year-old Palestinian Abdullah Hawamdi still lives in caves on the city's hillside.  "I was born and raised up here," said Hawamdi, who used to work in Israel before violence broke out in 2000. "My family have lived here for five generations and I do not think I can live elsewhere. "

Equal rights, sustainability, and development for Israel`s Negev - not dispossession of the Bedouin!
AIC - Over the past week, a wide coalition of Israeli and American groups have been preparing an open letter, to be presented during the Jewisih National Fund conference at Atlanta, Georgia, and confronting the JNF`s American supporters with its nefarious practices on the ground.

Eldad: Jordan is Palestine
Aryeh Eldad, a member of the Israeli parliament for the National Union party, called for the establishment of a Palestinian state in Jordan as part of solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment
Non-violent Resistance In At-Tuwani Doesn't Give Up To Daily Oppression
By Alessandra Bajec – PNN - The journey starts on a warm afternoon in the South Hebron Hills, south of Yatta, at few kilometres from the Green Line southern of the West Bank.  Since August 2004, the Italian non-violent peacecorps, Operation Dove (together with Christian Peacemaker Team), is present in At-Tuwani and in the South Hebron Hills. They operate in partnership with various Israeli peace and human rights groups namely Ta’ayush and Rabbis for Human Rights.

Turkey will not attend OECD conference, minister says
Turkey will not send any delegation to a biannual tourism conference in Israel later this month, the country’s culture minister said Tuesday, marking the first boycott of Israel on a multilateral level since a deadly raid on a Turkish aid ship in May.  Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay told a group of reporters Tuesday that Turkey would not send any representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, conference on Oct. 20-22 in Jerusalem. “Regrettable statements have been made. We want tourism to take place, not politics,” he said.

OECD Considers Relocating Conference Planned For Jerusalem Due To Boycott Calls
After several nations announced that they will likely boycott this month's planned bi-annual tourism conference of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Secretary-General of the OECD wrote a harshly worded letter to the Israeli Prime Minister which hinted at the possibility of relocating the conference.

BDS Success: Unilever to Move Factory out of West Bank
Unilever Israel Foods is planning move its Beigel & Beigel company plant from the Barkan industrial zone, located in the occupied West Bank, to a location inside Israel, reports the Hebrew-language daily Maariv.  This moves follows intense Palestinian and international pressure on the parent company, Unilever International, to move its operations out of the settlement industrial zone or to divest from the factory, which collects profits due to the advantages given to Israeli businesses in the West Bank, including extensive subsidies by the Israeli government.

Anger at West Bank protester's sentence
The British Foreign Office last night expressed concern over a one-year prison sentence handed down by a military court to Abdallah Abu Rahma, a leader of unarmed anti-occupation protests in the West Bank.  Mr Abu Rahma, 39, was given the jail sentence along with a further six months suspended for three years and a 5000 shekel (£760) fine after being convicted for incitement and organising demonstrations against the separation barrier in the village of Bil'in.

'Most famous woman in Afghanistan' speaks at Canadian Boat to Gaza fundraiser tonight in Vancouver
Malalai Joya, the woman the BBC has called "the most famous in Afghanistan", is in Vancouver to headline a benefit evening for the Canadian Boat to Gaza tonight: Tuesday, Oct. 12, 7pm at W2 Storyeum, 151 W. Cordova. The event at W2 will also feature Victoria-based Gaza flotilla activist Kevin Neish, as well as live music and other speakers. A share of the proceeds will also go to support a free medical clinic in Farah, Afghanistan.

Israel's Palestinian partner is ready and waiting
Abdallah Abu Rahma, a Palestinian peace activist in the West Bank, and his story exemplifies the complexity of the current situation.

“Why Is the U.S. Government Deaf to What Has Been Done to My Son?” Asks Father of an American Murdered on the Gaza Flotilla
Through his lawyers in Turkey, Ahmet Dogan, the father of Furkan Dogan, the 19 year old American citizen who was executed by Israeli commandos has challenged the U.S. government its lack concern about the death of his son.  Dogan was killed by commandos who shot him twice in the head and three times in other parts of his body on May 31, 2010 on the Mavi Marmara in the Gaza flotilla.  "Up to this moment, I still do not understand why the United States government is deaf to what has been done to my son, an American citizen.  I urge the U.S. government to act to defend the rights of my son.  I also would like to know why the U.S. voted against the Gaza Flotilla Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission at the Human Rights Council last week, as that report included information about the execution of my son, " said Dogan.

Greek fans protest Israeli occupation in Euro qualifier
A Euro 2012 qualifier soccer match between Greece and Israel turned into a pro-Palestinian rally as Greek fans received the Israeli away team with Palestinian flags and anti-Israel slogans.

Palestinian diaspora join in olive harvest
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Palestinian peace activists from Europe, South Africa and Canada, as well as several foreign nationals, participated in the olive harvest with residents of the Al-Bathan village in the Nablus district on Tuesday.  Sana Ad-Dabagh, one of the participants, said she hoped that by joining the harvest she would reveal the reality of daily life in Palestine, and that her group had toured several Palestinian cities and villages in the West Bank and Israel in solidarity.  Atheer Salahat from Al-Bathan greeted the peace activists and thanked them for their visit to the village which faces daily harassment from settlers and Israeli forces, he said.

Why I protested the Jewish National Fund, Jesse Benjamin
This Columbus Day weekend, the Jewish National Fund USA held its annual meeting in Atlanta. Like many Jews from the US, I grew up in communities that raised money for seemingly benign JNF campaigns to plant trees in Israel through our purchase of Hanukkah candles. But this year, as the JNF gathered in Atlanta, I stood with many Atlanta Jews and others to protest JNF practices which stand as obstacles in the path to a just peace based on freedom, safety, and equality for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

The persistence of resistance, Jamal Elshayyal
Ismail Nashwan recalls the events of May 31 as if it were yesterday. The moment masked Israeli commandos brought death aboard the Mavi Marmara as it attempted to break the siege on Gaza.  But despite the near-death experience and spending time in an Israeli jail at 81-years-young, Ismail is still determined to reach the besieged strip.  He has now joined the latest humanitarian aid convoy heading to Gaza.  I ask him what it is that makes him so determined to reach the territory, and how, at such an old age, he still finds it within him to cross land and sea in total defiance with the Israeli/Egyptian imposed siege on the coastal strip.

‘Hey BU you’ve been had, Dershowitz is WICKED bad!’: Boston University students protest CAMERA, Adam Horowitz
On Sunday, October 10th, students from Boston University’s Students for Justice in Palestine group and their allies (American Jews for a Just Peace, ItisApartheid, and students from several other Boston Palestine groups) assembled to demonstrate against the university’s hosting of “War by Other Means: the Global Campaign to Delegitimize Israel,” a conference put on by the anti-Palestinian group CAMERA (the Committee For Accuracy in Middle East Reporting). As a result of the growing success of the international Palestine solidarity movement, Israel’s supporters increasingly feel that they are en route to a South African like pariah status. According to CAMERA, “Israel faces a convergence of global forces that may undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of the world community.” Its conference contained many prominent Israel supporters including keynote speaker and Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz, Daniel Pipes, and Gerald Steinberg of NGO monitor.

Jerusalem slide show!, Philip Weiss
Inspired by Adam's challenge to take part in Best Shots of Israel, the contest sponsored by The Israel Project, I dug out some photos I took last month in Occupied East Jerusalem. Oh-- the honey-colored limestone of the ancient buildings... the caftan-clad women with loads balanced on their heads... the magical Arab script on the walls... the twisting oriental passages of the Old City... the hill that Jesus climbed to his death...

Dana and Blumenthal to speak in NY next week about resistance to the occupation, Philip Weiss
An exciting event. Two high flying journalists, Max Blumenthal, who is just back from Israel where he chronicled the growing intolerance in the country's political culture, and Joseph Dana, who has fearlessly documented the nonviolent demonstrations in the Occupied Territories turned ugly by state violence, will join up in New York next week to talk about the Israeli radical left and the Palestinian popular struggle and other developments. The event is free, but they will be raising money to support the work of Anarchists Against the Wall by selling t-shirts and taking additional donations.

One State Dallas Chapter Launches Movement For Single Democratic State In Israel-Palestine
Dallas – Texas – To PNN -  The “One State Chapter” will launch its historic “Movement for One Democratic State” in Israel-Palestine at a conference in Dallas, Texas on October 23-24, 2010.  This effort is the culmination of several prior international conferences on this topic that have taken place in Madrid (2008), Boston (2009) and Haifa (2008, 2010).

Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement
Palestinian Children Need Protection
The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy strongly condemns the arrest of eight-year-old Omran Mansour on October 12 from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on charges of stone throwing. Mansour, who was identified on the videotape of settler leader David Be'eri running over two Palestinian children earlier this week, was taken forcefully from his home by Israeli soldiers late at night without the accompaniment of his parents.  The arrest of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities is commonplace in the occupied territories but has recently reached exceptional heights. The two children who were run over by Be'eri in the stone throwing incident were ages 10 and 11. On October 12, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch declared that "children cannot receive immunity" in cases of stone throwing. Last month, 12-year old Karam Da'an from Hebron was arrested, detained and exiled from his home for five months including being barred from attending school.

Gaza 20 months after Cast Lead
MEMO - It has been over 20 months since Israel launched its brutal attack on Gaza, which saw over 1,400 civilians killed, many of whom were women and children. Today, walking around within the Gaza Strip, you see the devastation that still remains - houses turned to rubble, wasted and barren farmland, basic infrastructure in total ruin. Residents such as Abed Rabbo in the northern Gaza Strip.

EU police mission complicit in Israeli, PA rights abuses
Rather than help nurture institutions for a future Palestinian state, a much-vaunted EU police training mission in the West Bank acts as a proxy for the Israeli occupation and is complicit in severe human rights abuses. David Cronin reports for The Electronic Intifada.

Flying checkpoint erected at Salfit entrance
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces erected a flying checkpoint at the eastern entrance of Salfit in the northern West Bank on Tuesday, causing extensive delays, witnesses said.  Witnesses said three military jeeps were parked at the entrance, carrying out searches of cars, leading to traffic, adding that they believed Israeli forces were searching for something specific.

But the Coffins Do Come In, Mohammed Omer
GAZA CITY, Oct 13, 2010 (IPS) - Samir Tahseen Al-Nadeem died after waiting 35 days for an exit permit for treatment for his heart condition. He was 26. The medicines he needed could not get in. But the coffins do.

Rightist MK: Stone throwers should be put to death
Far right Israeli Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari called for the death penalty to be placed against “everyone who throws stones or endangers the lives of settlers.”

Racist militia has free hand in Carmiel
Gush Shalom: The fact of this abominable body being established by an Israeli deputy mayor, with the full support of the police, is yet another serious warning sign in the growing list of blatant racist manifestations in the Israeli public life.

Deputy PM Meridor: Arab, haredi birthrates crazy
State-backed procreation among haredim, Arabs creating social gaps, says former finance minister.,7340,L-3968466,00.html

US backs PM: Israel is Jewish state
State Department spokesman says region must 'accept existence of Israel as homeland of Jewish people' after Netanyahu tells Knesset he is willing to extend settlement freeze in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel as Jewish.,7340,L-3968575,00.html

EU urges equality for non-Jews in Israel
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- The EU on Tuesday urged Israel to guarantee the equality of all its citizens after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Palestinians to recognize Israel's Jewish identity, Agence France-Presse reported.  "We support the two democratic states living side by side in peace and security," EU diplomatic chief Catherine Ashton's spokeswoman Maja Kocijancik said.

Rights group asks Netanyahu to make 'no population transfer' pledge
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has written to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking he make clear his government has not discussed the transfer of Israeli Arab citizens to the Palestinian Authority as part of a peace agreement, and that the government will not bring the subject up in the future. ACRI's move follows an Israel Prisons Service drill last week that had wardens practicingdealing with numerous Israeli Arabs being detained after a wave of riots. According to Israel Radio, the "riots" supposedly broke out as a result of a peace agreement including a population transfer between Israel and the PA.

Israel's New Loyalty Oath, Stephen Lendman
Since inception, Israel's democracy was illusory, but of late it's further eroded. The Cabinet's October 10 adopted Law of Citizenship amendment requires all non-Jews wanting it to pledge loyalty to "the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state," its latest anti-democratic measure.

Teenager injured by Israeli fire in northern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian teenager was injured by Israeli fire on Wednesday while he collected construction aggregate in the the Al-Qaraya Al-Badawiya area in northern Gaza near the Erez crossing.  Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said an unnamed 17-year-old was injured and transferred to the Kamal Udwan Hospital for treatment.

Israeli intelligence, police elements storm Aqsa Mosque
Israeli intelligence agents on Tuesday entered the Aqsa Mosque's compound and tried to enter its main "Qibli" mosque but were repelled by worshippers who closed the mosque's main gate.

Israeli Troops Arrest Five Citizens in the West Bank
On Wednesday morning, the Israeli army arrested five Palestinian citizens in various locations after invading their houses.

PSP: 2 photojournalists detained in Beit Ummar
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained two Palestinian journalists on Wednesday before noon in the Beit Ummar village in the southern Hebron district as they covered the expansion of an illegal settlement, the Palestine Solidarity Project said.

Military Invades Towns In West Bank, Arrests Three
Israeli soldiers arrested Monday night a young man from the town of Beit Reema, near Ramallah in the central West Bank, after they invaded his house.

Israel occupation forces arrest 13 Palestinian in west bank
Israel occupation forces arrest 13 Palestinian in west bank, Ramallah – The Israeli occupation forces invaded on Wednesday morning a number of West Bank communities and arrested 13 Palestinian civilians., Israeli raids were reported in the cities of Nablus and Jenin in northern West Bank, in addition to Bethlehem in the southern part of the West Bank, Palestinian sources reported on Wednesday., In Nablus, Israeli soldiers attacked homes and searched them before taken seven men away; meanwhile in Jenin soldiers arrested three men after searching homes., In Bethlehem, Israel soldiers arrested five civilians during house-to-house search campaign near the Nativity church in the city center.

Israel uses TV footage to catch Jerusalem boy
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities detained a young boy after identifying him in footage of a settler running down rock-throwing children in occupied East Jerusalem.  The boy was spotted in news footage of the incident aired by The Associated Press, Jawad Seyam, director of Wadi Helwa Information Centre in the Silwan neighborhood, told Ma'an.

Silwan Boys Are Men Nonetheless: A Story Of Capture And Lifelong Terror
Jerusalem – Maysa Abu Ghazala/ PNN Exclusive - Don’t mention cartoons to the boys of Silwan. Their story of capture and harassment is more like a horror movie which hasn’t yet ended, even with their release—instead, it’s imprinted in their memories for the rest of their lives.

Israeli Unit Dresses in Women’s Clothes to Capture 4 Boys in Silwan
Jerusalem – Maysa Abu Ghazala - A unit of Israeli musta’arabeen (Israeli soldiers dressed as Arabs) captured four boys in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan last night.  Suleiman Abduh Sayyam, age 10, was injured by a sound bomb and a rubber bullet to his leg during a confrontation that broke out in the village, but not arrested. Eyewitnesses in the Be’er Ayyub neighborhood recount that a unit of Israeli musta’arabeen captured the boys by dressing in street clothes, some with long women’s hair. After capturing the boys, they put on their police caps.  The captured boys were Jihad Zeitoun, 12, Ayhab Shouiki, 11, Biha’ al-Rajbi, 12, and Muhammad Mufid Mansour, 13, all taken to the Israeli compound.

Report: PA meets Israeli army officials in Jenin
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Senior Israeli and Palestinian security officers met Tuesday afternoon in Jenin, Israeli media reported.  The English-language Israeli news site Ynet reported only that the meeting was to "discuss security issues related to the region."

Peres urges Abbas to conduct "behind-the-scene, quiet talks"
Israeli president Shimon Peres called on de facto Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to conduct "quiet talks" in order to reach bilateral agreements on the entire negotiations process.

Moeller in office proves the U.S., Fatah serve Israeli interests
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Michael Moeller’s presence in the West Bank confirms that a multinational authority is controlling the West Bank.

Hamas security raids Gaza journalist union (AFP)
AFP - Hamas security forces raided and shut down the headquarters of the Palestinian Journalists Union in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the head of the organisation said.*

Political Developments
Barghouthi: Declare Palestinian state immediately
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian National Initiative leader Mustafa Barghouthi called for the "immediate declaration of an independent democratic Palestinian state" on all territories occupied by Israel in 1967 in response to failed negotiations.  Speaking to reporters in Ramallah, Barghouthi proposed a set of initiatives to "surpass the intractable impasse in the so called peace process," which he described as "meaningless and damaging" while Israeli settlement building continues.

Hamas awaits Fatah proposal on security
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The Hamas movement said Tuesday that it was waiting to see Fatah's proposals on security, which is the outstanding issue in the national reconciliation meeting scheduled for 20 October in Damascus.  Yahia Moussa, a Hamas lawmaker in the Palestinian parliament, said that “all that has been agreed upon in Cairo concerning this issue should be implemented, especially ending security coordination with Israel.”

PLO chief: We will recognize Israel in return for 1967 borders
Yasser Abed Rabbo says that in exchange for accepting Palestinian territorial claims, it will recognize Israel as 'whatever it wants.'

PLO wants map from U.S. with future Israeli border
RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The Palestinians are seeking a map from the United States showing where Israel sees its final borders and making clear whether they include Palestinian land and homes, an official said on Wednesday.  Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) official Yasser Abed Rabbo was responding to a U.S. call for the Palestinians to present their own ideas in response to an Israeli proposal they recognise Israel as a Jewish state in return for curbs on settlement building -- a declaration they have long opposed.

PFLP: Abbas's Madrid-Oslo approach brought woes on the Palestinians
Senior official of the PFLP Rabah Muhanna stated that the Madrid-Olso approach which Mahmoud Abbas is still adherent to only brought disasters on the Palestinian people and their national cause.

U.S.: We want clear path, not two-month delay of peace process deadlock
U.S. State Department Spokesman Philip J. Crowley responds to Netanyahu's proposal to extend the settlement freeze in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

US suggests Palestinians make counter-offer to Israel (AFP)
AFP - The United States suggested Tuesday that the Palestinians make a counter-offer now that Israel has asked them to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in return for a freeze on settlements.*

Lieberman: Palestinians may try to form autonomous Arab regions within Israel
Foreign minister says there is a possibility the Palestinians may try to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state.

Other News
And Tom Friedman says the Arab world is rife with conspiracy theory…, Philip Weiss
Israel National News:  President Obama’s incoming National Security Adviser is well known for his close ties to the Jewish and pro-Israel community....  One of Donilon’s clients during his time as a lawyer was Penny Pritzker, daughter of Hyatt hotel chain founder Donald Pritzker and member of the notable Jewish American Pritzker business family. Penny Pritzker is one of President Obama’s strongest Jewish backers. She was the national finance chair of Obama's presidential campaign...  Donilon’s appointment has also been backed and approved by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “Tom Donilon understands it’s a dangerous world,” said Committee spokesman Josh Block in a statement. “In every position he has held throughout his career in government, he has been a strong friend of the US-Israel relationship.”

Helen Thomas on being called anti-Semitic: ‘Baloney!’
Helen Thomas tells radio station: 'You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive' Former White House correspondent Helen Thomas tells an Ohio radio interview that she knows she "hit the third rail" with remarks about Israel that led to her retirement.

Helen Thomas: You cannot criticize Israel in the U.S. and survive
Former White House correspondent Helen Thomas stands by her controversial remarks on Israel that led to her retirement.

New survey shows American Jewish support for Obama waning
Washington - A new survey, conducted ahead of the heated run toward midterm elections, by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) shows that American Jewish support for President Obama's handling of US-Israeli relations is dropping. In a survey conducted earlier this year, 55% of American Jews approved of Obama's performance, but now that number has fallen to 49%. However, the approval ratings for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's handling of US-Israeli relations has risen from 57% to 62%. Still, Obama maintains a positive majority in overall approval ratings among American Jews.

Poll: 76% of American Jews think Arabs want to destroy Israel
51% of U.S. Jews approve of the way Obama is handling his job - a 6% drop since March; 95% think that the Palestinians should recognize Israel as a Jewish state in any peace settlement.

Tel Aviv Scientology building burns, arson suspected
Nine workers escape unharmed from the former Alhambra theater building, which has been undergoing renovations.

The Time That Remains - Film Review, Roger Sheety
In just three years the Toronto Palestine Film Festival, which was originally created in 2008 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Al-Nakba, has become a major cultural happening in a city bustling with such events.  That it has succeeded so quickly is due entirely to the festival’s tireless organizers and volunteers, their vision and their determination to present films of the highest quality possible.

Afteem Falafel after 62 Years: In Photos
A photographic look at the famous Afteem Falafel restaurant in downtown Bethlehem.

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest
Rep. Baird: ‘J Street’ threatened to end support for Rep. Edwards over openness to consider one-state solution, Philip Weiss
Wow. The fat is in the fire. Here is a video on C-Span of Congressman Brian Baird yesterday, criticizing J Street for reportedly assailing Congresswoman Donna Edwards's decision to meet with New Policy PAC. Start listening about 3:30. He was speaking at a conference at the Capitol Auditorium hosted by the New America Foundation and the University of Chicago. The conference is called "Cutting the Fuse: Beyond the War on Terror".

Ignoring International Law, Ethan Bronner Writes that East Jerusalem, Golan Heights ‘Count as Israeli territory’, Alex Kane
Nestled in this all over the place article written by Ethan Bronner in today’s New York Times is this factually challenged nugget: Both East Jerusalem and the Golan were officially annexed by Israel through parliamentary votes, so by Israeli law they count as Israeli territory. That is not true of the West Bank, which the Palestinians want as their future state and where Israel has settled more than 300,000 Jewish citizens.

The settlements are illegal regardless of whether Israel is recognized as a ‘Jewish state’, Maggie Sager
In the newest development concerning peace negotiations between Israel and the PA, Netanyahu has offered to partially extend the fake settlement freeze in exchange for recognition of Israel's Jewish character. In a startling spectacle of rationality, the PA has rejected the offer in kind.

Riz Khan - Is the one-state solution viable?
Efforts to find a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem have been littered with failures. So is it time to consider the one-state alternative?

The No-State Alternative, Cameron Hunt
Anyone that has studied the various 'Alternatives' to the US-managed ‘peace process’ that were put forward to the Arab League by Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, on 8 October 2010, has likely been able to piece together four different Alternatives that were proposed, and their likely chronology.

Partners in occupation, Jesse Rosenfeld
Lacking popular legitimacy amongst Palestinians, de-facto control in Gaza and dependent on American and European aid to stay afloat, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas is without a base to find strength in as he officially remains in a negotiations process that most of his constituents view skeptically.   As a result, the continued series of PA concessions illustrates the context of the August 31 settler assassinations, intended to derail talks before they began. Although these attacks were carried out by Hamas’ military wings, they received support from a wide coalition spanning the Palestinian political spectrum, including leftist PLO factions like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Saying ‘peace, peace’ when there is no peace, Mark Braverman
On October 6 The Washington Post ran a story entitled “A key back channel for U.S., Israeli ties.” The story informs us that “Dennis Ross, a longtime Middle East expert, has emerged as a crucial, behind-the-scenes conduit between the White House and the Israeli government, working closely with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s private attorney – and also Defense Minister Ehud Barak – to discreetly smooth out differences and disputes between the two governments.”

Contradictory noises; It is unclear, since peace talks resumed, which tendency in Hamas is on top
ONLY a few weeks ago, the Damascus-based leadership of the Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas, was voicing support for a negotiated two-state Israeli-Palestinian arrangement. Its prime condition was that talks be based on a Palestinian “consensus”, a euphemism for including them in the diplomatic fray.

Benny Morris, former historian, Jerome Slater
Benny Morris was one of the earliest and most important Israeli “new historians” whose scholarship and courageous truth-telling refuted a number of mythologies about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, among other things by demonstrating that the Palestinian refugee problem was deliberately created by the Zionists, who engaged in what we today call “ethnic cleansing.” Morris and others proved beyond reasonable doubt that in 1947-48 the Zionist military forces and political leadership drove a large part of the Palestinian population out of the lands under Zionist control, often by means of massacres and other acts of terrorism against the Arab civilian population.

With Emanuel and Axelrod Gone, Will the Jews Have Access to Obama?
The resignation last week of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff and the imminent departure of David Axelrod, the president’s senior adviser, is raising the question of what the disappearance of the president’s top two Jewish aides will mean for the Jewish community.

Barack Obama: Israel’s lawyer,  Maggie Sager
Just yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu demanded that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for Israeli compliance with international law. Shortly after, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley illuminated  the United State's official position on the proposal, explaining, "We recognize the special nature of the Israeli State. It is a state for the Jewish people." While President Obama's views on the institutionalization of Israel's ethnic character are of no surprise, such an outright endorsement of Netanyahu's insult to the PA stands in stark contrast with the vision of the United States as impartial mediator the American public has been spoon-fed over the past few months.

‘West Bank First’ Approach Failing Miserably, Alex Kane
Elliott Abrams, one of the key players in the attempted U.S.-backed coup in 2007 to install Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party as the sole Palestinian entity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has a short piece in Foreign Policy arguing for more of the same “West Bank first” approach to Palestine.  Abrams’ suggestion has been in place since the end of the Bush administration’s second term, and it has produced absolutely nothing good.

Israeli Jews don’t have to recognize Israel as Jewish state, annie
A Palestinian professor whom I cited
yesterday in this post regarding Israel's new declaration of loyalty legislation has asked me to post these intriguing clarifications.  "The Jewish State" is defined by and was established by means of Israel's Declaration of Establishment in 1948, which acts as a sort of preamble to Israel's basic laws. The Declaration however does not compel Israel's Jewish or non-Jewish citizens (or anyone else) to recognize this or its other historical narratives. That would go against the spirit of the Declaration, which essentially affords Israel's citizens the ability and right to remain silent on the issue (and even contradict and oppose the historical narrative in the Declaration).

Works in progress: Partitioning Iraq and Palestine
In Palestine/Israel, Israel’s security forces are now drilling the concentration, in camps, and mass deportation to the Palestinian Authority of Palestinian citizens of Israel: On Sunday, October 10, military affairs reporter, Carmela Menashe, reported (in Hebrew) that a large scale drill simulated “extreme scenarios of violent protests in the Arab sector following accords with the Palestinian Authority on population exchange. A detention camp for Israeli Arabs will be set up at Golani junction to receive detainees. The large-scale drill was administered and led by the Prison Services and included the military Home Command, the Israel Police Force, the Military Police, fire fighting forces and others.” [Translation mine]

Peace process and the threat of transfer
I keep on forgetting that it's happening because nothing ever happens. It is what's in the news though. The peace process has no chance whatsoever of creating a just peace in cis-Jordan. No one should have the slightest illusion about that. What we should be watching for in the peace process is not its failure but what its architects will cast as its potential "success." In those terms, the peace process is an acute danger to Palestinian nationalism, Nadia Hijab reminds us.

Time for New Palestinian Political Strategy, Dr. Elias Akleh
Palestinians had long lost confidence in their Palestinian Authority as their representative, who was supposed to defend their rights and work to achieve their statehood. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, was imposed on the Palestinians in the 2005 election when the Israeli forces had arrested and restricted the movements of other Palestinian candidates and his campaign was given 94% of TV coverage. Although his presidency had expired in January of 2009 he is still, illegally and unconstitutionally, occupying his position. Polls had shown that his popularity is very low.

Australian Zionist Searches For Palestinian Supporters And Finds One: Guess Who?
When a Pro-Israel, Australian politician addressed the Zionist Federation of Australia conference in Melbourne on October 10, guess who the one Palestinian he approved of turned out to be?   It was no other than our very own Ray Hanania.  That’s right.  This pro-Zionist Australian searched far and wide across this world to find one Palestinian he approves of and came up with the clown of Cicero, Illinois  Most of his speech was devoted to attacking Palestinians and their supporters in the BDS movement, but he apparently wanted to offer an example of a “good Palestinian” when he told his Zionist audience “I like the recent analysis of the Chicago-based Palestinian-American commentator Ray Hanania who abhors the extremists.” I wonder how long he was searching before he gave up and settled for this useless idiot.

Ibish Reaches Out To Zionists In The US & Lectures Palestinians Under Occupation On Non-Violence
Hussein Ibish, the “Senior Fellow” at the American Task Force on Palestine, and Washington concierge to Palestinian National Authority officials who considers anti-Arab, racist groups like AIPAC partners in “cooperation towards peace” wrote a piece for the Jerusalem Post, the right-wing, Zionist rag, in which he warns Palestinians to not engage in any resistance to occupation, what he calls a “third intifada.”

Who will care when Israel self-destructs?, Yvonne Ridley in Syria
The most culpable today is (Mr. Looks-like-a-one-term) President Obama. Who remembers his famous Cairo speech in the summer of 2009, where he virtually assured us that there would be “no new settlements”; that rings very hollow now, and haven’t the Israelis punished him for saying it?

A Special Place in Hell / Top 10 worst errors Israel is about to make
Making major mistakes: what they are, why they matter, where they stand, and what you can do about it.

Other Analysis and Op-ed

James Denselow: Beware a US Sponsored Arms Race in the Middle East
While for many in the Middle East the sum of all fears is an Iranian-inspired nuclear arms race, this terrifying spectre should not distract from the very real scramble for conventional weapons that is already in play across the region. The visit of the Iranian president to Lebanon will refocus attention on the capabilities of Hezbollah, yet Iraq remains the most contested strategic prize with would-be allies in both Tehran and Washington engaged in a high-stakes tug of war.

They Hate Us For Our Occupations, Glenn Greenwald
Isn't Muslim culture just so bizarre, primitive, and inscrutable?  As strange as it is, they actually seem to dislike it when foreign militaries bomb, invade and occupy their countries.

"Progressive Hunter": Gunman Cites Listening to Glenn Beck and Others as Inspiration for Armed Plot Against ACLU & Tides
Byron Williams was arrested after he opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers in July. He was accused of plotting to kill employees at the ACLU and the Tides Foundation, a small foundation that gives money to human rights groups, environmentalists and other progressive causes. Now, in a series of exclusive jailhouse interviews published on the website of the watchdog group Media Matters, independent journalist John Hamilton reveals that Byron Williams was inspired by listening to Glenn Beck of Fox News and other right-wing media figures.

Their heaven
"If most Americans don’t personally know any Muslims, they’ve seen some on TV — Osama bin Laden, for starters. That may help explain why, though 54 percent of evangelicals say non-Christians can go to heaven, only 35 percent say Muslims can."

Gorilla’s Guides Team Members To Post A Series of Guides “An Introduction to Islam” On The Seminal
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim I am pleased to tell you that over the next few months Gorilla’s Guides team members will publish a series of articles on Islam here at The Seminal every weekend. The purpose is to give the readers of this site a good introduction to Islam and to what we Muslims believe. The articles are being written either by Muslims, or by Westerners who have lived long amongst us and demonstrated by speech, writing, and above all their deeds their understanding and respect for Islam and for the rights of Muslims to live free of war, colonialism, and oppression.

interview with the great Carlos Latuff
“Why the hell is a bourgeois publication interested in interviewing a pro-Palestinian cartoonist?” asks the skinny 40-something in a black and white keffiyeh. If it wasn’t Carlos Latuff, the now legendary Brazilian political cartoonist, we might have been offended. But for a man who has made a career championing a political cause some 15,000 kilometres away from the home he shares with his working class parents in Rio de Janeiro, a cup of tea is probably a means of capitalist oppression. And having avoided the temptation to question why being pro-Palestinian and bourgeois were somehow mutually exclusive – he might want to visit Abdoun to appreciate how many Palestinians have successfully graduated from the refugee camp – we managed to convince him that as Arabs, some of us actually Palestinian, the NOX staff does care rather a lot about the 40-year occupation. Maybe even as much as he does.

Speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on October 9th, 2010 to mark the end of the campaign of planting a million trees.
I welcome all of you in this blessed ceremony making the wrap up of the blessed campaign – the kind tree campaign. In this occasion, I would like to tackle three issues: the first topic is the one million tree campaign and its backgrounds, horizons and the outlook to this issue; the second topic has to do with the anticipated visit or President Ahmadi Nejad to Lebanon in the coming few days; and the third topic is related to the developments in our country and region especially what is related to the Special Tribunal of Lebanon, the indictment, the false witnesses and the repercussions of this issue on the statue quo.

Crowd greets Iran's Ahmadinejad in Lebanon
The Shiite militia Hezbollah organizes a welcoming party that waves flags and throws flowers. Other political factions are not so happy to see him.  Huge crowds waving Iranian flags greeted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he arrived Wednesday in Lebanon on his first state visit and traveled from the airport in a motorcade through Beirut's mostly Shiite Muslim southern suburb.,0,159075.story

Iran says to stand by Lebanon against Israeli hostility (Reuters)
Reuters - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday used his visit to Lebanon on Wednesday to assure the government that Iran would stand by Beirut in confronting what he called hostilities from neighboring Israel*

A divided Lebanon waits for Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (The Christian Science Monitor)
The Christian Science Monitor - The chatter of families and the smell of grilled lamb and chicken from barbecues wafts through a newly-built tourist park perched on a windy hilltop overlooking Lebanon's border with Israel.*


Iranian president likely to tour S Lebanon in upcoming visit
TEHRAN, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday that in the upcoming visit to Lebanon, Iranian delegation, headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is likely to visit southern Lebanon.  Southern Lebanon, bordering Israel, is largely populated by Shiite Muslims supported by Iran.  Iran supports Hezbollah, the Shiite Islamist political organization in Lebanon which is regarded as a resistance movement in Muslim world against Israeli policies in the region.

Ahmadinejad in Lebanon is high drama
If there is a symbolic seminal moment in the broad ideological struggle that defines the Middle East these days, it will be this week's visit to Lebanon by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His visit already generated significant advance debate in the Lebanese and regional media before it started, most of which - like so much else related to Lebanon, Iran, Hizbullah.

Ahmadinejad bears a message for Israel
Apart from threatening to throw a stone in Israel's direction, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad hopes to achieve a lot during his two-day visit to Lebanon that started on Wednesday, from reiterating support for Hezbollah to improving trade and economic ties. Paramount, though, will be a warning of a frontal attack from south Lebanon should Israel dare to attack Iran.

Terrorists Not Pop Stars Get Visas
Maryam Faris, possibly the hottest Lebanese star of the year won't be coming to America. Maryam was supposed to take part in a concert where she was to perform In Las Vegas this Saturday, but that' won't be happening as she was not able to get a visa to cover her and her bands to entertain you here in America.

Iraq bombs wound 28, including seven Iranian pilgrims (AFP)
AFP - Targeted explosions in Baghdad and northern Iraq wounded 28 people on Wednesday, among them seven Iranian pilgrims and nine policemen, security sources and the interior ministry said.*

Tuesday: 5 Iraqis Killed, 15 Wounded
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is in Damascus trying to warm relations between the two neighbors. Back home though, at least five Iraqis were killed and 15 more were wounded in the latest attacks. Meanwhile, estimates that 12,000 people reported missing could be detained in Iraqi prisons.

Civilian killed while hunting down traffickers on Syrian borders
“The civilian was killed when border guards were tracking down traffickers in al-Rabiaa district, northwest of Mosul,”

Iraq PM to visit Syria after year-long spat
BAGHDAD — Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is to visit Syria on Wednesday to mend ties after a year-long spat as he tries to win support for his bid to retain the premiership.  "Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is to start on Wednesday, tomorrow, a visit to Syria, our brother country, where he will meet his excellency, President Bashar al-Assad, and Prime Minister Mohammed Naji Otri," his office said.

Unionbusting, Iraqi-Style

The United States may have withdrawn its combat brigades, but it is not leaving Iraq. And while Washington may have scaled back its dreams of nation-building, it has not given up on a key aspect of the economic agenda behind that project: encouraging corporate investment by sacrificing the rights of Iraqi workers.

Other Mideast/World News

Guatemalans 'Opened Door' for Terrifying U.S. Experiments
While the government of the United States was busy prosecuting Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials for atrocities committed during the Second World War, the American Mengele, a Dr. John C. Cutler, was devoted to injecting soldiers, prisoners and prostitutes in Guatemala with syphilis and gonorrhea to investigate the effectiveness of penicillin.

US Rescue Team Killed British Aid Worker?
An investigation was launched today into the death of a British aid worker in Afghanistan after it emerged that she may have been killed by a grenade thrown by US special forces trying to rescue her.

Afghans say Nato ‘as bad as the Taliban’
The vast majority described international forces as equally brutal toward civilians, and equally, if not more responsible for civilian casualties, detention abuses and other concerns.

NATO helicopters breach Pakistani airspace again

NATO helicopters violated Pakistan's airspace Tuesday morning near Chaman border area in the southwest Balochistan province, local media reported citing official sources.

Egyptian authorities charge at least four Shiites with blasphemy
CAIRO: Egyptian police have arrested and charged at least four Shiite Muslims, including a visiting Australian, with insulting and denying tenets of religion, a judicial source said on Tuesday. The Shiites, who also include two Iraqis, were among 24 men rounded up last week in a Cairo suburb, a security official said, adding that most of them have since been released.

Bahraini Shi'ites Feel Neglect In Govt Housing Crunch
MANAMA (Reuters) - Seventeen years have passed and Bahraini government clerk Saeed is still waiting to move out of his ramshackle house in Barbar, a Shi'ite village outside the capital Manama, and into government housing.

Islamists accuse Egypt police of pre-poll arrests
CAIRO: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday accused the government of cracking down ahead of November's parliamentary elections, as police arrested at least 28 members of the Islamist group. The Brotherhood, which fields independent candidates to skirt a ban on religious parties, said on its website that police arrested 11 members of the group.

Syria: middle man of the Middle East | Mohanad Hage Ali
For the first time since the 2003 Iraq invasion, Syria has political leverage in the Middle East and United States. "Iraqi democracy will succeed, and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Tehran, that freedom can be the future of every nation." Those were the words of President George Bush on 6 November 2003.

Arab abolitionist movements seek unity on steps to rid region of death penalty
CAIRO: Rights activists have called for nascent abolitionist movements of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to coordinate their efforts to press Arab regimes to end capital punishment. "Civil society managed to put abolition on the agenda in many Arab countries," says Mervat Reshmawy, a human-rights consultant.

Chilling tips in al-Qaeda magazine
Yemen offshoot launches second edition of English publication with articles by wanted US cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

Saudi King, Ahmadinejad talk politics on phone (AFP)
AFP - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Saudi King Abdullah discussed regional affairs by telephone on Tuesday amid tensions over Iraqi and Lebanese politics and a Gulf arms buildup, the official SPA news agency said.*

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‘Budrus’ on Charlie Rose, and the Israel lobby on ‘the Good Wife’
Oct 13, 2010 01:12 pm | Andrea Whitmore

I’ve taken to watching Charlie Rose online since it comes on too late here in Kansas City for me to stay awake, and I hate to miss it. Night before last (October 11), the same night that Andrew Sullivan appeared, Charlie also interviewed Brazilian filmmaker Julia Bacha and Jordan’s Queen Noor about the documentary Budrus. Rose opened the segment with a trailer for the film and asked entirely respectful questions. Julia Bacha made sure to say that people are always asking about the Palestinian Gandhi, so she answers that there have always been peaceful protests on the ground, but that the mainstream media gives “very little coverage of civil society and what Palestinians and Israelis are doing together” in the struggle for justice.  It’s well worth watching.  Queen Noor and filmmaker Bacha hope for wide exposure for Budrus following last Friday’s opening in New York. The interview is at

Charlie Rose has actually been doing some excellent Middle East interviews lately, including former President Jimmy Carter (who doesn’t hold back his views on Israel-Palestine), Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, President of Syria Bashar al-Assad, and others who are more likely to appear on mainstream media such as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. I’m not sure how Rose gets away with it given how much pressure Jon Stewart, for example, received for hosting Anna Baltzer and Dr. Mustafa Barghouti months ago. Rose deserves much praise because he must get lots of flack about his “non-mainstream” guests. The Middle East interviews are filed under “Collections” on his website (

Another note about mainstream media and a confession: I’ve become addicted to a prime-time soap, The Good Wife (I know, I know, but even those of us in the movement get to have a little fun). So last night, as my husband watched the PBS series about religion in American, I hightailed to another room to watch my show. Well lo!—the main character’s husband, a politician who is in process of public rehabilitation as he returns to politics following a prison term, has a run-in with a Jewish community leader over his Israel-Palestine views. He’s accused of not being strong on Israel, of being pro-Palestinian. He’s been photographed carrying a copy of Jimmy Carter’s Peace, Not Apartheid—a sure sign of disloyalty to Israel--so his Jewish campaign manager arranges a Yom Kippur dinner at the pol’s house to prove his loyalty to Israel. Turns out the Pol’s teen daughter speaks up, says the book was hers, and what about the flotilla and all the activists who were killed—she is clearly outraged and informed. I was astonished this was brought up on such a show. The usual is to ignore even the word “Palestinian.” And I was glad to be able to later justify ("Guess what, guess what!") to my husband rushing away from the serious subject of religion to watch my program.

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PA’s challenge to Israel: Set your borders
Oct 13, 2010 11:07 am | Ira Glunts

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has offered to recognize Israel “by whatever name it applies to itself in accordance with international law” in exchange for “a map of the borders of the state of Israel which they want us to recognize.” This according to senior Palestinian official,Yasser Abed Rabbo, in an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The offer is a response to the US and Israeli demand that the PA recognize Israel as a state of the Jewish people in exchange for a settlement freeze extension.

I think this is a very clever démarche by the Palestinian Authority. If the peace process were a chess game, it could be a winning move. However, in the real world, the Americans will quietly, privately, yet forcefully tell Abbas, "no way Mahmoud" and go back to business as usual.

The bottom line is Netanyahu is not willing to seriously talk about giving up any of the West Bank. 

The question is:  Is Obama? Is JStreet?   I am not holding my breath for the answer.

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Rep. Baird: ‘J Street’ threatened to end support for Rep. Edwards over meeting with ‘New Policy’ group
Oct 13, 2010 10:53 am | Philip Weiss

Wow. The fat is in the fire; and the litmus tests of the American Jewish community are being publicly scrutinized.

Here is a video on C-Span of Congressman Brian Baird yesterday, criticizing J Street for reportedly assailing Congresswoman Donna Edwards's decision to meet with New Policy PAC. Start listening about 3:30. He was speaking at a conference at the Capitol Auditorium hosted by the New America Foundation and the University of Chicago. The conference is called "Cutting the Fuse: Beyond the War on Terror".

Steve Clemons of New America Foundation introduces Baird, the great congressman from Washington State. And Baird says:

"A funny thing happened on my way here, it really did. I bumped into my dear friend Donna Edwards, from Maryland, a fantastic member of Congress... Donna and I... traveled to Gaza along with New America... Donna shared with me the following story... She's been asked to speak to a group that has a policy that supports the two-state solution but that has also said, if two states don't work out, maybe we look at the viability of the one state solution. She then gets a flurry of emails saying, No you can't talk to those people. If you talk to those people, then we may not be able to support you any more. She then says, Wait a second, the other group in town, AIPAC, does that; what is J Street doing saying I can't talk to people.

I may be talking out of school here. This was a conversation in front of Starbuck's. Literally ten minutes ago. But it is indicative of the kind of problem we face. It's a town that imposes Groupthink with a ferocity that Irving Janis could not have imagined... It imposes it through financial contributions... a host of ways that limit how we think. And I want to challenge that a little bit today.


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You forgot this question: When will Israel change its behavior?
Oct 13, 2010 09:48 am | Philip Weiss

This email went out yesterday. Amendments are mine:

Dear Brandeis Alumni and Friends,

The Alumni Association is pleased to invite you to join Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz, Ph.D. '72, on Thursday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m. EDT for an interactive lecture and discussion. President Reinharz will explore "Israel on Campus." This forum, online and accessible from your own computer, is a unique opportunity to hear from a renowned expert on Israel studies and ask questions in real-time. 

President Reinharz will discuss: 

* How is Israel perceived on American campuses today? [Not very well]

* Who are the detractors? [Your daughter, and her political and hipster friends]

* Why is Israel losing ground among contemporary college students and faculty? [They are liberals who voted for a black president; and so they feel a need to separate themselves from a Jim Crow political entity that is put forward as our closest ally, but half of whose population has no political representation, with the distinction between enfranchisement and disfranchisement being racial]

* What can be done about it? [See headline above]

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Is Sullivan’s witness on Israel/Palestine linked to his moral stance re his own church?
Oct 13, 2010 08:57 am | Philip Weiss

Yesterday I caught some of Andrew Sullivan's appearance on Charlie Rose from the night before. He said he had stopped attending Catholic mass because the child abuse scandal sickened him, he said the church hierarchy was corrupted by it and he did not understand the absence of accountability for the pope who as an archbishop had reassigned a priest who had abused boys to another parish where the abuses continued, and he said that he was pursuing his own Christian faith in a more personal manner, through meditation and reading. Now they have put up the transcript:

this moral institution aided and abetted and committed the rape and abuse of countless thousands of innocent children. Now, if any institution did that it would be beyond belief. But that the church, the representative of Jesus, would be doing that, has done that and hidden it and defended it, and no one has really taken responsibility....

I have stopped going to mass because the anger and the frustration overwhelms me, and those are things I don’t want to feel when I’m there.

How much of Sullivan's great witness on the Israel/Palestine conflict in recent years has come out of his disillusionment with his own religious authority, I wonder.

Also consider his comments in light of how rigid Jewish identity construction is in the political realm. Sullivan's falling away from Catholicism is a little bit conventional; you hear these ideas being openly expressed. But how many MSM Jews denounce Zionism on Charlie Rose? Oh you are allowed to be a Buddhist and marry a non-Jew, no one will draw the line there, but cheer the Goldstone Report? Who has done that in the mainstream? Beinart expresses dismay with AIPAC. He is firmly a liberal Zionist. That's about as far as things go. At J Street's conference, Goldstone was denounced from the rostrum by a big liberal rabbi.

Sadly, Sullivan made no references that I heard to Israel/Palestine. But this, regretting his bad judgment on the Iraq war:

I’ve been marinated in neoconservative thought for a long time so all of this made sense to me. But I did not --

CHARLIE ROSE: "Marinated in neoconservative thought"?

I had. I edited "The New Republic."

He could a tale unfold...

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Barack Obama: Israel’s lawyer
Oct 13, 2010 07:10 am | Maggie Sager

Just yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu demanded that the Palestinian Authority recognize Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for Israeli compliance with international law. Shortly after, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley illuminated  the United State's official position on the proposal, explaining, "We recognize the special nature of the Israeli State. It is a state for the Jewish people." While President Obama's views on the institutionalization of Israel's ethnic character are of no surprise, such an outright endorsement of Netanyahu's insult to the PA stands in stark contrast with the vision of the United States as impartial mediator the American public has been spoon-fed over the past few months.

If the admission of offering military, financial and political concessions in exchange for a partial extension of the so-called settlement "freeze" hadn't done enough to destroy the Obama Administration's credibility in the peace process, this was surely the final blow. How could any casual observer continue to believe Obama had the interests of both parties at heart while simultaneously lauding Netanyahu's inanity as even remotely legitimate?

Israel's settlement construction is illegal under international law. The United Nations General Assembly, United Nations Security Council and International Court of Justice all concur: Settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must immediately halt and reverse, along with construction of the partition wall. Just as chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, Israel's Jewish character has no bearing the illegal status of Israel's settlements. Netanyahu's condition is a wanton distraction.

The proposal also has nothing to do with Israel's right to exist as a nation. Far from being existentially threatened, Israel has enjoyed full recognition of its sovereignty by Fatah and the PA for the past 17 years. The issue lies in Israel's insistence that its statehood be defined on ethno-religious terms. Yet somehow the implications of this definition is utterly lost on Obama. Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah illustrates the point well in two of his recent tweets:


Would Obama align himself with the moral argument underpinning either of these assertions? One would hope not. Then why is it somehow permissible to endorse the same position when it comes to Israel? And how can his administration support linking the PA's acceptance of such assertions to Israel's admittedly partial and temporary compliance with standards of international law?

What's more, who could defend Obama as a worthy proponent of peace while he cheers Netanyahu on in his quest to force Abbas into selling out Israel's Arabs, further codifying their second-class status, while at the same time attempting to settle the question of Palestinian refugees' Right of Return prima facie?

To summarize, if the PA were to accept such a deal, Israel would have achieved the following:

  • Further military, financial and political support from the United States;
  • Formal permission from the PA to continue subjugating Israeli Arabs;
  • And nullification of the Right of Return for Palestinian Refugees of the Nakba

The PA would achieve the following:

  • A temporary "freeze"of settlement construction on what is to become a Palestinian state if talks succeed, one that would presumably not include freezing construction in East Jerusalem (in contravention of international law), nor the construction of current projects including the thousands that began just a few weeks ago, nor  suspending the confiscation of Palestinian property to make room for further construction, just as the last "freeze"did not include these things

The United State's endorsement of such an insulting proposal makes clear Obama's complete disregard for Palestinian interests, and his commitment to repeating the mistakes of his predecessors. The authors of The Israel Lobby explain, "As Aaron David Miller, an adviser to six different secretaries of state on Middle East and Arab-Israeli affairs and another key player in the Clinton administration's peace effort, put it during a 2005 postmortem on the failed negotiations: 'Far too often, we Israel's lawyer'" (Mearsheimer and Walt, 48). How exactly has Obama done anything to improve upon this characterization?

You can find Maggie's work at or follow her on Twitter @maggiesager.

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