Israeli-Palestinian peace movement update


This video from Israel says about itself:

Mind of peace- Negotiating Israelis and Palestinians with no leaders in the room…

Today, an e-mail says:

Minds of Peace Grassroots Israel-Palestinian negotiations continue  in Jerusalem

November 14-15 New Location: Horse Square, Jerusalem, Israel

Despite considerable extreme-right violence on the previous occasion, Minds of Peace is continuing its campaign of grassroots Israel-Palestinian negotiations, held on the streets and public squares of Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians who are not professional diplomats – so as boost and promote the faltering official negotiations.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most entrenched conflicts in the world with disastrous consequences for all the people involved. Many substantial peace-making initiatives have been carried out but have failed to produce a lasting peace.  The 22nd session of the Minds of Peace Mini Congress illuminated the stark differences between two sides.  Not the two sides at the negotiating table though.  The six Israelis and six Palestinians who met in Hamashbir Plaza, Jerusalem on October 24-25 worked to find common ground.  Led by Minds of Peace founder Sapir Handelman and Palestinian moderator Ibrahim Enbawi, the Israeli delegation and the Palestinian delegation negotiated possible solutions to their struggle.

The other more difficult side was the contingency of determined demonstrators in the audience who did their best to disrupt the negotiations.  The congress started to look like a battle field between right wing extremists and those who support the establishment of a Palestinian state. On Friday the negotiators were surrounded by a fence and police forces. Leaders of the large group surrounding the tables and objecting were invited to join the negotiations, but they preferred to stay on the sidelines preventing progress. Video link of Day two:

However, the two delegations concluded one preliminary agreement despite many efforts to spoil the events with whistles and shouting. Both delegations committed to meet again November 14-15 at Horse Square.  “The line between freedom of speech and chaos can be very thin,” commented Handelman. “In order to have peaceful negotiations on our part we have asked religious settlers, who are pro peace, to come to the event, participate in the discussion with the audience and try to relax the atmosphere and asked other people for other organizations, who are “experts” in peaceful dialogue, to participate in the dialogue with the audience.”

November 14-15 negotiations will tackle a conclusive peace pact

with discussions on borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem.

Dr. Sapir Handelman, Chairman of the Board of Minds of Peace is available for interviews

Dr. Daniel Mahgerefteh, of Los Angeles, is the chief executive officer of Minds of Peace and explains, “One of our goals is to directly involve the public in the difficult, messy, and painful peace making process the debate, struggle with compromise, and acceptance. The event is also designed to demonstrate the peacemaking creativity, zeal and power of the public without the political pressures faced by diplomats and government officials.” The congress comprises Israeli and Palestinian delegations made up of people from all walks of life that come to discuss debate and negotiate solutions to the conflict under the guidance of two moderators.

In the October Congress, the two delegations succeeded to conclude a preliminary agreement – Trust Building Measures – the topics are: Prisoners, incitement and violence, and settlements. The members negotiating agreed that the solution to the conflict is: Two states for two people in one land, located between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.

The assembly has five sessions of two hours to conclude peace agreements. The Israeli delegation will include: Zeev Raz – Colonel (ter.) Ze`ev Raz, combat pilot the attack on the Iraqi reactor in 1981, Abie Moses , who lost his wife and young son in a terrorist attack, making him  a symbol of bereavement and of standing against terrorism, Orna Oshri,  graphic editor of Yedioth Ahronoth, Rabbi Haim Cohen and Yehoshua Meyer a religious settler Kibbutz Kfar Etzion. The Palestinian delegation included academics, educators, business people, former prisoners and students.

In almost all of the congresses, the delegations succeeded to reach peace agreements. “It is an amazing result because the various delegations included people with deferent political views and from all walks of life, for example: settlers and right wingers, ex Palestinian prisoners, generals, business people, academics and people that lost loved ones in the conflict, said founder of Minds of Peace, Sapir Handelman..

Dr. Handelman explains, “This congress demonstrates a classical symptom of intractable conflicts like the Israeli-Palestinian one. Any peacemaking initiative that can lead to a change will increase the level of violence. The extremists, on both sides, will try to crash it. Therefore, it is critical to involve the people in the peacemaking process.” 

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More information on Minds of Peace:

Media Request: Sari M Cicurel sari.cicurel@gmail.com

Dr. Sapir Handelman, Chairman of the Board of Minds of Peace

972-50-307-6927 and sapir.handelman@gmail.com

Daniel Mahgerefteh, chief executive officer of Minds of Peace – dmahgerefteh@yahoo.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minds-of-Peace/186081194106

Website: www.mindsofpeace.org

Israeli soldiers punished for dancing peacefully with Palestinians


This video from Palestine is called Israeli soldiers dance to Gangnam Style at Palestinian wedding.

From Associated Press:

Hebron style: Israeli soldiers’ dance with Palestinians angers top brass

Gangnam Style remix causes moment of K-pop unity in West Bank as video shows patrol group joining dance hall party

Associated Press in Jerusalem

Thursday 29 August 2013 08.27 BST

A group of Israeli soldiers has danced up a storm of criticism after they were filmed boogying alongside Palestinians while on patrol in the West Bank.

The soldiers were making their rounds in the city of Hebron when they entered a dance hall and joined dozens of Palestinian men dancing to South Korean rapper Psy’s hit Gangnam Style.

The Israeli military said on Thursday that it considers the incident serious, adding “the soldiers exposed themselves to unnecessary danger and were disciplined accordingly,” without elaborating.

Footage aired on Israeli Channel 2 TV shows the solders in uniform, flak jackets and carrying guns.

One was shown hoisted on the shoulders of Palestinian dancers. Other soldiers joined hands and grooved with the partygoers. The channel said the incident occurred on Monday.

Hebron has been a flashpoint of violence between Israelis and Palestinians for decades.

So, these Israeli soldiers were punished for peaceful acts. While, on the other hand, Israeli soldiers committing violence against Palestine civilians, including children

These Israeli soldiers and these Palestinians in Hebron gave an example of non-violence which the whole Middle East and the whole world should follow.

Please, Psy, if you happen to read Dear Kitty. Some blog: then, please take the first plane from Korea to Hebron. Organize the biggest dance party ever there. Invite all Palestinians who were at that wedding. Invite all Israeli soldiers who were at that wedding. Invite all Israeli soldiers and Israeli civilians who want peace. Invite all Palestinians who want peace. Let peace spread throughout the whole world from Hebron.

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Boston bomb horror, pretext for Islamophobic violence


Police in Boston, USA, still don’t know who perpetrated the terrible bomb attack on the local marathon. They don’t know the motive for this crime yet.

Barry Grey in the USA writes:

It remains unknown whether the terrible crime was the work of one person or an organization, homegrown or foreign, although even some congressmen have acknowledged that several factors point to a rightwing domestic terrorist. These include the relatively crude character of the bombs, the lack of any prior threat alert or claim of responsibility, and the timing—on Boston’s Patriot’s Day and federal tax day and the same week as the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Senator Saxby Chambliss (Republican of Georgia) said Wednesday, “There are a lot of things that are surrounding this that build an indication that it may have been a domestic terrorist.”

However, the media of phonehacker in chief and burglar in chief Rupert Murdoch and other far Right wingers pretend to “know” that “the Muslims” did this crime.

Let us, for the sake of argument, presume that the culprit, or small group of culprits, was indeed a Muslim, or a small group of Muslims. What would that say about the other 1.62 billion adherents of Islam, making up over 23% of the world population?

Nothing. Like the Oklahoma bombing by the Christian Timothy McVeigh did not make all Christians in the world criminals. Like war crimes by Buddhist soldiers in Sri Lanka do not make other Buddhists who have nothing to do with that, into criminals. Etc.

From ASpoonfulofSuga blog in the USA:

April 18 2013

It Took Two Days for a Random Muslim to Get Assaulted in Boston, Please Retweet

Muslim woman

A Palestinian woman said she was assaulted while taking a late morning stroll with her baby daughter and friend by a man who accused her of being a terrorist. We thought someone would’ve been publicly attacked and berated for secretly planning the Boston Marathon bombings within hours of the explosions, but nope — racists managed to contain themselves for two days. Bravo.

Heba Abolaban told Malden Patch that she and her friend, both wearing hijabs, were walking with their kids when a white male in his thirties punched her left shoulder and began shouting at them:

“He was screaming ‘F___ you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions! F___ you!’” Abolaban remembered. “Oh my lord, I was extremely shocked.”

Taken from Jezebel

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Bangladeshi man beaten at Applebee’s in ‘revenge attack’ over Boston Marathon bombings

New York

A Bangladeshi man has claimed he was beaten at a New York City Applebee’s in retaliation for the Boston Marathon bombings – because of the color of his skin. Abdullah Faruque, 30, says that he was heading out of the restaurant to smoke a cigarette when he noticed a group of Hispanic men who had been at the bar followed him out.They then confronted him.  He told the New York Post: ‘One of the guys asked if I was Arab. I just shook my head, said like, “Yeah, whatever.”‘ Mr Faruque said that when he tried to go back inside Applebee’s, one of the men said, ‘Yeah, he’s a f***ing Arab,’ and they attacked, beating him about the head and body.

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Monday was a difficult day not just for America but for the world. Any time innocents die in the world we as a global community lose out. As an American my immediate sentiments are that we should act in such a way to honour those who have died, and those who are suffering now with the right action. While this sounds like another platitude echoed by countless news-people, I really believe that we should look hard at the suffering caused by the events in Boston. Indirectly that would mean that for me, (another no name blogger) the most important  action for us as  nation and global community, is to look and internalize what has transpired. This I am sure, will be an unpopular course of event. There is a need for justice, there is a need to make sense of these events, there is a need for action.

I remember the environment in NYC a day after 9/11. There was such an outpouring of love from the world to NYC, from NY’er to NY’er. It was a rather tender moment for me, because for once I could visibly see and participate in actions socially that challenged my cynicism about people coming together and a possibility for racial acceptance and religious tolerance. That moment was short-lived unfortunately. Soon Americans citizen of Middle Eastern decent across America were the targets of hate crimes. Whatever love was given was all to soon gone. Ten years later America as a whole is still recovering not just from the events of 9/11, but from how we chose to respond to the tragedy on our home turf. Two wars, trillions in debt, soldiers losing their homes and coping with PTSD, a great divide economic divide further marginalization of Muslims not to mention Americans of Middle Eastern decent, (to name a few) are some of the many pressing issues we do not have a handle on.

A Personal Lesson Learned

While I will be the first to admit that I do not know how to keep a nation state, I cannot,like many other Americans, help wondering if the two wars and all their political, financial, economic, and diplomatic ramifications worth it ? What have we learned as a nation after 9/11?

I will tell you what I have learned over this past decade. I have seen that (especially after the wake of the most recent presidential election) Americans are too divided  to come together for an extended period of time. I feel we have reduced a  person to just simple instruments to be used for the attainment of ideological goals. Before one is a republican or democrat or libertarian, American or, black white, latino, or whatever other label we like to use, one is a person.  The Saudi national who was initially considered a suspect is a human being too. The Sikh person in your neighbourhood is a person. The Mexican Guy who may be cutting your grass is human being.  The Muslimah that sports the hijab is a person.  Surprising so these people may even be American like you or I which means we share an ideology and a vision.

Of course this is idealistic. Behind the sarcastic statements, the cynical quips, I am a idealist. I am a positive person.  There will always be those amongst us who will will seek to disrupt us, to take from us the most precious things like our sense of security, the want to engage with our fellow human beings and country man, and sadly as the explosion in Boston have shown even our lives.  History is littered with heinous acts, but if we look close enough we will see so many instances of self-sacrifice and benevolence.

An Important Anniversary

Tuesday April 16 was an important anniversary to me. Fifty one years ago on that day  MLK wrote  his letter from Birmingham Jail. That letter has always been a point of inspiration for me. It gave a voice to a sentiment I hold deeply, specifically that we can today with a greater sense of urgency and determination work to make a better America. The bombings in Boston are an opportunity for us to come together as a nation and talk about the human issues we are all facing.

I feel that it was irresponsible for a memo to the New York Post and other media outlets to tell people top be on the lookout for out for “dark-skinned” suspects. I feel, rather I am certain that the news is working people up to a frenzy. The president in a recent speech praised Boston for overcoming the face of evil.. But if Muslims are being attacked have we really overcome the face of evil or have we just brought out another evil face. Fire cannot be fought with fire. We need to change of view on things, we need to deliberate a little more as a whole before anyone else gets heckled or beaten up for being of middle Eastern descent. …

U.S. Muslims mobilize to prevent Boston backlash

It’s a familiar race against time for Muslim groups. Almost as soon as the smoke cleared around Copley Square, they knew from long experience that some would immediately point the finger of blame in their direction.

Still, conservative columnist and Fox News guest Erik Rush quickly sent out tweets blaming Muslims, adding in one, “Let’s kill them,” a post he subsequently deleted. “Jihad in America,” wrote anti-Muslim blogger Pam Geller. Speaking about the bombings on his ”700 Club” program, Pat Robertson was also furious: “Don’t talk to me about religion of peace” – the way Muslims describe their faith – “No way.” On his show, conservative host Glenn Beck opined that “no American citizen blows up random people; that’s a Middle Eastern scene, that’s not an American scene. When our crazies go off, they target the government, not streets that are crowded with people.”

Final Words

While it’s difficult thing to do i will be writing about the ramification of the Boston as I see them in my life with the hope of generating actual discussion instead of hate-speak/News-Speak and double talk. Probably also when all is said and done I will go to Boston and lay soem flowers down , anyone who wants to join is welcome.

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-9365086-2-402

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

Swedish citizens stand in solidarity with pregnant Muslim woman after she was beaten: here.

Britain: Man who admits killing 82-year-old Muslim in Birmingham, UK, also says he plotted explosions near mosques: here.

Israeli peace movement news roundup


This is a video of a demonstration against the Gaza war in Beit Jala, Israel, on 17 November 2012.

From The Other Israel:

“Nothing has changed apart from more killing and more hatred”

Occupation Magazine  November 20, 2012.

 

Another entire family killed in Israeli airstrike Monday evening
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC – Monday evening’s attack hit the home of Foad and Amna Hijazi and their two children Suhaib and Muhammad. They were all killed instantly.
Cutting the fence at Ramat, West Bank
Hamde Abu Rahma – Activestills.org – Palestinian youths cut a section of Israel`s separation fence in the West Bank village of Ramat near Ramallah to protest against Israel`s military action on the Gaza Strip
To military prison, instead of Gaza – Conscientious Objector Natan Blanc
Moriel Rothman – The Leftern Wall – Four days after my own release from military jail, Natan Blanc, 19 years old from Haifa, has declared his intention to refuse service in the IDF: “From their point of view, there is nothing wrong with our initiating a “Cast Lead 2″ operation every three or four years (and then 3, 4,5 and 6): we will talk of deterrence, we will kill some terrorist, we will lose some civilians on both sides, and we will prepare the ground for a new generation full of hatred on both sides.”
Gaza live report: Day 7
Ma`an – 14:31 Ahmad al-Dada killed in new airstrike on Gaza City, according to Gaza health official. 14:29 A BBC reporter uploads an audio recording of a rocket fired at Jerusalem from central Gaza. 14:24 Update: Israeli police say rocket fired at Jerusalem landed in open area, no injuries reported. 14:20 Palestinian students protest outside Hebrew University in Jerusalem in solidarity with Gaza.
Live Blog: Day 7 of Gaza operation
Haaretz – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are expected to arrive in Israel on Tuesday, where they will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. More than 60 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel on Tuesday morning. The Palestinians reported that five people were killed in the Strip on Tuesday morning.
Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Hebron clashes – second casualty in West Bank `Gaza solidarity` protests
Ma`an – Hamdi Mohammad Jawwad Al-Falah, 22, from Hebron was shot four times during clashes in the Bir al-Mahjar neighborhood in western Hebron. Earlier Monday, 28-year old Rushdi Mahmoud Hassan al-Tamimi died of his wounds after being hit by live fire in the stomach and thigh during a Gaza solidarity demonstration in Nabi Saleh, on Saturday.
Israel`s `right to self-defense` – a tremendous propaganda victory
Amira Hass – Haaretz – The foreign ministries in the West and in the United States knowingly collaborate with the mendacious representation of Israel as victim. On November 8, two days before the attack on the holiest of holies – soldiers in a military jeep – they could have read about IDF soldiers killing 13-year old Ahmad Abu Daqqa, who was playing soccer with his friends in the village of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis. The soldiers were 1.5 kilometers from the kids, inside the Gaza Strip area, busy with “exposing” (a whitewashed word for destroying ) agricultural land. So why shouldn`t the count of aggression start with a child? On November 10, after the attack on the jeep, the IDF killed another four civilians, aged 16 to 19.
Can West Bank Palestinians find justice in court?
Yonah Jeremy Bob – Jerusalem Post – Doing real justice is impossible because the Palestinians are a conquered people. Often there is no right for Palestinians to demonstrate, noted Gabi Lasky at the Israel Bar Association conference in Tel Aviv. So even if the courts were fine, they can be trying Palestinians for action, like demonstrating, that should not be crimes in the first place.
Dozens of artists call for ceasefire and dialogue which will lead to a peace agreement.
Merav Yudilovitch – Ynet – “We have already assassinated terrorists and launched military operations, as well as invaded Gaza, and nothing has changed apart from more killing and more hatred.”
A selection of articles posted on earlier days

 

A Nobel Laureate on Israel`s Operation Cloud Pillar – Israel’s Gaza Attack: Not Defence But Murder of Unarmed Civilians
Mairead Maguire – CounterPunch – “The question on many people lips is; ‘When is the Israel government going to stop this bombing and continual wars and threat of war, against the Palestinians, and its neighbours, admit that there will be no military solution to the Palestinian Occupation, and begin to talk seriously with their enemies, in order to solve the problems for the sake of the Palestinians, Israelis, and indeed the whole of the middle east and world!’?”
Reporters Without Borders condemns Israeli strikes
Thomas Adamson, Associated Press – Yahoo!News – “The Israeli military said the strikes targeted Hamas ommunications equipment on the buildings` rooftops and accused the group of using journalists as `human shields.` Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, urged journalists to stay clear of Hamas bases and facilities”
Civilian death toll mounts in Gaza
AlJazeera and Agencies – Twelve Palestinians from one family killed in Israeli rocket attack in single biggest loss of life since crisis began

 

Let`s try something new
Gideon Levy–The Palestinians try three different approaches, weapons, diplomacy and nonviolent resistance, and Israel says no to all three. dn
REPORT FROM GAZA
Adie Mormech–I`m writing this from near the Gaza seaport from where I can see smoke rising around me from the bombs that fall down on the Gaza Strip from the Israeli planes above. Words fail me. Despite the limits to life from Israel`s five-year siege on Gaza some kind of normality is attempted in Gaza. How could it be any other way when the majority of the population are children, do parents and older siblings have any other option?dn
Israel’s Shortsighted Assassination
Gershon Baskin – New York Times – Mr. Jabari is dead — and with him died the possibility of a long-term cease-fire. Israel may have also compromised the ability of Egyptian intelligence officials to mediate a short-term cease-fire and placed Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt at risk. This was not inevitable, and cooler heads could have prevailed.
Refusing the Elections War
Sarah Anne Minkin–This morning, four social justice and anti-occupation groups—the Women’s Coalition for Peace, the Alternative Information Center, Yesh Gvul, and New Profile—placed a joint advertisement on the front page of Haaretz. The ad reads:
A Short Report from the Cave Dwellers Village of Tuba
The Villages Group–In the midst of sirens and bombs in our area as part of the recent war between Israel and Gaza, I received a telephone call from Hamed from Hebron asking if we are safe. Five minutes later we received a telephone call from Eid inviting us to come to Um el Khair in South Mount Hebron because it is safer there. “It is Thursday tomorrow” I told him, “and we come at any rate.”dn
Phoney truce may have lured Hamas man into open
Jeffrey Heller – Ma`an News Agency “In what now appears to have been a diversionary tactic, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak paid a visit to the Syrian frontier in the north, hours before the air offensive began in the south.-Jaabari may have been lulled into the open by public signals from Israel that a round of cross-border violence along the frontier in the past week had run its course.” ca
WATCH: Israelis protest military operation against Gaza
Video – +972 A demonstration took place Wednesday night place in front of Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s house in Tel Aviv, protesting the killing of Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari and the launch of of ‘Operation Pillar of Defense.’ The demonstrators called for an end to the bloodshed and for dialogue between Israel and Hamas. A second demonstration will be held this evening (Thursday); see here for more details. By Israel Social TV.” ca “
Gaza escalation: There was another way
Dahlia Scheindlin – +972 “Just over one year ago, the Fatah leadership presented its statehood bid to the United Nations. Had Israel not blocked the effort hermetically – forcing America to kill the process by steadfastly viewing statehood as an anti-Israel notion, what might have happened?We can’t know. But Israel could have realized that Palestinian statehood basically along 1967 parameters was in its national interest.” ca
Netanyahu and Barak have decided to deliberately violate a cease-fire which had just been stabilized. Uri Avnery – Press Release – “At the price of great suffering on both sides of the border, the government`s aim has been accomplished: the social issues, which threatened to assume prominence in these elections, have been pushed aside and removed from the agenda of the elections campaign.-rh
Hamas says `gates of hell opened` as Israel kills military leader in Gaza
Harriet Sherwood – The Guardian – Most political figures in Israel endorsed the operation. The Labour leader, Shelly Yachimovich, said Israel was “united in its war against terrorism”. But Dov Hanin, of the leftwing Hadash party, condemned the killing . “In place of the leaders killed, others will grow, and we will only get another cycle of fire and blood,” he said.-rh
Is the Cat Out of the Bag on Israel?
Emily Johanson – Foreign Policy in Focus – In his latest book, Knowing Too Much: The American Jewish Romance with Israel is Coming to An End, veteran activist Norman Finkelstein argues that the growing international awareness of the Israeli occupation has heralded a perceptible shift among the U.S. Jewish community away from a close identification with Israel.-rh
Army Occupies School In Jenin
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC – “Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday evening, a school east of Jenin city, in the northern part of the West Bank, and used it as a military post and monitoring tower.” – id
The limits of deterrence
Editorial – Haaretz – “Israel would be better off recognizing that the deterrence formula has limits and adopting the mechanism of informal agreements instead.” – id
Crazy Country
 

 

TOI-Billboard – the ‘ezine’ of THE OTHER ISRAEL, a peace-oriented news service existing since 1983, editors Adam Keller & Beate Zilversmidt. The billboard includes relevant articles  from the Israeli mainstream press as well as alternative sources – mostly from what was collected in Occupation Magazine from within Israel/Palestine & from international media. You also find Adam Keller’s comments, in his Crazy Country blog. Since November 2009 there is no longer a bi-monthly printed issue. An archive of old issues covering 26 years of  peace movement struggles is under construction.

 

All issues of The Other Israel from 1994 until 2009 are now online in a searchable format, as well as the six first issues, starting July 1983. The digital recovery of issues from ’84-’94 is still in process. Access at http://toibillboard.info/oldtois.htm

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Bahrain bans anti-Gaza war protests


This video from the USA is called Former CNN journalist Amber Lyon & Joe Rogan talk about Bahrain dictatorship.

From AFP news agency:

Bahrain bans pro-Gaza march

After a protest ban announced last month, Bahrain continued to reject requests by various groups to organize a pro-Gaza march, instead allowing sit-ins in office building

Sunday 18 Nov 2012

Bahrain rejected requests by several groups to organise a pro-Gaza march on Sunday, after a protest ban announced last month, but instead allowed sit-ins in office buildings, the interior ministry said.

“Several political associations asked that they be allowed to organise a march to the UN offices in Manama this afternoon (Sunday) under the slogan ‘Save Gaza’,” a ministry statement received by AFP said.

Israel launched a ferocious air operation against the Gaza Strip on Wednesday in retaliation for rocket attacks by the militant groups. So far more than 50 Palestinians and three Israelis have died, with hundreds of people wounded.

Bahrain’s interior ministry “told the organisers that their requests for a march have been rejected in order to preserve security in implementation of the decision to ban demonstrations and gatherings,” it said.

Instead, it “suggested holding solidarity sit-ins in the headquarters” of these groups, it said.

Late last month, Bahrain banned all protests and gatherings to ensure “security is maintained,” after clashes between Shiite-led demonstrators and security forces in the Sunni-ruled country.

The Gulf state has experienced unrest since March last year when the authorities crushed protests led by the Shiite Muslim majority demanding greater rights.

Bahrain: Serious concerns over the Deterioration of Physical and Mental health of a Prisoner of Conscience: here.

Israeli warplanes and gunboats intensified their attacks on Palestinian homes and institutions throughout the Gaza Strip over the weekend, bringing the death toll to more than 75: here.