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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Siege, Wall, Checkpoints

Signs on the horizon!Hassan Khader - Al-Ayyam -Egypt is boiling. And when Egypt boils, the players in the region and the world, large and small hold their breath in terror and anticipation. Terror because none of the players can predict what the boiling state will lead to. And anticipation, because none of them has the luxury of not having an interest in – or against – the boiling. And in the two cases, as in all cases, reality looks more complex, even though history opened one page and closed another. 14/5/2005
Egyptian journalist in hospital after demo crackdownAFP - The Middle East Times - CAIRO - An Egyptian journalist said on May 27 that she suffered a fractured pelvis after being beaten up by activists of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) at opposition rallies against a referendum. 31/5/2005
The Cedar`s ashesBilal El-Amine - ZNet - A discussion of the upcoming Lebanese elections and the role of the USA and France25/5/2005
Sometimes you are just screwedJuan Cole - Informed Comment - Professor Cole discusses the current situation in Iraq. "The guerrilla tactic of fomenting civil war among Iraq`s ethnic communities, which met resistance for the first two years, is now bearing fruit."25/5/2005
Letter from Jordan: Kingdom of CorruptionStephen Glain - The Nation - Since Abdullah II assumed the throne in 1999, Jordan has become increasingly authoritarian and corrupt. 26/5/2005
Continuing construction of the Annexation Wall From the weekly report of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights 19 - 25 May 2005 26/5/2005
Egypt: Protesters beaten as Egypt votes on electoral reformRobert Fisk - The Independent - Yesterday``s disgraceful scenes in Cairo, however, showed only too clearly what the government thinks of democracy - either the Bush or the Mubarak version. 26/5/2005
Analysis: religious voting in LebanonKim Ghattas - BBC - a discussion of ongoing sectarianism in Lebanon, and efforts to overcome it.27/5/2005
Egypt votes `yes` for key electoral reformThe Daily Star -A constitutional amendment introducing the first direct and contested presidential elections in Egypt won 82.9 percent approval in a referendum, Interior Minister Habib el-Adli announced on Thursday. Opposition denounced the results as "black comedy" and "total farce." 27/5/2005
Lebanon: Up in the palace, a dead duck walkingBy Michael Young - Daily Star staff - When he took over the Lebanese presidency in 1998, Emile Lahoud promised transparency and a strengthening of national institutions. He then set about transparently institutionalizing a military regime similar to the kind favored by his creator, Syrian President Bashar Assad. Today, Lahoud has a more daunting challenge: choosing the method of his political execution. 27/5/2005
Egypt referendum result disputedAlJazeera Net - and Agencies - A constitutional amendment introducing the first direct and contested presidential elections in Egypt is said to have won 82.9% approval in a referendum. 27/5/2005
Iraq reflections: Bored in BaghdadJoe Carr - CPTnet - In coming to the Baghdad war-zone, I expected a host of emotions: fear, sadness, anger, indignation, stress. But I didn`t expect the one I`ve experienced the most: boredom. Along with all those other emotions, boredom is also a common experience for Iraqis. 27/5/2005
Saudia: What is the Saudi Government`s Stance?Dawood Al Shirian - Al Hayat - The Saudi State Council (Al Shawra) refused to discuss the issue of women driving cars in its meeting last Sunday. The Vice president of this council clarified that this issue should be discussed by the highest legislative body in the country, which is the "Organization of Senior Clerics". 27/5/2005
Egypt: Billions go into subsidizing passivity Maria Golia - The Daily Star - Egypt`s subsidy system amounts to a bare-bones welfare program, extending to everything from bread and water, to gas and electricity, fertilizer and pharmaceuticals, transportation, education and health. The government spends the equivalent of over $17 billion a year (20 percent of GDP) to keep prices low, a cozy arrangement that prevents people from starving while allowing the authorities to indulge in illusions of fatherly beneficence. 28/5/2005
Syria: Is a new Gorbachev rising in Damascus?David Ignatius - Daily Star staff - Assad wants to raise the flag of political reform at the party congress, but not too high. He wants to be like China`s Deng Xiaoping, managing a transition to a free-market economy while also maintaining political discipline. But he may instead end up like the Soviet Union`s Mikhail Gorbachev, setting in motion a process of limited reform that will undermine the party and ultimately destroy his regime. 28/5/2005
Egypt: Rights group urges Mubarak to investigate poll violenceAgence France Presse - New York-based watchdog slams police for inciting abuse and brutality against protesters 28/5/2005
Amnesty International Report 2005A link to the full report28/5/2005
Abu Ghraib, Abu Gulag and Abu [North] American LiesGhazwan al-Mukhtar - Commondreams - an Iraqi discusses Abu Ghraib and US crimes in the context of Iraqi history28/5/2005
It really is a CrusadeGary Leupp - Counterpunch - A professor of history argues that what we are seeing in the Middle East is nothing less than a rerun of the religious wars launched by Christiandom against Islam in the Middle Ages: the Crusades.28/5/2005
Beatings of protestors in EgyptBBC - "We were shocked when our members were beaten and dragged on the streets. Some female colleagues were subjected to humiliation of a sexual nature" 28/5/2005
Patient died at Israeli checkpoint in West Bank, another in Gaza StripWAFA - Israeli checkpoints continue to take their toll28/5/2005
Iraq Reflection: : It was a fairly quiet day in BaghdadTom Fox - CPTnet - In Baghdad today, four clerics (three Sunni and one Shi`a) were assassinated. The bodies of two other Sunni clerics who had been abducted last week were found. A suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle in the Abu Cher market, killing nine Iraqi National Guard troops and injuring twenty-eight civilians. Two engineering students died when a bomb (or rocket) struck their classroom at a local school. 28/5/2005
Public hanging against the WallFred - ISM - a creative theatrical protest against the Wall at Bil`in.29/5/2005
March planned at Salfit on 4 JunePopular Committee Against the Wall - nonviolent demo planned against the "Ariel loop". 29/5/2005
Egypt`s government blamed for violenceDaily Star staff - Agencies - Cairo accuses foreign media of exaggerating attacks during referendum 30/5/2005
Syria moves briskly toward stalematePatrick Seale - The Daily Star - Accused by the United States of aiding the insurgents in Iraq - and facing a real danger of attack - Syria has not enhanced its international reputation by clamping down on its citizens. Last week, nine members of a political discussion group, named after its founder the late Jamal Atasi, a psychiatrist and critic of the Assad regime, were rounded up in the middle of the night and jailed. 30/5/2005
Syria: The faint smell of jasmineSami Moubayed - AlAhram Weekly - Next month`s Baath Party Conference will introduce less radical changes than rumoured but changes nonetheless, reports Sami Moubayed from Damascus 29/5/2005
Egyptian women demand apology from MubarakAgence France Presse (AFP) - The Daily Star - `White Ribbon` movement protests the molestations and violence that occurred during last week`s referendum 31/5/2005
Syria: Mr. Assad, take down our wallAmmar Abdulhamid - On May 24, at around 6:00 am, the Syrian authorities arrested all eight members of the board of directors of the Jamal Atasi Forum for Democratic Dialogue in Syria. The forum was the only tolerated independent political forum left in the country, and the only one to survive the earlier crackdown on political dissent that the regime organized in 2001, putting an end to the so-called "Damascus spring." 31/5/2005
Lebanon: Son of murdered Hariri heads for poll winRobert Fisk in Beirut - The Independent - The man who may well be Lebanon`s new prime minister had slept seven hours in the previous 72 and spoke in a monotone, but he was near to tears when he referred to his murdered father. 30/5/2005
Protestors Descend on Muqata Calling for Destruction of Apartheid WallThe Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - Around 300 demonstrators – most from the nearby village of Bil’in - gathered in downtown Ramallah during the evening of May 23rd to protest the ongoing colonization of their lands by the Apartheid Wall. Demonstrators lit torches and marched to the Palestinian Authority (PA) Muqata Compound with a message for Mahmoud Abbas on the eve of his trip to the US, voicing their anger at the international support and complicity for the brutal Occupation and its Apartheid Wall. 25/5/2005
Egypt launches opposition crackdown on eve of crucial referendumThe Daily Star - At least 17 people from two different opposition groups were arrested and police manhandled demonstrators Tuesday, the eve of a referendum on an amendment to the Constitution. 25/5/2005
Israeli road blocks split Gaza - Palestinian sources Al-Jazeera - The Israeli army continued Saturday in splitting the Gaza Strip into two separated areas after closing major roadblocks in the central and southern areas, Palestinian security sources said. 21/5/2005
Single minds, double standards, and plural societies: One month on in LebanonLaurie King-Irani - The Electronic Intifada - Once again, it seems that US President George W. Bush has declared victory and "mission accomplished" far too early: The heralded "Lebanese Spring," which Washington`s PR experts quickly dubbed the "Cedar Revolution," has not been a slam-dunk validation of US Middle East policies after all.24/5/2005
Closures and CheckpointsThe Palestine Monitor23/5/2005
Gush Shalom Wall - MapA Link23/5/2005
The Impact of the Wall on Households Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics - Press Release - the Construction of the Wall effects negatively all aspects of life: health, education, employment, economic situation and the general well - being. 23/5/2005
The Annexation Wall El-Haq presentation - A link23/5/2005
Illegal demolition of 4 Houses in South Hebron HillOperation Dove - CPT - Four houses destroyed by Israeli Occupation Forces in Massafer Yatta area in the South Hebron Hills - the poorest zone of the West Bank 22/5/2005
`We should see Islamists who seek democracy as part of the solution, not the problem`Rami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - An interview with Alastair Crooke who talks about the paradigm of hostile rhetoric and the need for a new Western perception of Islam 23/5/2005
The Palestinians should exit Sharon`s shell game Ashraf Fahim - The Daily Star - In recent months, the despair normally endemic to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would seem to have dissipated somewhat and both sides have adopted conciliatory rhetoric. Tragically, however, this patina of optimism masks a dysfunctional process. 21/5/2005
We have George W. Bush to thank for the Arab democratic springBy Fouad Ajami - Daily Star - "George W. Bush has unleashed a tsunami on this region," a shrewd Kuwaiti merchant who knows the way of his world said to me. The man had no patience with the standard refrain that Arab reform had to come from within, that a foreign power cannot alter the age-old ways of the Arabs. "Everything here - the borders of these states, the oil explorations that remade the life of this world, the political outcomes that favored the elites now in the saddle - came from the outside. This moment of possibility for the Arabs is no exception." 23/5/2005
Saudi advisory body split over lifting women`s driving ban Agence France Presse - Report says females in kingdom are the most oppressed in region 23/5/2005
Saudi Arabia And The WestJihad Al Khazen - Al-Hayat - It turns out that technology alone is not enough (for gathering intelligence) and no matter how much the spying satellites are accurate, nothing can replace the human naked eye. This could be the reason why Americans are facing difficulties in Afghanistan, Iraq and any other similar place. 23/5/2005
Iraq: The Megastar Abdulwahab Badrakhan - Al-Hayat - Should Iraq be heading towards a civil war, God forbid, then everyone including Arabs, Persians and Kurds, whether Sunnis or Shiites, even non-Iraqi Arabs, are all held responsible. Nonetheless, on top of this list are the Americans who planned this war, occupation and the blunder we are currently witnessing. 21/5/2005
Trapped Within the Claws of Occupation Bethlehem Western Rural Villagers Striped of their Lands Link to ARIJ - "The Israeli Defense Army has just released a new military order # 86/05/T under which five Palestinian villages (Walajeh, Battir, Husan, Nahalin, Wad-Fukin and Al Jab`a) will fall into the Israeli Segregation Wall trap; in addition to cutting off these villages from significant 4500 dunums of agricultural lands that constitute to many of the residents a main source of income. 23/5/2005
Jerusalem residents scramble to fight wallAhmad Sub Laban - Palestine Report / Electronic Intifada - "The arrival of an Israeli army jeep into the Kaf Al Hawa neighborhood in Dahiet Al Barid, a West Bank suburb of Jerusalem, is no longer an unusual sight for residents. In fact, it has become a common sight and a sign that work on the wall that has already divided the neighborhood into two is inexorably continuing. "23/5/2005
Kuweit: Women are inSherine Bahaa - Al-Ahram Weekly - After four decades of disenfranchisement, Kuwaiti women have finally won their battle21/5/2005
Lebanon: Doomed but at what cost?Azmi Bishara - Al Ahram Wrekly - Lebanon is just a pawn in a ruefully naïve American game to get to Syria22/5/2005
`The taboos are broken`Amira Howeidi - Al Ahram weekly - The Egyptian Movement for Change claims that there can be no turning back 19/5/2005
Arab Women: Situation And Role In Decision-MakingZeinab Hafni - Al-Hayat - Ever since the first crime was perpetrated in the history of humanity; when Cain shed the blood of his brother Abel, women bore a heavy legacy stemming from a biased accusation dubbing them as "the source of all evils". 22/5/2005
MachsomWatch Summary – April 2005"These statements ... are presented here to illustrate the extent to which racist, imperious attitudes have seeped into Israeli culture. The following excerpts from reports exemplify those atrocious norms." 21/5/2005
The first time always hurts Noam Dan - Mahsomwatch - "A kind of humour maybe, arbitrariness, to split the world, to cleave the heart, to direct one’s gaze and believe that there are second-class citizens, there are those deprived of citizenship, people who are not deserving, and beside them, the Chosen People."21/5/2005
Blowing up an assumptionRobert A. Pape - New York Times - the danger from suicide bombers will not diminish as long as US troops are in the Middle East 21/5/2005
The US`s gift to al-QaedaPepe Escobar - Asia Times - Islamic scholars from Morocco to Malaysia are finally legitimizing al-Qaeda as a Muqadamul Jaish - a revolutionary vanguard. This Western concept was unheard of in Islam until Baghdad was "liberated" by President George W Bush`s Christian armies. 21/5/2005
New markers for Wall path near Hebron IMEMC & Agencies - Friday afternoon, Israeli soldiers placed new markers for the route of the Separation Wall in al-Ramadeen area, south of Hebron 21/5/2005
Arab Ramadin - South Hebron: Facing The Path of ApartheidStop the Wall - The Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - Arab Ramadin, in South Hebron is the home of 3200 people who know that the Occupation is planning to destroy their lives and future. The full devastation will become unraveled as the Occupation’s final path of the Wall becomes apparent.17/5/2005
`Developing` Israeli Apartheid: The World Bank, International Aid and The Ghettoization of PalestineStop The Wall - The Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - Every day in Palestine, entire villages actively protest against the Apartheid Wall and the Occupation that has stolen their land, demolished their houses and imprisoned them in ghettos of poverty and oppression. 18/5/2005
The Arab Mind: Between Slumber And Awakening Mustafa Al Faqqi - Al-Hayat - Nations fall asleep while civilizations decline, people awaken and cultures flourish. This is no theory but rather a historical reading of facts. Empires rose and fell, while national movements thrived and drew back. Indubitably, History has its rise fall and we Arabs have experienced the oscillation of Arab civilization between total slumber and expected awakening. 18/5/2005
The Rights Of The Kuwaiti WomenAbdulwahab Badrakhan - Al-Hayat - Amidst the political battles of reforms the Arab world is witnessing today, the ratification of Kuwaiti women`s rights is considered to be good news, matched by another good news reflected by the way adopted to carry out this Kuwaiti achievement. I.e. pure parliamentary debate. 19/5/2005
Summer of discontentGihan Shahine - AlAhram Weekly - Protesters are taking to the streets of Cairo in increasing numbers. But what are their prospects of success? 19/5/2005
Fighting for turfOmayma Abdel-Latif - AlAhram Weekly - Where is the Muslim Brotherhood/Egyptian government dynamic heading? A long-troubled relationship on the brink of a major confrontation over reform 18/5/2005
The nationalist and the Sectarian in LebanonHazem Saghieh - Al-Hayat - On one occasion, a 20th century brain wrote: "the natural law seeks to justify the means, while the contingent law tries to guarantee the intentions." Today, the Lebanese people are experiencing a moment of raging equilibrium between the (natural) sectarianism and the (contingent) nationalism, the first expanding to bite into the second.19/5/2005
Is Syria In Danger?Patrick Seale - Al Hayat - Now that Syria has withdrawn from Lebanon, having implemented its part of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, and now that a new Lebanese government is in place, committed to holding `free and fair` elections this month, is the crisis over? Can Syria hope to escape further American pressures? Will a halt now be called to the international campaign against it? 5/5/2005
The Annexation Wall - A most impressive Photo presentationPengon and the Anti-Apartheid Campaign present the Annexation Wall19/5/2005
The Appartheid Wall and the Ghettoization of A`Ram near JerusalemCredit: PENGON/Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign. Date: September 16th, 2004. The Apartheid Wall through Ar Ram runs in the middle of the main Jerusalem-Ramallah road, separating the two sides of the street. The Wall in Ar Ram will place sixty thousand people in a hanging ghetto, linked to Ramallah by either a bridge or a tunnel, separating the residents from Jerusalem. 16/5/2005
Two Years in JayyusCredit: PENGON/Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.Date: December 15th, 2004. Construction of the Apartheid Wall by Occupation Forces in the village of Jayyus, located in Qalqiliya district, began in October 2002. During the first stage of the construction of the Wall, 72% of Jayyus’ lands, some 8,600 dunums, were confiscated and now fall behind Wall. The Wall now totally separates the people of the village from their livelihood (70% of the 3,000 inhabitants of Jayyus have been totally dependent on agriculture). Tens of thousands of trees have been uprooted, and valuable water resources, olive and citrus groves, and greenhouses are isolated behind the Wall.16/5/2005
Deir Ballut: Occupation Forces Begin Bulldozing Village Lands for Apartheid Wall’s Construction - Palestinians Resist Latest Wave of GhettoizationWork on the Apartheid Wall here began in June 2004. Sustained popular resistance from Deir Ballut and Zawiya villagers began at the same time as the building of the Wall with daily demonstrations by huge numbers of people from the villages. Eventually, the number of people who were being seriously injured, and the sheer resilience of the people of Deir Ballut forced the Occupation Forces to stop work on the Apartheid Wall for six consecutive months. Occupation Forces returned briefly in December to resume bulldozing with new maps for the Apartheid Wall which they claimed contained “modifications”16/5/2005
Point of Light: Signs on the horizon!Hassan Khader - al-Ayyam - The current ferment in Egypt has historical implications for the entire Arab world. The post-WWII model of Arab governance has reached a dead end. What`s next? 16/5/2005
Continued Construction of the Annexation Wall Excerpt from the the Weekly Report of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights for the week 5-11.5.0514/5/2005
The Segregation Wall Devours Thousands of Dunums from the Village of Beit ‘AnanLink to ARIJ14/5/2005
Israel’s Segregation Wall Encircles Three Palestinian Villages in Northwest Jerusalem Link to ARIJ (Applied Research Institute Jerusalem)14/5/2005
Deir Al Ghasoon-Another Village under Threat Flo - International Solidarity Movement - "Of the several hundred farming families in Deir Al Ghasoon, only 50 have been granted permission to pass through the gate in the Wall, leaving the rest to slowly wither financially like their lost crops on the other side."12/5/2005
Our holiday of Freedom – Their yoke of ServitudeNava Elyashar - MachsomWatch - When we arrived at the Checkpoint, of Wadi-Nar, which separates between Palestinian Bethlehem and Palestinian Abu-Dis, precisely on Pesach day, our holiday of freedom, our eyes saw a shining example of the servitude that we inflict on the Palestinians. 12/5/2005
The Racism at the Core of US Nuclear Weapons PolicyDavid Robinson - Pax Christi USA - "If we look carefully and clearly through an anti-racist lens, we see that there is in fact nothing hypocritical about going to war to prevent a non-white nation [Iraq] from developing nuclear weapons. It is simply one more ominously congruent aspect of the racism that underscores every aspect of U.S. Nuclear weapons policy." 15/5/2005
Syrians fearful amid US border offensiveAFP - "Tensions are rising in a Syrian border region where fearful residents are being kept awake by the roar of US warplanes pounding nearby targets in neighbouring Iraq, witnesses said."15/5/2005
`Martyrs` in Iraq mostly SaudisSusan B. Glasser - Washington Post - An "International Brigade" of Arabs and Muslims from various lands has emerged in the struggle against the US/UK in Iraq, prominent among them people from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 15/5/2005
Iraq Reflections: Bullets and CandyCPTnet - Matt Chandler - An update from Iraq 13/5/2005
Iraq Update: 1-5 May 2005CPTnet - News from within14/5/2005
Iraq: My first car bombJoe Carr - CPTnet - At about 9:45 a.m. on 10 May, we heard an explosion that shook our windows. We looked at the clock to see if it was on the hour, as that is when U.S. troops destroy unexploded ordinances. Since it wasn`t, we knew the explosion must be a car bomb. Emergency vehicles rushed past our apartment as we headed to the roof to look for smoke. 16/5/2005
Carnage in IraqThe Washington Post - Editorial - For those who hoped that the formation of an Iraqi government last month would lead to something resembling peace, the past several weeks have brought sharp disappointment.16/5/2005
Iraq: Staying What Course?Paul Krugman - The New York Times - Is there any point, now that November`s election is behind us, in revisiting the history of the Iraq war? Yes: any path out of the quagmire will be blocked by people who call their opponents weak on national security, and portray themselves as tough guys who will keep America safe. So it`s important to understand how the tough guys made America weak.16/5/2005
Galloway hounded by AIPAC cell within U.S. Congress; Bolton tied to same cellWayne Masden - Online Journal - "a senator who is bought and paid for by AIPAC — Republican Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota — has decided to ... point to newly elected Respect Party Member of Parliament George Galloway as receiving oil funds from Saddam Hussein."15/5/2005
Torture`s dirty secret: it worksNaomi Klein - The Nation - "torture`s true purpose [it] to terrorize -not only the people in Guantánamo`s cages and Syria`s isolation cells but also, and more important, the broader community that hears about these abuses. Torture is a machine designed to break the will to resist--the individual prisoner`s will and the collective will." 15/5/2005
Iraq bombshell goes mostly unreported in US mediaFairness & Accuracy in Reporting - a sensational leak in the UK, indicating that the stories about WMD and terrorism were simply made up to justify a pre-existing decision to invade Iraq, has been largely ignored in the US.15/5/2005
Suicide bombing isn`t as new or alien as Westerners imagineMadeleine Bunting - Guardian/UK - "Our outraged incomprehension of suicide bombing is also partly because it is the opposite of how we have come to believe wars are fought. It is not the high technology of laser-guided bombs, nor the strangely sterile detachment of the airplane camera without any images of the screams, smashed bones and blood. The west can only now kill from a distance - preferably from several thousand feet up in the air or several hundred kilometers away on an aircraft carrier."15/5/2005
Navy judge finds war protest reasonableMarjorie Cohn - Truthout - A US navy judge has ruled that a sailor who refused to board a ship bound for Iraq does not have to serve jail time: "I think that the government has successfully proved that any service member has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal." 15/5/2005
Losing hearts and minds Derrick Z. Jackson - Boston Globe - "On Wednesday, National Public Radio broadcast a piece that made it appallingly clear that we have not cleaned up our character in Iraq. Humiliation remains a primary weapon. For all the soldiers who have a heart, a lot also appear to have lost their minds."15/5/2005
The Iranian nuclear issue in a global context Dilip Hiro - Middle East International/ - "The U.S. government pledged to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty but has not done so yet and shows no signs that it will. It also promised to sign a verifiable accord to end the production of new fissile material for nuclear weapons but has failed to do so."15/5/2005
Qafin farmers unable to work land west of the Separation BarrierFrom the May 9 B`Tselem mailing11/5/2005
Egypt releases 135 members of banned Muslim Brotherhood Reuters - CAIRO - Egypt has released 135 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood detained in a crackdown after nationwide demonstrations, but more than 1,500 are still being held, security sources said yesterday. 8/5/2005
Long-term political change in the Middle East Dov S. Zakheim* - There is a growing consensus worldwide that the Middle East may be on the verge of fundamental change. After years of bloodshed and political stagnation, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has recovered its lost momentum.6/5/2005
Soldier lifts lid on Guantanamo `abuse`Matthew Davis - BBC News Online - A former US soldier who worked on interrogations at Guantanamo Bay has written a damning expose of the brutal, degrading treatment he says was meted out to prisoners there. 10/5/2005
U.S. to Expand Prison Facilities in IraqBradley Graham - The Washington Post - The number of prisoners held in U.S. military detention centers in Iraq has risen without interruption since autumn, filling the centers to capacity and prompting commanders to embark on an unanticipated prison expansion plan. 10/5/2005
A Gap In The Wall Lena - ISM Volunteer - "The wall brings the road to an abrupt end, blocking what used to be the main route between Jerusalem and Jericho. About 9 meters high and solid concrete, it extends into the distance to the South, a huge snake carving up the hillside."10/5/2005
Continued Siege on the OPT PCHR report - IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem. 5/5/2005
Iran bulletin - Middle East Forum - an invitation Mehdi Kia Yassamine Mather Ardeshir Mehrdad - invite you to visit a journal that has set itself the ambition of becoming a forum for debate on the Middle East and Iran on the basis of secularism, democracy and egalitarianism. 9/5/2005
Video portraying Security forces` agression against the peaceceful demonstrators in Bil`in, 28.4.2005 Imad Brand, Shai Polak, Yoni Polak - Special - undercover - forces and regular army brutally attack Palestinian and Israeli non-violent activists, shooting tear gas and ammunition at unarmed people 8/5/2005
When death becomes escapeSalama A. Salama - al-Ahram - The recent attack on tourists in Cairo by two young Egyptian women points to serious problems in Egyptian society. Excerpt: "Given the torture, abuse and mistreatment meted out to the relatives of the Al- Azhar bomber during police investigation -- the death of one in custody was announced the very morning of the two most recent attacks -- it should come as no surprise that terrorism has turned into a family affair and that two young niqab - wearing women should take part in a suicide operation that they must have known could only end in failure, having made a family agreement to escape from hell."8/5/2005
U.S. Officials Suspected of Embezzlement in Iraq; Nearly $100 million in reconstruction funds is unaccounted forT. Christian Miller - The Los Angeles Times - The U.S. government has opened a criminal inquiry into suspected embezzlement by officials who failed to account for almost $100 million they disbursed for Iraqi reconstruction projects, federal investigators said Wednesday. 5/5/2005
Plugging the Iraqi loopholesGeorge S. Hishmeh - The Jordan Times - The appointment of to Ahmad Chalabi to the all-important position as deputy prime minister in the Ministry of Oil, only served to confirm widely held suspicions that there was more than meets the eye to the American-led invasion than eliminating Iraq`s weapons of mass destruction, which were no place to be found, including mainly the pursuit of Iraqi oil. 6/5/2005
May Day in Bil`inLena - International Solidarity Movement - "Bil`ln is one of the places that has protested vigorously against the wall -demonstrations are held here at least once a week, usually twice, and the pattern seems well established. A combination of villagers, internationals and Israeli activists and peace groups march from the mosque in the middle of the village to the destruction site. They are dispersed before they reach it and spend the day getting shot at - usually by tear gas, sound bombs and `rubber` bullets"8/5/2005
Friday`s Bil`in anti-wall demonstrationInternational Solidarity Movement - report of another joint Jewish-Arab-International demonstration at Bil`in against the wall, again violently dispersed by the authorities.8/5/2005
Sabra and Shatila rememberedMazin Qumsiyeh - - a review of a book on the Sabra and Shatila massacre by Bayan Nuwayhed Al-Hout. "The road is short between the atrocities of Sabra and Shatila and to those of Jenin, Nablus and Rafah of today. Such books can be our tour guides."7/5/2005
Kalandia as an exampleHava Halevy - Mahsomwatch - a recent report from Kalandia checkpoint, on the way from Jerusalem to Ramallah. Excerpt: "Where there is concrete there is Israel, and what is beyond it – complete chaos and mess. All that is missing is the sign: `Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!`"7/5/2005
Unraveling Iraq`s secret militiasA. K. Gupta - Z Magazine - In Iraq, the US is starting to use the "Salvador Option": the use of special torture-and-murder squads to terrorize the insurgent population into submission. The death-squad members tend to be Shiites, and their victims are usually Sunnis. This is pushing the country towards civil war. 7/5/2005
Blair`s next warDave Wearing - Znet/Democrat`s Diary - There are strong indications that the US and/or Israel is preparing to launch a military attack against Iran soon. Now that Labour has won the UK election, it is quite likely that Britain will support this war. 7/5/2005
The obsession with SyriaFarrah Hassen - Znet - Influenced by lobbyists for Israel, the US is needlessly alienating Syria despite Syria`s demonstrated willingness to improve relations with the US and to cooperate in the effort to help the US fight al-Qaeda.7/5/2005
UN records 605 closure barriers in the West BankOCHA (Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs) - West Bank closure and access - April 20057/5/2005
Wall construction resumes, east of Beit Sahour Saed Bannoura - IMEMC and Agecnies - Residents of al-Nu’man village, east of Beit Sahour near Bethlehem, said that military bulldozers resumed the construction of the last section of the Separation Wall, near the village after it stopped over the last 18 months. 5/5/2005
Iraq: The worst system of governanceMichael Jansen - The Jordan Times - The experience of post-war Iraq demonstrates once again that governance by communalism is the worst policy. 5/5/2005
The making of an Israeli factoidRima Merriman - The Jordan Times - The checkpoint at Qalandia is taking shape irrevocably as a permanent bottleneck and border crossing that cuts off the illegally annexed East Jerusalem along with some 28 Palestinian villages from the rest of the West Bank. The scene is tragic and unnerving but it has become astonishingly routine - the deadly routine that imposes ordinariness on the outrageous and unconscionable. 5/5/2005
Israel inquiry over teen deathsBBC News Online - An Israeli army commander has been suspended after the fatal shooting of two Palestinian teenagers during a protest against the West Bank barrier. 5/5/2005
Preliminary Analysis of the humanitarian Implications of the February 2005 Projected RouteOCHA - Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - United Nations5/5/2005
A Leftist from Gan ShmuelYadi Lirit - Machsom Watch - "There is a local Rambo here today – a child’s face and the voice of Travolta, his reactions are extreme and most of the time he runs from place to place" 5/5/2005
Terror will not disappear until injustice doesHasan Abu Nimah - The Jordan Times - The news of the recent terrorist activities in the Egyptian capital are alarming. Luckily the number of casualties in comparison with what occurs daily in other hot spots, such as Iraq, is relatively low, but the nature of the attack reveals a renewed kind of commitment to violence that requires accurate diagnosis. 4/5/2005
Poll: Most in U.S. say Iraq war not worthwhileCNN News Online - WASHINGTON - A majority of Americans do not believe it was worth going to war in Iraq, according to a national poll released Tuesday. 3/5/2005
International law not fit to print: NYT and the wallAhmed Bouzid, Patrick O`Connor - Palestine Media Watch, ISM - the New York Times disregards international law in its coverage of the separation wall.2/5/2005
Israel, Turkey to share intelligenceAttila Somflavi - Ynet/Yediot Ahronot - Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan visits Israel, amid signs of improving relations2/5/2005
Two protesters hospitalized after anti-Wall demo in Bil`in today ISM - May Day demonstration against the wall leads to injuries in Bil`in2/5/2005
Checkpoint of no returnKasper - ISM Volunteer - Everyday life in the occupied territories is as always a continuous chaos of military interference. In a time of empty talk of peace and celebrating Ariel Sharon as a man of peace moderate politics, because of extremists` protest against evacuation from Gaza, the situation on the ground in Palestine sees remarkably little change. 1/5/2005
General who fled Lebanon in pyjamas returns to try to rally his supporters Robert Fisk in Beirut - The Independent - General Michel Aoun fled in his pyjamas to the French embassy as Syrian aircraft bombed his presidential palace 15 years ago. Yesterday, he flew back to Lebanon from self-imposed exile in Paris, dressed in a suit and tie, travelling in a specially chartered plane of the national airline. 10/5/2005
Let us rebel against poisonous academics and their preposterous claptrap of exclusion Robert Fisk - The Independent - To enter this circle of brain-heavy men and women, all must learn its secret language 15/5/2005
A typically Lebanese story of betrayal at the hands of so-called civilised nations Robert Fisk - The Independent - In Beirut last week, they announced the winners of a competition to redevelop Martyrs’ Square, which had once been Lebanon’s civil war front line and on the edge of which the tomb of the murdered ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri now stands. Many believe the name Martyrs` Square refers to the victims of the 15-year civil war. Not so. 22/5/2005
Protesters beaten as Egypt votes on electoral reform Robert Fisk - The Independent - Egyptian plain-clothes police beat up demonstrators in central Cairo - in some cases groping women protesters - as Egyptians voted over constitutional changes that would theoretically allow more than one candidate to stand for president. 26/5/2005
Civil war casts a sinister shadow on Lebanon`s electionRobert Fisk - The Independent - Oh for the glorious days of the Lebanese opposition, when Christians and Muslims marched in Beirut together to demand the truth about Rafiq Hariri`s murder and the withdrawal of the Syrian army and free elections. The UN is still investigating the assassination, the Syrians have left, but the elections are turning out to be as sectarian and as mean as they always were. They start tomorrow and will demonstrate just how divided the Lebanese are in their new "unity". 28/5/2005
Lebanon: Son of murdered Hariri heads for poll win Robert Fisk in Beirut - The Independent - The man who may well be Lebanon`s new prime minister had slept seven hours in the previous 72 and spoke in a monotone, but he was near to tears when he referred to his murdered father. 30/5/2005
The unknown unknowns of the Abu Ghraib scandalSeymour Hersh - The Guardian - The 10 inquiries into prisoner abuse have let Bush and Co off the hook 21/5/2005
Apre`s Nous, Nous: Covering the Colonial RetreatPeter Lagerquist with Tom Hill - MERIP - It was vintage Shimon Peres. On April 18 Israel`s deputy prime minister emerged from a tete-à-tete with French President Jacques Chirac proclaiming a shining vision of Israeli-Palestinian coexistence. "We could convert a settlement into a Club Med," he suggested. "We must not wait for thepolitical solution, but create economic and social hope." 19/5/2005
Egypt: Violence mars referendumThe Daily Star - Demonstrators opposing `sham` referendum beaten by pro-Mubarak supporters 26/5/2005
About the Annexation Wall - a short presentation of factsAl Haq Presentation - A Short Overview, Movement Restrictions, House Demolitions, Legal Aspects, Other resources about the Wall26/5/2005
Assad should take his wife`s advice and shed light on his murky regimeThe Daily Star editorial - 24.5.2005 - "Only corruption flourishes in the dark," Syrian first lady Asma Assad told an international women`s business conference held in Damascus this week. The first lady was advocating the need for "far-reaching political and institutional reforms" and was insisting that greater transparency is the only way to attract foreign investment.24/5/2005
Abbas has accepted the finality of 1948Ziad Asali - The Daily Star - The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has undergone a metamorphosis since 1948, when it was accurately defined as being between Arabs and Jews. However, it has now become a struggle between those who accept the finality of the war in 1948 and its consequences, and those who have not. 24/5/2005
American Think-Tank Looks Ahead to Palestine 2015Donald Macintyre The Independent Stunning futuristic vision of the eventual Palestinian state as set out in a study by the Rand Corporation,one of America`s most prestigious think-tanks.24/5/2005
Medical Treatment Conditional upon Collaboration PHR - Muhammad Radad, a 38 year old cardiac patient and father of five, discovered that the road to medical care passes by the Israeli GSS. (General Security Services - the so called "muchabarat") 3/5/2005
Jordan: Deeds to match lofty wordsBy Shadi Hamid - The Jordan Times - In a string of recent interviews with the foreign press, His Majesty King Abdullah has spoken of Jordan`s ambitious plans for reform and democratisation. The King has successfully portrayed Jordan as a leader in political reform and repeatedly praised the Bush administration`s efforts to promote democracy in the Arab world. 31/5/2005
Iraq: Fallujah, An Unnatural DisasterJoe Carr - CPT Iraq - relayed by Electronic Intifada - Today, I did what few internationals have dared to do, I went to Fallujah. Fallujah is completely surrounded by US Forces, the only way in or out is through one of four very restrictive checkpoints. People normally have to wait hours, but since we had our magic US passports, we made it through in about 45 minutes. 30/5/2005
Iraq: "Things are getting worse by the day"Dahr Jamail - Electronic Iraq - The mayhem continues in Iraq, with today at least 40 people dead, including five US soldiers in Diyala province as the meltdown of the failed US-led occupation continues. 30/5/2005
Iraq: Daily Life in Baghdad, from AfarDahr Jamil - "It`s coming apart at the seams now in Iraq. We saw on the news today that members of the Mehdi Army in the south, the militia of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, exchanged gunfire with members of the ING who in the south are primarily, if not entirely composed of members of the Badr Army, also a Shia group. So now we have Shia fighting Shia..." 26/5/2005
Crackdown as Egypt votes on constitution William Wallis in Cairo - Egyptians voted on Wednesday in a referendum on constitutional change amid scattered demonstrations and a police crackdown on opposition groups calling for a boycott. 25/5/2005
North American Gothic (21st century)Emad Hajjaj - - a graphic commentary on how involvement in the Middle East has changed US society. 26/5/2005
Separation WallRani Awni Odeh - an appeal from a Palestinian student - "Help our people to end the occupation and join our struggle. Unite and support freedom and peace for all. Help bring an end to the wall so we can all live in peace." 26/5/2005
Human barrels block annexation wall International Solidarity Movement - another joint Palestinian-Israeli-international non-violent direct action against the wall near Bil`in16/5/2005
Fortress IsraelIlan Pappe - London Review of Books - Unless Israel agrees to repatriate the refugees, all attempts to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict are bound to fail, as became clear in 2000 when the Oslo initiative broke down over this issue. Yet only a handful of Jews in Israel are willing to support it, in part because most Israeli Jews deny that ethnic cleansing was carried out in 1948 by Israel. 16/5/2005
Continued Construction of the Annexation Wall PCHR, Gaza - weekly report - IOF have continued to construct the ‘Annexation Wall’ inside the West Bank territory. This week, they razed more areas of Palestinian agricultural land for this purpose. 14/5/2005
Mosul Diary: "They Destroyed Everything"Patrick Cockburn - Counter Punch - The three months it took to cobble together a government in Iraq after January`s election shows the depth of the divisions between the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish communities. In the north of the country the Sunni Arabs and the Kurds are close to civil war.14/5/2005
Egypt could inspire wider Arab reforms Rami G. Khouri - The Jordan TImes - Keep your eye on Egypt, which is stirring politically after a generation of political dormancy. The implications for the entire Arab world could be significant, because Egypt`s political and cultural life has always set an example for others in the region. 14/5/2005
It`s Israel`s Racist Apartheid Wall, StupidGenevieve Cora Fraser - IPC - I wonder if Abbas had Joshua`s trumpet tucked inside the maps he carried to Washington, the maps of Israel`s ever expanding "facts on the ground." The maps demonstrate Israel`s continued expansion of Jewish military outposts and settlements in the West Bank. 30/5/2005
Pluralism and Power Rotation in EgyptAbdullah Iskandar - Al-Hayat - No one doubts the results of this week`s referendum in Egypt, over the ratification of the constitutional amendment concerning the president`s election. 25/5/2005
Egypt referendum puts Mubarak reforms to the test William Wallis in Cairo and Roula Khalaf in Amman - Financial Times - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak`s gradual approach to political reform will be tested on Wednesday as the country votes on a constitutional amendment allowing challengers to contest the presidency. 24/5/2005
Continued Construction of the Annexation Wall PCHR - According to Israeli media sources, IOF will soon start the construction of a section of the Wall around "Ma`ale Admomi" east of Jerusalem. The construction of this section of the Wall will place the settlement, where 53,000 Israeli settlers illegally live, in the boundaries of "Jerusalem Municipality." 19/5/2005
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