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One Democratic State in Palestine

My Catbird Seat | August 25, 2010

Introduction by Gilad Atzmon:

Living in a world dominated by relentless Zionist lobbying, I am far from being captivated by the current state of Western democracy. I am not impressed at all by the lethal enthusiasm to democratize the World in the name of ‘moral interventionism’.

I am sickened by the murderous zeal that led the USA and Britain into a criminal war that left already more than 1.5 million Iraqi fatalities….

And yet, democracy can also be a genuine universal call. As it happens, it is the Palestinians who are teaching us what democracy is all about, what it stands for and why we favoured it in the first place. Read the Declaration of the Movement for One Democratic State (ODS) in Palestine. I assume that moral interventionists better visit the ODS conference in October so they gather that democracy is actually a humanist call.

Instead of an ethno-centric exclusive ‘Jews only democracy’ we are talking here about an inclusive multi ethnic state of its citizens.

For more information: http://www.onedemocraticstate.com/

Declaration of the Movement for One Democratic State in Palestine

Vision of the Movement

1. The entire territory of Palestine between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is one country that belongs to all its citizens including all those who live there and all those who were expelled over the past century and their descendants. The country shall be constituted as an independent sovereign State in which all citizens enjoy equal rights and all can live in freedom and security.

2. The reunified country in Palestine shall be constituted as a democracy in which all of its adult citizens shall enjoy equal rights to vote, stand for office and contribute to the country’s governance. No State law, institution, practices or activities may discriminate among its citizens on the basis of ethnicity, religion, language, nationality or gender.

3. The State shall not establish or accord special privilege to any religion and shall provide for the free practice of all religions.

4. Public land of the State shall belong to the nation as a whole and all of its citizens shall have equal access to its use. Private property of Palestinian refugees shall be restored or compensation arranged. The natural and economic resources of the country shall benefit all of its citizens equally.

5. The State shall provide the conditions for free cultural expression by all of its citizens. It shall ensure that all languages, arts and culture can flourish and develop freely. All citizens shall have equal rights to use their own dress, languages and customs, and to express their cultural heritage free of insults or discrimination.

6. Citizens shall have equal access to employment at all levels and in all sectors of the society. Employment shall not be determined or restricted by language, race, religion, gender, or nationality. Education and vocational training shall not be segregated or specialized in any way that impedes equal access of all citizens to employment and other opportunities to fulfill their talents and dreams.

7. The State shall uphold international law and seek the peaceful resolution of conflicts through negotiation and collective security in accordance with the United Nations Charter. The people of a unified Palestine shall reject racism and promote anti-racism throughout the world. The State shall seek to build a world order in which all countries and peoples enjoy their social, cultural and political rights as set out in relevant United Nations covenants. The State shall seek and contribute to the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East that will also be free of all weapons of mass-destruction.

The Houston Conference on

ONE DEMOCRATIC STATE IN PALESTINE

Houston, Texas

October 22-24, 2010

For more info:

http://onedemocraticstate.com/Program.pdf

Gilad Atzmon was born a secular Israeli Jew in Tel Aviv and trained at the Rubin Academy of Music in jerusalem.  His service as a paramedic in the Israeli Defense Forces during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon caused him to reach the conclusion that  “I was part of a colonial state, the result of plundering and ethnic cleansing.” In 1994 Atzmon emigrated from Israel to London, where he attended the University of Essex and earned a Masters degree in Philosophy.  He has lived there since, becoming a British citizen in 2002.  Atzmon’s novels have been published in 22 languages.  His first novel A Guide to the Perplexed, published in 2001, is set in a future where by 2052 Israel has been replaced by a Palestinian state for 40 years.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties | 3 Comments

Peres: “Iran threatens to use nuclear weapons”

Press TV – August 25, 2010

In a gaffe during a meeting aimed at garnering international support for tougher action against Iran, Israeli President Shimon Peres has claimed that Tehran “threatens to use nuclear weapons.”

“Iran jeopardizes Israel and the rest of the world, as it threatens to use nuclear weapons,” Shimon Peres said on Wednesday in a meeting with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano, Ha’aretz reported.

His comments come while the IAEA has confirmed that Tehran does not possess nuclear weapons and Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said, “Nuclear weapons have no place in our defense paradigm.”

Widely believed to be the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the region, for the past four decades, Israel has constantly refused to reject or confirm its status as a nuclear power under a US-backed policy of “nuclear ambiguity.”

In May 2009, Israel rejected a UN call to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which would require Tel Aviv to declare and relinquish its nuclear arsenal.

The White House, however, says that US President Barack Obama has vowed to shield Israel from being “singled out,” over its “nuclear ambiguity” stance.

Under the allegation that Iran is a threat to its existence, Israel has threatened to destroy the country’s nuclear facilities.

Iran, however, as a signatory to the NPT and a member of the IAEA has opened its nuclear facilities to intrusive inspections and round-the-clock supervision by the nuclear watchdog.

The IAEA has repeatedly reported that it has found no evidence of any diversion of nuclear materials from civilian to military applications in Iran.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | 2 Comments

The Light Rail Racist? Of Course it is

By Joharah Baker for MIFTAH, August 25, 2010

My two kids, especially my son, just love catching a glimpse of the shiny new trains being tested these days in Jerusalem. On our way to Ramallah, if you are “lucky” you can see the trains on a test drive along the main road, moving up to the beginning part of Shufat. In any other country, this would be a wonderful development – a necessary and efficient public service for all. However, this is not any other country, this is Israel and occupied Jerusalem, and my kids’ childlike enthusiasm would be short lived if they understood the racist ramifications of Jerusalem’s light rail.

Other than the usual reasons for the light rail, which includes relieving congestion in the city due to the hours long traffic jams, the political overtones are horrific. The light rail is essentially a service to the illegal settlements in and around Jerusalem, connecting them with the center of Jerusalem and with each other. It is a service for Israeli Jews who would rather skip the morning traffic jams and hop on the light rail to work every day. It is for the young Israeli teenager who wants to make a quick trip to the mall before sundown and it is for the 300,000 Jewish settlers living on occupied Palestinian land to feel they are part and parcel of Israel’s unified and eternal capital. Additionally, it is for Israel’s leaders who want to consolidate Israeli rule over Jerusalem as quickly and as permanently as possible. The train serves the same purpose as the separation wall or the checkpoints. It excludes Palestinians and encircles the city in a hermetically sealed Jewish envelope.

The light rail’s route, however, will have three stops in Shufut, a Palestinian suburb of Jerusalem. Shufat is across from the settlement of Pisgat Zeev and is right down the road from French Hill, so it is no surprise the train would stop there. And it is no surprise that west Jerusalem Municipality officials would market this as proof that the light rail is for all of Jerusalem’s residents, Palestinians and Israelis alike.

What is surprising is how far they take their little charade. It was almost funny to read an article published in Haaretz a few days ago about how municipality officials got their feathers all ruffled over a poll carried out by the CityPass Consortium, the company that won the Jerusalem light rail tender, which asked residents if it bothered them that Palestinians would be using the trains. Two of the questions ran like this: “There are three stops in Shuafat; does this bother you?” and “All passengers, Jews and Arabs, can enter the train freely, without undergoing a security check. Does this bother you?”

A municipality official, director general Yair Maayan was livid, calling the questions racist. “We were flabbergasted to see how a private commercial consortium dared to address these subjects; to ask such racist questions and to arouse strife and contention in the city,” Maayan wrote it a letter to CityPass.

Amazing, how all of a sudden, the Jerusalem municipality – or should I say the west Jerusalem municipality – is so concerned with racism in the city? The question, given Israeli perceptions of Palestinians, is legitimate because we all know how Israelis discriminate against the “Arabs.” We also know how the Israeli government has indoctrinated fear and suspicion among Israel’s Jewish population of Palestinians in general, which has partially earned its security justification so much success. Because the Palestinians are so dehumanized, because they are so “inclined to violence,” Israel has been able to justify so-called security measures on just about every level. This has led, I believe, to a collective and stereotypical mistrust and suspicion of Palestinians, something which CityPass obviously felt should be addressed.

But that is not my point. My point is that the light rail is racist in nature given that it will basically serve to connect illegal settlements and further strengthen Israel’s stranglehold on Jerusalem. Palestinians in the Shufat Refugee Camp do not have a stop, neither do those living in Beit Hanina or the villages surrounding Jerusalem. So, for the municipality to be up in arms over a “racist” question is absurd and it is insulting to our intelligence. The light rail is not for all of Jerusalem’s citizens and the fact that a few Palestinians may ride it occasionally is hardly proof of equality.

So why hide intentions? The municipality must feign equality because Israel claims Jerusalem is united for all its residents. We all know this to be another farce as well. The vast discrepancy between east and west Jerusalem is ample proof of Israel’s discriminatory policies. However, on the face of it, there is too much at risk for Israel to have its light rail also slammed as racist. Over the past few years, there has been enough bad publicity surrounding the construction of the rail, with BDS (Boycott and Divestment Movement) pressuring several companies to pull their money out of the project on the grounds of its illegitimacy (it is after all connecting illegal settlements on illegally occupied land). The French company Veolia reportedly pulled out most of its share of the project last year after pressure from boycott and rights groups. The company also reportedly lost an estimated $7 million in contracts because of its involvement in the Light Rail.

But it doesn’t take CityPass, the west Jerusalem municipality or even the route of the light rail train to showcase how racist Israel is towards the Palestinians. All you have to do is read some of the scathing comments under the article in Haaretz. One response with the subject “Arab cab use donkeys!” goes on to read, “After all they are a bunch of donkeys& behave like them as well.”

Another response said, “This shows that the threat of terrorism is endemic. The issue has nothing to do with race. It has to do with protecting innocent riders from being slaughtered.”

It does us Palestinians no honor to ride the train when it is finally up and running. If my kids want to ride it out of curiosity’s sake, I will bite the bullet and hop on for one ride. The last thing I need is to end up in some shady Israeli settlement built on land that is rightfully Palestinian.

Joharah Baker is a Writer for the Media and Information Department at the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH). She can be contacted at mid@miftah.org.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | Comments Off on The Light Rail Racist? Of Course it is

Church boycott calls ring louder

Sarah Irving, The Electronic Intifada, 25 August 2010

The world’s churches have long been one of the battlegrounds of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. With the strengthening of the BDS movement, a number of churches across the globe have seen the boycott of Israeli and Israeli settlement goods hotting up, and recent weeks have witnessed some notable victories.

The British Methodist Church has seen a number of resolutions on Israel passed in recent years. In 2006, says Dr. Stephen Leah, a Methodist preacher and member of the church’s conference, a vote to divest from companies profiting from the occupation was passed “overwhelmingly,” and other motions condemning Israeli actions in Gaza and encouraging church members to campaign for a just peace have been welcomed.

In June, Leah and colleague Nicola Jones, a Methodist minister who works with Palestinian liberation theology organization Friends of Sabeel, sparked major debate in the British media after they successfully shepherded a boycott motion through Methodist conference. “In 2009 we set up a working party in order to bring a statement to 2010 conference outlining the Methodist Church’s position on Palestine,” explains Leah. “Our report was the basis for the new resolution.”

The resulting motion has attracted most attention for its call for a boycott of goods from Israeli settlements. Christine Elliott, the Church’s Secretary for External Relationships, said in an official press release that “This decision has not been taken lightly, but after months of research, careful consideration and finally, today’s debate at the Conference. The goal of the boycott is to put an end to the existing injustice. It reflects the challenge that settlements present to a lasting peace in the region. We are passionate about dialogue across communities and with people of all faiths. We remain deeply committed to our relationships with our brothers and sisters of other faiths, and we look to engage in active listening so that we act as agents of hope together.”

“My personal view is that I’m in favor of a boycott of all Israeli goods,” says Leah. “But we had a big debate about it in the working party, as you can probably imagine, and some people said we should stick with a boycott of settlement products. So the statement now says that the Church will boycott settlement goods, but that some Methodists would like to go further.” Although the Methodists are the first church in the UK to mandate a settlement boycott, Leah claims that grassroots opinion within other churches, particularly the United Reform Church, would also support a boycott motion if one was presented to their conferences.

Significantly, the Methodist resolution doesn’t stop with a settlement boycott. It encourages church members to educate themselves on the issue of Palestine, directing them to documents such as the 2009 Kairos Declaration by Palestinian Christian leaders. It also encourages them to take action, ranging from engaging with the Amos Trust’s Just Peace for Palestine initiative to volunteering with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), whose human rights observation work takes volunteers to villages such as Yanoun, which has been repeatedly attacked and threatened by far-right settlers from Itamar. Official Methodist documents now refer to settlements as illegal, and the Church leadership has written to Britain’s main supermarkets asking for details of their policies on settlement produce. According to a Church spokesperson, they intend to make the results of their enquiries public in the near future, and the Methodist website already includes guidance on country of origin labels relating to Israel, the occupied West Bank and settlements.

The Methodist resolution also “directs the Faith and Order Committee to undertake further work on the theological issues, including Christian Zionism, raised in the report that are needed to guide and support the approach of the Methodist Church to the Israeli/Palestinian situation and to bring a report to Conference.” This, says Leah, is a measure aimed at “getting to grips with what’s behind Christian Zionism, because there are all sorts of different strands. Part of that will be a discussion within the Committee as to whether or not some aspects are compatible with Methodist beliefs. For example, some people, including the UN, have said that Zionism is akin to racism, and the Methodist Church is completely against all forms of racism.” Leah says that he’s rarely encountered Christian Zionism within his local Methodist congregations in the north of England, but acknowledges that “some people do have a feeling that we should be supporting Israel because they’re in the Bible and so on. But I’d say it’s stronger in other churches, especially the evangelical churches.”

Boycott backlash

Unsurprisingly, the decision of Britain’s second largest Protestant church to endorse the settlement boycott and research Christian support for Zionism has been controversial. The London-based Council of Christians and Jews responded to the Methodist resolution with mailings claiming that the boycott will “hurt Palestinian people,” while the Board of Deputies of British Jews issued a statement calling the motion “a very sad day, both for Jewish-Methodist relations and for everyone who wants to see positive engagement with the complex issues of Israeli-Palestinian relations. The Methodist Conference has swallowed hook, line and sinker a report full of basic historical inaccuracies, deliberate misrepresentations and distortions of Jewish theology and Israeli policy.” The statement went on to accuse the Methodist Church of being “crass, insensitive and misinformed,” and The Jewish Chronicle reported that the board had cut off relations with the Methodist leadership until “we see signs of a change in their stance.”

From Israel, meanwhile, commentators raised the specter of a “threat to inter-faith efforts all over Europe.” The Jerusalem Post called the Methodist Church, which claims 330,000 members in the UK, a “small and declining community” and described the Kairos Declaration as a “highly organized” effort by Palestinian Christian leaders. A Jerusalem Post op-ed by Robin Shepherd of the Henry Jackson Society (which numbers Operation Cast Lead defender Max Boot, former Israeli ambassador Dore Gold and a former CIA director amongst its figureheads), was entitled “The Banality of Methodist Evil,” called the BDS campaign “rancid” and accused the Methodist Church of “burying its credibility under a gigantic dunghill of intransigence, pedantry, lies and distortions.” The writers concluded by suggesting that “If the Methodist Church is to launch a boycott of Israel, let Israel respond in kind: Ban their officials from entering; deport their missionaries; block their funds; close down their offices; and tax their churches. If it’s war, it’s war. The aggressor must pay a price.”

“I think a lot of people were expecting this,” says Leah, “But the ordinary people I’ve been speaking to in churches are absolutely delighted. They say we’ve stood our ground and done what’s right.” He cites letters such as that from the Reverent Rob Hufton, which appeared in the Church’s newspaper, the Methodist Recorder, pointing out that Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement render impossible the kind of inter-faith encounter which critics of the Methodist motion claim to support. Hufton condemned the Israeli policies which have turned the West Bank into a “Swiss cheese” and concluded that “Things are worse than the maligned [Methodist] report suggests. We, as a Church, have nothing to apologize for and should not be intimidated.”

Leah admits that the Methodist leadership have been “getting a lot of flak from The Jewish Chronicle and The Jerusalem Post, which always makes them a bit worried,” but he sees grassroots work with members of the Methodist congregation as his main task. He’s also keen to highlight the support which the Methodist motion has attracted from anti-Zionist Jewish organizations, and the potential it holds for cross-community dialogue with Britain’s Muslims. “I think more than anything it’s important for the Methodist church and leadership to be bold in what they’re doing and take it back to those who are criticizing and say, we’ve got to stand up against injustice,” he says.

Behind the hysterical attacks on the Methodist resolution from Zionist commentators is their fear of the growing BDS movement. For the Methodist Church’s decision may be part of a growing trend amongst churches worldwide. Despite The Jerusalem Post’s insistence on the marginality of the Methodist Church, the Church of England, the UK’s largest Protestant denomination, announced the week after the Methodist conference that it was reviewing its stake in French transportation company Veolia because of the latter’s role in the Jerusalem light rail project. According to the Anglican Missionary and Public Affairs Committee, there was concern within the Church that “once built, the rail system will help to cement Israel’s hold on occupied East Jerusalem and tie the settlements even more firmly into the State of Israel.” The church would, it said, be investigating whether “the tram operator will ensure access to the tram that does not discriminate between Palestinians and Israelis, and abide by any ruling on the legality of the project in an international law.”

Australian, US churches move towards settlement boycott

In Australia, meanwhile, the National Council of Churches also passed a motion at the end of July backing a boycott of settlement products. The NCCA represents the Australian branches of the Catholic and Anglican churches, along with 15 other denominations. An NCCA press release states: “Rev Tara Curlewis, General Secretary of the NCCA said ‘We are asking the member Churches of the NCCA to consider boycotting particular goods produced in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” NCCA added that boycotting Israeli goods could help to “liberate the people from an experience of injustice” and was a means to help establish a “just and definitive” peace for Palestinians and Israelis. It also confirmed that Act For Peace, the Christian aid agency for Australia, would support boycott actions and advocacy initiatives by Australian churches.

Australian Zionist groups reacted with predictable fury, framing the decision as a boycott against “West Bank Jews.” Robert Goot, president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, claimed to reporters that the resolution “revived painful memories for Jews in Australia of earlier times in Europe when churches allowed themselves to be swept up in the tide of popular prejudices against the Jewish people.”

While not going as far as British and Australian churches, the Presbyterian General Assembly, which represents the denomination’s two million-plus members in the US, in July passed a number of resolutions on Palestinian issues. These included approving with 82 percent of the assembly vote a position paper which called for an “end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories” (while also affirming “Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation within secure and internationally recognized borders”) and “an immediate freeze on the establishment and expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and on the Israeli acquisition of Palestinian land and buildings in East Jerusalem.”

The Presbyterian General Assembly also approved a report by the Mission Responsibility Through Investment committee which “Strongly denounces Caterpillar’s continued profit-making from non-peaceful uses of a number of its products on the basis of Christian principles and as a matter of social witness” and “Calls upon Caterpillar to carefully review its involvement in obstacles to a just and lasting peace in Israel-Palestine, and to take affirmative steps to end its complicity in the violation of human rights.” The Presbyterian General Assembly said that it rejected divestment as an option, on the grounds that it would continue to “engage” with companies which “profit from the sale and use of their products for non-peaceful purposes and/or the violation of human rights.” The Anti-Defamation League, which routinely attacks any policies critical of Israel, called the reports “biased.”

Sarah Irving is a freelance writer. She worked with the International Solidarity Movement in the occupied West Bank in 2001-02 and with Olive Co-op, promoting fair trade Palestinian products and solidarity visits, in 2004-06. She now writes full-time on a range of issues, including Palestine. Her first book, Gaza: Beneath the Bombs co-authored with Sharyn Lock, was published in January 2010.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on Church boycott calls ring louder

Zelaya calls on ALBA to question Honduras about funds

August 25, 2010 – VHeadline News – Editor Patrick J. O’Donoghue reports:

The ousted President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya has called on member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) to put pressure on the Honduran government, asking for an explanation about the destiny of certain funds.

Zelaya said the current government is bent on “fleecing” funds that were given by other countries for development and the fight against exclusion.

Zelaya insisted that when he was ousted from government, he had left the funds intact in the national treasury.

The appeal to ALBA member countries, he declared, is an answer to a campaign of disinformation and lies launched by Honduran broadsheets, Diario El Heraldo and Diario La Prensa and taken up by the Spanish edition of CNN.

The same newspapers, Zelaya condemned, were responsible for the climate of disinformation that was evident during the coup d’etat against him.

The funds Zelaya is referring to came from ALBA and his government is being accused of diverting $98 million. Zelaya accused CNN of not verifying its sources and of hiding acts of repression that occur on a daily basis in Honduras.

According to the High Court of Accounts president, Miguel Angel Mejia, Venezuela donated $100 million to the permanent commission of contingencies, of which 2 million were used and the rest transferred to the presidency under Zelaya.

Zelaya denied the charge and for that reason has called on ALBA member countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela to ask the Honduran government for an explanation.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Corruption, Solidarity and Activism | Comments Off on Zelaya calls on ALBA to question Honduras about funds

Hamas: The new arrest campaign in W. Bank a requirement for Washington talks

Palestine Information Center – 25/08/2010

DAMASCUS — The Hamas Movement deplored the Palestinian Authority’s security militias for kidnapping lately dozens of its cadres and senior officials in the West Bank, considering this campaign an urgent requirement for the frivolous talks to be held in Washington.

“This frenzied campaign against our people in the West Bank is an instant requisite ahead of the useless negotiations in Washington, and a bad fruit of the policy and approach of the security coordination with the occupation under the command of US general Keith Dayton, that is intended for protecting the occupation’s security and the settlers’ well-being,” Hamas said in a press release on Tuesday.

Hamas also called on de facto president Mahmoud Abbas and his government to desist from this unpatriotic approach and release all detainees immediately, and held them fully responsible for the detainees’ safety.

For his part, Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy speaker of the Palestinian legislative council, slammed the raids carried out by these security militias on homes and offices of a number of Hamas lawmakers in the West Bank.

Dr. Bahar also appealed in a statement to the Arab League, the organization of the Islamic conference, all parliaments around the world and human rights organizations to stand by the Jerusalemite officials threatened with expulsion from the holy city and pressure Israel to repeal its unjust decision against them.

The lawmaker condemned, in another context, the Palestine liberation organization for accepting the direct talks with Israelis, stressing that the PLO does not represent the Palestinian people.

In a separate incident, Abbas’s security militias kidnapped on Tuesday Sheikh Yasser Hamad, a senior Hamas official and a member of the municipal council in Qalqiliya city. Hamad is one of more than 60 Palestinians affiliated with Hamas kidnapped lately in the West Bank.

The militias also rounded up a young man called Munder Al-Sha’er from Habla village, south of Qalqiliya, during his visit to the relatives of his wife in Immatin village on Monday.

Sources close to Sha’er said that the detainee suffers from several diseases and spent many years in West Bank and Israeli jails.

Another Palestinian prisoner in Jericho prison was reportedly forced by the militias to shave his beard. Local sources added that the militias transferred him to criminals’ cell in an attempt to damage him psychologically.

10 other Palestinian citizens from Hamas were also kidnapped in the cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Al-Khalil, Qalqiliya, and Bethlehem, according to local sources on Wednesday.

The security militias in Nablus city also kidnapped Ahmed Al-Mash’ati, the commander-general of Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine (PFLP) during his presence in a grocery store at noon Tuesday.

Deputy secretary-general of the PFLP Abdelrahim Malluh denounced in a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC) the kidnapping of Mash’ati, saying these security militias turned themselves into a tool to protect the Israeli occupation.

Malluh added that it is reprehensible for any security institution to arrest the Palestinian national figures and resistance fighters in order to guard the Israeli occupation’s security.

In a related context, Palestinian lawmaker Imad Nofal, for his part, strongly denounced the West Bank security militia for summoning Asma Hamouda, the wife of prisoner Ra’ed Hutri and a member of Qalqiliya municipal council, for interrogation.

Nofal stressed that this action is contrary to the Palestinian people’s norms and traditions, adding that women should be spared any political differences.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on Hamas: The new arrest campaign in W. Bank a requirement for Washington talks

Ashton ‘concerned’ by anti-wall leader’s conviction

Ma’an – 25/08/2010

Abdallah Abu Rahmah

BETHLEHEM — EU foreign affairs and security chief Catherine Ashton said Tuesday she was concerned by the conviction of a Palestinian anti-wall campaign leader by an Israeli military court on charges of incitement and organizing demonstrations.

“The EU considers Abdallah Abu Rahmah to be a Human Rights Defender committed to non violent protest against the route of the Israeli separation barrier through his West Bank village of Bil’in,” Ashton said in a statement.

Ashton said she was further deeply concerned that “at the possible imprisonment of Mr Abu Rahmah is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the existence of the separation barriers in a non violent manner.”

The High Representative added that the EU considers the route of Israel’s wall where it is built on Palestinian land to be illegal, and that it maintained a presence at all of Abu Rahmah’s court hearings.

Abu Rahmah was detained on 10 December 2009 during a night raid. According to his supporters, Abu Rahmah’s conviction was based only on testimonies of minors who were arrested in the middle of the night and denied legal counsel despite significant ills in their questioning.

###

International Solidarity Movement

Help us work for his release

Abdallah’s outrageous conviction today will be followed by a sentence in the coming weeks. The amount of pressure we will be able to generate in this time could influence Abdallah’s sentence, but will also make clear to Israeli authorities that the repression of the popular struggle does have a political price.

Please use the below template letters prepared by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee to ask your Minister of Foreign Affairs to send an official inquiry to the Israeli government about Abdallah. Demand that your country apply pressure on Israeli officials to release Abdallah Abu Rahmah and stop targeting popular struggle.

USA

UK

FRANCE

GERMANY

ITALY

PORTUGAL

SWEDEN

THE CZECH REPUBLIC

THE NETHERLANDS

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on Ashton ‘concerned’ by anti-wall leader’s conviction