Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Swapping land to keep settlements

Terry Newman is engaged in our discussions on a report to Arab Foreign Ministers. Interestingly he has sent this article in which Israel (through Vice President Haim Ramon pictured here) now proposes to swop land for territory aquired to build settlements. It is pertinent to our discussions so here is the link:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sealed Off By Israel, Gaza Reduced To Beggary

Rafi Dajani of ATFP sends this item in which The Washington Post reports from Gaza on the increasing humanitarian toll borne by its civilian residents due to the blockade of the territory.

The batteries are the size of a button on a man's shirt, small silvery dots that power hearing aids for several hundred Palestinian students taught by the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children in Gaza City. Now the batteries, marketed by Radio Shack, are all but used up. The few that are left are losing power, turning voices into unintelligible echoes in the ears of Hala Abu Saif's 20 first-grade students. The Israeli government is increasingly restricting the import into the Gaza Strip of batteries, anesthesia drugs, antibiotics, tobacco, coffee, gasoline, diesel fuel and other basic items, including chocolate and compressed air to make soft drinks. This punishing seal has reduced Gaza, a territory of almost 1.5 million people, to beggar status, unable to maintain an effective public health system, administer public schools or preserve the traditional pleasures of everyday life by the sea.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Of Ayatollahs and Jerusalem

We are at the NCF conference at Pilgrim Hall in Sussex. We had as fiery a session as can be last night with young Ayatollah Ayad Jamalahudin from Baghdad who upset many and endeared himself to others with his moderate political stand on everything but women.

Meanwhile, on the international stage, Rafi of ATFP sent this item on the Israeli position on Jerusalem which some would regard as disturbing: