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.

Israeli PM in war crimes pledge: BBC

Rights groups say white phosphorus shells were fired into built-up areas of Gaza

Rights groups say white phosphorus shells were fired into built-up areas of Gaza

Any Israeli soldiers accused of war crimes in the Gaza Strip will be given state protection from prosecution overseas, the country’s PM has said. Ehud Olmert said troops should know Israel would keep them safe after they acted to protect their country. Palestinians say 1,300 people died during the offensive, and UN officials want independent probes into whether war crimes were committed. Meanwhile, a Hamas delegation is in Egypt for talks on cementing a truce. Israel ended its military operation in Gaza on 18 January, and Hamas declared a ceasefire hours later. No formal framework for a lasting ceasefire has yet been agreed. While Israel says it requires Hamas to end weapons smuggling into Gaza and rocket attacks on Israel, Hamas has demanded that Israel lift its economic blockade of the territory.

UN reopens schools in Gaza Strip: BBC

Schools in the Gaza Strip operated by the United Nations have reopened for the first time since the Israeli offensive against Hamas militants. About 200,000 Palestinian children were expected to return to class. In the later stages of the three-week conflict, many of the schools were used to shelter Palestinians whose homes were damaged or destroyed. It follows a decision by Israel on Friday to lift a ban on UN and foreign aid workers entering the Gaza Strip. The ban had been in place since early November, when tensions mounted between Israel and Hamas as the end of a six-month ceasefire approached. Aid agencies welcomed the lifting of the restrictions, but said the task ahead was “enormous”, with vast amounts of building materials alone needed to help rebuild schools, hospitals, mosques, and homes.

‘Phosphorus wounds’ alarm Gazans: BBC

Staring straight ahead and rocking steadily backwards and forwards in her hospital bed, Sabah Abu Halima lists the fate of each of her nine children. “Abed, 14 years old, was decapitated,” she says. “Shaheed, one year and three months, was in my arms when the fire took her…” Sabah explains that her husband and four of her children died when their house in northern Gaza was shelled during the recent Israeli offensive. Many of the rooms in that house now lay dark and empty – blackened by fire. The light fittings and power sockets have melted down the walls.

Gaza decision up to BBC – Burnham: BBC

The BBC is right to make its own judgement over whether to air a charity appeal for aid to Gaza, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham has said. The corporation has resisted pressure to follow rival channels ITV, Channel 4 and Five who are to show the DEC film. It says it would put its reputation for impartiality at risk, but other ministers and the Archbishop of York have urged the BBC to air the appeal. BBC Trust chairman Michael Lyons has voiced fears of political interference. On Thursday it emerged that the publicly-funded BBC had decided not to broadcast British charities’ appeal to raise funds to help thousands in Gaza without food or medicine. ITV and Sky had agreed with the BBC, but ITV later reversed its decision. Sky says it is still considering the Disasters Emergency Committee’s request.

Papers review BBC Gaza row: BBC

The BBC’s decision not to broadcast a Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for aid to Gaza has come under scrutiny in the Sunday newspapers and in political blogs. The Observer says the BBC will be accused of caving in to political pressure if it now airs the appeal, and thus had “manoeuvred itself into controversy where, whatever its next move, it cannot win”. Columnist Tim Llewellyn calls it “institutional cowardice”.
Read the commentary

The Sunday Telegraph says “we do not believe the BBC will compromise its reputation for impartiality by broadcasting the appeal, but it may help the children in Gaza”.
The paper’s view
The Independent on Sunday describes the BBC’s refusal to broadcast as a “mistake” and says “the corporation seems to think it can avoid the charge of bias if it does nothing”.
The paper’s view

This cowardly decision betrays the values the corporation stands for: The Observer

On Tuesday, speaking from a pulpit in Westminster Abbey, the director general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, paid tribute to one of the corporation’s greatest journalists and broadcasters, Charles Wheeler, who died last summer at the age of 85.
Thompson spoke in reverential terms of Wheeler: his independence; his dislike of authority, any authority; his relentless search for the truth, in postwar Germany, in the United States of the 1960s and 1970s, LBJ, Vietnam, Nixon; in India, Kuwait, Kurdistan. Thompson was right. Wheeler was a giant among BBC journalists, rightly hailed as one of the best of his generation.
But even as Thompson spoke, the corporation was traducing every tradition that Wheeler, and many of us who still work for the BBC, have tried to live by. The corporation’s chief operating officer, Caroline Thomson, had refused to allow it to broadcast an appeal on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee for Gaza. She said that one reason was that “the BBC’s impartiality was in danger of being damaged”. Could the BBC be sure, she added, that money raised for this cause would find its way to the right people?

Gaza’s Children need our charity – the BBC must help: The Daily Telegraph

The BBC’s charter makes clear that its fundamental duty is to report news impartially. Mark Thompson, the corporation’s director general, has stated that protecting its reputation for impartiality is so important that it means that the BBC cannot broadcast an appeal, put together by a series of leading charities such as Oxfam and Save the Children, for funds to help the children of Gaza who are suffering in the aftermath of the Israeli incursion.
We applaud Mr Thompson’s recognition of the importance of impartiality, and his eagerness to try to ensure that the corporation is not perceived as pro-Palestinian. His adoption of this stance would carry more conviction, however, if the BBC had maintained that line consistently in the past. But it has not. It dedicated a day of programming to fund-raising for the campaign “Make Poverty History”, which was clearly a breach of impartiality: in doing so, it took sides with those who insist that the only way to improve the condition of Africa is to send more aid to the continent, a position which is hotly contested by many economists and even by some aid workers. The BBC decided, at the last minute, not to broadcast Planet Relief, a day of programming dedicated to explaining what each of us could do to stop global warming. Planet Relief was cancelled because, as the BBC Trust stated, “programmes that are in league with campaigns have no place on the BBC.” But the corporation broadcasts Comic Relief, which consists of an extended campaign to raise money for children’s charities, some of which are politically controversial in exactly the way “Make Poverty History” is. Were the BBC to enforce strictly a stance of “no deviation from impartiality”, there would be no place for Comic Relief.

Leading article: Weakness in the face of suffering: The Independent on Sunday

It is easy to criticise the BBC, but that does not mean that it is always wrong to do so. The corporation’s refusal to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal for aid to Gaza was a mistake. The Independent on Sunday is proud to carry the appeal on behalf of the group of 13 reputable charities.
We accept that the intentions of Mark Thompson, the BBC director-general, were honourable. Concerned to protect its reputation for impartiality, the BBC wanted to avoid “appearing to support one side rather than the other” in the Gaza conflict, as Caroline Thomson, the corporation’s chief operating officer, said yesterday. This is a weak-minded interpretation of the BBC’s duty of impartiality. The corporation seems to think it can avoid the charge of bias if it does nothing.
Does the BBC have so little confidence in its reporting that it believes it can be undermined by its providing airtime for a charitable appeal for humanitarian aid? It has come to something when normally cautious government ministers condemn the BBC for being afraid of offending the Israeli government. Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development, was clear, principled and right. “The British public can distinguish between humanitarian aid and partiality in a conflict,” he said yesterday. And he pointed out that if broadcasting the appeal might imply disapproval of Israel, not showing it might imply that Palestinian suffering did not count. The thinness of the BBC’s case was exposed by Ms Thomson’s claim that it had refused to carry aid appeals before, for Lebanon and Afghanistan. In neither case were those appeals made by the DEC; the fact that a committee of 13 aid agencies is able to agree an appeal ought to be testimony to the degree of consensus that the humanitarian crisis is above politics.

Cairo hospitals treat Gaza’s war-scarred children: Al Jazeera

Israel’s cabinet is considering how to protect its soldiers from international prosecution for alleged war crimes in Gaza.
More than 1,300 Palestinians were killed during Israel’s three week offensive, many of them women and children.
Al Jazeera’s Amr El-Kahky has been to a hospital in Egypt, where doctors claim the wounds they are treating may have been caused by the use of white phosphorus.
This package contains images that may disturb or offend some viewers.

Fear and trauma in Gaza’s schools: Al Jazeera TV

By Alex Dziadosz in Gaza

As students filed into the courtyard of Asma elementary school in Gaza City for the first time since the Israeli offensive began, they were greeted by a bleak reminder of the violence that left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead and thousands injured.
A hole punched by an Israeli rocket scarred the courtyard latrine and blood soiled the wall beside it.
Asma is one of over 600 schools in Gaza – most of which reopened on January 24 – that is today facing a large number of post-war operational challenges. Educators across the Gaza Strip are now considering whether to reschedule exams which were abandoned when Israel began bombing the territory on December 27. Teachers are also faced with the task of teaching in rooms which had served as shelters for dozens of refugees.
Addressing the trauma
Send us your views and eyewitness videos On their first day back to class, most children meandered in the courtyard, eating bread and cheese provided by the school and playing with their friends.
Inside the classrooms, debris left by the scores of refugees housed there until a few days ago still covered the floors – a box of tomatoes, empty bottles and, in some rooms, the shattered remnants of boards and chairs used for firewood in the absence of gas and electricity. Many teachers say that a normal curriculum cannot be administered until students have been treated for trauma from the deaths of their classmates and family members. “In the morning when I was working among the students, some of them were very frightened,” said Amirah Hamdan, a teacher at Asma who handles the morning attendance call.

Gaza children return to school: Al Jazeera TV

Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip have gone back to school for the first time since the 22-day Israeli offensive that killed more than 1,300 people, at least 410 of which were children. About 200,000 children returned on Saturday as the UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) reopened its 221 schools in the devastated territory. Public schools operated by the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip were also reopened. Three UN schools were hit by Israeli missiles and shells during the Israeli aerial, naval and ground offensive, including one attack in Jabaliya that left more than 40 people dead. Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from that school, said hundreds of students had gathered as Palestinians struggle to get their lives back to normal. “A Muslim aid organisation has come and is performing songs and dance, trying to lift the spirits of the kids,” he said.

News special: Gaza in Ruins: Al Jazeera TV

The Gaza Strip is a land in ruins, devastated by 22 days of Israeli assault and an ongoing siege. In this Al Jazeera news special from Gaza, correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin examines the human, physical and political cost of the war.

Part one looks at how ordinary people are trying to rebuild their lives. It is almost a week since the end of this latest war, yet the death toll is still rising. Each day more bodies are found under the rubble. For the survivors, at least 100,000 now find themselves homeless.

In part two, we examine damage to the infrastructure. At least 21,000 commercial, public and private buildings have been damaged or levelled – almost 1,000 for every day of the war. The cost of rebuilding is likely to run into billions of dollars, according to the UN.

Part three explores the politics at play. The ultimate goal for the people of Gaza is to achieve an independent Palestinian state. We examine the main political players, and who could possibly unite the Palestinian factions in order to move forward.

BBC left isolated as rival channels back aid appeal: The Independent

Ministers step into row over corporation’s refusal to show charities’ plea for donations to Gaza

The BBC was engaged in a war of words with ministers last night over its refusal to broadcast an urgent appeal for humanitarian aid to Gaza. Government figures, aid workers and BBC staff expressed outrage that the corporation has not backed down, as some of its rivals did yesterday, and broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal. The BBC said yesterday it was concerned that access to aid in Gaza might be problematic, and that it did not want to endanger the public’s perception of the impartiality of its reporting.
The BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons expressed concern that the “level and tone” of the political comments were “coming close to constituting undue interference in the political independence” of the corporation.
Channel 4, Five, ITV and al-Jazeera English announced they will be airing the DEC appeal tomorrow, after initially falling in behind the BBC. Sky News was considering its position last night.
Public figures were outraged by the broadcaster’s decision not to air the appeal, calling it a “terrible mistake”. One former senior BBC journalist referred to “a culture of timidity”. The BBC has previously aired DEC pleas for humanitarian help in volatile regions such as Congo and Burma.

A shameful war: Israel in the dock over assault on Gaza: Independent on Sunday

By the time the shooting stopped, more than 100 Palestinians had been killed for every Israeli who died. Was every death lawful? And, if not, where does the fault lie?

Did Israel – or its enemy, Hamas – commit war crimes during 22 days and nights of aerial assault, rocket launches and ground fighting in Gaza? In one sense the question is academic, because Israel will not recognise the conflict as an international one, and has not signed the 1977 Geneva protocol designed to apply to the victims of internal conflicts. But international lawyers say general principles can be drawn from the laws of war, which may have been violated in several ways.
The main issues are these:
Up to 10 times as many Palestinians were killed as Israelis. The Palestinian Ministry of Health says 1,314 Palestinians were killed, of whom 412 were children or teenagers under 18, and 110 were women. On the Israeli side, there were 13 deaths between 27 December and 17 January, of whom three were civilians killed by rockets fired from Gaza. Of the 10 soldiers killed, four were lost to “friendly fire”.
Even if the Palestinian figure is disputed, it is clear that the death toll was massively higher for Palestinians than Israelis. Proportionality is not simply a matter of numbers, however. There will also be a debate over whether the destruction wrought by Israel’s huge land, sea and air arsenal was proportionate to the threat posed by Hamas militants to civilians – itself also a violation of international humanitarian law.

Waghorn: ‘They kept us out of Gaza and Israeli officials spun the war’: Indendent on Sunday

Frustrated in his effort to cover the conflict, Dominic Waghorn says the press controls backfired

For three and a half weeks I have covered a war, if we can call it that, from a distance – for much of the time standing on a van. I did so because the Israeli government operated the most draconian press controls in the history of modern warfare during its offensive on Gaza. A strip of land 25 miles long, with one and a half million people living through bombardment and a humanitarian crisis, was closed to journalists.
Gaza is entirely surrounded by a security fence; Israel was able to enforce its ban with ease. It also declared the neighbouring area a closed military zone. Military police repeatedly moved us back from the border; those who flouted the rules were detained. There were only one or two places where we were allowed to film live that had a view of Gaza. We nicknamed one the Hill of Shame, a mound a mile or two outside the northernmost tip of Gaza. On it was camped a circus of news crews more than 100 strong. On weekends, Israeli war tourists – there is no other way to describe them – joined the scene, cheering the large explosions in the distance. I wondered how Israelis would view Palestinians doing the same. And during the week, a constant parade of Israeli experts and officials was on hand to spin the way they wanted us to view the war.
We went to great lengths to get a better view, sneaking into kibbutzes with our satellite dish or hiding in deserted earthworks, but were always found eventually and moved on, ending up on the roadside peering at the conflict from the top of our van. It is hard to convey the frustration of reporting on a conflict in those conditions. You can go on about what you are hearing and seeing, and talk in hackneyed terms of “the rattle of small arms fire”, but the viewer wants to know what is happening on the ground and what it is doing to the people at the receiving end.

Is the BBC right on Gaza?: The Guardian poll – link to vote!

The BBC has refused to broadcast a humanitarian appeal for Gaza, saying it doesn’t want to risk compromising public confidence in its impartiality. The Disasters Emergency Committee, on the other hand, says the appeal is ‘a response to humanitarian principles’. Is the BBC justified in its decision?

Currently, the vote is: No – 81%, Yes – 19%! Vote and complain!

Archbishop joins criticism of BBC refusal to screen Gaza appeal: The Guardian

Corporation receives 11,000 complaints and 50 MPs plan to back motion calling on BBC to change its mind over aid film

The Archbishop of Canterbury today added to criticism of the BBC over its refusal to broadcast a charity appeal for aid to Gaza.
He spoke as it emerged the BBC had received some 11,000 complaints and more than 50 MPs planned to back a parliamentary motion urging the corporation to reverse its decision not to broadcast tomorrow’s appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).
The early day motion to be tabled tomorrow by Labour’s Richard Burden has received the support of 51 MPs from across the Commons; ministers and some senior BBC staff have also called for the BBC to change its mind. The corporation today admitted it had received “approximately” 1,000 telephone complaints about the decision and a further 10,000 by email.
Meanwhile, adding his voice to the calls for a U-turn while speaking after a church service in Cambridge, the Right Rev Rowan Williams said: “My feeling is that the BBC should broadcast an appeal.” But despite the increasing pressure, a BBC spokesman today said the situation remained unchanged. Mark Thompson, the BBC director general, has been left isolated as ITV and Channel 4 agreed to air the plea for aid.

At the heart of BBC row, the homeless of Gaza: The Guardian

Peter Beaumont returns to Jabal Rayas to talk to the children whose desperate struggle to survive in bombed-out Gaza has led a leading charity to mount an emergency appeal – which BBC executives are refusing to screen

Safaa Salam is scared and cold. Last night the 10-year-old girl slept in the ruins of her family house in the Jabal Rayas area of eastern Gaza. So did her four-year-old niece Ghavad. It is not so much a ruin as a cave, the top a tented slab of crumbling concrete, cracked and buckling in the middle. Safaa’s brother, Salman, aged 30 – Ghavad’s father – jumps down from the roof that he is clearing, throwing the tail fin from an Israeli bomb. “I found four of these,” he says. “It was cold last night,” says Safaa. “And I’m scared of the packs of dogs.”

Safaa Salam, 10, with her brother Salman Salam in the ruins of their family home in the Jabal Rayas area of eastern Gaza. Photograph: Peter Beaumont

Safaa Salam, 10, with her brother Salman Salam in the ruins of their family home in the Jabal Rayas area of eastern Gaza. Photograph: Peter Beaumont

Salman agrees. “All of the women are frightened. They are worried the Israelis might come back. And they are scared of the dogs.” The dogs come to feed on the bodies of the family’s sheep, lying stinking in the rubble, 20 feet from where the family sleeps. There is a toddler on a filthy mattress in the gloom. It is Salman’s daughter. “She’s sick. And she still can’t sleep. But I don’t know who to talk to about this.” I visit Jabal Rayas twice, walking among the craters, scrambling among the broken concrete into homes that – while ruined – are again in occupation. It is into such places that aid agencies wish to pour resources, raised in part by charitable appeals around the world like the one launched in Britain by the Disasters Emergency Committee that has been rejected for broadcast by the BBC.
On Friday evening, I come across the Khader family, who have set up a makeshift structure on the roof of their ruins. Mohammed Khader, father of eight girls, and his brother Zaid and his family, have found somewhere for the youngest to sleep. But they stay in the wreckage of their home. They pray and wash and cook in what is just a shanty with cloth walls. When the rain falls it hammers on the corrugated-iron roof.

Hamas fights to rebuild Gaza in new battle for hearts and minds: The Guardian

Islamists say only they can lead the reconstruction, but the west is reluctant to give them aid, reports Peter Beaumont in Gaza

A bitter struggle is taking place over the right to oversee the reconstruction of Gaza, even as the leadership of Hamas emerges from the rubble of areas that were devastated by 23 days of Israeli bombardment. The international community insists that it cannot channel billions of dollars in reconstruction aid to Hamas, and is calling for the involvement of the more moderate Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. But Hamas is insisting on sole control of Gaza’s rebuilding, as well as claiming moral leadership of the Palestinian people. In the week since Israel and Hamas declared unilateral ceasefires to bring an end to more than three weeks of fighting, in which almost 1,500 Gazans died, the movement has acted rapidly to assert its control over assistance to civilians. Sitting on huge cash reserves, Hamas has said that it will begin distributing emergency payments of €4,000 to those who have lost homes, and has already been handing out coupons for food as well as aid, some of it seized from foreign and international donors. The role of Hamas in the reconstruction effort, and the group’s tense relations with Abbas and his Fatah movement, have come to permeate every corner of Gaza’s bruised and bloodied society.

BBC resisting pressure over Gaza: BBC

The BBC is continuing to resist pressure over its decision not to air an appeal for aid to Gaza, as the Archbishop of York joined its critics. Rival channels ITV, Channel 4 and Five have now agreed to show the DEC appeal. Director general Mark Thompson has said by airing the appeal the BBC would risk reducing public confidence in its impartial coverage of the conflict. But Dr John Sentamu said it was “not a row about impartiality but rather about humanity”. In a statement, he said: “This situation is akin to that of British military hospitals who treat prisoners of war as a result of their duty under the Geneva convention. “They do so because they identify need rather than cause. “This is not an appeal by Hamas asking for arms but by the Disasters Emergency Committee asking for relief. By declining their request, the BBC has already taken sides and forsaken impartiality.”

Reaction in BBC Gaza appeal row: BBC

The BBC’s decision not to broadcast an appeal has proved controversial
The BBC’s decision not to air a charity appeal for aid to Gaza has come in for fierce criticism. Director general Mark Thompson has said by airing the appeal the BBC would risk reducing public confidence in its impartial coverage of the conflict. But politicians have urged a review of the decision, and a crowd of 2,000 protested outside the BBC’s London HQ.

“Inevitably an appeal would use pictures which are the same or similar to those we would be using in our news programmes but would do so with the objective of encouraging public donations. The danger for the BBC is that this could be interpreted as taking a political stance on an ongoing story. After consultation with senior news editors, we concluded that to broadcast a free-standing appeal, no matter how carefully couched, ran the risk of calling into question the public’s confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in its coverage of the story as a whole. This is an important part of what it is to be a public service broadcaster. It is sometimes not a comfortable place to be, but we have a duty to ensure that nothing risks undermining our impartiality. It is to protect that impartiality that we have made this difficult decision.”

To read about this ‘impartial’ man and his impartial Jewish wife, going to mJerusalem to meet with Sharon, go to the top of today’s blog.

New Jewish Australian Committee for the Dismantling of Zionism

The December 2008 Gaza Massacre
John Docker and Ned Curthoys
We are part of an increasing number of people around the world of Jewish descent who are sickened by the coldly calculated massacre of the Palestinians of Gaza and who utterly repudiate Israel’s claim that it acts in the name of Jews the world over. Like Antony Loewenstein we deplore the ‘myth of Israel’ as perpetual victim and rational peace seeker, and its stranglehold over media reportage of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The massacre in Gaza cries out not only for immediate condemnation but for historical explanation. As scholars working in the fields of genocide studies and research into the long history of European colonization, it seems clear to us that Israel – as in the history of white Australia since 1788 – is a genocidal settler colonial society that since its founding in 1948 continually seeks to destroy the foundations of life of the indigenous Palestinians, their health, dignity, livelihood, personal security, access to education, and political organisation, so that the Palestinians can be replaced by colonizing Zionist settlers. Recent genocide scholarship has highlighted how much the original definition of genocide (by Raphael Lemkin in chapter nine of his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe) linked genocide and colonization as a two stage process of destruction of the home society (not necessarily by physical annihilation qua Nazism) and replacement by the incoming colonizers. Such has been the continuing historical pattern of Israel in relation to the indigenous people of the land. In 1948 the Zionist forces violently drove out over 700,000 Palestinians by deploying ‘admonitory massacres’, as the Israeli historian Ilan Pappé has evoked in horrific detail in his recent The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006). Pappé details the continuous series of massacres in 1948-49 and sporadically thereafter that the Zionists perpetrated against the Palestinians in order to ‘Judaize’ ethnically-cleansed Palestinian lands. In 1967 the Israeli state conquered the West Bank and Gaza and has aggressively continued a genocidal pattern of replacement and destruction, creating and expanding Jewish settlements, stealing Palestinian land and ghettoizing remaining Palestinian communities, attempting, through a brutal military occupation, to make life humiliating and unbearable for the Palestinians.

Growing outrage at the Killings in Gaza: Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP)

The Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) is a Palestinian non-governmental, non-profit organization established in 1990 to provide comprehensive community mental health services to the population of the Gaza Strip. Since that time, the Gaza Strip has witnessed extreme forms of violence and suffering, due to Occupation and military operations. Furthermore, the siege imposed on Gaza following Hamas takeover the Gaza Strip has accumulated the mental health problems to reach unprecedented levels.
GCMHP in partnership with WHO plan to organize GCMHP’s 5th international conference entitled “Siege and Mental Health… Walls vs. Bridges”. The major goal of the convention is to discuss issues related to siege, mental health, and human rights. Furthermore, the conference aims to help international academics, policy makers, and civil society groups understand the linkage between siege, violence, mental health, and human rights. The conference will include keynote speakers, workshops, and discussions sharing experiences on the conference themes.

BBC refuses to broadcast charity appeal for Gaza aid: CNN Online

The BBC is refusing to broadcast a plea from leading British charities for aid to Gaza, saying the ad would compromise the public broadcaster’s appearance of impartiality.Demonstrators protest at the BBC’s central London offices Saturday against the broadcaster’s decision.The decision prompted weekend protests in England and Scotland, with one group saying Sunday that 100 people had occupied the foyer of the BBC building in Glasgow, Scotland and would not leave until the BBC runs the ad.

The Disasters Emergency Committee, which includes the British Red Cross, Oxfam, Save the Children and 10 other charities, plans to launch the ad on Monday. British broadcasters, led by the BBC, originally declined to air the appeal — but in the face of criticism from government ministers and others, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 changed their minds. CNN was not approached to broadcast the ad, a DEC spokesman said. About 5,000 people demonstrated in front of the BBC’s Broadcasting House in central London on Saturday over the broadcaster’s stance. Seven people were arrested. In Glasgow, the London-based Stop the War Coalition said Sunday its supporters had moved into the foyer of the BBC building in what the group described as a peaceful protest. The group did not plan to move beyond the foyer but intended to stay there until the BBC changes its decision, said Keith Boyd, a coalition member who called CNN on Sunday.”Primarily we are asking that the ad be shown,” Boyd said.

Blow, view the protest in frony of the BBC offices today!

A reminder! This is when they already were planning the murder:

Israeli minister warns of Palestinian ‘holocaust’: The Guardian (29 Feb 2008)

An Israeli minister today warned of increasingly bitter conflict in the Gaza Strip, saying the Palestinians could bring on themselves what he called a “holocaust”. “The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves,” Matan Vilnai, Israel’s deputy defence minister, told army radio. Shoah is the Hebrew word normally reserved to refer to the Jewish Holocaust. It is rarely used in Israel outside discussions of the Nazi extermination of Jews during the second world war, and many Israelis are loath to countenance its use to describe other events. The minister’s statement came after two days of tit-for-tat missile raids between Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli army. At least 32 Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed since the surge in violence on Wednesday. Today Israel activated a rocket warning system to protect Ashkelon, a city of 120,000 people, from Palestinian attacks. Ashkelon was hit by several Grad rockets fired from Gaza yesterday. One hit an apartment building, slicing through the roof and three floors below, and another landed near a school, wounding a 17-year-old girl. Located 11 miles from Gaza, Ashkelon has been sporadically targeted before but not suffered direct hits or significant damage. “It will be sad, and difficult, but we have no other choice,” Vilnai said, referring to the large-scale military operation he said Israel was preparing to bring a halt to the rocket fire. “We’re getting close to using our full strength. Until now, we’ve used a small percentage of the army’s power because of the nature of the territory.”

The saddest thing is that I know this minister rather well, and in the past he was almost human… a measure of the terrible erosion of humanity in the Israeli society and its ‘elites’.

Gaza Aid Protesters In Beeb’s HQ: Sky News

Dozens of protesters who occupied the BBC’s Glasgow headquarters over its refusal to air an aid appeal for Gaza have left the building.

The supporters of the Stop the War Coalition and Palestinian groups had said they would not leave a lobby area until the Beeb reversed its decision. The coalition claimed there were about 100 demonstrators inside and outside the building. A Strathclyde Police said there were about 40 to 50 protesters and they have now left the building. There were no arrests. More than 50 MPs have backed a parliamentary motion urging the broadcaster to show the appeal for thousands of people struggling in the Palestinian territory. The early day motion – to be tabled on Monday by Labour’s Richard Burden – has so far received the support of 51 MPs from across the Commons.

Burnham On The BBC Row

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