You are herePalestine

Palestine


Obama Wants More Dead Rachel Corries to Boost AIPAC Standing

By Craig Murray

I am proud to call Ray McGovern a friend. He is a retired senior member of the CIA, and was so valued as an analyst that he used to give the US President his daily intelligence briefing. Ray and I both had senior government service careers, in the course of which you make personal friendships that last, hopefully as long as you do. So sometimes we both get told things from the inside of government.

As Ray sets out on the US Gaza peace flotilla ship, he has been warned in the starkest of terms that the Obama administration will do nothing to protect their US flagged vessel, or the US citizens on board, against attack by the Israelis.

I also have been cautioned by a source with access to very senior staffers at the National Security Council that not only does the White House plan to do absolutely nothing to protect our boat from Israeli attack or illegal boarding, but that White House officials”would be happy if something happened to us.” They are, I am reliably told, “perfectly willing to have the cold corpses of activists shown on American TV.”

While I know Ray to be an extremely honest man, motivated by a genuine activist christianity, I tought it was possible that his source was exaggerating. I therefore set my own diplomatic sources to work in Washington, without giving them any indication of Ray’s information. They came back with an independent report from a different source – close to Clinton rather than the White House – with exactly the same result of which Ray was warned. I was told that Obama will welcome an Israeli attack on the US ship, as giving him a chance to confirm his pro-Israeli credentials and improve his standing with AIPAC ahead of the Presidential election race. Fatalities would be “not a problem”.

There was no information that the Obama regime has quietly given Netanyahu a green light to attack the ship. But I strongly expect they will; by deniable means, of course.

Call the Greek Embassy Now!

We urge you to immediately contact the Greek Embassy in Washington, DC at 202-939-1300 and the Greek consulate in your city. Tell them to let The Audacity of Hope leave Athens safely and sail to Gaza.

Right now there is a stand off between the boat and the Greek Coast Guard. No one is moving and it is not clear what will happen next.

Check our web site and sign up to receive Twitter alerts.

http://www.ustogaza.org

Boeing Overcharging?, Hawks Yawn!

A 'Patriotic' U.S. company ripping off the Army and the American Tax Payers, and military procurement officers allowing it to happen, knowing many will go to work for these defense contractors after their service, especially with two long occupations still ongoing, say it ain't so!

 

Ask Senator Kirk to Rethink His Proposal to Attack Americans on Humanitarian Aid Mission

An Open Letter to Illinois Senator Mark Kirk

from three constituents
responding to his call for U.S. Special Forces to attack a flotilla of ships that will sail to Gaza

Senator Mark Kirk

524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510

June 29th, 2011

Dear Senator Kirk,

Obama should support the Audacity of Hope, condemn Israeli naval blockade

By Ann Wright, The Hill

This week, some 40 American citizens, including myself, will peacefully attempt to break Israel's illegal naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. The flotilla that we will be a part of is expected to consist of 10 boats carrying human rights advocates from around the world and humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza.

The U.S. boat to Gaza, the Audacity of Hope, which I will be aboard, will be carrying letters of solidarity to Gazans, who live under siege in a virtual prison, cut off from the rest of the world and any semblance of a normal life. Our goal is to bring attention to their plight, and to bring about an end to Israel's illegal siege, which amounts to collective punishment of 1.7 million people.

Israeli Anti-Freedom Flotilla II Propaganda

Israeli Anti-Freedom Flotilla II Propaganda - by Stephen Lendman

On June 27, its press release headlined, "GAZA, WE ARE COMING. Despite pressure and threats of violence, flotilla will sail."

On June 27, A US Boat to Gaza Audacity of Hope press conference reiterated a determination to sail despite threats, pressure and other measures used to stop it.

Participants on board all 10 ships haven't come this far to turn back or let imperial viciousness deter them, especially when their mission is vital and just.

In response to spurious claims that passengers may have chemicals to attack Israeli commandos, perhaps the same ones responsible for the May 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre, Flotilla participants signed a declaration of nonviolence. Spokesman Dror Feiler told Army Radio that if Israel has other information, it should inform Flotilla organizers.

Gaza and Thoughts of a Starving Ireland

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has joined with other humanitarians in a small flotilla determined to sail from Athens to Gaza in a challenge to Israel’s embargo of 1.5 million Palestinians trapped on that narrow strip of land. Awaiting departure, McGovern contemplates the forces of past and present that brought him to his decision.

By Ray McGovern, Consortium News

Thinking further here in Athens about how it came to be that I joined the passengers on “The Audacity of Hope” and why I feel so strongly about the oppression in Gaza, it struck me that my Irish genes (as well as my theology) may be playing a role.

During the mid-19th Century potato famine, when the starving Irish were being treated in much the same way as Gazans are today, how much my ancestors must have wished for some sign that someone abroad actually cared about them.

Staying Human: Preparing to Sail to Gaza, by Kathy Kelly

Urgent posting on behalf of Kathy Kelly, who is now on the US Boat to Gaza.

June 27, 2011

Last week, newly-arrived in Athens as part of the US Boat to Gaza project, our team of activists gathered for nonviolence training.  We are here to sail to Gaza, in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, in our ship, "The Audacity of Hope." Our team, and nine other ships' crews from countries around the world, want Israel to end its lethal blockade of Gaza by letting our crews through to shore to meet with Gazans.  The US ship will bring over 3,000 letters of support to a population suffering its fifth continuous decade of de facto occupation, now in the form of a military blockade controlling Gaza's sea and sky, punctuated by frequent deadly military incursions, that has starved Gaza's economy and people to the exact level of cruelty considered acceptable to the domestic population of our own United States, Israel's staunchest ally.

Reporters hector State: Is the blockade legal? What right does Israel have to ‘defend itself’ from humanitarian aid?

By Philip Weiss

Matt Lee of AP is on fire. Be like Matt Lee, you docile bovine seven-stomached beasts of the mainstream media, grow a pair. And it looks like other State Department reporters are emulating him. Here's the video. And here's an extended excerpt from the briefing, below. Gaza is just about the first order of business. Watch State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland squirm. She's the wife of Robert Kagan, former Principal Deputy National Security Advisor to Vice President Cheney, July 2003-May 2005. And she's in the Obama administration? What does she know, when did she know it?

Be sure to listen to Lee's genius question toward the end about Saudi Arabian women driving and breaking the law. "It seems to me that's a pretty provocative act," too, but Hillary Clinton defends them. I have to believe stuff is shaking. Oh brave flotilla, be safe and make it to Gaza!!!!

READ THE REST

Staying Human: Preparing to Sail to Gaza

By Kathy Kelly

Last week, newly-arrived in Athens as part of the US Boat to Gaza project, our team of activists gathered for nonviolence training. We are here to sail to Gaza, in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, in our ship, "The Audacity of Hope." Our team, and nine other ships' crews from countries around the world, want Israel to end its lethal blockade of Gaza by letting our crews through to shore to meet with Gazans. The US ship will bring over 3,000 letters of support to a population suffering its fifth continuous decade of de facto occupation, now in the form of a military blockade controlling Gaza's sea and sky, punctuated by frequent deadly military incursions, that has starved Gaza's economy and people to the exact level of cruelty considered acceptable to the domestic population of our own United States, Israel's staunchest ally.

Breaching Gaza's Siege Update

Breaching Gaza's Siege Update - by Stephen Lendman

Israel keeps exerting pressure to block humanitarian efforts to deliver vital to life and other essential aid to besieged Gazans.

Endorsing Israeli lawlessness, the State Department issued a June 22 "Travel Warning - Israel, the West Bank and Gaza," saying in part:

"The Department of State warns US citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and about threats to themselves and to US interests in those locations," adding "avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip."

Access the full statement through the following link:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5511.html

On June 23, Secretary of State Clinton added:

Israel Toughening Conditions for Palestinian Detainees

Israel Toughening Conditions for Palestinian Detainees - by Stephen Lendman

On June 24, Haaretz writers Barak Ravid and Revital Hoval headlined, "Netanyahu: Israel to toughen conditions for Palestinian prisoners," saying:

On June 23, Netanyahu announced plans "to toughen the conditions of Palestinian security prisoners," meaning all of them wanting Palestine to be free, yet few committed crimes warranting imprisonment.

During his Jerusalem Israeli Presidential Conference, he said:

"We will give them all that they deserve according to international law, but nothing beyond that," despite systematically brutalizing detainees ruthlessly. More on that below. He added that:

"We will stop, among other things, the absurd practice in which terrorists who murdered innocent people enroll in academic studies. There will be no more 'doctors of terror' - the celebration is over."

Spirits of Justice Going to Gaza

“The Audacity of Hope” is a boat carrying Americans through the Mediterranean Sea as part of a small flotilla challenging the Israeli blockade of Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians live largely cut off from the world. One of the Americans aboard the ship is former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who describes some of his motivations and those of his shipmates.

By Ray McGovern

June 26, 2011

For those who engage in the common struggle for Justice, an invaluable grace comes from getting to know new friends similarly engaged — and equally willing to speak with more than words.

Thus, it has been a great grace to get to know folks like Alice Walker personally as well as through her writings — including some new ones. In one recent article, Alice addressed her reasons for joining the other 49 of us by putting her body on the line in sailing with “The Audacity of Hope,” the U.S. boat to Gaza. She wrote:

Is Greece Being Blackmailed to Put the Brakes on Gaza Flotilla?

By Medea Benjamin

The 50 passengers and crew on the U.S. boat to Gaza have converged in Athens, Greece, ready to head out to sea to join an international fleet of ships that will challenge the Israeli-imposed naval blockade of Gaza. But on Thursday, June 23, when the boat was scheduled to leave its port outside Athens and move closer to an international meeting point, the boat’s owner was suddenly served with a complaint by an unknown individual that the boat was not seaworthy. The captain, convinced that the complaint was bogus, was nevertheless told by Greek authorities that he could not set sail until they did a thorough inspection.

Please Call Greek Embassy: Let U.S. Gaza Boat Sail. Call on Congress to Insure Americans' Safety

We kind of take electricity for granted, until you have appendicitis or are having a baby and your doctor is working in the dark, because there is no electricity.  Sure, there are generators, but what if there is no fuel for the generators?  Not to mention basic medical supplies like disinfectant, clean bandages, and surgical instruments.

Violating Palestinian Rights

Violating Palestinian Rights - by Stephen Lendman

Besides its Knesset, security forces and intelligence services, Israel's High Court and Civil Administration ravage Palestinian civil society repressively. Two examples illustrate the problem.

On June 22, a B'Tselem press release headlined, "Sharp increase in West Bank home demolitions," saying:

Through late June, Israel's Civil Administration, its Judea/Samaria (West Bank) governing body, illegally "demolished more Palestinians homes....than in all of last year." Most often, soldiers and Border Police accompany them, forcefully evicting longtime residents.

Over the most recent seven day period, 33 residential buildings were demolished in Jordan Valley Fasayil, al-Hadidiyeh, and Yarza communities, as well as southern Hebron Hills Khirbet Bir al-'Id. As a result, 238 Palestinians, including 129 minors, lost homes.

Breaching Gaza's Siege

Breaching Gaza's Siege - by Stephen Lendman

Suffocating besieged Gazans, Israel is committing slow-motion genocide. Global activists are determined to stop it and hold Israeli officials accountable for decades of crimes of war and against humanity - unspeakable atrocities financed by criminal co-conspirators in Washington.

In May 2010, Israeli commandos illegally interdicted six Freedom Flotilla ships in international waters, massacring nine activists aboard the Mavi Marmara mother ship.

Nonetheless, global activists are determined to break Gaza's siege, the first step to ending it altogether and freeing nearly 1.7 million people, isolated in the world's largest open-air prison.

Israel and the Roots of Disaster

By John Grant

Two veteran friends of mine will be on one of the ships planning to leave Athens next week to challenge the Israeli sea blockade of Gaza. The Israeli government, after attacking a previous flotilla in May 2010 and killing nine people, has said it will use violence if necessary to prevent the ships from entering what any reasonable person by now should agree are Palestinian waters.

This confrontation should not be necessary. The Israeli military occupation over Palestinian life should have been eased and sovereign rights established for Palestinians long ago. The crisis of Palestinian status has reached the level of a disaster, and like the creation of Israel itself it is more than a Jewish problem: It is a world problem.

Freedom Riding to Gaza

Fifty years ago, freedom riders traveled by bus into the U.S. South.  Now American freedom riders are joining their allies from around the world on a flotilla bound for Gaza.  The U.S. ship is called The Audacity of Hope.
 
The heroes on this ship have pledged to sail unarmed and to refuse to use violence. The Israeli military, which continues to illegally blockade Gaza, causing endless suffering to the Gazan people, has pledged to use violent force to prevent the ships getting through.
 
Last May, the Israeli military, in international waters, illegally boarded another ship on a similar mission, the Mavi Marmara, killing nine people, including one American, and wounding dozens. Israel claimed, in its defense, that the Mavi Marmara carried no humanitarian aid, that all such supplies were on other ships in the flotilla.
 
The 36 American passengers (plus 4 crew and 10 members of the press) on board The Audacity of Hope have publicly stated that they will carry only letters: "thousands of letters of support and friendship from people throughout the U.S. to the women, children and men of Gaza."
 
This selfless courage will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with these freedom riders. Some of the ones I know best and am deeply concerned for the safety of are Ann Wright, Ray McGovern, Kathy Kelly, Medea Benjamin, Paki Wieland. These are people who habitually take risks for others. One comes to expect it of them, but also to expect them to always be there doing it. Robert Naiman will be on this ship, and Alice Walker, and Hedy Epstein. Below are videos of 17 of these heroes explaining why they are going.
 
The Freedom Riders of 1961 asked the U.S. government to protect them. Its efforts to do so were too little too late. The Freedom Riders of 2011 have also asked the U.S. government to protect them, and thus far received no such commitment. We can ask the U.S. State Department to ask Israel (recipient of billions of dollars in U.S. weaponry every year) not to assault this flotilla, and to allow those transporting aid and letters of good will to reach the suffering people of Gaza unharmed.
 
CONTACT THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT

 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,

You have urged our fellow citizens not to participate in an unarmed nonviolent humanitarian mission to Gaza by sea.

But have you urged Israel not to interfere with ships in international waters?

Have you urged Israel not to harm unarmed activists engaged in an actual humanitarian mission, the very thing your government pretends its wars are?

Have you urged Israel to lift the illegal and murderous blockade of Gaza?

We encourage you to take these steps to ensure the safety of Americans on board The Audacity of Hope sailing for Gaza in the Freedom Flotilla. And we encourage you to pressure Israel in the way that only a nation providing Israel with billions of dollars worth of weapons every year can, by threatening to cut them off.

We look forward to your response.

In Peace,

 

_____________________________

 

ADD YOUR NAME TO THE PETITION WHICH WILL BE DELIVERED TO SECRETARY CLINTON

 

Videos and other resources at the same link.

Medical Care in Gaza Under Siege (Part II)

Medical Care in Gaza (Part II) - by Stephen Lendman

On March 25, 2008, Time magazine writer Tim McGirk headlined "Israelis Blocking Medical Care in Gaza," saying:

"Since Gaza is denied (most everything under siege), many complicated surgeries are no longer done there." Those permitted abroad for them, like Bassam al-Wahedi, endure a gauntlet through Israel's "security maze."

Entering Egypt through Erez Crossing, "(h)e fumbled along tunnels, steel doors that opened and slammed as he passed along, entered a strange cylinder that fired a whoosh of air at him before he finally reached a large hall with an Israeli soldier sitting inside a bulletproof glass booth."

He showed his permit for scheduled surgery that afternoon. "(T)hree plainclothed Israelis with pistols and walkie-talkies led him past cages with growling dogs to a room where he was strip searched and interrogated by a man who identified himself as a" Shin Bet captain.

A Gaza Cri de Coeur

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Gaza: Cradle of Killing — Americans Too
By Ray McGovern
June 18, 2011

Stuffing my backpack before setting out to board “The Audacity of Hope,” the U.S. boat to Gaza, I got a familiar-sounding call from yet another puzzled friend, who said as gently as the words allow, “You know you can get killed, don’t you?”

I recognize this caution as an expression of genuine concern from friends. From some others — who don’t much care about Gaza’s plight and/or who do not wish us well — the words are phrased somewhat differently: “Aren’t you just asking for it?”

That was the obligatory question/accusation at the end of a recent interview of me that was taped for a BBC-TV special scheduled to air this coming week as we try to break — or at least draw attention to — Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza and the suffering it inflicts on the people there.

Rotten Fruit of Israeli Apartheid Delivered to Agrexco Headquarters in Milan, Italy

On June 17, activists from the Stop Agrexco campaign, calling for the boycott of Israel?s leading produce exporter, took part in an action at the Italian headquarters in Milan.

Entering the Italian offices of the company, the activists delivered gift baskets of rotten fruit and vegetables to symbolize the Palestinian agricultural products rotting at Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank. While produce from the plantations of Israeli settlements built illegally in the Occupied Palestinian Territories makes its way to European markets via Agrexco - the company, 50% owned by the State of Israel, exports 70% of all agricultural products grown on confiscated land - the Palestinians find the road blocked by Israeli checkpoints.

Medical Care in Gaza Under Siege

Medical Care in Gaza Under Siege - by Stephen Lendman

Under siege, Israel continues to strangle Gaza. Poverty and unemployment are extremely high. Over 70% of the population requires humanitarian aid. Virtually everything is in short supply. Except for minimal amounts of some fruits, vegetables and flowers, exports are prohibited. Israel prevents access by sea and air. It's blockade is illegal but persists because Western powers and regional neighbors allow it.

Egypt's recent Rafah Crossing opening falls short of meeting Gaza's needs. On June 16, Gaza Gateway listed 10 reason why:

Crossings to Egypt remain limited, several hundred daily while 10,000 wish to travel. Moreover, it's for designated people only, not goods. Those allowed enter through Kerem Shalom Crossing.

The situation on both sides of the border is uncertain and unstable, including whether or not the opening will continue and under what conditions.

A concerted effort from Europe against Israeli produce exporter Agrexco

A Global Day of Action Set for November 26, 2011

by Stephanie Westbrook

This past weekend in the Montpellier, France, over 100 activists from 9 countries gathered for the first ever European Forum Against Agrexco. Delegates from Italy, UK, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Palestine joined the French organizers for two full days of workshops aimed at strengthening the boycott campaign against the Israeli agricultural export giant.

Agrexco is Israel's largest fresh produce exporter and European markets account for the vast majority of their sales under the brand Carmel. The Israeli government's 50% stake in the company as well as their marketing of 60-70% of the fruit and vegetables grown in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank have made Agrexco a prime strategic target for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Palestinian Divisions on Statehood

Palestinian Divisions on Statehood - by Stephen Lendman

On June 9, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "Palestinian leadership divided over plan to seek UN recognition," saying:

Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are "sharply divided over the unilateral move to seek" UN General Assembly recognition in September. Abbas wants it. Others don't "because they believe (it) could do more harm than good to their cause," hurting Israel perhaps but not helping themselves.

Those opposed include Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (a former World Bank/IMF official closely tied to Israeli/Washington/Western interests), former Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, and former Palestinian UN envoy Nasser al-Qudwa.

Ravid said al-Qudwa's "opposition is particularly significant because he is considered the most experienced Palestinian official (in) dealing with the United Nations." He's also a possible presidential candidate.

This time it's also about the West Bank

On July 8th: "Welcome to Palestine"
By Elsa Rassbach

Mazin Qumsiyeh of Bethlehem believes this will be a "summer of change." One year after the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, during which the Israeli military killed nine Turkish passengers, Palestinian, Israeli, American and German activists met in Berlin: the focus for this coming summer is not only the Israeli blockade against Gaza, but also the one around the West Bank.

On July 8th hundreds of international activists plan to arrive at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv to accept the invitation of 30 Palestinian civil-society organizations to participate in the initiative "Welcome to Palestine."

Naksa Day Commemorates Decades of Israeli State Terror

Naksa Day Commemorates Decades of Israeli State Terror - by Stephen Lendman

Supported, funded and armed by Washington, Israelis terrorize Palestinians daily. From late May to early June alone, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Palestine News Network, and others reported:

-- an Iraq Bourin village child wounded;

-- in Bil'in village, one resident wounded, another 15 arrested, including eight international human rights activists against Israel's illegal Separation Wall, stealing up to 12% of Palestinian land when completed;

-- on May 29 at 1AM, Israeli forces stormed Bil'in village, panicking residents with sound bombs while they slept;

-- on June 3, IDF troops attacked weekly Bil'in anti-Wall protesters with tear gas, sound bombs, rubber bullets, and sprayed sewage water, injuring six and many others from asphyxiating fumes;

Doctors on Israel's Forty-Four Year Occupation

Doctors on Israel's Forty-Four Year Occupation - by Stephen Lendman

Under international law, Israel's 44 year occupation is oppressive and illegal for having:

-- attacked a nonbelligerent state;

-- annexed it forcefully;

-- exploited its resources and people;

-- stolen their land and property;

-- violated their human rights by collective punishment, war and numerous crimes against humanity; and

-- failed to recognize Palestinian self-determination under provisions of the December 1960 UN General Assembly Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and all UN resolutions before and thereafter affirming Palestinian self-determination, including:

-- the UN Partition Plan (GA Resolution 181, 1947) granting Jews (with one-third of the population) 56% of historic Palestine, the rest to Palestinians with Jerusalem designated an international city under a UN Trusteeship Council;

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Store:



















Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.