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When prime ministers sound like Borat and the press lets it pass


At least twice in the past three weeks American journalists have neglected to ask hard questions of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Softball questions failed to pin down the prime minister on credible allegations of war crimes and human rights violations carried out in recent months by Israeli military forces. The Washington Post of Sunday, Nov. 12 published a Lally Weymouth interview with Olmert. Weymouth is infamous for never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity when it comes to tough questioning of an Israeli leader. This time proved no different. 

Nonviolent Resistance is not Illegal: Human Rights Watch Should Retract Statement


On Sunday, Nov. 19, hundreds of Palestinian civilians crowded into the building where the family of Mohammed Baroud and a number of other families live in Jabalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Israeli military forces had warned that the building would be attacked. The planned Israeli attack was deterred by this action. Two hours later, the scene was replicated at the family home of Mohammed Nawajeh, with the same results. The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) applauds the people of Jabalya for their courageous and effective use of nonviolent resistance, and we express our full solidarity with their actions, which are positive initiatives in the struggle to defend Palestinian rights. 

Film Review: "Visit Palestine" and gain an insider's view


Katie Barlow’s documentary Visit Palestine was one of the most riveting films to be featured in this year’s Chicago Palestine Film Festival. In the film Barlow follows Irish human rights activist Caoimhe (pronounced Cueeva) Butterly during her stay in Jenin refugee camp in 2002. Among her extensive involvement in the Jenin community, Butterly worked with local volunteers shortly after the 2002 massacre, unearthing the bodies of over sixty civilians who had been killed in the incursion. Butterly’s willingness to risk her own safety to intervene in and witness the ongoing assault on Palestinian civilian life gained her the respect and trust of Jenin residents, as she was welcomed into the homes of several families. 

Call upon Hillary Clinton to cancel meeting with Lieberman


We your constituents respectfully and forcefully request that you cancel your upcoming meeting with Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s newly appointed Minister of Strategic Threats. Please cancel the meeting publicly as a matter of principle that is in the best interests and ideals of the United States of America. As a champion of democracy and human rights, you cannot possibly know about the policies and positions of Mr. Lieberman and his Yisroel Beitenu political party, and still be intending to meet with him. In a recent editorial about his appointment, Haaretz, Israel’s newspaper of record wrote, “…the choice of the most unrestrained and irresponsible man around for this job constitutes a strategic threat in its own right …” 

Weekly report of human rights violations


During the reported period, IOF killed 14 Palestinians, 7 of whom are civilians, including a woman and a child. An eighth civilians died from a previous wound. In addition, IOF wounded 49 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 19 children, a woman and an old man. In the Gaza Strip, IOF killed 7 Palestinians, including 4 civilians (one of them is a child), during military operations in the northern Gaza Strip. On 23 November 2006, IOF extra-judicially executed 3 Palestinian resistance activists in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalya. On the same day, a Palestinian civilians died from a previous wound he had sustained in the northern Gaza Strip. 

On International Day of Solidarity, PLO leader Farouk Qaddumi addresses General Assembly


It was time to hold an international conference on the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to implement practical measures to end the occupation in a process that had, so far, been stalled because no real pressure had been exerted on Israel to implement its side of the agreements, the Head of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization said today, as debate began in the General Assembly on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East. The 2003 Road Map remained the internationally recognized path to peace on the question, Farouk Kaddoumi said, but it had been flawed from the start by the 14 reservations insisted upon by Israel, followed by the five guarantees given to Israel by the United States in 2004. 

Lawsuit against Israel considered by foreign nationals denied entry


Hundreds of foreign nationals packed into the Al-Bireh Municipality Hall to listen to legal experts explain the options available to them in light of Israel’s refusal to permit foreign nationals access to the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The audience was full of families with children, fearful that they will be forced to separate within days. Hundreds of foreign nationals packed into the Al-Bireh Municipality Hall to listen to legal experts explain the options available to them in light of Israel’s refusal to permit foreign nationals access to the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The audience was full of families with children, fearful that they will be forced to separate within days. 

For farmers, much of their land remains out of reach


Jayyous’s farmers are used to surveying their land from their commanding hilltop village in the northern West Bank. But for many, gazing is now all they can do. Israel’s West Bank barrier has separated the village of Jayyous from 9,500 of its 13,600 dunums (a dunum is 1,000 square metres) of land, and the Israeli authorities have denied them permits to access it. “In the beginning, they gave permits to pass through gates in the barrier to 90 per cent of the people here, including children,” said Mustafa Samha, 27, a psychologist whose father has been barred from his land. “But after six months they began reducing the number of people they gave permits to.” 

New Zealand Attorney General stays prosecution of Ya'alon for war crimes


Moshe Ya’alon was spared arrest or any proper prosecution process in New Zealand on 28 November, despite a decision on 27 November 2006 by His Honour Judge Avinash Deobhakta in the District Court at Auckland to issue warrants for his arrest on suspicion of committing a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949, which is a criminal offence in New Zealand under the Geneva Conventions Act 1958 and International Crimes and International Criminal Court Act 2000. Moshe Ya’alon is a 56 year old Israeli national who was Chief of Staff of the Israeli military from 9 July 2002 to 1 June 2005, answerable directly to the Prime Minister. 

Israeli high court approves apartheid wall in Bir Nabalah


The High Court approved the plan to run a barrier around five Palestinian villages northwest of Jerusalem , and imprison them in an enclave that will separate them from East Jerusalem and neighboring Palestinian villages. The five villages in the enclave are Beit Hanina al-Balad (1,400 residents), Bir Nabala (6,100), al-Jib (4,600), al-Judeira (2,100), and Qalandiya (1,200), which have a total population of more than 15,000 persons (hereafter: the Bir Nabala enclave). 9 high court justices approved the route of the barrier in the area, and ruled that imprisoning the villages in an enclave does not cause disproportionate harm to their residents.