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.