Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams says he believes there can be progress in the Middle East after talking to Gaza’s Hamas prime minister.
Mr Adams had an hour long meeting with Ismail Haniya on Wednesday night. Hamas, which rules Gaza, is listed as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the US and EU. Mr Adams said he was encouraged by the dialogue. “Mr Haniya told me that Hamas wants a peace agreement,” he said.
The meeting came at the end of a day in which Mr Adams met with civic, political and business leaders in Gaza. He also toured parts of northern Gaza devastated by the Israeli operation in the Palestinian territory in January.
He said: “I welcome the opportunity to engage with so many people. “I was pleased to speak directly with Mr Haniya. I outlined to him Sinn Féin’s view that there should be a complete cessation of all hostilities and armed actions by all sides. “The fact is that the people of Palestine and the people of Israel are destined to live side by side. I believe that most people want a peaceful accommodation. “Following my meeting with Mr Haniya I believe that progress is possible.
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A Jewish human rights group has denounced a political cartoon as anti-Semitic, comparing it to Nazi imagery of the 1930s that led up to the Holocaust. The syndicated cartoon published by Pat Oliphant yesterday in newspapers across the US depicts a goose-stepping uniformed figure wheeling a fanged Star of David that menaces a small female figure labelled “Gaza.” The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish rights group with more than 400,000 members in the United States, said the cartoon is meant to denigrate and demonise Israel. “The imagery in this cartoon mimics the venomous anti-Semitic propaganda of the Nazi and Soviet eras,” Wiesenthal Center officials said in a statement. “It is cartoons like this that inspired millions of people to hate in the 1930s and help set the stage for the Nazi genocide.”
The centre called on the New York Times and other online outlets to remove the cartoon from their websites. A New York Times spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a phone or e-mail message left after office hours. Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes Oliphant’s cartoons, did not immediately return messages left late last night.
February 8, 2008
The Palestinian arts community has received the news of your plans to make a special guest appearance at the Red Sea International Music Festival in Eilat this February in a state of disbelief. At a time of unprecedented Israeli war crimes and grave violations of human rights, condemned by leading UN officials and international human rights organizations, with Israel just ending its atrocious assault on the occupied Gaza Strip, after more than 18 months of a criminal siege, described as a “prelude to genocide” by the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, your participation in this festival can only be understood as condoning this injustice and celebrating it.
We feel exceptionally disappointed because of your otherwise significant record in advocating human rights, particularly in your capacity as the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Israel’s bloody war on occupied Gaza caused the immediate death of over 1,300 people, of whom 410 were children, in addition to injuring another 5,300 people. As UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman noted in her statement regarding the Israeli aggression on Gaza:
“Each day more children are being hurt, their small bodies wounded, their young lives shattered. These are not just cold figures. They talk of children’s lives interrupted. No human being can watch this without being moved. No parent can witness this and not see their own child.”
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
• 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.