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Articles Archives - September 2010
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Thursday, September 9, 2010
The Punishment of Gaza
Jamie Stern-Weiner, CounterPunch 9/8/2010
      An Interview with Gideon Levy
     For decades Gideon Levy has used the platform provided by the liberal Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz to shine a light on the brutal realities of Israel’s occupation. His journalism, along with that of his colleague Amira Hass, has been an invaluable resource not only for Israeli readers but, through the Ha’aretz website, for international audiences seeking an informed and humane Israeli perspective on the conflict. It would be difficult to overstate how isolated Levy is within his own society, an isolation that increased over the past decade as Israeli public opinion stampeded to the right. He has described elsewhere how Ha’aretz keeps a thick folder of subscription cancellations from readers outraged by his articles. Despite this hostility, his critique of Israeli policies has become more, not less, radical over time.
     His recent book, The Punishment of Gaza, is a select compilation of his Ha’aretz columns from 2006, when Hamas’s electoral victory prompted harsh sanctions and violent reprisals from Israel and its international backers, through to the aftermath of last year’s Gaza massacre, which represented a bloody culmination of that same anti-democratic reaction. This chronology is itself something of a novelty – for most journalists, even those critical of the attack, the relevant background to the massacre stretched to the month of Qassam rockets that preceded it, or at most to the year and half since Hamas took control of the Strip. But Gideon Levy is not most journalists, and his critique of Israeli policies and society goes far beyond the weasel words and euphemistic equivocation offered by most of his contemporaries in the media, and those on the ‘Israeli left’. Whereas liberal Zionist intellectuals like Amos Oz and David Grossman supported the attack in principle, if subsequently criticising its excesses, Levy is clear: this wasn’t a “war”, he writes, it was “a wild onslaught upon the most helpless population in the world”, an “aimless, futile, criminal, superfluous offensive”....
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Galant, why?
Saleh Al-Naami, Al-Ahram Weekly 9/2/2010
      Israel's new prospective army chief of staff is a man who makes war his only option
     Aisha Al-Rahhal, 49, walked the three- kilometre length of the road connecting Al-Maghazi Refugee Camp in the centre of Gaza and the cemetery on the eastern border of Al-Masdar Village, south of the camp, on Thursday, to recite Quran verses at the gravesite of her husband Hassan. Aisha does this every Thursday since Hassan was killed on the first day of the last war on Gaza.
     Despite the passage of time, there is no consolation for Aisha who still remembers how Hassan died. On the morning of 28 December 2008, Hassan headed to the police station in the Central District in Gaza to take care of business pertaining to his shop in Al-Maghazi, returning home as body parts after he was killed when a jet plane dropped two bombs, each weighing one tonne, on the police headquarters. Hassan died, as did another 70 people with hundreds more injured.
     Like other women in Gaza who have lost their husbands, children, brothers and loved ones, Aisha is not aware of the controversy that erupted when Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak nominated Yoav Galant, the current head of the Gaza Regional Division in the Israeli Army's Southern Command, for the post of Armed Forces chief of staff. These widows do not know that their personal tragedies are the main reason why Galant was nominated for the top post.
     Barak and Israeli public opinion believe that the war that resulted in the death of 1,500 people, 80 per cent of whom were civilian, was the measure of "success" of the war that Galant led in the Gaza Strip, especially that it came at the heels of a huge failure for the Israeli army in the second war on Lebanon....
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British Palestinian rapper conducts a ’musical intifada’
Jon Donnison, Axis of Logic 9/8/2010
      Hebron - The 24-year-old has been on tour in the West Bank.
     "It's a musical intifada, a musical uprising," says Shadia Mansour squinting in the sunshine outside the hip hop workshop she is running in the West Bank city of Hebron.
     From inside, a DJ can be heard cutting out beats on his decks.
     Ms Mansour has been dubbed "the first lady of Arabic hip hop", but she is perhaps the only lady of Arabic hip hop.
     The 24-year-old British Palestinian rapper grew up in South London, but she is currently on tour in the West Bank.
     Ms Mansour is giving concerts in Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah but is also working with local young rappers in free flowing jam sessions.
     Revolutionary music
     "They're impressive," she says. "The first thing I noticed with the local hip hop artists is that their music is revolutionary - very similar to mine."
     Ms Mansour says she first started singing at the age of five or six, often accompanying her parents at pro-Palestinian rallies in London as a child.
     "We would sing protest songs," she says. "I come from a musical family, a revolutionary musical family." -- See also: Palestinian hip-hop artist held at gunpoint in Ben Gurion airport and Video: Shadia Mansour "el Kofeyye 3arabeyye" 2010 Promo
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Boycott leadership: solidarity with French activists
Electronic Intifada: 9 Sep 2010 - The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), on behalf of its constituent organizations and unions representing the majority of Palestinian civil society, strongly condemns the decision taken by French authorities to prosecute people of conscience for calling for a boycott of Israeli produce.more

Respect the Palestinian-led picket line
Electronic Intifada: 9 Sep 2010 - The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel warmly salutes the tens of American and British theater, film and TV artists for their recently published statement supporting the spreading cultural boycott of Ariel and the rest of Israel's colonial settlements illegally built on occupied Palestinian territory due to their violation of international law.more

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