|Degradation||Hafez El Barghouthi - Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Even the meteorologists are able to predict rain before it falls, but the citizen who knows when rain will fall and when the cessation of rain will end does not know when the problem of the elections will be solved.- ||31/12/2005|
|Let’s Not Repeat Algeria’s Experience||Al-Quds Editorial - Despite the major differences between the Palestinian and Algerian experiences, there is a clear common element, which is the western position regarding democracy in the two cases.||31/12/2005|
|No reason for optimism||Ali Abunimah - bitterlemons.org - "The best that can be hoped for is that the US decides not to interfere with Palestinian elections if they take place."||31/12/2005|
|With no Palestinian state in sight, aid becomes an adjunct to occupation||Ghada Karmi - The Guardian - "Israeli policy is the root cause of need in the occupied territories, but donors pay up without challenging it...Facing up to the bully is a moral imperative, and, ultimately, the only practical way forward. "||31/12/2005|
|Review of the year: The Middle East ||Donald Macintyre - The Independent - "The breakthrough that never arrived" ||31/12/2005|
|A letter from Jerusalem||Commentary on current events by Rev. Clarence Musgrave - "This should have been written last week, in time for Christmas. But sometimes, it is hard to sit down and write about what is really happening, and to try to cope with the realities of the situation here.
|January 25 Elections Will Reshuffle Palestinian Internal Balances of Power ||Sam Bahour - Palestinians would be better off to start acting like a serious national liberation movement rather than fall for the trappings of statehood without a state||30/12/2005|
|Democracy and US Double Standards: The Palestinian ‘Exception’||Stephen Zunes - PMC - At a time of year when Jews and Christians are celebrating the spirit of justice and peace inspired by events in the Holy Land many centuries ago, Congress has been working to insure that the Holy Land of today experiences neither.
|Quartet Dictates to PNA Conditions for Parliamentary Candidates ||Palestine Media Center - Quartet to Palestiniams: "PNA Should Codify in Law Renunciation of Violence, Recognition of Israel"||29/12/2005|
|Moving forward with Hamas?||Shaul Arieli - Sharon`s unilateralism strengthens Hamas; Israeli public falls in line: a recent poll conducted by the Truman Institute revealed that about half of all Israelis would support dialogue with Hamas if it would bring about a peace treaty.
|Beyond "Munich": The Ten Movies Steven Spielberg Has Yet To Make ||Mas`ood Cajee - Imagine if we were in a parallel universe in which Hollywood gave Arabs and Muslims a fair shake. Here are ten films (all based on true stories) that are just waiting for Spielberg`s magic.
|Palestinian Envoy Brings New Strategy to Washington||Ori Nir - Forward - For many years, pro-Israel activists in the nation`s capital have had it relatively easy, thanks to the failure of the Palestinians to organize an effective lobby or to station an effective spokesman in the United States. With Afif Safieh head of the PLO diplomatic mission it will become much more challenging.
|No reason for optimism||Ali Abunimah - Bitterlemons International- There can be little doubt that the near collapse in the Palestinian Authority and the stunning electoral success of Hamas are a reaction not only to the PA`s own corruption and incompetence, but also to the fact that after boosting PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the US did absolutely nothing to help him show Palestinians any return for his "moderation".
|Israeli-Palestinian skirmishes take to the air||Rafael D. Frankel - Christian Science Monitor - "Israel enacted a `no-go` zone to prevent Palestinian militants in northern Gaza from firing rockets."
|Palestinians told to bar violent groups||Aljazeera - "The quartet calls on all participants to renounce violence, recognise Israel`s right to exist, and disarm"||29/12/2005|
|Palestinian Confronting the "Bulldozer" ||Abdullah Iskandar - Al-Hayat - The buffer zone Ariel Sharon has approved in northern Gaza goes beyond "security" objectives, put forth by Israeli military, chiefly Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz, to justify the measure. ||28/12/2005|
|Telling it like it isn`t||Robert Fisk - Los Angeles Times - "If Palestinian land is not occupied but merely part of a legal dispute that might be resolved in law courts or discussions over tea, then a Palestinian child w ho throws a stone at an Israeli soldier in this territory is clearly acting insanely." ||28/12/2005|
|It`s the Societies, Stupid||Hazem Saghieh - Al-Hayat - If it weren`t for the same scene presented by countries that have not experienced Israeli occupation, one would blame the occupation and its harshness for what is taking place with the Palestinians, and their selection of Hamas.||27/12/2005|
|TOI-Billboard - "It`s all known, but who is doing something?"||The Other Israel - "In March of this year, the Israeli government had a report produced - the Sasson report - about illegal outposts, and how government bodies give them a helping hand. The report was made public; a ministerial committee was appointed to study the report; after that: nothing.
|Dishonest Brokers ||Remi Kanazi - Al Jazeera - The European Union (EU) should be ashamed of itself. It has thrown aside the principals of democracy for partisan politics and hypocrisy. In the run up to the Palestinian parliamentary elections, the EU has addressed Palestinian politics and made threats in the process.||25/12/2005|
|Palestinian democracy at crossroads||Ramzy Baroud - Al-Ahram Weekly - The Palestinian elections show that the democratic process is constantly changing
|Disassembling Likud and Gaza||Graham Usher - Al Ahram Weekly Ariel Sharon`s new Kadima Party looks set to win the Israeli elections while his actions augur the future beyond them||21/12/2005|
|A political earthquake or just a minor tremor in Israel?||Debra Delee - Common Grounds - The most recent political developments in Israel certainly herald significant short-term changes in the Israeli political scene, and also could mark the beginning of a long-term realignment of the political map. Only time will tell, however, if Israel is indeed living through a political earthquake or just a mild tremor.
|Not helping the situation at all||Daoud Kuttab - The Jordan Times - RAMALLAH - On the surface of it, the resolution of the US
Congress and the statements of Javier Solana, EU foreign
policy chief, threatening to cut off aid to the
Palestinian Authority if it allows the Islamic movement
Hamas to participate in the upcoming legislative elections
seem in tune with the West`s anti-terror policy.||22/12/2005|
|The EU`s increasing pro-Israel tilt||Ali Abunimah - The Jordan Times - The European Union, long perceived as being an even-handed and constructive force for Palestinian-Israeli peace, has accelerated its slide towards an open bias for Israel and
collusion with Israel`s gross violations of international
law and the rights of the Palestinian people.
|U.S., Israel Seek To Delay P.A. Elections||Ori Nir - Forward - WASHINGTON -- Alarmed by growing indications that the
Islamist organization Hamas might win the upcoming
elections for the Palestinian Authority`s legislative
council, the Bush administration and Israel are exploring
possible ways to postpone the elections. The elections are
currently scheduled for January 25.
|Israel Is Easing Barrier Burden, but Palestinians Still See a Border||Steven Erlanger - The New York Times - JERUSALEM, Dec. 21 - Israel is overhauling its separation
barrier along the West Bank and Jerusalem to cut the
crossing time for people and goods from hours to minutes.
Aimed at easing the burden on Palestinians and softening
international criticism, it is also proving contentious by
giving the barrier more than ever the feel of an
|Nuclear adventures||Gideon Spiro - Hagada Hasmalit - Sharon is likely to order the bombing of the Iranian nuclear facilities if his showing in the polls slips as the election approaches||22/12/2005|
|Palestinian `extremists` could make peace||Hasan Abu Nimah - The Jordan Times - "Strangely enough, the "hardliners for peace" notion may apply more to the Palestinian side, whose enormous
compromises for peace have been unduly ignored."||21/12/2005|
|Rival Fatah groups to cooperate in Palestinian poll||Wafa Amr -Reuters - "Rival groups within the ruling Palestinian party Fatah agreed on Tuesday to cooperate as closely as possible, despite their differences, to defeat Hamas Islamic militants in parliamentary elections in January."
|Mission not vision ||interview with Mahdi Abdul Hadi - bitterlemons - "I look forward with great hope and optimism to see how this election will legitimize a political agenda for political transformation in Palestine."||21/12/2005|
|New frameworks for old problems ||Akiva Eldar - Bitterlemons - With elections approaching in Israel and the territories, both sides are experiencing shocks that call into question political concepts as well as party frameworks. The ruling parties, Likud and Fateh, are paying a heavy price for their difficulties in adapting their ideologies to changes in the mood of the Israeli public and the Palestinian street.
|Mission not vision ||Bitterlemons - An interview with Mahdi Abdul Hadi - Mahdi Abdul Hadi is the head of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) in Jerusalem.
|Shaking out of stagnation ||Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Beyond a similarity of name and the fact that their creation is potentially hugely significant for the future, the two new parties recently established in Palestine and Israel have nothing in common.
|America kidnapped me||Khaled El-Masri - The Los Angeles Times - KHALED EL-MASRI, a German citizen born in Lebanon, was a car salesman before he was detained in December 2003.
|US Corporate Media Erases Israeli Role in Rise of Hamas||Patrick O`Connor - The Electronic Intifada - The US corporate media has started to examine Hamas`victories in Palestinian municipal elections last Thursday. However, if The New York Times` coverage is any indication, an honest evaluation of Israel`s role in increasing Hamas` popularity is unlikely.||20/12/2005|
|Solana exposes European bias towards Israel once again||Arjan El Fassed - The EI - The European Union threatened to curb aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas wins next month`s
Palestinian Legislative Council elections.At the same time the
EU backtracked on publishing a highly critical report of Israeli
policies in East Jerusalem.||20/12/2005|
|A letter from Jerusalem||Rev. Clarence Musgrave - "It has been suggested that some of us may gather at the Jerusalem side of the Wall to sing carols on Christmas Eve – hoping to be joined by others on the Bethlehem side of the Wall, so that together we can at least sing along and reflect for a moment on the current state of the road to Bethlehem."||20/12/2005|
|Elections time in the wild Middle East||The Other Israel Billboard - The elections` background: the restarted IDF assassinations policy - always accounts are found to be settled; Fatah`s most popular leader, Marwan Barghouti, is languishing in prison; The Israeli call to exclude Hamas from the general elections spills more oil on the fire;
|Israel`s grim design||Rima Merriman - The Jordan Times - Turning a blind eye to Israel`s rapacious design, the international community continues to doctor the patient`s arteries, in the matter of the Palestinians vs. Israel,
when it is the heart that`s diseased.
|All issues must be on the table||Daoud Kuttab - Bitterlemons - today the world, for all its pressure, cannot push the Israeli government to talk with the Palestinians.
|It`s good to talk ||Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - everybody would prefer to achieve their aims through negotiations. Different parties, however, may differ in terms of what the end result of negotiations should be and what their terms of reference are.||19/12/2005|
|Iranian president calls holocaust a `myth` in live TV broadcast ||Robert Tait - The Guardian - "Iran`s ultra-Islamist president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, triggered a fresh wave of international outrage yesterday by dismissing the Holocaust as a myth and calling for Jews to be moved to Canada and Alaska."
|ElBaradei implies Israel should not bomb Iran||Jerusalem Post/AP - "You cannot use force to prevent a country from obtaining nuclear weapons. By bombing them half to death, you can only delay the plans"||13/12/2005|
|The disappointing trajectory of Amir Peretz||Ilan Pappe - London Review of Books - Israel needs a greater revolution than the election of Amir Peretz. The peace initiatives – or at any rate their short-term goals – have not changed since Israel occupied the territories in 1967. What is new is the growing realisation among grass-roots organisations worldwide, led by the hundreds of NGOs which now constitute Palestinian civil society, that previous methods to bring peace have failed.||13/12/2005|
|After elections, prepare for a new springtime intifada||Ali Al-Jarbawi - Al Ayyam - It should be noted, however, that the current transformation in the Israeli political system is not based, as many think, on a shift by Sharon from the right to the center, but rather on a shift of the center toward Sharon, whose real place is still in the Israeli right-wing camp. ||13/12/2005|
|Twilight Zone / Dusty trail to death ||Gideon Levy - Haarerz - On Sunday morning of last week Mahmoud Shawara, a laborer, mounted his mule and set out from his home in the village of Nuaman to look for work in the neighboring village of Umm Touba. At about 9 A.M., he was arrested by a Border Police unit that detains workers who do not have an entry permit to Israel every morning.
|An Electoral Rehearsal with Rockets||Zouheir Kseibati - Al-Hayat - Beyond wondering about the fate of Palestinian elections, it has become evident that the national Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, is facing quite a predicament which the Israelis call a "turning point". ||25/12/2005|
|Tampering with the Palestinian Elections||Abdel Wahab Badrakhan - Al-Hayat - It is clear that the US Administration does not want Palestinian elections because Israel does not want them. The reason is not the possible victory of "Hamas", but merely because it is participating therein.||23/12/2005|
| "The Main Thing is to Have No Fear!"||Uri Avnery - "SOMETHING BAD is happening to the election campaign of Amir Peretz. It is just shuffling around...Two weeks ago, Amir Peretz gave in to his advisors and repeated the sacred mantra: he, too, is for the United Jerusalem, Capital of Israel for all Eternity. Amen."||24/12/2005|
|CEASE FIRE!||Weekly ad of Gush-Shalom - "The vicious circle goes as usual: "targeted killing", revenge action, response to the response."||24/12/2005|
|Noam Chomsky v. Alan Dershowitz: A Debate on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict||Democracy Now - Rush Transcript of a debate between Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowtiz - "Dershowitz argued for a political solution based on an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian towns and a mobile security fence to protect Israel`s borders, while Chomsky insisted that the main obstacle to peace in the region is U.S.-Israeli insistence on maintaining settlements and rejecting minimal Palestinian rights."||24/12/2005|
|A letter from Jerusalem||Recent commentary by Rev. Clarence Musgrave||12/12/2005|
|Either Zionism or Sebastia||Gadi Taub - Maariv - A majority of Israelis know why the settlement enterprise is not doing “exactly what the Labor movement did” in the early 20th century. The Labor movement aspired to establish a Jewish and democratic state. The settlement enterprise is leading us towards a bi-national state. ||1/12/2005|
|Peretz Against the Road Map||Yuval Karni - Yedioth Aharonot - If elected prime minister, Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz intends to reach a final status arrangement with the Palestinians within one four-year term.
| The Curse of the Gods||Uri Avnery - "Peres committed an act of political prostitution."||12/12/2005|
|Art, Truth & Politics||Harold Pinter – Nobel Lecture by the receipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2005. Not exactly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but very much worth reading.||12/12/2005|
|The Other Israel Billboard - 11.12.05|| "Nothing like a suicide bomb in an election campaign"||12/12/2005|
|PNA: Israeli Threat to Blockade Gaza ‘Unacceptable’||PMC - The Palestine Media Center - UN envoy David Welch to Quartet: US Determined to See GS-WB Link Run by Dec. 15
|The Palestinian Left||Ben White - Palestine Chronicle - The demise of the Soviet Union deprived the Palestinians of a key backer of their struggle, and ushered in the age of the US as hyperpower.." ||11/12/2005|
|Agreement on Gaza Border Crossings Institutionalizes Israeli Occupation ||Raji Sourani - PCHR, Gaza - Raji Sourani: "The Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip is still effective in its physical and legal forms. Israel controls the airspace, sea, borders and crossings of the Strip. "
|Occupation dragging down IDF morals||David Zonshein - Is our army as ethical as we think?
|Syria ready to reopen Israel peace talks: Assad hopes to head off UN sanctions||
Simon Tisdall and Ewen MacAskill-The Guardian - "Bashar Assad, the Syrian president, is being urged by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan to restart bilateral talks with Israel that collapsed in 2000." ||8/12/2005|
|No peace with Sharon ||Gerald Kaufman - The Guardian - "The Gaza withdrawal has been a veil for continued persecution and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians
| Democracy and colonialism||Ran Hacohen - Counterpunch - Peretz was quoted saying his Labor cabinet would take even harsher measures against the Palestinians. That`s the classic left-wing false consciousness: the voters allegedly love hardliners, so we leftists should be even more catholic than the Pope, and then weep behind closed doors why no left-wing alternative is heard, and why the voters move even further to the right.||7/12/2005|
|Setting the stage for a springtime intifada ||Ali Jarbawi - Bitterlemons - The results of the Palestinian elections will lead to a core change in the nature of the Palestinian political system and the fashion in which it operates. These parliamentary elections, and not the presidential elections, are the key to the crucial democratic transformation this "patriarchal" system needs.||7/12/2005|
|Election fever||Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - It is election season in both Palestine and Israel, and this time change could be on the horizon. Hopefully, a new dynamic can be created as a result, because the last few years of stagnation on both sides have been of use to nobody. ||7/12/2005|
|A letter from Jerusalem||Recent commentary by Rev. Clarence Musgrave - Circular Letter No 244 - "It is a beautiful land, there are people of great integrity in both major communities, and yet it is hard to escape the feeling of gathering doom as one sees the Wall around such places as Jerusalem, inexorably dividing the two peoples, and also cutting parts of East Jerusalem off from other parts where there are schools hospitals, shops, and all the components for “normal” life. "||6/12/2005|
| Praise Where Praise is Due||MIFTAH - "The chorus of criticism that has been showered upon Fatah for its aborted primaries has failed to pay adequate attention to the fact that Fatah is currently the only political group in the Palestinian Territories that has attempted, however feebly, an open and democratic method of choosing candidates for the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections.
|New party-old faces & human rights activists` plight||The Other Israel`s weekly updates||6/12/2005|
|A shot in the foot||By Khaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram Weekly - Charges of election fraud in its primaries raise again the question of whether Fatah can continue to dominate Palestinian politics,
|Springtime for Sharon||Graham Usher - Al-Ahram Weekly - Ariel Sharon has forged a new party and a new creed to pursue an old political ambition - the exclusion of the Palestinians||5/12/2005|
|Al-Quds: Where Are America and Europe? ||WAFA_ In its editorial,"Where Are America and Europe?," AL-Quds daily said that, once again, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened fire and tear gas at Palestinians and international activists protesting the construction of the Apartheid Wall in Bil`in and Aboud villages of Ramallah, resulted in wounding a journalist with a live bullet in his hand.
|Palestinian children protest checkpoints||Aljazeera image from Hebron||1/12/2005|
|The Choice to be Struck?||Farid Esack, a South African academic - Electronic Intifada - "For a South African the sense of deja vu is inescapable - almost
immediately upon arrival in the land of Palestine/Israel... For a South African who has lived - or just survived
- under Apartheid or who acted in solidarity with those who did - it
is a fairly simple matter to be struck by this enforced
|Transport to Link Gaza, West Bank Remains Elusive; Stalled Talks Delay Planned Bus Service||Daniel Williams - The Washington Post - "Thursday was set aside by Israelis and Palestinians, with
all-night encouragement from Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice, for a single bus with 50 passengers to
travel from Gaza to the West Bank. But the wheels won`t
roll until next week at the earliest, Israeli officials
|Palestinian `third way` rises : A new political group offers voters a choice between Fatah and Hamas.||Ilene R. Prusher - The Christian Science Monitor - "Hamas and Fatah have a new political rival. A group of respected Palestinian leaders and intellectuals has formed an independent list to run in January`s elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council. The new "party" presents a potential challenge to the two major forces of political life here: Fatah, the ruling Palestinian faction, and Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement."
|Bloody Mofaz||Shulamit Aloni - Ynet - IDF elite sent to kill, be killed for Defence Minister`s satisfaction. More than that: these actions are in order to preserve the wartime tension and make terror attacks against us possible – in order to justify continued occupation, enslavement, theft and expulsion.
|The fate of Gaza||Conn Hallinan - Znet - "Whatever else it claims to be, the Gaza Disengagement plan is, at heart, an instrument of Israel`s continued annexation of West Bank land and the physical integration of that land into Israel" - Sara Roy ||13/12/2005|
|Should Israel give up its nukes?||George Bisharat - Commondreams - [N]o U.S. administration has effectively pressured Israel to either halt its program or to submit to inspections under the International Atomic Energy Agency. Nor has Israel been required to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The apparent rationale: Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of an ally are simply not an urgent concern.||13/12/2005|
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