Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Israeli Nobel prize winner calls for release of Palestinian prisoners

I guess it is inevitable but when I heard that an Israeli scientist, Professor Ada Yonath, had received the Nobel Prize, my heart sank a little. She was head of research in the field of structural biology and biochemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot and was therefore almost certainly involved in some part of the industrial military complex. Now some people will say this is bigoted and prejudiced, but it is a fact that science and military in Israel go together like Hans and Gretel. So what a pleasant surprise that Prof. Yonath is a pacifist who has almost immediately called for the release of all Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Below is the report from Haaretz and from the settler Israel News which of course puts the words 'terrorist' into her mouth. Tony Greenstein

more at Tony Greenstein's blog

Leaked Fatah memo gives up on Obama stopping settlements

Fatah has given up on Obama getting the Israelis to stop building settlements. Hopefully the majority inside Fatah has been shocked enough by the Goldstone fallout and that this is a sign the leadership can/will be rolled back from its collusion with the US and Israel. Gosh, wasn't the timing of the peace prize for Obama good - what was the Nobel committee thinking?
(CBS/AP) An internal document circulated among members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' political party says all hopes placed in the Obama administration "have evaporated" because of alleged White House backtracking on key issues to the Palestinians.

The Fatah Party memorandum, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, accuses the United States of backing off from its demands that Israel freeze settlement construction and failing to set a clear agenda for new Mideast peace talks.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the Oct. 12 document reflected Abbas' views or was intended to be leaked as Fatah's attempt to pressure President Obama to bear down harder on Israel.

The document said the Palestinians have lost hope in Mr. Obama and accused the American leader of caving in to pressure from pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington.

"All hopes placed in the new U.S. administration and President Obama have evaporated," said the document issued by Fatah's Office of Mobilization and Organization. The department is headed Fatah's No. 2, Mohammed Ghneim.

Mr. Obama, it claimed, "couldn't withstand the pressure of the Zionist lobby, which led to a retreat from his previous positions on halting settlement construction and defining an agenda for the negotiations and peace."

Abbas' aides had no comment on the memorandum, and Ghneim couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The Palestinians were encouraged by Mr. Obama's election and expected his much-publicized outreach to the Muslim world would soften the strongly pro-Israel positions of his predecessors such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The Fatah document also restated the group's stance that Israel must freeze settlement construction and agree to a clear agenda for talks before negotiations can resume.