I am compiling this page to assist the many people who are searching for information, views, and activities in aid of the Gaza 1,5 million victims of Zionism’s latest war crime. I will try to keep up with the pressure of events, though this seems at times impossible. I tried to keep some logical order of subjects, but reality proved to be quite illogical,
especially in this case, so I am sorry if it seems at times hurried and disordered; in that it reflects the severity of the situation. Because of the huge variety and volume of coverage, I am limiting myself to few key publications, such as BBC, The Guardian, NY Times, Ha’aretz, and Al Ahram. Obviously my selection is affected my my outlook, so apologies to those who find pacifism repugnant. (Logo above left – “I am also against the Gaza War” Hebrew. Copy and paste it in your blog!).
from the ‘Palestinianmothers.com’ website, sent by Chantal Cameron
Demonstrations and actions timetable
Check here to find out the up-to-date list, on the PSC site, for all parts of the UK.
SATURDAY 3rd JANUARY 2009
NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION AND RALLY
HANDS OFF GAZA: STOP THE BOMBING: FREE PALESTINE
Assemble 12:30pm Along Embankment, by Embankment tube station
Nearest tube Embankment or Charing Cross Join us to call for an end to the killing and an end to the siege of the people of Gaza! Please contact the PSC office if you can help on the day: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02077006192
Red Hand over Gaza
War on Gaza: Annie Lennox ‘Shaken To The Core’
Singer Annie Lennox has joined high-profile campaigners to call for an end to Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip. At a news conference in London, she said TV footage of the attacks, which have killed more than 400 people, had left her “shaken to the core”.
This is the full clip of her speaking, longer than the one above, and a long article about the context. Watch and read!
Tel Aviv Demo against the war
Event: Critical Mass Against The War “מסה קריטית נגד המלחמה” critical mass against the occupation Start Time: Tomorrow, 01 January at 17:00 End Time: Tomorrow, 01 January at 20:00 Where: Rabin Square
The photographs on this page, on the above link, have been sent to me by my good friend Avner Faingulernt, who lives few miles from Gaza, on the Israeli side. Obviously most were taken by local residents, though I do not their names. The photos speak for themselves, and are unfortunately extremely disturbing. This is the kind of image seen by many in the Arab world, through Al Jazeera, and censored by the media barons in the west, and obviously in Israel. Would it make a difference if they were shown in Israel, together with the Al Jazeera footage? I do not for a moment believe so. Most Israelis have set their mind to the auto-pilot setting of war times, and no amount of information will change it.
on the link above, you can view a small collection of the many video clips now available, describing graphically the the ongoing massacre. In the full view of the international community, and with the assent of most of it, including some of the Arab countries, Israel has started a genocidal attack on 1.5 million Palestinians, 64% of them children. This has happened after two years of blockade, in which fuel, medicines, food , water and gas were not allowed into Gaza, starving its whole population. Their crime? They do not accept the brutal occupation by Israel, after 41 years, and they believe they should elect their own representatives, rather than those Israel wants them to. Please watch and send to others!
Things you can do!
Updates from Gaza
For daily updates on the Gaza crisis go to the OCHA website
Excellent site with many clips and well up to date.
Latest News and View
Published on January 4, 2009
Gazans say experiencing ‘another Nakba‘: YNet News
Residents in northern Strip fear expansion of IDF operation, flee Beit Lahiya homes to ‘safer areas'; many areas plunged into darkness; water, sewage systems breaking down.
Fighting takes first toll, claims life of one Israeli soldier, leaves another critically injured. Over 25 troops sustain minor injuries in various clashes with Gaza gunmen.
Nur das „Eröffnungskapitel“ einer Offensive? Von Hans-Christian Rößler: Frankfurter Allgemeine
04. Januar 2009 Das dumpfe Donnern der Explosionen, das am Sonntag unablässig aus dem Gazasteifen nach Israel hinüberhallte, passte zur gedämpften Tonlage, die Politiker und Kommentatoren wählten. Ministerpräsident Ehud Olmert wandte sich in seiner ersten Rede nach dem Beginn des Einmarsches an die Mütter der Soldaten: Wäre nicht alles Erdenkliche getan worden, damit sie wieder sicher nach Hause zurückkehren, hätte er der Bodenoffensive nicht zugestimmt, versicherte er ihnen.
Muere el primer soldado israelí tras nueve días de ofensiva.- Una mujer palestina y sus cuatro hijos mueren durante el bombardeo de la capital.
Like The NY Times, Al Pais also found it necessary and correct to front its edition with the coffin of the ONE Israeli soldier killed in the Gaza invasion! The 500 and more Palestinians have not attained such an honour. Oh well, they are just Palestinians, and have no names and faces, of course.
BALLET DIPLOMATIQUE. La région connaît une activité diplomatique particulièrement dense. Moins de 24 heures après le déclenchement de l’offensive terrestre israélienne dans la bande de Gaza, l’Union européenne a dépêché une délégation de diplomates, qui fait étape dimanche en Egypte, avant de se rendre à Jérusalem, Ramallah et Amman.L’objectif est d’obtenir un cessez-le-feu. Emmenée par le chef de la diplomatie tchèque Karel Schwarzenberg, dont le pays assume la présidence tournante de l’UE, cette mission est en outre composée des chefs de la diplomatie français et suédois, de la commissaire européenne aux relations extérieures Benita Ferrero-Waldner, et du porte-parole de la diplomatie de l’UE Javier Solana. Les Européens croiseront le chemin de Nicolas Sarkozy, qui arrive lundi dans la région pour une tournée deux jours qui doit lui permettre de rencontrer les principaux dirigeants de la région : lundi, le président égyptien Hosni Moubarak, le président de l’Autorité palestinienne Mahmoud Abbas et le premier ministre israélien Ehoud Olmert, puis mardi, le président syrien Bachar el-Assad à Damas – soutien du Hamas, avec l’Iran – et les dirigeants libanais .
Israeli Troops Advance, Bisecting Gaza: NY Times
GAZA — Israeli troops advanced into Gaza on Sunday under cover of heavy air, tank and artillery fire after opening a ground war against the militant group Hamas on Saturday night.
The NY Times also found it necessary and correct to front its edition with the coffin of the ONE Israeli soldier killed in the Gaza invasion! The 500 and more Palestinians have not attained such an honour. If you wish to link to its front page, here is the link:
http://www.nytimes.com/ I prefer not to help them by showing it here.
And there lie the bodies, By Gideon Levy: Ha;aretz
The legend, lest it be a true story, tells of how the late mathematician, Professor Haim Hanani, asked his students at the Technion to draw up a plan for constructing a pipe to transport blood from Haifa to Eilat. The obedient students did as they were told. Using logarithmic rulers, they sketched the design for a sophisticated pipeline. They meticulously planned its route, taking into account the landscape’s topography, the possibility of corrosion, the pipe’s diameter and the flow calibration. When they presented their final product, the professor rendered his judgment: You failed. None of you asked why we need such a pipe, whose blood will fill it, and why it is flowing in the first place.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy told three Lebanese newspapers that Hamas bore “a heavy responsibility for the sufferings of the Palestinian people” and that its rocket attacks had to stop. Sarkozy’s comments will be published on Monday, the same day he arrives in Israel as part of the French and European effort to broker a cease-fire to end the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
This conclusion is inevitable in the face of a determination by the Israeli government that it faces an unacceptable threat from Gaza that must be dealt with.
By delaying ground operations for a week, it gave Hamas a chance to back down and call a halt to the firing of rockets into Israel. But Hamas chose confrontation, probably fearing that to do otherwise would be to show weakness.
The Palestinian Association of University Teachers in Gaza: Call for Action
Urgent call for action by the Gaza Universities, all of which have been bombed!
Oxfam supported health worker killed and ambulance destroyed in Israeli shelling in Gaza Israeli offensive puts families’ and aid workers’ lives at risk, Oxfam warns. It calls for a suspension of the EU upgrade for Israel.
Why Gaza’s Message Is Threatening To Some?: PalestineRemembered.com
By Salah Mansour
The Israeli war on Gaza hasn’t been only unprecedented in its ferocity, but it has been unprecedented in the support it received from the so called “Moderate” Arab Regimes** as well. In all circles, the Israeli attack was expected but not with this ferocity, however, the open alliance between the “Moderate” Arab Regimes with the Israeli policy makers never been this clear and obvious.
The only official standpoint of the Czech EU Presidency concerning the actions of the Israeli ground forces in the Gaza Strip.
I would like to apologise for the misunderstanding which occurred on 3 January 2009 about the reaction of the Czech Presidency to the actions of the Israeli ground forces in the Gaza Strip according to which the operations were seen as an act of self-defence. The only official standpoint of the Czech Presidency is the following:
“It is not surprising that the Israeli forces have launched land operations in the Gaza Strip. There were indications that Israel had been considering this step. But even the undisputable right of the state to defend itself does not allow actions which largely affect civilians. We call for the facilitation of humanitarian aid to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, and in accordance with the position agreed by the EU Foreign Ministers in Paris on the 30th December 2008 we call for the establishment of a ceasefire.”
Jiří F. Potužník
He seems to have changed his mind about resigning…
The Gaza Ghetto Uprising: Joseph Massad in Electronic intifada
One is often baffled by the ironies of international relations and the alliances they foster. Take for example the Israeli colonial settlement that had declared war on the Palestinian people and several Arab countries since its inception while at the same time it built alliances with many Arab regimes and with Palestinian leaders.
BBC journalist and Gaza resident Hamada Abu Qammar reports from Gaza as Israeli ground forces clash with Hamas fighters:
Last night where I live, in the central part of the Gaza Strip, we could hear bombing, artillery fire and also shooting from helicopters. I was watching from the top of my brother’s house. It was terrifying. I also went out into the streets in our area. It was virtually empty of people.
EU President Czech Republic: Israeli ground incursion defensive, not offensive action: Ynet
Europe backs IDF incursion
EU President Czech Republic: Israeli ground incursion defensive, not offensive action. European Union president, the Czech Republic, said on Saturday an Israeli ground incursion in Gaza was “defensive, not offensive” action.
“At the moment, from the perspective of the last days, we understand this step as a defensive, not offensive, action,” Czech EU presidency spokesman Jiri Potuznik said.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg is leading an EU delegation to the region on Sunday, and Potuznik said the presidency will wait to see the results of that visit.
However, France condemned Israel’s move to send ground forces into Gaza.
“France condemns the Israeli ground offensive against Gaza as it condemns the continuation of rocket firing,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“This dangerous military escalation complicates efforts by the international community and in particular the European Union and France, the members of the Quartet and the states in the region to end the fighting, bring immediate aid to civilians and reach a permanent ceasefire,” the statement said.
‘Luxury of telling the truth’
The Czech Republic already defended Israel’s strikes against Hamas last week. At the time, Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg said Israel had the right to defend itself.
Gaza medical personnel said a woman and four of her children were among the 35 Palestinians killed on Sunday during an Israel Defense Forces ground offensive in the coastal territory.
The deaths came as IDF ground troops and tanks cut swaths through the Gaza Strip early Sunday, cutting the coastal territory into two and surrounding its biggest city as the new phase of the devastating 9-day offensive against Hamas gained momentum.
President Shimon Peres on Sunday rejected the possibility of a cease-fire as the IDF pressed its offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, but said Israel does not intend to occupy Gaza.
“We don’t intend neither to occupy Gaza nor to crush Hamas, but to crush terror. And Hamas needs a real and serious lesson. They are now getting it,” Peres said in an interview on the ABC News program “This Week.”
A Knesset committee on Sunday approved Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s request for the call-up of tens of thousands of reservists in light of the ground operation in Gaza that Israel launched on Saturday against Hamas.
Despite approving the measure, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee clarified that not all of the Israel Defense Forces reservists would be called up immediately.
A description of Mr. Potuznik position, as well as the rest of the propto-fascists in Prague
You can read some infuriating quotes, including the now famous one from Mr. Potuznik
universities-of-palestine: Press Release
As evening closed in on Saturday 3rd January 2009 F-16 fighter planes renewed their bombing of one of the most densely populated areas of land in the world, killing more Palestinian civilians. In seven days Israel has killed over 500 Palestinians and injuring thousand of innocents. And now it has embarked on a full-scale ground invasion.
To read the whole call, press the link above
MASSIVE DEMONSTRATION AGAINST THE WAR: Gush Shalom
At the same time as Ehud Barak was ordering the army to start the bloody ground offensive against Gaza, some ten thousand protesters from all over Israel marched in Tel-Aviv in a massive demonstration against the war.
“One does not build an election campaign over the dead bodies of children!” shouted the protesters in Hebrew rhymes. “Orphans and widows are not election propaganda!”, “Olmert, Livni and Barak – war is no game!”’ “All cabinet ministers are war criminals!!” Barak, Barak, don’t worry – we shall meet you in The Hague!”, “Enough, enough – speak with Hamas!”
A pictorial report on this school, one of many, which was totally destroyed. A great blow against the Hamas, obviously.
Spokesperson of the Czech Republic President, Mr. Jiri Potuznik resigns after he calls Israel’s action ‘defensive’
See Haim Bresheeth’s letter demanding his resignation, and his answer that he has indeed resigned! the-spokesperson-of-the-eu-current-president
Qu’est-ce qu’un crime de guerre ? : Gilles Dever, 20 Minutes.fr
Douloureux à rappeler quand Israël est en cause, mais c’est le statut du tribunal de Nuremberg qui le premier a posé la définition du crime de guerre.
En droit de la guerre, la césure reste l’Allemagne nazie. Les conventions internationales qui traitaient de la guerre, datées de 1899 et de 1907, concernaient essentiellement les soldats, et de manière indirecte les populations civiles. Avec les nazis, l’ordre des choses s’est inversé : la mort des civils est une réalité, et un but de la guerre.
Gaza / PNN – On the ninth day of major air attacks on the Gaza Strip Israeli ground forces invaded. Members of the armed resistance are fighting back. The number of Palestinians killed since last Saturday has reached 477. The aerial bombings continue along with the invasion on ground. Israeli warplanes and Apache helicopters hit 45 “targets.”
An Israeli tank shell killed three children in the northern Gaza Strip’s Beit Lahia. Ambulances are unable to reach three Palestinians who were killed in Gaza along with those injured.
Thirty Israeli soldiers and more settlers from Sderot were injured. The injuries are described as “light to moderate.”Israeli source say they are fighting the resistance across the Strip. The Israeli military says that no soldiers were killed or captured since the ground invasion began.
On Monday, December 29 we sent our small ship, the DIGNITY, to besieged Gaza in an act of civil resistance against Israel’s ongoing massacre and blockade. We attempted to bring doctors, journalists, human rights workers and over three tons of emergency medical aid to the suffering people of Gaza in the midst of the worst attacks against them in over 40 years. In a
cowardly act of aggression the Israeli navy deliberately, repeatedly, and without warning rammed our unarmed ship, causing significant structural damage and endangering the lives of our passengers and crew. For CNN’s
coverage of the incident, see:
This was an act of terror meant to prevent us from accessing the people of Gaza. We will not be intimidated. We will not let
Israel’s terror tactics stop us from trying to reach the people of Gaza and doing all that we can to directly confront and challenge Israel’s violence against the Palestinian people and ongoing affront to humanity.
To read the whole call, press the link above
Israeli ground forces are battling Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip, after Israel stepped up its operation to halt rocket attacks by militants.
Gaza doctors and hospital officials said Sunday said that 19 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s ground offensive in the strip since midnight. They said that just three of the dead are Hamas gunmen, and the rest civilians.
Also Sunday, the Israel Air Force struck and wounded Husam Hamdan, a senior Hamas militant responsible for the Qassam rocket infrastructure in the Gaza town of Khan Yunis and the firing of Grad rockets on Be’er Sheva and Ofakim. The strike also wounded Hamas militant Mohammed Hilo, a member of Hamas’ special forces who helps supervise the construction and firing of Qassams from Khan Yunis.
Published on January 3, 2009
GROUND ASSAULT STARTED IN GAZA Jan 3 at 17:30
Israeli ground forces enter Gaza in escalation: Yahoo News
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israeli tanks and troops launched a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip Saturday night with officials saying they expected a lengthy fight with Hamas militants in the densely populated territory after eight days of punishing airstrikes failed to halt rocket attacks on Israel. Hamas vowed that Gaza would be a “graveyard” for Israelis forces.
Link to the above to see fotoage of the night invasion.
Security Council to Hold Urgent Meeting in Coming Hours: Palestine News Agency
NEW YORK, January 4, 2009 (WAFA)- the International Security Council announced, late Saturday, that an urgent special session is to be held in the coming few hours to discuss the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had called, earlier tonight, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and urged him to hold an urgent Security Council meeting to issue a resolution calling on an immediate ceasefire in the Strip. In the past eight days, 465 Palestinians were killed and more than 2350 wounded in Israeli raids on the strip.
Beit Lahiya mosque hit, 460 Palestinians killed: Palestine News Network
Both warplanes and ships continued to bomb the Gaza Strip throughout Saturday, leaving 460 Palestinians dead and 2,300 injured as of 8:20 pm. Temperatures have dropped, residents are living in bitter cold and without any sense of security. The repeated cry today has been, “There is nowhere safe in Gaza.” Dr. Muawiya Hassanein, Director General of Ambulance and Emergency in the Gaza Strip’s Ministry of Health said today that 75 Palestinian children have been killed since the bombings began
Un «nombre important de forces» militaires participent à la «deuxième phase» de l’opération contre la bande de Gaza, précise un communiqué de l’armée israélienne.
European protesters urge end to attacks on Gaza: Southern Illinois Homepage
By JILL LAWLESS
LONDON – Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in European cities on Saturday against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, including protesters who hurled shoes at the tall iron gates outside the British prime minister’s residence in London.
Amid increasing criticism of Israel, international diplomatic efforts are growing to end the strikes, which have killed more than 460 people and left 1,700 injured. Late Saturday, Israel launched a ground offensive, sending tanks and infantry into Gaza.
In London, at least 10,000 people, many carrying Palestinian flags, marched past Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Downing Street residence to a rally in Trafalgar Square. Outside Downing Street, hundreds of protesters stopped and threw shoes at the gates that block entry to the narrow road.
Les eaux usées baignent les rues, le prix du pain a triplé en une semaine, les médecins craignent d’opérer faute d’être sûr de disposer d’anesthésique ou d’électricité. Sous les bombardements israéliens quotidiens, la situation devient chaque jour plus critique dans la bande de Gaza.
Israeli attack on Gaza enters the second week, Death toll climbs to 450: Ramattan News Agency, Gaza
Gaza, January 3, 2009, (Ramattan)- The Israeli attacks on Gaza entered the second week and the Israeli war planes continued on Saturday air strikes on various targets in the Gaza Strip killing and wounding several Palestinians. At least 8 Palestinians were killed and tens others wounded when an Israeli jet fighter bombarded a mosque in Beit Lahia, north of Gaza.
Israël a franchi, samedi 3 janvier, une nouvelle étape dans son offensive contre le Hamas en déclenchant des tirs d’artillerie contre la bande de Gaza, ont rapporté des témoins des deux côtés de la frontière. Les tirs de l’artillerie ont commencé à 16 h 30, heure locale (15 h 30 à Paris), notamment à Beit Hanoun, Jabaliya, dans le nord de la bande de Gaza, et dans le secteur de Khan Younès dans le sud. Selon Reuters, les tirs ont provoqué une puissante explosion dans la ville de Gaza. On ignore s’il y a des victimes.
2h34 : Une réunion extraordinaire du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies est annoncée dans la soirée.
22h08 : La France “condamne l’offensive terrestre israélienne contre Gaza” et estime que “cette escalade militaire dangereuse complique les efforts engagés par la communauté internationale” pour obtenir un cessez-le-feu, a déclaré samedi le ministère des affaires étrangères, se distinguant ainsi de la position émise par la présidence tchèque de l’Union européenne.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Saturday that Israel’s campaign against
Islamic Hamas militants in Gaza will not be short, nor will it be easy.
Initial reports from both Israel and Gaza indicated that Israel Defense Forces troops had killed dozens of Hamas gunmen as they traded heavy fire upon entering the Strip.
Israel launches ground assault into Gaza: Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Jerusalem — Israeli troops and tanks crossed into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip this evening, widening a week-old assault aimed at halting the militant Palestinian group’s rocket fire into Israel.
A column of tanks, some firing their weapons, rolled into the northern part of the coastal enclave as Israeli combat helicopters flew overhead, according to Palestinian residents. Israeli television channels broadcast images of troops marching into the territory.
WASHINGTON — In unleashing a series of punishing attacks in Gaza last week, Israel clearly aimed to hand Hamas a defeat from which it could not recover anytime soon. The campaign may succeed, experts here and in Israel say, but it could also backfire. Either way, the political consequences could reverberate throughout the Middle East, all the way to Iran, and help determine the ability of President-elect Barack Obama to pursue his stated goals of calming the Middle East through diplomacy.
Israeli Troops Launch Attack on Gaza: NY Times
JERUSALEM — Israeli tanks and troops swept across the border into Gaza on Saturday night, opening a ground war against the militant group Hamas after a week of intense airstrikes.
Jour de colère en Palestine: L’Humanite
Pour la septième journée consécutive, Israël poursuivait vendredi son offensive aérienne dans la bande de Gaza, où le bilan des bombardements s’établit à 412 morts et plus de 1800 blessés. Des dizaines de milliers de manifestants pour le “jour de colère” du Hamas en Cisjordanie.
Gaza, iniziata l’offesiva di terra Bombardata una moschea: 16 morti: Corriere Della Sera
Forze di terra israeliane sono entrate stasera in due diversi punti della Striscia di Gaza. È stata una piccola colonna di blindati israeliani a penetrare all’interno della Striscia da due località a nord, nei pressi di Beit Lahiya, lo stesso posto dove è stata colpita la moschea. Le truppe dell’Idf avanzano appoggiate da elicotteri d’attacco ma non è stato precisato sin dove siano arrivate. Israele inoltre ha posto in stato di allerta il nord del paese, in previsione di possibili ostilità anche in questa regione che confina col Libano e con la Siria. Lo ha riferito il Canale 10 della Tv.
Caía la noche y la embestida de las fuerzas armadas israelíes por tierra, mar y aire, ha atronado en Gaza. La artillería ha entrado en acción por primera vez en el octavo día de la guerra para barrer la zona fronteriza de la franja de norte a sur. Buques de la Marina, cazabombarderos y helicópteros castigaron también el territorio palestino matando a una treintena de personas. Los milicianos de Hamás aumentaron la frecuencia de sus andanadas de cohetes en una batalla desigual como pocas. Poco después de las ocho de la noche, los carros de combate invadían por tierra atravesando el muro de hormigón por el norte de la franja.
L’armée israélienne a franchi une nouvelle étape dans sa lutte contre le Hamas, samedi 3 janvier, en lançant une offensive terrestre d’ampleur contre la bande de Gaza. “Je peux confirmer que des troupes israéliennes sont entrées” dans le territoire, visé depuis le 27 décembre par une vaste opération israélienne, a indiqué samedi soir une porte-parole de l’armée.
La France et la Turquie continuent à s’activer pour désamorcer la crise israélo-palestinienne.
1 day ago
WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President George W. Bush on Friday urged all able parties to press Hamas to stop firing rockets at Israel and secure a lasting ceasefire, after a week of heavy Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.
His administration meanwhile gave Israel free rein over whether to send ground troops into Gaza, despite growing criticism over its handling of a conflict that has killed more than 400 Palestinians, including civilians.
By Bashir Abu-Manneh in ZMag
We watch in horror as Israel unleashes yet another war on the dispossessed and weak. Hundreds are killed (mostly police and civilians, not trained militants), thousands are injured, and a million and a half are terrorized, punished for defying the will of their besiegers and refusing to submit. Again the media colludes and sells a barbaric aggression on a basically defenseless and deprived population as a war between two sides, mystifying fundamental inequalities of power through words like “disproportionate response” and “ceasefire.” Again “shock and awe” is bandied about as military currency, as if it worked the first time round in Iraq, or the second in Lebanon 2006. Again we hear a cocksure military commander say that the targeted area will be sent back decades in time, as if Israel has complete control over historical temporality: “In attacking Hamas’ regime in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces will try to ‘send Gaza decades into the past’ in terms of weapon capabilities while achieving ‘the maximum number of enemy casualties and keeping Israel Defense Forces casualties at a minimum,’ GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant said.”
One of the more moving voices of dissent is coming out of Sderot and other Israeli communities around Gaza. A group called “The Other Voice” has published a petition calling for the Israeli government to prevent escalation and restore calm to the area (the petition and an article on the group are included as the first items below). The petition was written in November and is gaining more publicity now, for obvious reasons. It states” We prefer an option of a cold war in which not a single rocket is fired to a hot war with tens of innocent victims and casualties from both sides.” So far more than 2,300 Israelis have signed it, including more than 500 people from Sderot. (Adam Horwitz also reported on it in Huffington Post, above)
Israeli ground troops have started to enter the Gaza Strip, Israeli military officials have confirmed, a week after the offensive against Hamas began.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said the intention was to “take control” of areas from which Palestinian militants have been firing rockets into Israel.
The BBC has woken up, 2 hours after the event, and is now reporting it!
Demonstrators are gathered close to the Israeli embassy in London, following a day of protests across the UK against Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip. Up to 5,000 protesters have been involved in a stand-off with police in Kensington. Some have burned Israeli flags and thrown missiles at officers. Earlier, up to 12,000 demonstrators marched through central London, hurling shoes at the gates of Downing Street. Other rallies took place in cities including Manchester and Glasgow.
As usual, th BBC heroic team is behind the police cordon! The report itself is biased and misleading. The number of 12 thousands is a joke! There were more than 50 thousands at the London March!
A group ,of protestors tells Israeli pilots what they think of their murder in Gaza
Tens of young protesters wear blood-stained clothes and lie on the road to Sde Dov airport in Tel Aviv – watch the clip below:
Mohammed is burying his family. So is Jamal. Haider doesn’t feel safe in his flat so is sheltering in his car. In a series of phone calls to friends besieged in Gaza, one writer reveals the reality of life under daily attack.
An excellent, moving, non-sensational, accurate and analytical piece in the Guardian by Karma Nabulsi
Ilan Pappe, The Electronic Intifada, 2 January 2009
My visit back home to the Galilee coincided with the genocidal Israeli attack on Gaza. The state, through its media and with the help of its academia, broadcasted one unanimous voice — even louder than the one heard during the criminal attack against Lebanon in the summer of 2006. Israel is engulfed once more with righteous fury that translates into destructive policies in the Gaza Strip. This appalling self-justification for the inhumanity and impunity is not just annoying, it is a subject worth dwelling on, if one wants to understand the international immunity for the massacre that rages on in Gaza.
The Guardian, Saturday 3 January 2009
Ewa Jasiewicz is a journalist and activist. She is currently the project co-ordinator for the Free Gaza Movement, and one of the only international journalists on the ground in Gaza. Here is her account of a week spent trying to document the attacks.
The letters page in the Guardian today, one of the best ever. Read the letters.
By Amos Harel, Yoav Stern and Yanir Yagana, Haaretz Correspondents,
Israel entered the second week of its offensive against rockets from Hamas-ruled Gaza on Saturday evening by launching a much-expected ground operation into the coastal strip.
By Haaretz Service and Reuters
Israel’s government has approved the call-up of tens of thousands of reservist soldiers, it was annnounced Saturday, almost simultaneously with the launch of a Gaza ground incursion aimed at halting rocket fire on Israel’s southern communities.
By Paul Reynolds: World affairs correspondent, BBC News website
Israel has tried to take the initiative in the propaganda war over Gaza but, in one important instance, its version has been seriously challenged.
The UN has warned that Palestinians in Gaza are facing a serious health and food crisis, as Israeli air strikes continued for a seventh day. The “critical emergency” comes despite an increase in humanitarian shipments, said Maxwell Gaylard, the UN’s chief aid co-ordinator for the territory. The UN believes that at least 100 of some 400 Palestinians killed by Israeli action so far were civilians.
The Israeli military has stepped up its attacks on Gaza, as the offensive on Hamas enters its second week.
Israeli artillery and tanks bombarded the territory for what is thought to be the first time during the offensive, and further air strikes were launched. Later, a column of military vehicles crossed into northern Gaza, Palestinian witnesses said.
By The Associated Press, in Ha’aretz
By Amir Oren
Read this to find out the next round of fun prepared by the Israelis, which may well lead to the total destruction of what is left of the international order, such as it is. You better believe Israel when it says things like that.
Mustafa Barghouti* cuts down the myths Israel spins in the media to justify its most recent campaign of slaughter; Al Ahram Weekly
Saleh Al-Naami reports from Gaza on the carnage wreaked by five days of Israel’s bloody aerial assault; Al Ahram Weekly
The current uproar in Arab streets might not be of any direct help to Gazans but it draws battle lines between the masses and their regimes, notes Sherine Bahaa
MK Erdan: protestors show sane majority supports Gaza op; anti-war rally held at Rabin Square: Vered Luvitch
Published: 01.03.09, 19:13 / Israel News/Ynet
A week after the launch of operation “Cast Lead” in the Gaza Strip, both supporters and objectors are holding separate rallies in Tel Aviv.
About 300 people arrived at the city’s King David Boulevard in order to express their support for the IDF operation. Participants were chanting slogans in favor of eliminating Hamas and held signs reading “Let the IDF win” and “We’ve had enough, eliminate Hamas.”Meanwhile, hundreds of people arrived at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv in order to pretest against the Gaza war. The protesters were marching in the streets and carrying flags reading “Stop the fire” and “Children in Gaza and Sderot wish to live.”
Well if this is the size of the demonstrations in Te Aviv, Olmert, Brak and Livni have nothing to worry about – the Israeli nation is fully behind their war crimes (HB).
Published on January 2, 2009
United Nations: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
2 January 2009 as of 14:30
“There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza”
Tzipi Livni (Israel’s Foreign Affairs Minister)
Thursday 1 January 2009, Paris.
An excellent article By JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN
This is a nauseating article in the Jewish Chronicle: how to explain and justify murder and destruction!
STOP THE WAR IN GAZA! Call by The coalition of Israeli and Palestinian organisations against the war
The European Union should use today’s emergency meeting of foreign ministers to suspend a new co-operation agreement between the EU and Israel, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has said. The proposed agreement, due to be voted on in the European Parliament next month, would give Israel access to EU funding programmes which in some areas are only enjoyed by full members of the EU. Commenting, Nick Clegg said:
“The continuing bombardment of Gaza is intolerable and self-defeating. It goes far beyond Israel’s right to defend itself.”
By Neve Gordon and Jeff Halper in Chronicle of Higher Education
Gideon Levy – מאת גדעון לוי An excellent article about the the hypocricy and silence of the media in Israel. Unfortunately not translated by Ha’aretz! They now delay or avoid translations of Gideon Levy. Instead, they did translate another article, below:
Gideon Levy / Amid exploding rockets, Negev life carries on
IDF is sending Hamas a message: now it’s personal
ABC News Video: Huge Free Gaza Demonstration in San Francisco, USA on December 30,2008
Petition can be read and signed on the address above
Published on January 1, 2009
By OREN BEN-DOR, COUNTERPUNCH
By Dr. Haider Eid, Live from Palestine, 31 December 2008
I was lying in my bedroom when the first strike happened, around 1:30 in the morning. A strike isn’t just one
explosion, it’s a series of explosions. Boom, boom, boom, boom. The whole building shook. I woke up and went to the
bathroom first, and within 30 seconds the second strike hit. F-16s were bombing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
building, about 500 meters away. I could hear glass shattering everywhere. Dr. Haider Eid reports from the besieged Gaza Strip.
Israeli human rights organizations have launched a bi-lingual blog providing
information on human rights violations and harm to civilians during the
fighting in Gaza and Southern Israel
Omar Barghouti, The Electronic Intifada, 1 January 2009
The UN Security Council has discussed a draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire to halt the Israeli-Palestinian violence.
56% of Gazan are Children: Israel wages war on 800,000 children
A statement just released by 57 MP and some House of Lords members
A senior Hamas leader has been killed by an Israeli air strike on his home in the Gaza Strip, Hamas officials say.
Watch this amazing film made by the Shministim! Contrary to Israeli war party propaganda in the US, not all Jews and not all Israelis support Israel’s Nazi-like conduct in the Occupied Territories. This simple fact is probably the single most censored piece of news in the United States.
Here are some young people heading to prison because they won’t join the genocide.
You can support these brave kids here:
On the third day of the current round of Israeli war crimes in Gaza, two or more Israeli IDF patrol boats have tried to sink the boat Dignity, the Free Gaza vessel, veteran of delivering medicines to the blockaded Gaza. You can watch the eyewitness reports, including those of the CNN reporter on board, clearly putting the lie to Israeli claims that this was ‘an accident’. Instead, this is another example of Israel’s illegal behaviour at home and abroad, in this case operating as pirates, in international waters, 90 miles off the coast. I have put together six clips about the Dignity!
The UN Security Council, meeting for emergency consultations Wednesday night, rejected an Arab request for a legally binding resolution that would condemn Israel and halt its attacks.
Rafah residents came to the realization on Tuesday that the air force has adopted a new method for destroying weapons smuggling tunnels in the town. On Monday, the military fired 10 missiles which are believed to have destroyed 10 tunnels. Palestinians say IAF drones fired seven missiles on Tuesday at the same number of tunnels.
By Haaretz Service and News Agencies
An Israel Air Force strike on a home in the Gaza Strip on Thursday killed a senior Hamas political leader, Hamas security sources said.
By Yossi Verter, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service
A decisive majority of respondents support continuing the army’s air campaign against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip without endangering the lives of Israel Defense Forces soldiers in a ground offensive, according to a Haaretz-Dialog public opinion poll.
This pathetic and denuded defence of the murder and destruction by Ari Shavit, is as criminal as the war crimes he praises. May his callous words come to haunt him yet! It has to be read to be believed:
“Operation Cast Lead is an intelligent, impressive operation. The element of surprise was total, the intelligence was precise and the timing was brilliant.”
There was a day when we worried about the “Arab masses” – the millions of “ordinary” Arabs on the streets of Cairo, Kuwait, Amman, Beirut – and their reaction to the constant bloodbaths in the Middle East. Could Anwar Sadat restrain the anger of his people? And now – after three decades of Hosni Mubarak – can Mubarak (or “La Vache Qui Rit”, as he is still called in Cairo) restrain the anger of his people? The answer, of course, is that Egyptians and Kuwaitis and Jordanians will be allowed to shout in the streets of their capitals – but then they will be shut down, with the help of the tens of thousands of secret policemen and government militiamen who serve the princes and kings and elderly rulers of the Arab world.
Although their proposals differ in detail, two of Israel’s best-known writers, Amos Oz and David Grossman, have joined the calls for a ceasefire after several days of Israel’s offensive.
By Nidal al-Mughrabi, Reuters
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said today that Israel was fighting Hamas with an “iron fist”, his words backed by more Gaza air strikes but challenged by rocket fire that continued to hit Israeli cities.
Violence has continued in the Gaza Strip for a sixth day, after calls for a UN-backed ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants foundered.
OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS – UN
The Turkish public has reacted with anger to the Israeli air strikes on Gaza by appearing in huge numbers at rallies aimed at condemning Israel for the onslaught, which has taken the lives of almost 400 Palestinians.
By Richard Falk. Published in The Nation The Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war.
יגאל לביב טוען שאין מנוס ממחשבה שהמתקפה בעזה התחילה מלא יותר מאשר תכנית הישרדותית של קדימה והעבודה לאור ניצחונו הצפוי של הליכוד בבחירות על פי העולה מהסקרים. הוא גם מביא סימוכין מהתנהלותה התמוהה של הממשלה סביב מה שקדם למבצע הזה, החל בהפרת הרגיעה מצד ישראל כדי שיהיה טריגר לפעולה ועד לשימוש הלא הגיוני בצנזורה
a commentary from the editors of Middle East Report, is now available in Middle East Report Online:
Published on December 31, 2008
From The Jewish Chronicle, by Anshel Pfeffer A most revealing article on Israel’s PR success, so far, in its war of aggression on Gaza. Note how preparations had started months earlier, refuting all current Israeli claims that their war was in “retaliation” to whatever the Palestinians have done a couple of days earlier.
A boat delivering 3.5 tonnes of Cypriot medical aid to the Gaza Strip has been rammed by Israeli naval vessels in international waters, activists say. See the clip included in the news item!
Israeli trade and industry minister, Eli Yishai, was forced to take cover during an interview as rocket warning sirens went off around him – watch the clip!
Protests against the Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip have again been taking place, with rallies in several cities across the region.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has rejected international calls for a 48-hour truce in the Gaza Strip to allow in more humanitarian aid.
Israel Holds Near Monopoly on Information from Gaza Strip, Declares Victory in “War of Public Relations”
The Israeli government has created for itself a near monopoly over information coming out of the Gaza Strip. Journalists have been prevented from entering the Gaza Strip already since early November, a move the Foreign Press Association (FPA) in Israel labels “an unprecedented restriction of press freedom.” The FPA filed a petition with the Israeli Supreme Court against this measure, and the petition is scheduled to be ruled on today (31 December).
The US-backed attempt to bring Hamas to heel by overwhelming force is in fact more likely to boost the movement’s appeal. An excellent article! Simon Farr Caricature in The Guardian, 31 December 2008
By Barak Ravid, Amos Harel, and Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondents, and Reuters
UN set for Gaza crisis discussion
The UN Security Council is set to meet to discuss the crisis in the Gaza Strip as international calls grow for a halt to the Israeli-Palestinian violence.
British telecom firm severs ties with Israeli counterparts
UK’s FreedomCall informs Israeli company of decision via email, blames Gaza operation Meir Orbach http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3648346,00.html
British telecommunications firm FreedomCall has terminated its cooperation with Israel’s MobileMax due to the IDF operation in Gaza.
Robert Fisk: Why bombing Ashkelon is the most tragic irony
The Independent Tuesday, 30 December 2008 http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-why-bombing-ashkelon-is-the-most-tragic-irony-1216228.html
Palestine’s Guernica and the Myths of Israeli Victimhood
Mustafa Barghouthi http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2008/12/view_from_a_pal/
The Israeli campaign of ‘death from above’ began around 11 am, on Saturday morning, the 27th of December, and stretched straight through the night into this morning. The massacre continues Sunday as I write these words.
Ron Prossor Chickens out!
Has Israel Revived Hamas?
By Daoud Kuttab Tuesday, December 30, 2008; A15 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/29/AR2008122901 901.html
In its efforts to stop amateur rockets from nagging the residents of some of its southern cities, Israel appears to have given new life to the fledging Islamic movement in Palestine.
GIDEON LEVY / The IAF, bullies of the clear blue skies
An excellent attack on the common madness of Israelis
The Jerusalem Post and what they think about Palestine
A hoorendous caricature, closely representing the current state of thinking in Israel. Please for moment do not make the mistake of thinking this is an ironic, critical reflection on the situation.
Where peace is a problem
Haim Bresheeth, The Electronic Intifada, 31 December 2008 http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10080.shtml
Robert Fisk: The self delusion that plagues both sides in this bloody conflict
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-self-delusion-that-plagues-both-sides-in-this-bloody-conflict-1218224.html Israel has never won a war in a built-up city, that’s why threats of ‘war to the bitter end’ are nonsense
Published on December 3o, 2008
Alternative Information Centre website
This is one of the best websites for political analysis in the Middle East
Electronic Intifada by Ali Abu Nimah
The best news website on Palestine, always gets thye news first. Excellent articles and reports.
Ynet – Yediot Ahronot website, 30 December
Some 1,800 Israelis and Palestinians, including 500 Sderot residents, sign petition calling for end to IDF operation in Gaza, renewal of dialogue between Israel, Hamas
BBC website 30 December:
Growing calls for Gaza ceasefire
Foreign powers stepped up calls for Israel and the militant group Hamas to end hostilities, after four days of violence in and around Gaza.
Miliband urges ceasefire pressure
The EU must keep up the pressure for a ceasefire in Gaza, UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said ahead of a meeting with his European counterparts.
Israel vows lasting Gaza campaign
Israel says it is ready for “long weeks of action” as it continues its fiercest air assault on Gaza for decades to stamp out militant rocket attacks. This includes a harrowing film clip.
US tacitly backs Israel offensive
The White House has given its tacit backing to Israel’s military operation against Hamas and the Gaza Strip, a flare-up that is threatening to seriously complicate any peace efforts envisaged by the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama.
West Bank anger at Gaza strikes
“Of course we want another intifada,” chorus a group of female students in their late teens.
Jets pound Gaza for fourth day
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7804141.stm A disturbing new clip
Ha’aretz website 30 December:
מאת עמירה הס עמירה הס | כך אנחנו אוהבים אותם
Unfortunately, Ha’aretz is now refraining from translating Amira’s excellent articles into English, so I had to include the Hebrew originals, above. As she is the only Israeli journalist writing from Gaza. So much for Israeli ‘liberalism’…
While lacking the moral stance of Levy and Hass, Barel nonetheless pours scorn on this mad military murderous adventure, pointing out its likelihood of failure and further, worse conflict ensuing.
Al Ahram website:
In this article, Salah Al-Naami, in an article written few days before the attack, is describing what might happen, though his analysis seems to be much too optimistic, as he concludes that on balance, Israel might not strike, due to the preparedness of Hams.
NY Times website, 30 December
In a typical example of skewed, faulty journalism, this is an article totally framed from an Israeli perspective. Like on the ground, so in the New York Times – the Israelis have all the lines and space, with the voice of Palestine not heard at all. The attack, they tell us, is on Hamas, rather than on Gaza. Such junk publishing is no less an enemy than the IDF, and is also more influential.
The guardian website, 30 December
A well informed Guardian article, though still using the terminology and definitions of the Israeli propaganda machine.
Eyewitness reports from the London Free Gaza demonstrations:
Messages of support and outrage
Gaza’s Guernica – Enough is enough: Statement signed by Bricup members, December 28, 2008.
A statement just released by 57 MP and some House of Lords members
stop-the-massacre-of-the-palestinian-people Declaration of the International Secretariat of the Fourth International
end-the-carnage-in-gaza: Press Release from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees(PFUUPE)
rt-hon-david-miliband-mp: Letter from Sarah Teather MP to the Foreign Secretary, December 28 2008
a-call-for-all-freedom-supporters: Iyad Burnat- Head of Popular Committee in Bilin
open-letter-from-jews-for-justice-for-palestinians-to-prime-minister: Open letter from Jews for Justice for Palestinians to Prime Minister, Gordon Brown MP:
gaza-press-release-11 : A Press Release from The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
Messages from Canada
Thanks to Dorit Naaman
Things you can do
1. Join or organize emergency protests and direct actions in partnership with Palestine solidarity and social justice organisations in your area. Send reports of actions you participate in so this information can be shared with people around the world.
2. Donate money through:
Medical Aid for Palestine http://www.map-uk.org/
Middle East Children’s Alliance https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=1171 to pay for desperately needed medical supplies and their delivery. The current conditions in Gaza medical facilities are dire.
Physicians for Human Rights Medical assistance and medicines supplied to Gaza and other Palestinian terrtories by volunteeer physicians from Israel. For information about PHR’s work, link to phr-gaza-emergency.
The British Shalom-Salaam Trust (www.bsst.org.uk) is collecting funds on PHR-I’s behalf and will transfer donations and associated Gift Aid (adding 28% to their value – see below). By cheque payable to BSST and sent to: BSST, PO Box 46081, London W9 2ZF – quoting PHR-I By bank transfer to HSBC sortcode 40-04-15 – account no 11576585 – international bank account number GB22MIDL40041511576585 – please quote your surname and initial By credit card via CAF http://www.cafonline.org/apps/Charities/BasicSearch.aspx?dsp_keywords=british+shalom+salaam+trust <http://www.cafonline.org/apps/Charities/BasicSearch.aspx?dsp_keywords=british+shalom+salaam+trust> (they claim Gift Aid and deduct 5% of the total) quoting PHR-I in their instruction box.
4. Shift the framing of Israel’s actions in the media by phoning into a talk show or writing a letter to the editor.
5. Sign petitions
in support of UN General Assembly President Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/IJAN_Brockmann_BDS/
He has spoken out to condemn Israeli Apartheid and called for boycott, divestment and sanctions.
Shortly after the Israeli onslaught on the people of Gaza started, the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) launched a Statement of Determination to Boycott Israel. Please promote this statement in newspapers, professional and trade union journals, on internet sites — wherever — and encourage people to sign. It is intended to be a worldwide statement of determination. To read the statement, a-statement-of-determination-to-boycott-israel. If you want to sign, please reply to: email@example.com
6. Write to your member of parliament.
If you are in the UK, you can find your MP’s details on this site: http://www.writetothem.com/
Just enter your postcode. This will connect you to your elected representatives on four levels of governemnt: Local, regional national, and European. Use all to write to your elected representatives, and try and see them to make sure they know how you feel about this issue.
7. If you are in Europe write to you MEP http://www.europarl.europa.eu/members.do Do not fail to mention the travesty of the EU planning to upgrade its relationship with Israel exactly at the point of this mass murder occurring.
If you are in the UK you can do the following (or the equivalents if you live elsewhere)
8. Write to:
(a) the Labour Party using this online form: http://www.labour.org.uk/contact (
b) the leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron firstname.lastname@example.org
(You could mention you are appalled that he has been on the BBC calling for restraint on all sides when nearly 300 Palestinians have been killed, as if we are speaking here of two armies in conflict, rather than a mass murder recalling Guernica)
9. British Consulate Jerusalem +972 (02) 541 4100
10. British Embassy Tel Aviv +972 (02) 3510 1167 / +972 (03) 527 1572 Call them.
11. Fax the office of the UK Prime Minister – Gordon Brown – on +44 20 7925 0918
12. Boycott ALL Israeli goods of whatever kind – food, technology, cultural artifacts – help us to isolate this brutal and inhuman regime in the same way we have manged to do during the 1970s and 1980s to the South African apartheid regime, to which it is close in outlook. To learn more about the Goods Boycott, link to Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods excellent website: http://www.bigcampaign.org/index.php?page=jews-for-boycotting-israeli-goods
13. Boycott all ties with Israeli institutions;
if you are an academic, join the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) and partake in its actions. Its website is at:
If you are a jounalist, please read the following, and consider your options for action: http://www2.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-234/0704251230135037.htm
14. You are not alone in your anger about this latest atrocity. You may wish to find out more about your options for solidarity and political action. Please check into:
Palestine Solidarity Campaign http://www.palestinecampaign.org/index2b.asp
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network http://www.ijsn.net/home/
Neturei Karta Neturei Karta in the UK A radical organisation of Haredi Anti-Zionist Jews, with deep commitment to peace and human rights
Jews for Justice for Palestine JFJfP One of the most active and well organised groups in the UK
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel PACBI Based in Ramallah, the umbrella Palestinian organisation uniting artists and academics in action against Israeli occupotion and oppression
Organisations in Israel/Palestine A detailed list, descriptions and websites of the most active organisation working aginst the occupation and its brutalities
The demonstration today in London was, according to concerned, the largest ever held in London on Palestine. This is even more impressive if one remembers that similar demonstrations were held today in many other cities in the UK. This is evidence to the depth of feeling, anger and disgust, not only with Israel and the USA, but more importantly, with the UK government and its immoral and despicable behaviour, the same position it took during the Summer 2006 and the destruction of Lebanon. This demonstration, and all the speeches in it, are sending a loud and clear message to the UK government, to USA, Egypt, but first and foremost, to Israel: “Your war crimes will not be forgotten, will not be forgiven, will not go unpunished”. Many of the speakers on the platform, from all political persuasions, have called not just for the end to the invasion and bombing, the removal of the illegal blockade, but for the end of the occupation, the removal of the Apartheid Wall, and for a Just Peace in Palestine.
Shame on You! Shame on You! shouted thousands as they hurled shoes towards No. 10 Downing Street
While passing in front of the heavily protected Downing Street entrance, thousands of shoes where hurled by the demonstrators at the police, and towards Number 10. This simple, symbolic retort of the powerless, so powerfully used og George Dubya Bush in Iraq, will remind the British government what their citizens think of their behaviour. You can see it in the pictures below.
From Trafalgar Square thousands marched to the Israeli embassy. The good behaviour of the Met was all gone there, as it normally does, and in the violence which ensued, many protesters have been injured, and many arrested. Full marks go to the Metropolitan Police for not allowing free speech in the capital, and for protecting the embassy of the mass murderers so well.
We are not expecting Israel to take any of those demands into account, obviously. What we are expecting, though, is our own governments, who have financed the PA construction of a modern infrastructure in Gaza, now all in ruins, and who continue to trade with Israel, including selling it arms, to act immediately to end this murder. The speakers have, one after another, reminded the thousands in the square that those who do nothing when war crimes are committed, are just as culpable as the criminals themselves.
Below you can see a selection of images from this amazing demonstration. By clicking on pictures you can see an enlarged image.
To see material from around the world, use this link:
Free Gaza! Free Palestine!
End the occupation! Out with the settlements and the apartheid wall! End Zionism Now!
You can see another pictorial report from the demo, here:
Special features of this campaign
Of all the military adventures started by Israel, the current one seems to recieve the nicest treatment from the British media. One is taxed to find an intelligent or searching question from any of the anchors towards Israeli spokesperson; one is taxed even harder to hear a Palestinian speaking, not to mention a Palestinian from Gaza. Why is this wholesale surrender of journalistic practice, and squandering of standards of fair reporting taking place, and what can we do about it?
The Israeli propaganda machine
One of the explanations for this is the launch of an Israeli press and media onslaught, planned for a long time together with the military campaign, and run insynchronism with it. Israel have flooded the air with simple slogans, all of them false, but catchy enough to have the great minds of the British media fall for them. The British media have not given Israelis a hard time: as opposed to other countries’ media:
Quoted from the article below:
Israeli diplomats and spokespeople working with the British media have said that so far “most of the hostility has been in the print media, especially in The Guardian and The Independent. The electronic media, including also the BBC, have made more of an effort to seem even-handed. “The coverage is definitely less hostile to Israel than what we saw during the Second Lebanon War two-and-a-half years ago.”
“Israeli diplomats and spokespeople working with the British media have said that so far “most of the hostility has been in the print media, especially in The Guardian and The Independent. The electronic media, including also the BBC, have made more of an effort to seem even-handed.”
It also seems that the long planning of both the military atrocities as well as the media control has paid dividends:
“The months of preparation and the increased intensity of the media efforts have also shown results in Britain. Senior diplomats in the London Embassy, headed by Ambassador Ron Prosor gave an unprecedented 25 interviews to national television and radio channels, in the first three days of the operation.”
December 31, 2008
“Whenever Israel is bombing, it is hard to explain our position to the world,” said Avi Pazner, Israel’s former ambassador to Italy and France, and one of the officials drafted in to present Israel’s case to the world media. “But at least this time everything was ready and in place.” One of the decisions taken following Israel’s failure to explain its case during the Lebanon War was the formation of a National Information Directorate within the Prime Minister’s Office, tasked with coordinating the efforts of the press bureaus in the various government departments.
The Directorate, which has been up and running for eight months, began planning six months ago for a Gaza operation. A forum with representatives of the press offices of the Foreign and Defence ministries, the IDF Spokesman Unit and other agencies held numerous meetings to decide on the message. The forum held two system-wide exercises in the past two months, one aimed at foreign media and, last week, one dedicated to the Israeli press.”
Antisemitism is always useful
But sometimes, with the best preparation in the world, one still meets some hard-headed, unreasonable individuals who would not accept Israel’s claims that in bombing people to smithereens it intends to help them, and to bring peace and calm through explosions and death. For such ocassions exactly, Israel and its allies have a trump card. Any criticism which is too sharp of their actions and brutalities, can always be countered by claiming it is antisemitic. “you are attacking us because we are Jewish. In the case of any other country, you would not attack them in this way.” Most liberal media workers, especially if they are not Jewish themselves, fear this accusation like the plague; after all, how exactly do you prove you are not antisemitic? In Israel, the popular assumption is that ALL Goys are antisemtic, whether they know it or not, whether they admit it or not. The Engage group, operating against the proposals for a boycott of Israeli instiutions, has used this argument for years. It becomes an “antisemites under the beds” hunt, in which the media cannot win. The powerful Jewish establishment, in the UK, France or the USA alike, are able to raise hell on the basis of such false accusations, and to claim that the only reason why Israel “is singled out” for special criticism, as they see it, is because it is a Jewish state. The BBC is especially prone to such attacks, and as a result has adjusted its coverage over the last decade, so as to make criticism from this corner unnecessary. The Zionist lobby is also fond of attacking papers they consider (for whatever strange reason…) leftist or liberal, such as The Guardian or The Independent, which take a more autonomous line on Israel than the papers which are part of the media conglomerates. The BBC has now acknowledged that there is indeed a propaganda war being fought, following reports from Jerusalem:
By Paul Reynolds
World affairs correspondent, BBC News website
Israel has tried to take the initiative in the propaganda war over Gaza but, in one important instance, its version has been seriously challenged.
The Blond Offensive
“One of our lessons from the Lebanon War was that there were too many uniforms in the coverage,” says Yarden Vatikay, director of the National Information Directorate, “and that doesn’t come over very positively.” The next clip demonstrates this clearly, but the IDF has made it impossible to embed it (sic) withinga webpage, so please use the link to view it:
Anyone who has listened to Ehud Olmert, or the other Ehud – Barak, will not immediately find them either effective, likeable or trustworthy. Hardly any Israeli trusts them, anyway. This can be seen very clearly in the Barak clip I included, where he speaks to InfoLiveTV, an interent news channel working for some two years, placing Israeli propaganda on the net, mainly on YouTube. This was well understood by the planners of this military campaign, and from the start, a new policy of propagating the Israeli agenda, views and terminology has been developed over the last few months, as the military plans were being perfected, and the trigger for the operation prepared. One of the first rules seems to have been to award the task of fronting the Israeli position to a series of peroxide Brunhildas from a galaxy galaxy, speaking in faux sincerity about children in Israel having to face rockets every day. I really hope that none of my readers is denuded enough to criticise this as sexist, which it isn’t. It is a description of a process which affects our attitude to what we hear, and this is exactly the intended effect. The use of women is a sharp move indeed – they cannot be easily connected to those who drop the bombs, and have been well-trained in speaking evenly and without raising their voice, and appealing to our better side. That they never discuss their victims, that they never mention the starvation of 1.5 million people in Gaza, is marginal and unimportant; they only need to repeat the formulations which have been crafted for them, to look unthreatening, and to spend time on camera – enough time, in effect, to allow the killing to go on unhindered. The anchors are unlikely to pair them with a Palestinian woman in Gaza, after all… Speaking a calm voice, they can get away with inanities such as in the next clip, where Livni claims that this operation is planned to “bring calm and peace into the region”. No questiong of her statement follows.
The second important feature of the Brunhildas, is the fact that many of them are of Anglo-Saxon origin, and they speak without the harsh, Israeli accent. This helps the average presenter to feel that here is a woman who speaks sense, after all, she does not sound like someone from the Middle East, and certainly does not sound like an Arab, which is all good news. The Brunhildas are trained in screen-hogging, so can go on speaking for quite a while before the anchor feels the need to cut them off, as cutting them off, while they are in mid-flow of their even delivery, seems almost like an act of violence. The Brunhildas can afford to speak like that – after all, their children are not dead as a result of aerial bombardment, neither are they likely to be – they do not display emotions, but are trying to be the voice of feminine reason. Major Avital Leibowitz, another Brunhilda, is one of the leading spokespersons, always wheeled in on difficult cases.
The language used is extremely important, as is the poise – Tzipi Livni always speak of returning the ‘calm and peace’ to Israel, and to ‘let the Israeli people live peaceful lives’ at the very point that her forces are destroying life on an industrial scale, after having starved them for two years. The other line which ALL Israeli propagators have used is: “No nation on earth would tolerate rocket being hurled at its civilians”, a sentence which Netanyahu, in the clip included here, is able to express with hat mock sincerity and friendliness which is his trademark facade. While he is one of the few Israeli males giving interviews at the moment, he has been so well trained, that he always gets out what he wants:
The relaxed manager in his/her office
As opposed to the many pictures of bloodshed which come from Gaza or Lebanon, in the wake of Israel’s war crimes, the interviews with spokespersons for the Israeli government or the IDF are always are conducted in the privacy and peace and quiet of an office, with both sides in the conversation seated and relaxed, and with the Israeli interviewee doing their best to smile and be pleasant. Sharp as reporters may be, and most of them are far from it, this nice and friendly atmosphere makes it almost impossible to be critical, to ask searching questions (even if they had any) and to question seriously what they are being told. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Netanyahu clip, as it was with Avital leibowitz, IDF’s best propagator of feminine calm and fairness, and well trained at uttering lies most sincerely.
In a more recent clip you can see Avital doing her job again, after Israel has killed eigh Gazan workmen in gas truck, a fact exposed by B’Tselem, the human right group. This clip is especially interesting.
How different this looks from the crying mothers, shrieking ambulances, blood spilt on the road, paramedics running with half-dead bodies – we immediately feel a deep sense of calm on cutting to this civilised person in a civilised office. It seems that our reaction may well be one the reporter has experienced before us, after they ran under fire from the Israeli forces, if they were ever near Gaza. Of course, most of the reporters have never been to Gaza, and would run there even if they were allowed to enter. One cannot blame them and hereby lies another mechanism of information control, used by Israel.
Blocking any reporting from Gaza
Of course, the best method of controlling viewer views, is to block their sight, not allowing them to see what is not a good idea for them to be witness to, so they cannot develop an independent view. This is why blocking entry to reporters is the standard tool of control Israel uses in the Occupied Territories of Palestine. Without reporters, who could really say what actually took place? After all, Britain played the same game in the Falklands, and later, the USA and UK invented the ’embedded reporters’ to avoid independent reporting. It works.
However, not always do the reporters accept this stoically, like they are meant to. Yesterday, the foreign reporters in Israel demanded in an injunction at the High Court, to be let into Gaza. The Court found them justified, but they are still not allowed in, but only according to times and rules the army dictates, so we are back to embedded reporting, almost. But, of course we now live in different times, with the internet allowing just about anybody with a simple camera and computer to upload images into the most public domain. This has typified the conflict in Palestine for some years now. While the material may be fuzzy, lack a structure, and lack the voice of authority, it is probably more real as a result, rather than less so. The fact that such images can be shared and forwarded with ease and great speed, also means that there are chinks in the iron ring Israel has drawn around Gaza.
Of course, on the established media channels, such images will be stopped at the door, and most of the public, here as well as in Israel, are protected from reality by the machinery of media control, which is obviously ideologically oriented and run.
In the next blog I shall be dealing with complaining about media bias, and the terminology to use when speaking/writing to media channels, making a case for Palestine.
Below is a small collection of the many video clips now available, describing graphically the the ongoing massacre. In the full view of the international community, and with the assent of most of it, including some of the Arab countries, Israel has started a genocidal attack on 1.5 million Palestinians, 64% of them children. This has happened after two years of blockade, in which fuel, medicines, food , water and gas were not allowed into Gaza, starving its whole population. Their crime? They do not accept the brutal occupation by Israel, after 41 years, and they believe they should elect their own representatives, rather than those Israel wants them to. Please watch and send to others!
War on Gaza: Annie Lennox ‘Shaken To The Core'; Lennox calls on people to come out and demonstrate tomorrow in London
Singer Annie Lennox has joined high-profile campaigners to call for an end to Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip. At a news conference in London, she said TV footage of the attacks, which have killed more than 400 people, had left her “shaken to the core”.
This is the full clip of her speaking, longer than the one above, and a long article about the context. Watch and read!
Israel kills senior Hamas figure in air attack – 01 Jan 09
Al Jazeera reoprt
Gazans struggle to survive amid onslaught – 1 Jan 09
Al Jazeera report
Israel MURDERS the civilians & then says: “This is just the beginning”
Al Jazeera report
Gaza: The Killing Zone – Israel/Palestine
MOBILE BULLETIN – 0535GMT – 02 Jan 08
Al Jazeera report
Al Jazeera reoprt – US back Israel on Gaza Attack
Al Jazeera report
Al Jazeera report
Al Jazeera reoprt
B’Tselem questions Israeli account of attack – 1 Jan 09
Al Jazeera reoprt
On the third day of the current round of Israeli war crimes in Gaza, two or more Israeli IDF patrol boats have tried to sink the boat Dignity, the Free Gaza vessel, veteran of delivering medicines to the blockaded Gaza. You can watch the eyewitness reports, including those of the CNN reporter on board, clearly putting the lie to Israeli claims that this was ‘an accident’. Instead, this is another example of Israel’s illegal behaviour at home and abroad, in this case operating as pirates, in international waters, 90 miles off the coast.
another clip by the same CNN reporter:
Another CNN report, after the Dignity arrives at Lebanon:
Earlier reports on the Dignity arriving at Gaza port:
A couple of weeks before the attack on Gaza, two members of BRICUP, Jonathan Rosenhead and Mike Chusman, joined the Dignity sailing to Gaza, to get students out of the blockaded city. This is their story, in two parts.