"Tense calm" in East Jerusalem + West Bank

Where to begin? Israel’s YNet news website is reporting today that Israel’s State President Shimon Peres “is unpleased by the government’s decision to renovate a selected list of heritage sites – which includes the Cave of the Patriarchs [which is also, for Palestinians and Muslims worldwide, the Ibrahimi or Abraham Mosque i...

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On Journalism – the press corps as "courtiers"

The very estimable journalist Chris Hedges wrote in an article published by Truthdig on 1 February: “ ‘The very notion that on any given story all you have to do is report what both sides say and you’ve done a fine job of objective journalism debilitates the press’, the late columnist Molly Ivins once wrote. […]

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Fayyad accuses Netanyahu of "expropriating" Ibrahimi Mosque

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad attended the Friday prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron today. In remarks to journalists in Hebron, Fayyad accused Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and his government of “expropriating” or “annexing” the Ibrahimi (Abraham) Mosque and several other sites importan...

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25 February 1994: Massacre in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron

At the dawn prayers in the Ibrahimi (Abraham) Mosque in Hebron on 25 February 1994 — during the month of Ramadan – American-born Baruch Goldstein walked in, armed, past the armed Israeli soldiers on guard who had so terrified me the afternoon before, when I was sitting in the back seat of a clearly-marked UN […]

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Palestinian fury continues over Israeli decision on holy sites

Unrest continued for a third day in Hebron over the Israeli government decision to declare the important Ibrahimi (Abraham) mosque an Israeli heritage site, as schoolgirls in headscarves and green and white striped dresses over their jeans confronted Israeli troops who shot tear gas at them, while the situation was discussed at an Arab League [&hel...

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What has Netanyahu done?

Palestinians are furious at an Israeli government decision to classify the very important Ibrahimi (Abraham) Mosque in Hebron (as well as Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem) as Israeli heritage sites. It was not a decision to annex these two sites to Israel. It was a decision to allocate money to upgrade and rehabilitate the sites. But, […]

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"The reason for walls is always fear"

Roger Waters (Pink Floyd, The Wall) has visited The Wall here — Israel’s “security barrier” — a couple of times. He narrates a film just released (thanks to Angela for this information) by The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in Jerusalem, and he begins by saying:  “The reason for wa...

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Yes, Qalandia Checkpoint is a scandal

The Washington Post has picked up an article written by Ben Hubbard for the Associated Press about the misery that is Qalandia checkpoint.   Apparently, Ben spent five days there, early in the morning when Palestinians with permits are being treated not unlike animals as they try to get to work. Thousands — no, millions, upon […]

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