Ohio

The U.S. Cities Where College Grads Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else

4/14/14

This is the fourth post in a five-part series on economic segregation in U.S. metros.

The postindustrial economy requires talented and educated workers—or, in economic parlance, those with high levels of human capital. And, as my previous research has demonstrated, nothing attracts smart people like other smart people, who concentrate in urban centers, amplifying innovation, entrepreneurialism, and economic growth.  

Urbanists and economists agree that this clustering of human capital is a basic motor of economic growth. Its flip side, however, is geographic sorting—the tendency of talented and educated people to concentrate more in some places than others. Writing in The Atlantic, I dubbed this tendency “the means migration”; Bill Bishop calls it “the big sort.”

But how much of this kind of talent sorting goes on within metros? To what extent do the most educated citizens of any given metro area live separately from the rest of the population, in their own exclusive enclaves?

To get at this, my Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) colleague Charlotta Mellander calculated the geographic segregation of highly educated people across the more than 70,000 Census tracts that make up America’s 350-plus U.S. metros. Using the conventional proxy for human capital, the share of adults with a Bachelor’s degrees or higher, she measured their segregation across tracts within metros. Mellander used an index of dissimilarity, developed by sociologists Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton, which compares the distribution of a selected group of people with all others in that location (the index ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 reflects no segregation and 1 reflects complete segregation). The MPI’s Zara Matheson mapped the data.

•       •       •       •       •

The map below charts the segregation of highly educated people across U.S. metros. The dark blue areas are metros where college grads are the most segregated; lighter blue metros are one where they are more moderately segregated; green areas show metros where they are somewhat less segregated; and the yellow reflect metros where college grads are more integrated with other segments of the population.

College graduates are most segregated in metros along the Eastern seaboard, throughout the South, in the Midwest and Texas, and up and down the Pacific Coast from California up through Washington. Large metros tend to fall into the top two quintiles, while the bottom quintile is mostly made up of smaller metros, especially those in sparsely populated states such as Montana and North Dakota.

The tables below show the ten large metros (those with one million of more people) where highly educated people are most and least segregated from other groups.

Large Metros Where College Grads Are Most Segregated
Rank Metro Index Rank of All Metros
1 Birmingham-Hoover, AL 0.424 6
2 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 0.419 7
3 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 0.406 8
4 Columbus, OH 0.403 9
5 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 0.399 11
6 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 0.395 12
7 Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 0.388 16
8 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 0.386 17
9 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC 0.384 20
10 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 0.380 23


The metros where college grads are most segregated are mainly in the Sunbelt and old South, with Birmingham, Alabama, and Houston, Texas, topping the list. The rest of the top ten include Los Angeles, Columbus, Memphis, San Antonio, Louisville, Dallas, Charlotte, and Chicago.

Leading knowledge-based metros rank further down the list of large metros. Washington, D.C. is 17th (45th overall), San Francisco 18th (49th overall), New York 19th (51st overall), San Jose 23rd (55th overall), Seattle 28th (64th overall), and Boston 33rd (86th overall).

When we look at the pattern across all 350-plus U.S. metros, a number of small and medium-sized metros, especially college towns, rise to the very top. State College, Pennsylvania (home of Penn State) has the highest level of human capital segregation of any metro in the country. Salinas, California, is second; Trenton-Ewing, New Jersey (which includes Princeton University) is third; Bloomington, Indiana (home of Indiana University Bloomington) is fourth; and Bryan-College Station, Texas (Texas A&M) is fifth. Birmingham, Alabama, falls to sixth; Houston is seventh; L.A. is eighth; and Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State University) drops to ninth. Blacksburg, Virginia (Virginia Tech) is now tenth overall. 

The well-educated are also highly segregated in college towns like Durham-Chapel Hill (University of North Carolina and Duke); Tucson (University of Arizona); Tallahassee (Florida State); Gainesville (University of Florida); Morgantown (West Virginia University); Athens (University of Georgia) and Auburn, Alabama (Auburn University). In most of these places, the economy is sharply divided between professors, doctors, researchers and administrators, and the workers who provide the colleges with basic services.  

Large Metros Where College Grads Are Least Segregated
Rank Metro Index Rank of All Metros
51 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 0.281 195
50 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 0.284 190
49 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 0.288 182
48 Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA 0.290 176
47 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 0.294 165
46 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 0.297 159
45 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 0.300 155
44 Rochester, NY 0.316 125
43 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 0.316 124
42 Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY 0.317 123


Conversely, the large metros in which highly educated people are the least segregated include Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and Las Vegas in the Sunbelt, as well as Providence, Hartford, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Rochester, and Buffalo in the Frostbelt.

That said, most large metros register relatively high levels of human capital segregation. There are roughly 170 smaller and medium metros with lower levels of human capital segregation than the least segregated large metro.

The U.S. metros with the least human capital segregation are all smaller places, like St. George, Utah, which has the lowest level of human capital segregation of all. St. George is followed by Lewiston, Idaho; Sherman, Texas; Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Mankato, Minnesota; Great Falls, Montana; Joplin, Missouri; and Barnstable, Massachusetts.

•       •       •       •       •

So what separates the places with low levels of segregation by education from those where college grads tend to live apart? What factors are associated with the geographic segregation of the highly educated?

To get at this, Mellander ran a basic correlation analysis between our measure of human capital segregation and a number of key economic, social, and demographic characteristics of metros. As usual, I note that correlation does not equal causation and points only to associations between variables.

For all of the disparities between town and gown in smaller, college towns like State College and College Station, the segregation of highly educated people is greater in larger, denser metros. The geographic segregation of college grads is closely associated with the size of population (.54) and more modestly with density (.39). These kinds of places tend to have greater levels of gentrification and more high-end neighborhoods that price out less skilled workers, thus concentrating the more skilled (and better paid) in their own enclaves.

The geographic segregation of college grads is greater in more affluent regions with significant high-tech industry. It is associated with two measures of regional development – average wages (.34) and economic output per person (.35) – though it is quite a bit less associated with per capita income (.15). The segregation of the highly educated is more closely associated with concentrations of high tech industry (.50), which clusters in locations with highly educated talent. Tech firms also tend to provide highly paying jobs for well-educated workers, so the association with further segregation is unsurprising.

The geographic segregation of highly educated households reflects long-standing racial cleavages. Highly educated people are more segregated in metros with larger shares of black (.34), Latino (.25), and Asian (.24) populations and less so in areas with greater shares of whites (an even larger negative correlation of -.45).

Metros with greater levels of segregation of college graduates also tend to have greater levels of economic inequality, much more so than for the other types of segregation we have examined in this series. Human capital segregation is closely associated with both wage inequality (.55) and income inequality (.55). More specifically, Mellander found that income inequality explains roughly a third of the variation in the segregation of highly educated people across metros in a simple regression analysis.

•       •       •       •       •

Education is the most important economic asset a person can have. Children have more opportunity for mobility when they grow up in an area with good schools, a low dropout rate, lots of books, and access to libraries and museums. In contrast, children are far more likely to be entrapped in a cycle of long-run concentrated disadvantage when they grow up in a neighborhood with overcrowded and underfunded schools, a higher dropout rate, and few libraries and other cultural institutions. 

My next post, the final in this series, turns to the geographic segregation of knowledge, professional, and creative workers across the United States.

Top Image: AP Photo/Stew Milne








The U.S. Cities Where College Grads Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else

4/14/14

This is the fourth post in a five-part series on economic segregation in U.S. metros.

The postindustrial economy requires talented and educated workers—or, in economic parlance, those with high levels of human capital. And, as my previous research has demonstrated, nothing attracts smart people like other smart people, who concentrate in urban centers, amplifying innovation, entrepreneurialism, and economic growth.  

Urbanists and economists agree that this clustering of human capital is a basic motor of economic growth. Its flip side, however, is geographic sorting—the tendency of talented and educated people to concentrate more in some places than others. Writing in The Atlantic, I dubbed this tendency “the means migration”; Bill Bishop calls it “the big sort.”

But how much of this kind of talent sorting goes on within metros? To what extent do the most educated citizens of any given metro area live separately from the rest of the population, in their own exclusive enclaves?

To get at this, my Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) colleague Charlotta Mellander calculated the geographic segregation of highly educated people across the more than 70,000 Census tracts that make up America’s 350-plus U.S. metros. Using the conventional proxy for human capital, the share of adults with a Bachelor’s degrees or higher, she measured their segregation across tracts within metros. Mellander used an index of dissimilarity, developed by sociologists Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton, which compares the distribution of a selected group of people with all others in that location (the index ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 reflects no segregation and 1 reflects complete segregation). The MPI’s Zara Matheson mapped the data.

•       •       •       •       •

The map below charts the segregation of highly educated people across U.S. metros. The dark blue areas are metros where college grads are the most segregated; lighter blue metros are one where they are more moderately segregated; green areas show metros where they are somewhat less segregated; and the yellow reflect metros where college grads are more integrated with other segments of the population.

College graduates are most segregated in metros along the Eastern seaboard, throughout the South, in the Midwest and Texas, and up and down the Pacific Coast from California up through Washington. Large metros tend to fall into the top two quintiles, while the bottom quintile is mostly made up of smaller metros, especially those in sparsely populated states such as Montana and North Dakota.

The tables below show the ten large metros (those with one million of more people) where highly educated people are most and least segregated from other groups.

Large Metros Where College Grads Are Most Segregated
Rank Metro Index Rank of All Metros
1 Birmingham-Hoover, AL 0.424 6
2 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 0.419 7
3 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 0.406 8
4 Columbus, OH 0.403 9
5 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 0.399 11
6 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 0.395 12
7 Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 0.388 16
8 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 0.386 17
9 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC 0.384 20
10 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 0.380 23


The metros where college grads are most segregated are mainly in the Sunbelt and old South, with Birmingham, Alabama, and Houston, Texas, topping the list. The rest of the top ten include Los Angeles, Columbus, Memphis, San Antonio, Louisville, Dallas, Charlotte, and Chicago.

Leading knowledge-based metros rank further down the list of large metros. Washington, D.C. is 17th (45th overall), San Francisco 18th (49th overall), New York 19th (51st overall), San Jose 23rd (55th overall), Seattle 28th (64th overall), and Boston 33rd (86th overall).

When we look at the pattern across all 350-plus U.S. metros, a number of small and medium-sized metros, especially college towns, rise to the very top. State College, Pennsylvania (home of Penn State) has the highest level of human capital segregation of any metro in the country. Salinas, California, is second; Trenton-Ewing, New Jersey (which includes Princeton University) is third; Bloomington, Indiana (home of Indiana University Bloomington) is fourth; and Bryan-College Station, Texas (Texas A&M) is fifth. Birmingham, Alabama, falls to sixth; Houston is seventh; L.A. is eighth; and Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State University) drops to ninth. Blacksburg, Virginia (Virginia Tech) is now tenth overall. 

The well-educated are also highly segregated in college towns like Durham-Chapel Hill (University of North Carolina and Duke); Tucson (University of Arizona); Tallahassee (Florida State); Gainesville (University of Florida); Morgantown (West Virginia University); Athens (University of Georgia) and Auburn, Alabama (Auburn University). In most of these places, the economy is sharply divided between professors, doctors, researchers and administrators, and the workers who provide the colleges with basic services.  

Large Metros Where College Grads Are Least Segregated
Rank Metro Index Rank of All Metros
51 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 0.281 195
50 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 0.284 190
49 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 0.288 182
48 Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA 0.290 176
47 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 0.294 165
46 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 0.297 159
45 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 0.300 155
44 Rochester, NY 0.316 125
43 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 0.316 124
42 Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY 0.317 123


Conversely, the large metros in which highly educated people are the least segregated include Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and Las Vegas in the Sunbelt, as well as Providence, Hartford, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Rochester, and Buffalo in the Frostbelt.

That said, most large metros register relatively high levels of human capital segregation. There are roughly 170 smaller and medium metros with lower levels of human capital segregation than the least segregated large metro.

The U.S. metros with the least human capital segregation are all smaller places, like St. George, Utah, which has the lowest level of human capital segregation of all. St. George is followed by Lewiston, Idaho; Sherman, Texas; Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Mankato, Minnesota; Great Falls, Montana; Joplin, Missouri; and Barnstable, Massachusetts.

•       •       •       •       •

So what separates the places with low levels of segregation by education from those where college grads tend to live apart? What factors are associated with the geographic segregation of the highly educated?

To get at this, Mellander ran a basic correlation analysis between our measure of human capital segregation and a number of key economic, social, and demographic characteristics of metros. As usual, I note that correlation does not equal causation and points only to associations between variables.

For all of the disparities between town and gown in smaller, college towns like State College and College Station, the segregation of highly educated people is greater in larger, denser metros. The geographic segregation of college grads is closely associated with the size of population (.54) and more modestly with density (.39). These kinds of places tend to have greater levels of gentrification and more high-end neighborhoods that price out less skilled workers, thus concentrating the more skilled (and better paid) in their own enclaves.

The geographic segregation of college grads is greater in more affluent regions with significant high-tech industry. It is associated with two measures of regional development – average wages (.34) and economic output per person (.35) – though it is quite a bit less associated with per capita income (.15). The segregation of the highly educated is more closely associated with concentrations of high tech industry (.50), which clusters in locations with highly educated talent. Tech firms also tend to provide highly paying jobs for well-educated workers, so the association with further segregation is unsurprising.

The geographic segregation of highly educated households reflects long-standing racial cleavages. Highly educated people are more segregated in metros with larger shares of black (.34), Latino (.25), and Asian (.24) populations and less so in areas with greater shares of whites (an even larger negative correlation of -.45).

Metros with greater levels of segregation of college graduates also tend to have greater levels of economic inequality, much more so than for the other types of segregation we have examined in this series. Human capital segregation is closely associated with both wage inequality (.55) and income inequality (.55). More specifically, Mellander found that income inequality explains roughly a third of the variation in the segregation of highly educated people across metros in a simple regression analysis.

•       •       •       •       •

Education is the most important economic asset a person can have. Children have more opportunity for mobility when they grow up in an area with good schools, a low dropout rate, lots of books, and access to libraries and museums. In contrast, children are far more likely to be entrapped in a cycle of long-run concentrated disadvantage when they grow up in a neighborhood with overcrowded and underfunded schools, a higher dropout rate, and few libraries and other cultural institutions. 

My next post, the final in this series, turns to the geographic segregation of knowledge, professional, and creative workers across the United States.

Top Image: AP Photo/Stew Milne








Why are two Republican congressmen doing a walkabout on the Temple Mount?

4/13/14
McKinley and Johnson at the Temple Mount. Photo Ed Wittenberg, from the Jewish Tribune

Congressmen McKinley (l) and Johnson (center) at the Temple Mount in February. To Johnson’s left is Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute. From the Jewish Tribune

As Kate noted here the other day, Ma’an reported that two Republican congressmen toured the Temple Mount in February along with rightwing Israel Jews who covet the site.

Two members of the US Congress joined right-wing Jews who toured the al-Aqsa Mosque compound escorted by Israeli police officers in February, a Jerusalem-based Fatah official said.

Dimitri Daliani told Ma’an on Thursday that Republicans Bill Johnson of Ohio and David McKinley of Virginia entered the compound with the “extremist” Chaim Richman, director of the rightist Temple Institute.

Daliani said the “congressmen’s participation in such criminal incursions into the al-Aqsa Mosque without being questioned by their own government indicates collusion with settler gangs whose aim is to hurt the al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The Temple Institute promotes Jewish prophecies of “the reestablishment of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.”

Johnson later commented in the Jewish Tribune, on “how little real religious freedom and liberty the people of Israel have over the very land that they are supposed to be the owners of.”

“The Jewish people own the property, but they don’t control the property.”…

“I personally think they’ve given up enough,” he said. “They’ve been squeezed out of their land; the holy sites are being controlled by outsiders.

Both men are from business backgrounds and swing districts. Johnson, a Protestant and former computer scientist, captured his Ohio district from a Democrat in 2010 and beat him again in 2012– 53-47 percent. McKinley, a former engineer and an Episcopalian once divorced, also won his seat in 2010, after Democrats held it for 40 years. He won re-election handily in 2012.

Colin Wright, a former commenter on this site, saw the story and adds:

Two Congressmen recently went the extra mile and joined an Israeli walkabout on the Temple Mount.

Their vital statistics are suggestive.  Both are Republicans, both are from districts that would appear to be stuffed with evangelicals, and both recently beat out Democratic incumbents.  They are vulnerable to being unseated.  Bill Johnson, in particular, barely held onto his seat against a challenge from the apparently discontented former
tenant.

These are exactly the types that need to prove they love Israel the bestest — and they are both from districts with evangelicals.

I mention this, because during my tenure at Mondoweiss, when I tried to point out just how important the evangelical demographic is, some element of the counterargument seemed to contain a weird element of Jewish egotism.  Jews had to be the pivotal element.

Well, I don’t think they are.  I think the backbone of support for Israel in this country is evangelical.  Worse, while many or even most Jews support Israel, what they broadly seem to want is a ‘nice’ Israel – one that is democratic, doesn’t shoot children, etc.

The evangelicals are different.  For a variety of reasons, the worse Israel behaves, the better it is fulfilling their needs.  So if Jews are the original reason we have an Israel, one of the reasons it can be an Israel that behaves so badly are evangelicals.  I think that if American support for Israel hinged solely on Jews, it might well still be there — but it would find itself forced to be a much better-behaved Israel.

Land seizures– near Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin and in Jordan Valley

4/12/14

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing

Israel to confiscate vast area of Bethlehem village land
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Apr – Israeli authorities on Thursday morning announced a decision to confiscate about 1,000 dunams (250 acres) of private Palestinian land in the town of al-Khader south of Bethlehem. Deputy mayor of al-Khader Ismail Issa told Ma’an that high-level Israeli military commanders and Civil Administration officers along with a group of settlers toured private Palestinian fields in areas known locally as Khallat al-Fahm, al-Zaytouna and al-Absiyya. They left yellow posters reading “State properties! No entry,” he said. Issa added that the Israeli officers dropped copies of a statement which explained that 984 dunams of private land was slated for confiscation. Palestinian farmers who wish to contest the decision can object within 45 days, according to the statement. The Palestinian liaison department has been notified of the Israeli decision, added Issa.
Separately, Israeli forces escorted a large bulldozer which leveled private Palestinian lands in the al-Nahla Hill area south of Bethlehem.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689023

Israeli army razes agricultural land to expand checkpoint
JENIN (WAFA) 9 Apr – Israeli army forces on Wednesday razed an agricultural area in the village of al-Jalamah, to the north of Jenin, to expand the nearby al-Jalamah checkpoint, according to Khaled Abu Farha, head of the village’s council. He said army bulldozers proceeded to raze an area belonging to local villagers to expand the checkpoint, established on the village’s land, adding that the Israeli authorities, a year ago, seized an eight-dunum area near the checkpoint for the same purpose
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=24854

Israeli forces raze land to west of Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 9 Apr — Israeli forces razed Wednesday morning Palestinian-owned land in the Abu al-Zuluf area to the west of Hebron, according to an activist. Forces, backed with bulldozers and heavy machinery, razed land belonging to residents of Tarqumiyah, a town located to the northwest of Hebron, said Head of Taffuh Local Council Mahmoud Zreiqat. The land is located in Abu al-Zuluf area between Adora, an illegal Israeli settlement built on Palestinian-owned land belonging to residents of Tarqumiyah, and ‘Ayn Farʻa, an area that has many springs and belong to residents of Dura, noted Zreiqat. He said that settlers from Adora and Telem, another illegal Israeli settlement, installed steel poles and wires in the land in order to seize it as a prelude for expanding the two settlements and connect them together. Residents were able to remove some of the poles and wires, said Mayor of Tarqumiyah Sami Fatafta.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=24846

Twilight Zone — They came, they razed, they left: A visit to a destroyed Palestinian village
Haaretz 10 Apr by Gideon Levy & Alex Levac — Israel is continuing to destroy systematically the villages of shepherds who live in the Jordan Rift. Last week, the Civil Administration demolished Homsa, another tiny Palestinian village. In January, 160 residents of the valley were made homeless; last year, twice as many were left homeless as in the year before. Again the same unconscionable sights: heaps of debris, bare metal pegs lunging out of the earth, crushed fences, destroyed animal pens and squashed tin huts; remnants of personal property strewn all over; sheep wandering about looking in vain for shade; chickens pecking about; despondent shepherds; wretched sheep dogs; runny-nosed children curled up in Grandmother’s lap and merciless sun beating down. Another Palestinian shepherd community trampled into the ground. Not the first, nor the last to meet such a fate in this hard, battered valley, whose Palestinian inhabitants Israel has set itself the goal of cleansing itself of, far from the public’s eye. Step by step, devastating act after devastating act, community after community – there are hundreds whose lives and property have been laid waste recently by the Civil Administration … Not a word about this appeared in the Israeli media. I couldn’t find any mention of it this time even on websites of Israel and Palestinian human rights groups that generally report on such events. Who cares? More Palestinian rubble in the Jordan valley? Boring, routine.
http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/twilight-zone/.premium-1.585009

Israeli forces tear down tents housing displaced families near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 10 Apr — Israeli forces on Thursday tore down and confiscated several tents that the Palestinian Red Crescent had erected east of Nablus in order to house families whose houses were demolished by Israeli forces a few days before, a Palestinian official said. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement-related activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma‘an that several Israeli military vehicles raided the al-Jawana area between the villages of Tana and Beit Furik Thursday morning and pulled down four tents.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=688983

Israeli bulldozers demolish Bedouin homes across Negev
[with photos] BEERSHEBA (Ma‘an) 9 Apr — Israeli bulldozers on Wednesday demolished several Palestinian Bedouin houses in the Negev desert, locals said. Police vehicles escorted bulldozers across the Negev as they demolished a number of structures in villages not recognized by Israeli authorities. In the village of al-Zaarura, bulldozers demolished two houses belonging to the Abu Judah family, witnesses said. Locals in the village of Kseifa said that bulldozers demolished houses and tore down trees. Demolitions across the Negev are still ongoing, residents told Ma‘an Wednesday afternoon.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=688713

Israel delivers demolition orders to Bedouin families near Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 9 Apr — Israeli forces and civil administration officers handed demolition and eviction orders to Palestinian families in East Jerusalem on Wednesday. Popular committee spokesman Hani Halabiya told Ma‘an that civil administration officers delivered the orders to families in the Jabal al-Baba neighborhood east of al-Ezariya. Bedouins from the Jahalin tribe live in homes made of steel, wood and tin boards as well as tents in Jabal al-Baba hill, Halabiya said. He highlighted that civil administration officers with Israeli troops ordered the families to demolish 18 dwellings measuring 80 square meters each. Families were also notified that they must stop construction of four more steel structures.
Israeli forces, added Halabiya, demolished seven structures in Jabal al-Baba a week ago. Four structures were used as dwellings and three were cattle farms. The Israelis cited construction without license as pretext for demolition. Israel is trying to displace the community of Jabal al-Baba to expand the nearby settlement of Maale Adumim. In the 1950s, the al-Jahalin community was forcibly displaced from its ancestral home in the Negev desert and resettled east of Jerusalem.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=688701

Israel digs new tunnel beneath al-Aqsa Mosque
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 9 Apr — The Al-Aqsa Foundation revealed that the Israeli authorities recently started to dig a new tunnel beneath al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, to be connected to a previously opened network of tunnels, a statement on Wednesday by Al-Aqsa Foundation said. The foundation, which has recently noticed more tunnel tracks being excavated beneath the mosque, said its field staff had detected that the excavations have reached beneath the foundations of the mosque building. Excavations beneath Al-Aqsa Mosque and the old city of Jerusalem pose a grave peril to the sustainability of the mosque building which is liable to collapse at any point of time due to the excavations. [not to mention that this is an earthquake area – Al-Aqsa was badly hit in 1927 and 1937]
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=24856

UNESCO plans to send fact-finding mission to Jerusalem
IMEMC 11 Apr by Chris Carlson — Palestine and Jordan submitted a resolution to the UNESCO Executive Board to send a fact-finding commission to investigate the situation of heritage sites in Jerusalem and in other Palestinian towns and to submit its detailed report to the World Heritage Committee that will be held in Doha, Qatar at the end of June. The decision came during the meeting of the UNESCO Executive Board which took place in Paris, on Thursday, the Palestinian News Network (PNN) reports.
New supportive attitudes from European countries such as England, France, Italy, Austria and Spain were expressed in the meeting, excepting the United States, which rejected the decision.
http://www.imemc.org/article/67515

7 Palestinians banned from al-Aqsa
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 11 Apr — Israeli police on Thursday banned seven Palestinians from entering the al-Aqsa mosque for 17 days. Dar al-Aytam school principal Alaa Abu Shkeidem, Mousa al-Hallaq, Abdullah al-Singalawi, Wisam Hamoudeh, Mohammad Dawuood Tiryaqi, Ziyad Abu Hadwan, and Hamza Mhalles were banned. They were also briefly detained Thursday morning.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689207

Settlers assault female students in al-Aqsa Mosque
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 9 Apr – Israeli settlers Wednesday entered al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in a provocative visit, assaulting and harassing outdoor female students under police protection, according to witnesses. They said that police allowed the entrance of settlers in small groups during the early morning hours, provoking worshipers and students who chanted religious slogans protesting against the entrance of the extremists to the holy site. Settlers, under police protection, attacked the students and worshipers, spit at them while using foul language against them.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=24843

2 US lawmakers tour Aqsa with right-wing Jews
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 10 Apr — Two members of the US Congress joined right-wing Jews who toured the al-Aqsa Mosque compound escorted by Israeli police officers in February, a Jerusalem-based Fatah official said. Dimitri Daliani told Ma‘an on Thursday that Republicans Bill Johnson of Ohio and David McKinley of Virginia entered the compound with the “extremist” Chaim Richman, director of the rightist Temple Institute. Daliani said the “congressmen’s participation in such criminal incursions into the al-Aqsa Mosque without being questioned by their own government indicates collusion with settler gangs whose aim is to hurt the al-Aqsa Mosque.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689075

More than 1200 settlers entered al-Aqsa in March: NGO
RAMALLAH (Turkish Press) 9 Apr by Alaa Rimawi — A total of about 1250 Jewish settlers forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) over the course of last month, according to a report by a Palestinian NGO. Many of those who forced their way into the holy site – usually backed by Israeli police – performed Jewish rituals in the Al-Aqsa courtyards, triggering clashes with Palestinian guards and Muslim students, the report, issued by the ‪Wadi Hilweh Information Center, which documents Israeli violations in the holy city, stated. Among those who made controversial visits to the site last month were Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel, Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin and extremist Jewish rabbi Yehuda Glick, the statement noted.
http://www.turkishpress.com/news/399854/

PHOTOS: Publicly remembering the Deir Yassin massacre
Activestills 11 Apr Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler – Activists walk through a West Jerusalem neighborhood carrying the names of some 100 men, women and children massacred 66 years ago by Zionist militias in the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. They are met with curiosity, indifference and open hostility – Jewish Israeli, Palestinian, and international activists carried three black panels bearing some 100 names through the streets of what is now the Givat Shaul neighborhood of West Jerusalem on Thursday. They marched to commemorate the massacre and displacement of the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin by Zionist militias 66 years ago on April 9, 1948. Organized by the Israeli organization Zochrot, whose name means “remembering,” the event memorialized those killed and recounted the village’s history to Israeli passers-by, who were at times curious, indifferent and hostile. A woman passing the procession as it assembled on Kanfey Nesharim Street complained to her companion, “Oh, it must be that Deir Yassin crap.” A young worker in a sandwich shop asked, “What is this?” and snapped a photo with his iPhone. Just three days prior, vandals had spray-painted “Death to Arabs” on grave markers in Deir Yassin’s cemetery. As the participants carried the names along what was once the main street of a thriving Palestinian village, it was most often children who stopped to listen to Zochrot’s Umar Al-Ghubari recount the significance of a particular location along the way, or to read the names of the dead.
http://972mag.com/photos-publicly-remembering-the-deir-yassin-massacre/89521/

Restrictions on movement

Archbishop condemns Israeli restrictions on Easter pilgrims
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 10 Apr — Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna condemned Israeli authorities on Thursday for imposing obstacles on Christians wishing to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to celebrate the upcoming Christian holiday of Easter. “It is the right of every Christian to reach the Church of the Holy Sepulchre without facing any obstacles, or impediments,” Hanna said in a statement. “The Israeli security pretexts are unacceptable in every way,” he added, calling on Orthodox and Christian institutions to facilitate the entrance of Christians to the holy sites. “We call on our sons, churches and followers to head to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and hold on to this religious and national right and refuse the status quo imposed by the occupation authorities,” the archbishop said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689195

Gaza artists blocked from travelling to Ireland, Pat Kenny radio show hears
An Phoblacht (Ireland) 11 Apr – TWO PALESTINIAN artists have been blocked by Israeli and Egyptian authorities from travelling to Dublin for an exhibition of their own work, the show’s curator told Pat Kenny of NewsTalk radio today. The artists were trying to travel from their homes in Gaza, the territory that, under Israel’s blockade, has often been called “the world’s largest open-air prison”. Felim Egan, curator of the Windows Into Gaza exhibition, told Kenny: “Two of the artists were meant to be here today. They have their papers, their Irish visas, letters, everything.” Painter and photographer Shareef Sarhan was prevented from leaving Gaza at the Erez border crossing with Israel. “Shareef was stopped three days ago and every day since by the Israelis and told he wasn’t going to leave Gaza,” Egan said. Sarhan was not given security clearance to cross Israeli land en route to Amman, Jordan, where he has worked teaching in an art school and is legally entitled to visit. He planned to fly from Amman to Dublin … Painter Mohammed Al Hawajwi had no chance of travelling via Israel. He hoped to travel through Egypt, crossing out of Gaza at Rafah at the southern end of the “strip”. However, the frequent closures and tight restrictions imposed by Egypt’s military government have made getting out via Rafah nearly impossible for Palestinians in recent months.
http://www.anphoblacht.com/contents/23924

VIDEO: Gaza runner, Israeli hurdles
NYTimes 10 Apr By Erica Berenstein and Reem Makhoul –The Palestinian Olympic athlete Nader al-Masri has been denied permission by Israel to cross from Gaza to participate in this year’s Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem.
http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/middleeast/100000002818512/gaza-runner-israeli-hurdles.html

Mideast tensions sideline a Gazan marathon runner

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (NY Times) 10 Apr by Jodi Rudoren — As a boy growing up in this town close to the border with Israel, Nader al-Masri was the neighborhood champion of Catch Me if You Can. “No one could catch me,” he recalled. After soccer matches, young Nader would do laps around the empty field. Mr. Masri took up distance running as a teenager, and in 1999, his fleet feet took him on his first airplane: to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he was shocked by the snowy cold and finished near the back of the pack in an eight-kilometer race. He has since competed internationally more than 40 times across Europe, Asia and the Arab world, and he carried the Palestinian flag at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he ran 5,000 meters in 14 minutes, 41 seconds. Back home, he has won the only two marathons that have been held in Gaza, on a course that stretched from tip to toe of this crowded coastal enclave. But Mr. Masri seems to have run into a roadblock: The Israeli government refused to let him travel through Israel to Bethlehem, in the West Bank, to compete in the Palestine Marathon on Friday. The Israeli Supreme Court affirmed the decision this week. “We are still under occupation, and they close all the gates,” he said of Israel in an interview here … Mr. Masri is among about two dozen Gazans who were blocked from competing in the Bethlehem race in 2013, when it made its debut, and again this year. The marathon, titled Right to Movement, was mapped to highlight the restrictions that Palestinians face daily: The course is two laps around the city of Jesus’ birth, past two refugee camps and the concrete barrier that separates Israel from most of the West Bank, with a turnaround at an Israeli military checkpoint.“It illustrates the whole concept,” said Lise Ring, one of the two Danish women who founded the Palestine Marathon, which is expected to draw 3,000 runners this year, half from the West Bank.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/11/world/middleeast/mideast-tensions-sideline-a-gazan-marathon-runner.html

Haniyeh’s Israeli sisters convicted of visiting Gaza without a permit
Jerusalem Post 9 Apr by Yonah Jeremy Bob — The Beersheba Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday convicted two sisters of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh for illegally crossing into Gaza to visit him as part of a plea bargain. The two – Tzav’ah [Sabah] Bat Abud Elsalem Haniyeh and Leila Bat Abud Elsalem Abu Rakik – had previously requested permission to cross into Gaza for the visit and Israel had denied their request. According to the prosecution, the two women entered Gaza via Egypt to circumvent the ban on their traveling to the Strip. The sisters became Israeli citizens after marrying Israelis. They were indicted in July 2013, but agreed to an amended indictment as part of the deal. Their sentencing was scheduled for June 25 with no agreement between the parties on that issue.
http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Haniyehs-Israeli-sisters-convicted-of-visiting-Gaza-without-permit-348022

WATCH: Bringing Israelis face to face with Gaza closure
972blog 10 Apr by Tania Hary — Although the Gaza Strip is only about 50 kilometers from the city of Hebron in the West Bank, few people are given permission to travel this short distance. One Israeli filmmaker decided to bring Gaza’s separation policy to the heart of the Israeli mainstream — Any illusions that Israel’s policy on Gaza is only about security surely should have been dispelled by the events of this week. Israel’s highest court struck down the petition of Gaza’s only Olympian runner, Nader al-Masri, who had asked to be able to travel to Bethlehem to race in the second annual Palestine Marathon. Ironically enough, the marathon is meant to be a celebration of freedom of movement … A new short film by Israeli filmmaker Itamar Rose, in cooperation with Israeli NGO Gisha , brings the Gaza policy to the streets of Tel Aviv and Bat Yam. Rose asks average Israelis to play the role of a soldier at Erez Crossing who has to decide whether to allow a young girl out of Gaza to visit her sick grandmother in Ramallah. In reality, decisions like this aren’t made by individual soldiers but rather in the high offices of Israel’s defense ministry, far from the reach or oversight of Israeli citizens, let alone the people impacted by them most – Palestinian residents of the occupied territory. If there’s any glimmer of hope for Gaza, it’s in the realization of the people in Rose’s film who struggle to defend the criteria they are fictitiously handed.
http://972mag.com/watch-bringing-israelis-face-to-face-with-gaza-closure/89507/

Violence / Raids / Attacks / Clashes / Suppression of protests / Illegal arrests

Soldiers stand by as Israeli settlers attack Palestinian schoolgirls
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 9 Apr — Israeli settlers on Wednesday assaulted Palestinian school children in the southern West Bank, a school official said. A school principal told Ma‘an that a group of extremist Israeli settlers hurled stones at school girls in the village of al-Tuwani, leaving them bruised. Israeli soldiers stood by and watched without taking action as the settlers threw rocks, the principal said. The girls who sustained injuries were identified as Kifah Omar Abu Jundiyya and Dalal Awad Zein, both seventh graders. In al-Tuwani and other areas in the southern Hebron district, school children on a daily basis wait at checkpoints for Israeli soldiers to let them through locked gates. Regardless of Israeli military presence, settler attacks on children en route to and from school remain commonplace, the principal said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=688684

Settlers and soldiers attack elderly [woman] near Hebron
HEBRON (WAFA) 9 Apr — A Palestinian elderly [woman] was severely attacked and injured Wednesday by Israeli settlers and soldiers in al-Tawani and Um al-Kahir to the east of Yatta in Hebron district, according to an activist. Forces severely beat up 55-year-old Khadra al-Hathalin, causing her to lose consciousness and sustain bruises. She was transferred to hospital for treatment, said Coordinator of the Anti-wall and Settlement Popular Committee Rateb Jubur.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=24847

VIDEO: Police caught on tape brutally beating two Palestinians
Haaretz 10 Apr  by Nir Hasson — Video shows police officers repeatedly slamming car door into Palestinian, who suffered broken arm, ribs — A mobile-phone video posted online on Wednesday shows police brutally beating two Palestinian men in the Shoafat neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The beating continued after the men were taken to a police station, one of the men, Ali Talhami, told Israel Radio on Wednesday. Talhami, 27, told the station that a municipal inspector accompanied by a police officer came to his store and said he was fining him 500 shekels for taking a refrigerator into the street. “I explained the refrigerator was outside because we were returning it to the company, but the inspector started swearing at me,” Talhami said. Then the police officer attacked him, he said. Other police officers quickly arrived on the scene and joined in on the beating, Talhami said.The footage, published by Israel Radio, shows police officers brutally beating Talhami and slamming a police van’s door on him several times. One officer hits him with the butt of his rifle and hurls the other man at the vehicle, Israel Radio reported. “After we reached the police station, they continued beating me,” said Talhami, who said he suffered a broken arm and ribs.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.584879

Vehicle pelted with settlers’ stones, child wounded near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 9 Apr – A Palestinian child sustained Wednesday wounds in his hand when his father’s vehicle was pelted with stones by Israeli settlers near ‘Beitar Illit’ illegal settlement, according to local sources. Settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit threw stones at Palestinian vehicles driving by, causing a 4-year-old child to sustain wounds, said Head of Nahalin Local Council Ibrahim Shakarneh.  Shakarneh added that the child was admitted into Beit Jala hospital to receive treatment.
http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=24850

Remember Tom
OCCUPIED PALESTINE (ISM) 11 Apr — The International Solidarity Movement today remembers Tom Hurndall, an ISM volunteer who was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper in Gaza. This terrible injury left Tom in a coma for nine months and he died January 13th 2004, at the age of 22. 11 years ago today, the Israeli army were invading the city of Rafah, in the Gaza Strip when Tom and other ISM volunteers saw a group of children in a street where snipers were firing. Witnesses say that bullets were being shot around the children, who were paralysed by fear and unable to move. Tom succeeded in pulling one child to safety, but when he returned for another, he was shot in the head by a sniper. Today we pay tribute to Tom Hurndall, and to his family who lost their brother and son. We must remember that Gaza still experiences injustice and oppression, and we will continue to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
http://palsolidarity.org/2014/04/remember-tom/

Israeli forces detain 4 at protest against new Hebron settlement
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 11 Apr — Israeli forces detained four Israeli and international protesters and “beat” several others on Friday while violently dispersing a protest against the confiscation of a Palestinian building in Hebron in order to re-establish a Jewish settlement on the site, activists said. The protest in the flashpoint southern West Bank city began on Friday after noon prayers as protesters marched towards the building owned by the Rajabi family in the al-Ras area in the center of Hebron. Demonstrators raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans in Arabic, English and Hebrew rejecting a recent Israeli court decision to confiscate the building and hand it to Jewish settlers. Israeli forces fired stun grenades and held protesters away from the building. Organizers said that Israeli forces detained two international and Israeli activists and tried to detain Palestinians as well but were prevented by demonstrators from doing so.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689316

Israeli forces disperse West Bank protests, detaining 7
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Apr — A number of Palestinians were injured and at least seven were detained on Friday as Israeli forces violently dispersed weekly protests in a number of cities across the West Bank. Protests against the Israeli occupation and continued settlement expansion on expropriated Palestinian lands took place in Kafr Qaddum, Nabi Saleh, Qaryut, Salim, and al-Ma‘sara. [details of the various protests follow]
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689300

Israeli forces detain Palestinian school principal in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 10 Apr – Israeli forces detained the principal of a Palestinian high school in East Jerusalem on Thursday morning, a Palestinian Authority official said. The director of the Jerusalem office of the Ministry of Education told Ma‘an that Israeli troops surrounded the Muslim orphanage high school and prepared to storm the school and detain the principal. However, principal Alaa Abu Shkheidim went to the forces himself and they detained him at the main gate, the official, Samir Jibreel, said. Abu Shkheidim was taken to an interrogation center in the Old City.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689032

Israeli soldiers ‘raid university campus in Salfit, fire tear gas’
SALFIT (Ma‘an) 9 Apr — Israeli forces early Wednesday fired tear gas at a university campus in the central West Bank, administrators said. Officials at the Salfit branch of al-Quds Open University told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers raided the campus and showered students with tear gas. “Campus workers collected some 70 empty tear gas canisters,” the officials said, adding that the gas prevented students from attending classes. “The Israeli occupation’s procedures targeting students and faculty of al-Quds Open University will never discourage the university from moving forward as planned,” the administrators added.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=688666

Israeli forces detain young Palestinian in Bethlehem area village
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Apr — Israeli forces stormed a Bedouin village east of Bethlehem and detained a young man after ransacking several houses early Thursday morning, a village councilor told Ma‘an. The head of the local council of al-Rashayda, Fawwaz Rashayda, said that Israeli troops detained Ayman Muhammad Rashayda and confiscated the family’s computers and cell phones.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=688976

Detainees / Court actions

Young Palestinian dad died from Israeli torture, forensic expert says
Electronic Intifada 11 Apr by Ali Abunimah — An internationally renowned expert on torture says that evidence confirms that a young Palestinian died of injuries he sustained in Israeli custody due to torture. Arafat Jaradat, a 33-year-old father of two, died on February 23, 2013, in Israel’s Megiddo Prison, where he was being interrogated by the Shin Bet secret police, according to the Electronic Intifada. As Haaretz reported, Jaradat was arrested on the night of February 18, 2013, on the suspicion that he had thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at Israeli occupation forces: “It was a bit after midnight and everyone in the house – he himself, his wife Dalal, his four-year-old daughter Yaara and two-year-old son Mohammed – was sleeping, as was his brother Mohammed, who lives in the same building. The soldiers, ten or 12 of them, burst into the home and behaved with rare courtesy. They asked for identity cards and when Arafat gave them his, they told him to say goodbye to his family and come with them for detention. His small children, Yaara and Mohammed, clung to his legs but the soldiers promised them their father would be home soon.”  He never did come home. Israel claimed that Jaradat died of “natural” causes, but human rights groups and family members said the horrific injuries on his body indicated he had been severely beaten, a finding supported by the autopsy carried out by Dr. Saber al-Aloul, a forensic medicine specialist and director of the Palestinian Medico-Legal Institute, along with two Israeli pathologists. Al-Aloul’s autopsy report concluded that Jaradat died due to “nervous shock as a result of extreme pain from the intensity of the injuries … which resulted from multiple direct and extensive acts of torture.” Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups jointly condemned Jaradat’s death and urged an international investigation. “Blunt trauma” Now, in an 8 April joint statement, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) and Al-Haq have released the findings of Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci, a forensic medicine specialist with three decades of experience.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/young-palestinian-dad-died-israeli-torture-forensic-expert-says

Video: Victim recounts torture in Palestinian Authority prison
Electronic Intifada 10 Apr by Maureen Clare Murphy — In a short video produced by the human rights organization Al-Haq, 28-year-old Osamah Nayef al-Shawamreh describes in harrowing detail the torture he endured for three days in a Palestinian Authority prison in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron earlier this year. “I wish I could be as I was before, to walk on the street without fear,” a tearful al-Shawamreh states. Al-Shawamreh says he has lost control of his body, including feeling in one of his hands, and describes what seem to be symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the repeated beatings and other forms of physical torture. Al-Shawamreh’s ordeal began with a phone call on 1 February from the Palestinian Investigations Unit in Hebron, summoning him for questioning regarding a hacked Facebook account. The beating began straight away, according to al-Shawamreh’s testimony. Shawamreh describes repeatedly losing consciousness during the physical abuse. “You will die here” “I felt I would die when he strangled me,” al-Shawamreh says of one of his torturers. “You will die here,” al-Shawamreh recalls one of them saying as he begged for a sip of water.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/video-victim-recounts-torture-palestinian-authority-prison

Senior Hamas member freed after years of detention by Israel and PA
Haaretz 10 Apr by Amira Hass — Ayoub Kawasme, a Hebron resident described by Israeli security agencies as a senior Hamas member, was recently released from detention after five weeks of questioning in Israel. Kawasme, who is in his 50s and has been wanted by Israel since 1998, was arrested by the Israel Defense Forces anti-terrorism Duvdevan unit on March 4. Kawasme was responsible for several terror attacks, according to Israeli media reports. Before his detention in Israel, where he was questioned by the Shin Bet security service, Kawasme was imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority for 38 months. His attorney, Fadi Kawasme, said the PA held him in solitary confinement but never once questioned him. The Shit Bet questioned Kawasme in the interrogation wing of the Shikma Prison in Ashkelon. Fadi Kawasme said the case against his client was closed on Monday for lack of evidence and that he was released unconditionally from prison. Officials of Hamas and Palestinian human rights organizations say that the PA is arresting members of opposition groups on false security grounds in order to silence the opposition and enforce submission. They say that Israel exploits arrests made by the PA as a pretext to arrest the detainees after their release. Sometimes the process goes in the other direction, with Palestinians being arrested by PA security service forces and being held for long periods of time after Israel releases them.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/.premium-1.584880

Israeli court extends detention of 3 Jerusalemite prisoners
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 10 Apr — An Israeli court on Thursday evening extended the detention of three people from Jerusalem until April 29, including two prominent siblings of famed Palestinian hunger striking prisoner Samer Issawi. A lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoner’s society Mufeed al-Hajj said that the detentions of lawyers Amjad al-Safadi and Shireen Issawi, as well as Medhat Issawi, were extended after the court listened to the arguments of the prosecution. Al-Hajj said that the detentions were extended in order to allow time for their statements of defense. Israeli forces detained Shireen and Medhat Issawi in March, only months after their brother was released from prison. [Samer] Issawi was released from Israeli jail in December as part of an agreement in which he ended a 266-day hunger strike, during which time he became an international cause célèbre who focused attention on the plight of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. Issawi’s hunger strike was one of the longest in history, and brought him close to death.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689212

Settlers vs. Israeli forces

Israeli army occupies W. Bank Jewish seminary after clashes
YITZHAR, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 11 Apr — Israel’s military on Friday occupied a Jewish seminary in an extremist West Bank settlement after a series of clashes between settlers and security forces there. “Following the recent increase in violence towards security forces, and in order to address ongoing security concerns, (the army) positioned a company of border police in the Yitzhar yeshiva building,” it said in a statement. “The structure was chosen based on security needs to prevent violence and vandalism targeting security personnel and the adjacent villages, originating from the area of the yeshiva,” the army said.  The seizure order was valid until June 15. The measure comes after 15 Yitzhar residents were arrested for allegedly stoning security forces and demolishing a military post in the northern West Bank settlement. Israel’s security establishment reacted by vowing to take severe measures. The Yitzhar settlement called the seminary move “hysterical and historic.” “Turning a yeshiva into a military base is crossing a red line,” a statement said, charging that a nearby mosque with a pending demolition order still stood and calling on the government to “leave the yeshiva immediately.” A statement from the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva itself condemned what it called the “desecration” of the holy place’s sanctity. An AFP correspondent said the army has closed off the entrance to Yitzhar, setting up roadblocks and limiting access to residents only.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Apr-11/253021-israel-army-occupies-wbank-jewish-seminary-after-clashes.ashx

Israel arrests settlers after attacks on security forces
JERUSALEM (AFP) 10 Apr — Israeli police said Thursday they arrested five people suspected of demolishing a military base in an extremist settlement in the West Bank, the latest attack against security forces by hardliners. The suspects, all males aged 16-29, were arrested for involvement in Tuesday’s vandalism in the northern West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. Another three suspects were in custody, two for the same attack and a third minor for throwing stones at soldiers patrolling the settlement, Rosenfeld said… Also on Thursday, the army said it would not allow a march to the site of an evacuated settlement go ahead as planned next week.  “Following an assessment of the IDF’s (Israel Defence Forces) ability to allocate the required forces necessary to provide security, the decision was made not to approve the march to Homesh,” a statement from the military said. But settlers accused the army of punishing Yitzhar residents for the actions of a few wayward individuals. ”The army told us it was cancelling Homesh following the Yitzhar incidents,” a spokeswoman for the Samaria regional council, which covers northern West Bank settlements including Yitzhar, told AFP.  “It is inconceivable that the Samaria council and the entire settler populace has to pay a price over the deeds of a few outlaws, who should be arrested by police.”
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/israel-arrests-settlers-after-attacks-on-security-forces.aspx

Gaza under double blockade

Israeli forces injure 4 Palestinians in shootings near Gaza border
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 Apr — Four Palestinians were injured across the Gaza Strip on Thursday as Israeli forces opened fire in two incidents and fired a tank shell into the besieged Palestinian enclave, medical sources said. A young Palestinian was shot and injured by Israeli forces east of Jabaliya refugee camp north of Gaza on Thursday afternoon. Spokesman for the Gaza Strip ministry of heath Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma‘an that a 24-year-old was shot in the foot near the eastern cemetery. He was taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital with moderate injuries, al-Qidra added…
The shooting follows an incident in the morning when three Palestinian men were shot and injured by Israeli fire near the Erez/Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical and security sources said. The sources said Israeli troops stationed on monitor towers opened fire at workers collecting small stones from fields to be used for making concrete, injuring three workers seriously. Palestinian ambulances evacuated the victims to Kamal Udwan hospital.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689020

Israeli forces injure 5 medics after ‘targeting’ Gaza ambulance
GAZA (Ma‘an) 11 Apr — Five Palestinian medics suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces fired a tear gas canister at their ambulance in the northern Gaza Strip, a medical official said. Spokesman for the Gaza Strip ministry of health Ashraf al-Qidra said that Israeli forces had “targeted” three military ambulances near the Eastern Cemetery east of Jabaliya.  The five medics were treated on the scene, he added. The circumstances of the reported attack were not immediately clear.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689304

Gaza govt scraps tunnels agency over Egypt crackdown
GAZA CITY 9 Apr by Ola Atallah — The Gaza government has scrapped the agency responsible for managing the underground tunnels linking the Palestinian territory to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. “The tunnels agency no longer exists after Egyptian authorities closed all the tunnels,” Gaza Interior Minister spokesman Iyad al-Bazm said in a Wednesday press statement. The agency had been established by the Gaza government to monitor, regulate and tax cross-border movement and trade.
http://www.turkishpress.com/news/399937/

Israeli siege disrupts projects worth $19m
IMEMC 11 Apr by Chris Carlson — Minister of Local Government Mohammed al-Farra said that the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007 disrupted 21 projects in the fields of water and sanitation. The projects were negatively affected due to the closure of the crossings with Gaza and the ban on entry of construction materials which are necessary to fulfill several halted projects, al-Farra clarified Thursday, according to Al Ray. He pointed out that the costs of the stalled water projects reached about $15m. The most important ones are the desalination of sea water project in Dair al-Balah, south of the Gaza Strip, costing $12m, and the construction of a water tank and a pumping station project in Deir al- Balah, costing $1m. The lack of raw materials stopped the completion of the second phase of rainwater collection projects in al-Jenina neighborhood, in Rafah, costing $271.1m, Al-Farra added, pointing out that several projects were delayed due to the closure of the crossings, and especially the projects of establishing water wells in al-Qarrara, Bait-Lahia, and al-Salqa valley….
http://www.imemc.org/article/67514

Gaza resident builds plant that returns plastic to fuel
Middle East Monitor 9 Apr — EXCLUSIVE IMAGES — A Gaza resident has built a high-tech plant from basic equipment to turn used plastic remains to its origin; fuel. It took Ibrahim Soboh, 55, from the Nusairat refugee camp in the centre of the Gaza Strip, seven months to build and perfect the plant. Israel’s siege on the Gaza Strip lead to many essential goods running out, pushing the residents to Gaza to invent new machines with basic equipment to try to find alternatives. Soboh refused to disclose the secret of his invention but said the idea came to his mind as he knows that plastic is made of fuel and plastic remains, which used to be exported to Egypt through tunnels, are accumulating in huge amounts. In his plant, Soboh melts plastic by heating it until it becomes vapour. The vapour is condensed in the same machine and becomes fuel. According to Soboh, every 1.5 kilogrammes of ground plastic gives one litre of fuel. The new fuel is used to run electricity generators, cars and other machines which operate on oil.
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/10809-gaza-resident-builds-plant-that-returns-plastic-to-fuel

Cash-strapped Hamas turns to e-bullets
[with photos] GAZA CITY (AP) 10 Apr by Ibrahim Barzak — In a long hallway that looks more like a videogame arcade than a military base, Hamas security forces are holding target practice using assault rifles fitted with lasers — all without firing a bullet. For the cash-strapped Hamas government, the system is a much-needed money saver that eliminates the need to train with live ammunition, which is in short supply in Gaza. Hamas also says the quiet, indoor facility is less likely to attract the attention of the Israeli military than the open-air firing ranges that are frequently targeted in airstrikes. “Our training centers are targeted all the time by the occupation, so we have a closed-door shooting range that is hidden from the occupation,” said Abdallah Karmot, the deputy director of training at Hamas’ Interior Ministry, which oversees security in the seaside strip of land. “We also save money and the time it takes to move officers to training camps for live shooting.”
http://www.sunherald.com/2014/04/10/5487372/cash-strapped-hamas-turns-to-e.html

Gaza conflict film spares no detail
BDlive (South Africa) 10 Apr by Peter Aspden — UNDER a bright blue sky, a young Arab man in a black bomber jacket is tending to gruesome business. He is gathering the remains of a human body. They belong to Ahmed Jabari, head of the al-Qassam brigade, the military wing of the Palestinian organisation Hamas, who has just been killed in an Israeli air strike. The aftermath of the bombing, which took place in November 2012, is infernal. The streets and nearby buildings are sprayed with blood. Amid the chaos, the young man burrows into the wreckage of the car in which Jabari was travelling, and solemnly puts some unrecognisable items into a small cloth bag. “I’m collecting the pieces of the corpse,” he explains dispassionately to the camera.Devilish details, rarely seen in the plethora of news reports that come out of the various conflicts of the Middle East, which batter us into indifference almost daily. Is it a matter of taste? If we received the fuller, more brutal picture, would we be persuaded to care a little more? Or would we shrink away still further? The harrowing scenes come from a short documentary film, Gaza: Chronicles of a Conflict, which has picked up a host of international awards and this week will feature at the American Documentary Film Festival in California.
http://www.bdlive.co.za/life/entertainment/2014/04/10/gaza-conflict-film-spares-no-detail

Islamic Jihad imam ‘beaten’ by al-Qassam members
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 Apr — An imam affiliated with Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad accused members of the the military wing of Hamas of assaulting him and firing shots near the Ibrahim Khalil mosque in the northern Gaza Strip. Mureed al-Qanoo said that the incident was related to a conflict at his mosque, adding that the ministry of Islamic endowments in the northern Gaza Strip had previously dismissed him from his position at the nearby Bint al-Baz mosque in al-Safa area. Al-Qanoo claimed that his dismissal and the attack by members of al-Qassam brigades were carried out because the mosque he worked at had come under Islamic Jihad control, adding that the decision was “arbitrary.” Spokesman for the Gaza police Ayub Abu Shaar said there was problem in the area where the shots were fired, but that police were in the area working to solve the issue.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689190

Palestinian refugees from Syria

Palestinians who fled Syria seek refugee status in Thailand
DPA 10 Apr — A year after about 300 Palestinians fled Syria for Thailand, the UN has yet to grant status — Dozens of Palestinians stranded in Thailand after fleeing war-torn Syria a year ago on Thursday petitioned the United Nations to speed up the process of granting them refugee status. The Palestinian petitioners, most of them children, gathered outside the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Bangkok in a bid to draw attention to their increasingly desperate plight in the kingdom. “We need recognition as a special case with no homeland to return to,” said Tamman Tamim, 37, a spokesman for the Palestinians from Syria. An estimated 300 Palestinians have fled fighting in Syria for Thailand over the past year, after being granted visas by the Thai embassy in Damascus. “We were like visitors in Syria,” Tamim said. “We didn’t take sides so when the war broke out we decided to run away.”  Even though they did not have passports, Thailand granted them visas to travel to Bangkok, where they immediately sought refugee status from the UNHCR. But a year later, the UNHCR has yet to process their cases to make them eligible for resettlement or renew their visas in Thailand. “Now there are 25 Palestinians in jail because they don’t have visas,” Tamim said. Lacking passports and visas, the Palestinians are at constant risk of arrest by Thai authorities.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.584930

Political, other news

Israel limits contact with Palestinians as talks falter
Jerusalem (AFP) 9 Apr by Daphne Rousseau – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered ministers to limit contact with their Palestinian counterparts as the Arab League blamed his government Wednesday for the “dangerous stalemate” in US-brokered peace talks. The moves came a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry, who kick-started the talks in July after a nearly three-year hiatus, blamed Israel for derailing the process by announcing new settlement construction. “In response to the Palestinian violation of their commitments under peace talks… Israel government ministers have been told to refrain from meeting their Palestinian counterparts,” an Israeli official told AFP. Palestinian labour minister Ahmad Majdalani downplayed the significance of the move. “There are no (regular) meetings organised between Palestinian and Israeli ministers, apart from the finance ministers,” he told AFP
http://news.yahoo.com/israel-limit-contact-palestinians-081103635.html

Israel sanctions Palestinians in new blow to peace talks
Jerusalem (AFP) 10 Apr by Daphne Rousseau with Jo Biddle in Washington — Israeli and Palestinian officials held fresh US-mediated talks Thursday, but the crisis-hit peace process was dealt a new blow as Israel unveiled sanctions against the Palestinians. Israel, which collects about 80 million euros ($111 million) in taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority — two-thirds of its revenues — has decided to freeze the transfer of that money, an official told AFP. Israel was also suspending its participation with the Palestinians in developing a gas field off the Gaza Strip and putting a cap on Palestinian deposits in its banks, the Israeli official said, asking not to be named. However, the official said “discussions under the aegis of the United States to overcome the talks crisis will continue.” Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat lashed out at the move, calling it an act of “Israeli hijacking and the theft of the Palestinian people’s money.”
http://news.yahoo.com/israelis-palestinians-meet-amid-talks-stalemate-155555457.html

Fatah leader: Israeli sanctions will lead to collapse of PA
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 9 Apr — Fatah central committee member Azzam al-Ahmad warned on Wednesday that Israeli sanctions will lead to the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority. Al-Ahmad told Ma‘an that the PA will not announce its dismantling outright, but stressed that Israeli actions will “lead to its collapse.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=688892

Bennett calls on PM to annex 60 percent of the West Bank
Jerusalem Post 10 Apr by Gil Hoffman — Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to annex some 60 percent of the West Bank in response to the Palestinians’ stopping talks with Israel and turning to the UN. All 350,000 of the Jews in Judea and Samaria live in Area C, some 60% of the area. Of the Palestinians in the West Bank, 97% live in Area A, which is under full Palestinian control, and Area B, which is under Palestinian civil control and Israeli military control … Bennett launched a public relations initiative Wednesday for his “Settlement Blocs First” plan, which calls for annexing blocs such as Ariel, Gush Etzion, Ma’aleh Adumim, Beit El-Ofra and communities that overlook Ben-Gurion Airport. He explained his plan on CNN Wednesday night and intends to push it to the international community. A Hebrew video with subtitles in multiple languages that the Jerusalem and Diaspora affairs minister released explained why the plan could be practical. It says that the international community does not recognize Israel’s annexation of eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, so annexing part of the West Bank would just add another thing for the world to complain about.
http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Bennett-calls-on-PM-to-annex-60-percent-of-the-West-Bank-348085

Report: Abbas ready to extend peace talks
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Apr – President Mahmoud Abbas says he is ready to extend peace talks based on principles and terms of reference that lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Abbas told the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily newspaper Thursday that his move to join 15 international conventions and treaties embodied “one of the Palestinian people’s rights and Israel has nothing to do with that.” During a meeting with foreign ministers of the Arab League in Cairo on Wednesday, Abbas reviewed a report in detail about peace talks and the impasse they reached. He also updated the participants on the results of the last tripartite meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators and US mediators. Abbas urged Arab countries to materialize a financial security network which the Kuwait Arab League summit approved. Arab countries pledged to allocate a monthly payment of $100 million to the Palestinian Authority. Arab foreign ministers agreed in their emergency meeting to extend peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians after the April 29 deadline. They urged Israel to release the last group of veteran Palestinian prisoners who have been in custody before the Oslo Accords of 1994.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=688998

Source: Israel wanted to deport prisoners
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 10 Apr — Israeli negotiators suggested to deport to the Gaza Strip 10 of the veteran prisoners expected to be freed by Israel this month, but the Palestinian side refused to discuss that proposal, a senior official said Thursday.  Acting on instructions from the president, the Palestinian negotiators refused to discuss the proposal of deporting any prisoner to avoid repetition of previous experiences when prisoners were deported to Gaza or to foreign countries, according to the high-level Palestinian source.  At the end of March, Israel refused to release a final batch of Palestinian prisoners the PLO had been expecting to be freed in a gesture to restart peace talks last year.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689064

Palestinian Authority becomes official signatory of Geneva Conventions
AFP/Al-Akbar 11 Apr — The Palestinian Authority has signed up formally to the Geneva Conventions, which set down the rules of warfare and humanitarian operations in conflict zones, the treaties’ guardian Switzerland confirmed Friday. Swiss foreign ministry spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger told AFP that the Palestinian Authority had declared itself party to the conventions on April 2. This was registered formally by Switzerland on Thursday, he added. The step is part of a new diplomatic drive by Mahmoud Abbas, the PA president, coming as peace talks with Israel are close to collapse … The original Geneva Conventions were crafted in the 19th century under the auspices of the Swiss-based International Committee of the Red Cross, and recast after World War II. Over the subsequent decades, optional protocols were added to take into account the developing realities of war and its impact on civilians. The Palestinians have also submitted requests to the United Nations to join 13 other international conventions and treaties, and the world body said Thursday that the move was legal. The treaties include the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, the convention on the rights of the child, the convention against torture, and an anti-corruption accord
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/palestinian-authority-becomes-official-signatory-geneva-conventions

Mohammed Dahlan to run for Palestinian president
KHAN YUNIS, Gaza Strip (Al-Monitor) 10 Apr by Asmaa al-Ghoul — Former Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan will run for Palestinian president if elections take place, his wife, Jalila Dahlan, told Al-Monitor in an exclusive interview. “He will either run as an independent candidate, as a Fatah candidate or within a list,” Jalila said at her husband’s family home in Khan Yunis. Dahlan, also known as Abu Fadi, intends to return to Gaza, Jalila confirmed, but “will only return in the framework of a reconciliation agreement.” Jalila denied reports that Dahlan has developed ties with Hamas, saying this rumor is being spread by Hamas to deepen discord within Fatah. But Jalila confirmed that Hamas and Dahlan have been in touch. “Many Hamas leaders are contacting Abu Fadi. Some of them visited our house in the United Arab Emirates,” she said. Jalila, who was on a 10-day visit to Gaza with her 9-year-old daughter Asil, said that Dahlan would never consider dividing Fatah. She slammed the public accusations by President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) that Dahlan was an Israeli spy and involved in the death of late PLO leader Yasser Arafat. She said, “The latest speech by Abu Mazen crossed all red lines.”
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/04/mohammed-dahlan-wife-interview-presidency-gaza.html

Thousands run the Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem
[with many photos] BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) 11 Apr — More than 3,000 runners from around the world took part in the second annual Palestine Marathon on Friday, passing the Israeli separation wall and curving around checkpoints on the 42-kilometer (26 miles) course. The marathon is held under the banner “Right to Movement” in order to highlight Israeli obstacles to freedom of movement in the occupied Palestinian territories. The marathon took place in Bethlehem and entailed a two-directional run on the same 21-kilometer (13 miles) stretch around the central Palestinian city and nearby villages. Due to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement and physical barriers such as checkpoints and the separation wall, organizers have had difficulty finding an appropriate, continuous 42-kilometer loop within the occupied West Bank. Organizers said around 2,500 participants hailed from across the Palestinian territories, while around 700 came from 39 different countries. Besides Palestinians, Denmark, the US, and the UK were the countries most represented in the race. Israeli jets could be heard flying overhead at the beginning of the marathon, but organizers and runners remained undeterred … Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from using the speakers at the Bilal Bin Rabah mosque at Rachel’s Tomb near ‘Aida refugee camp in order to help participants with directions on the course or to play music … On Tuesday, the Israeli High Court of Justice turned down an appeal by the human rights group Gisha on behalf of Gaza runner Nadir al-Masri, who was denied entry to the West Bank to compete in the marathon.
http://www.maannews.net/ENG/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689284

Jazz guitar legend John McLaughlin plays for Palestine
RAMALLAH (AFP) 10 Apr — The Palestinian territories are rarely a destination for jazz musicians let alone stars of an art form that is more at home in big cities such as New York and Chicago. Which makes the performance of jazz guitar legend John McLaughlin before a packed auditorium in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday night all the more remarkable. McLaughlin toured areas of the West Bank before enthralling the mostly local audience who attended his “solidarity concert” for Palestinians with a fusion of Western and Eastern sounds. The 72-year-old British musician, who has recorded with the likes of late jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, said proceeds from the concert would go to a local NGO. “People here are isolated… and the situation is such that since very few people can leave, it’s important that people from the outside come in,” he told AFP.
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/art-and-culture/2014/04/10/Jazz-guitar-legend-John-McLaughlin-plays-for-Palestine.html

PCHR weekly report on Israeli violations [3-9 April]
IMEMC 11 Apr by Saed Bannoura — The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) based in Gaza published its weekly report on Israeli violations against the Palestinian people in the period between April 3 and April 9, 2014, revealing that the army carried out 62 invasions in the West Bank, and 3 limited invasions into the Gaza Strip … The army also used excessive force against nonviolent protesters close to the border fence between the eastern part of the Gaza Strip and Israel. The PCHR said the army kidnapped 22 Palestinians in these invasions and attacks, and carried out nine air strikes targeting Palestinian communities, and a number of training sites used by the resistance, in the besieged Gaza Strip. The air strikes in Gaza led to the destruction of three workshops (blacksmith, plumping, and aluminum) in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, in addition to damaging 7 civilian cars, 21 houses, a warehouse and a water well. The PCHR added that the army continued to open fire at different parts of the coastal region, and at Palestinian fishermen and their boats on the Gaza shore and in Palestinian territorial waters. The army confiscated boats, fishing nets, and repeatedly opened fire at fishermen and their boats.
In the West Bank, the army continued to use excessive force against nonviolent protests against the Wall and settlements, leading to 12 injuries, including two children and a cameraman in the central West Bank district of Ramallah. The ongoing Israeli attacks against various communities led to the injury of two civilians, including one child in the northern and southern parts of the West Bank. Soldiers carried out at least 62 invasions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank … and kidnapped 22 Palestinians, including two children, in the West Bank. In Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, soldiers stole NIS 150.000 and 200 grams of gold, from a house of a Palestinian west of the city. [The full report does not appear to be on the pchrgaza site yet, but should be soon]
http://www.imemc.org/article/67512

New Israeli spy satellite enters orbit
Jerusalem (AFP) 10 Apr – A new Israeli spy satellite entered orbit early Thursday, the defence ministry said, boosting the Jewish state’s ability to monitor arch-foe Iran. The observation remote-sensing Ofek 10 satellite, launched into space on a Shavit rocket late Wednesday, outdoes earlier models with its ability to “skip” from one target to another rather than simply “sweep” areas, ministry officials told reporters. Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon noted Ofek 10 would “enable the security establishment to better deal with threats near and far, at all hours of the day and in any weather.” Israel, the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, suspects Iran is covertly pursuing a nuclear weapons capability alongside its civilian programme, charges adamantly denied by Tehran. Ofek 10 joins a number of spy satellites Israel has been deploying since 1988, with the most recent — Ofek 9 — launched into space in 2010.
http://news.yahoo.com/israeli-spy-satellite-enters-orbit-063634044.html

Analysis / Opinion

Israeli court says Palestinian doctors can work — as foreigners
972mag 9 Apr by Matt Surrusco — The case of Palestinian doctors from East Jerusalem, who the Israeli Health Ministry and Council for Higher Education have prevented from working, presents Israel with a question: Are Palestinian institutions foreign or domestic? — The Jerusalem District Court this week ordered the Israeli Health Ministry to stop playing politics with the professional futures of 55 Palestinian doctors and to allow them to practice medicine in Israel. Why were the medical school graduates of Al-Quds University denied the opportunity to work in Israeli hospitals in the first place? The Health Ministry refused to allow them to take medical certification exams because Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE) has yet to distinguish Al-Quds School of Medicine as either an accredited Israeli or foreign university, Haaretz reported. But surely, if Israel does not consider Al-Quds University an Israeli institution of higher learning then it must be a foreign university? Not so in Jerusalem. When a nation’s borders don’t quite end where most of the world has agreed they do (the pre-1967 borders), as is the case in Israel, determining what institutions are foreign and domestic becomes complicated. The Health Ministry’s justification for denying Al-Quds medical school alumni the opportunity to work in Israeli hospitals is largely a bureaucratic excuse based on a situation that Israel created when it annexed East Jerusalem. Here’s the ministry’s twisted logic: one of Al-Quds University’s campuses is located within the Jerusalem municipal boundaries but others, where the majority of students attend, are located in the West Bank, including the Al-Quds School of Medicine, which is in Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem. The CHE has said it cannot recognize the university as an Israeli institution because it has campuses in the West Bank. However, the CHE also says it cannot designate Al-Quds as a foreign university because one of its campuses is located in East Jerusalem, which Israel claims as sovereign territory. It’s a case of Israel wanting to have it both ways, unwilling to grant the university, or its individual schools, either domestic or foreign status, which leaves Al-Quds and its students stuck in post-graduate limbo.
http://972mag.com/israeli-court-says-palestinian-doctors-can-work-as-foreigners/89450/

Analysis: Abbas’ move brings out Israeli racism / Daoud Kuttab
Ma‘an 10 Apr — The decision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to sign 15 international treaties brought further proof of Israeli racist attitudes towards the Palestinians. Public statements by senior Israeli officials, as well as commentaries and analyses by Israeli pundits show angry reactions to the Palestinian move, something akin to the anger one would read about when slaves did not show enough respect and actually dared “suggest” that they wanted to be free. The Israeli prime minister set the tone during the start of the weekly Israeli Cabinet meeting. He argued that Palestinians can only get their coveted state through his style of negotiations and based on his conditions, including his new demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz joined the attack with a diatribe reflecting a slave-owner mentality: “Truth be told, Mahmoud Abbas is spitting in our faces. The Palestinian Authority exists thanks to us. Not only because of the Oslo Accords, but because of the funds we transfer them, and the security we give them. Otherwise, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as they control Gaza, would also take down Abbas and take over Ramallah.” Other Israeli officials made similar remarks. Settlements representative in the Cabinet Neftali Bennett mocked the Palestinian president’s UN move: “If he wants to go to the UN, I will buy him the ticket and there he will face a personal lawsuit for war crimes.” The Israelis are not signatories to the Rome Convention, which created the International Court of Justice
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=689098

Barghouti and Pollard: Two prisoners at the center of the Mideast peace talks
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Washington Post) by William Booth — The two men have been moldering in jail for years: one a convicted spy, the other a convicted terrorist. To supporters, they are victims, martyrs and symbols. And their releases could be the diplomatic gestures that allow the collapsing Middle East peace talks to continue, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators say. Marwan Barghouti, 54, called “Palestine’s Nelson Mandela” by supporters, has been incarcerated in Israel’s Hadarim prison for 12 years, serving five consecutive life sentences for his role as facilitator and mastermind of murders of Israelis during the second intifada, or uprising, in the early 2000s.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/barghouti-and-pollard-two-prisoners-at-the-center-of-the-mideast-peace-talks/2014/04/09/b2afb890-bfeb-11e3-9ee7-02c1e10a03f0_story.html

groups.yahoo.com/group/f_shadi (listserv)
www.theheadlines.org (archive)

A State-by-State Breakdown of the Damage That Would Be Caused by the House Republican Budget

4/9/14

House Republicans this week are voting on a budget that protects tax breaks for the wealthiest rather than create opportunities for middle-class families to get ahead. It is the same old top-down approach and would raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of at least $2,000 in order to cut taxes for households with incomes over $1 million.

As in previous years, the House Republican Budget proposes deep funding reductions that would result in severe cuts to critical areas that are needed to support job creation, economic growth, a strong middle class, and assistance for lower income individuals, especially when compared to the overall level of investment in the President's budget. Since House Republicans aren’t willing to identify specifically what they actually want to cut, one way to assess the potential damaging impact is to look at what would happen to key programs if the cuts compared to the President’s budget were applied evenly across the board. 

The results show the potential extent of the damage across the country. Within a few years:

  • In Florida, 290,000 seniors benefited from the closure of the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole in 2013 alone and at least that many likely would have to pay more for their needed medications in future years.
  • In California, more than 50,000 fewer students would receive Pell Grants to help them pay for college. 
  • In Ohio, the proposed Medicaid block grant would cut federal Medicaid funding for the state by more than $30 billion over the next decade, likely resulting in more uninsured individuals and less care for those still covered.
  • In Texas, 12,000 fewer children would receive Head Start services.
  • In Pennsylvania, more than 100,000 people would lose job search assistance.
  • In Missouri, 1,700 fewer victims of domestic violence would be served through the STOP Violence Against Women Program.

read more

Zionism has distorted American Jewish life

4/8/14

One of the best speeches at the National Summit to Reassess the Special Relationship between the U.S. and Israel last month was by Allan Brownfeld. The summit has now posted the speech in video and transcript. Here are extended excerpts. –Ed.

We all know that Zionism has distorted American policy in the Middle East. At the same time, it has had a terribly negative impact upon Jewish life in the United States and throughout the world. And it is important to remember that, historically, Zionism was a minority view within Judaism, particularly in America.

The organization whose journal I edit, the American Council for Judaism, was established in 1942 and it was established primarily because the established Jewish organizations, which had previously opposed the concept of Jewish nationalism, had changed course. So the Council was organized to maintain this older view that, first, Judaism is a religion, not a nationality, that American Jews are American by nationality and Jews by religion, just as other people are Protestant, Catholic, or Muslim.

This was the view maintained by the vast majority of American Jews all through history. In my opinion, it’s the view of the silent majority today. Zionism gained a foothold largely because of the reaction to Naziism. Something had to be done in the wake of the horror of Europe.

But I just want to give you a little bit of the history so you understand where we’re coming from. In 1841, at the dedication of Temple Beth Elohim in Charleston, South Carolina, the oldest reform synagogue in America, Rabbi Gustav Posnanski declared, “This country is our Palestine. This city is our Jerusalem. This house of God is our temple.”…

One of the leading Jewish theologians of the 20th century, Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “Judaism is not a religion of space and does not worship the soil. So true the state of Israel is not the climax of Jewish history but a test of the integrity of the Jewish people and the competence of Judaism.”

And in 1929, a respected Orthodox rabbi, Aaron Samuel Tamarat wrote that the very notion of a sovereign Jewish state as a spiritual center was a contradiction to Judaism’s ultimate purpose. He wrote, “Judaism is not some religious concentration that can be localized or situated in a single territory. Neither is Judaism a nationality in the sense of modern nationalism, fit to be woven into the threefoldedness of homeland, army, and heroic songs. No, Judaism is Torah, ethics, an exaltation of the spirit. If Judaism is truly Torah, then it cannot be reduced to the confines of any particular territory, for as scripture said of Torah, it’s measure is greater than the Earth.”

It is my opinion that what has happened to American Judaism has completely corrupted its religious nature. What we are witnessing today, synagogues flying Israeli flags, programs urging American Jews to immigrate to Israel, their real homeland, is a form of idolatry, making the sovereign state of Israel the object of worship, rather than God.

In 1999, the Union for Reformed Judaism adopted a resolution saying Israel is central to our religion. Israel, not God. And one of the prominent Zionists, Professor [Ruth] Wisse of Harvard University, said at one time, “I would rather surround myself with Jews who loved Israel and didn’t believe in God at all than with those who believed in God and did not love Israel.”

It is also my view that Zionism is a subversive enterprise. What would we, as Americans, think of any religious institution in our society that flew a foreign flag in its houses of worship, that told young Americans that this is not really their homeland, that some place else is their homeland, and that the highest form of their religious expression is to immigrate to that country?

Now, I doubt that very many American Jews believe any of that. Very few American Jews are immigrating to Israel, yet their religious institutions manifest that sensibility.

If you read the Jewish press, whether the Forward or the Washington Jewish Week or local Jewish papers in Los Angeles or Cleveland, you get the feeling that you are reading the papers of an expatriate community. It’s as if you were reading the papers of recent immigrants from El Salvador who are reading about the daily events in their home country and were being urged to return.

Now, there have been many distortions in American Jewish life. Consider the hypocrisy of American Jewish organizations which have gone to court to remove voluntary school prayer from our schools, remove Christmas trees from our schools, yet support a theocracy in Israel where there is no separation of church and state. The Israel calls itself a Jewish state, yet non-Orthodox Jews have fewer rights in Israel than any place in the Western World. Reformed rabbis have no right to perform weddings or funerals. Conversions by reformed rabbis are not recognized. Israel is not a free society with regard to religion.

The question then arises, American Jewish organizations who have dedicated themselves with such fervor to a strict separation of church and state seem not really to believe in separation of church and state when Jews are a majority. It’s interesting that when Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote the Virginia Declaration of Religious Freedom, they were not members of a persecuted minority. They were people who believed in religious freedom. One wonders if the American Jewish establishment shares that belief.

Consider how Israel has infiltrated American Jewish life to the extent when resolutions were proposed in Congress to recognize the Armenian genocide by Turkey, Jewish organizations led the crusade to remove that legislation and defeat it because Israel, at that time, was allied with Turkey. I suspect if the same resolution came up today, these organizations might take a different, different position.

In Israel itself, there is a growth of racism, there is a growth of religious extremism. The book The King’s Torah was a bestseller. This is a book that said Jews and non-Jews are basically different in nature, Jews are much closer to God than non-Jews, who are referred to as uncompassionate….

We understand there’s religious extremism in many parts of the world. My point is why don’t American Jews say a word about this? Not a word of criticism of the racism and extremism growing in Israel. It has distorted Jewish values. It has distorted American Jewish life.

Now, I’m not a pessimist because, as I said earlier, I believe that the position I represent represents a silent majority of American Jews, not those who are members of AIPAC or the American Jewish Committee. But the vast majority of American Jews believe they are Americans, believe that Judaism is their religion, do not believe that Israel is their homeland. Zionism is in retreat, in my opinion, within the Jewish community.

We’ve seen a number of events. Hillel foundations in various parts of the country are rejecting the guidelines set down by the Hillel Foundation officially. And Eric Fingerhut, the former congressman from Ohio who is now the head of Hillel, said, “According to our guidelines, no anti-Zionists will be permitted to speak at Hillel foundations.” Mr. Fingerhut must not be aware of the long tradition of Jewish opposition to Zionism that I have just recited…

So among young people, there’s a great belief in freedom of speech, in freedom of debate, and a desire that moral values, treating each individual with human dignity, be applied everywhere: in Palestine, as well as in Israel, as well as in our own country.

So I think Zionism within the Jewish community is in retreat, and time will tell whether I’m right. Thank you very much.

The U.S. Cities Where the Rich Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else

4/2/14

This is the third post in a five-part series on economic segregation in U.S. metros.

The richest Americans—the much-talked about 1 percent—are a cloistered class. As the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz scathingly put it, they “have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.” The Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel has similarly lamented the “skyboxification” of American life, in which “people of affluence and people of modest means lead increasingly separate lives.”   

The substantial and growing gap between the rich and everyone else is increasingly inscribed on our geography. There have always been affluent neighborhoods, gated enclaves, and fabled bastions of wealth like Greenwich, Connecticut; Grosse Pointe, Michigan; Potomac, Maryland; and Beverly Hills, California. But America’s bankers, lawyers, and doctors didn’t always live so far apart from teachers, accountants, and small business owners, who themselves weren’t always so segregated from the poorest, most struggling Americans. My father, a factory worker, raised his family in suburban New Jersey just around the corner from my uncle, who had a management position as the head of research and development at Colgate Palmolive. But that kind of world has disappeared today. As the sociologists Sean Reardon and Kendra Bischoff noted in their 2013 study of economic segregation in America, “During the last four decades, the isolation of the rich has been consistently greater than the isolation of the poor. “

Today, I turn my attention to the geographic segregation of the wealthy. We define wealthy as households with annual incomes of $200,000 or more. To calculate this, my Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) colleague Charlotta Mellander used an index of dissimilarity developed by sociologists Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton. The index compares the distribution of a selected group of people with all others in that location. The more evenly distributed the wealthy are across tracts compared to the rest of the population, the lower the level of segregation (the Dissimilarity Index ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 reflects no segregation and 1 reflects complete segregation). The MPI’s Zara Matheson mapped the data.

•       •       •       •       •

The map below shows the segregation of wealthy households across U.S. metros. Dark blue reflects metros where the wealthy are the most isolated; lighter blue where they are very isolated; green where they are moderately segregated from the rest of the population; and yellow shows metros where the wealthy are more mixed in or integrated with other segments of the population.

Interestingly, the map shows that the wealthy are more isolated in the Midwest and Sunbelt and relatively less segregated in the more affluent, knowledge-based metros of the East and West Coasts. There is significant wealth segregation in South Florida, where gated communities are common.

The table below shows the ten large metros (those with one million or more people) where the wealthy are the most and least segregated from other economic groups.

Large Metros Where the Wealthy Are Most Geographically Segregated
Rank Metro Index Rank of All Metros
1 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 0.582 5
2 Birmingham-Hoover, AL 0.576 8
3 Louisville/Jefferson County KY-IN 0.575 9
4 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 0.567 10
5 Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH 0.560 13
6 Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI 0.552 17
7 Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN 0.549 23
8 Columbus, OH 0.547 25
9 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC 0.541 29
10 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 0.540 31


The large metros where the wealthy are most segregated are mainly older industrial metros in the Rustbelt and Sunbelt. Memphis is the metro where the wealthy are most highly segregated, followed by Birmingham, Alabama; Louisville, Kentucky, and San Antonio, Texas. Cleveland and Detroit rank fifth and sixth. Nashville; Columbus, Ohio; Charlotte; and Miami round out the top ten.

When we look at the pattern for all of the United States's 350-plus metros, a number of smaller and medium-sized metros turn out to be the places where the wealthy are the most isolated. Smaller metros take the top four spots and account for six of the ten most segregated metros in the country. Laredo, Texas, ranks first, followed by Jackson, Tennessee; El Paso, Texas; and Great Falls, Montana. Memphis is fifth overall, with Tucson, Arizona and Columbus, Georgia in sixth and seventh. Birmingham, Louisville and San Antonio now drop to eighth, ninth and tenth respectively. Other metros that fall in the top 20 include Tallahassee, Florida (12th); Toledo (14th) and Akron, Ohio (18th); Fresno, California (15th); and Reno, Nevada (20th).

Large Metros Where the Wealthy Are Least Geographically Segregated
Rank Metro Index Rank of All Metros
51 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 0.378 321
50 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 0.418 256
49 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 0.428 243
48 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 0.430 238
47 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 0.431 237
46 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH 0.440 218
45 Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA 0.447 211
44 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 0.460 182
43 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 0.461 181
42 Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA 0.462 180


The large metros where the wealthy are least segregated are mainly on the East and West Coasts. They include some of the country's leading high-tech knowledge centers, the places with some of the highest income levels in the nation. San Jose is the metro where the wealthy are least segregated from other segments of the population, followed by nearby San Francisco, D.C., Seattle, Hartford, Boston, Providence, Portland, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Sacramento. New York ranks 36th of large metros and 117th overall; Chicago ranks 28th of large metros and 83rd overall; L.A. ranks 26th of large metros and 79th overall; and Austin ranks 20th of large metros and 62nd overall.

Though it might seem counterintuitive that the wealthy would be less segregated than the poor in those places, one reason might be that there are enough affluent people to raise the median income very high. The very wealthy don’t push out the merely affluent in such places; often they end up sharing the same tracts. 

But if wealth is relatively less segregated in some large metros than some smaller ones, the divisions between large and small metros are still considerable. There are 45 or so smaller and medium size metros that have lower levels of wealth segregation than San Jose and more than a hundred with lower levels than San Francisco. The places with the lowest levels of wealth segregation are all smaller metros, such as Mankato, Minnesota; Barnstable, Massachusetts on Cape Cod; Warner Robins, Georgia; Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; St. George, Utah; and Kingston, New York.  

•       •       •       •       •

What are the underlying factors that are associated with the geographic segregation of the wealthy?

To get at this Mellander ran a basic correlation analysis between the segregation of wealth and a number of key economic, social and demographic characteristics of metros. As usual, I note that correlation does not equal causation and points only to associations between variables.

The wealthy are more concentrated and segregated in larger metros, according to Mellander’s analysis (the correlation with population size is .38). Housing prices tend to be more expensive in larger metros, and there are more places where only the wealthy can afford to live. Interestingly, the segregation of the wealthy is only modestly associated with density (.17).

The geographic segregation of the wealthy overlaps long-standing racial cleavages. The wealthy are less segregated in metros where white people make up a greater share of the total population (with a negative correlation of -.29). And they are more segregated and geographically isolated in metros with higher shares of black residents (with an even higher positive correlation of .34). The segregation of the wealthy is more modestly associated with the share that is Latino (.15) and not statistically associated with the share that is Asian.

One might think that the segregation of wealthy populations would follow from the overall affluence and economic status of metros. But that does not seem to be the case. In fact, the segregation of the wealthy is negatively associated with per capita incomes across metros, and not statistically associated with average wages or economic output per capita either. In other words, the wealthy do not appear to be any more segregated in more affluent metros.

This seems counterintuitive at first glance, but it perhaps might not be so much of a mystery. One possible explanation could be that, if more people in a metro have relatively high income, the wealthy are a larger group. When there are more wealthy people in a metro, numbers alone will dictate that they will need to live in a larger number of neighborhoods, and they will tend to be more spread throughout the community.

One would think that the segregation of the wealthy would correlate with inequality. But the segregation of the wealthy is modestly related to both income inequality (.28) and wage inequality (.22). Part of this may be due to the simple numerical fact that the uber-wealthy we consider here are very a small group of people.

Interestingly, religion is more closely associated with the segregation of the wealthy than other economic and demographic factors in our analysis. The segregation of the wealthy is greater in metros where a larger share of adults say that religion (as measured by Gallup surveys) plays an important role in their daily lives (the correlation of .41 is among the highest in this analysis). Generally speaking, greater affluence typically goes along with less religiosity and higher levels of secularism. But as the map and tables above show, the wealthy are highly segregated in Southern metros, so this result likely reflects the high religiosity of Southern Bible Belt metros.

•       •       •       •       •

With growing concern today about increased inequality and economic segregation, it’s natural to focus on the deleterious consequences that stem from the concentration of the poor. But the geographic concentration of the advantaged also poses considerable problems for our cities and metro areas. The sociologist William Julius Wilson long ago explained how the out-migration of up-and-coming African-Americans damaged historically black neighborhoods, not only by draining off economic resources but also by taking away local role models and mentors for young people. 

The choices of the advantaged are in many ways a driving force behind economic segregation in America. The wealthy have the resources to colonize the very best neighborhoods and to wall themselves off from the rest of the population. And because of the resources and the influence they can bring to bear, the wealthy are able to mobilize disproportionate shares of community resources for their own neighborhoods. This allows them to invest in better schools, better parks and all manner of services and amenities, leaving fewer public and private resources to flow to less advantaged areas and populations.

The next two posts will look at the segregation of two relatively advantaged groups: highly educated people and the creative class.

Top Image: A mansion in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, one of the metro areas with the highest rates of wealth segregation (Wikimedia Commons/Umdet)


    






The U.S. Cities Where the Rich Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else

4/2/14

This is the third post in a five-part series on economic segregation in U.S. metros.

The richest Americans—the much-talked about 1 percent—are a cloistered class. As the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz scathingly put it, they “have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.” The Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel has similarly lamented the “skyboxification” of American life, in which “people of affluence and people of modest means lead increasingly separate lives.”   

The substantial and growing gap between the rich and everyone else is increasingly inscribed on our geography. There have always been affluent neighborhoods, gated enclaves, and fabled bastions of wealth like Greenwich, Connecticut; Grosse Pointe, Michigan; Potomac, Maryland; and Beverly Hills, California. But America’s bankers, lawyers, and doctors didn’t always live so far apart from teachers, accountants, and small business owners, who themselves weren’t always so segregated from the poorest, most struggling Americans. My father, a factory worker, raised his family in suburban New Jersey just around the corner from my uncle, who had a management position as the head of research and development at Colgate Palmolive. But that kind of world has disappeared today. As the sociologists Sean Reardon and Kendra Bischoff noted in their 2013 study of economic segregation in America, “During the last four decades, the isolation of the rich has been consistently greater than the isolation of the poor. “

Today, I turn my attention to the geographic segregation of the wealthy. We define wealthy as households with annual incomes of $200,000 or more. To calculate this, my Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) colleague Charlotta Mellander used an index of dissimilarity developed by sociologists Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton. The index compares the distribution of a selected group of people with all others in that location. The more evenly distributed the wealthy are across tracts compared to the rest of the population, the lower the level of segregation (the Dissimilarity Index ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 reflects no segregation and 1 reflects complete segregation). The MPI’s Zara Matheson mapped the data.

•       •       •       •       •

The map below shows the segregation of wealthy households across U.S. metros. Dark blue reflects metros where the wealthy are the most isolated; lighter blue where they are very isolated; green where they are moderately segregated from the rest of the population; and yellow shows metros where the wealthy are more mixed in or integrated with other segments of the population.

Interestingly, the map shows that the wealthy are more isolated in the Midwest and Sunbelt and relatively less segregated in the more affluent, knowledge-based metros of the East and West Coasts. There is significant wealth segregation in South Florida, where gated communities are common.

The table below shows the ten large metros (those with one million or more people) where the wealthy are the most and least segregated from other economic groups.

Large Metros Where the Wealthy Are Most Geographically Segregated
Rank Metro Index Rank of All Metros
1 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 0.582 5
2 Birmingham-Hoover, AL 0.576 8
3 Louisville/Jefferson County KY-IN 0.575 9
4 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 0.567 10
5 Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH 0.560 13
6 Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI 0.552 17
7 Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN 0.549 23
8 Columbus, OH 0.547 25
9 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC 0.541 29
10 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 0.540 31


The large metros where the wealthy are most segregated are mainly older industrial metros in the Rustbelt and Sunbelt. Memphis is the metro where the wealthy are most highly segregated, followed by Birmingham, Alabama; Louisville, Kentucky, and San Antonio, Texas. Cleveland and Detroit rank fifth and sixth. Nashville; Columbus, Ohio; Charlotte; and Miami round out the top ten.

When we look at the pattern for all of the United States's 350-plus metros, a number of smaller and medium-sized metros turn out to be the places where the wealthy are the most isolated. Smaller metros take the top four spots and account for six of the ten most segregated metros in the country. Laredo, Texas, ranks first, followed by Jackson, Tennessee; El Paso, Texas; and Great Falls, Montana. Memphis is fifth overall, with Tucson, Arizona and Columbus, Georgia in sixth and seventh. Birmingham, Louisville and San Antonio now drop to eighth, ninth and tenth respectively. Other metros that fall in the top 20 include Tallahassee, Florida (12th); Toledo (14th) and Akron, Ohio (18th); Fresno, California (15th); and Reno, Nevada (20th).

Large Metros Where the Wealthy Are Least Geographically Segregated
Rank Metro Index Rank of All Metros
51 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 0.378 321
50 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 0.418 256
49 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 0.428 243
48 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 0.430 238
47 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 0.431 237
46 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH 0.440 218
45 Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA 0.447 211
44 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 0.460 182
43 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 0.461 181
42 Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA 0.462 180


The large metros where the wealthy are least segregated are mainly on the East and West Coasts. They include some of the country's leading high-tech knowledge centers, the places with some of the highest income levels in the nation. San Jose is the metro where the wealthy are least segregated from other segments of the population, followed by nearby San Francisco, D.C., Seattle, Hartford, Boston, Providence, Portland, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Sacramento. New York ranks 36th of large metros and 117th overall; Chicago ranks 28th of large metros and 83rd overall; L.A. ranks 26th of large metros and 79th overall; and Austin ranks 20th of large metros and 62nd overall.

Though it might seem counterintuitive that the wealthy would be less segregated than the poor in those places, one reason might be that there are enough affluent people to raise the median income very high. The very wealthy don’t push out the merely affluent in such places; often they end up sharing the same tracts. 

But if wealth is relatively less segregated in some large metros than some smaller ones, the divisions between large and small metros are still considerable. There are 45 or so smaller and medium size metros that have lower levels of wealth segregation than San Jose and more than a hundred with lower levels than San Francisco. The places with the lowest levels of wealth segregation are all smaller metros, such as Mankato, Minnesota; Barnstable, Massachusetts on Cape Cod; Warner Robins, Georgia; Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; St. George, Utah; and Kingston, New York.  

•       •       •       •       •

What are the underlying factors that are associated with the geographic segregation of the wealthy?

To get at this Mellander ran a basic correlation analysis between the segregation of wealth and a number of key economic, social and demographic characteristics of metros. As usual, I note that correlation does not equal causation and points only to associations between variables.

The wealthy are more concentrated and segregated in larger metros, according to Mellander’s analysis (the correlation with population size is .38). Housing prices tend to be more expensive in larger metros, and there are more places where only the wealthy can afford to live. Interestingly, the segregation of the wealthy is only modestly associated with density (.17).

The geographic segregation of the wealthy overlaps long-standing racial cleavages. The wealthy are less segregated in metros where white people make up a greater share of the total population (with a negative correlation of -.29). And they are more segregated and geographically isolated in metros with higher shares of black residents (with an even higher positive correlation of .34). The segregation of the wealthy is more modestly associated with the share that is Latino (.15) and not statistically associated with the share that is Asian.

One might think that the segregation of wealthy populations would follow from the overall affluence and economic status of metros. But that does not seem to be the case. In fact, the segregation of the wealthy is negatively associated with per capita incomes across metros, and not statistically associated with average wages or economic output per capita either. In other words, the wealthy do not appear to be any more segregated in more affluent metros.

This seems counterintuitive at first glance, but it perhaps might not be so much of a mystery. One possible explanation could be that, if more people in a metro have relatively high income, the wealthy are a larger group. When there are more wealthy people in a metro, numbers alone will dictate that they will need to live in a larger number of neighborhoods, and they will tend to be more spread throughout the community.

One would think that the segregation of the wealthy would correlate with inequality. But the segregation of the wealthy is modestly related to both income inequality (.28) and wage inequality (.22). Part of this may be due to the simple numerical fact that the uber-wealthy we consider here are very a small group of people.

Interestingly, religion is more closely associated with the segregation of the wealthy than other economic and demographic factors in our analysis. The segregation of the wealthy is greater in metros where a larger share of adults say that religion (as measured by Gallup surveys) plays an important role in their daily lives (the correlation of .41 is among the highest in this analysis). Generally speaking, greater affluence typically goes along with less religiosity and higher levels of secularism. But as the map and tables above show, the wealthy are highly segregated in Southern metros, so this result likely reflects the high religiosity of Southern Bible Belt metros.

•       •       •       •       •

With growing concern today about increased inequality and economic segregation, it’s natural to focus on the deleterious consequences that stem from the concentration of the poor. But the geographic concentration of the advantaged also poses considerable problems for our cities and metro areas. The sociologist William Julius Wilson long ago explained how the out-migration of up-and-coming African-Americans damaged historically black neighborhoods, not only by draining off economic resources but also by taking away local role models and mentors for young people. 

The choices of the advantaged are in many ways a driving force behind economic segregation in America. The wealthy have the resources to colonize the very best neighborhoods and to wall themselves off from the rest of the population. And because of the resources and the influence they can bring to bear, the wealthy are able to mobilize disproportionate shares of community resources for their own neighborhoods. This allows them to invest in better schools, better parks and all manner of services and amenities, leaving fewer public and private resources to flow to less advantaged areas and populations.

The next two posts will look at the segregation of two relatively advantaged groups: highly educated people and the creative class.

Top Image: A mansion in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, one of the metro areas with the highest rates of wealth segregation (Wikimedia Commons/Umdet)


    






‘NYT’ editorial writer savages Republicans for ‘pro-Israel, philo-Semitic’ curtseys to Adelson

4/1/14
Sheldon Adelson wearing Romney button in Hebrew, at King David Hotel Jerusalem, 2012

Sheldon Adelson wearing Romney button in Hebrew, at King David Hotel Jerusalem, 2012

David Firestone, an editorial page editor at the New York Times, has a fabulous piece up savaging the Adelson primary in Las Vegas last weekend, and making no bones about what was going on. Firestone tells readers this was about Israel–and philosemitism, too. His piece is titled, “The Line to Kiss Adelson’s Boots.” Excerpts:

It’s hard to imagine a political spectacle more loathsome than the parade of Republican presidential candidates who spent the last few days bowing and scraping before the mighty bank account of the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. One by one, they stood at a microphone in Mr. Adelson’s Venetian hotel in Las Vegas and spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition (also a wholly owned subsidiary of Mr. Adelson), hoping to sound sufficiently pro-Israel and pro-interventionist and philo-Semitic to win a portion of Mr. Adelson’s billions for their campaigns…

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio made an unusually bold venture into foreign policy by calling for greater sanctions on Iran and Russia, and by announcing that the United States should not pressure Israel into a peace process….

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin brought up his father’s trip to Israel, and said he puts “a menorah candle” next to his Christmas tree. The name of his son, Matthew, actually comes from Hebrew, he pointed out.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey also described his trip to Israel, but then did something unthinkable. He referred to the West Bank as the “occupied territories.” A shocked whisper went through the crowd. How dare Mr. Christie implicitly acknowledge that Israel’s presence in the West Bank might be anything less than welcome to the Palestinians? ….

And sure enough, a few hours later, Mr. Christie apologized directly to Mr. Adelson for his brief attack of truthfulness.

More at the link.

Jon Stewart also did an episode last night mocking the cattle call. He described Adelson as “an ultra-Zionist” and blew up Chris Christie’s apology to Adelson for referring to the West Bank as the “occupied territories” in an exchange (6:00 at the link) with “Senior Zionist Billionaire Correspondent Samantha Bee.”

Stewart observes that the West Bank is best described as land “occupied by some foreign military” with “countless foreign settlements.” Then asks:

When did [Sheldon Adelson] get veto power over every word Republicans say about Israel.

Remember that Andy Borowitz of The New Yorker sought to satirize the Adelson event yesterday without mentioning Israel. That magazine should be embarrassed by Firestone’s and Stewart’s emphatic pieces.

Also, note that Firestone is talking about philo-Semitism, a powerful force in American political life at a time when Jews are such an important element of the Establishment. Cue David Frum on philo-Semitism, from his book on Bush:

Clinton can fairly be called the most philo-Semitic president in U.S. history. His closest friends and most trusted aides were Jews, his administration was crammed with Jewish appointees, both his nominees to the Supreme Court were Jewish—even his most famous girlfriend was Jewish. And Jews liked Clinton as much as he liked them. They appreciated his intellectuality and his social tolerance, his liberated wife, and his moderate liberalism. Jewish donors contributed generously to Clinton’s election campaigns; after he left office, some of those former donors helped him to grow very rich very rapidly.