Friday, January 30, 2009

Mubarak vs Nasrallah: Mudslinging in times of genocide

The Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has labelled Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah an 'Iranian agent' in a statement today. The entire Arab world, however, would probably label Mubarak an 'Israeli stooge'. Or worse.

PFLP condemns Hamas' "repressive practices of intimidation" in Gaza

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has issued a statement today, calling on Hamas to end its "extrajudicial repressive practices of intimidation exercised by the organs of the Hamas movement in the Gaza strip". According to the statement, Hamas has attacked the PFLP cadres, subjecting them to kidnappings, severe beatings and shootings. The statement appealed to Hamas to immediately end its repressive actions against other Palestinian factions, and that all Palestinian groups should unite against the enemy.

The statement follows a statement issued on January 26 by the PFLP military wing, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, which denounced Hamas forces for having opened fire on a group of AAMB fighters whilst they were in the process of firing a rocket against the enemy.

The PFLP has also rejected calls for exiled Hamas leader Khalid Meshal to sideline the PLO.

PFLP has condemned the policy of political arrests by the Abbas regime in the West Bank as well.

Ibrahim Abu An-Naja, a senior official of the Fatah movement, on its behalf, has sought to downplay claims of Hamas executions of Fatah militants in the Gaza strip during the bombings. An-Naja confirms that there were cases in which Fatah militants had been targetted by Hamas forces in the Gaza strip, but that number were far lower than the internationally widely circulated claims.

Links: Notice at Maan News Agency, LV

Palestinians commemorate Holocaust

On the World Holocaust Remembrance Day, a Holocaust memorial was erected in Ni'lin, West Bank, Palestine. Hundreds of West Bank residents visited the site. One of the organizers of the event, Mohammad Amira, commented to Maan News Agency that
"We thought the public should understand the pain and suffering the Nazis caused the Jews ... Unfortunately, we are paying the price for the immense pain suffered by the Jews during the Holocaust."

"There is no comparison between our suffering and that of the Jewish people in the Holocaust, ... but everyone should understand that we are suffering too, as a result of what the Germans did to the Jews."

The Hamas movement, which de-facto governs the Gaza strip, had publicly denounced the Holocaust in mid-2008, stating that the Nazi atrocities
"was not only a crime against humanity but one of the most abhorrent crimes in modern history. ... And at the same time as we unreservedly condemn the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe, we categorically reject the exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionists to justify their crimes and harness international acceptance of the campaign of ethnic cleansing and subjection,"

Donations to Gaza is 'support to terrorism' by default, according to Swedish prosecutor

The Kafkaesque trial against an official of the al-Aqsa Foundation in Malmö, Sweden, is set to begin on Monday February 2. The al-Aqsa Foundation official, a Swedish citizen of Palestinian origin, is accused of 'supporting terrorism'. According to his own account he has only managed donations for humanitarian purposes, stating that 13 000 USD has been sent for pediatric care and other charitable purposes.

The prosecutor, Agnetha Hilding Qvarnström, does not challenge the claim that the money has been used for charitable purposes, but states that "to put money into that system, regardless of what purpose, is indirectly to support terror" ("Att peta in pengar någonstans i det här systemet, oavsett var, är att indirekt stödja terror.") Her logic is quite stark, namely that any financial transanction into the Gaza strip indirectly supports terrorism. That is, essentially, collective guilt elevated as a general legal standard.

In the legal case, the prosecution is expected to rely heavily on materials fabricated by the Israeli intelligence services. The entire court case is a tragic charade, from its very onset.

News links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

Starbucks to close 300 shops

Starbucks, a company targetted by boycott campaigns in the Arab world, has declared that it will close down 300 cafes worldwide. The CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, has declared that he's an 'active Zionist' and in 1998, Shultz was awarded the "The Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award" from the Jerusalem Fund of Aish Ha-Torah for "playing a key role in promoting a close alliance between the United States and Israel".

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What if?

(thanks to

'You can't kill Gazans and cry over them too'

The Israeli singer Noa (Achinoam Nini), who is set to represent Israel in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, has withdrawn from a Gaza fundraising concert after receiving harsh criticism for her support of the mass killings of civilians in Gaza. During the Gaza massacre Noa had issued a letter pledging full support for the Israeli governments actions and putting the blame on the Palestinians themselves. After Noa refused to retract her pro-massacre statements, director Juliano Mer-Khamis commented
"There is nothing more patronizing, arrogant or presumptuous than to tell people who have freely elected one political movement or another, that it is a cancer. One can't help but be disgusted by people who support [Gaza massacre] and then buy blankets for the handicapped children that remain alive. You can't kill the Gazans and cry over them too."

Noa is marketed internationally, not the least to counter calls for Israel's expulsion from the Eurovision, as a 'pro-peace' artist. Her support for the Gaza massacre ought to shed any illusions about those postures.

Source: Ynet
News links: SvD, HD

Legal process in Spain against Israeli war crimes

The Spanish judge Fernando Andreu (of Audencia Nacional) launched a probe today against seven Israeli politicians and militaries suspected of crimes against humanity in a 2002 bombing of a residential area in Gaza.

15 persons were killed in the July 22, 2002 bombing, including nine children. 150 persons were injured in the attack, some with grave injuries. The target in the attack was the Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh, who was amongst the casualities in the attack.

The seven persons named in the probe include Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (then Israeli minister of Defense, currently transportation minister) and Dan Halutz (then the commander of the Israeli Air Force), Michael Herzog (IOF Brigadier General), Moshe Ya'alon (IOF Chief of Staff), Doron Almog (IOF Major General), Giora Eiland (National Security Council president) and Abraham Dichter (presently Minister of National Security).

According to El Mundo, Dan Halutz is reported to have stated to his pilots after the bombing that "You have my full support. You can sleep assured that you have done a perfect action", thus admitting his own guilt in the massacre.

Spanish legislation approves of trying suspects of offenses like crimes against humanity, terrorism or genocide, even if they have been committed in other countries. This legislation was used to initiate a legal probe against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, amongst others. According to La Vanguardia, Israeli authorities have not responded positively to the Spanish request to facilitate the legal process.

This is indeed encouraging news for all who seek justice for the Israeli crimes against humanity. It should be taken as a signal for all democratic forces to step up the campaigns to put the present Israeli leadership to stand trial for war crimes in The Hague.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, News links on Gaza: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, "USA asks Israel to investigate war crimes allegations"

IOF opened fire at European diplomats in Gaza

Several Swedish newspapers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) run a story today on an incident on Tuesday, when Israeli Occupation Forces shot warning shot in the air when a convoy of European diplomats was approaching an Israeli checkpoint. The convoy, which included the French consul and the Swedish consul in Jerusalem, had first been forces to negotiate the conditions of their exit from Gaza (in breach with diplomatic code of conduct) and then after several hours been given a go-ahead signal from the IOF. That's when shots were fired, probably in the air.

It's not hard to conclude that opening fire, warning shots or otherwise, consists of a clear breach of the diplomatic code of conduct. The Swedish Foreign Ministry has however still not even issued a diplomatic protest on the incident. No surprise that Israel keeps violating international laws and human rights, as long as Western powers is willing to reward Israel with impunity at all times.

News links: 1, 2, 3,4, 5

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Surreal conversations

Israeli Foreign Minister Livni has met with U.S. envoy George Mitchell. According to the Jerusalem Post, Livni has appealed to Mitchell that Israel and the United States should "strengthen the moderate forces in the region while harming the extreme factions such as Iran and Hamas."

That is, of course, diametrically opposite to the actual conduct of Israel during the Gaza massacre. All 'moderate' (read collaborationist, Quisling) Arab leaders have been extremely discredited during the massacre, whilst those governments that took a firm stand against aggression and atrocities have been vindicated. As per Hamas, reports indicate that it support has been significantly boosted in the Fatah-ruled West Bank. Does anyone take Livni's comment seriously anymore?

News links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Haaretz: 'New EU president is a true friend of Israel, a Zionist prince'

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz carries an article today on the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg (photo: Oldřich Škácha). According to Haaretz;
"Going by his most recent statements and the descriptions in Jerusalem of his activities, one might have formed the impression that here we have a "Zionist prince:" He was active in initiating a Euro-Israeli conference to advance Israel's integration into the EU, he has declared that Operation Cast Lead was a "defensive measure" and he has rejected calls in Europe for investigation of "war crimes committed by the Israel Defense Forces.""

"One down, 999,999 to go" - Racism in practice

I have previously posted a note on how Gazans returning to their homes have found them vandalized by occupation forces. Ynet has an article published today, on the racist slurs left behind by IOF soldiers. Amongst the houses affected by IOF graffiti were the ruins of the Samouni family residence, a family which was targetted in the massacre and lost several of its members. According to Ynet, slurs found in Zeitoun include "Die you all," Make war not peace," "Death to Arabs", "Arabs must die" and "One down, 999,999 to go."

IOF officials have now initiated a probe into the matter.

Al-Mubadara: PA is arresting pro-Hamas journalists

In a statement released yesterday, the Palestinian National Initiative (al-Mubadara) condemned arrests by the Palestinian Authority of journalists working for the pro-Hamas al-Quds TV channel. The party declared that they consider that "such arrests are a threat to mass media and their freedom to work, especially following the Gaza war", calling for the release of two detained journalists. Source: Ma'an News Agency

PFLP condemns Israel's expulsion of Venezuelan diplomat to the PA

In a statement released today, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine condemns the expulsion by Israeli occupation authorities of the ambassador of Venezuela to the Palestinian Authority. According to a PFLP spokesperson, the act is symptomatic of Israel's arrogance and complete disregard to any of the agreements signed between the occupying power and the PA. Source: PFLP website

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth: "Solidarity with Gaza an “Obsession” all over Lebanon"

Reproducing a statement below, released by the Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth, on the past months' mobilizations of youth protests against the Gaza massacre.

The harshness of the Zionist massacres in Gaza district, the savage Israeli attacks on the Palestinian land and the Arab and international support for Israel were the motives of the protests that were held by ULDY in all its braches all over Lebanese districts in addition to the central activity that was done through an open Protest/Sit-in in front of the ESCWA (home to UN offices) building in downtown Beirut.

The Branches' Activities

Nabatiyeh branch in Southern Lebanon carried out, a series of actions, including lighting candles in the Nabatiyeh square. Flyers distributed during the activities called for the Arab people to take a united stand and express solidarity with the Palestinian people and the people of Gaza, by all means.
A solidarity protest was also done in Adloun, another southern village. A lot of statements were raised to condemn the Zionist aggressions, and attack the treacherous Arab leaders.
A similar solidarity protest was done in Sidon, which saluted the people of Gaza and condemned the vicious attacks in the Palestinian lands.
In Tyr, ULDY branch had a protest with the participation of the social organizations active in the area…
In Salima, a village in Mount Lebanon, ULDY organized a photo exhibition in the center of the village, which displayed pictures from Gaza portraying the harshness of Israeli terrorism, and raised Palestinian flags in the village. The participants then moved in a rally that went across the roads of the village.
Aley Branch in Mount Lebanon also participated in the protest organized by a coalition of many political parties in the area.
In Bekaa Valley, the Ein branch organized a march protesting the Arab abandonment of the Palestinian cause. Candles were lit and flyers were handed to cars on the side of the road.
At the same, Mashghara branch spread out through most of the western Bekaa, to perform a series of activities, which included collecting donations and distributing flyers that call for the solidarity with the people of Gaza.
A campaign was launched from Baalbak also in Bekaa Valley, in the form of an open sit-in, similar to the central protest in front of the ESCWA, to launch a series of activities throughout the Bekaa regions.
In the north of Lebanon, the Tripoli branch participated in a sit-in with the other parties and political organizations in the area. Speeches were made to condemn the Arab cowardice and the imperialist terrorism practiced daily in the occupied Palestinian lands. This terrorism reached its peak through the Israeli massacres against the people of Gaza.

ESCWA our permanent station

In addition to the activities of the branches, ULDY continued in its central movement in the open protest/sit-in in front of the UN headquarters in Beirut (ESCWA), which was held with the participation of a number of Lebanese and Palestinian leftist youth organizations, and this open protest became the start of a lot of the effective activities.

The beginning of the Open Protest

"Down with the raids of the Arabic silence!" as soon as the news of the Zionist attack on Gaza was heard and the news of the massacre that killed 200 Palestinian spread, many leftist organizations started gathering around this slogan in front of the ESCWA to put a plan of the actions that we will be taken in the coming days.
The organizations conducted a meeting and agreed on launching the open sit-in in front of ESCWA building under the title "Supporting the resistance in Gaza, together against the repressive and silent Arab regimes". The open sit- in was also meant to be a start point for every move supporting Gaza and for the activities held in front of the Arab embassies denouncing the position of their countries toward what's happening in Gaza. They also agreed to organize, on the second day, a sit in front of Egypt's embassy. On the first day the media started visiting the sit-in were Bassem Sheet spoke on behalf of the organizations present in the sit-in and he said: "Since the morning the Israeli warplanes are bombarding Gaza in strategy similar to July 2006 war: formal Arab support for the blockade, and organized plans to eliminate resistance. The daily Israeli aggression on Gaza and all Palestine is not an Israeli aggression only but a war initiated by the Zionist state in alliance with the Arab repressive regimes”. After reading the statement, Protesters started shouting "they are killing our people", "the child in Gaza is as valuable as the child in Greece", and "we should kick out all the ambassadors of conspiring countries"….

Towards the Egyptian embassy

The day of the Egyptian Embassy came, the leftist protestors at the ESCWA headed towards the "Wretched embassy", as some have called it, carrying statements that demanded the Egyptian regime to stop cooperating with the Zionists and help in ending to the siege on Gaza. The number of youth crowd to the Egyptian embassy on Sunday was great, the logos were as tough as the Egyptian regime, and what they were saying expressed the voice of the Arab streets.
"Palestine is the blood that flows in the veins of all the revolutionaries on this earth, it is the proof of the deterioration of these fascist regimes that govern most of the countries across the continents, it is the proof that a better world that it is desperately needed, we announce that we will not remain silent, we will shout out laud long live the resistance".

Towards the League of Arab States

The second protest was in front of the Arab League in Ashrafeye, where the protestors where very angry because of the delay of the Arab Summit. There the Palestinian flag was raised, and the protestors kept saying, "No for diplomatic relations with the Zionist State", "Open Rafah’s Border Crossing and let the living pass, don’t after they die".

A note was submitted to the Arab League's office demanding all the Arab countries that have diplomatic relations with the Zionist State (Egypt, Jordan, and Mauritania) to cut these relations and close all the embassies of the enemy and expel their ambassadors, the note also asks the government and states that have economic partnerships with Israel like Morocco, Qatar, Tunis and Amman to cancel all these agreements. It asked the Syrian government to stop all direct and indirect negotiations with Israel, and the Lebanese government to stop the social and the economical siege on the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, it also asks to open the boards especially Rafah's Border Crossing to supply the resistance and the people with what they need from supplies and weapons. It appealed to the Arab people to take action and impose these claims to their governments and regimes.

Protest in front of the EU commission and Canadian Embassy

In response to the EU and Canadian position concerning the Israeli aggression on Gaza, youth left organizations in Lebanon arranged two sit-ins in front of the European commission in Beirut and the Canadian Embassy in Lebanon. The organizations denounced the formal European position that turned a blind eye on the massacres that took place and supported the fierce Zionist acts in Gaza. The organizations also called for the European commission to respond to the voices of the European people and work to stop the aggression.

On the other hand, the Left organizations arranged another sit-in at the Canadian embassy denouncing the Canadian "No vote" against condemning Israel in the Human Rights Council of the UN and forming an investigating committee to look into Gaza massacres.

Spontaneous activities

On parallel the left youth initiated a series of activities in different regions in Beirut were they distributed statements that condemn the silence of the Arab regimes toward what was happening in Gaza. Moreover, protesters organized a series of spontaneous activities on the Egyptian embassy and surrounded it several times, in many forms. In the first day, protesters surrounded the embassy with the Palestinian flags that was soon removed by the security forces bordering it with a number of shoes that started increasing daily as protesters called out for all Lebanese citizens who feel that Egypt is engaged in the recent events to throw a shoe on the embassy as a gift from the Lebanese people to the Egyptian regime. On the third day protesters slept on the road in front of the Egyptian embassy were they covered their bodies with the Palestinian flags, blocked the road for a while and were then separated by the security forces. ESCWA protesters continued with their spontaneous moves so they fabricated a gigantic shoe that was placed in front of the Egypt's embassy and wrote on it statements that condemn Egypt's formal position toward the situation in Gaza, they also bordered the siege with the Israeli flag and then burned it.

On the other hand, the Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth conducted a protest in front of the Egypt's embassy sole entrance with the participation of some international and Arab delegates. This protest aimed at delivering a message that Lebanese people can block all the entrances of the embassy just like they blocked Rafah Crossing.

Protests at the US embassy

Afterwards, the Lebanese and Palestinian left organizations organized two protests in front of the US embassy whereby 9 protesters were injured in the first one and 20 in the second one due to the interference of the Lebanese security forces that didn’t allow protesters to move toward the embassy. In addition, the organizations arranged a one day tour to all the Arab embassies were they put a coffin in front of each embassy, raised their slogans that condemn and refuse the acts of the Arab regimes toward the situation in Gaza and asked them to remove the American bases from their countries and to cut off all kinds of relations with Israel and stop the negotiations taking place.

Regional and International activities in Lebanon

In addition, Union of Lebanese democratic youth and Arab youth organizations members of WFDY conducted a synchronized protest in front of ESCWA- UN were they lighted candles and tied their hands with chains. At 6 pm of that day protesters in 8 countries read a common statement that condemns the silence towards Gaza massacres.

Moreover, Union of Lebanese democratic youth hosted in the open sit-in an international event in collaboration with WFDY were a press conference was held in presence of a representative from Greek Communist Youth and some Arab youth organizations that expressed their solidarity with people of Gaza and denounced the Israeli aggression. In addition, these delegates participated in a many activities at Egypt's embassy and US embassy.

In Tyr, Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth organized an international solidarity event where many representatives from Palestinian, Arab and international youth organizations and WFDY participated and expressed their solidarity with Gaza. On the other hand, Lebanese and Palestinian youth organizations conducted 5 lectures on boycotting American and Israeli products and on the rights of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

Systematic destruction - Swedish journalists in Gaza

Aftonbladet journalist Peter Kadhammar comments on the situation on the ground in Gaza;
"A surgical attack. Surgical destruction. ... The precise cuts shows that there was a clear plan behind the attacks, but we haven't gotten answers to our queries. In what way did the Department of Finance threaten Israel's security? The Cenus Office? The Department of Agriculture? The Legislative Council?

In the end it all boils down to one word. Why?"

Utställning om Gaza i Virserum

Virserums konsthall kommer hålla en utställning om läget i Gaza mellan 8 februari-22 mars, rapporterar SvD. Utställningen kommer bl.a. bestå av dokumentära bilder från Gaza. Besökare kommer även kunna kommunicera direkt med Gazabor via internet på utställningen.

– Vi kan inte lösa problemen i Gaza men det är viktigt att det här i det massmedieklimat vi har inte bara blir en katastrof som följs av nya katastrofer, säger konsthallens chef Henrik Teleman till Barometern.

Öppettider för utställningarna är tisdag–söndag, kl 12-17. Inträdet är 30 kr för vuxna och 20 kr för barn 7-15 år.

Artikel i SMP, Artikel i Dagen

Luleå Holocaust Memorial

The news that Luleå muncipality had cancelled a Holocaust memorial event has reached the pages of the Jerusalem Post, thus making the squabble between local politicians in the northern Swedish town an international controversy.

I short note should be made here, the event was not organized (and cancelled) by the municipality as such, but by the Immigration Services Department of the municipality (not the municipal board, as stated in Jerusalem Post). The decision to cancel the event had been taken prior to the Gaza massacre, due to lack of participants in last year's event. Last year, most of the participants in the torch-light march had been municipal employees. This is not the first time the Holocaust memorial event has been cancelled by the municipality either.

Also noting a high level of political debate amongst the reader of One of the comments on the Luleå story:
"6. Swedes
Once a antismite always a antismite.The teach their kids the same hate that Hams and Hezfulah and the rest of jew hating arabs teach but in a modern way, not with suicide bombing but with suicide action.SHAME ON YOU.
sia - usa (01/27/2009 12:29)"

Om minneshögtider och statliga propagandainstitutioner

Norrländska Socialdemokraten reporterar att Luleå domkyrkoförsamling nu (delvis) ändrat sitt beslut angående den omdiskuterade Förintelsemanifestationen i Luleå. I artikeln hänvisas det till påtryckningar från den statliga myndigheten 'Forum för Levande Historia'.

Myndighetens överintendent har bl.a. sagt att inställandet av manifestationen innebar "en indirekt eftergift för de antisemitiska krafterna".

Man kan tycka vad man vill om själva sakfrågan och om hur kommunala instanser och kyrka i Luleå skött affären (beslutet om att ställa in manifestationen togs dock innan Gazamassakern, då de deltagarna ifjol främst hade varit kommunanställda), men hur sunt är det egentligen att en statlig myndighet ingriper i vilka manifestationer som ska hållas eller inte runt om i landet?

Vad är egentligen 'Forum för Levande Historias' existensberättigande? Varför behöver vi en statlig myndighet att tänka åt oss? Och vad fyller myndigheten egentligen för funktion? När folkmord pågår idag, framför våra egna ögon, hörs ingenting därifrån. Däremot är myndighetens talespersoner snabba att stämma in i kören bland 'Israelvännerna' som menar att det egentliga problemet i nuläget inte är massakrena och krigsförbrytelserna i Gaza, utan antisemitism i Sverige.

Jag tycker mycket väl att man kan högtidlighålla minnet över Förintelsen. Men slutsatsen måste vara att konsekvent motsättas sig och göra allt för att förhindra folkmord och krigsbrott. Att gråta över förbrytelser under Andra världskriget men samtidigt applådera när Gazaghettot bombas med vit fosfor är gränslöst hyckleri.

Nyhetslänkar: 1, 2, 3

Israeli company threatens to sue Swedish scientists

This might appear a bit off-topic, but it is perhaps just one example on how the Israeli military-industrial complex conducts its business. Two Swedish scientists, both professors of phonetics, has written an article titled Charlatanry in forensic speech science: A problem to be taken seriously. In their article they point to problems of accuracy in results when using lie detectors. I'm not an expert in phonetics (in fact, I didn't even know that it was an academic discipline of its own until today), but the fact that lie detectors cannot provide 100% accurate results is rather wellknown.

Nevertheless the Israeli company Nemesysco (geez, how do come up with names like that?), which holds patents on lie detectors, has sent threating letters to the magazine in which the two scientists are warned of lawsuits if the two scientists continue to argue their positions in public. Not that any sane court in the world would so bluntly stifle academic debate and research, but the pattern of behaviour is still worrying.

In Israel, the 'security industry' has grown markedly over the past years. The reputation of Israel as a though, brutal and technologically advanced police state is being used as a corporate brand to market repressive technologies to police, military and security services around the world. (CNN's Business Traveller ran a show back in 2006 on 'doing business in Israel', which partly dealt with this sector) It's high time to call for boycott not only for fruits and vegetables, but also demand breaking the cooperation between our police and military institutions and the Israeli 'security industry'.

News links: DN1, 2, 3

Monday, January 26, 2009

BBC vs DEC row: Hypocrisy beyond borders

Well, this is almost over-debated by now, but I'd just have to state that I think the BBC's reasoning on not broadcasting an appeal for humanitarian aid for Gaza is way to bizarre to comprehend. Stating that Gaza is an 'ongoing news story', and thus Gazans don't deserve basic anemities shows a stark lack of sensitivity to human needs.

Bringing up the 'suffering and distress of civilians and combatants on both sides of the conflict' is nonsense in this context. Don't the 10s of Israeli victims of the current conflict have access to food, medicine and housing at present?

And when BBC did run Darfur or Congo DEC appeals, were those conflicts not ongoing news stories? Did the BBC not bother to be 'impartial' then?

News links: Sydsvenskan, Politiken

One picture, a thousand words

Associated Press has published the following photograph from Gaza. It is taken in a school in the Jabaliya refugee camp, on the first day of classes after the bombings started. Three paper notes with names are put at three desks. Representing three class-mates killed by the Israeli onslaught.

(From Tabula Gaza)

Germany: Gaza solidarity demonstration in Munich, January 24

Ma'an News Agency reports that "[m]ore than two thousand people rallied on Saturday in Munich, Germany for the fourth consecutive week protesting the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip.

Protestors raised pictures of the destruction left by Israeli warplanes and military tanks in Gaza as well as signs calling for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestine."

Icelandic web poll

The political party 'Samfylkingin' (Alliance), likely to become the largest party in the upcoming Icelandic elections, has published a web poll at its website, asking vistors whether Iceland should break its diplomatic relations with Israel. As of now, 68% have responded yes to the question.

Norwegian Socialist Left Party on Palestine

The Norwegian Socialist Left Party (the second largest party in the Norwegian government) has opened a theme page on its website, dedicated to the positions of the party regarding Palestine and the recent Gaza crisis. Amongst other things, the party advocates consumer boycotts against Israel. Here's a link with google translate.

Portugal: "For a free and independent Palestine", January 24 demonstration

On Saturday 24, a protest rally attended by politicians and solidarity activists was held in the Portuguese capital Lisbon. A short report and photos at the website of the Portuguese Communist Party.

Michel: Hamas is responsible

According to the Jerusalem Post, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel (photo: hdtpcar) has stated that
"we have to also recall the overwhelming responsibility of Hamas,... I intentionally say this here - Hamas is a terrorist movement and it has to be denounced as such"

The Belgian EU commissioner Michel is, however, himself not really in a position to pass judgements on others. He is amongst the prime accused of fuelling one of the worst wars and genocides in modern times, seeking personal profit from the resources of D.R. Congo. Dissident Voice carries an article on the links between Israeli economic interests, Belgian companies (such as the one of Louis Michel) and the plunder and genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo. An excerpt (my emphasis);
"Over the past fifty years, elite Israeli nationals have perpetrated conflict and injustice in Africa, fueled by and for minerals. Operatives associated with the Israeli military or intelligence services — the Mossad — maintain strategic criminal syndicates in competition and in partnership with other syndicates involving men like Philippe De Moerloose, Louis Michel, Viscount Etienne Davignon, John Bredenkamp and Tony Buckingham.

Israeli trained shock troops became Mobutu's bodyguards, with Mossad advisers. According to a report by the American Jewish Committee: after 1980 "Mossad agents, military emissaries, and a small group of private businessmen… replaced diplomats as Israel's main interlocutors with African leaders and political (mainly opposition) groups." The report cites rising involvement of private defense and security interests, especially in Angola, DRC and Central Africa Republic, since 1992."

Le rénouveau congolais (a website close to the main democratic opposition party in the DRC, the UDPS) has the following to say about Michel,
"Dear Friends, Mr. Louis Michel is not a diplomat. He is a diamond Merchant. Louis Michel is deeply involved (up to here) in the illicit plundering of the richness of R.D. Congo with Mitchy Express, his private company.

Whereas Louis Michel tells the world over that he does an humanitarian and philanthropic work in the R.D. Congo, local activists discovered with shock, at the time of his recent voyage to Congo's Western Kasaï province, that Mr. Louis Michel has a company of exploitation of diamond in the city of Tshikapa and carries out even an unfair competition (with the complicity of Kabila regime) to a Congolese entrepreneur by the name of Mr. Ntumba, owner of NTUMINES company."

Toward Freedom writes
"Louis Michel is EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian AID, a gatekeeper position that insures that millions of Congolese people suffer miserably. Louis Michel has been one of Kabila's strongest allies, and he played a pivotal roll in the 2006 electioneering of Joseph Kabila's "victory." Previous to his EU posting, Michel was a Belgian parliamentarian, minister and Vice Prime Minister, until 2004. He is reportedly a diamond merchant exploiting the diamond rich Tshikapa region of DRC. Michel also has ties to Congo's diamonds through the Societe Miniere De Bakwanga (MIBA), a mainstay of Belgian neocolonialism in Congo; Michel's son is reportedly directly involved at MIBA"

It is understandable that Michel seeks to improve his relations to the Israeli leaders in times like these. Perhaps they'll be cell-mates in The Hague one day.

Below a video of Michel at a LSE seminar, interrupted by Congolese protestors:

News links on the DRC: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, On Michel's Gaza: 1, 2, 3
Other bloggers on Congo: Bladfält12, Paolo12, JesMol, HBT-sossen, Lindestam, Björnbrum, Kaela, Europabloggen

Israeli Government Press Office: Foreign journalists are "spoiled crybabies"

In a comment to the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, Israeli Government Press Office chief Danny Seaman denied that there had been a ban of entry foreign journalists to the Gaza strip during the massacres. Israel had just not opened the border crossings. Semantics, anyone?

Seaman moreover stated that if the foreign journalists really would have wanted to enter the Gaza strip, in violation of the Israeli closure of borders, they could have done so. He also labelled the foreign journalists 'spoiled crybabies'.

The International Federation of Journalists did however note that inside Gaza, Israeli forces targetted press workers and killed two journalists. So the claims of Seaman that journalists could-have-entered-if-they-really-wanted falls quite flat looking at how the Israeli forces acted against journalists.

Seaman is not completly without friends, though. 'Joe the Plumber' was toured around southern Israel by Seaman during the Gaza massacre. 'Joe the Plumber' (or just 'JTP') then agreed with Seaman's position, thinking that "media should be abolished from, uh, you know, reporting". Friends of media freedom, indeed.

French Communist Party: Sanctions on Israel, Continue solidarity mobilizations

The French Communist Party (PCF) has, ahead of a demonstration last Saturday, released a position paper calling for:
-An international humanitarian and reconstruction aid plan for Gaza.
-Sanctions on Israel for its war crimes. One demand raised is the freezing of the EU-Israel Association Treaty.
-To deploy a UN force to protect the inhabitants in Gaza.
-Support for a two-state solution based upon 1967 borders.
-Continued mobilizations and protests in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Sweden: Photos from January 24 protests



(photos: Jöran Fagerlund)


On Proportionality

You don't have to be a hardcore activist to understand that the Israeli propaganda claims of 'self-defense' are skewed or outright lies (although there are always a few who wish to swallow propaganda rather than looking at the situation on the ground).

Claes Sandgren (photo: IMM), Professor of Law at Stockholm University, comments to SvD after returning home from a joint delegation of FIDH and the International Commission of Jurists,;
"–During the 8 years that preceded this winter's conflict, 18 Israelis have been killed by rockets from Gaza. That is in average two deaths per year. But during the 3 years that preceded the war, 2005-2008, Israel killed 1,250 Palestinians in Gaza."

Professor Sandgren moreover comments that, whilst it would be difficult to try Israel for war crimes in the International Crimal Court (due to that Israel is not a signatory to ICC and that there would probably be an American veto in the U.N. Security Council against trying Israel in the ICC), there are several other venues in which Israeli war crimes against U.N. conventions could be investigated and tried.

Psychiatrist in Gaza: War was directed against women and children

Swedish newspaper DN has an interview with Rawia Borno, the sole psychiatrist that was amongst the international doctors that have been able to enter the Gaza strip after the cease-fire. Borno, veteran from many missions to zones of war, comments:
"-I've never seen so many traumatized people after a war, I've never seen such a war, directly directed against the civilian population, against women and children without any distinction. This is a new form of war crimes, which should actually be called terrorism."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Norwegian Gaza doctors write book about their experiences

The testimonies of Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse, the two Norwegian physcians who became witnesses to the gross Israeli war crimes when working at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, will be published as a book (in Norwegian, I suppose). The publishing house Gyldendal has won the contract for publishing the book, in competition with other publishers. The book will be available this autumn, keep yourself posted.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Idrottsbojkotter - nu och då

Frida Metso, LUFs ordförande, har skrivit ett kort blogginlägg om kraven på idrottsbojkott mot Israel, och jämför med LUFs krav på bojkott av Beijing-OS. Jag har svårt att se exakt vad hon vill få fram i inlägget. Borde inte LUFs tidigare krav på OS-bojkott öppna för att organisationen även kan stödja idrottsbojkotten mot Israel, att det är legitimt att lyfta politiska krav i idrottssammanhang? Precis som vid kraven för OS-bojkott, så svarar idrottsetablissemanget kraven på idrottsbojkott mot Israel med att upprepa att 'idrott och politik hör inte ihop'. Borde inte LUF hålla med om att så är inte fallet, att internationella idrottsevenemang är i allra högsta grad politiska tillställningar?

Metsos verklighetsbeskrivning är också lite märklig. Bemötandet från svenska medier gentemot LUFs krav var knappast ett kompakt motstånd. Tvärtom fick de internationella kraven på OS-bojkott (i någon form, t.ex. bojkott av invigningen) stort gehör i västerländska medier, åtminstone fram till jordbävningen i Szechuan (då mycket av den internationella kritiken gentemot Kina om Tibet, Burma och Darfur avtog). I en opinionsundersökning svarade 4 av 10 tillfrågade svenskar att man stödde bojkott av invigningen.

När ska man bojkotta och när ska man inte bojkotta? Enskilda idrottsmän och sportorganisationer vill gärna gardera sig från att behöva ta politiska beslut. Men studier har visat att idrottsbojkotterna mot Sydafrika (som LUF, dåvarande FpU, stödde) var betydelsefulla i att pressa den vita minoriteten att acceptera apartheids omöjlighet. Idrottsbojkotterna synliggjorde omvärldens kompakta förkastande av apartheid hos vita sydafrikaner i gemen. Bojkotterna, såväl gällande idrott som ekonomiska, hade stöd av ANC.

Palestinska befrielserörelser stödjer de internationella bojkotterna mot Israel, som en del i arbetet att sätta tryck på Israel att upphöra med ockupationen och avbryta sina brott mot mänskliga rättigheter och folkrätt. Om LUF skulle vara villiga att stödja principen att alla människor har rätt att leva i frihet, då borde de också kunna stödja idrottsbojkotten mot Israel.

Några exempel på hur OS-bojkottkraven skildrades i svenska medier; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, Om idrottsbojkotten mot Sydafrika; 1, 2, 3, 4, Proletären om OS, Sydafrika och Israel, Om bojkott mot Israel: 1, 2, 3, 4, Blogginlägg: Melin, Jinge12, Wester, ANC-dokument från 1988 om idrottsbojkotten, Om tidiga protester mot apartheid i idrott från Nya Zeeland

Manifestationer till stöd för Gaza - 24 januari

BORÅS: Manifestation för Gaza!
Lördagen den 24 januari, kl kl 12 på Stora torget.
Arr: Gazagruppen

GÖTEBORG: Häv blockaden av Gaza - Leve Palestina!
Lördagen 24 januari, Samling Götaplatsen 14.00, avmarsch till Gustav Adolfs Torg 14.30.
Arr: Gaza-kommittén
http://www.facebook .com/event.php?eid= 46591799766

KARLSTAD: Protestera mot Israels attack mot Gaza. Lördag den 24e januari, Soltorget, klockan 12.00

LUND: Protestera mot bomberna över Gazas befolkning
Varje lördag på Stortorget i Lund mellan kl 12-13.

STOCKHOLM: Demonstration för Gaza!
Lördagen den 24 januari, kl 14. Sergels torg
Vi går under parollerna:
Bryt blockaden av Gaza!
Israel till Haag!
Stöd palestiniernas frihets kamp!

Lars Ohly talar för Vänsterpartiet.

Arr: Gaza Solidaritet

UMEÅ: Dagliga protester på Rådhustorget kl 12

VÄXJÖ: Demonstration 24 januari, samling 11.30, Vattentorget - sedan tal vid Speaker's Corner.

Fortsätt protesterna. Fortsätt mobilisera. Fortsätt bekämpa ockupationen med alla medel.

Nyhetslänkar: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


En del inkomna kommentarer menar att denna blogg är ensidig och inte ger utrymme för pro-israeliska synpunkter. Därav lägger jag upp en utdrag av artikel mot bojkott av israeliska varor, författad av Helge Fossmo.

Tyvärr har föreningen 'Israels Vänner' tagit bort nummer 2, 2003 av tidskriften Israels vän (där artikeln ursprungligen publicerades) från sin hemsida. Kontakta dem, och begär att den läggs upp igen så vi kan läsa Fossmos visdom i fulltext. Notera också att sajten belönade Fossmo med att döpa ett träd efter honom för sina insatser för den israeliska saken. Någonstans i Mellanöstern kan det nu alltså finnas en planta, döpt efter en massmördande evangelist.

Nu ska det i ärlighetens namn sägas att Fossmo delvis reviderat sin glorifierade bild av Israel. Kanske är det en ärlig betraktelse, kanske ett sätt att befria svenska Israelvänner från att associeras med honom själv. På sin hemsida förklarar han också att Israelfanatismen inte var begränsad till Knutby, utan spridd i frikyrkliga miljöer i stort:

"Vi kom i kontakt med Ulf Cahn genom att vi gav pengar till Förenade Israelinsamlingen för att stödja arbetet med judar som flyttar hem till Israel från olika håll i världen. (Han besökte församlingen under min tid också, och är för övrigt mycket intressant att lyssna till.) Vi ansåg att ett engagemang till stöd för Israel tillhörde en församlings uppdrag, och att Israels utveckling tillhörde händelseförloppet i ändens tid. Israel som folk och som nation skulle upprättas till fullo, när tiden var inne. Att det judiska folket samlas från jordens ändar till sitt egendomsland betraktade vi därför som ett uppfyllande av de bibliska profetiorna.

Vi trodde att det judiska folket skulle återfå hela det land som Gud gav åt dem, enligt Gamla Testamentets Skrifter. De skulle även bli frälsta när de förstod att den Messias de längtade efter skulle komma, är den Messias vi väntar på ska återkomma.

Israelsynen är på intet sätt anmärkningsvärd i Knutby, utan den förekommer i alla olika grenar av kristenheten. Men, ja, vår eskatologi påverkade naturligtvis hur vi såg på Israel i vår tid."

Bloggar: Motbilder, SocAlt, artikel i Aftonbladet, Länkar om Fossmo: 123456789101112131415, 16

Leftwing forces salute the international solidarity with Palestine

Four leftwing groups met yesterday and in their joint statement, which condemned the brutality of the Israeli aggression and called for broad Palestinian national unity, a message was conveyed to the millions around the world who arose in defense of the people of Gaza during the last month:
"And we also salute all the forces, movements and solidarity groups, from around the entire world which acted in solidarity with our people, led by the diverse freedom-lovers. Especially we pay tribute to the left-wing and communist states, forces and parties, movements of solidarity with the Palestinian people and in particular Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, as well as other forces and movements.

Long live the Palestinian national unity,
Glory and eternity for our innocent martyrs,
and Forward for the sake of unity, freedom and democracy

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Palestinian People's Party, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Democratic Front for Peace and Equality"

(unofficial translation by the Gaza; Peace n' Freedom blog)

Ban-Ki Moon visits Gaza, demands an investigation on Israeli attacks

UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon became the first world leader to see the devastation of the Gaza massacre with his own eyes. In regards to the targetting of U.N. buildings in Gaza by Israeli forces, the Secretary-General demanded that be an investigation of the events. The U.N. headquarters in Gaza were bombed with white phosphorus, destroying a large cache of humanitarian supplies.

Let's not forget that this was not the first time Israel has targetted U.N. buildings. In 1996 Israel bombed a U.N. building in Qana, southern Lebanon, killing 106 civilians who had sought refugeee in the building and four U.N. soldiers. The Israeli state must put to trial for its crimes, so that there be no more massacres like in Gaza or Qana.

Galeano: "dedicated to my Jewish friends assassinated by the Latin American dictatorships to which Israel acted as consultant"

"To justify itself, state terrorism manufactures terrorists: it sows hate and harvests alibis. Everything indicates that this slaughterhouse of Gaza, which according to its perpetrators is for finishing off the terrorists, will achieve boosting them."

Renowned Latin American author Eduardo Galeano was written an interesting observation on the Gaza massacre, the militarism of the Israeli state and the silence of the 'Interntional Community'. The entire article can be read at Zmag. (thanks to Esbati for the tip-off)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Knesset members compete in racist slurs

Tempers flared today between Israeli parliamentarians, ahead of a High Court hearing on the banning of three Arab parties. Far-right politician Avigdor Lieberman had the following words for Arab Knesset member Talab as-Sanaa;
"'re a terrorist and should be treated as such. We will take care of you like we take care of every terrorist; we will take care of you just like Hamas"

Fellow fascist Knesset member Arye Eldad of the National Union also defended the banning of Arab parties, stating that
"So we should let them know that the Arabs are not like that; they are the poison of the earth and are unwilling to accept Israel as a Jewish and democratic state"

The Arab minority parties are banned, whilst hate-mongers like Lieberman are let loose to spread hatred and advocate state-sanctioned racial discrimination. The nature of the Israeli state keeps on revealing itself.

Suck... har en kort rapport om Ulf Ekmans (Sveriges, efter Carola, mest kände fundamentalist) besök i Sderot och dennes bloggande därifrån. Skildringen blir lätt surrealistisk när man får man följande passus (min markering):
"Träffade en journalist som undrade varför det skrivs så lite om Sderot. En person sa lakoniskt: "Blod verka sälja bättre än fakta." med tydlig pik åt medias partiskhet, skriver Ekman i sin blogg."

En googling på Sderot+2009 på svenska sidor ger 22 100 resultat. Samma resultat för Khan Yunis är 12 100. Khan Yunis drabbades svårt av de israeliska bombningarna. Dödsfallen där överstiger vida de israeliska dödstalen.

Ett axplock som motbevisar Ekmans antaganden om 'medias partiskhet': AB123, DN12345678, SvD12345678, Sydsvenskan12345, HD12345, SMP123


Bland Israels försvarare under Gazamassakern bedrivs flera parallella kampanjer i opinionsbildande syfte. En handlar om att upprepa mantrat att Hamas startade konflikten (vilket är falskt), en annan om att Hamas använt oskyldiga Gazabor som 'mänskliga sköldar' (ett påstående som den israeliska arméns presstjänst gärna upprepar. Men även om anklagelsen hade varit sann så befriar det inte staten Israel från att ansvar att respektera Genevékonventionerna).

Men allt viktigare blir försöken att få diskussionen handla om något helt annat. Samtidigt som Gazaborna nu vågar sig tillbaka till sina hus för att leta efter döda familjemedlemmars kroppar eller det som kan finnas kvar av personliga ägodelar, samtidigt som kraven på att Israel ska ställas tills svars för krigsbrott, vill Israelvännerna att vi istället ska diskutera 'den ökande antisemitismen i Europa'.

På SVT Opinion idag sällar sig Magnus Sandelin till de som anser att antisemitism är ett problem inom den palestinska solidaritetsrörelsen. Sandelin är författare till boken Extremister, en nypublicerad pocket som tänjer sina argumentationskedjor så långt det bara går för att övertyga läsaren att 17-åriga vänsteraktivister från Småland i själva verket är lika farliga som Bin Laden. (Grundproblemet i Sandelins argumentation är att han utgår ifrån att 'extremism' är not statiskt och konstant. Extremism är dock något som ialla högsta grad är kontextuellt. Själv tycker jag Gunnar Hökmarks försvar av massbombningar mot civila mål är en extremt antihumanistisk ståndpunkt.)

En stor del av Sandelins artikel ägnas åt en kommentar till ett blogginlägg. Men på det sätt som händelsen presenteras finns mycket guilt by association, kommentarens författare och bloggens ägare ('en annan av Sveriges mest inflytelserika politiska bloggar') blandas ihop. Författaren till kommentaren är knappast särskilt inflytelserik i den svenska samhällsdebatten.

Sandelin beklagar sig vidare, likt många andra i den offentliga debatten, över att plakat med davidstjärnor och hakkors förekommit på plakat vid Gazademonstrationer. Själv har jag inte riktigt förstått problematiken. Hemmagjorda plakat med symboliken '✡=卐' har syftningen att man jämför Israels agerande idag med Nazitysklands förbrytelser under Andra världskriget. Det är knappast ett försvar av nazismen, tvärtom använder man hakkorset som en symbol för ondskan.

Får man använda Davidsstjärnan, en symbol som förknippas med offren för nazistiska förbrytelser, som symbol för Israel? Ja, det finns inte så många andra symboler att välja mellan (man skulle kunna använda Israels statsvapen, men även det består av en judisk religiös symbol). Sionisterna har inkorporerat Davidstjärnan i Israels flagga, och därmed är det legitimt att bruka den symbolen i politiska sammanhang som symbol för staten Israel. Det är inte Palestinarörelsen som gjort Davidsstjärnan till en symbol för förbrytelser och förtryck, det är staten Israel och den sionistiska rörelsen.

Finns antisemitism i Sverige? Ja, i någon mån. Ska vandalisering av judiska lokaler fördömas? Självklart, ingen religiös eller etnisk grupp ska behöva ta kollektiv skuld för de brott vissa medlemmar utför i gruppens namn. Men att hävda att antisemitism, varken i nuläget eller innan Gazamassakern, skulle vara ett överhängande problem i dagens Sverige är förryckt från verkligheten. Finns det (detta är ingen retorisk fråga, utan en ärlig undran) något fall nyligen där en person nekats anställning eller nekas hyra en lägenhet på grund av att man har ett judiskt efternamn? En person som heter Perlmann i efternamn lider inte av vardagsrasismen i Sverige, en person vars efternamn är Abdul Rahman lär känna av den samma ganska hårt.

Problemet med debattörer som Sandelin är att en pojken-o-vargen-situation riskerar att uppstå. Om Israelvännerna skriker sig hesa om antisemitism varje gång israeliska brott mot mänskliga rättigheter påtalas, då förlorar begreppet 'antisemitism' all innebörd. Israelvännernas argumentation gynnar bara de krafter som vill att judeförakt återigen blir en legitim ståndpunkt i Sverige.

Nyhetslänkar: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, läs också Roya, Svensson, Jinge, Loke, Debatt om äggkastning i Sydsvenskan: 1, 2, 3

Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades block IOF troop transport near Beit Hanoun

The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the PFLP, conducted an action this morning, east of Beit Hanoun. At 5:30 a.m. they engaged a group of Israeli Occupation Forces with heavy gunfire, and blocked their transportation. The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades have not endorsed the unilateral cease-fire of Palestinian factions, and have vowed to continue resistance.

Israel and the Norwegian left

Dagbladet has an interesting article today (in Norwegian), on how the Norwegian leftwing initially held high hopes for Israel, both within the Labour Party and Socialist People's Party (fore-runner of today's SV), based upon an idealistic view on the kibbutzim and pioneer spirit of the young state. When the third-worldist tendencies began to emerge among young radicals, the Socialist People's Party sharply criticized those inside the party who voiced criticism of Israel. Their youth wing (who broke with the party, and became revolutionary Marxists) were rather isolated in the late 1960s/early 1970s in defending the rights of the Palestinians.

The first Palestine solidarity protest took place in 1968, as 12 youths disrupted a meeting with Abba Eban in the parliament. The protestors had trained themselves in shouting their slogans in Hebrew. But support for the legitimate rights for the Palestinians remained a fringe viewpoint in the Norwegian left for another ten years.

But the illusions about Israel crumbled for most leftists in the 1980s, with the images of the Sabra & Shatila massacre and the racist brutalities of the occupying forces during the Intifadah, opening up for a broader solidarity movement.

IOF vandalized Palestinian homes and mosques

Aljazeera TV reported yesterday how Gazan returning home after the cease-fire have found that their houses had been used as encampments of the Israeli Occupation Forces, and that the soldiers have vandalized the walls in the homes with graffiti directed against the Palestinians. Norwegian Dagbladet reports how graffiti like 'Hamas whores' have been sprayed inside a mosque in Zeitoun.

Andra bloggar: Radar

Ica och Lidl fuskar med märkningen av israeliska varor

Rapporterar TT (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Skam! (ICA Handlarna har ju, som tidigare känt, haft en policy av att fuska med märkningar, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) Se till och kontakta ICA Handlarna och Lidl (brev, telefon, e-post), och kräv att de offentligt deklarerar att de rensar ut alla israeliska varor från sitt sortiment.

Läs också; Jinge

Monday, January 19, 2009

Israel has already initiated its defense against war crimes trials

Both Norwegian VG and Swedish TT have noted that the Israeli state apparatus is increasingly wary of the possibility that they might face war crimes trials after their cowardly atrocities in Gaza. Appearently, they are already building their defense case, enlisting support from their Western allies.

Israeli politicians might well find themselves in the same situation as former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet did, as he was detained in London during extradition procedings.

Also, one of the clearest headlines yet on the Gaza carnage (in VG),
"-We'll be out before Obama's inauguration" (see also Público, DN),
clarifying some reasons behind the timing of the massacre and the complicity of the Bush regime in the killings.

See also: article in DN and SvD12 on Israeli demands for international impunity.

Debattartikel i Barometern om kravet på att israeliska ledare ställs till ansvar för sina brott.

Cease-fire spoilers? Provocateurs?

Ma'an News Agency reports that the Hizbullah Brigades of Palestine has declared that they have fired five rockets against Israeli targets since the declaration of unilateral cease-fire by the Palestinian factions yesterday.

I will be quite honest, until two days ago i myself had never heard of the 'Hizbullah Brigades of Palestine' (كتائب حزب الله فلسطين). Apparently they declared their existance in October 2008, stating that they were independent of and neutral towards all existing political factions in Palestine. When the reknowned Arabic daily ash-Sharq al-Awsat obtained the founding declaration of the organization, it added that the reliability of the declaration could not be confirmed.

Soon after its existance was declared, the 'Hizbullah Brigades of Palestine' launched a rocket towards Sderot (in violation of the Hamas-sponsored unilateral cease-fire). The Jerusalem Post were quick to assert that this was part of the 'growing al-Qaeda threat to Israel'.

At the time of the declaration of 'Hizbullah Brigades of Palestine', Hamas publicly declared that there was no such organization in Gaza and accused it of being a creation of the Israeli intelligence services. Another Hamas commentary speculated that Fatah could have been the authors of the founding statement. The following day, published at a pro-Fatah website, the 'Hizbullah Brigades Palestine' replied that the group was attracting Hamas followers disagreeing with the then cease-fire policy upheld by Hamas.

This might be a bit speculatory, but wouldn't a small unknown Islamist terrorist group firing rockets unto Sderot, in violation of the cease-fire declarations, provide a perfect excuse for Israel to resume its aggression on Gaza? In other words, an agent provocateur in action. We should not be to quick to draw conclusions, but we should also be vigilant to all deceptive tactics of the enemy. We must not forget how Israel contributed to the emergence of Hamas, in order to challenge the PLO within the Palestinian community in the 1980s. If there would be 'al-Qaeda presence' (a designation that is by its nature ambigous, since there is no centralized al-Qaeda organization as of today) in Gaza it could perhaps legitimize further Israeli bloodsheding, at least in the eyes of the American public opinion.

Do note that the Western media rarely bothers to distinguish which of the 10+ militant factions in Gaza claim responsibility for rocket launches. See for example article in SvD or Dagen.


News links on Gaza: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Sudanese artists to make mural in solidarity with the people of Gaza

Speaking to the press at an artists workshop in solidarity with Gaza, the president of of the Sudanese Plastic Artists' General Association Abdel-Moneim al-Khudar vowed to create a huge mural glorifying the solidarity of the Sudanese people with all the oppressed peoples of the world, and specifically with the Palestinian people in Gaza. He also stated the intention of the Association to continue to educate the people about imperialism and Zionism.

For his part, the General Secretary of the National Council of Literature and Arts Sadiq Mujtaba, also demonstrated his solidarity with Gaza, stating that the artists workshop in solidarity with Gaza was a unique event. Mujtaba said that the paintings and drawings that have been produced at the workshop will be a powerful weapon in the struggle against tyranny.

Source: al-Midan, unofficial summary and translation by the Gaza; Peace n' Freedom blog, full article below;