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Come With Us to Gaza

Dear Friends,

A three-person delegation from the peace group CODEPINK just returned from Gaza, entering through the Egyptian border at Rafah. We were able, in a short period of time, to see the terrible devastation and meet with human rights, medical, and women’s organizations.

We found the people of Gaza very anxious to have foreign delegations come to learn about their plight and push for an end to the blockade. That is why we are organizing a delegation to return to Gaza in time for International Women’s Day, March 8. The March delegation will be hosted by the Women’s Division of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

There is always the possibility that the Egyptian government won’t let us cross the border. In that case, we plan to set up an encampment near the border to call attention to the need to open the borders and end the siege of Gaza.

My Letter To Middle East Envoy George Mitchell Asking Him To Speak With The Women Of Gaza

by Linda Milazzo

CODEPINK Women For Peace will be traveling to Gaza on March 6th. The purpose of their mission is to provide "humanitarian and emotional support to women and women's organizations and exert pressure on US, Egyptian and Israeli governments to lift the blockade and promote peace and human rights in the region."

In advance of their trip, CODEPINK has created a petition that asks signers to write President Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, to request that he meet with the women of Gaza. As an American Jew who opposes Israel's inhumane treatment of Palestinians, I answered CODEPINK's call, signed the petition, and wrote a letter to Mr. Mitchell. The letter that follows is my personal statement to Mr. Mitchell and not the statement of CODEPINK.

Under Siege Again, But Gaza Will Not Die

By Ann Wright, retired US Army Reserve Colonel

In a tent in front of Shifa hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza, a sign on the photo of a young child bleeding from wounds from the Israeli attack on Gaza read “Gaza Will Not Die.”

Shifa hospital received hundreds of bodies of those killed and thousands of those wounded during the December 27, 2008-January 18, 2009 22 day attack, invasion and occupation of Gaza by the Israeli military.

Can Mitchell Succeed? Let Him Talk to Hamas

Rep. Delahunt has taken a constructive step by introducing a resolution in support of former Senator Mitchell's diplomacy for peace. Supporting this resolution should be a no-brainer - even your Representative can do it. [You can ask your Representative to sign on here; the list of co-sponsors, 50 at this writing, is here.]

1200+ Sign Declaration on the Crisis in Gaza

Declaration and Signatures Being Sent to President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and Middle East Envoy Mitchell

How do People Keep Going?

By Kathy Kelly

People have asked me, since I returned from Gaza, how people manage? How do they keep going after being traumatized by bombing and punished by a comprehensive state of siege? I wonder myself. I know that whether the loss of life is on the Gazan or the Israeli side of the border, bereaved survivors feel the same pain and misery. On both sides of the border, I think children pull people through horrendous and horrifying nightmares. Adults squelch their panic, cry in private, and strive to regain semblances of normal life, wanting to carry their children through a precarious ordeal.

Citizen Diplomacy, Gaza/Israel

Day 2 in Gaza: Ann’s diary
Posted by Ann Wright

Medea Benjamin, Tighe Barry and I (retired Col. Ann Wright) arrived Jan. 29 in Cairo for a 10-day trip to Gaza, but only spent two days there before Egyptian authorities ordered all foreigners to leave by Feb. 5. But we called for an opening of the borders, were shown the Egyptian-Gazan underground tunnels, met with women’s aid groups to organize a fundraising effort for the women of Gaza for March 8, International Women’s Day. Here’s my account of Day 2 in Gaza:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Addresses European Parliament

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Addresses European Parliament

In a speech to the European Parliament, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told members that Israel needed to be "held responsible for their war crimes." The speech focused entirely on the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza and humanitarian efforts to residents in the area.

26:30 mins.

A Short History of the Israeli - Palestinian Conflict: Past Is Prologue

A Short History of the Israeli - Palestinian Conflict: Past Is Prologue
by Stephen Lendman

Its roots are from the late 19th century when Theodor Herzl founded modern Zionism at the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland in 1897.

In his book "Overcoming Zionism," Joel Kovel writes:

Zionism seeks "the restoration of tribalism in the guise of a modern, highly militaralized and aggressive state. (It) cut Jews off from (their) history and led to a fateful identity of interests with antisemitism (becoming) the only thing that united them. (It) fell into the ways of imperialist expansion and militarism, and showed signs of the fascist malignancy."

Forum for Palestine

By Cynthia McKinney

Hello, as you know I am in Malaysia upon th invitation of former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir and his wife, Tun Dr. Siti. The information presented today in the Forum for Palestine was compelling, so much so that one of the doctors could not contain his sadness, anguish, and love. I say love, because anyone in the medical profession who would take the time to go to Gaza, in the middle of a war, and refuse to leave the Rafah checkpoint until the Egyptian authorities allowed them in demonstrates a pure love of mankind. I will make a more complete report later, after I have had the opportunity to completely digest what I saw today. I want to share just a bit of it with you now.



In solidarity with the people of Gaza, who are being forced by the Israeli government to live in inhuman conditions under a brutal occupation, please join us for a 24-hour street protest in front of the offices of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, which promote and defend Israeli policies.

Thursday, February 12, 9 a.m. - Friday, February 13, 9 a.m.

633 Third Ave (40/41st Sts, east side of Third Ave)







Please come for an hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, or more -- during

the day or night! Allies are encouraged to join us.

Signs and visuals will be available.


CBS' Bob Simon Reports: Is Peace Out of Reach?

Is Peace Out of Reach? - After watching video, please click "Read more" for action you can take. Bob Simon needs to hear from you!

Watch CBS Videos Online

13:09 mins.

Ceasefires, Israeli-Style

Ceasefires, Israeli-Style
by Stephen Lendman

Waging war while talking peace is customary Israeli practice. On January 19, Haaretz headlined: "Israel declares unilateral cease-fire. The security cabinet last night authorized a unilateral cease-fire (to take effect) at 2AM (Sunday morning), ending three weeks of intense fighting."

Declaration notwithstanding, nothing changed. Gaza remains occupied, under siege, and totally isolated. Borders are still closed. On January 28, The New York Times said "truckloads of humanitarian aid" are stuck in Egypt because of Israeli and Cairo restrictions. Little can get in, and attacks merely downshifted to a lower gear.

Gaza Farmers Devastated by War

Gaza farmers devastated by war

2:26 mins.

Obama Authorizes $20 Million in Aid to Gaza Palestinians

Obama Authorizes $20 Million in Aid to Gaza Palestinians | VOA News

A U.S. official says President Barack Obama has authorized more aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to help them recover from damage caused during a recent Israeli offensive.

U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell said Friday in Jerusalem that Mr. Obama has approved $20 million in emergency food and medical assistance for Gaza.

The BBC Refuses To Broadcast Gaza Charity Appeal

The BBC Refuses To Broadcast Gaza Charity Appeal
By David Edwards | ZCommunications

Numerous members of the public have written to us expressing their bewilderment at the violence of Israel's 22-day attack on Gaza killing upwards of 1,400 people and wounding 5,500. To many witnessing the onslaught on their TV screens (especially Al Jazeera) this appeared to be an act of state sadism.

Israeli forces repeatedly bombed schools (including UN schools), medical centres, hospitals, ambulances, UN buildings, power plants, sewage plants, roads, bridges and civilian homes.

Gaza War Ended in Utter Failure for Israel

Gaza War Ended in Utter Failure for Israel
By Gideon Levy | Haaretz

On the morrow of the return of the last Israeli soldier from Gaza, we can determine with certainty that they had all gone out there in vain. This war ended in utter failure for Israel.

This goes beyond the profound moral failure, which is a grave matter in itself, but pertains to its inability to reach its stated goals. In other words, the grief is not complemented by failure. We have gained nothing in this war save hundreds of graves, some of them very small, thousands of maimed people, much destruction and the besmirching of Israel's image.

What seemed like a predestined loss to only a handful of people at the onset of the war will gradually emerge as such to many others, once the victorious trumpeting subsides.

Iran moves to hold war crimes tribunal

By PressTV

The Iranian cabinet introduces a bill to take action on individuals accused of war crimes amid a seeming ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

The cabinet of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad laid out details of the bill on Sunday, discussing methods to track down and prosecute individuals accused of committing or issuing the order for war crimes.

Under the newly-introduced bill, launching a military offensive, killing civilians, employment of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), laying a siege to civilians and military personnel and imposing food shortages on them are regarded as war crimes.

Individuals charged with committing or ordering such crimes, depending on the extent of their involvement, would be sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison by an Iranian court or would face execution.

Worse than an Earthquake: Peace Activist Kathy Kelly on the Destruction in Gaza


AMY GOODMAN: President Obama has dispatched George Mitchell on his first trip as Middle East envoy. Mitchell is set to begin in Egypt today, followed by Israel, the occupied West Bank, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Speaking at the White House, Obama said Mitchell will be charged with bringing about “genuine progress.”

Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction

Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction
By Naomi Klein | The Nation

Note: This article was originally published January 7, 2009 while the Israeli assault on Gaza was still raging. Although the incursion is now over, the tactic to prevent Israeli aggression is noteworthy, so it's republished here despite the dated references in the article.

It's time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa.

In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on "people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era." The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions--BDS for short--was born.

Tomgram: Sandy Tolan, Five Questions for George Mitchell

Tomgram: Sandy Tolan, Five Questions for George Mitchell |

In the latest issue of the Nation magazine, Jonathan Schell has written a piece, "Obama and the Return of the Real", that should stand as a manifesto for sanity in our times. In it, he considers just how self-inflicted our present catastrophic situation, from economic meltdown to foreign policy disaster, actually is. Of Iraq, for instance, he comments, "The invasion... was the American empire's self-inflicted wound -- a disaster of choice, so to speak. All we had to do to escape it was not to do it. Here and elsewhere, the work of our own hands rises up to strike us." He also considers the unnerving way in which we have "been cannibalizing the future to provision the present. Though we are not killing our children directly, we are spending their money, eating their food, cutting down their cherry orchards."

A Window for Israel/Palestine Peace?

A Window for Israel/Palestine Peace?
By Robert Naiman | Huffington Post

"Jewish Voice for Peace and Just Foreign Policy have launched a campaign asking Americans to urge President Obama to change the direction of U.S. policy towards Israel and the Palestinians. You can add your voice here."

If you want to be discouraged about the prospects for Israel/Palestine peace during the Obama Administration, you don't have any shortage of evidence you can cite; you never do. But if you want to look for openings, the situation already looks much better than it did just over a week ago. Is there a "window" for peace? If so, are Americans ready to push the Obama Administration for the changes needed in U.S. policy to bring peace about?

A Window for Israel/Palestine Peace?

If you want to be discouraged about the prospects for Israel/Palestine peace during the Obama Administration, you don't have any shortage of evidence you can cite; you never do. But if you want to look for openings, the situation already looks much better than it did just over a week ago. Is there a "window" for peace? If so, are Americans ready to push the Obama Administration for the changes needed in U.S. policy to bring peace about?

Israel had to end its bombardment of Gaza by the January 20 "hope and change deadline," as Jon Stewart had predicted.

President Obama appointed former Senator Mitchell as his envoy for Israel/Palestine diplomacy. It is widely perceived that Mitchell will be fair - you might think that this would be an obvious requirement, but in the recent history of U.S. policy, it would be an innovation.

Israel Killed Everything but the Will to Resist

Israel Killed Everything but the Will to Resist
by Stephen Lendman

" 'Freedom or death', is the popular Palestinian mantra," wrote Palestine Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Ramzy Baroud in his January 22 article titled "Breaking Gaza's Will: Israel's Enduring Fantasy."

Three weeks of Israeli terror caused about 1400 deaths, over 5500 injured (many seriously), vast destruction throughout Gaza, and Physicians for Human Rights warning that large numbers of wounded may die because hospitals are overloaded and lack basic supplies. Yet Palestinians endure. Their spirit is unbowed and unbroken. Hamas is more popular than ever, and world outrage sustains them.

Gaza Villages Wiped Off The Map

Gaza Villages Wiped Off The Map

8:21 mins.

Human Rights Dialogue in the Gaza Debate

Human Rights Dialogue in the Gaza Debate
By Clare Garvie | Columbia Spectator

The human rights framework has been given a prominent role in what is perhaps today’s most intractable and contentious debate—that which surrounds the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Human rights can be found, explicit or implied, within the foundation and supporting evidence of many arguments on both sides of the debate. Appeals to human rights are passionately and persuasively used to condemn the actions of the opponent and justify the position of the favored side. The appeals are often underscored by heartbreaking narratives and photographs that grace the daily news.

"We Will Not Go Down"

"We Will Not Go Down" by Michael Heart

3:10 mins.

Breaking Gaza’s Will: Israel’s Enduring Fantasy

Breaking Gaza’s Will: Israel’s Enduring Fantasy
By Ramzy Baroud | Middle East Online

Isn't 60 years of suffering and survival enough to convince Olmert that the will of the Palestinians cannot be broken? How many heaps of wreckage and mutilated bodies will be enough to convince the prime minister that those who fight for their freedom will either be free or will die trying? Asks Ramzy Baroud.

My three-year-old son Sammy walked into my room uninvited as I sorted through another batch of fresh photos from Gaza.

I was looking for a specific image, one that would humanise Palestinians as living, breathing human beings, neither masked nor mutilated. But to no avail.

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