al-Manar and H. R. 2278

posted 2 Jan 2010, dated 1 – 3 Jan 2010:

“On 12/16/04, US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the decision to put Al Manar on the Terrorist Exclusion List (T list # 2 in   Department of Homeland Security lingo) was taken because of “Al Manar’s incitement of terrorist activity.” Al-Manar’s Foreign Editor Ibrahim Mousawi replied to BBC News, that the proposed ban resulted from “political pressure by the Jewish lobby”. “We are not anti-Semites and we do not incite hatred,” he insisted.

The Bush administration did not acknowledge Al Manar’s explanation and the TV channel remains on the ‘T” list.  The standard of “incitement of terrorism” has been recently change, one reason being that for the past five years no evidence of “incitement of terrorism” involving Al Manar (or Hezbollah) has been documented by the CIA despite requests for proof from the US Senate Intelligence Committee.  This failure of the CIA to support the Israel lobby case disappointed Tel Aviv and led AIPAC to craft a new standard which is now being used in H.R. 2278. The new applicable standard is “incitement of violence against American citizens.” This new language is believed by many lawyers and   the Center for Constitutional Rights, based in New York, to be too broad to constitute a legal basis for prosecution. This view is not of concern to the US Israel lobby since its goal are not judicial prosecutions but rather intimidation–of more than 400 channels operating in 19 Middle East countries.

Lest other Middle East countries than Lebanon  beleive they can escape the wide net of H.R. 2278, according to a 12/16/09  report in the Egyptian  daily Al-Mesryoon,  “The American administration intends to threaten the blocking or reduction of American aid offered to Egypt each year  in order to pressure the Egyptian government into discontinuing the broadcasting of a number of satellite channels ( reportedly at least ten in number) airing from Egypt via the Egyptian NileSat, under claims that they are  violating the new ‘incitement’ standard and are attacking American policies in the region.””

The Israel Lobby’s War on Al Manar TV

Published in: on January 2, 2010 at 5:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Israel Links Second Telecom Provider to Withdrawal of ICC Claim

posted 29 Sept 2009, dated 27 Sept:

“Tensions are mounting between Israel and the Palestinian Authority following Ramallah’s call on the International Court at The Hague to examine claims of “war crimes” that the IDF allegedly committed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. The issue is already weighing in on the relations between the leadership of Israel’s defense and security establishment with their counterparts in the West Bank, and is part of a growing list of Israeli complaints about the behavior of PA officials.

Meanwhile, Israel has warned the Palestinian Authority that it would condition permission for a second cellular telephone provider to operate in the West Bank – an economic issue of critical importance to the PA leadership – on the Palestinians withdrawing their request at the International Court.

The issue of a second cellular provider is at the center of talks between the PA, the international Quartet, and Israel, and has been ongoing for some months. Currently the sole provider is Pal-Tel, and the PA prime minister, Salam Fayyad, considers the introduction of another carrier as an important step in improving the civilian infrastructure in the West Bank. The project is central to Watanya, the company that is set to serve as the second provider, and profits are expected to be substantial

However, if the project is not approved by October 15, the PA will be forced to pay a penalty estimated at $300 million, the sum that has already been invested in licensing and infrastructure. ”

Israel demands PA drop war crimes suit at The Hague

posted 2 Oct, dated 1 Oct:

“As long as the Wataniya Mobile company is unable to begin its operations, communications costs are likely to remain inordinately high for Palestinian businesses and individuals. But thwarting the company benefits four unauthorized Israeli operators who make sizeable profits in the Palestinian market using infrastructure they have set up in the illegal Israeli settlements across the West Bank. ”

Palestinians cry ‘blackmail’ over Israel phone service threat

Published in: on September 29, 2009 at 3:29 am  Comments (2)  

IEAE Passes Resolution on Israeli Nuclear Weapons

posted 21 Sept 2009, dated 18 Sept:

“The UN nuclear assembly voted on Friday to urge Israel to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and place all atomic sites under UN inspections, in a surprise victory for Arab states.

“The delegation of Israel deplores this resolution,” David Danieli, deputy director of Israel’s atomic energy commission, told the chamber after the vote.

 “Israel will not cooperate in any matter with this resolution which is only aiming at reinforcing political hostilities and lines of division in the Middle East region.” 

IAEA urges Israel to allow nuclear inspection

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 6:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Miscegenation

posted 9 Sept 2009, dated 7 Sept:

The Israeli government has launched a television and internet advertising campaign urging Israelis to inform on Jewish friends and relatives abroad who may be in danger of marrying non-Jews.

According to the institute, about half of all Jews in western Europe and the United States assimilate by intermarrying, while the figure for the former Soviet Jewry is reported to reach 80 per cent.

Israel, whose Jewish population of 5.6 million accounts for 41 per cent of worldwide Jewry, has obstructed intermarriage between its Jewish and Arab citizens by refusing to recognize such marriages unless they are performed abroad.

According to the campaign’s organizers, more than 200 Israelis rang a hotline to report names of Jews living abroad after the first TV advertisement was run on Wednesday. Callers left details of email addresses and Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The campaign supports a government-backed program, Masa, that subsidizes stays and courses in Israel of up to one year in a bid to persuade Jews to immigrate and become citizens. About 8,000 diaspora Jews attend its program each year.

The government has been trying to develop Masa alongside a rival programß, Birthright Israel, which brings nearly 20,000 diaspora youngsters to Israel each year on sponsored 10-day trips to meet Israeli soldiers and visit sites in Israel and the West Bank promoted as important to the Jewish people.

Although Birthright is regarded as useful in encouraging a positive image of Israel, officials fear it has only a limited effect on attracting its mainly North American participants to move to Israel. Many regard it as an all-paid holiday.

Differences in the approach of the two programmes were underlined in July when a Birthright director, Shlomo Lifshittz, resigned and moved to Masa after telling the Israeli media he had been forbidden from urging Birthright participants to migrate to Israel and shun intermarriage.”

“Lost” American Youth Urged to Come to Israel

posted and dated 28 Sept:

“For more than a decade, David has considered it his unofficial job to patrol the streets looking for mixed Arab-Jewish couples. “We are protecting the Jewish people, our traditions, our heritage. Some people just get mixed up. We talk to them, explain why it’s important for Jews to be with Jews,” he said.

His group, which works with police, goes by several names, including Fire for Judaism, is composed of up to 45 men and funded by private donations. Members say they are fighting a “growing epidemic” of Arab-Jewish dating and spend as many hours as they can on patrol.

Similar groups have formed across the country, including in the southern Negev city of Beersheba, and northern port of Haifa. In Petah Tikva, a blue-collar city in the centre of Israel, the municipality has formed a unit to discourage Arab-Jewish relationships.”

Israeli vigilantes target young Arab-Jewish couples

Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Moskowitz and Hawaiian Gardens

accessed 20 Jul, dated 19 Jul 2009:

“Each dollar spent on bingo by the mostly Latino residents of Hawaiian Gardens, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, helps fund Jewish settlements on Palestinian land in some of the most sensitive areas of occupied East Jerusalem, particularly the Muslim quarter of the old city, and West Bank towns such as Hebron where the Israeli military has forced Arabs out of their properties in their thousands.

Moskowitz is an 80-year-old retired doctor and orthodox Jewish millionaire who built a fortune buying and selling hospitals. In 1988 he also bought the faltering bingo hall in Hawaiian Gardens which, under California law, can only be run as not-for-profit operation so Moskowitz brought it under the wing of a charitable foundation he had established in his own name.

What it does not say is that the focus of the donations is a number of Jewish organisations intent on claiming Palestinian territory for Israel and ensuring that occupied East Jerusalem remains in the Jewish state’s hands.

Beliak calculates that the foundation has given Jewish settlers well over £100m, beginning with the construction 20 years ago of 133 houses on land confiscated from Palestinians by the Israeli government.”

Gambling with peace: how US bingo dollars are funding Israeli settlements

accessed 21 Jul, dated 20 Jul 2009:

The public disagreement between Israel and the U.S. over continued settlement expansion in the West Bank and Jerusalem has heated up considerably. At a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly rejected the Obama administration’s request for a halt to construction of a planned settlement in Sheik Jarrah, located in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.

The disputed site is owned by billionaire and settlement supporter Irving Moskowitz who bought the property in 1985. Mr. Moskowitz hopes to construct 20 residence units at what is currently the site of the Shepherd’s Hotel. The location was once used as a residence by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. It was also was once the home of author and Palestinian nationalist, George Antonius. The location borders an historic and wealthy Palestinian neighborhood which has many opulent villas. The proposed building site was described at the Israeli (Hebrew) Channel One web site as a “ticking time bomb since 1985.” The municipality of Jerusalem has prevented the development of the site because of Palestinian sensibilities until recently.”

Building in the Vineyard of the Mufti: Netanyahu’s Time Bomb

Published in: on July 20, 2009 at 5:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Soldiers Speak Out

accessed 18 Jul, dated 17 Jul 2009:

“The testimonials are meant to show the humane side of the much-maligned Israeli army, and can be found at Soldiersspeakout.com – a subsidiary of Stand With Us International, an Los Angeles non-profit which seeks to boost Israeli public relations.

Soldiers Speak Out was a response to accusations of misconduct from Israelis soldiers that emerged immediately after the war. A spokesman said the group has prepared a new batch of testimonials in response to Breaking the Silence.”

US group rallies Israeli soldiers to combat Gaza allegations

Published in: on July 18, 2009 at 3:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Israel Rules Out Golan Withdrawal

accessed 11 Jul, dated 10 Jul 2009:

““If there is a territorial compromise, it is one that still leaves Israel on the Golan Heights and deep into the Golan Heights,” said Uzi Arad, considered the closest adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister.

In an interview with the newspaper Haaretz, the former Mossad official said Israel was ready to resume talks with Syria without preconditions.”

Israeli official rules out Golan withdrawal

Published in: on July 11, 2009 at 4:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Iraqi Palestinians

accessed 8 Jul, dated 7 Jul 2009:

“The State Department confirmed today that as many as 1,350 Iraqi Palestinians – once the well-treated guests of Saddam Hussein and now at outs with much of Iraqi society – will be resettled in the US, mostly in southern California, starting this fall.

Given the US’s past reluctance to resettle Palestinians – it accepted just seven Palestinians in 2007 and nine in 2008 – the effort could ruffle some diplomatic feathers.

While the US generally doesn’t accept Palestinians, Todd Pierce, a spokesman for the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, says that the Iraqi population of Palestinians falls under a different category from those in Gaza and the West Bank. Each applicant will be carefully scrutinized for terrorist ties, he adds.

The US reluctance to accept Palestinians is because it “doesn’t want the refugee program to become an issue in its relationship with Israel,” says a diplomat in the region, who requested anonymity because he is not cleared to talk to the press. But these Palestinians, he says, will be processed as refugees from Iraq.”

Risking Israel’s ire, US takes 1,350 Palestinian refugees

Published in: on July 8, 2009 at 3:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Local Loyalty Oaths

accessed and dated 8 Jun 2009:

“A community in northern Israel has changed its bylaws to demand that new residents pledge support for “Zionism, Jewish heritage and settlement of the land” in a thinly veiled attempt to block Arab applicants from gaining admission.

Critics are calling the bylaw, adopted by Manof, home to 170 Jewish families in Galilee, a local “loyalty oath” similar to a national scheme recently proposed by the far-Right party of the government minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Other Jewish communities in the central Galilee – falling under the umbrella of a regional council known as Misgav – are preparing similar bylaws in response to a court petition filed by an Arab couple hoping to build a home in Misgav.

Traditionally some 700 rural communities in Israel, including 30 in Misgav, have weeded out Arab applicants by issuing automatic rejections through special vetting committees. Arab citizens make up one-fifth of the country’s population.

However, the vetting system has been under threat since a court ruling in 2000 that required the committees to consider Arab applicants and justify their decisions.

In line with the ruling, the Zbeidats demanded the right to take a suitability test when their application was turned down in 2006. Examiners found Fatina too “individualistic” for life in a small community while her husband lacked “knowledge of sophisticated interpersonal relations”.

The Zbeidats then petitioned the courts against the use of vetting committees, saying they enforced “blatant discrimination” against Arab applicants.

Earlier this year, in an indication that the court was preparing to back them, it demanded that the attorney-general explain why the vetting committees should continue.

The bylaw, accepted by an overwhelming majority in Manof, stipulates that applicants must share “the values of the Zionist movement, Jewish heritage, settlement of the Land of Israel … and observance of Jewish holidays”.

It also proposes that local children be encouraged to join the Zionist youth movement and the Israeli army.

A similarly worded proposal will come before another Misgav community, Yuvalim, later this month.

Misgav promotes itself, in the words of its website, as a model of “ethnic pluralism” because it includes 5,000 Bedouin.

However, critics note that Misgav’s Bedouin live in a handful of separate communities deprived of the land available to the Jewish communities.The Bedouin inhabitants are generally denied basic services such as water and electricity, as well as schools and medical clinics. In one, Arab al Naim, the inhabitants are forced to live in tin shacks because permanent structures are demolished by the state.”

‘Loyalty oath’ to keep Arabs out of Galilee town

Published in: on June 8, 2009 at 2:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Britain to Review Military Sales to Israel

accessed 21 Apr 2009:

“Miliband told the British Parliament that all export licenses would be reviewed in light of the war in Gaza, which ended in mid-January.

He said that all future applications to export arms to Israel would also be assessed with the Gaza conflict in mind. Britain supplies less than 1 percent of Israel’s military imports, Miliband said.”

U.K. to review arms exports to Israel in wake of Gaza war

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 1:06 pm  Comments (9)