Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Israeli settlers praise new government

The Yesha Council (a umbrella body of Israeli settlements) has praised Benyamin Netanyahu's new right-wing cabinet in Israel, stating that "[t]he prime minister and other members of his government have stated in the past that no settlement will be uprooted and that the settlement movement in Judea and Samaria [West Bank] will be renewed, ... If that should be the case that his government will be able to take important steps for Israel."

Source: Maan, Newslinks: HD2, VG, DB, LV23, TG, Público, SvD23, DN, AB, Blogs: Anna W, Bjereld


Yesterday was the global Global Day of Action for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, coinciding with Land Day. More than 75 demonstrations in at least 19 countries were held to support the Palestinian call for BDS. At the same time Maan notes that Israeli exports are effectively declining as a result of the BDS struggle and the international outrage against the Israeli massacres. According to a report from the Israel Manufacturers Association, 21% of Israeli exporters face difficulties selling abroad. The report notes particular difficulties in selling exports to the UK and the Scandinavian countries.

Blogs: JSF, Angry Arab, Body on the line, Anna W, PGS, Esbati

Monday, March 30, 2009

Inquiry into war crimes? What war crimes?

The IOF has speedily closed its investigation into war crimes allegations, stating that reports circulated in newsmedia were merely 'rumours'. So much for the IOF's capability to investigate itself.

Sidelining Palestine for the sake of al-Bashir?

Maan has an interesting article today on the Doha summit of the Arab League. The article argues that whilst unity on the Palestine question, and Gaza in particular, was supposed to be the highlight of the summit, attention has now shifted to Sudan and its president Omar al-Bashir.

The Arab League is closing its ranks in defense of al-Bashir, a policy that could possibly lead to the organization becoming less vocal on the Palestine question. For example, the judicial inquiry on Israeli war crimes in Gaza is in limbo. According to Maan, its not clear if the launching of the Gaza law suit will be on the table in Doha at all. Since the League is seeking to avoid further prosecution of al-Bashir in the ICC, it is unlikely that it will utilize the framework of the ICC in order to prosecute Israeli war criminals.

The Doha summit itself, anecdotically, has not been without controversies. The Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi stormed out of the meeting, after his Qatari hosts asked him to interupt his speech. Before leaving the venue, the man of mild and humble words stated that "I am an international leader, the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the imam of Muslims and my international status does not allow me to descend to a lower level".

PPP leader Bassam as-Salhi and seven others injured in IOF attack on anti-Wall protest

Eight Palestinians were injured today, as Israeli Occupation Forces attacked an anti-Apartheid Wall protest in Idhna, occupied West Bank. The injured includes Palestinian People's Party general secretary Bassam as-Salhi.

Report (in Arabic) at PPP website.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

PLO list wins UNRWA union election in Gaza

This week, a list of four PLO factions (Fatah, PFLP, DFLP and the Palestinian People's Party) won the UNRWA union elections in the Gaza strip. The PLO list won control over two of three unions (Employees and Service unions) as well as the Executive Committee of the General Workers Union, defeating the incumbent Hamas leadership. Hamas, retained control over the Teachers Union (a position it has held for 16 consecutive years).

There were also some independents and minor factions in the fray.

UNRWA is the most important employer in Gaza, employing some 10,100 Gazans. Turn-out at the union election was high, 97% of employees participated.

Interestingly, whilst Arabic media has highlighted that Hamas was defeated in 2 out of 3 unions and lost control over the union executive, Jerusalem Post ran the headline "Hamas wins teachers union elections for UN schools in Gaza".

Sources: Jerusalem Post, al-Hourriah, Palestinian People's Party, Wafa


Update: Haaretz has an article on the post-election scenario, written by Amira Hass.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Knesset member Barakeh assaulted by occupation forces in Hebron

Mohammed Barakeh, Knesset member of the Arab-Jewish Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash), was violently assaulted as Israeli police attacked an anti-settlement protest in Hebron, occupied West Bank, on Land Day. Reports: Maan, Hadash (in Arabic), Haaretz

Earlier on the day, the demonstration had been attacked by settlers, as protestors entered a street that Israeli occupation authorities have banned Palestinians from using.

Lästips: Palestina-bloggen dekonstruerar försöken att smutskasta FN

länk här. Läs också gärna detta inlägg på Esbatis blogg.

Notera också att den nya israeliska regeringen (som väntas tillträda inom kort) planerar expansion av illegala bosättningar.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Gulan Avci, riksdagsledamot (FP), skriver idag på SVT Opinion att
"Tyvärr finns det många som duckar för övergreppen i Turkiet. Häromdagen hyllade EP-kandidaten Zaida Catalán (MP) Turkiets premiärminister Erdogan på sin blogg. Hon menar att Turkiet har kommit närmare ett EU-medlemskap eftersom Erdogan skällde ut Israels president i en paneldebatt. Detta är typiskt för vänsterpolitiker."

Uttalandet att Cataláns argumentation skulle vara 'typiskt för vänsterpolitiker' är direkt lögnaktigt. Catalans resonemang om Turkiet delas inte av vänstern i Sverige, och det går knappast att hävda att Catalán är representativ för 'vänsterpolitiker' i allmänhet. Catalán verkar dessutom ha missat att Ariel Sharon ligger i koma sedan ett tag tillbaka.

F.n. befinner sig sju politiker från Vänsterpartiet (två Riksdagsledamöter, tre partistyrelseledamöter) i turkiska Kurdistan som valobservatörer, de är där för att hjälpa den kurdiskt-dominerade DTP att mota försöken till valfusk. Ann-Margarethe Livh, Vänsterpartiets oppositionsborgarråd i Stockholm och partistyrelseledamot, bloggar direkt från Diyarbakir. I trettio år har Vänsterpartiet, f.d. VPK, stött det kurdiska folkets kamp för demokrati och självbestämmande. Avcis uttalanden faller platt mot bakgrund av den politiska verkligheten.

(Affisch från PFLP, i solidaritet med kampen mot militärdiktaturen i Turkiet efter statskuppen 1980)
Bloggat: Serhat, Gurgin

Professor John Dugard on Apartheid, Occupation and International Law

"Professor [John] Dugard is a member of the Institut de Droit International. Since 1997, he has been a member of the U.N. International Law Commission and was, from 2000 to 2006, the Special Rapporteur on Diplomatic Protection to the Commission. From 2002 to 2008, he was a judge ad hoc in the International Court of Justice. From 2001 to 2008, Dugard served as Special Rapporteur to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. His present principal interests are international criminal law and diplomatic protection."

Via: KABOBfest, Palestine Center
Blogs: Kristen Vänster, PGS, Esbati, Utrikesperspektiv, Sommelius
Newslinks: AB, Barometern

فيروز: زهرة المدائن القدس

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Daily terror against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank

"Israeli forces herded village youth into local school, stormed and searched several houses and imposed a curfew on the village of Haris north of Salfit Thursday morning.

Eyewitnesses saw at least 150 youth taken from their homes and herded into a middle school with their heads covered with sacs. The youth later reported being 'roughed up' and questioned."

From Maan News Agency

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Far-right 'Jewish Home' party enters Israeli government

Today Likud and the far-right Jewish Home party (which has three Knesset seats) signed a coalition deal. Jewish Home leader Daniel Herschkowitz is set to become Minister of Science, according to the deal. Herschkowitz himself is a professor in Mathematics.

By now, Netanyahu's prospective cabinet has five constituent parties (Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Labor, Shas and Jewish Home). The four rightist parties has a combined Knesset strength of 56 seats (61 needed to form majority). Labor has 13 seats, but some of their Knesset members might not support the new government.

Let's make one thing clear though, regarding the Labor entering the coalition. Barak might have wanted to go down in the history books as the guy who solved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At this point it seems more likely that he'll go down as the guy who would be willing to lease off his mother's grave for a cabinet post. This is not a 'national unity government'. It will be a government of 4-6 hardline rightwing parties, with one centrist party as a junior coalition partner. However, Barak's presence will certainly be used, time and again, to show a facade of dovishness towards the international community. One might expect that there has been hours of phone calls from Washington D.C. pressuring Netanyahu to include Labor in the cabinet. Netanyahu, in a bid to ease the pressure on Obama, has also now stated that his government will be a partner for peace. In reality, actions will count louder than words. If the siege on Gaza, house demolitions in East Jerusalem and settlement expansions in West Bank continue, then Netanyahu's partnership is worthless.

UN Special Rapporteur Falk: attack on Gaza "was not legally justified given the circumstances and diplomatic alternatives available"

Article in Jerusalem Post. Some excerpts;
"UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk charged Tuesday that Israel's military incursion into Gaza "was not legally justified given the circumstances and diplomatic alternatives available, and was potentially a crime against peace."

He made the comment as he presented a report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, claiming that the IDF's 22-day operation in January appeared to be "a war crime of the greatest magnitude."

Falk argued further that Palestinian rocket fire into Israel had been mostly a retaliatory act."

"The level of destruction, he said, went well beyond anything that could be characterized as a mistake.

"It is not a matter of mistakes and fallibility but rather a massive assault on a densely populated urbanized setting where the defining reality could not but subject the entire civilian population to an inhuman form of warfare that kills, maims and inflicts mental harm," said Falk.

Israel could have protected its civilian population by extending a cease-fire with Hamas that expired in December rather than attacking innocent people in Gaza, Falk said.

While Israel has repeatedly argued that Palestinian rocket attacks were unprovoked, Falk claimed that in the six months that proceeded Operation Cast Lead, it was largely Israel that had failed to observe the cease-fire and it was Hamas which had retaliated.

From 2000 to 2008, he said, in 79 percent of violent flare-ups between the IDF and Palestinians in Gaza, it was Israel that had broken the calm with an act of violence.

The cease-fire, in the second half of 2008, he said, broke down when Israel killed a Palestinian in Gaza on November 4. This was followed by mortar fire in retaliation. An IDF air strike was then launched that killed an additional six Palestinians.

"The breakdown of the cease-fire seems to have been mainly a result of Israeli violations, although this offers no legal, moral or political excuse for firing of rockets aimed at civilian targets," said Falk.

Hamas, he said, would have been ready to extend the cease-fire if Israel had reopened its borders.

Falk said Israel had violated the Fourth Geneva Convention, which regulated the actions of an occupying power and rejected Israel contention that since it withdrew from Gaza it was no longer bound by those laws.

Israel is obligated to that convention given that it controls the Gaza borders, including the sea and airspace, said Falk.

"By imposing a blockade since the summer of 2007, it has profoundly affected the life and well being of every single person in Gaza," said Falk."

See also: PFLP comments on Falk's report (in Arabic)
Newslinks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Umm al-Fahm: Clashes erupt as fascist settlers march through the town

Coverage from Maan and JPost. Report in Arabic (with photos) at Hadash website.

Blogs: Svensson
Newslinks: SvD, HD

Hass: 'Time to believe Gaza war crimes allegations'

Amira Hass writes in Haaretz.

Newslinks: Dagbladet, Politiken, Público23, DN, VG
Blogs: Esbati, Annarkia, Röde Condoren, Paolo

Most moral army, again

An article in today's Haaretz;
Reservists marked their last night stationed in the southern Hebron Hills by damaging confiscated Palestinian vehicles, their replacements told Haaretz on Monday.

The reserve battalion in question was stationed at a small base near the Shekef settlement, and spent three weeks in the south Hebron Hills. They were responsible primarily for patrolling the green line.

On their last night at the base, the reservists got drunk and vandalized some of the vehicles they had confiscated from Palestinian drivers, for transporting passengers who lacked permits to enter Israel, soldiers told Haaretz.

Some soldiers broke windshields, ripped out mirrors and electronic equipment, and beat the cars with their weapons, the sources said. None of the soldiers present tried to stop the vandalism.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mass demonstration in New Orleans - No more killing in our name! March 29th, 2009

Copy-pasted from New Orleans Palestine Solidarity;
On Sunday, March 29, 2009 AIPAC - the pro-Israeli lobby - will be meeting in the French Quarter. They will be sending the message that New Orleans supports the recent killings in Gaza, and the continued military occupation on the Palestinian West Bank.

We say no more killing in our name!
On Sunday, March 29, hundreds of New Orleanians will stand up for justice and against racism.

Please help spread the word!
Start at Poydras Street and Convention Center Blvd
Also spread the word via facebook,

'IDF used Gaza boy as human shield'

Article in Jerusalem Post. Some excerpts;

"IDF soldiers used an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield during the Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in Gaza, a group of UN human rights experts said Monday.

The army ordered the boy to walk in front of soldiers being fired on in the Gaza neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa and enter buildings before them, said the UN secretary-general's envoy for protecting children in armed conflict."

""Violations were reported on a daily basis, too numerous to list," said Coomaraswamy.

Coomaraswamy, who visited Gaza and Israel for five days in February, said her list constituted "just a few examples of the hundreds of incidents that have been documented and verified" by UN officials who were in the territory."

West Bank settlers attack Palestinians near Tulkarem

Today, Israeli settlers violently attacked buses transporting family members of Palestinian detainees trying to enter the Hadarim prison near Tulkarem. The attackers shouted slogans such as "death to Arabs and Palestinians". None of the prisoners' family members were, according to news reports, physically hurt, but the entire delegation was barred from visiting their detaineed family members.

Source: Maan News Agency

Israeli authorities attack Tristan Anderson's parents' press conference

article below found at Maan News Agency;

"A woman and journalist were among those beaten by Israeli troops during a press conference held by the parents of critically wounded American peace activist Tristan Anderson Monday afternoon.

Anderson had an Israeli tear-gas canister shot at his head in Ni'lin on 13 March, his skull shattered and several surgeries have left him semi-conscious in a Tel Aviv hospital. His parents arrived shortly after Tristan was hospitalized.

Israeli troops detained 11, including Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and Khaled Zabaka, in addition to three foreign activists.

Several journalists reported being prevented from reaching the area, known as the protest tent, in Sheikh Jarrah where the Al-Kurd Family has taken up residence after being evicted from their home.

Israeli forces demanded that the event be shut down, and dozens refused the order, including Sheikh Raed Salah the head of the Islamic party in Israel and Sheikh Ekremah Sabry the religious leader at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli troops then descended on the activists, officials and media personnel and beat PalMedia journalist Hamza Na'agi, activist Abir Abu Khdeir, head of the Jerusalem center for social and economic rights Ziyad Al-Hamury and Salah Thyab a resident of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The latter two were also detained.

The raid, ordered by Israeli Minister of Internal Security Avi Ditchter, came early in the event and prevented Anderson's parents from addressing the crowd."

Shas signs coalition deal

A second coalition deal has been signed ahead of the formation of a new Israeli cabinet. Today the ultra-Orthodox party Shas signed a coalition treaty with Benyamin Netanyahu, giving Shas four ministerial posts. Shas chairman Eli Yishai will become Interior minister. Other posts are Construction and Housing, Religious Services and one minister without portfolio stationed at the Prime Minister's Office.

The other ultra-Orthodox force in the Knesset, United Torah Judaism, has refrained from signing coalition deals so far. UTJ sticks by its demand for increased spending for Jewish religious education. UTJ has criticized Shas' 'greed', arguing that today's deal was premature.

Netanyahu's coalition now has the support of 53 members of the Knesset, but will need another eight in order to form a government. Talks are set to continue with the Labor Party, the far-right Jewish Home and UTJ.

Source: Jerusalem Post
News links: LV2, Politiken, Dagbladet2, DN2, Telegraaf, Público2, SvD

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lebanese army accused of soiling food rations for Palestinian refugees

Palestinian organizations in nohave accused the Lebanese army of letting dogs soil food rations sent by Iran to the residents of the Nahr al-Barid. 3,000 food rations had been sent from Iran, but the shipment was held up at a Lebanese army camp for three days (supposedly for security reasons). The Lebanese army denies the allegations.

Source: Maan News Agency

Interview with Phyllis Bennis on war crimes, Israel and US politics

Interview by the Real News Network with Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Moralisk kollaps på Dagen

Dagen, en tidning som ofta anstränger sig för att hitta positiva vinklar på nyheter om Israels krigsbrott, hade igår en artikel om avslöjanden om krigsbrott i Haaretz. Bl.a. skrivs "Flera kommentatorer har påpekat att Israels armé är den mest moraliska i världen". Inte som del av citat, utan som ett konstaterande i nyhetstext.

Behöver jag tillägga att Dagen inte skriver en enda rad om kraven från israeliska människorättsorganisationer på en oberoende utredning av anklagelserna om krigsbrott?

Bloggat: Maria, Kildén & Åsman, Röda Berget, QoL, Motvalls

Daily Apartheid under Israeli occupation

Official military orders have been issued banning Palestinians from walking the streets of the Israeli settlement Har Adar, West Bank. Around 600 Palestinian labourers, who work at construction sites inside the settlements, have been barred from moving by foot between the constructions sites. They are not allowed on the streets, they are not allowed to visit the local supermarket, etc.. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has lambasted the order as "... a racist instruction based on a general fear of Arabs, which is reminiscent of dark days in the history of mankind". Full article at Ynet.

Ronnie Kasrils on Israeli Apartheid

Ronnie Kasrils writes on the parallels between South Africa and Israel, and how the advocates of Apartheid in South Africa saw Israel as its ally. Link to the text at Pragoti.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

PFLP holds memorial for martyr Hassan Hijazi in Jabaliya camp - demand Hamas killers be held accountable

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine organized a memorial service in Jabaliya refugee camp, Gaza strip, in memory of PFLP martyr Hassan Hijazi. Hijazi had been kidnapped and executed by Hamas fighters. At the function, speakers demanded that the killers be held accountable. In his speech PFLP Central Committee member Hussian al-Jamal stated that the PFLP won't lose its compass and would continue to bear in mind that the occupation is the main enemy, but that it would demand justice for martyr Hassan Hijazi and other victims of Hamas attacks. A speaker representing the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades (see photo) stated that the killers of Hijazi must be brought to justice and incidents such as Hijazi's murder must not be allowed to be repeated.

Source: PFLP website

"IDF is the most moral army in the world"

If you believe the above statement is true, you really ought to read this article.

Blogs: Anna W, Esbati, Ung Vänster, Jinge, Moments of Gaza, Clipmarks, Tikun Olam
News links: Dagbladet, Telegraaf , DN

Friday, March 20, 2009

Manifestation i Göteborg imorgon

Bloggat: Esbati

مهرجان تضامني مع الشعب الفلسطيني في تركيا

آلاف الشيوعيين الأتراك وأصدقائهم احتشدوا في اسطنبول دعما لفلسطين

غابة من الرايات الحمراء والأعلام الفلسطينية غطت، على مدى ساعات، فضاء ميدان كادوكي في العاصمة التركية اسطنبول على شاطئ بحر مرمره وممراتها ومداخلها رفعها آلاف الشيوعيين وأصدقائهم في المهرجان الخطابي والفني التضامني الذي دعا إليه الحزب الشيوعي التركي ، يوم الأحد 15/1/2009 دعماً للشعب الفلسطيني وقضيته العادلة

من حزب الشعب الفلسطيني

PPP: Recognition of Israel not discussed in Cairo

"The issue of whether a new Palestinian government will recognize the state of Israel was not discussed at the Palestinian unity talks in Cairo, the Secretary-General of the Palestinian People's Party, Bassam As-Salhi said on Thursday night.

As-Salhi disputed reports that tensions in the meetings between the rival factions centered on whether Hamas would formally recognize Israel.

In a televised interview As-Salhi said that the discussions centered around "the government's program and its ability" to solve the current crises in the West Bank and Gaza.

He also said there was an agreement to accept a one and a half year truce with Israel according to understandings Hamas had previously negotiated with Israel. He said a truce would allow Palestinian political processes to take their course.

The Palestinian unity talks adjourned on Thursday without a final agreement. Palestinian leaders did say that they had agreed in principle to form a coalition government that will prepare for new elections in January 2010. They also planned to continue negotiations at a later date that was not specified."

Source: Maan News Agency

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"السالفادور تنعطف يساراً"

تكتب صحيفة الحرية عن الانتخابات الرئاسية السلفادورية

بيان من جبهة فارابوندو مارتي للتحرير الوطني بشأن مجزرة غزة ، في اللغة الإسبانية

Thousands take to the streets in Rafah, calling on Palestinian politicians to put partisan interests aside for the sake of unity

Today a mass rally was organized by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, demanding that Palestinian factions put aside partisan squabbles in order to achieve national unity and the lifting of the siege on Gaza. Currently the Cairo talks are on hold, and DFLP leader Abed- Al-Hameed Abu Jayyab lambasted the lack of progress in the talks during his address to the crowds.

Source: Maan News Agency

Haaretz publishes soldiers' testimonies from Gaza

Today both Haaretz and the Israeli news portal Ynet carries the news story on the emerging testimonies of Israeli soldiers in combat during the Gaza massacre. Haaretz has promised further testimonies will be published in days to come.

Read today's articles here and here.

Some excerpts;

From the Ynet article:
The NCO [Non-Commissioned Officer] also related a story about an old woman who was crossing a main route who was shot by the soldiers. "I don't know whether she was suspicious, not suspicious, I don't know her story... I do know that my officer sent people to the roof in order to take her out... It was cold-blooded murder."

Another NCO told of an incident in which a family was killed. "We had taken over the house... and the family was released and told to go right. A mother and two children got confused and went left... The sniper on the roof wasn't told that this was okay and that he shouldn't shoot... you can say he just did what he was told... he was told not to let anyone approach the left flank and he shot at them."

"I don't know whether he first shot at their feet or not (per IDF engagement instructions), but he killed them," the NCO said.

From Haaretz:
"The squad leader said he argued with his commander over the permissive rules of engagement that allowed the clearing out of houses by shooting without warning the residents beforehand. After the orders were changed, the squad leader's soldiers complained that "we should kill everyone there [in the center of Gaza]. Everyone there is a terrorist."

The squad leader said: "You do not get the impression from the officers that there is any logic to it, but they won't say anything. To write 'death to the Arabs' on the walls, to take family pictures and spit on them, just because you can. I think this is the main thing: To understand how much the IDF has fallen in the realm of ethics, really. It's what I'll remember the most.""

Article: Israeli groups demand independent enquiry into war crimes allegations

Blogs: Röda Malmö, Henric A, PGS, Tommy, Annalisa, QoL, Rolling

Also, another reminder of how the Israeli state functions; house of family of caterpillar-driver erased. When IOF soldiers kill civilians in Gaza, are there any calls to make their families homeless?

Umm al-Fahm braces for far-right procession on Tuesday

The residents of the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm is on alert ahead of a planned march by far-right nationalists scheduled on Tuesday next week. The march has been delayed by courts and police for months, but today the Israeli police has given a go-ahead to far-right leaders Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel (both parliamentary advisors to the National Union party).

Umm al-Fahm residents, seeing the planned march as a conscious provocation against the Arab community, have pledged to resist the attempts to enter the streets of the city and form a human blockade. The National Democratic Alliance (Balad) chairman Jamal Zahalka has stated that "...we are preparing to prevent Kahane's successor from entering the town. They're coming to send a fascist and racist message. It's only natural that Umm al-Fahm residents will protest and protect themselves and their town."

¡No pasarán!

Sources: Ynet12

(Photo credit)

PFLP protest in Beit Lahiya, in support of dialogue and unity

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in cooperation with the National Democratic Rally, organized a manifestation in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza strip in support of the Cairo dialogue and national unity. The protestors condemned the failure of Palestinian factions to reach an agreement in Cairo. In his speech Mahmoud Salman, the leader of PFLP in Beit Lahiya, called on Palestinian factions to realize the dangers of the incoming Israeli far-right government, based on Zionist hatred against Arabs. The internal divisions amongst the Palestinians enables the enemy to continue the "...policies of the occupation of the land, killing and terrorism, Judaization of Jerusalem and the displacement of people and the building of settlements, and the campaigns of arrest and assassination of leaders and continuing our activists, as well as the continuation of the Apartheid wall, doubling the number of checkpoints in the West Bank, and the continuation of the unjust embargo on our people."

Source: PFLP website

PFLP: Israeli prison authorities torture the Popular Front general secretary, Ahmad Sa'adat

In a statement issued by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the organization states that "Israeli prison service keeps transferring [PFLP general secretary Ahmad] Sa'adat from one jail to another, under dire conditions in light of his bad health condition. He has been suffering pains in his back and stomach in Israel's custody as a result of bad conditions in detention."

Source: Maan News Agency, PFLP website

Ian Paisley launches 'Northern Ireland Friends of Israel'

Unsurprisingly, when colonialism and occupation are challenged in Palestine, the sentinels of colonial oppression and occupation rise in solidarity with the Israeli occupation policies.

In Northern Ireland, there have been massive solidarity work for Gaza in the past months and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has supported the call for boycotts against Israel. In response, the hardline Unionist politician and veteran hate-monger Ian Paisely has founded the 'Northern Ireland Friends of Israel'.

Interestingly, Sir Ronald Storrs, the first British military governor of Jerusalem, had claimed that the Zionist "enterprise was one that blessed him that gave as well as him that took, by forming for England 'a little loyal Jewish Ulster' in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism." The Zionists would be the Orangemen of Palestine, a settler population safe-guarding imperialist influence in a region set for de-colonisation.

Source: JPost

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DN: "Amnesty bekräftar krigsbrott i Gaza"

"Att skjuta på civila är ett krigsbrott oavsett om det handlar om palestinier eller israeler, menar [Amnestys utredare Brian] Dooley, och listar de punkter som särskilt utmärkte Israels krig mot Gaza:

* Det massiva våldet.
* Skyddslösheten. Inte ens skolor, sjukhus eller utländska biståndsorgans byggnader var säkra. Det fanns ingenstans att fly.
* Israels målinriktade försök att förstöra civil infrastruktur. Vägmaskiner och stridsvagnar användes för att förstöra vägar samt el- och telefonledningar.
* Vapen som inte är förbjudna i militära sammanhang användes i stor skala mot civila mål, exempelvis fosforbomber och flechettammunition.

Israel riktade också in sig speciellt på bostäder närmast gränsen till Israel.

– Det beboeliga Gaza har krympt. Vi har enorma civila områden som utsatts för överlagd förstörelse i enorm omfattning och det går inte att se på det på annat sätt än att det var överlagt."

Läs hela artikeln här.

Bloggat: Mitt Lilla Liv påpekar ngt självklart

On racism and apartheid in Israel

Clearly there is no full legal equality between all citizens of the State of Israel. And when Israeli progressives and Arab citizens of Israel raise demands equality for all citizens, the Zionist rightwing comes out in protest. See video below;

Quote of the commentary of one of the demonstrators interviewed,
"Israel is a Jewish state, not a dual national state, not a state of all its citizens"

New rss feed widget for this blog

Want to add a widget with automatic updates about this blog? I created one, that can be accessed at http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/gaza-peace-n-freedom. Please feel free to add it to your blog, website, etc..

On the prospects of Israeli overseas voting

Haaretz online version carries an editorial "Don't let Israelis vote abroad". The editorial is written in reaction to a proposal raised by the incoming governing partners Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu.

Whilst the underlining motifs behind the proposal are sinister electoral calculations (the rightwing is hoping to score more votes if out-of-country-voting is established) and racism (hoping to diminish the Arab influence in Knesset), the Haaretz rebuttal also raises some questions. If the Zionist concept that Israel is the national home of all Jews around the world is to be upheld, wouldn't overseas voting be a logical consequence?

Different countries have different legislations of overseas voting, some have no such mechanism (Denmark) whilst others have rather elaborate overseas voting mechanisms (Italy, Ecuador). Generally speaking, states which put emphasis on diaspora relations tend to have more generous rules to allow non-resident citizens to vote. In the Italian electoral system, there are even four extraterritorial parliamentary constituencies; North America, South America, Europe and Africa-Asia-Australia. There are parties uniquely based in the Italian diaspora in South America, and Italian parliamentary elections are preceded by intense election campaigning amongst the Italian communities in countries like Argentina. Considering the Zionist discourse on the link between the Jewish diaspora and the State of Israel, the fact that Israel is one of the states that doesn't allow overseas voting is a bit odd. From a Zionist perspective, that is.

It's not really my task to decide on internal Israeli matters, and I suppose the proposal will pass through various stages of wrangling before becoming a reality. As per the diminish Arab influence, the problem shouldn't be overrated. In the racist order of Israeli politics, the Arab parties are a pariah in Knesset and are never included in governing coalitions anyway. I'm not a full-fledged expert on Israeli domestic politics, but are there any cases were proposals raised by Arab parties have been passed as legislature? As per the prospect of Avigdor Lieberman doing his campaign work in Minsk or Moscow rather than the streets of Tel Aviv, that would just contribute to illustrate the non-link of Lieberman and his party colleagues to the lands of the Middle East.

But the debate on overseas voting in Israel should also be noticed on the Palestinian side, especially as there are reforms in the PLO. The PLO is the para-statal organization representing the entire Palestinian people. But its institutions are dominant and its leadership is appointed by agreements of political factions, not general elections. The creation of the Palestinian National Authority after Oslo has led to the side-lining of the PLO and creating cleavages between the Palestinians living under occupation and those in exile. In order to have a leadership fully representative of the entire Palestinian people, there the Palestinian National Council ought to formed through elections, be it in Jerusalem, Nablus, Gaza and the refugee camps across the Arab world. That would create a PLO that could negotiate with the enemy on more equal terms.

Update on Cairo talks

According to Walid Awad, who represents the Palestinian People's Party at the Cairo unity talks, the Steering Committee will continue discussions whilst the thematic working groups have concluded their work. The Steering Committee will try to resolve differences on the main stumbling points that remain. According to Awad, there are four issues around which discussion will continue:
-PLO: How to run the organization in the transitional phase until a new Palestinian National Council has been formed.
-Government: The programe and form of a unity government, and its relations to the Palestinian Legislative Council.
-Security: How to integrate the various security services into a single organization
-Elections: Different proposals on electoral systems are to be discussed. There will also be discussions on the transitional period preceding the elections.

Source: PPP website
News links: Telegraaf

حزب الشعب: لجنة التوجيه العليا للحوار الوطني

قال وليد العوض عضو المكتب السياسي لحزب الشعب الفلسطيني المشارك في حوار القاهرة ضمن لجنة منظمة التحرير في تصريحات صحفية ان لجنة التوجيه العليا للحوار الوطني في القاهرة تواصل اجتماعاتها.

وأكد العوض في تصريحات صحافية أن لجنة التوجيه العليا بعد مغادرة وفود اللجان المشاركة في جلسات الحوار الوطني عقدت اجتماعًا هامًا لمتابعة العقد التي مازالت عالقة في الحوار وهي

في ملف منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية

البحث عن الصيغ التي تتابع العمل الفلسطيني خلال المرحلة الانتقالية لحين إجراء انتخابات المجلس الوطني.

وفي ملف الحكومة

البحث في شكل الحكومة وطبيعتها وبرنامجها واستئناف عمل المجلس التشريعي وبحث قضية توكيلات النواب.

وفي ملف الأجهزة الأمنية

النقطة التي مازالت عالقة: البحث في أوضاع الأجهزة الأمنية وسبل دمجها وبنائها على أسس مهنية وسلاح واحد وسلطة واحدة.

في ملف الانتخابات

قانون الانتخابات على أساس التمثيل النسبي الكامل ونسبة الحسم. ومازالت اجتماعات اللجنة متواصلة وتبحث في مقترحات عدة لمعالجة نقطة المرحلة الانتقالية لحين إجراء انتخابات المجلس الوطني، ومن المتوقع الانتهاء من ذلك خلال اليوم ومن ثم سيتم بحث النقاط التي مازالت عالقة حسبما اتفق في الاجتماع الصباحي للجنة.

من حزب الشعب الفلسطيني

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Moldovan view on Lieberman

Whilst most of international leftwing media decried the advances of the Israeli rightwing forces, the reception of Avigdor Lieberman's ascent to power is described some-what differently by the Communist Party in Lieberman's native homeland Moldova. The perhaps suprisingly mellow commentary is presented below;
""Israel Our Home" Party, led by Avigdor Lieberman, a native of Moldova, ranked third in the Israeli elections and got 15 seats in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset).

For the first time in the history, this political formation exceeded the popularity of the former governing party "Avoda", led by the Israeli Minister of Defence, Ehud Barak, and became the third political power in Israel.

The victory of the "Israel Our Home" Party is noticed without exceptions by all political experts. According to the forecasts, namely Lieberman will decide who is to be the head of the Israeli Government. Thus, according to all political analysts, Avigdor Lieberman became the most influential person in the country, because the length of coalition's viability also depends on him.

"Israel Our Home" Party was established in 1999 by Avigdor Lieberman, a politician born in Chişinău. Lieberman is 50 years old, he graduated from school no. 41 of Chişinău, after that he entered in 1975 the Faculty of Hidro-improvement and Land Register within the former Agricultural Institute of Chişinău. In 1978, Lieberman, together with his parents, repatriated to Israel. The leader of the Israel Our Home began his activity working as a carrier at the Ben Gurion Airport."

Source: Communist Party website

Palestinian refugees seek transfer from Iraq to Sudan

Recently a delegation representing Palestinian refugees in Iraq visited Sudan for discussions on the possibility of transfering their community to Sudan reports Paltoday. Negotiations were held between the delegation and a committee formed by the Sudanese government, the PLO and UNHCR. The Sudanese government has stated that they will have full freedom to employment and residence in the country. Most of the refugees are Palestinian citizens. A minority of Iraqi citizens would retain their citizenships, whilst obtaining Sudanese ID cards. The arrangement of residence for the refugees in the Sudanese capital Khartoum would be temporary, until the right to return to Palestine has been obtained.

Thousands of Palestinians are Iraqi residents, and the community has been one of the most victimized targets of the US occupation-sponsored secterian violence in Iraq after 2003. Its estimated that most of the Palestinian refugees have left Iraq, but amongst others there is a group of around 2,500 Palestinians stranded at the Iraqi-Syrian border. Those refugees are currently living in tents, desperately seeking a new above of refugee.

News links on Sudan & Iraq: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Breaking news: IOF blocks East Jerusalem streets in preparation for demolitions of Palestinian homes

Ethnic cleansing, in progress. News link at Maan News Agency.


Update: Detentions of Palestinian leaders in the West Bank by IOF

Antisemitismdebatt från tragedi till fars

Jag klipper in ett kort citat av Helena Duroj nedan, m.a.a. det uppmärksammade uppropet kallat 'Ta antisemitismen på allvar Ohly' som publicerades i Sydsvenskan (och citeras flitigt av pro-israeliska bloggare/kommentarorer som det ultimata beviset på att tesen 'vänstern är antisemiter' är sann). Jag tycker citatet är ganska talande, en indikator på vilket lågvattenmärke dessa påhopp och insinuationer är i samhällsdebatten;
"En av artikelns undertecknare, Johan Lönnroth, har jag känt i åratal, så jag tar kontakt och frågar efter hans motivering. Han är inne på alternativ B, det vill säga: han tror på antisemitiska strömningar som jag är med om att ”härbärgera”. Men han har inte läst min blogg utan ”bara skrev under artikeln” utan att kolla, och för detta framför han en ursäkt. En annan undertecknare, Alex Bengtsson, är jag bekant med och försöker få kontakt med. Tre meningar hinner vi växla: han ”tror inte” jag är antisemit, jag frågar varför han då skrivit under en förolämpande artikel, han ber att få ringa upp senare. Men har inte gjort det.
Övriga undertecknare är personer med vilka jag aldrig haft något att göra. Jag tror inte att de känner till mina böcker, artiklar eller ens Politik och poesi. Kanske hittade de bara ett hittills oprövat vänsternamn att dra i smutsen. En ful, destruktiv lek."

Läs också Esbatis svar på uppropet. Andra bloggar: Queen of Light, Svensson, Jinge

Monday, March 16, 2009

Leftwing victory in El Salvador

In case you've missed out on the news, the leftist opposition party FMLN won yesterday's presidential election in El Salvador. This is a significant shift in the relation of power in the Central American region, the US has lost its last firm ally in the vicinity.

Amongst other issues, FMLN stands up for an independent foreign policy. Just as a reminder, the party took a strong position against the Gaza massacre. Their statement from December 28, 2008 can be read in full here (en castellano).

Blogs: Esbati, SKP, Biologi & Politics, Hans Linde, Ida Legnemark, Esteban, Frasse, KABOBfest, Pulse, Pragoti, VSF
News links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Från Khaybar till Antiochia

Ett av de senaste inslagen i debatten om debatten om antisemitism vs kritik av Israel är diskussionen om ett slagord, fångat i youtube från Stoppa Matchen-demonstrationen i Malmö 7 mars. I klippet ses en handfull ungdomar skanderandes 'Khaybar, Khaybar, ya yahud' (خيبر خيبر يا يهود). Pro-israeliska debattörer (t.ex. Per Gudmundson i förra veckans fullständigt urballade version av SVTs 'Debatt') hävdar att referensen till slaget i Khaybar år 629 är en direkt uppmuntran till massmord. Enligt Gudmundson var slaget vid Khaybar en attack mot en judisk oas och slaget efterföljdes av slakt på oasens invånare.

Den argumentationskedjan har en allvarlig brist. När muslimer refererar till Khaybar, al-Badr, Karbala eller andra episoder i islams tidiga historia så refererar man till den roll dessa episoder tillskrivs i islamisk historieskrivning. Den tolkning Gudmundson gör av Khaybar är fullständigt främmande inom islamisk historieskrivning.

När SOS-kyrkan kallar sin missionsverksamhet 'korståg', uppmanar man då till massmord mot muslimer och judar? Är denna ordvits en direkt uppmaning till folkmord? I traditionell västerländsk historieskrivning associeras korstågen med unga mäns uppoffringar för en större sak (en syn som på senare tid reviderats i takt med att Västvärlden sekulariserats). I arabisk och muslimsk historieskrivning är bilden av korstågen helt annorlunda, korstågen associeras med barbari, plundring och död. Efter stormingen av Antiochia år 1098 slaktades stadens judiska och muslimska befolkning. I samband med belägringen av Maarat (se bild) samma år stympade korsfararna sina offers kroppar och kastade avhuggna huvuden över stadsmuren. När korsfararna intog Jerusalem år 1099 utsattes judar och muslimer återigen för systematiska massakrer. Och så vidare. Med Gudmundsons logik skulle alla referenser till korstågen kunna ses som uppmaningar till folkmord. För att inte tala om referenser till Gamla Testamentet, vilket knappast saknar inslag av blodspillan och grymhet.

Vad är då synen på Khaybar i islamisk historieskrivning? Först av allt, slaget vid Khaybar ägde rum innan muslimerna erövrat Mecka. Detta var den period där islams vara eller icke vara stod på prov, en tid då muslimerna arbetade i underläge. Denna historiska epok spelar en viktig roll i det islamiska historiska medvetandet, att de förtrycka men rättrogna i slutändan segrar. Detta är islams motsvarighet till berättelsen om David och Goliat. Det är också en historieskrivning som lyfter enskilda berättelser om hjältemod bland muslimernas härförare. Genom att åberopa Khaybar, eller andra krigshändelser vid denna period, återknyter man till en föreställning om att även om Israels militära övermakt är överväldigande idag så kommer de rättrogna och modiga i slutändan triunfera. Likt profeten lyckades besegra de härskande i Mecka kommer palestinierna befria Jerusalem. Detta handlar inte om rasism, utan om bekräftande av den egna identiteten som arvtagare till profetens kamp. I islamisk historieskrivning betonas alltid de krigets lagar som profeten instiftande, hur disciplinerad muslimernas armé var i jämförelse med andra samtida arméer.

En mer ingående beskrivning av islamisk historieskrivning om slaget vid Khaybar kan läsas här.

Jag motsätter mig användandet av arabiska slagord vid demonstrationer i Sverige. Det arabiska språket har en helt annat grammatisk och lexikal struktur än svenska. Ingen översättning blir helt exakt, och detta ger möjlighet för Palestinarörelsens fiender att spekulera och insinuera om olika begrepps betydelse. Att använda slagord som direkt återkopplar till islamisk identitet är även problematiskt då de utesluter icke-muslimer som deltar i demonstrationerna. Bland de tiotusentals som demonstrerade för Gazas folk runt om i Sverige i januari 2009 fanns muslimer, kristna, judar, ateister, m.m.. I solidaritetsarbetet för Palestina behövs paroller som inkluderar, inte utesluter.

Bloggat: Mer vänster i Uppsala, Palestina 2008, Bulten i Bo
Nyhetslänkar: JK prövar inte hetsanmälningar

Boycott Israel action at Carrefour

Action in favour of boycott of Israel at French Carrefour store on March 7, 2009. Video found at MCP blog.

Likud-Lieberman deal signed - one concrete step towards an Israeli rightwing govt

Yesterday, after weeks of wrangling negotiations, the first concrete step towards the formation of a new Israeli cabinet was taken. A deal on forming a coalition government was signed between the rightwing Likud of Benyamin Netanyahu and the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu of Avidgor Lieberman.

According to the deal, Yisrael Beiteinu will get the Foreign Affairs, Tourism, National Infrastructure, Absorption (i.e. integration of Jews migrating to Israel) and Public Security portfolios. The political maverick Avigdor Lieberman himself will become the next Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel. Notably, some political circles are a bit worried of the potential PR catastrophy of having the Zhirnovskyesque brute Lieberman as the face of Israel towards the international community. The fact that Lieberman was able to win that particular cabinet post, and that a party collegue of his will be in charge of 'Public Security', is a clear indication of the position of strength of Lieberman in the coalition talks. Lieberman's ascent to power denotes a marked shift of paradigms in Israeli politics, a testament of the increasingly intolerant and xenophobic mainstream Israeli polity.

Like many European counterparts, Lieberman seeks to redefine citizenship, arguing that citizenship should be revoked from 'illoyal' subjects. The idea that all citizens have to undertake patriotic pledges is also increasingly popular amongst West European politicians (in countries such as Sweden, with demands of mandatory language tests as a precondition for citizenship) who wish to benefit from xenophobic vote-banks.

Some commentators, hasbara bloggers and random political analysts, are quick to state that Lieberman doesn't represent the traditional Israeli far right and that labels such as 'ultranationalist' or 'fascist' are misleading. Lieberman is hated by sectors of West Bank settlers and disliked by some extreme rightist parties (see National Union smear-campaign video below) for his secularist positions. He supports many causes traditionally identified with liberals or leftists in Israeli politics. One such issue is the establishment of secular civil marriage unions, and demand partly met by Likud in the pre-coalition talks.

Lieberman and his party are part of an international phenomenon, an ongoing transformation and renewal of far-right politics. He is part of the same trend as Pim Fortyn in the Netherlands, the Norwegian Progress Party and the Austrian Jörg Haider. A shedding of skin of the far right could be one way to describe the process. Lieberman succesfully combines the core agenda of the far right (xenophobia) with a wide package of symbolic positionings against the traditional concept of rightwing extremism (allowing pork sales, supporting transports on the Sabbath, willingness to accept a two-state solution, willingness to concede lands to the Palestinians and withdrawing settlements, calling for Arabs to be drafted to the IOF). Thus many voters who would never think of touching a the far-right ballot can be mobilized, an the xenophobic agenda becomes part of the mainstream.

Before the elections, the pseudo-leftist Meretz had stated that they would urge international protests against a Lieberman government, similar to those directed against Austria after Jörg Haider's ascent to power in 2000. Arab Knesset member Ahmed Tibi has called for an 'international boycott' of Lieberman, stating that "No minister should meet him, especially no Arab minister".

But the Likud-Lieberman deal does not conclude the ordeal of securing an Israeli rightwing cabinet. The parties still stretch out a discrete olive branch to Livni's Kadima in order to form a broader unity cabinet (something Livni has rejected). Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu has 42 mandates together in the Knesset. They need another 19 to form a majority coalition. Talks are on with various ultra-Orthodox and far-right parties who are likely to join the cabinet. But there are various bones of contention between Lieberman and these parties. The criticism of the National Union (which has 4 seats) was noted above. Ultra-Orthodox forces like UTJ and Shas had campaigned with anti-Lieberman slogans, UTJ had called Lieberman a 'racist' whilst the Shas spiritual leader had stated that a vote for Lieberman was a satanic sin. Now they are likely to sit in the same cabinet. UTJ has rejected offers to get the Health or Social Affairs portfolios, stating that they demand to get the Construction portfolio (a portfolio also claimed by the National Union).

In short, the precarious game of coalition-building is far from over. But whoever wins in the end, the Palestinian people will suffer. Both Netanyahu and Lieberman promised the people of Gaza further bloodshed in the election campaign, and at this point there is no reason to doubt their intentions.

News links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Blogging: Mikael W, Jinge, DK, Huffington Post, Actualidad 2.0, Xavier, Kildén & Åsman, Yonne, Melin, Dr. Nasir Khan, Svensson, annarkia, Tidens tecken, Ernst Klein
See also: Patriarchy strikes back, moralist spying on female IOF draftees

SD i Forshaga föreslår vänortssamarbete med Israel

länk till pressmedelande här.

Notera passusen "Ett vänortsavtal innebär också att det blir lättare att förmedla förståelse, kunskap och kännedom om människorna som förvägras rätten till sitt eget land,...". Vem är det som förvägras rätten till sitt eget land? Israel är, mig veterligen, en självständig stat och medlem i FN. De palestinska områdena (Västbanken, Gaza och östra Jerusalem) är efter 41 år fortfarande under ockupation. Hur resonerade man när man tog fram den texten egentligen?

Se också, liknande initiativ från SD i Malmö
Bloggat: Emil Berg, Röde Condoren


Bonusfeature, Sverigedemokratisk kommunpolitiker uttalar sig om judar i Växjö kommunfullmäktige. Måste kännas betryggande för Samfundet Sverige-Israel, Svensk Israel-Information och SKMA att de kan räkna med SD som sina allierade.

IKEA investerar i Israel

Enligt nyhetsajten Ynet kommer IKEA snart öppna ett andra köpcentrum i Israel, denna gång i staden Rishon Lezion. Butiken skall enligt planerna slå upp dörrarna i november 2009.

Susan Nathan noterade i boken Ett annat Israel (publicerad 2006) att IKEA haft som policy att inte köra möbelleveranser till arabiska byar i Israel.

Bloggat: Jinge, Green Prophet Nyhetslänkar om IKEA: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Intressant intervju med Hamas-ledaren Khalid Meshal i SvD

länk här.

Bloggat om Meshal: Palestine Updates. Artikel i norska VG om strandade förhandlingar om fångutväxling, SvD2, HD2

Democratic Front outlines demands in negotations on Palestinian elections

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, DFLP, has outlined three central demands regarding the subject of Palestinian in the ongoing Cairo unity talks. The DFLP representative in the Elections thematic committee, Ramzi Rabah, stated yesterday that DFLP has put forward the following positions:

*Elections must be held in 2010. Postponing the elections to 2011 would deepen division between West Bank and Gaza.
*Elections should be held using Proportional Representation.
*There should be an independent and impartial Central Elections Committee

Source: Maan News Agency. See also: DFLP: No progress at Cairo; Egypt: Talks have not failed, Article in Público on prisoner exchange negotiations

Islamic Jihad Movement ready to join the PLO

In what can be seen as an advance in the Cairo unity talks, the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine has declared that it is committed to Palestinian unity and is ready to join the Palestine Liberation Organization after the forming of a new Palestinian National Council and election of a new PLO Executive Committee, provided that the movement undergoes internal process of renewing its political and administrative programes. The statement was made today by deputy general secretary of the movement, Ziad Al-Nakhalaha.

Source: Paltoday.com


News links on claims of Islamic radicalism in Denmark: 1, 2

Saturday, March 14, 2009

U.S. citizen shot in Ni'lin

copy-pasted from ISM website;

"13th Friday 2009, Ni’lin Village: An American citizen has been critically injured in the village of Ni’lin after Israeli forces shot him in the head with a tear-gas canister.

Tristan Anderson from California USA, 37 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Anderson is unconscious and has been bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth. He sustained a large hole in his forehead where he was struck by the canister. He is currently being operated on.

"Tristan was shot by the new tear-gas canisters that can be shot up to 500m. I ran over as I saw someone had been shot, while the Israeli forces continued to fire tear-gas at us. When an ambulance came, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow the ambulance through the checkpoint just outside the village. After 5 minutes of arguing with the soldiers, the ambulance passed."

– Teah Lunqvist (Sweden) - International Solidarity Movement

The Israeli army began using to use a high velocity tear gas canister in December 2008. The black canister, labeled in Hebrew as “40mm bullet special/long range,” can shoot over 400 meters. The gas canister does not make a noise when fired or emit a smoke tail. A combination of the canister’s high velocity and silence is extremely dangerous and has caused numerous injuries, including a Palestinian male whose leg was broken in January 2009.

Please Contact:

Adam Taylor (English), ISM Media Office +972 8503948

Sasha Solanas (English), ISM Media Office - +972 549032981

Woody Berch (English), at Tel Hashomer hospital +972 548053082

Tristan Anderson was shot as Israeli forces attacked a demonstration against the construction of the annexation wall through the village of Ni’lin’s land. Another resident from Ni’lin was shot in the leg with live ammunition.

Four Ni’lin residents have been killed during demonstrations against the confiscation of their land.

Ahmed Mousa (10) was shot in the forehead with live ammunition on 29th July 2008. The following day, Yousef Amira (17) was shot twice with rubber-coated steel bullets, leaving him brain dead. He died a week later on 4 August 2008. Arafat Rateb Khawaje (22), was the third Ni’lin resident to be killed by Israeli forces. He was shot in the back with live ammunition on 28 December 2008. That same day, Mohammed Khawaje (20), was shot in the head with live ammunition, leaving him brain dead. He died three days in a Ramallah hospital.

Residents in the village of Ni’lin have been demonstrating against the construction of the Apartheid Wall, deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004. Ni’lin will lose approximately 2500 dunums of agricultural land when the construction of the Wall is completed. Ni’lin was 57,000 dunums in 1948, reduced to 33,000 dunums in 1967, currently is 10,000 dunums and will be 7,500 dunums after the construction of the Wall.


Orly Levi, a spokeswoman at the Tel Hashomer hospital, tells Ha’aretz:

He’s in critical condition, anesthetized and on a ventilator and undergoing imaging tests,” She described Anderson’s condition as life-threatening.

Israeli activist Jonathan Pollack told Ynet:

"… the firing incident took place inside the village and not next to the fence. There were clashes in the earlier hours, but he wasn’t part of them. He didn’t throw stones and wasn’t standing next to the stone throwers."

"There was really no reason to fire at them. The Dutch girl standing next to him was not hurt. It only injured him, like a bullet."

Update 11:50pm March 13: Tristan is sedated and in surgery, being seen by an ophthalmologist, and will likely be in surgery for some time"

Blogs: Anna Wester, Palestine Video, Esbati, Roya, KABOBfest, JSF, Petter, Minsta bröder

Israeli authorities denies Palestinian prisoner life-saving treatment

"Israeli prison officials have refused to release a Bethlehem man suffering from kidney failure and severe kidney stones for treatment, the Palestinian Detainees Society said Friday.

According to the society and the Red Crescent, Issam Ash-Sha’er has been denied permission for proper treatment and has been forced to take only basic medications to delay the inevitable surgery on the kidney. The pills, they added, are now beginning to cause permanent damage to the man's stomach.

The Red Crescent and the Detainees Society both urge for the man’s immediate release."

From Maan News Agency

Demonstration i Stockholm, 21 mars

Om det ockuperade Golan i SvD

länk här.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vem drabbas av rasismen i Sverige?

Rasism är ett fenomen som universellt förkastas i svensk politik, en ståndpunkt kring vilket det finns en total konsensus. T.o.m. främlingsfientliga krafter som Sverigedemokraterna säger sig bekämpa rasism.

Således blir det politiskt mycket viktigt att få kontroll över att få formulera vad som är rasismens huvudproblem. Här träder högerns betalda mytomaner (t.ex. Dilsa Demirbag-Sten) in i syfte att vräga diskussionen från att handla om systematisk diskriminering på arbetsmarknad, bostadsmarknad, skolor och samhällsliv till att handla om påhittade pseudoproblem. I min egen vänskapskrets i Sverige finns såväl judar som muslimer. Jag kanske inte är statiskt representativ, men ingen jude eller person av judisk härkomst jag känner har någonsin utsatts för särbehandling p.g.a sin judiska identitet. Muslimerna eller personerna av muslimsk härkomst har alla, gång på gång med stor regelbundenhet, upplevt sig särbehandlade, illa bemötta eller rakt ut diskriminerade p.g.a. sitt utseende, sin klädsel eller sina efternamn.

När sist träffade du en judisk mikrobiolog som körde taxi?

Men det handlar inte bara om problemformuleringsföreträdare att definera rasism. Det pågår också en kamp i mediedebatten om att omdefinera antisemtismen. Idag sprids en föreställning som försöker påskina att antisemitismen är intimt sammankopplad med antikapitalistiska föreställningar. En sådan koppling finns förvisso i den traditionella antisemitismen, men idag förtigs att antikommunismen var en betydligt viktigare komponent i 1920- och 1930-talets antisemitism. Faktum är att mellankrigstidens antisemitism har mycket gemensamt med dagens islamofobi, de fyller liknande politiska funktioner av att utmåla existensen av en femtekolonn inne i det europeiska samhället. Den antisemitiska stereotypen av juden som 'bombkastande anarkist' liknar i något och mycket dagens stereotypa nidbild av muslimer.

Det är högern och 'Israelvännerna' som aktivt försöker spä på antisemitiska stämningar i Sverige idag, genom att gång på gång skapa en bild av Israel/Palestinakonflikten som en strid mellan judar och muslimer. Genom att ständigt poängtera, gång på gång, staten Israels judiska karaktär sammankopplas judar med staten Israels handlingar. Detta är det egentliga antisemitiska hotet, att judar bosatta i Sverige utmålas som sammankopplade med ett pågående folkmord.

Bloggat: Fredrik Segerfeldt, Mikael W, Ung Vänster, Pelasayed på Newsmill Artiklar: Om islamofobi i Norge, "Norska politiker mobbar muslimer", "- Mange muslimer er redde etter medieoppslag", WS: Hynek spekulerar friskt om judiskhet och svensk filmindustri, Hans Linde (V) kommenterar antisemitism-anklagelse från SWC, Johan Ingerö hävdar att kejsaren är påklädd och att det är antisemitiskt att insinuera att Israel är en apartheidstat, Obskyr man vill att vänstern tar avstånd från Mau-Mau-upproret och menar att konflikten Storbritannien-Kenya inte är 'svart-vit'

Historiska perspektiv

De första koncentrationslägren i modern tid byggdes inte i Europa, utan i Sydafrika. Boer, ättlingar till holländska kolonister, tillfångatogs och utsattes för systematisk kollektiv bestraffning. I lägren behandlades boerna sämre än boskap. Ett halvt sekel senare skulle boernas politiska ledarskap skapa det mest institutionaliserade statrasistiska styret under efterkrigstiden, Apartheid.

Idag talas ofta om jämförelser mellan Israel och Sydafrika, om likheter mellan den israeliska ockupationen och det sydafrikanska apartheidsystemet. Men ofta blir jämförelserna mycket ytliga, och handlar om vardagsrasismens teknikaliteter. Ockupationens apologeter är snabba med att påpeka att dagens Israel och apartheid-Sydafrika inte identiska, såsom om någon skulle påstått det. Birgitta Ohlsson (FP) hävdade nyligen att skillnaden mellan dagens Israel och apartheid-Sydafrika låg i att i Sydafrika var svarta berövade rösträtt. (Skillnaden är dock egentligen inte särskilt stor. I Sydafrika fick svarta rösta i bantustanval. På Västbanken kan en israelisk bosättare rösta i Knessetval och avgöra vilken politik som ska gälla på Västbanken, medan en palestinisk granne blott kan rösta till ett bantustanparlament.)

För att förstå varför Israel/Sydafrika-jämförelsen är så viktig måste man studera den ideologi som legitimerar rasismen och hur den uppstått. Både den boerska nationalismen och sionismen var barn av 1800-talets koloniala människosyn, men byggdes också upp kring en bild av offerskap.

De boerska nationalisterna byggde en ideologiserade världsbild kring föreställningen att européerna hade nått Godahoppsudden före afrikanerna. Därmed kunde de hävda att de inte var kolonister, utan urbefolkning. Argumentationen är inte helt annorlunda från synen att Palestina var 'tomt' innan 1947 eller den israeliska diskursen om hur judar levde i Hebron innan 1929.

Likväl byggdes den vita sydafrikanska nationalismen kring föreställningen att de var bärare av kultur och civilisation i en region bosatt av vildar och barbarer. Det vita Sydafrika var civilisationens sista utpost, enligt koloniala föreställningar. Argumentationen upprepas till leda än idag, om än kristendom har ersatts med 'demokrati' som kodord för medlemskap i den civiliserade Västvärlden. Floskeln 'Israel är Mellanösterns enda demokrati' upprepas till leda av ockupationens försvarare i Sverige.

Denna världsbild färgade även fiendebilden. ANC beskrevs konsekvent som 'kommunistiska terrorister', nidbilder som känns igen i Palestinadebatten idag. (om än 'kommunist' ersatts med 'muslim' efter Kalla krigets slut och 11 september)

Ytterligare en historisk flashback: Högerkrafter i Lettland hyllar Waffen-SS (artikel i danska Politiken)