Thursday, 31 December 2009

Let the Gaza convoy and marchers through - protest at Egyptian embassy

URGENT: Egypt MUST allow Viva Palestina & Gaza Freedom March into Gaza - NOW!

The Egyptian government has been participating in + colluding with Israel in it's blockade of Gaza and now takes further steps to prevent aid from the Viva Palestina convoy reaching Gaza and harrasses, assualts and detains activists from the Gaza Freedom March while it holds them down in Cairo...

Link to the facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=228160212957

ENOUGH!

Join PROTEST outside Egyptian Embassy in London against the siege on Gaza & to stop the building of the steel wall & to demand the access of the VIVA PALESTINA convoy + Gaza Freedom March into Gaza NOW!

**TODAY**
Thursday 31st Dec 2009, 1pm – 3pm
26 South Street, London W1K 1DW.
Nearest Tube: Green Park & Hyde Park Corner.

Called by: British Muslim Initiative, Stop the War Coalition, Save Egypt Front, Arab Organization for Human Rights & Palestinian Forum in Britain.

Supported by: Islamic Forum of Europe, Muslim Association of Britain, Young Muslim Organization, Muslimaat UK, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Scottish PSC, Friends of Al Aqsa, Friends of Lebanon, Palestinian Return Centre.

Monday, 28 December 2009

A message from the Never Before Campaign

A message from the Never Before Campaign Team

It is the anniversary of the war on Gaza. It was during this war that the campaign was launched. And although its started as a reaction to the war, we hope to continue with it until the day in which justice prevails in Palestine. We are certain that that day will come, our task and duty is to help make this day come sooner.

Anyway, here is the video we produced for the anniversary of the war an in support of the Gaza Freedom March. It is to remind us for whose rights and justice we are fighting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU5Wi2jhnW0

Please circulate and provide us with feedback.

Also, there is a new website worth checking dedicated to the anniversary of the war: gazaspeaks.com

May the new year be a good one for justice in Palestine, and everywhere.
In solidarity,
The Never Before Campaign Team

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Gaza Freedom March set to challenge Israel's illegal inhuman blockade

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 22 (IPS) - More than 50,000 people are expected to take to the streets of Gaza on Dec. 31 for a mass march designed to send a message to the United States, a key supporter of Israel's army, that the situation in Gaza violates international human rights laws.

The idea behind the "Gaza Freedom March" comes from CODEPINK, a women's peace group committed to drawing attention to the humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories, among other campaigns.

more

UK government hopes to protect Israeli war criminals

The British government is trying its best to work out a way in which it can circumvent international law, all in order to protect Israel's war criminals from arrest in the UK. Shame on Miliband.
LONDON — Britain's flagship Muslim organization on Wednesday attacked a government pledge to reform a war crimes law used to try to arrest visiting Israeli dignitaries, saying the move could hurt Britain's image in the Middle East.

The Muslim Council of Britain said it was "deeply disappointed" that the country's foreign minister, David Miliband, promised to change the law so that judges could no longer issue secret arrest warrants against Israeli officials or military officers, saying the move was biased toward Israel.

"You appear to be committing the government to the path of selective compliance with the enforcement of international law," the council's Secretary General Muhammad Abdul Bari wrote in a letter to Miliband. "This is surely not in the best interests of our country as it will add a further dimension to the double standards that our government is seen to have in relation to the politics of the Middle East."

Prisoner swap negotiator carries message from Israel to Hamas as deal gets closer

Up to 1,000 Palestinian prisoners could be freed in exchange the Israel's lone soldier, according to the Wall Street Journal.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- A German mediator met with Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday to deliver Israel's latest counter offer for a prisoner swap, but the Islamic militant group's Syrian-based leadership is expected to have the final say.

The German mediator is seeking to clinch a long-anticipated swap of some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for a single Israeli soldier.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum confirmed the mediator delivered the offer and said Hamas was considering it.

"We in Hamas are discussing this issue among our leadership, and when we finish, we will give our answer through the German mediator," he said, without indicating when the group would respond.

more

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

End the siege of Gaza - protest at Israeli embassy London 27 December

One year since the Beginning of the Attacks on Gaza
Join the Vigil Outside the Israeli Embassy
End the Siege on Gaza
Sunday 27 December 2009
3pm
High Street Kensington, W8, London (High St Kensington Underground)
Called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Stop the War Coalition
Supported by: Amos Trust, Communication Workers Union, Fire Brigades Union, Friends of Al Aqsa, Friends of Lebanon, Greater London UNISON, The Green Party, ICAHD UK, IJAN – the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Jewish Socialists' Group, Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, Palestinian Return Centre, The Peace Cycle, Public and Commercial Services Union, Thompsons Solicitors.
*************
VIGILS AROUND THE UK
Liverpool 27 December 2-4pm
Sheffield 27 December 4-5pm
Wolverhampton 29 December 4:30pm
Leicester PSC is holding a vigil for Gaza in the centre of Leicester on December 28th. between 2 and 3pm
Brighton PSC Gaza vigil in Brighton on 27th December
Birmingham 27th December, Victoria Square, 2pm - 4pm
Halifax, George Square from 5.00 to 6.00 p.m. on Tuesday 5th January and Tuesday 13th January

Monday, 21 December 2009

Egypt's collaborators to seal off Gaza with steel wall

CAIRO, (PIC)-- Egyptian human rights activist, Hafeth Abu Sa'dah criticised Cairo's intention to build a wall of steel on its border with the Gaza Strip saying that such a step contradicts with Egypt's duty towards the Palestinian people and called for working to end the siege on Gaza and provide safe passage for people and goods.

Abu Sa'dah who is the Secretary General of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights said that his organisation was not sure if the Egyptian government was going ahead with the wall as it did not deny or confirm the news reports on the matter and that his organisation was waiting for an official position on the matter.

"I do not believe the we, Egyptians, need such a wall with Gaza.. we rather need to work for an end to the siege on Gaza, not participate in it.. I am appalled at this level of thinking," he said in a statement on Thursday.

He also criticised an editorial in the Egyptian al-Jomhoreyyah newspaper, in which the Chief Editor of the paper wrote an article in which he made contrast between resistance and sovereignty, saying that the comparison was wrong as Palestinians never constituted a threat to Egyptian sovereignty, to the contrary they constitute the first line of defence to this sovereignty.

From Palestinian Information Center

What has Israel contributed to the education of Egypt?


It has been said that Westerners contributed somehow to the education of the nations which they conquered in Asia and Africa in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (This includes Israel, which really is an enclave of Western colonialism.) It has been claimed that the Colonial Powers--Britain, France, Israel, and other Western countries--actually benefitted the countries that they ruled.

Is this true, or simply an excuse for brutal and oppressive imperialism that continues to cause misery for millions in these countries today?

Egypt is one of the nations that lost a great deal economically and in human lives because of Israel. How has Israel contributed to educating the Egyptians? What have the Egyptians learned from the Israeli occupation?
It seems a great deal.


The latest contribution by Israel to Egyptian knowledge is demolition tactics. Egypt has been well known over the centuries as a country that builds famous works like the Pyramids, but it seems this is no longer the case. The new era of demolition is here, and the first victim in Egypt is a new hospital built for deprived and extremely poor Egyptians who can’t afford the price of medication. The hospital mentioned is being demolished because it was built by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The state claims that the reason behind demolishing a hospital that has already cost $7..3 million to build is that the structure violates building regulations.

Egypt has never punished any of the murderers and the fat cats who erected buildings with cheap materials and collapsed, killing hundreds, during the last earthquakes. Yet now the Egyptian Government argues a hospital for poor people doesn't pass its byzantine building code because the height of its walls is more than allowed and the building is larger than the area permitted.

It is quite obvious that no rational government would choose to send $7.3 million of charity money down the drain, except for political reasons. The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest opposition group in Egypt and won five seats in parliament in elections of 2005. But since the group is officially banned, its candidates run as independents and its members are routinely arrested.

The hospital was built with 250 beds for the poorest people in Egypt. The Cairo governate's "construction" (destruction) workers started the demolition procedure using machines and pneumatic crackers to break down the walls of the Islamic charity hospital a week ago. Dr Medhat Assem, Chairman of the Islamic Medical Association, said at a press conference last Wednesday that the hospital was established on a land donated by President Hosni Mubarak himself more than 10 years ago.

More importantly, Assem claimed that the hospital had authorizations by the district authorities of Nasr City to build three floors and a basement on the entire land area, and that the legal dispute with the Cairo governorate began when the Governing Council requested the expansion of the construction on the rest of the land.

It was further revealed by Mr Assem that the Islamic Medical Centre received judgments against the judicial district of Nasr City in 2001 and 2004 recognizing its entitlement to expand construction over the entire land area. So, the hospital is legally entitled to build, and there was no legal reason for the Cairo governate to demolish the building.

But demolition of buildings is not the only lesson Egypt has learned from Israel! Israel is well known for erecting high apartheid walls to make the life of Palestinians a total misery. Egypt is practicing this as well, but instead of high walls, it is building a wall of steel UNDERGROUND. This wall will be manufactured in the United States, and will be fitted like a jigsaw underground to block the only way Palestinians can have access to food and building materials.

Urgently needed consumer goods have been smuggled through underground tunnels for years to the Gaza Strip. Buildings and infrastructure (including the electricity and water systems) in the Strip were totally destroyed after the Israeli operation ‘ Cast Lead’ a year ago, but the population of 1.5 million of Gaza had been surviving on food and medicine brought through the tunnels far longer than that, ever since the siege of Gaza by sea, land and sky began its stranglehold four years ago.
.


It is a bread-proof wall. BBC has reported that the super strength steel bomb proof wall will be10-11km (6-7 miles) long and will extend 18 metres underground. It will be built from strong steel and most important of all American army engineers are involved, showing how heavily involved America is in the imprisonment and starvation of Gaza's people

Can anyone see a pattern here? The US is involved in building a wall that is bread proof between Egypt and Palestine. And the US is the biggest funding provider for the Israeli apartheid state which has built the apartheid wall around Bethlehem, imprisoning millions of Palestinians behind the wall, restricting their movements and depriving them from their right to work on their farms. What else the Egyptian learned from Israel?

Oh yes, Egyptians have learned to attack journalists like mad dogs, hindering the work of anyone who dares to show the rest of the world how human rights are crushed under the state boots. Editors were brought to court in 2008: Ibrahim Eissa, editor of the daily Al-Dustour; Wael al-Abrashy, former editor of the weekly Sawt Al-Umma; Adel Hammouda, editor of the weekly Al-Fajr; and Abdel Halim Kandil, former editor of the weekly Al-Karama, who was accused of spreading false information about Mubarak and his top aides. Hossam al-Wakeel, a reporter for Al-Dustour, was arrested in September while covering protests over the closing of a private school in Alexandria. In April, interpreter Mohammed Salah Ahmed Maree was detained while working with James Buck, a U.S. photographer covering riots in the northern industrial city of Mahalla al-Kubra. Also, bloggers like Abdel Karim Suleiman have been detained. In 2007, he was sentenced to four years in prison for defaming Islam and Mubarak, and he has since suffered poor health at Borg Al-Arab Prison. The prosecution of Suleiman, also known as Karim Amer, is the first of its kind since he was the first Egyptian blogger to stand trial for his work.

Imprisoning and detaining journalists and bloggers is another lesson Egypt has learned from Israel... and the free education is still going on. What next?????

Swansea contingent heads for Palestine

The Viva Palestina convoy on the road to Damascus, Syria



The Viva Palesina convoy is now in Syria.
Crossing Syria to cheers and perhaps the long miles, pace and road system is getting to some drivers as one Twitter stated 'The quality of the driving seems to have massively deteriorated as we get closer to Gaza! Pretty hairy here.'

Now on road to Damascus. Locals lining streets to cheer. Silhouettes of hills looming in the darkness, stars bright in clear sky, + the lights of Damascus spread out below. Fantastic. Syria is with us! We are the REAL international community!

Swansea Action for Palestine

Israel to stop sending ministers to UK because of arrest fears


Great news - Israel's government ministers will no longer travel to the UK. They are calling it a boycott - we call it war criminal running scared. Shame the UK government is pleading for them to return, but hey you can't have everything.
The Israeli government has ordered its ministers not to visit Britain until a new law is introduced allowing them to enter the country without fear of arrest.

The boycott will intensify the diplomatic row that has broken out following the issuing of a warrant by a London court for the arrest of Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister, for alleged war crimes.

Israel admits to harvesting organs of dead Palestinians

After accusing the Swedish press of anti-semitism the truth has finally emerged. Israel has indeed been harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians. This is truly horrendous news, reported in the UK's Guardian newspaper this morning, following the airing of a TV documentary at the weekend. This is a public relations disaster for Israel and their future denials of atrocities are even less likely to be believed. Contrary to the original report in the Swedish press, no evidence has so far emerged showing that the Israelis deliberately killed Palestinians to harvest organs.
Israel has admitted pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others, without the consent of their families – a practice it said ended in the 1990s – it emerged at the weekend.

The admission, by the former head of the country's forensic institute, followed a furious row prompted by a Swedish newspaper reporting that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to use their organs – a charge that Israel denied and called "antisemitic".

The revelation, in a television documentary, is likely to generate anger in the Arab and Muslim world and reinforce sinister stereotypes of Israel and its attitude to Palestinians. Iran's state-run Press TV tonight reported the story, illustrated with photographs of dead or badly injured Palestinians.

Ahmed Tibi, an Israeli Arab MP, said the report incriminated the Israeli army.

The story emerged in an interview with Dr Yehuda Hiss, former head of the Abu Kabir forensic institute near Tel Aviv. The interview was conducted in 2000 by an American academic who released it because of the row between Israel and Sweden over a report in the Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet.

more

Monday, 7 December 2009

British and South African trade unionists join UK academics in push for Israel boycott

Israel, Palestine and Apartheid: the case for boycott and sanctions - Anti-Apartheid Anti-Zionist UK

Join a renowned panel of international speakers from South Africa and Palestine to find out more about BDS and what lessons can be learned from the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa.

Organised by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), Scottish Trades Union Council.
*Supported by War on Want; Palestine Solidarity Campaign + Scottish PSC.

Speakers include:

Ronnie Kasrils - former minister in Nelson Mandela's ANC government in South Africa & anti-Apartheid activist

Omar Barghouti - Founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

Bongani Masuku - International Secretary COSATU - the South African trade union confederation


Contributions from:

George Mahlangu - Campaigns Officer, COSATU
Prof Steven Rose - Biologist, Open University, and founder member of BRICUP
Tom Hickey - National Executive Committee, University and Colleges Union (UCU)
Terry Brotherstone - General Council Scottish TUC and UCUS Past President
Yasmin Khan - Senior Campaigns Officer, War on Want


Dates and locations:

London - Friday 4 December 7pm
Khalili Lecture Hall, SOAS, University of London, Malet Street

Manchester - Monday 7 December 7pm
Lecture Theatre A, University Place, University of Manchester, Oxford Road

Leeds - Tuesday 8 December 7pm
Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre, Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane

Glasgow - Wednesday 9 December 7pm
STUC Building, 333 Woodlands Road

Edinburgh - 10 December 12noon
Theatre 183, Old College, South Bridge, University of Edinburgh

FREE ~ ALL WELCOME ~

Third Viva Palestina aid convoy sets off for Gaza


Video from Press TV. Sadly, unlikely to see many reports in the UK media - unless someone gets arrested for being a 'terrorist'.
Around 200 peace activists have left the UK on a humanitarian mission to Gaza. The Viva Palestina convoy, organised by prominent politician George Galloway, is carrying medical aid to a people under Israeli economic siege. The convoy aims to arrive in Gaza on December 27, the anniversary of Israel's war on Gaza. Roshan Muhammed Salih reports from London.

Here's a report from a local paper in London on the convoy's departure.

And of course you can get up to date news on the convoy's progress at Viva Palestina.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Gaza Gateway site monitors crossings in challenge to Israel's misinformation

New website to provide weekly updates on the situation at the crossings in to Gaza. Israel claims it is letting more aid through but a visit to this site tells a different story.
Dear Gaza Solidarity Blogger,
 
 
I wanted to let you know about a new blog that Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement has launched in the last month. The blog (www.gazagateway.org) provides facts and analysis about Gaza crossings and is updated every week with information about goods entering Gaza, as well as posts relevant to previous week's events.
 
I would be glad to share information with you and with you blog. We are available to answer questions and provide further information about the issues described in the weekly posts. It is, of course, possible to get RSS updates from the blog, join our mailing list and follow us on Twitter.
 
Best Regards,
Eliran Arazi
New Media Coordinator
Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement 
www.twitter.com/Gisha_access 

 
 
 

Viva Palestina convoy heads for Gaza on 6 December

Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Viva Palestina project will launch a third convoy of aid trucks from London to Gaza on the first weekend of December, the group announced Monday.

"Viva Palestina - Return to Gaza 2009" will see more than 100 vehicles carrying medical, humanitarian and educational supplies, head for the Gaza Strip via Egypt and the Rafah crossing. Previous convoys in February and July 2009 brought medical and school supplies.

According to a statement, the convoy aims to cross the Rafah border into Gaza on 27 December, the first anniversary of the start of Israel's Operation Cast Lead. The first day of the Israeli war on Gaza saw more than 200, mostly graduating police officers, killed in a series of airstrikes that continued through the night.


More at Viva Palestina's UK website

Zidane to vist Gaza as UN ambassador


etired international soccer star Zinedine Zidane is planning a visit to the Gaza Strip as part of UNICEF's efforts to promote regional peace in the Middle East, Ynet learned Wednesday.

The former French National Team midfielder is expected to visit the Strip in March 2010, as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund.

“I'm thrilled to be appointed by the UN children's organization as an envoy to tour Gaza Strip. I will make every effort to give Gaza residents great big smiles on their faces.

"Gazans have suffered serious losses, damage, and injuries due to Israeli acts of violence,” Zidane stated

more

Shalit moved to Egypt reports Kuwaiti newspaper

There has been no response from Israel on this story about the possible movement of Shalit to Egypt, but if it is correct then a prisoner swap must be closer
JERUSALEM, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A Kuwaiti newspaper reports kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is being held in Egypt until a deal to secure his release is finalized.

Ahmed Jabari, head of Hamas's military wing in Gaza, and Hamas official Mahmoud A-Zahar reportedly accompanied Shalit, who was transferred to Egypt several days ago, al-Jarida reported.

more

Monday, 23 November 2009

Prisoner swap closer as talks continue while Hamas secures rocket ceasefire


Sounds like a prisoner swap is getting closer - and possibly related is the news that Hamas as been able to come to an agreement with other resistance organisations to cease rocket attacks in retaliation for Israeli killings.
JERUSALEM — There were growing indications on Monday that Israel and the Islamist group Hamas were close to a deal to exchange an abducted Israeli soldier for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, a move with far-reaching implications not only for stalled Middle East peace talks but for a range of strategic regional relations.

more

Friday, 20 November 2009

Is Egypting stopping operations against Gaza's tunnels

I haven't come across this story on more mainstream sources but if this is true it is quite significant. Is it linked to Abbas saying the peace process is dead? Is Egypt having second thoughts about its cooperation with the Israelis and Americans? The report goes on to suggest that missiles are now moving freely through the tunnels system - perhaps partially explaining recent Israeli airstrikes on the tunnels.
Tuesday, Nov. 18, Egypt's special forces and engineering units suddenly shut down operation against the smuggling tunnels to Gaza without warning to Washington or Jerusalem, DEBKAfile's military sources report. US and Israeli requests for clarifications from Cairo, which must have ordered the stoppage, were not answered. So the Obama administration signaled Egypt that if it continues to violate the international accords governing the status of the Egyptian-Gazan border, there will be consequences.

Washington is put out particularly because Cairo did not bother to notify the American engineering corps officers and men working with Egyptian troops in Sinai since early 2009 in a concerted effort to eradicate the tunnels that their mission was cut short.

more

Palestinian elections to be postponed

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said presidential and legislative elections scheduled for January will be postponed, confirming that he has accepted advice not to hold the vote.

more

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Channel 4 Dispatches accused of anti-semitism after lobby investigation


The fallout from the Channel 4 Dispatches programme on the influence of the pro-Israel lobby continues. The programme accused zionists of buying conservative and Labour politicians and claims it was the most powerful lobby at Westminster. There has been much criticism of the investigative programme in Israel but not exactly much in the way of engagement with or rebuttal of the facts as presented.

I haven't taken the time to watch the show but the predictable knee-jerk accusation of anti-semitism levelled at the programme makers sounds familiar and unconvincing.

However, what these sort of programmes usually miss is the fact that the rulers of states such as the UK and US do not act as they do because of lobbyists but because of self-interest. Israel is the watchdog of western imperialism in the Middle East.

Israeli MP attacks Obama for being 'racist' over settlements


As usual the US will do nothing about Israel's flagrant breaches of international law with its latest announcement of the expansion of the Gilo settlement comlex - part of its plan to envelop and then strangle East Jerusalem. But the timidity of the Obama in the face of Israeli colonialism is still too much for the zionists hence the outburst from a member of parliament by the name of Danny Danon, accusing Obama of being 'racist'.

Now where did he get that line from? Probably the right-wing nuts in the US who decided Obama was a racist because he chided a police dept. after one of its police officers wrongly arrested a black professor going into his own house. The rag bag bunch of neocons, racists and anti-semites that make up the so called Tea Party movement in the US are of course right behind the Israeli-sponsored criminality and oppression that is the hallmark of the occupation of Palestine.
MK Danny Danon lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday, as the lawmaker participated in groundbreaking ceremony for a new housing complex for Jews in east Jerusalem.

"President Obama should not interfere with the rights of the Jewish people to live in Jerusalem," said Danon. "This ... is a racist demand, saying that Jews cannot live in Jerusalem, only Arabs."

The ceremony kicked off construction of 124 new apartments in a Jewish housing complex called Nof Zion, or View of Zion, near the Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.
Much in the same vein, a US zionist politician also present at the ceremony accused Obama of being a segregationist - which to put it mildly is a somewhat insensitive remark to make to the US's first black president. The Israelis certainly know how to lose friends and influence.
At the ceremony, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind said Obama's call to stop Jewish settlement amounted to segregation

more

Israel kills 32 children in attacks on tunnel lifelines


The Palestinian National Society for Democracy and Law has published a report on the effects of the relentless bombing of the tunnels by Israel and says 32 children have been killed over the past three years. Kids are being forced through poverty to work in the tunnels - a poverty created and maintained by the settler state. And of course the Israeli bombing undermines the structural integrity of the tunnels, leading to ever more frequent collapses.
In its first report about children working in the Gaza-Egypt smuggling tunnels, the research unit National Society for Democracy and Law reported the prime factor in child labor in the tunnels was abject poverty.

The report, released in early November, details the working conditions for children employed in the tunnel industry, and provides analysis on the impact child labor in the tunnels has on Palestinian society in Gaza.

Israeli airstrike on Khan Younis injures three


Israel has launched air strikes on 'manufacturing facilities and smuggling tunnels' today. Three people reported injured. Israel claims the attack is in retaliation for a rocket attack despite the fact that the rockets landed harmlessly in the Negev desert. The rocket attack, which took place last Friday, followed the murder by Israeli soldiers of 18-year-old Muhammad Wadi, shot while bird hunting.

Prisoner swap talks are back on

The off-on and so far fruitless talks on a prisoner swap are apparently back on according to a report on Ma'an. No firm details yet though although the Germans are mediating apparently.
Bethlehem – Ma’an – German mediators are continuing to broker efforts to produce a prisoner swap deal for with the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, senior Hamas leader Usama Al-Muzeini said.

Al-Muzeini, the official in charge of the talks within the Hamas movement, insisted that offering further details could jeopardize the negotiations’ success.

Speaking to Ma’an, Al-Muzeini said talks are "ongoing with German mediation and are overcoming obstacles," adding that, “The movement’s [Hamas'] decision was not to give any details so as not to negatively affect the negotiating process.”


more

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Israel approves 900 settler homes despite world outcry

The land grab carries on relentlessly, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks. And of course Obama/Clinton might make some noises of protest - then again they might not - and the zionist project will continue with the destruction of Palestine and its people.
The Israeli interior ministry has approved planning applications for 900 new housing units at a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. The planning and construction committee authorised the expansion of Gilo, which is built on land captured in 1967 and annexed to the Jerusalem municipality.

more

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Pulling down Israel's Apartheid Wall

Posted on Stop the Wall 9 November 2009

This afternoon, exactly 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, popular committees struggling against the Apartheid Wall and the settlements destroyed part of the Wall near Qalandiya. Hundreds of people, with some 30 international supporters, used a truck to pull down part of the Wall in the area east of the Qalandiya refugee camp and beyond the UN Vocational College. They also destroyed iron gates and other pieces of concrete in the same area.

After breaching the Wall, protesters approached the road on the other side where they burned car tires to slow the approach of Occupation forces, who quickly arrived in the area and began firing gas and rubber bullets. Protesters were wearing shirts upon which was written "We are going to Jerusalem", the name of the planned action.

Today [9 Nov] is 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and marks the first day of a week of resistance to the Apartheid Wall in Palestine and around the globe. Several demonstrations and campaigns are planned, including the November 12 launch of Stop the Wall's campaign calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all anti-Wall activists currently imprisoned.

National Week of Supermarket Boycott Actions, November 7-15

Called by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Phone-in Day Wednesday November 11

This coincides with a week of action called by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign www.stopthewall.org

It is time to step up the supermarket boycott campaign which calls for consumers to reject Israeli goods for as long as Palestinian rights are denied by the apartheid regime. We must specially oppose the stocking of produce from the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, which is stolen land. The excellent motion passed by the TUC Congress gives added impetus. The settlements are illegal under international law and goods originating there should not be on sale in the UK. The label ‘West Bank’ is grossly misleading; some shoppers think they are buying Palestinian produce.

From November 7 to 15, PSC and other organisations across the UK are targeting Waitrose and Morrisons supermarkets in particular, as both refuse to discuss the question of settlement goods.

We aim to inundate them with calls to their HQs on Wednesday November 11. Note these numbers:
Morrisons Customer Services – 0845 611 6111
Waitrose Customer Services - 0800 188 884


Branches, groups and individual members can stage a range of actions during the weekends of November 7-8 and November 14-15, and any time in between:
o Write or deliver letters to the manager of your local store
o Write or email their headquarters
o Organise or join a demonstration at your local branch
o Set up a stall or hand out leaflets outside your local branch
o Deluge Morrisons and Waitrose with phone calls on Weds November 11
o Display photos, placards and other visual information making the case against Israeli apartheid
o Contact local media to publicise the campaign

PLEASE SEND US INFO OF YOUR ACTIONS AND EVENTS!!!!!!

If you have no Waitrose or Morrisons in your area, please raise the issue of Israeli and settlement goods in your local stores. In the case of M&S and the Co-op, encourage them to continue their existing policies of not stocking goods from illegal settlements but also not to stock Israeli goods at all.

Useful resources including model letters, videos of demos, pictures and links to background information are available via www.bigcampaign.org

REMEMBER TO CONTACT PSC OFFICE IN GOOD TIME TO REQUEST LEAFLETS & STICKERS!
Email: info@palestinecampaign.org Tel: 02077006192

Relevant contact details:
Waitrose Customer Service (8 am – 10 pm Mon – Fri, 8 am – 9 pm Sat, 9 am – 7 pm Sun)
Freephone: 0800 188 884
Email: customer_service@waitrose.co.uk
Waitrose Customer Service Dept, Waitrose Ltd, Doncaster Rd, Bracknell, Berks RG12 8YA

Morrisons Customer Service: 0845 611 6111
Head Office - 0845 611 5000
Email: Steven.Butts@morrisonsplc.co.uk
Morrisons' Chief Executive Officer (CEO) marc.bolland@morrisonsplc.co.uk
Registered office - Hillmore House, Gain Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD3 7DL

Ashkenazi threatens Gaza with another 'little holocaust'

By Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah

There seems to be a perfect conformity between Gabi Ashkenazi and his last name. The Israeli chief of staff is considered one of the main Israeli war criminals responsible for the virtual genocide against the Gaza Strip during the past winter. On his murderous hands, he carries tons of innocent blood, including that of more than 340 children, killed in Israel’s pornographic bombing of civilian neighborhood.

Last week, Ashkenazi was quoted as saying that Israel was likely to wage another quasi holocaust on Gaza, adding that the Israeli occupation army would enter the innermost corners and streets of the coastal territory.

As a nefarious mass murderer, Ashkenazi, like the rest of Israeli war criminals, ought to be in the Hague preparing his defense against charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. After all the crimes he perpetrated put him on equal footing with Nazi war criminals who had stood trial for their own crimes against humanity during the Second World War.

However, because of the serious moral imbalance afflicting our world today, which finds a brazen expression in western complicity with Zio-Nazism, Ashkenazi and ilk are not only free but are even threatening their victims with a fresh holocaust.

In a certain sense, Ashkenazi’s arrogant behavior falls within the normal order of things. The totally inappropriate reaction by the international community to the Nazi-like blitz against the unprotected Gazans must have further emboldened Israeli leaders, convincing them that Israel can always have a free season on the 1.5 million helpless, blockaded and thoroughly starved inhabitants of the coastal enclave without having to worry about any serious ramifications and repercussions.

Hence his repulsive statements.

It is true that many free-minded political and moral leaders, such as the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have strongly condemned Israeli barbarianism in Gaza .

It is also true that the Goldstone report, prepared by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, denounced Israel for perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Gaza blitz, which is a positive development.

However, it is also true that war criminals pay little attention to verbal condemnations even if coming from prominent international bodies and figures.

This is why Askenazi’s remarks ought to be taken with utmost seriousness for two main reasons: First because the Israeli army, or Zionist Wehrmacht, is capable of committing the unthinkable, including the carpet bombing of civilian areas, using cluster bombs, as happened over Lebanon in the summer of 2006, or white phosphorus as happened in Gaza last winter. And second, because Israel is essentially a rebellious state which has never taken international law seriously. What is even more scandalous is that western countries, especially the United States, have always treated the Judeo-Nazi entity as above international law.

Hence, it is imperative that the Palestinian people play their cards very carefully and smartly. After all, when wrestling with a huge bull, one has to rely on his brain, not his muscles, otherwise one may end up getting crushed by the mighty beast.

Palestinians ought to be always mindful of this fact because their very survival as a people depends to a large extent on the good will of the international community, not their own military or political strength. After all, most Palestinians are effectively prisoners of the enduring Israeli military occupation.

Hence, the Palestinian must seek to recruit the best minds and most gifted spokespersons to raise the awareness of the peoples of the world about the creeping holocaust Israel is trying to wreak on our helpless people.

We must not flinch from invoking the holocaust lest we be accused of making hyperboles. Indeed, if even one tenth of what happened in Gaza earlier this year had happened to Israeli Jews, Israel would have invoked the holocaust nonstop, and urgent calls from around the world would have been made for saving the Jews and preventing the Arabs from completing what Adolph had started nearly seventy years ago.

More to the point, the idea of Israel carrying out a sort of a holocaust is not unthinkable at all.

Last year, the Israeli deputy defense minister Mattan Vilna’ai warned that Israel would launch a holocaust against the Palestinians if that was what the Palestinians wanted. And during the blitzkrieg on Gaza, the psychotic Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman was quoted by the Israeli media as saying that a nuclear bomb ought to be dropped on Gaza.

Hence, Palestinian fears are not and shouldn’t be viewed as phobic and irrational. After all, we are dealing with an irrational state and a morbid society that are overwhelmed with a unique type of collective psychosis.

Never the less, raising our voices is not sufficient. We must also seek to enlist the attention and support of international human rights organizations as much as possible. These are credible witnesses whose testimonies might be proven crucial for safeguarding the rights of our people, the dead as well as the living.

We must also gather and meticulously document every conceivable piece of information pertaining to Zionist crimes and criminals, from the ordinary soldier in the field to the highest-ranking commander. This shouldn’t be a difficult job as there is already a huge amount of information pertaining to Israeli war criminals available, even through the internet.

Furthermore, Palestinians and their supporters should always confront states all over the world with information indicting Israeli military and political leaders. We should seek to narrow their horizons, make the capitals of the world off-limit to them, we should pursue them wherever they go. These people are war criminals and child killers must not be allowed to have any shred of peace of mind . Their murderous crimes must condemn them to a life of existential anxiety, stress and depression.

Of course, the Zio-Nazis will not surrender and allow themselves to be easily defeated by our efforts. Moreover, manifestly immoral governments such as those of the US and Germany, to name just a few, will hasten to support Israel and shield it from any proactive measures that would make the Zionist regime feel the heat and understand that the occupation has a cost that must be paid in full.

But we and our allies could counter this true axis of evil by building a worldwide front comprising millions of free and honest men and women who would chase the war criminals wherever they go and expose their evil deeds.

Luckily, we already have such a movement in place. But we need to get more organized, and be more effective. These goals are not difficult to realize as the world is already fed up with Israel, a state that we must never stop comparing with Nazi Germany because in the final analysis when Zionist Jews think, behave and act like the Nazis of the past century, they become Nazis.

We must never be apologetic about this.

Thanks to the Palestinian Information Center

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Palestinian Authority faces collapse

Israel and the US have overplayed their hand with the Palestinian leadership, leaving themselves in the position of having no partner to deal with in the non-existent peace process, assuming Abbas goes through with his threat to resign.
RAMALLAH, West Bank — The collapse of the Palestinian Authority, Israel’s negotiating partner, was raised as a possibility on Monday, as several aides to its president, Mahmoud Abbas, said that he intended to resign and forecast that others would follow.

If the Palestinian leader steps down, does this mean the peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians are over?

“I think he is realizing that he came all this way with the peace process in order to create a Palestinian state, but he sees no state coming,” Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, said in an interview. “So he really doesn’t think there is a need to be president or to have an Authority. This is not about who is going to replace him. This is about our leaving our posts. You think anybody will stay after he leaves?”

more at the New York Times

Monday, 9 November 2009

Sussex University students vote to boycott Israeli goods

LONDON, (PIC)-- The students union in the British University of Sussex has decided to boycott Israeli products within the varsity campus, sources in the University said.

They added that the decision was adopted with a majority of 65% of votes, and that it was taken in support for the Palestinian people.

The decision also reflected the students' denunciation of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip and the continued siege on the Strip, the sources said.

They noted that the university campus had witnessed during the war and until now solidarity and media campaigns and seminars in condemnation of the war.

Friday, 6 November 2009

UN General Assembly backs Goldstone report on Gaza war crimes

Israel's isolation was underlined at the UN yesterday when the General Assembly endorsed the Goldstone Report
JERUSALEM (AP) Israel said on Friday that a U.N. General Assembly decision to endorse a report accusing the Jewish state of war crimes lacked the support of the world's "moral majority."

In a vote Thursday, the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved an Arab-drafted resolution calling on Israel and the Palestinians to conduct "credible" investigations into alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the fighting in Gaza early this year. The motion, drafted by Arab countries, raised the possibility of Security Council action if the sides do not comply.

more

Abbas caves in to critics and stands down from presidency

Rejoice - Abbas is standing down from the presidency of the Palestinian Authority next year and will not be standing for reelection. He is trying to restore his battered reputation following his attempt to sideline the Goldstone report at the behest of Israel and the US. So, by way of covering his tracks Abbas rails against the US and Israel for wanting to open negotiations while settlement building continues and of course to blame Hamas for his own failings.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A protest vigil will be held in Sheikh Jarrah following a settler takeover of a Palestinian home

Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 7pm: A protest vigil will be held outside the al-Kurd home in Sheikh Jarrah.

Following a settler takeover of a Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the al-Kurd family and international and Israeli solidarity groups will hold a vigil.

International Solidarity Movement

Video: the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem by the settler state



Egypt recently called on the so called international community to do something to stop the blatant colonialism and racism at the heart of Israel's campaign to takeover the whole of Jerusalem

Israel claims capture of anti-tank and rocket arms shipment from Iran

Israel Navy claims it has captured an arms shipment from Iran destined for Hezbollah. Israel says it seized anti-tank weapons and Katyusha rockets. Let's hope more shipments are getting through than are being intercepted by the settler state.
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli naval commandos seized an arms ship Wednesday near Cyprus that was carrying missiles and anti-tank weapons from Iran to Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, defense officials said.

The pre-dawn seizure highlighted Israel's accusations that Iran is arming its enemies. Israel offered no evidence to back up its claim that the weapons were meant for Hezbollah.

The arms cache, including anti-tank missiles and Katyusha rockets, was stashed aboard a commercial vessel operating under the guise of an aid boat, captained by a Pole and flying an Antiguan flag, Israeli defense officials said.

more

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Don't let them jail Gaza protesters

 
by Siân Ruddick (socialist worker)

Mass arrests of protesters on a scale not seen since the Poll Tax Riot of 1990 have been used against people demonstrating in London for Palestinian rights.

Now 69 people arrested during and after the marches against the Israeli assault on Gaza that began at the end of last year face jail terms of up to five years.

The Stop the War Coalition, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Muslim Council of Britain were among the groups organising the demonstrations held on 28 December last year and 3, 10 and 24 January this year.

The protests exploded onto the streets of London after people saw images of the horror and devastation that Israel inflicted on some of the poorest people in the world.

Defendants appeared before West London Magistrates Court on Thursday and Friday of last week for plea entry hearings.

Charges

Some 61 of the defendants, mostly Muslim men aged between 17 and 20, are accused of violent disorder.

The remaining eight are facing a range of charges. One is accused of actual bodily harm, one of failing to appear at bail, one of common assault, and another of two counts of obstructing a person assisting the police.

A fifth is accused of using racially aggravated language, a sixth of assaulting a police officer, a seventh of burglary and criminal damage, along with violent disorder, and an eighth of criminal damage.

Matt Foot is a solicitor representing four of the defendants. He told Socialist Worker, “These scale of the charges have not been seen since the poll tax demonstrations.

“There seems to be a policy of imposing stringent bail conditions on everyone, just on the basis that this was a demonstration about an international issue.”

Bail conditions include some defendants having to turn their passports in to their local police stations, and having to live and sleep every night at the same address.

Some are not allowed to leave Britain or apply for international travel documents.

While in court, the public gallery had to be vacated several times due to the young age of a number of the defendants.

Of the defendants entering a not guilty plea, only three did not have their passports confiscated. One is on jobseekers’ allowance and needs to provide his passport for applications.

Another is an academic who needs to travel abroad for a conference next month.

And the other is an Israeli citizen who was arrested on a counter‑protest. He has been allowed to return to Israel until his committal hearing in December.

Many of the accused were arrested months after the demonstration, some as late as July.

One defendant had his house raided at 4.30am. His father accompanied him to court and spoke to Socialist Worker.

He said, “I’ve been in this country for 47 years and I’ve never seen anything like that – 25 officers to come and get a boy. The police are treating people like they’re nothing.

Protest

“I’ve been on all the demonstrations against the ‘war on terror’ since day one. I don’t take sides between Muslim and non‑

Muslim countries, we are all the same. I just don’t like war.

“We have seen disaster in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan – where next? Iran, Bangladesh? You cannot send armies into other countries and claim the land as your own.

“It is right to protest, to say this has to stop.”

The Stop the War Coalition is organising a defence campaign for defendants who have pled not guilty or who have so far not entered a plea – the majority of the accused.

Several appeared before youth court hearings, where details of the cases are not released.

One case, a charge of criminal damage, was resolved on Thursday of last week. The accused had been found with unopened bottles of red food dye in his bag as he was stopped and searched during the 10 January demonstration.

He pled guilty and was given 12 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs.

The adult cases are to be sent to Isleworth Crown Court in the new year, but first they are due to go to committal hearings at West London Magistrates Court on the 10, 17 and 21 December.


© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.

Settlers steal Palestinian family's home in Jerusalem


Today settlers in Jerusalem stole a palestinian family's home and threw them out on the streets along with their furniture. The police looked on, nodding with satisfaction as their ethnic cleansing of the city proceeds apace.
Ma'an - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli settlers arrogated the home of the Al-Kurd family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Tuesday, residents of the area said.

About 30 settlers were seen entering the house and throwing the family's furniture into the street. The settlers have refused to leave the building and Israeli police blocked members of the Al-Kurd family from entering the area. Witnesses also reported heated arguments between police and Palestinian residents.

Residents said the settlers moved into the house in violation of an Israeli court order issued nine years ago when Jewish organizations put forward a claim that they in fact owned the property. Two other buildings belonging to the Al-Kurd and Al-Ghawi families were also targeted in the claim.

Locals also said the court had ordered no one to enter one section of the multi-unit building because it was built without a construction permit.

In early August Israeli police forced more than 50 members of two Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, allowing settlers to move in. The evictions went forward despite near-universal condemnation from the international community, including Israel’s closest ally, the US.
Print
Two Palestinian homes were demolished by the occupiers on Monday.

Israel claims missiles of Gaza resistance forces can now hit Tel Aviv


Israel's Gaza war was not just a strategic defeat, daily confirmed by the growing isolation of the country internationally, it was also a military defeat. None of the objectives were achieved - be it stopping rocket fire or 'liquidating' Hamas. Now Israel's military intelligence chief says Palestinian resistance groups now have longer ranger missiles capable of hitting Tel Aviv.
JERUSALEM (AP)— Hamas militants in Gaza have successfully test-fired in recent days an Iranian rocket able to reach metropolitan Tel Aviv, the country's military intelligence chief said Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin told parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee that the rocket could fly 37 miles (60 kilometers), which would put Israel's largest urban center at risk, Israeli media reported.

Until now, rockets fired from Gaza have reached up to 25 miles (40 kilometers), putting one-eighth of Israel's population within rocket range.

No further details were immediately available from Yadlin's testimony before the closed session.
Defense officials say Palestinian militants in Gaza generally test-fire rockets into the Mediterranean Sea.
It was not clear whether the rocket actually flew 37 miles (60 kilometers), or why Yadlin described the rocket as being of Iranian origin.

Israeli ballistics experts have said paint, tool work and Latin lettering on other rocket fragments point to Iranian origins. But the military has not publicly released clear evidence proving Iranian involvement.
Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, had no comment on Yadlin's testimony.
Haaretz quotes the general remarking on the growing strength of Hamas and Hezbollah - and of course blaming Iran and Syria for this.
"Underneath the surface, our enemies, led by Iran, are continuing to gain strength," Yadlin said. "Iran is financing these activities, training forces, and arming Hamas and Hezbollah."

The MI chief said Hamas is currently not interested in confrontation with Israel. Rather, it is devoting its energies to solidifying its rule in the Gaza Strip while continuing its weapons smuggling operations.
more

Monday, 2 November 2009

Israel arrests one settler killer but what about the rest?


Unusually for Israel, the land that's whole reason for existence is to terrorise Palestinians has for the first time ever arrested an American settler terrorist. no charges yet though...
Israeli security services were today re-questioning an American-Israeli settler who they say has confessed to attacks including the killing of two Palestinians and wounding a professor with a pipe bomb.

Yaakov "Jack" Teitel, an American who emigrated to Israel a decade ago, was arrested by police and undercover agents for Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security agency, as he handed out leaflets condemning homosexuals last month.

Police said Teitel has a hardline rightwing ideology based on hatred of Palestinians, leftwingers, homosexuals and even the Israeli police.

"He is a determined man with very deeply-rooted ideology," Eki Makmel, the deputy commander of an Israeli police Swat team, was quoted as saying.

Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, described Teitel as a "Jewish terrorist", adding: "He was deeply involved in terrorism in all different levels."

It is rare for Israeli police to make such an arrest, even though human rights groups have documented repeated incidents of settler violence against Palestinians.

more

Most water in Gaza unfit for consumption


A lot has happened over the past week or so. Abbas calls an election but Hamas says you must be joking. Israel tries to dissipate some of the Goldstone heat by making known its intention of reviewing the internal military inquiry into its Gaza war crimes. This Wednesday the UN General Assembly is due to to deliberate on the Goldstone report.

In the real world beyond the make believe bubble of Abbas and his Israeli 'partner', the outrages at the al-Aqsa mosque continue as Clinton declares she sees no problem with peace talks going ahead in tandem with the continued building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land; what further evidence is need that the peace process is dead. Echoing this sentiment Jordanian trade unionists recently marched in Amman, Jordan, demanding the ending of the peace treaty with Israel.

Meanwhile, in Gaza the situation for residents deteriorates by the day. What passes for a sewage system is near collapse and the number of Gazans out of reach of clean drinking water is growing dangerously, as raw sewage seeps into the groundwater. And just as the water crisis intensifies the Israelis, in an attempt at some kind of sick joke, allow tea through their blockade for the first time. Most of the water in gaza is now unfit for drinking according to the Palestinian Water Authority. On the West Bank Amnesty International reports that the 450,000 illegal settlers get more water than the 2.3 million Palestinians
“The 450,000 Israeli settlers, who live in the West Bank in violation of international law, use as much or more water than the Palestinian population of some 2.3m,” the report states.

Amnesty concludes: ”Israel must uphold its obligations as the occupying power by putting an immediate end to the current policies and practices which arbitrarily restrict the Palestinians’ access to and availability of water in the [occupied Palestinian territories].”
And the struggle for life has seen two more die in tunnel collapses and a further 16 injured over the past week alone.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

CNN exposes Israel's widespread use of detention without trial in Palestine


Taking a leaf out of British imperialism's playbook from its days as Palestinian overlord, Israel has become addicted to using 'administrative detention' - that's to say detention without trial. CNN highlights the appalling case of schoolgirl Salwa Salah who still to this day does not know why she was arrested and imprisoned. We know all about the oppressive conditions under Israel's occupation and the thousands of prisoners it illegally holds, but it's still encouraging to see CNN reporting on the situation for a change.
(CNN) -- Salwa Salah was 16 years old when she was arrested by Israeli forces and jailed for seven months.
Israeli court minutes said Salwa Salah, 16, had been involved in "planning military operations."

Israeli court minutes said Salwa Salah, 16, had been involved in "planning military operations."

To this day she says she does not know her crime and is struggling to get her life back on track.

She was released shortly before her final school exams but was unable to catch up and now has to re-sit before she can go to university.

Salah was held under administrative detention - detention without charge or trial. It is legal under international law which permits its use only in exceptional cases to protect the security of a state.

But human rights groups say Israel abuses this right.

A report released Wednesday by human rights groups B'Tselem and HaMoked has called on Israel to release the detainees or charge them. They say there are currently 335 Palestinians being held under administrative detention, three of them women, one a minor.

When asked about Salah's case, Israeli prosecutors gave CNN the court minutes which read, "It has been shown that the prisoner was involved in planning military operations very close to the time that she was detained."

Salah insists she is a schoolgirl and not a terrorist but no further information was given to her lawyer. Much of the evidence in these cases remains secret.


more
There is a CNN video about Salah's case here

Amnesty report accuses Israel of wanton destruction in Gaza

Amnesty hits the mark again, this time with a new report on Israel's assault on the people of Gaza, accusing the settler state of "breaching laws of war". Unfortunately, as in the case of the UN Human Rights Council report, this one too makes the mistake of attacking the oppressed for defending themselves by "whatever means necessary", as Malcolm X would have put it.
Amnesty International said on Thursday Israel inflicted "wanton destruction" in the Gaza Strip in attacks that often targeted Palestinian civilians during an offensive in December and January in the Hamas-run enclave.

The London-based rights group, in a 117-page report on the 22 days of fighting, also criticized the Islamist movement Hamas for rocket attacks on Israel, which it called "war crimes."...

...Accusing Israel of "breaching laws of war," Amnesty said: "Much of the destruction was wanton and deliberate, and was carried out in a manner and circumstances which indicated that it could not be justified on grounds of military necessity."

more

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Goldstone rejects Israel's claim report will harm 'peace process'

Goldstone sticks it to Israel on the question of whether his report is a danger to the peace process as the Israelis laughably try to claim. Goldstone correctly and succinctly rebuts this nonsensical charge with the reply: "what peace process?".
UN human rights investigator Richard Goldstone has rejected Israel's claim that the peace process would be harmed by his report on the offensive in Gaza.

Judge Goldstone said there was no peace process at present and Israel's foreign minister did not want there to be one.

The Goldstone report, which has been endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, accuses both Israel and Hamas militants of committing war crimes.
Mr Goldstone's remarks came in a conference call with American rabbis.

"It's a shallow, utterly false allegation," Mr Goldstone said of Israel's attempt to brand his report as an obstacle to peace.

"What peace process are they talking about? There isn't one. The Israeli foreign minister doesn't want one," Mr Goldstone said.

"If the Israeli government set up an appropriate, open investigation, it will really be the end of the matter. That's where the report would end as far as Israel is concerned," he added.

more

US actress Mia Farrow stands up for the children of Gaza

If only our own governments could show the same humanity.
JERUSALEM — Actress Mia Farrow headed back to the United States on Sunday haunted by the image of a young girl who spoke in a tiny voice of the destruction of her home and the death of her loved ones in the Gaza war.

"There was fear on her face and she spoke in a tiny voice... of the injustice," the 64-year-old actress said in an interview with AFP as she wrapped up a week-long visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories as goodwill ambassador for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF.)

She said she'll never forget the face of the 12-year-old who told her "about about when her house was destroyed, the people who were killed."
Farrow also recounted visiting a Gaza hospital where "doctors had to make the agonising decision to release babies of only one kilo (2.2 pounds) because there weren't enough viable incubators and they can't get spare parts in."

more

Monday, 19 October 2009

Poll: support for Abbas at rock bottom after Goldstone

Abbas's days are surely numbered. This poll is probably an understatement of opinion as it didn't include anyone from Gaza in the sample.
RAMALLAH, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian National Authority's (PNA) support of delaying vote at a UN report on Gaza war has led to a decline in President Mahmoud Abbas's popularity, a poll suggested on Sunday.

People's confidence in Abbas "decreased to 12.1 percent in this poll compared with a ratio of 17.8 percent last June and 15.5 percent last October," said the survey, conducted by the Ramallah-based Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC).

The consequences of delaying the UN Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) October 2 vote on Gaza war report has also decreased satisfaction in the way Abbas runs the PNA. The level of that satisfactions has gone "down from 48.5 percent last October to 39.4 percent in this poll."

With an error margin of 3 percent, a sample of 1,200 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank was surveyed in this study between October 7 to October 11, before the UNHRC held its exceptional session on Friday and adopted a resolution condemning Israel and passing South African Judge Richard Goldstone's report to the UN General Assembly.

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Friday, 16 October 2009

UN human rights council passes Goldstone report

A vote to endorse a highly critical report (pdf) on the Gaza war passed at the UN human rights council in Geneva today, despite opposition from the US and Israel.

The council approved a resolution endorsing the report, which was written by the South African judge Richard Goldstone and accused Israel and the Islamist group Hamas of war crimes during the Gaza war.

It said the report should go to the UN general assembly for consideration. The resolution condemned "the recent Israeli violations of human rights in occupied east Jerusalem", referring to recent demolitions of Palestinian houses and excavation work near the Haram al-Sharif, also known as the Temple Mount.

The vote passed with 25 votes in favour, six against and 11 abstentions. The US voted against.


more

UK to back Israel by abstaining on Goldstone report


Vote expected today at the UN Human Rights Council and according to the BBC the UK will abstain which if true would be a disgrace
The UN Human Rights Council is due to vote on whether to endorse a report which accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes in Gaza.

Israel has campaigned intensively to dissuade countries with voting rights from backing the report by Richard Goldstone, which it says is biased.

It says support for the report will hurt attempts to restart peace talks.

The Palestinian Authority initially backed deferring a vote, but changed its position after domestic criticism.

The report is heavily critical of Israel and urges both sides to investigate their own conduct.

If they fail to do so, it calls on the UN Security Council to refer the allegations to the International Criminal Court.

The US has dubbed the report "flawed", but has still urged - along with the UK and France - both sides to launch independent investigations.

The UK, which has voting rights on the Council, is thought likely to abstain from the vote.

more

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Israel protests Turkish TV show depicting IDF in true colours as murderers

Things seem to be going from bad to worse in the Israel/Turkey relationship, which can only be good news for the Palestinian liberation struggle
Israeli officials are seeking a meeting with Turkey's ambassador to protest a show on Turkish television that reportedly depicts Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian children.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says the Turkish TV show "is being done with state sponsorship."

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says the Turkish TV show "is being done with state sponsorship."

Turkey has been Israel's strongest Muslim ally in the Middle East, and the move comes as relations between the countries have soured in recent days over the latter's decision to exclude Israel from scheduled military exercises.

The Turkish TV show "constitutes the most serious level of incitement, and it is being done with state sponsorship," Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement.

more

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Petition calls on UK government to back Goldstone report

The Zionist Federation in England are attempting to lobby Gordon Brown to condemn and help quash the Goldstone report at the UN. The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza have now created a petition today calling on Brown to “support” the report and not to condemn it. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ON ANY AND ALL BLOGS, Please make a post on your blog and then add the link to your sidebar asking people to sign this petition to save the Goldstone Report. Even though your blog may be in another country, your readers come from around the world, many from the UK. So please post this petition and link below:

PETITION
Submitted by Arafat Madi of The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza – Deadline to sign up by: 12 March 2010

We the undersigned petition call on the British Premier, Gordon Brown, to support the Goldstone Report and to ensure its acceptance in the Human Rights Council in March 2010. The report which was issued by a special committee assigned by the UN proved in a report of 570 pages that Israel perpetrated war crimes against Humanity in Gaza within its offensive in January 2009. Endorsing the report is endorsing humanity and rights of the besieged people of Gaza who are defenseless victims of the Israeli army. Israeli soldiers themselves confessed to have received orders to shot children in Gaza. TV Footages, Photographs and Media materials entirely supports the Goldstone report. The full-scale offensive in Gaza left at least 1,450 Palestinians killed and over 5000 injured. The entire infrastructure in Gaza was destroyed as Israeli attacks targeted schools, hospitals, streets, water wills, sewage system, farms and police stations. Till this moment, Israel is still imposing a harsh and criminal siege on the civilian population Gaza.

SIGN IT HERE
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/GoldstoneReport/#detail

Is Turkey dumping Israel for Syria?

The latest setback to what was a warm relationship six or seven years ago, came at the same time as Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was chairing a high-level delegation to Syria. Ankara and Damascus are forging new pacts and agreements to increase cooperation between the neighbors.

"The main slogan of this meeting is common destiny, history and future, and we will build the future together," Turkish Anadolou news agency quoted Davutoglu as saying.

In the past Turkey has tried to broker peace talks between Israel and Syria, but that type of role seems a distant memory now, even though the sides were indirectly talking through Turkish intermediaries just a year ago.

more

UN Human Rights Council to hold extraordinary session on Goldstone report

Hopefully this provides a second chance to take a vote adopting the report following Abbas's deferral attempts.
GENEVA, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The U.N. Human Rights Council will hold an extraordinary meeting this week on the occupied Palestinian territories, providing another chance for Israel's critics to discuss a Gaza war crimes report.

"The holding of the special session is at the request of Palestine," the United Nations said in a statement circulated on Tuesday in Geneva, where the 47-member body is based.

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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Israeli Nobel prize winner calls for release of Palestinian prisoners


I guess it is inevitable but when I heard that an Israeli scientist, Professor Ada Yonath, had received the Nobel Prize, my heart sank a little. She was head of research in the field of structural biology and biochemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot and was therefore almost certainly involved in some part of the industrial military complex. Now some people will say this is bigoted and prejudiced, but it is a fact that science and military in Israel go together like Hans and Gretel. So what a pleasant surprise that Prof. Yonath is a pacifist who has almost immediately called for the release of all Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Below is the report from Haaretz and from the settler Israel News which of course puts the words 'terrorist' into her mouth. Tony Greenstein

more at Tony Greenstein's blog

Leaked Fatah memo gives up on Obama stopping settlements

Fatah has given up on Obama getting the Israelis to stop building settlements. Hopefully the majority inside Fatah has been shocked enough by the Goldstone fallout and that this is a sign the leadership can/will be rolled back from its collusion with the US and Israel. Gosh, wasn't the timing of the peace prize for Obama good - what was the Nobel committee thinking?
(CBS/AP) An internal document circulated among members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' political party says all hopes placed in the Obama administration "have evaporated" because of alleged White House backtracking on key issues to the Palestinians.

The Fatah Party memorandum, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, accuses the United States of backing off from its demands that Israel freeze settlement construction and failing to set a clear agenda for new Mideast peace talks.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the Oct. 12 document reflected Abbas' views or was intended to be leaked as Fatah's attempt to pressure President Obama to bear down harder on Israel.

The document said the Palestinians have lost hope in Mr. Obama and accused the American leader of caving in to pressure from pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington.

"All hopes placed in the new U.S. administration and President Obama have evaporated," said the document issued by Fatah's Office of Mobilization and Organization. The department is headed Fatah's No. 2, Mohammed Ghneim.

Mr. Obama, it claimed, "couldn't withstand the pressure of the Zionist lobby, which led to a retreat from his previous positions on halting settlement construction and defining an agenda for the negotiations and peace."

Abbas' aides had no comment on the memorandum, and Ghneim couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The Palestinians were encouraged by Mr. Obama's election and expected his much-publicized outreach to the Muslim world would soften the strongly pro-Israel positions of his predecessors such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The Fatah document also restated the group's stance that Israel must freeze settlement construction and agree to a clear agenda for talks before negotiations can resume.

more

Monday, 12 October 2009

Netanyahu accuses Goldstone of encouraging terror as 88 refuse IDF service

Victory to the resistance!

Netanyahu really is evil. He told his parliament today that the Goldstone report encourages terrorism. Unbelievable. And then, almost in the same breath, he pleads with people in the Arab world not to believe reports that Israel is tunnelling under the al-Aqsa mosque. This man is surely deranged if he thinks anyone, let alone Arabs and Muslims, is going to believe a single word he says. Netanyahu says Israel went to war against the 'war criminals in hamas'. Let us repeat an oft quoted fact: 1,400 palestinian dead, overwhelmingly civilians against 13 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

And the criminality oof the Israeli army has led to 88 high schools graduates signing a letter refusing to serve in the IDF.
"We hereby announce our refusal to take part in the military apparatus," read the letter which was signed by 88 youths. "We do not see a military solution as the proper solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

"We are not evading the duty to contribute to society and we are not breaking Israeli law, but rather it is our war for human rights which is an act of preserving Israel's democratic character," the high school seniors wrote.

The four youths who presented the letter to the press said they intend to refuse military conscription and that they are ready to serve time in military prison.

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Hamas slams Abbas speech, says endangers national reconciliation

From Al Bawaba
Hamas and Islamic Jihad said that the speech made by PA ceif Mahmoud Abbas Sunday night was full of "contradictory and incorrect information" and was an attempt by him to evade his direct responsibility for the "crime" he committed against Goldstone’s report. In a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC), Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Abbas’ comments do not serve the atmosphere of reconciliation, noting that the Palestinian people were expecting an apology from him for his position against Goldstone’s report on the recent Gaza war.

Settlers set fire to Palestinian fields and olive groves

These settlers, like all colonialists, are the scum of the Earth.
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli settlers on Sunday set Palestinian fields and olive groves on fire after their illegal outpost in the West Bank was dismantled, Israeli military sources told CNN.

Israeli authorities arrested 13 settlers who refused orders to evacuate the Mitzpe Ami outpost near the West Bank settlement of Kedumim, an army spokesman said.

Turkey ending military cooperation with Israel as exercise cancelled


The strategic defeat of Israel following its war on the people of Gaza is underlined this morning with news of Turkey refusing to allow Israel to overfly its airspace to participate in a NATO exercise. The Israeli leadership is very worried that their links with Turkey are being shredded.
Turkey's foreign minister publicly acknowledged for the first time on Monday that his country excluded Israel from a joint military exercise last week because of its criticism of Israel's winter offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

"We hope that the situation in Gaza will be improved, that the situation will be back to the diplomatic track," the Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, told CNN in response to a question on why Turkey excluded Israel from the drill.

"And that will create a new atmosphere in Turkish-Israeli relations as well," he added. "But in the existing situation, of course, we are criticizing this approach, [the] Israeli approach."

Earlier, the Turkish foreign ministry said "a technical matter," not politics, prompted the delay of the drill, CNN reported.

The international aerial exercise, which was to include the IAF and aircraft and pilots from NATO, was due to be based at an air base in the central Anatolian city of Konya.

Officials at the Foreign Ministry called an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the crisis between Israel and Turkey, marked by the cancellation.

A senior source at the ministry told Haaretz about concerns that strategic ties with Turkey are in jeopardy after Operation Lead Cast in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.
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Whether Turkey finally ends its military coopeartion with Israel will depend on the pressure mounted by Turkish people on the streets.

According to the Times the exercise involved bombing runs in air space near the Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi borders - a rather obvious attempt to intimidate Iran. Because Israel was barred from the exercise it has now been cancelled at the request of the US. They'll have to go and plan/practise their war someplace else.

Abbas tries to find his backbone after Goldstone debacle

Abbas is doing his best to make amends for his craven support of Israel/US blocking tactics on Goldstone. So now Abbas tells us it was just being delayed to garner more support - which is what was said by his allies when the news first broke. In fact abbas tried to blame 'other countries' on the council for the delay but did not name the countries. Not very convincing performance by Abbas. He has now completed his u-turn by demanding that the UN Human Rights Council bring forward discussion of the report and a vote be taken to back it.

Abbas is now clearly trying to repair the damage by hoping to appear a bit more like a Palestinian leader than the lapdog of Netanyahu. So with this in mind Abbas declares that there can be no peace as long as Jerusalem is occupied. While we can all applaud such sentiment it is hard to take him seriously given that he recently refused to hold a summit of Arab leaders to organise the defence of the al-Aqsa mosque.

Despite Abbas's attempted sabotage the Goldstone the is implications of the report are still reverberating around the world.

The UK ambassador to the UN says the he supports the report, according to Haaretz.
Israeli officials on Sunday criticized the British Ambassador to the United Nations John Sawers for backing a controversial United Nations report into Israel's conflict with Hamas in Gaza last winter, saying that such support could backfire when Britain tries to conduct its own war on terror.
Israel seems to forget that the UK is a member of the security council and will obviously veto any attempt to bring war crimes charges against it. The extent of Israel's isolation is especially evident when countries friendly to the zionist regime, such as the UK, consider adopting a report that clearly accuses it of war crimes.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Fifty percent rise in Gaza birth deformities shames Israel

Gaza's health ministry blames white phosphorus but it could also be the massive amounts of depleted uranium used.

From China News
research in al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city showed "in July, August and September, the number of infants born deformed or without limbs climbed by 50 percent compared with the same period last year," said deputy Health Minister Hassan Khalaf.

He said his ministry does not rule out a connection between Israel's use of white phosphorus during the January-December war and the increase of disfigured newborns.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Sign petition calling for Abbas's immediate resignation


http://www.petitiononline.com/noabbas/petition.html

Thanks to she2i2.blogspot.com

Abbas requests reconvening of Human Rights Council for Goldstone report

Dr. Sa'eb Erekat: President Abbas requests urgent meeting of Human Rights Council to resume discussion of Goldstone report
PNN

This is too late for Abbas - he's done the damage already and his days in the Palestinian leadership are surely numbered. We are all still hoping to get sight of the video of Abbas urging on the Israeli state terrorists conducting the Cast Lead war crimes, but no news yet.

Maan news agency says confrontations are spreading beyond Jerusalem. and at Ni'lin the weekly protest at the apartheid wall succeeded in temporarily breaching it.