The Independent

UK TV documentary cleared of charges of anti-Israel bias

UK television regulators have cleared John Pilger of breaking broadcasting rules in his documentary, “Palestine is still the issue,” which attracted more than 100 complaints from viewers. The regulator ruled that the TV network, Carlton, had provided “persuasive evidence of the care and thoroughness with which it was researched.” Louise Jury reports in The Independent. 

This conference won't help the Palestinians

“Like schoolboys in an unruly fifth form, the Palestinians have been told that they have to prove that they can be properly behaved before they can expect to get any privileges,” writes The Independent’s Adrian Hamilton. Casting a critical eye on the London conference on Palestinian reform, Hamilton argues that, “It is simply wrong to lead them to believe that the reason Washington doesn’t sympathise with their case and the Israelis reject it is because their leadership is poor or their administration corrupt, however true that may be.” 

In Rafah, the children have grown so used to the sound of gunfire they can't sleep without it

WE WERE sitting in the Asfuls’ front room. Suddenly the two tanks at the end of the street opened up their machine-guns. The bullets were flying so close to the house we could see the tracer fire slapping straight past the windows. To leave without crossing the line of fire would be impossible. All we could do was sit and hope the bullets did not come through the window.” Justin Huggler writes in The Independent

8 Palestinians killed in Israel attack were unarmed civilians says UN inquiry

A United Nations inquiry has found that, contrary to claims by the Israeli army, eight of the 10 Palestinians killed in a raid in the Gaza Strip were unarmed civilians. There was fury among Palestinians at the death toll and the timing of the raid on Bureij refugee camp early on Friday 6 December, during Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of Ramadan and is one of the most important holidays in the Muslim year. Justin Huggler reports for The Independent. 

Israeli general linked to Jenin atrocities named defence chief

A former Israeli army chief who presided over the controversial invasion of Jenin this year, and who is being investigated by Scotland Yard over allegations of war crimes, was named as Israel’s new Defence Minister yesterday, an aide to Ariel Sharon said. Lieutenant-General Shaul Mofaz, who has flown back to Israel after Scotland Yard started investigating him during a fund-raising tour of Britain, had been Chief of Staff for most of the current Palestinian intifada until he retired in July. Justin Huggler writes in The Independent, 

How to shut up your critics with a single word

Thank God, I often say, for the Israeli press. For where else will you find the sort of courageous condemnation of Israel’s cruel and brutal treatment of the Palestinians? Where else can we read that Moshe Ya’alon, Ariel Sharon’s new chief of staff, described the “Palestinian threat” as “like a cancer – there are all sorts of solutions to cancerous manifestations. For the time being, I am applying chemotherapy.” The Independent’s Robert Fisk continues on to note that meanwhile, mere criticism of Israel outside the country gets you labeled an “anti-Semite”.