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  • Article

    The Press as Political Player

    Dr Bouthaina Shaaban The United Nations Human Rights Council last week adopted a resolution condemning Israel for its attack on the aid flotilla on May 31. The report said that there was evidence which justifies prosecuting Israel for the "willful killing, torture, inhuman treatment and causing of great suffering...
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    Israel: the dead parrot of the Middle East!

    By Yvonne Ridley How many of you remember Monty Python's dead parrot sketch? It was a wonderful comedic routine that transcended nationality and culture. Timeless in its appeal, it is often cited in doomed or desperate situations when a bit of gallows humour is needed. I was reminded of...
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    What Does a "One State Solution" Really Mean?

    Beyond the Failed "Peace Process" By Alain Gresh Renewed Arab/Israeli negotiations, opened under the auspices of President Barack Obama in September, are undermined not just by settlement building but differing visions on other fundamental issues. The impasse has led to calls by some senior figures, including Israelis, for the...
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    Exclusive eye-witness account: Universal Jurisdiction on trial

    When I was being held in Israel in 2007 and undergoing a 12-hour interrogation session I remember my interrogator saying to me as he shrugged his shoulders 'International Law? What is that?' I asked him if he believed he was above International Law and he said 'of course; we...
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    The art of black propaganda

    Reports that the headquarters of the Palestinian Journalists Union in Gaza have been shut down by Hamas security forces should concern everyone with an interest in hearing the truth of what takes place in that troubled area. According to the Guardian newspaper, the PJU is "dominated by the secular...
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    Legislating Fascism

    By Khalid Amayreh The Right-wing Israeli government on Sunday, 10 October, approved a proposal that would force non-Jewish citizens to swear loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state. The proposal didn't state explicitly that non-Jews would have to settle for lesser rights and privileges in comparison to Jewish citizens. However,...
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    Tantrums and sheeshas, but who will care when Israel self-destructs?

    By Yvonne Ridley in Syria After the collapse of the faux Middle East peace talks Israel's growing isolation in the world is not entirely unexpected. A side-effect is that America has discovered that it cannot force the rest of the international community to embrace the Frankenstein monster it has...
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    Are we equipping the Palestinians to tolerate the intolerable?

    A conference in Beirut last week focussed on the shift of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from "Relief and Works to Human Development: UNRWA and the Palestinian Refugees after 60 years". Held at the American University of Beirut, the event...
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    When will this conspiracy of silence end?

    By Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban The recent and latest – but probably not the last – images of prisoners being abused by Israeli soldiers showed a blindfolded Palestinian woman trying desperately to avoid 21st century brutality in a prison cell with neither bars nor windows. As the seconds ticked by...
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    Were "the chosen people" picked for their virtues or vices?

    By Khalid AmayrehThe recent Vatican synod on the deteriorating situation in Palestine-Israel did the right thing by pointing out that Israel ought to discontinue the use of the controversial concept of "the chosen people" to torment and dispossess the Palestinians. Perhaps the Roman Catholic hierarchy has woken up to...
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    Hate-filled Israeli rabbis incite violence against non-Jews

    By Omar Radwan Vitriolic racism and hatred has become the Israeli normIsrael appears to be awash with Jewish hate preachers. In the past, rabbis who issued racist edicts or offensive remarks about Palestinians or non-Jews were generally dismissed as radicals and extremists who were no more than a trifling...
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    New photographs reveal IDF's "purity of arms" claim to be a sick joke

    By Omar Radwan A new set of photographs taken by Israeli soldiers has appeared on the Facebook page of the Israeli human rights group "Breaking the Silence". These photos show Israeli soldiers abusing and humiliating Palestinians during "Operation Cast Lead" – the 2008-2009 assault on Gaza. One photograph shows...
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    A short news story

    By Dr. Bouthaina ShaabanNews that a "strategic dialogue" was to take place between Israel and the United States was very brief; the news agencies hardly mentioned it. The names of the participants; the heads of the delegations; the meeting is held once every six months; the latest was held...
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    Who are the real prisoners?

    By Dr Bouthaina Shaaban When I asked in my previous article, "When will this conspiracy of silence end?" concerning more than eleven thousand Palestinian prisoners kidnapped from their homes by Israeli intelligence officers, and suffering the cruelest torture at the hands of sadist jailers in Israeli prisons, I wanted...
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    More questions about the settler attack on church in Jerusalem

    By Renee Bowyer A group of extremist Israeli settlers attacked and set fire to an old Christian church in Jerusalem (Al Quds) on Friday night, 30th October. The church itself was built more than a hundred years ago and has housed Christian worshippers in the Holy city of Al...
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    Conference debates Euro position on Palestinian issue

    A conference in Beirut focussing on "European Foreign Policy towards the Palestinian issue" has attracted participants and speakers from across the Middle East and Europe. Organised by Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, the event on 3-4 November had 130 delegates from 20 countries. The tone for the conference...
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    Whither Goldstone? Did the PA kill the UN's Gaza report?'

    By Jared MalsinGAZA–Israeli soldiers shot a mentally ill Palestinian man in the leg when he ventured near the Erez crossing, in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Last Wednesday, a 65-year-old man was shot in the neck in the same area. A week earlier the soldiers shot a 17-year-old,...
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    Palestinians urge EU parliamentarians to link PA aid to its human rights record

    By Khalid Amayreh Islamist parliamentarians in the West Bank and anguished families of political detainees being held by the Palestinian Authority have urged a visiting delegation of EU politicians to call on their respective governments to link financial aid to Ramallah's human rights record against its own citizens. Human...
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    Conference debates Euro position on Palestinian issue

    A conference in Beirut focussing on "European Foreign Policy towards the Palestinian issue" has attracted participants and speakers from across the Middle East and Europe. Organised by Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, the event on 3-4 November had 130 delegates from 20 countries. The tone for the conference...
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    The Parcel Bomb Plot - Al-Qaeda's Latest Christmas Gift to Israel

    By Maidhc Ó CathailWhile Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) may have claimed responsibility for the parcel bomb plot, it's worth considering how this latest Yemen-linked terror scare has been a gift to their avowed enemies. A mere two weeks before the discovery of mail bombs addressed to "two...
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    Palestinian reconciliation: an inescapable duty

    By Omar RadwanA major reconciliation meeting between Hamas and Fatah is taking place today in Damascus. While this is not the first meeting between the two main Palestinian factions; they have held talks many times before, for the first time there are signs that the deadlock which has existed...
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    Palestinian unity or security coordination with Israel?

    Dr Abdel Sattar QassemSecurity coordination with Israel stands in direct opposition to Palestinian unity, for it is collaboration by any other name. It conflicts with the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and their freedom and independence. Security coordination with Israel is a stain on the people and...
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    Signs that the BDS is biting

    On November 6th The Jerusalem Post published an article written by G. Steinberg and J. Edelstein titled, 'Turning the Tables on BDS'. The article discusses the need for Israel to implement a counterstrategy to deal with the BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions for Palestine). The article also explains...
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    What's going on inside Fatah?

    By Nabil AmrBehind the bustle and bluster of the Sixth General Conference of Fatah lay some very serious discussions, kept secret by virtue of the agreed need for a period of calm in which each member of the Fatah clan could evaluate its situation before taking a position on...
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    Mohammed Sawalha: a maligned and vindicated British-Palestinian citizen

    By Dr. Robert LambertIn recent months landmark settlements in civil litigation in Britain's High Court have vindicated Mohammed Sawalha, one of London's most industrious and effective voluntary workers. Known to his friends and colleagues as an indefatigable campaigner for social justice and democratic politics he has, in sections of...
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    Palestinian civil society reaffirms support for persecuted French activists

    Occupied Palestine, 23 November 2010 – The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) urges the French government to immediately cease all undemocratic, repressive measures against its own conscientious citizens who promote or engage in non-violent boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel until it complies with...
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    Franco Frattini is either a fool or ignorant, or possibly both

    By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem During his recent visit to Israel and the Gaza Strip, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini revealed rather brazenly his low intellectual capacity, a scandalous lack of honesty as well as stunning ignorance of the situation in this part of the world. He made...
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    'Holy Land' does not include Bethlehem - It's official!

    By Ken Reed A new economic squeeze by Israel Government Tourist Office to exclude Palestine from Holy Land pilgrim tours has begun, aided by full page colour adverts in Church newspapers like the Anglican Church Times* and Roman Catholic The Tablet*, which appear to have been taken in. Seven...
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    Prohibition of visitation rights for Palestinians violates international laws and conventions

    By Fuad KhuffashAs part of a series of reports I am preparing to document Israel's violations against Palestinian prisoners and detainees in its jails, this article looks at the Zionist state's prohibition of visitation rights. This is, of course, against international law, conventions and norms. In dealing with the...
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    Why must someone's "Jewishness" depend on how much they support Israel?

    At a fund-raising event raising money for the Palestine Legal Aid Fund, I was greeted very warmly by a friend who told me excitedly that she had just returned "from Palestine" and how pleased she was to see me. Actually, Linda Ramsden was one of many people I knew...
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    Revealing facts or establishing them?

    By Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban The avalanche of top secret cables leaked from the American Departments of State and Defence is still an intriguing enigma to many commentators and political analysts. A large portion of the hundreds of thousands of secret documents and cables posted on WikiLeaks are about the...
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    Beware of the extremists

    By Khalid Amayreh in occupied PalestineA few weeks ago, a supposedly religious activist, probably from one of the Gulf States, suggested to me that Muslims shouldn't confine our attacks to Zionists; we ought, he said, to attack Jews as Jews, on the grounds that the vast majority of Jews...
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    Enforced recognition of the Jewish State criminalises the Palestinian national struggle

    By Haneen Zouabi Manifestations of anti-Palestinian racism inside Israel have become aggravated of late, with polls indicating a general refusal by the Jewish majority to live side by side with their non-Jewish fellow citizens. This racism and accompanying hatred have shifted from the level of individual sentiments to a...
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    The expiration of the 'Peace Process': Where now for the Middle East?

    By Alastair Crooke A 'peace process' that, from its inception, took Israel's self-definition of its own security needs as the sole determinate of the walls within which any solution for Palestinians was to be conducted, has reached exhaustion. Based on such a reductive premise, its arrival at this deathly...
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    The repercussions of security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel

    By Sawsan Ramahi The Oslo Accord restricted the function of the Palestinian Authority (the PA), not only with regard to the control it could exert over the residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but also significantly in making its role to provide cover for Israel's security...
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    Open letter from the Jerusalem Palestinian Legislative Council members

    15 December 2010RE: The threat to expel us from Jerusalem, our home city You may know that the last Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections were held on the 25th January 2006. The elections were organized by agreement with all concerned parties and with the full cooperation of national and...
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    The legal status of Israel's expulsion of elected Palestinian legislators from Jerusalem

    Israel has ordered the immediate expulsion from Jerusalem of three elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council – Mr. Muhammad Abu-Teir, Mr. Ahmad Attoun and Mr Mohammad Totah – along with a former Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Mr Khaled Abu Arafeh. All four are permanent residents of Jerusalem,...
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    The future of the Middle East is in the grip of Israeli extremism

    By Fahmi Howeidi It seems that we have come to the moment of truth in the Palestinian conflict, where all the signs indicate that the future of the issue, and the entire region, is now determined by Avigdor Lieberman, a far-right racist in Israel, in league with other extremists...
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    Asia aid convoy signals increased support for Gaza

    By Renee Bowyer The Gaza blockade has been in place for four years and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have seen their country destroyed around them systematically. Their homes, universities, schools and hospitals have been reduced to rubble; their sick and injured have died; their sons and daughters have...
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    Israel's media campaign in Europe

    By Pascal Boniface Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs has summoned his country's ambassadors in European countries and given them clear instructions to make use of public relations experts to improve the image of the Zionist state in European public opinion. The minister identified specific tasks for the diplomats to...
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    Does international recognition for a Palestinian state really mean anything?

    Last week, Brazil gave official recognition to a Palestinian state within the pre-Six Day War 1967 borders, following a written request from the Palestinian Authority's President Mahmoud Abbas. In Brazil the decision was greeted by a media frenzy. Some commentators said Brazil was "doing what needs to be done"...
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    Spies and lies, especially against your allies

    Reports from the United States say that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to ask for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Jay Pollard. A report in the New York Times claims that Pollard's release will be the subject of a "public request" to President Barack Obama; he was...
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    Why is Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard back in the news?

    By Jeff Gates Over the past two months, Benjamin Netanyahu has mentioned the fate of jailed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard six times in meetings with President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Israel lobby has also mounted a letter-writing campaign on Pollard's behalf. When he was arrested...
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    When will the time come?

    By Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban The children gathered around what was, moments ago, their safe haven, the reservoir of their memories, the focus of their happiness, the link between them and their fathers and grandfathers, to see with their innocent eyes every brick of their house turn into rubble. The metal...
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    Evaluating Salam Fayyad's government in Ramallah

    By Dr. Mohsen Mohammad SalehThe formation of the Salam Fayyad government in the West Bank has been a striking and noteworthy phenomenon in the history of modern Palestine. This is due to the fact that his government was the product of internal division among the Palestinians. The reason that...
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    The scourge of drugs in Jerusalem

    By Sawsan RamahiPalestine has never been classified among the countries known for heavy use and trafficking of drugs, unlike some other Arab countries, such as Egypt and Lebanon. Prior to 1967, the number of people known to use drugs was listed in dozens; at that time, the West Bank...
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    The Un-Jewish Assault on Richard Goldstone

    By Letty Cottin Pogrebin Two years after Operation Cast Lead, Israel's three-week assault against Hamas in Gaza, we are still grappling with the fallout. Much of the public reckoning has been channeled into an acrimonious debate over the report of a four-person investigative commission appointed by the United Nations...
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    Tunisia: trouble in paradise

    By Intissar Kherigi The protests in Tunisia reflect an underlying dissatisfaction with the government that stretches years back. Corruption, authoritarianism, repression. Not words that many would associate with the beautiful North African republic of Tunisia, a popular summer holiday destination for many Brits. But the recent attempted suicide of...
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    Nations and their images in the media

    By Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban Countries' images in the past used to depend on what the people in those countries produce in terms of development, innovation, science and art. That image was a natural result of the achievements and the work done in those countries for the benefit of their...
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    The Palestinian leadership from negotiations to international legitimacy

    By Maged Kayali Due to its lack of any hope in the peace negotiations with Israel, the Palestinian Authority has said that it may approach the United Nations, either the Security Council or the General Assembly, to get formal recognition of a Palestinian State within the borders of June...