Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Racism Israeli-style

This South Park-esque cartoon is the latest racist garbage to come out of ever-so liberal Israel. Picture, if you will, the figures as 'stereotypical' Jews or black people and imagine what an outrage it would rightly cause. But Muslims/Arabs... they're all terrorists so that's okay. The creators justify their actions with the following comment. I've highlighted the bit that gives the game away:
"Muslims are known to be extremists so we poke fun at them. We just like pissing off groups who take themselves too seriously - with Arabs though we have no problems at all.”
So ALL muslims are known to be extremists?

Apologies for posting the first episode here but some people have a hard time believing what a racist society Israel is - so here's some of the evidence in your face, so to speak.

Best comment I've seen about this racist shit on YouTube:
"I'm Jewish and I find this extremely offensive. If the same video was made stereotyping Jews there would be an uproar. This is a bit of racist crap and there is no excuse for it. Allow me to remind my fellow Jews about cartoons in Germany 65 years ago that depicted Jews are less than human, having huge noses and misshaped heads. We've just finished murdering over 1300 Palestinians last month. Is it really humorous?"
More on this at Menassat - article by Tania Tabar

Newcastle University occupation short and sweet

From the Newcastle Uni occupation blog
We will leave the occupation this evening on the condition that:
John Hogan will meet with Newcastle University Gaza Solidarity Campaign at 12pm on March 12th, on equal terms for meaningful negotiations on our revised demands to begin. The Vice Chancellor and/or Paul Younger will be present as well as Dr. Trottier.

We are excited about the talks tomorrow. The occupation itself has ended at this point because we have been promised that the necessary steps will be taken immediately for our demands to be realised. We have no guarentee, of course, that our demands will be met, but are confident that the appropriate people will be present at these talks to continue our campaign effectively. This was our democratically chosen condition for the occupation.

Viva Palestina - mission accomplished, more to come

The convoy members have now left Gaza, but 20 have stayed to assess needs for future missions. They have held meetings with the families of people in Israeli prisons among other things.

From the Viva Palestina website

Many were in tears, some of them inconsolable at having to leave their new-found family. Today, a large number of the convoy members and the activists who joined them in Gaza made their way to the infamous Rafah crossing to leave Palestine and head home.

George Galloway, who met with Prime minister Ismael Hania last night, was due to leave today too. It was a warm meeting where the PM thanked Viva Palestina for breaking the siege and, by doing so, gave a moral boost to the people of Gaza and hope to every Palestinian child. On leaving, George described the destruction as 'unbelievable' and a siege of 'medieval' proportions.

Prime Minister Hania handed George his personal Prime Minister's passport as a symbolic gesture of gratitude and appreciation for his stance with the Palestinian people. Other gifts and souvenirs were handed to members of Viva Palestina.

A proposal from Viva Palestina Manchester is being considered by the Gaza officials to twin Cheetham Hill with Rafah, as a symbolic gesture and a show of unity. Cheetham Hill was the departure point for the Manchester contingent and where the Palestine Solidarity Campaign was started in the city many years ago.

About twenty stayed behind today to tour the area and to meet with various bodies and officials - in order to assess and evaluate the urgent needs of the Gaza population.

Talat Ali, the only convoy leader who decided to stay behind, visited an orphanage housing between 100 to 150 orphans. They listened to harrowing accounts of the slaughter that took away the lives of their loved ones.

Some children are so traumatised after spending days and nights under the rubble of their demolished homes, with the bodies of their parents, that they cannot speak.

Then, the Viva Palestina members visited an area where tents were erected to house the destitute who lost their homes after the bombings. Each tent has a capacity of between 10-15 people. In These extreme weather conditions, whole families sleep on hard ground, struggling to keep themselves warm in the freezing nights.

Last night, F16s bombed Gaza again making martyrs of eight souls. An activist told me that one of the bombs exploded only 200 yards from where they were sleeping. She said ' I went back to sleep '.

That is the measure of Viva Palestina and the measure of the people of Gaza, who daily say to Israel, “Your bombs do not scare us and they will NEVER defeat us!”

Prepared and translated by Farid Arada

Medical Aid convoy led by Scottish Member of the Scottish Parliament Pauline McNeil should be in Gaza in the next few weeks but as we reported last week the Israelis are obstructing its supply of medical aid, forcing consignments to be routed through Tel Aviv.

The Freeman affair: commentators ask how much longer will the US dance to Israel's tune?

Charles (Chas) Freeman, who was put forward by the Obama administration to be the new chairman of the National Intelligence Council, has now withdrawn after the intervention of what he describes as a "Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government".

"I regret that my willingness to serve the new administration has ended by casting doubt on its ability to consider, let alone decide what policies might best serve the interests of the United States rather than those of a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government.

"The outrageous agitation that followed the leak of my pending appointment will be seen by many to raise serious questions about whether the Obama administration will be able to make its own decisions about the Middle East and related issues." Freeman said.

Since the news was leaked of his nomination, the pro-Israel lobby has been up in arms because of Freeman's perceived history of opposition to Israel's policies in Palestine.

Excellent article by Glen Greenwald on Salon in a wide-ranging survey detailing the weakening of the hold of the neocon/Israel lobby in Washington, despite the mugging of Freeman. For example:
The Atlantic's James Fallows and Daniel Larison both compellingly document that the real issue here is whether the suffocating prohibition on government officials' questioning U.S. policy toward Israel will continue, or whether the range of permissive debate on this vital question will finally be expanded.
US foreign policy is not so much dictated by Israel as coincides with it. Israel is the US's watchdog in the Middle East, keeping the uppity oil-rich Arabs in check, with the help of some local dictators.

Viva Palestina members to head back into Egypt today

By Farid Arada - Viva Palestina website
I am told that a large number of the Convoy will start leaving Gaza tomorrow. Apparently, the Egyptians have told them that the border may close and that therefore they may be stuck in Gaza for days.
Lets hope there is no more of this sort of harassment by the Egyptian police doing Israel's dirty work.

Alice Walker condemns Gaza catastrophe and American indoctrination

Pulitzer award-winning novellist Alice Walker is in Gaza and describes the disaster that has befallen the people as a catastrophe and hopes through her visit - part of a US women's group CodePink's mission started on International Women's Day - will have some influence over Obama and the indoctrinated mindset of other US citizens.
"Lots, and lots and lots of houses of just ordinary people have been completely and utterly destroyed, and people are living in the rubble," she said, speaking in the garden cafe of her Gaza City hotel. "Some of them are struggling in tents, and some are just sitting in what remains of their homes."

Walker said her decision to visit Gaza, along with members of the U.S. anti-war group Code Pink, was spurred by the recent death of an older sister. She said she felt a connection to Gazans who lost loved ones in the war. "I wanted very much to be with them and to bear witness to what is happening to them, this horrible, catastrophic, terrible thing," she said.

Israel says it launched the Gaza offensive to halt rocket fire from Gaza at Israeli border towns. Some 1,300 Gazans were killed in the war, according to Gaza human rights groups and medics. Thirteen Israelis also were killed.

Walker said she believes Americans have mostly been exposed to the Israeli narrative since the establishment of the Israel in 1948 and know little about the plight of the Palestinians. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled their homes at the time.

"We were indoctrinated to the song in that film Exodus, you know, 'This land belongs to us, this land is our land,' meaning the Israelis, the Jews, and for so long, we were told that nobody lived here, that it was a land without people, for a people without land," she said.

Walker said she hopes she and others can make Obama more aware of the plight of Gaza.

"Believing that he [Obama] is a decent person, and I do believe this, our job then is to help him see what we see, and then he can decide how he will behave and it's on his soul, it's not on my soul."

Obama's secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, visited Israel and the West Bank last week. Clinton said she would work vigorously for a peace agreement that includes the formation of an independent Palestinian state, but gave no indications she would try a new approach. Many Palestinians and other Arabs view U.S. policy as lopsided in Israel's favor.

Walker did not respond directly when asked whether Hamas - classified as a terrorist group by the U.S. and Israel - should be held responsible for Gaza's hardships.

"I think all of us have an opportunity here to just say what we believe, which is we think killing is wrong, we think stealing land is wrong, we think abusing people is wrong," she said.

Full report on Hareetz

Israel blocks salary payments to public employees in Gaza

The Palestinian Monetary Authority, based in the West Bank, has the money to pay the salaries of public employees in Gaza but is unable to because the Israelis occupiers in are continuing to block all bank transfers to Gaza.

The Israelis are stopping reconstruction supplies and the necessities of life reaching Gaza because they could be used 'for military purposes' and now they are adding this lie to the mix as well - allowing salaries to be paid obviously has a 'military purpose'. Yeah right.

When are western governments going to condemn and impose sanctions on Israel for its collective punishment of Palestinians in contravention of the Geneva Convention?

Head of the Civil Service Employees Union, Bassam Zakarneh, said: “We are appealing to the UN and EU to put pressure on Israel to allow the transaction, so that the salaries of 77,000 employees in Gaza can be paid."

Thanks to the Palestine News Network

Interpol reviews request to hunt down 25 IDF war criminals

Interpol is reviewing whether to bring 25 IDF officers to justice for war crimes committed by Israel in the 22-day war on Gaza, following a request from the Iranian government.

Full story here

Newcastle authorities stop food and entry to sit-in

From the Newcastle Occupation blog
It's 8:20am - the security has been stepped up and they are stopping outside supporters from bringing food into the occupied space.


Please email or contact John Hogan to demand that they let food into the occupation

0191 2226078

No pics yet

Send protests and messages of support for the occupation to the Vice Chancellor Chris Brink

BBC Tyne have reported on the occupation -

Israel orders Palestinian to destroy his own home - or pay cost and go to prison

The criminality of the Israeli occupation knows no bounds. Another uprising is looming on the West Bank in response to these ethnic cleansing outrages.

Thanks to the Palestine Information Center
The Israeli district court in occupied Jerusalem has ruled that Adel Tamimi, a Jerusalemite, should knock down his own home in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The court said that if Tamimi did not tear his own home down he would have to pay for the expenses of its demolition in addition to serving six months in jail.

Tamimi said in a statement, "How can I destroy the house in which I lived for 17 years with my own hands! Where will I go with my family? I have paid all fines with the hope of obtaining a construction permit but to no avail".

He said that the land is owned by his family and that he had the required documents to prove it.

The Israeli occupation authority bans construction or even maintenance of Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem's Old City in a bid to empty the holy city from its indigenous population and replace them with Jewish immigrants.

Worcester decision - a defeat for humanitarianism

Worcester City Council has released the following rather terse statement following the Twinning Association decision not to twin with Gaza City we reported on earlier today:
"The Council would like to thank the City of Worcester Twinning Association for considering the recent proposal that has been put to them.
"We note the outcome of the Twinning Association's discussions and therefore have no plans to progress this matter further."
A defeat for humanitarianism - but at least the Viva Palestina convoy got through, despite all the struggle and shenanigans along the way.

Newcastle University occupied in solidarity with Gaza

Visit there blog for details. Well done Newcastle. Occupied the Fine Arts Bldg. Demanding 10 scholarships this time!


* Newcastle University issues a public statement condemning Israel’s recent attack on Gaza and the continuing illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.

* Newcastle University divests its annual 3% in the arms trade, and develops an ethical and transparent investment policy.

* Newcastle University creates a scholarship programme for a minimum of 10 Palestinian students per year who have had their right to an education taken away because of the ongoing conflict.

* Newcastle University boycotts Israeli goods and companies.

* Newcastle University supports its students in political actions and campaigning, and lifts the restrictions on flyering/postering on campus.

* Newcastle University provides academic aid and financial support to The Islamic University of Gaza.

* Newcastle University co-ordinates a fund and awareness raising campaign on behalf of medical aid for Palestinians, including publicising the Disaster and Emergency Committee’s appeal for aid through posters on all message boards and a banner on the University website.

Our demands include terms of negotiations:

* There will be no recriminations against any student involved in or supporting this occupation at any point either during or after its duration.

* Access to the occupied space will be under the control of the Newcastle University Gaza Solidarity Campaign during this occupation - this includes access to the toilets downstairs.

* We will have freedom of access for ourselves and other supporters into our occupied space.

* No security staff or other unauthorised persons will breach any of the doors to the occupied space during this occupation.