Monday, April 27, 2009

Semantics for the sake of semantics

This is way off-topic from the usual topics of this blog; But I'd still like to share the following bizarre news from the fringes of Israeli politics. In response to the outbreak of 'Swine Flu' (i.e. H1N1), possibly pandemic and with two suspected cases in Israel, the
Ultra-Orthodox Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman on Monday declared that Israel would call the new potentially deadly disease that has already struck two continents 'Mexico Flu,' rather than 'Swine Flu, as pigs are not kosher.

(Excerpt from Haaretz)

In reality, Litzman is the Health Minister of Israel. His Ultra-Orthodox party does not, however, allow its politicians to hold ministerial posts, for ideological reasons. Thus by rebranding his title to 'deputy minister' and not appointing any 'minister', the problem is solved. Just as meaningless semantic distion as changing the name of a disease. Several of the comments posted to the Haaretz article points to the futility of such excersizes. Noone disputes that eating pork is unkosher, but is using the word 'swine' unkosher in itself? Are we not to mention the name of the animal at all? And isn't the term 'Mexico Flu' degrading to Mexicans?, some commentators ask.

Davids states in a comment that
"If a disease is found to originate in camels or hawks, is the Israeli government also going to give it another name, causing possible confusion?
No one is being asked to eat or even touch a pig - it's just the name. This is just religious correctness for its own sake and very, very silly."

Another comment states that
"Thats what happens ... when you sell your political soul and have to include extremists in order to cobble together a coalition government."

A third comment says that
"UNVELIEVABLE! Israel is most likely affected by what could be one of the contemporary worlds worst pandemics, and not only do we not have a health minister, the idiot who is supposed to be responsible has actually wasted incredibly precious time to make this distinction. Litzman is the swine and Netanyahu, who did not demand that a health minister be appointed, is just as contaminated! I feel sick, and I do not think it is from swine flu, yet...."

And so forth...

Newslinks on H1N1: 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, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
Blogs: Röda Malmö, Svensson

Day-to-day-terror in the Occupied West Bank

From Maan;
Qalqiliya – Ma’an – Twenty-four-year-old Ahmad Abd Al-Hadi Tayoun was married in the West Bank village of Hajja, east of Qalqiliya on Sunday.

Tayoun was not able to spend the night with his bride, as he was abducted by Israeli soldiers at 2am. The troops raided the house and seized him in front of his wife. He is now being held at an unknown location.

During house-to-house raids in the village, Israeli soldiers also seized 20-year-old Ahmad Bashir.

The Tayoun family said that Ahmad had no political affiliation, and they did not expect him to be detained. They called on rights organizations to intervene and secure his release.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces also stormed the nearby village of Al-Funduq and raided the house of Jamil Jab’iti, beat his 30-year-old daughter Sahar, destroyed furniture and they shredded a copy of the holy Quran.

Blogs: ISM, Palestina 2008
Newslinks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Amnesty International dismisses Israeli attempt to white-wash IOF atrocities

Amnesty International has refuted several claims made in the IOF 'probe' into the Gaza massacre. From Maan;
"There is a strikingly large gap between the 'very small number' of mistakes referred to in the IDF's [Israeli Military’s]briefing paper and the killing by Israeli forces of some 300 Palestinian children and hundreds of other unarmed civilians," said Donatella Rovera, Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories researcher at Amnesty International. "The army briefing does not even attempt to explain the overwhelming majority of civilian deaths nor the massive destruction caused to civilian buildings in Gaza."

Rovera said the military’s report “mostly repeats claims made by the army and the authorities many times since the early days of Operation Cast Lead, but without providing the necessary evidence to back up the allegations."

She further called the report an “attempt to shirk its [the Military’s] responsibilities [rather] than a genuine process to establish the truth." She charged the Israeli military with the responsibility to “provide evidence that their strikes were indeed against legitimate military targets” rather than placing the onus on the victims.

Citing the prominent example of the shelling of the UNRWA school in Jabaliya on 6 January Rovera quoted the Israeli report as saying, "the soldiers responded with minimal and proportionate retaliatory fire, using the most precise weapon available to them." She added, however, that “the reality is that the soldiers fired at least four mortars into a crowded street.”

A report by Amnesty International said “the use of such a notoriously imprecise weapon [mortars]in a crowded civilian area was virtually certain to cause civilian deaths and injury.” The report also corrected the Israeli assessment that 12 - five combatants and seven civilians – died in these strikes, “in fact some 30 people, mostly civilians, were killed,” the report said.

Amnesty also takes issue over the claim in the report that “fragments of the smoke projectiles [white phosphorus bombs] hit a warehouse located in the [UNRWA] headquarters,” saying that “in reality it was not only fragments which hit the UNRWA compound,” intimating that Israel launched the white phosphorus bombs directly at an UNRWA humanitarian aid warehouse.

The report backs up its claims saying “Amnesty International researchers saw several white phosphorus artillery shells which had landed and exploded inside the compound, together with at least one high explosive artillery shell. Amnesty International has no reason to doubt the army's assurances that it did not target the UNRWA compound, as artillery is too imprecise to be used for pinpoint targeting.”

Read the entire AI press release here.

Newslinks: 1, 2, 3

Saturday, April 25, 2009

BDS in Latin America

Link to article at Stop the Wall.

Scottish Trade Union Congress supports boycott of Israel

From Jerusalem Post;
The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), the umbrella organization of all trade unions in Scotland, has voted unanimously to endorse a boycott of Israeli goods at its annual conference in Perth, central Scotland.

The STUC also voted to "review" its relationship with the Histadrut at the three-day conference, which finished on Thursday, and now joins the Irish Trade Union Congress, which voted to support a boycott of Israel in 2007.

At the conference, the STUC General Council presented a report calling for a boycott, disinvestments and sanctions against Israel "until it complies with international laws and agreed principles of human rights."

The call was supported by a plea to all Scottish trade unions to support the boycott, divest in Israeli companies and call for sanctions.

Speaking before Wednesday's debate, STUC general-secretary Grahame Smith said that "the STUC General Council is recommending support for boycott and calls for sanctions against Israel because of its attacks on the human rights of Palestinian people and its breaches of international laws."

The STUC press statement can be read here. Do note in the JPost article, as usual in Israeli press, any news on the growing international appeal of BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israeli] is followed by a comment of an Apartheid apologist, stating that boycott is 'one-sided', misguided, unhelpful, fails to understand the complexity of the issue, yada, yada...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Appeal for Arab railway workers

This blog had earlier noted the racist practices of Israel Railways, which has fired 40+ Arab employees. Now an appeal in solidarity with the discharged workers has been issue, it can be found here.

National demonstration for Gaza, London, May 16

Palestinian Prisoners' Day commemoration in Beirut

The Palestinian weekly al-Hourriah has published a report of last week's Palestinian Prisoners Day celebrations in Shatila camp, Beirut, Lebanon.

Yad Vashem employee fired for mentioning Deir Yassin massacre

The Israeli Yad Vashem (Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority) has fired one of its employees, after a teacher of a group of yeshiva students had complained to Yad Vashem that the employee had mentioned the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre during a tour of the institution.

Read this article in Haaretz. Notably, the title of the article is a bit misleading. The ex-employee in question did not compare the Holocaust and Nakba, he compared the link between Zionist project and the Holocaust on one hand, and the link between Nakba and the Palestinian national project on the other.

An excerpt from Haaretz;
[The fired employee] Shapira said Yad Vashem chooses to examine only some of the events that took place in the War of Indpendence. "It is being hypocritical. I only tried to expose the visitors to the facts, not to political conclusions. If Yad Vashem chooses to ignore the facts, for example the massacre at Dir Yassin, or the Nakba ["The Catastrophe," the Palestinians' term for what happened to them after 1948], it means that it's afraid of something and that its historic approach is flawed," Shapira said.

Kfar Qassem resists demolitions

The Arab town of Kfar Qassem witnessed riots yesterday night, as locals confronted the demolition of a greenhouse owned by an Arab, Majid Issa. As the Israeli Border Police and their bulldozers invaded the town, a call was issued from the louderspeakers of local mosques for the inhabitants to rally in solidarity with the affected family. Five Israeli policemen were injured in the confrontations. At least 12 persons have been arrested after the riots. The community is now active in mobilizing solidarity with the detainees.

Kfar Qassem is located on the Israeli side of the Apartheid Wall, Tulkarem is located just on the other side. Building permits are rarely given to Arab citizens of Israel, resulting in that a vast majority of newly-built structures lack permits. It is a consistent policy of discrimination against an entire community. A month earlier, Mr. Issa's sister's house had been demolished.

In 1956 Kfar Qassem was the site of a massacre by the Israeli military, see Haaretz and Wikipedia.

Israeli Border Police guarding the demolition

The site of the demolished building

Photo credits: Kfar Qassem website
Newslinks: Kfar Qassem website, JPost, Maan, Haaretz
Blogs: Loke, Esbati, Pastey

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Iranbråket som avledningsmanöver?

En liten textsnutt från SvD nedan, som kanske kan förklara varför USA och EU-länderna valde att skapa kalabalik på rasismkonferensen i Genève. Kanske användes Israelfrågan som en pretext att sänka konferensens värdighet som helhet. Nåväl, här är textsnutten;
Alla är inte lika entusiastiska. Antoine Madelin, chef vid paraplyorganet för 155 människorättsgrupper (FIDH) pekar på några svagheter.

- Dokumentet är under våra förväntningar. Kompensation för slaveri och kolonisation togs bort efter stark opposition från västländerna, och romer samt migrationsarbetare ges inte väntat skydd mot diskriminering. Dessutom är varken Israel eller USA med, länder som bidrar till problemen med diskriminering, säger Antoine Madelin till SvD på tisdagskvällen.

Rasistkonferensens [sic!] dokument är inte bindande. Madelin ifrågasätter hur mycket det verkligen kommer att tillämpas av länder för att minska rasism.

- Rasism och främlingsfientlighet ökar i världen, förstärkt av den ekonomiska krisen. Det är tveksamt om ett FN-dokument som detta kan vända denna trend, säger Madelin.

SvD-artikeln har också med en liten passus om att felaktiga uppgifter spreds om Ahmadinejads tal. Över hela världen kablades nyheten ut att Ahmadinejad hade förnekat Förintelsen, när han istället gjort en direkt referens till Förintelsen. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. SvD skriver;
Fel! President Ahmadinejad kallade inte Förintelsen ”tvivelaktig” som översättare från farsi till engelska skrev på måndagen. Irans president sade att ”frågan om Förintelsen missbrukas”. FN gick ut med rättelsen igår.

Bloggat: Radar, Esbati, Palestinagrupperna, Palestina
Nyhetslänkar: 1, 2, 3

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

F**k Veolia

There are unconfirmed reports that the Galway City council has voted 12 to 2 to adopt a motion against utilizing the illegal-settlement-profiteering company Veolia for its city transport services. Veolia has now lost Stockholm metro (a 3.5 billion Euro contract) and Bordeaux contracts. In short, taking part in the occupation doesn't pay off.

IPSC press statement on the Galway City vote.

Palestinian BDS Committee asks Tehran to go from rhetoric to action

A day following Ahmadinejad's publicized speech in Geneva, the Palestinian Campaign for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) has criticized Iran for business ties with Veolia Environment and Alstrom. The two French companies are active in the occupied West Bank, profiteering from the illegal Israeli settlements there. At the same time the municipality of Tehran is negotation with Veolia regarding local transport systems. Alstrom has an office in Tehran, and has obtained multi-million dollar contracts with Iranian state agencies. The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) appealed to Iran to "take the necessary steps to ban Veolia and Alstom and their subsidiaries from any contracts and operations in the country."

Source: Maan
Newslinks on the Geneva conference: 1, 2, 3

On the Durban II boycott

One of many European rightwing politicians to call for boycott of the Durban II conference in Geneva is Danish far-right leader Pia Kjærsgaard. In a statement, she meant that
"The purpose of the conference is to fight racism - a phenomenon that, honestly speaking, is rather marginal in Europe and the Western world today"
('Konferencens egentlige formål er bekæmpelse af racisme – et fænomen, som hånden på hjertet formentlig er temmelig marginalt i Europa og den vestlige verden i dag').

Kjærsgaard's statement clarifies an important point, namely that there is a convergence between the defense of Israel and rejection of any serious discussion on the actual problems of discrimination and marginalization of minorities in Europe. In a way, Ahmadinejad's speech is just a pretext to avoid facing the actual issues at hand.

Enhedslisten (a leftwing party) politician Asmaa Abdol-Hamid sharply criticizes Kjærsgaard's positions on Durban II. In a comment to Politiken, she says that
"Pia Kjærsgaard rejects the notion that there is racism in Europe. Obviously there is racism, and of course it should be fought. The statements of DF [Danish People's Party, Kjærsgaard's party] are living proofs of that."

Newslinks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Om gränsdragningar och antagonism i Genève

Carl Bildt tycker att Ahmadinejad "gick över gränsen" i sitt tal vid FN-konferensen i Genève. Personligen tycker jag Israel gick över gränsen när man i 22 dagar i sträck bombarderade Gazaremsan. Bildt och jag upprörs tydligen av olika företeelser här i världen.

Men EU-ländernas protest mot Ahmadinejad i Genève är inte bara problematisk som ett försök att skapa enighet kring försvaret av krigsförbrytarna i den israeliska ledningen. Den var också problematisk därför att den oförtjänt placerar Ahmadinejad i centrum, istället för den viktiga diskussionen om hur man kan bekämpa rasismen.

Faktum är att Ahmadinejad blir så stor som Västvärlden väljer att göra honom. Genom att skapa en situation där Ahmadinejad framstår som en av två protagonister, som anförare för ett större block, ja, då stödjer man hans position inrikespolitiskt och i regionalt i Mellanöstern. Varför kretsar helt plötsligt hela FN-konferensen om rasism kring Ahmadinejad? Det är en situation som USA och EU-länderna villigt skapat. Thaher Pelaseyed noterar i ett inlägg att Sverige mycket väl hade kunnat agera som Norge, att deltagit med en ministerrepresentant och därmed bidragit till att ge konferensen den värdighet den förtjänar. Istället för att lämna lokalen under Ahmadinejads tal hade Bildt, såsom norske utrikesministern Jonas Gahr Støre, kunnat bemöta Ahmadinejad i sak. Det hade varit en betydligt mer konstruktiv markering.

Roya verkar ha en liknande inställning om detta. Hon skriver
"Väst har nu gjort Ahmadinejad till martyr, stärkt honom inför den inhemska opinionen, och försatt oss i den uppochnedvända situationen där Ahmadinejad talar om vikten av yttrandefrihet och demokrati, vilket självklart är ett skämt när en tittar på situationen i Iran.

Men som bekant är det inte Irans befolkning som står högst på Västs agenda utan det är Israels befolkning, det är USA det är Europa. Därför tågar de ut när Ahmadinejad säger det är varje vettig människas plikt att säga, det som hundratusentals demonstranter i Europa och USA, skanderat när Gazas befolkning massakrerades: att Israel är en rasistisk stat. Det måste sägas fler gånger och av fler personer. Det är bara synd att det inte är demokratier som yttrar det, att det blir en diktatorisk regim som utnyttjar det tomrummet för egen vinning."

Esbati ser en koppling mellan EU-ländernas försök att sabotera Durban II och den växande islamofobin i Västeuropa,
"Staten Israels extremt stora inflytande över de västerländska regeringarnas agerande i det här fallet, kan inte heller förstås utan att man sätter det i samband med islamofobins växande roll i europeisk politik för europeiska makthavare. För Europas högerpopulistiska partier, som Geert Wilders’ ”Frihetsparti” eller Siv Jensens ”Fremskrittsparti” har ”solidariteten” med Israel länge levt i nära symbios med den hårda och insinuanta antimuslimska retoriken. Och den som vill förutse vad som dyker upp på den europeiska menyn över hets mot muslimer, kan följa propagandautspelen från Israels regering. Det som präglar europeisk politik idag, det är att den mer traditionella europeiska högern omvandlas i samma riktning, och att också partier längre vänsterut börjar omfamna en sådan dagordning."

Bloggat: "Dror Feiler om rasismkonferensen", "Medan EU gör bort sig i Genève", "Israel, antirasismens avantgardé, eller?", "EU-länderna stod för skandalen", "Att bryta tystnaden om krigets övergrepp", "Angående Israel och Rasism: Ett Brev Från En Anti-Apartheidkämpe", "Medias tolkningsföreträde och hur man spär på spänningar", "Naturei Karta in Iran", "Israel är en rasistisk stat", "Kritik mot rasism tydligen problem på antirasistkonferens", "Sverige skämmer ut sig i FN", ett annat inlägg med samma titel, "Apartheid under demokratins flagga", "De borde protesterat mot Vatikanstaten istället"
Nyhetslänkar: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Monday, April 20, 2009

Follow this blog on twitter

Since a couple of days back, you can follow this blog on Twitter. Just go to

Resistance in London against IOF dance troup

"This is akin to singing and dancing on the graves of the 400 Palestinian children that the IDF was responsible for killing in January," said Chris Doyle, the director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding.

"We should not be permitting a dance troupe from an army currently under a UN investigation for possible war crimes to be coming to the United Kingdom. It is sick."

Read entire article at Guardian.

Update: The Bloomsbury Theatre, which was going to host the event, has now cancelled the show. See USACBI blog.

Videos of Tel Aviv rally & Ibrahim Abu Rahma's funeral

Video from the April 18 rally in Tel Aviv, condemning the murder of unarmed Palestinian protestor Bassem Ibrahim Abu Rahma in Bil'in, West Bank. MK Dov Khenin's speech in latter half of the video.

Bassem Ibrahim Abu Rahma's funeral, Bil'in, April 18

Another Israeli protest against murder of Palestinians

Blogs: International Solidarity Movement

Uri Avnery: "It can happen here: Fascism in Israel"

Uri Avnery has an article in Maan on the Avigdor Lieberman phenomenon in Israeli politics. An excerpt;
Fifty ago I wrote a book called "The Swastika," in which I described how the Nazis took over Germany. I was helped by my childhood memories. I was nine years old when the Nazis came to power. I witnessed the agonies of German democracy and the first steps of the new regime before my parents, in their infinite wisdom, decided to escape and settle in Palestine.

I wrote the book on the eve of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, after realizing that the young generation in Israel knew a lot about the Holocaust but next to nothing about the people who brought it about. What occupied me more than anything else was the question: how could such a monstrous party succeed in coming to power democratically in one of the most civilized countries in the world?

The last chapter of my book was called "It Can Happen Here". That was a paraphrase of the title of a book by the American writer Sinclair Lewis, "It Can’t Happen Here," in which he described precisely how it could happen in the United States.

I argued in the book that Nazism was not a specifically German disease, that in certain circumstances any country in the world could be infected by this virus – including our own state. In order to avoid this danger, one had to understand the underlying causes for the development of the disease.

To the assertion that I am "obsessed" by this matter, that I see this danger lurking in every corner, I answer: not true. For years I have avoided dealing with this subject. But it is true that I carry in my head a little red light that comes on when I sense the danger.

This light is now blinking.

Read the entire article here.

Norsk dagstidning noterar oppositionens kritik mot regeringens feghet inför USA & Israel

Norska Dagbladet har idag en ganska stor artikel om Socialdemokraternas och Vänsterpartiets kritik mot hur svenska regeringen hanterat Durban II. Bl.a. skriver tidningen att
Kalle Larsson fra Vänsterpartiet er heller ikke fornøyd med at Sverige kun deltar på ambassadørnivå.

- At Israel og USA får kritikk på en internasjonal konferanse om rasisme er høyst rimelig i dagens situasjon. I stedet for å undergrave FN-konferansens legitimitet, burde den svenske regjeringen selvfølgelig delta og bidra til konstruktive og tungtveiende beslutninger, sier Larsson.

Orignalet, finns att läsa på Vänsterpartiets hemsida.

Israeli Apartheid "justice": Kill an Arab = 6 months community service

From Ynet (my emphasis):
The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Haim Castro, a former Border Guard officer, who was convicted of shooting dead an Israeli Arab in Kfar Qassem six years ago, without there being any immediate threat to his life.

Castro was sentenced to six months community service by a district court. He then appealed to the Supreme Court arguing he did not shoot the man in question, but his appeal was rejected.

Do you really need any further argument that Israel is an Apartheid state? The same state holds thousands of Palestinian in detention, many of them having done no crime at all. Israel uses 'Administrative Detention' to arbitrarily imprison Palestinians without criminal charges. Interestingly, the military can detain a Palestinian in 'Administrative Detention' for six months (and is renewable indefinitely by a military judge under certain conditions), six month being the same period as Haim Castro's penalty for having killed an Arab citizen of Israel.

Blog: Angry Arab
Newslinks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Om Durban II & västvärldens motvilja att granska sig själv

Jag borde egentligen ha skrivit något om Durban II och de bisarra turerna om att bojkotta ett möte där man tror kritik kan komma att uttalas. Någon sådan text har dock inte tillkommit. Dels av tidsbrist, dels pga att andra bloggare redan sammanfattat situationen väl. Läs gärna; "Antisemitism som vapen för att sänka FN-konferens", "Rasism: Nej tack (det vill vi inte diskutera)!","Bra att Sverige bojkottar Durban II", "USA och Israel fortsätter anföra den globala kampen för rasism", "Mitt hjärta blöder när jag läser om orsakerna till bojkotten", "Falska argument mot FN-konferens", "Det rasistiska Israel", "Orwells ande i Genevé"

Passa också på att läsa Åsmans "Israel håller Gaza i misär" och Anna Westers rapport från inspirerande nordiskt Palestinamöte i Köpenhamn.

Nyhetslänkar om Durban: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

Settlers abduct Palestinian shepherd

From Maan;
Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli settlers abducted a Palestinian shepherd south of the West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday evening, Palestinian and Israeli sources reported.

The shepherd was identified as 24-year-old, Mohammad Abdallah Suleiman, a resident of the village of Sumu. The settlers seized Suleiman after he allegedly infiltrated the nearby Israeli settlement of Otni’el.

Officials at the Palestinian Coordination Office, Suleiman was handed over to the Israeli army, and is still under arrest.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

DFLP: Int'l community should take it responsibility towards the situation of Palestinian prisoners

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) has issued a statement in junction with Prisoners' Day this week. A translated excerpt (sketchy translation by GPF Blog);
"We appeal to the human rights NGOs around the world, which raise the banner of humanity, the principles of human rights and international human rights conventions, and we call on the UN Security Council to act immediately to stop the Israeli racist attacks on the prisoners, and to force the Israeli government to back down on the arbitrary decisions taken by them, including the recently decisions on deportation of six prisoners who have completed their "period of their sentences", and to force the Israeli government to abide by the rules of the trial of prisoners of war set forth in the Geneva Convention, and work to improve the conditions of their health and living, providing for the release of all of them without restriction or discrimination."

Ethnic cleansing @ Israel Railways

Regarding the 40+ Arab former employees of Israel Railways, their former employer has no changed their line of argumentation. The Arabs had been fired from their jobs in the beginning of April 2009, and at the same time Israel Railways introduced a new policy of only hiring IOF veterans (thus excluding the Arab ex-employees from applying for their old jobs).

Today, Israel Railways stated to the Tel Aviv Labor Court that 'mistakes' committed by the employees had been the cause of their dismissal and that decision to sack them had been made in order to "improve the level of supervision". Tawfiq Toubi, a lawyer representing 20 of the former employees has stated that their dismissal was a case of discrimination. On April 10, the Labor Court had suspended the dismissal of Arabs for a period of 10 days.

Source: Haaretz

Protest in Tel Aviv yesterday, condemning killing in Bil'in

More than a thousand people demonstrated in Tel Aviv yesterday evening, taking a procession outside the Security Ministry to protest their outrage over the murder of unarmed Palestinian demonstrator Ibrahim Abu Rahma in the West Bank village of Bil'in on Friday. At the end of the rally, Hadash Knesset member Dov Khenin caid that Abu Rahma had been killed in cold blood. Khenin also stated that Ehud Barak has a personal responsibility for the prevailing atmosphere in the occupied West Bank. In his speech, Khenin also mentioned the shooting of U.S. activist Tristan Anderson, who is yet to recover from his injuries.

Source and photo credit: Al-Itihad

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Boicot Israel

PNA: No negotiations until Israel commits to two-state solution

Azzam al-Ahmad, an official of the Palestinian National Authority, has stated that there will be no negotations with Israel until the Israeli government publicly commits to the two-state solution. According to al-Ahmad "[t]he new Israeli administration has been constructed on an anti-peace basis, since they ignore the two-state solution". Furthermore, he rejected the ploy of pressuring the Palestinians to recognize Israel as 'a Jewish state' (in spite of the state having 20% Muslim, Christian and Druze population), stating that Netanyahu's demand "indicates the racism and extremism of the current Israeli administration, and proves that it does not seek peace."

More on the murder of Ibrahim Abu Rahma

More details are coming out on the cold-blooded killing of anti-Apartheid wall protestor Ibrahim Abu Rahma in Bil'in, West Bank. The Israeli peace organization Gush Shalom has stated:
This escalation was not caused by the demonstrators' behavior, in which there had been no change, but to new instructions given to the military forces on the ground. Whether by explicit instructions or by a tacit nod and a new "spirit of the commander", the finger on the trigger was loosed and authorization given for the tear gas containers as lethal missiles.

See a slide-show of photos of the killing here.

Below a video from Brazilian newscast on the killing. The claims of 'violent riots' by the Israeli authorities fall quite flat. Abu Rahma was clearly unarmed and not engaged in any violent act.

Twinning Cáceres-Gaza City

This blog had earlier noted the proposal to declare the cities of Cáceres, Spain and Gaza City, Palestine, as twin cities. Happily, we can note that the municipal council of Cáceres adopted the twinning proposal, unanimously, on April 16, 2009. Below a video of a press conference of the platform Cáceres Citizens in Solidarity with Palestine, commenting on the decision of the municipal council.

Geography 101

Verdens Gang, one of the largest daily newspapers in Norway, has an online article on the temporary lifting of the Egyptian blockade on Gaza, stating that the Rafah border crossing will be open for two days for medical and family travels. The title of the article is, somewhat shockingly, "Egypt opens passage to Israel" ('Egypt åpner overgang til Israel') One ought to expect more from the foreign desk of a major newspaper.

Update: At 12:14, soon after this blog post was twingly-linked to the VG article, the article was updated and 'Israel' was changed to 'Gaza Strip'. However, when accessing the article from the main page, 'Israel' still comes up when the cursor is placed over the link to the article.

Protest in Tel Aviv today, condemning the murder of Ibhrahim Abu Rahma in Bil'in

Dov Khenin, Knesset member of Hadash, has issued a call for peace forces to join a demonstration in Tel Aviv today April 18, to condemn the murder of Ibrahim Abu Rahma. The 30-year old Abu Rahma, was killed yesterday by Israeli Occupation Forces during a peaceful protest in Bil'in, West Bank. The rally will assemble at King George Avenue 19.30 p.m., and procede to the "Security" Ministry.

Fellow Hadash Knesset member, Afu Agbaria, has labelled the killing "a henious crime" and "a cold-blooded murder". Furthermore, he stated that "The martyrdom of the Palestinian demonstrator in Bil'in reveals the ugly face of the Government of Israel - the Lieberman rightwing of which is not interested in peace -, a Government which allows the fascist rightwing elements to wreak havoc, unleashes the army in order to protect the settlers so they can continue their attacks on the children of the Palestinian people."

Arab Druze Inititiative Committee in solidarity with refusniks

Hadash website has an article on solidarity visit by the Arab Druze Inititiative Committee to the family home of a Druze man who refuse to serve in the IOF. The young man, Tariq Gul Sirhan, had declared that he would not serve in the Israeli military, after which he was issued an 'insanity' certificate (a politically motivated punishment, that can give problems for future employments) and detained him for a period.

Jihad Saad, the Arab Druze Initiative Committee secretary and head of the delegation, stated that the Committee "througout its history has supported all those who refuse the compulsory military service imposed on our youth".

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tripartite agreement on transfer of Palestinian refugees from Iraq to Sudan

This blog had earlier noted the negotiations on the possibility of a transfer of Palestinian refugees from Iraq to Sudan. The Palestinian weekly al-Hourriah has published the text of the tripartiate agreement between the PLO, the Government of Sudan and UNHCR. The agreement stipulates the setting up of residences, in mobile homes, at a compound in Soba, in the outskirts Khartom. The compound will cover 107389 m2. UNHCR will built an elementary school and a health clinic within the compound. Approximately 2,000 Palestinian refugees, now trapped in camps at the Iraqi-Syrian border and living in dismal conditions, are expected to be included in the transfer. The Sudanese government would give passports without citizenship, and would have working permits, health insurance and free education including university studies.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Anzoátegui in solidarity with Gaza

Video of solidarity & cultural activity for Gaza by social movements in Anzoátegui, Venezuela.

Trailer: Checkpoint Rock

Video of a trailer for 'Checkpoint Rock', a new documentary by Fermin Muguruza about the lives of artists and musicians in Palestine. The documentary will have its premiere in Donostia (San Sebastian) on April 30, 2009.

Gaza's unending nightmare

2-part programme of Riz Khan's show on Aljazeera, April 15;

Part One:

Part Two:

Häv blockaden!

Blockaden mot Gazas befolkning är vidrig, och måste hävas omgående. Det finns inga ursäkter för att bibehålla den. Läs detta inlägg från rapport från en spånbinge-bloggen. Varför är Sveriges regering så tyst mot Israels förbrytelser, varför så tyst mot Israels kollaboratörer i den egyptiska regeringen?

Occupied Palestine to be labelled 'Occupied Palestine' by PNA

According to an article in Jerusalem Post, the Palestinian National Authority has decided to change its terminology when talking about Palestine '67 from 'Palestinian Territories' to 'Occupied Palestine'. According to the article, the shift in terminology is to be applied consequently in the work of the Authority.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Israel 'very unlikely' to cooperate with UN war crimes probe"

Israel is "very unlikely" to cooperate with a UN agency's probe into whether Israel and Hamas committed war crimes in the recent Gaza war, a[n Israeli] government official said Wednesday.

Hamas, meanwhile, said it is ready to work with the investigators, to be led by Richard Goldstone, a South African judge who served as chief UN prosecutor of war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

Read the full article in Haaretz. Unsurprisingly, Israel again hopes it can get away with impunity. Blood doesn't wash off that easily, though, and the war criminals behind the 2009 Gaza massacre must be brought to justice.

Om islamofobiförnekelse

"Our women shave!"
- klotter vid Ground Zero, New York, 2004

Roya har skrivit ett viktigt inlägg om försöken att avleda diskussionen om Andreas Malms bok 'Hatet mot muslimer' (länk till förlaget) till att handla om en debatt om debatten. Det är mycket intressant att samma grupp personer som skrek sig hesa om antisemitism i Gazamassakerns kölvatten, nu försöker hävda att islamofobi är ett icke-fenomen eller tankespöke i Malms fantasivärld. Samma personer som menar att det var en potentiell dödsynd att koppla ihop staten Israels agerande med judisk identitet, menar ryggradsmässigt att islamofobin blott är en akademisk/filosofisk kritik mot teokratiska statssystem.

Roya pekar i sitt inlägg bl.a. ut faktumet att Judiska församlingen i Göteborgs ordförande Anders Carlberg i SVT Debatt kunde uttala gravt islamofobiska konspirationsteorier i direktsändning utan att någon i studion reagerade. Så normaliserad är islamofobin.

Brottsförebyggande rådet började 2006 att särredovisa islamofobiska hatbrott i sin statistik. Både i 2006 och 2007 års rapporter rapporteras dubbelt så många islamofobiska hatbrott som antisemitiska hatbrott (8%-4% år 2006, 6%-3% år 2007). Jag tror dock att statistiken underskattar den islamofobiska rasismen, då flertalet hatbrott (70%) kategoriseras som 'främlingsfientliga'. 'Islamofobiska' anses bara brott där muslimsk religiös identitet explicit anförts som motiv till brottet. Det är skäligt att anta en stor del av de 'främlingsfientliga' hatbrotten riktar sig mot personer från Mellanöstern, och att islamofobiska föreställningar finns som bakomliggande motivation bakom de dåden. BRÅ noterar också att medan antisemitiska hatbrott ofta är utförda av organiserade högerextremister, så är gärningsmannaprofilen i islamofobiska hatbrott betydligt mer allmän.

Det finns en koppling mellan islamofobin i Väst och krigen i Öst. Krigspropagandan (för Israels och USAs ockupationer och plundringar i Palestina, Irak och Afghanistan) återproducerar hela tiden nidbilder av muslimer (nidbilder som inte alltid är explicit religiösa). Vi lärs hela tiden in i att tänka i termer av vi-och-dom. Muslimerna definieras som det vi inte är, vi är liberala, sekulära, frigjorda demokrater, muslimerna är vår diametrala motsats. I de islamofobiska hatbrotten görs referenser till väpnade konflikter utomlands, den som inte döljer sin muslimska identitet i Sverige riskerar att skuldbeläggas för det ena eller andra. Det enda sättet att göra upp med islamofobin är att också göra upp med plundringen av Mellanösterns/Centralasiens naturresurser.

Läs också Malms svar på kritiken mot hans bok.

Bloggat: Esbati, Politik och Poesi, Svensson, Röda Malmö, Layali, Anna Wester, Forum för Frihet, Helle Klein, Stockholmsvänstern, Motbilder



-Det här känns inte som ett krig, utan som en massaker, en förintelse, även riktad mot oss läkare. Varje dag när jag gick till arbetet visste jag inte om jag skulle överleva dagen. Det fanns inte någon plats som var säker. Jag tror inte på att det var misstag när de träffade skolor och sjukhus. De har tillräckligt bra precision för att veta exakt var de träffar. Det är en skam att världen stod och såg på medan vårt folk dödades. Hade vi varit får eller getter hade världen reagerat starkare, men våra liv är mindre värda än djurens.

Hur många som brännskadades av fosforbomberna kan Shaaban inte bedöma eftersom de flesta av de uppskattade 8.000 skadade och dödade under kriget hade flera olika skador. Situationen på Shifasjukhuset under kriget beskriver han som en mardröm.

- Kan du föreställa dig, på en halvtimme kunde det komma in 250 skadade. Folk låg och dog på golvet medan de väntade på att bli opererade. Och samtidigt som vi försökte rädda liv kom det F16-plan och bombade moskén här intill, så att alla våra fönster slogs sönder. Det var mitt i vintern och iskallt.

När de akuta fasorna är över för denna gång återstår stora problem för sjukvården; konstant brist på medicin och sjukvårdsmateriel, till exempel krämer mot brännskador. Allt beror på blockaden. Den har även drabbat Nafiz Abu Shaaban på det personliga planet.

- Min 75-åriga mor hade cancer och behövde få strålbehandling. Men under tre månader gav inte israelerna tillstånd för henne att resa ut. Så hon dog, berättar han.

Läs också: "Antisemitismanklagelser dyker upp som gubben i lådan"

Bloggat: Svensson, Jinge, Niklas H, Annarkia, Anna W, Minsta bröder
Nyhetslänkar: 1, 2

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Samaritan passover at Mount Gerizim

Interesting article in Maan from last weekend, on the passover celebrations of the one of the smallest ethnic/religious communities in the world.

Palestinian prisoners in detetion by U.S. occupation forces in Iraq

The Palestinian newspaper al-Hourriah has released a report with 17 names of Palestinians, identified as prisoners held by the U.S. occupation authorities in Iraq. The majority of the seventeen are held at the Boca prison near Basrah, whilst the location of others in unknown. Overall, it has been difficult for Palestinian organizations to assess the human rights violations against the Palestinian community in Iraq due to the prevailing situation there.

The newspaper has also released a list of names of Palestinians held by Iraqi authorities.

Nayaf Hawatme, DFLP General Secretary, visits Cuba

One of the most veteran leaders of the Palestian liberation movement, DFLP General Secretary Nayaf Hawatme, has visited Cuba. At a programe commemorating the 40th anniversary of the founding of DFLP, held at the Cuban Institute for Friendship between Peoples (ICAP), Hawatme presented the Martyrs' Order posthumously to the the late ICAP president Sergio Corrieri and the Order of Jerusalem to the current ICAP president Kenia Serrano. Full report (in Spanish) at DFLP website.

In Havana, Hawatme has also met with the Vice President of the Republic of Cuba José Ramón Machado, the Vice Speaker of the Cuban parliament Jaime Crombet Hernández-Baquero, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Cuba Marcos Rodriguez Costa and representatives of the Arab community in Cuba. In his meetings, Hawatme has expressed his solidarity with Cuba and support for the process of socio-political changes occuring across Latin America.

Live from Occupied Palestine, via Twitter

Follow Maan News on twitter, link here.

Newslinks on twittering: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Greek hip-hop for Palestine (Rebellion Connexion)

Newslinks: 1, 2

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

CPI(M): "Investigate the Israeli missile contract"

From People's Democracy;
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement on March 28, 2009

The Rs 10,000 crore [approx. 2,010,000,000 USD] missile production deal with an Israeli company, the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has now been exposed as a deal involving massive kickbacks besides being an unnecessary contract. The Left parties had asked in a letter to the prime minister in March 2008 that the $ 2.5 billion deal for developing a medium range surface to air missile with the IAI should not be proceeded with, in view of the fact that the earlier Barak missile deal with the same company is being investigated by the CBI for kickbacks. The Defence minister replied to this letter that if there is any impropriety or violation of law, action would be taken (letters attached).

An investigative report by the DNA newspaper has exposed the fact that the Israeli missile deal involves a "business charge" which is six per cent of the total value (approximately Rs 600 crore). This makes it a scam of ten-fold magnitude compared to the Bofors Rs 64 crore kickbacks.

The Left parties had written to the prime minister again in February 2009 barely three weeks before the contract was signed once again urging the government not to proceed with the deal (letter attached). The reason cited was that the DRDO had already developed a missile system which was superior to the one being offered by the IAI for co-production. The letter also reiterated that IAI should have been blacklisted just like the South African firm Denel which is also under investigation for kickbacks.

Given the seriousness of the charges the government has to answer the following questions:

1. The IAI had got the contract for the supply of Barak missile in 2000 during the NDA regime. The FIR lodged by the CBI in October 2006 names IAI as an accused besides naming the Delhi-based arms dealer, Suresh Nanda and other family members as agents of the Israeli firms IAI and Rafael Corporation. Why was the IAI not embargoed from further supplies till the case was disposed off?

2. Was the government not aware that the Israeli authorities had investigated the IAI for malpractices in contracts with other countries? Such charges led to the head of the IAI stepping down in 2005.

3. Was the ministry of Defence not aware that an Indian agent of the Israeli company replaced by another petitioned the Israeli Defence ministry claiming additional commissions were due to him?

4. What does the Manmohan Singh government have to say about the DRDO having developed and field proven its Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile capacity? Why was the DRDO compelled to enter into the so-called "joint development" of the IAI air defence missile when it already has its own superior AAD missile?

5. Was the Manmohan Singh government not aware of the fact that like in the Barak missile deal, there are middlemen and intermediaries involved who are being paid commissions/kickbacks? Was the government not aware of identity of these agents?

6. How does the Manmohan Singh government explain the six per cent "business charges" on the total value of the deal? Is this not contrary to the stipulations against engagement of agents and payment of agency commissions?

7. Why is it that the contract was signed on February 27, 2009 and the fact was kept a secret? The information about the date of signing has now become known from the IAI which has claimed that the Indian government wanted the signing of the contract to be kept secret.

8. Why did the government get the contract signed on February 27, 2009, just two days before the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections?

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands that the missile contract with the IAI be suspended and an investigation be ordered by the CBI into the contract with the IAI which should be a follow up of the investigations into the earlier Barak missile deal.

Statement annexures

Annexure 1

The following is the text of the letter dated March 17, 2008 to the prime minister, Manmohan Singh addressed by the general secretaries of CPI(M), CPI, AIFB and RSP.

We have been noting with growing concern the manner in which arms deals with Israel are being conducted. Israel is already the second largest supplier to India. It is now clear that Israeli arms manufacturers, including government-owned entities, have been blatantly violating Indian laws by using middle-men and by giving kickbacks to officials involved in the decision-making process.

The scam surrounding India’s acquisition of the Israeli Barak missile systems manufactured by the state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Rafael corporations is the latest case in point. The original deal for ship-mounted Barak systems worth about Rs 1300 crore struck in 2000 during the NDA regime was rife with procedural violations and outright corruption as emerged during the Tehelka expose. CBI’s FIR of October 2006 names IAI as an accused, besides naming Delhi-based arms dealer Suresh Nanda and other family members as agents of the Israeli firms. The recent CBI raids and consequent arrests of the Nandas and their associates seem to have added more hard evidence.

Evidence has also emerged in Israel of the bribery and corruption, including payments to agents in India, indulged in by IAI and Rafael. An Indian agent replaced by another petitioned the Israeli Defence ministry claiming additional commissions due to him, and the matter has even been referred to the Israeli attorney general. All this has led to the arrest and impending prosecution of Moshe Keretz, who headed IAI for 20 years till 2005, and another agent whose name has been concealed under a gag order of the Israeli authorities.

Regrettably, despite all this evidence, the UPA government has shown a remarkable reluctance to take action against IAI, Rafael and other Israeli arms companies. The Swedish firm Bofors was blacklisted after the involvement of middle-men was proved in the notorious deal. The South African firm Denel was similarly blacklisted in 2005 for resorting to agents and kickbacks. But demands that similar action be initiated against IAI and other Israeli firms have been ignored. Some high authorities have bent over backwards to argue that the cases were not similar in some unexplained manner.

To add insult to injury, the UPA government has further cemented the alliance with IAI by signing a massive $2.5 billion (Rs10,000 crore) deal for co-development of more advanced Barak NG (new generation) and Barak-8 missiles with longer range and for land-based anti-missile applications. How can India proceed with this deal in the face of evident wrong-doing by Israeli firms?

By turning a blind eye to systematic violation of Indian laws by Israeli firms, India is sending out wrong signals to international arms manufacturers at a time when India is embarking on huge overseas military acquisitions, with the potential to corrupt and derail the entire system. These developments also underline the importance of self-reliance in defence production which has been given low priority of late.

The Left parties urge the UPA government to immediately take strong action against the errant Israeli firms, and also ensure that the CBI pursues the Barak scam case to its logical conclusion and brings all the guilty to book.

Annexure 2

The following is the text of the letter from A K Antony to Prakash Karat

This has reference to your letter dated March 19, 2008 enclosing a copy of your letter dated March 17, 2008, addressed to the prime minister expressing concern as to the conduct of arms deals with certain Israeli companies.

As you are aware, the ministry of Defence carries out its procurement activities in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedure that contain mandatory stipulations against engagement of agents, payment of agency commissions and use of undue influences. Moreover, Integrity Pacts are being invariably signed with vendors for procurement schemes of over Rs 100 crores. These stipulations empower the government to cancel the contract as well as debar the vendor from entering into any supply contract with government of India for a minimum period of five years in addition to imposition of penalty in the event of breach of any contractual provisions. After filing of a FIR by the CBI in Barak Anti Missile Defence case, the ministry of Defence had obtained legal advice through the ministry of Law as to whether it would be appropriate to debate a party in terms of the above provisions. The advice received was that it would be advisable to await the charge-sheet or the investigation report and an embargo only on the strength of a FIR may not be justified. The matter is presently under the consideration of the government.

Similarly, when newspaper reports appeared regarding alleged irregularities on the part of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in defence contracts including payment of commissions in the procurement of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, the ministry of Defence took steps to ascertain the facts through the Israeli Ministry of Defence and the latter conveyed that they had contacted the offices of the Israeli State Comptroller and their State Attorney’s office and both of them had made clear that their investigations focused on alleged IAI procedure and practices without any reference or connection whatsoever to the Indian transaction or Indian citizens. The Israeli ministry of Defence has further informed that the Israel State Comptroller issued no report on his inquiry and the police investigations ended with no charges pressed against any person.

I may assure you that all necessary action would be taken whenever any impropriety or violation of laws is established or brought to notice and that such cases would be pursued to their logical conclusion.

Annexure 3

The following is the text of the letter addressed to the prime minister, Manmohan Singh on February 9, 2009 by the general secretaries of CPI(M) and CPI. A copy is also addressed to A K Antony, minister for Defence, government of India.

We are writing to you regarding the contract for Air Defence Missile Systems placed by the MoD on Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). The amount involved is around Rs 10,000 crore for the supply of around 12 such systems. This is surprising considering that such a contract has been given when IAI is already under investigation of the CBI on charges of bribery and corruption for the anti-ship, ship-mounted Barak missile system. We had brought this to your notice in our earlier letter dated March 18, 2008 about the kickbacks and use of middleman in the Barak deal, which are in violation of Indian laws. In the past India has blacklisted firms such as Bofors, Sweden and Denel, South Africa for similar cases of kickbacks and middleman.

The deal with IAI is also surprising on other counts. First, it involves systems that have yet to be even developed by IAI, let alone manufactured and test proven. Secondly, our Defense R & D Organisation (DRDO) has already developed and repeatedly field proven DRDO’s Advanced Air Defense (AAD) missiles capacity. This missile is capable of destroying incoming enemy missiles as well as aircraft whereas aircraft the proposed IAI missile can deal is only with enemy aircraft. The DRDO (AAD) missile is capable of intercepting even ballistic missiles at altitudes upto as high as 18 kilometers. Thus the proposed missiles sought to be developed by IAI appears to be inferior to the DRDO developed missiles AAD on the counts of technical, cost and operational readiness.

Thirdly, to give a “cover” of indigenous involvement and content, DRDO has been forced to enter into a so-called “joint development” of the IAI Air Defense Missile even when it already has its own superior AAD missile!

This deal again brings out the unfortunate influence that Israeli arms manufacturers including government owned entities assert on India’s arms purchases. Nothing else can explain why IAI, which is seriously implicated in corruption in India and in Israel, should be favoured in this way.

We urge you to get the contract stopped and see that the DRDO’s indigenous missile programme is not subverted in this way.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Klockrent om media och kraven på 'avståndstaganden'

länk till Kajsa Ekis Ekmans kommentar i DN här.

Settler terror, 38 Palestinians wounded in attack on Safa village

Copy-pasted from Ma'an;
Hebron – Ma'an – Thirty-eight Palestinians were injured when armed Israeli settlers, backed by soldiers, rampaged through the West Bank village of Safa, north of Hebron on Wednesday morning.

According to medics at Al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron 11 Palestinians were shot with live bullets, five with rubber-coated metal bullets and another 15 were treated for the effects of teargas.

One Palestinian, 18-year-old Tha'er Aadi, is in critical condition after being shot in the neck. After undergoing surgery at Al-Ahli, he was transferred to the public hospital in the city of Ramallah.

One eyewitness said that some 25 settlers from the nearby settlement Bat Ayin approached Palestinian houses and began shooting randomly. He said that Israeli military patrols were present, and watched the settlers shooting without stopping them.

Soldiers fired gunshots and tear gas canisters in order to prevent local youths from confronting the settlers, one witness said.

Neighboring villages called on for help

Calls were heard through mosque loudspeakers in the neighboring Palestinian towns of Beit Ummar and Surif asking residents to head to Safa and help protect its people from the rampaging settlers. Hundreds of youths responded to the call.

When the youth arrived Israeli troops intervened and restrained the settlers, making sure they returned their settlement unharmed. Local sources said that the settlers stole cattle as they left Safa.

Medics at Al-Ahli Hospital named some of the injured:
31-year-old Ammar Abu Dayya who was shot in the thigh,
26-year-old Suheil Abu Dayya, shot in the foot,
26-year-old Muhammad Khlayyil, also shot in the thigh,
35-year-old Walid Khlayyil, shot in the foot, and
24-year-old Muhammad Khlayyil

The mayors of nearby Hebron and Beit Ummar arrived in Safa to check on residents. According to mayor of Beit Ummar Nasri Sabarna, all of those injured in the day's events were harmed by the soldiers supporting the settlers, and not by the settlers themselves.

Revenge attack

On Thursday in Bat Ayin a man, reportedly Palestinian, killed a teenage settler and wounded another 7-year-old boy in the settlement with an axe.

The settlement is also the origin of a militia called the Bat Ayin Underground. The father of the 7-year-old victim of last week's attack is Ofer Gamliel, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for attempting to bomb a Palestinian girls' school in Jerusalem in 2002. Two other men from the settlement were also jailed for the attempted attack.

On Wednesday night, the Israeli news agency Ynet reported that Gamliel was to be released for 48 hours this week in order to visit his son.

The Israeli military has refused to comment on the incident.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"Israël, Criminel, Boycott!" - Manifestation in Paris

Video: Andrew Feinstein speaks about Apartheid, Israel and the South African experience

Andrew Feinstein, a South African Jewish politician, former African National Congress MP, speaks about Israel, Palestine, South Africa and the possibilities of historical comparisons.

Video: Catalan song for Palestine

Video: Solidarity Cáceres-Gaza

A proposal has been raised in the city of Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain, to initiate twin city cooperation with Gaza City, Palestine. Four political groups have endorsed the proposal. See video below of press conference of the the Platform of 'Cáceres Citizens in Solidarity with Palestine';

Video: Barranquilla, Colombia; Manifestation in solidarity with Palestine

Humiliation at check-points in West Bank

From Ma'an, April 6, 2009;
Tulkarem – Ma'an – Israeli soldiers forced Palestinian teenagers to strip naked in full view of other Palestinians waiting at a military checkpoint near the West Bank city of Tulkarem on Monday afternoon.

Witnesses told Ma'an that three soldiers forced the youths to remove their clothes, and were verbally mocking them.

The witnesses also reported long waits at the checkpoint.

via Angry Arab. Newslinks: 1

Settler terror

"At 4:00 pm, Israeli soldiers and the Ma'on settlement security guard took three Palestinian boys, ages 10, 11, and 14, and transported them Ma'on settlement. Soldiers delivered the children to six masked settlers who beat the children, kicking and punching them. At 4:45, the children arrived back in their village, after the settlers allowed them to leave to walk home through the hills alone."
"Earlier the same day settlers shot at a teenage Palestinian shepherd as he grazed his sheep near Juwayya. This is the second time settlers have shot at Juwayya residents over the last ten days. On 25 March, twenty Israeli settlers left the settlement of Ma'on and shot at Palestinian shepherd grazing their sheep on land belonging to the village of Juwayya. During the incident, four Israeli soldiers and the security guard of the Ma'on settlement were present and did not interfere with the settlers. The shepherds refused to leave their land, despite the danger."

From Christian Peacemaker Teams, via ISM and Annalisa.

Blogs: Esbati, Anna Wester, Angry Arab

Desinformation x 2

Lästips; Esbati dekonstruerar det proisraeliska propagandamaskineriet och dess förtalskampanj mot Norge, Svensson dekonstruerar desinformation om Kristallnattsmanifestationer i Göteborg.

Friday, April 3, 2009

PFLP slams Fateh and Hamas for their inability to achieve reconciliation

"Gaza - paltoday - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) slammed on Thursday Fateh and Hamas movements for failing to achieve reconciliation, and demanded the two factions achieve a deal that ends the internal rifts and restores unity."

Read full article at Paltoday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

State-sponsored ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem

Copy-pasted from Maan;
Jerusalem – Ma’an – Dozens of Israeli settlers backed by police took over a Palestinian house in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Ma'an’s correspondent observed settlers raiding the house of Naser Jaber, in the As-Sa'diyeh neighborhood of the Old City. A scuffle took place between the owner and the settlers before police intervened, allowing the settlers to take control of the house and sending the owner away.

Israeli police then imposed a neighborhood lock down, prohibiting residents from entering or leaving their homes. Several youth were seized during ensuing clashes in the tense half hour between the arrival of the settlers and the total-closure of the area.

Jaber went immediately to the court to put forward his case, saying he was going to demand the removal of the settlers from his residence, which is home to eight. Jaber noted that the small area of the Old City is home to seven other families and said there had been a repeated settler presence in the area over the past months.

Blogs: Kildén & Åsman