Tag Archives: Kathy Kelly

Thank you, Soldiers, for defending our American Free Speech!

Thank you, Soldiers, for defending our Free Speech! You all military sweethearts are doing such a damn good job, too! Here is a you tube film of you USA soldiers going about your hard work protecting our American Free Speech rights. Love you, Storm Troopers and Snipers, Drone Mechanics, and Nuclear Weapons people! Love you DEARLY. Pacifist Kathy Kelly at Whiteman (funny the name, ay?) AFB.

Why do they kill? Who orders the killing? Why do the grunts do what they do?

“Who has given the license to kill and in what court? Who has declared that they can hit anyone they like?”
 
“How many ‘high level targets’ could there possibly be?”
 
“What kind of democracy is America,” Safdar asks, “where people do not ask these questions?”
 
From Kathy Kelly’s commentary on CounterPunch today “All of us ask, ‘Why?’ They kill people with computers and they can’t tell us why." They also kill people with plain old fashioned bombs and guns too. Why does the US occupy Afghanistan? Why do the American people mainly sit passively by like a herd of sheep?

Freedom Flotilla II faces Shayetet13 in showdown at the naval siege of Gaza

Freedom Flotilla II - Stay HumanIt promises to be quite a showdown. Israel has repeated that it will let no ship through to Gaza, the IDF has promised “surprises” for the would-be blockade-runners, while this relief convoy is upping the ante with luminaries political and literary. The US boat is carrying novelist Alice Walker and a who’s who of peace activists, no less than Medea Benjamin, Kathy Kelly, Ray McGovern, and Ann Wright. There will be journalists from CBS, CNN and NPR, so you’d think Israel wouldn’t dare jam their signal and superimpose its own news package like it did with the Mavi Marmara, but maybe it won’t have to.

We’ve seen water hose on Freedom Riders before, only this time the blastees will be activist-squires. You might wonder what kind of sympathy they’ll garner, that is if an audience will see it at all. Will there be an independent media vessel cruising alongside the flotilla, with footage and equipment outside the jurisdiction of an Isreali commando raid? In the past the IDF was able to confiscate every scrap of evidence which could be used against them, at least until their doctored video could shape the official narrative.

Then too, with the absence of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Palestine-champions like Ken O’Keefe, the IDF’s interdiction may meet no resistance at all. Remember the MV Rachel Corrie, surrendering themselves with nary a ripple of media coverage?

Another less provocative strategy adopted by the US boat was not to carry any aid cargo, simply letters of support from American donors. I’m not sure why, except that the IDF cannot accuse them of smuggling anything past the blockade. But what does that make the Audacity of Hope exactly? The Freedom Flotilla is what, if it’s not a relief convoy?

There’s time before the flotilla leaves from Greece, please please please put something aboard to take to Gaza. Break the siege with SOMETHING. You can’t very well assert that Israel wouldn’t otherwise grant entry to all these American activists, many of the Jewish, through the formal border crossings, with or without stacks of correspondence.

I’ll spare further critique for now and wish Team Nonviolence the best success. NotMyTribe has complied a Twitter list of who to follow on the Freedom Flotilla II. Here is an incomplete listing of the passengers on three ships, Ireland’s MV Saoirse, Canada’s Tahrir, and USA’s The Audacity of Hope.

Ireland – MV Saoirse
National Coordinator Fintan Lane, Skipper Shane Dillon, John Hearne, Pat Fitzgerald, Paul Murphy, Hugh Lewis, Rik Walton, Mags O’Brien, Gerard Barron, Jim Roche, Zoe Lawlor, John Mallon, Charlie McMenamin, Philip McCullough, Hussein Hamed, Aine Joyce, Former Fianna Fáil TD Chris Andrews, Senator Mark Daly, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó’ Snodaigh, Sinn Féin councilor Gerry MacLochlainn, artist Felim Egan, rugby international Trevor Hogan. Representing the Irish Ship to Gaza campaign, the Free Gaza Movement, Irish Anti-War Movement, and Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Canada – Tahrir
Rifat Audeh, Stéphan Corriveau, Karen DeVito, Bachar Elsolh, David Heap, Miles Howe, Soha Kneen, Irene MacInnes, David Milne, Marie-Eve Rancourt, Jase Tanner, Kevin Neish, Dylan Penner (Independent Jewish Voices Canada), Vivienne Porzsolt (Jews Against Occupation in Australia), Harmeet Singh Sooden, Muhammed Hamou (the London Muslim Mosque), Robert Lovelace (Former Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and professor of Indigenous Studies at Queen’s University), Lyn Adamson (Canadian Voice of Women for Peace Co-Chair), Manon Massé (Quebec Solidaire representative), Sue Breeze, Kate Wilson, filmmaker John Greyson, Mary Hughes-Thompson, co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement), Sofia Smith, Amira Haas

US Boat – The Audacity of Hope
Medea Benjamin, Hedy Epstein, Ray McGovern, Kathy Kelly, Ken Mayers, Richard Levy, Henry Norr, Gail Miller, Ridgely Fuller, Robert Naiman, Linda Durham, Brad Taylor, Nic Abramson, Alice Walker, ?Libor Kožnar?, Hagit Borer, Kit Kittredge, G. Kaleo Larson

French
Two boats: Louise Michel & Le Dignité-El Karameh
Julien Bayou (co-founder, Black Thursday), Olivier Besancenot (NPA), Alain Bosc (Cimade), Annick Coupé (porte-parole et déléguée générale de l’Union Syndicale Solidaires), Ismahane Chouder (Participation et Spiritualité Musulmane), Jean-François Courbe (département international de la CGT), Nabil Ennasri (président du Collectif des Musulmans de France), Raymond Fabrègues (Coalition contre Agrexco et Confédération paysanne), Patrice Finel (Parti de Gauche), Georges Gumpel (membre du bureau national de l’UJFP et représentant de l’EJJP), Nicole Kill Nielsen (députée européenne EE-LV), Claude Léostic (vice présidente de l’AFPS), Jean-Paul Lecoq (député du PCF), Catherine Lecoq (Mouvement de la Paix et le Collectif 13 Un bateau pour Gaza), Jo le Guen (navigateur), Yamin Makri (Collectif 69 de soutien au peuple palestinien), Oussama Mouftah (Collectif 59 Palestine), Marie Jo Parbot (auteur de BD), Eugène Riguidel (navigateur), Thomas Sommer (CCIPPP), Henri Stoll (Collectif Palestine 68), Omeyya Seddik

Norway
Torstein Dahle, Stine Renate Haheim, Aksel Hagen, Mina Boldermo Eriksen, Bjørn O. Bjørnsen, Tove Henny Lehre, Bard Vegar Solhjell

Denmark
Gitte Seeberg
John Ekebjaerg-Jakobsen
Adam Qvist

(NOTE: This post will be updated an appended as more information becomes available.)

I am the soldier who slept in your home.

dear-citizen-of-gazaWhen Voices For Creative Nonviolence activist Kathy Kelly visited Colorado Springs, she spoke of survivors of a family in Gaza who returned to their home to find a message left etched on their wall by an IDF soldier, it read “Sorry.” Kelly saw in it the glimmer of hope that Israeli soldiers were beginning to show some humanity. Hasbara efforts have taken this gesture a reservist’s letter step further. You can read it below uncut. Does it look to you like these propagandists need some counseling advice? Probably the rapist is the last person who should be asking his victim to be calm, especially by recounting the details of the violation, and especially if the rapist is unrepentant and laying out the justification for his act. Parental Advisory: Graphic Insensitivity.

Holy Fucking Shit you will not believe it! It’s one thing for us to tolerate pedantic lectures online, quite another if the bastard had quartered in our home in the meantime.

From AISH, via Israel Activism and the Hasbara fellowships. Seriously, this is a letter the Israeli press is touting to try to reach Gazans with the message that they must blame Hamas.

DEAR CITIZEN OF GAZA: I am the soldier who slept in your home.

Hello,

While the world watches the ruins in Gaza, you return to your home which remains standing. However, I am sure that it is clear to you that someone was in your home while you were away.

I am that someone.

I spent long hours imagining how you would react when you walked into your home. How you would feel when you understood that IDF soldiers had slept on your mattresses and used your blankets to keep warm.

I knew that it would make you angry and sad and that you would feel this violation of the most intimate areas of your life by those defined as your enemies, with stinging humiliation. I am convinced that you hate me with unbridled hatred, and you do not have even the tiniest desire to hear what I have to say. At the same time, it is important for me to say the following in the hope that there is even the minutest chance that you will hear me.

I spent many days in your home. You and your family’s presence was felt in every corner. I saw your family portraits on the wall, and I thought of my family. I saw your wife’s perfume bottles on the bureau, and I thought of my wife. I saw your children’s toys and their English language schoolbooks. I saw your personal computer and how you set up the modem and wireless phone next to the screen, just as I do.

I wanted you to know that despite the immense disorder you found in your house that was created during a search for explosives and tunnels (which were indeed found in other homes), we did our best to treat your possessions with respect. When I moved the computer table, I disconnected the cables and lay them down neatly on the floor, as I would do with my own computer. I even covered the computer from dust with a piece of cloth. I tried to put back the clothes that fell when we moved the closet although not the same as you would have done, but at least in such a way that nothing would get lost.

I know that the devastation, the bullet holes in your walls and the destruction of those homes near you place my descriptions in a ridiculous light. Still, I need you to understand me, us, and hope that you will channel your anger and criticism to the right places.

I decided to write you this letter specifically because I stayed in your home.

I can surmise that you are intelligent and educated and there are those in your household that are university students. Your children learn English, and you are connected to the Internet. You are not ignorant; you know what is going on around you.

Therefore, I am sure you know that Qassam rockets were launched from your neighborhood into Israeli towns and cities.

How could you see these weekly launches and not think that one day we would say “enough”?! Did you ever consider that it is perhaps wrong to launch rockets at innocent civilians trying to lead a normal life, much like you? How long did you think we would sit back without reacting?

I can hear you saying “it’s not me, it’s Hamas”. My intuition tells me you are not their most avid supporter. If you look closely at the sad reality in which your people live, and you do not try to deceive yourself or make excuses about “occupation”, you must certainly reach the conclusion that the Hamas is your real enemy.

The reality is so simple, even a seven year old can understand: Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip, removing military bases and its citizens from Gush Katif. Nonetheless, we continued to provide you with electricity, water, and goods (and this I know very well as during my reserve duty I guarded the border crossings more than once, and witnessed hundreds of trucks full of goods entering a blockade-free Gaza every day).

Despite all this, for reasons that cannot be understood and with a lack of any rational logic, Hamas launched missiles on Israeli towns. For three years we clenched our teeth and restrained ourselves. In the end, we could not take it anymore and entered the Gaza strip, into your neighborhood, in order to remove those who want to kill us. A reality that is painful but very easy to explain.

You must lead a civil uprising against Hamas.

As soon as you agree with me that Hamas is your enemy and because of them, your people are miserable, you will also understand that the change must come from within. I am acutely aware of the fact that what I say is easier to write than to do, but I do not see any other way. You, who are connected to the world and concerned about your children’s education, must lead, together with your friends, a civil uprising against Hamas.

I swear to you, that if the citizens of Gaza were busy paving roads, building schools, opening factories and cultural institutions instead of dwelling in self pity, arms smuggling and nurturing a hatred to your Israeli neighbors, your homes would not be in ruins right now. If your leaders were not corrupt and motivated by hatred, your home would not have been harmed. If someone would have stood up and shouted that there is no point in launching missiles on innocent civilians, I would not have to stand in your kitchen as a soldier.

You don’t have money, you tell me? You have more than you can imagine.

Even before Hamas took control of Gaza, during the time of Yasser Arafat, millions if not billions of dollars donated by the world community to the Palestinians was used for purchasing arms or taken directly to your leaders bank accounts. Gulf States, the emirates – your brothers, your flesh and blood, are some of the richest nations in the world. If there was even a small feeling of solidarity between Arab nations, if these nations had but the smallest interest in reconstructing the Palestinian people – your situation would be very different.

You must be familiar with Singapore. The land mass there is not much larger than the Gaza strip and it is considered to be the second most populated country in the world. Yet, Singapore is a successful, prospering, and well managed country. Why not the same for you?

My friend, I would like to call you by name, but I will not do so publicly. I want you to know that I am 100% at peace with what my country did, what my army did, and what I did. However, I feel your pain. I am sorry for the destruction you are finding in your neighborhood at this moment. On a personal level, I did what I could to minimize the damage to your home as much as possible.

In my opinion, we have a lot more in common than you might imagine. I am a civilian, not a soldier, and in my private life I have nothing to do with the military. However, I have an obligation to leave my home, put on a uniform, and protect my family every time we are attacked. I have no desire to be in your home wearing a uniform again and I would be more than happy to sit with you as a guest on your beautiful balcony, drinking sweet tea seasoned with the sage growing in your garden.

The only person who could make that dream a reality is you. Take responsibility for yourself, your family, your people, and start to take control of your destiny. How? I do not know. Maybe there is something to be learned from the Jewish people who rose up from the most destructive human tragedy of the 20th century, and instead of sinking into self-pity, built a flourishing and prospering country. It is possible, and it is in your hands.

I am ready to be there to provide a shoulder of support and help to you.

But only you can move the wheels of history.

Regards,
Yishai, (Reserve Soldier)

I’m actually unconvinced this was a real soldier. Too many of the GIYUS Megaphone talking points are woven into the letter. Singapore even!

It would surely be anti-Semitic to conclude easily that the Israeli propagandists are this dumb. The true motive of this letter cannot be to win Palestinian hearts, but to spread the effect of the state terror. The IDF couldn’t defile every Gaza home before being forced to cut their incursion short. With such letters the Israeli soldiers can make felt that violation by all Gazans.

Was the IDF incursion/invasion about stopping the rockets or about terrorizing the Gazans until they are driven from the land?

American pacifist Kathy Kelly reports from Gaza

“Yet, all the world helps after an earthquake,” said a doctor at the Shifaa hospital in Gaza. “We feel very frustrated,” he continued. “The West, Europe and the U.S., watched this killing go on for 22 days, as though they were watching a movie, watching the killing of women and children without doing anything to stop it. I was expecting to die at any moment. I held my babies and expected to die. There was no safe place in Gaza.”

Another doctor from the hospital…

“They are lying to us about democracy and Western values,” he continued, his voice shaking. “If we were sheep and goats, they would be more willing to help us. You know, the most important thing you can tell people in your country is that U.S. people paid for many of the weapons used to kill people in Gaza,” said Dr. Saeed Abuhassan. “And this, also, is why it’s worse than an earthquake.”

taken from Report From Rafah- Worse Than an Earthquake by Kathy Kelly