Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Politics – September 2007

Law is mainly concerned with the security of rights. It is conducive to liberty and security of the person. The dangers of law lie in its inflexibility, rigidity and stagnation.

Great people are those who make great effort to achieve innovative ideas against great opposition and great forces, and succeed in the shaping of history.

Coming to Washington may be likened to coming to Rome during the Roman Empire.

Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Minister of Justice Daniel Freedman continues to capture the headlines. Never a dull moment with him. The media are unable to ridicule him, as much as they try. Freedman, Israel Prize Laureate in Law, is far too clever to fall for their easily-discernable traps.

Freedman is an articulate, thinking scholar, who has a clear agenda: weakening the Supreme Court that, in his eyes, assumed too much power. In his attempts to weaken the Court, he aims to transfer power and responsibility to the elected Knesset. He also wishes to change the composition of the Supreme Court by bringing to its ranks lawyers from the private sector, and diffusing power well outside Jerusalem. Some of his ideas are certainly refreshing. The danger lies in allowing politicians to intrude far too much in legal matters. Not that I believe separation of power is absolute. Montesquieu also did not believe in that.

I fully recognize that separation of powers is unsuitable for Israel, or for any democracy for that matter. But I would not trust the Knesset to protect vital human and civic rights better than the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, in all its young history the Knesset did not provide too much ground to base such a belief.

While in Israel I spoke with several former justices of the Supreme Court. They were all concerned. It is most unfortunate that one of the arch enemies of Dorit Beinish became Minister of Justice. Certainly, his actions are not devoid of personal vendetta aimed against the woman who stopped Freedman's close friend, Nili Cohen, from becoming justice of the Court. They fear the rivalry would harm not only the Supreme Court but the entire justice system. They cherish the Supreme Court's ability to preserve and protect basic human rights from transgressions motivated by narrow, partisan interests of politicians who think more about their election prospects than about the basic rights of minorities. After all, Israel still does not have a full-fledged constitution nor a Bill of Rights. They wish to preserve the delicate balance between the Court and the Knesset. Freedman is rocking the boat far too hard. One justice likened him to an elephant in a china shop.

Olmert has survived another month in office. Another month of being prime minister, the worst in Israel's history. I just hope he will complete his term without driving Israel to yet another needless war.

The Education Ministry recently signed a revolutionary agreement with the Teachers' Union to change the quality of elementary school education. Shmuel Abuhav, the Director General of the Ministry, however, resigned. Olmert is still around, stealing time before the Winograd Committee will say its words and issue its final judgment about Olmert's war conduct. What is obvious for all is not obvious to our prime minister, who is still hoping to continue "serving" in office. He does not serve his people; only himself.

Rocket Attack on Military Camp
§ The Terrorism Index
§ Air Strike on Syria
§ The Fence
§ Palestinian Refugees
§ Israel’s GDP up 6.6% in the first half of 2007
§ Israel Ranks 21st in World Competitiveness
§ Ecology
British Boycott
World's Press Concerned Over Media Harassment in Palestinian Territories
Schusterman VISITING ISRAELI PROFESSORS in the United States
Justice Initiative FELLOWS PROGRAM at Central European University (2008 –2010 session)2008-09 FELLOWSHIPS in INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
§ The 2007 Democracy Awards
§ "TRANSPARENCY & SILENCE" Now available in Spanish
§ New Books
§ New Articles
§ Haktuba
Amazing Grace
Personal News

Rocket Attack on Military Camp

Just before 2 a .m. on the morning of September 11 a rocket was launched from the region of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. It fell in the center of the basic training camp of Zikim, injuring 50 soldiers (four critically, seven moderately, and 39 slightly).

Responsibility for the attack was jointly claimed by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, which also separately issued announcements claiming responsibility. According to the announcements, two rockets were fired (one by each group) at “Occupied Majdal [the Palestinian name for the Israeli city of Ashqelon ].” Only one rocket hit was identified, in the center of the basic training camp at Zikim. When claiming responsibility the organizations stressed that the “option of resistance” [i.e., continued terrorism and violence] was the best option and the only one capable of restoring Palestinian rights and liberating the holy places. They also warned Israel “not to do anything stupid,” otherwise the response would be worse.

Abu Mujahed, a PRC spokesman, said that the rocket had hit an Israeli military base and that all the wounded were soldiers. He said it sent a clear message to “anyone who wants to enter the Gaza Strip.” He also said that the rocket had been timed for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as “a good beginning for the month of victories” (BBC Radio, September 11). Hamas' main Website, Palestine-info, said that “Israel is in shock” and called the event “an impressive action” in the Gaza Strip. Residents of the Gaza Strip were reported to have expressed joy at the number of wounded IDF soldiers.

Fearing escalation, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, currently refrains from direct participation in the rocket fire into Israel. The organization's terrorist operative wing contents itself with firing mortar shells at the crossings and area of the border security fence. However, Hamas allows and even encourages the terrorist organizations operating under its aegis to fire rockets, and senior Hamas activists and the media controlled by Hamas glorify the rocket fire (despite the fact that the Israeli and Palestinian media repeatedly express apprehension at a broad IDF military action in the Gaza Strip).

Source: Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (September 11, 2007).

The Terrorism Index

The Terrorism Index is the only comprehensive, non-partisan effort to mine the highest echelons of the nation’s foreign-policy establishment for its assessment of how the United States is fighting the war on terror. These experts hardly march in lockstep, but according to a growing majority, the “surge” is failing, the world is becoming more dangerous, and victory in the war on terror may be slipping away.

Complete report available at: www.ForeignPolicy.com/terrorismindex
Is the Surge Failing?

The Bush administration is gearing up to deliver its assessment of the so-called troop surge in Iraq. But a majority of our experts already say it is backfiring.

Will the Enemy Follow Us Home?
The White House warns that if the troops head back to the United States, the terrorists will soon follow. But most of the experts surveyed say that isn’t so.

Pakistan: The Perfect Nightmare?
U.S. intelligence agencies report that al Qaeda is gaining strength in rural Pakistan. What’s worse is that a majority of the experts rate Pakistan as the country mostly likely to transfer nuclear weapons to terrorists.

The Next Front
Which of Iraq’s neighbors are most likely to experience spillover violence?

The Politicians vs. the Experts
How does the rhetoric of the U.S. presidential candidates match up to the opinions of the
country’s most respected international affairs experts? Here’s a side-by-side comparison.

With Friends Like These
Which U.S. ally is more foe than friend?

Want to Know More?
For complete results, a list of index participants, and details of the methodology used in the survey, visit ForeignPolicy.com/terrorismindex and AmericanProgress.org.

Air Strike on Syria

On September 6, 2007, the Israeli Air Force attacked designated targets in Syria. According to the foreign press reports, the target of the IAF raid was a Syrian nuclear installation that was constructed in the northeastern corner of the country, with North Korean assistance.

The Sunday Times quoted an Israeli source on September 16, 2007 as saying that Syria had been planning a "devastating surprise" for Israel, in the wake of reports that the Israel Air Force carried out an air strike against a North Korean nuclear shipment to Syria. The paper quoted Israeli sources as saying that planning for the strike began shortly after Meir Dagan, chief of the Mossad intelligence agency, presented Prime Minister Olmert in late spring with evidence that Syria was seeking to buy a nuclear device from North Korea. Dagan apparently feared such a device could eventually be installed on North-Korean-made Scud-C missiles, the paper reported.

"This was supposed to be a devastating Syrian surprise for Israel," the Sunday Times quoted an Israeli source as saying. "We've known for a long time that Syria has deadly chemical warheads on its Scuds, but Israel can't live with a nuclear warhead."
South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on September 16, 2007 that a senior North Korean official denied a Washington Post report that Pyongyang was giving nuclear expertise to Syria. The report suggested intelligence including satellite images revealed a facility in Syria which may be used to build nuclear warheads.

According to the Times report, an IAF commando team that had arrived on the ground days earlier directed laser beams at the target for the jets.
One might have expected that Syria would hype the story, complaining against the unjustified Israeli aggression. This was not the case. Syria tried to downplay and silence the story. Syria's ambassador to Washington over the weekend denied foreign media reports that an Israel Air Force strike on his country on September 6 targeted a nuclear project being undertaken with the cooperation of North Korea. In an interview to Newsweek, Imad Moustapha called the reports "absolutely, totally, fundamentally ridiculous and untrue." "There are no nuclear North Korean-Syrian facilities whatsoever in Syria," Moustapha said.
On September 15, The Washington Post published an article saying the IAF strike was aimed at a shipment that had arrived in Syria aboard a North Korean vessel three days earlier, and may have included equipment and materials related to nuclear technology.

Israeli "experts" and commentators hastily spoke about re-establishing Israeli deterrence. The newspapers covered the story with a sense of patriotic pride. I see the story differently. For me, this news is distressing, giving Israel no cause to rejoice.

The possession of nuclear weapons by the US, Russia, France, the UK, North Korea and China has encouraged the further proliferation of nuclear technology and materials. Nuclear diffusion into the Middle East is a fact. It is already taking place. Sooner or later, one of Israel's enemies will possess nuclear capacity. Israel may try to destroy the facilities but it would be very optimistic to think Israel is capable of launching successful attacks on all the facilities. This "seek-and-destroy" policy is too big for Israel. As Israel's enemies are not united, one can imagine that other states will follow suit. Soon enough, the ME will be dotted with nuclear instalments. Israel cannot continue attacking its neighbours, those who are near as well as those that are further away. Israeli defensive strikes are not and cannot be the solution. Instead, what is needed is a UN mobilized campaign to halt the process, the sooner the better. The world at large should realize that nuclear weapons in the hands of ME authoritarian states is not merely Israel's problem. Israel would be the first to suffer, but there will be unavoidable bloody spill-over to Asia, Europe and North America. The world cannot afford Syria, Iran or al-Qaeda having such ominous destructive capacity.

I fully realize that this leadership role is very compelling. But Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cannot turn a blind eye. His greatest challenge is to work for de-proliferation of nuclear technology and materials in the region.
African countries can be his greatest allies in this campaign, as most of them are not directly involved in this nuclear surge, and could lose a great deal from the world turning its back to Africa, as there would be more pressing issues to address.

The Fence

On September 4, 2007 the High Court of Justice ordered the government to reroute a section of its separation barrier that had split a West Bank village from much of its farmland.

The following day, the New York Times commented that although this is not the first time that Israel’s High Court has ruled in the Palestinians’ favor in a case about the barrier, this case has taken on a special significance as a symbol of popular resistance to construction of the barrier. In the past two and a half years, residents of the village, Bilin, and a band of Israeli far-leftists and foreign supporters have held weekly demonstrations in the fields and groves along the barrier route, often ending in confrontations with Israeli forces.

The panel of three judges ruled unanimously that a mile-long section of the barrier should be redrawn and rebuilt in a “reasonable period of time.” Chief Justice Dorit Beinish wrote in the ruling, “We were not convinced that it is necessary for security-military reasons to retain the current route that passes on Bilin’s lands.”

The Defense Ministry, which oversees the planning and construction of the barrier, said it would “study the ruling and respect it.”

I repeat what I have written often times before: The route of the fence is unjust. It infringes Palestinian land, insensitive to their needs and livelihood. Much too often, the designers of the fence paid little attention to basic interests of villages. The fence should be rerouted.

About two years ago, the local council leader of Bilin, Ahmed Issa Abdullah Yassin, hired a prominent Israeli human rights lawyer, Michael Sfard, to petition the High Court on his behalf. Mr. Sfard said the fence put about 500 acres of the village’s agricultural lands on the side under full Israeli control. The villagers had only limited access, through a gate in the fence which the Israeli Army opened and closed.

The government contended that the current barrier route was necessary to protect the residents of a nearby Jewish settlement, Modiin Illit. But the barrier lies more than a mile east of the last houses of the settlement, the court ruling said; its route had taken the planned expansion of the settlement into account, encompassing an area where a new Jewish neighborhood, Mattityahu East B, was meant to go up.

The ruling stipulates that in rerouting the Bilin section of the barrier, Israeli plans for Mattityahu East B should not be a consideration, meaning that the area is likely to end up on the villagers’ side. In the assessment of Mr. Sfard, the lawyer, the ruling will translate into the return of at least 250 acres of farmland to the villagers’ side.

“Today it becomes completely clear that the route was determined by nonsecurity considerations with the goal of expanding the settlement of Modiin Illit as much as possible,” Mr. Sfard told Israel Radio. “The High Court invalidated this criterion.”

The High Court has often avoided domestically contentious issues, like the legality of the settlements, but when it comes to the barrier, which enjoys broad support among the Israeli public, it has often gone against the defense establishment.

In a landmark judgment in 2004, a week before The Hague ruling was announced, the High Court ordered the state to bring a 25-mile section of the barrier in the West Bank hills northeast of Jerusalem closer to the 1967 boundary, on grounds that the original route caused disproportionate harm to the rights of Palestinian villagers in the area.

But the Israeli court has upheld the principle of building the barrier in West Bank territory given convincing security reasons, and rules on a case-by-case basis. Last Wednesday, the High Court rejected a petition by Palestinian villagers against the barrier route near the Alfei Menashe Jewish settlement. The Palestinians had wanted the barrier moved closer to the 1967 boundary, and away from their homes.

The same day, the court rejected a petition by Alfei Menashe residents who had wanted the barrier moved farther from their settlement, into the West Bank land.

Palestinian Refugees

People of experience are worthy of our attention. On September 18, Akiva Elder published in Haaretz an article titled “A simmering sense of no way out” in which he interviewed Karen Koning-Abu Zayd who for more than 25 years has been working with refugees. Koning-Abu Zayd, commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), arrived in the Middle East seven years ago between the euphoric days of the summit at Camp David and the first days of the second so-called intifada. For five years, she acted as deputy commissioner for Palestinian refugees, and since the summer of 2005 has been in charge of the office of the organization that serves 4.4 million Palestinians and employs 25,000 workers, most of them Palestinian refugees.

In Jordan there are 10 refugee camps with 316,000 refugees. The total no. of refugees in Jordan is 1.83 million.

In Lebanon there are 12 refugee camps with 214,000 refugees. The total no. of refugees in Lebanon is 405,000.

In Syria there are 10 refugee camps with 116,000 refugees. The total no. of refugees in Syria is 434,000.

In the West Bank there are 19 refugee camps with 185,000 refugees. The total no. of refugees in the West Bank is 705,000.

In the Gaza Strip there are 8 refugee camps with 474,000 refugees. The total no. of refugees in the Gaza Strip is 993,000.
"Gaza continues calm on the surface, but simmering beneath, with periodic eruptions signaling underlying tensions. Businessmen and unemployed workers grow increasingly pessimistic and anxious about their future, their livelihoods, their children. They are beginning to worry about how long the rift between Gaza and the West Bank might last and with what further consequences," observes Koning-Abu Zayd.
"What I would say, and I say it reluctantly, sadly, perhaps, is that there do seem to be more and more people losing hope for the future... I think when I first came, of course I came during the glory days of Camp David at that time, and we were hopeful then, and then the intifada started and then things got worse, but people were always saying to me then, after the intifada started, 'I may not see a Palestinian state in my lifetime, but my children will.'”

· You believe that Abu Mazen will come back from the summit in November with a document, and he will go to Gaza. Do you think that the people of Gaza will support him?

· "I really can't speak for the people of Gaza so much, but I'm always referring back to the statistics, which may be changing somewhat. Basically support, even in Gaza, is 30 percent Hamas, 30 percent Fatah, and 40 percent independent. So where are these 40 percent going to come down? I think that's where the change is coming. You're getting more and more people who declare themselves pragmatists, as you call those who can offer something to the people."

Will refugees support a Palestinian government that relinquishes the right of return? "Before everything else, at the very least, the right of return must be acknowledged. That it is their right. They may make another choice but they have the right to return. That's very important to Gazans."

Do you identify a desire, on the part of refugees in neighboring Arab states, to move to the Palestinian state that would be established in the territories?
"I think a lot of them still have that dream, and a lot of them still have land in the West Bank. So they would have somewhere to come. They will have a very difficult choice. They've made their lives there fairly comfortable."

· You say that refugees should have the right to choose where they go, but Israel has already decided for them that they will not come to Israel.
"I think that it's very difficult to begin discussing with refugees that they don't have that part of the choice to return to their homes, which is so important to them. But then there are other choices, either to stay where they are, or to come to a Palestinian state once that's agreed upon, as a viable state, and the other choice is going to a third country, which has been mooted before for, perhaps, those in Lebanon, for example.
"The Lebanese government has been making quite an effort to improve the living conditions, working together with us to improve conditions in the camps and try to open up some of the occupations that had been closed to them in past."

Israel’s GDP up 6.6% in the first half of 2007

Israel's gross domestic product expanded by an annualized 6.6% in the first half of 2007, reported the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), following a 3.4% rise in the previous half and a 6.0% rise in the first half of 2006. GDP is now at an all-time high of NIS 660 billion ($147 billion), and GDP per capita is NIS 92,338, or $21,500.

Israel Ranks 21st in World Competitiveness

Switzerland’s International Institute of Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook ranks Israel 21st out of 55 countries in economic competitiveness, up three places from 2006. Israel ranked sixth in proportion of direct foreign investment to GDP, 14th for infrastructure development and 20th for economic strength. Israel climbed 20 places to 25th in international investment but dropped two places to 33rd in economic efficiency.


There are stark differences between the European and the American attitudes to environmental problems. Here, in the US, it seems ecology is a non-issue. Cars run only on gasoline. There are not even diesel pumps available in gas stations. There is one garbage bin for all kind of rubbish. In this affluent society, in almost all houses of the middle class and upper you will find a dishwasher, washing machine, dryer and other electric devices that make life easier and contaminate the environment. No questions asked. No one addresses the issue of the price humanity pays for this lavish style of life. In this respect, the world's leader exhibits very little leadership. United States believes in LIVE TODAY! in capital letters and exclamation mark. Americans are complacent and care-free in their behaviour. They are worried about hurricanes but they don't believe they themselves should change something in their personal conduct to avert ecological consequences of the way they live. Without US in this global effort for better environment, we all end up losers.

British Boycott

Sue Blackwell and her colleagues continue their boycott activities. Some of them are driven by sympathy for the Palestinian under occupation. Some others are for the underdog. Still others are driven by anti-Semitism and/or anti-Zionism. Quite a few are simply good-hearted ignorant people who believe that boycotting Israeli academia would somehow serve the anti-occupation campaign. The struggle over free speech and academic freedom continues.

I recommend reading Shalom Lappin’s thoughtful article at

Lappin is Professor of Computational Linguistics at King'sCollege, London.

World's Press Concerned Over Media Harassment in Palestinian Territories

The World Association of Newspapers has condemned the increasing harassment of journalists in the Palestinian Territories stemming from the conflict between the Fatah and Hamas factions.
"We are concerned by numerous incidents of harassment of journalists since the split of the Palestinian Territories between Hamas and Fatah in June," the Paris-based WAN said in a statement released today. "We condemn the deterioration of working conditions for Palestinian journalists and call on both sides to do everything possible to ensure that journalists are free to carry out their work without fear of intimidation or violence."
Dozens of journalists staged a sit-in in Gaza during the week-end to protest against pressure on the media by the Hamas movement, which wrested control of the Gaza Strip in mid-June from pro-Fatah security forces.
The protest took place after Hamas forces briefly detained four journalists. Hamas subsequently announced that it had the "right" to conduct raids against media and would enforce a 1995 press law that imposes jail sentences for publishing certain information about police and security forces or information that would "endanger" national unity.
At the same time, pro-Hamas journalists have been harassed and threatened in the West Bank, which is controlled by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, according to reports.
Foreign correspondents operating in the Palestinian Territories also face security issues, particularly the threat of kidnapping.
The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000 newspapers; its membership includes 76 national newspaper associations, newspaper companies and individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and 10 regional and world-wide press groups.

Schusterman Visiting Israel Professors in the United States

The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), a nonprofit organization, is now accepting applications from Israeli faculty interested in being considered as Schusterman Visiting Israel Professors in the United States for the 2008-09 academic year. AICE will select at least 20 major American universities to receive grants to appoint a visitor. Each university will receive $50,000 toward the salary and benefits of the Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor and up to $10,000 to reimburse the scholar's travel expenses. The aim of the program is to present American students with a broad understanding of Israel's history, society, politics, culture, and relations with its neighbors and the broader international community. For further information, please contact: mailto:mgbard@aol.com..


Are you interested in promoting democracy and human rights in the Middle East? Freedom House, http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=1, is looking to expand its International Solidarity Committee for its project, "A New Generation: Advocating for Political Reform in the Middle East and North Africa".The International Solidarity Committee, http://cupe.on.ca/doc.php?subject_id=29&lang=en, supports young civil society leaders as they work to promote democracy, human rights and an independent media in the region. As a member of this committee, you would speak out on behalf of individuals who are silenced in their effort to advance democracy in their countries; lend your support to young democracy advocates by signing targeted letters or op-eds; and pair up with a democracy advocate from the Middle East or North Africa who has been screened by Freedom House.
Freedom House is targeting individuals who are well connected politically or in their fields, especially in the areas of judicial reform, press freedom and women's rights.
If you have further questions or would like to join the committee, contact programme officer Reem Sweiss at: +1 (202) 747-7040, or email:sweiss@freedomhouse.org

Justice Initiative Fellows Program at Central European University (2008 –2010 session)


The Open Society Justice Initiative, an operational program of the Open Society Institute (OSI), joins with Central European University (CEU) to announce the Justice Initiative Fellows Program for 2008-2010. The aim of the program is to support and further develop a network of lawyers and activists working internationally on human rights-related issues. Since its inception in 1996, 155 fellows have graduated from the Justice Initiative’s Fellowship program.
The Justice Initiative Fellows Program is a two-year program of study and practical work experience. Up to ten applicants will be selected to participate in the 2008 program. Applicants from the following regions and countries are eligible: Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Central/South America.

Applicants must be nominated by a non-governmental organization concerned with human rights. The first year is spent at Central European University, the second in the applicant’s home country, working with the nominating NGO.

The applicant must demonstrate a strong commitment to human rights, and have a university degree and a high degree of proficiency in English. Criteria for selection will include the applicant’s experience, his/her potential to contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights, and the suitability of the applicant's proposed role in the nominating NGO. Upon selection, Fellows will be required to sign an agreement with the Justice Initiative committing themselves to the program for two years.
The Justice Initiative Fellows will reside for one year in Hungary, at the CEU Legal Studies Department. They will undertake a degree program (M.A. or LL.M. in Human Rights, depending on their undergraduate degree), in which they must fulfill the requirements of the Human Rights Program at Central European University. During their stay at CEU, the Fellows will also be placed in a three-month internship with leading NGOs in Europe from January until March. During the first year of the program the Justice Initiative Fellowship will be administered by CEU Legal Studies Department in partnership with the Justice Initiative. The financial conditions will be identical to CEU policies for full scholarship students.

The Justice Initiative Fellows will return to their nominating NGOs after the first year, where they will spend at least one year working in human rights advocacy on a non-profit basis: providing legal services, undertaking human rights litigation, providing training and education, etc. The Justice Initiative will pay a local salary during this second year equal to an amount determined to be similar to equivalent work by the nominating NGO. This amount will be provided to the nominating NGOs in the form of a grant.

Application Procedure
Please note that the applicant must mail his/her application to the CEU

Admissions Office 1051 Budapest, Nador u.9, Hungary. The applicant must meet the general CEU Admissions requirements, which can be viewed online http://www.ceu.hu/admissions.html), as well as the CEU Legal Studies

Department requirements (http://www.ceu.hu/legal/admissions.html. In addition, applicants must include with their application:1. A nominating letter from an NGO describing the reasons for nominating the applicant, the expectations the NGO has of the project, and contractually committing (to the Justice Initiative) to hire the applicant for at least one year after s/he returns from the twelve-month training program in Hungary. The nomination letter should also indicate a monthly salary gross rate in USD (including all taxes and fees) that will be offered to the applicant by the NGO in the event that s/he is selected for the program (provided to the NGO by the Justice Initiative in the form of a grant.

2. A copy of the applicant’s Bar Association membership (if applicable), or the date scheduled for examination.
3. Proof of English proficiency: Candidates living outside of the testing region are required to submit official score reports (See CEU recognized Language exams and score required http://www.ceu.hu/admissions_apply.html ). For applicants from the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe, language tests as well as Legal Reasoning Test and Department essays will be carried out by local Soros Foundation/Open Society Institute coordinators on March 1, 2008. For candidates outside this region the Admission exam will be carried out via e mail on March 1st followed by interviews administered at a later date. (See also http://www.ceu.hu/legal/admissions.html).4. A statement of purpose for applying to the Justice Initiative Fellows program.
5. A proposal of project activities that the candidate plans to work on with the nominating NGO during the second year of the fellowship.
The DEADLINE for receiving applications at CEU is January 15, 2008.
If you have questions regarding the first year of the program, please contact:
Minna Johanna Vainio

Special Programs Coordinator, Legal Studies Department, Central European University, NĂ¡dor u. 9, Budapest 1051, Tel: 361 327 3205, e-mail:Vainiom@ceu.hu, web: http://www.ceu.hu/legal
For more information about the overall program and the second year commitment, please contact:
Anna Fischer
Fellows Program Coordinator at Justice Initiative, Oktober 6. u. 12, Budapest 1051, Tel: 361 327 3108; fax: 361 327 3103; e-mail: afischer@osi.hu, web: http://www.justiceinitiative.org/

Central European University
Department of Legal Studies
CEU Budapest
For more information about this program please visit http://www.justiceinitiative.org/ and http://www.ceu.hu/legal/osji_prog.html.
The URL for this page is: http://www.justiceinitiative.org/db/resource2?res_id=103823.


Human Rights Watch invites recent graduates from law, journalism, international relations or area studies, and those with comparable relevant work experience, to apply for its 2008/2009 fellowship programme.
Fellows work full-time for one year with Human Rights Watch in New York, Washington, D.C., or London. They monitor human rights developments in various countries, conduct on-site investigations, draft reports on human rights conditions and engage in advocacy aimed at publicising and limiting human rights violations.
Applicants must have exceptional analytical skills, an ability to write and speak clearly, and a commitment to work in the human rights field in the future. Proficiency in one language in addition to English is strongly desired. Familiarity with countries or regions where serious human rights violations occur is also valued.Fellowships begin in September 2008 and are open to graduates with relevant degrees received after January 2005 and before August 2008. The salary for 2007-08 is $47,000 plus benefits. The salary for 2008-09 is currently under review.The deadline for applications is 5 October 2007.
For more information, call the fellowship hotline at: +1 (212) 290-4700x312, or visit: https://exfs.adir.hull.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.hrw.org/about/info/fellows.html

Journalists from around the world are invited to submit entries for theInternational Award for Freedom of Speech, which recognises political,social, economic or environmental reporting that conveys a "free andindependent vision."
The 5,000 Euro (US$6,740) award was organised by the Marseille-Provence-Alpes du Sud Press Society as a tribute to journalists who were killed in the line of duty, such as Anna Politkovskaya and Hrant Dink. It is open to professional journalists who work for international news agencies either at a national or regional level. Entries should have been published or broadcast from 1 September 2006 to 31 August 2007.
Applications should include an original copy of the published article(15,000 characters maximum), a VHS copy for TV entries (12 minutesmaximum), or a tape or CD for radio entries (six minutes maximum). Allentries should be sent with a French translation.
The deadline for applications is 15 September 2007. Entries should be sent to the Press Society at: Marseille-Provence-Alpes du Sud Press Society, 12 rue Breteuil, 13001 Marseille, France.
For more information, contact: c-presse@wanadoo.fr or see:https://exfs.adir.hull.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=22801

The 2007 Democracy Awards

On September 18, 2007, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) held its annual Democracy Award ceremony in Washington. The 2007 Democracy Awards were given this year to Hisham Kassem, Egypt; to The Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS), Venezuela; to Kavi Chongkittavorn, Thailand, and posthumously to Anna Politkovskaya (1958-2006), Russia, In recognition of their courageous work to defend press freedom and strengthen independent media. All speakers emphasized the need to defend free media in difficult environments. The event was touching due to appearance of Politkovskaya’s colleague, who spoke from her heart about the loss, and the fears of working on troubling, contested issues under Putin’s regime, knowing that the prize she and her colleagues could pay for printing the truth as they see it might be the highest possible. Still, she said, someone has to do it.

"Transparency & Silence", the Open Society Justice Initiative's comparative survey of access to information laws and practices in 14 countries, is now available in Spanish.
"Transparencia & Silencio" documents how various countries, includingArgentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Spain did - or did not - honour theright of access to information. In analysing more than 1,900 requests for information filed in 14 countries, "Transparencia & Silencio" finds that countries with access to information laws performed better than those with no law.The Inter-American Court of Human Rights referenced the book in itslandmark Claude Reyes v. Chile decision, which ruled, for the first time by any international or regional court, that access to government-held information is a fundamental human right. Coincidentally, Chile's highest court ruled last week that that the right to access government information is protected by the constitution's guarantee of freedom of expression.
The 201-page book reports that government failure to provide information is common: 47 percent of requests received no response, with Chile, Ghana, and South Africa performing especially poorly. But the book also highlights specific successes, such as the Peruvian municipalities of Miraflores and San Isidro.Click here to download the full report in English or Spanish or to order a hard copy: https://exfs.adir.hull.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.justiceinitiative.org/db/resource2?res_id=103424

New Books

Paddy Ashdown, Swords and Ploughshares: Bringing Peace to the 21st Century (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007, 352 pages)

The former proconsul of war-ravaged Bosnia, Lord Ashdown’s latest book dwells on the ethics and practice of war-ending, peacekeeping, nation-building, state-building and international intervention, detailing some of his hard-won wisdom from the experience. For example: Conflicts don’t end when the fighting finishes; Keep order–by martial law if necessary–otherwise nothing will work; Elections should come once everything is working, as if they’re held too early, they can spell disaster. To read the Economist’s review of this work, go to: https://exfs.adir.hull.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.economist.com/books/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9401614

Anat Berko, The Path to Paradise. The Inner World of Suicide Bombers and Their Dispatchers (Greenwood, 2007). 216 pages.
Hardcover: $49.95. ISBN: 978-0-275-99446-4.

In this book, Berko explores the inner world of suicide bombers and their thought processes. She also explores the world of those who "drop the smart bomb"--the dispatchers. Berko entered Israel's most heavily secured prison cells and conducted intensive and extensive interviews with male and female suicide bombers who had failed their missions, as well as with their dispatchers--including former Hamas spiritual and operative leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (later assassinated by Israel).

Renewing the Stuff of Life
Stem Cells, Ethics, and Public Policy

Cynthia B. Cohen

ISBN13: 9780195305241ISBN10: 0195305248 hardback, 320 pages
May 2007, In Stock
Price: $35.00 (5T)
Stem cell therapy is ushering in a new era of medicine in which we will be able to repair human organs and tissue at their most fundamental level- that of the cell. The power of stem cells to regenerate cells of specific types, such as heart, liver, and muscle, is unique and extraordinary. In 1998 researchers learned how to isolate and culture embryonic stem cells, which are only obtainable through the destruction of human embryos. An ethical debate has raged since then about the ethics of this research, usually pitting pro-life advocates vs. those who see the great promise of curing some of humanity's most persistent diseases.In this book Cynthia Cohen agrees that we need to work toward a consensus on the issue of how we treat the embryo. But more broadly she claims that we need to transform and expand the ethical and policy debates on stem cells (adult and embryonic). This important and much-needed book is both a primer and a means by which to understand the implications of this research. Cohen starts by introducing readers to the basic science of stem cell research, and the core ethical questions surrounding the embryo. She then expands the scope of the debate, looking at the moral questions that will crop up down the line, such as e.g. the use of therapeutic cloning to overcome the body's immune resistance to stem cells; the ethics of using animals to test stem cells; how to disentangle federal and state legal and regulatory policies in pursuit of a coherent national policy; and how to develop an ethics of stem cell research that will accommodate new techniques and controversies that we cannot even foresee now. Her final chapter develops a concrete plan for an oversight system for this research.This is the first single-author book that addresses the many broad ethical and legal issues related to stem cells, and it should be of great interest to bioethicists, researchers, clinicians, philosophers, theologians, lawyers, policy makers, and general readers.
Product Details
320 pages; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; ISBN13: 978-0-19-530524-1ISBN10: 0-19-530524-8
About the Author(s)
Cynthia B. Cohen, Senior Research Fellow, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown

Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It (Oxford University Press, 2007, 205 pages)

Almost a billion people live in what Collier calls “trapped countries”; states caught by the traps of civil war, the ‘resource curse,’ landlocked geography, and bad governance, with most of these people living in sub-Saharan Africa. Collier, a professor of Political Science at UC Berkeley, argues that the West should no longer throw aid at Africa, as the persistence of corruption makes that option ineffective, and should instead focus on encouraging growth. Collier also makes the case for military intervention in failing states, therefore preventing or stopping civil wars.

To read the Economist’s review of Collier’s book, go to: https://exfs.adir.hull.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.economist.com/books/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9581576

To read Niall Ferguson’s review in the New York Times Book Review, go to: https://exfs.adir.hull.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E05E2DB103FF932A35754C0A9619C8B63

William Galston and Elaine Kamarck with Sharon Burke, Security First: A Strategy for Defending America (The Third Way National Security Project, 2007)

In this new report for the progressive Third Way National Security Project, Galston, Kamarck and Burke argue that the hope that characterized American foreign policy after the end of the Cold War was altered by the events of 9/11, and that while the Bush Doctrine of promoting freedom and democracy through all possible means, including force, was initially accepted, the American public has since overwhelmingly rejected the Doctrine. Galston and Kamarck call for abandoning the focus on democratization and instead making America’s security its first priority. They argue that this is best done through new international institutions and a foreign policy based not only on power, but also on principles. To read this report, go to: https://exfs.adir.hull.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.third-way.com/products/88

Tom Goldstein, Journalism and truth: strange bedfellows (Visions of the American press) Northwestern University Press. 0810124335. 9780810124332. R6573584 US. 2007. USD 24.95 TOC PN4888.O25

Colin B. Grant, Uncertainty and communication : new theoretical investigations / Palgrave Macmillan (UK), UK. 0230517625. 9780230517622. L7615248 UK. 2007. GBP 45.00

Isabel Kershner, Barrier : the seam of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict / New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. DS119.76.K432 2005 001396547

Andrew Martin et al., Rethinking Global Security: media, popular culture, and the "War on terror" / New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2006.
In Rethinking Global Security, Andrew Martin and Patrice Petro bring together ten path-breaking essays that explore the ways that our notions of fear, insecurity, and danger are fostered by intermediary sources such as television, radio, film, satellite imaging, and the Internet. The contributors, who represent a wide variety of disciplines, including communications, art history, media studies, women’s studies, and literature, show how both fictional and fact-based threats to global security have helped to create and sustain a culture that is deeply distrustful—of images, stories, reports, and policy decisions. Topics range from the Patriot Act, to the censorship of media personalities such as Howard Stern, to the role that Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other television programming play as an interpretative frame for current events.

Michael Selgelid, Margaret Battin (University of Utah) and Charles B. Smith (eds.), Ethics and Infectious Disease (Blackwell, 2006).
US / Canada
Europe / Rest of World
Australia / New Zealand
ISBN: 9781405145961ISBN10: 140514596X


Judy Stone, Conducting Clinical Research (Cumberland, MD: Mountainside MD Press, 2006).

Conducting Clinical Research is a practical, user-friendly how-to manual for medical professionals--physicians, nurses, study coordinators and investigators--who are interested in learning what it takes to carry out clinical trials. Everything is covered, from how drugs are developed to the nuts and bolts of implementing the details to ethical and social issues. Comprehensive appendices offer essential background, resources, sample forms and worksheets, and information about careers and training programs.

“Successfully covers . . . clinical trials. Practical considerations . . . are all covered. Many substantive insights . . . substantial background and resource information. The text is well written . . . fills an important need.”--Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 146 No. 7, pg. 544, 3 April 2007
“A truly useful guide . . . thoughtfully organized . . . highly informative . . . of great value to clinical investigators along with study nurses and, most importantly, clinical research coordinators . . . fills a gap in clinical research knowledge.” --Steven M. Opal, MD, Professor of Medicine, Brown Medical School, Chief, Infectious Disease Division, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island

“A readable, insightful overview of research conduct for healthcare worker.” --Henry Masur, MD, Chief, Critical Care Medicine, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health

“A great learning tool . . . Your commentary on the ethical implications [of overseas trials] was very useful, insightful, and timely.” --Sarah Noonberg, MD, PhD, Chiron Corporation, Associate Director, General Medicines Therapeutic Unit

Doug Suisman, Steven N. Simon, Glenn E. Robinson, C. Ross Anthony and Michael Schoenbaum, Building a Successful Palestinian State. RAND, 2007, 452 pages.

To view or purchase, visit: https://exfs.adir.hull.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG146-1/. For further information on all RAND publications, visit, http://www.rand.org.

FREE copies of Security First

There are a limited number of free copies of Security First: For A Muscular, Moral Foreign Policy (Yale University Press, 2007). If you would like a copy mailed to you, please send an email at comnet@gwu.edu, or send a fax to (202) 994-1606. For more information about the book, please refer to https://exfs.adir.hull.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.securityfirstbook.com/.

New Articles

Chuck (Charles D.) Freilich, "National Security Decision-Making in Israel: Processes, Pathologies, and Strengths." Middle East Journal, Vol. 60, No. 4 (Autumn 2006), pp. 635-663.

Brian Katulis, Lawrence J. Korb, and Peter Juul, Strategic Reset. Reclaiming Control of U.S. Security in the Middle East, Center for American Progress, June 2007.

Alfred B. Prados, Lebanon, Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report for Congress, updated July 11, 2007. To read, visit: https://exfs.adir.hull.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33509.pdf.

Jacob Shamir, "Public Opinion in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. From Geneva to Disengagement to Kadima to Hamas," United States Institute of Peace, Peaceworks 60 (June 2007), 72 pages. To view the complete article, visit: https://exfs.adir.hull.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.usip.org/pubs/peaceworks/pwks60.pdf.


I always thought that comedy is the toughest theatre genre. The writing of a good comedy is most challenging, and only a few could address the challenge without slipping into a slapstick, embarrassing yawn. Efraim Kishon was one of the few writers who could capture life and characterize them with an intelligent wink.

Kishon’s theatre show Haktuba is hilarious. It is in the Cameri on Shaul Hamelech Blvd., and is highly recommended. Shlomo Bar-Aba is funny and engaging as ever. You’ll have a good laugh and enjoyable evening.

Amazing Grace

My office in Hull University is in Wilberforce building, which is called after arguably the greatest person Hull has ever produced. The film, Amazing Grace, gives testimony to Wilberforce's struggle to abolish slavery. He fought relentlessly for years, against great opposition, to achieve this humanitarian task. To a large part, it was his amazing drive and ability to endure that brought about this triumph of humanity and compassion over greed and exploitation. Go, see and appreciate this moving account of a great chapter in European history.

Personal News

My family and I arrived in the Rockville Kibbutz. It does look like a small kibbutz community.

There are some one hundred Israelis here, possibly more. Hebrew is the most spoken language. It is nice to see Israelis mingling with African-American, Orientals and others. Parents and children spend hours on the grass, conversing and playing.

American efficiency is mostly at work when there is competition. When there is none, things can be painfully slow. Comcast received our order for phone, internet and TV installation on a Thursday. Its man arrived the following Wednesday. They are the only company around to over such a triple installation. There is one major taxi company in Montgomery County. As a result, you can wait for 20 and even 30 minutes for a cab.

The Woodrow Wilson Center is booming with activities. Every day there are meetings, seminars, lectures, press conferences, receptions. Anybody who is somebody in Washington and beyond would like to come to the Woodrow Wilson. These events are all demanding on your time, and you need to maintain a fine balance between your work and all these attractive offers.

Whenever I visited Washington, I looked with some puzzlement at the workers of the federal government who were wearing their badges with conspicuous pride. Now I am one of them. In Washington, the badge relieves you of the duty to sign your name at the entrance of federal buildings, and sometimes grants you various benefits.

I thank all those who welcomed us and helped us in different ways: Kim Conner, Eyal Rand, Amatzia and Bonnie Baram, Carla and Rafi Danziger, the Lawrence family, the Luger family, Jeri Rogin, Ruti and Sol Efroni, Uri, Orna Landau, Shmuel Rosner, Yardena and Ori Lev, MJ and Steve Luxenberg, and Jacob.

My new contact details:

Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Woodrow Wilson Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004-3027
Phone: 202-691-4004
Fax: 202-691-4001
E-mail: rafi.almagor@wilsoncenter.org

With my very best wishes for a very Happy Shana Tova and Gmar Chatima Tova. Tzom Kal to those of you who fast. Have a calm and easy Yom Kippur.

Wishing you all a year of many blessings, good health, joy and happiness in all that you do,

Yours as ever,


My last communications are available on http://almagor.blogspot.com/
Earlier posts at my home page: http://hcc.haifa.ac.il/~rca/ <http://hcc.haifa.ac.il/~rca/>

People wishing to subscribe to this Monthly Newsletter are welcome to e-mail me at rafi.almagor@wilsoncenter.org