[…] as the casualty totals continue to mount while the world looks on in stupefied inaction, the attacks go on; at the very least, from a humanitarian perspective,there should be a global outcry demanding that children, mothers, and those sick and disabled be allowed to leave the Gaza Strip until current hostilities end. Yet this is a gap in international humanitarian law, refugee law, and the moral sensibilities of the combatant states.continue reading
Shades of Anger - Poem about Palestine
RAFEEF ZIADAH is a Canadian-Palestinian spoken word artist and activist.
"The urgent question facing us in Gaza is not just how to survive for today, but how to hold Israel accountable to international law and basic principles of human rights; how to stop the current escalation and the ongoing massacre and how to stop this from ever happening again.
Knowing that the credible Goldstone report on suspected war crimes in Gaza in 2008-09, and reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are all ignored or undermined, there is a bitter awareness that we in Gaza can have no expectation of Israeli accountability for the current onslaught. But this is in the short term only — in the long term, we know that Israel will have to answer to its oppression of Palestinians because this oppression will end one day. History will have it no other way.
What Palestine needs from the world today is not just a condemnation of the Gaza massacres and siege, but also a delegitimization of the ideology that produced this policy and justifies it morally and politically, just as the racist ideology of apartheid was delegitimized.
It seems, however, and again, as Ilan Pappe notices, that even horrendous crimes, such as the genocide in Gaza, are treated as “discrete events, unrelated to events in the past and dissociated from any ideology or system.” Supporters of Palestine must always relate today’s massacres to the original sin of colonization of the land which Israel has claimed for its own and the dispossession of its indigenous people.
The window of hope comes from the lessons we have learned from South Africa, where the ugly apartheid regime came under mounting pressure from outside. It is time for international civil society, as opposed to the ineffectual United Nations, to redouble their support for our struggle against apartheid in Palestine today. As Palestinians under Israeli siege, occupation and apartheid, we increasingly rely on international law and solidarity for our very survival. That solidarity is needed more than ever today.
The best way to honor those killed, injured and made homeless in Gaza is to raise your voices even louder and demand that governments impose sanctions against Israel. Now is the time to increase the number of universities and businesses that boycottIsrael. Now is the time to demand divestment from more pension funds. Now is the time for more countries to cut all ties with Israel.
A country that fails to abide by international law, that refuses to withdraw from Arab lands it has occupied since 1967, that practices racism against its Palestinian citizens, that refuses to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands, is a country that should be expelled from the community of nations. International solidarity with Gaza and the Palestinians demands no less than the complete isolation of apartheid Israel.”
Suheir Hammad: Poetry for Gaza
Last night just before 9pm, they sent us a warning over the phone that ‘We will bomb the hospital, so you need to evacuate. We insisted that we cannot leave the hospital. Our patients are, all of them, paralyzed, they’re unconscious. They’re unable to move, so we need to stay in this hospital…
But just few minutes after the call, shells start falling down on the hospital — the fourth floor, third floor, second floor. Smoke, fire, dust all over.
— Basman Alashi, executive director of Al-Wafa Hospital, the only rehabilitation hospital in Gaza and the West Bank. (via thepeoplesrecord)
Naomi Klein: The best way to end the bloody occupation is to target Israel with the kind of movement that ended apartheid in South Africa
"It’s time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa. In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do just that. They called on “people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era”. The campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions was born.
Every day that Israel pounds Gaza brings more converts to the BDS cause - even among Israeli Jews. In the midst of the assault roughly 500 Israelis, dozens of them well-known artists and scholars, sent a letter to foreign ambassadors in Israel. It calls for “the adoption of immediate restrictive measures and sanctions” and draws a clear parallel with the anti-apartheid struggle. “The boycott on South Africa was effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves … This international backing must stop.”
Yet even in the face of these clear calls, many of us still can’t go there. The reasons are complex, emotional and understandable. But they simply aren’t good enough. Economic sanctions are the most effective tool in the non-violent arsenal: surrendering them verges on active complicity. Here are the top four objections to the BDS strategy, followed by counter-arguments.” (Continue reading)
Photo by Alessandra Sanguinetti
Hamas puts forward ceasefire terms amid intense mediation
July 17, 2014
A source in the Gaza Strip with direct knowledge of the matter has provided The Electronic Intifada with a copy of Hamas’ five demands for a ceasefire with Israel, amid ongoing mediation efforts that involve Turkey, Qatar and Germany.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama confirmed intense US-backed diplomatic efforts by Egypt to achieve a ceasefire.
On Wednesday, the tenth day of Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza, 23 Palestinians, including eight children, were killed.
Since the start of the assault, 220 Palestinians have been slaughtered and more than 1,500 injured, the vast majority civilians.
Israel announced that it would observe a “humanitarian truce” for five hours on Thursday morning to allow residents and humanitarian agencies to restock supplies.
The text of the Hamas conditions, provided to The Electronic Intifada in Arabic, is as follows:
First – Opening all the crossing with the Gaza Strip.
Second – Opening Rafah crossing, the link between Gaza and Egypt, on a permanent basis, 24 hours per day with international guarantees it will not be closed.
Third – A maritime corridor to Gaza.
Fourth – Allowing residents of the Gaza Strip to pray in the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Fifth – Israel will release the prisoners who were freed as part of the “Shalit” deal, and Israel will abide by the previous agreement reached by prisoners and the Israel Prison Service with Egyptian mediation in 2012.
These demands, albeit refined, are in line with earlier public statements Hamas has made about its terms.
Earlier today, Israeli media published a more expansive ten-point plan for a ten-year trucethat was said to have been passed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad to Egyptian officials.
Obama confirms intense efforts
At a White House press briefing this afternoon, Obama reiterated his position that Israel’s bombardment of Gaza constitutes an exercise of Israel’s “right to defend itself” from rockets fired from Gaza.
“But over the past two weeks,” Obama added, “we’ve all been heartbroken by the violence, especially the death and injury of so many innocent civilians in Gaza, men, women and children who were caught in the crossfire.”
Obama’s misleading statement ignores the findings of, among others, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations that Palestinian civilians, civilian homes and other infrastructure have been deliberately targeted in Israeli attacks, a war crime.
Obama also blamed Hamas for rejecting a unilateral Israeli truce yesterday, announced by Egypt, which many Palestinians saw as a ploy to give Israel a pretext for further escalation without meeting minimal demands to ease the siege of Gaza.
Hamas said it had learned about the Egyptian truce plan through the media and had never been consulted. Trust between Egypt and Hamas is at an all-time low since the military overthrew Egypt’s first democratically-elected president a year ago.
But Obama confirmed intense efforts to achieve a ceasefire.
“The Israeli people and the Palestinian people don’t want to live like this. They deserve to live in peace, security and free from fear. That’s why we’re going to continue to encourage diplomatic efforts to restore the ceasefire and we support Egypt’s continued efforts to bring this about,” Obama said. “Over the next twenty-four hours we’ll continue to stay in contact with our friends and parties in the region and we will use all of our diplomatic resources and relationships to support efforts of closing a deal on a ceasefire.”
the Israelis fucking started it
i don’t mean to sound ignorant but do we REALLY know who started it? you realize they have been warring back and forth for so damn long now, right? i mean i at least know that but i’m not sure who really “started” it. i feel super ignorant not knowing and not even sure what exactly to look up to get a proper answer.
I mean…Israel colonized an area in the 20th century, and has been systematically subjugating, destroying and propagandizing against the colonized people ever since. This is part of that history. The “this has been going on forever thing” is a lie, a myth, a falsehood based on ancient history from centuries before Israel decided to plop itself in the middle of Palestinian communities and kill those who resisted their conquest. There was no country called Israel before 1948. -Robert