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