Thursday, 15 April 2010

Outrage as Goldstone pressured not to attend grandson's bar mitzvah

Judge Richard Goldstone has been asked not to attend his grandson's bar mitzvah after coming under pressure from pro-Israel extremists.
Jewish groups had planned to organize a protest outside the synagogue if Goldstone was in attendance, according to reports.

Reached in Washington, where he is now based, Goldstone was reluctant to comment, but did say that “In the interests of my grandson, I’ve decided not to attend the ceremony at the synagogue.”

Arthur Chaskalson, a retired chief justice of South Africa, said it was “disgraceful” to put pressure on a grandfather not to attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah.

“If it is correct that this has the blessing of the leadership of the Jewish community in South Africa, it reflects on them rather than Judge Goldstone," Chaskalson said. "They should hang their heads in shame.” more

Imprisoned for six months for supporting Palestinian liberation struggle

Imprisoned for criticizing Israel

April 12, 2010

I AM writing to you on behalf of Convergencia de Izquierda, a Trotskyist party in Argentina.

Our leader, Juan Carlos Beica, has been sentenced to six months in jail by the justice system of the city of Buenos Aires. The current mayor of Buenos Aires is Mauricio Macri, a prominent businessman with close links to Israel.

Beica has been condemned because of his participation in several demonstrations that took place last year against the occupation of Gaza by Israel. He has been accused of "discriminating" against the Jewish community in Argentina.

The main witness of the prosecutor was Eduardo Elsztain, who is the chairman of the World Jewish Congress and one of the richest businessmen in Argentina. He personally took part in the trial. That will give you an idea of the importance given to this "leading case" by Israel and the organizations that serve the Zionist state worldwide.

Beica has been the first in a list of popular leaders who will be prosecuted under the same charges. This month, another judge will announce the sentence against Ruben Saboulard, another political activist. The prosecutor has asked for Saboulard to be sentenced to one year in jail.

These are very serious attacks against democratic liberties in our country, as well as a serious threat to all those who want to oppose the terrorist policies carried out by Israel against Palestinians. That is why we are asking your support.

There is a petition being circulating here in Argentina supporting the demand that Beica be absolved and and that the prosecution against the other popular leaders be stopped. It has already been signed by Noam Chomsky; Gilad Atzmon, the prominent saxophonist born in Israel and exiled in London; Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel; Colombian writer Laura Restrepo; former Argentinian House representative Luis Zamora; current Argentinian House representatives Eduardo Macaluse and Victoria Donda; Vilma Ripoll, a former legislator from the city of Buenos Aires; all the socialist parties in Argentina; the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo and other human rights organizations; Víctor de Gennaro of the Central de los Trabajadores Argentinos; Pedro Fuetes of the Brazilian PSOL; Orlando Chirino of the Venezuelan UNT; José Bodas and Miguel Hernández.

We are organizing an international campaign to repeal this serious attack against the freedom of expression of those who support Palestinian struggle throughout the world.
Carmen Carrasco, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Eyewitness: West Bank lockdown as IDF order threatens thousands with deportation

Manal Khalil is a Palestinian resident of the West Bank who spoke to The Sitch Web site in March when the IDF put the West Bank on lockdown. With the situation intensifying and the threat of mass deportations looming, Adriano Contreras and Brian Lenzo spoke again to Manal about the latest developments in Israel's occupation.
ACCORDING TO Haaretz, the IDF has issued new orders to deport Palestinians in Israeli territory and expel those in the West Bank who it deems to be "infiltrators." What are your thoughts on that?

FIRST, I would just like to point out that those who Israel calls infiltrators are Palestinian citizens. Some of them were born in Gaza, or their parents were, and that's what their Palestinian ID states.

For Israel, this means that they cannot be living in the West Bank and should be deported. So it's not only that Palestinians can't travel between the West Bank and Gaza, but if a Gazan is married to a Palestinian in the West Bank, they can't live there anymore! This implies that many families are going to be affected by this, because they will be forced to leave, or at least one of the parents or kids will--if not imprisoned, then charged with fines. more