Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Argentina joins Brazil in recognising Palestine as a 'free and independent state'

Brazil, and now Argentina, have decided to recognise a Palestinian state which takes in the occupied territories, much to Israel's dismay.
JERUSALEM -- Israel expressed disappointment Tuesday with Argentina's recognition of a Palestinian state in territories Israel occupied in 1967, saying they undercut American-led efforts to create such a state through negotiations with Israel.

Argentina said its move, announced Monday just days after Brazil took a similar step, reflected the country's deep frustration with gridlocked peace efforts. more

Friday, 3 December 2010

Palestinian resistance fighters killed on northern border

Two resistance fighters killed by IDF
Israeli occupation forces killed two "armed" Palestinians as they approached the northern border barrier of the Gaza Strip, Israeli officials said on Thursday.

A statement from the Israeli military said that its forces "indentified a number of armed Palestinians" near the security barrier in the northern Gaza Strip.

The statement claimed that the two Palestinians, affiliated with the Islamic Jihad Movement, were planning a "terror attack". Israeli military used tanks and air power to take down the two individuals.

On Tuesday, five Palestinians were injured in Israeli army attacks on the Gaza border. more

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Bili'in villager Abu Rahmah ends prison sentence for anti-wall protests - but still detained

Abdallah Abu Rahmah, the anti-wall activist from Bil'in village, is being kept in prison despite having completed his sentence for the 'crime' of organising an 'illegal march' – yet another example of the undemocratic nature of the Israeli state.
An Israeli military court has prevented the release of a West Bank activist even though he has already served his one year prison sentence.

The president of the military court of appeals Monday ordered Abdallah Abu Rahmah -- whose case has drawn international attention -- to stay in prison after a last minute petition by the Israeli Military Prosecution to extend his sentence.

Abu Rahmah was convicted of incitement for organizing weekly demonstrations in the West Bank village of Bil'in against what Israel calls its security barrier and Palestinians call the apartheid separation wall. Israel says the barrier is needed for security, Palestinians say it is a land grab which cuts through village farmlands. The protests started five years ago.

The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, the group to which Abu Rahmah belongs to said in a statement, "The decision contradicts the jurisprudence of the Israeli Supreme Court on the issue, instructing that a prisoner should only be kept under arrest after his term was over in the most extraordinary of cases." more

AIPAC's huge spy operation against US to be exposed as zionists fight each other

Zionist lobby group AIPAC has descended into internecine warfare with an ex-policy chief threatening to expose the fact that AIPAC organises a mass spying operation in the US and regularly trades US intelligence secrets. No statement as yet from the US government. You might have thought it would be interested in prosecuting the individuals involved with treason, but such is the alliance between Israel and the US, sealed by their joint desire to keep the Arabs in their place, that of course nothing much will be done about it. The good news, however, is that AIPAC is beginning to show the strains of trying to sell the indefensible to the American public, as its leaders spend money and time fighting each other.
Top AIPAC officials visited prostitutes, regularly watched porn at work: claim

Is US's most influential advocate for Israel about to implode?

A former foreign policy chief for the largest Israeli lobby in the US is threatening to provide evidence members of the organization regularly trafficked in classified US government information.

The claim comes in the midst of an increasingly ugly lawsuit in which parties have alleged or admitted to mass viewing of pornography among senior staffers at AIPAC as well as extra-marital affairs. more

Settlers step up West Bank offensive against Palestinian farmers and villages

Settlers are on the rampage on the West Bank, launching attacks on Palestinian villages, evicting Palestinian families from their homes and stealing water from Palestinian farmers, preventing them from accessing their land, and destroying their olive groves. And of course the building programme pushes forward at a frenetic pace - creating facts on the ground.

But there is some good news. AIPAC, the main Zionist lobby group in the US, is becoming increasingly split as its leadership descends into internecine warfare.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Viva Palestina 5 convoy cleared for Gaza entry buy Egypt maintains bar on Galloway

The Palestine Telegraph reports this morning that although Egypt will allow the Viva Palestina 5 convoy to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing, George Galloway remains persona non grata and will be barred.
Cairo, October 14, (Pal Telegraph) Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced that Cairo is in the process of informing the organizers of the convoy lifeline 5 to allow them access to the port of El Arish, near the Gaza Strip.

Official spokesman of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Hossam Zaki said: "Now we're going to inform the organizers of the convoy that we will allow them to sail from the Syrian port of Latakia, to the Egyptian port of El Arish”, stressing that Egypt's stance towards British MP George Galloway has not changed, in reference to the decision to ban him from entering Egypt. more

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Viva Palestina aid convoy opens negotiations with Egypt to allow for Rafah entry

Convoy in negotiations with Egypt to allow crossing into Gaza through Rafah. Still waiting at Syrian port of Latakia.
by Jim Nichol, on the convoy

The fifth Viva Palestina convoy from Britain is nearing Gaza. Human rights lawyer and socialist Jim Nichol reports from the convoy

Kayseri, Turkey: School children at the Hisarciklioglu high school line up to wave as we pass by. This was the school of Furkan Dogan. He was only 19-years-old when he was killed by the Israelis on the Mavi Marmara when they attacked the Gaza aid flotilla. He was the youngest to be killed.

At the head of his grave is a poster with Furkan’s photo. He looks much younger than his 19 years. So much younger.

The grave is planted with blues, yellows, pinks, orange and whites, and a single red rose. There are tears. Furkan was shot five times.

Leaving Turkey:
I’d like to get your sympathy by telling you that I am living on the baked beans that I bought in Tescos. But it would not be true. In every town we are feasted and cared for.

Young people are very noticeable. Last night perhaps two hundred 14 to 24 year olds formed a welcoming cordon.

We leave for Syria from the graveside of Getin Topguoglu. He too was killed on the Mavi Marmara. His wife Gigdem was by his side. She picks up a handful of earth from her husband’s grave and asks that it be sprinkled in Gaza.

The reception at the Syrian border is extraordinary. Hundreds of people swarm to meet the convoy. Many are Palestinians. A ten year old boy yells to me that he came from Haifa.

Everyone but everyone is looking after us. Breakfast this morning was provided by the Association of Lattakia Engineers.

Palestinian families come to the camp. “Come home with us”, they say. “We have cooked for you. Do you like fish? Do you like chicken? We have sweets. We want to go to Palestine.”


They tell of the town in Palestine from which they come like I tell about Newcastle. But I have been to Newcastle.

Monday 4 October: 9pm. We’re about to set off for Damascus. The Jordanians arrive. Like the cavalry but with lights and horns. Nose to tail they enter the compound—40 vehicles.

There is a huge refrigeration truck to keep some aid cool. It will be left in Gaza. It’s all very exciting.

We arrive and George Galloway is waiting for us. Press conferences, negotiations and a rally.

Tuesday 5 October: We wonder whether the Egyptians are going to let us in. They say that they will not let George in. The original sailing day was Tuesday. Today is Tuesday. Not a ship in sight.

I am part of a small press conference. I’m introduced as an international lawyer. I call for the prosecution of Israel for war crimes.

We hope to sail soon.

Friday 8 October:
Near catastrophe. At 5am the sky opened. It poured. A deluge. The aid was under several gazebos. The bottom layer is soaked. The place is flooded.

Enter the Algerians. Eighty men. We work shifting to dry land. They start singing. Three beat out the rhythm on cardboard boxes.

The pace is strong and fast. It is powerful. Collective. Zabeer says it is a traditional song for those who toil with a difficult task that must be finished. It is to uplift the spirit. It did.

Saturday 11 October:
Then came the winds. They howled. We lassoed tents to iron posts, lamp posts, flag posts, door posts.

Repackaging of wet boxes. But not before 40 brand new vans arrive. Bought by the Algerians.

From Algeria there are five MPs, three senators and the wives of three ex-ministers. One MP is the vice president of the Algerian parliament. The money was raised on the streets.

The level of aid is staggering. The vehicles must be worth one million US dollars. But there is also every kind of drug imaginable. The refrigerated vehicles are carrying chemotherapy drugs. I packed 100 good quality wheelchairs—new—into half a dozen ambulances.

No news on the negotiations.

From Socialist Worker (UK)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Campaign to free Ahmad Sa'adat goes international as support grows


Ahmad Sa'adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has been held in isolation in a series of prisons since March 16, 2009, with his isolation renewed again and again by occupation courts. He has been transferred from prison to prison, and is currently held in the isolation section of Ramon prison in the Naqab desert. Within these isolation units, Sa'adat has been placed further inside a separate isolation unit where he is confined without access even to the other prisoners in isolation, and deprived of basic human rights. His personal books have been confiscated and he is allowed access to newspapers only once or twice weekly. He is denied access to English and Arabic language newspapers and allowed only Hebrew-language media.

He has been repeatedly denied family visits - his wife, Abla, has been allowed only two visits during his entire period in isolation - as well as legal visits, and barred from purchases at the prison canteen, including cigarette purchases. In the prison yard, Sa'adat has been held handcuffed and in ankle shackles and allowed only one-hour of exercise/recreation. The Prison Administration is attempting to criminalize the human and social relationship between fellow Palestinian prisoners, and between the prisoners and their families outside.

Sa'adat has led in the struggle against isolation, engaging in a nine-day hunger strike in 2009 in protest of isolation. Isolation is damaging and destructive to the mental and physical health of Palestinian prisoners, and is being used as a political weapon in order to punish and isolate Palestinian prisoner leaders. Some prisoners have been subject to isolation for years at a time, with severe effects. Take action now to fight isolation and demand the freedom of Ahmad Sa'adat and all Palestinian prisoners!


1. The Campaign in Solidarity with Ahmad Sa'adat in Palestine is calling upon all supporters to write letters to the Israeli Prison Service and demand they end the practice of isolation, end human rights violations, and free Palestinian prisoners. Send an email to the Bureau of the Minister of Public Security at sar@mops.gov.il and to the Public Complaints Department at mevaker@mops.gov.il, and copy the following:

Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, 3, Kaplan Street, PO Box 187, Kiryat Ben-Gurion, Jerusalem, Israel, Fax: +972- 2-651 2631, Email: pm_eng@pmo.gov.il

Mr. Menachem Mazuz, Attorney General, Fax: + 972 2 627 4481; + 972 2 628 5438; +972 2 530 3367

Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit, Military Judge Advocate General, 6 David Elazar Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel, Fax: +972 3 608 0366, +972 3 569 4526, Email: arbel@mail.idf.il, avimn@idf.gov.il

Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations Office and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, Avenue de la Paix 1-3, 1202 Geneva, Fax: +41 22 716 05 55, Email: mission-israel@geneva.mfa.gov.il

You may use our online form at: http://www.freeahmadsaadat.org/action3.html.

2. Write a letter to Ahmad Sa'adat. Letters of support are important and demonstrate solidarity with Ahmad Sa'adat and Palestinian prisoners - let him know that the world is demanding his freedom. Email the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat at info@freeahmadsaadat.org with your letters, or use our contact form at: http://freeahmadsaadat.org/contact.html. We will send all letters received to Palestine. We also encourage you to write to him directly using this address: Ahmad Sa'adat, Ramon Prison, Ramon area, PO Box 699, Postal Code 80600, Israel.

Ahmad Sa'adat has been imprisoned since 2002 in the prisons of the Palestinian Authority, held under U.S. and British guard, until his abduction by the Israeli occupation forces on March 14, 2006 by an occupation military raid on Jericho prison. On December 25, 2008, he was sentenced to thirty years inside the occupation prisons. He is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and one of the foremost Palestinian national leaders held inside the occupier's jails.

Ahmad Sa'adat and approximately 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are daily on the front lines, confronting Israeli oppression and crimes. Today, on October 5-15, 2010 it is urgent that we stand with Ahmad Sa'adat and all Palestinian prisoners against these abuses, and for freedom for all Palestinian prisoners and for all of Palestine!

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

52 trucks from Jordan and Gulf join Viva Palestina 5 aid convoy

Jordanian Aid Convoy crossed the city of Homs on Monday, and is heading for Latakia port. It includes 52 trucks, 120 activists and humanitarian aid offered from the Arab Gulf States and Jordan to the people of Gaza.

Earlier, The Gaza-bound Lifeline 5 aid convoy, which includes 52 trucks, 120 supporters and humanitarian aid, crossed the Nassib border crossing point in Daraa, southern Syria.

Coordinator of the Jordanian and Arab Gulf campaign Abdulfattah Kelani said that the convoy is heading to Gaza to express the Arab nation's desire to break the siege imposed on the people of Gaza, voicing appreciation of the limitless Syrian support for delivering aid to Gaza.

He noted that Arab participation in Lifeline 5 makes up around two thirds of participants, explaining that the convoy is split into three parts; one from Europe and Turkey, one from North Africa and Maghreb, and one from the Arab Gulf countries and Jordan.

more at Jordan's English language Day Press News

Monday, 4 October 2010

Israel soldiers forced Palestinian child to open package suspected of containing explosives

Two IDF staff sergeants have been indicted for forcing a nine-year-old Palestinian boy to open a package suspected of containing an explosive device. The incident only came to light after testimony at the Goldstone hearing which Israel refused to co-operate with. Although indicted, whether the soldiers will receive any punishment is an open question, with the move more likely a bit of window-dressing by the Israeli state in order to keep up the pretense that it is a democracy where the rule of law prevails. The maximum sentence they can receive is three years in prison, although it's more probable that the sentence will be a suspended one.

Viva Palestina land convoy now in Syria as UN council fails to endorse criminal inquiry into flotilla massacre

Video above from Iran's Press TV shows the convoy about to depart from Ankara, Turkey, en route to Syria. The convoy was met at the Syrian border by a couple of hundred Palestinian refugees and an official reception

Meanwhile, Palestinian human rights groups are furious with the PA for going along with the postponement by the UN Human Rights Council of an international criminal inquiry into the Mavi Marmara massacre.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Jewish pro-Palestine activists electrocuted on boat mission to break Gaza siege

No one killed onboard the Irene, a 10-metre catamaran involved in the symbolic gesture to bring in small quantities of medicine and other vital supplies, but treatment was brutal by all accounts, including being electrocuted with tasers. The mission follows hard on the heels of the Mavi Marmara which saw nine activists killed in cold blood by the IDF. A fifth Viva Palestina land convoy is currently in Turkey en route to Gaza in addition to more aid boats.
Five Israeli activists who attempted to break their country's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip in a boat have been released from police custody, though five others who had been on board the ship are set to be deported.

Yonatan Shapira, a former pilot in the Israeli air force, said after being released on Tuesday that Israeli marines who boarded the yacht Irene were "very brutal".

"They didn't kill us like they killed other Palestinians and Muslims, but they were very brutal. I got shot with a taser shock gun ... and was brutally treated just like my brother Itamar," Shapira, a member of the Combatants for Peace group, told the Reuters news agency.

The Irene was carrying eight Jewish activists - including 82-year-old Holocaust survivor Reuven Moskovitz and captain Glyn Secker - as well as two British journalists. Of the eight, five were Israeli citizens and three were citizens of the US, UK and Germany.

Another passenger was Rami Elhanan, an Israeli whose daughter died in a 1997 suicide bombing at a Jerusalem shopping centre.

Eli Osherov, a reporter from Channel 10 in Israel, was also on board. more

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Jewish Gaza aid boat hijacked by Israel and diverted to Ashdod

Israeli pirates, masquerading as a navy, have taken over the Irene, a Jewish-manned aid boat headed for Gaza. No one killed this time.
The Israeli Navy has intercepted a Gaza-bound boat with nine Jewish activists on board and escorted it to Israel's Ashdod port.

The activists' set sail from Cyprus on Sunday, hoping to break Israel's blockade of Gaza and deliver supplies, including children's toys. But they had said they would not resist if they were thwarted, and the Jerusalem Post reports that the Israeli Navy "peacefully" boarded the activists' boat Tuesday.

The encounter was being closely watched, four months after Israeli commandos raided a similar Gaza-bound boat from Turkey, resulting in a violent struggle that left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead, including eight Turkish citizens and one Turkish-American. more

Monday, 27 September 2010

Jewish aid ship sets out from Cyprus to break siege of Gaza

Thanks to Jews for Justice for Palestinians. An Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson has called this latest attempt to bust open the siege ''a provocative joke that isn't funny''. The boat has just left Cyprus so should be in Gazan territorial waters very soon.
A boat carrying aid for Gaza’s population and organized by Jewish groups worldwide has set sail from Cyprus today at 13:32 local time

The boat, Irene, is sailing under a British flag and is carrying nine passengers and crew, including Jews from the US, the UK, Germany and Israel as well as an Israeli journalist.

The boat’s cargo includes symbolic aid in the form of children’s toys and musical instruments, textbooks, fishing nets for Gaza’s fishing communities and prosthetic limbs for orthopaedic medical care in Gaza’s hospitals.

The receiving organization in Gaza is The Palestinian International Campaign to end the siege on Gaza, directed by Dr. Eyad Sarraj and Amjad Shawa, Director of PNGO

The boat will attempt to reach the coast of Gaza and unload its aid cargo in a nonviolent, symbolic act of solidarity and protest – and call for the siege to be lifted to enable free passage of goods and people to and from the Gaza Strip.

The boat will fly multicolored peace flags carrying the names of dozens of Jews who have expressed their support for this action, as a symbol of the widespread support for the boat by Jews worldwide.

Speaking from London, a member of the organizing group, Richard Kuper of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said today that the Jewish Boat to Gaza is a symbolic act of protest against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the siege of Gaza, and a message of solidarity to Palestinians and Israelis who seek peace and justice.

‘Israeli government policies are not supported by all Jews,’ said Kuper. ‘We call on all governments and people around the world to speak and act against the occupation and the siege.’

Regarding the threat of interception by the Israeli navy, Kuper said ‘This is a nonviolent action. We aim to reach Gaza, but our activists will not engage in any physical confrontation and will therefore not present the Israelis with any reason or excuse to use physical force or assault them.’

Passenger Reuven Moskovitz, 82, said that his life’s mission has been to turn foes into friends. “We are two peoples, but we have one future”, he said.

Israel says to hell with international opinion as illegal settlements continue to grow

Now there's a surprise - Israel ignores international opinion and abandons its fairly weak 'moratorium ' on settlement building on the West Bank. Abbas promised that any such resumption would signal the end of a peace process that hasn't actually started.

So why does Abbas have to go to the Arab League to work out what to do next? Already the Fatah-aligned al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has made it clear that any continuation of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would be a disaster for the national struggle. Surely Abbas is aware that following his treacherous move to help the US and Israel and kick the Goldstone Report on Israel's Cast Lead massacres, he is in a dangerous credibility-deficit position.

As for Obama and the US, they seem only too happy to allow the settlers to continue their colonial. Claims to contrary are hollow - unless they are about to slap some serious sanctions on Israel and to shutdown arms sales. Not going to happen.

The settlers will only be driven out of the West Bank by struggle, in Palestine and internationally, not by millionaires talking and dining in Cairo or wherever.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Gaza fisherman killed in attack by Israeli Navy

The Israeli Navy has shot dead a Gaza fisherman as part of its ongoing campaign to wrest control of Palestinian natural gas reserves by making Gaza's territorial waters their own. It's probably no accident that renewed efforts to break the siege by pro-Palestine activists onboard the latest and largest flotilla is heading for the strip. Against the background of Israel's illegal bloackade, seafood is one of the few sources of high-protein food available to Gazans.
A Palestinian fisherman was shot dead by the Israeli navy off the blockaded coast of the Gaza Strip on Friday, medics in the enclave said.

"Fisherman Mohammed Bakr died by a bullet by the Israeli navy today in the sea north of the Gaza Strip," said Adham Abu Selmiya, who heads the Palestinian territory's medical services. more

Thursday, 23 September 2010

UN investigators accuse Israel of war crimes in attack on Gaza flotilla

UN Human Rights Council's has issued a damning verdict on the murder of nine pro-Palestine activists, accusing Israel of war crimes citing clear grounds for prosecutions. Unfortunately the US will likely be able to block any serious action against the terror state.
A United Nations panel of human rights experts has accused Israel of war crimes through willful killing, unnecessary brutality and torture in its "clearly unlawful" assault on a ship attempting to break the blockade of Gaza in May in which nine Turkish activists died.

The report by three experts appointed by the UN's Human Rights Council (UNHRC) described the seizure of MV Mavi Marmara, a Turkish vessel, by Israeli commandos as illegal under international law. more

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Viva Palestina 5 off to a flying start on mission to break Gaza siege

Viva Palestina 5 left London yesterday to deliver aid for Gaza. The land convoy is part of a pincer movement in combination with a large flotilla that will be arriving by sea at the same time. Two other land convoys are also departing for Gaza shortly, from Casablanca and Doha. The combined efforts make this the biggest attempt so far by international Gaza solidarity activists to break Israel's illegal and inhumane siege. All together about 150 vehicles are expected to enter Egypt at Al-Arish before crossing over into Gaza.
The biggest international aid convoy yet to beleaguered Gaza sets off from London on Saturday.

It aims to break the Israeli siege of the territory and deliver crucial relief supplies.

Two survivors of the Mavi Marmara massacre, Nicci Enchmarch and Kevin Ovenden, are among the activists taking part.

They were on board the ship on May 31 when Israeli commandoes killed nine of their Turkish friends and fellow activists.

Following the attack they were held incommunicado in Israel's Be'er Shiva prison in the Negev desert.

The two will lead the Viva Palestina Lifeline 5 land convoy of 200 vehicles carrying medical supplies, learning aids and materials to build a maternity facility in northern Gaza, a mosque and a school for orphans.

With activists from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia, the US, Britain and Northern Ireland, Lifeline 5 aims to be the fourth land convoy to break the Israeli siege on Gaza in the past 18 months.

It will liaise with an international flotilla travelling by sea to arrive in Gaza at the same time. more

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

British trade unions back boycott and divestment campaign against Israeli firms

The British Trade Union Congress, which brings together the entire trade union movement, has voted to boycott and divest from firms operating in the occupied territories and has condemned the murderous attack on the flotilla and castigated the Israeli trade union movement - the Histadrut - for going along with it.
Britain's trade union movement has sent its strongest ever message of support for the Palestinian people by calling for boycott and disinvestment from firms that profit from the occupation and illegal settlements...

...The TUC general council will now stand shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unionists and Britain's Palestine Solidarity Campaign in pressing for an end to the siege of Gaza, a full inquiry into the flotilla attack and progress towards a "free Palestine." more

Second Israeli attack in a week sees at least one person killed as Gaza tunnels bombed

Close on the heels of Sunday's incursion and killings, Israel launched air strikes on the tunnels in the south. Reports indicate at least one person has been killed. Israel excuses the killing as a response to rocket fire from Gaza.
At least one Palestinian has been killed and two others injured after Israeli fighter jets bombed three smuggling tunnels running between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, Palestinian medics say. more

Children the main sufferers from Israel's siege of Gaza and West Bank occupation

The UN reports that Palestinian children are returning to bombed out schools in Gaza while on the West Bank they have to put up with harassment from settlers on their way to and from poorly maintained and equipped schools, despite the best efforts of the Palestinian Authority. 10,000 children will start school in tents and caravans. And all this is against a background of the general psychological stress and damage brought on by war and occupation.
The Minister of Education and Higher Education, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) warn that educational standards have plummeted to an unacceptable level, despite the efforts of the Palestinian Authority and the support of the international community.

Today, as over a million children return to school in the oPt, an unacceptable number of them are facing long and precarious journeys to schools ill-equipped to receive them. In Gaza, more than a year after 'Cast Lead', 82 per cent of the damage to schools have still not been repaired, compounding the already stressed education system, where vast majority of schools have been teaching on a double-shift system. In East Jerusalem, there is lack of more than 1,000 classrooms, putting children at risk of not attending school at all. more

Monday, 13 September 2010

Three Palestinian civilians killed as Israel invades Gaza from north and south

Israel has been killing civilians again. On Sunday they invaded Gaza from the north and south with tanks and drones. It's really hard to call these IDF people soldiers as they go about their murderous business. A grandfather and his son are among the dead. Israel is a terrorist state but of course Obama will continue the policy of arming it to the teeth. Meanwhile, they burn and otherwise desecrate Korans in the US. This hasn't been reported in the US media as far as I can tell but there's a Guardian report here
Three Palestinia
Publish Post
ns including two members of one family were killed on Sunday evening in an Israeli artillery bombardment targeted the area of northeast of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. Read more at the Palestine Telegraph.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Ramadan ends in Gaza with Israeli air strikes as two injured

And another present from Israel for Eid - this time for the people of Gaza, as F-16 air strikes hit Gaza.
GAZA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Israeli F-16 warplanes carried out several strikes Friday on the Gaza Strip after Palestinian militants fired a mortar shell from the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave into Israel.

The first airstrike in the evening targeted a training field inside a security compound run by the deposed Hamas government and slightly injured a bystander.

Israeli soldier who murdered peace activist Tom Hurndall set free

pic: David Bachar

Another day and another Israeli 'soldier' murderer goes free - a present for Muslims around the world as Ramadan comes to an end.
An Israel Defense Forces soldier found guilty of manslaughter in the 2003 death of a British peace activist was released Wednesday, after serving three quarters of his sentence.

Sgt. Taysir Hayb's early release was secured last month, after a military committee overruled the Military Advocate General's opinion and ordered the soldier's release. He has served six years of the eight-year sentence he received in 2005.

Thomas Hurndall, then 22, was shot in April 2003 while photographing an International Solidarity Movement protest in the Gaza Strip city of Rafah, where Hayb was stationed in a watchtower as part of the Bedouin Reconnaissance Battalion. Hurndall died the following year after a nine-month coma. more

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Israel worries as economic boycott movement spreads around the world

Haaretz published an interesting piece on the impact of the economic boycott, bemoaning the fact that the Chilean parliament has just passed support for an economic boycott, in addition to moves by pension and investment funds in Sweden and Norway to divest from Israeli defence industry firm Elbit Systems.

Laughably the growing influence of the BDS movement is put down to an alliance between the far left and Islamists - apparently the Islam side provides the money and the lefties the troops. What a load of nonsense.

The Haaretz journalist twists the obvious fact that it is Israel's actions itself that is driving the movement forward, with the spurious argument that if only Israel had not been a 'light unto nations' in the first place it may have avoided 'disappointing' those supporters now.
There's another boycott, an international one, that's gaining momentum - an economic boycott. Last week the Chilean parliament decided to adopt the boycott of Israeli products made in the settlements, at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, which imposed a boycott on such products several months ago.

In September 2009, Norway's finance minister announced that a major government pension fund was selling its shares in Elbit Systems because of that company's role in building the separation fence. In March, a major Swedish investment fund said it would eschew Elbit Systems shares on the same grounds. Last month the Norwegian pension fund announced that it was selling its holdings in Africa Israel and in its subsidiary Danya Cebus because of their involvement in constructing settlements in the occupied territories.

The sums involved are not large, but their international significance is huge. Boycotts by governments gives a boost to boycotts by non-government bodies around the world...

...David Ben-Gurion called us a light unto the nations and we stood tall and said, we, little David, would stand strong and righteous against the great evil Goliath.

The world appreciated that message and even, according to the foreign press, enabled us to develop the atom bomb in order to prevent a second Holocaust.

But then came the occupation, which turned us into the evil Goliath, the cruel oppressor, a darkness on the nations. And now we are paying the price of presenting ourselves as righteous and causing disappointment: boycott. more

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Hamas promises more attacks on West Bank settlers as four shot dead near Hebron

Hamas has claimed responsibility for the killing of four settlers yesterday near Hebron on the West Bank. The attack was a shock for the Israelis who assumed Hamas was not capable of such operations on the West Bank. The attack has already served the purpose of embarrassing Abbas and Palestinian Authority. In truth the PA was doing that itself by agreeing to talks without a commitment from Israel to cease all settlement activity. The 'peace talks' were always an irrelevant joke. This attack makes them even more so.

Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council has begun its investigation into the flotilla massacre. The team were started in Jordan and spoke to Arab MK members yesterday, one of whom declared that the commandos had been given a licence to kill. Israel is refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
"Israel's use of large numbers of elite troops with sophisticated weaponry showed it intended to kill the passengers," added the lawmaker, who was aboard the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, where the killing took place. "We were very peaceful activists, but the commandoes came to kill," she said. more

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Racism in Israel as 400 children threatened with deportation for not being Jewish

Angry protests have taken place in Tel Aviv against the planned deportation of four hundred children of immigrant workers. Born in Israel and speaking Hebrew, the youngsters were never given citizenship because their parents are not Israeli or Jewish. Many people are questioning the government's drive to preserve what it calls 'the Jewish character of the state'.

IDF murderer of 13-year-old girl set free after saying he'd do it again - to a 3-year-old

Does the rule of law apply in Israel? Of course it does - the law that says an Arab life is worthless.
An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday.

The soldier, who has only been identified as "Captain R", was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago. more

Friday, 27 August 2010

Bil'in anti-apartheid wall campaign co-ordinator convicted of organising 'illegal marches' - protest now

One of the regular Bil'in protests - violently attacked by the IDF in typical fashion.

Earlier today [Thursday 26 Auugust], Abdallah Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee, was convicted of incitement and organizing illegal marches by an Israeli military court. The conviction concluded an eight months long political show trial, during which he was kept behind bars.

Persecuted for his key role in organizing the successful grassroots campaign against the wall and Jewish-only settlement on Bil'in's land, Abdallah was convicted based only on the forced testimonies of minors who were arrested from their beds at the middle of the night. not a single material evidence was presented during the entire trial.

We are now waiting for Abdallah's sentence, but he is facing years in jail. Now is the last moment act up on his case, and it is still not too late.

Last year, on the night of International Human Right Day, Thursday December 10th, at 2am, Abdallah Abu Rahmah was arrested from his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Seven military jeeps surrounded his house, and Israeli soldiers broke the door, took Abdallah from his bed and, after briefly allowing him to say goodbye to his wife Majida and their three children — seven year-old Luma, five year-old Lian and eight month-old baby Laith — they blindfolded him and took him into custody.

Help us send the message that Abdallah Abu Rahmah and the other prisoners of the popular struggle must be protected.

Abu Rahmah did not find himself behind bars because he is a dangerous man. Abdallah, who is amongst the leaders of the Palestinian village of Bil'in, is viewed as a threat for his work in the five-year unarmed struggle to save the village's land from Israel's wall and expanding settlements.

As a member of the Popular Committee and its coordinator since it was formed in 2004, Abdallah has represented the village of Bil'in around the world. In June 2009, he attended the village's precedent-setting legal case in Montreal against two Canadian companies illegally building settlements on Bil'in's land; in December of 2008, he participated in a speaking tour in France, and on 10 December 2008, exactly a year before his arrest, Abdallah received the Carl Von Ossietzky Medal for Outstanding Service in the Realization of Basic Human Rights, awarded by the International League for Human Rights in Berlin.

Last summer Abdallah was standing shoulder to shoulder with Nobel Peace laureates and internationally renowned human rights activists, discussing Bil'in's grassroots campaign for justice when The Elders visited his village. This summer, he may be sent to years in prison, exactly for his involvement in this campaign.

Abdallah's outrageous conviction today will be followed by a sentence in the coming weeks. The amount of pressure we will be able to generate in this time could influence Abdallah's sentence, but will also make clear to Israeli authorities that the repression of the popular struggle does have a political price.

Please use the below template letters we have prepared to ask your Minister of Foreign Affairs to send an official inquiry to the Israeli government about Abdallah. Demand that your country apply pressure on Israeli officials to release Abdallah Abu Rahmah and stop targeting popular struggle.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Lebanese aid ship for Gaza delayed in port due to Greek and Cypriot pressure

Unfortunately, as we suspected the departure of the Lebanese aid ship Mariam has still not taken place. The Jerusalem Post says Greece and Cyprus have been 'forthcoming' in applying pressure to delay the sailing. Protests are needed in both countries to stop this obstruction of the Lebanese ships' blockade-busting voyage.
One of two Lebanese ships due to sail to Gaza in order to break Israel’s naval blockade postponed its departure again on Sunday, amid assessments in Jerusalem that there was now only a “low probability” that it would indeed depart. more

Gaza power plant back in operation after deal with PA on fuel payments

The Gaza Strip's sole power plant resumed generating on Wednesday after the territory's Hamas rulers reached agreement on fuel payments to the rival Palestinian Authority, both sides said.
"Fuel was introduced into the electricity plant today, allowing a second turbine to go into operation" and permitting electricity generation to resume, said Suheil Skeik, head of the Gaza power distribution company. more

Friday, 20 August 2010

Lebanon aid ship Mariam setting off for Gaza but Cyprus says it will turn it back

Hopefully this is not a false start, but organisers in Lebanon have announced that the aid ship Mariam, named after the Virgin Mary (formerly Julia ?), will be leaving for Gaza on Sunday. The ship has to sail via a third country due to the state of war that still exists between Lebanon and Israel, but the Greek Cypriot government, keen to protect its trade with Israel, is refusing permission for the vessel to dock at a Cypriot port. Protests need to be organised quickly in Cyprus to stop the government's collaboration with the Israeli attempts to stop maritime efforts to break the siege. At the press conference in Lebanon the authorities prevented the organisers from speaking to the media from the ship docked at Tripoli harbour. The ship is carrying 75 women activists, cancer medication, books and toys.
...on Thursday, the Cypriot ambassador to Lebanon told The Associated Press that the boat, the Mariam, will be turned back when it reaches Cyprus.

"We decided that such a ship will not be allowed to enter Cyprus and if such a Gaza-bound ship docks in a Cypriot port the crew and the passengers will be deported to their country of origin," Kyriacos Kouros said.
more at Haaretz

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Algerian aid ship sets course for Gaza

Algerian aid ship left port today destined for Gaza. Aboard are political and religious leaders. The vessel is carrying educational and medical supplies in addition to food. The ship will unload at the Egyptian port of El-Arish where the supplies will travel by road through the Rafah crossing. Egypt is reported to have agreed to the transshipment.

IDF officer sells laptops belonging to Mavi Marmara activists

Many of the personal possessions, such as laptops, supposedly 'confiscated' by Israel after the Mavi Marmara flotilla massacre are now turning out to have been stolen and sold on by IDF commandos. Now there's a surprise. And the first suspect is not just any old soldier but an officer holding the rank of first lieutenant. He sold the laptops on to other IDF officers. Between four and six laptops are believed to have been stolen. An Italian journalist has complained that his credit was used after being confiscated by the IDF onboard the Mavi Marmara.
Military Police arrested an Israel Defense Forces officer suspected of stealing laptop computers from activists aboard the Gaza-bound aid ship raided by Israeli commandos in May and selling them to other officers. more

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

IDF soldiers' trophy photos routine part of ongoing dehumanisation of Palestinians

On top of revolting t-shirts celebrating their war crimes, IDF soldiers routinely took photographs of their captives bound and blindfolded as in the pictres posted by one 'soldier' on facebook.
A former Israel Defense Forces soldier has raised a storm on the internet after posting photographs of herself posing next to blindfold Palestinian prisoners on Facebook.

Photographs uploaded by Eden Abergil from Ashdod and labeled "IDF – the best time of my life" show her smiling next to Palestinian prisoners with their hands bound and their eyes covered.

"That looks really sexy for you," says a comment posted by one of Abergil's friends on the social networking site, alongside a picture or the soldier smiling in front of two blindfold men.

From Haaretz

Al-Quds day protest London 4 September - break the siege of Gaza

The Annual Al-Quds Day Demonstration and Rally is confirmed to take place in London on Saturday 4th September 2010.

This is a major national event with thousands of people coming from up and down the country in support of Palestine and the Palestinian people. Stand with us, united for the Palestinian cause!

End the Siege.
End the Oppression.
End the Israeli Apartheid.

Date: Saturday, 04 September 2010
Time: 2.00pm
Place: Assembling at Marble Arch (nearest tube station Marble Arch) and marching to the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square for a rally).

Supporting organisations include: AhlulBayt Islamic Mission, Friends of Lebanon, Innovative Minds, Islamic Centre of England, Islamic Human Rights Commission, Islamic Student Association UK, Lebanese Community UK, Muslim Association of Britain, and Palestine Return Centre.

Join us to protest for the rights of the oppressed in Palestine!

IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Please help IHRC by visiting http://www.ihrc.org.uk/catalog and making a donation or buying an item from our on-line store.

If you want to subscribe to the IHRC list please send an email to subscribe@ihrc.org

For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below.

Join the Struggle for Justice. Join IHRC.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183

Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org

Israel makes second incursion into Gaza as mortars hit IDF troops

IDF is making its second incursion into Gaza, following a similar move yesterday. Today Israeli tanks fired shells near Khan Younis destroying a house - apparently the same house targeted yesterday. No casualties have been reported as yet. Mortar fire by Palestinians yesterday in response to the incursion led to the injury of two Israeli soldiers.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Viva Palestina announces September 18th departure date for land convoy to Gaza

Viva Palestina has announced that its land convoy will be leaving on 18 September. If you wish to join the convoy register here.
The terrible massacre aboard the Mavi Marmara on 31 May has brought a sea change in international opinion against the inhumane siege on the people of Gaza.

Far from deterring people from seeking to bring that siege to an end, the Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla is spurring on even more people to bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and to end the blockade. Viva Palestina has organised three massive land convoys to Gaza in the last 18 months - all of which have delivered their aid - and participated in the latest flotilla. Over the last few weeks we have been discussing with partner organisations how to coordinate relief efforts by land and sea so as to have the maximum impact.

As a result Viva Palestina is launching "Viva Palestina 5 - a global lifeline to Gaza", a gigantic land convoy leaving London on Saturday, 18th September in conjunction with convoys leaving from Casablanca and Doha and timed to coordinate with a larger and even more international flotilla aiming to reach Gaza by sea at the same time as the land convoys reach by land.

Viva Palestina will be leading the Land Convoy, a Global Lifeline To Gaza, working in partnership with the International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza and organisations from Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Australasia, India, South Africa and more.

Saturday 18 September will certainly be the first clear Saturday after the month of Ramadan. We are aiming, with the two other legs of the land convoy, to take 500 vehicles with aid to Gaza carrying medical equipment, educational supplies and the wherewithal to rebuild a destroyed mosque, a school for orphans and to construct a maternity facility in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. We will be supporting the international flotilla that is scheduled for the same time.

Important institutions are now calling for the end to the siege - the European Union, the United Nations, and major charities such as Oxfam. We are appealing for the widest and strongest participation in this latest effort, which will be all the stronger as it takes place in partnership with others who have a proven track record.

You can support the convoy in many ways, as outlined below, by fundraising, promoting it, or taking part yourself. Spaces for participants by land and sea will be limited and we urge you to sign up quickly and begin fundraising now to ensure you can take part.

We have drawn on the experience of the previous Viva Palestina missions to strengthen the organisational capacity and methods of this next one. So even if you have taken part before and want to do so again, please do carefully read through the information below and follow the registration and fundraising procedures.

Please also register for our e-mail bulletin to keep up to date as further information is sent out.

We would like to thank all those who have supported the previous convoys and flotillas and who responded so magnificently when the last one was so brutally attacked.

Now is the time to answer that atrocity with a flood of humanity towards the suffering people of Gaza.


Viva Palestina is also planning to support a new flotilla of aid ships to Gaza. No date has yet been fixed, but the organisations that brought together the Freedom Flotilla in May plus others are hopeful that it will coincide with the land convoys arriving in October.

A flotilla which will be stronger even than the great achievement in May will require a massive fundraising effort. And, as then, space aboard will necessarily be very limited. We hope to make a significant contribution to this initiative while building up a wide, international coalition of support for the land convoys, which are now underway.

The message from the besieged people of Gaza is loud and clear: Come in massive numbers, in a co-ordinated and organized way, by land and sea to deliver vital aid and to highlight the injustice of the siege.

To that end we are supervising the aid that we are taking to ensure it is of the highest quality and meets the needs the people of Gaza have identified. The Israeli government seems to regard Gaza as a junkyard: supporters of the Palestinian people believe that Gaza deserves no less than what we often take for granted in Western countries, including the movement of goods and people with neighbouring countries that is vital to the reconstruction of the economy.

That's why this global convoy to the Rafah crossing, which the Egyptian government has said is "open", is so vital.

Fascist EDL comes to the assistance of pro-Israel Ahava protesters

At the most recent protest against Ahava in Covent Garden, London, the zionist counter demonstrators were joined by the fascist, anti-Muslim, street fighting hooligans of the so-called English Defence League. Incredible but true. Thanks to Alex Seymour at palestinevideo for the video.

In a victory for the BDS movement four protesters who were charged with trespass for entering an Ahava store have been found not guilty. See the story at the International Solidarity Movement

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Irish ready to send another ship for second Gaza flotilla

A committee has been set up to help buy an Irish ship to sail in a second Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, it emerged last night.

The Irish Ship to Gaza Committee, which comprises a number of Irish anti-war and pro-Palestinian organisations, intends to send a convoy to the region in October...

...The Irish Ship to Gaza Committee includes the Free Gaza Movement (one of the main organisers of the original flotilla), the Irish Anti-War Movement, the Palestinian Rights Institute, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Derry Friends of Palestine, Ireland to Gaza, the Belfast Friends of Palestine and the Trade Union Friends of Palestine.

Read more at the Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Church in Wales's Canon Morrison calls for lifting of Israel's Gaza siege

Canon Robin Morrison is a member of the Church in Wales International Strategic Affairs Group. Writing in today's Western Mail, a UK regional newspaper, he attacks Israel's moral hypocrisy, calling for the immediate lifting of the siege. People from Swansea (see video above) took part in the last Viva Palestina aid convoy. A mobile dental clinic donated by funds raised from local people was destroyed in Israel's recent war against the people of Gaza.

Israel, with its democratic claims, faces charge of moral hypocrisy

Aug 4 2010 by Our Correspondent, Western Mail

After David Cameron sparked a diplomatic row by describing Gaza as a “prison camp”, Church in Wales Canon Robin Morrison urges Israel to take heed of the criticism

THE Prime Minister, speaking during his recent foreign tour, boldly stated what many people have felt for some time. He accused Israel of turning Gaza into a prison camp and demanded that more provisions be allowed in.

The realities of life in Gaza were brought home sharply to people in Wales last year when a mobile dental clinic, funded by The clinic, emblazoned with the Welsh flag, was parked outside a family health care centre which was hit by a missile and devastated. Fortunately, the mobile clinic was not damaged and was able to continue its work delivering front-line medical care to people in more need than ever. The incident, however, highlighted the need for vital medical supplies in Gaza and people in Wales responded generously to the Church’s appeal, raising more than £70,000...

...If secular Zionism still claims a right to the land, over the Palestinians, then it should take the morality in its history more seriously. The possession of the land “flowing with milk and honey”, achieved through the conquest and destruction of other peoples, came from a sense of promise, calling and responsibility combined.ŠIt is that responsibility “to be a light to lighten the nations” which the actions of modern Israel has so discredited. more

Palestinian soldier killed and two injured after IDF shelling near Khan Younis

A Palestinian fighter has been killed and two wounded after the IDF shelled southern Gaza, east of Khan Younis. It's now been confirmed that an IDF officer was shot dead by a Lebanese army sniper. Someone should remind the IDF high command that the days of attacking Lebanon with impunity are over.
A Palestinian was killed and two others wounded shortly after midnight in an Israeli artillery shelling on an area east of the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis, medics and witnesses said Wednesday morning.

The witnesses said that the Israeli artillery targeted, with three shells, a group of militants east of the village of Abassan, killing one of them and wounding two. more

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Israel attacks Lebanon killing three soldiers and one journalist

Israel today killed three Lebanese soldiers and journalist Assaf Abou Rahhal from the Al-Akhbar newspaper, in the first major military clashes since the second Lebanon war four years ago. An Israeli helicopter fired missiles at a Lebanese army armoured personnel carrier in addition to shelling. Lebanon's President Suleiman has said Lebanon will 'stand up to Israel', while Syria has offered its full backing to the country in the face of the latest Israeli aggression. Hezbollah has warned that the resistance is ready and has its own 'target bank'.

[update 15:51 GMT+1]

IDF is reporting two commanders seriously injured in ambush by Lebanese army.

NYTimes reporting an IDF battalion commander has been killed.

Al-Jazzera is running a live blog here

Canadian boat to Gaza raising $300,000 for aid mission

Canadian Boat to GAZA
It's time to send a Canadian Boat to Gaza

Canadian civil society has a responsibility to fight the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza and to expose the Canadian government's unjustified support for Israel.

The time has come to send a Canadian boat to challenge the blockade of Gaza, in coordination with similar international efforts.

We need to raise $300,000 (cost of boat and crew, not including aid to carry to Gaza) over the course of the coming couple of months. We need to approach Canadian public figures to be on the boat.

The blockade of Gaza goes two ways, it restricts bringing materials into Gaza and it does not allow anything to leave Gaza either. This, in addition to starving the population, denies the Palestinians of Gaza the ability to trade with the world, further suffocating them.

The Canadian boat, working with the Palestinians in Gaza, will aim to carry exports out of Gaza. Thus asserting their right to export, trade and provide for themselves rather than be at the mercy of international aid.

Together we'll break the siege


* Association Musleme de Montreal
* Canadian Arab Federation
* Canadian Islamic Centre
* Canadian Muslim Forum
* Canadian Peace Alliance
* Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
* CodePink, Canada
* Educators for Peace and Justice
* Fredricton Islamic Association
* Gaza Freedom March
* Independant Jewish Voices
* International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)
* Palestine House
* People for Peace, London
* Regroupement des Algeriens RAQ
* Women in Solidarity with Palestine (WSP)
* Zatoun and Beit Zatoun

To support the Canadian Boat to Gaza please make your cheque payable to:

(please write: "Canadian Boat to Gaza" in the remark field)

and mail it to:
Canadian Boat to Gaza
C.P. 92087, Portobello
Brossard, Quebec
J4W 3K8

Founded in 1994, Alternatives Action and Communication Network for International Development is a non-governmental, international solidarity organization.

See also a reply to a hostile editorial in the Calgary Herald by Ehab Lotayef , a spokesman for Canadian Boat to Gaza.

American Furkan Dogan killed on flotillla ignored because of Turkish heritage

Roger Cohen writes in the New York Times about the forgotten American, Furkan Dogan, killed on the flotilla - contrasting his lack of visibility in death to what might have been, if he wasn't a Turkish-American but had a surname of say Bradley or indeed Cohen. Glad someone in the mainstream US press has at last had the decency to highlight this blatant anti-Muslim/Turkish bias.
TROY, New York — The Dogans were a quiet family little noticed by their neighbors here in upstate New York. Ahmet Dogan had come to the area from Turkey to study accounting at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He was a serious student; the Dogans did little entertaining. But when their younger son, Furkan, was born in 1991, the family threw a party and a neighbor recalled a toast “to the first U.S. citizen in the family.”

Furkan Dogan would live just two years in Troy, returning to Turkey with his family in 1993. But he was proud of his American passport and dreamt of coming back after completing medical school. Five Israeli bullets — at least two of them to the head — ended that dream on May 31. Dogan was 19.

The young American, who had just completed high school with excellent grades in the central Turkish town of Kayseri, had seen an online advertisement for volunteers to deliver aid to Gaza. The ad, from a Turkish charity called the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or I.H.H, said the goal of the trip was to show that Israel’s “embargo/blockade can be legally broken.”

Little interested in politics, but with an aspiring doctor’s concern for Palestinian suffering, Dogan won a lottery to go.

How he was killed is disputed — as is just about everything concerning the Israeli naval takeover of the six-boat Gaza-bound flotilla — but his father suspects a video camera carried by his son may have provoked Israeli commandos.

O.K., enough said, that’s the start of the story you haven’t read about the short life of Furkan Dogan, an American killed by Israeli forces in international waters on the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara.

In truth I have not been to Troy but I do find the effacement of Dogan since his death almost two months ago at once offensive and instructive.

I have little doubt that if the American killed on those ships had been Hedy Epstein, a St. Louis-based Holocaust survivor, or Edward Peck, a former U.S. ambassador to Mauritania, we would have heard a lot more. We would have read the kind of tick-tock reconstructions that the deaths of Americans abroad in violent and disputed circumstances tend to provoke. (Epstein had planned to be aboard the flotilla and Peck was.)

I also have little doubt that if the incident had been different — say a 19-year-old American student called Michael Sandler killed by a Palestinian gunman in the West Bank when caught in a cross-fire between Palestinians and Israelis — we would have been deluged in stories about him.

But a chill descends when you have the combination of Israeli commandos doing the firing, an American with a foreign-sounding Muslim name, and the frenzied pre-emptive arguments of Israel and those among its U.S. supporters who will brook no criticism of the Jewish state.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Israel targets another Hamas commander as tension rises with rockets fired from Sinai

Another Hamas commander, this time Alaa al-Danaf, has been targeted by the IDF. An explosion early this morning destroyed his house and injured 40 people, mostly women and children.

Rockets were fired towards the Israeli resort at Eliat on the Sinai peninsula. One hit the resort, three landed in the sea and one hit the Jordanian town of Aqaba where unfortunately one person was killed.

Three Palestinians have been killed over the past few days in IDF attacks. No one has been injured or killed on the Israeli side.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Peres says England's attitude towards Jews 'next big problem'

The Israeli establishment is really losing it. Last week in an interview with the Tablet, Shimon Peres accused the English of being Israel's 'next big problem', accusing the 'English' of being 'deeply pro-Arab and anti-Israel'. Peres obviously missed the Balfour declaration where the British ruling class set in train the road to the foundation of the settler state, or alternatively the Battle of Cable Street in the 30s when Jews and non-Jews united to drive Mosley's anti-semitic Fascist blackshirts out of the east end of London.

Or maybe Peres is hung up on the fact that it was the British colonialists that designed the flags, and carved out most of the national boundaries, of today's Arab states, leaving a supposedly 'Arabist' legacy in the foreign office. As usual the Zionists like to conflate hatred directed at Israel with anti-semitism directed at all Jewish people, as one and the same thing, which of course they are not.

Peres's comments, some of which are reproduced below, could well be directed at many among the ruling class of the UK but Peres foolishly doesn't differentiate - in fact he now sees the presence of the Muslim population as the new driver of anti-semitism, another lie to help him sleep better in his fantasy world where Israel is always right and everyone else is wrong, or worse - anti-semitic.
President Shimon Peres evoked the anger of Jewish parliament members and leaders in Britain when he said in an interview last week that England is "deeply pro-Arab and anti-Israel", adding that "they always worked against us".

Still there were some groups that backed the Israeli president and noted that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK had risen dramatically in recent years.

In an interview to a Jewish website, Peres said, "There is in England a saying that an anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary." His remarks came days after British Prime Minister David Cameron called Gaza a "prison camp".

Peres said England's attitude towards Jews is Israel's "next big problem".
"There are several million Muslim voters, and for many members of parliament, that's the difference between getting elected and not getting elected," he said.

"And in England there has always been something deeply pro-Arab, of course, not among all Englishmen, and anti-Israeli, in the establishment," he added, noting that in contrast, ties with Germany, France and Italy are "pretty good".

Peres' comments were made in an interview with historian Professor Benny Morris, and were published on the Jewish website Tablet.

Following Peres' comments, Conservative MP James Clappison, who is also the vice-chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, said: "Mr Peres has got this wrong. There are pro- and anti-Israel views in all European countries. Things are certainly no worse, as far as Israel is concerned, in this country than other European countries."

Peres is asked by the interviewer whether Israel will survive. Clearly, not as long as it is based on the oppression of another people and the theft of their land. Simple but too hard for the zionists too take on as it goes to the heart of their raison d'etre.

Israel kills Hamas commander as airstrikes on Gaza continue

Israel killed Hamas commander Saed Al Bitran yesterday in their bombing runs across the Gaza strip. It's claimed the serious injury of a dozen people and the killing of one, was in retaliation for a rocket that landed harmlessly in Ashkelon about 10 miles from Gaza. So the IDF says their air strike was justified retaliation. Israel carried out a further strike, on the tunnels in the south this Sunday morning and one injury has been reported so far.

But countless Palestinians have been killed by Israel since the end of the recent war and not a single Israeli. In other words the Palestinians have plenty of reasons for retaliation while the Israelis have none.

This was Israel's first air strike on the centre of Gaza City in 18 months and marks an escalation, as the death of the Hamas commander will certainly be avenged. Perhaps Israel wants a little war to forestall the arrival of the flotilla and aid convoys in September?

A salafist group has now claimed responsibility for the rocket firest from Gaza that hit Ashkelon:
Gaza – Ma'an – A military group affiliated to the Salafi movement in Gaza claimed responsibility for launching a homemade project toward southern Israel on Saturday, a statement issued Sunday read.

The At-Tawhid and Jihad wing said the projectile was fired at 9:42 p.m. "in retaliation to the ongoing Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people."

Friday, 30 July 2010

Arab League calls for direct talks with Israel despite Palestinian opposition

The Arab League has given its blessing for the Palestinian Authority to open direct talks with Israel, although the 'timing' is left in Abbas's hands. Yesterday both the PA and Hamas restated their position, objecting to any such talks while settlements continued to expand. Abbas obviously has to tread carefully following the Goldstone debacle when he initially sided with the US by calling for a suspension of judgment by the UN human rights council inquiry.
CAIRO (Reuters) – The Arab League said on Thursday it would back face-to-face peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel when the Palestinians believe the time is right.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, facing U.S. pressure to agree to such talks, has said he first wants progress in U.S.-mediated, indirect negotiations that began two months ago with the Arab League's blessing.

Abbas briefed the Arab League's peace process committee in Cairo on Thursday about the indirect talks, which will end in September according to a timeframe set by the League. more

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Settlers takeover two-story building in East Jerusalem, evicting Palestinian families

(libray pic: Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem)

When is this criminality and ethnic cleansing going to end? The settlers turned up at the apartments, fake documents in hand claiming ownership, with the police in tow to facilitate their takeover.
Israeli settlers accompanied by police took over a building in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem early Thursday morning, evicting families from three of the building's apartments.

Israeli National Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said two Jewish families entered the Old City home "based on documents claiming that they owned the property." He described the eviction as proceeding without incident. more