March 2, 2009

Make Zionism History! boycott-israel-anim2

Help to stop the next war! Support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of the Israeli regime

Support Palestinian universities – spread the BDS campaign – it is what people under the Israeli jackboot  ask  you to do!

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

Three generations of the Siam family become homeless in Silwan. Between 1994-2006, 678 houses were demolished in East Jerusalem alone. (ActiveStills.org)

Three generations of the Siam family become homeless in Silwan. Between 1994-2006, 678 houses were demolished in East Jerusalem alone. (ActiveStills.org)

The lines above are not mere slogans. Read the item below to realise how deep the changes are which have been brought about by the Gaza carnage. Israel may well have succeeded in doing something it never before managed – alienating and infuriating huge numbers of people across the world; this, to a point where many are ready to confront the monster built by the west, and to pose it some searching questions and demands. While we do not yet know if this action will succeed where all others faile before, the feeling of a sea change is not misplaced.

Israel may face war crimes trials over Gaza: The Guardian

• Court looks at whether Palestinians can bring case
• International pressure grows over conflict

The international criminal court is considering whether the Palestinian Authority is “enough like a state” for it to bring a case alleging that Israeli troops committed war crimes in the recent assault on Gaza. The deliberations would potentially open the way to putting Israeli military commanders in the dock at The Hague over the campaign, which claimed more than 1,300 lives, and set an important precedent for the court over what cases it can hear.
As part of the process the court’s head of jurisdictions, part of the office of the prosecutor, is examining every international agreement signed by the PA to decide whether it behaves – and is regarded by others – as operating like a state. Following talks with the Arab League’s head, Amr Moussa, and senior PA officials, moves have accelerated inside the court to deliver a ruling on whether it may be able to insist on jurisdiction over alleged war crimes perpetrated in Gaza, with a decision from the prosecutor’s office expected within “months, not years”. The issue arises because although the ICC potentially has “global jurisdiction” to investigate crimes which fall into its remit no matter where they were committed, Israel – despite having signed the Rome statute that founded the court and having expressed “deep sympathy” with the court’s goals – is not a party.
The ICC, which has 108 member states, has not so far recognised Palestine as a sovereign state or as a member.

One thing is clear – if Tony Blair is asking for Israeli cessation of the Blockade, after he spent years working for Israel in Jeruslaem, and getting $1Million from Tel Aviv university for doing exactly nothing, then thinga must be hotting up for Israel… maybe Tel Aviv should rethink that million bucks… just joking… obviously Tony remains Israel’s best loved poodle, and should be paid accordingly. If bankers are paid huge sums for bringing capitalism down, why should Tony not be paid for doind bugger all in his bizarre role as the envoy of a body which does not exist? Give him some more millions, I say! He has managed to never visit Gaza ever since he became the envoy of God in Palestine, isn;t this wortha million? He has also managed to not saya word while the killing was going on in Gaza – surely this is wortha few bob? After all, he has learnt how not to react in 2006, when Israel was out on a destructive spree in Lebanon. Our Tony is really good in clamming up when the boss says so! More millions to Timorous Tony, please!

Israel must lift Gaza blockade now, says Blair: The Guardian

Tony Blair made his first visit to Gaza yesterday as international Middle East envoy, and called for a new approach to resolving the Gaza crisis, ahead of a key reconstruction conference. Blair, the latest high-level diplomat to visit Gaza in the wake of the devastating three-week conflict, said Israel should immediately lift its economic blockade of the strip, which is home to 1.5 million Palestinians and under the control of the Hamas Islamist movement. “I think there is a recognition that we have got to change our strategy towards Gaza,” he said.
The visit, his first since he went there as prime minister in November 2001, preceded a conference to be held today in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh at which the Palestinian Authority is expected to ask for $2.8bn for the reconstruction of Gaza. The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, will be present for the conference before visiting Ramallah and Israel in the following days, in her first trip to the Middle East as secretary of state.

Blair says Gaza crossings must be opened to assist rebuilding: The Independent

Former Prime Minister makes first visit to territory since becoming envoy
Tony Blair has called for Gaza’s crossings to be opened for basic building and other commercial goods, adding to international pressure on Israel likely to be exerted at today’s Egypt-hosted post-war reconstruction summit. On his long-awaited first visit to the Palestinian territory as Middle East envoy from the international quartet – the UN, US, EU and Russia – Mr Blair said that the 20-month blockade inflicted on the territory’s 1.5 million inhabitants “does not work”. He made the comments while calling for an end to violence, including rockets fired by Gazan militants into Israel.

And below you can read about the brand new machinery invented by Israel and the West to isolate Hamas, the elected government of Palestine. What the bombs and carnage failed to do, they are now planning to do with money mountains. It will change nothing, of course – all the infrastructure built with the last mountaing of bucks was destroyed by the bombing. And guess who will not paya penny? Only the murderers and destroyers of Palestine. We will be paying for their destruction, like we always do... And every penny will go through the unelected ‘president’ of Palestine, and his corrupt government. Excellent!

Billions pledged to rebuild Gaza: BBC

International donors have pledged almost $4.5bn (£3.2bn) in aid to the Palestinians, chiefly to rebuild Gaza after Israel’s recent offensive.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington would donate $900m, and vigorously seek to advance peace. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told a summit in Egypt cash was “insufficient” without a political solution. Israel, which has been fighting Gaza militants, refuses to allow building materials into Gaza for reconstruction. As well as the $900m promised by the US, Saudi Arabia pledged $1bn (£703m) for Gaza. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit says the total of $4.48m from about 70 countries was “beyond of our expectations”.

Leading article: Blair’s visit to Gaza opens a door that must not be closed: The Independent

Compromises are essential if progress towards peace is to be made
Tony Blair’s first visit to Gaza yesterday as envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East, comprising the EU, America, the UN and Russia, could not have been more timely. Weeks after the end of Israel’s 22-day military offensive in Gaza, the work of reconstruction is being held up by two separate, albeit related, issues.
One is the unwillingness of the two states adjoining Gaza – Israel and Egypt – to open their borders freely to the passage of aid convoys. This is partly because they fear that deliveries of such innocent-sounding materials as sand and concrete might not always be used to rebuild houses but could be used to build weapons and bombs; also because Israel and Egypt are loath to do anything that suggests even a tacit recognition of the Hamas-run authority in Gaza. At the same time, Arab states’ financial donations towards reconstruction are being held up by the insistence of the internationally recognised Fatah-led Palestinian Authority on the West Bank that any money for Gaza should be channelled through them. It is not easy to square this circle, one of the results of which is to leave families in Gaza camping in the rubble of their ruined homes. Indeed, the wish to rebuild Gaza, but not give Hamas the legitimacy it seeks in the process, is a dilemma that will be in the fronts of the minds of the representatives of all the donor states attending the aid conference on Gaza which opens today in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt. The Europeans, while maintaining their official boycott of Hamas, will nevertheless want to see more pressure being applied on Israel’s government, at the very least over the question of allowing greater access for humanitarian aid deliveries.

Young Gaza couple begin married life in a tent: Electronic Intifada

Tents setup in the al-Rayyan refugee camp for Palestinians whose homes were destroyed by the Israeli attacks on Gaza. (Rami Almeghari)

Tents setup in the al-Rayyan refugee camp for Palestinians whose homes were destroyed by the Israeli attacks on Gaza. (Rami Almeghari)

Rami Almeghari writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine
Last Thursday, relatives, friends and local community representatives attended an unusual wedding party in Gaza. The celebration was held in a newly-erected refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabaliya. “My wife and I planned to marry at my house, where we furnished an apartment, just shortly before Israel’s war on Gaza. Yet, as you see, we were forced to stay at this tent in the al-Rayyan refugee camp,” said newly-married Ahmad al-Hersh of Jabaliya refugee camp. “We had no other option; after the war, there have been so many difficulties to find a house to rent, as the demand is higher than before. My wife Eman initially objected but later on she agreed as we don’t have any other choice. And thanks to those who helped furnish this marriage set,” recalled Ahmad while sitting at his tent’s bedroom. Ahmad used to live in a three-story house in the al-Khulafa neighborhood inside the town of Jabaliya, before it was bombed by Israeli warplanes during the 22-day siege of Gaza. The tent where the newly married Palestinian couple will live has a bed, table, cupboard and a small bathroom.

Al-Haq receives prestigious Geuzenpenning prize: Electronic Intifada

The Palestinian rights organization Al-Haq, together with the Israeli rights organization B’Tselem, will receive the prestigious Dutch Geuzenpenning award for human rights defenders on 13 March 2009. Al-Haq is an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organization based in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. The organization was established in 1979 to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The award is an initiative of the Foundation Geuzen Resistance 1940-1945, named after the De Geuzen resistance group active during World War II around Vlaardingen, Maassluis and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The resistance group, in turn, took its name from the Geuzen, a collection of armed groups that fought the Spanish occupation of the Low Countries in the 16th century, during the Dutch Revolt. German forces executed 15 De Geuzen members in the dunes of the Waalsdorpervlakte near The Hague on 13 March 1941. The Waaldsorpervlakte has become one of the most important war memorials in the Netherlands. After the war, surviving members of the group started the foundation to honor the memory of their fallen comrades, and the Geuzen ideals of promoting and maintaining democracy in the Netherlands and heightening global awareness of all forms of dictatorship, discrimination and racism. Shawan Jabarin, General Director of Al-Haq, told The Electronic Intifada, “We are proud to receive The Geuzenpenning, because of the history that is linked to it. The award is an acknowledgement of our resistance to the [Israeli] occupation.”

Rice is aid, pasta not: Electronic Intifada

RAMALLAH (IPS) – Red-faced and unusually tongue-tied Israeli officials were forced to try and explain to United States Senator John Kerry during his visit to Israel last week why truckloads of pasta waiting to enter the besieged Gaza Strip were not considered humanitarian aid while rice was. Kerry, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, visited the coastal territory on a fact-finding mission. The purpose of the visit was to assess the humanitarian situation on the ground and the level of destruction wrought by Israel’s three-week military assault on Gaza, codenamed Operation Cast Lead. During his visit to Gaza it came to the senator’s attention that Israel had prevented a number of trucks loaded with pasta from entering the territory. The United Nations agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) officials explained to Kerry that Israel was only permitting limited amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza, and the definition of what the Israelis consider humanitarian was restricted. “Pasta is not regarded as humanitarian aid and is not allowed in to Gaza while rice is,” an UNRWA official told Kerry. Kerry then questioned Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak directly about the logic of the restriction on pasta. Following his intervention, the truckloads of pasta were eventually permitted to enter Gaza. Over a hundred aid trucks are currently entering Gaza on a daily basis. This is more than the number of trucks that were permitted entry during the ceasefire with Hamas, which lasted nearly five months until Israel launched a cross-border military raid into Gaza on 4 November. However, according to the UN, the overall level of imports remain well below the 475 trucks allowed in daily before Israel’s blockade of Gaza in June 2007 when Hamas took control. Aid organizations say the current number is insufficient to meet the market’s needs as well as the shortfall resulting from months of severe restrictions.

Well, let us hope he tells Barack and Hilary, if he ever sees them.

Jaffa: from eminence to ethnic cleansing: The Electronic Intifada

Jaffa was the largest city in historic Palestine during the years of the British mandate, with a population of more than 80,000 Palestinians in addition to the 40,000 persons living in the towns and villages in its immediate vicinity. In the period between the UN Partition resolution (UNGA 181) of 29 November 1947, and the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel, Zionist military forces displaced 95 percent of Jaffa’s indigenous Arab Palestinian population. Jaffa’s refugees accounted for 15 percent of Palestinian refugees in that fateful year, and today they are dispersed across the globe, still banned from returning by the state responsible for their displacement.
Jaffa was the epicenter of the Palestinian economy before the 1948 Nakba. Beginning in the early 19th century, the people of Jaffa had cultivated citrus groves, particularly oranges, on their land. International demand for Jaffa oranges propelled the city onto the world stage, earning the city an important place in the global economy. By the 1930s, Jaffa was exporting tens of millions of citrus crates to the rest of the world, which provided thousands of jobs for the people of the city and its environs, and linking them to the major commercial centers of the Mediterranean coast and the European continent.

Clinton in Israel to listen to Israel’s leadership: Ha’aretz

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in Israel Monday for a 36-hour visit, during which she will meet with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials. Arriving in Israel after attending a donors’ summit in Egypt, where world nations pledged donations to help rebuild the Gaza Strip, Clinton was expected to meet with senior Israeli officials on the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the formulation of a cease-fire agreement with Hamas. This is Clinton’s first trip to Israel in her new capacity as secretary of state, and is characterized as a familiarization trip aimed mainly at listening to the top echelon of Israel’s government.

Hilary is coming to get her script from Jerusalem. She will be a very good performer, one can be sure of that! It is interesting how clear the title makes this – hilary is in Israel ‘to listen’, indeed. What could she possibly have to say to the leaders of the only Jewish Democracy in the Middle East? And below – read more about’ Israel under the Blitz’ – find out more about the real victims of Israel’s wars…

Comptroller: No protection from ongoing Gaza rockets or potential chemical attack: Ha’aretz

The State Comptroller on Monday released a scathing report of the defense establishment, lambasting its delays in providing protection from Gaza rockets for southern residents and expressing concern that most Israelis would have no protection from a chemical attack. Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss’ report reveals a worrying picture of bureaucratic tumult, waste of funds and administrative irregularities. Southern towns on the border with the Gaza Strip have been waiting eight years for the government to reinforce their homes and public buildings, to little avail.
The comptroller examined two active defense systems: Iron Dome, built to protect against short-range missiles, and Magic Wand, designed to intercept medium-range missiles. Both systems are still in the development stage.

Durban 2 draft statement: Israel’s Palestinian policy is crime against humanity: Ha’aretz

A draft of the closing statement prepared for the upcoming United Nations-sponsored conference against racism, dubbed Durban 2, states that Israel’s policy in the Palestinian territories constitutes a “violation of international human rights, a crime against humanity and a contemporary form of apartheid.” The conference, to be held in Geneva next month, is a follow-up to the contentious 2001 conference in the South African city of Durban which was dominated by clashes over the Middle East and the legacy of slavery. The U.S. and Israel walked out midway through that eight-day meeting over a draft resolution that singled out Israel for criticism and likened Zionism – the movement to establish and maintain a Jewish state – to racism. Israel, Canada and the U.S. have already announced that they will boycott the upcoming summit.

Does it not make you feel proud, when the newly elected US president is boycotting a UN conference on racism in South Africa? I am all goose-bumpy with my admiration for the first black president of Israel!

Israel dismisses Tehran demand to arrest Israeli ‘war criminals’: Ha’aretz

The foreign ministry on Monday dismissed Iran’s request that Interpol arrest Israeli “war criminals” as a “political stunt.”

“This does not even deserve to be dignified with a comment, this is crude propaganda, it is ridiculous, why don’t they investigate Hamas war crimes?” Palmor asked. Iran on Sunday had asked Interpol to arrest what it says are 15 Israeli “war criminals” who were involved in the conflict in Gaza in December and January, the Tehran prosecutor said.  Iran, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, said in December it had set up a court to try Israelis for attacking Gaza. It had said at the time it was ready to try those it accused in absentia.

What w0ould Iran know about war crimes, after all? How many countries have they occupied? They really are meer beginners and should shut up! Only countries like USA and UK might havea view on this, having had quitea lot of experience with war crimes. Tehran – leave this to the big boys…

I love the next item! The only people who will not be at the table are the people being murdered! The only people who will not pay are the murderers! Can you think of a better, more logical and just solution? This will work likea dream, like all the excellent ones before it, in the last six decades… How could it possibly fail?

International donors pledge $5.2 billion for Gaza reconstruction: Ha’aretz

By Amira Hass
Egypt’s foreign minister on Monday said international donors have pledged $5.2 billion in new funds at the conference for rebuilding Gaza, devastated during Israel’s offensive against its Hamas rulers. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the figure is “beyond our expectations.” He said other nations recommitted themselves to funds they promised in the past but never delivered, bringing the total to $5.2 billion in pledges. Palestinian Planning Minister Samir Abdullah said the money from Monday’s conference is earmarked for humanitarian aid to Gaza, rebuilding in the territory and budget support to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority. He could not immediately say how much was going to each fund.  The international donors’ conference aimed at rebuilding the war-torn Gaza Strip got underway without Hamas on Monday, as the group warned that the West’s boycott of it would undercut international reconstruction efforts in the Gaza Strip.

Read below about the bear trap being prepared for Barack Obamah. He will be lucky to escape this one; instead, he is likely to find the first and most destructive war of his presidency, care of hard-line and Israeli advisers. Go on diigging that nuclear shelter, dear readers!

U.S. officials’ about-face on Iran nukes could sway Obama policy: Ha’aretz

Israel is anxiously awaiting the new U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which is due to be published in another month
President Barack Obama’s administration is currently formulating its policy toward Iran’s nuclear program, and the revised NIE will serve as the basis for its conclusions. The administration has already decided that it wants to begin a dialogue with Iran, but it is still wrestling with questions such as how to prevent Iran from advancing its nuclear program under cover of negotiations and what role sanctions should play in the process.
The last NIE effectively stymied efforts to impose stiffer sanctions on Iran by declaring that Tehran had halted its nuclear weapons program. Since then, however, Iran has been feverishly developing its uranium enrichment capabilities – widely considered the hardest part of making a nuclear bomb – and some experts now believe it has enough fuel for its first bomb. On Sunday, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, told CNN’s “State of the Union” program that he believes Iran has enough fissile material for a bomb.
“We think they do, quite frankly,” Mullen said.
However, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates hastened to deny this.
“They’re not close to a stockpile, they’re not close to a weapon at this point, and so there is some time,” Gates said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Israel demolishes two Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem: Ha’aretz

Israel demolished two Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem on Monday, a day before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to launch an initial effort to shore up the foundations of a shaky peace process. Two bulldozers flattened a home owned by Mahmoud al-Abbasi in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan. Israeli authorities said the house was built without a municipal permit.
Palestinians say building permission is nearly impossible to obtain from Israel’s Jerusalem city hall and say this is part of a policy to drive out Arab residents.  The Jerusalem municipality said last week it planned to demolish 88 homes, not all immediately, that were built without permits in another section of Silwan, near the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, to create a public garden.

Israeli Apartheid Week Begins in Ottawa Amid Controversy: SAIA. Canada

Detained Palestinian boy at the weekly demonstration against the Separation Wall, Bil'in, November 2005 (ActiveStills.org)

Detained Palestinian boy at the weekly demonstration against the Separation Wall, Bil'in, November 2005 (ActiveStills.org)

Thousands of students and community members in Ottawa will be attending events this week at the fifth annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), from March 2nd to 8th.  Events in Ottawa coincide with events in over 30 cities across the world, demanding justice in Israel/Palestine while denouncing racism and intolerance. The Ottawa events come in the face of attempts at intimidation and silencing by university administrations, including the banning of the IAW posters at both Carleton and the University of Ottawa.  Student organizers have also been subjected to threatening emails, which included the possibility of expulsion, from the Carleton provost.
“Five years ago, Israeli Apartheid Week began at the University of Toronto. From these humble beginnings, a grassroots movement has exploded on the international scene,” says Jessica Carpinone of Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) at Carleton University.  Despite well-documented attempts to suppress the week by University administrations and external advocacy groups, Ms. Carpinone says “this movement will not be stopped by such intimidation.”



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