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Archive for December 20th, 2011

Mansour Calls on Security Council to Act Against Israeli Violations

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NEW YORK, December 20, 2011 (WAFA) – Ambassador and Permanent Observer of Palestine at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, called on the UN Security Council to act against the Israeli violations against Palestinians and hold the Israeli government accountable for its provocative actions.

He explained, in a letter addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, the extremely deteriorating situation in the Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem, as a result of the illegal and provocative policies adopted by the Israeli government and settlers.

He focused on the settlers’ attacks against Palestinians, their properties and holy places and called on the international community to stop this violent and illegal campaign launched by settlers and their government.

He affirmed that the international community’s silence over the Israeli crimes and Israel’s rejection of submitting to law will lead to major failure in efforts to revive the peace process and achieve a two-state solution.

(mideastnews-danmike.blogspot.com / 20.12.2011)

Written by altahrir

December 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Israeli Soldiers Arrest Four Palestinians from Nablus

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NABLUS, December 20, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers Tuesday arrested four Palestinians from the city of Nablus, north of the West Bank, according to local sources.

Witnesses told WAFA that Israeli forces at dawn raided Doma village, south of Nablus, ransacked Palestinians’ houses and arrested two siblings.

Israeli soldiers also handcuffed two Palestinians and forced them to undress at Huwwarah checkpoint, south of Nablus.

(english.wafa.ps / 20.12.2011)

Written by altahrir

December 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Diplomat wife dies after forced to renew Jerusalem permit 18Dec11

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Ma’an News Agency  –  17 December 2011

LONDON (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities forced the wife of the Palestinian ambassador to the UK to return to Jerusalem to renew her residency status during chemotherapy treatment, British media reported on Friday.

Samira Hassassian died in August aged 57 after she contracted a virus on the return flight to the UK in the midst of cancer treatment, her husband Manuel told The Guardian newspaper.

A spokesperson at the Israeli embassy in London denied Samira had been refused an extension of her residency, telling the paper “If there is a health issue there is no question that she would have had to travel.”

Palestinians have to renew their residency status in East Jerusalem with the Israeli authorities every two years. Hassassian said his wife, who was a US-trained chemist and lecturer in business studies, was determined not to lose her right to live in East Jerusalem.

 

OBITUARY  –  The Guardian

by Michel Massih

My friend Samira Hassassian, who has died of cancer aged 57, worked tirelessly for the rights of the Palestinian people and supported several charities connected with the art world, in particular the El-Shashat charity devoted to promoting Palestinian films. She shared these passions with her husband, Manuel Hassassian, who became the Palestinian ambassador to the UK in 2005.

Samira was not a simple diplomatic “adjunct”. She sought to promote trade by encouraging Palestinian craftsmen to come to Britain to exhibit their products. She was a patron of Medical Aid for Palestinians and she worked hard to bring medical assistance to thousands.

Samira was born in Beit Jala, a town near Bethlehem. Her family were part of the Christian Palestinian community there. Her father, Jabra Araj, was an ear, nose and throat specialist. Her mother, Lydia, founded a number of charities. Samira read chemistry at Birzeit University, near Ramallah, then continued her education at the American University of Beirut. From there she went to Toledo University, Ohio, to continue her studies in chemistry. She combined her BSc in chemistry with an MBA in business studies. On completion of her studies she worked at Procter & Gamble. She later lectured on business studies at Bethlehem University.

At Birzeit University, Samira met Manuel. They married in 1977. Their house in Chiswick, west London, became an essential port of call for members of the British-Palestinian community. Samira was a great listener and supported the youth of the community in practical ways. She was a passionate chef. Nothing gave her greater pleasure than to cook for family and friends. In her spare time she wrote poetry in Arabic. The essence of one of her poems was a longing to be reunited with the soil of Palestine. She longed to return and sit in the shade of the olive trees of her beloved Beit Jala, where she asked to be buried.

Samira is survived by Manuel and three children, Nadine, Tamar and Sarkis.

(www.australiansforpalestine.net / 20.12.2011)

Written by altahrir

December 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Islamistes de Libye, d’Egypte, de Palestine réunis à Tunis

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ghannouchiUn symposium  international sur le thème «la Campagne  de défense de l’islam»  a été organisé les 15, 16, 17 décembre 2011, à Gammarth, à  l’hôtel Regency, sous l’égide du parti  Ennahdha,  avec la collaboration de cheikhs et d’oulémas venus d’Egypte, de Libye, de Syrie, de Palestine… Reportage.

L’événement  a bénéficié d’une grande affluence. Côté tunisien, on aura noté la présence du cheikh Rached Ghannouchi, de Me Abdelfettah Mourou, ainsi que des représentants du parti islamisant «Al adala  wa el tannmya». Des oulémas et des invités de marque du monde arabe et du Maghreb ont donné une dimension internationale  à l’événement. Le koweitien Walid Tabtabaï, connu pour ses virulentes positions anti-chiites a côtoyé ainsi, le penseur et activiste égyptien Tarak Zommor, lié notamment à l’assassinat d’Anouar Sadate. Etaient également présents le ministre des Awqaf libyen, M. Hamza Abou Faress, le yéménite Abdelwahab Hamikani, le prédicateur palestinien Nader Témimi, le syrien Khaïrallah Taleb… autant dire que le symposium a suscité l’intérêt de sommités islamistes issues des quatre coins du monde arabe.

Et comme il se doit dans des manifestations de ce genre, la salle a été  scindée en deux  aires distinctes : les dames à gauche, les messieurs à droite.  Au niveau des derniers rangs des femmes en niqab et des garçons en qamis, œuvraient de par et d’autre de la margelle de séparation  à entretenir une atmosphère densément émotionnelle, en scandant des «takbirs» et des slogans islamisants.

La Grande République islamique
Dans son allocution d’ouverture, Walid Tabtabaï  a salué  la «libération» de la Tunisie des crocs du diktat et la promesse de «son retour» longuement rêvé  par les croyants au giron originel et légitime de la Oumma. Une Oumma déterminée désormais à promouvoir une grande «dawla» de la justice et de la foi. Cette idée maitresse a été reprise un peu par tous les intervenants et notamment par Rached Ghannouchi. Le cheikh a en effet,  célébré une ère nouvelle, celle du rassemblement, de l’unification, un «Ijmâa» politique  en rupture avec  le  clivage assassin  entre laïcs et islamistes et une concorde à l’échelle arabe qui, plus que jamais, est  à l’ordre du jour et de l’époque.   L’égyptien Zommor relèvera à son tour que «l’époque est certainement mûre, en ces temps bénis  pour l’accomplissement de la Grande République islamique».

Parmi l’assistance, le jeune salafiste qui a défendu la cause du niqab sur le plateau télé d’Hannibal TV, était présent avec des militants, qui manifestaient ostensiblement  leur sympathie pour Rached Ghannouchi. Ils ont d’ailleurs eu l’occasion de discuter longuement avec le cheikh entre les séances, et surtout, après les repas.

Les séances du 16 et 17 décembre ont été consacrées à retracer  le thème majeur des révolutions arabes. Les intervenants ont discuté des enjeux et de l’avenir des dynamiques politiques dans le monde arabe. Ont participé à l’actualisation de ces sujets des conférenciers dont notamment  le parlementaire tunisien Abou Yâarab Marzouki et M. Mustapha Abdeljalil  du Conseil National Transitoire Libyen.

Miracles en Libye
L’invité  libyen a ainsi détaillé la liste impressionnante des «karamats», ces «miracles» advenues lors des batailles révolutionnaires menées contre l’ennemi de Dieu. Un exemple ? Une troupe pro-Kadhafi armée jusqu’aux dents, s’est retrouvée par hasard  face à face avec un groupement  révolutionnaire complètement désarmés. Tout portait donc à croire que les rebelles allaient se faire massacrer par la soldatesque à la solde de Khaddafi. Selon, M. Abdeljalil, par un effet de grâce incroyable, les révolutionnaires  ont paru sous les traits d’un commandement militaire irréductible. Le membre du CNT raconte ce fait d’armes miraculeux «la panique s’est répandue parmi les khaddafistes, qui ont fini par rendre armes et munitions aux pieds des aimés de Dieu».

Dans leurs discours, la majorité des participants ont en substance,  souligné l’urgence  brûlante à resserrer les rangs  entre  peuples sunnites pour constituer uneunité politique et socio-confessionnelle dans un monde arabe pris entre deux périls : chiite incarné par l’Iran et  impérialiste américain représenté par un Etat que les conférenciers auront unanimement  évité de nommer. Les plus jeunes de l’assistance ne prendront pas autant de précautions. Entre des vivats et  des exhortations tonitruantes à bénir la mémoire du «Chahid» Ben Laden, les jeunes salafistes, ont entonné des appels explicites à la chute du  régime saoudien.

(www.mag14.com / 20.12.2011)

Written by altahrir

December 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Posted in Politics

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TWENTY HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS SOUND ALARM OVER ISRAEL´S VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

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Demolition in East Jerusalem

An international coalition of 20 aid agencies and human rights groups, includingAmnesty International,Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam International, stated on Monday that Israel has stepped up unlawful demolitions in the West Bank including East Jerusalem over the past year, displacing a record number of Palestinian families. They also said that this sharp rise in demolitions has been accompanied by accelerated expansion of settlements and an escalation of violence perpetrated by settlers.

The statement of the 20 groups  coincided with a meeting of Middle East Quartet in Jerusalem in its latest effort to revive peace talks. The 20 criticised the approach of  the Quartet and said it should hold all parties to the conflict to their international law obligations. The Quartet should, therefore, press the Israeli government to immediately reverse its settlement policies and freeze the demolitions that violate international law.

Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of Oxfam Internationa said: “The increasing rate of settlement expansion and house demolitions is pushing Palestinians to the brink, destroying their livelihoods and prospects for a just and durable peace. There is a growing disconnect between the Quartet talks and the situation on the ground. The Quartet needs to radically revise its approach and show that it can make a real difference to the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.”

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, added:  “The Quartet should call ongoing settlement expansion and house demolitions what they are: violations of international humanitarian law that Israel should stop.”

And Phillip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Interim Programme Director of Amnesty International, called “Israel’s escalating violations” an illustration of  “the fundamental failure of the Quartet’s approach. It’s time for the Quartet to understand that they cannot contribute to achieving a just and durable solution to the conflict without first ensuring respect for international law.”

The evidence of rapidly deteriorating situation on the ground, the organisations said, includes:

  • Doubling the number of people displaced by demolitions: Since the beginning of the year more than 500 Palestinian homes, wells, rainwater harvesting cisterns, and other essential structures have been destroyed in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, displacing more than 1,000 Palestinians, UN figures show. This is more than double the number of people displaced over the same period in 2010, and the highest figure since at least 2005. More than half of those displaced have been children for whom the loss of their home is particularly devastating.
  • Accelerating settlement expansion: Plans for around 4,000 new settler housing units have been approved in East Jerusalem over the past 12 months – the highest number since at least 2006, according to Peace Now. In November, moreover, Israel announced plans to speed up construction of 2,000 new units in the West Bank including East Jerusalem.
  • Sharp increase in settler violence: violent attacks by settlers against Palestinians have escalated by over 50% in 2011 compared to 2010, and by over 160% compared to 2009, the UN reports. 2011 has seen by far the most settler violence since at least 2005. Settlers have also destroyed or damaged nearly 10,000 Palestinian olive and other trees during this year, undermining the livelihoods of hundreds of families. The perpetrators act with virtual impunity, with over 90% of complaints of settler violence closed by the Israeli police without indictment in 2005-2010.
  • Impending threat of forced displacement of Bedouin: Up to 2,300 Bedouin living in the Jerusalem periphery could be forcibly and unlawfully relocated if Israeli authorities follow through with their reported plans in 2012, which would destroy their livelihoods and threaten their traditional way of life. Rural communities in the Jordan Valley are also facing the prospect of further demolitions as settlements continue to expand.

The following organisations signed the statement: Amnesty International; Avaaz; Broederlijk Delen; CCFD-Terre Solidaire; Church of Sweden; CNCD – 11.11.11; Christian Aid; DanChurchAid; Diakonia; Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network; FIDH; FinnChurchAid; GVC Italia; Human Rights Watch; Medical Aid for Palestinians; medico international; Norwegian People’s Aid; Oxfam International; Polish Humanitarian Action; Trócaire.

It was time that human rights organisations sounded this alarm and called on the Quartet to stop pretending it was trying to create an atmosphere in which one could talk peace, as far as I´m concerned. What, however, is missing from this statement is adhesion by Israeli and Palestinian organisations. The only thing I discovered that goes in the same direction is an observation by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) that Israel has been speeding up its demolitions and expulsions during this year 2011. One wonders why the Israelis and Palestinians aren´t there.

(www.nl-aid.org / 20.12.2011)

Written by altahrir

December 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

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“The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure– in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s. Over the past six months, a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation”. Desmond Tutu

 
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel was launched in Ramallah in April 2004 by a group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals to join the growing international boycott movement. The Campaign built on the Palestinian call for acomprehensive economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel issued in A ugust 2002 and a statement made by Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the occupied territories and in the Diaspora calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in October 2003.

In July 2004, the Campaign issued a statement of principles, addressed to our colleagues in the international community urging them to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions until Israel withdraws from all the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; removes all its colonies in those lands; agrees to United Nations resolutions relevant to the restitution of Palestinian refugees rights; and dismantles its system of apartheid. This statement was met with widespread support, and has to date been endorsed by nearly sixty Palestinian academic, cultural and other civil society federations, unions, and organizations, including the Federation of Unions of Palestinian Universities’ Professors and Employees and the Palestinian NGO Network in the West Bank. The campaign has also established an advisory committee comprised of well-known public figures and intellectuals.

The Palestinian Campaign is inspired by the historic role played by people of conscience in the international community of scholars and intellectuals who have shouldered the moral responsibility to fight injustice, as exemplified in their struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa through diverse forms of boycott.

During the past two years various calls for divestment, sanctions and economic boycott of Israeli products as well as a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions have been issued by groups and individuals in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. These calls recognize that Israeli academic institutions (mostly state controlled) and the vast majority of Israeli intellectuals and academics have either contributed directly to the Israeli occupation or at the very least have been complicit through their silence. In April 2002 British academics issued a call for a moratorium on European research and academic collaboration with Israeli institutions. In France, an appeal to the European Union not to renew its 1995 Association Agreement with Israel was issued by the University of Paris-VI (Pierre-et-Marie-Curie) in December 2002 and was endorsed by several other French universities. Similar calls were published in Italy and Australia, while in the United States, student and faculty groups at several universities including New York University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton launched divestment from Israel campaigns. Most recently the Church of Sweden has called for a boycott of goods produced by Israeli colonies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the Presbyterian Church in the United States has decided to divest from Israel.

Boycotting Israeli academic and cultural institutions is an urgently needed form of pressure against Israel that can bring about its compliance with international law and the requirements for a just peace.

Advisory Board

  • Abdel Jawad Saleh
  • George Giacaman
  • Ibrahim Dakkak
  • Jaqueline Sfeir
  • Jamil Hilal
  • Samia Khoury
Founding Committee

  • Bashir Abdel Razek
  • In’am Obeidi
  • Islah Jad
  • Lisa Taraki
  • Omar Barghouti
  • Riham Barghouti
  • Rowan Al-Faqih
  • Zuhair Sabbagh
Steering Committee

  • Carmela Armanious
  • Gabi Baramki
  • Omar Barghouti
  • Riham Barghouti
  • Samia Botmeh
  • Haidar Eid
  • Rania Elias
  • Islah Jad
  • Lisa Taraki

 

Posted on 21-12-2008 / (www.pacbi.org / 20.12.2011)

Written by altahrir

December 20, 2011 at 9:10 am

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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Interview: “Everyone can help Welcome to Palestine 2012″

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Activists give the "victory" hand gesture as they are surrounded by media

Israel’s deporting of dozens of international activists earlier this year generated bad publicity.

Plans are underway to challenge Israeli apartheid during 2012 by having a large number of international activists land in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport and state openly that they wish to visit Palestine. Scheduled for 15 April, the “Welcome to Palestine 2012” initiative will be the second such attempt to affirm the right of Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank to receive visitors.

In July this year, international airlines collaborated with Israel in preventing black-listed participants to board planes. More than a hundred activists with the Welcome to Palestine“Flytilla” reached the Tel Aviv airport, but they were detained by Israeli forces upon arrival, and subsequently deported.

The Electronic Intifada contributor Adri Nieuwhof recently interviewed Mick Napier, chairman of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and a Welcome to Palestine 2012 organizer in the United Kingdom, about the project. Napier was one of the participants in this year’s “Flytilla” who was detained by Israel.

Adri Nieuwhof: Can you clarify how you become involved in Palestine solidarity activism and what drives you?

Mick Napier: Well, I spent years at university opposing the [US] invasion and devastation of Vietnam. I took from that the idea that it is possible to defeat even the greatest crimes. If we organize ourselves and link the people in colonial countries with a principled solidarity movement in the metropolitan countries, we can win.

AN: Can you tell us more about the Welcome to Palestine initiative?

MN: It is a French-Belgian initiative, with a few of us from the UK joining last year. As soon as I heard about it, I knew it would be a serious challenge [to] the fencing off of the Palestinians in the West Bank. In the same way as the [Gaza Freedom] Flotilla has done. With “Welcome to Palestine” we can show people the crimes Israel commits against the Palestinians.

In July, about 500 people were prepared to fly to Tel Aviv, and 125 arrived. We know we wrong-footed the Israelis. We know, if we multiply the numbers, we can challenge Israel and the compliance of our governments. Not just in Gaza, but in the West Bank as well.

AN: You participated in the first Flytilla. How was the reception at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv last July?

MN: The reception in Tel Aviv shows that Israel is a lawless state. Upon not infringing passport control after we said that we want to visit Palestinian friends in Bethlehem, we were frog-marched to a detention center and from there moved to two other prisons. We were assured by Israeli officers that we were guilty of something but not [told] of what. While we were in prison, the Israeli embassy in London issued a statement that we were not held in a prison.

AN: What are the lessons you have learned from the Flytilla?

MN: The Israeli authorities in the days before 8 July became hysterical. [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu announced that people who fly to Tel Aviv to go to Bethlehem are a threat to the security of Israel. The Israeli police chief, who is a hooligan himself, called us hooligans who will be dealt with appropriately. We learned we should fly in huge numbers and [that it is important] to liaise with Palestinians and friends in Israel.

The Israelis have constructed enormous prisons for Palestinians. But prisoners have a right to visits. Our countries are in league with Israel. Israel denies the most basic rights to Palestinians. Their response to our initiative was to score an own-goal. The publicity and sympathy we received was quite remarkable.

Small towns adopted people who would go. Israel was portrayed as the problem, not the British citizens. Even quite right-wing communities wondered at the stupidity of Netanyahu and the police minister. The stupidity, the lack of subtlety and the belief they can solve any problem with oppression, it is all in our favor.

AN: With the first Flytilla, airlines received lists with names of people who would be denied entry to Israel, [and the] airlines did not allow them to board the plane. What role will the airlines play in the coming Flytilla?

MN: There are indications that airlines felt manipulated by Israel. European airlines have felt it is costly in terms of money and public relations. There will be demonstrations if we are not permitted on board. There will be a chance they [the airlines] will leave Israel to deal with us. Airlines should refuse to be the auxiliary prison guards for Israel’s illegal occupation.

AN: Not everybody can participate in the next Flytilla on 15 April 2012. Do you have suggestions what people who want to support the Palestinians can do?

MN: Everyone can participate. Not just the hundreds of people that will fly. People are needed to explain why it is important to adopt the tactic, to explain why people are going to visit Palestinian friends openly. We need a support system on the ground like the Flotilla to inform the public in case we are detained.

The wider answer to your question is boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). We respond to the Palestinian call of boycott of any institution of the Israeli state. So [Israeli airline] El Al is most definitely not an option to fly that day.

Fundamental to what we do is the understanding — shared by Zionists — that Israel has become a toxic brand. The knowledge about Israel’s criminal behavior has spread far and wide in every European country. Therefore, when Israel crosses another red line by a massacre on sea, or by not allowing visits to prison for Palestinians, they dig themselves deeper into a hostile public opinion which is the basis of all BDS successes that have been secured until now.

Adri Nieuwhof is a consultant and human rights advocate based in Swizerland.

(electronicintifada.net / 20.12.2011)

Written by altahrir

December 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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