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Showing posts from January 11, 2009

'Prima facie evidence of war crimes' -- UN on Israel in Gaza

CHRIS MCGREAL - Jan 17 2009 05:00 Israel is facing growing demands from senior United Nations officials and human rights groups for an international war crimes investigation in Gaza over allegations that include the "reckless and indiscriminate" shelling of residential areas and soldiers' use of Palestinian families as human shields.

As the death toll from the Israeli assault on Gaza topped 900 this week, pressure mounted for an independent inquiry into specific incidents, such as the shelling of a UN school turned refugee centre where 40 people died and whether the military tactics used by Israel systematically breached humanitarian law.

The UN's senior human rights body approved a resolution on Monday condemning the Israeli offensive for "massive violations of human rights".

A senior UN source said UN humanitarian agencies were compiling evidence of war crimes and referring it to the "highest levels".

Some human rights activists allege Isra…

Punishing the Palestinians, Ralph Nader

In the long sixty-year tortured history of the Palestinian expulsion from their lands, Congress has maintained that it is always the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority, and now Hamas who are to blame for all hostilities and their consequences with the Israeli government.

The latest illustration of this Washington puppet show, backed by the most modern weapons and billions of taxpayer dollars annually sent to Israel, was the grotesquely one-sided Resolutions whisked through the Senate and the House of Representatives.

While a massive bombing and invasion of Gaza was underway, the resolution blaming Hamas for all the civilian casualties and devastation—99% of it inflicted on Palestinians—zoomed through the Senate by voice vote and through the House by a vote of 390 to 5 with 22 legislators voting present.

There is more dissent against this destruction of Gaza among the Israeli people, the Knesset, the Israeli media, and Jewish-Americans than among the dittoheads on Capitol Hill.

The re…

Kucinich on the Destruction of the UN Headquarters in Gaza

Washington, Jan 15

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza on the House Floor:

The attack on the United Nations headquarters in Gaza is further proof that a post-legal era in world affairs has taken shape; where law and moral principles are irrelevant, where might makes right, where retribution and vengeance, even against innocent children, fails to shake us from moral lethargy or political paralysis.

Collective punishment, disproportionate use of force, using U.S. planes, helicopters and munitions to attack a wounded, starved and thirsty civilian population of mostly children trapped in a box called Gaza has become acceptable, perhaps because we have already accepted the deaths of over one million innocent civilians in Iraq in a war based on lies.

There is a way out. We must ask those who were given our armaments for defense to stop the aggression, end the blockade, end the occupation, and reconnect with the hig…

Chomsky On Obama's Foreign Policy, 1.13.09

A recent interview; blurb:
CSU Northridge Student Julia Riber Pitt conducted an interview with Prof. Noam Chomsky, about the likely direction of Obama's foreign policy. It took place on 1.13.09 in his office at MIT, Cambridge, MA.

Recorded and edited by Charngchi Way.

Here's the Wall Street Journal article on Rahm Emanuel to which Chomsky refers. Key quote:
An Obama administration could very well be planning to govern from the center. But there's still the reality of the Democratic congressional leadership, which is brimming with left-wing barons who have their own agenda.Barney Frank wants to slash Defense spending by 25%. Charles Rangel wants to bring back the draft. John Conyers, who has called for slavery reparations, is also sympathetic to Europeans who want to indict Bush administration officials for war crimes. And Henry Waxman is angling for steep energy taxes to combat global warming.The question is whether these veteran lawmakers will simply steam roll the new White …

Israel’s Message, Ilan Pappe, LRB

In 2004, the Israeli army began building a dummy Arab city in the Negev desert. It’s the size of a real city, with streets (all of them given names), mosques, public buildings and cars. Built at a cost of $45 million, this phantom city became a dummy Gaza in the winter of 2006, after Hizbullah fought Israel to a draw in the north, so that the IDF could prepare to fight a ‘better war’ against Hamas in the south.When the Israeli Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz visited the site after the Lebanon war, he told the press that soldiers ‘were preparing for the scenario that will unfold in the dense neighbourhood of Gaza City’. A week into the bombardment of Gaza, Ehud Barak attended a rehearsal for the ground war. Foreign television crews filmed him as he watched ground troops conquer the dummy city, storming the empty houses and no doubt killing the ‘terrorists’ hiding in them.‘Gaza is the problem,’ Levy Eshkol, then prime minister of Israel, said in June 1967. ‘I was there in 1956 and saw…

Chris Hedges, The Language of Death

Posted on Jan 12, 2009By Chris HedgesThe incursion into Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel. It is not about achieving peace. The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use the lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase of the decades-long campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestinians. The assault on Gaza is about creating squalid, lawless and impoverished ghettos where life for Palestinians will be barely sustainable. It is about building ringed Palestinian enclaves where Israel will always have the ability to shut off movement, food, medicine and goods to perpetuate misery. The Israeli attack on Gaza is about building a hell on earth. This attack is the final Israeli push to extinguish a Palestinian state and crush or expel the Palestinian people. The images of dead Palestinian children, lined up as if asleep on the floor of the main hospital in Gaza, are…

Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories and Photos

Anna Baltzer, Jewish American Columbia graduate, Fulbright scholar, author of Witness in Palestine, and the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, shares her discovery of Israel's human rights violations in Palestine. Web site:
Produced: 2007
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Producer: Anna Baltzer
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Gaza is dying: Avaaz Petition

Dear friends,

Spread the word - as the awful Gaza death toll passes 1000, our Ceasefire Now petition is being delivered worldwide through ads, phone calls, and meetings with world leaders. We urgently need to reach 1 million signatures this week, act now and forward this email:
Sign Ceasefire Petition,
see our US ads!

Gaza is dying -- the battle has moved deep into its cities, jam-packed with 1.5 million civilians lacking food, medicine or water. President Bush undermined Thursday's United Nations ceasefire resolution and over 1000 people are now dead. The borders remain closed -- journalists can't get in, and desperate civilians can't get out.

But the global movement to end this war is building -- as we spread the word the petition is at 430,000 signatures and rising, it has been delivered to top leaders at the EU, UN and Arab League, our US members are flooding their representatives with phone calls, and Avaaz members worldwide have donated over $120,000 to an ad campaign in …

Prof. Noam Chomsky Speaks at the "Chomsky on Gaza" Public Forum

You can click the title of this post to listen; blurb follows:
Cambridge, MA - Prof. Noam Chomsky spoke to a capacity crowd of over 200 people yesterday at the Chomsky on Gaza Public Forum at the Wong Auditorium at MIT. The event was sponsored by the MIT Center for International Studies and its Program on Human Rights and Justice. The accompanying 1 hour 52 minute audio recording can be downloaded from the Sound Lantern audio service in the free software Ogg Vorbis format. Download the free software VLC Player to play Ogg Vorbis files on your own computer. NOTE: The timer on the Sound Lantern player is incorrect. The entire 1 hour 52 minute event is here in its entirety despite the player indicating that the recording is only 52 minutes in length.Here's the press release Chomsky refers to on the water situation in Gaza.

Update: Here's a video of the event.

Something truly "transformative"...

From the true patriots at

American Jews for a Just Peace -- Boston

This is a new organization (founded September, 2008) that has the right idea. Click the title to this post to learn more.

Also, click here to sign their petition to Israeli soldiers re: Gaza, reprinted below:
Open Letter to Israeli SoldiersIntroductionIf you are Jewish, please sign the following statement, which we hope to be able to publish soon in Israeli newspapers. Donations to help pay for publication can be sent via PayPal byclicking here.We encourage organizations to sign by sending us email.Jews call on Israeli soldiers to stop war crimesWe Jews in the international community call upon Israeli soldiers to raise the Black Flag of Illegality over the operations against the people of Gaza.We refuse to remain silent while Israeli leaders force Israeli soldiers to commit war crimes: crimes against humanity for which they will one day be called to account. Israeli soldiers of conscience can, and must, stop this dangerous, illegal, and immoral war.This criminal activity does nothin…

Glenn Greenwald: Obama's allegedly "new" centrism and his ABC interview today

The central tenets of the Beltway religion -- particularly when a Democrat is in the White House -- have long been "centrism" and "bipartisanship." The only good Democrats are the ones who scorn their "left-wing" base while embracing Republicans. In Beltway lingo, that's what "pragmatism" and good "post-partisanship" mean: a Democrat whose primary goal is to prove he's not one of those leftists. The Washington Post's David Ignatius today lavishes praise on Barack Obama for his allegiance to these Beltway pieties -- and actually seems to believe that there is something new and innovative about this approach:The impatient freshman senator is about to become president, but he hasn't lost his distaste for Washington politics as usual. And as the inauguration approaches, Obama is doing something quite remarkable: Rather than settling into the normal partisan governing stance, he is breaking with it -- moving toward the c…