First ever boycott at US port in solidarity with Palestine

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Irish folk legend Tommy Sands joins the Sheikh Jarrah Protest

mariosavio — 19 June 2010 — Irish folk legend Tommy Sands performed in front of a crowd of hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians who came to the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem for the weekly Friday demonstration to protest against house evictions of Palestinians by Israeli courts and settlers.

After the performance, the demonstrators marched in the streets of the neighbourhood. Israeli police tried to prevent them from marching, but was unable to stop them due to the large numbers of demonstrators.

McChrystal faces ‘Iraq’ moment

Gareth Porter, one of PULSE’s 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009, discusses Afghanistan.

TheRealNews — 20 June 2010 — McChrystal confronts the specter of a collapse of United States political support for the war

The Only Democracy in the Middle East: 18.6.10

Fifteen year-old paramedic volunteer arrested by the IDF, while on duty, cuffed in discordance with regulations. ~Photograph by Gal Lugassi

Five paramedics (one of them [image to the left] a minor, the age of 15) and one member of the press- all marked with vests according to their duty, all residents of the village of Ni’lin- were arrested during the weekly demonstration. I later chanced upon the 6 at the Beit-El (settlement) police station. We managed to talk to them a bit and take some pictures before the guarding officer started yelling for the police to come and take us away. Anarchists Against the Wall Reported the following:

One of the soldiers punched the cameraman and a medic, and another threw a large rock at the a radio receiver belonging to the medics. The arrestees were taken to the Shaar Binyamin police station. Two of them were accused of assaulting the police, and four were released.

The latest report is that the remaining journalist and paramedic were both released, with no conditions.

Continue reading “The Only Democracy in the Middle East: 18.6.10”

Football on the wall in Bethlehem

AlJazeeraEnglish — June 19, 2010 — Israel’s separation apartheid wall, twice the height of the former Berlin Wall and more than 750km-long, is a much hated barrier in the Palestinian West Bank.

Now, a restaurant owner in the occupied Palestinian West Bank has come up with unique way to please World Cup fans: he has been showing every match of the tournament on a section of the wall, transforming it into a giant screen.

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An Evening with Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong is the author of the classic The History of God.

UCtelevision — 17 June 2010 — One of the world’s leading commentators on religious affairs, Karen Armstrong discusses the intersection of religion and secularism in contemporary life. She explores the ideas that Islam, Judaism and Christianity have in common and their effect on world events. Series: Walter H. Capps Center Series

Turkey’s regional popularity soars

AlJazeeraEnglish — 18 June 2010 — Turkey’s popularity in the Middle East has soared following its denunciation of Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last month. Turkish flags and posters of Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, have been prominent in demonstrations around the world protesting the Israeli attack. In the Gaza Strip, a growing number of newborn babies have been named after Erdogan. Meanwhile Turkey says it will not send its ambassador back to Israel unless it receives a formal apology for the attack, that left nine people, mostly Turks, dead.

Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin reports on Turkey’s rising popularity in the region.

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Getting Out of Palestine?

by M. Shahid Alam

When veteran journalist Helen Thomas was asked recently if she had any comments on Israel, she shot back, “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.” She apologized for the remark, but, as the campaign against her escalated, she chose to retire from her position as White House correspondent.

Putting aside the edginess in her words, does Helen Thomas’s remark deserve serious consideration?

Over the years, it has been receiving just that from many tens of thousands of Israelis, who have been emigrating from Israel, applying for emigration, or staying in Israel but holding or applying for dual citizenship. According to Arnaud de Borchgrave, half a million Israelis hold dual citizenship.

Although the Israel lobby expressed particular outrage at Helen Thomas’ suggestion that Israelis go back to Germany and Poland, many Israelis have done precisely that. In his book, The Seventh Million, Tom Segev writes that many thousands of Israelis have “requested and received German passports.” According to the Jewish Virtual Library, there were 118,000 Jews living in Germany in 2006. Another 49,700 lived in Hungary and 3,200 in Poland.

Disconcerting as some Zionists may find this, Jews have not stayed away from countries where they faced near extermination under the Nazis. Does this mean that these countries are now safer for Jews than Israel?

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Unrest in Pakistan

Moving Beyond the U.S. National Interest

by Josh Brollier and Kathy Kelly

June 18, 2010

All Pakistan Clerks Association Protest at Parliament in Islamabad

“The military is the muscle that protects the ruling elite from the wrath of the people,” says Pakistani political analyst Dr. Mubashir Hassan. “Right now, people are out on the street; blocking roads, attacking railway stations, etc. If you read the papers, it seems as though a general uprising has started all over Pakistan.”

Dr. Hassan says that sporadic outbursts of anger in Pakistan won’t coalesce into a people’s revolution anytime soon. The demonstrators are too disorganized. But, the sheer volume of daily protests shows that many sectors of Pakistani society have pressing needs and priorities that do not include enlistment as foot soldiers in a proxy force for the United States’ War on Terror.

Dr. Hassan, a co-founder of the People’s Party of Pakistan, is a respected scholar and statesman. Last year, when we met with him, he had just returned from a visit, in the U.S., with Professors Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, his contemporaries in seeking to build just and fair social structures. Last month, in Lahore, he spoke with us about U.S. interference in the region and changing dynamics in Pakistan.

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