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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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