USC Students for Justice in Palestine

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

Archive for August, 2009

Israeli jets destroy Gaza building; BDS News

Posted by uscsjp on August 29, 2009

“Israeli aircraft have bombed a building in the Gaza Strip, which it said concealed an entrance to a tunnel used by Palestinians to carry out cross-border attacks.

Witnesses said that the building was destroyed by the attack early on Sunday, but there were no casualties.

An Israeli military spokesman said the raid was in response to a rocket fired from Gaza into Israel on Saturday, which caused no damage.

‘The building was located 1.5 km from the border and concealed a tunnel that was to have been used by terrorists to infiltrate Israel for an attack,’ the spokesman said.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, described the target as ‘open ground’ but witnesses said it was a building with two rooms and a courtyard…”

Al Jazeera English, 30 August, 2009

Also from Al Jazeera English

Israel-Sweden row over media report

The Aftonbladet report said  Ghanaians body had been returned with a long scar (Al Jazeera)

The Aftonbladet report said Ghanaian's body had been returned with a long scar (Al Jazeera)

“A diplomatic row between Sweden and Israel has intensified, with Israeli politicians urging Stockholm to condemn a newspaper article they have described as ‘blood libel’.

In the report, published in Sweden’s leading tabloid, a freelance journalist accused the Israeli army of stealing body organs from Palestinian men after killing them…”

Al Jazeera English, 24 August, 2009

Shoe Hurled at Israeli Ambassador

“A woman has thrown a shoe at the Israeli ambassador to Sweden as he was giving a lecture on Israel’s forthcoming elections.

The shoe hit Benny Dagan in the chest during a seminar held at the University of Stockholm on Wednesday, a local police official said…”

Al Jazeera English, 5 February, 2009

See Also Neve Gordan’s Courageous Op-Ed in the LA Times

Boycott Israel

An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it’s the only way to save his country.

“Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa is gaining many followers around the world.

Not surprisingly, many Israelis — even peaceniks — aren’t signing on. A global boycott can’t help but contain echoes of anti-Semitism. It also brings up questions of a double standard (why not boycott China for its egregious violations of human rights?) and the seemingly contradictory position of approving a boycott of one’s own nation.

It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call on foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements, faith-based organizations, unions and citizens to suspend cooperation with Israel. But today, as I watch my two boys playing in the yard, I am convinced that it is the only way that Israel can be saved from itself…”

–Neve Gordan, The Los Angeles Times, 20 August, 2009,0,6144555,print.story

And Gideon Levy’s Commentary on the Above in Haaretz

The Last Refuge

“The timing of the mini-maelstrom over an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times by Neve Gordon, who teaches politics and government at Be’er Sheva’s Ben-Gurion University, calling for a boycott of Israel, was somewhat grotesque. Hardly have the throats dried of those calling for his dismissal, for his citizenship to be revoked, for his expulsion and, if all else fails, his stoning, when another petition has surfaced on the Internet, this one calling for a boycott of Ikea. A bad article on the back page of a Swedish tabloid is enough to produce a call here for a consumer boycott to which thousands sign their names. Turkey has barely recovered from the boycott that our package tourers imposed on it because its prime minister had the gall to attack our president, and already we are cruising toward our next boycott target. It’s our right. It’s a safe bet that most of the boycotters of Antalya and Ikea are the same people who want to tar-and-feather the Israeli professor who dared promulgate the use of the very same civic weapon. According to the Israelis who railed against Gordon, the imposition of a boycott is a legitimate, perhaps even effective, means of punishment that can be invoked against our enemies, real or imagined. Gordon, an Israeli patriot who served in the Paratroops and is raising his two children here, thinks that a 42-year-long criminal occupation should generate at least as much international protest as an article in a Swedish newspaper, and that this protest can and should be translated into concrete measures. The Israelis think that one scurrilous article is enough to warrant punishing everything Swedish, and that one comment by a prime minister is enough to do the same to everything Turkish. Gordon thinks the occupation is a sufficiently important motive to boycott everything Israeli…”

–Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 27 August, 2009

And Finally, an Upcoming LA Area Event

(thanks to Jeff Warner for passing this along)

Sunday, September 6, 4-6 PM

Peace Vigil to support President Obama’s efforts to freeze settlements and get a Palestinian state alongside Israel

Third Street Promenade at Santa Monica Blvd.

Join Jews for Peace between Israelis and Palestinians (J- PIP) in a vigil to support President Obama’s goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As American Jews, we recognize that 42 years of occupation and ruling over 4 million Palestinians against their will, has not given Israelis peace and security, and never will.  Israel and its people’s desire for peace and security can only be achieved, when the Palestinians also have peace and security in their own sovereign and viable state alongside Israel.
The largest Palestinians group, Fatah, is dedicated to attaining a Palestinian state alongside Israel.  In its recent convention Fatah called that goal in the Palestinian’s “strategic interest.”
We call upon President Obama to do all in his power to ensure that this peace vision will be implemented as soon as possible.  First steps include:

  • Settlement expansion on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem halted.
  • Settlement outposts demolished.
  • Checkpoints and roadblocks that do not contribute to Israel’s security removed.
  • Gaza blockade lifted; and crossings open.
  • Harassment of Gaza fishermen ended
  • Rockets attack on Israeli civilians from Gaza stopped.

J PIP will supply pro-peace, nonviolent, non-defamatory signs
We welcome everyone who shares J-PIP’s vision of a sovereign and viable Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Support this important VIGIL.

Info: Organized by J-PIP.


Posted in Activism/Divestment, Analysis, Blogroll, News, Opinion/Editorial | 1 Comment »

Democracy Now: Human Rights Watch Calls on Israel to Investigate “White Flag” Shootings of Gaza Civilians

Posted by uscsjp on August 18, 2009

“Human Rights Watch released a report last week detailing new evidence of possible Israeli war crimes committed during last winter’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza that left over 1,400 Palestinians dead. The report says Israeli soldiers unlawfully shot and killed at least eleven Palestinian civilians, including five women and four children, who were in groups waving white flags to make clear that they were civilians and not combatants. We speak to HRW’s Fred Abrahams and air exclusive video from Gaza from Democracy Now!‘s Anjali Kamat and Big Noise Film’s Jacquie Soohen…”

Democracy Now, 17 August, 2009

And from Al Jazeera English:

Obama upbeat on Israel settlements

Mubarak said that Arab support for a peace process depends on Israeli commitments [EPA]

“US President Barack Obama has said that there has been ‘movement in the right direction’ on Israel’s policy of building settlements on occupied Palestinian land, following talks with Egypt’s president.

‘My hope is that we are going to see, not just movement from the Israelis, but also from the Palestinians on incitement and security but also from Arab states that show their willingness to engage Israel,’ he said in a joint press conference with Mubarak at the White House on Tuesday…”

–Al Jazeera English, 18 August, 2009

See Also, from The Electronic Intifada:

Two years later, reconstruction to start in Nahr al-Bared

“NAHR AL-BARED (IRIN) – Two years on from the devastating battle which destroyed their homes and livelihoods, Palestinian refugees from Nahr al-Bared are set to see reconstruction work begin inside the camp’s official boundaries.

Despite a resilient recovery under way among Palestinians living in the new camp — the area around the edge of the official Nahr al-Bared refugee camp — legal hurdles, political wrangling and the recent discovery of archaeological ruins under the site of the old camp have delayed reconstruction work there.

Nahr al-Bared old camp was completely destroyed and the new camp badly damaged in a 15-week battle in 2007 between the army and Islamist militant group Fatah Islam, which killed more than 400 people and displaced up to 30,000 Palestinians…”

–Electronic Lebanon, 18 August, 2009

Other News from The Electronic Intifada:

Israel brings Gaza entry restrictions to West Bank

Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 18 August 2009

Nonviolent direct action, solidarity and struggle

Ramzi Kysia, The Electronic Intifada, 17 August 2009

Young love in Gaza

Eman Mohammed writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 17 August 2009

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

Hamas Battles Islamist Group

Posted by uscsjp on August 14, 2009

“Clashes that have left at least 16 people dead in the Gaza Strip have spread from a mosque in the town of Rafah to the nearby home of the leader of al-Jamaa al-Salafiya al-Jihadya in Palestine.

Hamas security forces sieged control of the Ibn Taymiya mosque late on Friday after several hours of heavy clashes, but several of the fighters holed up inside managed to escape.

‘Hamas security and the military wing of Hamas were able to take over the mosque, but in the fighting several fighters loyal to the sheikh and members of his armed group fled to his house,’ Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Rafah, said…

The group seeks a Palestinian legal system based purely on the sharia – Islamic law – and accuses Hamas of being too liberal. The group is said to have threatened to burn down internet cafes and to demand greater modesty on Gaza beaches.

‘We are today proclaiming the creation of an Islamist emirate in the Gaza Strip,’ Musa had told worshippers at a Rafah mosque earlier, according to witnesses.

Musa said that if Hamas were to implement sharia he would immediately instruct his followers to comply with the movement’s instructions…”

Al Jazeera English, 14 August, 2009

Other Recent News from Al Jazeera

Israel troops ‘shot Gaza civilians’

“Israeli soldiers unlawfully shot and killed 11 Palestinian civilians, including four children, who were in groups waving white flags during the Gaza war, a report prepared by the US-based Human Rights Watch says…”

Al Jazeera English, 14 August, 2009

See Also the Latest News from Democracy Now!

“HRW: Israel Killed 11 Palestinian Civilians Waving White Flags in Gaza Assault

In Israel and the Occupied Territories, the group Human Rights Watch says it’s uncovered evidence of Israeli troops shooting dead at least eleven Palestinian civilians waving white flags during the US-backed attack on the Gaza Strip last January. Joe Stork of Human Rights Watch said most of the victims were women and children.

Joe Stork: ‘These are incidents in which eleven Palestinian civilians, nine of them children and women, were killed, despite the fact that they were holding or waving white flags to signify that they were civilians, they were unarmed, they had no hostile intent. But still, Israeli soldiers, in many cases after calling them out of their homes, shot them.’

In a homemade video, Gaza resident Khalid Abed Rabbo described the shooting death of his two young daughters.

Khalid Abed Rabbo: ‘When the soldiers arrived outside our house, they yelled for us to come outside. My wife, mother, three daughters and I went outside. We were holding cloths, because we are a peaceful family. I thought that the soldiers would realize that they were looking at women and children.’

Abed Rabbo’s three-year-old daughter and the children’s grandmother were also wounded in the shooting. The girls’ mother also witnessed the attack.

Umm Soad Abed Rabbo: ‘Right in front of me, they shot my eldest daughter. Then they shot the little one, Amal, and then Samar, who was in front of her. When we ran inside, they shot their elderly grandmother who can hardly walk’…”

–Democracy Now!, 14 August, 2009

And from The Electronic Intifada:

Gaza play highlights difficulties for artists under siege

‘Don’t people in Gaza love to see films like people anywhere?’ aspiring filmmaker Hossam Abdel Latif asks. His wife, the more practical Souad, retorts, ‘Someone who can’t afford to eat is going to go to the cinema?’

The question of the arts in times of siege and occupation is one of the main themes in Gaza’s newest theatre production, Film Cinema, which opened on 4 August in Gaza City. A stage buried in film negatives, and adorned with a lone plump teddy bear, sets the scene of the three-person play.

‘I’m Hossam Abdel Latif, and I want to make a film,’ the would-be film director repeatedly begins, facing his running video camera, only to be repeatedly interrupted…”

Eva Bartlett, The Electronic Intifada, 12 August 2009

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

Ezra Nawi; Apartheid South Africa

Posted by uscsjp on August 4, 2009

“Ezra Nawi ( is one of Israel’s most courageous human rights/pro-democracy activists. He is being tried on August 16, 2009 for trying to stop the army from bulldozing a Palestinian Bedouin home. Go to, watch the video and sign the letter. Be a character witness for Ezra Nawi…”

–from a Jewish Voice for Peace email, 3 August, 2009

And fromThe Electronic Intifada

Why is South Africa still helping apartheid Israel?

Due to their support of South Africans struggling against apartheid, Palestinians likewise expect the same level of support from the now free and democratic South Africa. (Tess Scheflan/ActiveStills-EI)

"Due to their support of South Africans struggling against apartheid, Palestinians likewise expect the same level of support from the now free and democratic South Africa." (Tess Scheflan/ActiveStills-EI)

“A few weeks ago I departed from South Africa for the Gaza Strip in order to take up a short-term voluntary post with a humanitarian organization there. As the Rafah border crossing with Egypt is effectively the only passage in and out of the besieged territory, flying to Cairo was my only option in gaining access to Gaza.

The Egyptian border authorities controlling the Rafah crossing have varying and often arbitrary requirements that must be fulfilled by anyone wishing to enter Gaza, which change regularly and without notice. The latest requirement is that any non-Palestinian wishing to visit Gaza needs to obtain prior written permission from their embassy in Cairo. This is ostensibly to ensure that foreigners have received the relevant travel warnings from their respective embassies and to absolve the Egyptian government of any responsibility for their health or safety once in Gaza.

While this appears reasonable, as I learned over the next few days, it is actually designed to prevent the entry of foreigners into the Gaza Strip. At the South African Embassy in Cairo, I quickly realized that my government was conspiring with the Egyptian and Israeli siege of the tiny coastal territory…”

Sayed Dhansay, The Electronic Intifada, 21 July 2009

Also from The Electronic Intifada:

A third uprising?

I recently returned from the Holy Land after leading about 40 Presbyterians from Galilee to Jerusalem. This isn’t new territory for me. I’ve been in the country many times leading students, working at archaeology digs, speaking at conferences, and occasionally taking a church such as this. And this time what I saw and heard was worrying…”

Gary M. Burge, The Electronic Intifada, 3 August 2009

And from The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

8th Annual National Organizers’ Conference, Chicago, IL, September 12-13, 2009

“The 8th Annual National Organizers’ Conference will be held during the weekend of September 12th – 13th, 2009 in Chicago, IL. We have compiled a list of helpful and necessary information for you to plan and book your flights…”

Finally, some recent headlines from Democracy Now!

Clinton: Eviction of Palestinian Families ‘Deeply Regrettable

On Monday, Hillary Clinton met Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh at the State Department. Clinton criticized Israel for evicting more than fifty Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem.

Hillary Clinton: ‘These actions are deeply regrettable. I have said before that the eviction of families and demolition of homes in East Jerusalem is not in keeping with Israeli obligations, and I urge the government of Israel and municipal officials to refrain from such provocative actions’…

Israel Deports Three US Peace Activists

Three US peace activists from Minneapolis have been deported from Israel after trying to enter the country as part of a human rights delegation. Israeli officials reportedly said the three were security risks and would not be allowed to enter the country. The activists are Sarah Martin, a sixty-nine-year-old retired nurse, and two members of the Anti-War Committee, Katrina Plotz and Karen Sullivan.”

–Democracy Now!, 4 August, 2009

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