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Home arrow Blog arrow January 2009 arrow January 10, 2009

January 10, 2009
WAWA Blog January 10, 2009: Vit in Gaza, another Sam and The Vatican and WAWA are on the same page! UPDATE Jan. 18 latest from Vit in Gaza leads
January 8, 2009: Dedicated to those with the Courage to Resist and RE: Sam in Gaza 
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Dante's Hell is Alive and Well in Gaza

Report by Vittorio Arrigoni, Gaza,
Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dante Alighieri could never have imagined circles as hellish as the wards of the damned in Jabalia's hospitals. The laws of divine justice are turned on their head around here: the more innocent the victim, the less likely that they'll be spared martyrdom through bombing. At Kamal Odwan and Al Auda hospitals, the ceramic tiles in the first aid units are always shiny. The cleaners are permanently busy wiping away the blood dripping copiously from the stretchers constantly carrying in the massacred bodies. Iyad Mutawwaq was walking in the street when a bomb tore open a building not far from him. He and other passers-by rushed over to try and bring some aid when a second bomb was dropped on the same building. It killed a father of 9, two brothers and another passer-by who had rushed over to help. The same story could be told over ten, or one hundred times. The perfect terrorist technique is being immaculately carried out by the Israeli army. You drop a bomb, wait for the first-aiders, then drop another bomb on the wounded and the first-aiders.

In Iyad's eyes, those were American bombs, but they also carry the stamp of Mubarrack, the Egyptian dictator who rivals Olmert here in Gaza when it comes to provoking hatred. Behind Iyad's bed, an elderly man with both his arms in plasters is lying staring at the ceiling, and I'm told he's lost everything: his family and his home. He stares at the cracks in the falling plaster, as if seeking an answer to the sheer destruction of his existence.

Khaled worked in Israel for 25 years, prior to the first Intifada. In recognition, Tel Aviv hasn't even granted him a pension, only a series of missiles from land and air onto his house. He suffers from shrapnel wounds all over his body. I ask him where he plans to go after he's been discharged from hospital. He says he'll join his family, out in the streets. Not unlike Khaled's, many families don't know where to find shelter. The most fortunate were offered hospitality by relatives and acquaintances, but can you really say that one hundred people crammed into two apartments counting three rooms each is really a life? Two bombs were dropped onto Ahmed Jaber's home and though his family fled, for some of them it was too late. A third explosion buried 7 of his relatives under the rubble, including two children aged 8 and 9 – his neighbour's children. He says: "They made us leap back in time, back to 1948. This is their punishment for our attachment to our country. They can tear my arms and legs off from my body, but they won't make me leave my land." A doctor takes me aside and tells me that Ahmed's 7-year-old daughter, or what was left of her, was just brought in inside a tiny cardboard box. They don't have the heart to tell him and make his already precarious health condition any worse. In the evening they took the phone away from Iyad as well, to prevent him from receiving any more bad news. A tank had hit his sister's house full in the middle, beheading her in the process.

In the end, our Free Gaza Movement boat never got to the port in Gaza. About 100 miles from their designated destination, in international waters, they were intercepted by 4 Israeli war ships poised to open fire and kill its cargo of doctors, nurses and human rights activists. No one must dare to obstruct the massacre of civilians now in full swing for the last 3 weeks.

East of Jabalia, in front of the border, eyewitnesses speak of numerous decaying bodies in the streets. Their rotting meat is being eaten by the dogs. There are also hundreds of people unable to go anywhere, many of whom are injured. The ambulances simply cannot get anywhere near, with the trigger-happy snipers all over the place. Palestinians are sick of languishing in the midst of this general indifference, and many even accuse the international Red Cross and the UN of not doing enough, including not fulfilling their duties, nor risking their lives to save hundreds. We ISMers will thus equip ourselves with some stretchers and proceed on foot to the areas where humanity has surpassed all boundaries, eclipsing itself in the process.

The heavy-bottomed settlers sitting in the pristine lounges of armchair politics harp on about military strategies against Hamas, while we're being literally massacred out here. They bomb hospitals, and yet there are some who still champion Israel's right to self-defense. In any self-styled civilised country, self-defense is proportionate to the attack.

In these 20 days we've counted 1,075 dead Palestinians, 85% of whom were civilians, and over 5,000 injured, of whom half were under 18 years old. 303 children were atrociously massacred. It's equivalent to saying that for Israel, butchering at least 250 Palestinians is a justified blood-bath in avenging each dead civilian on its own side. How can this lop-sided reaction not take one back to some of modern European history's darkest pages?

Let's get straight to the point: are we seriously talking about self-defense? For journalists like Marco Travaglio, Piero Ostellino, Pierluigi Battista and Angelo Panebianco, who harp on with the refrain of Hamas having full responsibility for this genocide as well as for breaking the truce between Israel and Palestine, I would like to remind them of the United Nation's position on the matter. Professor Richard Falk, special rapporteur for human rights with the United Nations, has clearly expressed his views: it was in fact Israel that broken the truce in November, by blatantly exterminating 17 Palestinians. In the same month zero Israeli victims had been recorded, zero in October and likewise in the previous month, as well as the one prior to it. We were also recently reminded of this by Nobel prize winner and ex US President Jimmy Carter. It really is a crying shame that a journalist like Travaglio, who's earned our admiration as a proud upholder of freedom of the press, is now sporting an IDF helmet and entertaining the masses on TV while amusing himself with the pastime most in vogue at the moment – infant-shooting in Gaza.

As I tap on my keyboard in the Ramattan press agency office, all the Palestinian reporters around me are wearing bullet-proof vests and helmets. They haven't come straight from riding in a tank – they're simply sitting in front of their computers. Two floors above, the Reuters offices were recently struck by a rocket, which seriously injured two. Almost all the floors in the building are empty at the moment, and only the most heroic of journalists are still around. The story of this hell must somehow continue to be told. And yet earlier this week, the Israeli army had assured Reuters it wouldn't need to evacuate, as staying in their offices would be safe. This morning many casualties were also caused by the bombing of the United Nations building, built among others with money from the Italian government. Berlusconi, where are you?

John Ging, chief of the UNRWA, UN agency for Palestinian refugees and eye witness, clearly spoke of white phosphorous bombs. In the Tal el Hawa neighbourhood in Gaza city, a whole wing of Al Quds hospital is presently in flames, and Leila, an ISM colleague is also trapped inside it along with forty doctors and nurses, and one hundred patients. She describes these last dramatic hours to us via phone. A tank stands in front of the hospital. There are snipers everywhere, ready to shoot at anything that moves. All around is destruction. At night, from their windows, they could observe a building going on fire after having been struck by a bomb. They heard the cries of whole families with children, imploring help. They were impotent to help as they watched the bodies devoured by the flames, running into the street and then be reduced to ashes. Hell has switched places and come to the centre of Gaza, and we are the damned designated by an inhuman hatred.

Stay human

Vittorio Arrigoni
(Translated from italian by Daniela Filippin)


Report by Vittorio Arrigoni, Gaza,
January 13, 2009


Some Palestinian families have handed some leaflets over to us, which had fallen down from the sky in the last few days, courtesy of the Israeli Air Force instead of the customary bombs. Leaflet n. 1, translated from Arabic, said: " To all the people living in this area. Due to the terrorist acts that the terrorists in your area attacking Israel, the Israeli Defense Forces were forced to take immediate action in your area. We thus urge you, for your own safety, to immediately evacuate the area. Israeli Defense Forces". In short, the Israeli are sticking "Work in progress signs door to door, before razing whole neighbourhoods to the ground, and forever dashing the hopes of a life for the present and future. They want to bury those who haven't got anywhere to go under tons of rubble. A little while ago they had warned us they intended to throw more leaflets, intimating that "the third phase of war of terror is about to start". The Israeli military summits are indeed polite – they ask the population of Gaza to cooperate before crushing them like insects. If the leaflets aren't persuasive enough, it's up to the Air Force to gently knock onto the roofs of the Gazan houses. It's a newly adopted procedure – slightly less powerful are bombs dropped down, powerful enough to tear off the roofs in the houses and "gently" persuade their inhabitants to evacuate them. After two or three minutes the planes drift past again, and nothing remains of the buildings. Evacuation: but where should they go? There are no safe shelters in the whole of the Strip, and personally I fear for my life a lot more when walking past a mosque or a school, than in front of the government buildings still standing intact. Last night, 20 metres from my home, the Israeli jet fighters tore down the fire station.

This morning, on the street parallel to the port I discovered some craters several metres deep, as if meteors had rained down from the sky as you'd see in a sci-fi movie. The difference here is that the special effects are pretty damn painful. Visiting the wards of the Al Shifa hospital, crowded with injured patients awaiting treatment, you can bump into a doctor who doesn't look very Arabic. Mads Gilbert is a Norwegian doctor from the ONG Norwac. Gilbert, an anaesthetist, confirms our suspicion regarding the use of forbidden weapons by Israel on Gaza's civilians: "Many injured arrive with extreme amputations, with both their legs reduced to a pulp, which I suspect is an effect of Dime weapons." This is happening while Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, reports that "extremely serious violations possibly constituting war crimes" are taking place.

The last instance of one such crime happened a few hours ago, East of Jabalia, where a family on the point of evacuating their house was stocking up on some food products in a small shop, which was promptly bombed. There were eight killed, all belonging to the same family, the Abed Rabbu family, in addition to two severely injured. People I speak to in the street are under the impression that Israel is taking its time, while the bombs are being dropped non-stop and the land artillery are slowly advancing. The soldiers have no problems stocking up on "k rations", the military food rations, unlike many people in Gaza who can no longer get any bread. The bakers, having run out of flour, have resorted to mixing it up with animal flour to make the buns. It's moldy bread, week-old left-overs green with mold. You cook it over a small fire lit from a couple of pieces of wood and I can assure you that it's not exactly a delicacy.

Especially on the internet, Israel continues to spread bird's eye-view filmed images, allegedly showing how precise its bombings are against the "terrorists" or against hypothetical warehouses stocking weapons and explosives. The dizzying count of civilian casualties are enough to discredit these videos. I wonder how Israel can call itself civilised and democratic, when its army, in trying to drive out and kill an enemy, doesn't hesitate to knock down an entire crowded building, burying innumerable innocents alive in the process. Think about it: it's as if the Italian army hunting down a dangerous mafia criminal started heavily bombing the centre of Palermo. As I write there are 821 Palestinians dead, 93 being women, and 235 children. 12 paramedics were killed fulfilling their duty, and 3 journalists were killed with a camera hanging round their necks. A good 3,350 are among the injured, with more than half being under 18 years of age. According to the Mezan centre for human rights, renowned for its reliability, they make up 85% of the Palestinian civilian casualties massacred in the last two weeks. The death toll on the Israeli side has thankfully stopped at 4.

If the United Nations won't manage to protect the Palestinian civilian population from the massive Israeli violations of their international humanitarian duties, my friends from the Free Gaza Movement will try for in their place, ready as they are to sail to Gaza in a few days. Among them there are doctors, nurses and activists for human rights, who consider it their precise moral duty to do whatever's humanly possible to provide some measures of protection. They had already tried to get here on 31st December, on board the Dignity. But the Israeli Navy had rammed into our boat in international waters, trying to sink it, and had subsequently spoken of "an accident". I will wait for my friends with their load of humanitarian aids among the ruins of what's left of the port, and I would like to hope more "accidents" will reoccur off shore this time.

The second leaflet raining down from the sky that we've translated is a scream (you can find photos of both leaflets on the website: http://guerrillaradio.iobloggo.com/): "Citizens of Gaza, take responsibility for your destiny! In Gaza the terrorists and those who launch rockets against Israel represent a threat to your lives and to those of your families. If you wish to help your families and brothers in Gaza, all you will have to do is call the number below and give us information on the whereabouts of those responsible for launching rockets and on the terrorist militia who turn you into the first victims of their actions. Avoiding more atrocities being committed is now your responsibility! Don't hesitate! Complete discretion is guaranteed. You can contact us at the following number: 02-5839749. Otherwise write to us at the following email to give us any information you may have on terrorist activities: "

Many write to me from Italy, filled with frustration at not being able to do anything against the genocide currently taking place. I would urge you to continue showing your indignation and supporting human rights. If you then have 5 minutes to spare and a phone card, the details contained in the last leaflet could come in useful in communicating your disdain to those who cynically gamble with the lives of a million and a half people via the air, sea and land. Never would a phone card have been better spent. Those 235 massacred children are asking for it.

Stay human
Vittorio Arrigoni
[Translated from Italian by Daniela Filippin]



Report by Vittorio Arrigoni, Gaza, January 9, 2009

Take some kittens, some tender little moggies in a box", said Jamal, a surgeon at the Al Shifa, Gaza's main hospital, while a nurse actually placed a couple of blood-stained cardboard boxes in front of us. "Seal up the box, then jump on it with all your weight and might, until you feel their little bones crunching, and you hear the last muffled little mew." I stared at the boxes in astonishment, and the doctor continued: "Try to imagine what would happen after such images were circulated. The righteous outrage of public opinion, the complaints of the animal rights organisations…" The doctors went on in this vein, and I was unable to take my eyes off those boxes, sitting at our feet. "Israel trapped hundreds of civilians inside a school as if in a box, including many children, and then crushed them with all the might of its bombs. What were the world's reactions? Almost nothing. We would have been better off as animals rather than Palestinians, we would have been more protected."

At this point the doctor leans towards one of the boxes, and takes its lid off in front of me. Inside it are the amputated limbs, legs and arms, some from the knee down, others with the entire femur attached, amputated from the injured at the Al Fakhura United Nations school in Jabalia, which resulted in more than fifity casualties. Pretending to be taking an urgent call, I took my leave of Jamal, actually rushing to the bathroom to bend over and throw up.

A little earlier I'd been involved in a conversation with Dr. Abdel, an ophtalmologist, regarding the rumours that the Israeli Army had been showering us with non-conventional weapons, forbidden by the Geneva Convention, such as cluster bombs and white phosphorous. The very same that the Tsahal Army used in the last Lebanese war, as well as the US air force in Falluja, still violating international norms. In front of Al Auda hospital we witnessed and filmed white phosphorous bombs being used about five hundred metres from where we were, too far to be absolutely certain there were any civilians underneath the Israeli Apaches, but so terribly close to us all the same.

The Geneva Treaty of 1980 forbids white phosphorous being used directly as a war weapon in civilian areas, allowing it only as a smoke screen or for lighting. There's no doubt that using this weapon in Gaza, a strip of land concentrating the highest population rate in the world, is a crime all on its own. Doctor Abdel told me that at Al Shifa hospital they don't have the medical and military competence to say for sure whether the wounds they examined on certain corpses were indeed provoked by white phosphorous bullets.

But on his word, in twenty years on the job he had never seen casualties like those now being carried into the ward. He told me about the traumas to the skull, with the fractures to the vomer bone, the jaw, the cheekbones, tear duct, nasal and palatine bones showed signs of the collision of an immense force against the victim's face. What he finds inexplicable is the total lack of eyeballs, which ought to leave a trace somewhere within the skull even in case of such a violent impact. Instead, we see Palestinian corpses coming into the hospitals without eyes at all, as if someone had removed them surgically before handing them over to the coroner.

Israel has let us know that we've been granted a daily 3-hour truce, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. These statements from the Israeli military summit are considered by the people of Gaza as having the same reliability as the Hamas leaders' declarations that they've just provoked a massacre of enemy soldiers. Just to be clear on this point, the soldiers of Tel Aviv's worse enemy are the very same who fight under the Star of David. Yesterday a war ship off the coast of Gaza's port picked out a large group of alleged guerrilla fighters from the Palestinian Resistance, moving as a united front around Jabalia. They shot their cannons at them. But as it turned out, they were their own fellow soldiers, with the shooting resulting in three being killed and about twenty injured. No one here believes in the truces that Israel declares, and as it happens, today at 2:00 PM Rafah was under attack by the Israeli helicopters. There was also yet another massacre of children in Jabalia: three little sisters aged 2, 4 and 6 from the Abed Rabbu family were slaughtered. Just half an hour earlier in Jabalia, once again the  Red Crescent hospital's ambulances were under attack. Eva and Alberto, my ISM colleagues were on board that ambulance and managed to film everything, passing those videos and photos on to all the major media.

Hassan was kneecapped, fresh from mourning the death of his friend Araf, a paramedic who was killed two days ago as he came in aid of the injured in Gaza City. They had stopped to pick up the body of a man languishing in agony in the middle of the road, when they were under fire by about ten shots from an Israeli sniper. One bullet hit Hassan in the knee and the ambulance was filled with holes. We're now at a death toll of 688, in addition to 3,070 injured, 158 dead children and countless missing. Only yesterday, we counted 83 dead, 80 of which were civilians. Thankfully, the death toll on the Israeli side is still only at 4.

Travelling towards Al Quds hospital, where I'll be working all night on the ambulances, as I raced along on board one of the very few fearless taxis left, zig-zagging to avoid the bombs, on the corner of one street I saw a group of dirty street urchins with tattered clothes, looking exactly like the "sciuscià" kids of the Italian afterwar period. They threw stones towards the sky with slingshots, at far away and unapproachable enemy who was toying with their lives. This is a crazy metaphor, which could serve as a snapshot of the absurdity of this time and place.

Stay human
Vittorio Arrigoni




Email from Sam in Ramallah:

Dear friends,  

The death toll continues...
Still no foreign media inside Gaza...
Local media were targeted, a Palestinian journalist was killed and a media center attacked...
More chemical munitions, much more, dropped on Gaza today...
The UN Security Council Resolution 1860  passed yesterday fell on deaf ears, and on more dead children's bodies...

Instead of listing articles tonight, I would like to provide a resource for all of you who, like myself, are facing this total media blackout and belligerent Israeli campaign of war propaganda and misinformation.  As the Israeli media chorus continue to try and frame the entire issue as related to an ending of a cease fire, we would all be well advised to use the words of someone this same killing machine murdered in cold blood several years ago -- Rachel Corrie.


In the words of Rachel Corrie, a 23 year old American college student who was murdered in Rafah [Gaza Strip] by the Israeli Occupation Forces on March 16, 2003:

“…Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I'm witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I'm really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don't think it's an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel.  Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world…So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.”  

Source: The Holocaust
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21576.htm


May I suggest reading the above passage in public events and calling in to talk radio and noting Rachel's story?  Ask people to visit the Rachel Corrie Memorial Website
[rachelcorrie.org]
Rachel gave her life to stop what we are witnessing today.  Maybe her words can penetrate the outrageous lies and misinformation which Israel is trying to use to justify mass killing!

This is something I wrote a few years back and my younger daughter Nadine and I read aloud to win an award which was donated to help a 13-yr old boy get medical treatment . Nadine recalled it today, so I share it with you all.  It is as relevant as ever.  I read the verses and Nadine yelled SHOUT!

World Health Organization Writing Competition titled: "40 words on 40 years of violence in oPt"
SHOUT!
By Sam Bahour

A military occupation, turned lifestyle.  SHOUT!
Checkpoints, settlements, walls, fences, assassinations, firing tanks. SHOUT!
Innocent children falling -- torn apart, before tearing apart their families. SHOUT!
History, fact, law, hope -- all victims. SHOUT!
End this man-made madness now! SHOUT!

Dear George, WAR IS NOT PEACE,
Sam

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/papal-response-vatican-compares-gaza-to-nazi-camp-1242608.html
Papal response: Vatican compares Gaza to Nazi camp

By Peter Popham in Rome                   The Independent.
Friday, 9 January 2009

The pope's minister for peace and justice was accused yesterday of speaking like a Holocaust denier after comparing Gaza to a "big concentration camp".

Cardinal Renato Martino, a veteran Vatican diplomat with years of experience as the Pope's delegate to the United Nations, told an interviewer for L'Avvenire, the daily paper of the Italian bishops, that "nobody" in the Israel-Hamas dispute "sees the interests of the other, but only their own". He continued: "But the consequences of egoism are hatred for the other, poverty and injustice. The ones who pay are always the defenceless populations. Look at the conditions in Gaza: more and more it resembles a big concentration camp."

He added that "both sides" were to blame for the dispute and must be separated like feuding brothers. "The world cannot just look on, doing nothing," said Cardinal Martino. His comments were later echoed by Pope Benedict XVI, who said "the military option is not a solution and violence from whichever side must be firmly condemned".

But Israel and its supporters reacted angrily to the cardinal's implied comparison of Gaza to the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. "We are astounded to hear from a spiritual dignitary words that are so far removed from truth and dignity," said Yigal Palmor, a Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, went further, saying such comments "are only used against Israel by terrorist organisations and Holocaust deniers".

The row cast doubt on the Pope's tentative plan to visit the Holy Land in May.


My letter to Orlando Sentinel that was NOT published by them:

Dear Editor,

In 2005, just a few weeks after my first of six journeys to Israel Palestine, in the 14th chapter of KEEP HOPE ALIVE, I wrote:

What a farce the so-called disengagement in Gaza was. The Israeli government still controls all access to Gaza by land, sea, and air…in the past year, 12,800 new settlers have moved into the West Bank — 50 percent more settlers than were evacuated. This is no withdrawal, this is propaganda...The corruption in the PA and hot tempers from those under occupation are a powder keg that's getting ready to blow!

Since December 27, 2008, Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have killed over 600 human persons. Israel is carrying out these attacks with USA made F16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters, naval gun ships, and missiles provided by the taxpayers of this country.

Throughout central Florida, people of conscience, people of all faiths and none are now being mobilized by fourteen member organizations under the umbrella of The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation of Palestine to gather at 1PM, Saturday, January 10th at Lake Eola.

On that day, tax paying Americans will stand in solidarity for an immediate bilateral ceasefire and an end to the 40+ years of Military Occupation of the indigenous people of the Holy Land.

We also hope the misinformed, the uniformed, the doubters, skeptics and cynics will also show up.

"HOPE has two children. The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

Eileen Fleming of Clermont is an Author, the Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org and Producer of "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu"

What I will be talking about tomorrow in the streets of Orlando:

Palestinians in Gaza have lived under Israeli occupation since the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel is still widely considered to be an occupying power, even though it removed its troops and settlers from the strip in 2005. Israel still controls access to the area, imports and exports, and the movement of people in and out. Israel has control over Gaza’s air space and sea coast, and its forces enter the area at will. As the occupying power, Israel has the responsibility under the Fourth Geneva Convention to see to the welfare of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s blockade of the strip, with the support of the United States and the European Union, has grown increasingly stringent since Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006. Fuel, electricity, imports, exports and the movement of people in and out of the Strip have been slowly choked off, leading to life-threatening problems of sanitation, health, water supply and transportation.

The blockade has subjected many to unemployment, penury and malnutrition. This amounts to the collective punishment — with the tacit support of the United States — of a civilian population for exercising its democratic rights.

Lifting the blockade, along with a cessation of rocket fire, was one of the key terms of the June cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. This accord led to a reduction in rockets fired from Gaza from hundreds in May and June to a total of less than 20 in the subsequent four months (according to Israeli government figures). The cease-fire broke down when Israeli forces launched major air and ground attacks in early November; six Hamas operatives were reported killed.

The targeting of civilians, whether by Hamas or by Israel, is a war crime. I spoke with humanitarian worker and photo-journalist in Gaza, Sam Habeeb yesterday at 3PM. He reported that Israel is using "some kind've gas" and over 1,000 lives have been lost, 3,000 injured and an entire generation of innocent children are being terrorized and traumatized, they are thirsting and starving.

Contrast this injustice, this inhumane brutal attack on Gaza has resulted in about a dozen Israelis killed, mostly soldiers.

Dialogue with the actual enemy and not murdering innocent people-or what politicians call collateral damage-BUT, Dialogue, Negotiations, Compromises are the ways civilized people choose.

Civilized people also would have fulfilled the terms of the June cease-fire and lifted the blockade of the Gaza Strip.


UN Security Council Resolution 1860 calls for: 1) establishing an unconditional and immediate cease-fire; and 2) ensuring complete access of humanitarian goods to the Gaza Strip and a lifting of Israel's siege.

Israel already has rejected the Security Council Resolution and is continuing its deadly attacks on and siege of Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip.  Because Israel is defying the will of the Security Council, the United States must impose an immediate arms embargo on Israel until the resolution is implemented, just as President Eisenhower did when Israel invaded Egypt in 1956.  The United States must also investigate Israel’s misuse of U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act as demanded by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, and impose the sanctions that are required by law on countries that violate this law.    

Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip are being carried out with F16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters, naval gunboats, and missiles all provided to Israel by the United States with U.S. tax dollars.

Israel's war on the Gaza Strip would not be possible without the jets, helicopters, ships, missiles, and fuel provided by the United States.  In view of the central role that the United States has played in arming and enabling Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip

If everyone who hears or reads this would please phone their congressional reps [who we the people pay to work for US] and demand they work for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire as required by UN Security Council Resolution 1860.

The only way we can call ourselves civilized is doing all we can to ensure complete access of humanitarian goods to the Gaza Strip and the ENDING of Israel's brutal siege, which has created a humanitarian catastrophe of unimaginable proportions for Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinian open air prisoner-residents which controls and restricts the provision of food, fuel, medicine, electricity, and basic necessities of life.

This siege is a form of collective punishment and a war crime outlawed by the Fourth Geneva Convention.  Article 33 reads “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed.

As the occupying power of the Gaza Strip, under Articles 55 and 56, Israel “has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population” and “ensuring and maintaining...the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene”.  Article 59 states that “If the whole or part of the population of an occupied territory is inadequately supplied, the Occupying Power shall agree to relief schemes on behalf of the said population, and shall facilitate them by all the means at its disposal...All Contracting Parties shall permit the free passage of these consignments and shall guarantee their protection.”

As High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, according to Article 1, both the United States and Israel have a solemn obligation to “respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.”

That means USA and Israel and all who signed the Geneva Convention are morally, ethically and legally obligated to keep their word.

   
 
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"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

 "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." - Aquinas

BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

Published 10/30/10

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UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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