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O.I.L. Media Roundup (6 January)

[Gaza -- Graffiti on the Separation Wall in Palestine. Image by ISM Palestine. From Wikimedia Commons.] [Gaza -- Graffiti on the Separation Wall in Palestine. Image by ISM Palestine. From Wikimedia Commons.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention, and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to by Monday night of every other week]


"Israel Approves Another 1,200 Settlements Around Jerusalem", Peter Beaumont
In what constitutes the latest in a larger wave of nearly 5,500 proposed settlement units, Israel has approved the development of 1,200 settlement units around Jerusalem.  This expansion, the "largest in recent memory', comes in the wake of the UN's vote to upgrade the Palestinian Authority to observer status and pressure on the Netanyahu government from the Israeli right to abandon efforts towards a two-state solution.

"High Court Rejects Challenge Over UK Link to Drone Strikes in Pakistan", Owen Bowcott
A British court has rejected the arguments of Noor Khan, a Pakistani whose father was killed in a US drone strike.  Khan and his counsel had argued the British government's signal intelligence center should be prevented from sharing targeting intelligence with the CIA.  Khan and his counsel had argued allowing British officials to assist the CIA would put British officials at risk of being secondary parties to murder under British law. 

"Central Elections Committee Disqualifies MK Haneen Zoabi From Running in the Upcoming Israeli Elections", Adalah
Israel's Central Elections Committee has approved a motion disqualifying Haneen Zoabi, an Arab member of the Knesset from running in the upcoming elections.  Zoabi's lawyer has argued she is being disqualified "on the basis of ideas", particularly Zoabi's being a passenger on the Mavi Marmara flotilla, rather than her "rich record in the Knesset".

"Israel, in Shift, Lets Building Materials Cross Into Gaza", Isabel Kershner
The New York Times reports that as a result of talks in Cairo between Egypt and Israel over the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, Israel has agreed to allow 20 truckloads of construction material into Gaza, the first loosening of restrictions on goods entering Gaza in five years.

"When U.S. Drones Kill Civilians, Yemen's Government Tries to Conceal it", Sudarsan Raghavan
The Washington Post reports on both the inherent difficulties in determining which casualties of drone strikes in Yemen are civilians in addition to the outrage and anti-West sentiment often provoked by said strikes. 

"Jailed Qatari Poet to Appeal Life Sentence", David Poort
Muhammad al-Ajami, a Qatari poet incarcerated in 2011 after being found guilty of calling for the overthrow of the government; while Qatar's Court of Appeal has denied requests that al-Ajami be released on bail, al-Ajami's lawyer has expressed hopes that his client will receive a fair trial from a "truly independent" court.

"Acting C.I.A. Chief Critical of Film 'Zero Dark Thirty'", Scott Shane
Michael J. Morrell, the acting director of the C.I.A., has criticized a recent film about the search for the whereabouts of and targeted killing of Osama bin Laden, arguing that it inaccurately portrays "coercive interrogations" as producing intelligence leading to knowledge of bin Laden's whereabouts. 


"Appellant’s Reply Brief Filed in Al-Nashiri v. MacDonald", Wells Bennett
Lawfare discusses the reply brief filed by lawyers for Abd Al Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri, a Guantanamo defendant who, though his complaints have been dismissed by district judges, alleges he was tried under a military tribunal for "crimes that did not occur on a battlefield in wartime".  Al-Nashiri's lawyers allege that in trying him in this manner, federal employees may have violated the U.S. Constitution.

"Free Expression and An Elusive Middle Ground: Part One", Faisal Kutty
Responding to a British court's conviction of a teenager for a Facebook status update "celebrating" the deaths of soldiers in Afghanistan on the grounds that such speech constituted a "threat", Kutty argues in Jurist for broader understanding regarding what constitutes free speech both in the Western and Muslim world, and for the formulation of a "new consensus" on "acceptable speech" in an international community.

"What It Means For Gravel to Enter Gaza", Emily L. Hauser
Hauser explains the significance of allowing gravel and other construction materials to enter Gaza for the use of private industry, arguing that while such products may seem insignificant at face value, they are crucial to the rebuilding of Gaza's "war-shattered" economy and infrastructure.

"Nakba Revisited: Tragedy of Syria's Palestinians and Centrality of Right of Return", Ramzy Baroud
Baroud writes of Palestinian refugees caught in the "regional power play" of the present Syian conflict, bemoaning that their plight, along with the broader issue of the Right of Return, remains a "side issue" to other political humanitarian crises in the Middle East.  "The Right of Return", Baroud writes, "deserves to be treated as an extremely important political priority with an equally pressing humanitarian dimension".

"Since When Is the Left Embracing Chuck Hagel, a Nationalist, Establishment Figure?", Alex Kane
Noting that Mondoweiss, the site he writes for, has defended Chuck Hagel from smears that he is an "anti-Semite", Kane points to the writings of Charles Davis and Jadaliyya's own Max Ajl, both whom argue that Hagel's nomination is ultimately symbol, and unlikely to radically alter U.S. policy towards Israel or Iran.

"Why the Self-Defense Doctrine Doesn't Legitimize Israel's Assault on Gaza", James Marc Leas
Writing for Counterpunch, Leas examines both the history of Israel arguing it has the right to self-defense in attacking the Gaza Strip--and the history of a number of legal institutions rejecting this very argument.  That Israel was able to attack Gaza with the political support of the United States nonetheless, Leas writes, is endemic of a "system of immunity and impunity" enjoyed by the Israeli military that is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians.


"Afghan 'Roadmap to Peace--A Dead End for Human Rights?", Rachel Reid
Reid writes for Foreign Policy's Af-Pak Channel that a recent Afghan "roadmap" for peace reportedly accepted by Pakistan may do little to guarantee a deal with the Taliban would not "erode women's rights and human rights and general"--indeed, Reid notes a leaked document relating to the roadmap makes very little mention of women's rights under Afghan law. 

"How The New York Times Erases Israel's Crimes", Robert Ross
A post for Electronic Intifada examines a New York Times piece examining the reasons for Gaza's poverty, criticizing its failure to mention Operation Cast Lead, the most recent Israeli assault on Gaza, and its implicit suggestion that the siege of Gaza is the responsibility of Hamas.   

"Zionism, Anti-Semitism and Colonialism", Joseph Massad
"[A]nti-Semitism in Israeli discourse," Massad writes, "is and has been nothing short of camouflage for the continuation of Jewish colonization of Palestine", a pattern of discourse present in the earliest Zionists settling Palestinian territory as well as present Israeli pronouncements regarding Iran.

"Will Obama End the War on Terror?", Daniel Klaidman
Klaidman writes for Newsweek that the film Zero Dark Thirty, the debate it has raised about enhanced interrogation aside, raises an important issue in implicitly questioning "when and how" the war on terror "will finally draw to a close", discussing Jeh Johnson's recent speech regarding an endgame to the war on terror as endemic of the difficulties of charting the end to such a war and the political difficulties of challenging the notion of war as the appropriate framework for counterterrorism.


"The Gaza Cheat Sheet", Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement
Gisha provides a document explaining the economic consequences of Israel's closure of the Gaza Strip, details on the precise nature of the closure, and Gisha's own position that Israel is required under international law to "facilitate normal life" in the strip by allowing broader access to the strip.   


"Joint International Humanitarian Law Forum"; 7 January 2013; IDC Herzliya; Register here.

"International Humanitarian Law Student Writing Competition"; 31 January 2013; American University Washington College of Law, Washington D.C.; Sign up here.

On Jadaliyya

"Ongoing Ethnic Cleansing: Israeli Settlers to Take Over Another Palestinian Home", Bassam Haddad and Noura Erakat

"Why Chuck Hagel Is Irrelevant", Max Ajl

"Honoring Solidarity During Contentious Debates. . . A Letter to DAM From Lila Abu-Lughod and Maya Mikdashi", Lila Abu Lughod and Maya Mikdashi

"قطر والفلسطينيون", Mouin Rabbani

"DAM Responds: On Tradition and the Anti-Politics of the Machine", Tamer Nafar, Suhell Nafar, and Mahmood Jrery (DAM)

"Extreme Makeover? (II): The Withering of Arab Jerusalem", Jadaliyya Reports

"Extreme Makeover? (I): Israel's Politics of Land and Faith in East Jerusalem", Jadaliyya Reports

"New Texts Out Now: Amahl Bishara, Back Stories: US News Production and Palestinian Politics", Amahl Bishara

"DAM Explores the Unmapped in Their New Album "Dabke on the Moon"", Christina Nesheiwat

"UC Berkeley's New Chancellor Endorses the Falsehood: Criticizing Israel is Anti-Semitic", Jadaliyya Reports

"Bedouin Resolution: Standing Firm in the Jerusalem Periphery", Tanyah Habjouqa and Francesca Albanese

"A Faraway Neighbor", Jihad Abaza

"The Politics of Killing Women in Colonized Contexts", Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian and Suhad Daher-Nashif

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