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Showing posts from January 4, 2009

Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction, Naomi Klein, The Nation

January 7, 2009It's time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa. In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on "people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era." The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions--BDS for short--was born. Every day that Israel pounds Gaza brings more converts to the BDS cause, and talk of cease-fires is doing little to slow the momentum. Support is even emerging among Israeli Jews. In the midst of the assault roughly 500 Israelis, dozens of them well-known artists and scholars, sent a letter to foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel. It calls for "the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and s…

Take Action: Enforce UN SC Resolution 1860 Now!

Take Action: Enforce UN SC Resolution 1860 Now!As Israel's war on the occupied Gaza Strip nears two weeks in duration, Palestinians casualties continue to mount at a horrific rate.According to medics, Israel has killed nearly 800 Palestinians and wounded more than 3,000-all with U.S. weapons provided by U.S. taxpayers in violation of U.S. law.

Last night, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1860 by a vote of 14-0 with the United States abstaining.The resolution calls for an "immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza" and for "unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment".

Although the White House reportedly overruled the State Department and changed the U.S. vote from "yes" to "abstain", this vote is a clear indication that our collective pressure is being heeded and we…

Gaza under fire, John Pilger

Published 08 January 2009Every war Israel has waged since 1948 has had the same objective: expulsion of the native people and theft of more land. But why are we in the west silent on this truth?
"When the truth is replaced by silence," the Soviet dissident Yevgeny Yevtushenko said, "the silence is a lie." It may appear that the silence on Gaza is broken. The small cocoons of murdered children, wrapped in green, together with boxes containing their dismembered parents, and the cries of grief and rage of everyone in that death camp by the sea can be witnessed on al-Jazeera and YouTube, even glimpsed on the BBC. But Russia's incorrigible poet was not referring to the ephemera we call news; he was asking why those who knew the why never spoke it, and so denied it. Among the Anglo-American intelligentsia, this is especially striking. It is they who hold the keys to the great storehouses of knowledge: the historiographies and archives that lead us to the why.They kno…

Avi Shlaim: How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe | World news | The Guardian

Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state's legitimacy. But its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusionsAvi ShlaimThe Guardian, Wednesday 7 January 2009 Article history A wounded Palestinian policeman gestures while lying on the ground outside Hamas police headquarters following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images The only way to make sense of Israel's senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders&qu…

Arnon Soffer on Palestine, Israel, and "The Demographic Problem"

I often hear from "pro-"Israeli friends about how vicious Hamas propaganda is, and how sanitized their message is for Western audiences.

Here's an example of the viciousness in Israel. Pure racism. I can't find this on the Jerusalem Post's site. I wonder why. Luckily, it was preserved in various places on the web. Key quote:
Will Israel be prepared to fight this war [i.e., the coming post-disengagement war in Gaza; this is 2004, remember]?

First of all, the fence is not built like the Berlin Wall. It's a fence that we will be guarding on either side. Instead of entering Gaza, the way we did last week, we will tell the Palestinians that if a single missile is fired over the fence, we will fire 10 in response. And women and children will be killed, and houses will be destroyed. After the fifth such incident, Palestinian mothers won't allow their husbands to shoot Kassams, because they will know what's waiting for them.

Second of all, when 2.5 million peopl…

Throw your weight behind Gaza in the PR war

Photo: Silent Bombs, Nidal El-Khairy.Jammers, creatives, meme warriors,As the bombs continue to rain down on Gaza, frustration with the Western media’s coverage of the war is mounting. Referring to the same event, for example, the International Herald Tribune carried the straightforward headline “Israeli Mortars Kill 40 Palestinian Refugees,” while CNN ran the headline “Israel: Hamas Mortars Prompted Attack Near UN School.” A public relations war is taking place alongside the bloody conflict and, for the moment, the Palestinians are losing it – badly.Don't sit on the sidelines. Our 80,000-strong network can throw its weight behind Gaza in this propaganda war. Here are two things you can do right now:Forward the following article and video link to as many people as possible. Make sure your friends and family hear from you on this issue.

Link to Article:
Who Is Winning the PR War?

Link to Video:

War of Choice: How Israel Manufactured the Gaza Escalation, Steve Niva, FPIF, January 7, 2009

Israel has repeatedly claimed that it had "no choice" but to wage war on Gaza on December 27 because Hamas had broken a ceasefire, was firing rockets at Israeli civilians, and had "tried everything in order to avoid this military operation," as Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni put it.This claim, however, is widely at odds with the fact that Israel's military and political leadership took many aggressive steps during the ceasefire that escalated a crisis with Hamas, and possibly even provoked Hamas to create a pretext for the assault. This wasn't a war of "no choice," but rather a very avoidable war in which Israeli actions played the major role in instigating.Israel has a long history of deliberately using violence and other provocative measures to trigger reactions in order to create a pretext for military action, and to portray its opponents as the aggressors and Israel as the victim. According to the respected Israeli military historian Zeev Maoz …

Demand Real Change In U.S. Policy toward Israel & Palestine

Demand Real Change
In U.S. Policy toward Israel & Palestine

Dear Doug,Since December 27, Israel's brutal attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip have killed more than an estimated 640 people and injured more than 3,000.Today Israeli artillery shells landed on a UN school in the Jebaliya refugee camp, killing at least 34 people and injuring at least 55.
The Israeli attacks of the last eleven days have been carried out with weaponry and diplomatic support from the United States. President-Elect Obama has failed to speak out against the atrocities being committed against the people of Gaza.Now is the time to let President-Elect Obama know that we demand accountability from Israel.
We suggest two ways to make President-Elect Obama hear your voice.First, go to to let the Obama transition team know that you demand:
1)Pressure on Israel for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire2)Unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and a lifting of Israel's sieg…