Monday, 2 March 2009

With the resistance in Gaza - Arabic

Broadcast by Al-Jazzera today. It is in Arabic but gives a flavour of the situation in Gaza. Includes footage of anti-tank weapons, setting and exploding IEDs, resistance tunnel network and communications set-up. What a pity the BBC doesn't do some interesting work like this. Oh, I forgot, 'we don't talk to terrorists' and certainly don't help to provide humanitarian assistance to the people through the Disasters Emergency Committee, after all we are the Biased Broadcasting Corporation. Running time 51 mins.

If anyone out there can provide a translation it would be much appreciated - perhaps Al-Jazzera will do it for the English version of the channel and post it on YouTube.

You can visit the English forum of the Al-Qassam Brigades here

Victory to the resistance

Emergency lobby of Parliament for Gaza on 11 March


Lobby of Parliament for Gaza

Wednesday 11 March

2-6pm, House of Commons, London
(nearest tube Westminster)

Please make an appointment to lobby your MP now.

Download the Lobby briefing

Call on your MP to:
  • End the blockade on Gaza
  • Suspend the EU-Israel Trade Agreement
  • Bring Israeli war criminals to justice
  • End the arms trade with Israel

Urge the government to act to implement international law, including an immediate end to Israeli occupation

This lobby has been organised at short notice to call for urgent action by the British government to address the horrific humanitarian crisis that has been forced upon the people of Gaza.

Israel’s war on 1.5 million people in Gaza killed over 1300, including 431 children, and injured over 5300, including 1872 children. Gaza’s infrastructure has been destroyed, and hospitals and schools have been bombed, and the water and sewage system seriously damaged.

Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated against Israel’s military assault on Gaza, and we want to see the British government take action to ensure an end to the denial of peace and justice for Palestinian people.

Join us on 11 March — tell your MP that the British government must act now!

For further information: www.palestinecampaign.org

020 7700 6192

This lobby has been called by

Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Stop the War Coalition; British Muslim Initiative; Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Palestinian Forum in Britain; Jews for Justice for Palestinians

And

Action for UN Renewal; Action Palestine; Amos Trust; Association of Palestinian Communities UK; BRICUP; Britain-Palestine Twinning Network; CAABU; FBU; Friends of Al Aqsa UK; Friends of Birzeit University; Friends of Lebanon; Friends of Sabeel; The Green Party; ICAHD UK; Labour Friends of Palestine; Liberal Democrats Friends of Palestine; Midlands Palestinian Community Association; Muslim Association of Britain; Muslim Council of Britain; NUS Black Students Campaign; Palestinian Return Centre; Pax Christi; PCS; RMT; UNISON; UNITE; War On Want; World Disarmament Campaign

The white phosphorus war crimes of Israel



This picture says all you need to know about the war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza. This person's body was 'melted' by white phosphorus.

Libyans show ecstatic support for Gaza convoy



The Viva Palestina convoy has had a brilliant response in Libya, where the authorities, as well as the ordinary people, have got right behind the convoy - thousands attended a rally for the convoy in Tripoli's Green Square. Libyan TV reckons the convoy could swell in size to 300 vehicles by the time it crosses the border into Egypt.

All this at a time when the donor conference in Egypt representing some of the most powerful states in the region and the world can only talk while Gazans huddle in their tents as the Israeli siege goes on...

From vivapalestina.org
...One of our convoy members said to the Arabic newspaper Libya Elyoum today "This is the best welcome we received. What is different this time is that the authorities did not try to stop the people mingling and getting close to us, nothing was orchestrated, it was natural and spontaneous.."

Campo Antiimperialista - Appeal for the removal of Hamas from the EU terror list!

Tariq Ali is among the signators

From Campo Antiimperialist
First signatories

On the occasion of the June 2009 European elections, we are launching an urgent appeal to all candidates for the 736 seats in the European parliament.

We ask that they actively pursue the immediate and unconditional removal of Hamas and all other Palestinian liberation organizations from the European list of proscribed terrorist organizations.

We further ask that they acknowledge the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and, by so doing, recognise, Hamas as a legitimate voice for the Palestinian people's aspirations for national liberation.

***

The initiative was launched by Nadine Rosa-Rosso, a teacher and independent communist militant living in Bruxelles. It is a result of the Beirut Resistance Forum from 16-18 January 2009.

The call can be signed by sending a message to camp@antiimperialista.org.



First signatories

Extract:
Jose Saramago (writer, Portugal)
Mairead Maguire (Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Ireland)
Danny Morrison (writer, Ireland)
Ronnie Kasrils (former South African minister)
Giulietto Chiesa (European MP, Italy)
Lucio Manisco (former European MP)
Gianni Vattimo (philosopher and former European MP)
Domenico Losurdo (director of the institute for philosophy, University Urbino, Italy)
Augusto Boal (theatre director, Brazil)
Gretta Duisenberg (chair Foundation Stop the Occupation, Netherlands)
François Houtart (professor emeritus Catholic University Louvain, Belgium)
Tariq Ramadan (professor, Oxford/Erasmus Universities)
Tariq Ali (writer, film-maker and editor of New Left Review, Britain)
Jan Myrdal (writer, Sweden)
James Petras (Bartle professor emeritus Binghamton University, USA)
Franco Cavalli (oncologist and president of the International Union of Cancer (IUCC), Switzerland)
Daniel Vischer (MP of the Green Party, Switzerland)
Alima Boumediene Thiery (senator, France)
more


The war criminal Blair is in Gaza today but he refuses to meet the
duly elected government ministers or other members of the resistance.

Middlesbrough councillor faces disciplinary action for highlighting Israeli atrocities

Let's hope that no action is taken. The councillor has apologised for using counicil email to circulate the pictures but people circulate all sorts of stuff over their employer's email system all the time - usually jokes of one sort or another, so hopefully Middlesbrough Council will let this pass.
AN investigation has been launched by a Northern authority after an employee and a councillor used work computers to distribute shocking pictures of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza.

Middlesbrough councillor Pervaz Khan and an employee who works as part of the council’s customer services department both forwarded images of Israel’s attack on the Gaza strip to colleagues at the local authority using work emails.

The employee, who has not been officially named, is now facing an internal disciplinary hearing and the Labour councillor has been reported to the council’s standards committee. more

UCLA protest against Israeli dance company


From The Daily Bruin
Protesters speak out against Israeli incursion into Gaza

Approximately 50 people protested outside Royce Hall at the performance of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company on Saturday night in hopes of drawing attention to the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza.

The protest was organized by the recently created U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, which saw its membership rise from 15 to more than 230 academics since its inception in January. The demonstrators were mostly professors, but many students participated as well. more

Israeli war criminals hopefully a step closer to prison


The international criminal court is assessing whether the Palestinian Authority is enough like at state to be able to bring IDF officers to the Hague to stand trial

The deliberations would potentially open the way to putting Israeli military commanders in the dock at The Hague over the campaign, which claimed more than 1,300 lives, and set an important precedent for the court over what cases it can hear. more

Meanwhile Iran has asked InterPol to arrest Israeli prime minister Olmert and foreign minister Livni in addition to 12 other Israeli leaders for war crimes.

French president Sarkovy continues to bring shame on his country this time by telling the donor conference that his priority ios the release of the Israeli prisoner of war - not the lifting of the blockade on 1.5 million people.

Also, the truly atrocious living conditions in the Gaza strip were made worse at the weekend by heavy rain which led to five people dying when a tunnel collapsed. Snow is now falling in parts of Gaza making life for the tens of thousands of people living in tents horrendous, the Maan News Agency reports today.

Support the Manchester University national demo for Gaza

Students taking part in the occupation for Gaza have been threatened with expulsion by the Vice Chancellor Alan Gilbert. They have called a national demo for this Wednesday and are appealing to all students that have been involved in the occupation movement to book transport to the demo, and for all non-student supporters that can get there to attend. More info at the Manchester Uni occupation blog.

UEL are still in occupation. Visit their blog today and you will see a horrific picture of a person killed by the Israelis white phosphorus munitions. They are holding a rally at 1.00pm tomorrow.


Support Gaza
Support the Student occupations
National student protest – Manchester
Wednesday 4th March – 2pm
University of Manchester Students Union
Support us by:
- Mobilise people for the protest on Wednesday.
- Publicise this demo, via mailing lists, blogs, websites, etc.
- Email the Vice Chancellor (president@manchester.ac.uk) demanding him to negotiate with us.

A national demonstration has been called in support of the student occupations. It’s crucial that we have as much representation from different Universities, Colleges and Schools as possible.

We in Manchester have been in occupation for almost four weeks now, yet the University has so far refused to negotiate with us. The University still invests in the arms trade, leading to some students having to disrupt a DSTL stall (an agency of the MoD) at an official graduate recruitment fair.

The Vice Chancellor Alan Gilbert has threatened expulsion for students who are involved.

Our demands are in line with current Union policy having received an overwhelming majority at an Emergency General Meeting, attended by over 1,100 students.

Being the biggest university in the UK, all eyes are on Manchester, and the success of the occupation here is critical to the success of the national movement.

A full list of our demands can be found at our website.

The website for the occupation is http://manunioccupation.wordpress.com/.

For more information please email us at, manuni@actionpalestine.org

Pledges are empty words as Israeli siege continues

Billions of dollars in reconstruction pledges from the Saudis and Americans is all very well but when the necessities still have to be smuggled in through tunnels it is meaningless. As we have been pointing out on this blog no reconstruction has been taking place because the Israeli criminal state (collective punish is illegal) has been refusing to allow in heavy lifting equipment to start removing the rubble and damage let alone rebuilding anything.
"John Ging, head of the UN relief and works agency (Unrwa) in Gaza, said they were currently not even able to get donated food and medicine through.

Unless the crossings are open we cannot expect any improvement in the situation here," he said.
And of course if and when the aid pledges are transformed into facts on the ground it will supposedly be threw the corrupt hands of Fatah - whi have been in bed with the US and Israel in their plans to destroy Hamas. But the Palestinian Authorities does not exist in Gaza either in physical form - Israel destroyed all the buildings - or institutionally. So how is that going to work. As Hamas political adviser to prime minister Ismail Haneyya , Dr. Youssef, pointed out yesterday:
the organizers of the Sharm Al-Sheikh conference on the Gaza Strip who invited Salam Fayyad to represent the Palestinian people went to the wrong address, saying that Fayyad [Fatah] represents only the international and American will.
Hillary Clinton talks about 'a significant aid package' but refuses to put any pressure on Israel, or Egypt for that matter, to opens the crossings. As such they are accomplices to the crime of collective punishment. Yesterday Blair said he was appalled by the damage and destruction in Gaza but still refused to deescribe the Israeli war on Gaza as disproportionate, instead preferring to talk of the 'violence emanating from Gaza'. The man is a total waste of space.

Sky TV takes money from Qatar but turns back on Gaza


Hopefully there aren't too many watchers of Sky TV out there but if you have happened upon their output doing your channel hopping exercises you might have come across sponsorship advertising from Qatar Airways. I'm sure this is a valuable advertiser for Sky so the ad sales bosses should be sweating over the recent refusal to show the Disasters Emergency Appeal for Gaza. Why? Because Qatar Airways buys advertising with Sky. Sure, the government of Qatar and its national carrier may well hope to play a duplicitous game - wearing their pro-Palestine sentiment on their sleeves at home but carrying on in the same old way abroad, and hope their own population doesn't notice.

But if the people of Qatar knew that their national airline was a sponsor of this pro-Israeli channel you would expect it to cause outrage despite the undemocratic nature of that state.

In fact just this week Qatar Airways brought into service its second Boeing 777, and guess what the plane has been called? Here's the report from Asian travel industry website Travel Blackboard:
Al Baker [Chief exec at the airline] announced that the aircraft was officially named “Gaza” in solidarity with civilian victims in the recent conflict in Gaza.

“I know many of us have been deeply touched by the civilian deaths in the recent bombing of Gaza. Qatar Airways wants to recognise that innocent people, and in particular large numbers of children, were killed in these bomb attacks, and naming our latest aircraft “Gaza” is a symbolic gesture to commemorate and honour these victims.

“The name ‘Gaza’ will fly around the world on Qatar Airways and spread a message of peace and humanity,” he said.
So Qatar Airways names its plane 'Gaza' in solidarity with the Gazan people but at the same time is giving money to a TV channel that refuses to broadcast a humanitarian appeal for Palestinians.

Gaza Solidarity is contacting Qatar Airways and the Qatari government to point out this glaring contradiction. It could be that they are aware of the problem but have a contractural obligation to continue the sponsorship, but I doubt it as there is usually some small print to allow for withdrawal from ad agreements if one-party is deemed to bring the other into disrepute. This is certainly the case here.

As the economists will tell you, the advertising market is a 'leading indicator' - it's the first budget to get cut in a recession/depression, meaning Sky can ill-afford to lose one of its biggest and most valuable ad buyers. So the other call we will be making is to Sky to ask if they are worried by the likely discomfort their pro-Israeli stance will/is causing the Qataris.

As the anti-apartheid movement demonstrated in the case of South Africa money speaks louder than words. We should all ring Qatar Airways (+ 44 0207 341 6069) and ask them why they continue to advertise with a company that refuses to extend a hand of humanity to the suffering people of Gaza.

Contact Qatar-based Al Jazeera at press.int@aljazeera.net and editor@aljazeera.net

See below the Qatar Airways sponsorship of the weather on Sky News