USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

Archive for May, 2008

Haaretz Editorial: Who’s afraid of Finkelstein?

Posted by uscsjp on May 29, 2008

“On Friday morning, the State of Israel refused to allow Prof. Norman Finkelstein, an American Jewish political scientist, to enter the country. Finkelstein was arrested at the airport and questioned by the Shin Bet security service for several hours. A day later, it became known that he had been banned from entering Israel for 10 years, for security reasons. Finkelstein managed to meet with a lawyer, who told him his chances of changing the decision were slim. When the Shin Bet decides that someone constitutes a security risk, the courts do not intervene…”

–Haaretz Editorial, May 27, 2008


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Democracy Now and Jerusalem Post Updates

Posted by uscsjp on May 28, 2008

Carter: Israel Has 150 Nukes

“…Former President Jimmy Carter has revealed he believes Israel has at least 150 nuclear weapons in its arsenal. The Israeli government has never acknowledged its nuclear weapons program. But its existence has been widely known since the scientist Mordechai Vanunu leaked government documents in the 1980s. Carter’s comments mark the first time a former US president has spoken on the number of Israel’s atomic weapons. Carter also called Israel’s occupation of Palestinians ‘one of the greatest human rights crimes on earth.'”

IDF considers creating Gaza Strip buffer zone
“In an effort to minimize chances of successful terrorist attacks against Israel, the IDF is drawing up plans to move the Gaza crossings away from Israel’s border, defense officials said Monday.There are currently four crossings into Gaza – Karni, Erez, Kerem Shalom and Sufa, all of which straddle the tense Israeli-Gaza border.

Plans to move the crossings and reduce them in number began last month, shortly after Palestinians perpetrated a car bombing against the Kerem Shalom crossing in which 11 soldiers were wounded…”

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Amnesty: Siege on Gaza gravest humanitarian crisis yet

Posted by uscsjp on May 27, 2008

YNET Image, Amnest Report

“Amnesty International has released its 60th annual report, and the picture it paints is not a cheerful one, especially where Israel is concerned. The organization has called the situation in Gaza ‘the gravest humanitarian crisis to date’, though it condemned the rocket fire from the Strip.

The report states that over 370 Palestinians were killed by IDF fire, of which half were civilians and 50 were children. Thousands were injured during the attacks, which were launched in retaliation to Qassam rocket fire and the shooting at Israeli settlements and IDF checkpoints near Gaza by Palestinian gunmen.

Aside from the killing of civilians and the destruction of over 100 Palestinian homes, the report states that ‘in June, the Israeli government imposed an unprecedented blockade on the Gaza Strip, virtually imprisoning its entire 1.5 million people population, subjecting them to collective punishment and causing the gravest humanitarian crisis to date.

…The Palestinians in the territories, the African refugees at the border, the women traded in city centers and the communities that remain disconnected from electricity and water have one thing in common: The erroneous concept according to which the security of one (people) can be ensured by taking the other’s rights away’.”,7340,L-3548730,00.html

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Nahr al-Bared: more questions than answers

Posted by uscsjp on May 23, 2008

The \"old\" camp in Nahr al-Bared lies in ruins and remains off limits to the Palestinian refugees (From EI)

“One year ago, on 20 May 2007, the fighting began between the Lebanese army and the militant group Fatah al-Islam in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon. During more than three months of fighting between the army and the extremist group, more than 47 Palestinian civilians, 178 soldiers and at least 220 militants were killed. More than half a year after the battle came to an end, only a fraction of its residents have been allowed to return. Those who have come back to the camp do so only to find that most of their houses have been reduced to rubble.

However, for most of the 30,000 Palestinians who once populated Nahr al-Bared, their return to the camp is still far off. As of late April, only between 1,500 and 2,000 families have been allowed to return to the so-called ‘new’ camp that is located outside the core of Nahr al-Bared. The ‘old’ camp refers to the original site of Nahr al-Bared which is now completely destroyed and sealed off by the Lebanese army for, it states, ‘de-mining’ purposes…”

–Ray Smith, Electronic Lebanon, 22 May 2008

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Remembering the Nakba, 60 years later

Posted by uscsjp on May 16, 2008

 Handuma Rashid Najja Wishah spends as much time as she can in her garden in Gaza, maintaining her “intimate love of the land.”

“…The Haganah militia entered Beit Affa in the summer of 1948. ‘They arrived at 1:00 am’ Handuma recalls, ‘and started to kill our people. I saw my husband’s cousin axed to death, and an elderly woman being murdered. We hid in our homes, and the killing continued until 7:00 am. Then the Haganah broke down the front doors of our houses and told us all to get out. They separated us, women from men, and then they took the men and blindfolded them, tied their hands together, and forced outside into the hot sun.’ The surviving villagers’ lives were saved when Egyptian troops arrived and drove the Haganah out of Beit Affa. ‘But we had to leave our village,’ says Handuma. ‘We were still afraid for our lives — and for the honor of our girls. The land would have to wait for us…’

Report, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, 15 May 2008

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60 YEARS OF DISPOSSESSION: A Series of Articles in the Egypt-based Al Ahram Weekly

Posted by uscsjp on May 16, 2008

“David Ben-Gurion described Zionist aims in 1948 thus: “A Christian state should be established [in Lebanon], with its southern border on the Litani river. We will make an alliance with it. When we smash the Arab Legion’s strength and bomb Amman, we will eliminate Transjordan too, and then Syria will fall. If Egypt still dares to fight on, we shall bomb Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo… And in this fashion, we will end the war and settle our forefathers’ account with Egypt, Assyria, and Aram.”

60 years after the Arab defeat in the1948 war, which resulted in the establishment of Israel, many of Ben-Gurion’s stated aims can still be discerned in the language of Israeli and Zionist leaders. The biblical language in which Ben-Gurion chose to state his meaning starkly expresses the deeply-rooted nature of these violent fantasies of conquest and destruction. Al-Ahram Weekly commemorates the Nakba’s 60th anniversary by giving voice to Palestinian victims of Israel’s politics of dispossession…”

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The Nakba march

Posted by uscsjp on May 16, 2008


“It has been a week of adulation from world leaders, ostentatious displays of military prowess, and street parties. Heads of state have rubbed shoulders with celebrities to pay homage to the Jewish state on its 60th birthday, while a million Israelis reportedly headed off to the country’s forests to enjoy the national pastime: a barbecue.

But this year’s Independence Day festivities have concealed as much as they have revealed. The images of joy and celebration seen by the world have failed to acknowledge the reality of a deeply divided Israel, shared by two peoples with conflicting memories and claims to the land.

They have also served to shield from view the fact that the Palestinians’ dispossession is continuing in both the occupied territories and inside Israel itself. Far from being a historical event, Israel’s “independence” — and the ever greater toll it is inflicting on the Palestinian people — is very much a live issue…”

–Jonathan Cook writing from Nazareth, Live from Palestine, 16 May 2008

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Egypt braces for new Gaza influx

Posted by uscsjp on May 7, 2008

“CAIRO, 6 May (IPS) – With next-door Gaza Strip in a humanitarian crisis, the government is desperate to avoid a repeat of January’s Palestinian influx into the Sinai Peninsula. In recent weeks, the security presence along Egypt’s 14-kilometer border with the hapless territory has been significantly reinforced.

“The authorities are still in the process of boosting the police presence and enhancing security along the border,” Hatem al-Buluk, independent journalist and resident of al-Arish, located some 40 kilometers west of the border, told IPS.

Since last June, when authority over the Gaza Strip was seized by Palestinian resistance faction Hamas (after it won the elections here in 2006), the territory has been subject to a crippling Israeli embargo. Backed by both the US and the EU, the siege has effectively deprived Gaza’s roughly 1.5 million inhabitants of badly needed food, medicine and fuel.

In the last week of April, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, which provides some two-thirds of the territory’s population with essential foodstuffs, reportedly suspended deliveries due to fuel shortages.

Along with the siege, the people of Gaza have also borne the brunt of almost constant Israeli aggression. In March, more than 120 were killed — many of them civilians — during a six-day Israeli military incursion employing tanks and helicopter gun-ships…”

–Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani, The Electronic Intifada, 6 May 2008

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