Nearly 1 in 4 young children in the U.S. living below the poverty line, but aid to Israel is untouchable



Nearly 1 in 4 young children now live in poverty in U.S.
The number of children living in poverty in the United States increased by 2.6 million since the recession began in 2007, bringing the total to an estimated 15.7 million poor children in 2010, according to researchers from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. The researchers estimate that nearly 1 in 4 children under the age of 6 now live in poverty.

 ‘US budget cuts won’t affect military aid to Israel’
Senior US officials clarified during a series of meetings with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz Washington has no intention of downsizing military aid to Israel, despite the drastic cuts in the US budget, according to a Finance Ministry statement Friday.
And now more news from Today in Palestine…
Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Deportation / Restriction of Movement
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Israeli Army Create Late-Night Checkpoint at Entrance to Beit Ommar, Fire Tear Gas Into Town
Saturday 24 September 2011: Late on Friday night the Israeli army once again entered Beit Ommar. Two military jeeps positioned themselves inside the town – one near the route 60 highway, and another across the entrance to the town. From these positions, Israeli soldiers sporadically fired tear gas into residential areas of the town, with several cannisters landing in gardens and next to homes. These attacks came without any provocation, or any response from Beit Ommar residents. In addition to the tear gas fired into empty gardens, soldiers also fired several rounds along an entirely deserted main street. In addition to the tear gas, the army also began stopping and searching cars entering and leaving the village, and questioning their drivers and passengers.
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Settler Violence Against Palestinians

Man Wounded After Settlers Hurled Stones At His Vehicle
Eyewitnesses reported that a Palestinian man from Nahhalin town, west of Bethlehem, was injured on Saturday evening when a group of extremist Israeli settlers hurled stones at his vehicle causing it to crash on the main road between Nahhalin and Husan villages.
NABLUS, September 24, 2011 (WAFA) – Armed groups of Israeli settlers from Yitzhar and Bracha Saturday attacked the village of Burin, south of Nablus, setting fire to olive trees and cutting some down, according to village residents. They said the settlers have escalated their attacks on area villages, destroying agricultural land, cutting down or burning trees and throwing rocks at cars traveling the West Bank roads that pass near the settlements.
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Clashes erupted Saturday between Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents of the Burin village near Nablus in the northern West Bank, witnesses and the Israeli army said. Locals told a Ma’an correspondent that residents of the illegal Yitzhar settlement stormed the entrance to Burin, threw rocks at villagers and smashed the windscreen of a car. Israeli soldiers arrived to the scene and fired tear gas and stun grenades, locals said.
Israeli troops arrested two Palestinians after shooting their car on Saturday morning at Tekoa junction near Bethlehem, while Israeli settlers opened fire on Palestinian shepherds. Eyewitnesses told the Palestinian state news wire Wafa that Israeli soldiers manning the Tekoa checkpoint east of Bethlehem shot at a car approaching the checkpoint, then arrested 41-year-old Mohammed Ghanam and his 17-year-old son Qamr. Both were from the village of Dura in Hebron governorate.
Today at 4 p.m. the settlers paraded as usual around the Old City of Al Khalil, or Hebron,  from  4 to about 5 p.m. About 5  international observers, as well as members of Christian Peacemakers Team and World Council Church volunteers witnessed the pompous parade.  Over 15 soldiers protected settlers during their weekly walk around the market. “They came into my shop and started to question me about the Palestinian map I have on the wall,” said Nawal, a local merchant as she pointed to a textile map of Palestine she had on the wall.”This woman said that the map was wrong and that this area was all of Israel,   I told her that it was correct and if she didn’t like it she could go elsewhere.”
In response to the UN bid, Jewish settlers are mobilising too. By day they march about, brandishing large Israeli flags. By night, activists exact what they call “price-tags”, for instance by defiling mosques, in the hope of provoking a conflict which the well-armed settlers feel sure they could win. They have also used their formidable presence in Israel’s combat units and supporters in Mr Netanyahu’s ruling coalition to press home their advantage. To ward off anticipated Palestinian demonstrations in the wake of the UN vote in New York, Israeli soldiers armed with stun-grenades, tear-gas and a foul-smelling liquid known as skunk have moved into settlements near Palestinian towns. If hordes try to enter, says a settler security officer, the settlers are licensed to shoot.

The settlers come down the hill from the outpost, mostly on foot, but occasionally on horseback or in tractors or 4x4s. They carry Israeli flags, and sometimes bring guns, shovels and dogs. There may be as few as three or as many as 40. They taunt the local villagers and sometimes attack them. Often the Israeli army arrives and trains its weapons on the villagers. In Qusra, deep among the terraced hills of the West Bank, fear is on the rise. “The settlers are provoking us continuously,” said Hani Abu Reidi, head of the village council. “They uproot olive trees, kill our sheep, burn our mosques and curse our prophet. They want to drag us into the sphere of violence. We do not want to go there.”

The Zionist state of Israel has always worked hard to put a spin on events which falsifies reality and covers-up the facts. An objective observer, however, can discern the truth and find contradictions between Israeli propaganda and the real facts on the ground. One such contradiction is the official claim that the Israeli government and the actions of the illegal settlers it allows to colonise the occupied West Bank are not linked. That claim is a lie; there is full coordination and cooperation between the government and settlers’ groups. The plan to train West Bank settlers to use new weapons including tear gas and stun grenades, which settlers’ leaders and rabbis say will help them to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, has been followed by the Israeli occupation army standing aside while settlers have attacked mosques, educational institutions and Palestinian homes across the West Bank. Tear gas has been fired by the army, not at the settlers committing these crimes, but at the victims as they protest.

Israeli Regime Violence Against Palestinians and Internationals
Today Essam Kamal Abed Aoudhi, a 35 year old father of 8 children from the village of Qusra, was murdered by the Israeli army as they fired live ammunition indiscriminately into a crowd of villagers gathered in their village. From the nearby outpost of Esh Kodesh (“Holy Head”) built entirely on stolen Qusra land, a large group of settlers left the settlement and entered the village just after 1pm and began attacking villagers and burning olive groves. As the villagers gathered to protect themselves and their land, the soldiers arrived and stood between the settlers and villagers, protecting the settlers who retreated. Soldiers instantly began to fire tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and live ammunition directly at villagers, making no attempt to disperse but intending solely to injure.
BETHLEHEM, September 24, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers Saturday opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle east of Bethlehem and arrested its two passengers, according to local sources. Witnesses said the civilian car overturned after the soldiers shot at it. Mohammad Ghannam, 41, and his 17-year-old daughter, from Dura, a town southwest of Hebron, were in the car and were arrested by the army.

Survivor of Israeli forces’ brutal attack recalls experience
33-year old Palestinian man was arrested and brutally assaulted by Israeli Border Police and undercover units on 15 September  in Silwan. Waheed Rwaidi was accosted by Israeli units, while driving from his home in Bir Ayyub to his sister’s home in Abu Tur just outside Silwan, in his car with his mother, wife and two children, aged 3 years and 9 months. Rwaidi was randomly stopped by Israeli forces at a mobile check point as he and his family attempted to leave Bir Ayyub. “When I was stopped by soldiers beside the brick factory in Bir Ayyub on the night of September 15, everything seemed quiet,” Rwaidi told Silwanic. “Then all of a sudden, kids on the street began throwing stones at the troops. To move my family out of danger, I moved the car about ten metres, which drew the soldiers’ attention. The soldiers asked me, my mother and my wife for our ID cards, but my mother and wife didn’t have them. The soldiers responded with dirty language, and started to search our car. “It was at that point that I was attacked by a unit of undercover agents. They used wooden sticks to beat me, and kicked me all over my body – focusing on my face. I was sprayed with pepper spray. My family was also threatened with pepper spray.

RAMALLAH, September 24, 2011 (WAFA) – Chris Hoby, a French photographer for the French news agency “Le Desk,” was shot on Friday by an Israeli soldier’s tear gas bomb while covering the Nabi Saleh demonstration, said a medical source. Hoby, who was photographing the peaceful demonstrations for three weeks in a row, said that he was standing 50 meters away from the soldiers when one of them pointed his gun at him and fired. He said that usually the soldiers shoot in the air to break up the demonstration, yet this time they shot at the ground which resulted in injuring a number of protesters.
Israeli troops arrested two Palestinians after shooting their car on Saturday morning at Tekoa junction near Bethlehem, while Israeli settlers opened fire on Palestinian shepherds.  Eyewitnesses told the Palestinian state news wire Wafa that Israeli soldiers manning the Tekoa checkpoint east of Bethlehem shot at a car approaching the checkpoint, then arrested 41-year-old Mohammed Ghanam and his 17-year-old son Qamr. Both were from the village of Dura in Hebron governorate.

At the pretext of searching for mobile phones, police raid Askalan prison
Nachshon prison police raided the Askalan prison on the pretext that they were looking for smuggled mobile phones, causing extensive damage to prisoners’ property.


Two Tunnel Workers Killed, Five Injured
Palestinian medical sources reported that two tunnel workers died of wounds sustained due to a gas leak that led to an explosion inside as siege-busting tunnel, in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two Palestinians were killed and three others injured on Saturday after a gas canister exploded in a smuggling tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip, medics said., Nine people were in the tunnel at the time of the explosion and four were rescued unharmed, medical officials told Ma’an., Five Palestinians have been killed in tunnel collapses in the last week.
Egyptian police on Friday discovered three new tunnels on the border with Gaza, two at Sahah El-Din, and a big tunnel for smuggling fuel, diesel and gasoline in the Brahmins area. Police raided the tunnels and seized some goods and food items, but nobody was arrested. Currently, both police and army forces are controlling the border with Gaza and have appointed high security forces at the tunnel openings. The issue of tunnels on the border with Gaza created a lot of debate both during and after the Mubarak era. The majority of Egyptians were expecting better relations and more support for the Palestinians after the January 25 revolution.

Tunisian aid convoy lands in Gaza on solidarity visit
The Tunisian Karame (Dignity) aid convoy arrived in Gaza on Saturday via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on a few days visit.

Gaza,(– School this year in the Gaza Strip opens with a severe shortage of space and material due to the continuation of the Israeli blockade of the region, Press TV reports. Most of Gaza’s government and UN-run schools are operating two shifts every day to deal with the shortage of classrooms. More than 50 students try to concentrate in each classroom, with three children seated at a desk designed for two. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) uses metal shipping containers as classrooms in some schools to accommodate the large
Gaza court questions accused in death of Italian
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — A Gaza military court on Thursday played the alleged confessions of four men accused in the April kidnap and murder of Italian peace activist Vittorio Arrigoni. Of the four men, all from Gaza, two are accused of murder, a third of having helped in the kidnap and killing, and a fourth of providing the house where the body of Arrigoni was found hanging, hours after he was snatched. The defendants appeared in Gaza City courtroom unshackled and in civilian clothes, all four sporting beards. They appeared calm and responded to questions from the court’s three judges.

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Foreign Ministry assessment suggest Gaza’s rules will not overtly try to undermine Abbas’ historic statehood bid; will wage battle over Palestinian public’s opinion against move.

Boycott / Divestment/ Sanctions & Solidarity
A PROTESTER who was unlawfully arrested and handcuffed in Edinburgh has said he is “delighted” after police were ordered to apologise to him. University lecturer Mick Napier, now 64, was detained during a protest in St Mary’s Street, just off the Royal Mile, in May 2008. Several other protesters had unfurled a banner reading “End the Seige of Gaza” from the top of an open-topped tourist bus when the arrest took place. Mr Napier had been driving in a car behind the bus and stepped out onto the pavement when it pulled over and the police were called. When asked by an officer for his details, he declined to provide them, and was arrested and handcuffed.
The Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee and the GSAS Alliance for Justice in the Middle East have issued a statement on the ‘Irvine 11’ case. It reads in part:  The Irvine 11 should be commended for confronting Oren’s propaganda effort to whitewash Israel’s criminal actions and policies in front of college audiences. Instead, they have been unjustly punished for constitutionally-protected dissent that is a routine part of student activism, including here at Harvard.

BDS update: Buttressing an independent Palestine
A new Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) campaign was launched this summer by the United Church of Canada, which will try to persuade six companies operating in Canada — Caterpillar, Motorola, Ahava, Veolia, Elbit Systems and Chapters/Indigo — to stop supporting the Israeli occupation. “The Campaign follows similar campaigns launched some time ago by the US Presbyterian Church and the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church. We have launched ‘Occupied with Peace’ after almost two years of discernment and information gathering,” says spokesperson Jean Lee.

Israeli Racism & Discrimination
JERUSALEM, September 23, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli police Friday banned Palestinian males who are under 50 years of age from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque as the Palestinians get ready to ask for United Nations membership. No restrictions were imposed on females. Police increased its presence in and around East Jerusalem in anticipation of possible outbreak of violence as a result of the UN bid.
Israel’s use of administrative detention, expulsion and widespread closure of Palestinian cultural institutions will be fortified and backed by a bill that threatens to turn law-abiding citizens and organizations into “terrorists.”
This week, the world’s attention centers on the United Nations in New York where, following months of build-up, the Palestinians have brought their case for statehood to the U.N. Security Council. Given the certainty of a U.S. veto, the Palestinian bid for U.N. recognition will be stillborn. What follows after this high-profile diplomatic “showdown” is anybody’s guess, but there’s little cause for optimism. Co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians in the bitterly contested Holy Land grows ever more fraught. Seeking to break through barriers, Israeli photographer Natan Dvir decided to cast his lens on the others in his midst — the largely marginalized Israeli Arabs, who comprise nearly a fifth of Israel’s total population. Dvir sums up their plight:  “They are living as a minority in a Jewish country at war with people [the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza] they see as allies or even brothers… Many see themselves as being discriminated against and are hoping for a change that would allow them and the rest of the Arab population in Israel an equal position in society.”
The section of beach in question had been set aside for separate bathing of men and women, to serve the ultra-Orthodox, years ago. But it deteriorated over the years because of the rising sea water and salt dama
Statehood Bid

Palestinians give ‘two weeks’ for UNSC action
Leading Fatah official gives deadline for Security Council decision on statehood bid, ahead of Monday meeting.

LONDON (Ma’an) — After filing his request that Palestine join the UN, President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday in London he would initiate deep discussions with Hamas about the state of disunity.
Ali Amr calls for the recognition of the Palestinian state, says ‘the establishment of a Palestinian state is the only way to achieve a just peace based on two states’.

Cracks appear between Britain and France as Palestine vote looms
A Franco-British rift was looming last night after David Cameron failed to line up behind President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to give the Palestinians enhanced status at the United Nations.

Tony Blair warns over Palestinian statehood bid
Tony Blair warned today that the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations would be “deeply confrontational” without a return to peace talks with the Israelis.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Saturday that Italy supported US-brokered negotiations between Israel and Palestine in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

Analysis: Peace no closer as Palestinians ask U.N. for state (Reuters)
Reuters – A hasty attempt by big powers to refloat Middle East talks — and spare the United States the embarrassment of vetoing a Palestinian demand for United Nations recognition of a state — looks doomed.

Despite rise in incidents of rock-throwing at Israeli vehicles and at Jewish settlements in West Bank, as well as a few confrontations, officers in Central Command say large-scale unrest they had feared failed to materialize.

In Pictures: The day of the UN bid
September 23 was a historical day for Palestinians worldwide and within the territories, as the Palestinian Authority submitted a bid to the UN to be recognized as the 194th nation of the world. While diplomats and political discussions ensued, a typical dialogue between Palestinians continued in the face of constant illegal Israeli oppression.

CAIRO, September 24, 2011 (WAFA) – A number of senior writers in Egyptian newspapers Saturday expressed their full support for the Palestinian application to gain full United Nations membership of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital, while criticizing US bias toward the Israeli occupation.
BUENOS AIRES, September 24, 2011 (WAFA) –  Palestine’s ambassador to Argentina, Walid al-Muaqqat, Saturday praised Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly, where she renewed her desire to see Palestine become a member of the United Nations organization with full rights. Al-Muaqqat, along with the Argentine Confederation of Arab Entities (Fearab), the Islamic Center and the Palestinian-Argentinean Federation, said they highly appreciate Kirchner’s speech when she said that “I wish Palestine will have the 194th seat in the United Nations.”
ATHENS, September 24, 2011 (WAFA) – A delegation from the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) Friday handed the Israeli embassy in Athens a letter that supports the recognition of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to a press release. The delegation was headed by WFTU General Secretary, George Mavrikos, along with members of the General Union of Palestinian Workers in Athens and All-Workers Militant Front (PAME).
Other News

‘Obama sold special bombs to Israel’
New report claims US secretly approved transfer of ‘bunker buster’ bombs that could be used in attack against Iran just months after Barack Obama took office, even though Bush administration had previously blocked deal.

Returning home from UN General Assembly, PA president says that terms of Paris Agreement prevent Palestinian economy from prospering.

Abbas to soon launch ‘in-depth’ talks with Hamas
De facto Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said he would launch “in-depth talks” with Palestinian resistance group Hamas on issues pertaining to the government and “Palestinian horizons”.

Timetable aims to reach peace agreement before end of 2012; brief Quartet statement makes no proposals to bridge core issues dividing Israelis and Palestinians.
Proposal calls for setting agenda for new peace talks with a goal of a deal by the end of 2012; U.S. says timeline is ‘realistic and serious.’
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — Egyptian interim Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr on Saturday said the Middle East Quartet had failed to make progress to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine. In his address to the UN General Assembly in New York, Amr said Egypt “was, and will remain, committed to the goal of achieving just and comprehensive peace that it had initiated in the Middle East and will continue to actively support it.
Bill Clinton: Netanyahu to blame for failure of peace process
Yearning for leaders of the past, former US President says ‘two great tragedies in modern Middle Eastern politics were Rabin’s assassination and Sharon’s stroke’.

Bill Clinton: Rick Perry’s like Israeli ‘militants’

Former President Bill Clinton suggested Thursday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was ideologically in line with “militant subgroups in Israel” and was too willing to let the Jewish state do whatever it wants.
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Erdogan: Israel cannot be trusted
In interview with CNN Turkish PM continues with belligerent rhetoric towards Israel, questions the number of Israeli fatalities from Palestinian terror groups’ rocket fire ‘compared to thousands of dead Palestinians’.

Erdogan assaulted in UN building
Unidentified man tries to attack Turkish PM during Abbas’ speech, stopped by bodyguards.

BEIRUT (Ma’an) — The speaker of the Lebanese parliament on Saturday criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday. Netanyahu told world leaders that the UN had become a “theater of the absurd” as “Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon” held presidency of the UN Security Council.  “This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security,” he added.
Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Saturday lashed out at a speech given by Israeli Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly, saying it was filled with “contempt” and “grudge.”  In a statement he released, Berri stressed that Hezbollah doesn’t preside over the UN Security Council nor do President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Miqati. He noted that “it’s a matter of time that the world realizes that the organization might have the time to avenge its dignity and understand that Israel can’t stay above the law and above accountability.”
Israeli law lecturer calls Jordan a “puppet state”
An Israeli law lecturer has called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan a “puppet state” which had never existed in reality or on a map and whose people are “a combination of tribes recently settled” there. In his Op-Ed piece in Yedioth Ahronoth headed “Jordan is Palestine”, Dr. Haim Misgav was also critical of King Abdullah II for claiming that he will protect his country, “militarily if necessary”, against any attempts to “transfer” Palestinians to Jordan. Misgav believes that the King will soon see a Palestinian state in Jordan.

AP – Muslim countries at a 151-nation conference demanded Friday that Israel open its nuclear program to international purview, asserting that its undeclared arsenal is a threat to Mideast peace.

US: Stop Proposed Arms Sales to Bahrain
(Washington, DC) – The United States should delay a proposed arms sale to Bahrain until it ends abuses against peaceful critics of the ruling family and takes meaningful steps toward accountability for serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today. The US Defense Department notified Congress on September 14, 2011, of a proposed sale of armored Humvees and missiles to Bahrain worth US$53 million. The sale would appear to be the first since the start of Bahrain’s crackdown on protests earlier this year.
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A city councilman in San Juan Capistrano, California, has come under fire by Muslims and local council members alike for naming his dog Muhammad and later announcing it during a city council meeting.
The New York Police Department put American citizens under surveillance and scrutinized where they ate, prayed and worked, not because of charges of wrongdoing but because of their ethnicity, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Only prior meeting held in Muslim world was a 2006 Iranian conference, widely denounced by Jewish leaders as an attempt to discredit the Holocaust.

Women’s rights advocates gather to ensure they aren’t sidelined in ‘Arab Spring’
Leading women’s rights activists from around the world convened in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss how to ensure they aren’t excluded from the democratization sweeping the region.

JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli newspapers were unanimous Thursday in characterizing US President Barack Obama’s UN speech as hugely supportive of Israel, but some argued it was perhaps too much of a good thing. “The American embrace” was the front-page headline of the Maariv daily, while the top-selling Yedioth Aharonoth took a similar line, summing up the impact of Obama’s remarks for Israel and the Palestinians as “The hug and the snub.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – So much for charges from conservative contenders for the 2012 US presidential elections that Barack Obama is not pro-Israel enough — the president just won seals of approval from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his far-right foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and the US lobby that usually reflects their views.

Today, Hillary went on Al Jazeera to critique President Obama’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly; see video embedded above (click on picture to play).  The segment focuses on Obama’s remarks about the Palestinian issue, but the speech, see here, virtually in its entirety, is a testament to Obama’s failure as a foreign policy President.
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As If There Is No Occupation; The Limits of Palestinian Authority Strategy, Nu’man Kanafani
For many months, the streets of downtown Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority (PA), have literally been heaps of earth. Workers have labored intensively to replace water and sewage pipes, repave roads, lay beautiful carved stones at roadsides and install thick chains along the edges of sidewalks in order to better separate pedestrian and automotive traffic. Shopkeepers have been told to reduce the size of their storefront signs; specially designed electricity poles jut skyward. Not every town resident is impressed. As they navigate the mounds of dirt, cynics joke: “The PA is covering the road to self-determination in asphalt.” “We have the sewers; all that’s left is the sovereignty.” “The streets of Ramallah are paved with white stones — who needs Jerusalem?”

The Palestinian statehood show at the UN is finally on the road. With his application this week to the UN secretary general and address to the general assembly, the Palestinian president formally launched the statehood process. In so doing Mahmoud Abbas has shown astonishing resolve against a formidable array of Israeli, US and European pressures to force him into retracting his position. Whatever else, this newfound determination will ensure a fresh lease of life for a leadership considered by many Palestinians, still shocked by the Palestine papers’ revelations of subservience to Israel, to be unrepresentative, discredited and illegitimate. Israeli-US threats and frantic last-minute manoeuvring by the Quartet powers to halt the statehood process have only lent further credence to the Palestinian position.
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Palestinians: The Search for Statehood
The Palestinian struggle for statehood and the right to self-determination predates the recent attempt to gain recognition at the UN by decades and will not cease should the latest bid fail. Despite being repeatedly shunned by the International Community, Palestinians continue to express their desire for liberation in a myriad ways.

Netanyahu shows to the world that Israel wants neither an agreement nor a Palestinian state, and for that matter not peace, either.
Palestine at the U.N. . . . Again

Just about ninety minutes ago Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, posed the perennial Palestinian question to the delegations assembled in New York: Is there one people too many or one state too few?  For the past two decades, bilateral negotiations have quarantined a matter of broad international concern and consequence. Under the veneer of the “peace process,” Israel has consolidated its occupation and escalated its colonial settlement expansion. The forced population-transfer of Palestinian civilians has continued unabated under the weight of the Israeli imperative of creating facts on the ground. Rather than challenge those policies on behalf of the Palestinians it purports to represent, for the past twenty years the Palestinian leadership has succumbed to U.S. pressure. The PA has muted its public protest and international advocacy against Israeli policies in exchange for the promise of a better negotiation position.

Why Palestinians have a right to return home
A thorough examination of the legal rights of all those displaced by the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

No Peace or Justice in Our Time with Netanyahu, Steve Lendman
Like his Washington paymaster/partner, Netanyahu deplores peace. Initiating talks never worked before and won’t now. Speaking privately at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York, Bill Clinton said Netanyahu lost interest because Palestine has a president he controls, and normalizing relations with the Arab world is within reach.

WASHINGTON — A congressional drive to punish the Palestinian Authority for its statehood bid by cutting American aid is being greeted with enthusiasm by lawmakers of both parties.  But the White House is giving the move a cold shoulder, and even Israel itself and its strongest supporters have serious reservations. The legislation being discussed in Congress would cut all or part of the nearly $600 million annual aid package if Palestinians move ahead with their plan to seek statehood at the United Nations.
I’m reminded of how Chinese premier Zhou EnLai supposedly answered a question in 1972 about the significance of the French Revolution. “Too early to tell,” was his reputed reply; and though he may never have said it, how true it is that the major events of our world carom through history in ways that remain unpredictable even hundreds of years later.  How then to arrive at an assessment of the Arab Spring — and now far harsher Summer and Fall — of 2011, other than to say that it has proven monumental?

Years ago, in the good old days when Arab diplomats used to walk out when Israeli speakers approach the podium at international events and meetings, US officials and journalists used to mock Arab diplomats and complain about their undemocratic behavior and their unwillingness to listen to the other side.  Now, US diplomats walk out when Iranian officials speak.  But American diplomats are cute when they do it, I guess.

Change at Al Jazeera, Asad AbuKhalil
The Western and Arabic press is full of stories about Al Jazeera and the new direction it will inevitably follow with the selection of a new director-general for its operating networks. The ouster (the official statement did not mention resignation) of Waddah Khanfar has opened doors for speculation. No one really knows what goes on behind the scene and it is no secret that the Emir of Qatar really runs the networks and is fully aware of its powers, as far as Qatar is concerned. More than gas, Al Jazeera put Qatar on the regional and global map.

The Middle East’s New Geopolitical Map, PATRICK SEALE
The Arab Spring is not the only revolution in town. The toppling of dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya; the mounting death toll in Syria and Yemen, where the outcome is still undecided; the revival of long-suppressed Islamic movements demanding a share of power; the struggle by young revolutionaries to re-invent the Arab state — all these dramatic developments have distracted attention from another revolution of equal significance.

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