on boycotting nestlé

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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

on balance

carlos latuff's "gaza ghetto"

a good exercise in media distortion, especially with respect to zionist propaganda, can be seen in a piece published today in ynet. the piece is about the christmas carols about israeli apartheid in palestine that were created and sung this christmas in london:

Several British NGOs are manipulating Christmas and its religious symbols, in order to promote an anti-Israel political agenda, Jerusalem-based watchdog NGO Monitor revealed in a new report.

Prominent groups, such as War on Want and Christian Aid have exploited holiday sentiment through highly politicized Christmas cards, carols and charity fundraising, to condemn Israeli responses to terror in a distinctly unbalanced manner, the group noted.

In November, an ‘alternative carol service’ was held at the prominent Anglican St James church in Piccadilly, London. The event was strongly condemned by Christian and Jewish community leaders, as traditional lyrics were crudely altered to bluntly make a political statement.

Alternative lyrics for the “Twelve Days of Christmas” included: “Twelve assassinations, Eleven homes demolished, Ten wells obstructed, Nine sniper towers…And an uprooted olive tree.” Numerous NGOs participated in the event, at which War on Want was an official supporter.

Both War on Want and a group called the Amos Trust are marketing Christmas cards highly critical of the security barrier, which promote a dangerous association between Jesus and Palestinian suffering, NGO monitor wrote.

A War on Want card shows Mary and Joseph encountering a Bethlehem that is “effectively sealed off from the outside world by Israel’s Separation Wall” and “Mary and Joseph being frisked on their way to find an inn for the night.”

Amos Trust advertised similar cards, NGO monitor reported, and encouraged the public to use their “Wall Nativity” scene which comes with a prayer guide and “complete with separation wall (that) depicts the current situation in Bethlehem.”

(note: i posted the card they mentioned on christmas day if you want to see it.) i wrote about these carols after seeing a piece about them on cnn on kabobfest a few weeks ago. interestingly, what this israeli reporter doesn’t reveal is that it is a jewish british woman who wrote the lyrics to these songs. while i am unable to post cnn videos on wordpress, you can go to cnn’s website to see the video yourself. the cnn piece is biased too, of course. you need to listen to the language the journalist uses to understand. but deborah fink, the jewish women who wrote these songs, does not use such biased rhetoric when she is interviewed in the interview. she says “what’s the point of singing about what happened 2,000 years ago when it is completely different now.” then we hear some of the other lyrics (not contained in the ynet piece above) from “the twelve days of christmas”:

“five settlement rings,
four falling bombs,
three trench guns,
two trampled doves,
and an uprooted olive tree”

the cnn journalist, atika shubert, doesn’t offer any commentary and who else she decides to include in this story, as well as the sort of language she uses indicates her bias. she tells us, “it’s not just words that are courting controversy, it’s the location. these beautiful acoustics are courtesy of the saint james church in london.” she tells us that this church in picadilly has a history of courting controversy, especially for “christians supporting israel.” she interviews a man named geoffrey smith who is a part of an organization called “christians for israel” who says, “what is shocking to me is that it is being parodied to make a political point in a church against israel. the parody is to convey the reverse of truth. it is to try and label israel as an apartheid state.” totally whack. of course, this journalist doesn’t question or critique the flagrant violation of truth in his statement–particularly that last line. but the clip cuts to fink’s second song and the lyrics are:

“once in royal david’s city
stood a big apartheid wall
people entering and leaving
had to pass a checkpoint hall”

shubert then tells us, “the words of the revised version of ‘royal david’s city’ attacks the security barrier israel has erected around bethlehem. the concrete wall is designed to prevent palestinian militant attacks in nearby jerusalem. the number of attacks has dropped dramatically since the wall was built, but it has also choked off business in this ancient city and isolated many residents into concrete enclaves.” as she narrates this, we see images of the 25 foot tall apartheid wall and of israeli bulldozers demolishing palestinian homes, israeli terrorist forces’ (itf) sniper towers. but she says nothing of the peoples’ lives in bantustans (not “enclaves”) because of course that would conjure up apartheid and undo her mistaken belief that she is providing us with a “balanced” point of view. no discussion of the resistance fighters right to resist or what they might be needing to resist (and of course she calls them “militants”). no discussion of nightly raids and invasions and kidnappings all across palestine, including bethlehem. though some of the images she shows us certainly provide a critique, i would hope, for the careful observer.

and a brief intermission here given that the subject of an uprooted olive tree was mentioned in the lyrics of some particularly horrifying news (thanks rami) :

A century-old olive tree from Walid Joumblatt, chairman of Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party, was transplanted to the Israeli embassy compound in Washington.

okay now back to regularly scheduled programming… for another example of so-called balance i am often annoyed when press tv or al jazeera includes “both sides” of the story on palestine or iraq as if there is more than one side to these stories. but it is also infuriating because most of the time the news presenters do not moderate the discussion and the raving zionist gets to silence the palestinian speaker. but yesterday was a bit of nice surprise on “inside story.” imran garda’s amazing questions that he posed to his three guests–functioned to cut to the chase in his interviews (highlights below) on the subject of gaza:

now for my commentary. the men interviewed on the program were: efraim inbar, professor of political science at bar ilan university and former israeli paratrooper (note: one of the hundreds of reasons for the academic boycott of israel); abdullah al ashaal, professor of international law at the american university in cairo and a former assistant to the egyptian former minister; mustafa barghouthi, general director of the palestinian national initiative and former palestinian minister of information. i’m highlighting key points of the interview from garda, particularly to suggest what all interviewers should do when confronted with the prospect of having to interview zionists.

garda begins with questioning inbar asking in his second question after inbar suggests that attacking gaza represents the general public opinion of the zionist regime, “what about the fact that there is collective punishment and a siege of 1.6 million people in gaza? has that not created the conditions that have led to rocket attacks on southern israel?” of course the delusional zionist thinks that the israeli terrorist forces “left” gaza in 2005 and that hamas was democratically elected, but nevertheless the suffering there is related to any society that goes to war. but garda interrupts him and says, “sorry, that’s a very interesting thing you said there: because it sounds very similar to what osama bin laden says. he says the united states elected their leadership, they do bad things in the middle east so therefore civilians are fare game. it sounds to me a similar type of ideology.” of course inbar can’t handle the analogy and tries to pretend like the comparison should be between bin laden and hamas. i think he didn’t understand because he’s so wrapped up in his own false ideology. inbar is so psychotic that he actually responds that the people of gaza are to blame because “they had the opportunity to turn gaza into a singapore, into a hong kong.” and then he says “if they suffer, too bad.” of course, barghouti comes back and corrects all of inbar’s lies.

after barghouti finishes his lovely, succinct rebuttal, garda asks al ashaal a question about egypt’s role in the situation: “egypt has been mediating. egypt brokered that 6 month truce which has recently expired. what would you make of those who say egypt is more a party to the conflict rather than a mediator?” al ashaal denies that it is a party to the conflict, but he does make some very crucial statements that we hear far too rarely from egypt in the english-language media: “it is not neutral in this conflict because egypt is very much committed to the side of israel. let me say, in fact very frankly, egypt has mediated this appeasement agreement. this appeasement agreement in fact has obligations on egypt and on israel as well as on other organizations. but unfortunately, egypt and israel violated this appeasement agreement because egypt has an obligation to open rafah crossing. and israel had to lift the embargo, which has imposed now a blockade on gaza. so egypt is in fact supporting israel in genociding palestinians in gaza and this is a crime which is taking place before the whole world. and i think that israel is now trying to complete that because the policy of israel, which has been declared today publicly, by mrs. livni in egypt, that it is going to extricate, to abolish totally hamas from the equation. so this policy of excluding totally hamas from life and from the equation, the political equation in the area, i think this is very wrong because israel which has been implanted here in this area did not respect the rules of the neighborhood and the international rules. so in this case we feel in egypt that in fact the government of egypt has to do a lot so as to press israel. and egypt never presses israel at all. it is in fact taking a very lenient policy and we have a quarrel with the government here in egypt concerning the gas, which is exported in a very scandalous way to israel. so while gaza is suffering and why israel is in fact genociding the gazans now, egypt in fact didn’t say anything.”

midway through the second half of the interview, garda asks inbar, “mr. inbar, there is an editorial today in the israeli newspaper ha’aretz, it says, i quote ‘past experience has often shown that aggressive shows of force such as bombing civilian populations and land invasions have produced opposite results from what was intended.’ so it tells me that there is a big view within israel that going into gaza won’t solve any of the problems.” inbar agrees with garda. he prefers “force in a selective manner” in other words “targeted killing.” he argues that this approach brought hamas to a truce in the past. garda interrupts him and says, “calling for the assassination of elected politicians in a selected area, how can that possibly bring about peace?” inbar’s response is whack. he thinks that because they want destruction of the jewish state they will never be partners for peace therefore it is acceptable to kill them now. garda allows barghouthi to answer the questions without intervening to which barghouthi replies: “i’m deeply shocked by what i just heard: isn’t that the same logic as hitler assassinating people because of their opinions? isn’t the–renewing and calling for assassination policy nothing but a violation of human rights and violation of international law where israel’s army is making of itself a prosecutor, judge and executor at the same time? in which law does this exist that you kill people because you think they might be dangerous? this is a very serious downgrade of the level that israeli policy has reached. of course it is going to happen, but it will not solve any problems. there were times when the israeli army assassinated many hamas leaders, but that produced more radical leaders. and what israel does not understand–it cannot learn from history. in 1982 it invaded lebanon to push out the plo out of the lebanese areas, the outcome was the creation of hezbollah and hamas. and if they crush hamas in gaza tomorrow, which i doubt they can, then they will crate another, and probably more serious, more tough force. what is problematic here is the insistence of the israeli society, and unfortunately the governments, to ignore the cause of the problem. they keep concentrating on the symptom of the problem or disease rather than the cause of the problem.” of course, barghouthi identifies the cause as both the occupation and the ethnic cleansing of the land of palestine of its indigenous population. the final comments by inbar and al ashaal are worth listening to; of course inbar is whack yet again, but useful for an idea about zionist propaganda for those who are unfamiliar with it.

and if you really want to cut to the chase, angry arab said it all best yesterday: “Olmert urges Gazans to stop Hamas”. Angry Arab urges Israelis to stop Israel.

as for what is going on in gaza today…well it looks like war is imminent:

Egypt is beefing up security along its border with Gaza on Friday in the face of what Egyptian officials consider an “imminent” Israeli Military operation within the Gaza Strip, fearing a breach of the integrity of their borders, Israel online Haaretz reports.

and the zionist regime allowed a very limited supply of humanitarian aid into gaza (though i can’t help but wonder if this is like that last supper prisoners are given in the u.s. before they are executed):

Israel has temporarily opened three crossings into Gaza, allowing a limited amount of food and fuel to reach blockaded Gazans.

The Israelis allowed 40 lorries loaded with grain and bird feed to pass through the Karem Abu Salem crossing on Friday.

Another 40 lorries carrying food supplies are expected to reach Gaza via the Karni crossing later on Friday, with 400,000 litres of industrial fuel destined to reach Gaza’s only power station via Nahal Oz.

About 120 tonnes of cooking gas is also expected to reach the Strip via Nahal Oz.

Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, said he ordered the crossings opened for essential humanitarian supplies in response to numerous requests from the international community.

Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Gaza, said while the move would be welcomed, the amount of supplies allowed through was nowhere near enough to genuinely ease conditions.

although a small amount of cooking gas was allowed in it certainly is not enough so yet another creative gazan developed an alternative:

Gazan resident Abed Ar-Rahman Farajallah revealed an alternative to cooking gas that he developed at a press conference on Thursday. Cooking gas is in extremely short supply in the Gaza Strip due to the continued border closures imposed by Israel.

Farajallah explained that he invented a device using chemical substances available in Gaza, which burn when mixed and brought into contact with oxygen. He added that his concoction can be stored in medium-sized metal containers and used in homes, restaurants and bakeries as an alternative to cooking gas, since Israel has prevented deliveries of cooking gas to Gaza.

to get a better understanding of what it is really like in terms of hunger in gaza right now you must read sameh habeeb’s latest piece in electronic intifada where he describes in detail what it means to leave under siege in gaza. here is the opening part of his article:

Israeli politicians, in the run-up to elections, are promising to deal a severe blow to Gaza as this is how Israeli policy is made. However, every household in Gaza is already under siege. In Gaza you can only find pale, angry and frustrated faces. If you visit my house you won’t find power, while my neighbor is out of gas. Another neighbor seeks potable water as power outages have left him without for four days. A third neighbor desperately looks for milk for his child but does so in vain. Another friend who lives on the corner needs medicine that can’t currently be found in Gaza.

There is no shortage of such stories in Gaza (though there is a shortage of nearly everything else). Perhaps broadcasting such stories would result in pressure on Israeli leaders to stop the siege. Because what is happening is that the entire Gaza population of 1.5 million — densely packed into a small area — is being punished for crude rockets being fired into Israel by a few.

this article, like the carlos latuff cartoon above says it all.

transform silence into language and action

i just finished watching my dear friend rania on press tv’s “middle east today.” it was tedious to watch because some delusional zionist was on the show. he–with the help of the show’s host i might add–effectively silenced dr. naji shurab the one voice living in gaza who was on the show. it’s so hard to watch–and it is so hard to be on–this program. i honestly don’t understand why they think they need to air both “sides of the story.” you can read rania’s take on why there are not two sides to this story by clicking on the link above. i have also written about it at length here so i will not repeat myself, except to say there are not two sides to this story about palestine, about gaza. but i will say this: why is it that when it is so difficult to get information out about gaza that we have to hear the voice of a man whose words ooze hate and deceit?

but i want to think further about something rania said and relate it to something norman finkelstein said in shatila refugee camp last winter. rania mentioned the words of miguel d’escoto brockmann to the united nations last week, these are words that are worth repeating:

United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann on Monday likened Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians to South Africa’s treatment of blacks under apartheid.

Israel’s actions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were like “the apartheid of an earlier era,” said Brockmann, of Nicaragua, speaking at the annual debate marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

He added: “We must not be afraid to call something what it is.”

Brockmann stressed that it was important for the United Nations to use the heavily-charged term since it was the institution itself that had passed the International Convention against the crime of apartheid.

okay, brockmann said it. that is significant. it is important. but what does it mean if that language is not transformed into action. the world continues to be silent not only about gaza, but also about palestinians more generally. how can we transform that language now into action? one of the poets who influences my life very deeply is audre lorde (a chapter of my book on breast cancer, which is about lorde, is downloadable on the selected publications tab above). in particular words she spoke at a modern language association meeting, which later became a part of her moving memoir, the cancer journals reads:

Each of us is here now because in one way or another we share a commitment to language and to the power of language, and to the reclaiming of that language which has been made to work against us. In the transformation of silence into language and action, it is vitally necessary for each one of us to establish or examine her function in that transformation and to recognize her role as vital within that transformation.

For those of us who write, it is necessary to scrutinize not only the truth of what we speak, but the truth of that language by which we speak it. For others, it is to share and spread also those words that are meaningful to us. But primarily for us all, it is necessary to teach by living and speaking those truths which we believe and know beyond understanding. Because in this way alone can we survive, by taking part in a process of life that is creative and continuing, that is growth.

language has power. and it has certainly been made to work against palestinians on so many levels. but the converse can be true if we all actively work on it. collectively. finkelstein talked about how zionists have been skilled at using what should be nothing pieces of paper (e.g., the balfour declaration) and turning a meaningless letter into a state on someone else’s land. he asked people in the audience how can palestinians use the myriad united nations resolutions to get their land back. on the level of international law palestinians have won the battle in so many ways. but the world remains silent in the face of these words. these words that are laws. international laws that the world ignores.

so the president of the un general assembly called israel an apartheid state. he stated a fact in a space that represents the international community, international laws. some people are hailing him for making this powerful speech so early on in his tenure as the head of the un general assembly. how can this be turned into momentum for change?

in london some people are christmas caroling for change. kabobfest has a video today from cnn of a jewish woman who is writing christmas carols that play with the traditional lyrics:

“Twelve assassinations, Eleven homes demolished, Ten wells obstructed, Nine sniper towers, Eight gunships firing, Seven checkpoints blocking, Six tanks a-rolling, Five settlement rings, Four falling bombs, Three trench guns, Two trampled doves, And an uprooted olive tree!”

imagine going from house to house singing these lyrics and handing out bethlehem postcards from if americans knew.

these words are powerful. they can be used: but they must be used to a particular effect. to render the zionist state a pariah state. to use these words–especially those words that carry weight–to end this siege on gaza and the siege over the rest of palestine and all palestinian refugee camps in the region more generally. this language must be used to enunciate the increasing devastation in gaza like the flour and electricity shortages:

The 1.6 million civilians of the Gaza Strip are being denied all their rights to freedom of movement, and are confined inside Gaza, where the humanitarian situation is deteriorating amidst chronic fuel shortages, and shortages of goods, including essential food items. The Gaza power plant has been forced to shut down due to lack of fuel, and Gazans are now totally dependent on electricity generated from Israel, and to a lesser extent, Egypt. There are also chronic severe shortages of domestic cooking gas. Regarding essential food items, IOF have not permitted any consignments of flour to enter the Gaza Strip for one week (this does not apply to the UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, which has its own flour stocks), and current stocks are sufficient for just less than three days. Five of the six flour mills in the Gaza Strip have been forced to close.

language must be used to reveal the psychological trauma palestinians in gaza are experiencing:

Israel’s siege on Gaza, now in its 19th month, has wreaked havoc on all aspects of life and significant attention has been paid in particular to the economic consequences of border closures and blockade. However, an overlooked epidemic threatens the social and familial ties that bond the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. Living under a constant state of crisis in which their livelihoods have been denied, the people of Gaza’s once exemplary resilience and determination are giving way to an unfathomable sea of depression and psychological illnesses.

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, as a direct result of Israel’s siege, 65 percent of households in Gaza struggle to obtain basic needs such as food, clothing and medicine. Among those struggling is Fouzan Salah, a 35-year-old father of four. Fouzan, who owned a tailoring factory with his brother, began selling his sewing machines in January of this year in order to feed his family. Since Israel began restricting the entry of goods and raw material into Gaza, an estimated 55 percent of private sector establishments have shut down and 97 percent of industrial establishments ceased their operations. Such was the fate of Fouzan’s factory, which received all of its fabric from Israel. The family now has no income and is in danger of losing its home. They Salahs currently rely on charity and the assistance of others, surviving on one, sometimes two small meals a day.

Consequently, Fouzan suffers from severe depression. Despair, worthlessness, incapacitation and emasculation is how Fouzan described the feelings he carries within him each day to the next. “I wasn’t worried when the siege first began,” he said. “I was just like everyone else and it was absurd to think that Israel would continue to enforce the siege on an entire population. It was unimaginable to even conceive that they would take away the livelihoods of all of us civilians. But I was wrong, we were all wrong. And now I’m still like everyone else, living a nightmare. It didn’t take me that long to reach this realization, and that’s when the depression hit me hard.”

the language must be bold and loud like brockmann’s not muted like un secretary general ban–but it must also be backed up with action not merely muted complaints:

All crossings for goods going into Gaza from Israel remained closed today, with no fuel, humanitarian supplies or commercial commodities reaching the 1.5 million inhabitants, the United Nations reported today.

The Kerem Shalom crossing was last open on 27 November, the Nahal Oz fuel pipelines and Karni conveyer belt last functioned on 26 November, and the crossings at Sufa have been closed since 13 September, the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) reported.

UN officials, from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on downwards, have repeatedly called on Israel to urgently permit the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza’s civilians. At the same time, Mr. Ban has reiterated his condemnation of rocket attacks by Palestinian militants in Gaza against Israeli civilian targets, which Israel has cited as a reason for the closures.

this language may be written in reports, but it then must be backed up by action. yet again another united nations report, more findings that support palestinians: but what will the un do exactly? what will we pressure them to do?

The UN Human Rights Council must ensure Israel ends “institutionalised racism and discrimination” against Palestinians when it examines the Jewish state’s rights record, Palestinian groups urged Wednesday.

Israel will be examined on its human rights record by the Council on Thursday under the “Universal Periodic Review” process which puts every UN member state under the spotlight.

“Institutionalised racism and discrimination on the grounds of nationality, ethnicity, race and religion are root causes of the ongoing forcible internal displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people,” seven Palestinian rights groups said in a report submitted to the Council.

“In conjunction with Israel’s self-identification as a Jewish and democratic state, the Palestinian citizens of Israel are afforded no constitutional protection against racial discrimination. By this Israel is failing to comply with its obligations under international human rights law,” the report said.

the word must make states like the zionist regime (and yes other states including the u.s. on the list below) into pariah states with loud language that shames them into dissolution for doing things like refusing to sign the ban on cluster bombs, cluster bombs that continue to maim and kill people in southern lebanon:

Governments from around the world today began signing an international convention banning the production of cluster bombs, millions of which lie unexploded across dozens of countries and have killed and maimed thousands of civilians.

At the Oslo signing ceremony, Norway, which has led the efforts to ban cluster munitions, was the first country to sign. It was followed by Laos, where cluster bombs dropped by US planes more than 30 years ago are still killing civilians; and Lebanon, which was attacked with the weapons by Israel.

By the end of tomorrow, around 100 of the United Nations’ 192 members will have signed up. Once 30 countries have ratified the convention, it will become part of international humanitarian law.

There are a number of notable absentees, including the US, China, Russia, India and Pakistan, as well as Israel, which fired cluster bombs during the 2006 Lebanon war.

there are so many other reasons to speak out, to speak loudly, to shout, to scream, to push for action. and there is momentum building in the united nations. we must put pressure, we must insist that they take action. here is one idea from snorre lindquist and lasse wilhelmson:

The UN should use the word apartheid in connection with Israel and consider sanctions with the former South Africa serving as a model. Miguel dÉscoto Brockman, president of the UN General Assembly, conveyed this message at a meeting on November 24th 2008 with the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon present.

The 1976 Nobel peace prize laureate, Mairead McGuire from Ireland, recently suggested a popular movement demanding that the UN revoke Israel’s membership. The international community now needs to put tangible pressure on Israel in order to stop its war crimes.

Not once, during the past 60 years, has Israel shown any intention of living up to the requirements stipulated by the UN, in connection with the country’s membership in 1948, namely that the Palestinians who had been evicted from their homes should be allowed to return at the earliest possible opportunity. Moreover, Israel holds the hardly flattering world record of ignoring UN resolutions.

It can be questioned from the aspect of human rights legislation whether Israel is a legitimate state. Established practice between states usually requires borders that are legally maintained and a constitution, neither of which Israel has. These requirements are also named in the UN resolution (181) Partition Plan for Palestine, approved by the General Assembly in November 1947. The plan was accepted by the Zionists Jews in Palestine but rejected for excellent reasons as unjust by the Arab states. Only decisions made by the UN Security Council are mandatory. Later on, Israel unilaterally laid claim to a considerably larger portion of land than that suggested by the UN.

The eviction of eighty per cent of the Palestinians who lived west of the 1947 armistice line, and Israel’s refusal to allow them to return is the human rights argument for expelling Israel from the UN. Not only has Israel played the Partition Plan false but has, by its actions, thwarted the grounds – fragile from the start – for its UN membership.

Israel makes use of various strategies to achieve its goals, the same goals as for over a hundred years ago: As few and as well controlled and weakened Palestinians as possible in areas as small as possible between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan. And to try and get acceptance worldwide for the theft of land that is vital to the “state” that calls itself “Jewish and democratic”. This obviously bears no similarity to a peace process.

Why does nobody ever comment on the fact that Israel’s prime minister never misses an opportunity to harp on about how important it is that the rest of the world and the Palestinians recognise Israel, not as a democratic country for all its citizens, but as a “Jewish state”?

What would we have said if South Africa’s Prime Minister, in a similar way, had demanded recognition of South Africa as a “white and democratic state”, thus de facto accepting the racist apartheid system that allowed non-whites to be classified as lesser human beings?

In the article The end of Zionism, published in the Guardian on September the 15th 2003 the Jewish dissident and former speaker of Knesset, Avraham Burg wrote:

“Diaspora Jews for whom Israel is a central pillar of their identity must pay heed and speak out … We cannot keep a Palestinian majority under an Israeli boot and at the same time think ourselves the only democracy in the Middle East. There cannot be democracy without equal rights for all who live here, Arab as well as Jew … The prime minister should present the choices forthrightly: Jewish racism or democracy.”

No support can be found in The UN recommendation concerning a Jewish and a Palestinian state for unequal rights for the citizens of each country. Neither is there any indication as to how a “Jewish” state could become Jewish. There is support, however, for the intention that demographic conditions should be held intact at partition. Interpreting into the text an intention concerning characteristics of a “Jewish state” tailored to the ideology of Zionism is wholly in contradiction with the text of the resolution.

Even the Balfour Declaration, which entirely lacks human rights status, notes that the Jewish national home in Palestine should in no way encroach upon the rights of the Palestinians. Neither did US President Truman recognise Israel as a Jewish state. On the contrary, he ruled out precisely that formulation before making his decision to recognise Israel.

Thus, the legitimacy of a “Jewish state” so urgently sought by Israel lacks support in international documents that concern the building of the state. Israel’s government is, of course, fully aware of this. Why else would it keep on searching for this recognition?

The UN should now embark on a boycott of the apartheid state of Israel and, with the threat of expulsion from the UN, demand that Israel allows the evicted Palestinian refugees to return in accordance with the UN resolutions 194 and 3236.

With this done, meaningful peace talks can proceed and various solutions be reached for co-habitation with equal rights for all people between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan. No such solution can be compatible with the preservation of a Jewish apartheid state.

now here is some language we can use. yes, let’s work to hold the un accountable to its language, to its words. to boycott the zionist state. to force it to comply with these un resolutions which would force it to cease from being a jewish state once refugees are allowed to return. this is the key to a lasting solution. and we cannot let these words wither away. we must act now.