Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jews and Palestinians Working together. Playing Together. Thats the path of peace

The real path of peace has never been Boycotts, Divestments and Sanction. The real path of peace ,as difficult as it may sound, is more interactions- more cultural and economic ties. Greater interdependence.

I'm not the only one who feels this way

From YNET:
In Israel Bowl IV, the majority of players on Judean Rebels football team are "settlers" from the settlements, but team's real stars are four Arab cousins.

"We play as a team and leave our personal stuff on the side. If they can do it, I can, too," said Musa Elayyan, a 21-year-old Rebels defensive lineman from the West Bank city of Ramallah who grew up in the United States and goes by the nickname "Moose." "Once you've played together you create a bond, especially on a successful team."

American football is still an afterthought on the Israeli sporting scene, it has steadily gained ground in recent years. This year's Israel Bowl attracted more than 1,000 fans and was broadcast live on the Israeli sports channel.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Female Egyptian Protestors forced to undergo virginity tests

From amnesty International:

After army officers violently cleared the square of protesters on 9 March, at least 18 women were held in military detention. Amnesty International has been told by women protesters that they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges.

‘Virginity tests’ are a form of torture when they are forced or coerced.

"Forcing women to have ‘virginity tests’ is utterly unacceptable. Its purpose is to degrade women because they are women," said Amnesty International. "All members of the medical profession must refuse to take part in such so-called 'tests'."

20-year-old Salwa Hosseini told Amnesty International that after she was arrested and taken to a military prison in Heikstep, she was made, with the other women, to take off all her clothes to be searched by a female prison guard, in a room with two open doors and a window.  During the strip search, Salwa Hosseini said male soldiers were looking into the room and taking pictures of the naked women.

The women were then subjected to ‘virginity tests’ in a different room by a man in a white coat. They were threatened that “those not found to be virgins” would be charged with prostitution.

According to information received by Amnesty International, one woman who said she was a virgin but whose test supposedly proved otherwise was beaten and given electric shocks.

“Women and girls must be able to express their views on the future of Egypt and protest against the government without being detained, tortured, or subjected to profoundly degrading and discriminatory treatment,” said Amnesty International.
“The army officers tried to further humiliate the women by allowing men to watch and photograph what was happening, with the implicit threat that the women could be at further risk of harm if the photographs were made public.”‘virginity-tests’-2011-03-23

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Echo and the Bunnymen Under Attack on Facebook

Everytime an artist agrees to play in israel, a coordinated attack is unleashed. Letters and emails are sent to the artist and his/her manager. Faxes are sent. And their facebook page is swamped.

Echo and the Bunnymen are currently in the crosshairs. They follow in the footsteps of the Buzzcocks, macy Grey, Jethro Tull, and so many others. Their facebook page is filled with politics and polemics.

But there is also fraud. Check out the screen shot above. "Nick libya"( yeah right) has actually threatened to take out a fake Twitter account in the name of Echo and the Bunnymen, to "have some fun".

What I've learned from participation in these squirmishes before- the haters will stop at nothing to get their way.

Friday, March 18, 2011

If this is Friday this must be Bi'lin

Just another peaceful Friday in Bi'lin, as the local youth and their international instigators and human shields practice non-violent resistance with rocks.

Just like Gandhi used to throw....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

British Muslims for Israel? British Muslims for Israel!!!!!

From a remarkable new Blog- British Muslims for Israel

Here at BMFI, we do not believe the Arab-Israeli conflict is a war over land or religion, but it is a clash of ideas. Israel, as a Western liberal democracy, extends equal rights to all of its citizens, regardless of religion or race. Muslims have more rights in Israel than in any other country in the Middle East.

While Egypt guns down Sudanese refugees fleeing the murderous oppression of their government, Israel gives them home and shelter; while Lebanon denies Palestinian refugees access to healthcare, Israel provides emergency treatment for the residents of the West Bank and Gaza strip; while Syria keeps the Palestinians in refugee camps and sporadically slaughters them, Israel offered full citizenship to all its Palestinians after the Arab states attempted to destroy Israel and slaughter its Holocaust survivors in 1948.

Israel undoubtedly has made some bad choices, but what other country in the region holds enquiries to censure itself? BMFI is not solely for Zionists, but it is for all those British Muslims who recognise Israel’s right to exist and believe that a peaceful solution must be achieved.

Groups such as the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, Viva Palestina, Stop the War do NOT speak for us


And you know what? They don't speak for me, either.

The Arab Revolutions:Guiding Principles for Peace and Justice Organizations in the US

Just got this email with the request to forward it widely.
I must say- I love the grandiose sweeping statements, as though all Arabs, all Muslims, all people of color speak with one voice.

Take it with a grain of salt. Hell, take it with a shaker of salt.
And direct your feedback here:

The Arab Revolutions: Guiding Principles for Peace and Justice Organizations in the US
We, the undersigned, support the guiding principles and demands listed in this statement. We call on groups who want to express solidarity with the Arab revolutions to join our growing movement by signing this statement or keeping with the demands put forward herewith.

The long-awaited Arab revolution has come. Like a geologic event with the reverberations of an earthquake, the timing and circumstances were unpredictable. In one Arab country after another, people are taking to the street demanding the fall of monarchies established during European colonial times. They are also calling to bring down dictatorships supported and manifested by neo-colonial policies. Although some of these autocratic regimes rose to power with popular support, the subsequent division and subjugation of the Arab World led to a uniform repressive political order across the region. The Arab masses in different Arab countries are therefore raising a uniform demand: “The People Want to Topple the Regimes!”
For the past two decades, the Arab people witnessed the invasion and occupation of Iraq with millions killed under blockade and occupation, Palestinians massacred with the aim to crush the anti-Zionist resistance, and Lebanon repeatedly invaded with the purposeful targeting of civilians. These actions all served to crush resistance movements longing for freedom, development, and self-determination. Meanwhile, despotic dictatorships, some going back 50 years, entrenched themselves by building police states, or fighting wars on behalf of imperialist interests.
Most Arab regimes systematically destroyed the social fabric of civil society, stifled social development, repressed all forms of political dissent and democratic expression, mortgaged their countries' wealth to foreign interests and enriched themselves and their cronies at the expense of impoverishing their populations. After pushing the Arab people to the brink, populations erupted.
The spark began in Tunisia where a police officer slapped and spat on Mohammad Bou Azizi, flipping over his produce cart for not delivering a bribe on time. Unable to have his complaint heard, he self-immolated in protest, igniting the conscience of the Tunisian people and that of 300 million Arabs. In less than a month, the dictator, Zine El Abedine Ben Ali, was forced into exile by a Tunisian revolution. On its way out, the regime sealed its legacy by shooting at unarmed protestors and burning detention centers filled with political prisoners. Ben Ali was supported by the US and Europe in the fight against Islamic forces and organized labor.
Hosni Mubarak’s brutal dictatorship fell less than a month after Tunisia’s. The revolution erupted at a time when one half of the Egyptian population was living on less than $2/day while Mubarak’s family amassed billions of dollars. The largest population recorded in Egyptian history was living in graveyards and raising their children among the dead while transportation and residential infrastructure was crumbling. Natural gas was supplied to Israel at 15% of the market price while the Rafah border was closed with an underground steel wall to complete the suffocation of the Palestinians in Gaza. Those who were deemed a threat swiftly met the fate of Khalid Said. 350 martyrs fell and 2,000 people were injured.
After Egypt and Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan exploded in protest. Some governments quickly reshuffled faces and ranks without any tangible change. Some, like Bahrain and Yemen, sent out their security forces to massacre civilians. The Yemeni regime used US-made chemical weapons on protestors, at the same time it opened fire on unarmed civilians. Oman and Yemen represent strategic assets for the US as they are situated on the straits of Hormuz and Aden, respectively. Bahrain is an oil country that hosts a US military base, situated in the Persian Gulf. A new round of US funded blood-letting of Arab civilians has begun!
Libyan dictator Qaddafi did not prove to be an exception. He historically took anti-imperialist positions for a united Arab World and worked for an African Union. He later transformed his regime to a subservient state and opened Libya to British Petroleum and Italian interests, working diligently on privatization and political repression. He amassed more wealth than that of Mubarak. In the face of the Libyan revolution, Qaddafi exceeded the brutality of Ben Ali, Mubarak and Ali Abdullah Saleh, blind-folding and executing opponents, surrounding cities with tanks, and bombing his own country. Death toll is expected to be in the thousands.
Qaddafi’s history makes Libya an easy target for imperialist interests. The Obama administration followed the Iraq cookbook by freezing Libyan assets amounting to 30% of the annual GDP. The White House, with the help of European governments, rapidly implemented sanctions and called for no-fly zones. These positions were precipitated shortly after the US vetoed a resolution condemning the illegal Israeli colonization of the West Bank. Special operations personnel from the UK were captured by the revolutionary commanders in Ben Ghazi and sent back.
We call for a united movement in support of the Arab revolutions for freedom. We oppose all military and economic measures taken by the US and European governments against Arab nations.
Demands of the Solidarity Movement with Arab Revolutions

1. We condemn the atrocities committed by the dictatorships’ security forces against unarmed civilians in an attempt to pull the protest movements into a state of civil war.
2. We demand a stop to US support, financing and trade with Arab dictatorships. We oppose US policy that has favored Israeli expansionism, war, US oil interest and strategic shipping routes at the expense of Arab people’s freedom and dignified living.
3. We support the Arab people’s right to sovereignty and self-determination. We demand that the US government stop its interference in the internal affairs of all Arab countries and end subsidies to wars and occupation.
4. We support the Arab people’s demands for political, civil and economic rights. The Arab people’s movement is calling for:
a. Deposing the unelected regimes and all of their institutional remnants
b. Constitutional reform guaranteeing freedom of organizing, speech and press
c. Free and fair elections
d. Independent judiciary
e. National self-determination.
5. We oppose all forms of US and European military intervention with or without the legitimacy of the UN. Standing in solidarity with the revolution against Qaddafi, or any other dictator, does not equate to supporting direct or indirect colonization of an Arab country, its oil or its people. We therefore call for:
a. Absolute rejection of military blockades, no-fly zones and interventions.
b. Lifting all economic sanctions placed against Libya and allowing for the formation of an independent judiciary to prosecute Qaddafi and deposed dictators for their crimes.
c. Immediately withdrawing the US and NATO troops from the Arab region.
6. We support Iraq’s right to sovereignty and self determination and call on the US to immediately withdraw all occupation personnel from Iraq.
7. We recognize that the borders separating Arab nations were imposed on the Arab people by the colonial agreements of Sykes-Picot and the Berlin Conference on Africa. As such, we support the anti-Zionist nature of this revolution in its call for:
a. Ending the siege and starvation of the Palestinian people in Gaza
b. Supporting the right of the Palestinian people to choose their own representation, independent of Israeli and US dictates
c. Supporting the Palestinian right to return
d. Supporting the right of the Lebanese people to defend their country from Israeli violations and their call to end vestiges of the colonial constitution constructed on the basis of sectarian representation
e. Supporting the right of the Jordanian people to rid themselves of their repressive monarchy
f. Ending all US aid to Israel.

For endorsements please email
Al-Awda (The Palestine Right to Return Coalition), Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), Bay Area United Against War (, International Socialist Organization (ISO), Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), Palestinian Youth Network (PYN), United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), Nada Khader, ED WESPAC Foundation, Michael Letwin, Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War; Labor for Palestine

Sunday, March 13, 2011

3 dead children? Its Israel's fault

When is a denouncement of violence not a denouncement of violence? Here's an example.

March 12, 2011 Palestinian Popular Committees Against the Wall and Israeli Settlements express their deep sadness and sorrow concerning the killing incident in the Itamar colonial settlement. The Popular Committees view the killing incidence as a part of the escalation generated and mobilized by the policies and actions of the Israeli occupation. These policies created the circumstances for committing these heinous actions. Therefore, we believe that the Israeli government bears full responsibility for the occupation and its consequences. The Popular Committees are committed to nonviolence and civil disobedience in our struggle to end the Israeli occupation. Though the crime was committed on colonized land, we see the killing of children as a despicable crime regardless of their nationality, gender, color, race or religion.

١٢-٣-٢٠١١ تعبر اللجان الشعبية الفلسطينة لمقاومة الجدار و الاستيطان الاسرائيلي عن الحزن و الاسى لحادث القتل الذي جرى في مستعمرة يتامار. ترى اللجان الشعبية في حادثة القتل كجزء من سياسة التصعيد التي يمارسها و يحركها الاحتلال الاسرائيلي. هده السياسات هي ...التي توجد الظروف لممارسة الاعمال البشعة. لذلك فإننا نحمل الاحتلال الاسرائيلي المسؤولية الكاملة للاحتلال و افرازاته. ان اللجان الشعبية ملتزمة بنضالها السلمي و العصيان المدني من اجل انهاء الاحتلال الاسرائيلي. و عليه و بغض النظر عن ان العمل قد ارتكب على ارض محتلة، فإننا نرى قتل الاطفال جريمة بشعة بغض النظر عن الهوية، الجنس، اللون، العرق و الدين


Maybe I'm wrong here, but as far as I understand, someone broke into a families home and slit the throats of the three children WHILE THEY WERE SLEEPING. No amount of mumbling about the "occupation" can rationalize the murder of an infant in her crib.

And again, sweets were passed out in Gaza.