We seek to keep you literally "updated" on movement
in terms of truth and justice in the Middle East in general with a
particular eye on Palestine.
The links below will take you to various articles and websites that
offer the perspective of leaders in the religious, NGO, and human
rights communities. Additionally, Al-Bushra, ever vigilant, provides links to regular reporting as well as opinion
pieces by journalists. The
dates given here indicate when the link was posted; the most recent
posting is at the top. Check the
article itself for the date of publication.
A coalition of
international Jewish organizations sympathetic to
the Palestinians will send a flotilla to Gaza to try
to break Israel's blockade of the Hamas-run strip.
The "Jewish Boat to Gaza" will
sail next month from an undisclosed location
carrying passengers from the United States, Germany
and Britain. At least one passenger is reported to
be a Holocaust survivor.
To say that
Palestinian Murad Abu-Khalaf's roots are in
Jerusalem is a serious understatement. His family
lived in the Baka district of West Jerusalem until
they were forced to leave in the war of 1948. They
have since lived – and live – in the inner East
Jerusalem district of Ras al-Amud. His family doctor
father's clinic in East Jerusalem's main street of
Salahadin is opposite three shops owned by each of
his uncles. One of his brothers, also a doctor,
works at one of Jerusalem's two main (Israeli)
hospitals, the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre. The city
is, in short, his home.
In the small hours of last night, at around 3 am, Israeli Occupation Forces raided the village of Bil'in to effect the political arrest of villager; Yasir Maher Yasseen who, happily evaded their clutches yet again.
Leading the demonstrations of solidarity with Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah are some young Israelis with a religious background. They explain their activism and how it correlates to their conception of the true meaning of the Torah.
Uri Avnery: Even
before our petition could come before the Supreme
Court, the government accepted our primary
contention – the Tirkel Committee was not given the
necessary authority to conduct a thorough and
Tomorrow, Wednesday June 30, the Supreme Court will hear our appeal to dismantle the Tirkel Committee and replace it with a Judicial Commission of Inquiry.
Uri Avnery: "Even if the United States government was convinced to agree to a powerless, meaningless investigation, we as Israeli citizens, concerned for the future of our country, absolutely don't agree."
Flouting international demands for an independent investigation of its deadly attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formed an internal commission composed of three Israelis and two, non-voting international observers. The commission chair, retired Israeli Supreme Court justice Yaakov Tirkel, expressed his hope that the panel would finish its work as "quickly" as possible. And Netanyahu has promised that the "Gaza flotilla probe will show the world Israel acted lawfully." Both comments leave many observers wondering how seriously the findings of a quick, internal investigation with a seemingly pre-determined outcome can be taken. Skepticism is heightened by the way in which Israel handled evidence of the incident and by what many see as its misinformation campaign designed to discredit the flotilla's humanitarian aid workers.
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right
foreign minister, set out this week what he called a
“blueprint for a resolution to the conflict” with
the Palestinians that demands most of the country’s
large Palestinian minority be stripped of
citizenship and relocated outside Israel’s future
professors–two from Vanderbilt, one from Auburn
Theological Seminary, and one from Syracuse
University–have burst on the national scene as
strong opponents of a Middle East Study Commission
resolution which will be presented to the
Presbyterian Church, USA, General Assembly in
Minneapolis, MN, July 3-10.
I AM composing
these lines while looking through the window at the
blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and thinking
about the young man who is being held not far from
this sea, a few dozen kilometers from here.
Can Gilad Shalit look out on the
same sea through his window? Does he even have a
window? How is he? How is he being treated?
He has been in captivity for
four years and one day today, with no end in sight.
Exodus 1947 was a
ship that carried Jewish emigrants, that left France
on July 11, 1947, with the intent of taking its
Mandate Palestine. Most of the emigrants were
Holocaust survivor refugees, who had no legal
immigration certificates to Palestine. Following
wide media coverage, the British Royal Navy seized
the ship, and deported all its passengers back to
After I left the West Bank via Jordan, we heard the
devastating news that my brother-in-law Hazen had
passed away. I knew Hazen was very sick.... Under
occupation, Palestinians had to deal with problems
informally and through mediation, and Hazen was an
expert mediator. For being influential and simply a
good teacher and community organizer, Hazen was
arrested and jailed by the Israeli occupation forces
including in administrative detention (6-month
stints without trial or seeing a lawyer).
follows is a reflection on the Palestinian experience in Bethlehem,
West Bank and in East Jerusalem by an outsider who was welcomed in
for a time. The Palestinian experience includes the grief of having
belonged to a homeland and of having lost land and vocation and
self-determination. It includes the poverty of spirit that comes
from having suffered invisibly—or worse, becoming a blamed victim.
And it includes the people’s refusal to allow dignity to be taken
away as well. The Palestinian experience includes knowing that one’s
voice is going unheard as one gradually loses all
dear. But as it says in Psalm 22:24, the Lord hears the cry of the
poor. This reflection is an attempt to help others hear it too.
The UK Methodist Justice for Palestine and Israel document
underlines that, “in the belief that peace and reconciliation
depend upon justice, fairness and mercy, the Methodist Church
has consistently expressed its concern over the illegal
Occupation of Palestinian lands by the State of Israel. That
Occupation continues not only compounds the state’s illegal and
immoral action but also makes any accommodation with the
Palestinian people and future peace in the region much less
experienced some of this barrenness and desolation
in the Church over the past year. Bethlehem
University knows what a geographical, spiritual,
social, political and cultural desert is all about.
With the exiles of Israel and the disciples of John
the Baptist, we yearn for salvation, for one who
enables new life to blossom. The new life in the
desert signals the presence and power of God. Those
who are weary, enfeebled or fearful can take heart
because God comes to save. This means healing and
transformation in specific ways: sight for those who
are blind, hearing for those who are deaf, speech
for those who are mute. So great is the joy and so
profound the healing that those who were lame now
leap and those who were speechless now sing.
deeply struck by the extent to which security is now
taken for granted in the areas under Palestinian
Authority control such as Bethlehem. This is an
extraordinary transformation from recent years in
which lawlessness often prevailed, and when
constricting Israeli controls would have rendered
such an event both unthinkable and practically
though clearly present at the Bethlehem checkpoint,
was cooperative. It allowed around 100 Gaza business
persons to attend the conference and facilitated the
participation of Arab financiers and entrepreneurs
from states that do not have diplomatic relations
Although my husband had a special permit to travel (
a new type of card called BMC especially
for businessmen and can have any three persons
accompany him) and in our case
my niece Madees also had a permit, we got held up at
the Bethlehem checkpoint in the hot sun because the
soldier would allow my husband to pass the
checkpoint but not my niece.And
with our home being about one hour from Bethlehem,
what should you do when the army will let you take
one member of your family with you and not the other
after a very long exhausting and hot day?And you simply stand in the hot sun and beg
to call the captain and call the American Consulate,
etc.And after another miserable
checkpoint experience, I simply thought this whole
conference is a total waste of USAID money.
asked how it was possible to deal with the clamour
of competing narratives, and arrive at the truth. I
used to say that the search for fact and for context
should never stop - that it would be dangerous ever
to convince yourself that your journey had finished.
And then, I found it, on a street in Beirut. You can
imagine my relief.
Palestinians live in Silwan. Some families have been
here for generations. They say Israel is digging
here less out of archaeological interest but rather
to make political claims over land.
It has been
called the 'volcanic core' of the conflict and if
there is ever to be peace between Palestinians and
Israelis it will have to be made in the alleyways of
this ancient city - holy to Jews, Christians and
poll, commissioned by the Israel Project, shows that
56% of Americans think the American government
should support Israel, and only 7% think it should
support Palestine. This is related to the fact that
most Americans think Palestinians are the ones
stalling the peace process. At a ration of 2 to 1,
Americans think that Palestinian “incitement” is a
worse obstacle to peace than settlement-building in
claim that Palestinians are engaging in incitement
through their media and school curricula, however,
is itself, in large part, an Israeli media creation
– yet another warping of the perspective that makes
it into the public arena.
State Department diplomat
Ann Wright discusses her reasons for joining the
Gaza aid flotilla, her firsthand account of the
Israeli raid on the MV Mavi Marmara and
Challenger 1, the use of collective punishment
to effect regime change and Obama’s silence on the
death of nine activists including a US citizen.
residents are reacting with anger today after the
Jerusalem government announced that it intends to
demolish 22 Palestinian homes in the occupied East
Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, to pave the way
for a “tourist center.”
during the four hours I spent at the Aliyah Expo, I
heard just a single concern. “My husband would love
to have a goat,” one woman with a thick New York
accent told a Jewish Agency aliyah specialist,
lamenting, “but you have to live on a moshav for a
goat.” It’s like moving to Arizona in the wake of
the anti-immigrant bill SB1070 and worrying about
finding a house with a big enough swimming
pool--oblivious to those who have died of thirst
while crossing in the desert.
year 313 when Christianity obtained the status of
the legal religion of the Empire. The Golden Age of
the Holy Land had begun. The Holy Land itinerary
gave the origin and idea to all the other devotional
journeys. It seems that the perspective of knowing
the biblical sites overshadowed the previous
reluctant attitude towards pilgrimages. In fact many
people enthusiastically and courageously overcame
the hardships and risks of long and perilous travel,
and set out for a holy and exciting trip toward the
earthly homeland of the Lord.
We lift up our
voices and call upon Israel to conduct an
independent, transparent, and credible investigation
of this incident. We also call upon the government
of Israel to open the gates of compassion and allow
these ships to dock so that they may deliver
humanitarian aid to the 1.5 million citizens of
Gaza. In so doing, we note the overall context of
oppression in which this incident has occurred and
call upon the government of Israel to turn away from
the policies of occupation, siege and indifference
to international law.
The Vatican has
lashed out at the Israeli occupation of Palestinian
territories while blaming Christian fundamentalists
for using scriptures to justify the occupation.
In a working paper prepared for a summit of Middle
East bishops in Rome in October and unveiled during
the first-ever papal visit to Cyprus by Pope
Benedict XVI, the Catholic hierarchy also blamed
"political Islam" for bloodshed and "plight of
Christians" in the region.
"The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories
is creating difficulties in everyday life,
inhibiting freedom of movement, the economy and
religious life," with access to holy sites dependent
on military permission, said the paper quoted by
Political intimidation is just as much of a phenomenon which we are too familiar with in the Middle East. Under the guise of the so called imaginary “peace process” so much is allowed and politicians and leaders cave in and relinquish their demands, so as not to hinder that process. Even churches are being intimidated for taking moral stands. But in their case it is not the peace process but the “interfaith dialogue” that is the target of the intimidation. Ironically however, all faiths promote justice and peace in their scriptures, so there is no contradiction in the basic message, and there is no reason that those inter-faith groups should not be utilized positively against the evil of intimidation. Yet I wonder how many will have the courage of the persistent widow who kept taking her case to a mean judge. “But finally the judge said to himself, Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice.” Luke 18:4-5.
former US Marine, Gulf War veteran, and now
survivor of the Mavi
Marmara massacre, has issued a remarkable and
searing statement from Istanbul. “While in Israeli
custody I, along with everyone else, was subjected
to endless abuse and flagrant acts of disrespect.
Women and elderly were physically and mentally
assaulted. Access to food and water and toilets was
denied. Dogs were used against us, we ourselves
were treated like dogs. We were exposed to direct
sun in stress positions while hand cuffed to the
point of losing circulation of blood in our hands.
We were lied to incessantly, in fact I am awed at
the routineness and comfort in their ability to lie,
it is remarkable really. We were abused in just
about every way imaginable and I myself was beaten
and choked to the point of blacking out… and I was
beaten again while in my cell...."
teacher and former civilian engineer with the
Canadian Department of Defense, Neish realized then
that a video taken by an Arab TV cameraman in the
midst of the Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla
to Gaza of him flipping through a booklet had been
transmitted before the Israelis blocked all
electronic signals from the flotilla. The booklet
had pictures and profiles of all the passengers, and
he'd found it in the backpack of an Israeli Defense
What's the very next necessary step in the peace
process? From your perspective? Answers don't make much sense
until the right questions have been asked. Once we get a handle
on the problem, i.e., on the snags in the details, we'll be half
way to the solution. As my German friend, Lars, is fond of
saying: "Let's gather some information." Then let's start
Please allow me to share with you a bit of
background information I've found useful: YouTube
- Uri Avnery on Hamas (01:05).
Carter and Uri Avnery (12:58).
Mustafa Barghouti is also featured on that tape. Dr. B has been
mentioned as a possible President for a unified Palestine. He
ran last time as an Independent, and, if I remember right, he
came in second, behind Abu Mazin (President Abbas). Dr. B is
also Marwan Barghouti's distant cousin. Please study the
character of this man: Marwan
You'll be glad you did. Anybody else have a handy stash of
background information? If so, let's get it into circulation.
Cooperative efforts, etc. Please read on.
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has urged Hamas to
endorse a reconciliation pact drawn up with Egyptian
mediation, AFP reported on Tuesday, citing the
Egyptian news agency.
Jun. 22, 2010
Reverend Roy Hays, Episcopal, sends his comments and forwards
this message from Lars in Germany:
I've mentioned Lars in the past. He wrote the note
pasted below to call my attention to an article in Reuters: Germany
raps Israel for denying minister Gaza entry | Reuters. During
the summer of 1997, Lars lived at the house as an Exchange
Student. He was 19-years-old at the time. He had just
completed his first year at the University
of Cologne. I heard Lars say at least three times
during that summer: "I am optimistic about my future ... and
... I am optimistic about the future of my country." Lars has
his PhD now in International Marketing or something like that.
He also has a lovely wife and a young son. See his post below.
As you know I am currently following politics very closely,
couldn't escape the news about the German minister Dirk Niebel,
to visit the Gaza strip. See this:
Guido Westerwelle said he regretted Israel's
decision, while Development Minister Dirk Niebel --
who is on a four-day trip to Israel and the
Palestinian territories -- said it was "a big
Sponsorship and funding for this dance company and
other Israeli cultural endeavors come in part from
the Israeli government, which is engaged in the
Brand Israel campaign to reshape the image of Israel
through public relations.
Witnesses said dozens of
jeeps entered the Hebron-area town of Dura, breaking into homes
and harassing family members of those being detained. The
majority of the detentions were in the town and nearby village
of Deir Samit. Local officials said there were 26 men taken from
The data confirms the
phenomenon we have indicated before of the settlers' rush to begin
as many building starts as possible before the freeze, and the
decision by Netanyahu and Barak to issue very many building permits,
even for public building, before the freeze.
Unless the freeze continues beyond the
month of September, the freeze will remain meaningless on the ground.
According to CBS [Central Bureau of Statistics] data, at the end of
2009 there were 2,776 housing units under construction, of which the
construction of 415 housing units ended by the end of March (not
including illegal construction), so that
today there are at least 2,361 housing units under
Israel demolished 61 homes
in East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year; it also
demolished agricultural structures. Eighteen more homes were
demolished by their owners who elected to demolish their own
homes rather than pay the high fines and exaggerated demolition
costs imposed on them by the Jerusalem Municipality.
Indeed, the creative ideas
described here are being intentionally misused by some Israeli
officials to justify continuing the extremely dangerous
expansion of settlements. Ideas that seem to accommodate certain
aspects of settlement policy, such as land swaps or accepting
settlers in a future Palestinian state, are used, or misused, to
further propel settlement building under the justification that
the peace process will find a way to accommodate it.
An interactive game
combining animation, documents, video clips and a blog warns
against the policy cutting off the Gaza Strip from the West Bank
– threatening to end the possibility of a two-state solution.
According to the
animator, Gilad Baker: "We faced a challenge – how to make
military documents accessible to the public. Our solution was to
integrate them into the personal stories of real people in the
Gaza Strip and West Bank, to help people understand the policy".
Passengers from the
flotilla from several countries [listed in the article] are
urging their governments to demand that Israel release the
property illegally seized from the passengers in international
waters on 31 May, in particular the many cameras, camcorders,
mobile phones etc. that contain evidence of at least the
beginning of the shooting of civilians by Israeli soldiers.
(This demand is for property only and is independent of the many
legal briefs already being worked on due to death and wounding
of the passengers.)
Esther Saba is a Palestinian resident of Yafo who
faced demolition due to an unauthorised addition to
her family home. She points out that when the
bulldozers arrived, Jewish Israeli activists paid a
pivotal role in saving her home, standing in the
front yard and on the roof to guard it.
no problem with regular Jews," Saba says. "We have a
very good connection."
But the growing presence of settlers is
worrisome, Saba says. "They don't want [Arabs] here
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the
secretary-general of the OIC, said Monday that the
decision to exile four Palestinian lawmakers from
occupied Jerusalem falls within Israel's systematic
policy that is aimed to empty Jerusalem of its
indigenous people and Judaize it.
June 6 - The Syrian delegation which
participated in the Freedom Flotilla and was
detained for three days by the Israeli occupation
revealed upon its return to Syria on Thursday that
its members were assaulted and barbarically treated
by the Israeli occupation soldiers.
If the Israeli government follows the directive of
just one sign in evidence on this day - "Boycott
Israeli Ships and Goods" - it would consider deeply
apartheid South Africa's history. Then it would
steer its ship of state toward a different
star...and full speed ahead.
To get the most out of this move, it should only be
the first step. The UN, NGOs, and the international
community should take advantage of the new system to
begin serious reconstruction and development
A group of women planning to sail to Gaza gathered
to pray by a statue of Our Lady in south Lebanon,
before setting out on boat called Mariam, a voyage
bringing aid to Gaza.
Spokeswoman Rima Farah said she felt their prayers
were already being answered as Israeli officials
have now announced plans to slightly ease the
blockade on Gaza.
Jun. 21, 2010
The Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:
After you read the essay [link below],
some of you may wish to do some reading about
GOOGLE for his name. You'll be glad
you did. He's Jewish. Born in the USA. He's
an Israeli citizen now. He's been a hard worker
for Peace in the Holy Land for a long, long
time. Uri speaks highly of him. So does Jeff
Halper. CMEP had him over to speak at the 2010
Advocacy Conference earlier this month:
www.cmep.org. Once you get to the
conference page at CMEP's website, click on
But the Israelis can continue the blockade even with
a smaller list of prohibited items by limiting truck
traffic through the checkpoints. That traffic is
tiny now compared to the period before 2006, and
Sunday’s announcement may not increase it that much.
Gazing at letters that
her grandmother wrote from the Warsaw Ghetto before
she was killed , Deputy Director of the global
organization “Jewish Voice for Peace”, Cecilie
Surasky, discusses Israel's “anti-Jewish” crimes and
the inescapable comparison between the sufferings of
Gazans and the gradual crushing of Jewish life in
the Nazi ghettos in the period that led to the Final
Solution . More significantly, the Jewish activist
for peace reveals and explores the relationship
between Jewish collective trauma and Israel 's
The ILWU has a proud history of extending its
solidarity to struggling peoples the world over. In
1984, as the Black masses of South Africa were
engaged in an intense struggle against South African
apartheid, the ILWU refused for a record-setting 10
days to unload cargo from the South African “Ned
Lloyd” ship. Despite million-dollar fines imposed on
the union, the longshore workers held strong,
providing a tremendous boost to the anti-apartheid
Today’s Oakland action, in the sixth
largest port in the United States, is the first of
several protests and work stoppages planned around
the world, including Norway, Sweden and South
Africa. It is sure to inspire others to do the same.
In Oakland, California an Israeli ship was blocked
by protesters for the first time in history.
700-1000 protesters blocked three different gates at
5:30 A.M. keeping dockworkers from unloading the
ILWU members refused to cross picketline - citing
"health & safety" provisions of their contract.
Management demanded "instant arbitration." The
arbitrator took a look at the picketlines at each
gate to the SSA Terminal and ruled that ILWU members
were justified in refusing to cross.
All dockworkers were sent home with FULL PAY.
Special thanks to the Brass Liberation Orchestra for
their performances today.
It was important for the Northern Illinois
Conference to call for an end to the occupation, not
just react to the latest in a long, long line of
atrocities: the flotilla attack, settlement
expansion, Operation Cast Lead – the bombing of
Gaza, the separation wall, home demolitions, farm
land confiscations, denial of humane quantities of
water in the occupied territories, and on and on
(all illegal according to the Geneva Conventions and
International Law, but legal according to Israeli
When [Luntz] probed the students’
views of Israel, he hit up against some firm
beliefs. First, “they reserve the right to question
the Israeli position.” These young Jews, Luntz
explained, “resist anything they see as ‘group
think.’” They want an “open and frank” discussion of
Israel and its flaws. Second, “young Jews
desperately want peace.” When Luntz showed them a
series of ads, one of the most popular was entitled
“Proof that Israel Wants Peace,” and listed offers
by various Israeli governments to withdraw from
conquered land. Third, “some empathize with the
plight of the Palestinians.” When Luntz displayed
ads depicting Palestinians as violent and hateful,
several focus group participants criticized them as
stereotypical and unfair, citing their own Muslim
Ameer Makhoul is a human rights defender, the director of the Arab nongovernmental organization network Ittijah, a leading voice of the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and a Palestinian citizen of Israel. He has been in Israeli detention since he was arrested from his family home in Haifa in the early morning hours of 6 May. Initially his arrest could not be reported under an Israeli gag order, and he was not allowed to see his lawyers for almost two weeks. Eventually charged with "espionage," local and international human rights organizations have condemned Israel's actions against him as politically-motivated persecution intended to crack down on organizing by Palestinian citizens within Israel and international solidarity.
"Julia" is one of two ships planning
a blockade-busting trip from Lebanon to Gaza this
month. Another ship called "Mariam," named after the
virgin Mary, is also planning to make the voyage,
carrying some 50 women activists including
Europeans and four American nuns as well as cancer
medication to Gaza. It was not clear whether the two
ships would leave together.
Hundreds of demonstrators, condemning Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, picketed at the Port of Oakland on Sunday and may have prevented an Israeli cargo ship from unloading for the day.
Two shifts of longshoremen agreed not to cross the picket line, leaving nobody to unload the vessel.
Activists who want to block all
demolitions issued a statement saying the plan
"comes in the general context of (the) fast-track
Judaization" of east Jerusalem. It pre-empts "the
possibility of Jerusalem ever being a shared city,
the statement said. "This in itself precludes
Yesterday fifteen people were stranded at Allenby/King Hussein bridge on the River Jordan, where at the end, four of them were sent back to Jerusalem, to the Ministry of Interior just to tell them: You are no more eligible to live in Jerusalem... your city, where you were born and lived all these years, where your grandfathers were, because today we have no space for you... Jews are coming from every where and they need your space. The family of 4, a father, two sons and one daughter were given a travel document for one time use, for one way direction... out of Jerusalem, out of Palestine.
It's believed that the
vast majority of cases are people like them -
Jerusalemites who went abroad for reasons of higher
education and work experience, with the aim of
returning after acquiring that experience and
funding - intending to ameliorate the quality of
their society. Expelling them from their country and
from their hometown is the other side of the
statistics of poverty and misery that typify
Palestinian Jerusalem, which is under Israeli
A few days ago, I
posted a video of a young child in Bil’in being
arrested while working in his olive groves with his
family. In the follow up video below, the child,
Fadi Al-Khatib, talks about what happened after the
last video left off, including being left
blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back for
hours before he ever reached prison, being hit in
the neck and kicked, threatened with greater
physical abuse and torture, and finally coerced to
sign a confession that he threw stones at a
Ayed Abu Eqtaish, the representative of Defence of Children International, Palestine Section puts Fadi’s terrifying experience in context: approximately 700 Palestinian children and teenagers are arrested each year by the Israelis.
pro-Israeli members of the U.S. Senate and House of
Representatives have stepped up their campaigns
against NATO ally Turkey over the past week, in a
campaign that has been quietly orchestrated by the
big pro-Israel organization AIPAC.
On Monday, June 21, I am to appear before the Knesset Education Committee and the Minister of Education, Mr. Gideon Saar, following my unequivocal words to my students, condemning the 43 year-old occupation and rule over the life of the Palestinian people.
I am one of the
remaining veterans of the Haganah, who had served in
the British Army and thereafter were among the
initiators of the Ha'apala [illegal immigration] of
Holocaust survivors, struggling with the forces of
victorious Great Britain for the right to arrive at
the shores of this country.
In a March 4, 2002,
Counterpunch article, Bill Christison wrote,
"My number one root cause (of terrorism) is the
support by the U.S. over recent years for the
policies of Israel with respect to the Palestinians,
and the belief among Arabs and Muslims that the
United States is as much to blame as Israel itself
for the continuing, almost 35-year-long Israeli
occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."
The Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church just voted to divest all holdings in three international corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation. The press release announcing the action says, "this action is in response to a plea by Palestinian Christians for action, not just words."
Dawani lamented how the
Christian presence in the Holy Land has been
diminished as more and more Christians flee in
search of peace and better opportunities. "We are
losing so many young people who don't find any
future in that land. They leave the country and look
for better places to continue their education and
unfortunately, they don't come back."
“There are no differences
between Christians and Muslims because we all suffer
the same way,” Fr Manawel Musallam says. He is in
favour of a dialogue with Israel, but wants to see
“concrete steps” in defence of the population. “Many
factors,” he believes, “prevent us from seeing the
light at the end of the tunnel.”
"These tragic deaths are
a terrible reminder that the failed policy of
besieging Gaza mainly hurts civilians," said former
U.S. President Jimmy Carter. "Now more than ever,
the International Quartet, led by the United States,
must urgently agree on a mechanism to end the
closure of Gaza, reunite the Palestinian factions,
and permit unification of Palestinian people in
their social and political life. There is no way to
realize the goal of a two-state solution as long as
the people of Gaza remain isolated and deprived of
their basic human rights."
Italian Foreign Minister
Franco Frattini said in Rome Israel "has understood
that a blockade strategy is counterproductive,"
echoing Israeli and foreign critics of the embargo
who have said such pressure only rallies Gaza
residents around Hamas.
Jun. 17, 2010
Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:
Let's remember that Israel occupies the Golan
Heights which belongs to Syria. Peace, Roy
In this article I am
focusing briefly on the effect of the Israeli occupation on the
Christian community and the response of Palestinian Christians.
The loss of Palestine and the dispersion of the Palestinian
Christian community throughout the world created a physical and
a spiritual tragedy. In fact the spiritual impact has been no
less traumatic than the physical uprooting of the Palestinians.
For Muslims and Christians, the loss of Palestine in 1948 was
the result of the interplay of world politics among the western
powers, the victorious allies of WW2. Although by then Zionism
had been in existence for over 50 years and the British
Government was already conditioned and influenced by the
ideology of Zionism, it was the impact of the holocaust that
facilitated and accelerated the creation of the “Jewish” state.
aid agency Oxfam
today warned that the Gazan
economy, which has been almost completely destroyed by three
years of isolation, will continue to unravel unless the blockade
is completely and immediately lifted.
members soon discovered that none of the luggage from the
Sfendonh boat was there, that all of the good stuff was gone and
that only the shabbiest suitcases and most worn-out clothing
remained. "It was as if the Israelis had gone shopping."
Stories are also coming in that flotilla members' credit
cards had been used. How does that TV commercial go? "Credit
card? Priceless!" And, apparently, while most of the 10,000
tons of humanitarian aid that the Israelis confiscated has
disappeared, some of the wheelchairs and scooters on board the
flotilla actually did get through to Gaza. Their batteries,
however, didn't make it -- so the wheelchairs are useless.
What will happen next for the FPM and various efforts to
break Israel's ugly and illegal siege of Gaza? Several groups
throughout Europe and the Mediterranean are currently trying to
put together both a second and a third flotilla. Gaza has not
Help spread the truth: 49% of US
still thinks humanitarian flotilla to blame for deaths on the high
According to a recent
Rasmussen poll, "Forty-nine percent (49%) of U.S. voters
believe pro-Palestinian activists on the Gaza-bound aid ships
raided by Israeli forces are to blame for the deaths that
resulted in the high-profile incident."
Even despite numerous
eye-witness reports to the contrary, even despite graphic
footage showing Israeli commandos in full battle attire
brandishing deadly weapons aboard the ship, even after Israel
admitted having doctored the video showing passengers swinging
bars (we don't even know if that was really the Mavi Marmara in
that video) -- and even despite autopsy reports showing that
several of the nine dead flotilla humanitarians were killed
execution style, myths in the United States still persist that
these nine brutal deaths aboard the Mavi Marmara were the result
of actions taken by flotilla participants and not as a result of
Israeli armed assaults.
Clearly our side of the story is not being heard. Clearly
our side of the story needs to get out too.
services Monday summoned for questioning the widow
and three young daughters of the Palestinian man
killed last Friday by Israeli Border Police at a
“flying checkpoint” they had set up in Wadi Joz.
We all say that
things are moving in a good direction. Well, in
power politics, here's a disastrous story: The
Daily News reports on three New York politicians
joining a campaign to investigate Gaza flotilla
activists who are coming here to speak. And not just
any New York pols, but Christine Quinn, who we
thought was good on the issue, and Congress people
Charlie Rangel and Carolyn Maloney, who ought to
know better. Grim news. A real bow to extremists,
and reminiscent of the 1950s. Imagine them trying
this with the civil rights movement...
activism in Israel and the Occupied Territories,
including the noble protests in Bil'in and Sheikh
Jarrah, may unfortunately be used to characterize
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as being primarily
a struggle between two tribes over land. A campaign
for Palestinian voting rights would elevate the
discourse to the level of basic equality and human
Why a Jewish boat?
Lots of reasons. The universal values contained in
the ethical tradition of Judaism don’t include ‘Do
unto others as was done unto us.’ For Jews to
publicly confront the Israeli government’s policies
of occupation, apartheid, and siege on a world stage
highlights the political nature of the conflict and
discredits those who insist on framing it strictly
in ethnic and/or religious terms. I like best the
answer from Glyn Secker, the Jewish Boat’s captain,
a British Jew, and longtime activist with Jews for
Justice for Palestinians in the UK: “As Jews we
should stand as a beacon for human rights, not as an
internationally known perpetrator of atrocities.”
Jun. 16, 2010
The Reverend Roy
Hayes, Episcopal, writes regarding the Presbyterian
The report is being condemned "in the
strongest terms". Jewish groups have launched a
concerted effort to prevent the Church’s General
Assembly from endorsing the report. The report
is titled: Breaking
Down the Walls.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs
has sent a list of the names of 700 Presbyterian
delegates to the upcoming assembly to synagogues
and local Jewish community relations councils.
The JCPA urged Jewish activists to contact
Presbyterian delegates and ask them to reject
Those of us who would like to support
the Presbyterians in this movement will find
e-mail addresses on this page:
PC(USA) - Contact Us - Office of the General
Assembly. I addressed my note to the
Stated Clerk. Internationals can write, also.
The highlights in the following article are
International has dubbed the blockade "collective
punishment" resulting in a "humanitarian crisis"; UN
officials have described the situation as "grim",
"deteriorating" and a "medieval siege", but Israel
says there are no shortages in Gaza, pointing to the
aid it allows in.
As survivors of
Israel's brutal attack in international waters begin
to tell their stories of murder and mayhem on the
sea, every one of them reminds us that Palestinian
prisoners have no voice. Israel arrests and tortures
Palestinian children who have no voice. Israel
imprisons Palestinian activists who have no voice.
When you listen to our stories, remember that
Palestinians don't get to stand in front of a
microphone and talk about the brutality of Israeli
prisons. We must continue to go to break the siege
of Gaza and the occupation in the West Bank.
In the early hours of Monday, May 31, the Israeli
navy intercepted a flotilla of boats carrying
thousands of tonnes of aid to Gaza. Nine passengers
on the Mavi Marmara – the flotilla's largest boat –
were killed. This much we know. In the aftermath of
the event, accounts from both sides have diverged
wildly. Israel claims that it acted in self-defence
against a group of "violent extremists" linked to
al-Qaeda and Hamas, intent on breaching the military
blockade of Gaza. The activists say they were
frightened for their lives after being shot at from
helicopters in the dark of night, their raised white
flag ignored. They say Israel's attack on their ship
in international waters was unexpected and
disproportionate. Examining claim and counter claim,
A Voyage of Life and Death includes an exclusive
interview with the captain of the Mavi Marmara,
those on board the ships and previously unseen
Most of Gaza's factories have closed and its water
is polluted as a result of Israel's siege policy,
according to a new report being
released today by the Israeli Human Rights group
The siege policy has "led to economic
collapse in Gaza," B'tselem noted in a
44-page report (PDF) that looked at Gaza, the
West Bank and east Jerusalem during the period from
January 2009 to the end of April 2010.
Had Zionists not removed her, they knew she would
have asked President Obama: "When is the U.S. going
to pressure its ally to give up a nuclear arsenal
estimated to be in excess 200 nuclear warheads?"
Zionists won this round. No remaining White House
correspondent is likely to ask the hard questions
about Israel's impact on America's national security
interests. ADL operatives, acting on behalf of a
foreign government, made sure of it.
Many Palestinians who
protest non-violently against the fence/wall are
detained without charge or trial, others who are
charged with offences such as stone-throwing will
frequently enter plea bargains.
Adeeb Abu Rahma has denied all charges, other than
stating that he was present on a number of different
occasions in non-violent demonstrations against the
I represent no one but
myself, a single Israeli citizen. Yet I wish to
convey to the Turkish people that there are quite a
few of us here, Israeli Jews and Arabs, who keep on
protesting and demonstrating and fighting for peace
and friendship in the Middle East.
As you probably realise, a great deal of my time lately
has been absorbed by the 'Save the Sheikh' campaign.
If you haven't been keeping up with what it's all about,
check out http://www.savethesheikh.com
The scheduled date of Mansour's forced deportation from
Australia is now less than two weeks away. Still he has
no idea what it is that he is supposed to have done wrong!
international Christian leaders have joined us!
The latest big name to join our list of
supporters is Tony Campolo (the great American
importance of the Israel-Palestine conflict cannot
be stressed enough. The high profile the issue has
across the world illustrates its key status in world
affairs. All the more reason, therefore, that debate
surrounding it is not clouded by accusations of
racism in place of open discussion.
Journalists who were
aboard the humanitarian flotilla that was
intercepted by Israeli naval commandoes on 31 May
have been recounting their experiences. At the same
time, Turkish journalist Cevdet Kiliçlar,
who was fatally shot at the start of the assault of
the Mavi Marmara, one of vessels in the flotilla,
was buried in Istanbul on 4 June. A news
photographer who graduated from Marmara University’s
Faculty of Communication, Kiliçlar had worked in the
past for such Islamist newspapers as Selam
(Salute), Vakit (Time) and Milli
Gazete (National Newspaper) and had applied for
an official press card while working for Milli
‘withdrawal’ of 2005 simply removed a few thousand
colonists and withdrew troops, usually, to the
borders. But it did not allow the creation of a
sovereign state. Gazans are excluded from a third of
their own farmland by Israeli restrictions on where
people can live. That so many Gazans are unemployed,
that their industries have collapsed, that they are
food insecure, and that malnutrition is causing
stunting in 10% of children– all these outrages
derive from their lack of a sovereign state to look
out for their interests.
Americans do not
know, and perhaps do not care, that
68% of Gazans are refugees living in 8 refugee
camps, who were ethnically cleansed and violently
expelled from their homes in 1947-48, in what is now
Israel. And no, they were not combatants, just
civilians caught up in a civil war of sorts. They
lost massive amounts of property and their homes,
which would now be worth billions, but have never
received a dime from the Israelis in reparations or
compensation. Then in winter of 2008-2009, the
Israeli military destroyed one in every eight
Palestinian homes, rendering even more people
Schumer accuses the Gazans of not ‘recognizing’ Israel, which is sort of like accusing the pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico of not ‘recognizing’ BP. If Schumer wants the recognition and good will of the Gazans, he should arrange for them to be paid for the homes and farms out of which they were chased by the Israelis, who made them homeless refugees in a kind of vast concentration camp in Gaza, and are now half-starving them.
the country have condemned her statement that Jews
should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go back"
Let's agree that she should not have said those
things, and that a just and lasting peace in the
Middle East fundamentally requires reconciliation
between Palestinians and Israeli Jews. We need also
to agree on a formula that allows them both to be at
home in the same land (I have long advocated the
idea of a single democratic and secular state for
both peoples; a state that treats all citizens as
equals). Insisting that either people does not
belong is not merely counterproductive; it lies at
the very root of the conflict.
If, however, it is unacceptable to say that Israeli Jews don't belong in Palestine, it is also unacceptable to say that the Palestinians don't belong on their own land.
An excellent talk by
Saree Makdisi based on his book
Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation.
As one listens to the stories Makdisi relates of
bureaucratic blocks and irrational rules and
checkpoints, Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase ‘the
banality of evil’ immediately comes to mind. We get
snapshots of the abhorrent kafkaesque occupation
matrix of violence and bureaucracy before Makdisi
moves on to discussing the one state solution. The
talk is 49 minutes, with Q and A taking the video up
to 64 minutes.
The occupation is the
oxygen of their campaign, and the vast majority seek
an end to it - not to Israel itself. An Israel that
fails to appreciate this and which sustains the
occupation is the single most proximate cause of its
Siegman begins with a rhetorical question: "If a
people who so recently experienced such unspeakable
inhumanities cannot understand the injustice and
suffering its territorial ambitions are inflicting,
what hope is there for the rest of us?"
As an Arab
Palestinian Evangelical Lutheran Christian who grew
up as a refugee, questions about the land and
theology of Palestine/Israel are not just
theological or philosophical exercises to me. They
involve all that I am and all that I hold sacred in
my life as a Palestinian Christian. I have had to
come to terms with these questions personally at an
early age in my faith journey to make sense of my
own family's history....
worst part for me, however, was that some of my own
Christian sisters and brothers from all over the
world began justifying what happened as a part of
God's plan. I still remember my first encounters
with what I would now call a Christian Zionist who
came to tell me that I should be thanking God
because the scriptures were being fulfilled in the
Six Day War. Then he told me to open the Book of
Daniel and read how the small horn will win over all
the other horns. This led me to wonder....
The Israeli government, with the aid
of its many proxies- especially in the
Jewish institutional world, is working overtime
after the Mavi Mavera massacre to paint the Gaza
flotilla participants as terrorists.
Now groups are working to keep flotilla human rights
activists out of the country.
The NY Jewish Community Relations
Council has put together a petition to keep
If a real Commission of Inquiry had been set up
(instead of the pathetic excuse for a commission),
here are some of the questions it should have
Comment by the Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal:
Is it possible that Benjamin Netanyahu
would divert public attention away from Gaza by
attacking Iran before he would answer the questions
Avnery is asking? Uri is one of the
founders of the Israeli Peace Bloc. Peace, Roy
asked Jesus, why couldn't we drive out the evil
spirit? (Mark 9:28) Jesus said, such an evil spirit
cannot be cast out except with prayer and with
fasting. We will continue to pray and fast in order
to drive out the evil spirit of occupation and
oppression. The great prophet Isaiah cried out that
the fast God chooses, is "...to loose the bonds of
injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let
the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?"
(Isaiah 58:6) This is what we have been witnessing
through the challenge of the flotilla. We believe
that the spirit of God is working through true peace
activists, who practice their prayers in direct
nonviolent actions for peace and whose fast is the
doing of justice.
was on board Challenger 1, one of the six
siege-breaking ships bringing humanitarian aid
supplies to Gaza when the flotilla was attacked in
international waters by Israeli commandos on May 31,
2010. Huwaida is a Palestinian-American human rights
activist, co-founder of the International Solidarity
Movement and currently chair of the Free Gaza
Nine other human rights activists aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara were killed. Huwaida witnessed the attack on the Marmara before her own ship was boarded and its passengers and crew were taken hostage by Israeli forces.
In August 2008, Huwaida was on the Free Gaza boats that sailed from Cyprus to Gaza, the first boats to challenge Israel’s closure of the Strip and dock in Gaza Port in over 40 years. She has since lead four other successful solidarity missions to Gaza with the Free Gaza Movement. In February 2009 Huwaida was part of a National Lawyers Guild delegation that traveled to Gaza to document Israeli violations of international law and war crimes that were committed during Operation Cast Lead.
Fearless, decent seeker-of-truth
Helen Thomas, 89, the preeminent challenger of
political power for a half-century as dean of White
House correspondents, has resigned her position with
Hearts Newspapers. She acted in the wake of
controversy that erupted when she told reporters
“Jews should get the hell out of Palestine.” While
speaking plainly on behalf of the rule of law in
Occupied Palestine, her message was submerged when
reporters gave it an anti-Semitic twist by quoting
words out of context.
We feel the massive attack on
Helen Thomas has been excessive, extreme, and
inconsistent with values that we believe are
fundamental to our society: freedom of thought, an
independent press, simple fairness and respect.
We don’t think it’s right to throw someone out after
a lifetime of hard work.
We value the fact that Helen Thomas posed hard
questions to politicians of both parties and feel
that such journalism is essential to our country.
We hold diverse opinions on the content of Helen’s
26-second-long response to a stranger holding a
camera in her face. All of us call for Helen Thomas
to remain in journalism and retire when SHE chooses,
not when her enemies decree it.
Most recently, Israel's raid on the Free Gaza flotilla, which killed at least nine activists, has added fuel to the campaign. The attack on a humanitarian ship seemed to reignite much of the international furor from the Gaza invasion of the year before, as it highlighted Israel's inhumane policy of collective punishment in the besieged territory. And with this latest outrage came even louder calls for accountability.
the Israeli government’s thorough efforts to
confiscate all footage taken during the attack, Iara
Lee was able to retain some of her video recordings.
Below is the unedited footage from the moments
leading up to and during the Israeli commandos’
assault on the Mavi Marmara. You can also
download this footage by clicking
Democracy Now! exclusive, we bring you a sneak
preview of previously unseen raw footage from the
Mavi Marmara that will be formally released at a
press conference at the United Nations later in the
day. The footage shows the mood and the activities
onboard the Mavi Marmara in the time leading
up to the attack, and the immediate reaction of the
passengers during the attack. We are joined by
filmmaker and activist Iara Lee, one of the few
Americans on the Mavi Marmara ship. Her
equipment was confiscated, but she managed to
smuggle out an hour’s worth of footage. [includes
Israelis are starting to blame each other. This may
look like a positive move, however, not a single
Israeli is yet to ask for forgiveness. Seemingly no
one in Israel grasps the scale of the atrocity in
the high seas. No one in Israel comprehends the
level of outrage amongst the nations.
Demonstrators in Bili’in today formed their own
Palestine national football team, coinciding with
the start of the World Cup, to highlight their right
to be an independent nation. The players, together
with dozens of other Palestinian, Israeli and
international activists, marched to the annexation
barrier at the edge of the village, where a goal was
constructed and a game was begun. Several footballs
were kicked over the fence onto land once owned by
the village. Israeli soldiers responded to this
entirely non-violent activity by firing volleys of
tear gas at the participants. They then came through
the fence, and arrested 6 journalists, four of whom
were soon released. Two – one Palestinian and one
international – remain in detention at the time of
writing. The tear gas canisters fired also caused
large fires on the dry ground around the olive
trees. Soldiers fired more canisters, aiming for the
groups of villagers attempting to put out the
In a draft
statement prepared for a meeting on Monday, the
foreign ministers will condemn the use of violence
during Israel's operation to stop a flotilla of aid
ships reaching Gaza in which Israeli forces killed
Jun. 11, 2010
Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes:
The article pasted below will make sense if one watches
Israel owns the USA (06:37). The video features
Paul Craig Roberts, an economist who served as
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during the Reagan
Administration. Scroll down beneath the video and see facts and
figures of AIPAC's contributions
to the political campaigns of our elected representatives in
Washington. Perhaps it's as JFK wrote: "A
candidate's first duty is to get himself re-elected."
Israel's army shocked the world by
invading a ship bound for Gaza with badly needed
food, medical, and reconstruction aid and killing
the international peace activists on board. Tell
Congress and President Obama to
condemn the immoral and illegal
May 31 attack on the Gaza Freedom
Flotilla, demand a full and independent
international investigation and the release of all
detainees immediately, and withhold military aid to
Israel until it abides by international law, including ending the
siege of Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank
including East Jerusalem.
criminal hijacking in international waters of
the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and murder of at least 9
passengers, Israel has tried to justify its cruel
blockade of the Gaza Strip on the grounds of
"security." To anyone familiar with Israeli policy
and the situation in Gaza, this excuse is absurd.
Israel successfully controlled news of its deadly
commando raid on the Freedom Flotilla during the
first crucial 48 hours of media coverage, emerging
evidence from witnesses and survivors is challenging
the Israeli government's version of events.
These include claims of medical treatment being
withheld; beatings and abuse of passengers who never
resisted; the Israeli military doctoring audio and
selectively editing videos.
Furthermore, allegations of a possible shoot-to-kill
policy, amidst autopsies revealing repeated gun
shots to the heads of the victims, are also part of
an emerging pattern.
One of the first targets of Israeli commandos
raiding the Flotilla was the international media.
Photographers were attacked, and journalists had
their video, audio and other communications
equipment confiscated. The equipment has still not
Lebanese-American journalist, a few months shy of
her 90th birthday, nearing the end of a
distinguished journalism career, makes a few
irrational comments during a Jewish Heritage Week
event at the White House.
She was responding
to a question from a young man who stuck a
microphone in her face.
interview was posted on the website of a rabbi,
whose son was the cameraman. Thomas failed to follow
the Number One You Tube Rule: Never give a flippant
response to any questions from a stranger.
Israeli Naval commandos storm a Turkish relief boat
traveling with supplies to Gaza. In the attack, the
commandos kill a 19-year-old unarmed
Turkish-American man, one of nine passengers who
died in the attack.
provokes the greater outrage among American
liberals? Which one is almost totally ignored? You
have to ask?
comment by 89-year-old Helen Thomas wins by a
landslide. American Liberals, better known in some
quarters as PEPs–Progressives Except for
Palestine–demanded her immediate condemnation and
total removal from polite society.
Israeli opinion polls are not necessarily reliable.
But one in the Israel Hayom newspaper, carried out
by the New Wave Research Institute, suggested 91% of
Israelis were in favour of the navy stopping any
future attempts to break the sea blockade.
In the same poll, 73% of people asked said they
did not believe the blockade of Gaza should be
lifted. The researchers polled 561 people from
Israel's Jewish population.
And the rhetoric from some of the military and
the politicians backs that up.
Yesterday fifteen people were stranded at
Allenby/King Hussein bridge on the River Jordan,
where at the end, four of them were sent back to
Jerusalem, to the Ministry of Interior just to [be
told]: You are no [longer] eligible to live in
I have now located earlier footage from Turkey’s
Cihan News Agency from which the Furkan video
was compiled. It is now apparent that due to some
“creative” editing, the sequence of actions in the
Furkan video are not those of the actual timeline.
Still, we do know from autopsy results that several
of those who died were shot at close range and such
a killing may indeed be shown in this video.
truth behind what the video depicts will only become
known if the soldiers involved face questioning and
if all the existing video is made available to
independent investigators. If the Israeli Defense
Forces have nothing to hide, they should welcome an
The Israeli military attempted to confiscate and
erase the photographic and video evidence of its
brutal asault on the Mavi Marmara aid ship on
Memorial Day. But it turns out that digital images
can often be recovered after erasure, and can be put
on small memory sticks that can be hidden in nooks
and crannies of luggage. So some images are in fact
In my earlier posts about the killings aboard the Mavi Marmara, I used terms like “kill shot” and “execution-style” to describe these events. I based my judgment on the narratives told by eyewitnesses and the Turkish autopsy reports. Some readers were taken aback and accused me of overstatement, exaggeration and worse. But this video vividly confirms my strong suspicions.
It shows IDF commandos executing a passenger on the Mavi Marmara with one and possibly two point blank shots from above into the victim who lies on the boat deck. In truth, one cannot distinguish the face of the victim since it is blocked by a boat railing. But from the muzzle flashes and weapon recoils and the downward direction in which the shooter looks at his victim, it is clear this is an execution just as I described earlier.
‘I send my greetings to those gathered during these days in Scotland for the centennial of the first Edinburgh Missionary Conference, which is now acknowledged to have given birth to the modern ecumenical movement. May we all renew our commitment to work humbly and patiently, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to live again together our common apostolic heritage.’
NABLUS: Talking to people in a park here on
a quiet Friday afternoon you really get the sense
that the West Bank is moving forward under the prime
ministership of Salam Fayyad and his Palestinian
The progress does not get reported much, firstly
because it is a slow incremental business and
secondly because hemmed in Gaza, under its Hamas
leadership, has produced all the spectacular news of
In fact, if we wished
to identify the greatest "anti-Semites" in the world
we would have to recognize those so-called "Jews"
who use such derogatory and demeaning racist
epithets against people who criticize almost
anything having to do with Israel, Zionism and
Judaism but who condemn almost everything about
Palestinians, and Middle Eastern Arabs and Muslims,
who are about the only remaining people of Semitic
origins in the world.
The use of the term
"Anti-Semitism" is just another example of how
language has been twisted and distorted to wring the
most effective and psychological and emotionally
damaging impact from it, as in the case of their
misuse of the word "Holocaust."
Surely you've heard
of freedom. You cannot blame the occupation on
anyone but us, the Israelis. There are many excuses
for it, but they don't change the ultimate fact ¬
Israel is an occupier. This is the root of all evil
and this is what you have concealed. Not a word
later, I stand by some alien sea, far away from
home, from Gaza. I have been denied the right to
visit Palestine for years. I stand here and I think
of all those back home, waiting for the boats to
arrive. This time the possibility is real. I follow
the news, with the stifling awareness of a grown up,
and also with the giddiness and trepidation of my
six year old self. I imagine Freedom Flotilla loaded
with food, medicine and toys, immediately behind the
horizon, getting close to turning the old dream into
reality. The dream that all the countries that my
brothers thought were fictitious in fact existed,
embodied in five ships and 700 peace activists. They
represented humanity, they cared for us. I thought
of some little kids making a feast of toasted bread,
yellow cheese and sage tea, waiting for their
Israel has been justifying its
attacks and deadly wars against Palestinians and
Arabs in terms of their right to self-defense. Here
are some of the messages we hear from the Israelis
over and over again:
“We are encircled by the
“We are encircled by terrorists.”
“We are living in the tough area of the Middle
“We are fighting for our existence.”
“Our nukes are for the purpose of protection.”
“The Gaza siege is a legal means to stop rocket
“Settlements are a legal means to protect our
Any audience worldwide hearing only this account
might believe what they hear. It is normal for any
body and everybody to seek safety and security as a
basic need. People worldwide and specifically in
America, which is the foremost supporter of Israel,
will be convinced.
For as long as these fictions are promulgated
along media wires and echoed by reputable
institutions, Israel will continue to defy
international law and humanitarian charters. More
human rights will be violated.
The former Special
Forces member also called for the resignation of
Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak. In a separate
development, a team of senior officers in the
Israeli Navy reserves have also
condemned the botched raid and issued a public
call for an external investigation in line with
United Nations demands. The officers sent a letter
to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazii,
in which they described the raid as a “tragedy both
at the military and diplomatic levels”, which was
“doomed to failure from the beginning”. The Israeli
government has already
said it plans to reject calls for an independent
inquiry into the attack.
During the Israeli
attack on the Mavi Marmara, deep in
international waters, I was inside the body of the
ship. We were unarmed civilians ranging in age from
a one-year-old child to an 88-year-old priest. We
were going to Gaza to break the siege that Israel
has imposed on a million-and-a-half people for the
last four years. We were carrying a cargo of
humanitarian and construction aid as well as letters
from Turkish children to the children of Gaza. We
were full of hope. When the attack began at 4am on
31 May 2010, our ship was transformed into a
military target. On the deck, at first there was
heavy firing, and then the Israeli occupation’s
commandos took control of the ship.
"The game has changed," was how one Western
diplomat described it.
Today President Obama became the latest of a
long line of major figures to describe the
Israeli blockade as "unsustainable". The next
big moment is likely to come with a meeting of
European Union foreign ministers in Brussels on
There appears to be a concerted
feeling, across the EU - and indeed among the
Americans and the United Nations - that this is
a chance not just to improve the humanitarian
situation, but to re-make the shattered economy
That would involve opening the crossings not
only to bring more goods in, but to allow Gazan
exports out. There is also talk of trying to
persuade Israel to move to a system where it
publishes a blacklist of what it refuses to let
into Gaza, rather than the current system where
it just keeps a private list of what is allowed
"The National Council
of Churches has strongly supported Israel's right to
exist with peace and security, but this attack on an
aid convoy contributes to neither,"
the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, NCC General Secretary.
"In fact, it undermines Israel's standing in the
community of nations."
This week's sad events make clear that sustained
U.S. attention to Gaza is a vital piece of the work
of peace-making. It is time to shift our nation's
posture toward the Gaza blockade and make clear to
Israel that its own interests, as well as our
nation's and those of the Palestinian people, would
be well served by lifting the blockade. Most
importantly, the search for long-term peace in the
region could be robustly encouraged.
The United Methodist Church has long advocated for a
peaceful settlement of the conflict between Israel
and the Palestinians: a settlement that provides
justice and security for both parties (“Opposition
to Israeli Settlements in Palestinian Land,” 2008
UMC Book of Resolutions). The United Methodist
Church believes negotiation and diplomacy will
achieve this rather than through methods of violence
and coercion (“Saying No to Violence in Middle East
Conflict,” 2008 UMC Book of Resolutions). The need
for this has been made patently clear by this
morally reprehensible assault in international
waters on peace activists and humanitarian aid
This week is the World Week for Peace in Palestine
and Israel. Churches and people around the world are
participating by praying and learning about issues
of peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians.
The May 31,2010 deadly Israeli attack on the
flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the people of
Gaza has proven the need for people of faith and
conscience to speak out against the use of force and
to work for peace.
We call upon the U.S. government to help its ally, Israel, break from this failed course. The U.S. can first do so by ending military assistance to Israel, which further enflames conflict in the region and ensures Israel will always be better equipped for aggression than reconciliation. In addition, the U.S. can provide unlimited diplomatic support for final status peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian people that include Gaza as an integral part of a Palestinian state, and give its full support to an impartial international inquiry as called for in yesterday’s Security Council Presidential Statement.
Whenever Israel commits yet another
atrocity, its defenders are quick to redirect public
attention away from the grisly crime scene.
Currently, there are headlines about allegedly
anti-Semitic comments made by senior White House
correspondent Helen Thomas. Pundits across the land
evince outrage at her off-the-cuff 25-second
statement made to a man who appears to be holding a
camera right in her face.
Thomas issued a public apology for her words, but
this was insufficient to assuage the wounded
feelings of powerful antagonists, and she has now
retired from a long and distinguished career.
Before we examine her comments and evaluate their
possible validity, let’s look at other recent events
having to do with Israel.
Last night marked one week since Israel's attack in international waters on the Mavi Marmara Turkish humanitarian ship bound for Gaza, killing nine. One by one, the hundreds of witnesses aboard the vessels have been returning home to tell their stories after being stripped of any and all footage. By confiscating all non-military evidence of the incident, Israel has been able to successfully dominate the narrative, at least in the US where news of the attack had begun to dwindle by the time witnesses were released. One wonders, if Israel is conveying the whole story of what happened that night, why eliminate every single other piece of documentation? What does Israel have to hide?
A Muslim woman, who
speaks only Arabic, approaches me. A kind man
offers to translate between us. She presents
medical papers regarding her daughter who is
inpatient in a Tel Aviv hospital. The mother is in
the West Bank attempting to obtain the proper
paperwork to enter Israel to see her daughter. She
started this journey at 10am, waited in lines to be
told she needed to be in different lines and finally
ended up at Qalandiya. Once at Qalandiya, she
learns the permit line was closed. She pauses and
then starts crying....
One of this country’s
most important and courageous journalists said
something terribly wrong, was massively criticized,
apologized for it, and was forced into retirement.
Exactly the way it should be, right? Wrong.
Littlewood deconstructs the Israeli propaganda that
has been flooding the airwaves following Israel’s
murder of humanitarian activists aboard the
Gaza-bound international aid flotilla, most notably
from the orifice of the Israeli prime minister’s
spokesman, Australian-born Mark Regev, and debunks
the propaganda manual used by Israeli officials and
stooges to hoodwink Westerners.
Most Freedom Flotilla survivors
describe how Israeli Defense Force treated the
activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla as an
appalling act of piracy, but if one gets their news
from the mass media, like many Americans, they would
Most Freedom Flotilla survivors
describe how Israeli Defense Force treated the
activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla as an
appalling act of piracy, but if one gets their news
from the mass media, like many Americans, they would
The angry demonstrations sweeping the country against the world’s denunciations; the calls to revoke the citizenship of the Israeli Arab MP on board – or worse, to execute her – for treason; and the local media’s endless recycling of the soldiers’ testimonies of being “bullied” by the activists demonstrate the desperate need of Israelis to justify every injustice or atrocity while clinging to the illusion of victimhood.
An Israeli parliamentary committee recommended stripping an Arab MP of her privileges yesterday in a move to prepare the ground for putting her on trial for participating last week in the Gaza-bound aid flotilla attacked by Israeli commandos.
An Arab member of the Israeli
parliament who was on board the international
flotilla that was attacked on Monday as it tried to
take humanitarian aid to Gaza accused Israel
yesterday of intending to kill peace activists as a
way to deter future convoys.
Haneen Zoubi said Israeli naval
vessels had surrounded the flotilla’s flagship, the
Mavi Marmara, and fired on it a few minutes before
commandos abseiled from a helicopter directly above
Terrified passengers had been forced
off the deck when water was sprayed at them. She
said she was not aware of any provocation or
resistance by the passengers, who were all unarmed.
She added that within minutes of the
raid beginning, three bodies had been brought to the
main room on the upper deck in which she and most
other passengers were confined. Two had gunshot
wounds to the head, in what she suggested had been
Mahmoud Abbas will hold his second Oval Office
meeting with Barack Obama on Wednesday, almost
exactly a year after his first visit to Washington -
but amidst very different circumstances.
The fallout from the Israeli raids on the Turkish
flotilla heading to Gaza has created a crisis for
almost all the players involved.
"I believe, even now, that the
nonviolent option is the only way for Israel and
Palestine," he writes. "Whatever the caliber of my
weapon, if I am shooting the ‘other,' I am forced to
deny that the ‘other' is like myself. I can only
kill from a desperate position, a position, a
position behind a veil, from which I cannot afford
to see the human beauty and uniqueness I am
Religiously and often ethnically
different from the U.S. mainstream, Muslims here and
abroad are easily cast as dangerous. Some of our
religious leaders charge that Islam is intrinsically
violent. Ironically, some of our fundamentalists
have a rhetorical style that resembles the radical
Roughly 150 people gathered in the fellowship hall of a local
[Santa Cruz, California] Congregational Church this past Friday evening, including prominent liberal members of the city council and county board of supervisors, area clergy (including a local rabbi), professors, small businesspeople and other community leaders. The main speaker was Nomika Zion, founder of kibbutz Migvan in Sderot, Israel, a community which had suffered from relentless bombardment for many months from Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Zion -- a leader of the Sderot-based peace group Other Voice, which opposed Israel's war on Gaza -- argued that it was the ongoing siege of Gaza which was the biggest threat to the security and called for an end of the Israeli blockade RCNV staffperson and former Santa Cruz mayor Scott Kennedy then called on the city to come together to organize a boat to send relief supplies to Gaza Strip in an effort to end the siege, adding that he would write Rep. Sherman and Attorney General Holder and dare them to investigate and prosecute the hundreds of people in this coastal community who would support such an effort.
As the forced isolation of the Gaza
Strip again drew international attention last week
-- due to an Israeli attack May 31 on ships carrying
in aid -- the Holy See joined its voice to that of
those calling for an end to the blockade.
(Video) Turkish newspaper publishes interview
with Marmara activists describing how they
overpowered three Navy commandos. 'I looked into the
eyes of these three children, and saw panic. They
had no hope of staying alive,' says ship passenger
Former US marine who was on board
Marmara ship, took part in violence against Israeli
commandoes attempting to intercept it, calls IDF's
accusations against him, 'absolutely absurd', says
may return to Israel to face charges.
For three days as they
were held in captivity and unable to speak on their
own behalf, Israel presented the massacre against
civilian passengers on the Mavi Marmara as self
defense against a “lynching.” Now that the
passengers are returning to their home nations, the
global community is hearing a much different story,
not just regarding the incident but also their
treatment afterwards once in custody.
Congress is back in session today from its Memorial
Day recess, and is weighing in on Israel's
assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Here's a
review of some Congressional initiatives and ways
for you to
Following Israel's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla,
there are calls for an independent investigation
into the events that transpired. Thus far, Israel
refuses to participate in such an inquiry. We pray
that any investigation will be independent and fair,
rather than another tool of misinformation. "You
will know the truth, and the truth will make you
Sabeel board member, Jean Zaru, has been awarded the
Anna Lindh Memorial Fund Prize. The committee
recognized that, "During her entire life, Jean Zaru
has chosen non-violence to resist the oppression
under which she lives. Non-violence because it
exposes and challenges the structural violence on
all levels. Non-violence because it makes the
oppressors realize that they, too, are victims of
the violence they impart." We thank God for Jean's
work and pray that others will be inspired to stand
courageously and work lovingly for justice.
As summer vacations begin, more tourists are
traveling to Israel and Palestine. May these groups
be inspired to seek out the stories and the people
that they do not normally encounter. We pray that
they will have their eyes opened to the need for a
just peace in this land.
In recent days, scores of important religious,
political and civil society groups have spoken
forcefully about the need to lift the siege on Gaza.
People who are often quiet are silent no more. We
pray that this momentum will build into a political
force capable of toppling the siege and ending the
Israeli military occupation in Palestine. May we all
recognize our individual roles in the work of
Recently, self-proclaimed Jewish leaders launched a provocative campaign of newspaper advertisements
regarding the policies of the American administration on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Perhaps some
are left with the impression that these individuals indeed represent American Jewry.
The fact is, they represent only themselves.
We, traditional Torah Jews, are distressed and appalled by these ads, as well as by the Zionists' tactic of
abusing American Jewry to advance their agenda.
The Elders described
Israel’s attack on the aid shipment and the
resulting killings and injuries as completely
inexcusable. They said this tragic incident should
draw the world’s attention to the terrible suffering
of Gaza’s 1.5 million people, half of whom are
children under the age of 18.
Critics in Israel have faulted the proposal, saying it doesn't empower commission members to investigate the political decision-making that led up to the raid or intelligence failures ahead of the deadly confrontation. In addition, soldiers would not be questioned.
Ninety-year old Journalist Helen Thomas has taken a
lot of heat for daring to address the fact that any
Jew without any historical connection to Israel is
encouraged to settle-as in colonize-upon legally
owned Palestinian land.
Maybe the Obama administration will
use this moment to show us a real "change we can
believe in" for Middle East policy.
Jun. 7, 2010
Received in our email: "The recent attack by Israeli commandos
on the Mavi Marmara, an unarmed vessel in international waters,
brings to mind another Israeli attack in the same area
forty-three years ago.
"On June 8, 1967, the fourth day of the Arab Israeli War, the
USS Liberty, a virtually unarmed intelligence ship, was steaming
slowly in international waters off the coasts of Gaza and the
Sinai Peninsula when it was attacked by Israeli forces...."
At 0800 hrs, 8 June, 1967, eight
Israeli recon flights flew over Liberty, which was
flying a large American flag. At 1400, waves of
Israeli Mystere and Mirage-III fighter-bombers
attacked with rockets, napalm, and cannon,
concentrating on the ship's antennae and electronic
dishes. Liberty was left afire, listing. Eight of
her crew lay dead, 100 wounded, including Commander
On 24 April 2004, which was three
days after Mordechai Vanunu was released from 18
years in a windowless tomb sized cell jail for
providing the photographic proof and telling the
truth about Israel's clandestine seven story
underground WMD Program in the Negev, Uri Avnery
"Everybody understands that he has
no more secrets. What can a technician know after 18
years in jail, during which technology has advanced
with giant steps?
"But gradually it becomes clear
what the security establishment is really afraid of.
Vanunu is in a position to expose the close
partnership with the United States in the
development of Israel's nuclear armaments...."
Jun. 7, 2010
Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes: "Militants?
Freedom Fighters? Fishermen? An Israeli army spokesman reported
that the patrol had confirmed hitting its target. The spokesman
did not say what the army thought was the intended objective of
"An Israeli naval patrol
spotted a boat with four men in diving suits on
their way to carry out a terror attack and fired at
them," an Israeli army spokesman said, adding that
the patrol had confirmed hitting its targets.
The spokesman did not say what the army thought was
the intended objective of the divers.
Jun. 7, 2010
Reverend Roy Hayes, Episcopal, writes: "Here's a news item
that won't get US media attention."
The United States
embassy has demanded an investigation into how an
American citizen lost her eye last week at the
Qalandiyah checkpoint after being struck by a tear
Henochowicz's father, a doctor, is originally from Israel and she also has Israeli citizenship.
“The violence of the
rightists is a direct result of the brainwashing,
which has been going on throughout the last week,”
Avnery commented. “A huge propaganda machine has
incited the public in order to cover up the terrible
mistakes made by our political and military
leadership, mistakes which are becoming worse from
day to day.”
There is no
consensus in these four views on the assault: A
New York Times columnist, a
veteran Israeli peace leader, a novelist, and an
American politician, three shapers of opinion, and
one US political decision maker.
We're a group of German and international Jews
living in Germany who are sending a ship with goods
and musical instruments to Gaza. We're part of a
larger European project that is sending supplies in
the spring of 2010.
We're acquiring a ship, loading it up in Germany,
then picking up passengers (Jewish and non-Jewish,
German and non-German) at a Mediterranean port.
Israeli government refuses an International probe into its illegal piracy and massacre of Gaza humanitarian aid ships and 'accidentally distributed a video mocking the humanitarian activists. The Israeli occupation forces admitted doctoring one audiotape from the Mavi Marmara ship. The lies are beginning to crumple with testimonies from survivors. But we will not drop this case because it may yet prove to be the straw that breaks the back of International complicity.
Independent accounts of the traumatic raid of the
flotilla by Israel are now coming out. A British
Columbia man who took part in the attempt to deliver
aid to Gaza, has returned home to Canada after being
released from Israeli detention. He claims he was
threatened by Israeli guards while he spent three
days in Israeli jail, reported
CTV BC. He also said 16 people had been killed
by Israel, alleging Israel fired on the ships before
A British-born captain of the "Spirit of Humanity,"
another boat in the flotilla, told
Cypress News of the traumatic boarding of his
boat by Israeli soldiers. He said the Israelis
humiliated and abused his passengers, shooting an
Australian reporter (female) with a stun gun, and
shooting a female passenger in the face with a paint
A Scottish woman, Theresa McDermott, who was on
board a flotilla boat called the Challenger,
The Scotsman that she had a "cocked gun pointed
at my head."
The website of Turkish newspaper Hürriyet published
gallery of photos showing Israeli soldiers
captured after their attack on the Mavi Marmara in
international waters in the early hours of 31 May.
The predictable response of the Israeli army, as
Haaretz, was that the "published
pictures serve as clear and unequivocal proof of
Israel's repeated arguments that aboard [the Mavi
Marmara] were mercenaries who intended to kill
Israeli soldiers." Israeli spokespersons
and media in recent days have also claimed the
soldiers faced "lynching," a provocative term which
originated to describe the deliberate mob murders of
African Americans by white supremacists in the
The photos indicate nothing of the sort; if
anything they show the opposite.
"Over the new year
2009-2010, an international group of 1500 men and
women from 42 nations went to Egypt to join a
Freedom March to Gaza. They did this to protest the
current blockade of Gaza. To protest the fact that
the people of Gaza live in a virtual prison. To
protest the fact that a year after the terror attack
by Israeli armed forces destroyed most of their
homes, hospitals, schools, and other public
buildings, they have no possibility to rebuild
because their borders are closed. The would be
Freedom Marchers wanted to peacefully draw attention
to the predicament of the Palestinian population of
Gaza. The Egyptian government, (funded to the tune
of $2.1 billion a year, by us, the US tax payers),
would not allow the marchers to approach Gaza. How
lame is that? And how predictable! I live in the USA
and during this time Dec 25th 2009-Jan3rd 2010 I saw
no reference to Gaza or the Freedom March or the
multi national protesters gathered there. Anyway I
was moved, in the circumstances, to record a new
version of "We shall overcome". It seems
Many thanks to G.E Smith: lead guitar and Thor
Jonsson, drum programming and whatever. Thanks
The facts are simple: The blockade of the port of
Gaza is illegal, as deemed by international law and
the UN. This point cannot be argued, the siege must
end, the rights and dignity of the Palestinians in
Gaza must be honoured, the port must be opened.
Alongside of our partners in the Freedom Flotilla,
we demand that Israel return our boats including the
Spirit of Humanity, detained by Israel since early
2009. The Free Gaza Movement and our international
partners intend to launch another flotilla at the
first available opportunity.
The facts are simple: The blockade of the port of
Gaza is illegal, as deemed by international law and
the UN. This point cannot be argued, the siege must
end, the rights and dignity of the Palestinians in
Gaza must be honoured, the port must be opened.
Alongside of our partners in the Freedom Flotilla,
we demand that Israel return our boats including the
Spirit of Humanity, detained by Israel since early
2009. The Free Gaza Movement and our international
partners intend to launch another flotilla at the
first available opportunity.
listening to, and reading various items in which
Israeli officials and its PR people have tried to
explain how and why what Israel did when it attacked
the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was legal and appropriate.
Here is a short essay by Lynda Brayer - a human
rights lawyer who specializes in the laws of war and
international law in representing Palestinians and
who lives in Haifa - which puts the lie to any such
Turkish paper Hurriyet published pictures of captive
IDF soldiers inside the Mavi Marmara (see
here) during the Israeli raid on the ship. IDF
declared that “this is clear proof of Israel’s
repeated claims, that the boat was carrying
mercenaries, whose sole purpose was to kill the
But to me these pictures raise even
more questions. It seems that the people on the Mavi
Marmara actually kept the soldiers alive – rather
than “lynch” them, as Israel claims. This might also
explain why the battle against unarmed civilians
took so long: Could it be that the nine casualties
weren’t just the result of an attempt to protect the
life of the soldiers at the moment they were
attacked, but rather the outcome of a violent rescue
While the march itself
was relaxed for most parts, a few dozens of
right-wing people held a counter-protest, and
several of them tried to break into the Left’s
rally. During the speech of a Hadash representative,
a smoke grenade was thrown (There are conflicting
reports as to who threw the grenade – the right or
the left protesters). Later, Uri Avneri, the 87
years old former MK and peace activist, was
attacked. Ynet reports that Avneri was rescued from
the area in a car, with police escort. Right-wing
activists also clashed with coffee shop goers in Tel
aviv and shouted insults at locals.
The Vatican said Sunday
that the international community is ignoring the
plight of Christians in the Middle East, and that
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq
and political instability in Lebanon have forced
thousands to flee the region.
I also helped to physically separate
one commando from his assault rifle, which another
brother apparently through into the sea. I and
hundreds of others know the truth that makes a
mockery of the brave and moral Israeli military. We
had in our full possession, three completely
disarmed and helpless commandos. These boys were at
our mercy, they were out of reach of their fellow
murderers, inside the ship and surrounded by 100 or
more men. I looked into the eyes of all three of
these boys and I can tell you they had the fear of
God in them. They looked at us as if we were them,
and I have no doubt they did not believe there was
any way they would survive that day. They looked
like frightened children in the face of an abusive
But they did not face an enemy as
ruthless as they. Instead the woman provided basic
first aid, and ultimately they were released,
battered and bruised for sure, but alive. Able to
live another day. Able to feel the sun over head
and the embrace of loved ones. Unlike those they
murdered. Despite mourning the loss of our
brothers, feeling rage towards these boys, we let
In my view, the most
important demonstration was the one
held in Tel Aviv, sponsored by the Israeli Left, and
consisting of some 6,000 activists. The horrific
and also brain dead tactic of mounting suicide
bombings against ordinary Israelis, adopted by some
radical Palestinian groups in the first part of this
decade, had killed the Israeli peace movement and
given the Israeli Right the opportunity to capture
the government and use its resources to intensively
colonize Palestinian land. Despite what the US press
keeps saying, a majority of Israelis has
consistently supported trading land for peace in
opinion polls. On Saturday, we heard once more from
the decent Israeli left and center, who routinely
call the ultra-orthodox who vote for Shas, a pillar
of the Netanyahu government, “Taliban.” If the
Palestinian leadership can restrain the radicals
among them and go on cultivating non-violent tactics
growing boycott of goods made by West Bank colonies,
and preferring to import Turkish goods, they may
finally have a winning formula.
admitted today in a press release that it
doctored audio footage from its exchanges with the
Gaza flotilla in order to paint the flotilla
passengers as anti-Semites.
comments made no more sense with this explanation:
“This transmission had originally cited the Mavi
Marmara ship as being the source of these remarks,
however, due to an open channel, the specific ship
or ships in the “Freedom Flotilla” responding to the
Israeli Navy could not be identified.
Click above for the
poem about what is permitted for import into Gaza
and what is not.
Richard Tillinghast is
an American poet who lives in Co Tipperary. He is
the author of eight books of poetry, the latest of
which is Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, 2010 ), as
well as several works of non-fiction.
As Israeli naval
operators engaged in radio communications with the
MV Rachel Corrie this morning, they refused
to address the ship by its current name — the name
linked to its permanent International Maritime
Organization identification number, IMO 6715281.
Instead, in both communications released by the IDF,
the ship is referred to as “Motor Vessel Linda” —
the name used by the ship’s previous owner.
Israeli military apparently not only refuses to
accept responsibility for killing unarmed civilians
— it refuses to even utter their names.
The aid workers
maintain that 6 people are still missing, suggesting
that the death toll may be 15, not 9 (Israeli Army
radio reported 16 dead early on Monday, and surely
they knew). You wonder if they had an impromptu
burial at sea to get rid of the evidence (forensic
analysis of the bodies would be eloquent about
Turning his attention
to the Holy Land, which he noted has traditionally
included Cyprus, the Pontiff said "the situation of
continuing conflict in the Middle East must be a
source of concern to all Christ’s followers."
Lawyers for Palestinian
Human Rights (LPHR) was set up by UK-based
practising lawyers and law students in London in
1988, during the first intifada in the Occupied
LPHR supports Palestinian
people in their legal struggle to exercise their
right of self-determination. It works, both in the
UK and abroad, on legal issues focused on protecting
and promoting Palestinian human rights, with a
special focus on Palestinians living under Israeli
occupation in the West Bank (including East
Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip.
It's been one lie after another in the US media
about the Israeli attack on the Gaza-bound relief
flotilla. No matter that the Israeli media
views the whole incident as a debacle for Israel, in
this country the Israel-can-do-no-wrong crowd is on
overdrive defending the operation. As usual, facts
don't matter to them.
There is a lot of wailing to the effect that the
real purpose of these ships was to run the blockade
of Gaza and make a media splash, not primarily to
deliver the goods they brought.
Well, yes. That’s
not a secret, and no one is claiming otherwise.
puts it very well: “Of course the goal
of the flotilla was to break the blockade. Of
course Martin Luther King provoked the civil
authorities of the South to break segregation.
Of course the Solidarity movement used workers’
rights as a pretext to break Soviet-imposed
The ''Jüdische Stimme''
(Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Near East),
along with her friends of EJJP (European Jews for a
Just Peace in the Near East) and Jews for Justice
For Palestinians (UK) are sending a call to the
leaders of the world to help Israel find her way
back to reason, a sense of humanity and a life
without fear. ''Jewish Voices'' expects the
political leaders of
and the world to guarantee a safe passage for the
small vessel to
thus helping to form a bridge towards peace.
"We urgently need to see unfettered access to Gaza
to meet the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza
and to enable the reconstruction of homes,
livelihoods and trade. That is why we continue to
press the government of Israel to lift Gaza's
"I am also discussing these issues urgently with
our international partners."
Giving some examples of
issues that Christian “mission as contestation”
needs to address, Coorilos mentioned “the continuing
aggression of the State of Israel to the people and
land of Palestine”, and the “islands and peoples
that are going to simply disappear due to climate
The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) has played a significant role in helping bishops educated in a dated “theology of exclusion” to move towards a genuine “ecumenical commitment”. This was one of the remarks made by a leading Vatican figure at a press conference held at an international conference on world Christianity.
I were a cartoonist I would draw a picture of Pope
Benedict XVI strolling thru the Gardens at the
Vatican. His Holiness is out for a bit of
exercise. He's bent over with a prayerful look on
his face. He looks like he needs assistance
standing up straight. He's remembering words
written by Hans Kung: "The Church is the Cross on
which the Christ was crucified." The Pope is
thinking: "....but the Church is People". The
Pope sees a teenager standing in the path ahead of
him. The lad smiles to greet him. George:Good evening, Holy Father. You're
probably wondering how I got here. I climbed
over the wall. I hope you don't mind. If I'm
disturbing you, I'll leave. There's a matter
of importance I would like to discuss with you. If
I'm talking too fast please tell me and I'll slow
down. Pope:LOL (laughing out
loud). I don't mind. When I was your age I climbed
a few walls myself. Let's do slow down, tho. What
might your name be?
Protesters gathered in the Bastille area, in a rally
which included Palestinian flags and one banner
saying "French Jewish Union For Peace" with around
100 French Jews following it. It was not clear just
how many were there in total.
"I think the
blockade of Gaza is counter-productive for
Israel," Michel Bontemps, a French
Jew, told Reuters Television.
"Showing solidarity with the Palestinians in no
way means you are a terrorist," added Youssef Ben
Derbal, a French national who was on the Turkish aid
ship seized by Israeli forces earlier this week.
Israel has repeatedly argued that there is "no humanitarian crisis" in the Gaza Strip and that such supplies are not needed -- a charge roundly refuted by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).
"The idea that there isn't a humanitarian crisis in Gaza is absurd," spokesman Chris Gunness told an AFP reporter in Ashdod, pointing out that in the past year alone, poverty among Gaza's population of 1.5 million had tripled.
"The number of people who cannot afford to feed themselves or their families has gone from 100,000 to 300,000 in the last year alone," he said, noting that 80 percent of the population was dependent on foreign aid.
ON THE high seas, outside territorial waters, the ship was stopped by the navy. The commandos stormed it. Hundreds of people on the deck resisted, the soldiers used force. Some of the passengers were killed, scores injured. The ship was brought into harbor, the passengers were taken off by force. The world saw them walking on the quay, men and women, young and old, all of them worn out, one after another, each being marched between two soldiers…
The ship was called “Exodus 1947”. It left France in the hope of breaking the British blockade, which was imposed to prevent ships loaded with Holocaust survivors from reaching the shores of Palestine. If it had been allowed to reach the country, the illegal immigrants would have come ashore and the British would have sent them to detention camps in Cyprus, as they had done before. Nobody would have taken any notice of the episode for more than two days.
Berlin, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza group that
organized the trip, described the takeover as
"another outrage to add to the nine murdered" and
denied Israeli claims that troops had been invited
aboard. Berlin spoke from the group's office in
regard to the flotilla I was on, the Israeli
government says it would have permitted our
humanitarian aid to enter Gaza by land had we
submitted it through "proper channels." But Israel's
"proper channels" - restrictive checkpoints that
have repeatedly turned away World Health
Organization medical supplies and rejected or
delayed the delivery of U.N. food aid - are the very
source of the humanitarian crisis.
Svenska Hamnarbetarförbundet (Swedish Port
Workers Union) has today given notice of the
blockade of all Israeli ships and cargo to and from
Israel which is managed by the union members. The
blockade will be effective at. 00:00 Tuesday, June
15 and lasts until at. 24:00 Thursday, June 24.
The reason for the blockade is the unprecedented
criminal attack on the peaceful ship convoy In Gaza.
Several peace activists were killed by Israeli
commandos and other participants were detained
without any reason.
This week marks 43 years of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, which the United Methodist Church has long opposed. The New England Conference of the United Methodist Church has issued an update to its Divestment Task Force report, which outlines divestment recommendations for companies supporting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Nine companies have been added to the report published by the New England Conference in June 2007. The research of the task force has shown that each company supports the occupation in a significant way.
During the pre-dawn hours of May
31, 2010, the Israeli Navy attacked the six civilian
vessels of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. The attack
took place in international waters against ships
flying under national flags of countries with which
Israel is not at war, namely Turkey, Greece and the
United States. The ships were carrying civilians
from more than sixteen countries.
Cyprus is thus an appropriate place in which to launch our Church’s reflection on the place of the centuries-old Catholic community in the Middle East, our solidarity with all the Christians of the region and our conviction that they have an irreplaceable role to play in peace and reconciliation among its peoples.
"As soon as we
heard the real guns going off, that's when we knew
things were different than what we thought they'd
be," he said. "We knew they'd use excessive force,
but it was a game changer when we heard they were
June 5, will mark the 43rd anniversary of the 1967 war when Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza, along with Syria's Golan Heights, all areas that Israel continues to occupy to this day.
This Saturday, after the protest of the attacks on the volunteer aid workers and the Blockade on Gaza, join us at the special Corner Store screening
-- June 5, 2010 at 4pm! We are all connected to the people of Palestine -- come see how nasty politics have
affected this wonderful family.
introduction to the nine
people shot dead on 31 May 2010, by Israeli
soldiers who attacked the Turkish vessel M.V.
Mavi Marmara, as it attempted to transport
humanitarian aid to the people of the Gaza Strip.
The passengers on
board the ship have stated, “Communication is
difficult and sometimes impossible and there are
many rumors out there started by Israeli
authorities, but there is no way we are going to
Ashdod. We are, for sure, on our way to Gaza.”
June is Torture
Awareness Month. We must challenge our government
and its agencies to exercise restraint, tolerance
and humanity in its treatment of all prisoners.
Moses acted bravely and spoke out in God’s presence
and Moses prevailed. If Moses can challenge God to
act with compassion rather than violence, we, too
must demand an end to the practice of torture
everywhere. We cannot remain silent on this issue.
I am one of the pioneer members of Rabbis for Human Rights.
My daughter Sarah and my grandchild planted olive trees
in the days that Israel was destroying olive groves.
It was Rabbi Ascherman who was with Rachael Corrie when
the Caterpilar murdered her. Rabbi was also in the path,
but one of the soldiers shouted: wait the man has a chupah
on, and he was saved! He had Building Permits for the
Palestinian family to repair their home, already destroyed
by the Israelis.
An important work is to get permits for reconstruction of homes
The world simply must make Israel accountable for not following international laws. Is it my imagination or is anyone else out there thinking that Israel is totally out of control? Before this tragic ordeal of Israeli military massacre of activists on a Gaza aid convoy (31 May), Israel tried to send a message for volunteers that indicated if you want to help Palestinians, we will not renew your visa, or we will deny you a visa, we will deport you, or we will deny you entry. But this latest powerful message from Israel is, if you help Palestinians, we will kill you. Now, that is too much!
For now we can at
least mourn the deaths of those killed on the ships,
alongside those whose lives have been destroyed or
ruined in the wider conflict, both Palestinian and
Israeli. The refusal to tolerate and glorify
violence, whether conducted by the powers that be or
the disempowered, is the first step toward bringing
about nonviolent change.
Until the blockade of Gaza ends — and, more significantly, until the illegal occupation by Israel of Palestinian territory is reversed — we can only expect more of these tragic, but preventable, events in the days to come. The result is not only an increased threat to peace in the region, but to Israel’s security as well.
The plight of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and the need to hold the Israeli State accountable under international law were highlighted at a roundtable hosted by the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum in Geneva, Switzerland on 31 May. The roundtable was one of the events marking the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel.
Dr. Paul Larudee, a passenger on the Freedom
Flotilla that was attacked by Israel before it could
deliver its cargo of humanitarian aid to the Gaza
Strip, was badly beaten and tasered during the
Memorial Day commando raid. In this video, he speaks
at a demonstration in Athens.
Various Israeli official bodies, including the
ministry for Hasbara [i.e.
propaganda] have sent messages to Israeli citizens
urging them to take an active part in the
They are told not to ask
questions but rather to spread the official messages
in every possible way in the virtual world:
talkbacks, forums, Facebook etc..
I have the material which is
mostly in Hebrew. Although every citizen was asked
to use the languages he knows. The attached file is
in English. It would be nice if some of you can
publish it on the net in order to unveil this
What Israel did under the cover of night in International waters on America’s Memorial Day 2010, to Citizens of the World with a Conscience who physically got on board the FREEDOM FLOTILLA, must be the final straw that breaks America's 'special relationship' with Israel.
student body of The Evergreen State College, call on
The Evergreen State College Foundation to instate a
socially responsible investment policy. To this end,
we ask them to divest from companies that profit
from Israel’s occupation of Palestine. As members of
the Evergreen community, we stand with conscientious
Palestinians, Israelis, and other international
figures such as South African Archbishop Desmond
Tutu to endorse the non-violent tactic of boycott,
divestment, and sanctions for a peaceful and just
resolution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.
On behalf of
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The
Lutheran World Federation, organizations that are
deeply engaged with and committed to the Lutheran
Christians and all persons living in Palestine and
Israel, I express my deep sadness regarding events
surrounding the flotilla seeking to deliver
humanitarian goods to Gaza. We deeply regret the
deaths and injuries that resulted when Israeli
forces intercepted the boats. Our thoughts and
prayers are with the wounded and the families of
those killed or otherwise harmed during this
incident. We note that this tragic incident occurred
on the first day of the World Council of Churches’
World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel....
Each week at 12:00 in Jerusalem Sabeel holds a Communion service that is open to the community. It is a time to join together to celebrate the
Eucharist, to discuss how the scriptures apply to our lives today, and to pray for the specific needs of this region. Our hope is that in our respective time zones, individuals and groups around the world will pray together at 12:00 on Thursdays, in solidarity with Sabeel in Jerusalem and with “Friends of Sabeel” worldwide. Starting in Australia, passing through Palestine, and continuing on around the world we pray for Peace with Justice and focus on specific issues each week.
An Arab member of the Israeli parliament who was on board the international flotilla that was attacked on Monday as it tried to take humanitarian aid to Gaza accused Israel yesterday of intending to kill peace activists as a way to deter future convoys.
Haneen Zoubi said Israeli naval vessels had surrounded the flotilla’s flagship, the Mavi Marmara, and fired on it a few minutes before commandos abseiled from a helicopter directly above them.
Terrified passengers had been forced off the deck when water was sprayed at them. She said she was not aware of any provocation or resistance by the passengers, who were all unarmed.
She added that within minutes of the raid beginning, three bodies had been brought to the main room on the upper deck in which she and most other passengers were confined. Two had gunshot wounds to the head, in what she suggested had been executions.
Moshe Dayan, Israel’s most celebrated general, famously outlined the strategy that he believed would keep Israel’s enemies at bay: “Israel must be a like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.”
Until now, most observers had assumed Dayan was referring to Israel’s military and possibly its nuclear strategy, explaining in his blunt fashion the country’s well-known doctrine of deterrence.
But the Israeli commando attack on Monday on the Gaza-bound flotilla, in which several crew members and international solidarity activists were killed and dozens wounded as they tried to break Israel’s blockade of the enclave, proves that this is now a diplomatic strategy too. Israel is feeling cornered on every front it considers important – and like Dayan’s “mad dog”, it is likely to strike out in unpredictable ways.
On May 31, the
Israeli military attacked a flotilla of boats full
of civilians attempting to deliver humanitarian
supplies to the Gaza Strip. Reports indicate that at
least nine and as many as 16 of the activists on
board were killed, though details remain sketchy due
to Israel's censorious limitations on media
coverage. Much of the U.S. media coverage has been
remarkably unskeptical of Israel's account of events
and their context, and has paid little regard to
David Petraeus warned even before this horrifying
incident, the close alliance between the U.S. and
the Israeli government sparks anger throughout the
Arab and Muslim worlds not only against Israel but
also against the United States. In the wake of the
killings of this past weekend, this rage will almost
certainly increase — perhaps explosively.
So the U.S. government’s
obligation to keep the American people safe from
explosive violence throughout the Arab and Muslim
worlds should lead it to insist on a regional peace
settlement that affirms the legitimacy of Israel and
frees the Palestinians of the West Bank, Gaza, and
East Jerusalem to create their own state living
peacefully alongside Israel; and achieves peace and
full recognition for and among Israel, Palestine,
and all Arab states.
includes six Nobel peace prize winners — former UN
secretary general Kofi Annan, former Finnish
president Martti Ahtisaari, former US president
Jimmy Carter, detained Burmese leader Aung San Suu
Kyi and Mr. Mandela and Tutu.
reports, Israeli forces attacking a six-ship aid
convoy to Gaza, killing approximately 16-20, are
forcing all six ships to Israel in an act of
international piracy, abducting over 700 civilians
from around the world.
Among those abducted in the attack on the
humanitarian flotilla is Ambassador Edward Peck, who
was Deputy Director of the Cabinet Task Force on
Terrorism at the Reagan White House and State
Department Liaison Officer to the Joint Chiefs of
Staff at the Pentagon.
Passengers aboard the
Gaza-bound aid flotilla have been describing the
drama of the moment that Israeli forces raided their
Speaking on their return to Germany, Greece
and Turkey on Tuesday, the activists said that
commandos had administered electric shocks and
beaten passengers during the assault. Israel says
its troops acted in self-defence.
On May 31, 2010,
Torontonians took to the streets to protest the
Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla carrying
aid supplies to Gaza overnight.
The rally and march ended in Dundas Square, where
Naomi Klein delivered an impassioned speech about
the attack which has left an estimated 20 people
dead and many more injured, and about the need for
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.
Filmed by Bob Chandler, edited by Michelle Langlois
The Israeli military has been busy spinning the
story of their attack on a civilian convoy trying to
deliver aid to the imprisoned people of Gaza.
They've had a head start, sending out edited videos,
posting 'supposed' military footage of the
passengers attacking them, saying that they
confiscated weapons which turned out to be marbles,
sling shots, kitchen knives and aluminum chairs.
But they can't spin for much longer. Video footage
from dozens of people is beginning to surface about
what really happened. Al Jazeera has posted their
coverage as gun shots sound in the background,
speakers beg the passengers to go below and a white
flag is set out for the paramilitary groups.
More will come out as passengers are released. We
already know that Israel shot the captain of the
Marmara and the European Campaign boat, maybe hoping
that we would no longer be able to hire captains.
Several activists have spoken to their Consulates
and told of being kicked, beaten, dragged along the
ground, tear gassed and bags thrown over their
Grigoropoulos, who was at the wheel of the Free
Mediterranean, said: "We were in international
waters. The Israelis acted like pirates, completely
out of the normal way that they conduct nautical
exercises, and seized our ship. They took us
hostage, pointing guns at our heads; they descended
from helicopters and fired tear gas and bullets.
There was absolutely nothing we could do … Those who
tried to resist forming a human ring on the bridge
were given electric shocks."
who insisted the ship was full of humanitarian aid
bound for Gaza "and nothing more", said that, once
detained, the human rights activists were not
allowed to contact a lawyer or the Greek embassy in
Tel Aviv. "They didn't let us go to the toilet, eat
or drink water and throughout they videoed us. They
confiscated everything, mobile phones, laptops,
cameras and personal effects. They only allowed us
to keep our papers."
activists who set sail for Gaza did their part and
now people of conscience around the world and their
governments must to do their part. We can choose
whether the dead activists will be the last of the
civilians killed by the Israeli regime or if they
will simply join the list of countless others who
died trying to expose the crimes of occupation and
Anything less than an international outcry leading
to the end of the siege on Gaza would mean the
international community has failed civil society,
and the nonviolent activists will have died in vain.
events which occurred yesterday off the coast of
Gaza remind us yet again of the pressing need for an
end to the Israeli military occupation of the
Palestinian territories. The World Council of
Churches reiterates its commitment to work for just
and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel.
Some of the first accounts emerged Tuesday from eyewitnesses who were aboard several boats stormed by Israeli forces as they approached Gaza the day before.
Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Israeli parliament, was on board the Miva Marmara, the ship that was the scene of a confrontation between activists and Israeli soldiers. That clash left at least nine people dead.
The Israeli Navy fired on the ships five minutes before commandos descended from ropes that dangled from helicopters, Zoabi said during a press conference in Nazareth, Israel. She said passengers on board the ship were unarmed.
This is also
where the powerlessness in Israeli terms is revealed
regarding "world public opinion." The apparent loss
that we will face in this campaign in the West
dwarfs questions about public opinion in India,
Brazil or Turkey. If you would like an image:
Ben-Gurion International Airport's new terminal was
built as a megalomaniac airport for "the new Middle
East." But its departure and arrival halls are
populated almost entirely by Israelis, and by
security officers who wait in the corners of the
giant corridors for youths from different parts of
the world whom they suspect will want to go to
And as we mourn, our full demands must be for the immediate lifting of the criminal blockade of Gaza - the end of the blockade, not simply allowing a few additional items in under Israeli control. And then we must demand full international accountability, including criminal liability, for the Israeli officials, both political leaders and military commanders, who are responsible for the Flotilla Massacre. The United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and every national government should be prepared to investigate and to arrest those responsible.
Pro-Palestinian activists returning to Europe said
Israeli commandos used stun guns on passengers and
beat them during the deadly raid on an aid flotilla
that was trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza.
One woman said her aid ship turned into a "lake of
Spokesperson claims that extreme violence was used
against the soldiers by activists on the boat. This
information is based solely on statements of
soldiers. However, before reaching conclusions, the
investigation must consider the testimonies of all
eyewitnesses to the events, including persons who
participated in the flotilla who are currently in
custody in Israel.
Yet the mass killing of those on
board the freedom boats has drawn condemnation
around the globe with critical statements from the
United Nations and from European capitals. Israel’s
action may reinforce calls to boycott its products.
This could be a turning point in the struggle to end
the siege and the Israeli occupation.
“The blockade imposed on 1.8 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, men, woman and children, is inhuman, immoral and illegal, and must be broken!” a Gush Shalom activist told the many media people who covered the demonstration. “There is no doubt that after this flotilla, more will come, and that the dimensions of the action will grow, until the leaders of Israel realize that the blockade is hurting Israel much more than Hamas.”
Emily Henochowicz was hit in the face with a tear
gas projectile fired directly at her by an Israeli
soldier during the demonstration at Qalandiya
checkpoint today. Israeli occupation forces fired
volleys of tear gas at unarmed Palestinian and
international protesters, causing mass panic amongst
the demonstrators and those queuing at the largest
checkpoint separating the West Bank and Israel.
It is time for
the government of the United States to join the
global consensus. The Obama Administration must
condemn Israel's attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla
and insist that Israel end its disgraceful siege of
On Monday the Israeli navy attacked humanitarian
ships in international
waters in the middle of the night. Reports indicate
that 10-16 humanitarian
activists were killed and 50-60 were injured. The
ships were seized by the
Israeli navy and taken to Haifa to avoid press at
Ashdod. The National
Advocacy Center Sisters of the Good Shepherd, joins
UFPJ to condemn the
Israeli Government for their brutal attack on
unarmed civilians. Protests
have taken place across the world and a number of
Governments are taking
On board were 750 people of conscience from 40
including 35 international politicians intent on
Israeli-Egyptian blockade. We offer our sincerest
condolences to family and
friends who have lost loved ones in the attack. One
of the boats was named
after Rachel Corrie, to honor this strong young
woman killed by the Israel
Defense Forces in April 2003....
We must hope and pray that out of this darkness will come the light that
will show the rest of the world the true atrocity of the situation in
Palestine, that we as individuals, communities and nations legitimize by
refusing to reprimand Israel.
I personally know over 80 of those kidnapped on the freedom flotilla. It angers us not having any information from all survivors. The only footage received after the vicious attack is brief and released by the Israeli authorities who have otherwise put a complete news blackout. If Israel has nothing to hide, why not allow the kidnapped to talk to the media or at least to lawyers and to their country representatives? In one video, we see three or four recognizable friends escorted by the Israeli pirates; my mind imagines justice prevailing and those Israeli criminals being led in handcuffs to International criminal courts. Our anger increased when Israeli forces attacked unarmed demonstrators near Qalandia yesterday injuring a friend. 22-year-old Emily Henochowicz lost her left eye after being hit with an Israeli gas canister. We met Emily in several events here in Palestine (see story and photos at
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/05/12604). She is a visual artist who was documenting popular resistance (her art blog is here
http://www.facebook.com/people/Emily-Henochowicz/1223820147). A visual artist losing an eye is beyond words....
Council requests the immediate release of the ships
as well as the civilians held by Israel. The Council
urges Israel to permit full consular access, to
allow the countries concerned to retrieve their
deceased and wounded immediately, and to ensure the
delivery of humanitarian assistance from the convoy
to its destination.
As Christians flee in great numbers from Iran, for both political and religious reasons, the country's Christian community is at real risk of extinction, says journalist and observer of Middle Eastern Churches, Camille Eid.
Benedict XVI will
travel to Cyprus -- the island of the Acts of the
Apostles -- above all as a pilgrim, says a Vatican
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