Our South Africa Moment has Arrived
“As Israel shifts steadily to the fanatic, racist right, as the latest parliamentary election results have shown, Palestinians under its control are increasingly being brutalized by its escalating colonial and apartheid policies, designed to push them out of their homeland to make a self-fulfilling prophecy out of the old Zionist canard of ‘a land without a people.’ In parallel, international civil society, according to numerous indicators, is reaching a turning point in its view of Israel as a pariah state acting above the law of nations and in its effective action, accordingly, to penalize and ostracize it as it did to apartheid South Africa…”
–Omar Barghouti, The Electronic Intifada, 19 March, 2009
Euros do not buy the Palestinians political rights
“The carnage of Israel’s recent invasion of Gaza spurred great numbers of dismayed Europeans to participate in demonstrations against the war. In major cities such as Madrid, Brussels, Rome, Berlin and London, tens of thousands took part in demonstrations to make clear to their governments that what was happening was unacceptable. Yet, their objections to Israel’s massive use of deadly force were not reflected in the declarations and actions of their countries, as represented by Europe’s most significant political body, the European Union, which did not alter its policy of status quo relations with Israel.
It is true that the EU did condemn Israel’s conduct (always mentioned in conjunction with Palestinian rocket fire) and called for an immediate ceasefire, something which the United States unsurprisingly fell short of. In addition, various members of the European Parliament expressed their outrage over the destruction of Gaza. British liberal-democrat Chris Davies, for example, said during a 14 January parliamentary debate that the war was ‘evil’ and that Israel had ‘turned Gaza into hell’ with its ’21st-century killing machines.’
Despite these and other remarks, however, the EU undertook no action that could have been perceived as even vaguely critical of Israel and much effort was put into not ‘singling out’ the country…”
—Pepijn van Houwelingen, The Electronic Intifada, 23 March, 2009
Democracy Now!: Israel Promises Internal Probe After Soldiers Describe Civilian Killings, Lax Rules of Engagement in Gaza Attack
“JUAN GONZALEZ: The Israeli Military Advocate General has for the first time called for criminal inquiries into the conduct of Israeli troops in Gaza. The request came in response to soldiers’ testimonies that described loose rules of engagement, troops firing on unarmed civilians, and troops intentionally vandalizing property during the three-week assault on Gaza. The soldiers’ accounts are published in the Israeli daily Haaretz and based on statements made a month ago by graduates of the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military preparatory course.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio that the incidents would be examined and added, quote, ‘We have the most moral army in the world.’
AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now on the line from Gaza by Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass.
Amira, welcome to Democracy Now! The Haaretz newspaper describing this as a several day exposé, Israeli soldiers in their own words, talk about its significance.
AMIRA HASS: Its significance, of course, is that the soldiers actually confirm what Palestinians have been telling for the past three months, and journalists who listen to Palestinians and believe Palestinians and know their work of taking affidavits and testimonies from Palestinians have done so during the last three months. This is the main importance, because it’s—we don’t know the exact locations of this.
And it’s not the only—it’s not the only incident. Some Israelis might get the impression that the soldiers who spoke spoke about the only incident of killing civilians and of very lenient—lenient rules of engagement, and this is not true. The whole attack—the three weeks of attack were characterized by these attacks on—almost indiscriminate attacks on civilians, attacks on people who carried white flags, attacks on rescue teams, not to mention the attacks from the air at whole civilian neighborhoods.
So I would say that—of course, it was not my report. Haaretz did a great job at putting a lot of emphasis to this testimonies of soldiers. It drew attention to what many Israelis managed to ignore during the last three months…”
—Democracy Now!, 20 March, 2009
Palestinian Doctor, Peace Advocate Recounts Israeli Attack on Home that Killed 3 Daughters, Niece
—Democracy Now!, 20 March, 2009
Corrie: Rachel, Tristan & Palestine
By Cindy Corrie and Craig Corrie
“We thank all who continue to remember Rachel and who, on this sixth anniversary of her stand in Gaza, renew their own commitments to human rights, justice and peace in the Middle East. The tributes and actions in her memory are a source of inspiration to us and to others.
Friday, 13 March, we learned of the tragic injury to American activist Tristan Anderson. Tristan was shot in the head with a tear gas canister in Nilin village in the West Bank when Israeli forces attacked a demonstration opposing the construction of the annexation wall through the village’s land. On the same day, a Nilin resident was shot in the leg with live ammunition. Four residents of Nilin have been killed in the past eight months as villagers and their supporters have courageously demonstrated against the Apartheid Wall deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice — a wall that will ultimately absorb one-quarter of the village’s remaining land.
Those who have died are 10-year-old child Ahmed Mousa, shot in the forehead with live ammunition on 29 July 2008; Yousef Amira (17), shot with rubber-coated steel bullets on 30 July 2008; Arafat Rateb Khawaje (22) and Mohammed Khawaje (20), both shot and killed with live ammunition on 8 December 2008. On this anniversary, Rachel would want us all to hold Tristan Anderson and his family and these Palestinians and their families in our thoughts and prayers, and we ask everyone to do so.
We are writing this message from Cairo where we returned after a visit to Gaza with the Code Pink delegation from the United States. Fifty-eight women and men successfully passed through Rafah crossing on Saturday, 7 March to challenge the border closures and siege and to celebrate International Women’s Day with the strong and courageous women of Gaza…”
–The Electronic Intifada, 17 March 2009