Hamas is ready to talk: "While Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert is busily courting Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas as a 'partner for peace', successive voices continue to speak out against efforts to sideline the democratically elected Hamas government. As the Britain's Commons foreign affairs committee concluded on Monday, this strategy is counterproductive and doomed to fail, for the simple reason that the support of the Palestinian people is unmistakably lacking. Abbas's party does not democratically represent the Palestinians, yet what is in effect now a dictatorship in the West Bank is being welcomed by Israel and its western allies. The duplicity of this situation is shameful. Israel and its allies were quick to dismiss Hamas and the national unity governments and isolate both, and are now equally as quick to welcome an illegally formed self-proclaimed government for the Palestinians. Is this democracy? While Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert is busily courting…
Al Jazeera English - News - The Cd Turns 25: "Twenty-five years ago the first compact discs rolled of the production presses at the Philips factory near Hannover in Germany. Since then more than 200 billion CDs have been sold worldwide after pushing out vinyl records and then cassettes as the format of choice for listening to music. Those early CDs also paved the way for other digital discs, like the DVD and CD-Rom, which became ubiquitous in the computer and and movie industries. 'In the late seventies and early eighties we never imagined that one day, the computing and entertainment industries would also opt for the digital CD to store the growing volume of data for computer programmes and movies,' Pieter Kramer, one of the Philips engineers who developed the CD, said."
Time for 'benign neglect' in Mideast? | The San Diego Union-Tribune Has anybody considered the possibility that America's preoccupation with the Arab-Israeli conflict – motivated by the commitment to Israel and the need to appease the Arab oil-producing states – may be doing more harm than good? By pursuing the illusion that the United States has the power and moral authority to broker a “peace” in the Middle East, Washington has created unrealistic expectations that cannot be fulfilled. Meanwhile, America's repeated failures as an “honest broker” ends up producing an anti-American backlash, which creates even more pressure on Washington to “do something” or else.
In 2006 Lebanon War, Most Crimes Were Israeli - by Jonathan Cook: "Recent reports have revealed that one of the main justifications for Hezbollah's continuing resistance – that Israel failed to withdraw fully from Lebanese territory in 2000 – is now supported by the UN. Last month its cartographers quietly admitted that Lebanon is right in claiming sovereignty over a small fertile area known as the Shebaa Farms, still occupied by Israel. Israel argues that the territory is Syrian and will be returned in future peace talks with Damascus, even though Syria backs Lebanon's position. The UN's admission has been mostly ignored by the international media."
Settlers Anchoring Into West Bank - by Nora Barrows-Friedman: "BETHLEHEM - Israeli forces began Wednesday to bulldoze hundreds of trees on land owned by a Catholic convent near the city of Beit Jala near Bethlehem. This section of forest is being razed, according to Israeli plans, to complete a section of the separation wall, which continues to carve the West Bank into pieces. Near the convent, the Israeli settlement colonies of Gilo and Har Gilo, behind the wall on Palestinian lands, continue to expand over the rocky hillsides. When this section of the wall is completed, several villages will be separated from each other and the greater Bethlehem area. But this is not an isolated incident these days in the West Bank."