Saturday 21 August 2010

"... Until then, no deadlines for attack from foreign politicians sitting in posh Manhattan high-rises, please."

Via friday-Lunch-Club

from PBS-Frontline's Tehran Bureau/ here
"... Much like Russia, Bolton is using Bushehr for his own political gain. After the staggering victory of the Democrats in the 2008 election, the Republicans are desperate to recoup their losses and emerge victorious in this November's midterm elections. By egging on Israel to attack Bushehr, Bolton is trying to look like a "concerned" friend of Israel .....

The Israeli people and their government do not need such friends. The Iranian nuclear conundrum is challenging enough without Republican politicians giving Israel deadlines to attack Iran. Such statements damage Israel's position greatly as they make the country look like a warmonger. After the flotilla fiasco, this is one image that Israel needs to shed, not reinforce. Bolton is also making Israel look weak: If Israel doesn't attack, then it's made to look like a toothless tiger that did not have the spine to confront what Bolton sees as a mortal danger.

Despite statements by some Israeli politicians and Israel's supporters in America, an attack against the Islamic Republic's nuclear program by Israel is not yet a foregone conclusion. In the short span of 62 years, Israel has managed to become a substantial power, partly because of its sophisticated cost-benefit analysis. Israel will consider the option of attacking. However, if it turns out that the costs of attacking Iran outweigh the rewards, then the option of living with a nuclear Iran will most likely be accepted by its leadership. Judging by Obama's recent assurances that Iran is at least one year away from building a bomb, we have that long before Israel's leaders will have to make a decision. Until then, no deadlines for attack from foreign politicians sitting in posh Manhattan high-rises, please.
Posted by G, Z, or B at 1:31 PM

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Who is the Terrorist??


Well well, what have we here? Remember those non-existant terrorist weapons Israel claimed were on the Freedom Flotilla so they could murder nine muslims? Perhaps Israle should look closer to home, because it was not the Freedom flotiall loaded with terrorist weapons but rather Israeli boats that are loaded with terrorist weapons from the terrorist state.

link Egyptian security forces seized a ship loaded with explosives coming from Israel and arrested its owner in Port Said, Egypt's independent Al-Shorouk daily reported on Monday.

The explosives were loaded inside containers on board of the ship, the newspaper reported without providing further details about the ship and explosives.

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Khaled Amayreh: Mosque and myth

Mosque and myth
Caught between Washington and his own people, the PA president has no meaningful room for manoeuvre, writes Khaled Amayreh from the West Bank

The prevailing disputation over the right of Muslim Americans to build a community centre and mosque a short distance from the site of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks has garnered plenty of headlines in the past few days. The controversy calls for an honest reappraisal of the precise position of Muslim Americans in the United States. The altercation has polarised US public opinion and raised tension in the Arab and Muslim world.

"It saddens me to think that people don't understand what building this mosque on hallowed ground really represents," pontificated Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, infamous running mate of 2008 Republican Party presidential candidate John McCain, and an iconic figure of the war-mongering neoconservatives and discredited Republican far-right.

Another icon of the bellicose right, Newt Gingrich, was quoted in Fox News as lambasting the construction of an Islamic centre "right at the edge of a place where, let's be clear, thousands of Americans were killed in an attack by radical Islamists."

The irony, wrote Anthony DiMaggio, author of Permanent War and who taught Middle East politics at Illinois State University, is that the brouhaha is "a manufactured controversy". DiMaggio dismissed the fracas a "racist uproar" and denounced the right-wing radio and television campaign in America for framing Islam as "radical, fundamentalist and a threat to national security".

Worse, US President Barack Obama was denigrated as a "closet Muslim terrorist" for publicly lending support to the construction of the Islamic centre so close as it is to Ground Zero in New York. "Obama is a non-citizen," his detractors contended. This latter accusation strikes at the very heart of the concept of citizenship rights and national identity.

The complexities of belonging cannot be relegated to the realm of academic treatises. The vast majority of Muslim Americans are law- abiding citizens intent on exercising their right to freely exercise the tenants of their own religion. This particular right lies at the heart of the perceiving identity -- including religious identity -- as a political problem in a nation that prides itself in the secular dispensation of its constitution and raison d'être.

Moreover, this particular fundamental right is in accordance with the First Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights that has constituted the foundation of American freedom for over 200 years. Be that as it may, religion from the inception of the US has been a major marker of identity.

Gender and race have traditionally been the key prerequisites of identity politics in the US. Since 9/11 religion has become the primary focus of political identity in the US. Shifting criterion for eligibility to a notion of "American belonging" is underway.

An African-American candidate has, theoretically at least, as much a chance of winning a presidential election as an Irish American. The possibility of a Muslim American winning a landslide victory in any presidential election in the near future is slim, to say the least.

The pertinent question is why? According to Moataz Abdel-Fattah, associate professor of Middle East Studies at Central Michigan University, Obama's comments must be viewed in context of the forthcoming congressional elections. The growing schism between conservatives and liberals in the US undermines the political stability of the country, the world's superpower. "The impediments to the rights of Muslims in the US tend to be cultural rather than political or legal. The curtailment of the freedoms of Muslims is two-fold. First, the theological bias of the Judeo-Christian tradition prevalent in the US perpetuates the myth that Islam is an exotic religion, alien to the American people and culture and there is a widespread belief that Mohamed is not a prophet," Abdel-Fattah told Al-Ahram Weekly.

"Moreover, Muslims tend to adopt more conservative lifestyles and rarely intermingle with non-Muslims. This insular aspect of Muslim culture in predominantly non-Muslim America, coupled with taboos on preaching Islam has traditionally worked to isolate Muslims in America and perpetrate stereotypes about Islam."

Abdel-Fattah, however, noted that one positive side effect of 9/11 was the increased curiosity of ordinary Americans about Islam. "I personally meet hundreds of people who ask me about Islam as a religion and there has been an increase in the number of Muslim faculty members at Michigan University. Indeed, Muslim Studies departments in institutions of higher learning have replaced the Black Studies departments as the new novelty in American academia."

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 the American Muslim community was in disarray. Their reticence was only part of the problem. Into the breach stepped President Obama, the first African-American to hold America's top job. He was also the first US president whose father was a Muslim and whose sister is a practising Muslim. His middle name is Hussein.

It is not unusual for Americans to speak frankly about their presidents' foibles. Obama isn't quite the secular saint of legend. Nor is he a liberal per se. Obama's defence of building a Muslim community centre in lower Manhattan was applauded as a "brave step".

It is astonishing to recall how little was known publicly about Islam as a world religion, or about America's Muslims before 9/11.

Far from undermining the myth of Muslim Americans as fifth columnists, Muslims in America were dismissed as self-serving, conniving and exploitative.

This year, Eid Al-Fitr coincides with the ninth anniversary of 9/11. This brings the story up to date through the post-Bush years when the Obama administration set the tone of the new face of America. An African-American president of partially Muslim familial background led America from the front and championed the rights of the underdog, or so he was celebrated. "We understand that he wants to change the agenda. We also understand the constraints, tremendous pressures and limitations he must labour under," noted Abdel-Fattah. "Obama's message that America is not at war with Islam was well-received."

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Calls for ‘State of Emergency’ in Lebanon over Electricity Crisis

Thus, in Lebanon, electricity rationing is the “normal thing.” Living without power cuts seems, however, to be the “wrong” thing. The crisis is a “chronic problem” according to the officials. Therefore, the current government cannot be blamed. Yet, the government didn’t do anything to reduce the sufferings of its people.

The people found no solution other than protesting. Here and there, they decided to raise the voice against the incapacity of the state to provide them with electricity to at least face unprecedented heat wave witnessed during the weekend.

Yet, according to Prime Minister Saad Hariri, their protests are “unjustified.” Hariri was quoted as saying during the last cabinet session that the fact that some “angry” demonstrators are blocking roads with burning tires is not acceptable. He even wondered about the “real motives” behind such actions.

In the meantime, no tangible solution seems to be set.

Member of the Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc MP Ali Ammar called for announcing a state of emergency to solve the electricity crisis. He said that the cabinet should “act with seriousness” and hold an emergency session to discuss ways to solve power rationing.

The Hezbollah MP rejected statements made by Premier Saad Hariri that the government was waiting for the adoption of the state budget to solve the crisis. “There is a need to implement temporary and fast solutions for the sake of citizens,” he emphasized.

However, EDL Director-General Kamal Hayek said that the firm is not suffering from any failure in production and transfer. “We are distributing 1650 megawatts equally outside administrative Beirut,” he told Al-Manar, adding that no solution to the crisis would be reached before mid-September.

On Thursday, Hariri told an Iftar banquet in Qoreitem, however, that the electricity plan endorsed by the cabinet includes raising production to 3500 megawatts in the next four years. “Since 1998 there was no investment, not even in one megawatt. On the contrary, production went down from 1900 megawatts to 1600 megawatts,” he said. “We also allocated one billion dollars for ensuring electricity, but even the one thousand million dollars cannot provide 24 hour electricity and there should be partnership between the private and public sectors,” Hariri told his guests.

“We hope parliament would approve the budget as soon as possible in order to start work and implement the plan as soon as possible,” the prime minister said.

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US Official: Evidence Implicating Hezbollah to Emerge within Days

21/08/2010 Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai quoted on Saturday an American official as claiming that “evidence of Hezbollah’s involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri may appear in the upcoming days.”

The US official went on to claim that Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah’s latest press conference, during which he said that Israel may be behind the crime, “as an attempt to mislead the investigation and buy some time.”

The Kuwaiti daily said that only three individuals in the US administration are following up on the issue of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and matters related to it.

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The int'l quartet's statement a fig leaf covering PA's impotence

[ 21/08/2010 - 12:03 PM ]
DAMASCUS, (PIC)-- Member of Hamas's political bureau Ezzat Al-Resheq condemned the international quartet's statement, which invited the Palestinians to engage in peace talks with Israel in Washington, as a fig leaf covering the political impotence of Fatah's authority.

In a press release on Saturday, Resheq underlined that the quartet's statement is politically useless for it did not bring something new and lacked political and moral credibility.

He also said that the Palestine liberation organization's declared acceptance of resuming direct negotiations with Israelis was contrary to the national consensus which was reflected by the positions of most of the Palestinian factions and forces at home and abroad, especially the main factions of the PLO that participated a few days ago in Damascus meeting.

The Hamas official stressed that using the name of the PLO to declare the Palestinian Authority's participating in direct talks with Israelis is blatant fraud against the will of the Palestinian people and the majority of Palestinian factions.

For its part, the Hamas Movement considered in a press release on Saturday the PLO's decision to resume peace talks with Israel an "intentional relinquishment of the Palestinian rights and constants."

Hamas emphasized that the Palestinian negotiator's wagering on the statement issued by the international quartet is an attempt to deceive and mislead the Palestinian public opinion.

It noted that the majority of the Palestinian people are not bound by the results of these negotiations because the Palestinian parties, that want to get involved in these talks, represent a small group and are nationally isolated.

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Hajj Hassan: Ministerial Council Decision Adopted over False Witnesses is being Carried Out

Minister of Agriculture Hussein Hajj Hassan called for investigating with the false witnesses to know their purpose behind those falsified testimonies.

"It is enough to mention one witness, he is Mohammad Zuhair Siddiq who testified falsely," he said, wondering, "Which intelligence is supporting him? Who is he working for? Who is ensuring his transportations between countries?"

Attending a fast breaking ceremony held by the Islamic Resistance Support Association in Sidon, Hajj Hassan added, "They want to convince us that one man alone could forge passports, travel through airports, and hide without anyone asking or investigating with him, and without his intelligence's protection."

In the same context, Hajj Hassan pointed out that using its allying countries and agents in the Western intelligence, the United States is the only one protecting Mohammad Zuhair Siddiq.

In conclusion, Hajj Hassan said, "We want to reach a conclusion on the false witnesses, where the decision adopted by the Ministerial Council is being examined and will be completed".

MP Fadlallah: Falsification Witnessed in the Past Five Years, not Allowed Anymore

Loyalty to the Resistance Parliamentary Bloc MP Hassan Fadlallah considered that the Ministerial Council's decision they adopted concerning the false witnesses, also in assigning the Ministry of Justice to follow up the issue raises questions about the past five years and all incidents and falsifications that occurred.

During a fast breaking ceremony he attended in Nabateyye, Fadlallah said, "The government took the first step by assigning the Ministry of Justice to study and investigate this file, and it is known that when we open a sensitive case that affects the country, we could not stop at any point, or approve closing this file as if nothing happened."

He assured that this file will be officially followed-up from inside the government, clarifying, "The concerned ministry has responsibilities. It should present the entire truth behind the witnesses and their operators to the Lebanese and international public opinion."

MP Fadlallah indicated that the resistance is confronting another aspect of an "Israeli" war against it and against Lebanon, by accusing it for the aim of distorting its image and for damaging stability, civil peace, and national unity in Lebanon.

"We consider the "Israeli" enemy the true threat to Lebanon, and we never considered that attaining the truth and achieving justice in the assassinations contradicts with unity and stability. What truly threaten stability were the misguidance, distortion and falsification that were being applied in the past five years," he added.

Loyalty to the Resistance MP assured that members of the "Israeli" project in Lebanon have split and are breaking down one after the other.

He pointed out that those who relied on the possibility of avoiding an "Israeli" accusation in order to change the internal equation brought down the "Israeli" project.

Furthermore, MP Fadlallah stressed that the equation has changed, saying, "We moved into a new level, which is accusing "Israel" of the assassinations, and prosecuting the false witnesses and no internal group could divert the path because the misguidance and falsification we witnessed in the past five years are not allowed to happen again in Lebanon".

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Israel determined to bar all ships from landing in Gaza

[ 21/08/2010 - 09:08 AM ]
NEW YORK, (PIC)-- As a humanitarian aid ship named “Mariam” is preparing to set sail from Tripoli, Lebanon, the Israeli ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev has announced that her government reserves the right to use “all necessary means” to block aid ships from reaching the Gaza Strip.

In a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Gabriela Shalev stressed that the group responsible for organizing the Mariam ship is “suspected of having ties with Hezbollah.”

The Israeli official alleged that the ship’s organizers are fully aware of the official channels to send aid to the Gaza Strip, but they want to “provoke a confrontation,” she said, “and raise tensions in the area.”

“Because of the current situation of an armed conflict between the Hamas terrorist organization and the state of Israel, Israel reserves the right, in accordance with international law, to use all necessary means to prevent this ship from violating the naval blockade on Gaza,” she said.

Mariam is scheduled to leave the port of Tripoli in Lebanon on Sunday, and will set sail to Cyprus and from there on to Gaza.

For his part, Lebanese Transport Minister Ghazi Aridi announced Friday there are “no guarantees” that Mariam will head to Cyprus on Sunday, because authorities there did not agree to the ship traveling to the besieged Gaza Strip.

“There are no guarantees they will travel on Sunday because Cyprus did not give approval for the ship to dock at its ports or cross regional waters off the Gaza Strip,” Aridi told the French news agency (AFP) Friday.

The Cypriot government said Friday in a statement that it will continue to stop ships heading to Gaza from its ports.

Israeli war minister Ehud Barak had warned in late July that Israel will take action against any ship launched from Lebanon to the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile in Nazareth, Israeli military police have opened an investigation with soldiers suspected in stealing laptops and cell phones from peace activists on board the Turkish Marmara ship, which was heading for the Gaza Strip with the Freedom Flotilla convoy to break the four-year siege on Gaza.

According to Ynet, police arrested an officer and three soldiers in the Israeli army on suspicion of stealing and trading property belonging to passengers aboard the ship.

According to the investigation, a senior officer responsible for the attack on the Marmara ship stole several items from the crime scene, including six laptops and cell phones, and later bragged while selling them that they are “booty” from the Turkish fleet.

Al Jazeera Net quoted Freedom Flotilla organizer Lubna Mesawera as saying that Israel confiscated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods from Arab and foreign pro-Palestinians onboard the Marmara ship, adding that cash was personally confiscated from herself as well as her passport, which Israel has refused to return.

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Gilad Atzmon: United Against Knowledge

The Guardian reported today that two Israeli groups have set up training courses in subversive Wikipedia editing aiming to 'show the other side' of the Jewish State.

Those who lend their pen to the Palestinian cause know about Wikipedia Jews, a term that was coined a few years ago.

It refers to a bunch of rabid and crypto Zionists who constantly vandalise encyclopaedia entries to do with Palestine, Palestinian activists and Israeli atrocities.

According to the Guardian two Israeli groups seeking to gain the upper hand in the online debate have launched a course in "Zionist editing".

Yesha Council, representing the Jewish settler movement ran their first workshop this week in Jerusalem, teaching participants how to ‘rewrite’ and ‘revise’ some of the most “hotly disputed pages of the online reference site.”

The Wikipideia project is a phenomenal humanist and universalist initiative. Hence, it should not take us by surprise that its biggest opponents are tribal operators, amongst them Zionists, crypto Zionists and the so called ‘Jewish anti Zionists’.

One Jerusalem-based Wikipedia editor, told the Guardian that publicising the new Zionist conspiratorial initiative might not be such a ‘good idea’. "Going public in the past has had a bad effect," she says. "There is a war going on and unfortunately the way to fight it has to be underground."

One may be surprised to discover that chief amongst ‘Wikipedia Jews’ is alleged ‘Anti Zionist’ Roland Rance. Rance, is a London based Jewish Marxist who spends most of his time peppering Wikipedia entries with Judeo-centric context. Roland Rance was also one of the leading opponents of Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR), probably the most successful Palestinian solidarity operation in the UK.

Here is a snapshot of Rance’s relentless attempt to vandalise Israel Shamir’s Wikipedia entry last week.

Wikipedia Jews have history behind them. According to the Guardian, in 2008, members of the hawkish pro-Israel watchdog Camera who secretly planned to edit Wikipedia were banned from the site by administrators. There is a war going on my own Wikipedia entry. More than once Wikipedia Administrators have been called in just to remove contamination by Rance and other Zionists.

The Wikipedia project is all about knowledge and the availability of knowledge.

Is it a coincidence that political Jews in the right and in the left are united to subvert this project?

I do not think so. Once again we come across what seems to be Zionist continuum. They are all united against knowledge.

Apparently The organisiers of the Zionist Wikipedia courses, are already planning a competition to find the "Best Zionist editor", with a prize of a hot-air balloon trip over Israel. I guess that by now we know who should be the candidate for the blue & white air balloon adventure.

The Cordoba “Ground Zero” Community Center, Under Attack

16/08/2010 By Ruqayyah Shamseddine
August 15, 2010

The Cordoba House, or what many are calling the “Ground Zero Mosque”, happens to be a community center which is to be built in New York City; There is a mainstream media firestorm growing in respect to the community center, which will be constructed in place of a 152 year old warehouse, due primarily to its location and vastly to what many are calling the “Muslim initiative” behind the center.

A slew of vehement politically right-wing pseudo-intellectuals are attempting to associate the community center with the mark of the beast; Dan Senor, former foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush, has blatantly attached the Cordoba House with “Islamic extremism” and Al Qaeda.

Similarly ironic and senseless narratives have been hitting the airwaves for weeks and many are latching onto the fallacious bandwagon in order to promote American exceptionalism; all while donning American flags and nationalistic rhetoric of course.

The catch-phrase of the anti-Cordoba House movement happens to be that with this community center comes Shariah law, that Muslims will be building the “Ground Zero Mosque” in place of a heinous tragedy in order to solidify their “conquest”.

There are some points to go over when debunking these highly erroneous claims:

● The Cordoba House is a community center with a prayer room open for people of all faiths.
● There were at least 60 Muslim victims of the 9-11 attacks; not counting Muslim members of the NYPD first responders.

● Shariah law could never be implemented or imposed on any US Citizen, and anyone remotely informed in respect to the US Constitution would find any such claim laughable to say the least.


US Constitution, Amendment 1 – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” Yes, this would include any religion: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism et al.

To counter further brazenly asinine remarks Steve Benen, columnist in The Washington Monthly, wrote:
"For folks like Gingrich, Cheney, Giuliani, et al, Feisal Abdul Rauf is exactly the kind of American ally who should be embraced. Instead, the right is going to genuinely ridiculous lengths to isolate, offend, and ostracize him, signaling their belief that all Muslim Americans should be treated as second-class citizens. If Osama bin Laden were to write a script for what he'd like to see happen here, it'd be identical to the one Gingrich & Co. are following. This isn't intended to question their patriotism, but rather, their sanity."
Contrary to what the American right-wing has been parroting, the Cordoba House will provide locals with culture and art, recreation, educational programs, and a “world-class facility which will house a mosque” - the mosque will be independently run but open to all New Yorkers, regardless of their faith.

According to it’s website: The “Cordoba House will be a center for interfaith dialogue and engagement”
The most dominant parties involved in the Cordoba House debate are implying that an actual mosque will be erected on top of ground zero or immediately adjacent to it - this is obviously not the case.


A plethora of right-wing Christians, carrying a variety of self-made signs and placards while yelling “Islam is a lie,” have been angrily confronting worshippers outside US Mosques.

In early August Muslims were verbally assaulted by a slew of right-wing Christians who began to shout “Jesus hates Muslims,” as the worshippers began arriving at the Masjid An-Noor Mosque in Connecticut in order to prepare for the holy week of Ramadan. According to the Connecticut Post one protester shoved a placard at a group of young children leaving the mosque while crying out “murderers”.

On July 5th, a Christian group known for religious intolerance protested an Islamic Center in Gainesville, Florida. The protesting group, ironically named Dove World Outreach Center, has allied in the past with the Westboro Baptist Church; The Westboro Baptist Church is notorious for praising hate-crimes against homosexuals, Jews, Muslims and a laundry list of others who refuse to associate themselves with their bigotry and antagonism.

In May, a Jacksonville, Florida mosque was attacked with a pipe bomb and gasoline.
Crimes similar to the ones listed above have been supported and held in high regard by the American right-wing; seeing that Islamophobia is on the rise, things may get much worse for many American Muslims.

Xenophobia is nothing new and America is no stranger to any such sentiment. Emboldened by the 9-11 attacks we now see that many are trying to justify blatant discrimination, ethnic profiling and disdain towards the US Constitution under the broad and fairly vague guise of “national security”. From torturing US citizens in Guantanamo Bay Prison Camps to refusing ‘freedom of religion’ and ‘freedom of worship’- all in the name of nationalistic “national security”.

For America to outgrow this blatantly stigmatizing form of subjugation the US Government must learn to abide by UN Declarations, many of which have been pseudo-supported by a long curtain of American Presidents and politicians. The American regime must learn that no flag is big enough to shield them from their own sins. The stain of apathy and chauvinism has bled through the fabric - through every star and stripe - for the entire world to witness.

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"... Israel is now squaring off against a seemingly more unified enemy ..."

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

A Lebanese flag and wreaths at the spot where two Lebanese soldiers died in a firefight over tree cutting.
CNN/ here
"... The United States' policy of arming the Lebanese Army may have, in part, been predicated on a Hezbollah defeat in the recent elections and the assumption that the country would be experiencing a greater level of domestic political discord further alienating the army and Hezbollah.
But through various moves and speeches made by Lebanon's leaders a divide between the two does not seem to be the case and public rhetoric of late has pointed to exactly the opposite. Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army are being hailed as single and unified fighting force committed to the defense of the country.
Whether or not recent events have really helped to bridge the gaps that have separated the Lebanese military and Hezbollah remains to be seen, but Israel is now eyeing its northern border with a renewed sense of vigilance with the prospect of squaring off against a seemingly more unified enemy."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 7:42 PM

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Israel refuses to lift ban on family unification

Report, The Electronic Intifada, 20 August 2010

Through its restrictive permit and checkpoint system, Israel has split families from one another. (Mamoun Wazwaz/MaanImages)

Jerusalem-born Firas al-Maraghi has been holding a hunger strike outside the Israeli embassy in Berlin, Germany, since 26 July, protesting a decision by the Israeli government to prevent his newborn daughter from being registered as a Jerusalem resident. Al-Maraghi, who is married to a German citizen, temporarily moved to Berlin to accompany his wife as she completed her doctoral thesis, and was informed by the Israeli embassy that the couple's daughter, Zeinab, would not be granted the identification and residency papers needed to live in their home when the family moved back to Jerusalem.

During his temporary stay in Germany, al-Maraghi has frequently traveled back to his home in Silwan, occupied East Jerusalem, while refusing to apply for any travel visas or passports that may strip him of his Israeli-issued laissez-passer. The laissez-passer is a special travel document specifically for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem in the stead of Israeli passports, since those Palestinians are not recognized as citizens of the State of Israel but rather "legal residents" of the area.

Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq stated in a 12 August press release that the decision to refuse Jerusalem residency rights to the couple's newborn daughter "breaches Firas' right to live in Jerusalem with his family" ("Palestinian on Hunger Strike in Berlin for Family Rights in East Jerusalem).

"Firas has been on hunger strike ... drinking only water, refusing to end his strike until the Israeli embassy in Berlin revokes its denial of registering Firas's daughter as Jerusalem resident," the statement added.

Family unification frozen

Al-Haq remarked that this policy of disallowing family unification and residency status in occupied East Jerusalem is not new, nor is al-Maraghi's case an isolated incident. "Since 1967, Israel has engaged in a deliberate policy of reducing the number of Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem while facilitating the increase of the Jewish population in the city," al-Haq said. "To this end, Israel has used various legal and administrative means aimed at preventing the unification of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem with non-resident spouses and children."

Al-Haq stated that in the past, Palestinians of occupied East Jerusalem were able to apply for family unification documents for their spouses and children through the Israeli interior ministry, in order to legally live in East Jerusalem and Israel with their families. They point out that this requirement does not apply to Jewish citizens and immigrants, who are free to marry Jewish Israelis and can easily obtain all residency, citizenship and travel documents required by the state.

However, in the past decade, Palestinians like al-Maraghi and his family have been subjected to administrative procedures aimed at thinning out the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem. "In 2000, Israel de facto suspended all family unification procedures, impacting tens of thousands of Palestinians and their foreign spouses," Al-Haq stated. "Moreover, since 2003, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) has regularly extended the discriminatory 'Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law of 2003' (most recently on 21 July 2010). This law formally denies family unification of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem with their spouses and children from other parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories or abroad. Consequently, these families are prevented from living together in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem, resulting in the separation and forced relocation of such families."

On 29 July, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) officially urged Israel to lift its draconian ban on family unification laws, as the group found "a large number" of violations of Israel's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. UNHRC stated that it "reiterates its concern with the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which adversely affects the lives of many families, remains in force and has been declared constitutional by the Israeli Supreme Court. The law should be revoked and Israel should review its policy with a view to facilitating family reunifications of all citizens and permanent residents without discrimination" ("UN Human Rights Committee Urges Israel to Revoke Ban ...," Adalah news update, 4 August 2010).

Israel has neither lifted its ban, nor responded to the United Nations' appeal.

Ma'an News Agency reported that a letter "was also delivered to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, calling for rapid intervention by Israeli authorities and for the government's respect of the human rights declaration" ("Jerusalem man on hunger strike over residency rights," 15 August 2010).

Meanwhile, solidarity activists in Germany have requested portable heaters to help keep al-Maraghi warm during regular, seasonal thunderstorms, as his hunger strike enters its fourth week.

Widow deported

At the same time, in Washington DC, US citizen Bettye Brown faces an ongoing battle with the Israeli government as she fights for her rights after the death of her husband, Muhammed Nijjab, a Palestinian from the occupied West Bank.

Brown, 71, told The Electronic Intifada that after the death of her husband of nearly fifty years, Israel has denied her entry from the West Bank. Brown inherited land in the village of Jibya that is threatened with further land confiscation to a nearby settlement colony.

"My husband had gone back to Jibya to retire about ten years ago," Brown said. "I stayed in the Washington DC area, but when he got sick in 2005, I went to the West Bank to take care of him." Nijjab was a research chemist, and developed silicosis from years of inhaling toxic substances. Brown said that she stayed in the village until his death in 2006, and inherited about 85 acres of the family's land.

"It would have been a lot more, if the Israelis hadn't confiscated a third of the original parcel of land for the settlement back in the 1908s," Brown added.

Earlier this year, Brown said she intended to visit her land in Jibya and was subsequently deported from the country after enduring eight hours of humiliation and interrogation by Israeli soldiers in a detention cell at the Jordanian border.

"They didn't give me any food or water, and they took me back while two women and a man interrogated me and screamed at me," Brown said. "At some point, they fingerprinted me, took a mug shot and stamped 'denial of entry' on my passport. I went back to Amman." She's been back in Washington, DC since May.

Brown told The Electronic Intifada that she believes that Israel's intentions to confiscate more land in her husband's village contributes to their decision to deny her entry. "It's a very small village, on the top of a small mountain. It's beautiful. What they've done is redraw the map, designating an area to be under Israeli control, which I think is their plan to grab more land. [My husband's] family has had the land surveyed and registered, in an attempt to protect it."

In the meantime, Brown told The Electronic Intifada she has consulted an attorney and is appealing to her congressional representatives, as well as working with the West Bank-based advocacy group, Right To Enter (, which focuses on the protection of the rights of foreign passport holders and residents who have been denied entry by the Israeli authorities. She is also continuing her small business of selling handmade Palestinian and regional crafts to local community organizations and churches for fundraising events.

"My husband never got over not living in Jibya," Brown remarked. "All his life, he talked about Jibya and how much he loved it. The people there are lovely. I'm the only non-Muslim in the village, but it doesn't matter."

In a related story, Ma'an reports that a Palestinian father from the West Bank was stopped at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem and prevented from accompanying his wife to a Jerusalem hospital when she developed serious complications during labor. Safi Abdul Hamid al-Tamimi told Ma'an that his wife gave birth earlier this month but he has not seen her nor his newborn baby yet, as he didn't have a permit to enter Jerusalem when his wife was transfered. Israel has rejected his application to obtain a permit "without explanation" in the days following the birth ("Father says denied permit to visit wife and newborns," 16 August 2010).

Israelis, Palestinians Warn of Fragility of Renewed Talks

Israelis, Palestinians Warn of Fragility of Renewed Talks

21/08/2010 Hours after Israel and the Palestinians accepted a call to restart direct talks, politicians on both sides spoke of pitfalls ahead, warning that negotiations would be stillborn unless Israel stopped building in West Bank settlements.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to embrace the summit call made on Friday by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A statement from his office noted with satisfaction that, contrary to Palestinian demands that talks be contingent on Israel extending a temporary freeze on Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, Clinton stated explicitly that the talks must be without preconditions.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu has been calling for a year and a half now for the start of such talks, so it's a good thing that it's going to happen," Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev told AFP. "We welcome the opportunity to start now".

But a leader of the left-wing opposition in the Israeli parliament said the latest initiative would go the way of other efforts, which petered out over the years, unless Netanyahu and the hardliners on which his coalition government leans are ready to pay more than lip-service to Palestinian aspirations.

Israeli public radio quoted Haim Oron, of the Meretz party, as praising the United States for showing "initiative and assertiveness" in nudging the two sides back to the negotiating table after a 20-month hiatus, but he added a caveat. "Without (Israel) continuing a total freeze on settlement and a genuine readiness to withdraw to the international borders and an end to offering the Palestinians a caricature of a state it will be a waste of everybody's time," he said.


Leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) voted early on Saturday to accept the US invitation, but even as an aide to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas read out the decision of the policymaking executive committee, senior negotiator Saeb Erekat issued a warning.

"Unless the Israeli government stops settlement and stops demolishing homes in (Israeli-occupied) east Jerusalem we shall not be able to continue the talks," he told reporters.

PLO official Yasser Abd Rabbo also stressed that talks would be jeopardized should Israel fail to fully cease construction. The Palestinians said that their entry into negotiations is based on the Quartet's announcement and not on the US declaration. The Quartet announcement does not mention a lack of preconditions.

The PLO Executive Committee also stated that the talks will focus on all permanent status issues and will be based on the Quartet's non-recognition of the annexation of east Jerusalem

Hamas movement called it a bid "to fool the Palestinian people." "This invitation is a new attempt to fool the Palestinian people after the Annapolis experience, during which we were promised a Palestinian state within a year, but many years have passed and we are still at square one," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP in Gaza City.

Abu Zuhri was referring to formal restarting of “peace negotiations” between Abbas and then Israeli premier Ehud Olmert in the United States in November 2007, after a seven-year freeze.

Israel's public radio said Israeli negotiators would insist at the talks, among other things, that a Palestinian state be demilitarized, with a lightly armed police force and that Israel would retain a presence along the strip of the West Bank running alongside the Jordanian border. They would also demand that the Palestinians pledge not to enter into defense pacts with countries “hostile” to Israel, it reported.

US President Barack Obama will host Netanyahu and Abbas, as well as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II, Clinton said in her announcement on Friday.

The Middle East diplomatic Quartet -- the European Union, the United Nations, the United States and Russia -- said its members reaffirmed strong support for direct negotiations "which can be completed within one year." A statement called on Israelis and Palestinians "to resolve all final status issues and fulfill the aspirations of both parties."

The Quartet said "direct, bilateral negotiations that resolve all final status issues" should "lead to a settlement, negotiated between the parties, that ends the occupation which began in 1967 and results in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors."

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Why Do They Fear our Cemeteries?

Why Do They Fear our Cemeteries?

By Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

After the whole village of al-Araqeeb was razed to the ground and erased out of existence, the Israeli government also bulldozed the village cemetery in order to cancel out the memory and history of this Palestinian village in the same way it destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages in the past. A few days later, occupation forces removed 150 tombs from the Ma’man Allah cemetery, the oldest and largest Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem. Before the creation of Israel, this cemetery contained the remains of a number of prominent Muslim leaders, scholars and martyrs. It was over two hundred dunums in the past; now only twenty remain as a result of Israeli aggressive practices.

At the same time, Israeli settlers scorched hundreds of dunums of Palestinian agricultural land in the West Bank. They also continue to demolish houses and displace the native population, particularly after Israel passed a law confiscating the land of ‘absent’ Palestinians who were actually expelled from their land and are still deprived of their right to return. Now Israel takes their land because they are absent! The dark irony is that after racist Israeli governments have been stealing Palestinians’ land and expelling them for the past sixty years, they ask Arab countries to return the property of Arab Jews who immigrated to Israel under the pressure of Israel and its allies.

These shameful attacks against the remains of the dead after Israel despaired of breaking the will of the living shows that the Israelis are morally bankrupt and are afraid of the souls of those who died centuries ago and that history will catch up with them. This is in sharp contrast to the way Arabs and Muslims have treated Jewish cemeteries and places of worship. Despite all the wars and hostility between the Arabs and Israel, not a single tomb or synagogue was removed or destroyed. The fact is that Israelis fears Arab rights and everybody and everything that reminds them of these rights. One symptom of this fear is Israeli President, Shimon Peres’ accusation to the British people of anti-Semitism ignoring the fact that the British government actually made a present of Palestine to the Zionist gangs through the Belfour declaration.

Despite Israel’s boasts of its capabilities and despite the billions of dollars it is receiving from the American government, the events of the last four years, particularly the crimes it has committed, have started to take their toll on Israeli self confidence. There is a growing global realization of the threat Israeli policies pose to world peace and stability. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions for Palestine movement has crossed the Atlantic for the first time: a food company in Washington decided to boycott Israeli products. BDS was established in 2005 and has created worldwide awareness that Israel should be boycotted; there should be an end to Israeli occupation of all Arab land and to racial discrimination against the Palestinian population and acknowledging their right to return to their land as sanctioned by UNSC resolution 194.

Even in Israel, a boycott movement started in 2009, which confirms, as Omar Barghouti writes, that the Palestinian “South Africa moment” has arrived (The Guardian, 12 August, 2010). Ahmad Moor wrote in the Huffington Post (9 August, 2010) that Israel cannot be Jewish and democratic at the same time. He also writes about the flagrant racial discrimination against the native population. Christopher Gunness accused Israel of making a ‘stack of lies’ about UNRWA and its work with Palestinian refugees.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Middle East has changed by virtue of the struggle for justice and the steadfastness of the resistance in the region and the strategic shift taking place. Of particular importance is the emergence of Turkey and its defense of justice. It should be remembered that British Prime Minister, David Cameron used Ardogan’s terms for describing Gaza as ‘the biggest prison in the world’.

The American administration no longer divides the region into friends and enemies, radicals and moderates. But despite its support of the Israeli extremists, the argument on the ground is now between accomplices working on an American decision to support Israeli colonialism and those who adopt resistance and work hard to draw the region’s future in line with the freedom and interests of its peoples far away from sectarian and ethnic strife promoted by foreign powers.

If those behind the ocean have not realized the significance of this shift, Israel has; and that is why it is filled with terror, not only of the will of the living, but also of the tombs of the dead. If some in the west are still thinking of a peace process in order to isolate Hamas or Iran or create division between the resisting parties in the region, they are wasting their time in favor of the party which is drawing the future in line with the feelings and interests of the peoples of the region.

The poll conducted recently by Shibli Talhami of Maryland University shows the new reality in the Middle East and should be examined carefully by those behind the ocean who failed to understand the aspirations, the power and the will of the peoples of this region. The poll showed that Raceb Tayeb Ardogan was the most popular leader with 20 percent, followed by Hugo Chavez with 13 percent, then Mahmoud Ahmedinejad with 12 percent. The bad news for the White House was that 77 percent of those polled believe that Iran has the right to acquire nuclear energy and 57 percent think a nuclear Iran will be better for the Middle East. This shows the great gap between the thinking of the US administration and the thinking of the peoples of the region.

When a concerned Europe put pressure on the United States to stop the war on Lebanon in 2006, Condoleezza Rice said: “We have no interest in returning the region to the way it was before”. Of course the region did not return to the way it was before. It took a new and important direction to protect the freedom and dignity of its peoples. It remains for the White House to realize this fact which explains their fear of our cemeteries. We, also, should live up to this new horizon whose first light is dawning on the whole world and which confirms that the future of Palestine will be nothing short of the future of South Africa which won the war against racism and apartheid.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Anti wall marches met with violent quelling

[ 21/08/2010 - 08:30 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) used rubber bullets and teargas canisters to disperse the weekly peaceful anti wall marches in Bilin village, Ramallah district, and Ma'sara village, Bethlehem district, on Friday, local sources reported.

They said that demonstrators chanted national slogans calling for unity based on Palestinian constants and resisting occupation.

The participants also denounced the Israeli ceaseless violations in occupied Jerusalem, including the policy of deportation, and the siege on Gaza, and called for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

The Israeli radio said that an IOF soldier was lightly wounded in the confrontations in Bilin while tens of Palestinians were hurt in the IOF violent dispersal of the march including a journalist.

Locals said that tens of foreign peace activists took part in the marches and one of them, a Norwegian woman, was detained by the IOF troops.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Ibrahim Al-amin: The resistance stratigic threat as read by the Enemy

ابراهيم الأمين

رئيس شعبة الاستخبارات العسكرية، أمان، عاموس يدلين، ألقى محاضرة في مركز دراسات الأمن القومي بداية العام الجاري عن التحديات الاستراتيجية لإسرائيل. خاطب المشاركين قائلاً: «بصفتي رئيس أمان، من وظيفتي التحذير من أن وقت قصف القذائف قد حان، لكنني أود الإشارة إلى مجال آخر مخفي، لا يقل أهمية، وهو الوقت الذي لا ترعد فيه القذائف. عندما تكون القذائف هادئة، يدور نشاط إضافي ذو أبعاد سرية أمام المحور الراديكالي. بُعد أسمّيه «سباق التعلّم».

فجهات المحور الراديكالي درست جيداً عِبر الحرب في لبنان وهي تطبّقها وتلائمها، في الجيش السوري وفي الجيش الإيراني. والمواجهة في غزة، يجري تحليلها في طهران وبيروت بالمقدار نفسه من العناية التي توليها حماس.

وهكذا تمر مفاهيم استخبارية، نظريات فلسفية، إدراك نقاط الضعف والقوة من أدنى الشرق الأوسط إلى أقصاه، وتجري مناقشة نقاط الضعف والقوة الخاصة في المجتمع الإسرائيلي».
أضاف: «ثمّة ظاهرتان بارزتان لا يمكن تجاهلهما في تعاظم العدوّ،

الأولى تخص التجهّز غير المتوقّف بمنظومات صاروخية، انطلاقاً من زيادة الكمّيّات، الأمداء، والدقّة، والانتقال إلى القتال من تحت الأرض، فحزب الله، المنظّمة الإرهابيّة الوحيدة في العالم الّتي بحوزتها صواريخ أرض ـــــ أرض، وحماس تسعى إلى الأمر نفسه،

أما الظاهرة الثانية فهي الانتقال إلى البعد الّذي تحت الأرض. فتجربة حرب لبنان الثانية علّمت أعداءنا ميّزات إقامة الخنادق والاحتماء من قدرات التسليح الموجّه والدقيق والتفوّق الجوّي لدولة إسرائيل، إنّهم يستعدّون للقتال من داخل الحفر، إطلاق النار من الأنفاق، والتحرّك من مكان إلى آخر دون الظهور على سطح الأرض».

من جانب آخر قال يدلين: «لقد تحوّلت سوريا من دولة محاصرة ومعزولة إلى دولة شرعية. كل أسبوع، يستضيف الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد في قصره وزراء خارجية محترمين من أوروبا، أعضاءً من مجلس الشيوخ، أعضاءً من الكونغرس، ملوكاً وأمراء من دول عربية، ينتظرون شكره على عدم تدخله في الانتخابات في لبنان وعلى مساعدته في تأليف حكومة في بيروت.

وفيما يطول طابور الضيوف الكبار الواقفين على مدخل مكتب الرئيس، ينسلّ من الباب الخلفي حسن نصر الله، خالد مشعل، وعناصر أمنيون إيرانيون، أنهوا، في هذه اللحظة الاتفاق على شراء وسائل قتالية ونقل العلوم».

التقديرات الواردة أعلاه، من شأنها أن تشرح ولو بطريقة غير مباشرة الحملة غير المتوقفة على المقاومة من خارج إسرائيل. ثمة خصوصية يعطيها العالم لحزب الله لجهة عدم التعامل معه كحقيقة قائمة، بل عودة الى التركيز عليه كقوة منافية لكل أشكال الدولة والاستقرار والتطور. وهي المهمة التي تتطلب الكثير من عناصر الضغط المباشرة، بما في ذلك العمل الخلفي حيث تصعب المواجهة.

ثمة إشارات كثيرة في كلام يدلين، إلى كون المقاومة انتقلت من مستوى الإزعاج وتعريض السياسات العملانية للخطر، الى مستوى الخصم الذي يمثل نقطة ارتكاز لمشروع إقليمي، ما يعني أن إسرائيل ستكون ملزمة التعامل مع حزب الله كما مع الفلسطينيين المقاومين لها، على أساس أنهم باتوا جزءاً حيوياً من التهديد الوجودي الذي تتعرض له هذه الفترة.

هل بمقدور إسرائيل ومن خلفها الولايات المتحدة تحقيق نتائج جدية في هذا المجال؟

بعيداً عن كل الكلام اللبناني، ومقترحات الاستراتيجيات الدفاعية، والحملة الدعائية ضد المقاومة، فإن الهدف الحقيقي لما يقوم به فريق التحقيق الدولي في جريمة اغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري، هو المشاركة في الحملة العالمية ضد حزب الله بوصفه حجر الارتكاز في منظومة المقاومة العربية والإسلامية الفاعلة ضد إسرائيل وضد السياسات الأميركية والغربية في الشرق الأوسط.

وهي حملة تستهدف تعطيل القدرات الفعالة لهذه المنظومة في المواجهة القائمة، وتسعى الى أكثر من ذلك إذا توافرت لها القدرة، من إشغال هذه المنظمة في سياسات دفاعية، الى وضعها في مواجهة الجمهور، الى فرض قيود عامة وخاصة على مشاريع التنمية والتوسع الخاصة بها، الى تعريض صورتها الأخلاقية لاختبار وتشويهات، الى تهديدها المباشر بمواجهة مع قوى رديفة منضوية في المشروع الأميركي، تمهيداً لجعل مهمة التخلص من حزب الله والمقاومة مهمة عالمية لا تقتصر فقط على إسرائيل وبعض داعميها في العالم، لتتحول الى قضية في رأس أولويات الشارع العربي والمسلم.

وبمعزل عما سوف تحققه هذه الحملة في القريب أو المتوسط من المدى المفتوح أمامنا، فإن الحقيقة القاسية تتمثل في أن كل ما يجري حتى اللحظة، لا يعدو كونه تمرينات كرياضة الصباح. أما اللعب الحقيقي، فسوف يظل مؤجلاً، الى حين تجد إسرائيل نفسها مرة جديدة، أمام المهمة المباشرة. وساعتها، لا يعود هناك أهمية لكل هذه الحسابات. وتبقى الحقيقة القاسية هي المتعلقة بالقدرة على تحقيق إنجاز لا يرقى إليه الشك. وهو الذي يتطلب عدة واستعداداً، لا يتصل أبداً بكل هذه الزعبرات، بل في مدى استعداد وجهوزية جيش الاحتلال لمواجهة شاملة، قد تحمل نتائجها الكارثة الكبرى على إسرائيل.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Friday 20 August 2010

Solidarity from India

Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza: India Lifeline to Gaza
September 2010

We the people of India extend our solidarity to the courageous people of Palestine in their struggle and resistance against the occupation of their land. Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories has lasted for more than six decades in violation of international law, international humanitarian law and numerous United Nations resolutions. The occupation of Palestine must end! Gaza has been turned into a vast open-air-prison-cum-concentration camp for its 1.5 million inhabitants. The Palestinian population in the West Bank and in Jerusalem are under continuous repression, assaults and in a permanent state of siege due to the ever expanding settlements & the apartheid wall. The Palestinian people must have the freedom to exercise their right to self-determination including their right to establish on all the territories that Israel has occupied, an independent sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital. The structure of Zionist apartheid, based on ethno-religious discrimination that Israel has established, must be dismantled and it must grant equal rights to all its citizens, including the “Right of Return” to the Palestinians refugees.
Defend the right of Palestinian people to resist the occupation through all legitimate means

The campaign and struggle to end the blockade of Gaza is an integral part of, and a step to this larger struggle for self determination of the Palestinian People and for a State of Palestine. The people of Gaza are being subjected to the Israeli policy of collective punishment for asserting their democratic right to decide for themselves the leadership and political organisations to lead their struggle, govern their society and represent them in all negotiations.
The genocidal nature of the war unleashed on Gaza, is also meant to serve as a warning to the rest of the Palestinian People. Israel, backed by the US and reactionary forces, is using war, terror and blockade to break the will of the people of Gaza. The Blockade of Gaza since 2007 has resulted in lack of essential supplies, petrol for electricity, imminent shortage of medicines, food and water which has triggered a humanitarian crisis that the world needs to respond to with urgency.
The freedom and peace loving people of the world and democratic states have to defeat this nefarious design. Palestine is today one of the defining struggles for freedom, democracy and equality for peoples and nations.

Let us unite to win this battle

This struggle is broad, varied and multi-dimensional. It is humanitarian and for peace, freedom and human dignity. It is against occupation, imperialism, apartheid, Zionism and all forms of discrimination including religious discrimination. We call upon all organisations, movements and individuals to engage, contribute, actively participate and join the struggle. We commit to respect the right of all participants to share, emphasise and focus on any aspect and dimension of the struggle that is accordance with their own views, belief and ideology, provided they do not divide, weaken or vitiate the common and broad front against the blockade of Gaza and the very struggle for the liberation of Palestine.
After the terrible massacre aboard the Freedom Flotilla on 31 May 2010, citizens around the world are taking action to help break the siege which is suffocating the lives of the people of Gaza and denying them their very right to exist.

Different movements across the world are mobilising to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip and to bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people. The IHH (Insani Yardi Vakfi or The Foundation for Human Rights, Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief), participated in the Freedom Flotilla in which 9 of its peace activists were murdered in cold blood by Israeli soldiers on board of Mavi Marmara. The “Free Gaza Movement” has challenged the siege by organizing ships to the shores of Gaza. The “Viva Palestina” has mobilized more than 500 vehicles and 60 ships that will reach Gaza in September. “The European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza” will be sending more than 9000 delegates. Many more organizations around the world are now galvanizing the global solidarity movement and will be contributing with their local and global actions. Convoys from North and South Africa and ships from the USA, New Zealand, Canada & Australia are also due to join the global effort.

We are committed to and believe that there must be a strong Asian involvement in the global movement to End the siege of Gaza and for the Liberation of Palestine. It is important that India plays a part in initiating and building the Asian process for solidarity with Palestine.
It is against this background that the undersigned organisations undertake to organise an Asian land convoy to Gaza. This convoy will leave from New Delhi mid-September and will travel across Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and ultimately through the Rafah Crossing into Gaza-Palestine. The Asian convoy will be joined by delegations and vehicles in each of the nine countries through which it passes. We will coordinate with existing and new organisations and alliances in each of these countries and commit together to develop an Asia level campaign to free Palestine. In each of these countries public meetings, press conferences, meetings with mass organisations and political parties will be organised.
We endorse the Solidarity Caravan from India to Palestine.
In solidarity,
Aman Bharat
Awami Bharat
Asha Parivar
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM)
Bharat Bachao Andolan
Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur)
Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (Mazdoor Karyakarta Committee)
Ekta Parishad
Forum Against Oppression of Women
Free Gaza - India
India Palestine People’s Solidarity Forum
Intercultural Resources
Insaaniyat (Bombay)
Mazdoor Ekta Manch
Muslim Intellectual Forum
Muslim Political Council of India
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW)
New Socialist Initiative (NSI)
New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)
Palestine Solidarity Movement
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
Phule-Ambedkar Vichar Manch
Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI)
Republican Panther
Saheli Women’s Resource Centre
South Asian Network of Gender Activists and Trainers (SANGAT)
South Asia Peace Alliance (SAPA)
Trade Union Centre of India (TUCI)

Vidyarthi Bharti
Yuva Koshish
Salman Usmani, New Delhi
Ritu Menon, New Delhi