USC Students for Justice in Palestine

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

Palestinians Give to Haiti plus Joe Sacco Interview

Posted by uscsjp on January 20, 2010

Gaza Residents Donate to Haiti Relief Effort

“Aid contributions for Haiti continue to pour in from around the world. On Sunday, a group of Palestinians in Gaza offered to send donations.

Jamal Al-Khudari of the Committee Against the Siege on Gaza:

‘We are sending donations, because, as Palestinian people, we suffered a lot, and we, the Palestinian people, feel more than other people of the world with the suffering of the people in Haiti. We suffer a lot, and we feel their suffering. That is why we decided to donate from the center of suffering, from the besieged Gaza.’

–Democracy Now!, 19 January, 2010

Al Jazeera Interviews Joe Sacco

“When it comes to the world of cartooning, Joe Sacco is considered a luminary. Sacco, who is hailed as the creator of war-reportage comics, is the author of such award-winning books as Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde.

His latest work, Footnotes in Gaza, is an investigation into two little-known and long-forgotten massacres in 1956 in the southern Gaza Strip that left at least 500 Palestinians dead. It is a chilling look back at an unrecorded past and an exploration of how that past haunts and shapes the present – including the beginning of mass home demolitions in 2003 in Rafah.

Sacco navigates the fuzzy lines between memory, experience and visual interpretation almost seamlessly all while painting an intimate portrait of life under occupation and in spite of occupation – a life not only of repression and anger but one full of humour and resilience.

My mother narrowly escaped death during the 1956 massacre in Khan Yunis. Yet I struggled to find any information or record of this event as I grew older. Why do you think that is?

I was curious about the same thing.

What led me to this is a UN document referenced in books about the Suez War according to [which] up to 275 [Palestinians] were killed in Khan Yunis and then a few days later, about 111 in Rafah…”

–Laila El-Haddad, Al Jazeera, 18 January, 2010

See also:

The Electronic Intifada: “Humanity cannot be divided”: Gaza shows solidarity with Haiti

–Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 20 January 2010

Also from the Electronic Intifada:

The United States, Israel and the retreat of freedom

Epitomizing freedom: an Israeli soldier aims a gas grenade launcher at a Palestinian demonstrator in the occupied West Bank. (Oren Ziv/ActiveStills)

“The world is suffering from a ‘freedom recession’ according to a new report from the American think tank Freedom House (‘Freedom in the World 2010,’ 12 January 2010).

Established in 1941, Freedom House markets itself as ‘an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.’ Its board of directors, chaired by a former US deputy secretary of defense, is a who’s who of Democratic and Republican former US government officials, prominent neoconservatives and Israel lobby stalwarts such as Tom Dine, former executive director of AIPAC. In 2007, more than two-thirds of its $16 million budget came directly from the United States government.

Not surprisingly then, Freedom House’s report reveals more about the groupthink of the US establishment — especially with respect to its continued efforts to dominate the Middle East and ensure Israel’s supremacy — than it does about the countries surveyed.

Focusing on two categories of ‘freedom’ — ‘civil liberties’ and ‘political rights’– the report divides the world’s 194 countries into three groups: ‘free’ (89), ‘partly free’ (58), and ‘not free’ (47).

Interestingly, Freedom House records ‘declines in freedom’ in ‘countries that had registered positive trends in previous years, including Bahrain, Jordan, Kenya and Kyrgyzstan.’ Jordan was one of only six countries to move from the ‘partly free’ category to ‘not free.’ What does it say about US ‘democracy promotion’ that Jordan, Bahrain and Kyrgyzstan — major political and military operating bases for the ‘war on terror’ and US-led occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan — have become less free as their dependence on the US has increased?

Sadly, while the report frets that ‘the most powerful authoritarian regimes [such as Russia and China] have become more repressive, more influential in the international arena, and more uncompromising,’ it has nothing at all to say about the US role in restricting freedom and spreading mayhem around the world…”

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 14 January 2010

A second Gaza war around the corner?

“Israel is once again complaining that its ‘security’ is being threatened by new eruptions of violence along the border with Gaza. About two dozen Qassam rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza in recent days. Although they fell in (and may have been deliberately targeted at) open areas, causing no damage or injuries, Israel took revenge with destructive air raids that did cause damage and killed several people, including a 15-year-old boy.

Before asking who should stop first, one should recall who started the latest ugly round of violence.

On 26 December, Israel carried out double attacks in the West Bank city of Nablus and in Gaza, murdering three people in each place. In Nablus, Israeli death squads carried out cold-blooded extrajudicial executions in revenge for the killing of a West Bank settler several days before. According to the wife of one of the Nablus victims, her husband was at home in his living room, completely unarmed when the death squad burst in and shot him in the face. Neither he nor the other victims of these state-sponsored terrorists had been accused, tried or convicted of any crime in a court of law…”

–Hasan Abu Nimah, The Electronic Intifada, 13 January 2010


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