Palestine

Arab scholar 'blasted' over Temple Mount

By Ben Lynfield, December 3, 2009

Prominent Palestinian academic Sari Nusseibeh has reportedly been blasted for writing about the Jewish connection to Temple Mount.

Mr Nusseibeh was one of a number of Palestinian and Israeli scholars to contribute to an unprecedented joint new study about the site, Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Jerusalem’s Sacred Esplanade, initiated by the Hebrew University and the Yad Ben-Tzvi Institute.

In his chapter, Mr Nusseibeh, president of al-Quds University in east Jerusalem, does not affirm that there were Jewish temples on Temple Mount.

More..

Church holds anti-Israel Christmas carol service

By Robyn Rosen, December 3, 2009

Dozens of protesters demonstrated outside a Baptist church which held a carol concert organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

The service, entitled Voices of Bethlehem, was held at the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church on Monday.

Protesters waved Israel flags and handed out flyers as more than 200 people attended the service, which included readings from playwright Caryl Churchill, whose play, Seven Jewish Children, caused controversy earlier this year.

More..

Celtic fans anger at STUC Palestinian campaign

By Jessica Elgot, December 2, 2009

Celtic fans have reacted with outrage at the Scottish Trade Union Congress’ attempts to use the Hapoel Tel Aviv Europa League match as a political rally against Israel.

The STUC, backed by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, plans to hand out 10,000 Palestinian flags to fans entering the Celtic Park stadium as an “act of solidarity”, almost one year after Operation Cast Lead.

Writing on blogs, comments and message boards, Celtic fans have railed against the mixing of football and Middle East politics.

More..

Celtic: No Palestinian campaign at football match

By Robyn Rosen, December 1, 2009

Celtic Football Club has opposed calls from the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) for fans to wave Palestinian flags at the Hapoel Tel Aviv match.

The STUC plans to hand out 10,000 Palestinian flags to fans entering the Celtic Park stadium as an “act of solidarity”, almost one year after Operation Cast Lead.

A spokesman from Celtic FC said that the club was “extremely concerned” about the plans and questioned their compliance with UEFA regulations.

He said: “We believe Celtic Park is no place for a political demonstration.

More..

Caryl Churchill to lead Palestinian carols at Bloomsbury church

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2009

Protesters will demonstrate outside a Baptist church which is hosting a carol service organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

The PSC will be holding its annual Christmas concert at the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in Covent Garden next month.

The service, which has not been advertised on the church’s website but has been listed on the PSC site, will include seasonal readings from playwright Caryl Churchill, whose play, Seven Jewish Children, caused controversy earlier this year.

More..

Analysis: PA will not declare independence alone

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 19, 2009

Israeli politicians were up in arms this week over the stated intention of the Palestinian Authority unilaterally to declare an independent state in the near future.

Unilateral steps on the Palestinian side will be met by similar moves from Israel, they ominously warned, hinting at possible annexations of parts of the West Bank, as they did in east Jerusalem after the Six-Day War in 1967. Such a declaration, they promised, would mean an end to any diplomatic process with the Palestinians.

More..

EU: A Palestinian state is ‘premature’

By Jessica Elgot, November 17, 2009

The European Union has said that Palestine is not ready to be recognised as a full state by the UN.

The current holder of the EU presidency, Carl Bildt of Sweden, said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels that conditions were not yet right for Palestinian statehood.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said they had decided to seek recognition of the Palestinian state from the UN because of the failure of recent peace talks.

The proposal is an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and with June 1967 borders.

More..

Palestinian unions say Israel boycott would harm them

By Leon Symons, November 12, 2009

The leader of Palestine’s equivalent of the TUC has told a delegation of British trade unionists that they are not interested in general boycotts of Israel.

Shaher Saeed, general secretary of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), told representatives of seven unions that the organisation had so little interest in the subject it had never discussed boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and therefore had no policy on the subject.

More..

Abbas resignation 'could kill peace plan'

By Ben Lynfield, November 12, 2009

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (right) has been deluged with requests from foreign heads of state to reconsider his decision not to seek another term in his office, while his own people seem indifferent.

Mr Abbas said last week that he “does not wish” to run in the January 24 elections, blaming Israel’s expansion of settlements, the US “favouring” the Israeli position and Hamas foiling national reconciliation efforts.

It was not immediately clear if the step was anything more than a ploy to muster American pressure on Israel.

More..

Palestinian cave man fights 'eviction'

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2009

A Palestinian man who lives in a cave near Jerusalem has been threatened with eviction by the Israeli authorities.

Abdel Fattah Abed Rabbo, 48, claims he was brought up in the cave as a child. Now he has moved back to the steep hills between Jerusalem and Bethlehem to stake his claim to his five acres in Al Walajah.

Mr Abed Rabbo’s family, including his ten children currently live in a refugee camp in Bethlehem.

More..