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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

We who Are Wide Awake are compelled by the "fierce urgency of Now" [Rev MLK, Jr.] to raise awareness and promote the human dialogue about many of the crucial issues of our day: the state of our Union and in protection of democracy, what life is like under military occupation in Palestine, the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land, and spirituality-from a Theologically Liberated Christian Anarchist POV.

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Garth Hewitt - From The Brokern Heart Of Gaza
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We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence


Home arrow Blog arrow January 2008 arrow January 25, 2008

January 25, 2008
WAWA Blog January 25, 2008: POWER TO THE PEOPLE, and YES! I know I am a day ahead!!! UPDATED 4 PM EST Jan. 24 in solidarity with Jeff Halper!!!

You wouldn't know jack from the USA MSM about what is really happening in Gaza, but ALL THINGS ARE CONNECTED on the World Wide Web, and here are but a few items that came to me on Wednesday Jan. 23rd:

In the Name of God, end the siege over Gaza
One and a half million people imprisoned and without proper food or medicine. 800,000 without electricity supply; this is illegal collective punishment, an immoral act in violation of the basic human and natural laws as well as International Law. It cannot be tolerated anymore. The siege over Gaza should end now.
Voices from our people there say "We feel the threat of being exterminated by this siege"
In the Name of God, we, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem and the Holy Land urge the International Community, President Bush and the leaders of Israel, to put an end to this suffering and call upon Israel to activate Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's initiative for Palestinian responsibility control of the boarders thus ensuring sufficient normal flow of medicine, food, fuel and goods to Gaza.
We urge the International Community and the European Union to act according to their recent pleas. There is no time to waste when Human life is endangered.
We urge the Palestinian Leadership to unite in ending their differences for the sake of their people in Gaza . Put the differences aside and deal with this crisis for the good of all human beings demonstrating that you care for your brothers and sisters who have suffered enough already. We would say to all concerned parties; while ever you persist in firing rockets into Israel you encourage public opinion outside this Land to feel there is a justification for this siege.
We urge Israel to act responsibly and to immediately end this inhuman siege. To deny children and civilians their necessary basic commodities are not the ways to security but rather throw the region into further and more dangerous deteriorations. This siege will not guarantee the end to rocket firing, but will only increase the bitterness and suffering and invite more revenge, while the innocents keep dying. True Peace building is the only way to bring the desired security.
We pray for the day when the people of Gaza will be free from Occupation, from political differences, from violence and from despair. We pray for the Israelis and Palestinians to respect human life and God's love for every human life, and to take all possible measures to end this suffering. Only bold steps towards just Peace and ending the violence will protect the Human life and dignity of both People.
With the Prophet we keep praying and hoping;
" A bruised reed he will not break,  and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
       In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
 he will not falter or be discouraged  till he establishes justice on earth.
       In his law the islands will put their hope" (Isaiah 42:3-4)

Heads of Churches in Jerusalem and the Holy Land

updated 4PM EST Jan. 24


Jeff Halper 

January 23, 2008

The people of Palestine have done it again, taking their own fate in their hands after being let down by their own "moderate" political leadership and, indeed, the entire international community in their struggle for freedom. Early this morning they simply blew up the wall separating Gaza from Egypt, breaking a siege imposed on them by an Arab government in collaboration with Israel. 

We, the peoples of the world, should take great pride and encouragement in this quintessentially civil society refusal to accept subjugation, to abandon their fate to governments, including their own, for whom the lives of ordinary people are simply grist for their political charades – Annapolis and its subsequent "peace process" being but the last cynical expression. For the Palestinians represent far more than just themselves. Their refusal to submit to the dictates of governments, or to governments' lack of interest in the well-being of people in general, reflects the desire of billions of oppressed people for identity, freedom, a decent life and actualization of their collective and individual rights and potentials. Most of the oppressed, the "wretched of the earth" as Franz Fanon called them a half-century ago, are too preoccupied with the daunting daily struggle for survival to organize and resist. Others do resist in a myriad of ways, but are most often repressed by their own political and economic "leaders," disappearing anonymously from view. In a few cases they have managed to mount effective resistance to oppression, even to prevail – though the billions spent on "counterinsurgency" warfare by the US, Europe, Russia, Israel and many "developing" nations augur ill for peoples attempting to overthrow oppressive regimes. 

In this the Palestinians stand at the forefront, in the front lines of peoples' insistence everywhere that their rights, well-being and fundamental values as human beings be respected by governments. And they do so (and I write this as an Israeli with great sorrow and shame) against one of the world's strongest and most ruthless military powers – a power that has dispossessed them from 85% of their land, which is trying to transform its occupation into a permanent regime of apartheid, which has spent decades impoverishing and disenfranchising them; the fourth largest nuclear power which nevertheless casts itself as the victim. Not only have the Palestinians experienced the dehumanization all oppressed and colonized peoples experience, not only have they been made into the embodiment of the rich and powerful's greatest fear, evil "terrorists" who may tear down their privileged "civilization," but they have been turned into guinea pigs. Israel is able to gain an edge in the counterinsurgency industry and win entree into the heart of the American military/hi tech complex by turning the Occupied Territories into a laboratory for the development of fiendish weaponry and tactics intended for use against people.   

And yet the Palestinian people – and in particular those who remain sumud, steadfast, in Palestine – continue not only to resist but to surprise and confound its would-be Israeli master at every turn. Despite unlimited control, a complete monopoly over the use of force, utter callousness and a vaunted Shin Beit, Israel's military intelligence, Palestinians vote as they want, resist, carry on their daily lives with dignity – and blow huge holes in the walls and policies constructed in order to imprison and defeat them.  

All this is not on the minds of those desperate people who surged into Egypt today. They may not have the "Big Picture." Yet they deserve the respect and gratefulness of every person who cherishes a better world based on human rights and dignity, a world that is inclusive. As an Israeli Jew, I have been saddened and mortified that my own people, after all they have experienced, cannot see what they are doing to others. But on a larger scale, not as an Israeli Jew but as a human being, I take heart in the Palestinians' active refusal to be ground under a global system that is producing unimaginable wealth and power for a few at the expense of the growing ranks of the wretched. 

I am not a Palestinian; I am not one of the oppressed. I only hope I can use my privilege in an effective way in order to redeem the gift the people of Gaza have given all of us: the realization that the people do have power and can prevail even in the face of overwhelming power. We may each express our responsibility towards the people of Gaza in whatever way most suits us, but as the privileged we must do something. We owe the Palestinians and the Palestinians writ large at least that. 

(Jeff Halper is the Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). 

"The Accomplices"
By Luisa Morgantini
Published in Liberazione, Italian Newspaper
January 22, 2008


"Palestine, A Need to Break the Silence. Italy and Europe should Act Here and Now"

The late and uncertain reactions of the European Union are aggravating the isolation and the dramatic situation of the people in the territories.

More than forty Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded in just one week of heavy Israeli raids into the Gaza Strip and West Bank.   Amongst the victims is a woman who died as a consequence of the attack on the Interior Ministry, carpet bombed on Friday, January 18th, according to plan: a planned war and collective punishment against an "enemy entity" in which 1.5 million people live.


By this hour the crossing point for fuel and medicine has supposedly been reopened. Yet this happens only after four consecutive days of total siege during which the inhabitants of the strip were forced to stay for hours in the cold and darkness due to the fuel cut. The defense ministry, in reality the war ministry, led by Ehud Barak, has completely sealed all the borders, blocking even the humanitarian convoys from the United Nations in a strip already suffocated from months of closure, with patients in the hospital who can't receive care, generators and water pumps shut, long lines for bread in front of bakeries, and the UNRWA announcing: "If the present situation persists we'll have to stop distributing food for 860,000 people by Thursday or Friday."   The UN agency that deals with assisting Palestinian refugees however, has repeated these denunciations over and over in recent months. Evidently though, this has been ignored by those "merchants of politics and wars" when we are still seeing, according to Amnesty International and other NGO's, at least thirteen patients with cancer or other severe diseases not allowed outside the strip for treatment and facing the risk of dying in silence. This is what happened to   62 others since the beginning of the siege due to lack of permits and what continues happening to even more people being wounded and killed now in the latest bombings. 


Its hard to keep up with the number of the dead; they increase hour by hour at every time one checks with the news agencies.   It's hard to explain that behind each number there are children, women and men: "we've killed 810 Palestinians, " says Diskin, head of the Shin Bet and commander of the Gaza Brigade.   Colonel Ron Ashrov congratulates himself for having conducted an operation with great success given his operation had killed eighteen Palestinians last week in Zeitun.


And there is no condemnation from the international community nor from the European Union, apart from the isolated statements of the EU commissioner for exterior relations, Benita Ferrero Waldner, who yesterday demanded that Israel "resume the delivery of oil and reopen the borders" to humanitarian aid, and the late voices from the Italian and French governments who express preoccupation over "an already catastrophic humanitarian situation."   Apart from condemnation for the worsening of the humanitarian crisis and requests to allow the entrance of medicine and fuel, nobody has so far firmly demanded the reopening of the strip's crossings to people and merchandise and the end of the embargo that is strangling Gaza.   Ending the siege also represents the only way to stop the Qassam rocket launchings on Israeli civilians by Palestinians, condemnable, counterproductive, and a sign of powerlessness and anger, not of resistance.   The European Union, instead, has remained deaf to the resolution voted on last October in the European Parliament demanding that the Israeli government put an end to the siege of Gaza, and has demonstrated a complete lack of political efficacy for an immediate stand against all we are witnessing numbly, and yet are responsible for. 


The EU should first ask forgiveness for not having helped end the Israeli military occupation and for not having helped the formation of two people and two states; ask forgiveness for the dead in the Strip, for not having ordered immediately and with a unified voice a stop to Israeli air strikes.   Forgiveness for not yet having the strength to propose the immediate intervention of an international force that would protect both civil populations, of occupied Palestine and of Israel, and can guarantee them the legality and security that forty years of Israeli military occupation have washed away, together with any hope for peace and notwithstanding the broken promises of Annapolis. 


Yesterday a new international presence to protect civilians was demanded by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in an interview with the newspaper L'Unita "to create the minimal condition for negotiations to develop in the best way." He also appealed to the Italian government to "act, together with other European countries, on Israel, and make it end its collective punishment inflicted on the civilian population in Gaza." 


Instead the policies of the EU and the international community have contributed to the division of the Palestinian population and the weakening of it's political representation; wasting the chance to strengthen the cohesion by denying support to the national unity government, a government in which all Palestinian political entities were gathered around a table and agreeing on a shared political platform of resuming negotiations with Israel, the right of two states for two peoples based on the 1967 border and with Jerusalem as a shared capitol.   We have contributed in the creation of this crisis and to the basis for a logic that is key to US and Israeli politics of dividi et impera consuming a people already exhausted, occupied, and under siege.  Also we are now complicit in this logic if we do not promote the principle that only a policy of inclusion can lead the way for a just and lasting peace, if we don't concretely support the tenacious efforts of President Mahmoud Abbas and of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad for the unity of the Palestinian people and territory, and if at last we don't at last send positive messages, even within tragedies, like a delegation of Fatah members did a few days ago visiting Mahmoud Az-Zahhar, Hamas leader and ex-foreign minister in the Gaza Strip to express condolences for the killing of his son Husam during one of the Israeli air strikes last Tuesday, or like the grief of the father of the Israeli soldier Shalit, kidnapped by Hamas and not released because the Israeli government does not want to free Palestinian prisoners. 


With all of this blood, with all of these deaths, nobody can be absolved for their silence. The European Union, just like the policy of the Quartet, are responsible and need to assume responsibility: demand the end of the bombings and the siege of Gaza – as asked by civil society the world over reunited in the "End the Siege" campaign ( www.end-gaza-   / email: end.gaza.siege@ -  that on the 26th will see Israeli, Palestinian and International organizations try to break the siege by marching together at the Eretz crossing into Gaza with a convoy carrying goods gathered by the Israeli population.   Also in Rome, as in other cities in the world, people will gather to ask for the end of the siege of Gaza.  But it should be the government and the United Nations to act to ensure an international protection of the civilian population, work for the unity of the Palestinian people and the end of the Israeli occupation.   And overall it is time to put pressure on Ehud Olmert's government to respect the promises made to gain peace and security, starting with the end of the raids into Gaza and ceasing the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Olmert's current policy pushes for acts of war, spreads violence and incites revenge, destroying any possibility of peace and security for both populations.


We need to break the silence and act:  Italy and Europe should respond to the appeal by Fayyad to "save Gaza from pain," it's also the way to stop the rockets that are raining on the city of Sderot and support the many Israelis and the majority of Palestinians who want peace and equal rights and who still find the courage to refuse and the tenacity to resist in the popular and nonviolent fight. 


*Vice President of the European Parliament

 Translated into English by Corinna Giorgi e Ben Scribner 

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights Call Upon Israel, Egypt and the International Community to Resolve the Crisis at the Rafah Border Crossing


At approximately 02:00 on Wednesday January 23rd, a group of Palestinians detonated explosives in order to destroy sections the wall lying between the southern Gaza Strip Rafah border with Egypt. Several hours later, thousands of Palestinians poured over the border into Egypt. In addition, Palestinians who have been stranded inside Egypt crossed the border in order to enter the Gaza Strip.


As human rights organisations committed to the protection and promotion of human rights and international humanitarian law, PCHR and Al-Dameer believe the destruction of sections of the border between Rafah and Egypt is an inevitable consequence of Israel's systematic closure and siege of the entire Gaza Strip. Rafah International Crossing Point has been closed since June 10 th, 2007, except for occasional crossings that have been permitted and coordinated by the Israeli Occupying Force (IOF). In addition, Erez Crossing, between the Gaza Strip and Israel, has been continuously closed to Palestinians for almost eighteen months. All other crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel are under the effective control of the IOF. This current closure represents the most severe closure to have been imposed on the citizens of the Gaza Strip since 1967.


PCHR and Al-Dameer are extremely concerned about the current chaos at the Rafah border, and believes an organised and just solution that guarantees freedom of movement for all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip must be agreed immediately. Therefore it is vital that Israel clarify its position regarding the Rafah border. In August, 2005, IOF claimed to have unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip. However, under the Israeli-Palestinian, US brokered Border Agreement of November 2005, IOF have maintained effective control over Rafah International Crossing Point, as well as over the movement of all persons and goods between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, despite the fact that IOF have no physical presence in the Gaza Strip.


PCHR and Al-Dameer reiterate that Israel must immediately either withdraw from the Gaza Strip completely, thus handing over control of the Rafah border to Palestinian and Egyptian officials: or else Israel must acknowledge its continuing occupation of the Gaza Strip, and, as an Occupying Power, act upon its legal obligation to establish an orderly and transparent mechanism, mediated by an independent third party, that will guarantee freedom of movement for the people of the Gaza Strip.


PCHR and Al-Dameer also appeal to Egypt to assist in resolving the current crisis. PCHR and Al-Dameer refer to the historic role Egypt has played regarding Palestine, and its long term relationship with the Palestinian people, as well as its legal and moral obligations under international humanitarian law. As a signatory to the Fourth Geneva Convention, Egypt has a responsibility to ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians, and to take measures in order to protect the lives of Palestinian civilians.


In addition, PCHR and Al-Dameer appeal to all international community High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to honour their moral and legal responsibilities, in order to ensure that Palestinian civilians do not continue to be subjected to mass collective punishment by the IOF, and are guaranteed freedom of movement afforded them under international human rights law.


Gazans bring down the wall....

a video by Al Jazeera on Rafah border today

US worried about fleeing Palestinians;_


Look out for latest news updates on the situation on Gaza on our website:

WASHINGTON - The United States expressed concern Wednesday about tens of thousands of Palestinians pouring into Egypt from Gaza across a broken barrier that the Israelis had erected at the border for security.

"We are concerned about that situation and frankly I know the Egyptians are as well," State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said.

David Welch, the assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, has talked to Egyptian authorities about the situation, Casey said, but he didn't offer details. He said the Egyptians take border security seriously and that he has no indication the situation has affected Israeli-Palestinian relations for now.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians on foot and on donkey carts poured into Egypt from Gaza Wednesday after masked gunmen used land mines to blast down a seven-mile barrier dividing the border town of Rafah.

The border breach was a dramatic protest against the closure of the impoverished Palestinian territory, imposed last week by Israel. The Palestinians were stocking up on goods made scarce by the Israeli blockade. The border fence had divided the Rafah area into two halves, one on the Egyptian side and one in southern Gaza.

Earlier Wednesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice offered a muted response, saying in Switzerland that the U.S. wants to see stability in the region, but that "most importantly both the security concerns of Israel and the humanitarian concerns of Gazans be met."
Lebanese Muslims from the Sunni of Al Jama'at al-Islamia group carry placards in a protest against Israel's blockade of Gaza, during a demonstration in front of the Egyptian embassy, in Beirut January 23, 2008. REUTERS/Fadi Ghalioum (LEBANON)

Solidarity with Gaza Now: Sanctions against Israeli War Crimes!

The Israeli government has declared a total war on Gaza, largely cutting electricity and fuel supplies and prohibiting basic products to enter, including food and medicines. 

Gaza is not a territory, but 1.4 million human beings, women, men and children. "Attacking Gaza" or "putting Gaza under siege" means targeting 1.4 million civilians. According to international law, this is a war crime; according to common sense, it is a crime against humanity. Such a crime cannot be justified by any excuse, and no reason whatsoever can allow a state, a government, or a person to commit it.

The martyrdom of Gaza is based on a lie and a stupid assumption. The lie is the Israeli argument that justifies the siege against Gaza in order to quell the daily firing of Qassam rockets onto the town of Sderot. Yet the Qassams are a reaction to forty years of Israeli occupation, colonization and bloody repression, an occupation rendered even more cruel after the "disengagement," initiated two years ago by Ariel Sharon. The assumption that this siege will help end the Hamas government is as absurd as that used by Israel to justify Operation Defensive Shield in 2002: in both cases, these assumptions strengthened the radicals at the expense of the so-called moderates, and not the other way round.

The poor and the sick suffer as Israel cuts power to Gaza
By Donald Macintyre in Gaza City
22 January 2008, The Independent (UK),

Mansour Rahal lay unconscious in the intensive care
unit of Gaza City's Shifa hospital, linked to an
electrically powered ventilator, the coloured monitor
above his head showing his heart, respiration and
oxygen saturation rate.

On Thursday last week, the teenager was driving his
donkey cart through Beit Lahiya when it was destroyed
by a missile which targeted militants in a nearby car.
The rocket killed his mother and older brother, and
Mansour contracted meningitis after suffering severe
head wounds.

His hopes of survival yesterday depended on there
being enough diesel to keep in operation the four
generators which were Shifa's only source of power.
His doctor, Kamal al-Geathny, said: "If we lose power,
he and six other patients in this unit will die."

This was the scene at the hospital yesterday before
Israel authorised limited supplies of fuel and
medicine to Gaza after a wave of international
condemnation for its imposition of a four-day-old
total embargo, which left much of the Strip without
electricity. The EU called the blockade a " collective
punishment" of the Palestinians in Gaza.

The embargo caused industrial diesel to run out,
shutting down Gaza's only power station on Sunday,
plunging Gaza City into darkness. Large parts of it
are still without power.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine refugees, UNRWA, transferred some of its own
fuel yesterday to Shifa Hospital and the European
Hospital in Khan Yunis, which were running on
generators because of the fuel blockade imposed to put
pressure on Hamas to stop Qassam rocket attacks on

Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aryeh Mekel, said
2.2 million litres of industrial fuel for the power
plant, 500,000 litres of diesel for generators and
supplies of cooking gas would be allowed in, along
with 50 trucks of food and medicine, but the
restrictions on petrol would continue.

UNRWA was also hoping for a delivery of the nylon bags
with which it packs basic emergency food rations such
as rice and lentils for about 870,000 Gaza residents.
But Christopher Gunness, the agency's chief spokesman,
said: " This drip drip, door closed, door left ajar
approach makes it very difficult to provide for the
needs of well nigh a million people in Gaza."

The Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, had earlier
declared: "As far as I'm concerned, all the residents
of Gaza can walk and have no fuel ... because they
have a murderous terrorist regime that doesn't allow
people in the south of Israel to live in peace."

Officials suggested that continued supplies would
depend on whether the barrages of rockets into Israel
continued. "We are not committing on how often we will
do this," said Shlomo Dror, of the Israeli military's
civil administration.

Israeli media quoted a Defence Ministry official
saying that the lull in rocket attacks on Israel in
the past three days appeared to show that " they have
got the message in Gaza".

John Ging, UNRWA's director of operations in Gaza,
said the people of Sderot, the Israeli town worst hit
by Qassam fire, were entitled to protection. But he
said the majority of Gazans did not support the
attacks and were powerless to prevent them.

"We cannot measure punitive sanctions, collective in
their nature, by the number of rockets fired. One's
actions have to be measured against the rule of law,
the legal standards that are the fabric of civilised
society," said Mr Ging.

Sari Bashi, the director of the Israeli civil rights
group Gisha, said Israel had done by the "back door"
what it was prevented from doing by the Supreme Court
- cutting directly the electricity supplies from
Israel which provide well over half of Gaza's power.
Gisha said the crisis had been "planned in advance".

Mr Ging agreed with the managers of Gaza's power
station, who rejected Israeli claims that Hamas had
exaggerated the crisis. "The representative of the
government of Israel who said that was quite obviously
misinformed about the reality here, and needs to be
made accountable for making that statement," he said.

UN officials pointed out that the partial lifting of
the blockade would not help Gaza's economy because an
import/export ban imposed following Hamas's enforced
takeover of Gaza in June was still in place. Mr Ging
added: " Since June, there have been 70 per cent fewer
imports than before [the ban] - and before June the
situation was already desperate."

Dr Geathny, who spent seven years working at the
Shaere Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, and says he had
maintained contact with Jewish former colleagues "
until now", said he believed "most people in Israel
want to live in peace". He added: I think the problem
is the Israeli government and that is what my [Israeli
former] colleagues think also."

There was no independent confirmation last night of a
warning by Dr Raed al-Arani, a surgeon and spokesman
for Shifa Hospital, that its four generators had only
24 hours of fuel left. Dr al-Arani also claimed that
five patients brought to the hospital in the past 24
hours, including three babies, had died either from
hypothermia or from power cuts interrupting their
vital oxygen supplies at home.

Leading article: An unlawful policy of collective punishment
22 January 2008, The Independent (UK),

The siege of Gaza has reached a vicious new intensity.
Last Thursday, Israel blocked the delivery of fuel oil
supplies to the Strip. The result is that Gaza's only
power station has not functioned since the weekend.
Hundred of thousands of homes in the territory have
been left without power. Hospitals have been forced to
rely on diesel generators. Bakeries and petrol
stations have closed. International aid organisations
working in the Strip have warned of a threat to sewage
and water supplies if the blockade continues.

The Israeli government denies it is creating a
humanitarian crisis and calls the blackout a ploy by
Hamas, the authority in Gaza, "to attract
international sympathy". This is not a view shared by
John Ging, the operations director for the United
Nations refugee agency in Gaza. It is true that the
power station normally supplies only a third of the
Strip's electricity, but it is also clear that the
Strip's energy infrastructure cannot cope with such a
massive disruption to supplies. The suffering in Gaza
is real, and is the result of Israel's embargo.

While Israel is reluctant to admit the effects of its
blockade, it makes no bones about what the siege is
intended to achieve: it is designed to pressure Hamas
into putting a stop to the rocket attacks being
launched against Israel from within Palestinian
territory. Israel has a right to attempt to stop the
attacks on its civilian population, but not by any
means. International law specifically forbids
collective punishment of occupied populations. The
Geneva Conventions stipulate that occupying powers
have an obligation to supply utilities such as water
and power to occupied populations.

Israel has attempted to get around this by arguing
that it is no longer bound by the law governing the
administration of occupied territories because it
withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2005. But that is
thoroughly unconvincing. Israel still controls Gaza's
borders, airspace and territorial waters. It may have
begun referring to the Strip as a "hostile entity",
but this is plainly an area still under Israeli

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, and the
European Union's External Affairs Commissioner, Benita
Ferrero-Waldner, have both declared the embargo
unacceptable. But, as ever in the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, events are being propelled by internal
dynamics. There has been a rise in the number of
rocket attacks from Gaza of late. More than 200
rockets and mortar bombs have pounded southern Israel
in the past week. The Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud
Olmert, has been under domestic pressure to respond to
the bombardment. The embargo is his answer, along with
an escalation in targeted killings of suspected
Palestinian militants in the Strip. Israel's Deputy
Prime Minister, Haim Ramon, claims the strategy is
working because the number of rockets being fired has
fallen. But it is far too early to come to such a
judgement. The likelihood is that, in the absence of a
negotiated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the
rockets will soon begin to fall again....

Israel is justified in taking the rocket attacks
seriously. But collective punishment of 1.5 million
Gazans is no way to deal with the threat. All this
blockage will do is drive more Gazans into the arms of
militants and entrench a hatred of Israel among them.
Rather than making Israel safer, it will merely expose
her to greater danger.

Gaza will not be forgotten!
End the siege of Gaza

We want to appeal to all concerned, whether it be official bodies in
the International community, those in Israel and/or those within the
Palestinian community to work together to prevent the crimes being
committed against the civilians in Gaza because it is our responsibility
to take a stand against this oppression.

We would particularly like to raise awareness about the effect the fuel
shortage is having on everyday life. The civilians left without fuel are
left without the basic rights stated in Article 25 of Universal
declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the
health and well-being of himself and of his family, including medical

These standards have been removed because without fuel there is
no source of heating, ability to cook or clean water supply. In addition
some of the hospitals have been forced to limit their energy usage to
only essential life-saving equipment, and heating cannot be one of these
priorities even in this particularly harsh winter.
We, Palestinians and Internationals together, invite u to join us in
solidarity with those in Gaza suffering from the sanctions Israel have
imposed upon them.

We are here to protest against the collective punishment from which the
people of Gaza are suffering. Collective punishment is illegal according
to international law.

We will not stay silent in front of blatant injustice.

George S. Rismawi
Coordinator, Siraj Center For Holy Land Studies
Beit Sahour, Schoold Street
P.O.Box 48, Palestine

PLS sign a petition calling on the international community to help end the blockade and reach a ceasefire, take a look and add your name if you agree:


Dear friends,

Gaza's southern border has broken open, 350,000 Palestinians are crossing it and Israeli retaliation is expected. The world must step in urgently to prevent an explosion – so let's call on the United Nations, European Union and Arab League to oversee the opening of borders, and to help broker the ceasefire which civilians on all sides desperately need. Please click below to sign the emergency petition -- we'll deliver it when we reach 150,000 signatures -- sign now and forward this email to your friends and family:

The months-old border blockade of Gaza by Israel has finally hit crisis point. This week's blackouts caught the attention of the world, now the situation is slipping out of control -- militants have blown open Gaza's southern border with Egypt and Israel could act by force to close it.

The world can stop this crisis, and help save civilians on all sides. This isn't about taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: it's about 1.5 million human beings locked up in the biggest prison on earth. The blockade must be lifted and the border opened properly, with international controls to prevent weapons smuggling. The missile war between Israel and Gaza can only be stopped by a reciprocal ceasefire that Hamas stands ready to negotiate.

While Israel and the US remain committed to the failing siege, the UN, European Union and Arab League could step in to end this blockade, oversee open borders, and help broker the ceasefire which civilians on all sides desperately need -- so sign the petition and spread the word:

The humanitarian crisis of Gaza is only getting worse, as patients die in hospitals for lack of care, and clean drinking water runs low. Palestinian militants are still launching missiles at the Israeli town of Sderot, and Israeli missiles claimed 35 Palestinian lives last week -- many of them civilian.

No genuine peace talks will be possible while this crisis continues. In the Israel-Lebanon war of 2006, we saw how global pressure and assistance can stop such a crisis and protect civilians from harm -- we cannot stay silent about the crisis in Gaza. Please add your name now at the link above, and forward this message widely.

With hope and determination,

Ricken, Paul, Galit, Esra'a, Pascal, Ben and the whole Avaaz team


I was number 24,518 to sign the above petition- what are you?

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter...The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy....History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr



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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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Vanunu's Message to

Hillary Clinton re:
The Apartheid Wall

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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.


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 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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posted 3/25/2009

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