Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
Articles Archives - July 2011
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011
'Well...it is an occupation'
Bill Fletcher, Jr, Black Commentator 7/21/2011
      What is going on in the occupied Palestinian territories is not really an occupation; it is an annexation-in-progress.
     I recently returned from North Africa and Palestine. I found myself giving a talk to a group in the USA where I mentioned my trip as a way of discussing the manner in which events can unfold very rapidly. I mentioned that I had been to North Africa and the occupied Palestinian territories.
     Barely had I finished speaking than an individual rose from their chair and moved toward the front of the room. When the session broke the individual approached me and challenged my use of the term “occupied Palestinian territories,” claiming that that terminology is inflammatory and that I should have used a more neutral term like “West Bank” or “the disputed territories.”
     I looked at the individual and listened to what they said. I then responded: “Well…it IS an occupation!”
     It is difficult to describe the Occupied Territories. I have followed the Israeli/Palestinian conflict since the June 1967 War and I have been an advocate for peace and justice for the Palestinians since the spring of 1969. I have studied countless documents, articles, speeches, etc. I have seen pictures of the so-called settlements and the apartheid separation Wall. Yet, to be honest, I still was not prepared for what I actually experienced.
     I was part of a labor delegation. When we crossed from Jordan into the Occupied Territories we immediately experienced the arrogance of the Israeli occupiers....
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The Palestinian Battle for Statehood
Patrick Seale, Agence Global 7/26/2011
      This September, the United Nations in New York will be the scene of a great political battle when Mahmud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, submits a formal request to the Security Council for UN recognition and membership for the State of Palestine.
     The Palestinian move has full Arab backing. On 14 July, the Arab League pledged to “take all necessary measures” to secure recognition of a Palestinian state via the Security Council.
     Israel is mobilising all its friends and its own formidable energies to counter the Palestinian move, while U.S. President Barack Obama has already indicated that he will use the U.S. veto to block it. Why then are the Palestinians taking the grave risk of alienating the United States by doing battle with Israel on the international stage?
     The reasons are clear: Israel’s relentless land-grab on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem; the total deadlock in Israeli-Palestinians negotiations; and the Palestinian sense that, with the Arab world rocked by revolution, it is time for them, too, to make some international headlines.
     Another reason why the Palestinians are going to the UN -- and perhaps the main one -- is their utter disillusion with America, now seen as a dishonest broker in the iron grip of Zionist lobbies, a pro-Israel Congress and right-wing Jewish and Christian-Zionist forces. Obama’s defeat by Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and America’s blatant pro-Israeli bias have driven the Palestinians to try to leap over the US-Israeli roadblock and seek a multilateral approach at the UN, now seen as the centre of international decision-making.
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Christian Pro-Israel Group Stakes Claim on Right
Nathan Guttman, Forward 7/25/2011
      Washington — Once a novelty, the shofar-blowing, hora-dancing Christian evangelicals are now an integral part of the pro-Israel advocacy scene.
     At its 5,000-strong national conference in Washington, Christians United for Israel, the large Christian-Zionist movement, made clear it is stepping up its activity on the two issues that now top the pro-Israel agenda: fighting efforts to delegitimize Israel, and working on college campuses to counter anti-Israel activity.
     With 700,000 supporters, CUFI is the largest pro-Israel organization in America. And while the views expressed by its leaders in their Washington gathering indicate that CUFI is still distinctly apart from the mainstream pro-Israel community, it is being warmly embraced by Israeli and American Jewish leaders alike.
     CUFI’s acceptance as an essential part of the pro-Israel community was palpable in its three-day conference, which ended on July 20. The signs were abundant, ranging from the live satellite greeting by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a gesture many Jewish groups still fight to obtain, to the noted presence of top officials from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, offered enthusiastic support for the group and its leader, the Rev. John Hagee.
     Hoenlein spoke of the Jewish community’s efforts to counter delegitimization of Israel by setting up a leadership action network that has enrolled 750,000 participants in the past few months. The members of CUFI, he added, now double the number of activists taking a stand on Israel’s behalf....
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France honors educator of Gaza's children
Electronic Intifada: 26 Jul 2011 - Rami Almeghari The Electronic Intifada Gaza In a special ceremony at the French Cultural Center in Gaza City earlier this month, a representative of the French consulate in Jerusalem presented the highest award bestowed on non-French citizens to Reem Abu Jaber, head of the Qattan Centre for the Child in Gaza.more

Picasso in Palestine, Israel and United States
Palestine Chronicle: 26 Jul 2011 - By Dallas Darling When it was reported that Picasso's Buste de Femme arrived in occupied Ramallah, after crossing a number of heavily guarded Israeli checkpoints and road blocks, including concrete barriers armed with soldiers and fortified by tanks, another one of Picasso's paintings should be viewed too. The other painting, of course, is the legendary Guernica, one that should not be seen by Palestinians but by those living in Israel and United States. In 1937, while Palestine was under a British mandate and Israel was not yet a new nation, Adolf Hitler’s Condor Legion, using the Spanish Civil War as a testing ground, experimented with its new weaponry and blitzkrieg techniques on the residents of the historic Basque town of Guernica. For German military forces, it was a tremendous victory. But for Guernica, its population of 7,000 civilians was utterly decimated. New fighter planes, like Heinkel 111’s, flew over in...more

Palestine, Israel, Germany: The Boundaries of Open Discussion
Palestine Chronicle: 26 Jul 2011 - Press Release Freiburg, Germany - Freedom of speech and expression are recognised by many as primary human rights. However, when it comes to discussion on topics concerning Palestine, Israel and Germany we often face rigid and concrete boundaries that clearly suppress free and creative discourse. We somehow grasp what we are allowed to say but are also conscious of a variety of thoughts we better keep unsaid. Yearning for humanism and willing to bring a change about, a conference in Freiburg, Germany (September 10-11, 2011) seeks to liberate the contemporary ideological, spiritual, cultural and political discourse. We will try to identify the mechanisms that stifle freedom of speech, with the hope that sometime soon, we will be able to say what we think and to mean what we say. The conference 'Palestine, Israel and Germany - Boundaries of Open Discussion' will elaborate on some 'contentious' topics such as suppression of...more

Norway’s Monster and the Question
Dissident Voice: 26 Jul 2011 - How much was the mind of Anders Behring Breivik conditioned and warped by Zionist propaganda as peddled with the assistance of Christian fundamentalism by much of the Western mainstream media and many web sites? In his summary of what the monster had stated behind closed doors in court, Judge Heger said he had argued that he wanted to create “the greatest loss possible to Norway’s governing Labour Party”, which he accused of failing the country on immigration and opening the door to the “Muslim colonization” of Norway and all of Europe. There could not have been a more effective way of inflicting at a single stroke a great loss than gunning down many members of the Norwegian Labour Party’s youth wing, the Workers Youth League (AUF), which was assembled on Utoya Island. Two days before the massacre there, and as Gilad Atzmon has researched and noted, the AUF’s leader, Eskil...more

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