Welcome to Team Shalom Fry'd Daze. Fry'd Daze is a long running series dedicated to dialogue in the Middle East. Currently we are in our second year. These diaries are not intended to be a flame forum, but rather something where community members can meet and exchange ideas about I/P and/or issues that concern the Middle East.
Generally, these diaries take the form of four to five news articles and short commentary selected by the diarist. These stories however, are just a platform to get discussion going. The diaries from now on will publish under the banner of the Team Shalom
What is Team Shalom:
"Team Shalom is Team Peace. We are a group of Kossacks supporting a fair, pragmatic, and realistic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the two-state solution. We support Israel's continued existence as a Jewish and democratic state, with it existing alongside Palestine, a Palestinian and democratic state, as friends and neighbors. We believe this is the only way forward and the only way to achieve an enduring peace. This is the view endorsed by the overwhelming majority of the world's nations, including the Quartet, which consists of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations."
So please participate. The only thing we ask is that you keep comments respectful, reality based and please no use of Anti-Semetic or Anti-Arab memes. Enjoy!
Lots of news today but the big story in Israel and Palestine is the upcoming Nakba Day on May 15th.
Israel Defense Force soldiers and Palestinians clashed on Friday throughout the West Bank, days before planned demonstrations to commemorate the Nakba.
Mild clashes between the IDF and Palestinians erupted in Jerusalem on Friday morning, in Silwan, Isawiya and in the Old City. Israel police forces have arrested 11 protesters.
However, Palestinian officials have reported one wounded from live fire in Ras al-Amud, an East Jerusalem neighborhood and several others have been reported wounded by rubber bullets and tear gas, mainly in Silwan.
According to Maan News a group of activists trying to start a Third Intifada are trying to rally Palestinians to march on Israeli Checkpoints en masse and refugees from 1948 to return to the homes they fled. They are also setting up demonstrations in other countries as well.
Activists behind a website called "The Third Intifada" have also called for a new uprising, which would see thousands of Palestinians march towards Israeli checkpoints, and refugees towards homes from which they fled or were forced out of when Israel was created in 1948.
Palestinian refugees are also expected to stage rallies and demonstrations in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that some restrictions would be in force during the Friday prayers but he was not immediately able to give details.
Israel on Tuesday celebrated the 63rd anniversary of its creation, marking the date according to the Hebrew calendar.
Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel and abroad, who mourn the day as the "Nakba" or "catastrophe," are to stage three days of rallies and protests starting on Friday.
But Aharonovitch told the radio he believed the anniversary would pass quietly, and Israeli news website Ynet quoted him as saying he had instructed the security forces "to exercise restraint and avoid using force."
As to demonstrations in other countries... There have been demonstrations in Egypt and Jordan where protestors have called for an end to the Peace Treaty
In Jordan, protesters chanted, "The people want to liberate Palestine."
They also shouted, "The people want to end Wadi Araba," a reference to Jordan's 1994 peace treaty with Israel.
The slogans also reflected changes in the political climate, including the ousting of long-term leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and efforts by the Palestinians to get the United Nations to recognize their independence. "1948 and 1967 are the catastrophes, but 2011 is the Revolution of the Return," some of the protesters' signs read.
"We want to tell the world that Palestine and its refugees are not to be forgotten," said 21-year-old dentistry student Omar Hassan, whose family hails from Bethlehem in the West Bank. "It's time the world recognizes that the Palestinian case has to be solved once and for all."
In Egypt, a protest pushed on Facebook is asking people to march on the borders but, so far the ruling Military Council has not supported this and while the Muslim Brotherhood supports the Friday demonstrations, they too do not support the march to the border as of now.
On Thursday, Egyptian authorities urged citizens not to take part in a solidarity march with the Palestinians Sunday to the Rafah border. A statement issued by authorities called on activists to "avoid implications that may stem from such march."
In other News: American Peace Negotiator George Mitchell is resigning today
U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell, who has led the Obama administration's efforts to restart direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, plans to resign on Friday, a U.S. official said.
Mitchell's departure comes ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's expected speech laying out his new Middle East strategy and a visit to the White House by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 20.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mitchell's resignation would be announced by the White House later on Friday. There are no imminent plans
to announce a replacement for Mitchell, the officials said, although his staff
is expected to remain in place at least temporarily.
The Associated Pressis reporting
Since his appointment on Obama's second full day in office in January 2009, Mitchell, 77, had spent much of his time shuttling between the Israelis, Palestinians and friendly Arab states in a bid to restart long-stalled peace talks that would create an independent Palestinian state. But in recent months, particularly after the upheaval in Arab countries that ousted longtime U.S. ally and key peace partner Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt, his activity had slowed markedly.
Nimer Hamad, a senior adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told the AP that Mitchell's job had been made more difficult by Israeli intransigence.
"Mitchell hasn't been in the region in three months," Hamad said. "Whether he resigns or not, it's clear that Mitchell wasn't in the region because he didn't see the possibility of being a mediator between two sides where one of them is not responsive."
Israeli officials declined to comment until the official announcement is made.
I want to end the diary on a positive note for Peace this week.
80 leading Jewish and Muslim leaders from across Ukraine and Russia met in Kiev
on Thursday May 12, pledging to work together to fight a rising cascade of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the two countries.
In the first-ever “Muslims and Jews United Against Hatred and Extremism" conference held in the Ukrainian capital, community leaders from both countries heard chilling accounts of discrimination and abuse.
Conference participants spoke of the beating and harassment of Muslims and Jews in the two former Soviet republics, desecration of Muslim and Jewish cemeteries and bombings as well as other attacks on communal institutions of the two faiths.
The leaders pledged to work together to combat forces of extremism and hate and to put pressure on their local authorities to take a more assertive stand in fighting perpetrators of Islamophobic and anti-Semitic attacks.
This is truly hopeful news and these kinds of meetings and get togethers are what leads to Peace between people.
Shabbat Shalom, Peace, Salam, and please enjoy the diary.