Sind Terrassenüberdachungen bei Sturm stabil? - Vor allem aus den USA kennt man Bilder der Zerstörung: Wenn hier ein Sturm über das Land zieht, ist der Schaden groß, ganz gleich, wie die Häuser erbaut wu...
5 years ago
THE decision by Greens MP David Shoebridge to host a farewell function at Parliament House this week for activists preparing to set sail to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza has sparked outrage among Jewish leaders.
The activists – including former NSW Greens MO Sylvia Hale – are planning to board the so-called Freedom Flotilla II later this month. Their aim is to break the Israeli naval blockade and deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, this is despite the fact that the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza is now fully open.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies acting president Jeremy Spinak questioned why a state MP would encourage people to break the law of a legitimate government.
“It’s a sad state of affairs that the Greens are using Parliament House, with its proud history, to promote an event that will be in violation of international law,” Spinak said. “The organisers of the event know that the flotilla seeks to break a blockade, which is in place because of Hamas’ ongoing war on Israel.”
Shoebridge, however, has defended his actions.
As a co-convener of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Palestine, he said the “multi-party” group of state MPs is “promoting peace and justice in the Middle East”.
“There is a long and proud tradition of the NSW Parliament being a place for free and open political discussion, including on matters that some view as controversial. That should be the role of any functioning parliament,” he told The AJN.
“The flotilla is a humanitarian assistance project to assist people who have been denied basic human rights.” more
Editor's note: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker will join an international flotilla of boats sailing to Gaza to challenge Israel's blockade of the territory. Here, Walker, best known for her 1983 novel "The Color Purple," explains why she will be taking part.
Why am I going on the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza? I ask myself this, even though the answer is: What else would I do? I am in my sixty-seventh year, having lived already a long and fruitful life, one with which I am content.
It seems to me that during this period of eldering it is good to reap the harvest of one's understanding of what is important, and to share this, especially with the young. How are they to learn, otherwise?
Our boat, The Audacity of Hope, will be carrying letters to the people of Gaza. Letters expressing solidarity and love. That is all its cargo will consist of. If the Israeli military attacks us, it will be as if they attacked the mailman. This should go down hilariously in the annals of history. But if they insist on attacking us, wounding us, even murdering us, as they did some of the activists in the last flotilla, Freedom Flotilla I, what is to be done?
There is a scene in the movie "Gandhi" that is very moving to me: it is when the unarmed Indian protesters line up to confront the armed forces of the British Empire. The soldiers beat them unmercifully, but the Indians, their broken and dead lifted tenderly out of the fray, keep coming.
Alongside this image of brave followers of Gandhi there is for me an awareness of paying off a debt to the Jewish civil rights activists who faced death to come to the side of black people in the South in our time of need. I am especially indebted to Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman who heard our calls for help - our government then as now glacially slow in providing protection to non-violent protestors-and came to stand with us.
They got as far as the truncheons and bullets of a few "good ol' boys'" of Neshoba County, Mississippi and were beaten and shot to death along with James Cheney, a young black man of formidable courage who died with them. So, even though our boat will be called The Audacity of Hope, it will fly the Goodman, Cheney, Schwerner flag in my own heart.
And what of the children of Palestine, who were ignored in our President's latest speech on Israel and Palestine, and whose impoverished, terrorized, segregated existence was mocked by the standing ovations recently given in the U.S. Congress to the prime minister of Israel? more
In the end the fact the Mavi Marmara would be heading for Gaza and thus causing a new crisis for Turkey at a time when its regional responsibilities are increasing, is not something Ankara could have risked. An unnecessary and untimely crisis has thus been averted.
This, of course, begs the question as to whether this will be a step in improving Turkish-Israeli ties. That does not seem likely any time soon since Israel has shed Turkish blood and as far as Turks across the board are concerned, must atone for it.
Israel however does not appear set to do this and so the strain will continue for the foreseeable future. more
Israeli and Turkish officials have been holding secret direct talks to try to solve the diplomatic crisis between the two countries, a senior official in Jerusalem said. The negotiations are receiving the Americans' support.
A source in the Turkish Foreign Ministry and a U.S. official confirmed that talks are being held, though in Israel the prime minister and foreign minister's aides declined to comment...
...In addition, the U.S. administration has held talks with senior Turkish officials, mainly to foil the flotilla to Gaza due later this month, but also in a bid to improve relations with Israel. more