Reports from Israel say that the Israeli Navy formed a floating barrier approximately 25 miles from the Gaza coast to prevent the ship form reaching Gaza, threatening to open fire if the Spirit of Humanity tried to continue. After they refused to accede to the demands of the Israeli Navy – which had no legal basis as the boat was in international waters and the blockade is a form of illegal, collective punishment – the Israeli Navt boarded the Spirit of Humanity and took the passengers prisoner.
You can protest by writing to:
The Israeli Ministry of Justice
tel: +972 2646 6666 or +972 2646 6340
fax: +972 2646 6357
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
tel: +972 2530 3111
fax: +972 2530 3367
CONTACT Mark Regev in the Prime Minister’s office at:
tel: +972 5 0620 3264 or +972 2670 5354
CONTACT the International Committee of the Red Cross to ask for their assistance in establishing the wellbeing of the kidnapped human rights workers and help in securing their immediate release!
Red Cross Israel
tel: +972 3524 5286
fax: +972 3527 0370
Red Cross Switzerland:
tel: +41 22 730 3443
fax: +41 22 734 8280
Red Cross USA:
tel: +1 212 599 6021
fax: +1 212 599 6009
Ezra Nawi will be sentenced tomorrow, 1st July. He writes about his activities in the Nation on 29 June 2009.
“Was I the one who beat young Palestinian children?
Did I hit the elderly?
Did I poison the Palestinian residents’ sheep?
Did I demolish homes and destroy tractors?
Did I block roads and restrict movement?
Was I the one who prevented people from connecting their homes to running water and electricity?” [...]
Model protest letter to the Israeli Embassy at http://jfjfp.com/?p=3064
Ethan Brooner writes in the New York Times, 27 June, a few days before Ezra Nawi is due to be sentenced in court:
“It is perhaps best to think of him as the Robin Hood of the South Hebron hills, an Israeli Jew helping poor locals who love him, and thwarting settlers and soldiers who view him with contempt. Those army jeeps were not watching over him. They were stalking him. [...]
Unwavering support for Israeli policy has eroded dramatically both on American college campuses and within the United States as a whole, according to a group of American university professors… The human rights issue has become as large, for many people, as the security issue. And as it has inflated vis a vis the security issue, the standard narrative has become less persuasive – so says this article from the Jerusalem Post. Meanwhile, the Huffington Post has a similar story changing narratives in a new poll of US citizens commissioned by the Israel project.
Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 25 June 2009
Would we want a lawbreaker to be a Supreme Court justice? Or a justice hobnobbing with lawbreakers? The danger of this happening is closer than ever. There is a reasonable chance that transgressors and their cohorts will enter the temple – three candidates to the beacon of justice are settlers. Judge Noam Sohlberg is from Alon Shvut and his legal assistant Ariel Erlich is from Ofra, most of whose lands were robbed from private owners. Judge Issaiyaho Schneller is from Karnei Shomron and Professor Dov Frimer is from Ma’aleh Adumim.
Jeremiah Haber writes (or rather wrote as this is an older archive piece but not the less interesting for that) on 3 September 3, 2007
I am a tribalist at heart. I really care about my tribe, or, I should say, the various tribes of which I am a member. I care about them in ways that I don’t care about other tribes. Kant forgive me, but it’s true – there are other tribes that I really couldn’t care less about. When I sense that I am becoming heartless and apathetic to the sufferings of others unconnected to my tribe, I try to work on my “human” side, or my “living being” side, or my “creaturely” side – in order to make a new tribe in which I am a member with whatever Other has a claim on me. But, usually, it’s only about me and my tribes. [...]
Press Release 26/6/09 Three members of the Yesh Gvul forum – Micha Rachman, Mordechai Zeldon and Peretz Kidron – have been summoned to interrogation by the Israeli police. The alleged grounds for the investigation is the suspicion that the group and its members engage in “incitement to evade military service”, do so consistently and “promise [...]
This is a long-running issue on which the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel has done valuable work over the years. There has been much dispute on the subject in the pages of the British Medical Journal and elsewhere. Here Dr Brian Robinson writes to Professor Vivienne Nathanson, Director of Professional Activities, British Medical Association (26 June) asking why the BMA is not speaking out. [...]
AP reports that Israelis moving to the West Bank accounted for more than a third of settler population growth in recent years, undercutting Israel’s argument that it is continuing settlement construction only to accommodate growing families already living there. [...]
Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies,writes on 16 June: The Israeli prime minister’s speech responding to U.S. wishes for the region amounted to little more than rhetorical change.[...]
“OK, Binyamin Netanyahu said the magic words “Palestinian state,” now what? I want to give our prime minister the benefit of doubt and say that he even meant it; at least that is what he told US President Barack Obama…
Gershon Baskin, the Israeli co-CEO of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information writes in the Jerusalem Post 22 June 2009:
Now Mr. Netanyahu, I have some questions for you regarding your vision of this Palestinian state.
JCORE, the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, will be running a four week course about asylum-seeking and refugees at New North London Synagogue, starting 1st July. If you would like to sign up for the JCORE course at New North London Synagogue, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A useful article on how the Israeli government funds a special division of the World Zionist Organisation to muddy the waters around the theft of land for settlement use.
Jeremiah Haber, 20 June 2009, reports on an article in the Ha’aretz ‘Culture and Literature’ Hebrew supplement (generally not translated into English). A pre-state, 1939 mandatory regulation that forbade the importing of books from enemy states is now being used – for the first time in Israel’s history – to stop the import of books from Lebanon and Syria. According to the Haaretz article, 80% of the books needed for Israeli Palestinians, including children’s literature, dictionaries, etc., are printed in Beirut and Damascus [...]
I was in a bar in Jerusalem a couple of years ago and another visitor asked to try some Israeli wines, “like, from the Golan, you know?” The waitress looked at him levelly and said “we don’t serve those kinds of wine here*.” This Ha’aretz article suggests the sentiment might well be spreading.
*The bar is called Barood and does serve very fine wine – made inside the Green Line – and good food and is an extremely hospitable place with good music to boot. If you are in Jerusalem, it’s highly recommended, just off the Jaffa Road, same side as the main post office (the right, if you are walking towards the Old City.)
In a hard-hitting article in the Nation, 17 June 2009, John Dugard, former UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, asks why Obama has been silent in the face of overwhelming evidence that Israel’s actions in Gaza constituted war crimes.
He cites the investigation led by Ian Martin, formerly head of Amnesty International, published by the UN on 4 May, and the Independent Fact Finding Committee he was a member of, that reported on 7 May.
The Norfolk Jewish Peace Group, whose members are JfJfP signatories has been increasingly active. This article on the “Another Israel” exhibition – which you can view online: www.anotherisrael.org.uk/exhibition.htm – they are mounting appeared in the Eastern Daily Press on 16 June. If you are in East Anglia or Norwich, look out for them and the exhibition at the Norwich Peace Camp and Cycle, on July 4th.
It could have been called a Festival of Jewish Non-Seeing, as they were literally going to experience the absence of Arabs for an evening. This was the real entertainment.
The Magnes Zionist , 17 Jun 2009: What the Palestinians are being asked to do, as a condition for statehood, is to complete the process of emasculation that Zionism began, and if that sounds too old fashioned and macho for a progressive blog, then let me put it another way – they are being required to outsource the most fundamental responsibility that any state has, which is to provide for the security of its citizens. And why? In order to allay Israel’s existential angst. What about the angst of the Palestinians?
“Is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu really offering Palestinians anything to work with?” asks former South African Minister of Intelligence, Ronnie Kasrils. “What is heard is the strident voice of a “Dr No”. No freeze on settlement construction. No to Jerusalem as a shared capital. No right of return of the refugees. No end to the siege of Gaza or occupation of the West Bank. No acceptance even of the two-state solution. No sovereign borders or air space in a nebulous territory he can hardly bring himself to name.”
Uri Avnery sees all the negatives in Netanyahu’s speech but nonetheless concludes on a note of optimism:
“This brings us to the most important fact of this week: the settlers did not raise hell after Netanyahu’s speech. On the contrary. Here and there some feeble criticism could be heard, but the large and armed settler population kept remarkably quiet.”