Tuesday, March 25, 2008
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.
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
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.
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) 225-0072 Fax
Senator Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
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
E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to AskDOJ@usdoj.gov
Monday, March 10, 2008
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
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.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
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?"
Monday, March 3, 2008
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
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.