UN chief urges end to Israeli occupation

BEIRUT — UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Sunday called for an end to Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, saying the illegal building of settlements worked against a two-state solution.

“The Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian territories must end. So must violence against civilians,” Ban said in a keynote address at a conference in Beirut on democracy in the Arab world.

“Settlements, new and old, are illegal. They work against the emergence of a viable Palestinian state,” said the UN secretary general.

“A two-state solution is long overdue. The status quo offers only the guarantee of future conflict.”

Ban arrived in Beirut on Friday to attend a conference entitled “Reform and Transitions to Democracy” organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

Among the conference speakers are Egyptian presidential hopeful and former Arab League chief Amr Mussa and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, whose country has emerged as a key regional player in the Middle East.

The Israeli foreign ministry responded to Ban’s comments by saying ongoing talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators were the best way to address the concerns raised by the UN chief.

“The only thing I can say at this point is that the most important thing is to keep negotiations going in view of solving all of the issues including those mentioned by the secretary general,” said ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

“The most important thing now is not to jeopardise the talks that are under way.”

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators have so far held three rounds of “exploratory” talks in Jordan to discuss the possibility of resuming negotiations that have been on hold since late September 2010.

But a deep divide continues to separate the two sides in the talks, held under the auspices of Jordan and the peacemaking Quartet.

“There is still a wide gap between us on all positions because the Israeli side has not presented anything new and continues to hinder the resumption of negotiations,” a Palestinian official close to the negotiations told AFP in Ramallah.

Israel accused the Palestinians of trying to scupper peace talks.

“The Netanyahu government has always said that it is ready to sit at the table and discuss these subjects,” strategic affairs minister Moshe Yaalon told Israeli public radio on Sunday.

Yaalon said Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was “endlessly adding preconditions”.

“Of course we are not ready to start with the border and security arrangements,” he added.

The Quartet, comprising the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia, has urged both sides to present comprehensive proposals on borders and security before January 26 with a view to resuming talks shortly afterwards.

While only the Palestinians have done so so far, Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was considering submitting proposals on borders and security in March.

But the plan is unlikely to win favour with the Palestinians, who have made it clear they will not continue meeting beyond January 26 without a settlement freeze and clear parameters for talks.

Abbas is currently seeking full state membership at the UN and at the weekend said he would press on with the campaign no matter the outcome of the talks.

(www.google.com / 15.01.2012)

Veteran Israeli settler says democracy is obstacle

In this Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 photo, veteran settler leader Benny Katzover gestures during an interview with The Associated Press at his house in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Elon Moreh near Nablus. Israel's democracy was long a point of pride, setting it apart in a region of autocratic governments. But Katzover says democracy is getting in the way of what he believes is a higher purpose. Katzover has been at the forefront of a religiously inspired movement to take over the West Bank hilltop by hilltop, helping build a network of settlements over four decades that are now home to hundreds of thousands of Israelis.In this Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 photo, veteran settler leader Benny Katzover gestures during an interview with The Associated Press at his house in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Elon Moreh near Nablus. Israel’s democracy was long a point of pride, setting it apart in a region of autocratic governments. But Katzover says democracy is getting in the way of what he believes is a higher purpose. Katzover has been at the forefront of a religiously inspired movement to take over the West Bank hilltop by hilltop, helping build a network of settlements over four decades that are now home to hundreds of thousands of Israelis.
ELON MOREH, West Bank—Israel’s democracy has long been a point of pride for its citizens — setting the country apart in a region of autocratic governments. But veteran settler leader Benny Katzover says democracy is getting in the way of what he believes is a higher purpose.

Katzover has been at the forefront of a religiously inspired movement to take over the West Bank, hilltop by hilltop, helping build a network of settlements over four decades that are now home to hundreds of thousands of Israelis.

Today he argues that democratic principles, such as equality before the law, have become an obstacle to deepening Jewish control over all of the biblical Land of Israel — though he stops short of calling for dismantling Israel’s democratic institutions. They are disintegrating on their own, he says, and losing legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

“We didn’t come here to establish a democratic state,” Katzover said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We came here to return the Jewish people to their land.”

Katzover’s comments appear to reflect a growing radicalization among some right-wing religious groups. They come at a time of a rise in attacks on Palestinians by vigilante settlers and an increase in complaints by liberal Israelis that the country’s right-wing parliament and government have launched an unprecedented attack on the pillars of democracy. Israel has preserved its democratic system through decades of turmoil, though it never extended it to Palestinians in occupied lands.

Katzover, 64, led the first group of settlers into the northern West Bank in the 1970s and helped establish the settlement of Elon Moreh in 1980. Like other prominent settlers, he has been a confidant and informal adviser to a string of prime ministers over the years.

Katzover remains influential among hardcore activists and heads the Committee of Samaria Settlers, a group that tries to block government attempts to raze any of the about 100 unauthorized settlement outposts or uproot settlers as part of a future — and for now very remote — partition deal with the Palestinians.

“Across the country, these ideas, that democracy needs dramatic change, if not dismantling then at least dramatic change, these ideas are very widespread,” he said in his modest home in Elon Moreh, a settlement of 2,000 people with a sweeping view of the West Bank hills the Palestinians want as the core of their future state.

The mainstream settlers’ umbrella group, the Yesha Council, distanced itself from Katzover’s comments, first made in a small ultra-Orthodox publication and picked up by Israel’s liberal Haaretz daily earlier this month. The Yesha Council is firmly committed to democratic principles, said its chairman, Dani Dayan. But Katzover claims he’s expressing publicly what many others, including more mainstream settler leaders, think privately.

Yair Sheleg of the Israel Democracy Institute said the radicalization of hardline settlers accelerated after Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Israel uprooted nearly two dozen settlements, including four in the northern West Bank, and the operation was deeply traumatic for the settler movement.

Sheleg said he was surprised by Katzover’s tough tone, if not the content of his remarks.

“We should be very worried,” he said. “Benny Katzover was considered to be historically one of the mainstream leaders of the settler movement, and this really illustrates the way, the very far way, those mainstream settler leaders went.”

The trend has been accompanied by a sharp rise in settler attacks on Palestinians and their property since 2009, including the torching of mosques, setting fire to fields, cutting down orchards and stoning cars. According to new U.N. figures, there were 412 attacks on property and people in 2011, compared to 168 in 2009.

The attacks are part of a tactic called “price tag.” They are carried out in response to attempts by the Israeli military to raze even parts of settlement outposts set up since the 1990s to prevent a partition deal. Perpetrators are rarely caught or punished, though recent price tag vandalism at an Israeli army base prompted government pledges to be tougher.

The price tag assailants are usually portrayed as young hotheads, or the most radical among the so-called “hilltop youths” that have been setting up the outposts.

The Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, citing internal documents, alleged last week that Katzover’s group is a key force promoting the price tag policy. Katzover denied any involvement, saying he opposes “price tag” attacks as damaging to the settlement cause.

But he refused to denounce the practice, arguing he wants to keep an open line to the most radical in hopes of having a moderating influence.

Katzover is a founder of Gush Emunim, the spearhead of the Jewish settlement movement that sprang up in the 1970s and over the years garnered considerable political clout.

Gush Emunim followers believed even then in the supreme importance of settling the land, including the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war and sought by the Palestinians for their state.

Gush Emunim’s original vision of hundreds of thousands of Israelis settling in the West Bank has largely come true, mainly because of massive backing by successive Israeli governments.

Katzover says the accomplishments of the movement, including the establishment of 150 government-sanctioned settlements, “shaped the map” of Israel by preventing a withdrawal to the pre-1967 war frontiers.

Establishment of a Palestinian state, seen by the international community as a cornerstone of Mideast peace, would require the removal of a majority of the settlements or their incorporation into Palestine. As the settler population continues to grow, partition is pushed further out of reach.

There’s now a critical mass to prevent a withdrawal from the West Bank heartland as well, he said. “I don’t believe there is a government that will take upon itself the responsibility to mark 100,000 people for expulsion,” he said

(www.boston.com / 15.01.2012)

Palestinian leader loses VIP status with Israel

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Israel has stripped Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of VIP status and given him a watered-down travel permit that is valid for just two months, Palestinian officials charged Sunday.

The officials said that Abbas complained about the permit at an internal meeting of his Fatah Party last week.

In a speech, Abbas said the new permit, similar to those required for Palestinian laborers entering Israel, was a reflection of Israel’s continued control over the Palestinians, and suggested that Israel was trying to punish him for applying for Palestinian membership in the United Nations.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because they were not allowed to brief reporters.

Maj. Guy Inbar, a spokesman for the Israeli agency that issues travel documents to Palestinians, said there has been no change in policy. He said the permit was the result of a technical glitch that should be resolved soon.

“Freedom of movement … remains exactly the same as it was,” Inbar said.

The VIP permit allowed Abbas to travel whenever and wherever he wanted. Palestinian officials acknowledged the new permit has not prevented Abbas, a frequent traveler to world capitals, from moving in and out of the West Bank. On Sunday, Abbas flew to London for talks with British leaders.

Dozens of local Facebook users spread what appeared to be a copy of Abbas’ travel permit, in many cases with sarcastic comments about Abbas’ weakness. “See you at the checkpoint,” wrote one user, identified as Nidal Ahmed.

Adnan Dmiri, spokesman for the Palestinian security forces, said dozens of Palestinian officials have lost VIP cards since the middle of last year — shortly before Abbas’ appeal to the United Nations in September. Israel bitterly opposed the U.N. gambit, saying the Palestinians should be admitted to the world body only as part of a negotiated peace agreement.

“We believe that Israel is using all means to pressure the Palestinian Authority to step away from its political path of resorting to the international community,” Dmiri said.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been stalled for more than three years over the issue of Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Early this month, the chief negotiators from the two sides began meeting again in hopes of finding a formula for the formal resumption of talks.

(www.google.com / 15.01.2012)

Court orders Google and Facebook to remove all anti Islamic content

Social websites including Google and Facebook have been ordered by an Indian court to remove all ‘anti-religious’ and ‘anti-social’ content within six weeks.
On Saturday a Delhi Court ordered 22 social networking sites, including Yahoo and Microsoft, to wipe the objectionable and defamatory contents and file compliance reports by February 6, 2012.
Additional Civil Judge Mukesh Kumar passed the order on a suit filed by Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi seeking to restrain the websites from circulating objectionable and defamatory contents.

Qasmi had objected to a number of images on the websites which he complained would cause ‘irreparable loss and injury to the people who are offended by them’.
He argued that some of the images defamed Hindu gods, Prophet Mohammed and other religious figures, India Today website reported.

The order will raise serious questions about how users’ posts and opinions will be edited, censorship and freedom of expression.

On December 22 Judge Kumar had issued summonses to the social networking sites, demanding they remove photographs, videos or texts that might offend religious sentiments, the Hindustan Times website reported.

The order comes a day after a criminal court issued summonses to the sites for facing trial for allegedly webcasting objectionable contents.

Santosh Pandey, appearing for complainant Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi, told The Hindu Times after the court hearing that the websites have to submit a report to the court by February 6 describing the action they had taken to remove the contents from the websites.
Representatives of Yahoo India Pvt Ltd and Microsoft told the court that they had not got copies of the order and complaint against them, but Qasmi’s counsel told the court that he would supply the relevant documents to them, according to the Hindustan Times.

The order comes at a controversial time as IT minister Kapil Sibal had recently discussed with representatives of some of the companies ways to guarantee the offensive contents are not posted.
India Today quoted him as saying: ‘There were some demeaning, degrading, clearly pornographic depictions of gods and goddesses which no reasonable, sensible person anywhere in the world would accept, on any site.

The minister insisted he was not smothering free speech but was suggesting screening possible ‘incendiary’ material.

The Hindu Times reported Facebook India, Facebook, Google India Pvt Ltd, Google Orkut, Youtube, Blogspot, Microsoft India Pvt Ltd, Microsoft, Zombie Time, Exboii, Boardreader, IMC India, My Lot, Shyni Blog and Topix were all given the order.
A Google spokesperson told the website: ‘We comply with valid court orders wherever possible, consistent with our long standing policy.
‘We’re yet to receive the details of this order and can’t comment on this specific case.’

(yourjewishnews.com / 15.01.2012)

Protesters’ Molotov cocktails vs police tear gas in Romania

Romanian police fired tear gas and protesters responded with stones and Molotov cocktails during an anti-government protest on Saturday in Bucharest. An unauthorized rally has been staged against proposed health care reforms.

More than 1,000 protesters rallied in Bucharest’s main University Square, blocking traffic, Associated Press reports. Protesters yelled anti-government slogans and called for early elections. They have been waving a Romanian flag with a ripped out center, symbolizing the 1989 anti-communist revolution.

Seven hours later they still refused to leave and clashed with riot police, who then used tear gas. As a result nine people have been injured, among them a TV journalist, who has been injured by a stone thrown by a protester, said local authorities. One police officer sustained head injuries after he was hit by stones.

Police detained 29 people, including soccer hooligans with a previous police record for acts of violence and for disturbing public order.

This was the fourth consecutive day of demonstrations in Romania and the second in the capital against austerity cuts and falling living standards.

(rt.com / 15.01.2012)

PLO, Israel to meet for fourth round of talks

A boy holds a flag in front of Israeli soldiers.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian and Israeli officials have agreed to meet for the fourth time on Jan. 25, after the latest round of talks between the two sides.

Israeli and PLO envoys met on Saturday for the third round of face-to-face meetings this year in the Jordanian capital. Neither side made official statements following the meeting between PLO member Saeb Erekat and Israel’s chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho.

The Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa said, however, that Erekat and Molcho had agreed to a fourth meeting on Jan. 25 in Amman.

Jordan’s foreign minister Nasser Judeh also attended the meeting.

The exploratory discussions began on Jan. 3 and followed a long break in negotiations after President Mahmoud Abbas suspended talks 15 months ago over Israel’s expansion of Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The “Quartet” of international peace mediators – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations wants the two sides to state their positions on the borders and security arrangements of a future “two-state solution” by Jan. 26 to help open the door to a resumption of full negotiations.

US officials have signaled that the Jan. 26 target date for the two sides to exchange proposals could slide.

The PLO entered the closed-door talks despite opposition from factions, who point to the failure of decades of negotiations with Israel alongside the expansion of illegal settlements.

(www.maannews.net / 15.01.2012)

Report: Arab League to meet on Palestinian reconciliation

CAIRO (Ma’an) — Arab League foreign ministers will meet on Jan. 29 to discuss the Palestinian reconciliation deal and Israeli settlement construction, Kuwait News Agency reported on Saturday.

The meeting follows the next summit to review the League’s observer mission to Syria on Jan. 21 and 22, KUNA said.

(www.maannews.net / 15.01.2012)

News from Syria 15.01.2012

#Homs sec forces are shooting heavily in the Muthana and Baba Tadmor in Kaab Al-Ahbar neighbourhood

#Hama Qastoun sec forces are shooting randomly in the village knowing that the village is under a very tight security siege

#Daraa Jasem a big explosion was heard in the western neighbourhood close to the Jabiyeh security checkpoint

#Homs Young man Moussa Jomaa was martyred by the bullets of sec forces’ snipers in Al-Inshaat neighbourhood

#BreakingNews: Death toll in Syria today rises to 27: Coordination Committees

Tartous A demo started where participants demanded the regimes ouster The Arab Observers were invited to attend but declined

#Homs Loud explosions are heard along with heavy gunfire in the Bayada area

#Daraa sec forces stormed al-Sabeel area and are chasing young people in the streets They waged a massive arrest campaign

#Homs Loud explosions are heard in Bab Sbaa followed by heavy gunfire

#Damascus a nighttime demo near the Majed mosque calling for the regime’s ouster and chanting in solidarity with Zabadani and Madaya

#Idlib death of Atab Saleh Mary due to an infection she endured by a gunshot wound the previous day She was shot randomly by sec

#Homs Sarah Khalifah Al-Hamad a child was martyred by the gunfire of Shabbiha in Karam Al-Zaitoun area

(01-15-12) Ma’arit Numan | #Idlib | People Call for No Fly Zone in Presence of Monitors

Egypt’s Revolution, the Military Council and Islamic wave!!!

before 11.2.11 the Egyptian citizen had one enemy, it was Mubarak. Now Egypt has two main enemies, who have enough reason to defeat the Revolution and that’s why both of them are supported by the West.

-. The Military Council with its 18 members who promised to protect the Revolution, and to hand over the power to a civil government in a time of six month, now we are over ten month since Mubarak has been toppled, and there is no hope that they will do it unless they are forced.

“CAIRO — Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that after meeting with Egypt’s military rulers he doubted they would fully submit to the authority of the civilian democracy they had promised to install. “ ‘Full civilian control’ is a little excessive, I think,” Mr. Carter said, after describing a meeting he had Tuesday with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, leader of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF. “I don’t think the SCAF is going to turn over full responsibility to the civilian government. There are going to be some privileges of the military that would probably be protected.”

and now we see the results of the nasty game they played with the elections, which was not fair at all
-. over 9 million false votes, evidence that one name with the same national nr. has voted about 11 time. 9 million is about 10% of the Egyptian population, and over 17% of the persons that participated in voting

-. an example, an older Lady was asked from her son after she voted: „for whom did you vote“ her answer was for nobody I crossed all the names, son asked „so why did you vote“ she said in order not to pay a penalty. So they tried to force the people to elections

-.Article IV of the Constitutional Declaration say: «Formation is forbidden to exercise any political activity or to establish political parties based on religion» .. The Military Council violated the constitutional declaration and got his alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists, and left them the chance to commit all the irregularities in the elections
in the last 10 month the SCAF have killed, detain, and they desecrated the Egyptians, could this be the base for democracy? Or is it in order not to let the democracy rule Egypt

they call the Tahrir protesters „Thugs“ what is not right, this video show us where the thugs come from  . This youth are those who see the truth and the reality of Tantawi and his gang

The famous statement of Karl Marx „religion is the opium of the people“. and this is the reason that all the supporters of Mubarak and his System, start to change their strategy, and use the Religion „Islam“. This is in my opinion, the main reason why we got this this Islamic wave success in Egypt, yes the Muslim Brotherhood are the best organized group in Egypt they have suffered a lot under Mubarak and they are the new hope in Egypt.
Then we have the Salafis which are supported from Saudi with its false Islam, which would destroy Egypt.
This two groups which have took the side of the Military council against the Revolution under the name of the Religion.
This Islamic groups in order to get a little power they started to do agreements with the enemy of a democratic Egypt.
those religious groups have only one thing common with the religion its the name.
They make deals with the Devil in order of their intrest, they accept killing civil egyptian, this is not Islam

-. „CAIRO — Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most powerful political force, say they want to offer the country’s ruling generals immunity from prosecution for alleged crimes committed since they took power in February, an attempt to ensure that the military returns to its barracks and allows a peaceful transition to democratic rule.“

-. „«Catherine Ashton» to the EU in the ongoing dialogue for more than 10 months with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis and that the meetings took place in London, Paris, Germany, Brussels, Turkey and other countries, Europe between the representatives of EU countries with representatives from the two groups.“

-. „CAIRO — Egypt’s reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei has withdrawn from the presidential race, saying a fair election is impossible under the military’s grip nearly a year after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. Many fear that the ruling generals will push through a candidate of their own to preserve their power.“

Grand Imam said Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al Azhar, «the right of peoples out peaceful if the ruler was corrupt and unjust».

He said that «the Sunnah legalized peaceful demonstration to confront injustice if the ruler did not listen to the advice of the parish».

He said in his speech on his behalf by his advisor, Dr. Hassan El Shafei at the opening of the Conference «Sunnah between reality and expectations», organized by the Thesaurus, Sunday: «Islam rejects injustice in all its forms, and allows to address him and the rulers of the oppressors, provided they do not take up arms so as not to lead to the outbreak of civil wars, which are presented to the trial of major difficult to control ».

The Sheikh of Al Azhar rejected calls from calling themselves «Quranists» and claim to rely on the Holy Quran only and ignore the Sunnah of the Prophet, saying: «words contrary to the Word of God in the Holy Koran .. (Who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah) », he said, adding:« We must expose those who say they follow only the Quran, because the Sunnah of the Prophet were shown and explaining what is in the Koran, and can never be ignored in any case »

what is your opinion now ???

(gazaconvoy.wordpress.com / 15.01.2012)