on boycotting nestlé

Picture 3

as if we needed another reason to boycott nestle (known as osem in the zionist entity) along comes evidence that it is attached directly to the israeli terrorist forces:

The global Nestle food company is, for the first time in its history, producing a new breakfast cereal in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.

The new cereal was developed in Israel and is based on a technology that was originally developed for the production of Osem’s nougat-filled Bamba snack.

The new cereal will be named Crunch Rolls Nougat and is composed of cylindrical-shaped cereal filled with nougat.

The development of the technology began at Nestle’s research and development center in Sderot some seven years ago.

The technology, that is registered as a global patent, allows for the first time ever, the inflation of a corn or cereal product in the shape of a cylinder with open sides, through which the filling can be seen.

Up until now, Nestle has not produced any food products in Israel, and its products are imported to Israel by Osem.

It seems that the sweeping success of Bamba Nougat has prompted Nestle, one of the world’s leading breakfast cereal producers, to implement the new technology in its products as well.

Osem’s nougat-filled Bamba was born at the request of soldiers who would eat Bamba with chocolate paste. The project was initially launched in a limited edition as a marketing campaign, but quickly became a hit.

In the first stages, the new cereal will be sold in Israel and was expected to be on shelves this week. The company also plans to market the new product around the world.

nestle/osem in najd, palestine (colony of sderot)
nestle/osem in najd, palestine (colony of sderot)

together against tyranny lists some of the many additional reasons to boycott nestle such as (click link below for footnotes/documentation):

Nestle owns over half of the Osem Group, Israel’s giant food manufacturer, and has immensely aided in the growth and development of the subsidiary company in Israel, including promoting Osem’s international trade via Nestle’s own distribution channels.

The Nestle Purina Israel, Director and Corporate Executive at Osem Investment Ltd and CEO of Osem International Ltd., Gad Propper, is the Chairman of the Israel-European Union Chamber of Commerce.

He is also Chairman of L’Oreal Israel, 30% owned by L’Oreal,another prominent supporter of Israel.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Nestle’s CEO since 1997, was awarded the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the highest tribute ever awarded by the “State of Israel” in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, CEO of Nestle, is also on the Board of Directors of L’Oreal, that has a history of breaking laws to support Israel. He is also a director of Credit Suisse, which is a board member of the Swiss-Israeli Chamber of Commerce. Brabeck-Letmathe is also on the foundation board of the World Economic Forum (WEC), which in 2006 removed from its Global Agenda Magazine an article that called for a peaceful boycott of Israel until it complied to international law and human rights. In contrast to the WEC’s promotion of peaceful free speech, the article was said to be “totally in contradiction to … the Forum’s mission and values”.

Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, set up their R&D Center in Israel (greatly enhancing Israel through their technical know-how, expertise and distribution channels). This R&D center was built on Sderot – stolen and illegally occupied Palestinian land that was once a town called Najd. The presence of Nestle’s plant effectively sabotages the Palestinians’ right to return as stated by UN Resolution 194 and also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13, Section 2.

Nestle and Osem own over half of the goodwill and assets of Israel’s largest infant formula producer, Materna.

Through Osem, Nestle invests heavily in Israel’s development, such as $80m in new salad plants, logistics centers for distribution, development labs, and so on.

Nestle also partners with JNF through Osem. JNF is one of the foremost Zionist organizations that for decades has persistently uprooted Palestinians and destroyed their villages and towns to make way for Israel’s illegal expansion and occupation.

palestinian village of najd, 1948 palestine (colony of sderot)
palestinian village of najd, 1948 palestine (colony of sderot)

the images here are of the nestle/osem company on the village of najd, which houses the zionist terrorist colony of sderot on which ariel sharon owns a farm and which he buried his wife on land which used to be a palestinian muslim cemetery.

lily sharon (ariel sharon's wife) buried on top of a muslim cemetery, najd, palestine
lily sharon (ariel sharon's wife) buried on top of a muslim cemetery, najd, palestine

here are a few important facts from the lebanon boycott group about why one should boycott nestle:

* In 1997, Nestle invested 10% in the Israeli food company, Osem. It soon increased its ownership to 50.1% of the company, ie. the controlling share.

* Nestle-Osem runs several factories and research centers in Jewish-only settlements on lands confiscated from Palestinians.

* Nestle’s main Israeli site is in Sderot, a settlement that was founded near Gaza in 1951 to accommodate an influx of Sephardic Jews and to spread Jewish presence uniformly throughout Israel.

* Sderot is built on the lands of the Palestinian town Najd, which was ethnically cleansed in 1948.

* Today Sderot is home to 23,000 Jewish immigrants from Morocco, Ethiopia, and the former Soviet Union, half of whom came in the last ten years.

* Now a “development zone” in the words of the Israeli state, Sderot lacks basic facilities that make for a comfortable living. With a 10% unemployment rate among adults, a full 30% of the children living in Sderot depend on charity. 25% of the recent immigrants’ children do not finish school.

* Nestle-Osem runs a 700 m2 factory in Sderot, and in 2002 the company opened a 1,700 m2 research and development (R&D) center there.

* The Research & Development center in Sderot is considered particularly beneficial to Osem’s growth as it “gives [Osem] advantages in technological know-how and increased export opportunities through Nestle’s distribution network.”

* Nestle’s Sderot R&D also contributes to the development of Israeli education: “Schools receive assistance through the Join the Industry project which introduces various aspects of Israeli industry to the classroom. Senior managers visit schools and teach classes about their industry. Schools are also welcome to visit the Company’s factories. Students receive guidance from Osem’s executives.”

* In 2002, Nestle received a grant from the Israeli government for 24% of the cost of its Sderot research center. The Israeli government gives such grants to companies that can help it transform social problem sites into nice places to live.

* Building in development zones also means building over the remains of Palestinian habitation.

 When the old stone buildings and stubborn cactus plants are covered over, so, too, it is hoped, will be the grounds for the Palestinian Right of Return.

* In total, Nestle-Osem currently has over 4000 Israeli employees at 11 plants, with the following all in “development zones”: A Factory and an R&D at Sderot (Najd); A Tzabar Salads (an Osem subsidiary) plant in Kiryat Gat (Al-Faluja and Iraq al-Manshiyya); A ready-baked cakes factory in Ahihud; A logistics center in Nachsholim (Tantoura)

* How did Tantoura “develop” into Nachsholim?

* According to Israeli historian Teddi Katz, a major massacre in 1948 forced Palestinians to flee Tantoura. The mosque and graveyard of Tantoura were later ploughed and transformed into a sea-side parking lot for Nachsholim…. Do Nestle employees park there?

* As for Kiryat Gat, it is founded on the Palestinian villages of Al-Faluja and Iraq al-Manshiyya. Iraq al-Manshiyya’s cactus and village buildings are barely visible before the factories of Kiryat Gat.

* Al-Faluja was in Arab hands until 1949 when it was handed over to Israel through a UN armistice on the condition that “those of the civilian population who may wish to remain … are to be permitted to do so. . . . All of these civilians shall be fully secure in their persons, abodes, property and personal effects.” “Arab civilians . . . at Al-Faluja have been beaten and robbed by Israeli soldiers….” and “[the Israelis] were firing promiscuously” on the Arab population.” — Ralph Bunche, UN Observer, 1949

* “Nowadays we’d call the Al-Faluja events ethnic cleansing.” Noting that native Americans won compensation in several major cases once Congress adopted procedures for dealing with such claims, [the lawyer] said, “It sounds as if there’s potential in the long run for recovery here.” –Henry Norr

* Many companies active inside ‘48 enjoy low-skilled Palestinian labor because it is advantageous to use a captive resident population that is at once socially deprived (no insurance or union), politically oppressed, and able to provide its own food and board.


* What about the Nestle factory in Karni, Gaza? Human rights organization, Btselem has reported that PA area factories host even harsher conditions and less respect for employee rights.

* In sum, Nestle: builds on stolen Palestinian lands; covers up the ruins; provides jobs and opportunities that realize the Zionist goal of a purely Jewish presence in Israel; then sells the products of such an apartheid system abroad so that the Israeli economy can flourish

* No wonder Nestle received in 1998 the Jubilee Award, “the highest tribute ever awarded by the State of Israel in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.”

* Since 1977, Nestle has been the subject of an international boycott for its deceptive promotion of artificial baby milk as a superior alternative to mother’s milk.

* Nestle has attracted criticism for its use of genetically modified ingredients, the safety of which has not been tested.

* Nestle is, also, under attack for allowing its cocoa suppliers in Africa to enslave children.

* In 2000, Nestle donated $20 million to Holocaust reparations funds, because, “As the legal successor of [Nazi] corporations, Nestlé nevertheless accepts its moral responsibility to help alleviate human suffering, all the more so since this injustice was committed in the Company’s domain.”

* We demand that Nestle end its economic and moral support for a racist social system. The company must close its Israeli factories and sell its shares of Osem.

* If Nestle knows that in Sderot/Najd, Kiryat Gat/Iraq al-Manshiyya and Al-Faluja, and Nachsholim/Tantoura it cannot ever produce enough to cover the costs of business lost in the Arab world and abroad, then it will have no choice but to divest from Israel.

* Nestle’s Israeli adventure began only after the thawing of the Arab boycott in 1993, so let the company know that our objections to Israel have not been reduced by the “peace process” but rather increased.

* Britain’s largest union, UNISON, and Christian Aid, a major Christian activist group, have decided to boycott Nestle in addition to their general boycott of Israel goods.

* How do we boycott Nestle? Don’t buy: Nescafé, Taster’s Choice, Hills Bros, Cerealac, Nido, Fitness & Fruit, Appleminis, Cheerios, Chocapic Cornflakes, Shreddies, Golden Grahams, Trix, Perrier, Sohat, Vittel, Pure Life, Carnation, Libby’s, Nesquik, Maggi, Buitoni , Milkybar, KitKat, Quality Street, Smarties, Oreo, After Eight, Lion, Aero, Polo, Toll House Morsels, Crunch, L’Oréal, Alcon Eyecare, Mint Royal, Rowntree, Rolo, Minute Maid, Petit Gervals, Contadina, Alpo, Purina, Tidy Cats, Meow Mix, Mighty Dog, Friskies, Felix

nestle in the distance on the land of najd, palestine
nestle in the distance on the land of najd, palestine

for those who want a comprehensive list of nestle products check out this link to nestle’s website where you can see what other brands are a part of nestle/osem. you can also use the site to send a letter telling them why you are choosing to boycott their products. boycotts do not work unless the company is aware of your boycott. it is also worth noting that there is a longstanding boycott of nestle for its practices around the world of encouraging women to stop breastfeeding and use its infant formula instead, which is worth for the health of the baby and often complicated by factors related to unsafe drinking water, which is needed for preparing baby formula.

قطاع نستله

عام 1977 اشترت نستله 10% من شركة ”أوسم“ الاسرائيلية للأغذية. ثم زادت ملكيتها إلى 50.1% من أسهم الشركة المذكورة، بما يتيح لها التحكم فيها

تدير شركة ”نستله-أوسم“ عدة مصانع ومراكز أبحاث في مستوطنات يهودية صرْف صودرت من الفلسطينيين

أهم موقع لشركة نستله في دولة ”اسرائيل“ يقع في سيديروت، وهي مستوطنة أنشئت قرب غزة عام 1951 من أجل إسكان موجة من اليهود الغربيين ولتوزيع اليهود بشكل متجانس على امتداد أراضي الدولة

اليوم يسكن في سيديروت 23 ألف مهاجر يهودي من المغرب وأثيوبيا والاتحاد السوفياتي، نصفهم قدِم إلى هنا في الأعوام العشرة الأخيرة

والآن سيديروت، لكونها ”منطقة تنمية“ كما تسميها دولة ”اسرائيل“، تفتقر إلى التسهيلات الأساسية التي تضمن حياةً مريحةً لساكنيها. فثمة 10% من الراشدين عاطلون عن العمل، و30% من أطفالها يعيشون على الأعمال الخيريّة، و25% من أطفال المهاجرين الجدد لا يُنْهون مدارسَهم

ولكنْ دخلتْ نستله إلى سيديروت:
وهي اليوم تدير مصنعاً هناك مساحته 700 م2 . 
وفي العام 2002 أعلنتْ نيتها فتح ”مركز أبحاث وتنمية“ بمساحة م2 1700 م2

”هذا المركز يُفيد في نموّ شركة أوسم بشكل خاص لأنه يعطيها ”أفضليات الخبرة التقنية وفي زيادة فرص التصدير عبر شبكة توزيع نستله“

كما ان المركز يساهم في نمو قطاع التعليم الاسرائيلي:

”فالمدارس تتلقى المساعدة من خلال برنامج (التحق بالمصنع) الذس يعرِّف الطلاب على جوانب مختلفة من الصناعة الاسرائيلية.
ويزور مديرون من مناصب عالية هذه المدارس ويعلِّمون الصفوف عن تلك الصناعة.

كما يتّم الترحيب بزيارة الطلاب لمصانع الشركة. ويتلقون إرشادات من مديري أوسم.“

عام 2002 تلقّت نستله منحةً من الحكومة الاسرائيلية مقدارها 24% من كلفة مركز أبحاثها في سيديروت. وتعطي الحكومة الاسرائيلية مثل هذه المنح للشركات التي تساعدها على تحويل الأماكن التي تعاني مشاكل اجتماعية إلى أماكن ممتعة للسكن.

بناء المصانع في ”مناطق التنمية“ يعني أيضاً طمس بقايا الحياة الفلسطينية قبل 1948. ولعلّ اسرائيل تأمل في أن يؤدي طمس المباني الحجرية القديمة وشجرات الصبير العنيدة إلى طمس أي مبررات لحقّ الفلسطينيين في العودة.

الخلاصة أن نستله-أوسم توظف أكثر من 4000 اسرائيلي في 11 مصنعاً، فضلاً عن (وكله في مناطق تنمية):

مصنع ومركز أبحاث وتنمية في سيديروت (النجد)

مصنع ل“سلائط كزايبار“ (التابع لأوسم) في كريات غات (الفالوجة وعراق المنشية)
مصنع للحلويات الجاهزة في أحيحود
مصنع لوجستي في ناخشوليم (الطنطورة)

لنتأمل عن كثب ما هو الذي ”تنميه“ نستله تحديداً في الدولة الاسرائيلية

كيف، يا تُرى، ”تطورت“ الطنطورة إلى … ناخشوليم؟

بحسب المؤرخ الاسرائيلي تيدي كاتز، حدثت مجزرة كبرى عام 1948 أجبرت الفلسطينيين على مغادرة الطنطورة.
لاحقاً تم جرف جامع البلدة ومقبرتها، وحوِّلتا إلى موقف للسيارات لبلدة ناخشوليم.

فهل يصّف عمال نستله اليوم سياراتهم هناك؟

أما كريات غات فبنيت على أنقاض بلدتين فلسطينيتين:
الفالوجة وعراق المنشية

صبير عراق المنشية والمباني القديمة لا تكاد تظهر أمام مصانع كريات غات

كانت الفالوجا عربية حتى عام 1949، حين سُلِّمت إلى اسرائيل بموجب هدنة باشراف الأمم المتحدة شرط أن ”يسمح للسكان المدنيين الذين يريدون البقاء بذلك… وسيكون كل هؤلاء المدنيين آمنين تماماً في أرواحهم ومساكنهم وممتلكاتهم…“

لكنّ اسرائيل سرعان ما انتهكت بنود هذه الهدنة المذكورة.

”المدنيين العرب … في الفالوجة ضُربوا وسُلبوا على يد الجنود الاسرائيليين“ وراح هؤلاء يطلقون النار عشوائياً على المواطنين العرب Ralph Bunche, UN Observer, 1949

”اليوم بمقدورنا أن نسمّي أحداث الفالوجة تطهيراً عرقياً“

وقد لاحظ أحد المحامين الأميركيين أن الأميركيين الأصليين كسبوا تعويضات في عدة قضايا كبرى بعد أن تبنّى الكونغرس اجراءات للتعامل مع دعواهم فقال ”يبدو أن هناك إمكانية في المدى البعيد لاسترجاع (الأراضي والأملاك) هنا في (الفالوجة) أيضاً“ (Henry Norr)

والآن ماذا عن مصنع نستله في كارني، غزة

هناك عدة مصانع عاملة في فلسطين 48 تتمتع بيد عاملة فلسطينية ذات مهارات فقيرة، ذلك لأنه من المفيد لهذه المصانع أن تستغل جمهوراً سجيناً، ومحروماً من أية ضمانات صحية أو نقابية، ومسحوقاً سياسياً، بل وعليه أيضاً أن يؤمن بنفسه طعامه ومسكنه!

ذكرت منظمة ”بيتسالم“ لحقوق الانسان أنّ المصانع في مناطق السلطة الفلسطينية تعاني ظروفاً أشدَّ قسوةً وانتهاكاً لحقوق الموظفين من المصانع في مناطق 48

منذ عام 1977 ونستله تتعرض لمقاطعة عالمية بسبب ترويجها المضلِّل لحليب الأطفال الاصطناعي بديلاً من حليب الأم

كما تعرضت لانتقاد عالمي لسبب استخدامها موادّ معدّلة جينياً

عُرضةٌ أيضاً للهجوم لسبب سماحها لتجار الكاكاو والذين تتعامل معهم في افريقيا باستعباد الأطفال.

عام 2000 قدمت نستله 20 مليون دولار لصندوق تعويضات ضحايا الهولوكوست (المحارق النازية) والسبب أن نستله ”بوصفها خلفاً شرعياً للشركات (النازية) تقبل مسؤوليتها الأخلاقية عن المساعدة في التخفيف من المعاناة البشرية، ولا سيّما لأن هذا الظلم جرى في أراضي الشركة“

نطالبها بانهاء دعمها الاقتصادي والمعنوي للنظام الاسرائيلي العنصري. على نستله أن تغلق مصانعها الاسرائيلية وأن تبيع حصتها في شركة ”أوسم“.

إذا علمت نستله أنها لن تستطيع في سيديروت (النجد) وفي كريات غات (الفالوجة وعراق المنشية) وفي ناخشوليم (الطنطورة) أن تنتج ما يكفي للتعويض عن خسائرها في العالم العربي والعالم أجمع بسبب المقاطعة، فلن يكون أمامها إلاّ سحب استثماراتها من اسرائيل.

لنتذكَّر أن مشاريع نستله الكبرى بدأت بعد ذوبان المقاطعة العربية لاسرائيل عام 1993. 
فلتعلم هذه الشركة أنّ اعتراضنا على اسرائيل لم يخفّ بعد ”عملية السلام“، بل على العكس زاد.

، فضلاً عن منظمة UNISON كما أنّ أكبر اتحاد في بريطانيا، وهو 
، وهي منظمة مسيحية ناشطة كبرى، قد قررا CHRISTIAN AID 
مقاطعة نستله إضافة إلى مقاطعتها لكلّ البضائع الاسرائيلية

a not-so-funny thing happened on the way home from suheir hammad’s poetry reading… (UPDATED)

the extraordinary poet suheir hammad reading in ramallah
the extraordinary poet suheir hammad reading in ramallah

today the palestine festival of literature split up into two groups during the day, one going to the arab american university of jenin and the freedom theatre in jenin refugee camp and the other group to birzeit university. the organizers have been tweeting about their activities and posted photos today of the checkpoints where they were held up on their way to jenin here and here. the conference organizers blogged about their afternoon on their website. i had wanted them to come to an najah university to do a workshop, but our semester was out of sync with their program as we are finished with classes now and the rest of the universities are still in finals so it is easier for them to organize such workshops or readings on campus. still, it is frustrating because so little comes into the nablus prison whereas birzeit always has access to such cultural events and activities. the conference organizers promised that next year an najah would be included.

but the public event this evening was what i had been waiting for: suheir hammad. she started with “what i will” and then read a new poem for mahmoud darwish, “daddy” and “this is to certify,” followed by her series of poems about the recent savagery in gaza. i had forgotten that i had a tape recorder with me so it was during this second set on gaza that i began recording. below are the mp3 files for people who want to hear her read. i can’t believe i’m saying this, but this is the first time that i’ve had the opportunity to see her read her work live. it amazes me because i’m so in love with her words–if i had to choose food or air or her poetry, i would choose her poetry. hands down. and i often carry her book breaking poems in my purse because she fills my soul with inspiration and gives me the strength to continue with my work. i was so jealous when tam tam got to see her read in washington dc a couple of months ago, but i realize now how amazing it was to see her read here in palestine, on her soil, in her land. she was absolutely brilliant. extraordinary. powerful. and, of course, the audience was mesmerized by her. in the third mp3 file below you can listen to her read poems from her latest book, breaking poems. she asked me for a copy of her book yesterday and i warned her that it was filled with writing and notes everywhere, but she wanted to see it. i gave her the copy and she read from it tonight; you can hear her talking about my red pen at the beginning of the audio file. i could go on forever about how moving she was tonight (indeed the chapter for my new book on hammad’s poetry is about 80 pages)–particularly when she read the poems about gaza. she was so stirred and emotive and i so wished that she could perform this work in gaza for the people of gaza, too. if only al jazeera had filmed tonight.

here is a video from the festival organizers of hammad’s poem “this is to certify”:

here are the audio files i recorded:

listen to suheir hammad’s gaza poems

listen to suheir hammad’s “break is this”

listen to suheir hammad’s breaking poems

listen to suheir hammad’s “ma ba3rif aktob bil arabi”

khalil sakakini center in ramallah
khalil sakakini center in ramallah

for those who would like to hear and read hammad’s poetry in arabic, the final file above is a poem she read in arabic tonight. the festival organizers also gave out copies of a book to everyone that translates a piece of work by all the writers who are here into arabic. here is hammad’s poem about gaza that was translated for the volume; i typed it up for readers who want to read her work in translation.

سهير حماد

غزة

ترجمة محمد خليل

معجزة عظيمة حدثت هنا
عيد الأضواء
رصاص ينهمر على الأطفال
جيش يولم على رؤيا
لا أعرف شيئآ تحت الشمس فوق الجدران لا أحد يذكر شيئآ
على البعض أن يموتوا ملتحفين بئغطية منقوشة بزهور البترول
لا تغطية

جئت إلى هرمجدون يومية
سلم ترك دون اعتناء
ست شمعات تحرق بيتا
حصان مقيد إلى الدخان
على البعض أن يموتوا ليرسلوا إشارة
صرخة على مجرى نهر ذكرى أطول من فترات العمر
الأحياء يريدون أن يمونوا في بلادهم

لا أبواد مفتوحة لابحار مفتوحة لا
أيدي مفتوحة أيدي مليئة بالقلوب خمس بنات في لفافات بيضاء

كل يوم جهاد
كل يوم الإيمان يغلب الخوف
كل يوم مرآة من نار
الأ حياء يريدون أن يموتوا مع أسرهم

الفتاة تفقد ذراعيها وأخوها يجمع السلاح
على البعض أن يموتوا لأنهم لم يموتوا

أطفال على أرض مستشفى أم بجانب
هم الأب مذهولا هذه أسرتي
خذلتهم هذه هي أسرتي لم
أرفع رؤوسهم دفنتهم
أسرتي ماذا أفعل الأن أسرتي خبر
سمك شعب واحد قطّع إربا

هنا ظمئ يسرق الحياة
هنا جوع شتاء داخل شتاء

على الدعض أن يمرترا ليئتوا دالخلاص
جئت لنهاية زمن دائما موجود

المرأة فقدت أدويها أطفالها وتصرخ
أختي فقدن أختي أريد أن أموت
عينا أختي كانت عسلا صوتها
لا أستطيع أن أواجه هذا فقط ربي فقت ربي أختي

قتلوا الأطباء ضربوا المدارس قصفوا القوافل
الجرحي يموتون الموتي يدفنون في ثلاث
ساعات الناس يصلون معا و يلعنون الناس
يحزنون عاليا و في هدوء دائما عاليا ليس بما يكفي

على البعض أن يموتوا لأنهم كاموا قريبين من هنا
على البعض أن يموتوا لأنه مكتوب

لا الجيش لا يعتذر أبدا لم
يعتذر السلطة تطارد جمعية من ورق
الاحتلال يستقر يزداد عمقا

معجزة عظيمة هنا
الأحياء يموتون والمونى يحيون

عيد الأضواء
شريط أرض تشتعل به الحرائق
البحر مرآة النار

رصاص يسقط فوق الأطفال
رؤوسهم تتدحرج من فوق أكنافهم وتتساقط على الطريق
نحلاتهم تدور في أيدي

جيش يولم على رؤيا
يدفع بالمستقبل نحو التاريخ
يحمل المشاعل إلى جوف النساء

after hammad’s reading the musical group sama’ from the edward said national conservatory of music played for us. they were really amazing to listen to. it was a lovely evening of performances all around, though i do wish hammad had gone on for hours and hours.

sama' music group from the edward said national conservatory of music
sama’ music group from the edward said national conservatory of music

after the event my friends and i had to head down to beit lahem. there were no more services as the last one left at 8:30 and it was around 10 at this point. we found a taxi who agreed to drive us home. we got all the way to the container checkpoint without a problem. there were already two taxis pulled over for who knows how long when we arrived. private cars were going through without even being stopped. but we were pulled over. all of us had to give the israeli terrorist colonist soldier, who does not even appear to be old enough to grow peach fuzz on his face, our id cards. he came back and wanted to question me about where exactly i’m from. i refused to answer. i got bitchy. and when he said something about being here–can’t recall the exact phrasing–i said, “well, you don’t belong here. this is not your land” or something to that effect. this led to almost 1.5 hours of harassment. not from this boy, however. no. he called over the israeli terrorist colonist commander of the checkpoint who is, apparently, a 26 year old man named doodoo (i don’t know if this is his real name or not, but i wonder if he knows this is the english word american children use for s*&^). when one of my friends saw who he was she got nervous as she had seen this same israeli terrorist colonist soldier “doodoo” beat up an old woman before. we all agreed that we’d keep quiet, but it was clear that he wanted to start something. so he asked us if we had something to say to him. we just all said we wanted to go home. he kept egging me on until it was clear that he wanted me to repeat what i had said to the other guy. so i did. he became enraged. he started yelling and said that the driver had to go back to ramallah and that we could not go home. he started to separate us and pull us away from the car to talk to each of us privately. i kept saying that i was the one he had a problem with and that he should let them continue on and make me stay. why should they be punished for my words?

container checkpoint, abu dis palestine 11 pm
container checkpoint, abu dis palestine 11 pm

after about an hour they all got their huwiyyas back, but he kept my passport. unfortunately, my friends refused to leave without me. for me i could have gone to a friend’s house in abu dis or i could have gone to al quds–i had options. they did not. there is one way home to beit lahem and it is this road. the argument continued to get heated–he kept getting more angry, though none of us ever raised our voices at any point. we just said things he didn’t like. it was clear that he is a loose cannon. at one point he started screaming about how he lost someone who is like a brother and that the israeli terrorist colonists lose their fellow terrorist colonists all the time and we (he meant palestinians) don’t know what that feels like and that we never lose anyone–not nearly in the numbers he seems to think. i said something, can’t recall what (my friend recorded a lot of this conversation so i will post it tomorrow) and it led him to deciding that i was going to have to go to shin bet. i’m not sure what my friend said when she got pulled aside with this raging lunatic, but whatever it was he decided that i could have my passport back and we could leave. 1.5 hours later.

for the record i normally don’t get bitchy with soldiers when i have palestinian friends in the car. and this is precisely why: because they should not be made to be punished for my actions, which they inevitably will be. at the same time i just find it so impossible to deal with these israeli terrorist colonists and just jump when they say jump–or even worse respond by asking how high? i cannot treat these altercations as normal as part of life even though they are just that. palestinians are the most patient people i’ve ever met in my life and i cannot for a minute fathom having to grow up and live with this as somehow “normal.”

today was liberation day in lebanon when hezbollah liberated most of the south from israeli terrorist occupying forces (see matthew’s awesome photographs from today’s rally–i’m so jealous!). (syrian news published the transcript of sayyed hassan nasrallah’s speech tonight and also his analysis of it.) one of the many reasons i love hezbollah. but i cannot help but think when will we see the same liberation here and in syria and in the remaining villages in lebanon? we need hezbollah to stop this madness. there is literally no other resistance in existence that has the capability, the steadfastness, the cohesion.

our taxi driver and the israeli terrorist commander of container checkpoint
our taxi driver and the israeli terrorist commander of container checkpoint

lebanese academic boycott of zionism launched

in honor of يوم الأرض (land day) and the palestinian national boycott movement’s call for land day to be global bds day the campaign has finally be launched in lebanon here is the article that rania and i wrote in al akhbar today explaining our bayan, which you will find below:

في يوم الأرض… فلنقف مع المقاطعة الأكاديميّة

رانية مصري ــ مارسي نيومن*

إذ نتذكر يوم الأرض في 30 آذار/ مارس 1976 ونحيي ذكراه، ذكرى اليوم الذي قتلت فيه القوات الإسرائيلية ستة فلسطينيين وجرحت حوالى مئة في سخنين خلال تظاهرات غير مسلّحة نُظمت احتجاجاً على مصادرة أراضٍ فلسطينية في الجليل، إذ نتذكر الهمجية الإسرائيلية بحق الفلسطينيين في غزة في كانون الأول/ ديسمبر، إذ ندرك استمرار الاعتداءات بحق الفلسطينيين، إذ نتذكر الأعمال الوحشية العديدة والمتواصلة بحقّ اللبنانيين، دعونا نقف وقفة دعم فعّال لحركة تتمتع بالقوة وبالقدرة الضرورية على المساهمة بشدة في هذا النضال من أجل الحرية وتحقيق الذات ضمن إطار المعركة ضد الصهيونية.

هذه الحركة هي حركة المقاطعة وسحب الاستثمارات وفرض العقوبات، وأحد أبرز مطالبها مقاطعة الشركات الإسرائيلية والعالمية التي تدعم التمييز العنصري والاستعمار اللذَين تمارسهما إسرائيل، والانسحاب منها. ونحن نعرف، من المَثَل الذي قدّمته جنوب أفريقيا، أن استراتيجية تجمع بين المقاومة المسلّحة من جهة، والمقاطعة وسحب الاستثمارات وفرض العقوبات من جهة ثانية، قد أدت إلى انهيار نظام التمييز العنصري، وبالتالي تتمتع بمقومات النجاح. والتركيز على المقاومة الاقتصادية يربط هذه الحركة بجذور حركة المقاومة الفلسطينية التي سعت تاريخياً إلى تحرير فلسطين، كما سائر المنطقة، من إمبريالية يفرضها الغرب من خلال سياساته الاقتصادية الاستعمارية الجديدة.

نعرف أيضاً أن لبنان لا يخلو من المنتجات الصهيونية. من مستحضرات التجميل إلى الثياب، ومن الجرافات إلى القهوة، نستهلك منتجات تنتجها شركات تدعم إسرائيل جوهرياً، إمّا عبر الاستثمار في إسرائيل، وإما بدعم إسرائيل مالياً أو دبلوماسياً (وفيما إلغاء بعض المنتجات الصهيونية، مثل منتجات إنتل، أمر صعب، فإنّ إخلاء أسواقنا من الأكثرية الساحقة من المنتجات، مثل نستله وإيستيه لودر، سوف ينعش اقتصادنا فعلياً عبر زيادة الاستثمارات في المنتجات والأعمال المحلية).

بالإضافة إلى الشكل الواضح الذي تتخذه المقاطعة الاقتصادية (غالباً ما يحدث التباس بينها وبين الحظر)، ثمة وسيلة مهمة تتمثل بالمقاطعة الأكاديمية والثقافية. وتتضمن المقاطعةُ الأكاديمية الإحجامَ عن المشاركة في أي نوع من أنواع التعاون الأكاديمي أو الثقافي مع مؤسسات إسرائيلية، وعن المساهمة فيها والانضمام إلى مشاريع معها، والعمل، في النهاية، على دفع الجامعات نفسها إلى الانسحاب من أي مساهمة أو تعاون مع أي مؤسسة إسرائيلية. الأساتذة الجامعيون في جنوب أفريقيا دعوا أيضاً زملاءهم في أرجاء العالم إلى المقاطعة لنزع الصفة الشرعية عن نظام التمييز العنصري وعزله. وقد نجحت حملة المقاطعة في جنوب أفريقيا بسبب هذا العزل الذي قُرِن بمقاطعة اقتصادية وسحب الاستثمارات، فقاد ذلك في النهاية إلى فرض عقوبات على النظام، ما أدى إلى زواله.

إن أقوى سلاح في المقاطعة الأكاديمية هو رفض تشريع الصهيونية، تلك الإيديولوجية التي بُنيت عليها إسرائيل، الإيديولوجية التي تسمح لمجموعة واحدة من الناس بأن تنهب وتقتل وتطرد، إيديولوجية عنصرية بجوهرها وبكليتها. فالصهيونية هي التي يجب أن تُقهر.

تتنامى حركة المقاطعة الأكاديمية والثقافية لإسرائيل عالمياً، فهي ناشطة في كندا والمملكة المتحدة منذ بضع سنوات الآن، وانتقلت إلى أوستراليا والولايات المتحدة. وتمثّل الدعاية المحيطة بهذه الحركة سلاحاً قوياً بقوة الحركة نفسها، لأنها تدعو أيضاً إلى إعادة التفكير في حق إسرائيل في الوجود كدولة يهودية. حتماً أصبحت حركة المقاطعة قوية جداً الآن لدرجة أن المستعمرين الإسرائيليين يدفعون مليونَي دولار لتحسين صورتهم عالمياً.

لقد ضم أكاديميون من لبنان أصواتهم إلى هذه الحركة المتنامية. فقد وقّعت كلياتٌ من جامعة البلمند، والجامعة الأميركية في بيروت، والجامعة اللبنانية ــ الأميركية، وجامعة سيدة اللويزة، والجامعة اللبنانية، وجامعة بيروت العربية، وجامعة الروح القدس، والجامعة اللبنانية الدولية، والجامعة العالمية، على بيان يدعو إلى مقاطعة تامة لإسرائيل وللمؤسسات الإسرائيلية، ودعوا زملاءنا في العالم أجمع، ولا سيما أولئك في العالم العربي الذين يدّعون التضامن مع الفلسطينيين، إلى مقاطعة كل المؤسسات الأكاديمية والثقافية الإسرائيلية والانسحاب منها انسحاباً شاملاً وثابتاً، وإلى الإحجام عن التطبيع في أي شكل من أشكال التعاون الأكاديمي والثقافي مع مؤسسات إسرائيلية، وعن المساهمة فيها أو إنشاء مشاريع مشتركة معها، وذلك مساهمةً منهم في النضال الهادف إلى إنهاء الاحتلال والاستعمار ونظام التمييز العنصري الذي تفرضه إسرائيل.

لإضافة توقيعك، الرجاء مراجعة الموقع الآتي:
www.boycottzionism.wordpress.com
اليوم، 30 آذار/مارس 2009، هو يوم العمل العالمي لحركة المقاطعة وسحب الاستثمارات وفرض العقوبات. فلنقف معاً.

* رانية مصري هي أستاذة مساعدة في جامعة البلمند، ومارسي نيومن أستاذة مساعدة لمادة اللغة الإنكليزية في جامعة النجاح الوطنية.

عدد الاثنين ٣٠ آذار ٢٠٠٩

here is our bayan:

بيان صادر عن أكاديميّين في لبنان

لقد هاجمت إسرائيل، في هذه الحرب الضارية الأخيرة التي تشنها على الفلسطينيين، جامعة، ووزارة التربية، ومدارس عبر قطاع غزة، والعديد من المدارس التابعة للأونروا. وليست مثل هذه الاعتداءات على مراكز تربوية غريبة عن إسرئيل. فمنذ 1975 خصوصاً، انتهكت إسرائيل حق الفلسطينيين في التعليم عبر إغلاق الجامعات والمدارس ودور الحضانة، ومن خلال قصف مئات المدارس والعديد من الجامعات على امتداد الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة، وإطلاق النار وشنّ غارات عليها. ولم تقتصر هذه الأعمال الهجومية على الفلسطينيين، فالاعتداءات الإسرائيلية على المراكز التربوية مألوفة جداً بالنسبة إلينا نحن الأكاديميين في لبنان. وفي آخر عدوان شنته إسرائيل على لبنان سنة 2006 مثلاً، دمرت أكثر من 50 مدرسة في شتى أرجاء البلد، ولا سيما المدارس المخصصة للمحرومين اقتصادياً في الجنوب.

لهذا السبب، نحن الأكاديميين في لبنان، نحثّ زملاءنا، إقليمياً ودولياً، على مناهضة هذه الجرائم المستمرة بحقّ المدارس وعلى دعم هذا الطلب السلمي والمحق بالمقاطعة الأكاديمية وسحب الاستثمارات وفرض العقوبات. وبصورة خاصة، نطلب من زملائنا في العالم أجمع أن يدعموا النداء الذي أطلقته الحملة الفلسطينية للمقاطعة الأكاديمية والثقافية لإسرائيل، لمقاطعة كل المؤسسات الأكاديمية والثقافية والانسحاب منها انسحاباً شاملاً وثابتاً، وللإحجام عن المشاركة في أي شكل من أشكال التعاون الأكاديمي والثقافي أو المساهمة في مشاريع مع مؤسسات إسرائيلية أو الانضمام إليها، وذلك مساهمةً منهم في النضال الهادف إلى إنهاء الاحتلال والاستعمار ونظام التمييز العنصري التي تمارسها إسرائيل.

وندعو كذلك إلى إنفاذ القوانين اللبنانية التي تمنع التطبيع مع إسرائيل، وبالتالي إلى مقاضاة المؤسسات والأفراد في لبنان الذين يخرقون تلك القوانين ويقومون بنشاطات تعاون أو شراكة أو استثمار في إسرائيل أو مع إسرائيليين. ونحن نحيّي البيان الأخير الصادر عن اللجنة الاسكوتلندية من أجل جامعات فلسطين الذي يدعو إلى مقاطعة إسرائيل، والرسالة التي وقّعها 300 أكاديمي كندي ووجهوها إلى رئيس الوزراء هاربر مطالبين بفرض عقوبات على إسرائيل، والدعوة التي أطلقتها لجنة التنسيق بين الاتحاد الكندي لعمال الحقل العام وعمال جامعة أونتاريو والتي تدعم حظر أشكال التعاون بين الجامعات الكندية والإسرائيلية.

بيان يحمل تواقيع أكاديميين في لبنان:

■ أسماء الموقّعين

سوزان عبد الرحيم، سناء أبي ديب، مي عبود، ميشال أبو غنطوس، دانا أبو رحمة، منى أبو ريان، محمد علم الدين، ريان علم الدين، فلاح علي، محمود العلي، ريان الأمين، كرمى بيبي، نبيل دجاني، نبيل فارس، نيكولاس غابرييل، آلين جرماني، صباح غندور، ريما حبيب، سمر هبر، نيكولاس حداد، هراتش هاجيتيان، روجيه حجار، ساري حنفي، سيرين حرب، ديالا حاوي، إهاب حدرج، سامي هرمز، إبراهيم الحصري، مهى عيسى، سامر جبور، بول جهشان، فاطمة الجَميل، ماهر جرّار، رشا الجندي، تامار كاباكيان ـ خاشوليان، فيصل القاق، غادة كلاكش، ربيع كاملة، سمر خليل، نيكولا كوسماتوبولوس، ميشال مجدلاني، جين سعيد مقدسي، جودي مخّول، مايا منصور، مزنة المصري، رانية مصري، زينة مسقاوي، سنتيا منتي، عايدة نعمان، عمر نشابة، هدى نصر الله، يوسف ناصر، مايك أور، حبيب عثمان، جيليان بيغوت، دانيال ف. ريفيرا، جويل رزق، ندى صعب، أمل سعد غريّب، صفية سعادة، نعيم سالم، نسرين السلطي، هيلين سماحة ـ نويهض، ريما صراف، ريتشارد سميث، روزماري صايغ، كيرستين شايد، أوجين سينسينغ ـ دبوس، ربيع سلطان، لينا الطبال، جهاد توما، حنان طوقان، نازك يارد، ماريان يزبك، سمر ذبيان، حسين زيدان، محمد زبيدي، هدى زريق، رامي زريق.

عدد الاثنين ٣٠ آذار ٢٠٠٩

for more information see our website: lebanese campaign for the boycott of zionism

mothers & others for gaza

dsc00030

first a disclaimer: i am do not personally favor political actions that suggest that the lives of women and children are somehow more important that the lives of men. but when muna and ramla asked me to help them organize a vigil for “mothers across the world for gaza / أمهات حول العالم يعزّين أمهات غزة” i could not say no because it is difficult for me to say no to people i love. and i should add another disclaimer: neither muna or ramla buy into the idea that somehow women and children are more valuable human beings. they had a vigil like this one a couple of weeks ago in beirut honoring the child martyrs and it was successful so they wanted to do a new one and make it global. so i agreed to get one off the ground here in nablus with the help of saed, alia, and beesan–who make an amazing team i must say.

helsinki, finland
helsinki, finland

we had an interesting array of cities participating today: nablus, palestine; beirut, lebanon; amman, jordan; helsinki, finland; manchester, england; cape town south africa; edmonton, canada; san jose, california, u.s.; palo alto, california, u.s.; east lansing, michigan, u.s.; boise, idaho, u.s.; free derry, ireland; ballybofey, ireland; dubai, united arab emirates.

free derry, ireland
free derry, ireland

here in nablus we had most of the women’s committees from the various political parties represented and we had a large contingent from askar refugee camp. the kids from the camp were very cute. most of the kids i spoke with were from yaffa and beer seba’. it is interesting what having this large group of kids did to my expectation of the event. i had imagined it as something that would be somber. where we would quietly, respectfully read the names of the 300+ we had printed out (there are over 400 children murdered by israeli terrorists). but having over 100 children changes all that, in a good way. they had so much energy–each one racing to the microphone to read out the name of a martyred child in gaza. it was an important reminder of those children who we have lost–those palestinian children in gaza, many of whom are also refugees from 1948 palestine–children unknown to all of us here because of israel’s colonial terror project. it was important reminder of what playful energy of the murdered children would have still had if they had not been massacred by israeli terrorists.

amman, jordan
amman, jordan

one of my friends here asked if we could have a mother of a martyred child in gaza on the phone with us during the vigil so a friend sent me the names of a few women and we got a hold of one and spoke with her in the afternoon. when we called her during the vigil, however, rather than speaking about her loss she praised abu mazen. it was very disappointing not only because how anyone can support that collaborator is beyond me, but also because we tried very hard to keep this non-sectarian. we asked people to not give speeches, to not come with political party flags. in fact, i asked for no flags thinking this was to have the mood of an ‘aza. and there were no flags, but i think after the phone call one of the women from pflp was a bit agitated so she closed with a speech. but it was a good speech that basically said that we have to knock off this political factionalizing and in fighting. at the same time, the reason why i did not want to have speeches is that all of these protests about gaza in nablus wind up with the same effect: it always feels to me like the person is just going off with his/her point of view and the focus shifts from gaza to the person speaking. i feel like i haven’t heard one speech that keeps the focus where it should be. and that is unfortunate.

dsc00055

beirut, lebanon
beirut, lebanon

in any case, the event was great and it seems that other folks who already held theirs had great events too. one thing i kept thinking about this week as we were planning the event was about the effect of political events, albeit this one was not a march or demonstration. but i had seen a video of naomi wolf (who normally grates on my nerves), but she has a good point and i think it is worth listening to.

i thought of this wolf piece, which i had seen earlier on elisa’s blog, because she talks about what happens when people get permission to have a protest and how this defeats the purpose of having a protest in the first place. i was reminded of this earlier in the week when beesan asked if we should get permission. i said no. i said no partially because i was reminded of wolf’s point and partially because i knew what happened last time people here tried to get permission for the tent solidarity sit in on martyr’s square in nablus. they were told no (until the ajaneb showed up and requested permission: apparently they don’t say no to white folks). when we arrived tonight the palestinian authority–or as joseph massad calls them, the palestinian collaborationist authority–was waiting for us. saed spoke to them and they let us proceed. but i think if it had been different–if there were not 100 children marching behind us towards martyr’s square–then perhaps we would not have been allowed to have our vigil. but it is one of the many ways in which political life here is made difficult with respect to voicing one’s point of view in the streets. the same is true in egypt, of course, for similar reasons in terms of the zionist-american control wielded there, too. kabobfest reported today about the detention of blogger philip rizk:

A group of activists were recently detained in Sariaqos, north of Cairo. They had been holding a march in the rural area to raise awareness about the situation in Gaza. For several hours, they walked around, talking to bystanders and asking them to join the protest. They did what they had to do. As they were heading back to Cairo, they were stopped and arrested. All of them were released… except for Philip Rizk.

Human rights lawyers arrived to help the activists but Rizk was snuck out of the prison’s backdoor of and taken away. According to a Reuters report, he was put in an unmarked car with no license plates; police also blocked his companions’ vehicle to prevent them from following.

A Facebook group set up by his friends and family explains further:

Phil’s parents went to the police headquarters to file a missing persons complaint. There they were told it might take 2 or 3 days to process the paperwork and get Philip out… he is being held by National Security at their headquarters in downtown Cairo. But of course there are no official charges.

Philip is of Egyptian-German descent and he has worked tirelessly for the Palestinians cause. Among other things, he has produced a number of documentaries on the subject. He also blogs at tabluagaza (surely the Egyptian authorities did not like his last post). No stranger to the effects of Israeli cruelty, he worked for over two years in Gaza and it has a very special place in his heart. In a recent interview he gave, you can hear the sorrow in his voice as he expresses the pain of not knowing the fate of his friends in the Strip. Let’s hope he is released soon… and unharmed (the German side should help with that).

yes there is more pressure, continued pressure and silence around gaza. and the aggression and the attacks continue, albeit in various forms, like the israeli terrorist tactic of slow starvation. or the israeli terrorist tactic of forbidding necessary medicine. and books…we know books are ketir dangerous! we can’t have palestinians educated. then they would have more tools with which to resist colonial occupation:

Aid agencies are becoming increasingly frustrated with the difficulties of getting humanitarian supplies into the Gaza Strip.

“For us to move ahead with rehabilitation and repairs, we must get building materials into Gaza,” Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), told IRIN by telephone. “Two hundred and twenty-one schools for 200,000 children only have 40 percent of their books because we can’t get paper and glue into Gaza.”

meanwhile palestinians are suffer severe shortages of everything in gaza and the death toll continues to rise, though the martyrs are not being counted as they were before. israeli terrorists are content to let palestinian people suffer. but not palestinian animals. it seems that israeli terrorists have animal rights organizations that are working hard to ensure that the animals in gaza do not suffer:

An Israeli animal rights group is behind a relief effort to assist animals in the Gaza Zoo.

The zoo came under attack during the offensive of December and January. A number of animals died while others were visibly distressed from the violence that unfolded.

The Israeli group ‘Let the Animals Live’ persuaded Ehud Barak, Israel’s defense minister, to arrange entry for trucks carrying aid to the stricken zoo.

The Israeli agency said it was a joint-effort with a Palestinian animals welfare group, and other international organizations.

Thirty trucks loaded with oats and hay and medical supplies for the animals have been organized.

palestinian farmers, however, are fair game. they can be attacked–it seems, though, that their animals cannot.

these are some of the many reasons that south africans continue to say that the apartheid created by the zionist entity is worse than the apartheid in south africa:

President Kgalema Motlanthe says some of Israel’s actions are worse than what happened during apartheid. He says the creation of new settlements within the West Bank which exclude Palestinians is one such example. Motlanthe was speaking in Cape Town at the fourth conference of the Coalition for the Good and Charity.

The president, who visited Gaza in May last year, says the construction of walls that divide Palestinians has resulted in some Palestinians travelling three hours to get to their businesses as opposed to the two minutes they took before. Motlanthe says Israel continues to change the physical facts in Palestine by constructing new settlements. As a result of these he says the land surface which used to be the West Bank has been dramatically reduced.

and this is also why even those who may have opposed boycott in the past are continuing to come around to see boycott, divestment, and sanctions as one of the important modes of resistance to enact, including one of my favorite poets, adrienne rich:

Dear All,

Last week, with initial hesitation but finally strong conviction, I endorsed the Call for a U.S. Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel. I’d like to offer my reasons to friends, family and comrades. I have tried in fullest conscience to think this through.

My hesitation: I profoundly believe in the visible/invisible liberatory social power of creative and intellectual boundary-crossings. I’ve been educated by these all my life, and by centuries-long cross-conversations about human freedom, justice and power — also, the forces that try to silence them.

As an American Jew, over almost 30 years, I’ve joined with other concerned Jews in various kinds of coalition-building and anti-Occupation work. I’ve seen the kinds of organized efforts to stifle — in the US and elsewhere — critiques of Israel’s policies — the Occupation’s denial of Palestinian humanity, destruction of Palestinian lives and livelihoods, the “settlements,” the state’s physical and psychological walls against dialogue — and the efforts to condemn any critiques as anti-Semitism. Along with other activists and writers I’ve been named on right-wing “s*&^-lists” as “Israel-hating” or “Jew-hating.” I have also seen attacks within American academia and media on Arab American, Muslim, Jewish scholars and teachers whose work critically explores the foundations and practices of Israeli state and society.

Until now, as a believer in boundary-crossings, I would not have endorsed a cultural and academic boycott. But Israel’s continuing, annihilative assaults in Gaza and the one-sided rationalizations for them have driven me to re-examine my thoughts about cultural exchanges. Israel’s blockading of information, compassionate aid, international witness and free cultural and scholarly expression has become extreme and morally stone-blind. Israeli Arab parties have been banned from the elections, Israeli Jewish dissidents arrested, Israeli youth imprisoned for conscientious refusal of military service. Academic institutions are surely only relative sites of power. But they are, in their funding and governance, implicated with state economic and military power. And US media, institutions and official policy have gone along with all this.

To boycott a repressive military state should not mean backing away from individuals struggling against the policies of that state. So, in continued solidarity with the Palestinian people’s long resistance, and also with those Israeli activists, teachers, students, artists, writers, intellectuals, journalists, refuseniks, feminists and others who oppose the means and ends of the Occupation, I have signed my name to this call.

Adrienne Rich

for those who live in the europe here is a brief bit on the economic boycott and what one must look for when one goes shopping:

من الأمهات في نابلس الى الأمهات في غزة / أمهات العالم يعزين أمهات غزة

أمهات العالم يعزين أمهات غزة

من الأمهات في نابلس إلى الأمهات في غزة

نتقدم بدعوة أمهاتنا وعائلاتهن في محافظة نابلس للانضمام إلى المسيرة التضامنية لتقديم تعازينا إلى أمهات الأطفال في غزة في ذكرى  مصادفة 40 يوم على استشهاد أول طفل في غزة خلال الغارة العدوانية التي شنها العدو الإسرائيلي على أهلنا في قطاع غزة.

الأحد الموافق 8-2-2009
دوار الشهداء — نابلس
ما بين الساعة 5:30 حتى الساعة 6:30

الرجاء من المدعوين الكرام إحضار الشموع التي سيتم إيقادها حدادا على أرواح الشهداء. كما نرجو من الجميع الالتزام بملابس الحداد و ارتداء اللون الأسود رمزا لحدادنا و حزننا على الأرواح البريئة التي أزهقت خلال هذا العدوان الغاشم حيث سيأخذ هذا التجمع شكل العزاء الرمزي.
لذا لن يكون هناك أي نوع من الخطابات السياسية أو الجماهيرية أو رفع للأعلام حتى العلم الفلسطيني. سوف يتم توزيع أسماء الشهداء من الأطفال و سيطلب من بعض المشاركين بالتناوب قراءة أسماء الأطفال و أعمارهم.

هذا التجمع سيتم بالتنسيق مع عدة تجمعات في عدة أماكن من العالم تشمل بيروت، عمان، دبي، العاصمة الفنلندية هيلسنكي، سان هوزيه، أدمنتون، مانشستر، وفري ديري في إيرلندا.

Mothers across the World Offer their Condolences to Mothers in Gaza
أمهات حول العالم يعزّين أمهات غزة

From the Mothers of Nablus to the Mothers of Gaza

We invite all mothers and their families in the Nablus district to join us in offering our condolences to the mothers of the children of Gaza on the 40th day after the martyrdom of the first child in the most recent aggression against the people of Gaza.

Sunday, February 8th, 2009
Martyr’s Square, Nablus
5:30 pm-6:30 pm

Please bring a candle with you for this vigil. We are also asking that everyone wear black to symbolize our mourning. This event will be a somber one, like an ‘aza, so there will we request that there will be no political speeches and no flags other than Palestinian flags. We will distribute the names of the children martyrs and ask that everyone who attends to take turns reading the names and ages of the martyrs out loud.

This will be a coordinated global event that includes Beirut, Amman, Dubai, Helsinki, San Jose, Edmonton, Manchester, and Free Derry, Ireland.

the shipping news

poor baha’a was not able to leave for gaza this morning. he’s so distraught. but there is some confusion in the various media reports about the lebanese ship and whether or not it left and who was on board. it seems that march 14th/mustqabal prevented certain people were not allowed to leave at the last minute. those passengers were the palestinians on board. layers and layers of collusion. of collaborators. it is like suffocation. but check the different versions of this story in arabic and english starting with al akhbar:

العدد ٧٣٨ الثلاثاء ٣ شباط ٢٠٠٩

مرفأ طرابلس ـ ثائر غندور

المطران كبوجي أمسالمطران كبوجي أمسلأجل موعد مع غزة، لكسر الحصار، وصلوا بأمتعتهم. احتمالات الدخول للقطاع، احتمال الاصطدام بالاسرائيليين كان محور أحاديث النهار. وعندما رأوا السفينة «الظافر» راسية في مرفأ طرابلس، ظنوا أن الحلم يتحقق. ينظرون إلى الباخرة: «عمرها من عمر النكبة» يصرخ أحدهم ضاحكاً. «لا يهم» تجيبه صديقته. الخبر المشؤوم الرقم واحد: السلطات اللبنانيّة رفضت السماح للسفينة بالانطلاق. السبب: إنها غير آمنة. يتحرّك المسؤولون في «المبادرة الوطنيّة لكسر الحصار» ويؤمنون أخرى: «تالي».

يحمل المتطوعون الستة والثمانون أمتعتهم ويصعدون إلى السفينة. الحلم أصبح قريب القطاف. «هناك سفن أوروبية تنتظرنا في قبرص للذهاب إلى غزة»، يقول أحد المتطوعين.
هذا يعني أملاً كبيراً في الوصول.

تمرّ الساعات بطيئة. يصل رئيس تجمع اللجان والروابط الشعبيّة معن بشور قائلاً إنه يحمل خبراً سيئاً «أبلغتنا السلطات أن الذهاب إلى غزة غير وارد بهذه السفينة لأنها سفينة شحن، وهناك خياران: إما أن لا تذهب السفينة أو تذهب بدون المتطوعين».

يسود صمت رهيب. تكفهرّ الوجوه. ينسى الجميع تعب الساعات التي وقفوها على أرجلهم من دون طعام وتحت المطر. يخرج نقابي شيوعي ليقول «هناك قرار سياسي بمنعنا. ألم يكونوا موافقين حتى صباح اليوم على السفينة الأولى»؟ تعلو صرخات الاستهجان. يطلب بشور تنظيم النقاش «حتى نأخذ قراراً موحداً». يتحدّث بعض رجال الدين في الإطار ذاته: «ذاهبون إلى غزة شاء من شاء وأبى من أبى. هم وافقوا على سفر السفينة التجاريّة. قالوا أحضروا سترات النجاة وأحضرناها، ما الذي تغيّر؟ من المسؤول؟ هل هو الاعتدال العربي؟».

يقول معن بشور إن الرؤساء الثلاثة ووزير النقل على اطلاع على ما يجري وهم لا يريدوننا أن نقع في مشكلة قانونيّة. لا يقنع الكلام أحداً. ماذا نفعل؟ يقترح عربي العنداري رئيس المجلس الوطني في اتحاد الشباب الديموقراطي اللبناني «التظاهر حتى ذهاب السفينة بمن عليها».

«نريد فعل الخير وهم يعرقلوننا» يقول مطران القدس في المنفى هيلاريون كبوشي، ويضيف «السبب هو الخارج أي دول الاعتدال العربي». يعلّق أحد الموجودين «الاسرائيليون مأزومون ولا يريدون أن يمنعوا هم السفينة فمنعها اللبنانيون وفق طلب أميركي». لم ييأس المتطوعون. قلّة منهم تعتلي متن السفينة، قبل أن ترفع القوى الأمنيّة السلم، وتمنع الباقين من الصعود. المفاوضات مستمرة. هناك من يطالب الدولة بتأمين سفينة إذا ما كانت جادة. الشتائم تطال الوزير غازي العريضي «وزير الاعتدال العربي» كما نعته البعض.
يقولون إن العريضي مخطئ وسيدفع ثمن موقفه. لا يريدون التراجع. لكن قرار حكومة الوحدة الوطنيّة أقوى منهم. اثنتا عشرة ساعة من الوقوف تحت المطر من دون أكل أو راحة. الثامنة مساءً. تطلع قوة امنية الى متن السفينة وتطلب من الجميع مغادرتها. يقترح أحد المنظمين أن تسافر السفينة بثمانية اشخاص معظمهم من الاعلام المرئي. يرفض المعتصمون. هم قابَ سفينة من غزة. وحتى كتابة هذه السطور، كان الانتظار سيد الموقف. بكلمات قليلة: سفينة كسر الحصار محاصرة من الدولة ومن عدم تنسيق المنظمين لرحلتهم. بكلمات وجدانيّة: حلم زيارة فلسطين تأجّل، لكنه لم يتلاشَ.

عدد الثلاثاء ٣ شباط ٢٠٠٩

and this from as safir:

¯ العريضي: باخرتا شحن غير مجهزتين للركاب ¯ بشور: موعودون بباخرة ثالثة للباقين
»سفينة الأخوة« تبدلت وأبحرت إلى غزة وعلى متنها ٨ أشخاص من أصل ٨٢

غسان ريفي
طرابلس :

… وأبحرت »سفينة الأخوة اللبنانية« إلى لارنكا، ومنها إلى غزة عند منتصف ليل أمس، بعد مخاض عسير، وبعد يوم طويل من المفاوضات التي خاضها الوزير السابق بشـارة مرهج وعضو الحملة الوطنية لكسر الحصار عن غزة (منــظمة الرحلة) معن بشور مع وزير الأشغال العامة والنقل غازي العريضي وتدخل في مجرياتها رئيس الجمهورية ميشال سليمان ورئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري.

وبينما كان مقرراً أن تنطلق السفينة »ظافر« عند الثانية عشرة من ظهر أمس، وعلى متنها ٨٢ راكباً من شخصيات وإعلاميين ومتطوعين ناشطين محملة بالمساعدات إلى غزة، فإن السفينة التي غادرت مرفأ طرابلس هي واحدة أخرى اسمها »تالي« وعلى متنها »مطران القدس في المنفى ايلاريون كبوجي والشيخ صلاح الدين علايلي ورئيس رابطة علماء فلسطين الشيخ داوود مصطفى ومنسق الحملة هاني سليمان واربعة إعلاميين من قناتي الجزيرة والجديد مؤهلين تقنياً للبث المباشر من الباخرة في البحر في حال تعرّضت لها قطع بحرية إسرائيلية أو غيرها«، بحسب ما قال بشور لـ»السفير«. وتابع: »أما الباقون من الركاب فمن المفترض أن يؤمن رجل أعمال فلسطيني سفينة أخرى للركاب لتقلهم إلى غزة«. »تالي كانت منعت من الإبحار بالمشاركين جميعهم، بعدما تبين للعريضي أنها معدة للشحن وأن فيها ثغرات من الممكن إصلاحها إذا قرر المنظمون تأجيل الرحلة. لكن المفاوضات انتهت بالسماح بإبحار »تالي« وعلى متنها ثمانية ركاب من أصل ٨٢ بينما عاد الباقون ادراجهم.
ماذا في تفاصيل اليوم الطويل؟

عند الثامنة صباحاً تجمّع ناشطون حقوقيون وأطباء وإعلاميون في شارع الحمراء للانتقال إلى طرابلس. وفي المرفأ، وبعد تحميل الباخرة »ظافر« بالمساعدات وصعود الركاب إليها، جاء كشف المسؤولين في المرفأ بأنها غير صالحة للإبحار بالركاب وغير مجهزة لسلامتهم. بعد اتصالات من اللجنة المنظمة، تم تأمين الباخرة »تالي« التي نقلت إليها الحمولة، ما استدعى تأخيراً في الإبحار حتى الساعة الرابعة عصراً. لاحقاَ منعت الباخرة الثانية من الإبحار بهذا العدد من الركاب، بعدما تبين للعريضي أن الباخرة الثانية للشحن ليست معدة لنقل الركاب.

العريضي شرح لـ»السفير« أنه أوقف سفر الباخرة »ظافر«، لأنها تفتقر الى مواصفات السلامة العامة، وبعض المواصفات القانونية التي تمنعها من الملاحة. وتابع: ظهر أن هناك ملاحظات حول ميكانيك السفينة وطاقمها، ووسائل الحماية، وقد أجرينا كشفاً عليها فتبين أنها غير صالحة لمثل هذه الرحلة نظراً للمسؤولية المترتبة عن حياة الركاب. ولا يمكن بالتالي السماح لأسباب قانونية بنقل ركاب مع الحمولة، فطلبنا من القيمين على الرحلة تأجيل الموضوع لحين توفر باخرة بديلة. وأضاف: اتصل بنا النائب السابق بشارة مرهج ومعن بشور، كما اتصلا برئيس الجمهورية ميشال سليمان، فاتصل الرئيس بي وشرحت له الوضع، فأيد موقفي، ثم أبلغني مرهج وبشور أنهما أمنا باخرة أخرى (الباخرة تالي)، فطلبنا ملفها، فتبين أنها باخرة شحن لا ركاب، وبالتالي، فبحسب القانون الدولي لا يمكن السماح بركوب ركاب فيها إذ يمكن توقيف الباخرة في أي ميناء دولي، عدا عن أن الأمر يسبب تسيباً في المرافئ اللبنانية، ناهيك عن الثغرات فيها والتي يمكن إصلاحها أو معالجتها. وأبدينا استعداداً للمساعدة وطلبنا التريث مجدداً لتوفير بديل أفضل وأصلح وقانوني. فاتصلا بالرئيس نبيه بري طالبين تدخله، فاتصل بي وشرحت له الموقف، فأيد موقفي وأكد ثقته بي«.
من جهته، قال مرهج لـ»السفير« إن الباخرة »تالي« مجهزة بعشر غرف وثلاثة صالونات ومحركاتها جيدة جداً. لاحقاً على تحميل المساعدات على متنها عرفت أن العريضي منع الإبحار، فاتصلت به فأخبرني أنها للشحن وإبحارها بالركاب غير قانوني. فقلت له إن السفينة ممتازة والمسؤولين في المرفأ كانوا متعاونين معنا ولم يخبرنا أحد منهم بأي مشكلة فيها، وهي محملة بالمساعدات وليست تجارية، بل في سبيل قضية إنسانية، لذا فموقفك قوي قانونياً، لكن الوزير تمسك برأيه«.

لكن المفاوضات وصلت لاحقاً إلى التسوية الليلية بأن يصعد على متن السفينة رجال الدين الثلاثة وسليمان إضافة إلى الإعلاميين الاربعة.
من جهته، قال بشور لـ»السفير« إن الحملة كانت أمام خيارين، فإما إلغاء الرحلة وإدخال الموضوع في مجال التجاذبات السياسية، وإما تنطلق بالأشخاص الثمانية، فاعتمدنا الخيار الثاني. وتساءل بشور »عن سبب المنع المفاجئ عند الساعة الرابعة عصراً وليس صباح الأحد حيث كان مقرراً أن تنطلق »ظافر« إلى غزة«.

المشاركون
وكان المشاركون في الرحلة أصيبوا بالإحباط مع حلول ساعات المساء الأولى، وبعد يوم مرهق من الانتظار والانتقال من باخرة إلى أخرى ومن منع إلى آخر. بعضهم اقترح »تحدي القرار« والخروج بالسفينة، وإن استدعى الأمر مواجهة مع السلطة، لأنه »عندما شاهدَت (السفيرة الأميركية) ميشال سيسون الرايات الفلسطينية فوق السفينة أصدرت تعليماتها للسلطة بمنع إبحارها«، قالت إحدى المشاركات فيما تحدث آخرون عن ضغوط سياسية مورست من قبل »جهات معينة« لمنع اللبنانيين من التضامن مع أخوتهم في غزة. »هذا ما توقعته منذ أن أبلغونا بضرورة استبدال السفينة«، قال أحدهم.
من جهته، نفى العريضي ما تردد عن »ضغوط مورست عليه لمنع إبحار السفينة«، وقال لـ»السفير«: في موضوع فلسطين والمقاومة لا أحد يزايد أو يضغط عليّ.
تبقى الكلمة الأخيرة للمطران كبوجي الذي طلب من الجميع »الدعاء إلى أهالي غزة، والابتهال إلى الله بأن يوصل باخرة »الاخوة« والمتضامنين الذين على متنها إلى قلب غزة للتعبير عن التضامن مع أهلها وكسر الحصار والوحدة التي يعيشونها، مؤكداً أن »إسرائيل لا تستطيع أن تمنع الباخرة من الدخول إلى غزة فهي متوجهة إلى أرضها وترابها، وإسرائيل معتدية ومغتصبة لهذه الأرض، وعليها أن ترحل وان توقف عدوانها الهمجي على غزة وعلى أهلها بشكل فوري، وأن ترفع هذا الحصار الجائز. وقال إنه اشتاق إلى أرض فلسطين وتراب غزة.

and now check out lebanon’s an nahar:

A cargo ship carrying activists and supplies sailed late Monday from Lebanon en route to the Gaza Strip in defiance of an Israeli blockade.

The ship, carrying 60 tons of medicine, food, toys, books and stationery, left the northern port city of Tripoli for Larnaca in Cyprus at around midnight.

On board the “Brotherhood Ship” were eight people including the former Greek-Catholic archbishop of Jerusalem, Monsignor Hilarion Capucci, who left Jerusalem in the 1970s after serving time in an Israeli jail for membership of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

“We have decided to go ahead with this mission in solidarity with the people of Gaza so that they don’t feel cut off from the world,” organizer Hani Suleiman told Agence France Presse before the boat left Tripoli.

“There is no reason whatsoever for Israel to prevent us from reaching Gaza,” he added. “We have no rockets, no weapons, just aid for the people of Gaza.”

The Togolese-registered Tali was headed first to Cyprus where authorities were to search the vessel to ensure transparency, before continuing on to the Gaza Strip.

Beirut, 03 Feb 09, 09:40

and then ha’aretz, which clearly just pulled from an nahar for its version:

An organizer says a cargo ship carrying activists and supplies has set sail from Lebanon en route to the Gaza Strip in defiance of an Israeli blockade.

The Togo-flagged ship Tali is carrying about 60 tons of medicine, food, toys, books and stationery, as well as eight activists and journalists.

The ship set sail early Tuesday from Tripoli in northern Lebanon. It will stop in Larnaca, Cyprus, before proceeding to Gaza.

Organizers say they hope to arrive mid-week. But Israel has imposed a blockade of the coastal Palestinian territory and has turned back similar aid boats trying to reach Gaza.

A similar trip planned for December was put off because of the recent Israeli offensive against Hamas militants who control

meanwhile there is beautiful news about boats coming from south africa–israeli terrorist boats to be more specific:

South African dockworkers announce ban on Israeli ship

Posted by StopTheWall on Tue, 02/03/2009 – 10:15

February 3, 2009 – LINKS – In a historic development for South Africa, South African dock workers have announced their determination not to offload a ship from Israel that is scheduled to dock in Durban on Sunday, February 8, 2009. This follows the decision by COSATU to strengthen the campaign in South Africa for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel.

The pledge by the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) members in Durban reflects the commitment by South African workers to refuse to support oppression and exploitation across the globe.

Last year, Durban dock workers had refused to offload a shipment of arms that had arrived from China and was destined for Zimbabwe to prop up the Mugabe regime and to intensify the repression against the Zimbabwean people. Now, says SATAWU’s General Secretary Randall Howard, the union’s members are committing themselves to not handling Israeli goods.

SATAWU’s action on Sunday will be part of a proud history of worker resistance against apartheid. In 1963, just four years after the Anti-Apartheid Movement was formed, Danish dock workers refused to offload a ship with South African goods. When the ship docked in Sweden, Swedish workers followed suit. Dock workers in Liverpool and, later, in the San Francisco Bay Area also refused to offload South African goods. South Africans, and the South African working class in particular, will remain forever grateful to those workers who determinedly opposed apartheid and decided that they would support the anti-apartheid struggle with their actions.

Last week, Western Australian members of the Maritime Union of Australia resolved to support the campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, and have called for a boycott of all Israeli vessels and all vessels bearing goods arriving from or going to Israel.

This is the legacy and the tradition that South African dock workers have inherited, and it is a legacy they are determined to honour, by ensuring that South African ports of entry will not be used as transit points for goods bound for or emanating from certain dictatorial and oppressive states such as Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Israel.

COSATU, the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the Young Communist League and a range of other organisations salute the principled position taken by these workers. We also take this opportunity to salute the millions of workers all over the world who have openly condemned and taken decisive steps to isolate apartheid Israel, a step that should send shockwaves to its arrogant patrons in the United States who foot the bill for Israel’s killing machine. We call on other workers and unions to follow suit and to do all that is necessary to ensure that they boycott all goods to and from Israel until Palestine is free.

We also welcome statements by various South African Jews of conscience who have dissociated themselves from the genocide in Gaza. We call on all South Africans to ensure that none of our family members are allowed to join the Israeli Occupation Forces’ killing machine.

In celebration of the actions of SATAWU members with regard to the ship from Israel, and in pursuance of the campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, and our call on the South African government to sever diplomatic and trade relations with Israel, this coalition of organisations has declared a week of action beginning on Friday, February 6, 2009. The actions will be organised under the theme: FREE PALESTINE! ISOLATE APARTHEID ISRAEL! Activities that have already been confirmed for this week will include:

* Friday, February 6: A protest outside the offices of the South African Zionist Federation and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, 2 Elray Street, Raedene, off Louis Botha Avenue. Both these organisations unquestioningly supported the recent Israeli attacks against Gaza, and supported the massacre of civilians and the attacks on schools, mosques, ambulances and UN refugee centres. Protesters will be addressed by, among others, SATAWU General Secretary Randall Howard, and ex-minister Ronnie Kasrils. Protest starts at 14:00.

* Friday, February 6: A picket outside parliament in Cape Town. COSATU members and solidarity activists will be joined by a number of members of parliament. Picket starts at 09:30.

* Friday, February 6: A mass rally in Actonville, Benoni, at the Buzme Adab Hall. The rally will be addressed by, among others, COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, PSC spokesperson Salim Vally, South African Council of Churches General Secretary Eddie Makue, and ex-minister Ronnie Kasrils. Rally starts at 19:30.

* Sunday, February 8: A protest at the Durban Harbour mouth, off Victoria Embankment [Margaret Mncadi Avenue]. Protesters will be addressed by, among others, COSATU President Sdumo Dlamini. Protest starts at 10:00.

* Sunday, February 8: A mass rally in Cape Town at Vygieskraal Rugby Stadium. The rally will be addressed by, among others, COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, and Allan Boesak. Rally starts at 14:30.

fyi: here is an article about the weak (read: no cajones) statement by south african jews. notice they have nothing to say about boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

& in other news: israeli terrorists are sanctioning al jazeera here:

The government will impose sanctions on Israel-based employees of the Al Jazeera network in response to the closure last month of the Israeli trade office in Qatar, which hosts and funds the network. Qatar had closed the office in opposition to Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Following the closure, the Foreign Ministry, in conjunction with the newly-formed national information directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office, considered declaring the station a hostile entity and closing its offices in Israel. After submitting the idea to legal review, however, concerns emerged it would not be permitted by the High Court of Justice.

Instead, it chose to limit the network’s activity in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. First, Israel will not renew the visas of Al Jazeera’s non-Israeli employees or grant visas to new employees. Second, station representatives will have reduced accessibility to government and military bodies, and will not be allowed into briefings or press conferences.

big lies of israeli terrorist propaganda about gaza

on friday the children & youth center (cyc) in shatila refugee camp had a protest against israeli terrorism in the courtyard of the cyc. here are some of the images from that protest for the people of gaza so they know that there are many people who are working to support their steadfastness, their resistance.

childre-painting-for-gaza

children-draw-isael-flag-and-burn-it

infront-of-cyc

likewise, tomorrow students at the american university of beirut are holding a protest/strike in solidarity with the people of gaza, with the students of gaza who do not have the luxury of going to classes and studying right now:

من أجل غزة

لا بد لكل من في قلبه ذرة انسانية أن يتألم لمناظر الشهداء من المدنيين والفلاحين والنساء والأطفال الذين سقطوا على أيدي العدو الصهيوني.

قد لا يكون بوسعنا نحن كأفراد ومدنيين أن نوقف العدو الصهيوني عن اقتراف جرائمه، حتى التظاهر في دولنا العربية ضد العدوان الإسرائيلي لن يكترث له الإسرائيليون وهم المعتادون على تجاهل القرارات الدولية، إلا أنه لا يزال واجبًا لأن إخوتنا في غزة يحتاجون لأن يشعروا بأن إخوتهم يقفون معهم.

هذا من ناحية، ومن ناحية أخرى، وبالنسبة إلى مشهد النظام الرسمي العربي، يمكنننا تكثيف جهودنا لنحدث تغييرًا حقيقيًا.

والتركيز الآن على النظام المصري، كونه مصممًا على إغلاق حدوده مع غزة في وجه المعونات الغذائية وفي وجه الأطباء والممرضين المتطوعين للذهاب إلى هناك، بحجة الخوف من استخدام معبر رفح لتهريب السلاح، وإن كان إمداد أهل غزة بالسلاح واجبًا قوميًا وطنيًا وإنسانيًا، والأدهى من ذلك، بحجة خوفه من تدفق النازحين إلى مصر، تاركًا أطفال غزة محاصرين تحت نيران العدو الغاشم وقصفه الهمجي لمدارسهم ومنازلهم، مخالفًا بذلك جميع القوانين الدولية واتفاقية جنيف الرابعة القائلة بوجوب فتح الحود في وجه المدنيين النازحين من الحرب.

وهنا تكمن قدرتنا الأكبر، فتظاهراتنا والتعبير عن غضبنا واستيائنا كمواطنين عرب من أفعال العدو الصهيوني و تواطؤ النظام االمصري الذي يرفضه وبشدة شعب مصر الأبي، ستشعر النظام بأن الضغط الشعبي عليه ليس داخليـًا فقط بل ويشمل جميع شعوب الددول العربية. وهذا الضغط والغضب الشعبي لا بد أن يثمر عن نتيجة.

نود أن ندعوا طلاب و أساتذة الجامعة الأمريكية في بيروت وقف الصفوف لمدة ساعة واحدة اليوم و اظهار التضامن مع غزة من خلال الاعتصام ، الذي سيعقد اليوم ، الاثنين 12 يناير على البوابة الرئيسية من الساعة 12:00 – 1:00 بعد الظهر.

النادي الثقافي الفلسطيني

الجامعة الأمريكية في بيروت

For GAZA

Anyone who has the slightest sense of humanity cannot but be moved by the images of the martyred women, men and children that have fallen victim to the onslaught of the Zionist war-machine in Gaza. Demonstrations in the Arab world may not be able to stop the Zionist aggression against our sisters and brothers. Israel does not adhere to UN Security Council resolutions; we do not expect mass demonstrations to deter their determination on exterminating the Palestinian people. However it is our duty to continue these protests in order to show our sisters and brothers in Gaza that they have our unending support.

This said, we must also take into account the role of the Arab regimes; especially that of the Egyptian government. It has insisted on closing their borders and not allowing much needed food, water, medical supplies as well volunteer doctors and nurses into Gaza. Egyptian officials have expressed their fear that weapons may enter Gaza, as if it is not our morally justified duty to supply our sisters and brothers in the Palestinian resistance with arms to defend themselves against a brutal enemy. Furthermore the Egyptian government has expressed their concerns that refugees may flee Gaza and pour into Egypt. These actions and attitudes have left an imprisoned, impoverished, and poorly armed Palestinian army to do battle with the most powerful army in the region.

Our role as active citizens of the Arab World has been laid out for us. We must show our anger towards the Zionist massacres and the Egyptian regime’s actions, which do not reflect the opinions and desires of the proud Egyptian people. The Egyptian regime will feel the popular pressure applied on it; both domestically and throughout the Arab World. This pressure and anger will inevitably result in a change.

We would like to ask AUB community to skip an hour of classes and show solidarity with the people of Gaza through a Sit-in, which will take place today, Monday January 12 at Main Gate from 12 pm – 1 pm

Palestinian Cultural Club

American University of Beirut

blogger al falasteeniya posted a women’s call for a protest in ramallah today, which had some important talking points that i meant to post earlier because it was in relation to a protest today, but their talking points are relevant in general:

أولا: استمرار التحرك في الشارع العربي لاعلاء الصوت الشعبي العربي في ادانة العدوان والضغط على العدو الاسرائيلي والداعم الامريكي لعدوانه لوقف هذا الارهاب الاسرائيلي المجنون على أهلنا في قطاع غزه الباسل.

ثانيا: توجيه الضغط على الانظمة العربية لقطع علاقاتها مع العدو الاسرائيلي ووقف كل أشكال التطبيع معه كما وتوجيه الضغط على الادارة الاميركية لوقف انحيازها المطلق للعدو الاسرائيلي ضد حق شعبنا في الحياة وتقرير المصير، وعقد قمة عربية عاجلة لتوحيد الموقف العربي الداعم لشعبنا ومقاومته المشروعة.

ثالثا: التوجه الى المحافل الدولية والى المؤسسات القانونية ومؤسسات المجتمع المدني لتنظيم الجهد القانوني لتوفير الحماية الدولية لشعبنا، ومعاقبة حكومة العدو الاسرائيلي لتنكرها للمواثيق الدولية، وارتكابها جرائم حرب وإبادة بحق شعبنا.

رابعا: تنظيم الدعم بكل أشكاله المعنويه والماديه من خلال لجان نسائية عربية.

خامسا: ندعوكن الى وقفة نسائية عربية موحدة، في يوم غضب نساء العرب تحت شعار ” أوقفوا العدوان على غزه، وفكوا الحصار عنها” وذلك يوم الأحد 11/1/2009 في الساعة الثانية عشرة بتوقيت القدس.

1. a continuation of protests across the arab world condemning israeli aggression and american support.

2. putting pressure on arab govs to cut ties with israel, stop all forms of normalization.

3. appeal to legal organizations and intl ngos to bring israel to justice for the war crimes it continues to commit.

4. providing various kinds of support for palestine via arab women orgs across the arab world.

5. inviting women all over the world to participate in this protest sunday the 11th of jan.

there is a song making its way across the internet that was written by a man named michael heart. the video on youtube for this song is powerful as are some of the lyrics in relation to the recent news about new layers and levels of israeli terrorist war crimes:

here are the lyrics to heart’s song:

A blinding flash of white light
Lit up the sky over Gaza tonight
People running for cover
Not knowing whether they’re dead or alive

They came with their tanks and their planes
With ravaging fiery flames
And nothing remains
Just a voice rising up in the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

Women and children alike
Murdered and massacred night after night
While the so-called leaders of countries afar
Debated on who’s wrong or right

But their powerless words were in vain
And the bombs fell down like acid rain
But through the tears and the blood and the pain
You can still hear that voice through the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight

We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

heart’s song speaks to the steadfastness of the spirit of the palestinians in gaza. it also alludes to the illegal weapons like white phosphorous that israeli terrorists are using on the people of gaza as seen in the photo below.

phos

human rights watch reports that white phosphorous is being used in a recent report:

Israel appeared to be using white phosphorus as an “obscurant” (a chemical used to hide military operations), a permissible use in principle under international humanitarian law (the laws of war). However, white phosphorus has a significant, incidental, incendiary effect that can severely burn people and set structures, fields, and other civilian objects in the vicinity on fire. The potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza’s high population density, among the highest in the world.

“White phosphorous can burn down houses and cause horrific burns when it touches the skin,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. “Israel should not use it in Gaza’s densely populated areas.”

Human Rights Watch believes that the use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas of Gaza violates the requirement under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injury and loss of life. This concern is amplified given the technique evidenced in media photographs of air-bursting white phosphorus projectiles. Air bursting of white phosphorus artillery spreads 116 burning wafers over an area between 125 and 250 meters in diameter, depending on the altitude of the burst, thereby exposing more civilians and civilian infrastructure to potential harm than a localized ground burst.

unfortunately, human rights watch, like most media outlets are banned from entering gaza so doing proper research on it is difficult. but there are those who are on the ground who have been reporting this for weeks now. here is an al jazeera report on the use of white phosphorous in gaza where you can see israeli terrorists rationalize their use of it because american terrorists use it too:

sameh habeeb also reports on casualties related to white phosphorous today:

A-25-woman killed in Khoza’a area due to Phosphorous bombs in Khan Yonis. Around 50 wounded according to medical sources.

one reason you don’t hear about things like this in the american media is because it is blocked, because israeli terrorists are using its propaganda to terrorize people into remaining silent. remaining complicit. here on al jazeera’s “the listening post” you can get a taste of what i’m talking about:

and you can see a bit of this in a more satirical version on jon stewart (who knew? i have only ever seen his comedy as a raving zionist cheerleader–if you don’t believe me go see for yourself how he discussed the israeli invasion of gaza and lebanon in the summer of 2006). but here he seems to be a little different:

there is even a jewish voice for peace campaign now calling for people to send him thank you notes from this website.

one clear example of israeli terrorist propaganda is its attempt to make the world think that hamas uses palestinian children as human shields or schools as launching pads for its rockets. ips reporter thalif deen proves otherwise:

Did the Israelis misidentify a school run by the U.N. Relief Works Agency (UNWRA), where 43 Palestinians seeking shelter were killed in an early morning air strike? Or were there Hamas gunmen shooting from the school drawing Israeli fire?

Neither assertion is accurate, says John Ging, UNRWA’s director of operations in Gaza.

All U.N. schools in Gaza are clearly marked, and they fly the Organisation’s distinctly discernible blue-and-white flags.

Moreover, he told reporters, Israel has been provided with Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of all of UNRWA’s installations in Gaza.

So there could not have been a misidentification of the U.N. school in the Jabaliya refugee camp whose compound was hit by an artillery shell early this week.

Asked if Hamas militants could have taken shelter in the school that was attacked, Ging said that UNRWA was “hugely sensitive” to maintaining the integrity of its facilities.

“We vet all those who seek shelter in our facilities to make sure militants were not taking advantage of them,” he said.

for those who know their zionist history well, and of course be extension world war ii history with which jewish suffering was rammed down their throats so as to ensure that they would never think that anyone else’s suffering in the history of the world was more important than jewish suffering, you know that one of adolf hitler’s tactics was the “big lie.” zionists from the late 19th century when theodor herzl and his cohorts spread lies about an “empty” palestine have used such deception. and they have used it ever since as rannie amiri writes in counterpunch:

In the case of the current Gaza onslaught, Livni’s remark in Paris that there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and everything is “completely as it should be” is an excellent example of The Big Lie. Its propagation has no doubt been aided by the Israeli government prohibiting journalists from entering Gaza (despite a High Court ruling ordering them to lift the ban).

But facts always run contrary to The Big Lie. According to the agencies of the United Nations and multiple international relief organizations:

* Eighty percent of Gazans were dependent on humanitarian assistance during the crippling 18-month siege of Gaza but before the outbreak of hostilities.

* Nearly all food shops have closed and there is currently a severe shortage of flour, rice, milk and canned goods.

* One quarter to one half of Gaza’s 1.5 million people are without water. Seventy-five percent have been without electricity for over a week. Fuel is in short supply and with winter at hand, this has caused terrible hardship to the majority who live in unlit, unheated homes (and who are also forced to keep their windows open to prevent shattering glass from nearby explosions).

* Cooking gas is extremely scarce since the tunnels into Egypt—the lifeline that kept Gaza barely afloat during the siege—were bombed.

* Supplies of regular diesel—the only means hospitals have for running backup generators and which they now exclusively run on—are very low. According to the United Nations, these generators are “close to collapse.” Diesel is also needed to run water and sewage pumps; absolute necessities in providing adequate sanitation and preventing the outbreak of disease.

* Even before the military campaign commenced, 75 percent of Gaza’s children were malnourished, 46 percent anemic and 30 percent suffered from stunted growth.

* The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur for the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, Dr. Richard Falk, said that Israel was “… allowing only barely enough food and fuel to enter to stave off mass famine and disease.”

A hallmark of The Big Lie is its repetition.

“Hamas is trying to create the appearance of a humanitarian crisis, but together with the international organizations, we are preventing this from happening.”

– Colonel Moshe Levi, Commander of the Israeli army’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, 1 January 2009.

The reality:

John Ging, head of the United Nations Relief and Words Agency (UNRWA), the organization responsible for feeding half of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents:

“We have a catastrophe unfolding in Gaza for the civilian population. The people of Gaza City and the north now have no water. That comes on top of having no electricity. They’re trapped, they’re traumatized, they’re terrorized by this situation … The inhumanity of this situation, the lack of action to bring this to an end, is bewildering to them” (Daily Telegraph, 5 Jan 2009).

“Gaza was already bad enough but what I saw today was utter devastation. It’s just horrible to see this, horrible to see civilians caught up in this. Gaza went through ‘crisis’ a long time ago and what I saw today was a catastrophe in the making” (The Guardian, 5 Jan 2009).

Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UNRWA:

“When you look at the Israeli assertions about the humanitarian situation it is very hard to square this with the extraordinarily dire situation on the ground in Gaza. Any claims about human need at this stage need to be grounded in reality” (Daily Telegraph, 1 Jan 2009).

Maxwell Gaylard, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian Territories:

“By any definition this is a humanitarian crisis and more” (AFP, 3 Jan 2009).

“The WFP [World Food Programme] stopped sending food in there because their warehouses are full to the top.”

– Major Avital Leibovitz, military spokesman, 4 January 2009.

Christine Van Nieuwenhuyse, WFP representative in Gaza (reported to be “furious” at the above comment):

“The current situation in Gaza is appalling, and many basic food items are no longer available on the market” (Press TV, 2 Jan 2009).

Maxwell Gaylard, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Palestinian Territories:

“Conditions for parents and children in Gaza are dangerous and frightening. It is absolutely crucial that there is an end to the fighting. Without it, more civilians will continue to be killed. Without the violence stopping, it is extremely difficult to get food to people who need it” (The Scotsman, 3 Jan 2009).

“Electricity and communications are down over much of the strip both on account of lack of fuel and damage to critical infrastructure. Over a million people are currently without power, and over a quarter million without running water, some for up to six days” (Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2009).

The Associated Press, 4 Jan 2009:

And in the central Gaza refugee camp of Nusseirat, Munir Najar said he only had another day’s worth of flour to feed his family of seven, but ventured out to find streets deserted and shops closed.

“There’s not a loaf of bread to be found,” said Najar, 43.

“There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

– Israeli Cabinet Secretary Oved Yehezkel, 4 January 2009.

The New York Times, 5 Jan 2009:

Many here would dispute that [Yehezkel’s statement]. With power lines down, much of Gaza has no electricity. There is a dire shortage of cooking gas.

Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian who was allowed into Gaza last week to give emergency medical aid, and who has worked in many conflict zones, said the situation was the worst he had seen.

The hospital lacked everything, he said: monitors, anesthesia, surgical equipment, heaters and spare parts. Israeli bombing nearby blew out windows, and like the rest of Gaza, here the severely limited fuel supplies were running low.

Dominic Nutt, spokesman for Save the Children:

“We need to deliver more food and blankets to ensure that children do not die of hunger and cold” (Daily Telegraph, 5 Jan 2009).

Sadi Ali, project manager for the Palestinian Water Authority:

“There is a risk of the spread of all sorts of water borne diseases such as dysentery and cholera” (Daily Telegraph, 4 Jan 2009).

Pierre Krähenbühl, Director of Operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC):

“There is no doubt in my mind that we are dealing with a full blown and major crisis in humanitarian terms. The situation for the people in Gaza is extreme and traumatic as a result of ten days of uninterrupted fighting. In that sense, their situation has clearly become intolerable” (ICRC.org, 6 Jan 2009).

The truth, as always, runs in stark contrast to the utterances of those peddling the latest of Israel’s Big Lies. Just as in 1948 when the ‘people without a land for a land without a people’ myth was used as cover to expel 700,000 indigenous inhabitants from historical Palestine, The Big Lie is once again being employed to obfuscate the reality of the crimes being committed in Gaza.

Let us hope this time, they do not get away with it.

indeed this big lie is so pervasive that someone from medecins sans frontieres wrote to me and asked me to post this article and a link to it on my blog:

The military offensive in the Gaza Strip is affecting civilians indiscriminately, while medical teams continue to face serious obstacles to providing assistance, the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today. The international community must not be content with a limited truce, which MSF said is largely inadequate for providing life-saving assistance.

As the Israeli military offensive continues, the toll, estimated at 600 deaths and 2,950 wounded in just 11 days, is reaching alarming proportions and is indicative of extreme violence indiscriminately affecting civilians.

indeed one of the big lies israeli terrorists have been pushing for the last week is that from 1-4 pm each day there is a “lull” for a humanitarian corridor so that aid can get to the palestinian people in gaza. of course, if you watch the news (i.e., not american or british propaganda news like bbc or cnn or fox) you will notice that this is far from the truth:

or here is what natalie abou shakra says about what a “ceasefire” or “lull” looks like on the ground:

Comrade Alberto Arce and comrade Eva Bartlett almost got killed yesterday as the Israeli “defence forces” were defending themselves from the ambulance’s sirens… they said the ambulance siren was bothering them while they were flying their planes in Gaza’s beautiful sky that they make ugly with their presence…they killed two paramedics in the shooting, from the snipers in the surveillance buzzing planes, Mr. and Mrs. Bee. Alberto had his camera on… later the footage was provided to AL Jazeera… at eleven, we accompanied Alberto to his live interview with Al Jazeera from the Ramattan building… he was very nervous… Eva, Mohammad and I watched him as we sat beside him, not appearing on the camera… it was the same studio I was in when Al Jazeera interviewed me the day I set foot in Gaza… I look at the chair, at the desk… at the background which is but a dark body of gloominess behind the chair… of Gaza… without lights… no lights… could death be that dark, I asked myself… we all support Alberto as he is nervous to speak in English… “In Spanish I would fight Bush… but, in English I cannot”… he is from Spain…he spoke bluntly, but as he ends, I tell him he forgot to note down that in the Israeli “defense forces'” “ceasefire” they ceased-fire three children’s souls… Amal, Souad, and Samar, 2, 4, 6 years old respectively from the Abed Rabbu family… they said they were defending themselves against pink pajamas which they mistook for pink Qassam rockets…

and while israeli terrorist reservists are now joining in the killing spree in gaza, the siege has also extended across the border and into egypt, though i don’t suspect hosni mubarak cares any more for the egyptians living on the other side of rafah than he cares for the palestinians in gaza:

Four people in Egypt were reportedly wounded by shrapnel from IAF strikes near Rafah on Sunday night, according to a security official quoted in an AFP report.

Two of the wounded were children, aged two and five, and two were Egyptian police officers.

“Tens of homes” were also damaged in the strikes, which targeted terrorist smuggling tunnels on the Philadelphi Corridor, the official was quoted as saying.

but there was some good news today:

1. hamas fired at american-made f-16s flown by israeli terrorists.

2. iran announced it would boycott those doing business with the zionist entity.

3. palestinian union of workers’ unions called for a boycott of israeli terrorist products

4. and…some group started shooting at israeli terrorists from occupied golan.

all of this on a day when we are reaching close to the 1,000 mark of counting martyrs. some new names of those martyrs were reported in ma’an’s breakdown of today’s war crimes brought to you by the israeli-american terrorist forces:

Five Palestinians were killed in separate strikes near Gaza City and in the Jabaliya Refugee Camp on Sunday evening.

Despite a so-called lull in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid, Israeli shelling killed two Palestinians in the Ash-Shuja’eiyah neighborhood, which is east of Gaza City.

Meanwhile, two others died in the northern Gaza Strip refugee camp of Jabaliya, local sources told Ma’an, adding that specifically the Al-Jurn area was hit in the deadly attack.

Those three victims were identified as Mus’ab Khader, Husein Abu Sulkltan and 15-year-old Amal A’lush. A number of others were injured.

Also, Israeli warplanes shelled the home of Mohammad Dahlan in the Ar-Remal neighborhood of Gaza City. Jets also hit the home of Shadi Abu Labad in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip.

Earlier Sunday

Some 30 Gazans have been killed since midnight Sunday and nearly 100 injured, apparently by newly used weaponry that set fires to both the people and buildings targeted.

Israel had not previously used white phosphorous bombs during the Gaza offensive, but by Sunday residents and experts were reporting widespread damage by the weapon, which is not illegal, in the Ghuza’a and Abasan villages east of Khan Younis.

Medical sources at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis said most of the morning’s casualties had been women and children. Medical staff appealed to international agencies for new supplies to deal with burn victims suddenly pouring into the hospital.

Earlier, Sunday dawned with six more Palestinians confirmed dead in Gaza, mainly from the Khuza’a village, which is east of Khan Younis.

Overnight

Israeli warplanes shifted their sights to civilian homes in southern Gaza shortly before dawn, after which strikes began in the north.

Israeli ground troops continued their advance toward Gaza City, as well.

One contingent withdrew northward at dawn, while a second front southwest of Gaza City continued to move toward an abandoned Israeli settlement south of the city.

The identities of two Palestinians killed in the southern Gaza Strip during the night were revealed as 41-year-old Hanan An-Najjar and another unidentified man.

At least 50 were injured as Israeli strikes hit a dozen homes in the village of Khuza’a, many of which were still ablaze through the noon on Sunday.

Also, the body of 17-year-old Usama Abu Rajileh was identified among the dead in Khan Younis.

Attacks in the north began shortly, as well, when four members of the Bashir family were killed by Israeli airstrikes on the family home, which stood in the Al-Karama neighborhood, northwest of Gaza City.

The family was in the home at the time and an unknown number were injured. Witnesses said Ala Bashir “Abu Sheib,” Bashir’s wife, his mother-in-law and son were all killed in the strike. Several other homes in the area were hit.

Strikes then shifted to the northern border town of Beit Lahiya, where locals reported the use of white phosphorous, which set homes ablaze. The strikes killed at least three from the Ma’rouf and Ghaban families and injured dozens more.

Ground troops head north after night of attacks

Witnesses said Israeli troops withdrew from the As-Sudaniyah area, north of Gaza City, after a night of shooting there.

Locals said several homes were raided and their residents “massacred,” after which their homes were burned. Medical sources have until Sunday evening been unable to confirm the number of dead there.

Some of the known raids included the home of Ahmad Aj-Ja’bari, an Al-Qassam Brigades member, in eastern Gaza City. His home was set on fire, as well, as Israeli troops withdrew.

In the southwest quarter of Gaza City clashes were heard in the Al-Sheikh Ajlein neighborhood as Israeli troops approached the evacuated Netsarim settlement, south of the city.

these are the war crimes that you, american citizens, pay for. that you don’t speak out about. you are complicit. i ask you: if these were jews, if this were world war ii, if adolf hitler were still alive, would you keep silent then too?

الصمود في غزة

gaza graffiti on wall outside my old apartment in hamra
gaza graffiti on wall outside my old apartment in hamra

i keep thinking about safa joudeh. the last two days since i read and blogged her words from electornic intifada:

We have fled for too long, Gaza is our last refuge and our home after we were displaced from what is now called Israel. All this happened 60 years ago. What more could they want? We have nowhere left to go. They have disregarded every single international law there is. Now is the time to defend ourselves, now is the time for resistance.

i found her online and i asked her what we can do for her–those who want to support the resistance from beirut or nablus. those who would come to fight in the resistance if we could, but are unable to get there. i was somewhat surprised by her answer, but i think it is important to really think about what she says:

It’s wonderful to hear about the demonstrations being organized and here in Gaza knowing what’s going on in the rest of the world and that people are outraged is truly a huge source of comfort. At this point we feel so helpless, I for one wish that there was more I can do than write! but I think raising awareness is very important and that gives me comfort. And I think that would be the best thing people outside can do to help.

she wants us to write. to raise awareness. to demonstrate. demonstrate so that it makes the media. so that they see it in gaza. to show them that we care. so simple. but we must do this every day. and we must organize and do this in numbers big numbers. like hezbollah: yesterday they got 20,000 people into the streets of nabatiya to march for gaza. yesterday the communists and pflp, who seem to be doing most of the organizing in beirut, got about 20 people to protest in front of the egyptian embassy (well, a few blocks away because the internal security forces [isf] has the street cordoned off with barbed wire) and today in the pouring rain we had maybe 1,000 people at a march from barbir to downtown. but more on that later.

gaza coffins, hamra street, beirut
gaza coffins, hamra street, beirut

last night some dear friends got together to discuss what we could do, how we could not only support palestinians in gaza, but their resistance, their stadfastness, their الصمود. one of my friends told a story about an ‘azza he went to once for a friend whose relative had died. at the time my friend did not think much about the act of going to the ‘azza to pay his condolences for his friend; it is a normal thing people do. but he later learned how much it meant to his friend. after this ‘azza the friend later told my friend that he had divided his friends into two camps: those who paid their condolences and those who did not. something with this clicked with me instantly. i remember when my mom died in my senior year of college. i was very struck by people’s responses to this. those friends who wrote me letters, who called, who came to the funeral indeed were people i remained closed to. those who did nothing i never spoke to again. it is very clear what we need when people we love die: we need to know that people are standing with us; we need to know that people will that there are people who will help us to get through those difficult times. this is the bare minimum that we can do. to lend our emotional support to the palestinian people in gaza. to show them that we are with their armed struggle against zionist colonizers and terrorists 100%. too, after loved ones die, after palestinians in gaza become martyrs we have practical questions of how we can help prepare them to carry on this revolution to liberate palestine. and we need to convince people in lebanon of this issue as much as we need to convince those palestinians that their support should be with the people not with the cia-controlled palestinian authority.

this is why we must remember the martyrs and name them and not forget them and honor their death in a dignified way. in solidarity. the latest massacre figures are as follows:

Twenty three Gazans have been killed since midnight Sunday morning and dozens injured by new weapons that ensure the incineration of buildings and people hit by the explosives.

The Israeli Phosphoric bombs have not yet been used in the Gaza offensive.

The total for the 16 days of Israeli strikes and ground fire is now 875 killed, 3,620 injured and 411 seriously wounded.

and there are now 50,000 internally displaced people (idps) in gaza. so the subject of conversation in beirut, among friends of mine, is focused on what we can do from here: how can we support the steadfastness, the resistance from here? how can we place pressure on external players who have blood on their hands for participating in this massacre either by arming the israeli terrorists (the united states) or by closing the borders and now helping palestinians who wish to flee (egypt) or by those in collusion with this american-israeli massacre on the political level (jordan, saudi arabia). this pressure is important for the long-term struggle. and we identified 3 levels of this struggle that need to be dealt with and supported:

1. the military struggle (which those of us outside cannot really help with)

2. putting pressure on external players (boycott, divestment, sanctions, protests)

3. supporting the psychological steadfastness of the palestinians in gaza (protests, writing, educating)

in all of these levels we need to be highly visible. it needs to be done well. to be coordinated without factionalism. but the third element–to which the second one is related–is important because we don’t want palestinians in gaza to become a defeated people. we want them to see the support and continue their resistance. to know that it is worth it. this is why even the propaganda that we see on television stations like al manar (which you can watch online) is important.

another important thing my friend mentioned in our discussion is that what is happening in gaza is symptomatic of the arab world so we need a systemic response to it. even if we were capable of smuggling weapons from here, it would be a bandaid response to a larger, regional problem. what is needed, what they don’t have is support from the arab world. obviously, the people of the arab world support the people of gaza; but we need new governments in these complicit states that reflect the will of the people not these regimes we see in jordan and egypt that are in collusion with the united states. we need to put pressure to halt all normalization with the zionist entity so that we can truly liberate palestine. the armed resistance in gaza is not a problem as kabobfest observed last week and angry arab observed yesterday: in 1967 the region was defeated in 6 days. we are now into day 16 and palestinians are not defeated in the least.

jordanian flag painted over with red...
look closely at the flag: jordanian flag painted over with red…

one reason it was important for us to have this discussion last night, and why many of my friends are continuing to have such discussions here, is because we need to figure out how we can act in ways that would be powerful and effective. so that the media comes to the protests, so that people in gaza see us on television and know that we are here for them, with them. we need to think how people can best be mobilized. and this question came up because we went to a protest yesterday at the egyptian embassy and it was only sparsely attended. there were about 20 people there. we couldn’t get nearly close enough as all the streets in a one-block radius around the embassy are blocked off with barbed wire. some of the protesters brought pictures from the massacre in gaza and affixed them to the barbed wire (oddly: al jazeera english, which showed images from our demonstration yesterday, said that we put this barbed wire there: we did not! the internal security forces put it there so that we could not get close enough to the embassy as they did in yemen). this demonstration, like the one i went to today, was organized by the various leftist and communist parties in lebanon and from the palestinian refugee camps here. but yesterday there were 3 protests: this one at the embassy, a candlelight vigil in sassine square in ashrafiyeh, and a mass at an ‘aoun affiliated church in ashrafiyeh which had around 250 people in attendance.

dsc00039

on a side note: we went to buy flags for the protest at a shop in hamra yesterday. once we got there and we saw the sun shining on the red of the flag we noticed that the flag shop sold us jordanian flags with the white star painted over in red to make it a palestinian flag. anyway, these protests at the egyptian embassy are daily, which may be one reason for the sparse attendance. so we are trying to think about how to best connect people. the people are too divided–even among the left here. there are multiple meetings every day. there are too many protests. we need one big one every day. like an ‘azza, in a central place, like in the cemetery outside shatila refugee camp where people from mar elias refugee camp, bourj al barajneh refugee camp, and the christian, shi’a, and sunni neighborhoods nearby can easily get to. where we can maybe get at least 1,000 people every day to attend, to mourn for 40 days. to show solidarity with the people of gaza. an on-going vigil. it must be centrally located. this is more important than the nightly vigil at the united nations escwa building downtown, the spaces of the elite, rich people. and we need to duplicate the work of the people in bourj al barajneh camp that has the phone bank to call people in gaza to let them know we are with them 100%. every day.

the key is this: the focus must be on the palestinian people of gaza. this is not and cannot be about people’s egos, their desire for power or fame or control of one political party or another, which is what it sort of seems like to me at the moment.

egyptian embassy in the distance
egyptian embassy in the distance

on a related note my friend also had an important thing to say about the political parties with which we align ourselves. we expect that whatever party we belong to meet our ideological perspective 100%. and if it doesn’t we tend to not want to involve ourselves. for instance, there are things about hezbollah or hamas that i do not agree with, but their resistance is strong and steadfast and i support both in this 100%. but this is again related to questions i posed the other day when thinking about resistance. my friend said: we work at places, spend 8 hours a day at such places, that we do not agree with institutionally, politically. maybe we agree with our places of employment 20%. and yet we work there. so why is it that we are not willing to work with those political parties with which we agree maybe 80%? such thinking forces us to divide, to factionalize and this weakens our resistance and our ability to support people in gaza.

barbir to downtown march
barbir to downtown march

today’s demonstration, though, was better in some respects as there seemed to be around 1,000 people. we met in barbir and marched to downtown in the pouring rain and hail. but people did not seem to run for shelter and abandon the demonstration. we marched in our soaking shoes, socks, pants in spite of the weather. but again, just one political orientation: just leftists. where are the others? why can’t we join forces with hezbollah and ‘aoun, for instance, and make our voices louder and stronger. sure al jadeed television and al jazeera and al manar television will cover these events, but the bigger we are the more support we lend to the people of gaza and that should be our overall goal. we should not forget this.

marching in the rain
marching in the rain

as for other forms of resistance: boycott, divestment, sanctions and a total cessation of any form of normalization with israeli terrorists should be demanded by people all over the planet. not just the arab world. just as i divided the world into two parts after my mom died: those who stood with me and those who ignored me, i feel the same way now. those who normalize and those who don’t. those who stand steadfastly with palestinian resistance and those who do not. there is no space for a gray area now. we should follow norway’s example, for instance, in their boycott plans:

Norway has been the site of a flurry of Palestine solidarity activism and BDS initiatives over the past week, as tens of thousand of people have called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Oslo, and major trade unions are mobilizing in support of a comprehensive boycott and divestment campaign.

Demonstrations have now been held in at least 28 cities:

Oslo, Stavanger, Sandnes, Fredrikstad, Trondheim, Hamar, Sortland, Namsos, Arendal, Norheimsund, MosjÃen, Bergen, Sarpsborg, TÃnsberg, Harstad, TromsøKristiansand, Notodden, VadsøMoi Rana, Alta, Kirkenes, RÃros, Volda, Halden, GjÃvik, Lillehammer, Selbu.

The numbers of participants have never been bigger.

Union activities:

POLITICAL STRIKE: Thursday ALL trains in the whole of Norway, and all trams and subways in Oslo, will stand still for two minutes as a result of a political strike organized by the Norwegian Locomotive Union and the Oslo Tram Workers Union in protest of the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

A large selection of Norwegian trade unions and organizations has endorsed a new campaign for the withdrawal of all State investments in Israel. The call is endorsed by so far 6 of the largest national trade unions.

The Union of Trade and Office Workers calls on all members to ask their employers to remove Israeli products from stores. The union is the by far largest union of workers in all types of private and public stores in Norway.

The confederation of Norwegian Trade Unions (LO), with apr. 1/5 of the whole Norwegian population as members, condemns the Israeli bombing and invasion in Gaza and calls for demonstrations.

The Norwegian Church has protested Israels invasion of Gaza and was, according to media, “called to the carpet” by the Israeli ambassador.

22.000 supports the Facebook-group demanding the ambassador to be expelled from Norway. The Facebook-group has got attention in all major newspaper and was hacked by a Zionist hacker-group but is now back on track.

31% of Norwegians supports the boycott of Israel, in a survey by the pro-Israel tabloid VG today. The question was politically charged “Do you support the Socialist Left’s boycott of Israel?” If not mentioning the Socialists the number would probably be much higher. The vast majority in all groups in the survey is against the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

likewise, in canada we are seeing increased workers mobilize in solidarity with palestinians in gaza through boycott:

On behalf of the 56,000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, I am writing to demand that the Canadian government condemn the military assault on the people of Gaza that the state of Israel commenced on December 26th, 2008.

Canada must also call for a cessation of the ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza, which has resulted in the collective punishment of the entire Gaza population.

Canada must also address the root cause of the violence: Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Israel’s current actions are totally out of proportion with any notion of self-defense. Israel’s actions are resulting in the massacre of people in Gaza.

Israels action will not bring peace to the region. they will result in Israel being less secure.

Professor Richard Falk, the UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied territories, has characterized the Israeli offensive as containing “…severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regards to the obligations of an occupying power and in the requirements of the laws of war.”

CUPW strongly urges the Canadian government to condemn the serious violations of humanitarian and international law by the state of Israel.

The Israeli Government’s siege and military incursions into Gaza are not isolated events. It is a direct result of Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestine and the refusal of the Israeli government to abide by numerous United Nations security council resolutions.

Therefore, as a longer term strategy, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is asking your government to adopt a program of boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and complies with international law, including the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Yours truly,

Denis Lemelin
National President

cc.
Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Leader
Jack Layton, NDP Leader
Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Quebecois Leader
Ken Georgetti, Canadian Labor Congress

and in egypt we see more action on the front of destabilizing its normalizing relations with the zionist terrorist regime:

90 members of the Egyptian parliament have asked for accelerating the endorsement of a draft law banning the sale of natural gas to Israel in the light of the latter’s “criminal aggression on the Gaza Strip”.

The request signed by 90 MPs asked for respecting the Egyptian state court’s ruling that banned such exports.

They also asked for canceling the minister of petroleum’s decision in 2005 that approved the signing of a deal allowing the export of gas to Israel.

MP Hussein Ibrahim, Muslim Brotherhood deputy, said that he tabled a proposal to this effect in the past parliamentary session but it was delayed and he was now insisting on putting it to vote in the current session.

Signatories to the request, tabled with the parliament speaker, said that they would not tolerate witnessing Egyptian gas and petroleum being exported to Israel at a time it was using it in killing Gaza children.

burning the israeli terrorist flag
burning the israeli terrorist flag

likewise academics must stop their normalizing relations with israeli professors and institutions who are complicit in israeli state terrorism (all israeli universities are state run institutions that produce the knowledge that enables their genocidal practices and policies and there has NEVER been a single israeli academic body to condemn this behavior). dear rania and i wrote an article for the chronicle of higher education last week, addressed to our academic colleagues in the united states, but they ignored it and refused to publish it. it is now on dissident voice. i encourage you to read it in full (as well as rania’s updating of it on her blog), but here is what we are demanding:

We urge our fellow academics to not only support this statement in theory, but also in practice by pushing for academic boycott on your campuses as you return to classes this week. Supporting the human rights of Palestinians is not anti-Semitic; it is about human rights: Palestinian human rights. If this were any other captive population besieged for seven days with US-made materiel, we would be outraged and acting. So we are asking you to act now. It is our tax dollars at work that enables this massacre to take place. Let us work for justice, for consistency. Let us make apartheid, in all its forms, only present in history books.


the blog south lebanon also republished the piece;
we hope others will not only follow in getting the word out, but alter their behavior institutionally and personally. i refuse to subscribe to the belief that freedom of speech is more important than the palestinian people who are being slaughtered.

canadians have been active on this academic boycott front for a while now and are renewing that work, though shamefully american academics are not in the same way:

CUPE Ontario’s university workers committee will bring a resolution to its annual conference supporting a ban on Israeli academics doing speaking, teaching or research work at Ontario universities as a protest against the December 29 bombing of the Islamic University in Gaza.

“In response to an appeal from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, we are ready to say Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general,” said Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario. “It’s a logical next step, building on policy adopted by our provincial convention in 2006.”

Resolution 50, adopted in May 2006, supported boycotts, divestment and sanctions aimed at bringing about the Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and a just peace in the region.

“Clearly, international pressure on Israel must increase to stop the massacre that is going on daily,” said Janice Folk-Dawson, chair of the CUPE Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee, whose conference is scheduled for February. “We are proud to add CUPE voices to others from around the world saying enough is enough.”

Ryan and other CUPE representatives will join in the demonstration against the Israeli assault on Gaza at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, January 3 at Dundas Square in Toronto.

likewise, the palestinian academic and cultural boycott of israel wrote a letter this week to soas for its normalizing relationship with tel aviv university in the midst of this horrific genocide on gaza:

Dear Professor Paul Webley,

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is gravely concerned that the School of Oriental and African Studies will be hosting the Tel Aviv University Special Lecture Series marking Tel Aviv’s centennial (January 12th-March 16th).

At a time when the Israeli government is unleashing the full force of its military might in an all-out war against an essentially defenceless population in the occupied Gaza Strip, celebrating Tel Aviv while Gaza burns is morally repulsive. It is an indefensible position for an academic institution to take while a population, over half of whom are children, are subject to daily attacks that are widely recognized as violating international humanitarian law and basic human rights.

Tel Aviv is not a ‘White City on the Dunes’ promising a ‘Mediterranean Dream’ as the titles of two lectures in the Lecture Series would have us believe. Rather, as the seat of Israeli political and economic power, Tel Aviv houses the masterminds of Israel’s longstanding policies of ethnic cleansing, racial discrimination and military subjugation. It is hence more emblematic of apartheid and colonial rule than any other Israeli city.

Tel Aviv is a city in colonial denial. Its very existence and expansion are products of the Zionist project of erasing the physical presence of the Palestinians, their culture, heritage and memory. The adjacent Palestinian city of Jaffa and numerous villages were emptied of their indigenous inhabitants to make way for the ‘White City’. This fact is conspicuously absent from the Special Lecture Series and thus renders the lectures no better than political propaganda on behalf of Israel and its ongoing project of colonial dispossession.

It may be claimed that as an academic institution, Tel Aviv University stands apart from all this. But it is important to stress that the university was built on the lands of the Palestinian village of Sheikh Muwannis, a village largely destroyed in 1948 and its inhabitants ethnically cleansed and forced to flee for their lives. The “Green House”, the former home of the head of the village, is one of the few original buildings of the village that remains and currently serves as a restaurant for university faculty. The President of Tel Aviv University refused to acknowledge its history and objected to the posting of a sign on the “Green House” that would explain its origin. The campaign to pressure the university to recognize its history has been led by the Israeli organization Zochrot. [1]

The university not only refuses to recognize its past, but is also an integral part of Israel’s brutal occupation and apartheid regime imposed on the Palestinians, including the current savage bombardment of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. Typical is the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), an external institute of Tel Aviv University, which boasts in its mission statement of its “strong association with the political and military establishment”. Advising governmental decision makers and public leaders on important “strategic issues”, it is no stretch of the imagination to suppose that the INSS has played a direct or indirect role in the current Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

In common with all other Israeli academic bodies and institutions, Tel Aviv University has never taken a public stand against the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, or criticized the closure of Palestinian universities which are part of a longstanding assault on Palestinian education. Unsurprisingly then, no voice was heard from Tel Aviv or any other academic institution in Israel condemning the bombing of the campus of the Islamic University in Gaza on December 28th, 2008. In addition to Palestinian academics, we know that a significant number of their international and UK colleagues are shocked at the deafening silence emanating from the Israeli academy. As the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees asked in their recent statement [2], are Israeli universities willing to call for an end to the occupation? Are Israeli academics going to speak out in support of freedom of education and call for an end to their government’s assault on Palestinian education? Are they going to cut their organic and deep-rooted ties with the military-security establishment? Or are the members of the academy dutifully preparing for the reserve call-up just approved by their government, ready to serve in the death squads committing what international human rights organisations have described as war crimes?

While some may claim that an academic institution such as SOAS, should remain above ‘political frays’ and provide instead a neutral forum for the open exchange of ideas, hosting such an event, and particularly as Gaza is being decimated by Israel, is to support and acquiesce in Israel’s vicious and illegal actions. We urge the administration of SOAS to cancel the Special Lecture Series to avoid being held complicit in whitewashing Israel’s grave violations of international law, to take a minimal stand in solidarity with your Palestinian colleagues, and in response to the call issued by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, BNC, urging international civil society “not just to protest and condemn in diverse forms Israel’s massacre in Gaza, but also to join and intensify the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel to end its impunity and to hold it accountable for its persistent violation of international law and Palestinian rights.”[3] We agree with the statement’s conclusion that “without sustained, effective pressure by people of conscience the world over, Israel will continue with its gradual, rolling acts of genocide against the Palestinians, burying any prospects for a just peace under the blood and rubble of Gaza, Nablus and Jerusalem.”

SOAS has the opportunity to uphold ethical principles and the universality of human rights by cancelling this ill-conceived propaganda exercise, thereby contributing to bringing about the conditions for a just and lasting peace for Palestine and the entire region.

Sincerely,
PACBI
www.pacbi.org

likewise in scottland there is a call for boycott:

SCOTTISH COMMITTEE FOR THE UNIVERSITIES OF PALESTINE

Press release: 1-00 pm / 4th January 2009 – Glasgow

As evening closed in on Saturday 3rd January 2009 F-16 fighter planes
 renewed their bombing of one of the most densely populated areas of land in the world, killing more Palestinian civilians. In seven days Israel has killed over 500 Palestinians and injuring thousand of innocents. And now it has embarked on a full scale ground invasion.

We note and deplore the failure of the UN Security Council to condemn the Israeli massacre of Gazans in the Strip; the international body has proved itself a farce by once again colluding in the US-EU-Israeli effort to thwart peace. In these circumstances we call for all members of Scottish civil society to support all demonstrations against this atrocity, to join lobbies and write to representatives, and to contribute to medical aid through various organisations. We seriously urge the BBC to speak out against the Israel’s concealment of its atrocities, away from the world’s media. Again Israel defies international law and its own legal system. We say this is not the action of a democracy! Journalists and media organizations must therefore make formal objections to this ban. Israel cannot be allowed to conceal its war crimes.

We call for a boycott of Israel and for ordinary people to participate in peaceful actions everywhere opposing actions of the Zionist state and express real support for the Palestinian people. We also demand that the UK government withdraw its ambassador in Tel Aviv immediately and cease diplomatic relations until Israel starts conforming to the norms of international relations. A country that spurns diplomacy as an option for resolving its disputes must not benefit from the legitimacy that diplomatic recognition confers.

Israel must withdraw from the Gaza Strip immediately. The bombing and ground operation must cease without delay; and the border crossing with Egypt must be opened forthwith. There is no justification for withholding food, water, power and essential services to 1.5 million civilians. International observers and the press must be allowed into Gaza and, finally, the Scottish civil society must respond to the call issued by their Palestinian counterparts in adopting the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) campaign and generate international pressure where the multinational institutions have been remiss. Israeli institutions and produce must be rejected. We urge shoppers to look for replacement goods from peaceful states.

For further information and contacts who may be interviewed please contact:

Keith Hammond

Notes:

The Scottish Committee for the Universities of Palestine is a committee of academics and similar professionals, established in 2008 as a sister organisation to the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP). The Scottish Committee is committed to furthering the boycott of the state of Israel. We aim to popularise amongst in Scottish universities and broader civil society the humanitarian consequences of Israel’s war policies. We aim to highlight the racist state of Israel’s systematic destruction of Palestinian universities and schools, hospitals, and municipalities. We work towards an end to the Israeli occupation, meaningful peace in the dismantling of the apartheid wall, the checkpoints and illegal settlements; and we campaign to further the building of a free state of Palestine.

i know it is a lot to ask of americans to think about palestinians as human beings (just look at the white house’s response to the death of its f(*&^%$ cat compared to the 857 palestinians in gaza as one example) whose rights and lives are more important than their precious positions in corporations or universities. this is why i had naievely thought that israeli terrorists targeting not only universities and schools, but united nations unrwa schools housing palestinian idps might just get their attention and force them to change their point of view. but clearly this is not the case as of yet. nevertheless, it is worth reading ameer ahmad and ed vulliamy’s piece in the guardian today on what they call scholasticide:

A new word emerged from the carnage in Gaza this week: “scholasticide” – the systematic destruction by Israeli forces of centres of education dear to Palestinian society, as the ministry of education was bombed, the infrastructure of teaching destroyed, and schools across the Gaza strip targeted for attack by the air, sea and ground offensives.

“Learn, baby, learn” was a slogan of the black rights movement in America’s ghettoes a generation ago, but it also epitomises the idea of education as the central pillar of Palestinian identity – a traditional premium on schooling steeled by occupation, and something the Israelis “cannot abide… and seek to destroy”, according to Dr Karma Nabulsi, who teaches politics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. “We knew before, and see more clearly now than ever, that Israel is seeking to annihilate an educated Palestine,” she says.

The Palestinians are among the most thoroughly educated people in the world. For decades, Palestinian society – both at home in the West Bank and Gaza, and scattered in the diaspora – has put a singular emphasis on learning. After the expulsions of 1948 and after the 1967 occupation, waves of refugees created an influential Palestinian intelligentsia and a marked presence in the disciplines of medicine and engineering across the Arab world, Europe and the Americas.

“Education is the most important thing – it is part of the family life, part of your identity and part of the rebellion,” says Nabulsi. “Everyone knows this, and in a refugee camp like Gaza, every child knows that in those same schooldesks sat your parents and your grandparents, whose tradition they carry on.”

Schooling and university studies are the fabric of life despite, not because of, circumstances: every university in the occupied territories has been closed down at some point by Israeli forces, many of them regularly. However, the closures and arrests of students (more than 300 at Birzeit university in Ramallah, says Nabulsi) only strengthens the desire to become educated.

In the current offensive, Israel began attacking Gaza’s educational institutions immediately. On only the second and third day of air attacks last week, Israeli planes wreaked severe damage in direct strikes on Gaza’s Islamic University. The main buildings were devastated, destroying administrative records, and, of course, ending studies. The Ministry of Education has been hit twice by direct hits from the air.

The Saturday of the ground invasion was the day on which most students in Gaza sit their end-of-year examinations. In the majority of cases, these had to be abandoned, and it remains unclear whether they can or will be sat again. Other schools were also attacked – most notoriously the UN establishment in the Jabaliya refugee camp where at least 40 people were massacred on Tuesday.

On Sunday, another Israeli air strike destroyed the pinnacle of Palestinian schooling, the elite and private American International School, to which the children of business and other leaders went, among them Fulbright scholars unable to take up their places in the United States because of the Israeli blockade. Ironically, the same school was attacked last year by a group called the Holy Jihad Brigades, and has been repeatedly vandalised for its association with western-style education.

The school was founded in 2000 to offer a “progressive” (and fully co-educational) American-style curriculum, taught in English, from kindergarten to sixth form, and was said by the Israelis to have been the site, or near the site, from which a rocket was fired. A night watchman was killed in the destruction of the building.

The chairman of its board of trustees, Iyad Saraj, says: “This is the most distinguished and advanced school in Gaza, if not in Gaza and the West Bank. I cannot swear there was no rocket fired, but if there was, you don’t destroy a whole school.” He adds: “This is the destruction of civilisation.”

The school has no connection to the US government, Saraj says, and many of the 250 who graduate from it each year go on to US universities. “They are very good, highly educated open-minded students who can really be future leaders of Palestine.”

Young Palestinians playing in Daniel Barenboim’s celebrated East-West Divan Orchestra – which this week again brings Palestinian and Israeli musicians together to play a prestigious concert in Vienna – say that music schools in their communities and refugee camps are “not just educating young people, but helping them understand their identity”, as Nabeel Abboud Ashkar, a violinist based in Nazareth, puts it, adding: “And the Israelis are not necessarily happy with that.”

Ramzi Aburedwan, who runs the Al-Kamandjati classical music school in Ramallah, argues: “What the Israelis are doing is killing the lives of the people. Bring music, and you bring life. The children who played here were suddenly interested in their future”.

In a recent lecture, Nabulsi at St Edmund Hall recalled the tradition of learning in Palestinian history, and the recurrent character of the teacher as an icon in Palestinian literature. “The role and power of education in an occupied society is enormous. Education posits possibilities, opens horizons. Freedom of thought contrasts sharply with the apartheid wall, the shackling checkpoints, the choking prisons,” she said.

This week, following the bombing of schools in Gaza, she says: “The systematic destruction of Palestinian education by Israel has countered that tradition since the occupation of 1967,” citing “the calculated, wholesale looting of the Palestinian Research Centre in Beirut during the 1982 war and the destruction of all those manuscripts and archived history.”

“Now in Gaza,” she says, “we see the policy more clearly than ever – this ‘scholasticide’. The Israelis know nothing about who we really are, while we study and study them. But deep down they know how important education is to the Palestinian tradition and the Palestinian revolution. They cannot abide it and have to destroy it.”

again, i must ask: what are you doing? what are you going to do? what sacrifices are you willing to make to support the palestinian people in gaza?

translations: gaza

2 translations. the first from huwaida who graciously translated the call we have put out from nablus for a hunger strike and candle light vigil this saturday to commemorate the international day of solidarity with palestinian people. for those not in nablus, please consider creating such an event where ever you may be:

Because the people are one
And because the homeland is one and because the wound is one
Besieged Nablus stands in solidarity with besieged Gaza

In solidarity with our family in Gaza
and on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (November 29, 2008)

We invite you to join us in a hunger strike this Saturday, November 29
to express our solidarity and our demand for the end of the suffering of our people in Gaza

We also invite you on this occasion to gather
to light candles for Gaza and Nablus
and in support of the right to return

On the evening of Sunday, November 30, 2008
at 6:30pm
At Martyrs’ Circle — Nablus

Please bring candles and signs in both Arabic and English
and invite all friends and international solidarity activists located in the Nablus region,

From Nablus to Gaza
Dignity and endearment

Signed, the organizations, and groups, and power,
and figures of the Nablus District

****************

the other day i posted a report from the popular committee against the siege in gaza. here is the arabic version:

تقرير خطير تصدره اللجنة الشعبية لمواجهة الحصار

تقرير خطير تصدره اللجنة الشعبية لمواجهة الحصار يرصد الانهيار المتسارع في خدمات الكهرباء والمياه والصرف الصحي وتصاعد أزمة الوقود والدقيق والمرافق الصحية في غزة

أصدرت اللجنة الشعبية لمواجهة الحصار برئاسة النائب جمال الخضري تقريراً إحصائياً عاجلاً حول الأزمة الأخيرة جراء الحصار الإسرائيلي على قطاع غزة وإغلاق المعابر التجارية بشكل كامل.

وقال رئيس اللجنة “إنه في أخطر استهداف من قبل الاحتلال الإسرائيلي للشعب الفلسطيني المحاصر في قطاع غزة، وإصدار حكم بالإعدام على الحياة للإنسان والنبات والطير والحيوان، واستهتار واستخفاف بكل النداءات والمناشدات والمطالبات الدولية والإنسانية، وفي تحد خطير لاتفاقية جنيف الرابعة والإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان وكافة القوانين الدولية ومواثيق حقوق الإنسان، وممارسة العقاب الجماعي المخالف لتلك القوانين والتي تتطور ليصبح إبادة جماعية يحاسب عليها القانون، يستمر الاحتلال في حصار لغزة.

وأضاف “أننا نصدر هذا التقرير الخطير والهام لنطلع المجتمع الدولي وأحرار العالم وأمتنا العربية والإسلامية، ونكشف جزء من الحقيقة لأن الحقيقة أكبر من أن تكشف والجريمة أصعب من أن تصور والاستهداف لا يمكن أن يرصد”.

وتابع قائلاً “لعل هذا التقرير العاجل الصادر عن اللجنة الشعبية يمثل صرخة ونداء استغاثة أخير يحرك كل مسئول فلسطيني وعربي وإسلامي وأجنبي وكذلك على الصعيد الشعبي في الدول العربية والإسلامية والمجتمع الدولي للتحرك من أجل من إنقاذ الشعب الفلسطيني الذي يعيش المحنة والظروف الكارثية والذي يتعرض لأقسى أنواع الضغط التي طالت رغيف الخبز ورضاعة حليب الأطفال والكهرباء والماء والدواء وغاز الطهي.

التقرير الإحصائي بشكل مفصل:

إغلاق المعابر التجارية:

المعابر التجارية ومنذ الحصار المشدد الذي فرض علي غزة منذ 14-6 -2007 مغلقة بشكل عام وما يدخل منها من احتياجات المواطنين تتراوح نسبته من 10% إلي 15% من احتياجات قطاع غزة والتي تقدر ب 600 شاحنة يومية, ومنذ 4-11-2008 .

وأغلقت إسرائيل المعابر بشكل تام دون السماح لأي كميات تذكر حني كمية الـ15% المسموح بها مما أثر علي القطاعات الصحية والبيئية والاجتماعية بشكل خطير وسنتطرق له في سياق التقرير.

أزمة الوقود:

الوقود الذي كان يورد عبر معبر “ناحال العوز” لمحطة توريد الكهرباء والاستخدامات المنزلية والصناعية والعامة, وأغلق هذا المعبر منذ 4-11 وبالتالي نفذ المخزون في محطة توليد الكهرباء وتوقفت المحطة كليا عن العمل وكذلك حدثت أزمة خطيرة في غاز الطهي وباقي أصناف الوقود الأمر الذي أثر سلبا علي سير الحياة لدي المواطن الفلسطيني.

أزمة الكهرباء:

محطة كهرباء غزة قبل توقفها كانت تعمل بـ50% من طاقتها الإنتاجية بسبب القصف الذي تعرضت له المحطة وعدم دخول محولات منذ عامين وحثي الآن، وعليه كانت المحطة تعمل بـ70 ميغا وات من أصل 140 ميغا وات.

وتحتاج المحطة حتى تعمل بنصف طاقتها الإنتاجية إلي 300 ألف لتر وقود صناعي يوميا، إضافة إلي ما يمكن أن يخزن في المخازن الخاصة بالشركة كاحتياطي.

والمشاكل التي تعاني منها المحطة هي نقص قطع الغيار والتجهيزات اللازمة للصيانة، هو توقف المحطة أغرق 50% إلي 60% من سكان مدينة غزة و4% من إجمالي القطاع، أما باقي القطاع فيتم إضاءته من خلال التيار الكهربائي من إسرائيل مصر.

وما يزيد الأمور تعقيداً و تعطل الخطوط المغذية من إسرائيل فيرفع نسبة من يتعرضوا للظلام إلى 70%، وهناك مشاكل خطيرة في شركة التوزيع أهمها عدم وجود المحولات والكابلات والفيوزت، مما يعني تعقيد الأمور أكثر وإغراق مناطق أكثر بالظلام حين عطل أي محول في أي منطقة.

*أزمة القطاع الصحي:

الأدوية الأساسية تعاني من نقص أكثر من 40% من الأصناف، وخاصة لمرضى ارتفاع ضغط الدم والقلب والربو والسكري والأمراض المزمنة الأخرى، إلى جانب نقص الأدوية المكملة وخاصة لمرض السرطان والفشل الكلوي والكبدي.

كما يوجد نقص في المستهلكات الطبية وتشمل لوازم الغيار والعمليات والتعقيم بما فيها الأدوات الجراحية اللازمة للعمليات الطارئة والعادية، وهنالك نقص أكثر من 30% فيها.

كما يوجد نقص في المحاليل والأصباغ ولوازم المختبرات اللازمة لتشخيص كثير من الأمراض، ويترتب علي تأخر التشخيص مضاعفات للمرضي، وقد بلغت نسبة النقص أكثر من 40% لأجهزة المختبرات العاملة بنظام الديجتال.

أيضا هنالك نقص في قطع الغيار واللوحات الإلكترونية والتي تعطل الأجهزة بشكل كامل، ومنها اجهزة قياس نسبة الغازات في الدم اللازمة للعناية المركزة لحضانات الأطفال والكبار.

قطع الكهرباء المتواصل يؤدي لعطل برمجة الأجهزة، مما يعطي معايير خاطئة ونتاج تؤثر علي سير علاج المرضي.

تعطل أجهزة الأشعة الرقمية، حيث هنالك عطل في التخطيط القطاعي وخاصة في مجمع الشفاء ومستشفي الأوروبي والتي هي ضرورية جدا لتشخيص كثير من الأمراض والأورام مثل السرطان وسوء التشخيص يؤدي إلي تأخر حالة المريض وانتشار المرض داخل الجسم.

هنالك الكثير من قطع الغيار للأشعة التلفزيونية والملونة غير متوفرة مما تؤثر علي تشخيص الأمراض بشكل مبكر، إضافة إلى هنالك نقص حاد في الأدوية اللازمة لمرضى الكلى والمحاليل.

يوجد نقص في الغازات الطبية اللازمة لغرف العمليات والمتوفر لا يغطي أكثر من أسبوع وفي حالة العمليات الكبيرة سيتم نفاد هذه الكمية في أقل من تلك الفترة والمعايير العالمية تتطلب مخزون يكفي لمدة 3 شهور على الأقل.

انقطاع الكهرباء يؤدي لتشغيل المولدات لفترات طويلة مما يتسبب بحدوث أعطال متكررة تؤدي لأضرار صحية فادحة.

نفاذ الغاز الطبيعي يؤدي إلي نقص عمل المطابخ وسوء جودة الأغذية المقدمة للمرضي، إلى جانب توقف المغاسل المركزية (غسل الشراشف والملاءات والملابس الطبية مما سيؤدي لانتشار العدوى بين المرضي).

أجهزة التعقيم كثير منها معطل ومتوقف عن العمل بسبب نقص قطع الغيار وخاصة في مستشفيات النصر للأطفال والأقصى وأبو يوسف النجار.

كما يوجد نقص حاد في التطعيمات اللازمة للأطفال، مما سيتسبب في نقص المناعة وانتشار الامراض.

عدم خروج المرضي للعلاج في الخارج مما أدى لازدياد عدد ضحايا الحصار حيث ارتفع الرقم الي 260 ضحية.

توقف توريد الكحول المطهر والمعقم للمرضي، حيث لا يوجد أي من تلك الأنواع علي الإطلاق.

قصر إجراء العمليات علي العمليات الطارئة وتأخير كثير من العمليات التي ستتحول إلي طارئة بعد فترة وجيزة.

أكثر من 60% من سيارات الإسعاف متوقف بسبب عدم توفر قطع الغيار، وعدم توفر الوقود اللازم لها, أيضا توقف معظم سيارات النقل الخاصة لاستدعاء الأطباء والممرضين.

تعطل معظم حواسيب خدمات المرضي ومتابعة التحاليل وخاصة لدي الأطفال في مستشفى النصر وكذلك مستشفي أبو يوسف النجار وناصر.

أزمة القطاع الزراعي والحيواني والطيور:

هنالك نقص خطير في كمية الأعلاف نتيجة لإغلاق المعابر، حيث تقدر كمية الاحتياجات اليومية من الأعلاف بـ 150 طن, لم يدخل منها أي كمية تذكر منذ 3 أسابيع مما أثر سلبا علي الأتي:

* إعدام مابين 700 ألف إلي مليون صوص (فرخ).

* خسائر10% إلي 20% من الثروة الحيوانية نتيجة نقص اللقاحات والأمصال وانتشار بعض الإمراض ونقص الاعلاف.

* عدم وجود كميات من الغاز الطبيعي للصيد البحري وفقاسات التفريخ للدواجن.

* عدم توفير الكميات المطلوبة من الأسمدة والمبيدات الحشرية ومستلزمات الإنتاج الزراعي كالنايلون والخراطيم والبذور الأمر الذي يهدد بانتشار إمراض زراعية لا يحمد عقباها.

* عدم تمكن القطاع الزراعي من تصدير المنتجات الزراعية وذلك حسب الإغلاق الذي بدء قبل عام ونصف.

أزمة الدقيق والمخابز:

يعمل في غز 47 مخبزا لإنتاج الخبز، 30 مخبز أغلق أبوابه و17 مخبزاً يعمل منهم ثمانية على الكهرباء وسبعة على السولار، واثنين على الغاز.

وتحتاج غزة 450 دقيق، منهم 100 طن للمخابز، و300 طن للمنازل، ويأتي جزء منها مساعدات من قبل الأونروا وبعض المؤسسات الأخرى.

المخزون من الدقيق يكفي غزة من عشرة إلى خمسة عشر يوما بحد أقصى، أما بالنسبة للقمح فقد أغلقت شركة المطاحن أبوباها وتوقفت عن العمل لعدم وجود القمح في مخازنها، وتحتاج غزة يومياً إلى 600 طن من القمح، لا يتم إدخال أي شي منذ أربعة نوفمبر حتى الآن.

المياه والصرف الصحي:

مادة الكلور التي تستخدم في تعقيم مياه الشرب وما يترتب عليه من عدم القدرة على تطهير المياه يعني حدوث كارثة صحية نتيجة أحمال تلوث مياه الشرب.

عدم ضخ مادة الكلور في الآبار المياه يعني زيادة التلوث البكتيري في مياه الشرب وهذا يحدث مشاكل صحية كبيرة للمواطنين.

حاجة القطاع 60 متر مكعب شهريا من مادة الكلور ورصيدها الآن صفر، وبدأت تتوقف عملية ضخ الكلور في بعض الآبار، وخلال أسبوعين سيتوقف ضخ الكلور في كل الآبار، مما يحدث كارثة صحية وبيئية.

عدد آبار المياه في غزة تصل إلى 145، منها مائة تعمل بنسبة 60% من الوقت، وخمسة أربعين تعمل بنسبة 80% من الوقت، وعشرة آبار متوقفة تماماً بسبب انقطاع الكهرباء ونقص الوقود ونقص قطع غيار المضخات والمولدات.

استهلاك قطاع غزة يومياً 220 ألف لتر مكعب من المياه، انخفض بنسبة 40%. ويزداد الأمر تعقيداً في الأبراج بسبب عدم قدرة المضخات رفع المياه للأماكن العالية.

محطات المعالجة متوقفة تماما عن العمل معالجة مياه الصرف الصحي بسبب قطع الكهرباء وعدم توفر الديزل لتشغيل المولدات ودم كفاءة المولدات.

77 مليون لتر من مياه الصرف الصحي تضخ يومياً في البحر، دون معالجة مما يسبب كوارث بيئية وتلوث خطير للبحر.

الخطر الداهم أن محطات ضخ المجاري ستتوقف عن العمل بعد 48 ساعة بسبب عدم توفر كميات الديزل اللازمة، وسينتج عنها حدوث طفح في الشوارع وستغرق مناطق بأكملها في مياه المجري، والمحطات هي “محطة أبو ارشد في جباليا، ومحطة واحد وخمسة وسبعة في غزة الزيتون والبقارة والمنتدى، ومحطة جنينة في رفح”.

أزمة نقص السلع:

أهم السلع التي نفذت أو توشك على النفاذ من الأسواق، حليب الأطفال والدقيق والأرز والبقوليات والزيوت والمجمدات والألبان واللحوم الطازجة والمواد الخام للصناعات المعدنية والبلاستيكية والكيمائية والإنشائية والورقية ومواد التغليف، إلى جانب الأدوات الكهربائية وأدوات الصرف الصحي وقطع غيار سيارات وزيوت سيارات.

أزمة مساعدات وكالة الغوث:

نتيجة إغلاق المعابر توقف كل المساعدات سواء للوكالة أو لمنظمات إنسانية فلسطينية وعربية وإسلامية ودولية، ويبلغ المستفيدين مليون شخص من ضمنهم 750 ألف من اللاجئين يتلقون المساعدات من وكالة الغوث ويعيشوا عليها فقط، بسبب أوضاعهم الاقتصادية الصعبة، توقفت هذه المساعدات الغذائية من أربعة نوفمبر.

أزمة القطاع الصناعي:

يعاني من أكثر عامين جراء الحصار الشامل على غزة، واستمرت هذه المعاناة خلال الفترة الماضية، حيث أغلقت المصانع والورش الصناعية وشركات المقاولات، بما نسبة 97% من أصل 3900 مصنع وورشة عمل، وتوقف الباقي الآن مع انقطاع الكهرباء ونقص الغاز الوقود، مما أضاف خمسة ثلاثين ألف عامل إلى قائمة البطالة.

أرقام وإحصائيات:

* الحصار خلف خسائر مباشرة فاقت 750 مليون دولار.

* 140 ألف عامل تعطلوا عن العمل جراء إغلاق المعابر والحصار المستمر على غزة منذ عامين.

* 80 % يعيشون تحت خط الفقر، و65% معدل البطالة، و650 دولار معدل دخل الفرد السنوي للمواطن الفلسطيني في غزة.

* زادت كميات البضائع الموجودة في الموانئ الإسرائيلية والمعابر والمخازن على2000 شاحنة.

* 77 مليون لتر من مياه الصرف الصحي تضخ يومياً دون معالجة.

* 60% من أطفال غزة مصابين بأمراض سوء التغذية وفقر الدم، وأكثر من ثلث ضحايا الحصار هم من الأطفال.

* عدد الآبار المتوقفة في غزة عشرة آبار مياه والباقي مهدد بالتوقف.

* إجمالي آبار المياه تعمل بستين بالمائة من الوقت ومتوقفة أربعين بالمائة.

* محطة توليد الكهرباء متوقفة بشكل كامل، وثلاثين مخبزاً أغلق أبوابه في غزة.

* مخزون الدقيق يكفي القطاع من عشرة إلى خمسة عشر يومياً.

* المخزون الاحتياطي من الكلور لتنقية المياه الصرف الصحي رصيده صفر، وخلال أسبوعين يتوقف ضخ الكلور في الآبار البالغ عددها 145 مما ينذر بالتلوث.

* بعد يومين ستغرق مناطق في شمال وجنوب القطاع ومدينة غزة بمياه الصرف الصحي.

*40% من الأدوية الأساسية رصيدها صفر، والمستهلكات الطبية 80% رصيدها صفر.

المطالبات:

* ندعو الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بان كي مون والأمين العام لجامعة الدول العربية لزيارة قطاع غزة والاطلاع على معاناتها عن كثب، للتحرك الجدي من أجل إنقاذ سكانها من الموت البطيء.

* ندعو المجتمع الدولي وحكومات الدول العربية والإسلامية للخروج عن الصمت المريب تجاه الحرب التي تشنها إسرائيل في غزة بالحصار والعدوان، واتخاذ مواقف جريئة في هذا الإطار.

* ندعو المؤسسات الاغاثية والحقوقية لتخطي مرحلة الإدانة والمطالبة، إلى مرحلة الضغط على الاحتلال لإنهاء الحصار.

* نطالب المحاكم الدولية بمحاسبة حكومة الاحتلال على جرائمها بحق السكان الفلسطينيين والعمل من أجل عزلها ومقاطعتها في مختلف المحافل الدولية.

* ندعو الشعوب العربية والإسلامية وأحرار العالم والمتضامنين الأجانب والدوليين بتنظيم العديد من الفعاليات والأنشطة وتفعيلها بأشكال سلمية مختلفة، من أجل تفعيل حصار غزة في جميع أنحاء العالم.

* ندعو لضرورة تضافر مؤسسات المجتمع وقواه الفاعلة وتعاونها من أجل فضح سياسات الاحتلال لاسيما حصاره للشعب الفلسطيني عامة ولقطاع غزة خاصة باعتبار ذلك مخالفة لكل الاتفاقيات الدولية ومواثيق حقوق الإنسان وعقوبة جماعية تتعارض مع أبسط الحقوق التي كفلها مواثيق حقوق الإنسان.

* ندعو وسائل الإعلام المختلفة لتسليط الضوء بشكل أكبر وإعداد التقارير والتحقيقات وإجراء المقابلات وإعداد البرامج الخاصة حول قضية الحصار، من أجل تكوين رأي عام ضاغط لمساندة أهل غزة ضد الحصار حتى كسره.

* ونؤكد على أن الحصار مخالف لكل الاتفاقات الدولية ومواثيق حقوق الإنسان، فضلاً عن مخالفته لكل الاتفاقات الموقعة بين حكومة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي والسلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية، إلى جانب كونه عقاباً جماعياً وانتهاكاً خطيراً لكل مضامين حقوق الإنسان كونه تسبب بآثار كارثية مدمرة على مختلف القطاعات وتسبب بمعاناة جماعية لمختلف الشرائح.

* ونشدد على أن الحصار تسبب في تدمير الاقتصاد الفلسطيني في مختلف المجالات الزراعية والصناعية والتجارية وغيرها، وبإيجاد معدلات غير مسبوقة للفقر والبطالة، إلى جانب تسببه في كوارث صحية وإنسانية وبيئية خطيرة.

نابلس المحاصرة تتضامن مع غزة المحاصرة

لأن الشعب واحد
ولأن الوطن واحد ولأن الجرح واحد
نابلس المحاصرة تتضامن مع غزة المحاصرة

تضامنا مع أهلنا في قطاع غزة
وبمناسبة اليوم العالمي للتضامن مع الشعب الفلسطيني (29-11-2008)

ندعوكم للإضراب عن الطعام (صيام) يوم السبت الموافق 29-11-2008
للتعبير عن تضامنا ومطالبتنا بإنهاء معاناة شعبنا الصامد في غزة

كما ندعوكم بهذه المناسبة للتجمع
لإشعال الشموع من أجل غزة ونابلس
ودعما لحق العودة

مساء يوم الأحد الموافق 30-11-2008
الساعة 6:30
في ميدان الشهداء (الدوار) – نابلس

الرجاء من جميع المشاركين إحضار الشموع وأيضا كتابة شعارات تضامنية باللغتين العربية والإنجليزية ودعوة جميع الأصدقاء والنشطاء والمتضامنين الدوليين المتواجدين في محافظة نابلس

من نابلس إلى غزة
كرامة وعزة

مؤسسات وفعاليات وقوى
وشخصيات محافظة نابلس