USC Students for Justice in Palestine

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Archive for July, 2009

Al Jazeera: Gaza children shatter world record

Posted by uscsjp on July 31, 2009

The event is part of a UN-sponsored programme set up for students during their academic break (Al Jazeera)

The event is part of a UN-sponsored programme set up for students during their academic break (Al Jazeera)

“It was an unlikely place to shatter a world record, but the beaches of the Gaza Strip were the venue for thousands of Palestinian children who flew the largest number of kites simultaneously from the same place.

The record that once stood at 713 has been broken, thanks to the efforts of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and about 6,000 kite-flying children.

The event is part of the Summer Games programme run by UNRWA – an activities and curricular programme set up for students during their break from the academic school year.

More than half of Gaza’s 1.5 million people are under the age of 18 – so there is no shortage of potential record-breakers…”

–Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera English, 30 July, 2009

http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2009/07/200973075042919122.html

See also:

Did the PLO die in Lebanon?

Some feel the unity of the resistance faltered once Arafat left Lebanon in 1982 [GALLO/GETTY]Some feel the unity of the resistance faltered once Arafat left Lebanon in 1982 [GALLO/GETTY]

“‘We have to fight the Israelis any place we can,’ says Mahmoud Taha. In 1972 he left his job as an electronics repairman in Saudi Arabia to join the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) in Lebanon.

‘We brought the war to Lebanon,’ Taha, who today lives in the Bourj el Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Beirut, told Al Jazeera.

‘But I did not think for one day the war was against the Lebanese. We were obliged to fight the war inside Lebanon, but we didn’t want it.’

Others, however, might disagree.

The role the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) – of which the DFLP is a part – played in the Lebanese Civil War is highly politicised. The accounts and reports of the events that happened are always incomplete, and often contradictory, depending on the personal interests and political affiliations of those recounting them.

What remains indisputable, however, is that by the time the war ended in 1991, hundreds of thousands of people had been killed, the vast majority of them civilians.

The PLO was an essential party to this tragedy…”

–Spencer Osberg, Al Jazeera English, 28 July, 2009

http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/plohistoryofrevolution/2009/07/200972855032594820.html

And Also

Israel defends Gaza war

“The Israeli government has said that its war on the Gaza Strip earlier this year, that left up to 1,417 Palestinians dead, was ‘necessary and proportionate’.

The government also said on Thursday that it was investigating about 100 complaints of misconduct by its forces during the three week war that began on December 27.

‘Israel had both a right and an obligation to take military action against Hamas in Gaza to stop Hamas’s almost incessant rocket and mortar attacks,’ the report published by the foreign ministry said…”

Al Jazeera English, 31 July, 2009

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/07/2009730235653538743.html

And finally, from CounterPunch

The True Height of Insecurity

“The War is With the Arabs”

By HANNAH MERMELSTEIN

I saw this sign as I was entering Nablus last week, again on my way to Ramallah, and again near Bethlehem.  The phrase is printed in Hebrew, presumably by Israeli settlers, on huge signs throughout the West Bank.  Israeli racism rarely shocks me anymore, but its blatant display still makes me stop and catch my breath as I translate it into other contexts.  Imagine driving through the middle of a predominantly black neighborhood in a US city or town and seeing a enormous sign that says, ‘The war is with the Blacks’…”

–Hannah Mermelstein, CounterPunch, 24-26 July, 2009

http://www.counterpunch.org/mermelstein07242009.html

The Broken Dreams of Wada Cortas

Memoirs of a Lost Arab World

By NADIA HIJAB

‘It was a trying time for dreamers,’ Wadad Makdisi Cortas wrote of the year 1935. She was 26 and ‘yearned to speak my language, to read Arabic books, and to foster Arab independence and solidarity.’ But she had just become the headmistress of a girls’ school in Lebanon that was a particular thorn in the side of the French colonial rulers.

As in their other colonies, the French imposed their language, insisting that the students at the Ahliah National School for Girls not only be taught in French but also use it at recess. ‘Students who insisted on speaking Arabic were to be singled out, and those who persisted were to be given detention,’ Cortas recalled. (Of course, as history marched on, English won the battle to become the global lingua franca.)

Cortas’ memoirs span the 20th Century: She was born in 1909 and died in 1979. She writes beautifully, with dry humor and with sadness, of living and travelling in a Middle East without borders and of the agony inflicted as frontiers were carved into a soil alive with friendships and family ties — agonies that continue to this day…”

–Nadia Hijab, 22July, 2009

http://www.counterpunch.org/hijab07222009.html

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Posted in Activism/Divestment, Analysis, Blogroll, History | Leave a Comment »

Alice Walker in Palestine

Posted by uscsjp on July 25, 2009

” ‘The best place one could be on Earth’

Alice Walker in Gaza with Palestinian member of parliament and mother of five, Huda Naim (Electronic Intifada)

Alice Walker in Gaza with Palestinian member of parliament and mother of five, Huda Naim (Electronic Intifada)

Last March, poet, novelist and feminist Alice Walker joined a delegation organized by Code Pink, to travel to the Gaza Strip just weeks after the 22-day Israeli bombardment and invasion. Walker, globally acclaimed for her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Color Purple, had also traveled to Rwanda, Eastern Congo and other places where she witnessed cruel and barbaric behavior that left her speechless. In an essay on her blog entitled “Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters ‘the horror’ in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel,” Walker recounts the stories of the people she met, and offers a lyrical analysis that ties their oppression and struggles to what she and her community experienced growing up in the violence and fear of the segregated American South. The excerpt below begins with her arrival in Gaza after a long overland journey through Egypt.

Coming ‘home’ to Gaza

Rolling into Gaza I had a feeling of homecoming. There is a flavor to the ghetto. To the Bantustan. To the ‘rez.’ To the ‘colored section.’ In some ways it is surprisingly comforting. Because consciousness is comforting. Everyone you see has an awareness of struggle, of resistance, just as you do. The man driving the donkey cart. The woman selling vegetables. The young person arranging rugs on the sidewalk or flowers in a vase. When I lived in segregated Eatonton, Georgia I used to breathe normally only in my own neighborhood, only in the black section of town. Everywhere else was too dangerous. A friend was beaten and thrown in prison for helping a white girl, in broad daylight, fix her bicycle chain…”

–Alice Walker. The Electronic Intifada, 24 July, 2009

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10675.shtml

See also:

Noam Chomsky: Season of Travesties

” …Once again relying on the impunity it receives as a US client, Israel brought the month of June 2009 to a close by enforcing the siege with a brazen act of hijacking. On June 30, the Israeli navy hijacked the Free Gaza movement boat ‘Spirit of Humanity’ — in international waters, according to those aboard — and forced it to the Israeli port of Ashdod. The boat had left from Cyprus, where the cargo was inspected: it consisted of medicines, reconstruction supplies, and toys. The human rights workers aboard included Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire and former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who was sent to Ramleh prison in Israel — apparently without a word from the Obama administration. The crime scarcely elicited a yawn — with some justice, one might argue, since Israel has been hijacking boats travelling between Cyprus and Lebanon for decades, kidnapping and sometimes killing passengers or sending them in Israeli prisons without charge where they join thousands of others, in some cases held for many years as hostages…”

–Noam Chomsky, 9 July, 2009

http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20090709.htm

And from Socialist Worker:

Journal:  Convoy to Gaza

“Solidarity activists traveled from the U.S. to Gaza to deliver desperately needed humanitarian aid to the Palestinian victims of Israel’s brutal war. SocialistWorker.org writers contributed to this journal during the Viva Palestina convoy…”

http://socialistworker.org/journal/Convoy-to-Gaza

Also:

Some Background on Jordan’s Palestinian Refugees

Osamah Khalil: Deconstructing the Jordan Option

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article7155.shtml

Uri Avnery:  The Jordanian Option

http://www.counterpunch.org/avnery07092007.html

Joanne Mariner: Rendition  to Jordan

http://www.counterpunch.org/mariner04142008.html

Vijay Prashad: Memories of Barbarity

http://www.counterpunch.org/prashadsharon1.html

UNHCR Refworld

http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,IRBC,,PSE,4562d8cf2,48d223761a,0.html

http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,,,JOR,,4a40d2aac,0.html

http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/refworld/rwmain?page=country&skip=0&coi=JOR&x=8&y=9

Sharif Elmusa: A Greater Palestine?

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/792/re2.htm

Zvi Bar’el in Haaretz on Egyptian and Jordanian Citizenship Laws

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1098645.html

Hasan Abu Nimah: Offering Israel new opportunities for obstruction

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10651.shtml

Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani: Gaza War Divides Arab Governments from Their People

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10218.shtml

And finally, an interesting, albeit pro-Israel, book review from The New York Times:

Zionist in the White House

“Although Harry Truman left office widely disliked and dismissed more than half a century ago, the effort to resurrect his reputation is now a thriving industry, with politicians and pundits of all stripes trying to tie themselves to the tough, blunt old cold warrior. Contributing to this effort, the husband-and-wife team Allis and Ronald Radosh have written ‘A Safe Haven,’ the story of Truman’s integral role in the birth of Israel…”

–Jonathan Tepperman, The New York Times, 23 July, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/books/review/Tepperman-t.html

Posted in Analysis, Blogroll, News, Opinion/Editorial | Leave a Comment »

Jordan Stripping Palestinians of their Citizenship

Posted by uscsjp on July 23, 2009

Amman begins stripping state’s Palestinians of citizenship

“Jordanian authorities have started revoking the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians living in Jordan to avoid a situation in which they would be “resettled” permanently in the kingdom, Jordanian and Palestinian officials revealed on Monday.

The new measure has increased tensions between Jordanians and Palestinians, who make up around 70 percent of the kingdom’s population.

The tensions reached their peak over the weekend when tens of thousands of fans of Jordan’s Al-Faisali soccer team chanted slogans condemning Palestinians as traitors and collaborators with Israel. Al-Faisali was playing the rival Wihdat soccer team, made up of Jordanian-Palestinians, in the Jordanian town of Zarqa…”

–Khaled Abu Toameh, The Jerusalem Post, 20 July, 2009


http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443863400&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

See Also:

“USA vs Al-Arian” DVD – Special 2009 Edition OUT NOW!

The special edition of “USA vs Al-Arian” is distributed by Kudos Family, and is now available
on amazon.com in NTSC and PAL. The new DVD is available with English, Spanish, French,


German, Italian and Arabic subtitles, and includes 1h 52 min with bonus material.

Order your copy here http://www.amazon.com/shops/kudosfamily BONUS MATERIAL: Commentary by director Line Halvorsen, Leena Al-Arian, Abdullah Al-Arian and producer Jan Dalchow – USA vs Al-Arian, short version (52 min) – Featurette: What happened after the sentencing (2006-2009) – Interview: Sami Al-Arian, Orient Road Jail, Feb 2006 – Short: Look For Me – The Children of Gaza (dir. Tone Andersen) – Interview with Laila Al-Arian, Democracy Now! September 2008.More info http://www.usavsalarian.com/


Also, new programing from Al Jazeera:

In 1974, the PLO was recognised as the sole representative of the Palestinians [GALLO/GETTY] (Al Jazeera)

PLO: History of a Revolution

http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/plohistoryofrevolution/

See also

Robert Fisk: You Won’t Find Any Lessons in Unity in the Dead Sea Scrolls

“At last, I have seen the Dead Sea Scrolls. There they were, under their protective, cool-heated screens, the very words penned on to leather and papyrus 2,000 years ago, the world’s most significant record of the Old Testament.

I guess you’ve got to see it to believe it. I can’t read Hebrew – let alone ancient Hebrew (or Greek or Aramaic, the other languages of the scrolls) – but some of the letters are familiar to me from Arabic. The ‘seen’ (s) of Arabic, and the ‘meem’ (m) are almost the same as Hebrew and there they were, set down by some ancient who knew, as we do, only the past and nothing of the future. Most of the texts are in the Bible; several are not. ‘May God most high bless you, may he show you his face and may he open for you,’ it is written on the parchments, ‘For he will honour the pious upon the throne of an eternal kingdom.’

The story of the discovery of the scrolls is, of course, well known. An Arab Bedouin boy, Mohamed el-Dib, found them at Khirbet Qumran in a cave in what is now the occupied West Bank of Palestine in 1947, and handed them over to a cobbler turned antiquities dealer called Khalil Eskander Shahin in Jerusalem; they eventually ended up in the hands of scholars – mostly American – in the Jordanian side of Jerusalem. Then came the 1967 war and the arrival of the Israeli army in East Jerusalem and… well, you can imagine the rest…”

–Robert Fisk, ZNet, 23 July, 2009

http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/22077

And finally Jonathan Cook: Israel’s Open Jerusalem

“No one would have been more surprised than Fawziya Khurd by the recent pronouncement of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, that Israel operates an ‘open city’ policy in Jerusalem…

…Mrs Khurd, for example, has been forced to live in a tent after settlers ousted her from her East Jerusalem home of five decades in November. She also has no hope of moving back to the house taken from her family in Talbiyeh, now in West Jerusalem, during the 1948 war that established Israel.

In addition, movement restrictions mean that almost all of the nearly four million Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are banned from entering the city or visiting its holy sites.

Inside Jerusalem, as in the West Bank, Israel enforces a strict programme of segregation to disadvantage the Palestinians, said Jeff Halper, of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Israeli Jews have the freedom to live in both parts of the city, with 270,000 in West Jerusalem and a further 200,000 living in East Jerusalem in rapidly expanding settlements heavily subsidised by the state.

Palestinians, meanwhile, are denied the right to live both in West Jerusalem and in many residential areas of East Jerusalem. Even in their tightly controlled neighbourhoods in the city’s east, at least 20,000 of their homes are subject to demolition orders, said Mr Halper.

Daniel Seidemann, a Jerualem lawyer, said that in his 20 years of handling residency rights cases for Palestinians he had never heard of a Palestinian with a Jerusalem ID living in West Jerusalem”…

–Jonathan Cook, ZNet, 23 July, 2009

http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/22105

Posted in News, Opinion/Editorial | Leave a Comment »

Democracy Now! NewsFlash: Viva Palestina Convey Enters Gaza

Posted by uscsjp on July 16, 2009

“Viva Palestina Aid Convoy Arrives in Gaza

A group of around 100 US peace activists have arrived in the Gaza Strip carrying humanitarian aid. The activists are part of the group Viva Palestina, which conducted another aid mission from Europe earlier this year. On Wednesday, the group entered Gaza through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. The convoy includes the former Democratic Congress member Cynthia McKinney. McKinney’s entry comes just over a week after her deportation from Israel for trying to reach Gaza by sea. She was one of twenty-one activists kidnapped by the Israeli military in international waters as they tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Israeli Soldiers Describe Abuses in Gaza Assault

Meanwhile in Israel, a group of twenty-six soldiers who took part in the three-week Israeli assault on Gaza have come forward with testimony on the disregard for Palestinian civilian life during the attack. The testimony was gathered by the Israeli peace group ‘Breaking the Silence,’ which says soldiers were instructed to ‘shoot first and worry later.’ Soldiers described witnessing several war crimes, including the use of Palestinians as human shields. One Israeli soldier identified as Amir said Israeli soldiers opened fire in Gaza at will.

‘Amir’: ‘At any obstacle, any problem, we open fire and don’t ask questions. Even if it’s firing in the dark, aimed at unknown target, firing when we don’t see, deterrent fire, no problem with that, etc. A vehicle that’s in the way, crush it; a building in the way, shell it. This was the spirit of things that was repeated throughout the training’

PA Bans Al Jazeera

Meanwhile in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority has banned the satellite network Al Jazeera for airing what it calls false statements about Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. This week, Al Jazeera quoted a Palestinian official as saying Abbas conspired with Israel to assassinate Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2003. Arafat died the next year. The PA has accused Al Jazeera of spreading ‘sedition and false reports.’ Conny Mus of the Foreign Press Association criticized the ban.

Conny Mus: ‘We urge them to reconsider this decision, because the Palestinian Authority themselves are in favor, and stated that clearly in their institutions, for the freedom of the press, and this is a clear violation. And we really hope that they will stop these practices immediately’…”

–Democracy Now!, 16 July, 2009


http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/16/headlines#8

Posted in Activism/Divestment, News | 1 Comment »

Fast for Gaza, July 16 and Third Thursday Each Month

Posted by uscsjp on July 15, 2009

“…The Jewish Fast for Gaza is an ad hoc group of rabbis, Jews, and people of conscience who have committed to undertake a monthly daytime fast in support of the following goals:

1. To call for a lifting of the blockade that prevents the entry of civilian goods and services into Gaza;

2. To provide humanitarian and developmental aid to the people of Gaza;

3. To call upon Israel, the US, and the international community to engage in negotiations without pre-conditions with all relevant Palestinian parties – including Hamas – in order to end the blockade;

4. To encourage the American government to vigorously engage both Israelis and Palestinians toward a just and peaceful settlement of the conflict.

…This water-only fast will take place on the third Thursday of the month, beginning on July 16, 2009, from sunrise to sunset. In addition to signing on to the statement above, participants are asked to donate the money they save on food to the Milk for Preschoolers Campaign of the American Near Eastern Refugee Aid (ANERA). This important relief campaign combats malnutrition among Gazan preschool children through daily provisions of fortified milk and high energy biscuits…”

–Fast for Gaza, July, 2009

http://www.fastforgaza.net/

See also:

Statement by George Galloway:It’s time the siege was lifted

“A delegation of solidarity activists from the U.S. is bringing desperately needed humanitarian supplies to the Palestinians of Gaza. The convoy was organized by the group Viva Palestina, led by British Member of Parliament and antiwar activist George Galloway.

The delegation has met one obstacle after another in Egypt, where it assembled to gather the supplies and prepare for the crossing into Gaza. Egyptian authorities last week blocked several buses from crossing the Sinai on the way to the Rafah border crossing, and they continued to delay the full convoy for several more days. Supporters in the U.S. gathered at Egyptian consulates and embassies on Tuesday to protest against Egypt’s restrictions.

On Tuesday night, Cairo time, Viva Palestina leaders announced they had finally negotiated an agreement with the government to travel to Rafah and cross into Gaza on Wednesday morning, bringing 11 trucks filled with medical supplies.

After the agreement was announced, George Galloway talked to SocialistWorker.org about what’s at stake with Viva Palestina’s humanitarian mission…”

–Alan Maas, Socialist Worker, 15 July, 2009

http://socialistworker.org/2009/07/15/time-the-siege-was-lifted

And from PBS:

Wide Angle: Heart of Jenin

“When 12-year-old Palestinian Ahmed Khatib was killed in the West Bank city of Jenin by Israeli soldiers who mistook his toy gun for the real thing, his death could have been just one more blip on the news. Instead, Ahmed’s parents’ decision to donate his organs turned tragedy into hope for six Israelis and created a rare moment of optimism amid the violence and entrenched hatred surrounding an intractable conflict.

In Heart of Jenin, WIDE ANGLE tells the story of Ahmed’s tragic death and his father Ismael Khatib’s journey to visit three of the organ recipients two years later…”

–PBS Wide Angle, 9 July 2009

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/episodes/heart-of-jenin/videofull-episode/5120/

Finally, a list of reports on the Dec ’08 to Jan ’09 Bombardment of Gaza

(from a recent email by Sydney Levy of Jewish Voice for Peace)

(1) Breaking the Silence Testimonies
http://www.shovrimshtika.org/news_item_e.asp?id=30

(2) Amnesty International Gaza report
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/impunity-war-crimes-gaza-southern-israel-recipe

-further-civilian-suffering-20090702

(3) Ha’aretz: Israeli soldier: “We used Gazans as human shields.”
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1100300.html
Original article removed from Ha’aretz, but available in full here:

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/07/14/18607903.php )

(4) BBC Breaking the Silence on Gaza Abuses
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8151336.stm

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Viva Palestina Given Permit to Enter Gaza

Posted by uscsjp on July 14, 2009

Press Advisory from Viva Palestina July 14, 2009, 11 pm, Cairo

“The Viva Palestina US caravan has received a permit to allow the group passage through the Rafah gate and into Gaza after spending 10 days in Cairo trying to overcome a series of bureaucratic delays. The American convoy is mobilizing to carry busloads of supplies to the people of Gaza on Wednesday, July 15, and expects no further delays to their humanitarian mission because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had already confirmed that all 200 delegates have satisfied all technical requirements required for travel. Weeks ago, the Viva Palestina US convoy received assurances from Egyptian diplomats that they would expedite the delivery of a convoy of trucks, medical and relief supplies and American human rights volunteers into Gaza, but restrictions were then imposed on the initial Viva Palestina plan. ‘We are now on our way to complete our humanitarian mission, more determined than ever and stronger in heart than when we entered Egypt,’ says George Galloway, British Member of Parliament. ‘We now look forward to seeing in a matter of hours the faces of the besieged people of Gaza.’ This is a victory for the people of Gaza. We were determined not to be denied in bringing humanitarian aid to the children of Gaza. The silence of the world is deafening as the people of Gaza suffer, but the two hundred Americans and over one million dollars worth of aide that is going through confirms our commitment to a free Palestine. Long live the people of Palestine…”

–Viva Palestina, 14 July, 2009

http://www.vivapalestina-us.org/

Posted in Activism/Divestment, News | Leave a Comment »

Viva Palestina Update: Do Not Protest At Egyptian Consulate

Posted by uscsjp on July 13, 2009

Latest Viva Palestina Update from Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center:

“Leaders of the Convoy going to Gaza with Humanitarian Aid are asking that there be no protests at or communications to any Egyptian embassy or consulate for now. It seems the negotiations for passage across the Suez are simply centered around paperwork and being worked out, and that protests or a flood of telephone calls could damage the effort.”

–From a 13 July, 2009 IAC Update Email

Also, follow the latest developments from the Viva Palestina Site:

http://www.vivapalestina.org/

And in related news from the Free Gaza movement:

House of Commons debate on the actions of the Israeli Navy

“(LONDON) – The House of Commons will tonight be debating the interception of a boat in international waters by the Israeli Navy and the abduction of six British civilians on board. The debate[1] will be led by Emily Thornberry, MP, and constituent MP for Alex Harrison, a human rights worker who was one of those abducted…”

–Free Gaza, 13 July, 2009

http://freegaza.org/

And Finally:

Conn Hallinan in CounterPunch: Obama Voters Open to Tougher Stance on Israel

“When President Barak Obama said in his Cairo speech that ‘The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,’ he cut to the heart of the four decade old conflict in the Occupied Territories, slicing through the thicket of ‘confidence building,’ ‘security walls,’ and  ‘road maps’ that have derailed one peace attempt after another.

But has the process already gone too far? Has Tel Aviv’s policy of ‘creating facts on the ground’ and moving over 500,000 settlers into the West Bank made disentangling the two people impossible? Do the Israelis have any interest in removing some 120 settlements, and 100 so-called ‘outposts’? And if Obama is serious about putting the squeeze on the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, does he have the political backing to make it stick?

On the last point, the answer would seem to be ‘yes.’ According to a recent Zogby International poll, 50 percent of Americans think that the U.S. should ‘get tough’ with Israel. Some 32 percent were ‘not sure,’ and only 19 percent said, ‘do nothing.’ But once the partisan gap is factored in, Obama supporters overwhelmingly favor ‘getting tough’ by 71 to 18…”

–Conn Hallinan, CounterPunch, 10-12 July, 2009


http://www.counterpunch.org/hallinan07102009.html




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Gaza convoy stopped in Egypt

Posted by uscsjp on July 12, 2009

“THE LARGEST-ever U.S. humanitarian aid convoy is now gathering in Egypt to head across the border into Gaza on Monday, July 13.

Vehicles are coming from Alexandria, the medical supplies from Cairo and the advanced party of nearly 100 U.S. citizens is heading for the staging post of Al Arish, just before the border with Gaza.

That group, of four buses, has, however, been stopped from crossing over the Suez Canal and into the Sinai region, which leads to Gaza. The buses, carrying people, medical aid and bearing US, Egyptian and Palestinian flags in a spirit of international cooperation, have been held at a security checkpoint and given various, conflicting reasons for why they cannot proceed to their destination at Al Arish.

New York Councilman Charles Barron is leading the group and is negotiating with security officials to resolve the situation. He has contacted Washington and other elected officials in an effort to clarify the reasons for the delay and address any concerns as efficiently as possible.

Former U.S. Congresswoman and presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney will join the convoy on July 13, and British Member of Parliament George Galloway will also be heading to meet up with Councilman Barron and the advance group. He and the rest of the advance group of the convoy, however, are insisting on their right to travel with their supplies to Al Arish, where the rest of the convoy is to rendezvous with them before heading for the border crossing into Gaza.

This medical convoy is on the way to Gaza a month after U.S. President Barack Obama described the situation in Gaza as a ‘humanitarian crisis.’ ‘Our convoy is on an aid mission,’ says Galloway, ‘We come in peace; but we will not be stopped'”…

Kevin Ovenden, Socialist Worker, 11 July, 2009

http://socialistworker.org/print/2009/07/11/gaza-convoy-stopped

Also, from The Electronic Intifada:

Hiyam, a Gaza teenager killed as she offered aid

Relatives of 17-year-old Hiyam Abu Ayish view her body in the morgue at Gazas al-Aqsa hospital a day after she was killed in an Israeli attack, 3 July 2009. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages-here courtesy of Electronic Intifada)

Relatives of 17-year-old Hiyam Abu Ayish view her body in the morgue at Gaza's al-Aqsa hospital a day after she was killed in an Israeli attack, 3 July 2009. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages-here courtesy of Electronic Intifada)

“Thursday was as normal and quiet an afternoon as you get in Johr al-Deek village in the central Gaza Strip. ‘Prepare yourself for I will be taking you to the dentist in half an hour,’ Salim Abu Ayish recalled telling his 17-year-old daughter Hiyam.

Moments later everything changed.  ‘At 5:30 PM an Israeli shell landed on my brother’s house,’ the father told visitors who had come to offer condolences for his daughter at the family’s home on Friday. The shell injured a nephew and Salim Abu Ayish rushed to render aid.

‘I asked Hiyam to bring me the car key from my bedroom,’ Salim Abu Ayish said. As she went, he recalled, ‘suddenly another shell struck my room, killing Hiyam instantly, as shrapnel rippled through her body. I was injured with some of the shrapnel in my back and my neck.’

Two Israeli army shells landed in the family houses of the Abu Ayish clan in the Johr al-Deek village, just north of the al-Bureij refugee camp and about 1.5 kilometers from the border with Israel. The shelling caused critical injury to Husam Abu Ayish, Hiyam’s 21-year-old cousin and minor wounds to Hiyam’s father and sister, Nawal. For hours after the attack, the Israeli army denied any involvement and claimed the attack was the result of mortar shells fired by Palestinians. But late on Thursday, the Israeli army changed its story, admitting that Palestinian civilians were hit ‘accidentally’ by Israeli army fire directed at Palestinian gunmen in the area, according to Israeli media…”

Rami Almeghari, The Electronic Intifada, 5 July, 2009

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10643.shtml

Posted in Activism/Divestment, Blogroll, News | Leave a Comment »

Biden: Israel ‘has right to rein in Iran’

Posted by uscsjp on July 6, 2009

“Israel has a sovereign right to decide how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions whether the United States agrees or not, Joe Biden, the US vice-president, has said.

In an interview on ABC’s ‘This week’ programme on Sunday, Biden said Israel can determine for itself how best to deal with the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

‘We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination, if they make a determination, that they’re existentially threatened,’ Biden said.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has signalled that he agrees with President Barack Obama’s end-of-the-year deadline for progress in efforts to engage Iran diplomatically to resolve a dispute over its nuclear programme…”

–Al Jazeera English, 6 July 2009


http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/07/20097633411395606.html

See Also:

Israeli human rights organizations present the Goldstone team with a grave report

http://www.gisha.org/index.php?intLanguage=2&intItemId=1559&intSiteSN=113&OldMenu=113

Some other Recent and Older Articles of Interest

ADL Head Slams Loyalty Oath For Arab Israelis

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c40_a15900/News/Israel.html

Jewish Leaders Largely Silent on Lieberman’s Role In Government

http://www.forward.com/articles/103178/

Increasing even-handedness in the Middle East

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/01/30/israel/

Posted in Analysis, Blogroll, News, Opinion/Editorial | Leave a Comment »

Emergency Protests from the International Action Center

Posted by uscsjp on July 1, 2009

EMERGENCY: Take Action Now – Demand the Release of Cynthia McKinney
and other aid workers kidnapped by Israeli Occupation Forces

Sign the Online Petition


PROTEST TODAY
:

New York
Wed., July 1 from 4pm to 6 pm
at the Israeli Mission, 43rd St. & 2nd Avenue
for more information call (212) 633-6646

Los Angeles
Wed., July 1 from 4pm to 7 pm
at the Israeli Consulate, 6380 Wilshire Blvd
for more information call (323) 306-6240

http://www.iacenter.org/

See Also the Following Important Statement from the Free Gaza Movement:

Wednesday, 01 July 2009 13:22 Written by Free Gaza Team

On June 30th 2009 Israeli Occupation Forces forcibly boarded the Free Gaza boat, SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, and kidnapped 21 human rights workers and journalists who were on their way to deliver much needed humanitarian and reconstruction supplies to besieged Gaza. Those abducted by Israel include Nobel peace prize laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.

Since their kidnapping, tens-of-thousands of people around the world have mobilized to demand their immediate and unconditional release. The Free Gaza Movement would like to thank everyone who has made a phone call, sent a fax or email, written a letter, or organized a demonstration on behalf of our 21 imprisoned friends.

With respect, it is not enough. We are not the story. Since its founding in 1948 the State of Israel has regularly kidnapped and tortured Palestinians, throwing them into forgotten prisons where they can languish for years. Today, over 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners without benefit of due process, some never even charged – men, women, and children – endure torture and isolation in Israeli jails, outdoor prison camps, and secret black sites. They come from all walks of life: doctors, journalists, parliamentarians, workers, resistance fighters, homemakers, students and others. They are our sisters and brothers.

The 21 passengers aboard the Spirit of Humanity have been illegally incarcerated for their solidarity work with Palestine. 11,000 other members of our common human family are already imprisoned simply for being Palestinian.

The Siege of Palestine is not simply the physical blockade against Gaza. The Siege includes the hundreds of checkpoints throughout the West Bank that separate families and communities and shatter any prospect for a viable Palestinian state. The Siege includes the millions of Palestinians in Diaspora, many of them dumped in squalid refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere. The Siege is ever-present throughout all aspects of Palestinian life.

This Siege is only strengthened when we pay more attention to the injustice done to 21 international solidarity workers than we do to the much greater injustices already being committed against millions of Palestinians.

We in the Free Gaza Movement implore all the good people around the world who have working so hard to secure the release of our friends to “adopt” a Palestinian prisoner. We ask you to learn about the crisis and take on the cause of an individual prisoner as your own.

Break the Siege! Reach out to Palestine!

For more information, please visit FreeGaza.org, as well as the following prisoner information websites:

And Finally:

Help Socialist Worker Send a Reporter to Gaza

SocialistWorker.org has the opportunity to send a reporter to Gaza as part of the Viva Palestina aid convoy–and we’re asking our readers to help, writes Eric Ruder.

http://socialistworker.org/2009/07/01/help-us-send-a-reporter-to-gaza

Posted in Activism/Divestment | Leave a Comment »