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Reviving Our Heroes: Challenging Palestinian dehumanization (Bayan Abusneineh) - 27-aug-2014

August 8, 2014 - ...Israel’s indiscriminate bombings and mass killings of whole families reflects its cruel and genocidal tactics. This offensive, however, is not an isolated incident. The barbaric nature of the State is reflective of the broader Zionist settler-colonial project, through its siege on Gaza, confiscation of land, demolition of homes, restriction of movement, and arbitrary imprisonment of Palestinians. Israel has simultaneously constructed itself as part of the ambiguous "West," alongside the United States and Europe, where colonialism, racism, and imprisonment are inherent to the establishment of the State. Israel defends its policies by painting itself as the "only democracy in the Middle East," placing itself as exceptional. Western media assists in constructing Israel as a sovereign (read: civilized) state and Palestinians as stateless (read: uncivilized), which allows Israel to justify its actions as "self-defense" while denouncing Palestinian acts of resistance as "terrorism....

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Academic heavyweights slam Univ. of Illinois firing of Steven Salaita for Palestine views (Ali Abunimah) - 27-aug-2014

August 8, 2014 - There has been a strong and unified response from prominent academics, as well as academic and civil rights organizations, condemning the decision by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Chancellor Phyllis Wise to summarily terminate the appointment of Professor Steven Salaita.One professor has publicly announced his refusal to visit UIUC over the affair. Wise terminated Salaita after off-campus anti-Palestinian websites and organizations began to agitate against him over his Twitter postings condemning Israel’s massacre in Gaza....

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Jordan: Palestinians Escaping Syria Turned Away
Others Vulnerable to Deportation, Living in Fear
() - 27-aug-2014

August 8, 2014 - Jordan refuses entry to or forcibly deports Palestinian refugees escaping Syria, in clear breach of its international obligations, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Jordan has officially banned entry to Palestinians from Syria since January 2013 and has forcibly deported over 100 who managed to enter the country since mid-2012, including women and children. The 44-page report, "Not Welcome: Jordan’s Treatment of Palestinians Escaping Syria," is based on interviews with more than 30 people affected by the non-admission policy. Human Rights Watch also documented Jordan’s withdrawal of Jordanian citizenship from some Palestinians who had lived in Syria for many years and who have been detained or deported to Syria without identity documents. Jordan’s uncompromising treatment of Palestinians fleeing Syria contrasts with its treatment of Syrian nationals, at least 607,000 of whom have been accepted into the country since the beginning of the Syrian conflict....

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Syria News - August 7, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 27-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - By the end of Thursday, the coordination committees were able to document 63 martyrs including 9 martyrs under torture, 6 women, and 2 children: 22 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its suburbs; 14 in Aleppo; 7 in Idlib; 6 in Daraa; 5 in Deir Ezzor; 5 in Homs and 4 in Hama....

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During Humanitarian Truce, Bodies of Victims Recovered from Invaded Areas amidst Unprecedented Destruction (The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)) - 26-aug-2014

August 7 , 2014 - At 08:00 on Tuesday, 05 August 2014, the 30th day of the Israeli offensive of the Gaza Strip, a 72-hour humanitarian truce entered into force between the Palestinian and Israeli sides. Since then, all areas of the Gaza Strip have been calm, and a number of forcibly displaced Palestinian civilians have been able to return to their home, which were not completely destroyed, amidst concerns that Israeli shelling may be resumed. Over the past two days, the civil defense and medical crews have continued to recover bodies of victims from the areas that were invaded by Israeli forces, and a number of Palestinian have died of previous wounds. Based field tours carried out by PCHR’s staff in all areas that were invaded by Israeli forces, PCHR is shocked by the scenes of destruction caused by Israeli forces in the areas which had not been accessible. Hundreds of Palestinian families have become homeless....

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An attack on the essence of democracy: the case of Omar Khadr (Andrew Lodge) - 26-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - The Canadian government won't allow Omar Khadr to speak. Numerous media outlets have requested to interview him. They have repeatedly been turned down, most recently the Toronto Star. Why have these efforts been denied?
To recap, Khadr was a child soldier fighting in the Afghan theatre. He was captured in a firefight after having killed an American soldier with a thrown grenade. Khadr was also injured during the exchange. He was 15 at the time.
He was then transported to Guantanamo Bay where he spent 10 years while being tortured....

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The Collapse of America's Great African Experiment (By Nick Turse) - 26-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - As John Kerry, then-chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, put it in 2012, the United States "helped midwife the birth" of South Sudan. The choice of words may have been cringe-worthy, but hardly divorced from reality. For more than 20 years, a bipartisan coalition in Washington and beyond championed rebel forces here. As the new nation broke away from Sudan, after decades of bloody civil war, the U.S. poured in billions of dollars in aid, including hundreds of millions of dollars of military and security assistance, and sent military instructors to train the country’s armed forces and advisers to mentor government officials. It would be Washington’s major nation-building effort in Africa, a new country destined to join Iraq and Afghanistan as a regional bulwark of democracy and a shining example of American know-how...

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Israeli Incitement: Fueling Intolerance & Hate Crimes (IMEU) - 26-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - Since three Israeli teenagers went missing in the occupied West Bank on June 12, Israeli society has witnessed a sharp increase in racially-motivated incitement and violent attacks against Palestinians, including Palestinian citizens of the state, who make up about 20% of Israel’s population. Fanned and exploited by Israeli politicians and religious leaders, many observers say they’ve never seen such a poisonous atmosphere in Israel.The following fact sheet provides an overview of some of the most egregious examples of Israeli incitement over the past seven weeks, as well as some of the consequences it has had for both Palestinians and dissenting Israeli Jews...

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When a shelter is a target (Mohamed Omer) - 25-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - "In the night, I am frightened by the bombings, missiles and the thought of the blood of injured people in the street," says eight-year-old Karam Abu Shanab."I can’t sleep in the night, my mind is filled with bad images from the Israeli bombs," he tells his mother, who says her other three children — Saleh, Malak and Sjoud — are all unable to sleep after hearing how children were bombed in their sleep at the UNRWA schools in Jabaliya. Karam is now taking shelter at Al-Rafedeen School in Gaza City. Among the children, there is constant talk about it being bombed and how parents cannot put a stop to it all....

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Unchecked Murder and Mayhem
Israel and the Erosion of International Humanitarian Law
(by LAWRENCE DAVIDSON) - 25-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - It is not an exaggeration to say that Israel’s acclaimed "Defense Forces" have become expert in violating human rights: murder and ethnic cleansing, illegal confiscation of occupied land, destruction of civilian housing, destruction of civilian infrastructure (water, electricity, sanitation, etc.), attacking of medical facilities, torture both of adults and children, the use of banned weaponry, the mistreatment of prisoners and more. And they have done it all quite openly. Official complaints about Israeli behavior come before the UN several times a year but to no avail. Each time Israel is called to task in the UN Security Council for violating international law, the U.S. vetoes the resolution and therefore Israel suffers no consequences. Obviously this only emboldens Israeli leaders to continue acting in a criminal manner. However, the impact goes beyond Israel and its victims, because each time the U.S. casts its veto, international law designed to protect human rights suffers degradation...

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The CIA is getting away with keeping every important secret about torture (Trevor Timm) - 25-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - At this point, is there anything the Central Intelligence Agency thinks it can’t get away with?To recap: the CIA systematically tortured people, then lied about it. Destroyed evidence of it, then lied about that. Spied on the US Senate staffers investigating the agency for torture, then lied about that. Now, after somehow being put in charge of deciding what parts of the Senate’s final report on that torture should be redacted, the CIA has predictively censored the key evidence of the litany of all of those transgressions.The agency’s black marker has reportedly censored – at different points in the report – already-public, embarrassing and criminally culpable information. By doing so, the CIA has rendered it, as one Senator noted, "incomprehensible". So while the Senators and Langley fight it out behind closed doors, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the intelligence committee chair, put the report’s public release on hold. Again...

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Multiple journalists killed in Gaza war (Hana Salah) - 25-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — An editor for a local newspaper was among 13 Palestinian journalists killed during Israel’s war on Gaza. Mohammed Daher, the financial editor for Al-Resalah newspaper, succumbed to his wounds on July 31 after spending 10 days in intensive care at al-Shifa Hospital."We were sitting in the room near the door. We could hear shells, shrapnel and nails scattering over the rooftop all night, and we were waiting for the morning to come," Shaima, his pregnant wife who survived the attack, told Al-Monitor....



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USACBI Condemns UIUC Firing of Arab-American Scholar Steven Salaita (Jadaliyya Reports) - 25-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - The Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel protests in the strongest possible terms the termination of the appointment of Professor Steven Salaita by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). According to the report in Inside Higher Education, UIUC has rescinded its employment contract with Salaita based on his public stance on Israel-Palestine. Having publicly announced the appointment of Salaita as Associate Professor (with tenure) of American Indian Studies after the customary full review, the university has withdrawn his appointment. In other words, Salaita has been fired. This negative action constitutes a blatant violation of Salaita’s academic freedom and an insidious assault upon him and on those who uphold the right to honest and ethical critique in the academy. We are gravely concerned about this attack on a leading scholar in Arab American studies and ethnic, indigenous, and American studies, whose brilliantly pathbreaking and highly prolific scholarship has put him at the forefront of these fields....

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Israeli discourse of sexualized violence rises amid Gaza assault (By Alex Shams) - 25-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - As the bombs have been falling on Gaza over the past four weeks, another war has been ongoing for the hearts and minds of the global public.Although less deadly, this war of words offers a telling look into ongoing intellectual shifts in the Israeli and Zionist mainstream, revealing what experts argue is an increasingly violently racist and sexist Zionist worldview. Diana Buttu, a Palestinian lawyer and a former member of the PLO negotiating team, told Ma'an that in the weeks since the Israeli assault began she has received a deluge of hundreds of hateful emails and violent threats. Although she is accustomed to hate mail, she said that the tone and quantity is "unprecedented."...


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‘Era of Oslo is over’ (Amira Howeidy) - 25-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - "The Palestinians know that Israel wants to thwart this unity government by launching its war on Gaza," said the DFLP’s Abu Laila, "which is what we resisted by agreeing on unified demands."The current Palestinian representatives in Cairo, said Abu Laila, "are a PLO delegation. We are not here because of the PA."This is a new language that might be indicative of a turning point in Palestinian politics, post-Gaza. It remains to be seen how the ouctome of this war will impact the Palestinians, but there's a growing realisation that whatever happens, things can't go back to where they were before July 8 when Israel began its offensive."The era of Oslo and negotiations are over," proclaimed prominent Palestinian politician Mustafa Al-Barghouti from Ramallah recently. There are new realities, he said, and it is through "struggles" that a change in the balance of power is achieved, "not through solutions with Israel"....


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Israeli discourse of sexualized violence rises amid Gaza assault (By Alex Shams) - 25-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - As the bombs have been falling on Gaza over the past four weeks, another war has been ongoing for the hearts and minds of the global public.Although less deadly, this war of words offers a telling look into ongoing intellectual shifts in the Israeli and Zionist mainstream, revealing what experts argue is an increasingly violently racist and sexist Zionist worldview. Diana Buttu, a Palestinian lawyer and a former member of the PLO negotiating team, told Ma'an that in the weeks since the Israeli assault began she has received a deluge of hundreds of hateful emails and violent threats. Although she is accustomed to hate mail, she said that the tone and quantity is "unprecedented."...


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The war crime state declares "peace" (SocialistWorker) - 25-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - ...Meanwhile, burning questions are being asked around the world: What was Israel's month-long offensive all about? And if we've seen the horrors of war for the past weeks, what will "peace" mean for the people of Gaza?Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that Israel's massacre was "justified" and that every civilian casualty was the fault of Hamas for using civilians as "human shields." Never mind that even the New York Times acknowledged that "[t]here is no evidence that Hamas and other militants force civilians to stay in areas that are under attack--the legal definition of a human shield under international law." The BBC reached the same conclusion...

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Power to the people: Extending the Israel boycott (Hatem Bazian) - 25-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - In April 1960, after the New York City Seafarers' International Union and the International Longshoremen's Association picketed an Egyptian vessel named Cleopatra for 22 days, an official US State Department memo documented a phone conversation between Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Raymond Hare and the AFL-CIO President George Meany."I told Mr Meany the trouble is being compounded by the Cleopatra affair and that soon the Arab retaliatory boycott will really hurt American seamen and ships in all the seaports of the Near East, and it may eventually be applied to US airlines," stated Hare. "The interests of the United States will be damaged."President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt had rallied the Arab world in response to the delays imposed on the Cleopatra, and Arab dockworkers refused to unload US ships....

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An urgent challenge for the BDS movement (Sherry Wolf) - 24-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - FOR DECADES, supporters of Palestine around the globe were isolated from the mainstream and largely powerless, watching from the margins as Israel meted out its horrors against Palestinians. Activists organized small protests and educational and fundraising events to build solidarity, but Israel remained unscathed, swatting back criticisms with ease and smug contempt.Those days are gone.The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement has put an end to the feelings of impotence among Palestine solidarity activists--and emerged as a strategic threat to Israel's once venerated standing in the world....

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Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren dropped as CNN ‘analyst’ (Alex Kane) - 24-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - CNN has changed former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren’s title from "analyst" to "ambassador" when he appears as a guest on the network. Sources knowledgable of the situation told me that the move comes after internal dissent within CNN that Oren’s classification as an "analyst" was not suitable. CNN spokesperson Edie Emery confirmed the change in an e-mail, though she did not get back to me on whether the change was a result of internal grumbling. "Mr. Oren is no longer appearing as a CNN analyst and instead as a guest. This was at his request," Emery told me....

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Gaza war: It's about keeping the Palestinians under control (By Noam Sheizaf) - 24-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - ...As things now stand, it’s clear that declarations by Israeli ministers and generals on "a new reality" in the south disguise a different, opposite goal for this war: Protective Edge was carried out in order to restore things to way they were before June 2014. In other words, to maintain the status quo.This has been the goal of Israeli policy for many years now. Since the end of the 1973 war, Israel has been waging a single war against a single adversary – the Palestinians. The first Lebanon War, the Intifadas, Cast Lead, Protective Edge and most of the military operations in between were all part of "a military solution" to the Palestinian problem. Even the notable exception – the 2006 war in Lebanon – was leftover from the the 1982 invasion, which was conducted against the Palestine Liberation Organization....

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Community leader, beloved grandfather shot dead by Israelis as he carried white flag (Rami Almeghari) - 24-aug-2014

August 7, 2014- Muhammad Qdeih, 65, was shot dead while carrying a white flag to signal to Israeli soldiers that he was an unarmed civilian.He was killed on 25 July right at the staircase of his house, where his daughter Mufida, a homemaker in her forties, stood speaking to The Electronic Intifada in the village of Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip."They killed the man who taught me the meaning of devotion to the community and to the Palestinian cause," Mufida said, gesturing towards the staircase. "He inspired me to take part in protests and solidarity events for prisoners."...

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Gaza is a crime made in Washington as well as Jerusalem (Seumas Milne) - 24-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - The justification is always the same: the security of the occupier must be upheld against the resistance of the occupied and blockaded population. And at every stage Israel has had the military, financial and diplomatic support of the west, the US above all.Despite the hand-wringing, that backing has been unwavering throughout the past month’s devastation of Gaza. Not only is Israel’s right of "self-defence" in a territory it illegally controls upheld, while the same right is denied to the Palestinians, but the US, whose military aid to Israel runs to $3bn a year, has been re-supplying it with weapons as its troops and aircraft pulverised and massacred their way through an impoverished territory from which its captive people are unable to escape. Europe is in the same game. Britain has licensed the sale of a startling £8bn worth of military or dual-use equipment since 2010, and £42m of direct arms sales – including parts for drones and tanks used in the destruction of Gaza....

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Mounting evidence of deliberate attacks on Gaza health workers by Israeli army (Amnesty International) - 24-aug-2014

August 7, 2014 - An immediate investigation is needed into mounting evidence that the Israel Defense Forces launched apparently deliberate attacks against hospitals and health professionals in Gaza, which have left six medics dead, said Amnesty International as it released disturbing testimonies from doctors, nurses, and ambulance personnel working in the area. "The harrowing descriptions by ambulance drivers and other medics of the utterly impossible situation in which they have to work, with bombs and bullets killing or injuring their colleagues as they try to save lives, paint a grim reality of life in Gaza," said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International...

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Syria News - August 6, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 24-aug-2014

August 6, 2014 - By the end of Wednesday, the coordination committees were able to document 46 martyrs including 5 women, 2 children and 5 martyrs under torture: 12 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its suburbs; 9 in Aleppo; 9 in Homs; 6 in Idlib; 5 in Daraa; 3 in Deir Ezzor and 2 in Hama....

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