Friday, December 31, 2010

1000 Anti-Wall Protestors in Bil'in Breach the Wall! Happy New Year, Palestine

Protesters carrying back a dismantled part of the wall back to the village- Photos By Hamde Abu-Rahma

Over a thousand protesters responded to the Bil'in Popular Committee's call to march on the Wall in the village today, in what they announced to be "the last day of the Wall."

For more on this exciting New Year story, which also sadly includes serious injuries, go to Friends of Bilin website:

Little Town Of Bethlehem Documentary: January 7th, 7:00 PM, Bloedel Hall, St. Marks Cathedral

Q&A afterward with Amin Odeh, born and raised in Bethlehem

Haaretz: "Shock and Awe" [Gaza 2008-09]

Parsing the murder of people in police uniforms

Top IDF sources said this week that the planning of the surprise attack was influenced, to some extent, by the doctrine of "shock and awe."

This American doctrine, which materialized over the past two decades, holds that the attacking side should use a high degree of force and apply it accurately to targets in a very short time. The idea is to engender a sense of dread and shock among the enemy and eradicate its motivation to launch counterattacks. IDF officers appear to have studied the doctrine closely. Cast Lead's opening act [attacks on the police stations in Gaza] included all the characteristics defined in professional literature about this doctrine, one whose efficacy and moral status remain in dispute. As part of its adjustments after the Second Lebanon War, and to implement the "shock and awe" doctrine, the IDF compiled, over a two year period, a list of possible attack targets..

According to an IDF intelligence officer, "in the past, each branch - the air force, artillery, the navy, special units - would act independently, in consultation with intelligence officers, and compile its own list of targets ... This time, all of that work was done in a coordinated fashion." One officer who took part in compiling the list of targets and in forging an attack plan is Brigadier General (res. ) Zvi Fogel, who was Southern Command artillery commander at the time of Cast Lead. His comments suggest that the harsh results of the first strike were planned, more or less.

Last paragraph of article retreats from "soul-searching" to arrogant Israeli ruthlessness which we have come to know:
Was there truly a justification, from Israel's standpoint, to liquidate two groups of policemen during inspection exercises, or was it all a matter of contingency and convenience? As one well-placed military source put it, could it have been simply that "the weather was good that Saturday - we waited for a moment that would allow us to hit targets that would cause the most damage, and that could be hit during a lull in the stormy weather."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Not Just A Friend" -- Ayed Morrar Regarding Jonathan Pollak
Jonathan Pollak is a friend whose friendship I am proud to share, despite all the efforts of the Israeli intelligence services that tries to depict the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis as either one of treachery or normalization based on our adoption of the notion that Israelis have the right to superiority over us in their daily lives and that we must get used to this or live as servants or traitors. Israeli intelligence tries to distort the image of any Palestinian-Israeli relationship based on joint resistance to occupation, an occupation that is the root of our problems in the region. We want to reach a point where there is no such occupation, and rather relations based on justice and true peace between equals, and not a peace between a slave and master.

I, a Palestinian, admit now that my friendships within Palestinian society are not all based on resistance to the occupation, but I wouldn't dare to build a friendship with an Israeli outside of resistance to the occupation, because of how the occupation distorts the meanings of human relationships, and because dignity would not allow me to have a relationship with someone who feels superior to me because of their power, gender, religion or ethnicity.

Jonathan Pollak is a man trying to prove that those who believe in occupation cannot claim to be humanitarian or civilized. He also wants to prove that resisting oppression and occupation does not mean being a terrorist or killing.

This freedom fighter, Jonathan Pollak, leaves a prison cell only to be sentenced again by the Israeli occupation authorities, and recovers from one of his solidarity demonstrations only to be injured again in the next one. We can't let his work be lost without our appreciation because we lack confidence in ourselves or in our relationships of joint struggle. Palestinians should be proud to give him the name "freedom fighter" against oppression, occupation and racism.

We have all the respect in the world for this freedom fighter and for all his colleagues from all parts of the world, from over forty countries. They left the temptations of life where they are from, and left their families and friends to join our struggle for humanity on this planet, choosing the path of those who sacrificed themselves for freedom in Palestine. International activists like the American Rachel Corrie and the British citizen Tom Hurndall, both killed by Israeli soldiers, are honored like Palestinians who died, and similarly Jonathan Pollak and his imprisoned Israeli colleagues are a part of the movement of imprisoned Palestinians.

"Students for Justice in Palestine Condemns US Government Witch Hunt"
"For if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night."
- James Baldwin, in an open letter to Angela Davis, 19 November 1970

As students at over fifty American universities, we unequivocally condemn the abuse of grand jury subpoenas to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights by university students and anti-war activists speaking and organizing against Israel's continued oppression of the Palestinian people. Since 24 September 2010, the FBI has served at least 24 grand jury subpoenas on students and activists in a secret investigation that many have called a witch hunt. We call upon Attorney General Eric Holder and United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to respect the civil rights and free speech of all those who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom by immediately withdrawing grand jury subpoenas which threaten the First Amendment rights of students and activists around the country.

The government's assault on organizations and individuals who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom has become increasingly authoritarian. The abuse of laws criminalizing "material support for terrorism" is unprecedented and, had they been implemented at the time of South African apartheid, would have effectively criminalized broad American support for the anti-apartheid movement. At the apparent behest of US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the government today has cast a net so wide that it has entangled journalists, college students, and peace activists. We know that a campaign so indiscriminate will seriously impinge on the First Amendment and other civil rights of people living in the United States. This will, in particular, affect active and outspoken students on university campuses, especially those of Palestinian descent.

It is not only our right but also our moral duty to speak and act against American foreign policy and its destructive impact on innocent people around the world. Today, America unfortunately stands behind Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people with money, weaponry, and diplomatic support. We seek to reverse this situation so that American foreign policy stands on the side of people who work towards justice. We reject the government's efforts to isolate the Palestinian people by severing them from their non-violent supporters abroad. Therefore we stand in solidarity with the victims of our government's campaign both in America and around the globe.

If Attorney Fitzgerald's campaign marks the morning of a new day, then we are certain of what awaits us in the night. Like Baldwin before us, we live in an age in which silence is not only criminal but suicidal -- we shall, therefore, make as much noise as we can.

Paul Craig Roberts and Glenn Greenwald on Stenographer Media


With truth the declared enemy of the fantasy world in which the government, media, and public reside, the nation has turned on whistleblowers. Bradley Manning, who allegedly provided the media with the video made by U.S. troops of their wanton, fun-filled slaughter of newsmen and civilians, has been abused in solitary confinement for six months. Murdering civilians is a war crime, and as General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the National Press Club on February 17, 2006, “It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral” and to make such orders known. If Manning is the source of the leak, he has been wrongfully imprisoned for meeting his military responsibility. The media have yet to make the point that the person who reported the crime, not the persons who committed it, is the one who has been imprisoned, and without a trial.


What an astounding feat to train a nation's journalist class to despise above all else those who shine a light on what the most powerful factions do in the dark and who expose their corruption and deceit, and to have journalists -- of all people -- lead the way in calling for the head of anyone who exposes the secrets of the powerful. Most ruling classes -- from all eras and all cultures -- could only fantasize about having a journalist class that thinks that way, but most political leaders would have to dismiss that fantasy as too extreme, too implausible, to pursue. After all, how could you ever get journalists -- of all people -- to loathe those who bring about transparency and disclosure of secrets? But, with a few noble exceptions, that's exactly the journalist class we have.

"Israel detained 1,100 children in 2010" -- Maan News
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained 1,100 Palestinian children in 2010, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Detainees' Affairs said Wednesday.

The arrests were concentrated in East Jerusalem, where 500 children were detained, and in Hebron, the ministry found.

PA Detainees' Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqe said the high number reflected the Israeli policy to systematically pursue children, particularly in occupied East Jerusalem, where children were often put under house arrest.

In its report, the ministry said prisoners were routinely kept in solitary confinement in cells which resembled graves. Some prisoners, including Hasan Salameh and Ahmad Al-Mughrabi, have spent more than eight years in such inhumane conditions.

The Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet ordered 12 Palestinian prisoners to serve long sentences in solitary confinement, the report said.

Petitions to Israeli courts have failed as the policy is politically motivated, the ministry said, adding that it has requested that European politicians intervene.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Gallery Patrons Ejected Over Gaza Flotilla T-Shirts" -- NYTimes Robert Mackey

Thanks, Kathy &

Four activists were forced to leave an art gallery in New York this month for wearing T-shirts promoting an effort to include an American boat in the next blockade-challenging Gaza flotilla.

The incident came on the final day of an exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery called “Next Year in Jerusalem,” featuring pieces by the German artist Anselm Kiefer on the subject of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

The T-shirts worn by the activists repeated the show’s title, which is borrowed from a Jewish prayer, in English, Hebrew and Arabic, on the front and said “U.S. Boat to Gaza” and “The Audacity of Hope” on the back. (As The Lede explained in a previous post, the American activists plan to call their boat the Audacity of Hope, echoing the title of a book by President Obama.)

As Claudia Roth Pierpont reported in an account of the incident on the New Yorker’s Web site last week, the gallery, on West 24th Street, called the police, and force was used to eject one bystander who asked the officers why the activists were being ordered to leave.

According to Ms. Pierpont, before the police arrived, the activists had tried to draw attention to their cause in a low-key manner:

Quietly moving through the Anselm Kiefer show at the Gagosian Gallery on its final afternoon were eight people wearing black T-shirts that bore the show’s portentous title — “Next Year in Jerusalem ”— in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. They didn’t speak unless spoken to; they took pictures of themselves standing before some equally portentous works of Holocaust-evoking art. (Everyone was taking pictures; the catalogue cost a hundred dollars.) Only if approached did one of the group explain that they were part of an organization called U.S. Boat to Gaza, which plans to sponsor a ship in the next flotilla to sail against the Israeli blockade. Half of the group had left, and they were reduced to four by the time that gallery representatives asked them to leave, unimpressed by their claims to be extending the discussion that Kiefer had begun. Morality. Guilt. Jewish tragedy, past and present. (“This is private property,” a gallerista in towering heels shot back. “We’re here to sell art.”) A call to the police was threatened. In response, the activists put on their jackets — covering the offending Passover phrase, even while complaining that it had not, to their knowledge, been copyrighted — and asked if they might stay. Without reply, the representatives walked away.

In a widely circulated e-mail account, one of the activists, Laurie Arbeiter, wrote that a member of the Gagosian staff “explained that they had received complaints about the words on our shirt, which were causing confusion, and therefore we would have to leave.”

When New York City police officers arrived at the gallery, they ordered the activists and a gallery patron who had approached them to leave. Ms. Pierpont reported that the patron, a German-American named Ingrid Homberg, initially refused to go. One of the officers responded by pulling Ms. Homberg so roughly by the arm that she fell to the ground, Ms. Pierpont reported. According to Ms. Pierpont, Ms. Homberg, who is in her late 50’s, was then dragged, “howling with pain, across the floor of two long rooms to the doorway.” The New York Police Department denied that Ms. Homberg was dragged out of the gallery.

The gallery is closed this week but described the incident last week as an “unfortunate disturbance,” according to Ms. Pierpont’s New Yorker post.

In a post about the show, an artist and blogger named Mira Schor published another eyewitness account of the incident from Renée Monrose, an artist who says she saw the officers remove Ms. Homberg.

Ms. Arbeiter, an antiwar activist with a group called the Critical Voice, has been involved in a dispute over free speech and T-shirts before. In 2006, an Iraqi blogger named Raed Jarrar was not allowed to board a JetBlue flight wearing a shirt she had given him with the words “We will not be silent” written on it in English and Arabic.*

After the A.C.L.U. filed suit on his behalf, two Transportation Security Administration officials and JetBlue agreed to pay Mr. Jarrar $240,000 to settle his claim that they had discriminated against him based on his ethnicity and the writing on his T-shirt.

*An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the Iraqi blogger’s t-shirt said, “I will not be silent.” Thanks to hte reader who pointed out the error.

Peace On Earth. Classic Christmas Cartoon. MGM 1939.

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27 in Seattle -- Remembering Gaza

UPDATE: Our friend Elliot Stoller did take pictures. Please see them here:

Hello, Gaza.

I have no pictures because I was carrying too many things on our vigil/walk this evening. An umbrella, a lantern against the dark and a sign.

Seattle did remember and pay homage to Gaza and the gaping hole left in you by the 2008-2009 massacre by Israel.

50 people who remember Gaza sought to help the rest of Seattle remember too. There were television cameras there who did record the cries of the people repeated by the 50.

Red signs saying "1400 Dead" "Remember" and my white sign about "Free Bethlehem" to let the people know that all Palestinians are in some sort of prison and want to be free.

We remember you, Gaza, and the land you belong to, Palestine. It will be free; you will be free or none of us will be free.

Navy Makes Move Today on Jeju Island -- People Strugle Against U.S. Base

As I write this the people of the Gangjeong village on Jeju Island in South Korea are in the midst of the fight of their lives. It is today that they face down the Navy and the plans to destroy their sacred coastline for the Navy base where U.S. Aegis destroyers (built here in Bath, Maine) will be ported.

As I write this they might be sitting in the road trying to block the construction machinery from beginning work. They might be getting arrested in large numbers. They are so isolated and few around the world know anything of their struggle to save the rocks, the water, the coral, the fish and their way of life.

On Christmas day a Catholic mass was held for the villagers along the rocky coastline by the Bishop of Jeju Island. Below is the latest report we got from Global Network board member Sung-Hee Choi who has been at the village for the last couple of weeks standing with the people and helping to spread word about their fight to others in Korea and around the world:

In the Joongduk coast - the planned naval base area - snowflakes fell onto the beautiful coast rocks and sea, as well, displaying a mysterious view as the sea horizon became clouded. It was a terrible feeling to think that the most beautiful rocks and sea in the Jeju Island might be covered with concrete if the naval base construction is enforced.

At 3:00 pm, there was a peace mass, called, ‘the Christmas missal to save life and peace of the Jeju Island,’ lead by Fr. Kang Woo-Il, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea & the Bishop of the Catholic Jeju district, along with many fathers and nuns in the Jeju island. The event was hosted by the Special Committee for the Island of Peace, Catholic Jeju district. About 400~500 followers and Gangjeong villagers gathered and represented their will to save the Jeju island of Peace from the naval base construction.

Bishop Kang Woo-Il led the mass and said, “Military base cannot save peace and life”
and that he “would be together with the lonely and oppressed Gangjeong villagers.”
The least we can do is to let others know about this terrible moment so that the valiant struggle of the Gangjeong villagers is not done without the world knowing about it. Please pass on word about this and also call the South Korean embassy in your country and protest the construction of the Navy base for U.S. warships on Jeju Island.
As you can see in the small yellow signs being held by the people in the crowd that read "No War" the villagers understand that construction of this Navy base, so close to China's coastline, is a wildly provocative move in the U.S. military strategy to surround China. It will only bring more conflict to their part of the world.

Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502 (blog)

Gaza Friends: We Sail Again in the Spring!

"Gaza Two Years Later"

Gaza Two Years Later is a series of posts by Gazan bloggers and writers reflecting on the two-year anniversary of the Israeli attack on Gaza in the winter of 2008/09. Special thanks to Mohammed Rabah Suliman and Laila El-Haddad for helping connect us to the amazing writers we featured. All posts are listed below:

A little girl, by Rawan Yaghi. Yaghi, 17, is a secondary school student in Gaza. She blogs at

My Mom suddenly stopped singing and stopped calmly feeling my hair. Her hand also stopped shaking. She was keeping me on her lap, trying to keep me warm in that cold night. It was too dark that I could barely see her face. She was very warm, but she gradually lost that comforting heat. I tried to keep it, so I covered her with the small blanket she was covering me with and I stayed in her lap. Some minutes passed; however, she didn't continue singing, and her body kept going colder. There was so much going on outside. I could hear a man weakly weeping. I thought she was listening to the sounds outside trying to know what was happening.

How I survived, by Sameeha Elwan. Elwan, 22, is an English Literature graduate from the Islamic University of Gaza. She blogs at

The nights were dark and cold at that room. And when all would decide to stop talking, and try to sleep, I would start reading. Solaced by one and only one book that I kept reading over and over again, my mother, taking notice that I, unlike the others did not pretend to sleep, would start rebuking me every time she sees me holding the book so close to my eyes with one hand while the other holding a candle. “Are you planning to die burnt? Wait for your fate.” It was then I grew that fascination for Darwish, his “She is a song” was such a great relief. He, too, lived a war. He, too, wanted to survive to sing her a song and to make a cup of morning coffee. How many wars have we witnessed so far? Why didn’t the word cause me to tremble before as I’m trembling now? Perhaps it’s only cold.

"Israeli Activist Sentenced to 3 Months in Prison for Protesting Gaza War"

Despite evidence of Israeli wrongdoing in the course of the Gaza war, the only Israeli sentenced to jail so far is a leftist who choose to ride his bike through Tel Aviv in non-violent protest. The state of Israel sent a clear message with this verdict: that it will not tolerate dissent from the left. In fact, the state persecutor asked for a severe sentence in order to ‘make an example out of Pollak and those who engage in similar anti-occupation work.” Pollak said that he will continue to work with Palestinians against the occupation and repeatedly cited the much harsher verdicts given to Palestinians involved in non-violent protests. The only remorse that he showed was that he did not do enough to express dissent about the siege of Gaza. If peacefully riding a bike against violent aggression is a crime, Pollak said that we will happily go to jail. The fragility of Israeli democracy is on full display when one of its privileged sons can’t even ride a bike in protest of an aggressive and violent war on a besieged people.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ilan Pappe: Try to Avoid Next Gaza Massacre -- Speak Up Now! Tomorrow (Monday) at 5 p.m. South End of Westlake

The Drums of War Are Heard Again in Israel - Ilan Pappe

The steadfastness of the people of Gaza and that of the Palestinian people in general means that the grand Israeli strategy to wither them away - as the founder of the Zionist movement, Theodore Herzl, hoped to do to the indigenous people of Palestine already in the very end of the nineteenth century - will not work. But the price may yet rise and it is time for all those who voiced a powerful and effective voice AFTER the Gaza massacre two years ago, to do it NOW, and try and avert the next one.

Social Security Has $2.5 Trillion Surplus -- Does NOT Need Fixing


Trudy Lieberman: What are we to make of this consensus on fixes to Social Security that some in the media tell us has been reached?

William Greider: This is a staggering scandal for the media. I have yet to see a straightforward, non-ideological, non-argumentative piece in any major paper that describes the actual condition of Social Security. The core fact is that Social Security has not contributed a dime to the deficit, but has piled up trillions in surpluses, which the government has borrowed and spent. Social Security’s surpluses have actually offset the impact of the deficit, beginning with Reagan.

TL: Why don’t reporters report this?

WG: They identify with the wisdom of the elites who don’t want to talk about this—because if people understand that Social Security has a $2.5 trillion surplus, building toward more than $4 trillion, people will ask why are politicians trying to cut Social Security benefits?

TL: Is that why coverage has been so one-sided?

WG: Most reporters, with few exceptions, assume the respectables are telling the truth about Social Security, when it is really propaganda. What elites are saying is deeply misleading, and they deliberately are distorting the story. But reporters think they are smart people and must know what they are talking about.

TL: Who influences the coverage?

WG: There are layers of influence that tell reporters this is the safe side of the story. They don’t go to people who might be unsafe sources, like labor leaders who know how changes will affect workers, or to old liberals who are out of favor but who know the origins of Social Security and why it was set up in the first place, or to neutral experts like actuaries who actually understand how it works and what the trust funds are all about. If they write about what the AFL-CIO thinks, they are out of the orthodoxy.

TL: What are other layers?

WG: Most reporters who cover difficult areas typically develop sources, and they write for those sources. They don’t want to offend them for fear they will lose access. Reporters, we know, are sensitive, nervous animals; they act like scared little rabbits. They also know what the owners of their publications think. And those owners think pretty much what the Business Roundtable and Chamber of Commerce think.

TL: Are reporters disconnected from the public?

WG: Reporters are so embedded in the established way of understanding things. They are distanced from people at large and don’t spend much time trying to see why ordinary people see things differently from the people in power—and why people are often right about things.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Metro Bus Ads -- Press Conference After Cancellation -- Elliot Stoller

"Bereaved Gaza Doctor to Sue Israel"
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, who lost three daughters when the Israeli army fired shells at his home during Operation Cast Lead, will file on Sunday a massive damages claim, an Israeli newspaper reported.

"I didn't want to file the lawsuit, and until now I didn't want to discuss it," he told Yedioth Ahronoth in a phone interview from Toronto, Canada, where he immigrated following the tragedy.

"I tried to take every step that would allow me to close this with love and goodwill, but they didn't leave me a choice. According to the law, the statute of limitations will apply to this case within a few weeks – but there is no statute of limitations on the blood of my daughters. It will stay with me forever. It's a catastrophe that's impossible to forget."

Abuelaish instructed his lawyer to avoid a lawsuit and reach a settlement with the security forces, which would include recognition and compensation, according to the report. But no such settlement was reached: The Defense Ministry's legal adviser, Ahaz Ben-Ari, announced this week that Abuelaish does not deserve compensation.

"Despite the severe outcome, from a legal standpoint our stance is that the operation during which Dr. Abuelaish's family members were hurt was an operation of war," Ben-Ari said. "Therefore, the State of Israel does not carry the responsibility for the damage it caused."

"Village of El Araqib Demolished for the Eighth Time Today"

This morning (23 December) at 7.00, approximately 40 police officers, together with authorities from the land administration and their bulldozers, began to gather at the Bakama Junction

in preparation for yet another demolition of the Bedouin village of El Araqib in the Negev. At 8.00 a.m. the destruction forces arrived to El Araqib, where they completely demolished the village. The Israeli authorities took vehicles that were in the village. Residents of El Araqib managed to save only some of the resident families’ personal effects; what they didn’t manage to save was buried under the destruction.

Yet again the residents of El Araqib are thrown into their fields with no roof over their heads, no belongings and with no solution offered to them.

Immediately following exit of the Israeli forces from the area, El Araqib residents began rebuilding their village. Activists will join residents of the village this weekend in rehabilitation work.

For additional details:

Yaakov: 050 5733276

Mumtaz: 050 7701118

Friday, December 24, 2010

MEDIA RELEASE: King County bans "Israeli War Crimes" posters- PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY @ NOON




Rod Such (425) 466-1002, Carla Curio (206) 307-3374, Edward Mast (206) 633-1086

Friday, December 24

12:00 noon

in front of the King County Administration Bldg

5th Ave between James and Jefferson

VIGIL AND PROTEST to remember the assault on Gaza, 2008-2009
Monday, December 27

5:00 pm

Westlake Park – south end

King County Executive Prevents “Israeli War Crimes” bus ads from appearing.

The upcoming Metro bus ad campaign by Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign has been cancelled by the King County Executive. The Campaign will hold a outdoor press conference at noon Friday in front of the King County Administration Bldg.

The bus ads, with the message “ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: Your Tax Dollars At Work” had been approved and accepted by King County officials several weeks before. The Seattle Mideast Awareness Coalition had signed a contract, paid the complete amount – over $3000 – and the ads themselves had been printed and delivered to Metro Transit for affixing to 12 buses.

Several groups purporting to represent the Jewish community mounted a campaign to prevent King County from putting up the ads. Their campaign included overwhelming Metro and King County phone lines and email boxes, raising the threat of potential violence against both community members and buses themselves, and making defamatory claims about the ads and the advertisers.

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced that the ad would not “be accepted” late in the afternoon on Thursday, citing potential disruptions and safety hazards to the Metro system.

“The ad itself is not disrupting Metro Transit operation and services,” says Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign member Edward Mast. “The ad is not causing a public safety hazard. Those who want the ad silenced mounted a campaign to disrupt Metro and generate threats. It’s disturbing that King County has given in to those who want to stop free speech with intimidation tactics.”

Local human rights activist and Jewish-American Peter Lippman said, “The State of Israel is not the same as the Jewish people, and Israel should be subject to criticism like any other state. These groups that insist on suppressing free speech about Israel do not represent many, many Jews in this country.”

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign maintains that the ad slogan contains facts, not rhetoric, and that war crimes by Israel have been widely documented.

After Israel’s three-week military offensive against the captive population of Gaza in 2008-9, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 Palestinians -- most of them non-combatants and more than 300 of them children -- a formal inquiry by the United Nations found grounds for a criminal investigation into war crimes by Israel. The UN report concluded that Israel’s assault was not in self-defense, but was “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population”.

In a report published on July 2, 2009, Amnesty International found evidence that Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians as human shields. Israeli soldiers have testified publicly to other human rights violations.

Several experts have made themselves available for press contact.

For more information about Israel/Palestine, human rights, war crimes and international law, please contact:


Professor of Politics & International Studies; Chair, Middle Eastern Studies Program

Home: 831-425-2975 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 831-425-2975 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Cell: 831-234-9468 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 831-234-9468 end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies; Fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam

202-309-1377 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-309-1377 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

For information about US funding of Israel, contact:


National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli

202-423-7666 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-423-7666 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Local residents who have recently visited Israel, the West Bank or Gaza:


Cell 360.477.8778 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 360.477.8778 end_of_the_skype_highlighting


253 537 1405 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 253 537 1405 end_of_the_skype_highlighting


360-359-6790 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 360-359-6790 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

For information about boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns:


Professor,Antioch College

For information about Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign


(425) 466-1002 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (425) 466-1002 end_of_the_skype_highlighting


(206) 307-3374 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (206) 307-3374 end_of_the_skype_highlighting,


Amin Odeh

"Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Shepherd Killed by Israeli Soldiers"
Maybe the people who don't like the "Israeli War Crimes" bus ads are right; it isn't really a war when only one side has weapons. It is ethnic cleansing bordering on genocide. Linda
December 23, 2010

Medics: 1 dead after shooting on Gaza border

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian shepherd died Thursday hours after Israeli troops shot him and three others along the border with Israel inside northern Gaza, medics said.

Salamah Abu Hashish, 22, sustained wounds to the back in the shooting, which occurred north of Beit Lahiya, Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya told Ma'an.

The official said Abu Hashish was the 13th Gazan to be killed since November and the 34th to suffer injuries near the border, which Israel considers a combat zone but residents call home.

Two Palestinians were critically injured in Thursday's shooting, Abu Salmiya said. One of them, a 14-year-old boy, sustained wounds to the head while collecting stones, he added.

A third person, aged 19, was moderately injured in his hand, medics said, and an 18-year-old was hurt near the Erez crossing in a separate shooting incident, Abu Salmiya said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that forces shot two Palestinians.

She added that the army fired warning shots before firing at the workers' lower bodies. The forces opened fire because the Palestinians refused to turn back, she said.

"This area is considered a combat zone used by terrorist organizations to execute attacks," the spokeswoman added. "For this reason, the IDF will not allow anyone to be present in it."

Hours after that incident the armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said it fired three mortars at an Israeli post east of Al-Bureij refugee camp.

In a statement, the National Resistance Brigades said "the shelling comes in response to Israeli crimes against Palestinians and to affirm the path of resistance is our strategic choice."

Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, deplored the incident and urged Israel to show "maximum restraint."

"I am distressed that incidents continue in the perimeter area of Gaza, and deplore the killing of one apparently unarmed Palestinian civilian and the injuring of a number of others by Israeli gunfire," he said.

"I call for maximum Israeli restraint and protection of civilians. I reiterate my appeal for calm and an end to violence, to bring about the de-escalation that all parties have stressed they wish to see."

"The UN does not want to see any renewed intensification of conflict," he added.

Between March 26 and Dec. 10, Israeli troops shot at least 19 Palestinian children as they collected gravel in northern Gaza, the charity group Defence for Children International says.

AFP contributed to this report.

Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights Responds to J Street's Request to Shut Down the Seattle Bus Ads About Israeli War Crimes

December 23rd, 2010
Dear J Street -

I am very troubled by your public statement to the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign to drop their ad campaign "Israeli War Crimes - Your Tax Dollars at Work."

First off, the Seattle Campaign is being attacked in an extremely reactionary way with open calls to limit the freedom of speech and deny debate and ignore Palestinian rights while invoking the usual canard of anti-Semitism. In short, it is business as usual for the Israel right or wrong crowd. Rather than mention these threats to our democratic ideals and the expression of open discussion, you seem to put yourself on the side of those who threaten free speech and continue to deny Palestinians their rights.

Second, Israel is rapidly expanding its settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and still maintaining a damaging siege on the people of Gaza. Palestinian families are being thrown out into the street and their homes are being demolished. Racism is gaining ground in Israel as government Rabbis issue edicts that Jews should not rent to Arabs. I would hope that J Street would pay more attention to these actions and behaviors, surely designed to frustrate and destroy J Street's own stated goal: a two state solution.

Third, you say that the ad campaign accuses "Israel of utilizing U.S. aid to commit war crimes" as if to imply that Israel has not done so. Certainly if you peruse the Goldstone report, read reports by Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, go to B'tselem's web site, or read reports of Breaking the Silence of Israeli soldiers, you can see plenty of actions and behavior that are surely illegal under international law. U.S. weapons and equipment like Caterpillar bulldozers have been instrumental in this behavior. Why set your organization up as denying this?

Fourth, you insist that the entire Palestine-Israel peace movement drop everything it may be doing and "focus their energies on supporting the bold, assertive American leadership necessary to end the conflict." Many of us have watched the Obama administration flail about while Netanyahu openly insults the US administration and moves full steam ahead with settlements. Decades of successive U.S. governments have neglected Palestinian rights and ignored Israeli abuses. When do you think a "bold, assertive, American leadership" will arise? In ten years? In twenty? How about under a right-wing Republican administration? Essentially you are asking Palestinians and those seeking solidarity with Palestinians to give over to the unrealistic hope of change from above with absolutely no evidence to show that it will be effective. According to J Street, the non-violent tools of direct action, BDS, public engagement and challenging, in short anything that will hold Israeli policies to account must be surrendered.

J Street's chosen role of supporting a change in official policy could certainly be an important part of solving the challenges facing us. It would seem that, rather than spending energies attempting to place boundaries on what others chose to do, J Street should focus on its stated mission of lobbying for a two-state solution. The human rights abuses and Israel's occupation are not passive situations for which there is the luxury of time. Rather than treating groups like the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign as adversaries that need to be frustrated and corralled by your own limited strategy, you should understand that only a broad coalition with diverse strategies will have any hope of securing a just future for Israelis and Palestinians.


Peter Miller
Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Ex-Argentina Leader Jailed for Life" -- Al Jazeera

Videla, centre, had already been accused of human rights violations, which he was pardoned for [Reuters]

One instance of MLK's arc of the moral universe being long but bending toward (at least some) justice. Let's hope this message is getting out to some other torture-prone leaders we know.

A Buenos Aires court has sentenced Jorge Videla, the former Argentine military dictator, to life in prison for his role in the torture and murder of at least 31 political prisoners during the country's so-called Dirty War from 1976-83.

The verdict on Wednesday was for charges related to a state-sponsored crackdown against opposition groups, including Marxists, leftist activists, trade unionists and journalists.

The court had already sentenced a group of ex-military members who had served Videla's government to life in prison for crimes against humanity during the Dirty War.

The men were convicted for kidnapping, torturing and murdering more than 180 people in three secret detention centres.

Among those sentenced were Raul Guglielminetti, a former military intelligence agent, and Luis Juan Donocik, a former military police commissioner.

The majority of the crimes fell on Julio Simon, known as Turkish Julian, a former member of the military police.

Of the 17 on trial, 12 received life sentences, four received 25 years, and one was absolved.

A massive crowd of families and supporters of victims cheered on the streets in response to the sentencing.

Dirty War deaths

Videla assumed leadership in March of 1976 after deposing then-president Isabel Peron in a military coup.

According to a government report, more than 11,000 people died or disappeared during Argentina's Dirty War. Human-rights groups say the figure is closer to 30,000.

Reporting from Buenos Aires, Lucia Newman, Al Jazeera's Latin America editor, said that the relatives of those killed may feel that justice has only partially achieved.

"In all these cases people are still without the remains of their loved ones and many of them told me that they cannot forgive as they may never know where their loved ones are."

Newman added that Videla has already been sentenced for human-rights violations - which he was pardoned for.

"He was sentenced in 1985 for gross human-rights violations, but five years later president Carlos Menem issued a broad pardon for all the so-called henchman of the Dirty War," she said.

"Then a few years later he was imprisoned on a different charge, this time for stealing the babies of a lot of his victims, so that kept him under house arrest."

In 2005, Argentina's supreme court, at the urging of then-president Nestor Kirchner, struck down two amnesty laws that shielded hundreds of former officers from charges of human-rights abuses during the dictatorship.

Since becoming president in 2003, Cristina Fernandez has continued the push for renewing trials against military and police officers accused of human-rights violations during Videla's rule.

Videla's stand

In court on Tuesday, Videla appeared to lack any regret over his past actions, calling what many call the Dirty War a "just war".

"I did not come here to defend myself today nor speak in my defence, in my eyes, defending myself doesn't make sense," he said.

"With this reality, which I cannot change, I will accept, however unwillingly, the unjust sentence that you are able to pass on me as a contribution on my part to the ends of national harmony and I will offer it as an additional service that I owe to God, Our Lord and the nation."

In a clear jab at Fernandez and Kirchner, Videla said his "Marxist" enemies "completed their plans" and now rule the country.

Statement from Subpoenaed Pal Solidarity Activist Maureen Murphy & Xmas Greeting

While you are reading this excellent statement from Grand Jury Subpoenaed Palestine Solidarity Activist Maureen Murphy,,
sing this little ditty.

You'd Better Watch Out!

(Tune: "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town")
Lyrics © by Vicki Ryder (2010)

You'd better watch out, we're tellin' you true,
Or FBI's thugs will come after you!
The FBI has come to our town.

If you're gonna meet to work against war,
Or plan to show army recruiters the door,
The FBI will write it all down.

They know where you'll be meetin';
They'll use their wiretaps;
They think they know it all, but Friends ---
WE all know it's crap, so...

We're raging' today against FBI spies;
We're tired of the wars and sick of the lies.
Stifling dissent really bites!

We'll meet where we like and sing out the truth,
Until we get justice and bring home the troops.
It's time to stand up for our rights!

Len Foster Reports on Lenoard Peltier in Prison -- Keep Up Pressure for Medical Help & Release

Anti-Gay Discrimination in Service Ends But Don't Ask Don't Tell Remains

UN Looking at Torture Allegation in Bradley Manning's Case

The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 22, 2010; 1:09 PM

HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- The United Nations says it is looking into a complaint that the Army private suspected of giving classified documents to WikiLeaks has been mistreated in custody.

The UN office for torture issues in Geneva said Wednesday it received a complaint from one of Pfc. Bradley Manning's supporters alleging that conditions in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., amount to torture. Visitors say he spends at least 23 hours a day alone in a cell.

The Pentagon has denied mistreating Manning. A Marine Corps spokesman says the military is keeping Manning safe, secure and ready for trial.

Manning has not commented publicly on whether he is the source of the leaks.

The UN could ask the United States to stop any violations it finds.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rap News 6 - Wikileaks' Cablegate: the truth is out there

"Racial Discrimination - A Tool of Occupation"

Daniel Domscheit-Berg Denies Rumor of Assange-Israeli Deals

I have been notified about the general rumour a few weeks ago, and shortly after about the appearance of me as involved in those allegations. I have never spoken to anyone at syriatruth or that reporter that is making these claims, nor do I know anything about any deals JA has allegedly made with Israelis.

Given what is appearing in the Scandinavian area with the involvement of Shamir and Wahlstrom I wouldn't actually expect that to happen either. In any case, this latter statement is just my personal judgement.

I once received a test mail from a, and then a followup regarding OpenLeaks questions. A contact request to him after hearing of the allegations was not replied to.

In the last week or so I have been contacted by Israeli TV about this, as well as French Le Point today. Those are the only media outfits so far that seem to have taken interest. Other than that it seems to be mainly spreading via weird Russian and religious forums, at least from as much as I am aware of.

As I read somewhere that this alleged reporter I allegedly talked to works for Hareetz, I have asked the folks from Israeli TV if they could help find out who that is, and how to contact her. They replied that there doesn't seem to be anyone by that name. So obviously, which was my gut feeling also, that person does not exist. Why that rumour is circulated, I dont know. I have my feelings about that and think we should give it some more time to uncover itself.

Hark! Walmart Flash Mob (Part 2) -- Well Worth the 4-5 Min!

"Alleged Wikileaks Source [Bradley Manning] Suffers Out of Spotlight"


Concern is growing over the harsh conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention as he awaits his court martial, writes LARA MARLOWE, Washington Correspondent

WHILE JULIAN Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, celebrated his release on bail last week with cocktails before being driven to “mansion arrest” at a 650-acre estate in Sussex, Private First Class Bradley Manning was mouldering away in solitary confinement in the brig at the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia, deprived of exercise, news or even a sheet or pillow.

Assange (39) is preparing for an extradition trial in February, which will determine whether he is sent to Sweden on charges of sexual assault. Manning, who turned 23 last Friday, was arrested seven months ago in Iraq, where he served as a US army intelligence analyst. He was jailed for two months in Kuwait before being transferred to Virginia in July.

Manning is believed to have leaked the “collateral murder” video of a US Apache helicopter killing 11 people in Baghdad in 2007, including two Reuters journalists. Two children were wounded in the same attack. The classified video was published by WikiLeaks in April.

Manning is also suspected of having provided hundreds of thousands of documents, many of them classified, about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and US diplomatic cables, to WikiLeaks.

Manning was charged on June 6th with two counts of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including eight criminal offences and four non-criminal violations of army regulations. Prosecutors and defence lawyers are arguing about who should conduct his psychiatric evaluation.

Jeff Paterson, the project director of Courage to Resist and a member of the Bradley Manning Support Group, said a pre-trial hearing will be held in February or March, the court martial about six months later. If convicted, Manning could face 52 years in prison.

It is not clear whether Assange was a passive recipient of the material leaked by Manning, or a co-conspirator who may have provided him with software that enabled him to download material from a classified military computer. It is believed that the two never met, but communicated via an encrypted message service.

Assange told ABC News that “WikiLeak’s technology (was) designed ... to make sure that we never know the identities or names of people submitting us material.” After the Senate repealed the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ban on gays serving openly in the US military last weekend, US media began asking whether Manning was a victim of the discriminatory policy. “Back in Manning’s home town, they’re wondering if his troubled home life and his service in an army that would not allow him to be openly gay had an impact on his decision to leak sensitive documents,” NBC News reported from Crescent, Oklahoma.

On December 15th, a report entitled “The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention” on the widely read liberal website quoted “several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning’s detention”, including Lt Brian Villiard, a Quantico brig official.

Manning is kept in his cell for 23 hours each day, is barred from exercising in his cell on the grounds he might injure himself, and is under constant surveillance. He has been denied a pillow or sheets, is allowed no access to news or current events programmes during the hour he is taken out, and is regularly administered anti-depressants. In his one hour outside the cell, Manning takes a shower and walks.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Culture of Resistance Only Answer Now Per Dr. Margaret Flowers

On December 16, 2009, I stood in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building with about a dozen single payer supporters. We were holding signs and standing vigil on the eve of the first time in U.S. history that a single payer bill would make it to the floor of either body in Congress. Senators Sanders, Brown and Burris introduced an amendment that would have substituted a national single payer health insurance for the health bill being created in the Senate at that time.

We celebrated that night because it was a victory, though a small one. Despite all of the corporate dollars and the teams of industry lobbyists opposing single payer, our persistence in pushing for the amendment, which included lobbying, letters, emails and protests at the Senate building, had paid off. The amendment was introduced on the floor of the Senate on December 17th, although it was pulled before it came to a vote.

One year later to the day, I am standing in the snow with hundreds of people, my arms linked behind the bars of the fence in front of the White House. Inside, the President is holding a press conference to report the progress being made in Afghanistan which we know is based on lies. Outside, we are protesting to end the wars in the largest veteran led act of civil disobedience since the beginning of the war on Afghanistan. In all, 131 people were arrested.

We can make some progress working within Congress, but we will never achieve our goals of peace and social and economic justice this way. There are a few like Senator Sanders who are willing to speak out against injustice, but their voices are mere whimpers against the giant winds of the corporate political and media machines. No politician, no matter how strong their understanding of and desire for real social change, can succeed in this hostile environment.

To succeed in creating the social change that we desperately need will require acts of protest and civil disobedience, a new culture of resistance as called for by leaders such as Mike Ferner of Veterans for Peace. It is time to recognize that our advocacy for peace, jobs, education, health, housing, human rights and environmental and economic justice is insufficient. We face the same fundamental obstacle: corporate control of our country.

Together we have the strength and the resources to shift power away from the rich corporations to the people and we can demand social justice. We have the solutions, but they are not being heard. We must cause enough disruption that our voices and our solutions cannot be ignored. And we must organize actions of nonviolent civil resistance. Otherwise growing public discontent in this nation may turn to violent means.

That is why I stood in solidarity with the veterans on December 16th, 2010 and joined them in the action that led to our arrest. As I sat that day in handcuffs on the cold concrete floor of a holding area in Anacostia, a veteran turned to me and said, “It means a lot to me that you are here doctor because you don’t have to do this.”

The truth is that I do have to do this. For me it is a matter of professional integrity to refuse to cooperate with the current system that results in the growing wealth of a few at the cost of great human suffering and death at home and around the world. I call on you, if you love your country, if you want a peaceful and healthy future for your children and grandchildren, to join in the culture of resistance.

Speak out about injustice wherever you see it. Join or organize actions of nonviolent protest to demand the change that we require. Speak out against the wars that cause so much human suffering and undermine our economic and national security. You can fight foreclosures, the closing of health centers, the closing of schools and poisoning of our air, land and water by factories and power plants. There is much to do. Your voice is needed.

We see the dawning of a new age – the end of corporate domination and the rise of a peaceful and sustainable society. This is a fight for our lives and our future. Join us.