Palestinian and Israeli left-wing activists borrowed the symbols of the Right on Saturday, when they built a mock outpost in the undeveloped E-1 section of Ma'aleh Adumim to protest settler construction over the Green Line. Saturday overnight, the IDF declared the area a closed military zone, Israel Radio reported. The mock outpost was established a day before Sunday's planned protest demonstrations by the right-wing umbrella group Eretz Yisrael Faithful ["End-time prophecy, the events in Israel mainly, in the Middle East and all over the world indicate that time is short and that the prophetic redemptive process in Israel is coming closer to its completion."], set to involve the creation of eight new outposts across the West Bank, including in E-1.
Author Sami Michael, president of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said upon the release of the organization's annual report that racism was so rife it was damaging civil liberty in Israel. "Israeli society is reaching new heights of racism that damages freedom of expression and privacy," Michael said. The publication coincides with Human Rights Week, which begins Sunday. The report's key points include a 26-percent rise in the number of racist incidents against Arabs and twice as many Jews reporting a feeling of hate toward Arabs. + Life expectancy is twice as low and the rate of infant mortality twice as high in the Beersheba Administrative District than the average figures throughout Israel, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), stated in a 76-page report released Sunday to mark International Human Rights Week. [Poor hit by eroding health care quality]
*** Iran +: Vali Nasr, "Meet "The Deceider" of Teheran. Its not the hothead you expect": When most Americans think of Iran, they probably think of its incendiary president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Since his election in 2005, Ahmadinejad has gleefully shocked the world with his defiance over Iran's nuclear programs, his ravings about a Shiite messiah, his jeremiads against Israel and his denial that the Holocaust occurred. But while Ahmadinejad is surely the regime's face, he's not its boss. Since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's death in 1989, the real power in Tehran has belonged to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ahmadinejad makes the noise, but Khamenei pulls the strings. + Observers from the right and left have told Haaretz that the report released a week ago, maintaining that Iran halted its nuclear program in 2003, will have no impact on U.S. public opinion or its effect will erode. Some said deficiencies in the National Intelligence Estimate will become increasingly apparent. + On other fronts -- particularly Iran, Syria and Lebanon -- the Bush administration is also shifting tactics in ways that could affect American interests long-term, say U.S. officials and foreign policy analysts. President Bush is generally receiving praise for engaging Pyongyang and Damascus, but he is also risking alienating the Republican Party's conservative wing, which believes the U-turns will undermine U.S. standing around the world. Und noch mal Vali Nasr, mit Ray Takyeh: "The Costs of Containing Iran Washington's Misguided New Middle East Policy": Summary: The Bush administration wants to contain Iran by rallying the support of Sunni Arab states and now sees Iran's containment as the heart of its Middle East policy: a way to stabilize Iraq, declaw Hezbollah, and restart the Arab-Israeli peace process. But the strategy is unsound and impractical, and it will probably further destabilize an already volatile region. [Ein besonders wichtiger Artikel. Ich werde ihn bei Gelegenheit noch besprechen.] + Sami Moubayed, "The Syrians are back" [Übersichtlicher kann man die politische Geschichte kaum darstellen.] + Gestern hatten wir Gates, heute Petraeus: The top coalition commander in Iraq had some positive things to say Thursday about Syria and other countries and factions that have contributed to instability in Iraq in the past. But U.S. General David Petraeus says it is not yet clear whether Iran has also changed its policy, and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates agrees. VOA's Al Pessin monitored their comments from the Pentagon. + Secretary General of Ministry of Industry and Trade Montaser Al Uqlah said that Jordan reached agreement with Syria to buy 50,000 tons of wheat with JD230 per ton. [Gilt als einer der "Sachpreise" die Assad für das syrische Kommen nach Annapolis erhaält. Der Jordanische Dinar steht mit dem Euro gleich, so das der deal eine Summe von €11,5Mio umfaßt.] + Noch ein kurzer Vorbericht zum Besuch von Admiral Mullen in Israel. + MP Fouad Saad declared that the election of General Michel Suleiman as Lebanon’s new president will definitely take place on Tuesday. + Feuding Lebanese factions appear heading to a compromise that would facilitate a constitutional amendment allowing the election of Army Commander Gen. Michel Suleiman as Lebanon's new president. + Jihad el-Khazen, "Is there a deal?": Here is what happened: the rate of violence acts dropped in Iraq; therefore the American intelligence services discovered that Iran had halted its military nuclear program in 2003. This means that the resumption of violence will make American intelligence services find out that there is a secret military program that is different from the peaceful and famous one. Is there a deal between the Bush administration and Iran? I can not categorically assert that a deal was concluded between the two parties through direct negotiations; however, there is an understanding resulting in the 2007 national intelligence report. + Raghida Dergham, "Repercussions of the American Establishment's Decision to "Coexist" with Iran": After the surprise issuing of the National Intelligence Estimate, which found that Tehran halted its secret nuclear program in 2003, one must ask: What has happened between the US and the Islamic Republic of Iran? Is it the beginning of a big deal between the two countries to divide up influence in Iraq and use the new relationship to contain the Arabs when needed? Is it an internal coup d'état against US President George W Bush, to halt his march toward war? After all, it was expected that such a blow would have been directed at the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Or was the NIE just business as usual, as part of the truce between the US and Iran and as part of the historical relationship between Persians and Jews, such that no war will take place between these two powers under any circumstances?
Wem fällts auf? Rice, Annapolis: "Israel-PA conflict must be resolved outside regional context" Livni und Rice können bald einen Club der frustrierten Aussenministerinnen aufmachen. Kaum gesagt, schon in der Luft zerfetzt.
Am Rande: What began as another scandal concerning illegal campaign contributions to the British Labour Party has become in recent days a tangled matter that is arousing conspiracy theories regarding a "Jewish plot" in the United Kingdom, and the role of the pro-Israel lobby there. David Abrahams, a Jewish millionaire who has admitted he made secret donations to the ruling British party, said in an interview that appeared in The Jewish Chronicle this past Friday that he concealed his activity because, "I didn't want Jewish money and the Labour Party being put together."
Kriegsfronten: Über Freitag und Samstag kommt es zu sehr hoher Aktivität der palästinensischen Milizen an der israelischen Grenze, wobei keine Verletzten festgestellt wurden. Fünf verschiedene Angriffe mit zwei Dutzend Granateinschlägen dazu wohl zwei Qassam-Abschüsse. Von größeren Gegenmaßnhamen der IDF wird nicht berichtet. Das Verhaftungsniveau in der Westbank ist gering. Heute Nacht nur zwei Verhaftungen. Ein seltsamer Fall wird aus Hebron berichtet. Ein alter familieninterner Streit über Landbesitz eskaliert. Ein Palästinenser wird dabei von seinem Onkel erschossen. Daraufhin flieht der Onkel in Richtung Israel, da er durch eine Verhaftung israelischer Behörden meint der palästinensischen Verhaftung ausweichen zu können. Ich bin gespannt über den Ausgang des Ausweisungsverfahrens, falls der Mörder überhaupt nach Israel gelangt. Derzeit durch die Restriktionen während Hanukka unwahrscheinlich. Aus Bi'lin wird wieder von Zusammenstößen von Demonstranten und IDf berichtet. Verletzte, zwei Journalisten verhaftet.
Palestinians have every reason to be optimistic about the December Paris donors' conference, French Consul General in Jerusalem Alain Rémy told Ma'an on Thursday.
Ghada Ageel, "Any Mideast pact must give Palestinians the right to return home." + Neta Golan, "A generous offer to the palestinian refugees"