January 2009

Jan 31, 2009

Make Zionism History!

Support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of the Israeli regime

Israeli War Criminals – to the International Criminal Court, NOW!

Academic Boycott of Israel and the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions: Alternative Information Centre

The idea of an academic boycott of Israel first emerged in 2002 as part of the growing boycott and divestment campaign
against Israel, itself a part of the struggle against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the violation of Palestinian human and national rights. Compared to other types of boycott, the academic boycott has gathered a relative amount of widespread support amongst academic unions and organizations, primarily in Great Britain. Not surprisingly,
this relative success has stirred a public debate and opposition to the boycott, mostly by pro-Israeli organizations and academics. The campaign for academic boycott has wavered under these pressures and various degrees and measures of boycott have since been approved and then often canceled by academic organizations. The arguments in favor of this kind of boycott have relied largely on the facts of the Israeli occupation and the idea of pressuring Israel through its academic
world; often, they have not utilised details relating to the specific academic institutions that they call to boycott.
Through this report, however, the Alternative Information Center (AIC) aims to inform and empower the debate on an academic boycott by giving information not on Israeli violence and violations of international law and human rights, but on
the part played in the Israeli occupation by the very academic institutions in question. The report demonstrates that Israeli academic institutions have not opted to take a neutral, apolitical position toward the Israeli occupation but to fully support the Israeli security forces and policies toward the Palestinians, despite the serious suspicions of crimes and atrocities hovering
over them. Any who argue either for or against an academic boycott against Israeli institutions, we believe, should.

To read this excellent first proper article in English about Academic complicity in Israel’s occupation, use the link above. This is amust for anyone wondering about the justification for academic boycott! It is 64 pages long, and has more than 180 references!

Gaza 2009: We Will Never Forget

An edited video made up of some of the most famous media moments of Israel’s criminal war in Gaza

Dozens believed dead in reprisal attacks as Hamas retakes control: The Guardian

• Suspected collaborators shot during and after war
• Escaped criminals killed by relatives of their victims

Evidence is emerging of a wave of reprisal attacks and killings inside Gaza that have left dozens dead and more wounded in the wake of Israel’s war. Among the dead are Palestinians suspected of collaborating with the Israeli military. Others include criminals who were among the 600 prisoners to escape from Gaza City’s main jail when it was bombed as the war began. Their attackers are thought to be their victims’ relatives.

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Jan 30, 2009

Stop War Crimes!

Make Zionism History!

Every family has a story, here are some of them: BBC

Eva Bartlett writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine,
One family’s story

Destruction in Izbet Abed Rabu.

There are many stories. Each account — each murdered individual, each wounded person, each burned-out and broken house, each shattered window, trashed kitchen, strewn item of clothing, bedroom turned upside down, bullet and shelling hole in walls, offensive Israeli army graffiti — is important.
I start to tell the stories of Ezbet Abbed Rabu, eastern Jabaliya, where homes off the main north south road, Salah al-Din, were penetrated by bullets, bombs and/or soldiers. If they weren’t destroyed, they were occupied or shot up. Or occupied and then destroyed. The army was creative in their destruction, in their defacing of property, in their insults. Creative in the ways they could shit in rooms and save their shit for cupboards and unexpected places. Actually, their creativity wasn’t so broad. The rest was routine: ransack the house from top to bottom. Turn over or break every clothing cupboard, kitchen shelf, television, computer, window pane and water tank.
The first house I visited was that of my dear friends, who we’d stayed with in the evenings before the land invasion began, with whom we had huddled in their basement as the random crashes of missiles pulverized around the neighborhood. I worried non-stop about the father. After seeing he was still alive, I’d done the tour, from the bottom up. The safe-haven ground floor room was the least affected: disheveled, piles of earth at bases of windows where it had rushed in with a later bombing which caved the hillside behind, mattresses turned over and items strewn. This room was the cleanest, least damaged.
Upstairs to the first level apartment, complete disarray. Feces on the floor. Broken everything. Opened cans of Israeli army provisions. Bullet holes in walls. Stench.  To the second floor, next two apartments, all of the extended sons and wives and children’s rooms. More disarray, greater stench. This was the soldiers’ main base, as can be ascertained, from the boxes of food — prepackaged meals, noodles, tins of chocolate and plastic-wrapped sandwiches — and the clothing left behind by the occupiers. A pair of soldier’s trousers in the bathtub, soiled with shit.

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Jan 29, 2009

End the Occupation – make Zionism History!

A member of Machsom-Watch, Israeli volunteers who stand as witnesses at the
checkpoints to discourage or document abuse of Palestinian civilians,
recently wrote this video letter to President Obama. She asks the newly
elected president to visit Israel to help her — to help the entire country
— lead a happier life. She cannot live normally or contentedly while
Palestinians are suffering day-to-day privations because of an occupation
that Israel cannot seem to end by itself. The feelings of guilt and shame
she feels can only be resolved, she feels, when the Palestinians, her
neighbors, are not thwarted so harshly in their own pursuit of happiness.
Her feelings are her own, and yet we know they are shared by many Israelis
who are outraged and ashamed by the continuing oppression and occupation,
but feel helpless to compel a political change.  Obama, she hopes, can
untangle this knot — the political one, and the one in her stomach.

Hear the letter and see the clip – it is just over 4 minutes and excellent!

comments by Lincoln Shlensky

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Jan 28, 2009

Stop War Crimes – Make Zionism History!

The BBC continues to defy all logic, not to mention morality! Below is the latest crop of people disgusted with it. This also means that the situation in Gaza has become somewhat remote, less prevalent in the news, and the main news in the UK now is about the BBC and its refusal to air the appeal.

Thompson should resign in shame, having embroyled the BBC, one of the more important institutions in Britain, in his most partial support of the Israeli atrocities, by looking for a balance between the murdered and the murderers, and refusing to assist humanitarian aid. He should go NOW. I am sure he could geta ggos job in Tel Aviv, where he belongs!

Note the difference between the BBC official position, and that which comes through the reports! It seems that also withing the corporation (indeed…) itself there is not much time for Thompson’s bizarre views!

Arabs Need 2 Die! by Steve Bell, The Guardian

Arabs Need 2 Die! by Steve Bell, The Guardian

IAEA head boycotts BBC over Gaza: BBC

Mohammed ElBaradei (file image from January 2005)
The BBC said it hoped Mr ElBaradei would accept future interview requests

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has cancelled interviews with the BBC over its decision not to broadcast a charity appeal for Gaza.

Mohamed ElBaradei believed that the BBC’s decision broke “the rules of basic human decency”, his spokeswoman said. BBC director general Mark Thompson had said airing the appeal would compromise the BBC’s impartiality. In a statement, the BBC said that it regretted Mr ElBaradei’s move.

The IAEA chief had been due to take part in interviews with the BBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos. But Mr ElBaradei cancelled them over the corporation’s decision not to broadcast a three-minute appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) – an umbrella group for major UK charities – for humanitarian aid funding for Gaza. “He believes this decision violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people irrespective of who is right or wrong,” his spokeswoman said. The BBC said it hoped Mr ElBaradei would accept an interview invitation at another time. Britain’s three other terrestrial broadcasters, ITV, Channel 4 and Five, showed the appeal on Monday. But Sky News also chose not to air it, saying it would be “incompatible” with its objective role.

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Jan 27, 2009

Make Zionism History!

Demand the sacking of crypto-Zionist, Mark Thompson!

Impartialiate! Steve Bell in the Guardian, Jan 27, 2009

Steve Bell in The Guardian, Jan 27, 2009

How the call for aid to Gaza left the BBC in the thick of battle: The Guardian

Plea from Disasters Emergency Committee broadcast without corporation’s support for the first time in 46 years

A televised appeal for victims of the humanitarian disasters in Gaza has been broadcast on all terrestrial channels except the BBC, which refused to back down on its decision not to show the film. It was the first time in the 46-year history of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) that one of its humanitarian appeals was broadcast without the backing of the BBC, which claimed that doing so would compromise its impartiality. The two-minute film, broadcast on ITV1 at 6.25pm last night just before the main evening news, began with images of Gaza’s child victims. “The children of Gaza are suffering. Many are struggling to survive. Homeless and in need of food and water,” the narrator said. “Today, this is not about the rights and wrongs of the conflict. These people simply need your help.” Before the broadcast, the DEC had already raised £600,000. The appeal was shown later on Channel 4 and Five. It quoted UN reports that 40% of Gaza is without electricity, with thousands homeless. “Aid workers on the ground say that temporary shelters are finding it difficult to cope with the number of people now living on the streets.”


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Jan 26, 2009

Stop War Crimes! Make Zionism history!

The BBC and Israel: Free Press

By Alan Hart

Gaza appeal, and even if it changes its mind before this article is published, it really is time for an open and honest debate about what, really, determines the corporation’s editorial decision-making on matters to do with Israel. On 23rd January, the first on-air words of Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler to Caroline Thomson, the BBC’s Chief Operating Officer, were “This looks as if you are just scared of the Israelis” (for which read the lobby of supporters of Israel right or wrong, and which should properly be called the Zionist lobby not the Israel lobby because it doesn’t speak for all Israelis let alone all Jews). There is truth in what Gavin Esler said even if he was only being properly provocative, but it needs to be unpacked. Carline Thomson’s initial justification for the refusal to give air-time to DEC’s appeal was the need to “avoid compromising public confidence in the impartiality of the corporation”. A day later this was qualified a bit. Interviewed on the BBC’s World TV News, she said it was important not to endanger the trust of “certain parts of the audience”. (My emphasis added).

The newspeak of Israeli propagandists: The Guardian, Letters

What Uri Dromi says about Hamas is pure and poisonous Israeli propaganda (This Hamas hallucination, 23 January). In every respect his article is almost the exact opposite of the truth. Dromi claims that: “The Orwellian mindset of the organisation is as much a barrier to peace as the rockets it fires.” But it is the newspeak of Israeli propagandists like Dromi that is truly Orwellian. Over the last four weeks the powerful Israeli propaganda machine has been churning out lie after lie about Hamas in order to excuse its own inexcusable onslaught. Israel stopped journalists going into Gaza, preventing any independent reporting on the war crimes its forces were committing. Truth is usually the first casualty in war. Gaza was not even a war in the conventional sense of the word; it was one-sided carnage. Here are some of the facts Dromi ignores or wilfully misrepresents. First, Hamas is the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people, not the corrupt regime led by Mahmoud Abbas. Second, Hamas spokesmen have repeatedly declared their readiness for a long-term ceasefire. Khalid Mish’al recently did so on these pages (Comment, 6 January). Third, Hamas has a solid record of observing ceasefires, while Israel has a consistent record of sabotaging them. Fourth, even during the ceasefire Israel did not lift its economic blockade of the 1.5 million inhabitants of Gaza, a form of collective punishment forbidden by international law. Fifth, the offensive unleashed in Gaza was illegal, immoral and unnecessary. If all Israel wanted was to stop rocket attacks from Gaza, all it had to do was to observe the ceasefire brokered by Egypt in June 2008.
Professor Avi Shlaim

Could not be clearer!

Israel’s Lies: London Review of Books

Henry Siegman
Western governments and most of the Western media have accepted a number of Israeli claims justifying the military assault on Gaza: that Hamas consistently violated the six-month truce that Israel observed and then refused to extend it; that Israel therefore had no choice but to destroy Hamas’s capacity to launch missiles into Israeli towns; that Hamas is a terrorist organisation, part of a global jihadi network; and that Israel has acted not only in its own defence but on behalf of an international struggle by Western democracies against this network.
I am not aware of a single major American newspaper, radio station or TV channel whose coverage of the assault on Gaza questions this version of events. Criticism of Israel’s actions, if any (and there has been none from the Bush administration), has focused instead on whether the IDF’s carnage is proportional to the threat it sought to counter, and whether it is taking adequate measures to prevent civilian casualties.
Middle East peacemaking has been smothered in deceptive euphemisms, so let me state bluntly that each of these claims is a lie. Israel, not Hamas, violated the truce: Hamas undertook to stop firing rockets into Israel; in return, Israel was to ease its throttlehold on Gaza. In fact, during the truce, it tightened it further. This was confirmed not only by every neutral international observer and NGO on the scene but by Brigadier General (Res.) Shmuel Zakai, a former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division. In an interview in Ha’aretz on 22 December, he accused Israel’s government of having made a ‘central error’ during the tahdiyeh, the six-month period of relative truce, by failing ‘to take advantage of the calm to improve, rather than markedly worsen, the economic plight of the Palestinians of the Strip . . . When you create a tahdiyeh, and the economic pressure on the Strip continues,’ General Zakai said, ‘it is obvious that Hamas will try to reach an improved tahdiyeh, and that their way to achieve this is resumed Qassam fire . . . You cannot just land blows, leave the Palestinians in Gaza in the economic distress they’re in, and expect that Hamas will just sit around and do nothing.’

Tony Benn to BBC “If you wont broadcast the Gaza appeal then I will myself”

Good old dependable, human, and radical Tony Benn uses the BBC to subvert its message on the DEC!

Bill Morris Protest For Gaza, Against BBC Charity Broadcast refusal London 24 Jan 2009

Tony Benn Protest For Gaza, Against BBC Charity Broadcast refusal London 24 .01. 2009

Jewish rabbi burns his Israeli passport ,stop Gaza Massacre protest London 11 January 2009

Haim Bresheeth speaks at the LSE occupation

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Jan 25, 2009

Stop War Crimes! Make Zionism history!

Gaza child born under Israeli missile fire – 22 Jan 09

If you wish to know why the BBC decided the way it did on the DEC Gaza appeal, read the next item below:

Mark Thompson, the ‘impartial’ of the BBC: Talks with Ariel Sharon

In November 2005, BBC Director General Mark Thompson traveled with his Jewish wife to Israel, where he held direct talks with Ariel Sharon, which were intended to let the BBC ‘build bridges with Israel’.

This link is no longer working – the paper has removed it! If the link fail you, read it below, in the next item.

This came from an article in Wikipedia and the source was an article in The Independent. It shows how Mark Thompson is the least qualified person to adjudicate on matters of “impartiality” when it comes to Palestine/Israel. Apparently, this trip was given very little publicity at the time. So, if you ever wondered why the BBC is so ‘impartial’, read all about it… Peace was made with Israel, but not with Palestine….

BBC chief holds peace talks in Jerusalem with Ariel Sharon: The Independent, November 29, 2005

The BBC is often accused of an anti-Israeli bias in its coverage of the Middle East, and recently censured reporter Barbara Plett for saying she “started to cry” when Yasser Arafat left Palestine shortly before his death. Fascinating, then, to learn that its director general, Mark Thompson, has recently returned from Jerusalem, where he held a face-to-face meeting with the hardine Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Although the diplomatic visit was not publicised on these shores, it has been seized upon in Israel as evidence that Thompson, who took office in 2004, intends to build bridges with the country’s political class.
Sources at the Beeb also suspect that it heralds a “softening” to the corporation’s unofficial editorial line on the Middle East.
“This was the first visit of its kind by any serving director general, so it’s clearly a significant development,” I’m told.
“Not many people know this, but Mark is actually a deeply religious man. He’s a Catholic, but his wife is Jewish, and he has a far greater regard for the Israeli cause than some of his predecessors.”
Understandably, an official BBC spokesman was anxious to downplay talk of an exclusively pro-Israeli charm offensive.
Apopros this month’s previously undocumented trip, he stressed that Thompson had also held talks with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas.

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Jan 24, 2009

Still being constructed!

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