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Alison Weir: The Israel Lobby’s Return to Congress | CounterPunch

You might think that twenty percent of the American Congress going on all-expense-paid, week-long junkets to a foreign country – paid for by a lobby for that country – would be considered newsworthy. Especially when the top Congressional leaders of both parties are leading the trips. You would be wrong. 81 Congressional representatives from all over the country, led by ...

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Four actions: Please take at least two of them | Mazin Qumsiyeh

  Action 1: Join us Saturday 10 AM Palestine Ramadan Time in Al-Walaja as villagers continue to see their lands destroyed. Last Wednesday at 8 AM, some 60-80 human rights advocates marched with drums and chants to the sites inside Al-Walaja al-Jadia (the new Al-Walaja) where the Israeli occupation forces are uprooting trees and destroying the beautiful landscape to separate ...

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Israel approves 1,600 new homes in east Jerusalem | The Guardian

Israel’s Interior Ministry has given final authorisation for 1,600 apartments to be built in disputed east Jerusalem and will approve 2,700 more in the next few days, officials have said, detailing a plan that could complicate diplomatic efforts to dissuade Palestinians from declaring statehood at the UN. The announcement drew immediate criticism from the Palestinians, and from Israel’s leading anti-settlement ...

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Syria defiant as diplomatic pressure grows | Al Jazeera English

Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, says the country’s sovereignty “is a red line that must not be crossed”. “We know our commitments, our obligations but at the same time we know what are our rights. And our rights do not stem from any political pressure. They stem from our own political will,” he said after sessions at ...

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Protest leaders present their vision for social justice in Israel | Haaretz

Leaders of the tent city protest, along with student leadership and representatives of social organizations and youth groups, issued a joint statement Monday presenting what they see as the main principles behind their struggle for social justice. The Vision Document, as they called it, is titled a “Framework of investment for a new socio-economic agenda” and begins with a quote ...

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Not the Israeli summer… yet – Opinion | Al Jazeera English

Recent protests in Israel vaguely resemble the earlier protests that sparked the Arab Spring. Somewhere in the afternoon of this past Saturday, while hundreds of thousands of Israelis celebrated their renewed civic spirit and sense of national solidarity through their participation in the rapidly escalating protests against high housing prices and social inequality, a car approached the Shavei Shomron checkpoint ...

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Peace Now Condemns Interior Minister’s Cynical use of Housing Crisis More Construction Approved in East Jerusalem | Facts Behind Today’s Construction Approval

Today the Interior Minister Eli Ishai released a press statement detailing his authorization of construction of thousands of housing units in East Jerusalem and over the Green Line. The construction referred to is three separate locations: Pisgat Zeev The plan authorizes 625 housing units, this an old plan that we have reported on previously  – it now passed all the ...

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AFGHANISTAN: Nearly nine million face food shortages | IRIN Asia

Ongoing drought in northern, northeastern and western Afghanistan is likely to push 1.5-2 million more people into food insecurity this autumn, according to the UN World Food Programme (WFP). This is in addition to the seven million country-wide already facing food shortages. The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) is reporting a failure of the rain-fed wheat crop, which ...

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Franklin Spinney: Americans Have the Clock, But the Taliban Have the Time | CounterPunch

President Obama’s surge and de-surge strategy in Afghanistan has landed the United States in a strategic cul-de-sac. As America withdraws troops from remote areas of Afghanistan like the Tangi, Korangar, and Pech Valleys, insurgents are flooding back in to wreak havoc, necessitating US retaliatory raids, redeployments, and stiffening operations to kill insurgents and to protect local Afghan units and villagers, ...

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UN Calls Rights Situation in Iraq ‘Fragile’ | Common Dreams via AFP

A UN report released on Monday said the human rights situation in Iraq is still “fragile,” citing issues including economic and political stagnation, continued violence and attacks on minorities. “The human rights situation throughout Iraq remains fragile as the country slowly transitions from a conflict to post-conflict country that faces enormous development challenges,” the 2010 Report on Human Rights in ...

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Patrick Cockburn: Bahrain: the Divided Kingdom | CounterPunch

Sometimes I think there must be a fatal connection between the initial letter “B” and places torn apart by struggles for power between different religious communities. I started as a journalist in Belfast in the early 1970s when the city was convulsed by sectarian warfare between Catholics and Protestants. In later years, I moved to Beirut to cover the many-sided ...

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