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Chicago Solidarity Activists Currently in Gaza

CHICAGO, IL - In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis there, and to answer calls for a solidarity presence from some of its humanitarian organizations, several delegations of international activists and grassroots journalists are now in the Gaza Strip, meeting and working with survivors of Israel’s recent bombing campaign.  

Travelers include Kathy Kelly, Johnny Barber and Joshua Brollier of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, who left for Cairo on Thursday, November 22 and passed through the Rafah border crossing into Gaza on Monday, November 26. The activists aim to complete their Gaza itinerary whether or not the current ceasefire holds.

Kathy Kelly, who witnessed Israel’s “Cast Lead” campaign 4 years ago, has been interviewing survivors of the current, much briefer, campaign.  “This was worse than 2009 because of the intensity of the bombing,” reported one doctor. “Bombs fell so frequently, morning, noon, and night, and it felt like there was no place safe to hide.” 

The delegates spoke with EMT workers excavating a leveled 4-story building in Jamaliya, then met with farmers at a buffer zone protest at Khan Younis, whose acreage on the Gaza side of the border fence has been inaccessible due to long-standing Israeli policy of firing on those who approach the fence. Later, they met with a water specialist who reported that no desalinization plants are currently working.  At one site neighbors grieved a family of 14 lost under the ruins of a three-story building thought to be a safe place to hide from the bombing.

Josh Brollier and Johnny Barber interviewed fishermen on the Gazan seashore – “Youth don’t want to leave their homeland but can’t see how they will have any future here.”  They talked to teenagers whose fishing boat was boarded by by Israeli troops for working more than three miles from shore.  They had refused an order to strip naked in their boat and then acted to prevent the customary destruction of their boat’s motor by gunfire. “I grabbed the motor,” reported one youth, “and said ‘you can put the bullet here [indicating his head] but I will not do what you ask me to do.”

Delegates will post on twitter (info_from_vcnv), facebook and the Voices website, vcnv.org

Please contact Voices co-coordinators in Chicago, Buddy Bell and Gerald Paoli, for updated information and cell phone numbers for the activists in Cairo and Gaza.

Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org) has deep, long-standing roots in active nonviolent resistance to U.S. war-making. Begun in the summer of 2005, Voices draws upon the experiences of those who challenged the brutal economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N. against the Iraqi people between 1990 and 2003.

Israel Signals Hardline Policy Intentions

 

Israel Signals Hardline Policy Intentions

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Observers thinking Palestinians gained from Pillar of Cloud might think again. 

 

Nothing changed. Hardline Netanyahu policies continue. Expect worse ahead. Palestinian peace, reconciliation and unity advocates are murdered or arrested.

 

Netanyahu Plans More War

 

Netanyahu Plans More War

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

He admitted it. He's not finished. He has lots more killing and destruction to do. He "will not hesitate to do what is necessary to defend our people," he said. 

 

In other words, he'll ignore memorandum of understanding ceasefire terms, maintain Gaza's siege, manufacture pretexts to eliminate Israeli enemies, and kill Palestinian civilians he calls threats.

Righteous Condemnation of Israeli Mass Murder

 

Righteous Condemnation of Israeli Mass Murder

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Media scoundrels feature pro-Israeli supporters. Doing so makes them complicit with Israeli crimes. 

 

Chicago Solidarity Activists to Travel to Gaza

CHICAGO, IL.- In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to answer calls for a solidarity presence from Gaza-based organizations, international activists and grassroots journalists are forming delegations headed to the Gaza Strip.  

Travelers include Kathy Kelly, Johnny Barber and Joshua Brollier of Voices for Creative Nonviolence who will be leaving for Gaza via Egypt on Thursday, November 22nd

“We travel in opposition to the United States government’s callous silence about continued Israeli war crimes happening in Gaza.  The United States supplied Israel with approximately 3.1 billion dollars in military aid in 2012 alone. We have a moral obligation to speak out when this money is used to kill Palestinians in Gaza,” says Joshua Brollier.  At least 130 Palestinians and 5 Israelis have been killed since Operation Pillar of Defense began 9 days ago.

Veterans For Peace Appeals to Israeli Soldiers to Lay Down Their Arms

Israel's military has in recent days attacked the Gaza strip with drones and F-16s, and has apparently been preparing for a possible ground war. Israel is using weaponry provided by the United States at the expense to U.S. taxpayers of $3 billion per year. Veterans For Peace member Doug Rawlings addresses the following statement to members of the Israeli military:

"I have been to where you are going. From my heart, I beseech you not to join me. In 1969, I was sent to Vietnam as a reluctant soldier, a draftee, who did not have the courage of my convictions. I chose to follow the orders of my government rather than to follow the dictates of my conscience. It’s been over forty years now, and I still remember the faces of the Vietnamese people who were victimized by my lack of moral autonomy. I became one of Pharaoh’s army, and, to this day, I have been wading through the miasma of that murderous indecisiveness. Had I heeded Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. instead of General William Westmoreland, I would have refused to serve as a pawn in my government’s immoral invasion and occupation of Vietnam.

"Westmoreland was one of many who appealed to some kind of base sense of national self-righteousness that relegated a whole people – the “enemy”-- to a form of sub-human existence. He, too, heard from chauvinist generals like yours who demanded that we '…bomb the Vietnamese people back to the Stone Age.' Dr. King, on the other hand, was imploring us to not exploit others, to recognize the sacredness of all people, and to not 'trample over others with the iron feet of oppression.' He recognized that '…peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.'

"You, my friends, have become the means of your government, and it is up to you to say that you would rather be warriors for peace than serve in Pharaoh’s legions. Follow the lead of the Dr. Kings of the world, not the generals who are willing to use the blood of others to seek some kind of political goals. Rejoin the 'beloved community' of world citizens who recognize the sanctity of all human life. Reject the immoral orders of those who would send you to do their bloody bidding. Refuse orders to attack Gaza. The world is waiting for the first army of peace-makers to turn back the tide of war. Why not start with you?"

Veterans For Peace is a national organization, founded in 1985 with approximately 5,000 members in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations, and is the only national veterans' organization calling for the abolishment of war.

Israeli Aggression: Dress Rehearsal for Iran?

 

Israeli Aggression: Dress Rehearsal for Iran?

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Longstanding US and Israeli policies call for regime change in Iran. Replacing its independent government with a pro-Western puppet one is planned.

 

If Israel Is A Terrorist State, What Does That Make The U.S.?

cross posted from AcronymTV.com

Setting aside the statistically significant portion of those who would defend Israel’s Rumsfeldian named “Pillar of Defense” who think that the Old Testament is a real estate deed, those attempting to answer the question of whether Israel should be considered a terrorist state fall into roughly 3 categories:

Did Israel Overstep This Time?

 

Did Israel Overstep This Time?

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Rogue states get away with murder only so long. Eventually their crimes catch up with them. Israeli policies are self-defeating. How long can killing civilian men, women, children, infants, and the elderly be called self-defense?

 

Israeli Military Assault on Gaza Not defence but murder of unarmed civilians

By MAIREAD MAGUIRE, NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE, www.peacepeople.com

It is with the greatest sadness, mixed with frustration, and a sense of helplessness, that many people around the world, myself included, watched on television the horrific scenes of death and destruction perpetrated, yet again, by the latest Israeli military assault on Gaza and its besieged, mostly young population.

The question on many people lips is; ‘When is the Israel government going to stop
this bombing and continual wars and threat of war, against the Palestinians, and its neighbours, admit that there will be no military solution to the Palestinian Occupation, and begin to talk seriously with their enemies, in order to solve the problems for the sake of the Palestinians, Israelis, and indeed the whole of the middle east and world!’?

Watching Israeli bombs landing on Gaza and hearing the death toll rise to fifteen

Targeting Civilians: Israel's Specialty

 

Targeting Civilians: Israel's Specialty

 

Bullies choose easy adversaries to pummel. Equal fights are shunned. It's the same in schoolyards or battlefields. 

 

America and Israel operate this way. They avoid foes able to give as much as they take. Rogue governments never say they're sorry.

 

Media Cover for Israeli Crimes

 

Media Cover for Israeli Crimes

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

The pattern playing out in Gaza is one Israel followed many times before. Provocations target adversaries. Multiple ones usually occur before targets respond.

 

Blame the victim follows. Israeli aggression is called self-defense. Legitimate defense is called terrorism. Media scoundrels support Israel in lockstep. It plays out the same way every time.

Likening Palestinians to Blades of Grass

By Elizabeth Murray, Consortium News

In early 2010, one of Washington DC’s most prestigious think tanks was holding a seminar on the Middle East which included a discussion of Israel’s December 2008-January 2009 assault on Gaza which killed about 1,300 Palestinians. When the death toll was mentioned, one expert on the panel smiled enigmatically and intoned: “It’s unfortunate, but every once in a while you have to mow the lawn.”

The remark, which likened killing hundreds of men, women and children – many of them noncombatants – with trimming the grass, was greeted with a light tittering around the room, which was filled with some of Washington’s most elite, highly educated and well-paid Middle East experts. Not a single one objected to the panelist’s black humor.

CLUSTERBALL: James Bond and the Petraeus Affair

 

By John Grant


Using one of those overarching dramatic titles we have come to expect in mainstream media news coverage, John Stewart summed up the Petraeus story as “Band of Boners.” It's the sort of thing that may be inevitable when so much power is given so much free reign by so much secrecy.

Naked Israeli Aggression

 

Naked Israeli Aggression

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Since 1948, Israel waged varying intensity war on Palestine. Crimes of war, against humanity, and genocide are committed regularly. World community inaction lets Israel get away with murder.

 

Operation Pillar of Cloud (aka Cloud Column/Pillar of Defense) is Israel's latest naked aggression. 

 

Israel's Operation Pillar of Cloud

 

Israel's Operation Pillar of Cloud

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On November 14, Israel murdered Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari in cold blood. A missile struck his car. Another passenger was killed. Unconfirmed reports said it was his son.

 

An IDF Twitter message said, "We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead."

Israel's Threat to Annul Oslo

 

Israeli Threat to Annul Oslo 

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Follow-through won't change facts on the ground. Israel's annulment threat is hollow. 

 

Oslo reflected unconditional Palestinian surrender. Israel triumphed diplomatically, economically and politically. Palestinians got nothing in return. More on that below.

 

Pro-Israeli Media Coverage

 

Pro-Israeli Media Coverage

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Gaza rockets respond defensively to provocative Israeli bombing and shelling. Blame the victim articles and commentaries follow.

 

It's standard Western media practice. Haaretz knows better. 

More below on woeful coverage.

 

Israel Shells Syria and Gaza

 

Israel Shells Syria and Gaza

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

A previous article said beware of false flags. For months throughout the Syrian conflict, possible full-scale Western intervention loomed. It still does. Post-US elections, it's more likely, not certain, but reports suggest expect it.

 

Several stray mortar shells from Syria struck occupied Golan. No injuries were reported. Israel holds Damascus responsible. On November 9, Israel warned Assad.

Waging War Without Declaring It

 

Waging War Without Declaring It

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

America does it in proxy wars and some direct ones. Israel waged war on Palestine since 1948. 

 

Daily violence against innocent civilians persists largely below the radar. So does occupation harshness. Media scoundrels turn a blind eye.

 

Obama/Netanyahu Post-Election Reset

 

Obama/Netanyahu Post-Election Reset

 

By Stephen Lendman

 

Neither leader says they're sorry. Netanyahu bet on the wrong candidate. Relations with Obama have been strained for months. Both clearly dislike each other and show it.

 

Political necessity requires getting along. They'll find a way. Israeli elections are in January. Netanyahu's stuck with Obama for four years. His own political prospects are on the line.

Zionist Lobby in US Takes a Hit in Latest National Election

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

One little-noted but important result of the November election in the US that returned President Barack Obama to the White House for another four years is that the right-wing Israeli government and the Zionist lobbying organization AIPAC (for American Israel Public Affairs Committee) took a surprising drubbing and emerge a much weaker political influence going forward in US politics.


Haaretz on Obama's Reelection

 

Haaretz on Obama's Reelection

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Haaretz used most of its November 7 issue covering it. Doing so reflects the importance of America to Israeli interests.

 

Netanyahu Says War is Peace

 

Netanyahu Says War is Peace

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

He sounds like Obama. He has delusions of Big Brother. He's turning Israel into Oceania. He believes freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength. Rogue leaders think and govern that way. 

 

Netanyahu's one of the worst. Reelect him and he may destroy the Middle East and Israel with it. In January, Israelis have their say. They can banish this menace and be done with him. 

Netanyahu/Lieberman Unite for War

 

Netanyahu/Lieberman Unite for War

 

By Stephen Lendman

 

American crimes of war and against humanity perhaps exceed all other rogue states in history combined.

 

Pound-for-pound, however, Israeli lawlessness matches the world's worst. Long ago, it graduated from a regional menace to a global one.

 

Netanyahu Pledges Continued Lawlessness

 

Netanyahu Pledges Continued Lawlessness

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

What else can be expected from Israel's worst ever leader. He's a serial lawbreaker. He deplores democratic values. His contempt for non-Jews is palpable. He calls Palestinians sub-humans. It shows in how he treats them.

 

Informed Activist

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