Updates June 2010

 

 

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  We seek to keep you literally "updated" on movement in terms of truth and justice in the Middle East in general with a particular eye on Palestine.  The links below will take you to various articles and websites that offer the perspective of leaders in the religious, NGO, and human rights communities. Additionally, Al-Bushra, ever vigilant, provides links to regular reporting as well as opinion pieces by journalists. The dates given here indicate when the link was posted; the most recent posting is at the top. Check the article itself for the date of publication.  
     
 

Comments made over the years by Israeli leaders

 
     
 

30 June 2010 09:51:09 -0700

 
     
 
 

Jun. 30, 2010

JTA | Jewish groups to send Gaza flotilla

A coalition of international Jewish organizations sympathetic to the Palestinians will send a flotilla to Gaza to try to break Israel's blockade of the Hamas-run strip.

The "Jewish Boat to Gaza" will sail next month from an undisclosed location carrying passengers from the United States, Germany and Britain. At least one passenger is reported to be a Holocaust survivor.

 

Jun. 30, 2010

The Independent | Barred from Jerusalem for crime of being Palestinian by Donald Macintyre

To say that Palestinian Murad Abu-Khalaf's roots are in Jerusalem is a serious understatement. His family lived in the Baka district of West Jerusalem until they were forced to leave in the war of 1948. They have since lived – and live – in the inner East Jerusalem district of Ras al-Amud. His family doctor father's clinic in East Jerusalem's main street of Salahadin is opposite three shops owned by each of his uncles. One of his brothers, also a doctor, works at one of Jerusalem's two main (Israeli) hospitals, the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre. The city is, in short, his home.
 

Jun. 30, 2010

Friends of Freedom and Justice, Bil'in | Night Raid on Bil'in 30-06-2010

In the small hours of last night, at around 3 am, Israeli Occupation Forces raided the village of Bil'in to effect the political arrest of villager; Yasir Maher Yasseen who, happily evaded their clutches yet again.
 

Jun. 30, 2010

Haaretz | The Orthodox Jews fighting the Judaization of East Jerusalem by Nir Hasson

Leading the demonstrations of solidarity with Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah are some young Israelis with a religious background. They explain their activism and how it correlates to their conception of the true meaning of the Torah.
 

Jun. 30, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | The government already admits: the Tirkel Committee was not given the necessary authority

Uri Avnery: Even before our petition could come before the Supreme Court, the government accepted our primary contention – the Tirkel Committee was not given the necessary authority to conduct a thorough and independent investigation.

 

Jun. 30, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | U.S. may agree - we concerned citizens do not 

Tomorrow, Wednesday June 30, the Supreme Court will hear our appeal to dismantle the Tirkel Committee and replace it with a Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

Uri Avnery: "Even if the United States government was convinced to agree to a powerless, meaningless investigation, we as Israeli citizens, concerned for the future of our country, absolutely don't agree."

 

Jun. 30, 2010

The Institute for Middle East Understanding | Flotilla Fact Check

Flouting international demands for an independent investigation of its deadly attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formed an internal commission composed of three Israelis and two, non-voting international observers. The commission chair, retired Israeli Supreme Court justice Yaakov Tirkel, expressed his hope that the panel would finish its work as "quickly" as possible. And Netanyahu has promised that the "Gaza flotilla probe will show the world Israel acted lawfully." Both comments leave many observers wondering how seriously the findings of a quick, internal investigation with a seemingly pre-determined outcome can be taken. Skepticism is heightened by the way in which Israel handled evidence of the incident and by what many see as its misinformation campaign designed to discredit the flotilla's humanitarian aid workers.
 

Jun. 30, 2010

The National | Israeli foreign minister wants Palestinians stripped of citizenship and relocated by Jonathan Cook

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right foreign minister, set out this week what he called a “blueprint for a resolution to the conflict” with the Palestinians that demands most of the country’s large Palestinian minority be stripped of citizenship and relocated outside Israel’s future borders.
 

Jun. 30, 2010

The Reverend James M. Wall, Methodist, Wall Writings | Israeli “Agents” Infiltrate Presbyterian General Assembly

Four professors–two from Vanderbilt, one from Auburn Theological Seminary, and one from Syracuse University–have burst on the national scene as strong opponents of a Middle East Study Commission resolution which will be presented to the Presbyterian Church, USA, General Assembly in Minneapolis, MN, July 3-10.
 

Jun. 30, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | Shalit, For Example 

I AM composing these lines while looking through the window at the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and thinking about the young man who is being held not far from this sea, a few dozen kilometers from here.

Can Gilad Shalit look out on the same sea through his window? Does he even have a window? How is he? How is he being treated?

He has been in captivity for four years and one day today, with no end in sight.

 

Jun. 25, 2010

BBC News | Captain of Jewish immigrant ship the Exodus dies

The skipper of the Jewish immigrant ship the Exodus, which was refused entry to British-controlled Palestine in 1947, has died at the age of 86.

See Wikipedia | SS Exodus

Exodus 1947 was a ship that carried Jewish emigrants, that left France on July 11, 1947, with the intent of taking its passengers to Mandate Palestine. Most of the emigrants were Holocaust survivor refugees, who had no legal immigration certificates to Palestine. Following wide media coverage, the British Royal Navy seized the ship, and deported all its passengers back to Europe.

See also the account by Uri Avnery posted here on June 5.

 

Jun. 25, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Hazem Qumsiyeh, Presente

After I left the West Bank via Jordan, we heard the devastating news that my brother-in-law Hazen had passed away. I knew Hazen was very sick.... Under occupation, Palestinians had to deal with problems informally and through mediation, and Hazen was an expert mediator. For being influential and simply a good teacher and community organizer, Hazen was arrested and jailed by the Israeli occupation forces including in administrative detention (6-month stints without trial or seeing a lawyer).
 

Jun. 25, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Speaking in Italy and Austria

I am out of the big prison of Bethlehem ghetto, and I am on my way to give talks in Italy and Austria. A schedule can be found at http://www.qumsiyeh.org/schedule/
 

Jun. 25, 2010

The Franciscan Times | Scenes from the West Bank by Chris Cowan

What follows is a reflection on the Palestinian experience in Bethlehem, West Bank and in East Jerusalem by an outsider who was welcomed in for a time. The Palestinian experience includes the grief of having belonged to a homeland and of having lost land and vocation and self-determination. It includes the poverty of spirit that comes from having suffered invisibly—or worse, becoming a blamed victim. And it includes the people’s refusal to allow dignity to be taken away as well. The Palestinian experience includes knowing that one’s voice is going unheard as one gradually loses all

that is dear. But as it says in Psalm 22:24, the Lord hears the cry of the poor. This reflection is an attempt to help others hear it too. 

 

Jun. 24, 2010

Janet Lewis, Methodist Missionrary | United Methodist Conference calls for end to Israel's occupation and “siege of Gaza” based on justice, fairness and mercy

The UK Methodist Justice for Palestine and Israel document underlines that, “in the belief that peace and reconciliation depend upon justice, fairness and mercy, the Methodist Church has consistently expressed its concern over the illegal Occupation of Palestinian lands by the State of Israel. That Occupation continues not only compounds the state’s illegal and immoral action but also makes any accommodation with the Palestinian people and future peace in the region much less possible.” 

 

Jun. 24, 2010

Zenit | John the Baptist and Learning in Jesus' Land: Bethlehem University Is "a Voice in the Wilderness"

We have experienced some of this barrenness and desolation in the Church over the past year. Bethlehem University knows what a geographical, spiritual, social, political and cultural desert is all about. With the exiles of Israel and the disciples of John the Baptist, we yearn for salvation, for one who enables new life to blossom. The new life in the desert signals the presence and power of God. Those who are weary, enfeebled or fearful can take heart because God comes to save. This means healing and transformation in specific ways: sight for those who are blind, hearing for those who are deaf, speech for those who are mute. So great is the joy and so profound the healing that those who were lame now leap and those who were speechless now sing.     
 

Jun. 24, 2010

The Huffington Post | Palestine Is Open for Business by Ziad Asali, M.D.

I was deeply struck by the extent to which security is now taken for granted in the areas under Palestinian Authority control such as Bethlehem. This is an extraordinary transformation from recent years in which lawlessness often prevailed, and when constricting Israeli controls would have rendered such an event both unthinkable and practically impossible.

Israel, though clearly present at the Bethlehem checkpoint, was cooperative. It allowed around 100 Gaza business persons to attend the conference and facilitated the participation of Arab financiers and entrepreneurs from states that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

SEE ALSO Maria Khoury. St. George, Taybeh | Another Day in Palestine

Although my husband had a special permit to travel ( a new type of card called BMC  especially for businessmen and can have any three persons accompany him)  and in our case my niece Madees also had a permit, we got held up at the Bethlehem checkpoint in the hot sun because the soldier would allow my husband to pass the checkpoint but not my niece.  And with our home being about one hour from Bethlehem, what should you do when the army will let you take one member of your family with you and not the other after a very long exhausting and hot day?  And you simply stand in the hot sun and beg to call the captain and call the American Consulate, etc.  And after another miserable checkpoint experience, I simply thought this whole conference is a total waste of USAID money.

 

Jun. 24, 2010

BBC News | Jerusalem diary: Farewell, l'hitraot, wa masalaam by Tim Franks

People often asked how it was possible to deal with the clamour of competing narratives, and arrive at the truth. I used to say that the search for fact and for context should never stop - that it would be dangerous ever to convince yourself that your journey had finished. And then, I found it, on a street in Beirut. You can imagine my relief.    
 

Jun. 24, 2010

BBC News | Archaeology and the struggle for Jerusalem by Katya Adler

About 40,000 Palestinians live in Silwan. Some families have been here for generations. They say Israel is digging here less out of archaeological interest but rather to make political claims over land.    
 

Jun. 24, 2010

BBC News | Staking claim underneath east Jerusalem by Jane Corbin 

It has been called the 'volcanic core' of the conflict and if there is ever to be peace between Palestinians and Israelis it will have to be made in the alleyways of this ancient city - holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims.     
 

Jun. 24, 2010

BBC News | UN chief says East Jerusalem demolition plan 'illegal'

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said the plan to demolish Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem to make way for a tourist park is illegal and unhelpful.    
 

Jun. 24, 2010

BBC News | Integrating Palestine into the US Progressive Left by Noura Erakat

Hardly an Arab or Palestinian living in the United States does not desire their fellow Americans to carry the banner of Palestinian justice and shift US policy toward the conflict. 
 

Jun. 24, 2010

MIFTAH | Barriers, Borders, and Blockades: Policing Movement and Controlling Information by Leah Hunt-Hendrix

A recent poll, commissioned by the Israel Project, shows that 56% of Americans think the American government should support Israel, and only 7% think it should support Palestine. This is related to the fact that most Americans think Palestinians are the ones stalling the peace process. At a ration of 2 to 1, Americans think that Palestinian “incitement” is a worse obstacle to peace than settlement-building in Jerusalem.

The claim that Palestinians are engaging in incitement through their media and school curricula, however, is itself, in large part, an Israeli media creation – yet another warping of the perspective that makes it into the public arena.     

 

Jun. 24, 2010

The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU | Budrus: A Palestinian Village and Documentary Film

The story a Palestinian community organizer who united Fatah, Hamas and Israelis in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction by the Israeli security barrier.    
 

Jun. 23, 2010

Anti War | Scott Horton interviews Ann Wright

Former State Department diplomat Ann Wright discusses her reasons for joining the Gaza aid flotilla, her firsthand account of the Israeli raid on the MV Mavi Marmara and Challenger 1, the use of collective punishment to effect regime change and Obama’s silence on the death of nine activists including a US citizen.

MP3 here. (26:33)      

 

Jun. 23, 2010

Anti War |Israel to Demolish Palestinian Homes for ‘Tourist Center’ - Locals Slam Decision as Part of Judaization Plot Against Arab Neighborhood by Jason Ditz

Local residents are reacting with anger today after the Jerusalem government announced that it intends to demolish 22 Palestinian homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, to pave the way for a “tourist center.”      
 

Jun. 23, 2010

Mondoweiss | Israeli expo in NYC markets settlement penthouses by Kiera Feldman

And yet, during the four hours I spent at the Aliyah Expo, I heard just a single concern. “My husband would love to have a goat,” one woman with a thick New York accent told a Jewish Agency aliyah specialist, lamenting, “but you have to live on a moshav for a goat.” It’s like moving to Arizona in the wake of the anti-immigrant bill SB1070 and worrying about finding a house with a big enough swimming pool--oblivious to those who have died of thirst while crossing in the desert.      
 

Jun. 23, 2010

The Palestine Chronicle | Choose Peace – End the Siege of Gaza And Occupation of Palestine  by Mairead Maguire (Nobel Peace Laureate)

A policy of isolating Gaza to weaken Hamas. It is a policy that is clearly not working.  As we have learned in N.Ireland, violence never works....      
 

Jun. 23, 2010

Zenit | Let Us Go up to Jerusalem With Jesus, Biblical Reflection for 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time C by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

...after the year 313 when Christianity obtained the status of the legal religion of the Empire. The Golden Age of the Holy Land had begun. The Holy Land itinerary gave the origin and idea to all the other devotional journeys. It seems that the perspective of knowing the biblical sites overshadowed the previous reluctant attitude towards pilgrimages. In fact many people enthusiastically and courageously overcame the hardships and risks of long and perilous travel, and set out for a holy and exciting trip toward the earthly homeland of the Lord.      
 

Jun. 23, 2010

Tan'anit Tzdek | Open the Gates: A Rabbinical Response to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Tragedy by Rabbi Brant Rosen

We lift up our voices and call upon Israel to conduct an independent, transparent, and credible investigation of this incident. We also call upon the government of Israel to open the gates of compassion and allow these ships to dock so that they may deliver humanitarian aid to the 1.5 million citizens of Gaza. In so doing, we note the overall context of oppression in which this incident has occurred and call upon the government of Israel to turn away from the policies of occupation, siege and indifference to international law.     
 

Jun. 23, 2010

Press TV | Vatican blasts Israeli occupation

The Vatican has lashed out at the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories while blaming Christian fundamentalists for using scriptures to justify the occupation.

In a working paper prepared for a summit of Middle East bishops in Rome in October and unveiled during the first-ever papal visit to Cyprus by Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic hierarchy also blamed "political Islam" for bloodshed and "plight of Christians" in the region.

"The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is creating difficulties in everyday life, inhibiting freedom of movement, the economy and religious life," with access to holy sites dependent on military permission, said the paper quoted by wire reports.
   
 

Jun. 23, 2010

Ann Hafften, a Texas Lutheran | Intimidation by Samia Khoury

Political intimidation is just as much of a phenomenon which we are too familiar with in the Middle East. Under the guise of the so called imaginary “peace process” so much is allowed and politicians and leaders cave in and relinquish their demands, so as not to hinder that process. Even churches are being intimidated for taking moral stands. But in their case it is not the peace process but the “interfaith dialogue” that is the target of the intimidation. Ironically however, all faiths promote justice and peace in their scriptures, so there is no contradiction in the basic message, and there is no reason that those inter-faith groups should not be utilized positively against the evil of intimidation. Yet I wonder how many will have the courage of the persistent widow who kept taking her case to a mean judge. “But finally the judge said to himself, Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice.” Luke 18:4-5.   
 

Jun. 23, 2010

The Palestine Center |A History of Impunity by Yousef Munayyer

There are obvious questions that arise when an alleged perpetrator, in this case the government of Israel, is left in charge of investigating themselves.   
 

Jun. 23, 2010

PULSE | Ken O’Keefe: ‘We, the defenders of the Mavi Marmara, are the modern example of Gandhi’s essence’

Ken O’Keefe,  former US Marine,  Gulf War veteran, and now survivor of the Mavi Marmara massacre, has issued a remarkable and searing statement from Istanbul.  “While in Israeli custody I, along with everyone else, was subjected to endless abuse and flagrant acts of disrespect.  Women and elderly were physically and mentally assaulted.  Access to food and water and toilets was denied.  Dogs were used against us, we ourselves were treated like dogs.  We were exposed to direct sun in stress positions while hand cuffed to the point of losing circulation of blood in our hands.  We were lied to incessantly, in fact I am awed at the routineness and comfort in their ability to lie, it is remarkable really.  We were abused in just about every way imaginable and I myself was beaten and choked to the point of blacking out… and I was beaten again while in my cell...."  
 

Jun. 23, 2010

Dave Lindorff, This Can't Be Happening | Eyewitness to the Israeli Assault on the Mavi Marmara

A soft-spoken teacher and former civilian engineer with the Canadian Department of Defense, Neish realized then that a video taken by an Arab TV cameraman in the midst of the Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza of him flipping through a booklet had been transmitted before the Israelis blocked all electronic signals from the flotilla. The booklet had pictures and profiles of all the passengers, and he'd found it in the backpack of an Israeli Defense Force commando.  
 

Jun. 22, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hays, Episcopal, writes:

Let's read some good news for a change.  Click here: Abbas calls for Hamas reconciliation.  The article is pasted below for everybody's convenience.  Peers, we've an opportunity here. 
 
       What's the very next necessary step in the peace process?  From your perspective?  Answers don't make much sense until the right questions have been asked.  Once we get a handle on the problem, i.e., on the snags in the details, we'll be half way to the solution.  As my German friend, Lars, is fond of saying:  "Let's gather some information."  Then let's start thinking comprehensively.
 
      Please allow me to share with you a bit of background information I've found useful:   YouTube - Uri Avnery on Hamas (01:05).  Also:  Jimmy Carter and Uri Avnery (12:58) Dr. Mustafa Barghouti is also featured on that tape.  Dr. B has been mentioned as a possible President for a unified Palestine.  He ran last time as an Independent, and, if I remember right, he came in second, behind Abu Mazin (President Abbas).  Dr. B is also Marwan Barghouti's distant cousin.  Please study the character of this man:  Marwan Barghouti (03:41).  You'll be glad you did.  Anybody else have a handy stash of background information?  If so, let's get it into circulation.  Cooperative efforts, etc.  Please read on.
 
Peace,
Roy+ 

Jerusalem Post | Abbas calls for Hamas reconciliation

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has urged Hamas to endorse a reconciliation pact drawn up with Egyptian mediation, AFP reported on Tuesday, citing the Egyptian news agency.

 

Jun. 22, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hays, Episcopal, sends his comments and forwards this message from Lars in Germany:

I've mentioned Lars in the past.  He wrote the note pasted below to call my attention to an article in Reuters: Germany raps Israel for denying minister Gaza entry | Reuters.  During the summer of 1997, Lars lived at the house as an Exchange Student.  He was 19-years-old at the time.  He had just completed his first year at the University of Cologne.  I heard Lars say at least three times during that summer:  "I am optimistic about my future ... and ... I am optimistic about the future of my country."   Lars has his PhD now in International Marketing or something like that.  He also has a lovely wife and a young son.  See his post below.
 
Peace,
Roy
 

Dear Roy,

As you know I am currently following politics very closely, and I
couldn't escape the news about the German minister Dirk Niebel, who wanted
to visit the Gaza strip. See this:

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5711310,00.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65J1V020100620

According to my memory he is the first top German politician to publicly
criticize Israel.

Furthermore I am attending  a "political evening" at the German Syrian
friendship society next Wednesday discussing Israel's blockade of Gaza. I
will let you know about this.

Sincerely
Lars

Reuters | Germany raps Israel for denying minister Gaza entry

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he regretted Israel's decision, while Development Minister Dirk Niebel -- who is on a four-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories -- said it was "a big diplomatic mistake."

 

Jun. 22, 2010

Mondoweiss | Jewish group protests ‘Brand Israel’ in North Carolina by Adam Horowitz

Sponsorship and funding for this dance company and other Israeli cultural endeavors come in part from the Israeli government, which is engaged in the Brand Israel campaign to reshape the image of Israel through public relations.

 

Jun. 22, 2010

Ma'an News Agency | Mass detentions in Hebron village

 

Witnesses said dozens of jeeps entered the Hebron-area town of Dura, breaking into homes and harassing family members of those being detained. The majority of the detentions were in the town and nearby village of Deir Samit. Local officials said there were 26 men taken from their homes.

 

Jun. 22, 2010

Peace Now | The Freeze: Fewer New Starts, but the Construction Continues

The data confirms the phenomenon we have indicated before of the settlers' rush to begin as many building starts as possible before the freeze, and the decision by Netanyahu and Barak to issue very many building permits, even for public building, before the freeze.

Unless the freeze continues beyond the month of September, the freeze will remain meaningless on the ground. According to CBS [Central Bureau of Statistics] data, at the end of 2009 there were 2,776 housing units under construction, of which the construction of 415 housing units ended by the end of March (not including illegal construction), so that today there are at least 2,361 housing units under construction.

 

Jun. 22, 2010

Middle East Media Center | Washington Asks For Clarifications Regarding Demolition Orders In Jerusalem by Saed Bannoura

 

Israel demolished 61 homes in East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year; it also demolished agricultural structures. Eighteen more homes were demolished by their owners who elected to demolish their own homes rather than pay the high fines and exaggerated demolition costs imposed on them by the Jerusalem Municipality.

 

Jun. 22, 2010

Bitter Lemons | Creative ideas threatened by continued settlement building by Ghassan Khatib

 

Indeed, the creative ideas described here are being intentionally misused by some Israeli officials to justify continuing the extremely dangerous expansion of settlements. Ideas that seem to accommodate certain aspects of settlement policy, such as land swaps or accepting settlers in a future Palestinian state, are used, or misused, to further propel settlement building under the justification that the peace process will find a way to accommodate it.

 

Jun. 22, 2010

Gisha | How do you get from Gaza to Ramallah? Play "Safe Passage"

 

An interactive game combining animation, documents, video clips and a blog warns against the policy cutting off the Gaza Strip from the West Bank – threatening to end the possibility of a two-state solution.

 

According to the animator, Gilad Baker: "We faced a challenge – how to make military documents accessible to the public. Our solution was to integrate them into the personal stories of real people in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, to help people understand the policy".

 

Jun. 22, 2010

Free Gaza | Flotilla Passengers to Israeli Government: “Release all illegally-seized evidence of the shootings as well as all personal property”

 

Passengers from the flotilla from several countries [listed in the article] are urging their governments to demand that Israel release the property illegally seized from the passengers in international waters on 31 May, in particular the many cameras, camcorders, mobile phones etc. that contain evidence of at least the beginning of the shooting of civilians by Israeli soldiers. (This demand is for property only and is independent of the many legal briefs already being worked on due to death and wounding of the passengers.)

 

Jun. 22, 2010

Aljazeera | Settlers target 'shared cities' by Mya Guarnieri

 

Esther Saba is a Palestinian resident of Yafo who faced demolition due to an unauthorised addition to her family home. She points out that when the bulldozers arrived, Jewish Israeli activists paid a pivotal role in saving her home, standing in the front yard and on the roof to guard it.

"There is no problem with regular Jews," Saba says. "We have a very good connection."

But the growing presence of settlers is worrisome, Saba says. "They don't want [Arabs] here in Yafo."

 

Jun. 22, 2010

BBC News | Israel pressure to reform ultra-orthodox schools by Wyre Davies

 

For thousands of years the way that ultra-orthodox Jewish children are taught has changed little and is based almost entirely on study of the Torah - the Jewish Bible. 

 

Jun. 22, 2010

BBC News | US concern over Jerusalem home demolition plan

 

Spokesman PJ Crowley said it was the kind of action that undermined trust and increased the risk of violence.

 

Jun. 22, 2010

The Palestinian Information Center | Ihsanoglu: Expelling Jerusalemite MPs is part of Israel's Judaization scheme

 

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary-general of the OIC, said Monday that the decision to exile four Palestinian lawmakers from occupied Jerusalem falls within Israel's systematic policy that is aimed to empty Jerusalem of its indigenous people and Judaize it.

 

Jun. 22, 2010

The Palestinian Information Center | Archbishop Capucci viciously assaulted by Israeli occupation soldiers

 

June 6 - The Syrian delegation which participated in the Freedom Flotilla and was detained for three days by the Israeli occupation revealed upon its return to Syria on Thursday that its members were assaulted and barbarically treated by the Israeli occupation soldiers.

 

Jun. 22, 2010

BBC News | Israel asks UN to shelve aid ship raid inquiry

 

Israel has asked the UN to suspend attempts to organise an international inquiry into a deadly raid on a ship trying to break the blockade of Gaza.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

Jerusalem Post | Mariam' gets green light to set sail

 

All-female Lebanese aid ship to head to Cyprus first, says minister.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

Common Dreams | Israeli Shipping Line Zim Shut Out at Oakland Docks by Susan Galleymore

 

If the Israeli government follows the directive of just one sign in evidence on this day - "Boycott Israeli Ships and Goods" - it would consider deeply apartheid South Africa's history. Then it would steer its ship of state toward a different star...and full speed ahead.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

Foreign Policy | Good Deal for Gaza by Marc Lynch

 

To get the most out of this move, it should only be the first step. The UN, NGOs, and the international community should take advantage of the new system to begin serious reconstruction and development efforts.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

Independent Catholic News | Lebanese Christian women plan new Gaza aid convoy by Claire Bergin

 

A group of women planning to sail to Gaza gathered to pray by a statue of Our Lady in south Lebanon, before setting out on boat called Mariam, a voyage bringing aid to Gaza.

Spokeswoman Rima Farah said she felt their prayers were already being answered as Israeli officials have now announced plans to  slightly ease the blockade on Gaza.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

 

After you read the essay [link below], some of you may wish to do some reading about Gershon Baskin.  GOOGLE for his name.  You'll be glad you did.  He's Jewish.  Born in the USA.  He's an Israeli citizen now.  He's been a hard worker for Peace in the Holy Land for a long, long time.  Uri speaks highly of him.  So does Jeff Halper.  CMEP had him over to speak at the 2010 Advocacy Conference earlier this month:  www.cmep.orgOnce you get to the conference page at CMEP's website, click on "Speakers".
 

Peace,

Roy

 

Jerusalem News | The Way Forward by Gershon Baskin

The proximity talks must include serious discussions on the core issues – borders, security, Jerusalem and refugees.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | Israel Makes Small Change to Gaza Blockade, Brands Lebanese Women’s Aid Mission ‘Hizbullah’

 

But the Israelis can continue the blockade even with a smaller list of prohibited items by limiting truck traffic through the checkpoints. That traffic is tiny now compared to the period before 2006, and Sunday’s announcement may not increase it that much.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

Counter Currents | Echoes From The Warsaw Ghetto In Gaza: An Interview with Cecilie Surasky By Christiana Voniati 

 

Gazing at letters that her grandmother wrote from the Warsaw Ghetto before she was killed , Deputy Director of the global organization “Jewish Voice for Peace”, Cecilie Surasky, discusses Israel's “anti-Jewish” crimes and the inescapable comparison between the sufferings of Gazans and the gradual crushing of Jewish life in the Nazi ghettos in the period that led to the Final Solution . More significantly, the Jewish activist for peace reveals and explores the relationship between Jewish collective trauma and Israel 's aggression

 

Jun. 21, 2010

Transport Workers Solidarity Committee | Historic Victory at Oakland Port – Israeli Ship Blocked from Unloading

 

The ILWU has a proud history of extending its solidarity to struggling peoples the world over. In 1984, as the Black masses of South Africa were engaged in an intense struggle against South African apartheid, the ILWU refused for a record-setting 10 days to unload cargo from the South African “Ned Lloyd” ship. Despite million-dollar fines imposed on the union, the longshore workers held strong, providing a tremendous boost to the anti-apartheid movement.

Today’s Oakland action, in the sixth largest port in the United States, is the first of several protests and work stoppages planned around the world, including Norway, Sweden and South Africa. It is sure to inspire others to do the same.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

Mondoweiss | Daybreak outpouring of Bay Area picketers stops unloading of Israeli ship by Henry Norr

 

If anyone had any doubts that the movement for justice in Palestine is growing by leaps and bounds, in numbers, breadth, and determination, check out what happened this morning in Oakland, CA....

 

Jun. 21, 2010

You Tube | Protesters Picket Israeli Cargo Ship

 

In Oakland, California an Israeli ship was blocked by protesters for the first time in history. 700-1000 protesters blocked three different gates at 5:30 A.M. keeping dockworkers from unloading the Israeli cargo.

ILWU members refused to cross picketline - citing "health & safety" provisions of their contract. Management demanded "instant arbitration." The arbitrator took a look at the picketlines at each gate to the SSA Terminal and ruled that ILWU members were justified in refusing to cross.

All dockworkers were sent home with FULL PAY.

Special thanks to the Brass Liberation Orchestra for their performances today.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

BBC News | No Gaza optimism over easing blockade by Jon Donnison

 

"I don't need ketchup or mayonnaise from Israel. I need my business back," says Nasser al-Helo standing on a busy street in Gaza City.

..."We are living in a black-market economy." -- Omar Shabban Gaza-based think-tank Palthink

 

Jun. 21, 2010

The Rev. James M. Wall, Methodist, Wall Writings | Letter from Connie Baker regarding United Methodist vote for divestment in Freedom Summer 2010

 

It was important for the Northern Illinois Conference to call for an end to the occupation, not just react to the latest in a long, long line of atrocities: the flotilla attack, settlement expansion, Operation Cast Lead – the bombing of Gaza, the separation wall, home demolitions, farm land confiscations, denial of humane quantities of water in the occupied territories, and on and on (all illegal according to the Geneva Conventions and International Law, but legal according to Israeli law).
 

Jun. 21, 2010

The Rev. James M. Wall, Methodist, Wall Writings | Israel Creates Facts to Shape Flotilla Campaign Media Coverage

 

Mike Whitney, writing on the My Catbird Seat blog, found that American media willingly played to Israel’s narrative in its coverage of the Iranian flotilla.
 

Jun. 21, 2010

The New York Review of Books | The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment

 

When [Luntz] probed the students’ views of Israel, he hit up against some firm beliefs. First, “they reserve the right to question the Israeli position.” These young Jews, Luntz explained, “resist anything they see as ‘group think.’” They want an “open and frank” discussion of Israel and its flaws. Second, “young Jews desperately want peace.” When Luntz showed them a series of ads, one of the most popular was entitled “Proof that Israel Wants Peace,” and listed offers by various Israeli governments to withdraw from conquered land. Third, “some empathize with the plight of the Palestinians.” When Luntz displayed ads depicting Palestinians as violent and hateful, several focus group participants criticized them as stereotypical and unfair, citing their own Muslim friends.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

The Electronic Intifada | "What solidarity means": a letter from Gilboa Prison by Ameer Makhoul

 

Ameer Makhoul is a human rights defender, the director of the Arab nongovernmental organization network Ittijah, a leading voice of the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and a Palestinian citizen of Israel. He has been in Israeli detention since he was arrested from his family home in Haifa in the early morning hours of 6 May. Initially his arrest could not be reported under an Israeli gag order, and he was not allowed to see his lawyers for almost two weeks. Eventually charged with "espionage," local and international human rights organizations have condemned Israel's actions against him as politically-motivated persecution intended to crack down on organizing by Palestinian citizens within Israel and international solidarity.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

Associated Press | Lebanon permits Gaza-bound ship to sail to Cyprus

 

"Julia" is one of two ships planning a blockade-busting trip from Lebanon to Gaza this month. Another ship called "Mariam," named after the virgin Mary, is also planning to make the voyage, carrying some 50 women activists including Arabs, Europeans and four American nuns as well as cancer medication to Gaza. It was not clear whether the two ships would leave together.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

 

Jun. 21, 2010

SF Gate | Hundreds in Oakland protest Gaza blockade

 

Hundreds of demonstrators, condemning Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, picketed at the Port of Oakland on Sunday and may have prevented an Israeli cargo ship from unloading for the day. Two shifts of longshoremen agreed not to cross the picket line, leaving nobody to unload the vessel.

 

Jun. 21, 2010

Associated Press | Jerusalem revives plan to raze Palestinian homes

 

Activists who want to block all demolitions issued a statement saying the plan "comes in the general context of (the) fast-track Judaization" of east Jerusalem. It pre-empts "the possibility of Jerusalem ever being a shared city, or indeed capital of a Palestinian state," the statement said. "This in itself precludes peace."

 

Jun. 20, 2010

HCEF | Israel Continues Deporting Jerusalem Christians by Yusef Daher

Yesterday fifteen people were stranded at Allenby/King Hussein bridge on the River Jordan, where at the end, four of them were sent back to Jerusalem, to the Ministry of Interior just to tell them: You are no more eligible to live in Jerusalem... your city, where you were born and lived all these years, where your grandfathers were, because today we have no space for you... Jews are coming from every where and they need your space. The family of 4, a father, two sons and one daughter were given a travel document for one time use, for one way direction... out of Jerusalem, out of Palestine.  

 

Jun. 20, 2010

BBC News | Reporters' log: Gaza blockade eased

BBC correspondents report from the region after Israel announces it will ease the land blockade of the Gaza Strip and allow more civilian goods to enter the Palestinian territory. 

 

Jun. 20, 2010

BBC News | Israel sets out changes to Gaza blockade curbs

Israel has given details of its plan to ease the blockade of Gaza, with all civilian goods now expected to be let into the territory.

 

Jun. 20, 2010

Occupation Magazine | Israel Officially Informs UN It Will Intercept Lebanese Solidarity Ship by Saed Bannoura

Reema Farah, spokesperson of the Lebanese ship, said that the participants are determined to sail to Gaza, and that their only weapon is Virgin Mary and humanity.

 

Jun. 20, 2010

Haaretz | Palestinian Jerusalemites go work abroad and get residency revoked upon return Amira Hass

It's believed that the vast majority of cases are people like them - Jerusalemites who went abroad for reasons of higher education and work experience, with the aim of returning after acquiring that experience and funding - intending to ameliorate the quality of their society. Expelling them from their country and from their hometown is the other side of the statistics of poverty and misery that typify Palestinian Jerusalem, which is under Israeli control.

 

Jun. 20, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace, The Only Democracy? | 13 Year Old Arrested in Bil’in–Update by Rebecca Vilkomerson

A few days ago, I posted a video of a young child in Bil’in being arrested while working in his olive groves with his family.  In the follow up video below, the child, Fadi Al-Khatib,  talks about what happened after the last video left off, including being left blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back for hours before he ever reached prison,  being hit in the neck and kicked, threatened with greater physical abuse and torture, and finally coerced to sign a confession that he threw stones at a demonstration.

Ayed Abu Eqtaish, the representative of Defence of Children International, Palestine Section puts Fadi’s terrifying experience in context: approximately 700 Palestinian children and teenagers are arrested each year by the Israelis.

 

Jun. 20, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace, The Only Democracy? | Exclusive Interview with wrongfully arrested Israeli activist Shy Halatzi by Jesse Bacon

I called TOD? blogger Shy Halatzi after his recent unjustified  arrest about his experience and how he became an activist. [Click for] the interview.

 

Jun. 20, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | Turkish officials blow AIPAC claims out of the, uh, sea by Helena Cobban

Several strongly pro-Israeli members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have stepped up their campaigns against NATO ally Turkey over the past week, in a campaign that has been quietly orchestrated by the big pro-Israel organization AIPAC.

 

Jun. 20, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Today's attack by Israeli forces and more

Israeli occupation forces today in Beit Jala engaged in beatings, burning of a fields, and attacking peaceful demonstrators, bystanders, and reporters....

 

Jun. 20, 2010

Occupation Magazine | How I was summoned to the Knesset by Ram Cohen

On Monday, June 21, I am to appear before the Knesset Education Committee and the Minister of Education, Mr. Gideon Saar, following my unequivocal words to my students, condemning the 43 year-old occupation and rule over the life of the Palestinian people.

 

Jun. 19, 2010

Gush Shalom | The end of Sicarii Zionism by Dov Yirmiya

I am one of the remaining veterans of the Haganah, who had served in the British Army and thereafter were among the initiators of the Ha'apala [illegal immigration] of Holocaust survivors, struggling with the forces of victorious Great Britain for the right to arrive at the shores of this country.

 

Jun. 19, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | A Flash of Lightning 

NIGHT. UTTER darkness. Heavy rain. Visibility close to nil.

And suddenly – a flash of lightning. For a fraction of a second, the landscape is lit up. For this split second, the terrain surrounding us can be seen. It is not the way it used to be.

OUR GOVERNMENT’ action against the Gaza aid flotilla was such a lightning flash.

 

Jun. 19, 2010

 

Jun. 18, 2010

Santa Fe New Mexican | Former CIA agent Bill Christison advocated for Palestinians

In a March 4, 2002, Counterpunch article, Bill Christison wrote, "My number one root cause (of terrorism) is the support by the U.S. over recent years for the policies of Israel with respect to the Palestinians, and the belief among Arabs and Muslims that the United States is as much to blame as Israel itself for the continuing, almost 35-year-long Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip." 

 

Jun. 18, 2010

Mondoweiss | Illinois Methodists vote to divest from the occupation by Adam Horowitz

The Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church just voted to divest all holdings in three international corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation. The press release announcing the action says, "this action is in response to a plea by Palestinian Christians for action, not just words."

 

Jun. 18, 2010

Episcopal Life Online | CANADA: 'We are a people of hope,' Jerusalem bishop tells synod members by Marites N. Sison

Dawani lamented how the Christian presence in the Holy Land has been diminished as more and more Christians flee in search of peace and better opportunities. "We are losing so many young people who don't find any future in that land. They leave the country and look for better places to continue their education and unfortunately, they don't come back."

 

Jun. 18, 2010

Asia News | For Gaza priest, Israel’s occupation humiliates the Palestinian people

“There are no differences between Christians and Muslims because we all suffer the same way,” Fr Manawel Musallam says. He is in favour of a dialogue with Israel, but wants to see “concrete steps” in defence of the population. “Many factors,” he believes, “prevent us from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

 

Jun. 17, 2010

Carter Center | Carter Center Calls on the International Community to End the Siege of Gaza

"These tragic deaths are a terrible reminder that the failed policy of besieging Gaza mainly hurts civilians," said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. "Now more than ever, the International Quartet, led by the United States, must urgently agree on a mechanism to end the closure of Gaza, reunite the Palestinian factions, and permit unification of Palestinian people in their social and political life. There is no way to realize the goal of a two-state solution as long as the people of Gaza remain isolated and deprived of their basic human rights."

 

Jun. 17, 2010

Reuters | Israel says easing Gaza land blockade

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said in Rome Israel "has understood that a blockade strategy is counterproductive," echoing Israeli and foreign critics of the embargo who have said such pressure only rallies Gaza residents around Hamas.

 

Jun. 17, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

Let's remember that Israel occupies the Golan Heights which belongs to Syria.   Peace, Roy

If the Middle East develops into another world war, whose fault will it be?   Peace, Roy

 

Jun. 17, 2010

Sabeel, Cornerstone | The Israeli Occupation by the Reverend Naim Ateek, Anglican

In this article I am focusing briefly on the effect of the Israeli occupation on the Christian community and the response of Palestinian Christians. The loss of Palestine and the dispersion of the Palestinian Christian community throughout the world created a physical and a spiritual tragedy. In fact the spiritual impact has been no less traumatic than the physical uprooting of the Palestinians. For Muslims and Christians, the loss of Palestine in 1948 was the result of the interplay of world politics among the western powers, the victorious allies of WW2. Although by then Zionism had been in existence for over 50 years and the British Government was already conditioned and influenced by the ideology of Zionism, it was the impact of the holocaust that facilitated and accelerated the creation of the “Jewish” state.  

 

Jun. 17, 2010

The Reverend James M. Wall, Methodist, Wall Writings | Will Presbyterians Be Duped by Anti-BDS Hasbara Warriors?

Who you gonna believe, the IDF, or Haneen Zoaby, an elected member of the Israeli Knesset, who was a passenger on the Mavi Marmara?  

 

Jun. 17, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | Turkey Shelves Israeli Cooperation, Considers breaking off Ties; Israel Lobbies in Congress denounce Ankara

The Israel lobbies, after defending Turkey from Armenian complaints for decades, have all of a sudden discovered the Armenian holocaust now that Turkey is criticizing Israel. This change is important because passage of a congressional recognition of the genocide would open Turkey to lawsuits, whereby Armenian political groups could capture Turkish assets in the United States.
 

Jun. 17, 2010

You Tube: Palestine on the map?

A child asks her teacher about Palestine; the child doesn't see Palestine on the map.

 

Jun. 16, 2010

Oxfam: Gaza needs jobs, not just aid

International aid agency Oxfam today warned that the Gazan economy, which has been almost completely destroyed by three years of isolation, will continue to unravel unless the blockade is completely and immediately lifted.

 

Jun. 16, 2010

Vivian Zelaya forwards this message from the Friends of Palestine @ googlegroup.com: What's next for Gaza?

...flotilla members soon discovered that none of the luggage from the Sfendonh boat was there, that all of the good stuff was gone and that only the shabbiest suitcases and most worn-out clothing remained.  "It was as if the Israelis had gone shopping."

    Stories are also coming in that flotilla members' credit cards had been used.  How does that TV commercial go?  "Credit card?  Priceless!"  And, apparently, while most of the 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid that the Israelis confiscated has disappeared, some of the wheelchairs and scooters on board the flotilla actually did get through to Gaza.  Their batteries, however, didn't make it -- so the wheelchairs are useless.

    What will happen next for the FPM and various efforts to break Israel's ugly and illegal siege of Gaza?  Several groups throughout Europe and the Mediterranean are currently trying to put together both a second and a third flotilla.  Gaza has not been forgotten. 

 

Jun. 16, 2010

Vivian Zelaya forwards this message from the Friends of Palestine @ googlegroup.com: Help spread the truth: 49% of US still thinks humanitarian flotilla to blame for deaths on the high seas

Help spread the truth: 49% of US still thinks humanitarian flotilla to blame for deaths on the high seas
 
According to a recent Rasmussen poll, "Forty-nine percent (49%) of U.S. voters believe pro-Palestinian activists on the Gaza-bound aid ships raided by Israeli forces are to blame for the deaths that resulted in the high-profile incident."

Even despite numerous eye-witness reports to the contrary, even despite graphic footage showing Israeli commandos in full battle attire brandishing deadly weapons aboard the ship, even after Israel admitted having doctored the video showing passengers swinging bars (we don't even know if that was really the Mavi Marmara in that video) -- and even despite autopsy reports showing that several of the nine dead flotilla humanitarians were killed execution style, myths in the United States still persist that these nine brutal deaths aboard the Mavi Marmara were the result of actions taken by flotilla participants and not as a result of Israeli armed assaults.

Clearly our side of the story is not being heard.   Clearly our side of the story needs to get out too.
 

Jun. 16, 2010

Huffington Post | The Price of Defying Israel by Paul Larudee

Let us please not try to justify Israeli actions by appealing to security arguments or "self defense." Self-defense is for those who are being attacked, not those who are attacking.

 

Jun. 16, 2010

Trudy Morse [AKA Gilda Morse] writes:

This is most important announcement.  This is as close as Hagee that we can get to combat his tactics.

End the Occupation | Bringing Home the Cost of Occupation

 

Jun. 16, 2010

Untruth | Israel’s investigation of Ziad Julani’s death means raiding his house by Marian Houk

Israeli security services Monday summoned for questioning the widow and three young daughters of the Palestinian man killed last Friday by Israeli Border Police at a “flying checkpoint” they had set up in Wadi Joz.

 

Jun. 16, 2010

Mondoweiss | Three American girls are left fatherless by Jerusalem killing by Philip Weiss

[See article for photo] These are the three American daughters of Ziad al-Jilani, who was killed Friday night in Jerusalem after praying, when he came too close to a "flying checkpoint" maintained by the Israelis, who shot him. The al-Jilani family has said that he lost control of his car amid rock-throwing; they have called for a full investigation of his killing.

 

Jun. 16, 2010

Mondoweiss | Blockade of ‘Mavi Marmara’ continues, stateside by Philip Weiss

We all say that things are moving in a good direction. Well, in power politics, here's a disastrous story: The Daily News reports on three New York politicians joining a campaign to investigate Gaza flotilla activists who are coming here to speak. And not just any New York pols, but Christine Quinn, who we thought was good on the issue, and Congress people Charlie Rangel and Carolyn Maloney, who ought to know better. Grim news. A real bow to extremists, and reminiscent of the 1950s. Imagine them trying this with the civil rights movement...

 

Jun. 16, 2010

Mondoweiss | One possible framework for a single state in Israel/Palestine by Ben Zakkai

Much pro-Palestinian activism in Israel and the Occupied Territories, including the noble protests in Bil'in and Sheikh Jarrah, may unfortunately be used to characterize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as being primarily a struggle between two tribes over land. A campaign for Palestinian voting rights would elevate the discourse to the level of basic equality and human rights.

 

Jun. 16, 2010

Mondoweiss | Transatlantic Jewish coalition set to break the siege of Gaza by Susan Landau

Why a Jewish boat? Lots of reasons. The universal values contained in the ethical tradition of Judaism don’t include ‘Do unto others as was done unto us.’ For Jews to publicly confront the Israeli government’s policies of occupation, apartheid, and siege on a world stage highlights the political nature of the conflict and discredits those who insist on framing it strictly in ethnic and/or religious terms. I like best the answer from Glyn Secker, the Jewish Boat’s captain, a British Jew, and longtime activist with Jews for Justice for Palestinians in the UK: “As Jews we should stand as a beacon for human rights, not as an internationally known perpetrator of atrocities.”

 

Jun. 16, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes regarding the Presbyterian Report:

 

The report is being condemned "in the strongest terms".  Jewish groups have launched a concerted effort to prevent the Church’s General Assembly from endorsing the report.  The report is titled:  Breaking Down the Walls
 
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs has sent a list of the names of 700 Presbyterian delegates to the upcoming assembly to synagogues and local Jewish community relations councils. The JCPA urged Jewish activists to contact Presbyterian delegates and ask them to reject the report. 
 
Those of us who would like to support the Presbyterians in this movement will find e-mail addresses on this page:  PC(USA) - Contact Us - Office of the General Assembly.  I addressed my note to the Stated Clerk.  Internationals can write, also.  The highlights in the following article are mine.
 
Peace,
Roy+

The Jewish Daily Forward | Church Report Deemed ‘Anti-Israel’ Endangers Jewish-Presbyterian Ties by Nathan Guttman

 

Jun. 16, 2010

You Tube, If America Knew | If Americans knew what Israel is doing...

July 14, 2006 — Trailer for a film about what we need to know about what is happening in Israel and Palestine and how the U.S. is involved.

 

Jun. 16, 2010

You Tube, If America Knew | Ralph Nader: Reinstate Helen Thomas

Nader: Helen Thomas apologized - she was attacked with such ferocity because she always asked 'why'

 

Jun. 16, 2010

BBC News | Israeli cabinet considers easing Gaza blockade

Israel's security cabinet is meeting to discuss a possible easing of the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

 

Jun. 16, 2010

BBC News | Guide: Gaza under blockade by Heather Sharp

Amnesty International has dubbed the blockade "collective punishment" resulting in a "humanitarian crisis"; UN officials have described the situation as "grim", "deteriorating" and a "medieval siege", but Israel says there are no shortages in Gaza, pointing to the aid it allows in.

 

Jun. 15, 2010

Free Gaza, You Tube | Who Will Speak for the Palestinian Prisoners?

As survivors of Israel's brutal attack in international waters begin to tell their stories of murder and mayhem on the sea, every one of them reminds us that Palestinian prisoners have no voice. Israel arrests and tortures Palestinian children who have no voice. Israel imprisons Palestinian activists who have no voice. When you listen to our stories, remember that Palestinians don't get to stand in front of a microphone and talk about the brutality of Israeli prisons. We must continue to go to break the siege of Gaza and the occupation in the West Bank. 

 

Jun. 15, 2010

It Is Apartheid Collective  | Israeli Apartheid Video Contest

You are invited to submit short videos [up to 5 minutes] on the theme of Israeli Apartheid. 

 

Jun. 15, 2010

Sabbah Report | A Voyage of Life and Death [Video] by Haitham Sabbah

In the early hours of Monday, May 31, the Israeli navy intercepted a flotilla of boats carrying thousands of tonnes of aid to Gaza. Nine passengers on the Mavi Marmara – the flotilla's largest boat – were killed. This much we know. In the aftermath of the event, accounts from both sides have diverged wildly. Israel claims that it acted in self-defence against a group of "violent extremists" linked to al-Qaeda and Hamas, intent on breaching the military blockade of Gaza. The activists say they were frightened for their lives after being shot at from helicopters in the dark of night, their raised white flag ignored. They say Israel's attack on their ship in international waters was unexpected and disproportionate. Examining claim and counter claim, A Voyage of Life and Death includes an exclusive interview with the captain of the Mavi Marmara, those on board the ships and previously unseen footage. 
 

Jun. 15, 2010

Sabbah Report | B'tselem: Gaza, 95% of factories are closed, 93% of water is polluted by Haitham Sabbah

Most of Gaza's factories have closed and its water is polluted as a result of Israel's siege policy, according to a new report being released today by the Israeli Human Rights group – B'tselem.

The siege policy has "led to economic collapse in Gaza," B'tselem noted in a 44-page report (PDF) that looked at Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem during the period from January 2009 to the end of April 2010. 

 

Jun. 15, 2010

Sabbah Report | White House Correspondent Helen Thomas-A Casualty of Zionist Duplicity by James M. Rockefeller

Had Zionists not removed her, they knew she would have asked President Obama: "When is the U.S. going to pressure its ally to give up a nuclear arsenal estimated to be in excess 200 nuclear warheads?"

Zionists won this round. No remaining White House correspondent is likely to ask the hard questions about Israel's impact on America's national security interests. ADL operatives, acting on behalf of a foreign government, made sure of it. 

 

Jun. 15, 2010

Amnesty International | Palestinian activist faces prison sentence

Many Palestinians who protest non-violently against the fence/wall are detained without charge or trial, others who are charged with offences such as stone-throwing will frequently enter plea bargains.

Adeeb Abu Rahma has denied all charges, other than stating that he was present on a number of different occasions in non-violent demonstrations against the fence/wall. 

 

Jun. 15, 2010

Today's Zaman | In a different voice: a letter from Israel by Ronen Shamir

I represent no one but myself, a single Israeli citizen. Yet I wish to convey to the Turkish people that there are quite a few of us here, Israeli Jews and Arabs, who keep on protesting and demonstrating and fighting for peace and friendship in the Middle East. 

 

Jun. 15, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | A cover-up commission, toothless and powerless

Even if it wants to, the Tirkel Commission can't probe the real issues and the international friends of Dore Gold won’t bite. Gush Shalom prepares appeal to the Supreme Court. 

 

Jun. 15, 2010

Save the Sheikh | Join Us in our Final Stand to Save the Sheikh posted by Father Dave, Anglican, of Australia

As you probably realise, a great deal of my time lately has been absorbed by the 'Save the Sheikh' campaign. If you haven't been keeping up with what it's all about, check out http://www.savethesheikh.com The scheduled date of Mansour's forced deportation from Australia is now less than two weeks away. Still he has no idea what it is that he is supposed to have done wrong!

 

Jun. 15, 2010

Uruknet | Being pro-humanity is not anti-Semitic by Ibrahim Hewitt

The importance of the Israel-Palestine conflict cannot be stressed enough. The high profile the issue has across the world illustrates its key status in world affairs. All the more reason, therefore, that debate surrounding it is not clouded by accusations of racism in place of open discussion. 

 

Jun. 15, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, comments:

Jim Wall understands the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and always reports accurately.  But Jim fails to take into account that in public President Obama must stand by Israel so that behind closed doors he can prevent Netanyahu from attacking Iran.  For if Israel were to attack Iran, the US Congress would be quick to support Netanyahu.  See Israel owns the US Government (06:37) and Twilight Zone on Capitol Hill (03:19) and www.aipac.org and www.cufi.org.  President Obama is like a man juggling chainsaws.  I highlighted Jim's concluding paragraph [see below].  Jim is right, of course, but international diplomacy is like a game of chess.  We can be certain that Europe's news came as no surprise to the White House:  EU presses Israel to lift Gaza blockade.  Cooperative efforts, etc.  Meanwhile, American Jews are seriously rethinking their relationship with Israel.  Please read on. 
 
Peace,
Roy 

The Reverend James M. Wall, Methodist, Wall Writings | Obama Backs Israeli “Kangaroo Court” Search For Justice at Sea

If any American president should understand the grave danger inherent in the national embrace of a “contemptuous, racist terminology,” it should be Barack Obama.

 

Jun. 15, 2010

Zenit | Patriarch Twal: Gaza Siege Should Be Lifted

The archbishop noted: "The aid we receive is like an aspirin. It gives us relief but it is not a long term solution.

"The occupation keeps us from having a normal life. We cannot move freely to go to work, to the hospital or to church like everybody else. That is no life." 

 

Jun. 14, 2010

Reporters without Borders | As Turkish photographer is buried, other journalists aboard flotilla speak out

Journalists who were aboard the humanitarian flotilla that was intercepted by Israeli naval commandoes on 31 May have been recounting their experiences. At the same time, Turkish journalist Cevdet Kiliçlar, who was fatally shot at the start of the assault of the Mavi Marmara, one of vessels in the flotilla, was buried in Istanbul on 4 June.  A news photographer who graduated from Marmara University’s Faculty of Communication, Kiliçlar had worked in the past for such Islamist newspapers as Selam (Salute), Vakit (Time) and Milli Gazete (National Newspaper) and had applied for an official press card while working for Milli Gazete. 

 

Jun. 14, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Consent | Palestinians Need a State: Loosening Blockade is not Enough

The Israeli ‘withdrawal’ of 2005 simply removed a few thousand colonists and withdrew troops, usually, to the borders. But it did not allow the creation of a sovereign state. Gazans are excluded from a third of their own farmland by Israeli restrictions on where people can live. That so many Gazans are unemployed, that their industries have collapsed, that they are food insecure, and that malnutrition is causing stunting in 10% of children– all these outrages derive from their lack of a sovereign state to look out for their interests. 

 

Jun. 14, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | Schumer’s Sippenhaftung and the Children of Gaza

Americans do not know, and perhaps do not care, that 68% of Gazans are refugees living in 8 refugee camps, who were ethnically cleansed and violently expelled from their homes in 1947-48, in what is now Israel. And no, they were not combatants, just civilians caught up in a civil war of sorts. They lost massive amounts of property and their homes, which would now be worth billions, but have never received a dime from the Israelis in reparations or compensation. Then in winter of 2008-2009, the Israeli military destroyed one in every eight Palestinian homes, rendering even more people homeless.  Schumer accuses the Gazans of not ‘recognizing’ Israel, which is sort of like accusing the pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico of not ‘recognizing’ BP. If Schumer wants the recognition and good will of the Gazans, he should arrange for them to be paid for the homes and farms out of which they were chased by the Israelis, who made them homeless refugees in a kind of vast concentration camp in Gaza, and are now half-starving them.

 

Jun. 14, 20100

BBC News | Red Cross says Israel's Gaza blockade breaks law by Imogen Foulkes

Israel's blockade of Gaza is a clear violation of international humanitarian law, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said. 

 

Jun. 14, 2010

Los Angeles | Don't single out Helen Thomas by Saree Makdisi

Editorialists across the country have condemned her statement that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go back" to Europe.

Let's agree that she should not have said those things, and that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East fundamentally requires reconciliation between Palestinians and Israeli Jews. We need also to agree on a formula that allows them both to be at home in the same land (I have long advocated the idea of a single democratic and secular state for both peoples; a state that treats all citizens as equals). Insisting that either people does not belong is not merely counterproductive; it lies at the very root of the conflict.

If, however, it is unacceptable to say that Israeli Jews don't belong in Palestine, it is also unacceptable to say that the Palestinians don't belong on their own land.

 

Jun. 14, 2010

People's Geography | The Banality of Israeli Evil: An Everyday Occupation

An excellent talk by Saree Makdisi based on his book Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation. As one listens to the stories Makdisi relates of bureaucratic blocks and irrational rules and checkpoints, Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase ‘the banality of evil’ immediately comes to mind. We get snapshots of the abhorrent kafkaesque occupation matrix of violence and bureaucracy before Makdisi moves on to discussing the one state solution. The talk is 49 minutes, with Q and A taking the video up to 64 minutes.

 

Jun. 14, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

Amr Moussa's trip is aimed at trying to heal the rift between Fatah and Hamas.  Palestine needs a unified government in order to negotiate effectively with the Israelis.  See:  Israeli negotiating strategies.  Also see:  BBC / Israeli "spy" arrested in Poland'.   Peace, Roy

Click here: BBC News - Arab League chief Amr Moussa in first visit to Gaza

 

Jun. 13, 2010

Haaretz | A Glimpse of the Future by Daniel Ley

The occupation is the oxygen of their campaign, and the vast majority seek an end to it - not to Israel itself. An Israel that fails to appreciate this and which sustains the occupation is the single most proximate cause of its own delegitimization.

 

Jun. 13, 2010

Stephen Sizer, Pastor of Christ Church, Virginia Water, UK | Israel's Greatest Loss

In a Haaretz article published this weekend [Henry Siegman] compares Israeli treatment of Palestinians with Hitler's treatment of Jews. The article title itself gives nothing away Israel’s Greatest Loss: Its Moral Imagination

Siegman begins with a rhetorical question: "If a people who so recently experienced such unspeakable inhumanities cannot understand the injustice and suffering its territorial ambitions are inflicting, what hope is there for the rest of us?"

 

Jun. 13, 2010

Journal of Lutheran Ethics, May 2007 | An Ethical Critique of Christian Zionism by the Rev. Munib Younan

As an Arab Palestinian Evangelical Lutheran Christian who grew up as a refugee, questions about the land and theology of Palestine/Israel are not just theological or philosophical exercises to me. They involve all that I am and all that I hold sacred in my life as a Palestinian Christian. I have had to come to terms with these questions personally at an early age in my faith journey to make sense of my own family's history....

...The worst part for me, however, was that some of my own Christian sisters and brothers from all over the world began justifying what happened as a part of God's plan. I still remember my first encounters with what I would now call a Christian Zionist who came to tell me that I should be thanking God because the scriptures were being fulfilled in the Six Day War. Then he told me to open the Book of Daniel and read how the small horn will win over all the other horns. This led me to wonder....

 

Jun. 13, 2010

The Independent | General 'tried to cover up truth about death of Rachel Corrie' by Ben Lynfield

Israeli war hero accused of suppressing testimony that could reveal what really happened to Gaza activist.

 

Jun. 13, 2010

Father DJ. Moore, S.J., writes:
 

The response to the flotilla attack is beginning to have a response:

Tikun Olam | Barak Cancels French Visit for Fear of Arrest Involving Gaza Flotilla Attack

...the real reason was that Palestinian activists in France had filed legal complaints against him over his involvement in the flotilla affair.  He was afraid he might be arrested.

 

Jun. 13, 2010

 

Jun. 13, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace, Muzzlewatch | Silencing Gaza flotilla activists in the United States by Cecilie Surasky

The Israeli government, with the aid of its many proxies- especially in the Jewish institutional world, is working overtime after the Mavi Mavera massacre to paint the Gaza flotilla participants as terrorists.

 

Now groups are working to keep flotilla human rights activists out of the country.

 

The NY Jewish Community Relations Council has put together a petition to keep activists out.

 

Jun. 12, 2010

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom | Who is afraid of a real inquiry?

If a real Commission of Inquiry had been set up (instead of the pathetic excuse for a commission), here are some of the questions it should have addressed....

Comment by the Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal: Is it possible that Benjamin Netanyahu would divert public attention away from Gaza by attacking Iran before he would answer the questions that Uri Avnery is asking?  Uri is one of the founders of the Israeli Peace Bloc.   Peace, Roy

 

Jun. 12, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, asks:
 

Can the report below be true?  With the agreement of the US State Department?  See:  www.aipac.org and www.cufi.org and Beware of politically-motivated hype.  

Peace, Roy

 
 
 

Jun. 12, 2010

Religion Press Release Services | SABEEL URGES, TAKE A STAND FOR JUSTICE IN GAZA

The disciples asked Jesus, why couldn't we drive out the evil spirit? (Mark 9:28) Jesus said, such an evil spirit cannot be cast out except with prayer and with fasting. We will continue to pray and fast in order to drive out the evil spirit of occupation and oppression. The great prophet Isaiah cried out that the fast God chooses, is "...to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?" (Isaiah 58:6) This is what we have been witnessing through the challenge of the flotilla. We believe that the spirit of God is working through true peace activists, who practice their prayers in direct nonviolent actions for peace and whose fast is the doing of justice.  
 

Jun. 12, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Big cracks in the walls of Israeli propaganda

The story that Israel wants to go away but is critical to tell...
 

Jun. 11, 2010

Gaza Flotilla | Huwaida Arraf interviewed about attack on Gaza Flotilla

Huwaida Arraf was on board Challenger 1, one of the six siege-breaking ships bringing humanitarian aid supplies to Gaza when the flotilla was attacked in international waters by Israeli commandos on May 31, 2010. Huwaida is a Palestinian-American human rights activist, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement and currently chair of the Free Gaza Movement.

Nine other human rights activists aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara were killed. Huwaida witnessed the attack on the Marmara before her own ship was boarded and its passengers and crew were taken hostage by Israeli forces. In August 2008, Huwaida was on the Free Gaza boats that sailed from Cyprus to Gaza, the first boats to challenge Israel’s closure of the Strip and dock in Gaza Port in over 40 years. She has since lead four other successful solidarity missions to Gaza with the Free Gaza Movement. In February 2009 Huwaida was part of a National Lawyers Guild delegation that traveled to Gaza to document Israeli violations of international law and war crimes that were committed during Operation Cast Lead.   

 

Jun. 11, 2010

Council for the National Interest | Paul Findley on Helen Thomas

Fearless, decent seeker-of-truth Helen Thomas, 89, the preeminent challenger of political power for a half-century as dean of White House correspondents, has resigned her position with Hearts Newspapers. She acted in the wake of controversy that erupted when she told reporters “Jews should get the hell out of Palestine.” While speaking plainly on behalf of the rule of law in Occupied Palestine, her message was submerged when reporters gave it an anti-Semitic twist by quoting words out of context.   

 

Jun. 11, 2010

Committee Against Journalistic Bullying | We Oppose the Attack on Helen Thomas

The Petition

We feel the massive attack on Helen Thomas has been excessive, extreme, and inconsistent with values that we believe are fundamental to our society: freedom of thought, an independent press, simple fairness and respect. 

We don’t think it’s right to throw someone out after a lifetime of hard work.

We value the fact that Helen Thomas posed hard questions to politicians of both parties and feel that such journalism is essential to our country.

We hold diverse opinions on the content of Helen’s 26-second-long response to a stranger holding a camera in her face. All of us call for Helen Thomas to remain in journalism and retire when SHE chooses, not when her enemies decree it.
  

 

Jun. 11, 2010

The Nation | The Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement by Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss

Most recently, Israel's raid on the Free Gaza flotilla, which killed at least nine activists, has added fuel to the campaign. The attack on a humanitarian ship seemed to reignite much of the international furor from the Gaza invasion of the year before, as it highlighted Israel's inhumane policy of collective punishment in the besieged territory. And with this latest outrage came even louder calls for accountability.  
 

Jun. 11, 2010

Culture of Resistance | Raw Footage: Israeli Navy Attacks Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Despite the Israeli government’s thorough efforts to confiscate all footage taken during the attack, Iara Lee was able to retain some of her video recordings. Below is the unedited footage from the moments leading up to and during the Israeli commandos’ assault on the Mavi Marmara. You can also download this footage by clicking here.  
 

Jun. 11, 2010

Democracy Now | EXCLUSIVE: New Video Smuggled Out from Mavi Marmara of Israel’s Deadly Assault on Gaza Aid Flotilla

In a Democracy Now! exclusive, we bring you a sneak preview of previously unseen raw footage from the Mavi Marmara that will be formally released at a press conference at the United Nations later in the day. The footage shows the mood and the activities onboard the Mavi Marmara in the time leading up to the attack, and the immediate reaction of the passengers during the attack. We are joined by filmmaker and activist Iara Lee, one of the few Americans on the Mavi Marmara ship. Her equipment was confiscated, but she managed to smuggle out an hour’s worth of footage. [includes rush transcript]  
 

Jun. 11, 2010

Gilad  Atzmon | The Crucifixion of Kindness

Seemingly the Israelis are starting to blame each other. This may look like a positive move, however, not a single Israeli is yet to ask for forgiveness. Seemingly no one in Israel grasps the scale of the atrocity in the high seas. No one in Israel comprehends the level of outrage amongst the nations.  
 

Jun. 11, 2010

Zenit | Maronite Friar to Be Beatified in Lebanon

Stephen Nehme Was Always Aware of God  
 

Jun. 11, 2010

Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bili'n | ‘Palestine national football team’ created in Bili’in

Demonstrators in Bili’in today formed their own Palestine national football team, coinciding with the start of the World Cup, to highlight their right to be an independent nation. The players, together with dozens of other Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, marched to the annexation barrier at the edge of the village, where a goal was constructed and a game was begun. Several footballs were kicked over the fence onto land once owned by the village. Israeli soldiers responded to this entirely non-violent activity by firing volleys of tear gas at the participants. They then came through the fence, and arrested 6 journalists, four of whom were soon released. Two – one Palestinian and one international – remain in detention at the time of writing. The tear gas canisters fired also caused large fires on the dry ground around the olive trees. Soldiers fired more canisters, aiming for the groups of villagers attempting to put out the flames.  
 

Jun. 11, 2010

Reuters | EU to raise pressure on Israel over Gaza blockade

In a draft statement prepared for a meeting on Monday, the foreign ministers will condemn the use of violence during Israel's operation to stop a flotilla of aid ships reaching Gaza in which Israeli forces killed nine Turks. 
 

Jun. 11, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

The article pasted below will make sense if one watches this video:  Israel owns the USA (06:37).   The video features Paul Craig Roberts, an economist who served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during the Reagan Administration.  Scroll down beneath the video and see facts and figures of AIPAC's contributions to the political campaigns of our elected representatives in Washington.   Perhaps it's as JFK wrote:  "A candidate's first duty is to get himself re-elected."   Peace, Roy

The Raw Story | Texas senator defends Israel over killing of US activist

 

Jun. 11, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace | Tell Congress and Obama No Aid for Siege of Gaza or Attacks on Allies

Israel's army shocked the world by invading a ship bound for Gaza with badly needed food, medical, and reconstruction aid and killing the international peace activists on board. Tell Congress and President Obama to condemn the immoral and illegal May 31 attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, demand a full and independent international investigation and the release of all detainees immediately, and withhold military aid to Israel until it abides by international law, including ending the siege of Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem. 
 

Jun. 11, 2010

Ali Abunimah | Israel FM Lieberman admits Gaza blockade intended as collective punishment: a war crime

Following its criminal hijacking in international waters of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and murder of at least 9 passengers, Israel has tried to justify its cruel blockade of the Gaza Strip on the grounds of "security." To anyone familiar with Israeli policy and the situation in Gaza, this excuse is absurd. 
 

Jun. 11, 2010

The Electronic Intifada | Israel's media blackout, doctored Flotilla recording condemned by Mel Frykberg

Although Israel successfully controlled news of its deadly commando raid on the Freedom Flotilla during the first crucial 48 hours of media coverage, emerging evidence from witnesses and survivors is challenging the Israeli government's version of events.

These include claims of medical treatment being withheld; beatings and abuse of passengers who never resisted; the Israeli military doctoring audio and selectively editing videos.

Furthermore, allegations of a possible shoot-to-kill policy, amidst autopsies revealing repeated gun shots to the heads of the victims, are also part of an emerging pattern.

One of the first targets of Israeli commandos raiding the Flotilla was the international media. Photographers were attacked, and journalists had their video, audio and other communications equipment confiscated. The equipment has still not been returned.
 
 

Jun. 11, 2010

The Reverend James M. Wall, Methodist, Wall Writings | Liberal PEPs Trash Helen Thomas While Ignoring Flotilla Deaths

A Lebanese-American journalist, a few months shy of her 90th birthday, nearing the end of a distinguished journalism career, makes a few irrational comments during a Jewish Heritage Week event at the White House.

She was responding to a question from  a young man who stuck a microphone in her face.

The short interview was posted on the website of a rabbi, whose son was the cameraman. Thomas failed to follow the Number One You Tube Rule: Never give a flippant response to any questions from a stranger.

Meanwhile, Israeli Naval commandos storm a Turkish relief boat traveling with supplies to Gaza. In the attack, the commandos kill a 19-year-old unarmed Turkish-American man, one of nine passengers who died in the attack.

Which story provokes the greater outrage among American liberals? Which one is almost totally ignored? You have to ask?

The unfortunate comment  by 89-year-old Helen Thomas wins by a landslide. American Liberals, better known in some quarters as PEPs–Progressives Except for Palestine–demanded her immediate condemnation and total removal from polite society. 

 

Jun. 11, 2010

BBC News | Israelis reflects on flotilla raid by Jon Donnison

Israeli opinion polls are not necessarily reliable. But one in the Israel Hayom newspaper, carried out by the New Wave Research Institute, suggested 91% of Israelis were in favour of the navy stopping any future attempts to break the sea blockade.

In the same poll, 73% of people asked said they did not believe the blockade of Gaza should be lifted. The researchers polled 561 people from Israel's Jewish population.

And the rhetoric from some of the military and the politicians backs that up. 

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Herald Scotland | Fear, pain and propaganda: an activist’s story

They walked up to the man co-ordinating facilities for journalists, put a gun to his head and shot him dead at point-blank range.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Jerusalem Inter-Church Centre | Israel continues deporting Jerusalem Christians

Yesterday fifteen people were stranded at Allenby/King Hussein bridge on the River Jordan, where at the end, four of them were sent back to Jerusalem, to the Ministry of Interior just to [be told]: You are no [longer] eligible to live in Jerusalem…  

 

Jun. 10, 2010

BBC News | Israel apologises for spoof video mocking Gaza flotilla

The Israeli government has apologised after its press office emailed to journalists a spoof video about the flotilla which tried to dock in Gaza.

The video shows people dressed as peace activists singing "we con the world" to the tune of We Are the World.

A spokesman said the video did not represent the Israeli government's view.

The video contains real footage of the Israeli raid on the flotilla in which nine activists died. 

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Paul Woodward, War in Context | An execution-style shooting on the Mavi Marmara?

I have now located earlier footage from Turkey’s Cihan News Agency from which the Furkan video was compiled. It is now apparent that due to some “creative” editing, the sequence of actions in the Furkan video are not those of the actual timeline. Still, we do know from autopsy results that several of those who died were shot at close range and such a killing may indeed be shown in this video.

The truth behind what the video depicts will only become known if the soldiers involved face questioning and if all the existing video is made available to independent investigators. If the Israeli Defense Forces have nothing to hide, they should welcome an international inquiry.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | Video Shows Israeli Commando Executing American

The Israeli military attempted to confiscate and erase the photographic and video evidence of its brutal asault on the Mavi Marmara aid ship on Memorial Day. But it turns out that digital images can often be recovered after erasure, and can be put on small memory sticks that can be hidden in nooks and crannies of luggage. So some images are in fact surfacing.

The most damaging is a film of an Israeli soldier kicking an American citizen while the latter is on the ground,and then executing him. This film completely refutes the rightwing Israeli government’s narrative of besieged lightly armed troops haplessly fending off naked aggression on the part of the aid workers.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Tikum Olan | IDF Executed Mavi Marmara Victims

In my earlier posts about the killings aboard the Mavi Marmara, I used terms like “kill shot” and “execution-style” to describe these events. I based my judgment on the narratives told by eyewitnesses and the Turkish autopsy reports. Some readers were taken aback and accused me of overstatement, exaggeration and worse. But this video vividly confirms my strong suspicions. It shows IDF commandos executing a passenger on the Mavi Marmara with one and possibly two point blank shots from above into the victim who lies on the boat deck. In truth, one cannot distinguish the face of the victim since it is blocked by a boat railing. But from the muzzle flashes and weapon recoils and the downward direction in which the shooter looks at his victim, it is clear this is an execution just as I described earlier.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

BBC News | Life in Gaza under the Israeli blockade

Newsnight's Tim Whewell spends time in Gaza discovering what life is like under the Israeli blockade and whether it has weakened or strengthened support for Hamas.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

BBC News | Remaining impartial in the Middle East by Tim Franks

As Tim Franks finishes his spell as the BBC's Middle East correspondent, he explains how his own background made it inevitable that some people would make certain assumptions.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Edinburgh 2010 | Pope Benedict XVI sends greetings to Edinburgh 2010

‘I send my greetings to those gathered during these days in Scotland for the centennial of the first Edinburgh Missionary Conference, which is now acknowledged to have given birth to the modern ecumenical movement. May we all renew our commitment to work humbly and patiently, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to live again together our common apostolic heritage.’

Pope Benedict XVI

 

Jun. 10, 2010

BBC News | West Bank development strategy begins to bear fruit by Mark Urban

NABLUS: Talking to people in a park here on a quiet Friday afternoon you really get the sense that the West Bank is moving forward under the prime ministership of Salam Fayyad and his Palestinian Authority (PA).

The progress does not get reported much, firstly because it is a slow incremental business and secondly because hemmed in Gaza, under its Hamas leadership, has produced all the spectacular news of late.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Sabbah Report | Are the defenders of Anti-semitism losing their edge? by Debbie Menon

In fact, if we wished to identify the greatest "anti-Semites" in the world we would have to recognize those so-called "Jews" who use such derogatory and demeaning racist epithets against people who criticize almost anything having to do with Israel, Zionism and Judaism but who condemn almost everything about Palestinians, and Middle Eastern Arabs and Muslims, who are about the only remaining people of Semitic origins in the world.

The use of the term "Anti-Semitism" is just another example of how language has been twisted and distorted to wring the most effective and psychological and emotionally damaging impact from it, as in the case of their misuse of the word "Holocaust."

 

Jun. 10, 2010

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Munich and a Little Bit of Everything | Discussion between Bernard-Henri Levy, a French philosopher and Gideon Levy, an Israel journalist

Surely you've heard of freedom. You cannot blame the occupation on anyone but us, the Israelis. There are many excuses for it, but they don't change the ultimate fact ¬ Israel is an occupier. This is the root of all evil and this is what you have concealed. Not a word about it.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Political Theatrics | The Old Gaza Boy And The Sea by Ramsey Baroud

Today, decades later, I stand by some alien sea, far away from home, from Gaza. I have been denied the right to visit Palestine for years. I stand here and I think of all those back home, waiting for the boats to arrive. This time the possibility is real. I follow the news, with the stifling awareness of a grown up, and also with the giddiness and trepidation of my six year old self. I imagine Freedom Flotilla loaded with food, medicine and toys, immediately behind the horizon, getting close to turning the old dream into reality. The dream that all the countries that my brothers thought were fictitious in fact existed, embodied in five ships and 700 peace activists. They represented humanity, they cared for us. I thought of some little kids making a feast of toasted bread, yellow cheese and sage tea, waiting for their saviors.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Desertplace | Israel's self-defense is destroying the world by Sameh A. Habeeb

Israel has been justifying its attacks and deadly wars against Palestinians and Arabs in terms of their right to self-defense. Here are some of the messages we hear from the Israelis over and over again:

“We are encircled by the Arabs.”

“We are encircled by terrorists.”

“We are living in the tough area of the Middle East.”

“We are fighting for our existence.”

“Our nukes are for the purpose of protection.”

“The Gaza siege is a legal means to stop rocket attack.”

“Settlements are a legal means to protect our Jewish Identity.”

Any audience worldwide hearing only this account might believe what they hear. It is normal for any body and everybody to seek safety and security as a basic need. People worldwide and specifically in America, which is the foremost supporter of Israel, will be convinced.

For as long as these fictions are promulgated along media wires and echoed by reputable institutions, Israel will continue to defy international law and humanitarian charters. More human rights will be violated.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Learning from Dogs | Israel and the Palestinians by Chris Snuggs

One understands Israel’s existential fears, but the dangers no longer come from Fatah and Palestinians in the West Bank. They should and could become the allies of Israel.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

intelNews | Israeli Navy insiders deplore Gaza flotilla raid

The former Special Forces member also called for the resignation of Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak. In a separate development, a team of senior officers in the Israeli Navy reserves have also condemned the botched raid and issued a public call for an external investigation in line with United Nations demands. The officers sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazii, in which they described the raid as a “tragedy both at the military and diplomatic levels”, which was “doomed to failure from the beginning”. The Israeli government has already said it plans to reject calls for an independent inquiry into the attack.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Silver Lining | The crimes I saw on the Mavi Marmara by Lubna Masarwa

During the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara, deep in international waters, I was inside the body of the ship. We were unarmed civilians ranging in age from a one-year-old child to an 88-year-old priest. We were going to Gaza to break the siege that Israel has imposed on a million-and-a-half people for the last four years. We were carrying a cargo of humanitarian and construction aid as well as letters from Turkish children to the children of Gaza. We were full of hope. When the attack began at 4am on 31 May 2010, our ship was transformed into a military target. On the deck, at first there was heavy firing, and then the Israeli occupation’s commandos took control of the ship.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Kidnapped, released, destruction continues

Mazin Qumsiyeh gives an account of his experience at the latest peaceful demonstration at Al-Wajala and provides links to videos and relevant articles. Three of the links are listed here:

 

 

Jun. 10, 2010

BBC News | Barack Obama says situation in Gaza is 'unsustainable'

"The game has changed," was how one Western diplomat described it.
Today President Obama became the latest of a long line of major figures to describe the Israeli blockade as "unsustainable". The next big moment is likely to come with a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.

There appears to be a concerted feeling, across the EU - and indeed among the Americans and the United Nations - that this is a chance not just to improve the humanitarian situation, but to re-make the shattered economy of Gaza.

That would involve opening the crossings not only to bring more goods in, but to allow Gazan exports out. There is also talk of trying to persuade Israel to move to a system where it publishes a blacklist of what it refuses to let into Gaza, rather than the current system where it just keeps a private list of what is allowed in.

--Analyst Tim Franks

 

Jun. 10, 2010

United Church of Canada | Join with Others to Protest Killing of Gaza Peace Activists

Join your voice with those of others to protest the May 31 killing of peace activists on the Freedom Flotilla that was attempting to bring humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

National Council of Churches | Faith groups call for new Israeli policies toward Gaza

"The National Council of Churches has strongly supported Israel's right to exist with peace and security, but this attack on an aid convoy contributes to neither," said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC General Secretary.  "In fact, it undermines Israel's standing in the community of nations."

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Episcopal Life Online | Presiding bishop expresses concern to Obama over Israel's seizure of aid to Gaza, ongoing blockade

This week's sad events make clear that sustained U.S. attention to Gaza is a vital piece of the work of peace-making. It is time to shift our nation's posture toward the Gaza blockade and make clear to Israel that its own interests, as well as our nation's and those of the Palestinian people, would be well served by lifting the blockade. Most importantly, the search for long-term peace in the region could be robustly encouraged.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

United Methodist Church | Israeli attack condemned by Wayne Rhodes

The United Methodist Church has long advocated for a peaceful settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians: a settlement that provides justice and security for both parties (“Opposition to Israeli Settlements in Palestinian Land,” 2008 UMC Book of Resolutions). The United Methodist Church believes negotiation and diplomacy will achieve this rather than through methods of violence and coercion (“Saying No to Violence in Middle East Conflict,” 2008 UMC Book of Resolutions). The need for this has been made patently clear by this morally reprehensible assault in international waters on peace activists and humanitarian aid workers.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

Global Ministries, United Church of Christ | Gaza Statement

This week is the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. Churches and people around the world are participating by praying and learning about issues of peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians. The May 31,2010 deadly Israeli attack on the flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza has proven the need for people of faith and conscience to speak out against the use of force and to work for peace.

 

Jun. 10, 2010

American Friends Service Committee | AFSC Responds to Attack on Humanitarian Shipment to Gaza

We call upon the U.S. government to help its ally, Israel, break from this failed course. The U.S. can first do so by ending military assistance to Israel, which further enflames conflict in the region and ensures Israel will always be better equipped for aggression than reconciliation. In addition, the U.S. can provide unlimited diplomatic support for final status peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian people that include Gaza as an integral part of a Palestinian state, and give its full support to an impartial international inquiry as called for in yesterday’s Security Council Presidential Statement.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Vatican | Synod of Bishops: SPECIAL ASSEMBLY FOR THE MIDDLE EAST

Benedict XVI delivered the "instrumentum laboris" to the seven patriarchs and two archbishops of the Middle East on Sunday, the last day of his apostolic journey to Cyprus.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Mid East Report | BDS in the US, 2001-2010 by Noura Erakat

The strident response to Berkeley’s resolution from off-campus groups reflects that the BDS movement is being taken more seriously by its opponents than ever before.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

If America Knew | As Israel kills and maims, Outrage is directed at Helen Thomas by Alison Weir

Whenever Israel commits yet another atrocity, its defenders are quick to redirect public attention away from the grisly crime scene.

Currently, there are headlines about allegedly anti-Semitic comments made by senior White House correspondent Helen Thomas. Pundits across the land evince outrage at her off-the-cuff 25-second statement made to a man who appears to be holding a camera right in her face.

Thomas issued a public apology for her words, but this was insufficient to assuage the wounded feelings of powerful antagonists, and she has now retired from a long and distinguished career.

Before we examine her comments and evaluate their possible validity, let’s look at other recent events having to do with Israel.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

If America Knew | The Aftermath of the Flotilla by Anna Baltzer

Last night marked one week since Israel's attack in international waters on the Mavi Marmara Turkish humanitarian ship bound for Gaza, killing nine. One by one, the hundreds of witnesses aboard the vessels have been returning home to tell their stories after being stripped of any and all footage. By confiscating all non-military evidence of the incident, Israel has been able to successfully dominate the narrative, at least in the US where news of the attack had begun to dwindle by the time witnesses were released. One wonders, if Israel is conveying the whole story of what happened that night, why eliminate every single other piece of documentation? What does Israel have to hide?

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Associated Press | Israel eases Gaza blockade on some banned foods by Diaa Hadid

Palestinian official Raed Fattouh, who coordinates the flow of goods into Gaza with Israel, said soda, juice, jam, spices, shaving cream, potato chips, cookies and candy were now permitted.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Witness 4 Peace | Qalandiya Checkpoint PM

It’s 4pm, and I’m back again.

A Muslim woman, who speaks only Arabic, approaches me.   A kind man offers to translate between us.  She presents medical papers regarding her daughter who is inpatient in a Tel Aviv hospital.  The mother is in the West Bank attempting to obtain the proper paperwork to enter Israel to see her daughter.  She started this journey at 10am, waited in lines to be told she needed to be in different lines and finally ended up at Qalandiya.  Once at Qalandiya, she learns the permit line was closed.  She pauses and then starts crying....

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Jewish Voice for Peace: Muzzlewatch | Helen Thomas, hypocrisy here and there

One of this country’s most important and courageous journalists said something terribly wrong, was massively criticized, apologized for it, and was forced into retirement. Exactly the way it should be, right? Wrong.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Redress | A short primer on Israeli propaganda for media dummies by Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood deconstructs the Israeli propaganda that has been flooding the airwaves following Israel’s murder of humanitarian activists aboard the Gaza-bound international aid flotilla, most notably from the orifice of the Israeli prime minister’s spokesman, Australian-born Mark Regev, and debunks the propaganda manual used by Israeli officials and stooges to hoodwink Westerners.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Common Dreams | Ann Wright: Pirates and PR

Most Freedom Flotilla survivors describe how Israeli Defense Force treated the activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla as an appalling act of piracy, but if one gets their news from the mass media, like many Americans, they would think otherwise.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Common Dreams | Ann Wright: Pirates and PR

Most Freedom Flotilla survivors describe how Israeli Defense Force treated the activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla as an appalling act of piracy, but if one gets their news from the mass media, like many Americans, they would think otherwise.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Jonathan Cook | Victimhood is not an excuse for Israeli injustice

The angry demonstrations sweeping the country against the world’s denunciations; the calls to revoke the citizenship of the Israeli Arab MP on board – or worse, to execute her – for treason; and the local media’s endless recycling of the soldiers’ testimonies of being “bullied” by the activists demonstrate the desperate need of Israelis to justify every injustice or atrocity while clinging to the illusion of victimhood.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Jonathan Cook | Witchhunt for an Israeli MP

An Israeli parliamentary committee recommended stripping an Arab MP of her privileges yesterday in a move to prepare the ground for putting her on trial for participating last week in the Gaza-bound aid flotilla attacked by Israeli commandos.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Jonathan Cook | Israeli MP tells of her terror on aid ship

An Arab member of the Israeli parliament who was on board the international flotilla that was attacked on Monday as it tried to take humanitarian aid to Gaza accused Israel yesterday of intending to kill peace activists as a way to deter future convoys.

 

Haneen Zoubi said Israeli naval vessels had surrounded the flotilla’s flagship, the Mavi Marmara, and fired on it a few minutes before commandos abseiled from a helicopter directly above them.

 

Terrified passengers had been forced off the deck when water was sprayed at them. She said she was not aware of any provocation or resistance by the passengers, who were all unarmed.

 

She added that within minutes of the raid beginning, three bodies had been brought to the main room on the upper deck in which she and most other passengers were confined. Two had gunshot wounds to the head, in what she suggested had been executions.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

BBC News | Can the US get Mid-East peace talks back on track? by Kim Ghattas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will hold his second Oval Office meeting with Barack Obama on Wednesday, almost exactly a year after his first visit to Washington - but amidst very different circumstances.

The fallout from the Israeli raids on the Turkish flotilla heading to Gaza has created a crisis for almost all the players involved.  

 

Jun. 9, 2010

BBC News | Ban Ki-Moon demands Israel reconsider rejected probe

The UN Secretary General has insisted other nations should oversee an investigation into Israel's deadly boarding of a Turkish ship.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Common Dreams | A Guide Through Israel’s No-One Land by Michael Winship

"I believe, even now, that the nonviolent option is the only way for Israel and Palestine," he writes. "Whatever the caliber of my weapon, if I am shooting the ‘other,' I am forced to deny that the ‘other' is like myself. I can only kill from a desperate position, a position, a position behind a veil, from which I cannot afford to see the human beauty and uniqueness I am destroying.  

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Common Dreams | Corporate, Religious Terrorism by John Buell

Religiously and often ethnically different from the U.S. mainstream, Muslims here and abroad are easily cast as dangerous. Some of our religious leaders charge that Islam is intrinsically violent. Ironically, some of our fundamentalists have a rhetorical style that resembles the radical Islamists’.

 

Jun. 9, 2010

Common Dreams | Will the Flotilla Attack Be Our 'Kent State' Moment? by Stephen Zunes

Roughly 150 people gathered in the fellowship hall of a local [Santa Cruz, California] Congregational Church this past Friday evening, including prominent liberal members of the city council and county board of supervisors, area clergy (including a local rabbi), professors, small businesspeople and other community leaders. The main speaker was Nomika Zion, founder of kibbutz Migvan in Sderot, Israel, a community which had suffered from relentless bombardment for many months from Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Zion -- a leader of the Sderot-based peace group Other Voice, which opposed Israel's war on Gaza -- argued that it was the ongoing siege of Gaza which was the biggest threat to the security and called for an end of the Israeli blockade RCNV staffperson and former Santa Cruz mayor Scott Kennedy then called on the city to come together to organize a boat to send relief supplies to Gaza Strip in an effort to end the siege, adding that he would write Rep. Sherman and Attorney General Holder and dare them to investigate and prosecute the hundreds of people in this coastal community who would support such an effort.

 

Jun. 8, 2010

Zenit | Holy See Calls for End to Gaza Blockade

As the forced isolation of the Gaza Strip again drew international attention last week -- due to an Israeli attack May 31 on ships carrying in aid -- the Holy See joined its voice to that of those calling for an end to the blockade.

 

Jun. 8, 2010

Ynet | 'Soldiers thought we would kill them'

(Video) Turkish newspaper publishes interview with Marmara activists describing how they overpowered three Navy commandos. 'I looked into the eyes of these three children, and saw panic. They had no hope of staying alive,' says ship passenger Mahir Tan.

 

Jun. 8, 2010

Ynet |Flotilla passenger: Willing to face Israeli probe by Ronen Medzini

Former US marine who was on board Marmara ship, took part in violence against Israeli commandoes attempting to intercept it, calls IDF's accusations against him, 'absolutely absurd', says may return to Israel to face charges.

 

Jun. 8, 2010

Haaretz | Obama's new vision of Jewish state guarantees rights of Israeli Arabs by Aluf Benn

New National Security Strategy defines two-state solution in a way that differs from the terminology used by previous American administrations.

 

Jun. 8, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:

 

Peers,

 

      Keep hope alive.

 

      UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's e-mail address is sg@un.org.

 

      My note this morning was a short one:  "Mr. Secretary-General...  I write to support your call for an international investigation into Israel's assault on the Free Gaza Flotilla.   Peace, Roy"

 

      Let's share Ban's e-mail address with our friends and neighbors.  On-line and off-line.  Please read the survivor testimonies below.

 

Peace,

Roy

 

Jun. 8, 2010

Free Gaza | Survivor testimonies

For three days as they were held in captivity and unable to speak on their own behalf, Israel presented the massacre against civilian passengers on the Mavi Marmara as self defense against a “lynching.” Now that the passengers are returning to their home nations, the global community is hearing a much different story, not just regarding the incident but also their treatment afterwards once in custody.

 

Jun. 8, 2010

End the Occupation | Congress Responds to the Flotilla: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

Congress is back in session today from its Memorial Day recess, and is weighing in on Israel's assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Here's a review of some Congressional initiatives and ways for you to take action:

 

Jun. 8, 2010

Sabeel/FOSNA | Wave of Prayer, A Litany for Gaza

Following Israel's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, there are calls for an independent investigation into the events that transpired. Thus far, Israel refuses to participate in such an inquiry. We pray that any investigation will be independent and fair, rather than another tool of misinformation. "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
 
Sabeel board member, Jean Zaru, has been awarded the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund Prize. The committee recognized that, "During her entire life, Jean Zaru has chosen non-violence to resist the oppression under which she lives. Non-violence because it exposes and challenges the structural violence on all levels. Non-violence because it makes the oppressors realize that they, too, are victims of the violence they impart." We thank God for Jean's work and pray that others will be inspired to stand courageously and work lovingly for justice.
 
As summer vacations begin, more tourists are traveling to Israel and Palestine. May these groups be inspired to seek out the stories and the people that they do not normally encounter. We pray that they will have their eyes opened to the need for a just peace in this land.
 
In recent days, scores of important religious, political and civil society groups have spoken forcefully about the need to lift the siege on Gaza. People who are often quiet are silent no more. We pray that this momentum will build into a political force capable of toppling the siege and ending the Israeli military occupation in Palestine. May we all recognize our individual roles in the work of justice.

 

Jun. 8, 2010

Mid East Blog | Gaza's siege will not be broken today by Nicole Johnston

So the blockade on the waters off Gaza held fast.

 

And for fishermen here, that means no end to a siege on their industry. Under it, they are only allowed to work within three nautical miles of the coast.

 

In fishing terms – this is nothing. Hundreds of fishermen are forced to trawl the same confined area every day. It’s like working in a fish bowl.

 

Before the siege, they could sail out to the 12 nautical mile mark. This meant lots of space to catch plenty of fish.

 

Jun. 8, 2010

Jews Against Zionism | May 2nd ad in the Washington Post

Recently, self-proclaimed Jewish leaders launched a provocative campaign of newspaper advertisements regarding the policies of the American administration on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Perhaps some are left with the impression that these individuals indeed represent American Jewry. The fact is, they represent only themselves. We, traditional Torah Jews, are distressed and appalled by these ads, as well as by the Zionists' tactic of abusing American Jewry to advance their agenda.

 

Jun. 8, 2010

Mid East Blog | Kidnapped by Israel, forsaken by Britain by Jamal Elshayyal

What I will write in this entry is fact, every letter of it, none of it is opinion, none of it is analysis, I will leave that to you, the reader.

 

Jun. 8, 2010

The Elders | The Elders condemn Israeli attack on Gaza relief ships

The Elders described Israel’s attack on the aid shipment and the resulting killings and injuries as completely inexcusable. They said this tragic incident should draw the world’s attention to the terrible suffering of Gaza’s 1.5 million people, half of whom are children under the age of 18.

 

Jun. 8, 2010

Associated Press | Israel military investigating deadly flotilla raid by Amy Treibel

Critics in Israel have faulted the proposal, saying it doesn't empower commission members to investigate the political decision-making that led up to the raid or intelligence failures ahead of the deadly confrontation. In addition, soldiers would not be questioned.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

The Real News, You Tube | Helen Thomas on her one question for Obama

White House Press Corps longest-serving member says Obama lost credibility when he dodged her question on Israeli nukes. Watch Pt2 of this story....

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Eileen Fleming, We Are Wide Awake | Dear Helen Thomas with a PS to all her 'Colleagues' and Every American

Ninety-year old Journalist Helen Thomas has taken a lot of heat for daring to address the fact that any Jew without any historical connection to Israel is encouraged to settle-as in colonize-upon legally owned Palestinian land.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Associated Press | Egypt: Gaza blockade a failure, border stays open by Sarah El Deeb

An Egyptian security official declared the blockade of Gaza a failure Monday and said his country will keep its border with the Palestinian territory open indefinitely.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

BBC News | US reporter Helen Thomas quits over Israel comments

Veteran US White House reporter Helen Thomas has retired after making controversial remarks about Israel.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Common Dreams | Israel's Flotilla Massacre: Made in the USA by Phyllis Bennis

Maybe the Obama administration will use this moment to show us a real "change we can believe in" for Middle East policy.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Received in our email: "The recent attack by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara, an unarmed vessel in international waters, brings to mind another Israeli attack in the same area forty-three years ago.

"On June 8, 1967, the fourth day of the Arab Israeli War, the USS Liberty, a virtually unarmed intelligence ship, was steaming slowly in international waters off the coasts of Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula when it was attacked by Israeli forces...."

The Cold War Museum | A new look at Israel's bombing of the USS Liberty

At 0800 hrs, 8 June, 1967, eight Israeli recon flights flew over Liberty, which was flying a large American flag. At 1400, waves of Israeli Mystere and Mirage-III fighter-bombers attacked with rockets, napalm, and cannon, concentrating on the ship's antennae and electronic dishes. Liberty was left afire, listing. Eight of her crew lay dead, 100 wounded, including Commander William McGonagle.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

BBC News | Biden says US seeking new ways to address Gaza crisis

Vice-President Joe Biden said the US was working with Egypt and other partners on fresh ways "to address the humanitarian, economic, security and political aspects of the situation".

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Haaretz | The Rachel Corrie ladder by Yitzhak Laor

Our leaders were rescued from the quagmire once again. Once again, the pundits have shed the cloak of liberalism and returned to the sycophantic glory days of Operation Cast Lead.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Salem News | Why Israel Put Mordechai Vanunu Back In Jail Last Month by Eileen Fleming

On 24 April 2004, which was three days after Mordechai Vanunu was released from 18 years in a windowless tomb sized cell jail for providing the photographic proof and telling the truth about Israel's clandestine seven story underground WMD Program in the Negev, Uri Avnery wrote:

"Everybody understands that he has no more secrets. What can a technician know after 18 years in jail, during which technology has advanced with giant steps?

"But gradually it becomes clear what the security establishment is really afraid of. Vanunu is in a position to expose the close partnership with the United States in the development of Israel's nuclear armaments...."

 

Jun. 7, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes: "Militants?  Freedom Fighters?  Fishermen? An Israeli army spokesman reported that the patrol had confirmed hitting its target.  The spokesman did not say what the army thought was the intended objective of the divers."

Reuters | Israeli patrol kills four militants in diving suits

"An Israeli naval patrol spotted a boat with four men in diving suits on their way to carry out a terror attack and fired at them," an Israeli army spokesman said, adding that the patrol had confirmed hitting its targets.

The spokesman did not say what the army thought was the intended objective of the divers.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes: "Here's a news item that won't get US media attention."

Democratic Underground | U.S. demands IDF probe how American lost eye at West Bank protest

The United States embassy has demanded an investigation into how an American citizen lost her eye last week at the Qalandiyah checkpoint after being struck by a tear gas grenade.... Henochowicz's father, a doctor, is originally from Israel and she also has Israeli citizenship.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Gush Shalom | “The Government Is Drowning Us All”. Uri Avnery attacked by rightist thugs.

“The violence of the rightists is a direct result of the brainwashing, which has been going on throughout the last week,” Avnery commented. “A huge propaganda machine has incited the public in order to cover up the terrible mistakes made by our political and military leadership, mistakes which are becoming worse from day to day.”

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Wall Writings | Hasbara Worked for Israel Versus Gaza; Next in line, US Churches by the Rev. James M. Wall, Methodist

Jane Adas has written an essay for Link magazine on the hasbara strategy  Israel used to spin a favorable image of its 23-day military assault on Gaza’s civilian population.

The Goldstone Report saw through the Israeli spin. The US Congress bought the spin and attacked Goldstone.  

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Wall Writings | Do Not Call It a Military Conflict; It’s The Occupation, Stupid by the Rev. James M. Wall, Methodist

Enough already with the euphemism of “conflict”, which so conveniently covers up Israel’s absolute dominance of  US policy in the Middle East.

This is no conflict; it’s the Occupation, stupid.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Wall Writings | Four Voices on Israel’s Assault: Friedman, Avnery, Atwood, Kerry by the Rev. James M. Wall, Methodist

There is no consensus in these four views on the assault: A New York Times columnist, a veteran Israeli peace leader, a novelist, and an American politician, three shapers of opinion, and one US political decision maker.
 

Jun. 7, 2010

Sabbah Report | Canadian/Israeli Stamp of Shame by Dr. Elias Akleh

Canada had declared the issuance of a "Canada-Israel Diplomatic Relations" commemorative stamp to celebrate 60 years of relations between the two countries.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | “Peace is Terror, Protest is Terror”

The tendency of the modern national security state is to recategorize peace work as a form of terrorism....

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Juan Cole, Informed Comment | Jewish Gaza Aid Flotilla Planned

There are over 250,000 Jews in contemporary Germany, and more Jews immigrated to Germany in 2005 than to Israel. Four-fifths of them are Russian Jews who prefer Berlin to Beersheva. And, there are some Israelis among them who have similar preferences. In further evidence of how Israel can actually be bad for Jews, the Israeli government lobbied Germany in 2004 to restrict Jewish immigration. But there are now more Jews in Germany than there were in 1939 before the Holocaust.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Jews for Peace | Ships to Gaza

We're a group of German and international Jews living in Germany who are sending a ship with goods and musical instruments to Gaza. We're part of a larger European project that is sending supplies in the spring of 2010.  

We're acquiring a ship, loading it up in Germany, then picking up passengers (Jewish and non-Jewish, German and non-German) at a Mediterranean port.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Time to hold Israel accountable

Israeli government refuses an International probe into its illegal piracy and massacre of Gaza humanitarian aid ships and 'accidentally distributed a video mocking the humanitarian activists. The Israeli occupation forces admitted doctoring one audiotape from the Mavi Marmara ship. The lies are beginning to crumple with testimonies from survivors. But we will not drop this case because it may yet prove to be the straw that breaks the back of International complicity.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Digital Journal | Turkish autopsies reveal aid activists shot from behind

Independent accounts of the traumatic raid of the flotilla by Israel are now coming out. A British Columbia man who took part in the attempt to deliver aid to Gaza, has returned home to Canada after being released from Israeli detention. He claims he was threatened by Israeli guards while he spent three days in Israeli jail, reported CTV BC. He also said 16 people had been killed by Israel, alleging Israel fired on the ships before boarding.
 
A British-born captain of the "Spirit of Humanity," another boat in the flotilla, told Cypress News of the traumatic boarding of his boat by Israeli soldiers. He said the Israelis humiliated and abused his passengers, shooting an Australian reporter (female) with a stun gun, and shooting a female passenger in the face with a paint ball gun.
 
A Scottish woman, Theresa McDermott, who was on board a flotilla boat called the Challenger, reported to The Scotsman that she had a "cocked gun pointed at my head."
 

Jun. 7, 2010

Ali Abunimah | Israel hasbara fails again: Photos show Mavi Marmara passengers protecting, aiding Israeli soldiers

The website of Turkish newspaper Hürriyet published a gallery of photos showing Israeli soldiers captured after their attack on the Mavi Marmara in international waters in the early hours of 31 May.

The predictable response of the Israeli army, as quoted in Haaretz, was that the "published pictures serve as clear and unequivocal proof of Israel's repeated arguments that aboard [the Mavi Marmara] were mercenaries who intended to kill Israeli soldiers." Israeli spokespersons and media in recent days have also claimed the soldiers faced "lynching," a provocative term which originated to describe the deliberate mob murders of African Americans by white supremacists in the United States.

The photos indicate nothing of the sort; if anything they show the opposite.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

You Tube | Roger Waters - "We Shall Overcome"

"Over the new year 2009-2010, an international group of 1500 men and women from 42 nations went to Egypt to join a Freedom March to Gaza. They did this to protest the current blockade of Gaza. To protest the fact that the people of Gaza live in a virtual prison. To protest the fact that a year after the terror attack by Israeli armed forces destroyed most of their homes, hospitals, schools, and other public buildings, they have no possibility to rebuild because their borders are closed. The would be Freedom Marchers wanted to peacefully draw attention to the predicament of the Palestinian population of Gaza. The Egyptian government, (funded to the tune of $2.1 billion a year, by us, the US tax payers), would not allow the marchers to approach Gaza. How lame is that? And how predictable! I live in the USA and during this time Dec 25th 2009-Jan3rd 2010 I saw no reference to Gaza or the Freedom March or the multi national protesters gathered there. Anyway I was moved, in the circumstances, to record a new version of "We shall overcome". It seems appropriate.

Roger Waters

Many thanks to G.E Smith: lead guitar and Thor Jonsson, drum programming and whatever. Thanks guys!!!

PS. 3rd June 2010

And now piracy!!!!!!!

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Free Gaza | Our deepest sympathies by Bianca Shaana

The facts are simple: The blockade of the port of Gaza is illegal, as deemed by international law and the UN. This point cannot be argued, the siege must end, the rights and dignity of the Palestinians in Gaza must be honoured, the port must be opened. Alongside of our partners in the Freedom Flotilla, we demand that Israel return our boats including the Spirit of Humanity, detained by Israel since early 2009. The Free Gaza Movement and our international partners intend to launch another flotilla at the first available opportunity.

 

Jun. 7, 2010

Free Gaza | Our deepest sympathies by Bianca Shaana

The facts are simple: The blockade of the port of Gaza is illegal, as deemed by international law and the UN. This point cannot be argued, the siege must end, the rights and dignity of the Palestinians in Gaza must be honoured, the port must be opened. Alongside of our partners in the Freedom Flotilla, we demand that Israel return our boats including the Spirit of Humanity, detained by Israel since early 2009. The Free Gaza Movement and our international partners intend to launch another flotilla at the first available opportunity.

 

Jun. 6, 2010

BBC News | Focus on Gaza hardship after raid

"I am not political but the fact is Hamas are the reality for the moment."

Muhammad says he lost his cousin in last year's major Israeli offensive in which the United Nations says 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.

But everyone is being punished by Israel, he says. "Life is too hard. People are just waiting for death."

 

Jun. 6, 2010

Jewish Peace News | Lynda Brayer: The Legal Framework of International Law

I've been listening to, and reading various items in which Israeli officials and its PR people have tried to explain how and why what Israel did when it attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was legal and appropriate.


Here is a short essay by Lynda Brayer - a human rights lawyer who specializes in the laws of war and international law in representing Palestinians and who lives in Haifa - which puts the lie to any such claims.

--Rachel Gai

 

Jun. 6, 2010

Zenit | Pope and Muslim Leader Embrace in UN Buffer Zone

At the end of the meeting Nazim asked Benedict XVI to pray for him.

"I will certainly do so," the Pope answered. "Let's pray for each other."

 

Jun. 6, 2010

Promised Land | Flotilla | New Mavi Marmara pictures raise more questions regarding IDF attack

Turkish paper Hurriyet published pictures of captive IDF soldiers inside the Mavi Marmara (see them here) during the Israeli raid on the ship. IDF spokesperson already declared that “this is clear proof of Israel’s repeated claims, that the boat was carrying mercenaries, whose sole purpose was to kill the soldiers.”

But to me these pictures raise even more questions. It seems that the people on the Mavi Marmara actually kept the soldiers alive – rather than “lynch” them, as Israel claims. This might also explain why the battle against unarmed civilians took so long: Could it be that the nine casualties weren’t just the result of an attempt to protect the life of the soldiers at the moment they were attacked, but rather the outcome of a violent rescue operation?

 

Jun. 6, 2010

Promised Land | Smoke grenade thrown at Tel Aviv peace rally, well known activist attacked

While the march itself was relaxed for most parts, a few dozens of right-wing people held a counter-protest, and several of them tried to break into the Left’s rally. During the speech of a Hadash representative, a smoke grenade was thrown (There are conflicting reports as to who threw the grenade – the right or the left protesters). Later, Uri Avneri, the 87 years old former MK and peace activist, was attacked. Ynet reports that Avneri was rescued from the area in a car, with police escort. Right-wing activists also clashed with coffee shop goers in Tel aviv and shouted insults at locals.

 

Jun. 6, 2010

BBC News | Kouchner and Hague pressure Israel over Gaza

The EU could play a bigger role in ensuring aid gets into Gaza and weapons are kept out, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said.

 

Jun. 6, 2010

Sabeel/FOSNA | News

Mainstream churches respond to Gaza Flotilla assault

 

Jun. 6, 2010

BBC News | Pope appeals against Mid-East bloodshed on Cyprus trip

The Pope used the trip to draw attention to the plight of Christians in the region, whom he said were being both persecuted and ignored.

 

Jun. 6, 2010

Associated Press | Vatican says world ignores Christians in Mideast

The Vatican said Sunday that the international community is ignoring the plight of Christians in the Middle East, and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq and political instability in Lebanon have forced thousands to flee the region.

 

Jun. 6, 2010

Eileen Fleming: We Are Wide Awake | Defenders of the Mavri Mamarra & So Much More by Ken O’Keefe from Istanbul

 

I also helped to physically separate one commando from his assault rifle, which another brother apparently through into the sea.  I and hundreds of others know the truth that makes a mockery of the brave and moral Israeli military.  We had in our full possession, three completely disarmed and helpless commandos.  These boys were at our mercy, they were out of reach of their fellow murderers, inside the ship and surrounded by 100 or more men.  I looked into the eyes of all three of these boys and I can tell you they had the fear of God in them.  They looked at us as if we were them, and I have no doubt they did not believe there was any way they would survive that day.  They looked like frightened children in the face of an abusive father.

 

But they did not face an enemy as ruthless as they.  Instead the woman provided basic first aid, and ultimately they were released, battered and bruised for sure, but alive.  Able to live another day.  Able to feel the sun over head and the embrace of loved ones.  Unlike those they murdered.  Despite mourning the loss of our brothers, feeling rage towards these boys, we let them go.  

 

Jun. 6, 2010

BBC News | Israel 'to reject international ship raid inquiry'

Israel will reject a proposed international commission to investigate its deadly raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, its ambassador to the US has said.

 

Jun. 6, 2010

Juan Cole: Informed Comment | Tel Aviv Rally Against Gaza Blockade; Wave of Protests, Gov’t Condemnation

In my view, the most important demonstration was the one held in Tel Aviv, sponsored by the Israeli Left, and consisting of some 6,000 activists. The horrific and also brain dead tactic of mounting suicide bombings against ordinary Israelis, adopted by some radical Palestinian groups in the first part of this decade, had killed the Israeli peace movement and given the Israeli Right the opportunity to capture the government and use its resources to intensively colonize Palestinian land. Despite what the US press keeps saying, a majority of Israelis has consistently supported trading land for peace in opinion polls. On Saturday, we heard once more from the decent Israeli left and center, who routinely call the ultra-orthodox who vote for Shas, a pillar of the Netanyahu government, “Taliban.” If the Palestinian leadership can restrain the radicals among them and go on cultivating non-violent tactics like the growing boycott of goods made by West Bank colonies, and preferring to import Turkish goods, they may finally have a winning formula.

 

Jun. 6, 2010

CBS | Gaza-Bound Flotilla Survivor Back Home In Bay Area

The last of 5 Americans aboard the Gaza-bound aid flotilla intercepted by Israel is home in El Cerrito after arriving at SFO. Don Knapp was there to greet Dr. Paul Larudee, a member of the Free…

 

Jun. 6, 2010

Press TV | 'Israelis threw 4 injured into the sea'

Activist Idris Simsek, who was on board one of the six ships of the Freedom Flotilla during the Israeli attack, claims that four wounded activists were thrown into the sea.

 

Jun. 6, 2010

Free Gaza Movement | IDF Admits It Doctored the Audio Tapes

The IDF admitted today in a press release that it doctored audio footage from its exchanges with the Gaza flotilla in order to paint the flotilla passengers as anti-Semites.

However, their comments made no more sense with this explanation: “This transmission had originally cited the Mavi Marmara ship as being the source of these remarks, however, due to an open channel, the specific ship or ships in the “Freedom Flotilla” responding to the Israeli Navy could not be identified.

 

Jun. 6, 2010

 

Jun. 6, 2010

The Irish Times | What Is Not Allowed by Richard Tillingast

Click above for the poem about what is permitted for import into Gaza and what is not.

Richard Tillinghast is an American poet who lives in Co Tipperary. He is the author of eight books of poetry, the latest of which is Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, 2010 ), as well as several works of non-fiction.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

War in Context | Israeli navy refuses to say the name “Rachel Corrie” by Paul Woodward

As Israeli naval operators engaged in radio communications with the MV Rachel Corrie this morning, they refused to address the ship by its current name — the name linked to its permanent International Maritime Organization identification number, IMO 6715281. Instead, in both communications released by the IDF, the ship is referred to as “Motor Vessel Linda” — the name used by the ship’s previous owner.

The Israeli military apparently not only refuses to accept responsibility for killing unarmed civilians — it refuses to even utter their names.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

BBC News | Israel to deport Rachel Corrie Gaza activists

The BBC's Jonathan Head in Istanbul says some of the details seem to contradict the Israeli assertion that their commandos used minimum lethal force.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Juan Cole: Informed Comment | Rachel Corrie Intercepted; The 9 activists killed last Monday were shot 30 Times

The aid workers maintain that 6 people are still missing, suggesting that the death toll may be 15, not 9 (Israeli Army radio reported 16 dead early on Monday, and surely they knew). You wonder if they had an impromptu burial at sea to get rid of the evidence (forensic analysis of the bodies would be eloquent about Israeli tactics).

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Zenit | Pope to Cyprus: Support Mideast Christians

Turning his attention to the Holy Land, which he noted has traditionally included Cyprus, the Pontiff said "the situation of continuing conflict in the Middle East must be a source of concern to all Christ’s followers."

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Lawyers for Human Rights | The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and International Law

Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR) was set up by UK-based practising lawyers and law students in London in 1988, during the first intifada in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

LPHR supports Palestinian people in their legal struggle to exercise their right of self-determination. It works, both in the UK and abroad, on legal issues focused on protecting and promoting Palestinian human rights, with a special focus on Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip.

Video of Lawyer Daniel Machover's presentation on the attack and international law

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Political Correction | Lying About The Gaza Flotilla Disaster by M.J. Rosenberg

It's been one lie after another in the US media about the Israeli attack on the Gaza-bound relief flotilla.  No matter that the Israeli media views the whole incident as a debacle for Israel, in this country the Israel-can-do-no-wrong crowd is on overdrive defending the operation.  As usual, facts don't matter to them.

Except they do.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Realistic Peace in Israel-Palestine | Flotilla Fallout: An Early Assessment by Moshe Yaroni

There is a lot of wailing to the effect that the real purpose of these ships was to run the blockade of Gaza and make a media splash, not primarily to deliver the goods they brought.

Well, yes. That’s not a secret, and no one is claiming otherwise.

MJ Rosenberg puts it very well: “Of course the goal of the flotilla was to break the blockade.  Of course Martin Luther King provoked the civil authorities of the South to break segregation.  Of course the Solidarity movement used workers’ rights as a pretext to break Soviet-imposed Communism.”

But the facts are not the only losers here.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

TOI Billboard | The Jewish boat to Gaza is sailing soon

The ''Jüdische Stimme'' (Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Near East), along with her friends of EJJP (European Jews for a Just Peace in the Near East) and Jews for Justice For Palestinians (UK) are sending a call to the leaders of the world to help Israel find her way back to reason, a sense of humanity and a life without fear. ''Jewish Voices'' expects the political leaders of Israel and the world to guarantee a safe passage for the small vessel to Gaza, thus helping to form a bridge towards peace.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Gush Shalom | Hollow Victory by Uri Avnery

The real reason for not allowing the boat through to Gaza is not security, but the demonstration of Israeli power, which is a manifestation of weakness.
 

Jun. 5, 2010

BBC News | UN's Gaza aid operation 'to receive £19m from the UK'

"We urgently need to see unfettered access to Gaza to meet the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza and to enable the reconstruction of homes, livelihoods and trade. That is why we continue to press the government of Israel to lift Gaza's closure.

"I am also discussing these issues urgently with our international partners."

Foreign Secretary William Hague   

 

Jun. 5, 2010

World Council of Churches | Evangelization and social justice belong together, says WCC representative

Giving some examples of issues that Christian “mission as contestation” needs to address, Coorilos mentioned “the continuing aggression of the State of Israel to the people and land of Palestine”, and the “islands and peoples that are going to simply disappear due to climate change”. 

 

Jun. 5, 2010

World Council of Churches | Christian leaders see value in common journey

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) has played a significant role in helping bishops educated in a dated “theology of exclusion” to move towards a genuine “ecumenical commitment”. This was one of the remarks made by a leading Vatican figure at a press conference held at an international conference on world Christianity.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

AP | Israel remains defiant, seizes Gaza-bound aid ship by Amy Teibel

The organizers of Saturday's sail said they planned to dispatch as many as three more ships in coming months and that four captains already have volunteered for the missions.

"What Israel needs to understand is that nothing is accomplished with force," said Greta Berlin of the Cyprus-based Free Gaza group, which sent the latest aid vessel, the Rachel Corrie.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Reuters | Flotilla survivors describe 'bloodbath'

"People had been shot in the arms, legs, in the head - everywhere. We had so many injured. It was a bloodbath," said Laura Stuart, a British housewife and first aider.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal | Comic Relief for a World Weary of Wars

If I were a cartoonist I would draw a picture of Pope Benedict XVI strolling thru the Gardens at the Vatican.  His Holiness is out for a bit of exercise.  He's bent over with a prayerful look on his face.  He looks like he needs assistance standing up straight.  He's remembering words written by Hans Kung:  "The Church is the Cross on which the Christ was crucified."  The Pope is thinking:  "....but the Church is People".  The Pope sees a teenager standing in the path ahead of him.  The lad smiles to greet him.   George:  Good evening, Holy Father.  You're probably wondering how I got here.  I climbed over the wall.  I hope you don't mind.  If I'm disturbing you, I'll leave.  There's a matter of importance I would like to discuss with you.  If I'm talking too fast please tell me and I'll slow down.  Pope:  LOL  (laughing out loud).  I don't mind.  When I was your age I climbed a few walls myself.  Let's do slow down, tho.  What might your name be?

 

Jun. 5, 2010

AFP Video | Seized flotilla: reactions in Gaza

Israeli forces boarded the Gaza-bound Rachel Corrie ship without incident on Saturday, but people in Gaza were still upset over the bloody violence that erupted when Israeli commandos stormed an aid…

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Reuters | Pro-Palestinian march in Paris draws Jews, Muslims

Protesters gathered in the Bastille area, in a rally which included Palestinian flags and one banner saying "French Jewish Union For Peace" with around 100 French Jews following it. It was not clear just how many were there in total.

"I think the blockade of Gaza is counter-productive for Israel," Michel Bontemps, a French Jew, told Reuters Television.

"Showing solidarity with the Palestinians in no way means you are a terrorist," added Youssef Ben Derbal, a French national who was on the Turkish aid ship seized by Israeli forces earlier this week.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

AFP | Thousands protest in London over Gaza flotilla killings

Asked what the mood was like of people on the march, [a protester] added: "They're very angry, rightly so. I'm angry but I don't shout because I'm not well. I wish I could shout".

 

Jun. 5, 2010

AFP | Israeli navy peacefully takes control of aid ship by Steve Weizman

Israel has repeatedly argued that there is "no humanitarian crisis" in the Gaza Strip and that such supplies are not needed -- a charge roundly refuted by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

 

"The idea that there isn't a humanitarian crisis in Gaza is absurd," spokesman Chris Gunness told an AFP reporter in Ashdod, pointing out that in the past year alone, poverty among Gaza's population of 1.5 million had tripled. "The number of people who cannot afford to feed themselves or their families has gone from 100,000 to 300,000 in the last year alone," he said, noting that 80 percent of the population was dependent on foreign aid.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Gush Shalom | "Kill a Turk and Rest" by Uri Avnery

ON THE high seas, outside territorial waters, the ship was stopped by the navy. The commandos stormed it. Hundreds of people on the deck resisted, the soldiers used force. Some of the passengers were killed, scores injured. The ship was brought into harbor, the passengers were taken off by force. The world saw them walking on the quay, men and women, young and old, all of them worn out, one after another, each being marched between two soldiers…

 

The ship was called “Exodus 1947”. It left France in the hope of breaking the British blockade, which was imposed to prevent ships loaded with Holocaust survivors from reaching the shores of Palestine. If it had been allowed to reach the country, the illegal immigrants would have come ashore and the British would have sent them to detention camps in Cyprus, as they had done before. Nobody would have taken any notice of the episode for more than two days.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Associated Press | Israeli naval commandos seize Gaza-bound aid ship by Amy Teibel

Greta Berlin, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza group that organized the trip, described the takeover as "another outrage to add to the nine murdered" and denied Israeli claims that troops had been invited aboard. Berlin spoke from the group's office in Cyprus.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

SF Gate | What happened to us is happening in Gaza by Iara Lee

With regard to the flotilla I was on, the Israeli government says it would have permitted our humanitarian aid to enter Gaza by land had we submitted it through "proper channels." But Israel's "proper channels" - restrictive checkpoints that have repeatedly turned away World Health Organization medical supplies and rejected or delayed the delivery of U.N. food aid - are the very source of the humanitarian crisis.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Links | Swedish port workers to block Israeli ships and Israeli goods [scroll down]

The Svenska Hamnarbetarförbundet (Swedish Port Workers Union) has today given notice of the blockade of all Israeli ships and cargo to and from Israel which is managed by the union members. The blockade will be effective at. 00:00 Tuesday, June 15 and lasts until at. 24:00 Thursday, June 24.

The reason for the blockade is the unprecedented criminal attack on the peaceful ship convoy In Gaza. Several peace activists were killed by Israeli commandos and other participants were detained without any reason.

 

Jun. 5, 2010

Sabeel/FOSNA | UMC-New England Task Force Updates Divestment Recommendations

This week marks 43 years of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, which the United Methodist Church has long opposed. The New England Conference of the United Methodist Church has issued an update to its Divestment Task Force report, which outlines divestment recommendations for companies supporting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Nine companies have been added to the report published by the New England Conference in June 2007. The research of the task force has shown that each company supports the occupation in a significant way.
 

Jun. 4, 2010

The Guardian | British survivor tells of Israeli assault on Gaza aid ship

Sarah Colborne, the first British survivor of the Israeli assault on the Mavi Marmara aid ship to return to Britain, insists troops fired live ammunition at unarmed activists.
 

Jun. 4, 2010

The Guardian | Gaza flotilla activists were shot in head at close range

Exclusive: Nine Turkish men on board Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times, autopsy results reveal.
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Das Palästina Portal | The Legal Framework of International Law: The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla by Israeli Navy Commandos by Linda Brayer

During the pre-dawn hours of May 31, 2010, the Israeli Navy attacked the six civilian vessels of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.  The attack took place in international waters against ships flying under national flags of countries with which Israel is not at war, namely Turkey, Greece and the United States.  The ships were carrying civilians from more than sixteen countries.
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Witness Gaza | Join us as we travel to Gaza.

Witness what happens on board the boats. Watch our videos everyday. Stay tuned for WitnessGaza. List of passengers on the boats
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Zenit | "Cyprus Stands at the Crossroads of Cultures and Religions"

Cyprus is thus an appropriate place in which to launch our Church’s reflection on the place of the centuries-old Catholic community in the Middle East, our solidarity with all the Christians of the region and our conviction that they have an irreplaceable role to play in peace and reconciliation among its peoples.
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Associated Press | Maine video producer recounts Gaza flotilla ordeal

"As soon as we heard the real guns going off, that's when we knew things were different than what we thought they'd be," he said. "We knew they'd use excessive force, but it was a game changer when we heard they were shooting people."
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Mass outrage world wide

Mass outrage in Turkey as they buried the victims of the Israeli massacre dominated the news in the Islamic world (see amazing video of the funeral at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa8XvaR6-ZA ) . A US citizen was among those murdered: Furkan Dogan, 19 year old, was shot multiple times at close range (http://www.salem-news.com/articles/june042010/amp-flotilla.php ). The 380 Turkish survivors were welcomed home as heroes. The same for their comrades, the Greek members of the freedom flotilla (In the last seconds, you can see American citizen Dr. Paul Larudee showing the signs of his beating from Israeli authorities (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC-BcEvD_1w).
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Corner Store | Join us in San Francisco at the special Corner Store screening this June 5, 2010 at 4pm

June 5, will mark the 43rd anniversary of the 1967 war when Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza, along with Syria's Golan Heights, all areas that Israel continues to occupy to this day. This Saturday, after the protest of the attacks on the volunteer aid workers and the Blockade on Gaza, join us at the special Corner Store screening -- June 5, 2010 at 4pm! We are all connected to the people of Palestine -- come see how nasty politics have affected this wonderful family.
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Wall Writings | NYT Flotilla Spin Mentions, Then Omits Name of US Citizen Dogan by the Rev. James M. Wall, Methodist

In its Thursday afternoon internet coverage of Israel’s murderous attack on the Gaza-bound Flotilla, the New York Times spins its story with praise for Israel’s openness to change.
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Lawrence of Cyberia | Putting Names to Faces

A brief introduction to the nine Turkish people shot dead on 31 May 2010, by Israeli soldiers who attacked the Turkish vessel M.V. Mavi Marmara, as it attempted to transport humanitarian aid to the people of the Gaza Strip.
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Free Gaza Movement | Rachel Corrie on Her Way

The passengers on board the ship have stated, “Communication is difficult and sometimes impossible and there are many rumors out there started by Israeli authorities, but there is no way we are going to Ashdod. We are, for sure, on our way to Gaza.”
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Rabbis for Human Rights |Torture and violence are not the answer: A d'var torah on Shelah-Lekha by Abby Cohen

June is Torture Awareness Month. We must challenge our government and its agencies to exercise restraint, tolerance and humanity in its treatment of all prisoners. Moses acted bravely and spoke out in God’s presence and Moses prevailed. If Moses can challenge God to act with compassion rather than violence, we, too must demand an end to the practice of torture everywhere. We cannot remain silent on this issue.
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Gilah Morse AKA Trudy Morse | Letter regarding Rabbi Arik Ascherman at Busboys and Poets June 10th at 8:15pm / RHR ~ The Rabbinic Voice of Conscience in Israel!

I am one of the pioneer members of Rabbis for Human Rights. My daughter Sarah and my grandchild planted olive trees in the days that Israel was destroying olive groves. It was Rabbi Ascherman who was with Rachael Corrie when the Caterpilar murdered her. Rabbi was also in the path, but one of the soldiers shouted: wait the man has a chupah on, and he was saved! He had Building Permits for the Palestinian family to repair their home, already destroyed by the Israelis. An important work is to get permits for reconstruction of homes of Palestinians.
 

Jun. 4, 2010

Sabeel | GAZA – The Conscience of the World

God will loose the bonds of injustice, undo the thongs of the yoke and let the oppressed go free. We believe the dawn of justice is near.
 

Jun. 3, 2010

Maria Khoury. St. George, Taybeh | Another Day in Palestine

The world simply must make Israel accountable for not following international laws. Is it my imagination or is anyone else out there thinking that Israel is totally out of control? Before this tragic ordeal of Israeli military massacre of activists on a Gaza aid convoy (31 May), Israel tried to send a message for volunteers that indicated if you want to help Palestinians, we will not renew your visa, or we will deny you a visa, we will deport you, or we will deny you entry. But this latest powerful message from Israel is, if you help Palestinians, we will kill you. Now, that is too much!
 

Jun. 3, 2010

Sojourners | Nonviolence and the Gaza Freedom Movement by Nathan Schneider

For now we can at least mourn the deaths of those killed on the ships, alongside those whose lives have been destroyed or ruined in the wider conflict, both Palestinian and Israeli. The refusal to tolerate and glorify violence, whether conducted by the powers that be or the disempowered, is the first step toward bringing about nonviolent change.
 

Jun. 3, 2010

Sojourners | Another Cost of the Flotilla Raid by Jim Rice

Until the blockade of Gaza ends — and, more significantly, until the illegal occupation by Israel of Palestinian territory is reversed — we can only expect more of these tragic, but preventable, events in the days to come. The result is not only an increased threat to peace in the region, but to Israel’s security as well.
 

Jun. 3, 2010

 

Jun. 3, 2010

World Council of Churches | Palestinian and Jewish activists call to work for peace

The plight of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and the need to hold the Israeli State accountable under international law were highlighted at a roundtable hosted by the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum in Geneva, Switzerland on 31 May. The roundtable was one of the events marking the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.
 

Jun. 3, 2010

Common Dreams | Kucinich Circulating Letter to Colleagues Regarding Mavi Marmara Incident

  • It is not acceptable to repeatedly violate international law.
  • It is not acceptable to shoot and kill innocent civilians.
  • It is not acceptable to commit an act of aggression against another U.S. ally.
  • It is not acceptable to continue a blockade which denies humanitarian relief.
  • It is not acceptable to heighten tensions in a region while the United States continues to put so much blood and treasure on the line.
 

Jun. 3, 2010

qik.com | Video of Paul Larudee in Athens Demo yesterday

Dr. Paul Larudee, a passenger on the Freedom Flotilla that was attacked by Israel before it could deliver its cargo of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, was badly beaten and tasered during the Memorial Day commando raid. In this video, he speaks at a demonstration in Athens.
 

Jun. 3, 2010

Eileen Fleming, We Are Wide Awake | E-mail from Z.L.

EMAIL FROM Z.L.:

Dear Friend:

Various Israeli official bodies, including the ministry for Hasbara
[i.e. propaganda] have sent messages to Israeli citizens urging them to take an active part in the “propaganda war”.
 

They are told not to ask questions but rather to spread the official messages in every possible way in the virtual world: talkbacks, forums, Facebook etc..
 

I have the material which is mostly in Hebrew. Although every citizen was asked to use the languages he knows. The attached file is in English. It would be nice if some of you can publish it on the net in order to unveil this coordinated campaign.

 

-ZL

 

Jun. 3, 2010

Eileen Fleming, We Are Wide Awake | How and Why I got 'on-board' with The FREEDOM FLOTILLA to Gaza

What Israel did under the cover of night in International waters on America’s Memorial Day 2010, to Citizens of the World with a Conscience who physically got on board the FREEDOM FLOTILLA, must be the final straw that breaks America's 'special relationship' with Israel.
 

Jun. 3, 2010

Cal Divest from Apartheid | The Evergreen State College Passes Divestment Campaign

We, the student body of The Evergreen State College, call on The Evergreen State College Foundation to instate a socially responsible investment policy. To this end, we ask them to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestine. As members of the Evergreen community, we stand with conscientious Palestinians, Israelis, and other international figures such as South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu to endorse the non-violent tactic of boycott, divestment, and sanctions for a peaceful and just resolution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.
 

Jun. 3, 2010

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America | Statement Regarding the Israeli Military Interception of Gaza Flotilla from Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson

On behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Lutheran World Federation, organizations that are deeply engaged with and committed to the Lutheran Christians and all persons living in Palestine and Israel, I express my deep sadness regarding events surrounding the flotilla seeking to deliver humanitarian goods to Gaza. We deeply regret the deaths and injuries that resulted when Israeli forces intercepted the boats. Our thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and the families of those killed or otherwise harmed during this incident. We note that this tragic incident occurred on the first day of the World Council of Churches’ World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel....
 

Jun. 3, 2010

Sabeel | Wave of Prayer, Thursday, June 3, 2010

Each week at 12:00 in Jerusalem Sabeel holds a Communion service that is open to the community. It is a time to join together to celebrate the Eucharist, to discuss how the scriptures apply to our lives today, and to pray for the specific needs of this region. Our hope is that in our respective time zones, individuals and groups around the world will pray together at 12:00 on Thursdays, in solidarity with Sabeel in Jerusalem and with “Friends of Sabeel” worldwide. Starting in Australia, passing through Palestine, and continuing on around the world we pray for Peace with Justice and focus on specific issues each week.
 

Jun. 2, 2010

Zenit | Political Instability Awaits Pope in Cyprus

Interview With Alfred-Maurice de Zayas
 

Jun. 2, 2010

Zenit | Christians and Muslims Dialogue About Education

Interview With Martino Diez of the Oasis Foundation
 

Jun. 2, 2010

Jonathan Cook | Israeli MP tells of her terror on aid ship

An Arab member of the Israeli parliament who was on board the international flotilla that was attacked on Monday as it tried to take humanitarian aid to Gaza accused Israel yesterday of intending to kill peace activists as a way to deter future convoys. Haneen Zoubi said Israeli naval vessels had surrounded the flotilla’s flagship, the Mavi Marmara, and fired on it a few minutes before commandos abseiled from a helicopter directly above them. Terrified passengers had been forced off the deck when water was sprayed at them. She said she was not aware of any provocation or resistance by the passengers, who were all unarmed. She added that within minutes of the raid beginning, three bodies had been brought to the main room on the upper deck in which she and most other passengers were confined. Two had gunshot wounds to the head, in what she suggested had been executions.
 

Jun. 2, 2010

Jonathan Cook | Israel's 'mad dog' diplomacy doesn’t make it more secure

Moshe Dayan, Israel’s most celebrated general, famously outlined the strategy that he believed would keep Israel’s enemies at bay: “Israel must be a like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.” Until now, most observers had assumed Dayan was referring to Israel’s military and possibly its nuclear strategy, explaining in his blunt fashion the country’s well-known doctrine of deterrence. But the Israeli commando attack on Monday on the Gaza-bound flotilla, in which several crew members and international solidarity activists were killed and dozens wounded as they tried to break Israel’s blockade of the enclave, proves that this is now a diplomatic strategy too. Israel is feeling cornered on every front it considers important – and like Dayan’s “mad dog”, it is likely to strike out in unpredictable ways.
 

Jun. 2, 2010

 

Jun. 2, 2010

Yahoo, AFP | French activists accuse Israeli army of brutality

French activists who were part of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla raided by Israeli forces have denied they were armed, accusing the army of brutality. Israel, which is under increasing international…
 

Jun. 2, 2010

FAIR | Reporting Israeli Assault Through Israel's Eyes

On May 31, the Israeli military attacked a flotilla of boats full of civilians attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip. Reports indicate that at least nine and as many as 16 of the activists on board were killed, though details remain sketchy due to Israel's censorious limitations on media coverage. Much of the U.S. media coverage has been remarkably unskeptical of Israel's account of events and their context, and has paid little regard to international law.
 

Jun. 2, 2010

Sojourners | The “Freedom Flotilla” Tragedy by Rabbi Arthur Waskow

As Gen. David Petraeus warned even before this  horrifying incident, the close alliance between the U.S. and the Israeli government sparks anger throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds not only against Israel but also against the United States. In the wake of the killings of this past weekend, this rage will almost certainly increase — perhaps explosively.

So the U.S. government’s obligation to keep the American people safe from explosive violence throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds should lead it to insist on a regional peace settlement that affirms the legitimacy of Israel and frees the Palestinians of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem to create their own state living peacefully alongside Israel; and achieves peace and full recognition for and among Israel, Palestine, and all Arab states.

 

Jun. 2, 2010

The Hindu | Nobel-winning Elders deplore Gaza flotilla attack

The Elders includes six Nobel peace prize winners — former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, former US president Jimmy Carter, detained Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Mr. Mandela and Tutu.
 

Jun. 2, 2010

 

The Israeli lies combined with media blackout on anything but their own version were apparently prepared long in advance of the planned massacre....

 

 

Jun. 2, 2010

The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:
 

Please Click here: YouTube - Israelis celebrating attack on Turkish Aid Ship - infront of Turkish Embassy,Tel Aviv.and immediately begin to remind yourselves ... and each other ... again and again ... that there is another Israel.  See:  www.gush-shalom.org for confirmation.  There's a postscript.

 
Peace,
Roy+
 
P.S.   My Allies and I have reached consensus.  We recognize Tel Aviv as the temporary capital of Israel.  We'll negotiate the "eternal" status later. 
 

Jun. 2, 2010

 

Jun. 2, 2010

If Americans Knew, the Missing Headlines | Israel Kidnaps 700, including former high Reagan official, decorated Navy Veteran

According to reports, Israeli forces attacking a six-ship aid convoy to Gaza, killing approximately 16-20, are forcing all six ships to Israel in an act of international piracy, abducting over 700 civilians from around the world.

Among those abducted in the attack on the humanitarian flotilla is Ambassador Edward Peck, who was Deputy Director of the Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism at the Reagan White House and State Department Liaison Officer to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.
 

Jun. 2, 2010

You Tube | Israeli Woman Response To Mark Regev

Mark Snow challenges Regev to announce their intentions on the MV Rachel Corrie which is still going to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.
 

Jun. 2, 2010

You Tube | Mark Regev interviewed about Gaza Freedom Flotilla by John Snow on Channel 4, 1 June 2010

Mark Snow challenges Regev to announce their intentions on the MV Rachel Corrie which is still going to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.
 

Jun. 2, 2010

BBC | More Gaza flotilla eyewitness accounts

Passengers aboard the Gaza-bound aid flotilla have been describing the drama of the moment that Israeli forces raided their ships.

Speaking on their return to Germany, Greece and Turkey on Tuesday, the activists said that commandos had administered electric shocks and beaten passengers during the assault. Israel says its troops acted in self-defence.

 

Jun. 1, 2010

You Tube | Naomi Klein speaks at Gaza flotilla protest in Toronto

On May 31, 2010, Torontonians took to the streets to protest the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla carrying aid supplies to Gaza overnight.

The rally and march ended in Dundas Square, where Naomi Klein delivered an impassioned speech about the attack which has left an estimated 20 people dead and many more injured, and about the need for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

Filmed by Bob Chandler, edited by Michelle Langlois for rabbletv.

 

Jun. 1, 2010

You Tube | IDF Boarding Gaza Aid Flotilla

The Israeli military has been busy spinning the story of their attack on a civilian convoy trying to deliver aid to the imprisoned people of Gaza. They've had a head start, sending out edited videos, posting 'supposed' military footage of the passengers attacking them, saying that they confiscated weapons which turned out to be marbles, sling shots, kitchen knives and aluminum chairs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLrX7fznVgI

But they can't spin for much longer. Video footage from dozens of people is beginning to surface about what really happened. Al Jazeera has posted their coverage as gun shots sound in the background, speakers beg the passengers to go below and a white flag is set out for the paramilitary groups. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn-l_JltCB4

More will come out as passengers are released. We already know that Israel shot the captain of the Marmara and the European Campaign boat, maybe hoping that we would no longer be able to hire captains. Several activists have spoken to their Consulates and told of being kicked, beaten, dragged along the ground, tear gassed and bags thrown over their heads.

--Greta Berlin

 

Jun. 1, 2010

Guardian | Israelis opened fire before boarding Gaza flotilla, say released activists

Michalis Grigoropoulos, who was at the wheel of the Free Mediterranean, said: "We were in international waters. The Israelis acted like pirates, completely out of the normal way that they conduct nautical exercises, and seized our ship. They took us hostage, pointing guns at our heads; they descended from helicopters and fired tear gas and bullets. There was absolutely nothing we could do … Those who tried to resist forming a human ring on the bridge were given electric shocks."

Grigoropoulos, who insisted the ship was full of humanitarian aid bound for Gaza "and nothing more", said that, once detained, the human rights activists were not allowed to contact a lawyer or the Greek embassy in Tel Aviv. "They didn't let us go to the toilet, eat or drink water and throughout they videoed us. They confiscated everything, mobile phones, laptops, cameras and personal effects. They only allowed us to keep our papers."

 

Jun. 1, 2010

Zenit | Holy See Decries Violence Aboard Gaza Aid Flotilla

For Father Hernandez, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is grave. He reported: "The lack of products makes prices rise sky high.

"Medicine and other basic goods are very expensive. I would also like to say that the situation worsens day by day."
 
The priest's message from his small church in Gaza is: "Peace is not attained with violence. This is not the appropriate way!"

 

Jun. 1, 2010

The Jerusalem Fund |Israeli raid on flotilla: an intentional message for Gaza and the rest of the world by Yousef Munayyer

The activists who set sail for Gaza did their part and now people of conscience around the world and their governments must to do their part. We can choose whether the dead activists will be the last of the civilians killed by the Israeli regime or if they will simply join the list of countless others who died trying to expose the crimes of occupation and siege.

Anything less than an international outcry leading to the end of the siege on Gaza would mean the international community has failed civil society, and the nonviolent activists will have died in vain.

 

Jun. 1, 2010

Presbyterian Church | Stated Clerk issues statement on Gaza blockade

We call for an end to the blockade of Gaza and urge the government of Israel to permit the immediate delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza.

 

Jun. 1, 2010

J Street | Join us in an open letter demanding Presidential leadership to end the conflict now.

Most important, Mr. President, take immediate action, using the full power of the United States, to achieve a two-state resolution that protects Israel and frees the Palestinian people.
 

Jun. 1, 2010

World Council of Churches | Public Statement condemning the assault on a Gaza-bound vessel

The deplorable events which occurred yesterday off the coast of Gaza remind us yet again of the pressing need for an end to the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories. The World Council of Churches reiterates its commitment to work for just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel.
 

Jun. 1, 2010

CNN | Eyewitnesses recount Israel flotilla raid

Some of the first accounts emerged Tuesday from eyewitnesses who were aboard several boats stormed by Israeli forces as they approached Gaza the day before. Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Israeli parliament, was on board the Miva Marmara, the ship that was the scene of a confrontation between activists and Israeli soldiers. That clash left at least nine people dead. The Israeli Navy fired on the ships five minutes before commandos descended from ropes that dangled from helicopters, Zoabi said during a press conference in Nazareth, Israel. She said passengers on board the ship were unarmed.
 

Jun. 1, 2010

Haaretz | Political Israel does not understand the new world by Yitzhak Laor

This is also where the powerlessness in Israeli terms is revealed regarding "world public opinion." The apparent loss that we will face in this campaign in the West dwarfs questions about public opinion in India, Brazil or Turkey. If you would like an image: Ben-Gurion International Airport's new terminal was built as a megalomaniac airport for "the new Middle East." But its departure and arrival halls are populated almost entirely by Israelis, and by security officers who wait in the corners of the giant corridors for youths from different parts of the world whom they suspect will want to go to Bil'in.
 

Jun. 1, 2010

Huffington Post | From Istanbul: Outrage Over a Massacre on the High Seas by Phyllis Bennis, Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies

And as we mourn, our full demands must be for the immediate lifting of the criminal blockade of Gaza - the end of the blockade, not simply allowing a few additional items in under Israeli control. And then we must demand full international accountability, including criminal liability, for the Israeli officials, both political leaders and military commanders, who are responsible for the Flotilla Massacre. The United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and every national government should be prepared to investigate and to arrest those responsible.
 

Jun. 1, 2010

Haaretz | 'The ship turned into a lake of blood,' says activist on Gaza flotilla

Pro-Palestinian activists returning to Europe said Israeli commandos used stun guns on passengers and beat them during the deadly raid on an aid flotilla that was trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza. One woman said her aid ship turned into a "lake of blood."
 

Jun. 1, 2010

Occupation Magazine | B`Tselem: Open an immediate investigation

The IDF Spokesperson claims that extreme violence was used against the soldiers by activists on the boat. This information is based solely on statements of soldiers. However, before reaching conclusions, the investigation must consider the testimonies of all eyewitnesses to the events, including persons who participated in the flotilla who are currently in custody in Israel.
 

Jun. 1, 2010

Occupation Magazine | Israel itself may be among the victims of its pathology

Yet the mass killing of those on board the freedom boats has drawn condemnation around the globe with critical statements from the United Nations and from European capitals. Israel’s action may reinforce calls to boycott its products. This could be a turning point in the struggle to end the siege and the Israeli occupation.
 

Jun. 1, 2010

Gush Shalom | “Security cannot be built - On the corpses of protesters! by Uri Avnery

“The blockade imposed on 1.8 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, men, woman and children, is inhuman, immoral and illegal, and must be broken!” a Gush Shalom activist told the many media people who covered the demonstration. “There is no doubt that after this flotilla, more will come, and that the dimensions of the action will grow, until the leaders of Israel realize that the blockade is hurting Israel much more than Hamas.”
 

Jun. 1, 2010

Occupation Magazine | US activist loses eye after being shot in face with tear gas canister

21-year old Emily Henochowicz was hit in the face with a tear gas projectile fired directly at her by an Israeli soldier during the demonstration at Qalandiya checkpoint today. Israeli occupation forces fired volleys of tear gas at unarmed Palestinian and international protesters, causing mass panic amongst the demonstrators and those queuing at the largest checkpoint separating the West Bank and Israel.
 

Jun. 1, 2010

Occupation Magazine | Egypt lifts Gaza blockade following flotilla raid

Gazans hope crossing, opening to allow wounded, humanitarian aid through, will remain active.
 

Jun. 1, 2010

American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights | Urge US to Support UN Action to Condemn Attack on Freedom Flotilla, End to Gaza Siege

It is time for the government of the United States to join the global consensus. The Obama Administration must condemn Israel's attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and insist that Israel end its disgraceful siege of Gaza.
 

Jun. 1, 2010

Good Shepherd Sisters Advocacy | Action Alert!

From our friends at United for Justice and Peace:

On Monday the Israeli navy attacked humanitarian ships in international
waters in the middle of the night. Reports indicate that 10-16 humanitarian
activists were killed and 50-60 were injured. The ships were seized by the
Israeli navy and taken to Haifa to avoid press at Ashdod. The National
Advocacy Center Sisters of the Good Shepherd, joins UFPJ to condemn the
Israeli Government for their brutal attack on unarmed civilians. Protests
have taken place across the world and a number of Governments are taking
action.

On board were 750 people of conscience from 40 different countries,
including 35 international politicians intent on breaking the
Israeli-Egyptian blockade. We offer our sincerest condolences to family and
friends who have lost loved ones in the attack. One of the boats was named
after Rachel Corrie, to honor this strong young woman killed by the Israel
Defense Forces in April 2003
....
 

Jun. 1, 2010

BBC News | Witnesses cast doubt on Israel's convoy raid account

Eyewitness accounts from ships raided by Israeli commandos have cast doubt on Israel's version of events that led to the deaths of at least 10 people.

German pro-Palestinian activist Norman Paech said he had only seen wooden sticks being brandished as troops abseiled on to the deck of the ship.

Israel says its soldiers were attacked with "knives, clubs and other weapons" and opened fire in self defence.

The raid led to widespread condemnation and the UN has called for an inquiry.

 

Jun. 1, 2010

Christian Peace Team | Release from Hebron: Freedom Flotilla

We must hope and pray that out of this darkness will come the light that will show the rest of the world the true atrocity of the situation in Palestine, that we as individuals, communities and nations legitimize by refusing to reprimand Israel.

 

Jun. 1, 2010

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights | Of cowardice, dignity, and solidarity

I personally know over 80 of those kidnapped on the freedom flotilla. It angers us not having any information from all survivors. The only footage received after the vicious attack is brief and released by the Israeli authorities who have otherwise put a complete news blackout. If Israel has nothing to hide, why not allow the kidnapped to talk to the media or at least to lawyers and to their country representatives? In one video, we see three or four recognizable friends escorted by the Israeli pirates; my mind imagines justice prevailing and those Israeli criminals being led in handcuffs to International criminal courts. Our anger increased when Israeli forces attacked unarmed demonstrators near Qalandia yesterday injuring a friend. 22-year-old Emily Henochowicz lost her left eye after being hit with an Israeli gas canister. We met Emily in several events here in Palestine (see story and photos at http://palsolidarity.org/2010/05/12604). She is a visual artist who was documenting popular resistance (her art blog is here http://thirstypixels.blogspot.com/, Facebook http://www.facebook.com/people/Emily-Henochowicz/1223820147). A visual artist losing an eye is beyond words....

 

Jun. 1, 2010

BBC News | UN statement on Israel's Gaza aid ships raid

The Security Council requests the immediate release of the ships as well as the civilians held by Israel. The Council urges Israel to permit full consular access, to allow the countries concerned to retrieve their deceased and wounded immediately, and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance from the convoy to its destination.

 

Jun. 1, 2010

Zenit | Catholics in Iran: A Community at Risk of Extinction?

As Christians flee in great numbers from Iran, for both political and religious reasons, the country's Christian community is at real risk of extinction, says journalist and observer of Middle Eastern Churches, Camille Eid.

 

Jun. 1, 2010

Zenit | Pope Will Go to Cyprus as a Pilgrim

Benedict XVI will travel to Cyprus -- the island of the Acts of the Apostles -- above all as a pilgrim, says a Vatican spokesman.

 
 
       

 

 

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