Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Settler attacks Palestinian farmer as occupation army closes off Qaryot village


Racist settlers continue their attacks on West Bank Palestinians, this time forcing a farmer from his tractor. It's no coincidence that the attack has taken place the day after the IDF closed off the village of An-Nabi Saleh where the popular resistance committee has been holding weekly protest against land confiscations by the nearby Hallamish settlement.
An Israeli settler tried Tuesday to stab Palestinians near Qaryot village south of Nablus, a Palestinian official said.

Ghassan Doughlas, a Fatah official charged with monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said a settler from “Alia” attacked a farmer and tried to stab him even though he had a permit to be on the farmland.

Doughlas said Radi Farhan Ahmad Issa, 45, fled but the settler slashed tires on Issa's tractor. more

Big step forward for boycott Israel movement in Australia as town council votes


An Australian town council voted for boycott divestment and sanctions against Israel in December last year. The councillors that moved that motion have since come under sustained attack from the pro-Israel crowd culminating in a council meeting on April 21 at which a motion was passed supporting the 'idea' of BDS but strangely not allowing for any action to be taken by the council to that end. Nevertheless it was still a step forward for the boycott movement in Australia. See report below from BDS Movement.
The Australians for Palestine team arrived in Sydney on Monday to give support to Marrickville BDS and the Marrickville councillors. It was, we felt, an historic occasion for BDS in Australia.

n Tuesday evening, the Marrickville Council Chambers was packed to the rafters with crowds of people outside wanting to hear the vote on BDS after months of savage attacks on the councillors who had supported its adoption last December. After hearing statements from 17 speakers, both for and against, and then the councillors themselves speaking to the resolution, the vote taken to rescind it resulted in a tie and failed when the the mayor and chair Fiona Byrne used her casting vote to defeat it. The mayor then proposed an in principle BDS motion that would have ensured boycotts undertaken would not impose any costs on the ratepayers of Marrickville. This was voted down. She proposed a second watered down version which was also defeated.

Labor Councillor Mary O’Sullivan forehadowed a motion that resolved “not to pursue BDS against Israel in any shape or form” and Greens Councillor Peter Olive proposed that a motherhood statement be inserted. This ended up maintaining the three tenets of the BDS call – to end the occupation of all Arab lands and dismantle the Wall, to ensure full equality for Palestinians living in Israel and to support the right of Palestinian refugees to return home. This was carried 8 votes to 4 against. None of the councillors who had opposed the BDS resolution seemed aware of the incongruity of now voting for a motion that included the very demands that BDS seeks, while refusing to do anything about it. more

Is Israel's brutality frightening off Turkish shipowners from donating to Freedom Flotilla 2?


In a slighlty gloating article, Ynet News reports that Freedom Flotilla 2 is being delayed as boat and shipowners previously supportive of the convoy efforts pull back, fearing any vessels loaned for the mission will be impounded by Israel. Also, organisers are supposedly 'having a hard time' getting volunteers because of the massacre on the Mavi Marmara last time. However, Turkey's IHH, the logistical backbone for the flotilla had already said that they probably wouldn't be setting off until after the Turkish elections in June, so to some extent this is a non-story. There is no mention of any unscheduled delay to the flotilla's departure on the IHH charity's English-language website. One thing is certain though - the flotilla will be sailing to Gaza.
Pro-Palestinian activists organizing the next Gaza flotilla said Tuesday they are having a hard time recruiting activists, vessels and crew members.

Apparently many fear a confrontation with the Israeli naval commandoes after eight Turks and one Turkish-American died during an IDF raid last May onboard the Mavi Marmara, according to reports making their way to the political echelon in Jerusalem.

The sea convoy was set to sail to the Gaza Strip in late May, the first anniversary of the raid, but it could be delayed, partly because it clashes with Turkish election campaigning.

IHH officials, an Islamic aid group that operates the Mavi Marmara, announced they plan to postpone the flotilla until after the June 12 parliamentary elections. more

US Boat to Gaza holding special NYC event to raise funds for Audacity of Hope sailing



A U.S. BOAT TO GAZA EVENT NOT TO BE MISSED

TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE AND PURCHASE TICKETS, CLICK HERE.JOIN A SUNSET CRUISE IN NY HARBOR

WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2011
THE MARCO POLO MARINA
23rd STREET & FDR DRIVE
BOARDING 6:30 pm · RETURNING 10:30 pm

Tickets are just $25!


Enjoy a bounty of Middle Eastern hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, inspiring music and great people.

SPECIAL GUESTS

Meet some of the passengers who will travel on the
U.S. BOAT TO GAZA, THE AUDACITY OF HOPE

Let us all celebrate together this successful national campaign to send THE AUDACITY OF HOPE as part of the FREEDOM FLOTILLA II to help end the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.

TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE AND PURCHASE TICKETS, CLICK HERE.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY THAT CONTINUES TO MAKE THIS GREAT EFFORT POSSIBLE.

Hamas vows to stand by ceasefire after unity deal as Israel says peace hopes are dead


Hamas says it will honour ceasefire with Israel after signing reconciliation agreement on Wednesday. Only problem is, will Israel?
Hamas officials said Monday that the Islamist militant group would honor an unofficial truce with Israel after forming a new unity government with Palestinian rivals from the West Bank.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, is set to sign a reconciliation agreement with Fatah on Wednesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction to end the rivals' four-year rift. more
While the rest of the world thinks the reconciliation moves in Palestine is good for peace, not so for Israeli opinion. As far as they are concerned Abbas (Abu Mazen) has surrendered to terror and is no longer a trusted partner, if ever he was.
Now that Fatah and Hamas have reconciled, Abu Mazen is in effect retracting his previous rejection of terrorism. It is a heavy price to pay for his new garment, and it deals a heavy blow to the peace process. more

Norwegian director Løkkeberg’s wins main prize at Qatar festival for Gaza's Tears film


Løkkeberg’s film documents Israel's brutal attack on Gaza in 2008/9 through the eyes of three children. The Qatar Film Festival is sponsored by Al Jazeera.
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Norwegian film director Vibeke Løkkeberg has won one of the main prizes up for grabs at the Qatar International Documentary Film Festival, organized by Al Jazeera, for her film Gaza’s Tears.

Commenting to newspaper Aftenposten after her win, Løkkeberg said that “it is always gratifying and surprising to receive a prize, and it is very fun that the film was picked out by a jury from all over the world.” The film was awarded the Public Liberties and Human Rights Award in Doha, Qatar, and the director will receive the equivalent of NOK 58,000 (nearly USD 11,000) in prize money.more