Sunday, 8 February 2009

Thank CBS 60 Minutes for Exposing Israeli Apartheid

From the Action Center in the US
During Israel's war on Gaza we launched a campaign to end the media blackout and that journalists expose Israel's crimes and apartheid. Thousands of supporters used our website to contact the presidents of big Media calling for better coverage. The campaign got their attention and some journalist have positively responded to our collective pressure.

On Sunday, January 25, CBS 60 Minutes aired an amazing segment exposing Israel's apartheid against Palestinians. The piece is by Senior CBS Foreign Correspondent Bob Simon, who is Jewish living outside Tel-Aviv and produced by Robert G, Anderson.


1. Watch this video

2. Send a thank you note to 60 Minutes, Bob Simon and Robert Anderson, using the below form

3. Urge & Invite everyone you know to watch the video and send a thank you note

The form (and video) are here

On the silence of Barak Obama: an Egyptian view

From the New York Times

Op-Ed Contributor
Why the Muslim World Can’t Hear Obama

We saw Mr. Obama as a symbol of this justice. We welcomed him with almost total enthusiasm until he underwent his first real test: Gaza. Even before he officially took office, we expected him to take a stand against Israel’s war on Gaza. We still hope that he will condemn, if only with simple words, this massacre that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians, many of them civilians. (I don’t know what you call it in other languages, but in Egypt we call this a massacre.) We expected him to address the reports that the Israeli military illegally used white phosphorus against the people of Gaza. We also wanted Mr. Obama, who studied law and political science at the greatest American universities, to recognize what we see as a simple, essential truth: the right of people in an occupied territory to resist military occupation.

But Mr. Obama has been silent. So his brilliantly written Inaugural Speech did not leave a big impression on Egyptians. We had already begun to tune out. We were beginning to recognize how far the distance is between the great American values that Mr. Obama embodies, and what can actually be accomplished in a country where support for Israel seems to transcend human rights and international law.

Mr. Obama’s interview with Al Arabiya on Jan. 27 was an event that was widely portrayed in the Western news media as an olive branch to the Muslim world. But while most of my Egyptian friends knew about the interview, by then they were so frustrated by Mr. Obama’s silence that they weren’t particularly interested in watching it.

Farming under fire

"The soldiers continued to shoot on the group, despite the fact that many members of the group had their arms in the air and were wearing fluorescent vests to make them highly visible, and identify them as Human Rights Workers; had erected a banner indicating that the farmers and accompaniment were civilians; contact had been made with the Israeli army to advise them that Palestinian civilians and internationals would be working in the area; the various international embassies had been advised of the planned accompaniment; and the internationals were announcing their presence via a megaphone - demanding that the soldiers stop shooting on unarmed civilians.

“We are unarmed civilians! We are farmers and international Human Rights Workers! Stop Shooting!”

Posted on the International Solidarity Movement website

Kuwaiti state security questions all donors to Palestine as US Ambassador warns government on names allowed in the Kuwaiti Martyrs office

US ambassador warns government on names allowed in the Kuwaiti Martyrs office

As'ad AbuKhalil's AngryArab blog reports
"During the war on Gaza, any donations to Palestine (Gaza or otherwise) was transferred to Kuwait's State Security for questioning. To whom, what for, etc. Second. Do you remember the Kuwaiti martyr whose remains were swapped along the other martyrs between Hizballah and Israel? His name's Fawzi Abdulrasul Al-Majadi, it seems that his name wasn't included within the Kuwaiti Martyr Office. It's an official branch that would provide welfare to the family and descendents of the martyr. A close source to the 'higher-ups' tells me that the American ambassador in Kuwait advised the Kuwaiti government that "This action may damage Kuwait's interests/benefits in the region."

Canada's JNF funded the obliteration of three Palestinian villages with donations

Manchester student occupation welcomes NUS apparent change of mind on sit-ins

From the Manchester University occupation
The Manchester Uni occupation applauds Wes for this sentiment. We would be very happy if he came over to address our occupation on the importance of building a fighting student movement for Palestine as well as using his position to push the NUS to put pressure on our Vice-Chancellor Alan Gilbert to concede to our demands, send a letter to our union’s Gen Sec Rob Pinfold congratulating us for our actions as well as Labour Students in Manchester who have been hostile to us. We would also be very happy if the NUS pledged to campaign to defend occupying students against any reprisals from management.

Get cracking Wes!

On this blog NUS were cited by the Nottingham Evening News as calling on students to end sit-ins a week ago:
They have held their protest and made their point, and have in fact continued the occupation despite calls by the National Union of Students for all such campus protests to end
NUS President, and Labour student, Wes Streeting is feeling the pressure. Manchester Uni are holding him to his word(s) in today's Independent on Sunday and have invited him to come and address the occupation.

Correct us if we are wrong but has anybody ever heard an NUS president say:
"It’s a long time since we’ve seen student occupations on such a scale. It’s about time we got the student movement going again and had an impact."

Viva Palestina convoy taking shape

From STV

Gaza aid truck stops in Glasgow

A lorry carrying four tonnes of humanitarian aid destined for Gaza stops in Glasgow

A truck carrying four tonnes of medical aid for Gaza stopped off in Glasgow on Sunday.

The lorry will now head to London where plans are being made for a convoy to the middle east.

The Edinburgh Direct Aid vehicle is packed with four tonnes of equipment, including syringes and walking sticks.

Speaking from Glasgow's George Square - where the truck stopped - Denis Rutovitz (pictured), chairman of Edinburgh Direct Aid, said

He said: "When people are wounded, when people are starving and when people are homeless it is totally immoral to ask whose fault it is


Student occupations part of 'Jihad' against British Jews says the ranting Islamophobe Melanie Phillips

From The Spectator
there was a series of anti-Israel sit-ins and demonstrations organised by the STWC at some 17 universities: in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the London School of Economics, Queen Mary College and King’s College, as well as at Bradford, Sheffield Hallam, Warwick, Leeds, Oxford, Cambridge, Sussex, Essex, Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan and Strathclyde...

...Some of these universities responded robustly to such disorder and intimidation. Manchester Metropolitan, Birmingham, Nottingham and, after some delay, Leeds and Cambridge reportedly refused to accept any of these demands. At Nottingham and Sheffield Hallam, the demonstrators were forcibly evicted.

But the LSE, King’s College London, SOAS, Bradford, Strathclyde and Oxford reportedly gave in to some or all of these demands. According to the JC, the LSE agreed to waive application fees for Gaza and West Bank students ‘directly affected by the conflict’, while Bradford...

...According to the JC, the LSE agreed to waive application fees for Gaza and West Bank students ‘directly affected by the conflict’, while Bradford

agreed to investigate the ‘ethical background’ of food and drink served on campus, and promised to ‘explore the feasibility of a twinning link with the Islamic University of Gaza’.

Strathclyde agreed among other things to cancel a contract with an Israeli water-cooler company. Oxford – which fined each demonstrator the princely sum of £20 – nevertheless started negotiations with them with indecent haste, and a mere few hours later had agreed to pretty well everything...

...the protests in Britain have nothing to do with humanitarian concerns for the innocent. They are part of the jihad against the Jews – and those in the universities and other parts of the establishment who are capitulating to or even endorsing this are accomplices to a great evil that is now consuming British public life.
the full article if you can stomach it.

Melanie Phillips is unwittingly helping our cause with her display of inhumanity. She is in a rage because British Students, Jews and atheists among them no doubt, have had the temerity to challenge the once cosy consensus that Israel is a regular democracy trying to live in peace with its unreasonable and surly neighbours. And her claims of rising anti-semitism on campus are basically a cover for her favourite sport - a bit of Palestine and Muslim bashing. This dangerous cynicism is best answered with the words of Gerald Kaufman MP in Parliament recently:

"My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians."

Manchester University occupation holding strong in Simon Building as community demonstrators offer support Saturday

Above: Organising to spread the word at the Manchester University occupation, Simon Building

From the manunioccupation blog:
Today at 2pm around 60 people from around Manchester and beyond came to a protest outside the occupied Simon Building in a show of support for us and the struggle of the people of Palestine. Both campaigners outside and students inside spoke on many subjects ranging from the situation in Gaza now, to the experiences we’ve had in our occupation. During the course of the protest a handful of the scores of messages of support we have received from around the world were read out. This included messages from Palestinian students, the UCU union and other students in Britain campaigning for Palestine. Today’s protest was a continuation of the widespread support that we have from all over.

(note to editors: not the same institution as Manchester Metropolitan University which has already had one sit-in)

Rocket hits Israel as Egyptians say Hamas talks with Fatah nearing end but sticking point with Israel over border crossings

From AP
Military: Gaza rocket hits Israel, damages cars
JERUSALEM – A rocket fired by Palestinian militants struck southern Israel on Sunday, Israel's military said, violating [what about the daily Israeli violations?] an informal truce even as Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers appeared to be moving closer to cementing a long-term cease-fire...

...Speaking to reporters in Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he was doing his utmost to bring Schalit home and warned that Israel would have to pay a "heavy" price...

...Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas' Gaza strongman, was in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Sunday to discuss truce prospects with the group's exiled leadership. Israel allowed Zahar, who had been in hiding since the Israeli offensive, to leave Gaza on Saturday.

Students are revolting: The spirit of '68 is reawakening - at last the Independent reports on the student occupations

I suppose if students' slogans had included 'British courses for British
Students' the mainstream media might have taken notice earlier. There
is a militancy rising in the UK and around the world over the economic
collapse - need to make sure we have the right target in our sights -
the bankers and this rotten capitalist system. The Indie report quotes
from John Rose a prominent Jewish socialist and anti-Zionist who you
can hear in debate on this blog.

Independent on Sunday article

John Rose with Anne Alexander is the author of The Nakba
Nakba, “catastrophe” in Arabic, is the name given by Palestinians to the moment of Israel’s foundation in 1948. The vast bulk of the Palestinian population were expelled from the heart of the new state.

This pamphlet examines why this disaster happened, why it continues, and the role of the United States. It also looks at the rise of Palestinian resistance and shows what the solution to the conflict is.

It is an essential read for all anti-zionists and pro-Palestinian activists. Available from Bookmarks

The Associated Press: Netanyahu: Gaza offensive stopped too soon

Netenyahu wanted to kill more woman and children. This is the man
likely to win the Israeli election on Tuesday 10 Feb. Arabs in Israel
are worried about a racist backlash against them following the
unprecedented support for their Gazan brothers and sisters shown
openly by Arab 'citizens' during the Gaza slaughter.

Report: Israel to free Marwan Barghouti as part of Shalit deal - Haaretz - Israel News

Israel prepared to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for
prisoner of war Gilat - another war aim not achieved through the war
on Gaza.

Gaza War Created Rift Between Israel and Turkey - but Turkey still hasn't scrapped defence agreement signed in December

Unfortunately more pressure needs to be applied on the government and
state (read Army) by the Turkish people to turn Erdogan's anti-Israeli
walkout last week into something more concrete.