Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gazans: God is Sufficient for Us


"Israel" is continuing its illegal bombardment of Gaza with American-sponsored F-16s and is showing absolutely no sign of restraint. I have been watching much footage of the aftermath of these attacks and the amount of destruction and carnage is truly sickening. What has surprised me the most about these images is not the devastation that the “Israeli” war machine is capable of, as we are well aware of its destructive nature and complete disregard for innocent life from the Summer War of 2006, where more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians lost their lives.

Rather, it is the will and steadfastness of the struggling people of Gaza that is truly inspiring. Whether it has been a father holding his murdered daughter or a young boy in awe standing next to the rubble of his mosque, they are all repeating the same phrase Hasbuna-llahu Wa Ni'mal Wakeel.” (God is sufficient for us and is the best to depend on) You can take their lives, but you will never break their faith in God that He, and only He will alleviate their suffering and give them justice. God is greater than the F-16s, God is greater than the Apache Helicopters. God is always on the side of the oppressed. You cannot and will not defeat a people like this.

"Israel's" Failure to Learn

By Nir Rosen

When George Bush, the US president, first entered the White House as the commander-in-chief in 2001, Palestinians were being killed in the al-Aqsa intifada.

Eight years later, as Bush prepares to leave office, Israel is carrying out one of the largest massacres in its 60-year occupation of Palestine.

The US, then and now, strongly backs Israel's offensive, justifying it as being, in fact, defensive.

An Israeli general recently threatened to use military force to set Gaza back decades in much the same language used before the invasion of Lebanon in 2006.

But despite the Israeli devastation of Lebanon, Hezbollah emerged victorious and the Shia resistance and social movement emerged a hero to the Arab world.

Israel is about to make the same mistake with Hamas.

Its notion of a truce with Hamas was that the Palestinians would quietly accept the siege. Israel would deny them the basic means of survival, let alone the basic means to create a functioning society.

If the Palestinians attempted to resist, they would be crushed.

As in Lebanon, Israel should have learned years ago that military might cannot crush Palestinian resistance movements.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gaza Massacres Must Spur Us To Action

By Ali Abunimah from the Electronic Intifada

"I will play music and celebrate what the Israeli air force is doing." Those were the words, spoken on Al Jazeera today by Ofer Shmerling, an Israeli civil defense official in the Sderot area adjacent to Gaza, as images of Israel's latest massacres were broadcast around the world.

A short time earlier, US-supplied Israeli F-16 warplanes and Apache helicopters dropped over 100 bombs on dozens of locations in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip killing at least 195 persons and injuring hundreds more. Many of these locations were police stations located, like police stations the world over, in the middle of civilian areas. The US government was one of the first to offer its support for Israel's attacks, and others will follow.

Reports said that many of the dead were Palestinian police officers. Among those Israel labels "terrorists" were more than a dozen traffic police officers undergoing training. An as yet unknown number of civilians were killed and injured; Al Jazeera showed images of several dead children, and the Israeli attacks came at the time thousands of Palestinian children were in the streets on their way home from school.

Shmerling's joy has been echoed by Israelis and their supporters around the world; their violence is righteous violence. It is "self-defense" against "terrorists" and therefore justified. Israeli bombing -- like American and NATO bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan -- is bombing for freedom, peace and democracy.

The rationalization for Israel's massacres, already being faithfully transmitted by the English-language media, is that Israel is acting in "retaliation" for Palestinian rockets fired with increasing intensity ever since the six-month truce expired on 19 December (until today, no Israeli had been killed or injured by these recent rocket attacks).

But today's horrific attacks mark only a change in Israel's method of killing Palestinians recently. In recent months they died mostly silent deaths, the elderly and sick especially, deprived of food and necessary medicine by the two year-old Israeli blockade calculated and intended to cause suffering and deprivation to 1.5 million Palestinians, the vast majority refugees and children, caged into the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, Palestinians died silently, for want of basic medications: insulin, cancer treatment, products for dialysis prohibited from reaching them by Israel.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Free Gaza Movement Sailing Strong

The free Gaza movement is about to set sail its FOURTH ship to the Gaza Strip and symbolically break the illegal siege that has caused so much suffering. More info about the fourth trip can be found here: Free Gaza Goes Fourth -- Setting Sail Again

The official spokesperson for the "Israeli" Prime Minister, Mark Regev, made the following comments about the Free Gaza Movement. .

"Free Gaza is a cool idea, but free them from what?" said Regev. "If they want to free Gaza they should take out women who fear for their lives, Christians and gays. We want to free Gaza from this terrible Taliban regime. This terrible Taliban regime is oppressing women, Christians and gays."



Here is their response:

Dear Mr. Regev,

Thank you for your recognition of our efforts to break Israel's inhumane and illegal siege of Gaza. We also think that "Free Gaza" is a very cool idea.

With respect, Israel's siege is directly preventing all the people of Gaza from accessing clean water, electricity, adequate food supplies, and freedom of movement to seek essential medical care, educational development, as well as from being able to freely visit with family and friends.

Israel's siege is indiscriminate, and unjustly affects everyone in Gaza -including, but not limited to, the women, Christians, and gays that you speak of. These denials all stem from your government's policy of collective punishment, in direct violation of international law and basic human dignity - both Israel's and that of the Palestinian people.

All of the people of Gaza have reason to fear for their lives due to the Israeli army's reckless use of force, bombing civilian areas, bulldozing homes, shelling civilian areas using flachette shells, and terrorising young and old with the frequent use of sonic booms which have resulted in the permanent deafening of children. The perpetual threat of a ground invasion and escalation of aerial bombardment is both an immediate and continuing threat, as well as an ongoing form of psychological torture.

The humiliation of those trying to exit Gaza for medical treatment, the visitation of loved ones and for the right to pursue education also creates the fear of never being able to develop, to learn, to survive, to live, and to love.

We will be leaving Cyprus this evening on our fourth voyage to Gaza, in order to symbolically break Israel's siege, in particular drawing attention to the generation of Palestinians denied the right of self and national realisation and advancement through education - a right not a privilege, for the youth of every country in the world. We also aim to draw attention to the humanitarian catastrophe the siege has caused, and inspire deeper and more sustained political action across the world to end the illegal and inhumane Israeli occupation.

Mr. Regev, we urge you and other members of your government to join us in this vital mission, see first hand the brutal affects of Israeli policies on the families of Gaza, and work with us to end Israel's siege of Gaza and the ongoing Occupation of Palestine. We appeal to your humanity and once again echo a point of evident agreement between us: Yes, Free Gaza is a cool idea - now let's put into practice.

Sincerely Yours,
Ewa Jasiewicz
Ramzi Kysia
Lubna Masarwa
Free Gaza Movement, Cyprus
http://www.FreeGaza.org

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Collective Punishment of Gaza Continues

Urgent deliveries of fuel and food was turned away again at the borders.In addition the Israelis blocked the delivery of United Nations food aid intended for 750,000 Palestinian refugees. Also twenty European consuls whom had planned to visit Gaza were denied entry at the Erez border crossing. Aid workers were also turned away by the border to Gaza, and medical patients were prevented from leaving Gaza Strip for treatment. 

"We cannot describe the situation in Gaza Strip except as a terrible and terrifying one.There are 750,000 refugees who depend on what we offer them in food supplies, and the Israelis are preventing us from distributing these supplies," - John Ging concluded: "the Israeli closure, collectively punishing civilians, is a violation of international law."

Complete Story

 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Palestinian Speech

Not sure if this really occurred, but its funny nonetheless..

An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly and made the world community smile.

A representative from Palestine began:

'Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Moses.

When he struck the rock and it brought forth water, he thought,
'What a good opportunity to have a bath!'
He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water.
When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished.
An Israeli had stolen them.'

The Israeli representative jumped up furiously and shouted,

'What are you talking about? The Israeli weren't there then.'

The Palestinian representative smiled and said

'And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech.'

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Israeli Brutality

Here's just a glimpse of the type of people that are enforcing the illegal occupation of Palestine.

An Israeli court has convicted two border guards over the unlawful killing of a Palestinian teenager in the West Bank town of Hebron in 2002.

Imran Abu Hamdieh died after the two men, Shahar Botbeka and Denis Alhazov, pushed him from the back of a military vehicle travelling at 50mph (80km/h).

He suffered serious head injuries when members of the border police unit - celebrating the end of their posting in Hebron - made him jump from their jeep as it sped through the streets.

They grabbed several Palestinians off the street and drove them to remote locations to beat them.

As the jeep reached 70-80km an hour, the policemen managed to prise his grip loose, and pushed him out of the vehicle and it sped off.

The Israeli army was unable to provide figures, but the main Israeli human rights group said it had no record of a soldier or policeman being convicted for the killing of a Palestinian.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Free Gaza Boats Arrive in Gaza

GAZA (23 August 2008) - Two small boats, the SS Free Gaza and the SS Liberty, successfully landed in Gaza early this evening, breaking the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The boats were crewed by a determined group of international human rights workers from the Free Gaza Movement. They had spent two years organizing the effort, raising money by giving small presentations at churches, mosques, synagogues, and in the homes of family, friends, and supporters.

They left Cyprus on Thursday morning, sailing over 350 kilometers through choppy seas. They made the journey despite threats that the Israeli government would use force to stop them. They continued sailing although they lost almost all communications and navigation systems due to outside jamming by some unknown party. They arrived in Gaza to the cheers and joyful tears of hundreds of Palestinians who came out to the beaches to welcome them.

Two small boats, 42 determined human rights workers, one simple message: “The world has not forgotten the people of this land. Today, we are all from Gaza.”

Tonight, the cheering will be heard as far away as Tel Aviv and Washington D.C.

QUOTES FOR PUBLICATION

“We recognize that we’re two, humble boats, but what we’ve accomplished is to show that average people from around the world can mobilize to create change. We do not have to stay silent in the face of injustice. Reaching Gaza today, there is such a sense of hope, and hope is what mobilizes people everywhere.”
--Huwaida Arraf.

Huwaida is Palestinian-American, and also a citizen of Israel. She’s a human rights activist and co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement. In 2007 she received her Juris Doctor from American University in Washington D.C. Currently she teaches Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Al Quds University in Jerusalem. Huwaida sailed to Gaza aboard the SS Liberty.

“We’re the first ones in 41 years to enter Gaza freely - but we won’t be the last. We welcome the world to join us and see what we’re seeing.”
--Paul Larudee, Ph.D.

Paul is a cofounder of the Free Gaza Movement and a San Francisco Bay Area activist on the issue of justice in Palestine. He sailed to Gaza aboard the SS Liberty.

“What we’ve done shows that people can do what governments should have done. If people stand up against injustice, we can truly be the conscience of the world.”
--Jeff Halper, Ph.D.

Jeff is an Israeli professor of anthropology and coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), a non-violent Israeli peace and human rights organization that resists the Israeli occupation on the ground. In 2006, the American Friends Service Committee nominated Jeff to receive the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize with Palestinian intellectual and activist Ghassan Andoni. Jeff sailed to Gaza aboard the SS Free Gaza.

For More Information, please contact:

(Gaza) Huwaida Arraf, tel. +972 599 130 426

(Gaza) Jeff Halper, tel. +972 542 002 642

(Cyprus) Osama Qashoo, tel. +357 99 793 595 / osamaqashoo@gmail.com

(Jerusalem) Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, tel. +972 547 366 393 / angela@icahd.org

Biden: I am a Zionist

Presidential candidate Barack Obama announced yesterday that his running mate will be Senator Joe Biden. Below is an excerpt from an interview that was done by Shalom TV with Biden.

When I was a young Senator, I used to say, "If I were a Jew I'd be a Zionist." I am a Zionist. You don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.


The prospects of peace in the Middle East don't look promising when the possible VP of the US is an open Zionist.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Palestinian Protester Shot at Point Blank



Apparently, this Palestinian protester was detained and hand bound. Then he was taken to the side of the army jeep and shot by a rubber-coated bullet at point blank range.

The footage stops after the shot because the 14-year old girl who was filming dropped the camera out of shock.

Another crime caught on camera thanks to the Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem. They have attempted to shed light on the Israeli abuses that are taking place by providing Palestinians with cameras.

This has shown to be very useful tactic as they have been successful in documenting some recent abuses.

Sailing to Gaza

On August 5, 2008 a group of Internationals will attempt to set sail to Gaza with much needed humanitarian supplies and break the illegitimate siege. The group of 60 consists of Holocaust and Nakba survivors.
For more info, visit www.FreeGaza.org


"Legally, the group says there should be no problem passing each of these lines since Israel disengaged from the Gaza strip in 2005 and should no longer its control airspace and territorial waters.

The initiative hopes to draw attention to the continued de facto occupation of Gaza.

The trip organizers think one of four things will happen to the ship: it may be stopped as it crosses or approaches the barrier marking the international waters boundary, in which case the crew is prepared to stay on board for at least two weeks in protest of the illegal halt of passage. The second possibility envisioned by the organizers is that the ship will be allowed to pass into the area, and will be stopped in the territorial waters. In this eventuality the crew expects to be arrested, and the ship dragged to shore.

A third possibility is that the ship will be sunk by the navy.

The final option is that the ship actually makes it through to the Gaza port near Gaza City in the north of the Strip.

According to Holocaust survivor and crew member Hedy Epstein, in the event that they can get through to Gaza they will "open the port, fish with the fishermen, help in the clinics, and work in the schools."

What Epstein hopes to do on this journey is to "remind the world that we will not stand by and watch 1.5 million people suffer death by starvation and disease."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

'Jewish settler attack' on film

Masked settlers beat Palestinians as they herd their sheep. The footage was taken by B'tselem. No arrests were made.

This is a daily experience for Palestinians, unfortunately the cameras arent always rolling.

Reminds me alot of the KKK attacks on African Americans in this country during the Civil Rights movement.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Gazan Students Denied Travel to US for Fullbright Scholarships

Even an education is a threat to Israel's existence..

"I regret to inform you that the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State will not be able to finalise your Fulbright Student Scholarship for 2008."

With those words, in a brief letter from the United States Consulate in Jerusalem, the dreams of seven talented and ambitious young people from Gaza were dashed.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tutu: Gaza Blockade Abomination

Who knows apartheid like Desmond Tutu of South Africa?

"My message to the international community is that our silence and complicity, especially on the situation in Gaza, shames us all. It is almost like the behaviour of the military junta in Burma "

Complete Story

NOTE: Tutu has been trying to enter Gaza for a UN fact finding mission since 2006, but has been denied by Israel. A massacre took place in Beit Hanoun in November 2006 that killed 19 civilians, including five women and eight children.

Before Tutu's visit to Beit Hanoun, residents of the town were summoned to the townsqaure by Israeli forces and 60 were arrested. These most likely included witnesses of the massacre and could be an attempt to conceal the truth of the Beit Hanoun massacre.

Divestment Gaining Ground

Haaretz: U.K. academic union moves to consider boycott of Israeli academia

Members of the University and College Union in England (UCU) passed a motion at their annual conference on Wednesday to consider severing ties with Israeli universities.

Tom Hickey, who teaches philosophy at the University of Brighton, says the motion highlighting the "humanitarian catastrophe imposed on Gaza by Israel" is just shy of a full boycott, The Telegraph said.

The UCU, the largest trade union and professional organization for academics and lecturers working throughout the United Kingdom, called on its colleagues to consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation with individuals and institutions concerned.

The motion noted "the continuation of illegal settlement, killing of civilians and the impossibility of civil life, including education" as a result of the occupation.


The Zionist response? Pretty predictable, when in doubt scream anti-semitism!

The Academic Friends of Israel condemned the UCU for passing a resolution "which is clearly discriminatory and anti-Semitic and, we believe, in clear violation of the U.K. Race Relations act."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New U: Up the ‘Wall’ with Palestine Awareness Week

By Maisam Alomar

As I stood at the Muslim Student Union table on Ring Mall last week, I noticed a young boy standing with his mother at the mock apartheid wall. David was 5 years old, and he carried a stuffed animal in his hand. As I approached them, his mother said, “I am usually at work at this time, but I just wanted my son to see this. I know it’s too much for a young child, but I want him to know that not everyone comes home at night without worrying that their house might have been destroyed or that their family may have been killed.” This year’s Palestine Awareness Week, “Never Again? The Palestinian Holocaust,” was an opportunity to educate both young and old people about the urgent humanitarian crisis and historical injustice in Palestine.

The mock apartheid wall, situated on Ring Mall from May 12 through May 15, was perhaps the main attraction of the event. Curious passersby stopped to read about Palestine, often realizing that they should investigate the issue before trusting the biased, limited and often plainly inaccurate image of the situation presented by the mainstream media. The change of heart came easily to many people because aside from the fact that Israel’s genocidal activities should be cause for concern, they discovered where $10 million of our tax dollars go every day.

Hundreds of people from many different backgrounds came to hear the eight speakers at the event. The speakers all agreed that Palestinian suffering and subjection to injustice had to end, but offered a slightly varied set of solutions. They demonstrated that people working for freedom for the Palestinians should unite, no matter how they think this freedom should be attained. The MSU stressed that the source of a problem must always be examined before a solution can be found. Therefore, while the MSU acknowledged the deaths on both sides, it reminded its audience not to ignore the historical and political context of the situation. The problem began with the theft of Palestinian land and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. This is why, as Rachel Corrie’s mother stated, there is no balance of power, and as Ilan Pappe stated, this is not merely a “conflict.”

Overall, the week succeeded in providing facts and historical background about the issue. However, it did not escape criticism. The most popular criticism of the MSU’s Palestine Awareness Week is that it is anti-Semitic, or more accurately, anti-Jewish. The MSU went the extra mile to clear up any misconceptions and to draw a distinction between the racist, genocidal Israeli apartheid and the Jewish faith. Four of the eight speakers were Jewish. In fact, a whole panel of the wall was dedicated to this distinction, acknowledging that the week’s events were not comprised of hate speech, but rather the truth about the injustices that Israel continues to perpetrate in the Holy Land.

In the very first lecture of the week, “What’s the Fuss? Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitic,” Norman Finklestein argued the same position to an audience of nearly 600 attendees. It is puzzling that people continue to insist that the Jewish faith would advocate Israel and its atrocities, but this insulting misrepresentation of Judaism is not supported by the MSU.

The two Muslim speakers also had unique criticism. It is interesting to note that while all eight speakers had a similar message, the Muslim speakers were accused of expressing “thinly-veiled hate speech” or being “radical.” However, the messages from the Jewish speakers were only labeled as “dramatizations.” The speakers were referred to as “misled” or “misinformed activists” with good intentions. Even more interesting is that Anna Baltzer had already predicted these criticisms. When Baltzer was asked how she handled criticism of her work, she said that she considered it “the light version of harassment.” She explained that people claimed she was just a na├»ve and misinformed young girl, whereas the hatred and criticisms that Muslims endure are much worse.

What about raising cultural awareness? The Palestinian people don’t have too much time to focus on that, as they’re too busy dying and being expelled from their homes. As David’s mother taught him, the world is not always a happy place. Besides, since Anteaters for Israel so thoughtfully took care of raising awareness about Arab culture by presenting the campus with Arabic food and Arabic music during this year’s iFest, MSU decided to focus on politics.

Why don’t we focus on what Muslims are doing around the world, instead? The MSU does not stand by the un-Islamic activities of self-proclaimed Muslim leaders, which is exactly what we ask of the Jewish people. Just as there is no Islamic country in the world today, Israel does not represent Jewish people. Although no oppressed people in the world today are as ignored or as directly affected by American foreign policy as the Palestinians, MSU also holds activities to help other oppressed people. For example, this year’s “Fashion Fighting Famine” event collected money to send to Darfur as humanitarian aid, and the “Fast-a-thon” was a fundraiser for all those hurt by the African Food Crisis.

Due to the awareness that the campus gained from this year’s Palestine Awareness Week, it is important to remember the wise words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” Using this as a guideline, people around the world can start to come together to work for true peace in the Middle East, finally ending what is often considered a never-ending conflict.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Norman Finkelstein Arrested in Israel

"And the American academic Norman Finkelstein has been arrested and ordered deported from Israel. Finkelstein arrived in Tel Aviv earlier today on his way to the Occupied Territories. He was immediately detained and told he is banned from Israel for ten years. He's expected to be deported tomorrow. Finkelstein is known as one of the most prominent academic critics of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. He was detained by the Interior Ministry and Shin Bet.")

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Help End "Israeli" Apartheid!

The UC Divestment movement against the apartheid state of "Israel" is picking up momentum, be a part of it NOW!

To UCI Administration:

We, the undersigned, are appalled by the human rights abuses against Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli government, the continual military occupation and colonization of Palestinian territory by Israeli armed forces and settlers, the forcible eviction of Palestinians from their homes, and the demolition of Palestinian dwellings, neighborhoods and towns.

We categorically condemn the loss of any innocent life, Israeli or Palestinian. We therefore call on UC Irvine and the UC system (1) to use its influence--political and financial--to encourage the United States government to suspend its military aid and arms sales to Israel, and (2) to divest its $54 million in investments from Israel, from all companies that manufacture arms and other military hardware sold to Israel, and from companies that sell such arms and military hardware to Israel, until these conditions are met:

  • Israel is in compliance with United Nations Resolution 242 which notes the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, and which calls for withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from occupied territories.
  • Israel is in compliance with the United Nations Committee Against Torture 2001 Report which recommends that Israel's use of legal torture be ended.
  • In compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention ("The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into territories it occupies"; Article 49, paragraph 6), Israel ceases building new settlements, and vacates existing settlements, in the Occupied Territories.
  • Israel acknowledges in principle the applicability of United Nations Resolution 194 with respect to the rights of refugees, and accepts that refugees should either be allowed to return to their former lands or else be compensated for their losses, as agreed by the Palestinians and Israelis in bilateral negotiations.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Official MSU Statement Regarding Palestine Week

Every May, the Muslim Student Union, along with a coalition of other progressive student groups, puts on a week long series of events about the Palestinian-Israeli issue. This year our events spans over two week and began last Wednesday with a lecture by renowned political scientist Norman Finkelstein. The event, which addressed whether criticism of the state of Israel is anti-Semitic, drew close to six hundred students and community members, with a lively and humorous talk by the professor followed by an interactive question and answer session.

As the MSU, our goal in organizing these events is to promote a better understanding of the conflict, and to open doors for discussion and critical thinking. Furthermore, we hope that by empowering students with a better understanding of the conflict, students will become actively involved in promoting a just solution in the region. As such we invite students, faculty and the community at large to attend our programs with an open mind ready to listen, understand and question. As a campus community, we feel this is the best way to create dialogue around issues which are sometimes considered taboo.

A university serves as the free marketplace of ideas; in this spirit, we invite you all to attend our week on Palestine. May 14, 2008 marks 60 years since the beginning of the Palestinian tragedy, commonly referred to by Palestinians as the Nakba (Catastrophe). 60 years of dispossession, statelessness, and ethnic cleansing have created the largest group of refugees in the world; has left thousands of innocent men, women and children dead; and has shattered the livelihood of millions of people facing the scourge of the longest, most brutal occupation in modern history. This week, we will tell their story, we will mourn their suffering, and we will honor their resistance. This week, we will stand with them.

Our title asks whether another holocaust is on the horizon for the natives of Palestine, as the Israeli deputy of defense threatens. Attend our events to hear our perspective, independent of media bias and negative stereotypes that you may have seen. Furthermore, we invite you to question what you hear, do your own research and formulate an opinion on the issue. The truth speaks for itself.

The real issue about the crisis of Palestine should not get lost in campus politics. We owe it to the people suffering in that region to educate ourselves; especially since our own government helps support many of the policies in place in Palestine. To that end, we have flown in world-renowned Israeli historian Ilan Pappe from the United Kingdom to speak about the history of the region on the anniversary of the Nakba. As an Israeli, he will provide a balanced perspective that sheds light on both sides of the issue.

Cindy and Craig Corrie lost a daughter to the conflict; as Americans who know all to well the costs of the occupation, they will discuss on Tuesday evening why it is important for us to understand the experience of Palestinians and advocate a just solution as their daughter did, before she was brutally murdered by an Israeli soldier. Rachael stood in front of a Palestinian home and tried to stop it from being illegally demolished through non-violent action. Her death stands as a witness to the brutal injustice practiced by Israeli Armed Forces.

Anna Baltzer is a Jewish American Columbia graduate, Fulbright scholar, and the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. She is a three-time volunteer with the International Women's Peace Service, where she documented human rights abuses in the West Bank and supported the nonviolent movement against the Occupation. Her acclaimed presentation, Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories & Photos, will be presented on Wednesday afternoon.

For more information on the entire week of events, please visit www.msu-uci.com. As a concluding thought, a clarification should be made: Judaism is a religion that is respected and upheld within the Muslim faith, as Moses is a distinguished prophet in the Holy Qur'an. For centuries, Muslims and Jews have lived together in peace and still do live together in peace, even at UC Irvine. Zionism, however, is a political movement that has twisted biblical and historical truths to justify the illegal occupation of Palestine. It is a philosophy that has bred violence over the past 60 years; it has also created inequality and prejudice against innocent Palestinians to make them live as strangers in their own homeland. We draw a clear distinction between the world faith that is Judaism, and the political ideology that is Zionism.

We hope to see you all this week!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Never Again? The Palestinian Holocaust


May 14, 2008 marks 60 years since the beginning of the Palestinian tragedy, commonly referred to by Palestinians as the Nakba (Catastrophe). 60 years of dispossession, statelessness, and ethnic cleansing have created the largest group of refugees in the world; has left thousands of innocent men, women and children dead; and has shattered the livelihood of millions of people facing the scourge of the longest, most brutal occupation in modern history. This week, we will tell their story, we will mourn their suffering, and we will honor their resistance. This week, we will stand with them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another Massacre in Gaza

Children and a cameraman amongst those murdered..

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In Their Own Words

"All of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants, and even their beasts."

This was the religious opinion issued one week ago by Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, director of the Tsomet Institute, a long-established religious institute attended by students and soldiers in the Israeli settlements of the West Bank.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Inherent Racism

Former Sephardi chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu:

"Even when we seek revenge, it is important to make one thing clear – the life of one yeshiva boy is worth more than the lives of 1,000 Arabs."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A letter from a mother in Gaza to a mother in Sderot

Dear Rima Haimov,

When I read your words the only thing I can say is that I feel sorry for your son, and that I can understand you as a mother and the traumatic events that your child is experiencing. I cannot deny the fact that life becomes very difficult in such circumstances when you realize that you and your family are in danger at any moment; I fully understand your worries, your feelings and concerns. I am addressing this letter to you with the hope that you will understand my pain too.

Like I feel sorry for your son, I feel sorry for my Palestinian children who are born and will die in Gaza, unable to have the chance of seeing other worlds, and who have to face F-16s, Apache helicopters and the Israeli army's brutal invasions into Gaza. However, my children are not fortunate enough to have the excellent medical care that your son has. My children do not have the chance to run to a shelter and there is no alarm to tell them that there is a strike coming. My children cannot be guaranteed the love and care that your son found because all of their family might be killed in one strike, they might witness the death of their parents, or any of their dear family members as the Palestinians are targeted everywhere, even in their homes and among their children.

My children cannot find the counseling that your child will have to help him deal with his appalling experience. They have to keep their pain inside them, and recall it day after day. Even in their dreams they suffer from remembering the things they have witnessed.

My children are not children anymore; they lost their innocence and are forced to act like adults so they can protect themselves. They no longer cry to their parents because they realize that even adults are scared and also need comfort and security. Instead they swallow their pain and deal with it on their own.

When your child is sick or injured he has the chance to go to the best hospitals to receive treatment while my children have to live with their pain and injuries because they cannot go to a good hospital like you have in Israel. In Gaza, they can only wait for the pain to pass or count the days waiting for the end. They have learned how to face death fearlessly, because they hope to find justice and a better life in heaven.

While your child enjoys his new schoolbooks, my children have to use old, disreputable books because the borders are closed and even schoolbooks cannot be brought in.

My children have to face the extreme temperatures because of the electricity cuts. They cannot enjoy sitting in front of the electric heater in winter or the fan in summer. While you as a mother can plan for your child's future, I cannot because my child is locked in a prison called Gaza, and he cannot dream of having the chance to receive a better education and work outside of Gaza.

While you as a mother can give your child all the promises of a better life, I can not give my child these guarantees, simply because we are both eligible to die in any moment by an Israeli strike, without any plans, dreams, nothing.

After all of this do you think that my children deserve their pain only because they are born to Palestinian parents? Do you think it is fair that they are treated in this way? Is it fair to be subjected to the sanctions that your government has imposed on us? I hope you can understand my pain too.

Sincerely,
Najwa Sheikh

Najwa Sheikh is a Palestinian refugee from al-Majdal located just north of the Gaza Strip. Shiekh has lived in refugee camps in Gaza her entire life where she is married and has three children.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dr. Sami Al-Arian Hunger Strike


Former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian stopped taking food or water last week to protest a third attempt by prosecutors to compel his testimony. Dr. Al-Arian was transferred Tuesday morning, on the 9th day of his hunger strike, to a federal medical facility in Butner, North Carolina run by the Bureau of Prisons.

Since beginning his no water or food hunger strike on March 3, Dr. Al-Arian has lost 23 pounds and grown weaker. He has not yet been given an IV. A doctor who examined him on Monday said he is suffering from starvation and dehydration.

Dr. Al-Arian was acquitted by a jury of the major charges brought against him by the U.S. Government. Despite reaching a plea agreement, the Government has refused to release Dr. Al-Arian.

Given that Dr. Al-Arian has been on a hunger strike since March 3,
2008 we urgently ask all conscientious and justice-seeking individuals to call, email or write officials to ask for an immediate end to Dr. Al-Arian's suffering and to responsibly care for his deteriorating health.

To learn more read "The Torture of Sami Al-Arian" or click here.

Take Action:

Contact Prison Today

03.14.2008 | Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace

Even after being transferred to a federal medical facility, Dr. Sami Al- Arian still has not received water or been offered an IV. A doctor who examined him Monday said he is suffering from hydration and starvation.

TAKE ACTION TODAY (URGENT)

Please call the Butner Medical Center today and inquire about Dr. Al- Arian's health.

Ask why they haven't taken any steps to give him an IV to make sure he survives. Their number is (919) 575-3900.

House Judiciary Chair:
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5126
(202) 225-0072 Fax
john.conyers@mail.house.gov

Senator Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(299029)224-4242
senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov

Honorable Judge Gerald Lee
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: (703) 299-3339

Attorney General Michael Mukasey
Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Fax Number: (202) 307-6777

Complain about the Prosecutorial Misconduct and Grand Jury Abuse in Dr. Al-Arian's Case:
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Professional Responsibility
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
BY E-MAIL:
E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gaza Protest in LA

This past Saturday, hundreds of students across Southern California took a stand and told the nation that the Gaza atrocities that took place last week will not go silently ignored. The demonstration was held outside of the Apartheid “Israeli” Consulate in Los Angeles and was organized by the Muslim Students of Southern California.

A handful of pro-Zionist supporters organized a counter-demonstration across from the consulate, but we did not waste any time with them. Rather, we turned our backs to them and focused our chants and signs towards the consulate.

Some pictures below..




Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Gaza situation 'worst since 1967'

Gaza's humanitarian situation is the worst since 1967 when Israel occupied it, says a coalition of UK-based human rights and development groups.

They include Amnesty International, Save the Children, Cafod, Care International and Christian Aid.

They criticise Israel's blockade on Gaza as illegal collective punishment which fails to deliver security.

Israel says its military action and other measures are lawful and needed to stop rocket attacks from Gaza.

The groups' report, Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion, says the blockade has dramatically worsened levels of poverty and unemployment, and has led to deterioration in education and health services.

Complete Article

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Revealed: the US plan to start a Palestinian civil war

not surprising..

Dahlan goes on the record about these events for the first time, saying that despite pleas from Fatah that they were unprepared for elections, Bush pushed ahead. "Everyone was against the elections," Dahlan is quoted as saying. "Everyone except Bush. Bush decided, "I need an election. I want elections in the Palestinian Authority."

Following Hamas's victory, "everyone blamed everyone else," the report quotes an official with the Department of Defense as saying. "We sat there in the Pentagon and said, "Who the f*** recommended this?"

Protest This Friday at "Israeli" Consulate in LA


Monday, March 3, 2008

"Israeli" Massacres in Gaza

B'Tselem: More than 50% of Gaza casualties weren't militants

With the sophistication of the apartheid state's military arsenal, there is no excuse for this. Civilians are being targeted.

The human rights organization B'Tselem on Monday said in a statement that more than half of the Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip in Israel Defense Forces operations in recent days did not take an active part in the fighting. This statement came after the IDF Chief of Staff issued a statement saying that 90 percent of those killed were in fact armed militants.

In their statement, B'Tselem outlined a string of incidents in which IDF allegedly killed innocent bystanders in the course of military operations aimed at battling the escalating rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.

According to data gathered by B'Tselem, 106 Palestinians were killed between February 27 and march 3. Fifty four of them were civilians who didn't take part in the fighting, and 25 were under 18, the statement said.

The human rights group cites as an example an incident that occurred on Thursday, in which four children were killed and two others were wounded in an Israel Air Force strike targeting rocket launchers. The children had been playing soccer in a street east of the Jabaliya refugee camp. The organization's inquiry into the incident revealed that the Qassam launcher may have been situated 100 meters from the site of the strike, and no militants were harmed in the strike.

Another incident cited by B'Tselem is the death of a brother and sister aged 16 and 17 while they were watching the violence from the window of their home east of Jabaliya. According to witnesses, the two were shot in the head and the chest.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"Israeli" Terror Continues in Gaza

Israeli Airstrike in Gaza Destroys Medical Relief Head Office, Kills Baby

Abbas: Gaza attacks 'a holocaust'


Israeli-Palestinian clashes kill 46


Dozens die in Israel-Gaza clashes


Reuters: Palestinians mourn next to the bodies of four boys after they were killed on Thursday by Israeli forces, in Gaza February 29, 2008. Israeli forces killed the four Palestinian boys while they were playing football.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

UN expert: Palestinian "terror" inevitable result of occupation

interesting read from Haaretz..

A report commissioned by the United Nations suggests that Palestinian terrorism is the inevitable consequence of Israeli occupation and laws that resemble South African apartheid - a claim Israel rejected Tuesday as enflaming hatred between Jews and Palestinians.

The report by John Dugard, independent investigator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the UN Human Rights Council, will be presented next month, but it has been posted on the body's Web site.

In it, Dugard, a South African lawyer who campaigned against apartheid in the 1980s, says "common sense ... dictates that a distinction must be drawn between acts of mindless terror, such as acts committed by Al-Qaida, and acts committed in the course of a war of national liberation against colonialism, apartheid or military occupation."

"While Palestinian terrorist acts are to be deplored, they must be understood as being a painful but inevitable consequence of colonialism, apartheid or occupation," writes Dugard, whose 25-page report accuses the Israel of acts and policies consistent with all three.

He cited checkpoints and roadblocks restricting Palestinian movement to house demolitions and what he terms the Judaization of Jerusalem.

"As long as there is occupation, there will be terrorism," he argues.

"Acts of terror against military occupation must be seen in historical context," Dugard says. "This is why every effort should be made to bring the occupation to a speedy end. Until this is done, peace cannot be expected, and violence will continue."

Israel's UN ambassador in Geneva slammed Dugard's analysis.

"The common link between Al-Qaida and the Palestinian terrorists is that both intentionally target civilians with the mere purpose to kill," Itzhak Levanon said. "The fact that Professor Dugard is ignoring this essential fact, demonstrates his inability to use objectivity in his assessment."

"Professor Dugard will better serve the cause of peace by ceasing to enflame the hatred between Israelis and Palestinians, who have embarked on serious talks to solve this contentious situation."

Dugard was appointed in 2001 as an unpaid expert by the now-defunct UN Human Rights Commission to investigate only violations by the Israeli side, prompting Israel and the U.S. to dismiss his reports as one-sided. Israel refused to allow him to conduct a UN-mandated fact-finding mission on its Gaza offensive in 2006.

The report will be presented next month at the 47-nation rights council's first regular session of the year. The new body has been widely criticized - even by its founder, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan - for spending most of its time criticizing one government, Israel's, over alleged abuses.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Major Gaza Demonstration Planned

Tomorrow, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza will make a courageous stand and tell the international community that they have had enough of this illegal siege of Gaza. Thousands of men, women, and children will form a "human chain" across the entire Gaza Strip in protest of the current policies of the apartheid state against the improverished strip.

Articles on the demonstration:
BBC News
Aljazeera English

Gush Shalom Warning:

“When Qassam missiles are shot, the Government of Israel is quick to accuse the Palestinians of violent terrorism. But now, also the possibility of mass non-violent protest is presented as a threat justifying the brute force. There have been many cases when the army faced rampaging settlers, who resorted to the worst of violent behaviour – and not a single drop of blood was ever shed. The light finger on the trigger is reserved only for Arab demonstrators – but tomorrow, the whole world will be minutely watching the behaviour of the State of Israel and its armed forces. Your acts tomorrow might cause many to feel ashamed of being Israeli, and lose Israel a large part of the few international friends it still has”.

Monday, February 11, 2008

New U- Prison Break: Gaza Wall vs. National Will

By Ilgiz Khisamov

The news that the Palestinians broke the wall between Gaza and Egypt should be considered one of the largest prison breakouts in world history. For the first time in their lives, 750,000 Palestinian inmates could venture outside the Gaza strip, which is like the largest open-air prison in the world. This event demonstrates the resilience of human beings who are brutally denied their basic rights and forced to survive in a hostile environment. Although the Israeli government tried everything to extinguish the resistance of the outnumbered and outgunned Palestinians, it has utterly failed. Oppressors can only offer methods that, at their best, are simply inhumane.

Recently, the Israeli government imposed a total blockade on Gaza, cutting off the supply of essential foodstuffs, fuel and desperately needed medical supplies. The best minds in Israel schemed so that the inmates would revolt against their government, Hamas, and beg the Israelis to give them reprieve. As an additional incentive, Israel launched scores of missiles and air raids, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians.

If such conditions were imposed on any other nation in the world, such as the United States, Serbia or China, their populace would probably break down and sue for peace. Not that Americans are cowards, or that Palestinians are different from the rest of us. Instead, their resilience comes from the fact that for three generations, they have had to live and fight one of the most oppressive regimes in the modern world. They continue to survive violence which, if revealed in all its ugly reality, would spur citizens to demand their governments to intervene and stop this genocidal oppression.

Yet this does not happen, for the true image of suffering is not shown in American media. Rather, Israel is given carte blanche by the U.S. government to deal with the Palestinians however they choose. Thankfully, Palestinians learned long ago that they cannot count on world powers to alleviate their suffering. They have learned to rely only on themselves.

Thus, when Israel blockaded the tiny strip of land called Gaza in hopes of crippling its will, Palestinians found a powerful yet simple answer. Just like the Berliners, who stormed and toppled their wall in 1989, the Palestinians leveled this symbol of oppression and division in one exuberant stroke of national will. Though Palestinians were able to taste the sweet air of freedom, they still remain in prison and are still encircled by walls of indifference and neglect.

Once again, these imprisoned, impoverished and oppressed people have proven their resilience in retaining their human dignity. They showed Israel that its military cannot extinguish their quest for freedom. The oppressive state of Israel should recognize that it is impossible to impose its will by sheer force, and that it needs to recognize Hamas as a legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Only then will it be possible to start productive peace talks to resolve this bitter conflict. However, if we are to judge from past Israeli actions, the future does not look bright.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Google removed Aboutrika’s “Sympathize with Gaza” Images

The apartheid state's collective punishment of Gaza has drawn worldwide condemnation and many have urged the international community to at least show its sympathy for the suffering people of Gaza.

In an attempt to shed light on the oppression of Gaza, Egyptian soccer player Mohamed Aboutrika wore a tee shirt reading “sympathize with Gaza” in Arabic and English during a match of the African Cup of Nations.

Aboutrika flashed the shirt after he scored his first goal in view of cameras and millions of spectators throughout the world which prompted the referee to slap him with yellow warning card for violating the FIFA rules which prohibit religious and political slogans during the games, although this phrase is more humanitarian than political.

His act was praised worldwide and images of him flashing the shirt traveled all over the globe.


Recently however, Google caved in to Zionist demands and removed all images of Aboutrika's expression off the internet.

It seems that nowadays, we are not even supposed to express our sympathy or concern for the inhumane acts against the Palestinians. Are we supposed to simply ignore the atrocities?

How sad of a time it is, when we are even prohibited for expressing our grieve for the suffering peoples of the world? How is it wrong for us, for even at the least, to express our sympathy?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Finkelstein Interview: Tear Down the Walls

Norman Finkelstein is one of Israel's fiercest academic critics and a vocal supporter of the Palestinians.

Excerpts from interview with Al Jazeera:

So where does that leave the Palestinians?

The suggestion has to be, as I said earlier, God helps those who help themselves. The Palestinians have to find a way to act on their own, and I think what happened in late January [the destruction of part of the wall separating Gaza from Egypt] is a good sign.

That is exactly what they should be doing in the West Bank. One million Palestinians armed with picks and hammers should go to that wall and say "The International Court of Justice (ICJ) said this wall has to be dismantled. We are implementing the ICJ decision. We are knocking down the wall."

Does that mean you encourage violence?

What happened in Gaza last month was not violence. I advocate what international law allows - that people under occupation can resist occupation using means which are legal under that law. This includes violence so long as you are targeting combatants and not civilians.

George Bush, the US president, has called Iran and North Korea "rogue states". Do you consider Israel a "rogue state"?

It is more than a rogue state. It is a lunatic state. The only country in the world where the population overwhelmingly supports an attack on Iran is Israel - 78 per cent want to attack Iran. The state has gone berserk. The whole world is yearning for peace, and Israel is constantly yearning for war.

You have been called an extremist, a neo-Nazi, an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier.

What I have to say is not particularly radical. I have said pretty much what the whole international community has said for the past 30 years. When people actually hear what I say, it's not particularly extreme.

What about the claim that you testified as an expert witness for Hamas in a 2006 US court trial?

In Chicago, there was a person who was indicted on some lunatic terrorism charge and I was called in as an expert witness on what Hamas' record was in Gaza. That's all I was called in for. I would certainly support them of course, what's wrong with Hamas? They're the elected government of Palestine. Who cares what they are considered, the people elected them.

Are you deliberately trying to provoke a reaction with your views?

No, I have no desire to provoke, I want to win this cause [for Palestine]. I think we can really win it; that's one of the reasons I'm on this tour.

I think public opinion about Israel is now in freefall. I think it is going to be even worse now because nobody is going to defend Israel when the Palestinians blow up the wall.

Complete Interview

Obama to UN: Allow "Israel" to Continue its Terror of Gaza

While the international community was engaged in protests and condemnation of the apartheid state's illegal siege of Gaza, presidential candidate Barack Obama sent a letter to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in support of the Israeli government, despite numerous international condemnations of its human rights violations.

Below is the letter..

Dear Ambassador Khalilzad,

I understand that today the U.N. Security Council met regarding the situation in Gaza, and that a resolution or statement could be forthcoming from the Council in short order.

I urge you to ensure that the Security Council issue no statement and pass no resolution on this matter that does not fully condemn the rocket assault Hamas has been conducting on civilians in Southern Israel for over two years.

All of us are concerned about the impact of closed border crossings on Palestinian families. However, we have to understand why Israel is forced to do this. Gaza is governed by Hamas, which is a terrorist organization sworn to Israel's destruction, and Israeli civilians are being bombarded by rockets on an almost daily basis. That is unacceptable and Israel has a right to respond while seeking to minimize any impact on civilians.

The Security Council should clearly and unequivocally condemn the rocket attacks against Israel, and should make clear that Israel has the right to defend itself against such actions. If it cannot bring itself to make these common sense points, I urge you to ensure that it does not speak at all.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama
United States Senator