Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gaza Aid Convoy of 100 Vehicles From Britain - Media Blackout

Gaza Aid Convoy from Britain- Humanitarian Crisis
American & Canadian Media MIA once again
Gaza still under Siege by Israel
The World's Deafening silence

" What was shocking to me was just the magnitude of the destruction that Israel seemingly deliberately tried to impose on the Gazan people. You know, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised, because if you look at the blockade over the last year or so, this was designed to destroy the Gazan economy. You know, this was far more than Israel’s legitimate interest in keeping arms out of Gaza. This was an effort to simply squeeze Gaza. They didn’t want people starving, because they knew that that would lead to outrage, so basic levels of humanitarian assistance went in. But other than that, there was no commerce allowed. And the economy ground—just basically ground to a halt. And that was a form of collective punishment that Human Rights Watch has repeatedly criticized. I guess, in that light, it’s not surprising that once formal armed conflict breaks out, there also seemed to be an effort to force the people of Gaza to suffer, because we’ve seen already that Israel didn’t simply target Hamas militants. It had targeted a number of symbols of Hamas, political symbols, police stations, the parliament building. And, you know, Israel has said, “Oh, well, we were just attacking anything that indirectly supported Hamas.” But by that theory, Hamas would be entitled to, you know, attack post offices within Israel or attack the Knesset, because these might provide some kind of indirect support to the Israel Defense Forces. I mean, this is the wrong standard. International law is clear that unless something is directly supporting a military effort, it is inappropriately ever to target it. And Israel seemed to breach that basic requirement time and time again."

Quote by Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch -From Interview with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now ! Feb. 16, 2009

Gaza Convoy - A Movement Of The Streets

"We Come In Peace. We Will Not Be Stopped"

By George Galloway and By Yvonne Ridley

For the Fishermen of Gaza By Yvonne Ridley Information Clearing House ICH Feb. 18, 2009

The Israeli Navy has, with almost casual regularity, tried to ram, sink or scuttle the boats belonging to the fishermen of Gaza.

We know this for a fact because evidence has been provided by international peace activists who have gone out fishing with the men of Gaza to show their solidarity with them.

The situation for the Palestinian fishermen is worse now than it was when I was on board the first boat in more than 40 years which sailed in to The Strip to break the Israeli blockade last August.

I am now told the coast has become a 'no go' zone.

...Nowadays it is unthinkable for fishermen to venture beyond three nautical miles from the Gazan coast, with many vessels staying just metres from the beach. However, Gazan territorial waters reach 12 nautical miles offshore – indeed, the Oslo Accords grant a fishing zone extending as far as 20 nautical miles.

Israel is attempting to create arbitrary 'no-go' zones in the sea – enforced solely by the gun. They might succeed if it weren't for the resilience of the fishermen. All this is akin to what is happening on land. The Israeli Occupation Force has declared an area of Palestinian land a kilometre in from the Green Line a 'closed military zone', affecting an audacious land grab which threatens to swallow a vast swathe of rich agricultural land all the way along the eastern length of the Gaza strip.

Members of ISM Gaza Strip accompanying Palestinian fishermen on a regular basis and witnessed countless acts of Israeli military aggression against them whilst in Gazan territorial waters, despite a six-month ceasefire agreement holding at the time.

Al Jazeera' convoy of 100 aid vehicles headed to Gaza.

UK Gaza aid convoy reaches France - 15Feb09- PressTV

Viva Palestina - George Galloway - 14 Feb 2009


Gaza civilians left with extensive burns - 15 Feb 09

Listening Post - Gaza's Internet War - 13 Feb 09- Information or Propaganda

With so much of the mainstream media marginalized in Gaza the two sides in the conflict focused on online video and social media turning them into the new informational frontline. Which side used this new media more effectively and will it be the new weapon in future conflicts.

As Daphna Baram argues Israelis themselves need to rethink their views and perceptions about what should be the future of the State of Israel. Is it to be a democratic state which includes non-Jews or only Jews. If it only includes Jews then in what way does it pass the test of being an open democratic society. If it includes non-Jews but does not give them equal rights or even denies them their basic human rights then what sort of state is it to be called. And merely placing all non-Jews in separate Bantustans in which the governments are merely puppets for the Israeli government is also not a satisfactory solution. This is already the case with the West Bank and Gaza but these areas are not true democracy or sovereign nations. The people in these areas do not have freedom of movement and they are controlled by the Israeli government and its military. When fishermen are not given access to the sea to fish or farmers are denied access to their land that is not freedom . When children are denied their right to attend schools or the ill are denied access to a hospital when whole towns can be put under a curfew lasting months that is not freedom. When medical aid and food supplies are denied or severely restricted that is not freedom.And Yet Israelis and its supporters such as America and Canada and Britain think that the slow starvation or death by neglect for the Palestinians this is OK because they are Arabs and therefore are not deserving of basic human rights ie shelter, food, medical care , employment , education etc.

" It's time to rethink Zionism " by Daphna Baram at, Feb. 17, 2009

The desire for ethnic purity that drove out Palestinians and bars the way to democracy in Israel is the rotten fruit of an old debate

The results of last week's parliamentary elections in Israel brought to the surface some of the most rotten fruits of a debate that has been going on throughout the state's existence: the idea that a mono-ethnic Jewish state is feasible, legitimate and desirable. In other words, it enhanced the predicament of the moral and practical consequences of the Zionist state ideology.

In 1948, during its war of coming-to-be, Israel had driven out of its territory 750,000 Palestinians; another 250,000 were pushed out during the 1967 war. Ever since then, the Israeli left-right division has been marked by the desire for territorial expansion, promoted by the right, and the aspiration for ethnic purity, propagated, curiously, by the Zionist "left". It has always been the "left" that pushed for "division" of the land and "separation" between Jews and Arabs in order to secure a big Jewish majority inside Israel. The right, historically, seemed unconcerned by and large with the consequences of having a large number of Palestinians living under Israel's occupation, as long as they do not get to enjoy citizens' (or other, civil) rights. The Labour party always had a leg in both camps. It had agreed to partition in 1947, seeing it as a chance to get as much Arab-free land as possible, and recognising the opportunity to ethnically clear it off most remaining Arabs during the following war. It was the same Labour party, however, that was responsible for Israel's great victory in the 1967 war, which led to vast territorial expansion and at the same time to the inclusion of millions of Palestinians in the territories under Israel's rule.

and she concludes:

...If having a Jewish state is the most desirable goal, than getting rid of the non-Jewish citizens is the only rational way to go about it. And hey, it is all to take place in a very benign way: no more talks of "transfer", but an adoption of the "lefty" slogans of division. And all this under the new sinister banner "No loyalty – No citizenship".

The fact that Lieberman can easily claim to be a genuine successor of Israel's founder, Labourite David Ben Gurion, should be an alarm bell in the ears of any Israeli liberal. It is time for any Israeli with an enlightened self-image to look at the mirror and see Avigdor Lieberman staring back. It is time to stop the procrastination over the question whether Israel can be both Jewish and democratic. Lieberman provided the answer loud and clear: it cannot. At this late hour, when the shadow of proto-fascism is hovering over the land, it is time to join forces with Palestinian citizens in the battle against ethnic purity, and for a true democracy. It is time to stop fidgeting, and to admit that mono-ethnicism cannot be a framework for liberal values. It is time to apologise to MK Azmi Bshara, who was dabbed "an Arab nationalist" by Israeli liberals because of his call for "a state of all its citizens". It is time to rethink Zionism.

also see:

" A toxic force rises in Israel " by Jonathan Freedland at the, Feb.11 2009

The country needs to take a long hard look at itself after a vote that has elevated a far right politician to kingmaker

...What separates Lieberman from the traditional Revisionist Zionists that formed Likud is that his goal is not holding on to the maximum amount of land but governing over the minimum number of Arabs. To put it concisely, he would prefer a smaller, ethnically pure Israel to a larger, binational one. To that end, he would give up heavily-populated Palestinian areas of the West Bank and – much more controversially – seeks to redraw the border so that Arab areas of pre-1967 Israel become part of a Palestinian state. In other words, those who are now Palestinian citizens of Israel will find themselves living in their same homes – but under the jurisdiction of another country. Whether their consent will be sought for this move is left vague.

But it's not this idea which has made Lieberman such a toxic force. For that you have to look to the slogan that drove his campaign: "No loyalty, no citizenship." He would insist that every Israeli swear an oath of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state: anyone who refuses will lose his citizenship.

Israel Beytenu denies this is racist, insisting that every Israeli will have to swear the oath, Jewish or Arab. It is true that plenty of ultra-orthodox Jews who don't accept the authority of a godless secular state may also refuse. But the target is clearly Israel's 1.45 million Arabs. If they will not swear their allegiance, explains Lieberman deputy Uzi Landau, "They will have residency rights but no right to vote or be in the Knesset."

also see: " Israeli Bombs inflict more pain on Gaza hospital " by Omar Karmi, The National February 18. 2009

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