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Articles Archives - June 2011
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Monday, June 20, 2011
Will Israel Kill Americans Again?
Ray McGovern, Antiwar.com 6/20/2011
      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.
     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.”
     I mention this informal warning for the benefit of anyone who may have harbored hope that the U.S. government would do something to protect us American citizens from the kind of violence used by the Israelis against last year’s flotilla. It seems best to be up-front and realistic about what to expect.
     Two millennia ago, “Civus Romanus Sum” automatically won lawful treatment and free passage for Roman citizens in trouble. It was a matter of pride and a benefit of being part of a powerful empire. Today, the contrast could hardly be starker....
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Qalandia: An Autopsy
Helga Tawil-Souri, Jerusalem Quarterly File 6/20/2011
      Like the lover that is not to be found, Qalandia is dead.
     Spring 2011,45
     Prologue
     Like a person reappearing without forewarning in a place she lived long ago – not quite a tourist, not quite a native; streets seem familiar, many buildings don’t – I simply utter the words “to the checkpoint” when the taxi dispatcher asks me where I am heading. He jokes to his colleague “take her to the cemetery.” In the din of downtown, that’s what I heard: ma’bara. Perhaps I was anticipating mourning; love had already opened the wound. But he had said mah’fara. Indeed, I remembered the quarry, that dust-producing, noise-polluting hole in the ground that some had no choice but to trek through, attempting to avoid the soldiers, swerving between trucks and bulldozers, emerging on the other side with dusty shoes and clothes marking them as ‘paperless.’
     I was quiet, nervous, and still the entire ride. I had loved Qalandia – if one can love something as oppressive, sad and bleak as a checkpoint. Years earlier, I had found in Qalandia a dynamic engagement and renegotiation against out-right brutality, I had found creative responses to the pain of displacement, I had found the ecstasy of furtive cross-overs, I had found a contested history unfolding in every passing minute. It was harsh, but vigorous. As we swayed and bobbed over pot-holes, my mind drifted to the past: the way the dust settled and cemented my hair after spending a long day there, how the strong sun dried and tanned my skin, the way the smell of the fumes from the idling cars clung to my pores and clothes, how the aftertaste of too many cups of bitter Arabic coffee and cheap cigarettes shared with merchants and cab drivers made me light-headed. As if foraging secretly, and also fearfully, for an old lover – wondering whether he will remember me, whether he’s even thought of me through the distance, whether he ever forgave me for leaving, wondering whether he’s perhaps turned grey – I’m not sure what awaits me. Maybe a burial site of sorts; what’s the difference between a cemetery and a quarry anyway, they both contain underground riches.
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Our struggle is for rights not political solutions
Maath Musleh, Ma’an News Agency 6/20/2011
      The Palestinians have suffered violations of their basic human rights since 1948.
     The core of the Palestinian – Zionist conflict was the expulsion of about 70 percent of Palestinians from their homeland. Besides that, violations to human rights and children rights occur on a daily basis in Palestine.
     In 1994, after 46 years of the Nakba, or catastrophe, Palestinian leaders came close to compromising many of the Palestinians' rights by signing the Oslo Accords.
     For 46 years before Oslo, Palestinian factions marginalized the participation of the Palestinians living in their homeland in the struggle. After Oslo, Palestinian leaders switched sides. Palestinians-in-exile were marginalized and Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza became the spinal cord in the new era of political negotiations.
     For 17 years, the newly-formed Palestinian political body -- the Palestinian Authority -- has struggled in fruitless cycles of negotiations with the state of Israel. Oslo-affiliated business interests reined in any form of struggle for Palestinian rights.
     Nonetheless, in the sunrise of the Arab spring, the sun has paved the way for the uprising of popular resistance for rights in Palestine that has been taking place for a long time. The non-military resistance in several Palestinian towns is building on the momentum of this Arab spring.
     Palestinian youth, away from factions, started their movement in a series of demonstrations and a 40-day sit-in in Ramallah's Al-Manara square. A parallel movement took place in the besieged Gaza Strip.
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Gaza's forgotten freelance photojournalists
Electronic Intifada: 20 Jun 2011 - Mohammed Omer The Electronic Intifada Gaza City Sitting by the hospital bed of freelance photographer Mohammed Othman, Ashraf Abu Amrah knows that nobody owns a freelance journalist from Gaza who gets injured, or dies.more

Medical supplies at crisis level, Gaza health ministry warns
Electronic Intifada: 20 Jun 2011 - Eva Bartlett The Electronic Intifada Gaza City Year by year, the warnings of Gaza’s health crisis grow more dire, with the latest warning from Gaza’s Ministry of Health stating the Strip is at emergency levels of medical supplies.more

An American Jew Sails to Gaza: How Could I Not Go?
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Jun 2011 - By Jane Hirschmann People often ask me why I am part of a team to organize a U.S. Boat to Gaza that will be sailing this month with the next International Flotilla to break the siege of Gaza. They often make clear they are asking because I am an American Jew, whose family survived the Holocaust with some surviving family members ending up in Israel. And my only answer is: How could I not? My parents raised me with stories about what happened in Germany and their family's escape. I came to see that Israel represented for them a safe haven should there be another attempt at annihilating Jews. And yet, at the same time, they worried it was not so safe a haven given the animosity and physical threats and violence in the area. But no one ever mentioned the displacement of 750,000 Arabs that was the result of...more

Decadence of Mainstream Media in North America
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Jun 2011 - 'Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.'' -- George Orwell, 'Politics and the English Language.' By Roger Sheety "On June 5, 2011 more than 20 Palestinians were murdered by the Israeli Defense Forces as they marched alongside Syrian protesters towards the border of the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The protesters were unarmed, carrying only signs and flags." That is how a news story on the murder and maiming of scores of Palestinian and Syrian refugees near the Golan on June 5 could have begun—in plain, simple language and without obfuscation. Instead the mainstream North American news media took great pains to convince their readers and viewers that Israeli soldiers armed with the latest and most sophisticated American-made weapons did not open fire on unarmed Palestinian and Syrian demonstrators, that it was really the protesters’ own...more

All This Nonsense: 'Jewish State' Politics
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Jun 2011 - By Uri Avnery I am fed up with all this nonsense about recognizing Israel as the 'Jewish State'. It is based on a collection of hollow phrases and vague definitions, devoid of any real content. It serves many different purposes, almost all of them malign. Binyamin Netanyahu uses it as a trick to obstruct the establishment of the Palestinian state. This week he declared that the conflict just has no solution. Why? Because the Palestinians do not agree to recognize etc. etc. Four rightist Members of the Knesset have just submitted a bill empowering the government to refuse to register new NGOs and to dissolve existing ones if they “deny the Jewish character of the state”. This new bill is only one of a series designed to curtail the civil rights of Arab citizens, as well as those of leftists. If the late Dr. Samuel Johnson were living in present-day...more

Articles Archives - June 2011

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