Sociologist Keith Kahn-Harris writes: “The Board and other communal bodies need to find a way to ensure that voices from across the spectrum of opinions over Israel can enter into a dialogue. Rather than constantly seeking to present a united front that does not exist, the Board should transform itself into a space within which the full range of opinions about Israel can be heard and properly debated, rather than quashed…”
Larry Derfner writes: “The question we have to ask ourselves is this: If anybody treated us like we’re treating the people in Gaza, what would we do? We don’t want to go there, do we? And because we don’t, we make it our business not to see, hear or think about how, indeed, we are treating the people in Gaza.
“Route 443 is just one example of the practices employed in the territories, which are part of a systematic and declared policy of applying” one law to Jews and another to Arabs. This is not related to the war on terror, it is related to the policy that prefers the Jewish interests in the territories in the areas of water, lands and so on…
Many comments on Gideon Levy’s impassioned attack on separate roads in the West Bank focus on his use of the word “apartheid” as an easy way of avoiding facing the reality he so bitterly evokes…
Egypt Denies Gaza Freedom March Access to Border, Hundreds Protest in Cairo In Egypt, hundreds of solidarity activists from around the world are being prevented by the Egyptian government from entering Gaza. Dubbed the Gaza Freedom March, organizers were planning to cross the border last Sunday to commemorate the first anniversary of Israel’s assault on [...]
A sober, biting piece on the anniversary of the war on Gaza by Israeli lawyer activist Michael Sfard, introduced in similar vein by Jeremiah Haber, Jewish Studies professor in Jerusalem [...]
The Belgian French bank group Dexia, which specializes in financing municipalities and other local authorities, is refusing to work with Judea and Samaria local councils, Israel Radio reported Wednesday morning [...]
Israel has justified its 3.5 year closure of Rafah Crossing and 2.5 year closure of Gaza’s other crossings as “sanctions” designed to pressure the Hamas regime, especially to release Shalit. Now it looks as though Shalit’s imminent release will not be accompanied by any lightening of the blockade [...]
29/12/2009 At dawn today the Israeli occupation army raided the village of Bil’in, At 2am a military force composed of a number of military jeeps and approximately 50 soldiers on foot abducted Hamouda Imad Yassin (16) and Ibrahim Khalil Yassin (16). After searching their homes they were taken to an unknown destination. It has only been one month since Hamouda and Khalil were released from prison where they had been held for five months [...]
The Hebrew University in Jerusalem has forbidden its Hadash student branch from holding a conference marking one year since the Gaza offensive launched, saying it constitutes ‘incitement against Israel’ [...]
Latest: 29 December, Haifa university joins in!
29 December, Cairo: The optimism of our previous JfJfP post on the Gaza Freedom March on 26 December was misplaced. Egypt is currently refusing to let the group enter Gaza [...]
Of all people, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar and his colleagues on the right, who foster the heritage of terror and sacrifice, should understand that the Palestinians, too, have a moral and educational obligation to their “fallen.” We are not the only ones who have the right to mention in our history books “the heroes” who “sacrificed themselves” in the struggle against the occupation. Those who extol the Acre prison break that freed Jewish “security prisoners” cannot oppose the release of Palestinian “terrorists” with “blood on their hands” with the goal of releasing captive soldier Gilad Shalit. [...]
A new “crop” of Shministim (high schoolers who announce refusal to be conscripted into the IDF) made themselves known with the publication of their letter, followed by jail terms for several. In addition, increasing numbers of reservists are again refusing to go to the Palestinian territories, many of them citing Gaza as the latest in a long and very depressing series of “last straws.” … Combatants for Peace, New Profile, the Shministim, Yesh Gvul, and Courage to Refuse – all need financial help [...]
It’s one year since Israel declared open war on Gaza. Most posts this week are attempts to get to grip with the war and its aftermath.
Below are retrospectives by Ben White (“Gaza: One Year On”), Uri Avnery (“One year after Cast Lead”) and Richard Falk (“UN Human Right Council Special Rapporteur Falk – one year on”).
In a new report “Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses: A report one year after Operation Cast Lead” Amnesty joins 15 other leading humanitarian and human rights groups in calling on the international community to stop failing the people of Gaza, and instead back their words with effective action to end the Israeli blockade. A large group of UK parliamentarians has also voiced the demand to end the siege of Gaza
There are also reports on the Viva Palestina convoy of medical and humanitarian aid, blocked by the Egyptian government at the Gaza border at the time of writing, and the Gaza Freedom March, in principle set to enter Gaza today… Swine flu knows no such problems or barriers: despite predictions that the closure of Gaza might protect it from exposure to the Swine Flu, the virus was identified in the Gaza Strip two weeks ago, and already some 185 people have been diagnosed as infected, 13 of whom have died.
Meanwhile, Israeli repression continues apace whether of non-violent resisters in Israel itself or in Palestine. New Profile speakers have been banned from high-school debates on civil rights; Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign, is in an Israeli gaol, banned from speaking to a lawyer or his family, with no explanation for his arrest; over the past six months, 31 Bil’in residents have been arrested, including almost all the members of the Popular Committee that organizes the demonstrations. A similar tactic is being used against protesters in the neighbouring village of Ni’ilin… Amira Hass, among others, comments on Palestinian non-violence in this week’s posts.
And Israeli action is not limited to harassment and arrests, as six Palestinians are shot dead in two separate incidents, three in Gaza and three in Nablus, apparently in cold blood. One of Abbas’s aides described the latter killings as a “grave Israeli escalation” which showed “Israel is not interested in peace and is trying to explode the situation”.
Targeting civilians to advance a political goal is a standard definition of terrorism: in the words of the US state department, “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets”. US federal law describes terrorism as violence or “life-threatening acts” apparently intended “to intimidate or coerce a civilian population” [...]
Eruption of violence comes as Israelis who opposed the war a year ago say they are being silenced and vilified * Rachel Shabi, Tel Aviv, Sunday 27 December 2009 Israeli troops yesterday shot dead six Palestinians in two separate incidents, as evidence emerged that an increasingly fragile ceasefire between armed groups loyal to President Mahmoud [...]
One year on from Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip the Israeli government continues to imprison 1.5 million Palestinians and prevent the rebuilding of its shattered infrastructure. Israel’s blockade of Gaza, described by the UN Fact Finding Mission as “collective punishment”, stops reconstruction materials and all the necessary humanitarian aid from reaching those that so desperately require it, whilst the continued lack of access from the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt only adds to the suffering of the population… We call upon all parties to alleviate the suffering of the people of Gaza and specifically the British government and the international community to apply meaningful pressure upon Israel to abide by UN Security Council Resolution 1860, to end this flagrant abuse of international law and lift the blockade.
Daphna Golan writes: “We sang to a samba beat; the drums set the beat and made us merry. And then, dozens of police arrived in huge vehicles, along with others riding horses, and forcibly dragged away my son and his drummer friends. The police did not explain; they refused to identify themselves; they gave us no reason for the arrest. Two hours later, at Sheikh Jarrah, police attacked the clowns and the drummers and arrested 20 of the Israelis who sat down and said “no more” to racism in Jerusalem…”
And David Shulman writes about the Christmas Day protest at Sheikh Jarrar: “This time I was sure they’d arrest me—I’d somehow eluded them, without trying to do so, the last three times I was here for the Friday demonstration—but once again it didn’t happen[...]
DID WE win? Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the Gaza War, alias Operation Cast Lead, and this question fills the public space. Within the Israeli consensus, the answer has already been given: Certainly we won, the Qassams have stopped coming. A simple, not to say primitive, answer. But [...]
The Egyptian government has denied entry to the Viva Palestina Aid Convoy carrying medical and humanitarian aid to Gaza. Hundreds of tonnes of aid, including specialised medical equipment and powdered milk for babies, is now stockpiled in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba waiting for permission to enter Egypt via the Straits of Aqaba [...]