Friday, February 27, 2009

Worchester-Gaza

The Worchester city council is looking at the possibility of twinning with Gaza City. Worcester, a city in England, is already twinned with Le Vesinet in France, Kleve/Niederrhein in Germany, and Worcester, Massachussetts, USA. Video below.



In Swedish Göteborg, the Left Party requested that Göteborg be declared a sister city of Gaza City. Similar demands were raised in other parts of Sweden, blog/news links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Palestinian Football Association calls for boycott against Israeli athletes

In a statement today Jibril Rajoub, the head of Palestinian Football Association, has stated that the international community should boycott Israeli athletes, as long as Israel does not allow the Palestinian sports movement to function normally. He noted that Israeli authorities have hindered travels of Palestinian athletes to take part in functions.

"There is a need for the international community to review its policies towards Israel. No Israeli sportsperson should be hosted if Israel does not agree to free Palestinian sport from suppression and injustice," said Rajoub.

Source: Ynet
Nyhetslänkar om Malmö-DC: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Bloggat: Jinge

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stoppa matchen - bojkotta Israel!



www.stoppamatchen.se

Abu Mazen på besök


Den palestinske presidenten Mahmoud Abbas besökte idag Stockholm, för att söka stöd för den palestinska försoningsprocess och att Sverige ska stödja en palestinsk samlingsregering. När pressen frågade Abbas värd, Fredrik Reinfeldt, om Sverige skulle stödja en samlingsregering där Hamas ingår så gavs en inte helt glasklart svar. Reinfeldt menade att det skulle vara beroende av vilka personer som skulle representera Hamas i den regeringen och att det var viktigt att alla parter i regeringarna, både på den palestinska och den israeliska sidan, ställer upp på en tvåstatslösning.

Detta är inget som de svenska journalisterna snappade upp, men egentligen en ganska viktig markering. Om det verkligen är svenska regeringens politik att samtliga regeringsmedlemmar på bägge sidor av konflikten måste acceptera en tvåstatslösning så är detta ett stort framsteg. I de israeliska regeringsförhandlingarna ingår det högerextrema Nationella Unionen (haIhud haLeumi), vars partiledare Yakov Katz är tippad att bli minister i Netanyahus regering, motsätter sig kategoriskt varje form av palestinsk statsbildning. Är Reinfeldt och Bildt redo att stå för sina ord, och således villkora diplomatiska relationer med Israel med krav på att högerextremisterna hålls borta från regeringsmakten?

Bloggat: Carl Bildt, Hans Linde, Palestine Updates, Meral
Nyhetslänkar om statsbesöket: 1, 2, 3, 4 Om försoningssamtalen: 1
Noterar också att Maans chefredaktör Nasser Lahham är inne på liknande argumentation som mig själv.
Artikel om 'givarkonferensen'.

Kålsuparteorier i Barometern

Barometern-Oskharshamn-Tidningen har idag en debattartikel om Palestinafrågan ('Bosättarrörelese och Hamas hinder'), som förefaller vara skriven 1996. Den baseras kring resongemang om att freden i Mellanöstern hotas av extremister på bägge sidor. Ett utdrag
"Mellanösterns problem måste tillskrivas områdets extrema rörelser. På den israeliska sidan har vi den till stora delar fanatiska bosättarrörelsen som hävdar Israels bibliska rätt till Palestina och där tankarna på ett Storisrael är levande. På den andra sidan har vi extremrörelserna Hamas i Gaza och Hizbollah i Libanon som båda understödda av islamistiska diktaturen Iran har Israels utplåning från kartan som mål."


Den argumentationen var vanlig under Osloprocessen, innan den avslöjats som en bluff. Dikotomin duvor-hökar, goda Labor-onda Likud, snälla Fatah-illasinnade Hamas är egentligen ganska felaktig. Alla israeliska partier, utom kommunisterna och de arabiska partierna, stödde Gazamassakern. Illusionen om att israeliska Arbetarpartiet skulle stå som garant för en fredlig tvåstatslösning torde ha upphört vid det här laget.

Även gällande palestinierna är situationen betydligt mer komplicerad. Både Hamas och Fatah är mångfacetterade rörelser, med mer moderata och mer radikala krafter. Hamas har, om än i semantiska omskrivningar, sagt sig vara villiga att gå med på en tvåstatslösning.

Slutet av debattartikel ägnas till en utläggning om 'Hamas stadgar'. Källan som anges är eniro.se (en sökmotor!, söker man på 'Hamas stadgar' på eniro hittar man mestadels länkar till hasbarabloggar). Det dokument artikelförfattaren hänvisar till är ett Hamasdokument från 1988, ett uttalande som antogs när rörelsen lanserades som en politisk organisation i Palestina. Det är inte rörelsens stadgar (دستور), och dokumentet har egentligen ingen betydelse i Hamas politik idag. Inom Hamas görs nästan aldrig referenser till 1988-dokumentet, som beskriver Palestinakonflikten som en strid mellan judar och muslimer.

British Medical Journal on hasbara and orquestrated hate-campaigns

We all know it. Anyone who has even published a journalistic article, a book, made a public statement or even done the most mundane act of starting a blog, and has combined this act with even the most discrete criticism of Israel will probably experience the opening of floods of hate-mails and accusations. They wary from attempts to remove guilt from the Israeli government by blaming others (Hamas, Iran, the Bogeyman or anyone else) to outright racist diatribes against Palestinians and Muslims in general. I have tons of unpublished racist, pro-Israeli comments sent to this blog. We know that these comments and letters are part of coordinated campaigns, in which the Israeli state itself takes part. This mechanism is known as 'hasbara'.

Fiona Godlee and Tony Delamothe, editor and deputy editor of BMJ, writes that
"And it’s not only the small fry who are cowed. John Kampfner, chief executive of Index of Censorship, detected signs of caution in the BBC’s recent coverage of the Gaza conflict following earlier criticisms of pro-Palestinian bias10 (and this before the corporation refused to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee’s fundraising appeal for Gaza11).

Avoiding topics where medicine and politics collide is not an option for the BMJ. It’s not possible to remove medicine from politics or politics from medicine.12 Nor is this what our readers want. In an online poll on bmj.com less than a quarter of respondents wanted less space devoted to political issues in the BMJ.13

Oxfam was describing conditions in Gaza as a "humanitarian crisis" a year ago.14 Since then Israel’s invasion of the Gaza strip has left 1300 Palestinians dead, 5500 injured, and much of Gaza in ruins. The journal cannot avert its gaze from the health and human rights consequences of this catastrophe, no matter how "political" the issue."

"The best way to blunt the effectiveness of this type of bullying, counsels O’Donnell, is to expose it to public scrutiny. We have taken his advice and will try to follow Freedland’s too—to grow a thicker skin. We’ll give future orchestrated email campaigns as much credence as film producer Sam Goldwyn gave verbal contracts. He famously dismissed these as "not worth the paper they’re written on.""

Read the full article at the BMJ website. BMJ also carries articles by Karl Sabbagh on 'Perils of criticising Israel' (with samples of hate-mail sent to BMJ and a historical background on how the Israel lobby ganged up against the magazine World Medicine in 1981, after having reported on the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre) and by Micheal O'Donnell on 'Standing up for free speech'.

Blogs: Vindskupan, Jinge, Motbilder, Tikun Olam, Beyond the Fringe, Jews sans frontiers, Wadström, BRV
Articles in Jerusalem Post on Hasbara: 1, 2
Articles on 'Norwegian anti-semitism' accusations: 1, 2, 3, 4

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"مارکسيستی که صدای غزه شد، دکتر ماتس گيلبرت است"

"هدف از نوشتن اين چند سطر نشان دادن گوشه کوچکی از کار و فعاليتهای سوسياليستی و بشر دوستانه خستگی ناپذير دکتر مادس(ماتس)گيلبرت است که اين روزها زبان حال مردم ستمديده فلسطين و چشم حقيقت بين ما در غزه شده است."


"مادس گيلبرت، در يک ابتکار و اقدام سانسور شکنانه با فرستادن پيامکی از راه تلفن دستی که همراه داشت، دنيا را در جريان نتيجه جنايتهای رژيم فاشيستی اسرائيل در آن سوی ديوار جنگ و سانسور قرار داد. اين گزارش کوتاه، اشک در چشم همه انسانهای شريف و عدالت خواه جاری کرد و همه را به ياری طلبيد و از انفعال بيرون آورد. مادس و اريک، تنها کانال و صدای فرياد و بيان واقعيات و وقايع تلخ در غزه هستند، که با دادن گزارشات دقيق و عينی هم هميديای امپرياليستی که به شدت از وجود آنها هراسان و نگرانند، تحت تاثير قرار داد هاند.

برای اولين بار در يک جنگ و کشتار عام انسانها ، گوش هی هر چند کوچک، اما گويا را از ثمر جنايتهای حکام سرماي هداری را از زبان يک شاهد مارکسيست دريافت کرديم. قدرت چهارم که همان ميديا ميباشد و تحت رهبری و کنترل سرمايه دارن و رژيمهايشان قرار دارد، هزار و يک تلاش را در جهت سانسور گزارشات گيلبرت و فوسه انجام داده است. اما وقتی آن پيام را از راه موبايل به مردم عادی و دوستانش ارسال کرد و در آن از وحشتناک بودن و وحشيانه بودن تهاجم اسرائيل سخن ميگفت ديگر ترديدی در عمق فجايح در غزه باقی نگذاشت و همه چيز از زير تيغ سانسورچيان در رفت.

" تشکر از حمايت وسيعتان...آنها دو ساعت پيش بازار تره باری را در مرکز شهره غزه بمباران کردند... 80 نفر زحمی و 20 نفر کشته بر جای گذاشته است... همه رابه اينجا ،بيمارستان "شيفا"(شفا) منتقل کرد هاند... مرگ، خون و آمپوتاسيون، قطع دست و پا، اطراف ما را فراگرفته است.. تعداد زيادی کودک، زنان حامله...من هرگز چيزی به اين وحشتناکی نديد هام. اکنون صدای تانکها را ميشنويم. اين را به ديگران بگو، اين خبر به بقيه برسان، تو هم فرياد بزن و ديگران را در جريان بگذار. هر کاری می توانی انجام بده. کاری بکنيد. بيشتر انجام بدهيد.." مادس گيلبرت، 3.1.09 ، ساعت: 13.50 غزه، فلسطين". اين پيامک، هوشداری به بشريت عدالت خواه و افشاء "بشريت" جنايت پيشه بود. گزارش و پيامکی که ديوار سانسور راست های افراطی نشسته در اريکه قدرت و ميديايشان را فرو ريخت و در فاصله نه چندان طولانی اين پيام کوتاه، اما تکان دهند هماتس انسان دوست و ضدسرمايه و دشمن جنگ، همه نروژ و... اروپا و... دنيا را درنورديد."


منابع: سایت کومهله

بيانيه های جنبش چپ ايرانی

* حزب توده ایران

* حزب کار ايران - توفان

* حزب کمونیست ایران

* سازمان فدائیان - اقلیت

* سازمان فدائيان خلق ايران - اکثريت

* سازمان کارگران انقلابی ایران - راه کارگر

Solidarity concert for Gaza, in Maca Mall, Amman, Jordan

Democratic Front holds mass rally at Rafah border crossing, demanding a end to the siege


On Sunday, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) held a mass rally at the Rafah border crossing. The manifestation, which was organized as part of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the DFLP, demanded that the siege on Gaza be lifted and that all Palestinian movements unite in national dialogue. In his speech Ziad Jargun, Central Committee member of DFLP and head of the party in Rafah, condemned the delays in the reconciliation process between Palestinian organizations in Cairo. Jargun also stressed the importance of the strengthening and re-activating the PLO. Moreover he reiterated the opposition of the DFLP to the Annapolis agreement.

40th anniversary celebrations have also been held in Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon.

"خيار واحد أمام اليسار الفلسطيني"

وبصراحة يمكن ان نستذكر بفخر الأدوار الريادية في مجال الفكر والسياسة والواقعية بالنسبة للديمقراطية، وأيضاً للشعبية وحزب الشعب، لكن مسألة النهوض في هذه الظروف لا تتصل بالضبط بمثل ما كان فلقد تراجع الانتاج الفكري، وتراجعت فرص المبادرات الكبرى، وما عاد بوسع أي فصيل ان يحقق قفزة في دوره وحجمه ووزنه رغم ان ظروف الانقسام والصراع بين حركتي حماس وفتح تتيح مثل هذه الامكانية. فقط خيار واحد هو المتاح، وهو خيار الوحدة بين الفصائل الثلاثة التي شكلت ما يعرف اليوم بجبهة اليسار، والتي لم تثبت جدواها حتى الآن ما يعني ان خياراً واحداً مطروحاً وهو الاندماج الكامل، فالوحدة هي المفتاح السحري للفوز والتقدم والنهوض فهل ننتظر احتفالاً واحداً بعد عام، وتاريخاً يلخص ويجمع تواريخ؟


بقلم طلال عوكل. من صحيفة الحرية.

Kambodja och högerns motvilja att dra lärdomar av historien


Idag har en Timbro-högerns fronter i samhällsdebatten, 'Upplysning om Kommunismen', beretts utrymme att orera på SVT Opinion. Ämnet är Kambodja 1975-1979. Men trots nästan 6000 tecken sägs ingenting om orsakerna till det politiska våldet och förföljelserna i Kambodja under dessa år. Istället ägnas inlägget till att skapa en bild av att bördan för folkmord i Kambodja ligger hos den västeuropeiska 'kulturvänstern'.

En bra motvikt finns i John Pilgers inlägg på Pragoti. Kiernans 'How Pol Pot came to Power' är sannolikt den hittils bästa källan till bakgrund till hur Röda khmer-rörelsen utvecklades till den rörelse vars styre kom att bli synonymt med massmord. Kiernan ser hur masspsykosen växer fram, mot bakgrund av fraktionskonflikter inom den kambodjanska kommunistiska rörelsen. Han ser en tydlig koppling mellan USAs bombningar och hur Pol Pot-falangen inom den kommunistiska rörelsen kunde röja undan alla (reella och inbildade) konkurrenter, en praxis som kom att fortgå och expandera efter segern 1975.

Summa sumarum är att det knappast är ett historiskt allmänintresse som driver UOK och dess finansiärer. Istället används historiska motiv som slagträn för att misskreditera samhällskritik i stort. Koppling finns också till Palestinafrågan, inom vilket smutkastningskampanjer pågår för fullt. UOKs skribent skriver pliktskyldigt "Från det fria Sverige skrivs idag hyllningar till Baader-Meinhof-ligan, Fidel Castro, Hizbollah eller Hamas, med hänvisning till kampen för "global rättvisa" och att "en annan värld är möjlig"." Genom denna typ av generaliserande (och fyllda med sakfel) uttalanden och guilt-by-association-resonemang skall apati gentemot israeliska krigsförbrytelser frodas, hoppas Timbro & co.. Verkligheten är dock en annan.

Läs också: Motkraft om UOK

Om sport och politik

Inför Davis Cup-matchen i Malmö mellan Sverige och apartheidstaten Israel skriker sig institutioner som Svenska Tennisförbundet och Riksidrottsförbundet hesa med argument i linje med klyschan 'politik och idrott skall hållas i sär' (som även brukades upprepas inför apartheid-Rhodesias besök vid tennisarrangemang i Sverige).

Samtidigt nås vi av nyheten att Tennisförbundets israeliska motpart på måndagen offentliggjorde att en tennisfestival i maj kommer att döpas efter och hållas i minne över en ockupationssoldat dödad på Gazaremsan. Så mycket för separationen mellan politik och idrott.

Kolla också Israeliska tenniscentrets hemsida. I högerkolumnen finns en karta (med titeln '14 center runt om i landet'), inom vilken de ockuperade Västbanken, Golanhöjderna och Gazaremsan ingår i Israel. Ett center ligger på ockuperad mark i östra Jerusalem.

Om Malmömatchen: 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, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62
Bloggat: Svensson, Frida, 100 Steg, Röda Malmö, Jinge, SKP, HD Kultur, Annarkia

Monday, February 23, 2009

HRW: "If Israel has nothing to hide, why is it refusing to allow us in?"

"Israel is preventing independent human rights monitors from entering Gaza, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem said Sunday.

"Israel continues to obstruct independent investigations into allegations of laws of war violations by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas military forces in Gaza," the groups said in a joint statement to Ma'an.

After submitting applications for permission to enter via the Erez crossing in January 2009, the groups faced continued delays from the military unit reviewing the applications. In February, the army told Human Rights Watch that it had rejected its application. The Israeli military denied B’Tselem's first request to enter Gaza and has failed to respond to a second.

“Israel’s refusal to allow human rights groups access to Gaza raises a strong suspicion that there are things it doesn’t want us to see or the world to know about its military operation there,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “If Israel has nothing to hide, why is it refusing to allow us in?”"


Full story at Maan News Agency, News links; 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. Also, Amnesty International demands an arms embargo against Israel; 1, 2, 3, Uttalande från Amnesty on krav på utredning av övergrepp i Gaza

IOF spokes-person shoed in Amsterdam

More shoeings. A spokes-person of the Israeli Occupation Forces, Ron Edelheit, was subjected to a shoe attack during a speech at the Apollo Hotel in Amsterdam yesterday. A protest demonstration was also held outside the hotel. Video below;


Some more details on the incident; Jerusalem Post says two shoes hit Edelheit's legs. According to Edelheit the Jewish community in the Netherlands "are in shock" over the shoe-throwing incident.

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Source: Maan, News links: 1, 2, Statement from the Netherlands Palestine Committee calling for protests against Edelheit's speech

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bedouin houses destroyed by Israeli authorities in Negev

Maan News Agency reports that four houses belonging to Bedouin families in the Negev have been destroyed by Israeli authorities. The authorities have cited lack of building permits as the reason behind the demolition.

As part of the Apartheid policies of the Israeli state, obtaining building permits is virtually impossible for Arab inhabitants of Israel. Thus most houses built by Arabs are subject to demolition at any point, enabling the authorities to blackmail entire communities. In this cases, the Bedouins of the southern town of Bir Hadaj claim that the demolition was ordered as negotiations on grazing rights for the Bedouins' sheep herds have broken down.

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

Eleven Palestinians kidnapped in the West Bank

Eleven Palestinians have been seized by Israeli Occupation Forces in raids across the West Bank. Most of the detentions were made in the cities of Ramallah, Jenin and Hebron.

Source: Maan News Agency

Viva Palestina convoy enters Algeria


The Viva Palestina convoy, the massive relief convoy from Britain led by MP George Galloway, has been able to cross the Morocco-Algeria border. The border is usually closed due to conflict between the two states. See video below:




Also: George Galloway comments on the visit of the convoy in Morocco.

Jordanian intellectuals protest siege of Gaza at Rafah border-crossing

A delegation from "Jordanian Intellectuals for Gaza" (مثقفون اردنيون من اجل غزة), which has travelled to Rafah border crossing in order to visit the besieged area, has protested the complicity of the Egyptian government and other states in enforcing the illegal blockade on the people of Gaza.

In protest of their denial of entry into the Gaza strip, the delegation carried out a sit-in manifestation at the border crossing.

The delegation includes personalities such as the artist Mohammad Nasrallah, the musician Kamal Khalil, the cartoonist Muhammad Abu Afifah, Awda Nabah, the cartoonist Abdul Rahman al-Jabari, the media personality Kawther Arar and the young poet Yusuf Abu Jaish. The delegation is led by the writer Dr. Hisham Bustani. The delegation has been organized by the Jordanian Writers Association, the Socialist Thought Forum, the Jordanian Philosophical Society, the Jordanian Plastic Arts Association and the Jordanian Cartoonists Association.

Source: PFLP website

"المثقفون الأردنيون يعتصمون أمام معبر رفح احتجاجاً على منعهم"

"على مقربة من سحب الدخان السوداء التي ارتفعت في السماء نتيجة للقصف الاسرائيلي للمنطقة الحدودية لغزة صباح اليوم، اعتصم وفد مبادرة "مثقفون اردنيون من اجل غزة" امام البوابة الخارجية لمعبر رفح الحدودي بعد ان نجحوا في الوصول اليه ولكن منعوا لليوم الثاني على التوالي من دخوله او العبور الى داخل قطاع غزة المحاصر باحكام."

"مصادر مبادرة "مثقفون اردنيون من اجل غزة" رأت ان هناك توافقاً حكومياً بين الحكومة المصرية وحكومات الدول الاخرى لعزل قطاع غزة بالكامل عن اي تواصل حقيقي وجسدي مع العالم الخارجي، فضباط المعبر يقولون ان لا مانع لديهم من دخول الوفود التضامنية والانسانية شرط الحصول على كتاب تسهيل مرور من سفارات الدول المعنية، والسفارات تقول ان لديها تعليمات مشددة من قبل الخارجية المصرية بعدم اعطاء اية كتب من هذا النوع أو تعطي كتبا لا تأثير لها، وتضيع الوفود بين الجهتين."


من على موقع الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين

Thursday, February 19, 2009

DN släpper masken

Dagens Nyheter har idag en artikel om regeringsförhandlingarna i Israel, signerad Nathan Shachar ('Svårt för Israel bilda regering', finns dock inte med i internetupplagan). Till artikeln finns en liten faktaruta om israeliska partier. 'Faktarutan' innehåller dock flera fel. Mandaträkningen stämmer inte överens med den som deklarerades av Knesset 12 februari, Förenade arabiska listan (Ra'am)-Ta'al och Yahadut Ha-Torah beskrivs som partier (i själva verket valallianser), Hadash beskrivs som 'Kommunistpartiet' (i själva verket en front ledd av Kommunistpartiet), Meretz beskrivs som 'fredsrörelsens' (trots att partiet backade upp massakern i Gaza).

Men det är de sista orden i rutan som får en att sätta i vrångstrupen. Nationella demokratiska alliansen (Balad) stämplas som ett 'ultranationalistiskt arabiskt parti'. Med vilken rätt kallar DN Balad för 'ultranationalistiskt'? Balad kämpar för ett sekulärt och demokratiskt Israel och en tvåstatslösning utifrån 1967 års gränser. På vilket sätt är det 'ultranationalism'?

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Annat sakfel i svensk dagpress, Sydsvenskan har en artikel från TT som säger att Yisrael Beitenu skulle ha starkt stöd bland bosättarna på Västbanken. Det stämmer inte, partiet fick 8% bland bosättarna (mindre än det israeliska genomsnittet).

Monday, February 16, 2009

37 Palestinians kidnapped in the West Bank

During the night between Sunday and Monday, 37 Palestinians have been captured by Israeli Occupation Forces in a series of coordinated raids in various towns. More information at Maan News Agency.

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

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"اليسار الهندي يطالب بتجميد الصفقات العسكرية مع دولة الاحتلال"


ذكرت صحف هندية أن أحزاب اليسار الهندية تطالب بتجميد صفقة سلاح بين دولة الاحتلال والهند احتجاجا على الحرب العدوانية التي شنتها الدولة الصهيونية على قطاع غزة، والتي وصفتها بأنها "محرقة"، تسببت بأزمة إنسانية. ويدور الحديث عن صفقة تزود الصناعات الجوية الصهيونية الهند بموجبها بصواريخ أرض-أرض بقيمة 2.5 مليار دولار.

وقال السكرتير العام [للحزب الشيوعى الهندى (الماركسى)] ، فراكش كاراط، في اجتماع ضم التنظيمات والأحزاب اليسارية الهندية: "يتعين علينا بناء حركة تضامن مع شعب فلسطين". وطالب بوقف التحالف العسكري والاستراتيجي مع دولة الاحتلال.


من على موقع الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين
News links: 1, 2, 3

UNRWA employees in the West Bank on strike

Today, employees of UNRWA in the West Bank went on strike. A second strike is planned for February 26. The UNRWA employees have put forth three demands;
- Clarification on the status of the retirement savings plan instituted by UNRWA (a deficit in the find was announced earlier this year)
- A salary adjustment taking into account the rising cost of living
- A just agreement on the two-day weekend proposal that does not include a cut in salaries.

UNRWA has 4,500 employees in the West Bank. Source: Maan News Agency

Friday, February 13, 2009

¡Zapatazo! Video of shoe-throwing at Israeli embassy in Argentina

Video from protests in January 2009, in Buenos Aires, Argentina


News links on shoeings: 1

Viva Palestina! 100 vehicles set to leave London en route to Gaza


Reminicent of the solidarity work with Spain during the Spanish Civil War, the largest aid convoy ever from Britain to the Middle East is set to leave from Westminster, London, tomorrow February 14. The convoy consists of 100 vehicles, including a boat, a fire engine and 12 ambulances. Member of Parliament George Galloway will lead the convoy on its travel through Europe, North Africa to Gaza, Palestine. The convoy has been financed through donations from the British people. Video on the launching below, more info at VivaPalestina.org.


Viva Palestina t-shirts can be bought online.

Blogs: Liam, Palestine Support, the Mirror, News links on Gaza: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Irish Trade Unions to launch campaign to boycott Israel

The global BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement is growing. This week the Irish Congress of Trade Unions declared that it would launch a campaign for boycott of Israeli goods.

From the Belfast Telegraph:
"Trade unionists are to launch a boycott of Israeli goods as part of a major campaign to secure a peaceful settlement in the Middle East, Stormont heard today.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) launched a report on Israel and Palestine compiled by senior members who visited the troubled region.

As controversy continues to rage over the death toll in Gaza caused by the recent Israeli military attacks, trade union leaders announced they are to hold a major conference this year to act as a springboard for their campaign."


Thanks to Pulse Media.

حكاية ثورة - فلسطين

من قناة الجزيرة


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

Lästips

På Pierre Gillys blog finns ett mycket läsvärt inlägg om den pro-israeliska propagandaapparatens monotona upprepande av försvar till israeliska övergrepp. Läs den.

--

Nyhetslänkar: 1, 2, 3

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Final election results

All votes in the Israeli Knesset election have been counted now. The soldiers votes did not alter the mandate distribution. The final mandate tally is
Kadima 28
Likud 27
Yisrael Beiteinu 15
Labour 13
Shas 11
United Torah Judaism 6
National Union 4
United Arab List - Ta'al 4
Hadash 4
Meretz 3
Balad 3
Jewish Home 3

M.a.a. trams i det offentliga rummet


Från Forum för Levande Historias och BRÅs intoleransrapport.

M.a.a. trams i det offentliga rummet.

Bloggat: Svensson, Lasses blogg, Jinge, Motbilder, Annarkia, Hans Linde, Loke, Biology & Politics, Minsta bröder, tidigare inlägg, Ohlys replik

Maccabre tourism

For 2,795 U.S. Dollars, the 'Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center' offers a one-week tour programme in Israel titled 'Ultimate Mission to Israel'. The organizers offer, amongst other events, "Briefings by Mossad officials and commanders of the Shin Bet", "Inside tour of the IAF unit who carries out targeted killings", "Live exhibition of penetration raids in Arab territory", "Observe a trial of Hamas terrorists in an IDF military court", "Meeting Israel's Arab agents who infiltrate the terrorist groups and provide real-time intelligence", etc..

The organizers promise a 'once-in-a-lifetime experience'. However, it's not as unique as it sounds. All major occupying forces in modern times, such as Nazi Germany, have assembled such organized visits to occupied lands in desparate attempts to bolster morale amongst their apologists overseas.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

India: Convention for Solidarity with Palestine

On February 7, a Convention for Solidarity with Palestine was held in Delhi, the Indian capital. Below is the statement of the convention reproduced:
"Resolution of the Convention for Solidarity with Palestine
February 7, 2009 New Delhi

The savage military aggression by Israel on the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza is genocide. More than 1300 Palestinians -- including hundreds of women and children -- have been killed and over 5000 wounded. More than 26,000 homes have been destroyed with targeted bombing of schools, hospitals and basic infrastructure. The Palestinians are today without electricity, drinking water, medicines and food. The hospitals are not being able to take care of the injured with an acute scarcity of not just medicines, but doctors and medical staff.

The Israeli military has pulled out but the siege continues. The Israelis remain in command and have been blocking the supply of food and medicines for the Palestinians. The US, European Union are accountable for Israel's repeated invasions of Gaza and the continued occupation of Palestinian land. The Indian government, while paying lip service to the Palestinian cause, is the biggest buyer of Israeli arms and is helping subsidise the Israeli armed forces.

We cannot remain mute spectators to this genocide and need to come together to express our solidarity with the Palestinian people and pressure the international community and the government of India to act against Israel. The role of the media is also questionable, as the attack on Gaza was barely covered by Indian newspapers and television channels. And except for a couple of days, most of the national newspapers did not even report the death and destruction on the front pages.

Going beyond the humanitarian crisis of Gaza, this convention expresses its firm solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people to form their independent state on the whole territory that is theirs by right and to pursue their path of development, overcoming the machinations of Israel and its western patrons.

This Convention calls upon the government of India to:

1) Reverse its pro-Israel foreign and security policies
2) snap military ties with Israel;
3) cancel the 10,000 crore missile deal with Israel Aircraft Industries
4) boycott all goods from illegal Israeli settlements
5) take an initiative on Palestine along with other non-aligned countries

Amongst the speakers were N. Ram (Editor The Hindu), SP Shukla (Former Secretary, Min. of Finance), Zikrur Rehman (India's former Consul to Palestine), Aijaz Ahmed (Professor), Prince of Arcot -- Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, Prakash Karat, CPI(M), AB Bardhan, CPI, Umareddy Venkateswaralu, TDP, Danish Ali, JD(S), Debabrata Biswas, Forward Bloc, Prabhat Patnaik (Professor, JNU), Achin Vanaik (Professor), Saeed Naqvi, (Journalist), Saeed Mirza (Film maker). Seema Mustafa chaired the meeting. Others who have already agreed to be in the Organising Committee include Justice PB Sawant, (Retired Supreme Court judge), Khushwant Singh (writer and journalist), Goutam Ghosh, (Film maker), Tushar Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi Institute), Anand Patwardhan, (Film maker), Habib Tanvir, (Theatre person), Zahed Ali Khan, (Editor Siasat) and many others.

The Convention also resolved to start a mass campaign on the issue of Palestine and India's independent foreign policy. As a part of the campaign it was announced that a signature campaign by Members of Parliament on India Israel military ties and the Rs. 10,000 crore [approx 2 billion US Dollars] missile deal with Israel Aircraft Industries would be started once the Parliament opens. Other measures include organising boycotts including academic boycott, creating exhibitions and film screenings on Palestine, organising medical and other relief material for Gaza. The Committee would meet soon and to chalk out a concrete program on these and other possible measures."


Source: CPI(M)

Egyptian politician sentenced to two years imprisonment for having visited Gaza

I have previously reported on the human rights abuses in Egypt against those who side with Gaza. The Jerusalem Post writes that today a tribunal sentenced an opposition parliamentarian to two years imprisonment and a 1,000 dollar fine for 'illegally' travelling to Gaza. Magdi Hussain, who is the General Secretary of the Labour Party, had been seized by Egyptian authorities on January 31 when returning to Egypt from Gaza without a passport.

The Jerusalem Post also writes that "Egypt's military tribunals are known for their swift verdicts." In clear-speak, that means a complete lack of democratic functioning. A defense lawyer, Mohammed Moneib, stated that no lawyers were permitted to defend Hussain at the trial.

International solidarity is needed know, to pressure the Egyptian regime to release the prisoners of the Palestine solidarity movement.

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

Hadash vote


The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (better known by its Hebrew acronym 'Hadash', meaning 'new'), the mass front of the Communist Party of Israel, appears to be getting four seats (up from three in 2006). The votes of the front has been increased by a quarter, and at its website it is declared that the result is "a victory of all the masses of our people".

In two subdistricts, Jezreel and Akko, Hadash became the largest party. In Nazareth, the party won 52% of the votes, in Umm al-Fahm (the largest Arab city in Israel) 54%, Mashhad 36%, Tur'an 47%, Shefa-'Amr 38%, Tamra 35%, Maghar 24%, etc. (Hadash has summarized the vote in Arab towns and villages here) In Haifa, the party got 4% of the votes, but dominated in several neighbourhoods. In Tel Aviv-Jaffa Hadash received 2%. The Arab neighbourhoods in the southern parts of the city, United Arab List (Ra'am)-Ta'al became the largest party. But Hadash presence has not limited to the Arab neighbourhoods, but spread in various other parts of the city. The party has noted an increasing support from young people in Tel Aviv.

The four Knesset members of the party will be Muhammad Barakeh, Hanna Sweid, Dov Henin and Abu Agberiah.

Hadash contested the elections on a platform opposing discrimination and social injustices. It campaigns for equality between Jews and Arab. During the Gaza massacre, it actively mobilized opposition to the bombings. In the election it ran the slogan 'Opposite of Lieberman: Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies' (see bumber sticker pictured), positioning itself as the main force for Jewish-Arab cohabitation. Having surpassed the traditional Zionist 'Left' (which supported the massacre in Gaza), Hadash is now the main left force in Israel. After the election result was declared, Dov Hanin stated that "Hadash is currently the largest left-wing movement in Israel, and we therefore have a great responsibility to advance and build the new Left that Israel so dearly needs. A new Left that can offer an real alternative to power politics, Jewish-Arab segregation, cruel capitalism and deepening environmental injustice."

The party has declared that it will not join any governing coalition.

The best result of Hadash in any election was in 1977, when it won five seats. In 2003 it had two seats, in 2006 three.



News on the elections: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Blogs: Esbati, Acidtrunk

Votes in settlements, kibbutzim and Bedouin villages

At Haaretz website you can read election results by city and sector. If you read Hebrew, Ynet has an interactive map of the results (with comparisons to 2003 and 2006). The Ynet map is a nightmare if you have a slow internet connection, though. Do note that the Ynet map includes both West Bank and Golan as parts of Israel, borders that are not internationally recognized. On the plus side, you can even see results at submunicipal levels at some places.

*Settlements: According to the Ynet map, 'Judea and Samaria' (i.e. West Bank settlers) have voted in the following fashion: Likud 25%, National Union 20%, United Torah Judaism 14%, Shas 11%, Kadima 8%, Jewish Home 8%, Yisrael Beiteinu 8%, Labour 2%, United Arab List-Ta'al 1%, Green Movement-Meimad 1%. Other parties got less than 1%.

*Kibbutzim: According to Haaretz, Kibbutzim votes have been divided along the following lines: Kadima 31%, Labour 31%, Meretz 18%, Likud 6%, Yisrael Beitenu 3%, Jewish Home 3%, Green Movement-Meimad 2%, National Union 2%, Ale Yarok (Green Left, pro-marijuana party) 1%, Green Party 1%, Shas 1%, Hadash 1%. Other parties received less than 1%.

*Bedouins: According to Haaretz, the Bedouin communities have predominately voted for the United Arab List-Ta'al (80%). Other parties in the Bedouin areas were National Democratic Assembly (Balad) 5%, Hadash 2%, Kadima 2%, Labour 2%, Shas 2%, Likud 1%, Green Party 1%, Yisrael Beitenu 1%, Meretz 1%. Other parties received less than 1%.

Israeli elections: the Bad, the Ugly and the Terrible

At this point 99.7% of the votes have been counted in the Israeli elections. Sometime later today, I'll try to write a longer post with more analysis. At this point (albeit slightly different Knesset seat counts appear on different websites) a few things can be said (based on figures from this morning in the Jerusalem Post):

*There is no clear winner between Kadima and Likud, Kadima appears to have gotten 28 seats, Likud 27. Kadima has thus been able to position itself slightly under its 2006 result. Both parties claim to have won, both parties will try to form a governing majority. Lots of wrangling negotiations to follow, probably even worse than the horse-trading that torpedoed Livni's first attempt to form a cabinet in 2008.

*Far-right Yisrael Beiteinu came third (15 seats), a historic shift in Israeli politics. Party supremo Avigdor Lieberman has declared that he's willing to negotitiate with both blocs, as long as they can promise extensive bloodshed in Gaza and zero negotiations with Hamas.

*Labour Zionism has suffered a humiliating defeat. The Israeli Labour Party, for decades the dominating force of Israeli politics is now reduced to fourth position (13 seats). The Meretz party only got three seats. In the 1949 elections, Labour had 46 seats and Mapam (the Marxist-Zionist precursor of Meretz) had 19. Now the non-Zionist left (Hadash) is larger than the Zionist 'Left' (Meretz), a historic occurance. The shift to the right in Israeli politics is now sealed, and the last illusions on the pioneering Israeli socialism (that some Western leftists have nurtured after spending a vacation in a kibbutz) ought to be shed.

*There was an expectation that Arabs would increasingly boycott the elections in protest of the Gaza massacre. It seems that the rise of Lieberman in the polls reversed that trend to some extent. According to Jerusalem Post, the United Arab List (Ra'am)-Ta'al got 5 seats, Hadash (a joint Arab-Jewish front, led by the Communist Party) 4 seats and the National Democratic Assembly (Balad) 2. Ra'am-Ta'al and Balad have, combined, the same number of seats as in 2006 whilst Hadash has increased with one seat.

*Other results: Sepharhim Orthodox party 'Shas' comes fifth with 11 seats (down from 12), the Pensioners Party 'Gil' falls out of the Knesset (had 7 seats last time), United Torah Judaism 4 seats (down from 6). The far-right parties Jewish Home and National Union got 3 and 4 seats respectively (they had contested the 2006 election unitedly, getting 9 seats). The advances of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu has weakened other right-wing parties.

*The remaining votes (0.3%) to be counted are those of diplomats, soldiers, seamen, prisoners and hospitals. Final results will be declared only on February 18. I won't guess how these 0.3% will incluence the outcome, but probably Arab parties will not be represented very well amongst them.

News links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 Blogs: Svensson, Bildt, Anna W, Röda Malmö

Zionist parties seek to disrupt voting in Arab areas

The National Democratic Assembly (Balad) election committee in Baqa al-Gharibiya has stated that polling agents of Zionist parties have tried to disrupt the voting there, reports Ynet. Amongst other things, Zionist polling agents have tried to minimize the number of Arab voters by refusing voters with slightly torn ID cards to vote.

This is reminicent of how white polling officers in southern U.S. used to try to bar black voters from voting by citing all kinds of formal hindrances.

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

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

BDS: Israeli exhibit in Brussels postponed

In response to protests over the Gaza massacre, the opening of an Israeli exhibition on Bauhaus architecture has been postponed in Brussels, reports Ynet.

68 election misdemeanors reported so far

About an hour ago, Jerusalem Post reported that 68 complaints have been filed at the Central Election Commission. Meretz (a Zionist "Leftwing" party) has complained that false ballots were distributed with far-right Avigdor Lieberman's name on them (making a vote with the ballot null). Kadima has complained of tampering with their ballots in several locations, and regarding Kiryat Bialik it has accused Likud activists of bearing responsibility for the tampering.

In Jerusalem a brawl between Labour and Kadima supporters broke out, which the police had to break up. A Labour activist was detained. The National Union has accused United Torah Judaism of stealing their ballot papers in Bnei Brak.

More news on today's election: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 Blogs: Jinge, Annarkia, Guero, KB

Daily Apartheid: Arab journalists barred from Lieberman's campaign meet


Haaretz reports that at a campaign meet on Sunday, Arab journalists working for the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation were refused entry to a campaign meet of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party. Officially they were refused entry on the grounds of lacking invitations, but at the scene Jewish and foreign journalists were allowed to enter without showing invitations. When questioned, Yisrael Beiteinu workers claimed that their action was due to the attitudes of Arabs towards party leader Lieberman.

More news on today's election: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 Blogs: Anna W, UFH, Reza, Roya, Jinge, Bildt, TN, Judaistik

Egyptian blogger detained and beaten

On Monday the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information stated that the Egyptian blogger Diaa Eddin Gad has been detained and beaten by police. According to a Reuters article published the same day, Gad's whereabouts were still unknown. Gad runs the blog Sout Gadeb, which has voiced solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza and criticized the complicity of the Egyptian regime in the Gaza massacre.

The arrest of Diaa Eddin Gad shows that the shame of the Egyptian regime has no boundaries. The Egyptian regime is well willing to cooperate with the Israeli occupation. Amongst other things, oil and natural gas is supplied through Egypt. At the same time the full might of the repressive state machinery is unleashed on the critics of the regime, on those who speak out for their brethen in Gaza.

News links: 1, 2

Monday, February 9, 2009

Den "liberala" oförmågan att ta avstånd från massakern i Gaza, part II

För ganska exakt en månad sedan skrev jag ett inlägg om folkpartisternas oförmåga att fördöma krigsövergrepp mot civila. Nu har frågan aktualiserats igen, då (FP)-politikerna Birgitta Ohlsson och Olle Schmidt bägge talat vid ett offentligt möte till stöd för israelisk folkmordspolitik. Paolo Pissoffi har skrivit en utmärkt sammanfattning av Ohlssons ställningstaganden och retorik, läs den.

Andra blogger: Röda liljan, Röda Malmö, Nyhetslänkar om Malmödemonstrationen: 1, 2, 3

"we are against racism and for the Torah" - Israeli Orthodox parties stretches out olive branches to Arabs ahead of elections


In the wake of the increasingly racist political climate in Israel (with the openly racist Avigdor Lieberman advancing in opinion polls), parties representing ultra-Orthodox Jews have sought to differentiate themselves by reaching out to Arab citizens of Israel. Ynet reports on the campaign of United Torah Judaism in Arabic communities, spreading leaflets (see picture) stating "Lieberman = Racism" and calling for Haredis and Arabs to fight racism jointly.

In a comment, UTJ MK Moshe Gafni stated that "we are against racism and for the Torah, and the Torah clearly says 'Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.'" (a bit odd to call the indigenous Arab population 'aliens', huh?) Rabbi Obadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of another ultra-Orthodox party (Shas), has stated that the act of voting for Lieberman is an eternal sin and dubbed Lieberman's followers as 'supporters of Satan'.

However, whilst Arab votes for parties like Labour is likely to evaporate completly in these elections, there are few signs that the positions of the ultra-Orthodox parties would mobilize any major number of Arabs to vote for them. The ultra-Orthodox parties retain a hawkisk approach to negotiations with Palestinians. Both UTJ and Shas strongly support expanding settlements on occupied Palestians territories. During the Gaza massacre, Shas distributed thousands of leaflets calling for prayers in favour of IOF soldiers. And both UTJ and Shas are likely to support a Likud government.

News links on the elections: 1, 2, 3, Blogs: Anna W, UFH, Reza, Roya, Jinge, Bildt, TN, Judaistik, Rooieravotr

Uproar over death of Hamas activist in PA prison

Several Palestinian organizations have protested the death of Hamas activist Abd aj-Jamil al-Haj in a PA prison on the West Bank. According to some claims, his death was result of torture. His family claims that he had been arrested for political reasons, and that no charges had been made against him.

The National and Islamic Forces (a broad coalition including both Hamas and PLO factions) has issued a call for forming an independent committee to investigate the circumstances of al-Haj's death. The PFLP has urged, supporting the call of the NIF, both the Hamas and Fatah movements to uphold the National Accord and Cairo Declaration. Secretaries of the Fatah movement in the West Bank has also called upon the PA to open an investigation into the matter.

PFLP-GC appeals for Palestinian unity and dialogue


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC) has at a press conference in Ramallah today urged all Palestinian factions to end hostilities between them and that dialogue is a must to resolve issues and problems that have arisen. The group also called on Mahmoud Abbas to reactive the institutions of the PLO, which have became dormant after the Oslo process. The PFLP-GC spokesperson also denied allegations that there would be any division between the West Bank wing of the group and its leadership in exile.

Moreover, the PFLP-GC representatives reaffirmed the legitimacy of the resistance struggle, stating that "[d]espite ongoing blockade and aggression and despite continuation of wall construction, still resistance is one of our people's rights as decided by the UN and international laws, as long as occupation continues."

Source: Maan News Agency (note that the photo in the article is of PFLP militants, not PFLP-GC). Om PFLP-GC på svenska, News links on Gaza: 1, 2, 3, 4

On Opinion Polls

The Israeli media (such as Jerusalem Post, Haaretz) and some Hasbara bloggers has taken notice of a recent opinion poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion. The poll shows a sharp decline of support for Hamas after the Gaza massacre. Moreover the study shows an increase in support for Fatah in the Gaza strip.

Notably, the same Israeli media and Hasbara bloggers declined to show any major interest in the JMCC opinion poll published last week (which would almost diametrically opposite trends in shifts in support of Hamas and Fatah). It should be noted that the JMCC poll had 1,198 respondents whilst the PCPO had 673 respondents. No opinion poll is 100% accurate, but I'd say spontaneously that the JMCC poll had a far wider sample and is thus more credible. The JMCC poll also had more concrete questions, than the vague 'identification' of political parties used in the PCPO poll. In 2006, the PCPO underestimated Hamas vote level by 15%.

Norway: Trondheim Labour Party demands economic boycott against Israel

This weekend, at a meeting of the Trondheim branch of the Norwegian Labour Party (the main governing party in the country), a motion calling for economic boycott against Israel was passed by 30 votes in favour, 9 against. The motion will be presented at the annual party district conference of Sør-Trøndelag in mid-March. If approved at the party district conference, the motion will be presented at the national party assembly in April.

The Trondheim party branch has also demanded that a public pensions fund (Statens Pensjonsfond Utland) gets rid of its investments in the Israel Electric Company, in line with the Ethical Guidelines of the fund.

The Labour Party has a separate Gaza theme page at its website.

Om israeliska valet, de arabiska väljarna

Sydsvenskan har på sin hemsida publicerat en intressant artikel om valrörelsen i de arabiska områdena i Israel. Ett kort utdrag,
Israeliska medborgare som har stämpeln arab i sitt pass är utestängda från en lång rad jobb: Försvarsindustrin. Luftfart. Utrikesförvaltningen. Kraftförsörjning. Samt en rad högre myndighetsjobb. Kort sagt allt som har med landets säkerhet att göra.

Den kanske allvarligaste diskrimineringen, menar Walid Zahalka, gäller tillgången till mark och rätten att bygga.
– Myndigheterna gör inga byggnadsplaner för arabiska områden. Så vad händer? Varje nytt arabiskt hus är ett svartbygge. Just nu finns det åttatusen brottmålsärenden i domstolarna som gäller arabiska svartbyggen. Det enda jag som advokat kan göra är att kämpa för att mina klienter ska få lägre böter.


Andra artiklar om Knessetvalet 2009: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Bloggar: Anna W, UFH, Reza, Roya, Jinge, Bildt, TN, Judaistik

New revelations on the vandalization of the Caracas Synagogue

Eleven persons have been arrested in Venezuela, suspected of involvement in the January 30 vandalization and desecreation of a synagogue in Caracas. Seven of the arrested belong to the Metropolitan Police (PM). Another person suspected is the person responsible for the security at the synagogue.

If the arrested indeed are guilty, it would point to that the attack was a provocation to fuel to assumption that the anti-semitism would be a motivating factor behind the stance of Venezuela against the Gaza massacre. There are several different police forces in Venezuela, and the relations between the Chavez government and some police forces have been complicated at best. The Metropolitan Police in Caracas is a bastion of counter-revolutionaries, they have violently attacked chavistas and played a role in suppressing pro-Chavez demonstrations during the 2002 coup d'état. Now the municipality is run by the U.S.-supported opposition, making the Metropolitan Police fully in control of the enemies of Chavez.

President Chavez has appealed to the Jewish community in Venezuela not to fall into the trap of being affected by provocations, recalling past provocatory attacks (by the opposition) on diplomatic missions of Spain and Colombia.

News links: DN, Aporrea, Dagbladet, Dagen12, Público

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Liebermania: Glimpses of the Knesset election campaign

Haaretz has an article on the campaign of Yisrael Beiteinu (Avidor Lieberman's ultra-racist party, posed to become the third largest party in the upcoming Israeli election according to some polls) in Upper Nazareth. Some excerpts (my emphasis):
"The Yisrael Beiteinu youths gather for a final consultation as dozens of elderly party supporters slowly make their way into the white tent where the movement's conference is being held, behind the Plaza Hotel in Upper Nazareth.

The youths, ages 16-18, many of them good friends from school, had stood for a long time before the event began at the intersection near the hotel, waving Israeli flags and shouting "Death to the Arabs" and "No loyalty, no citizenship" at passing cars."

""This country has needed a dictatorship for a long time already. But I'm not talking about an extreme dictatorship. We need someone who can put things in order. Lieberman is the only one who speaks the truth." Adds Edan Ivanov, an 18 year old who describes himself as being "up on current events":

"We've had enough here with the 'leftist democracy' - and I put that term in quotes, don't get me wrong. People have put the dictator label on Lieberman because of the things he says. But the truth is that in Israel there can't be a full democracy when there are Arabs here who oppose it."


Some commentary on the rise of racism in Israeli high schools:
"The failure of the school system is evident not just in student's opinions, but sometimes in their actions, too. There have been a number of disturbing incidents: On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day last year, dozens of Jewish youths attacked two Arab youths after seeing a message on ICQ urging them "to put an end to all the Arabs walking around the Pisga [Pisgat Ze'ev]"; youths took part in the violence against Arabs in Acre last October; and just this week, Jewish youths from Tiberias went after a young Arab with clubs as he was walking on the city's boardwalk."


News links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11