Tag Archives: Palestine

Gaza’s Youth Manifesto For Change!

From anonymous young voices in Gaza, reprinted from Facebook group:Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO), file under Jailhouse Literature.
 
Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community…

(Via THE GUARDIAN UK, which chose an incendiary if wildly inappropriate photo to represent the Gaza cyber rebels.)

GAZA’S YOUTH MANIFESTO FOR CHANGE

Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in; we are like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, homemade fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.
 
There is a revolution growing inside of us, an immense dissatisfaction and frustration that will destroy us unless we find a way of canalizing this energy into something that can challenge the status quo and give us some kind of hope. The final drop that made our hearts tremble with frustration and hopelessness happened 30th November, when Hamas’ officers came to Sharek Youth Forum, a leading youth organization (www.sharek.ps) with their guns, lies and aggressiveness, throwing everybody outside, incarcerating some and prohibiting Sharek from working. A few days later, demonstrators in front of Sharek were beaten and some incarcerated. We are really living a nightmare inside a nightmare. It is difficult to find words for the pressure we are under. We barely survived the Operation Cast Lead, where Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us, destroying thousands of homes and even more lives and dreams. They did not get rid of Hamas, as they intended, but they sure scared us forever and distributed post traumatic stress syndrome to everybody, as there was nowhere to run.
 
We are youth with heavy hearts. We carry in ourselves a heaviness so immense that it makes it difficult to us to enjoy the sunset. How to enjoy it when dark clouds paint the horizon and bleak memories run past our eyes every time we close them? We smile in order to hide the pain. We laugh in order to forget the war. We hope in order not to commit suicide here and now. During the war we got the unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the earth. During the last years Hamas has been doing all they can to control our thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. We are a generation of young people used to face missiles, carrying what seems to be a impossible mission of living a normal and healthy life, and only barely tolerated by a massive organization that has spread in our society as a malicious cancer disease, causing mayhem and effectively killing all living cells, thoughts and dreams on its way as well as paralyzing people with its terror regime. Not to mention the prison we live in, a prison sustained by a so-called democratic country.
 
History is repeating itself in its most cruel way and nobody seems to care. We are scared. Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. We are afraid of living, because every single step we take has to be considered and well-thought, there are limitations everywhere, we cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want, sometimes we even cant think what we want because the occupation has occupied our brains and hearts so terrible that it hurts and it makes us want to shed endless tears of frustration and rage!
 
We do not want to hate, we do not want to feel all of this feelings, we do not want to be victims anymore. ENOUGH! Enough pain, enough tears, enough suffering, enough control, limitations, unjust justifications, terror, torture, excuses, bombings, sleepless nights, dead civilians, black memories, bleak future, heart aching present, disturbed politics, fanatic politicians, religious bullshit, enough incarceration! WE SAY STOP! This is not the future we want!
 
We want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask? We are a peace movement consistent of young people in Gaza and supporters elsewhere that will not rest until the truth about Gaza is known by everybody in this whole world and in such a degree that no more silent consent or loud indifference will be accepted.
 
This is the Gazan youth’s manifesto for change!
 
We will start by destroying the occupation that surrounds ourselves, we will break free from this mental incarceration and regain our dignity and self respect.  We will carry our heads high even though we will face resistance. We will work day and night in order to change these miserable conditions we are living under. We will build dreams where we meet walls. 
 
We only hope that you – yes, you reading this statement right now! – can support us. In order to find out how, please write on our wall or contact us directly: freegazayouth@hotmail.com
 
We want to be free, we want to live, we want peace.
 
FREE GAZA YOUTH!

Judge not lest ye also be judged…

Which is a distillation of the basic part of Jewish law. When one brings an accusation against another in before the priests (judges) both parties are supposed to be judged. Equally. Leviticus goes on and on about using the same measurements to sell as you use to buy. Standardized weights in every facet of life especially, in cases before the priests.
Israel says Hamas has Anti-Aircraft missiles.
Sure, if I had hostile people in multi-billion dollar attack aircraft flying low over my family and friends and occasionally SHOOTING at us I’d perhaps want some way to shoot back and maybe keep the Rich Murderers from killing me or my family or friends or for that matter ANYBODY.
It’s a huge leap of arrogance for Ehud Barak to go all crybaby and say Waaaahhh those people we’ve been steadily killing in their own country which doesn’t waaaahh actually belong to waaaaah Israel and Israel has no legal authority to waaaaahhh use high-tech terrorism against their people, mostly civilians, have gotten a waaaahh waaahhhh wahhhh way to keep from doing it sometimes.
No Fair!! Waaaahhhh Waaahhh we’re the only ones allowed to kill waaahh waaaaaaaaaaahhhh!”

By the same measure with which ye judge shall judgment be measured out to ye. People who want to argue the point can talk to Moses about it. Or God.
You’re not going to have it both ways, an unlimited Magic Ticket to killing anybody anywhere in the world as Mossad claims the right, and nobody else having the right to stop you from doing it. If you say God gave you that authority then you’re simply LYING and using God’s Name in vain. There’s two of the Commandments right there.
Since the commandments given to Moses extend far beyond the ones Charlton Heston dragged down the mountain, the “Ten”, and the first part of it is that you’re sworn to keep the whole law, and you have to have kept the whole law in order to judge any to death… (which is impossible by the way) you either have to actually live by the Law or quit saying that you do.

It’s not all that difficult to understand. 613 mitzvoh (plural of mitzvah, laws you’re sworn to obey on Bar Mitzvah for young Jewish men and Bat Mitzvah for the ladies) isn’t all that much. Lots of traps in there if you want to just arbitrarily declare yourself to be a judge but that’s the way they’re set up.

There lies the arrogance of doing it.
Aside from all else, eagerly seeking any excuse or “commandment” that allows you to KILL people marks you off as very strongly wanting to kill people and looking for a loophole to the “thou shalt not kill” from God’s Top Ten Hits

There are a lot of Christians and Jews and people who don’t even give a fat flying ferret about what God had to say, but want to KILL.. and Kill PEOPLE, and “get away with it” as far as any laws in predominately Jewish or Christian societies which wisely prohibit killing PEOPLE. and they’ll say that somehow, even though exactly NONE of the people propounding the idea actually speaks fluent Aramaic or Classic Hebrew, that it simply MUST be a clerical error, that the original Hebrew, which conveniently they don’t speak,
AND EVEN MORE CONVENIENTLY THE PEOPLE THEY’RE TRYING TO CONVINCE OF THIS LIE DON’T ACTUALLY SPEAK classical Hebrew, that it really said in the Original, which is conveniently not present, “Thou Shalt Not Commit Murder”.

The fallacy of that is inherent and apparent just in their smarmy-ass Fake Elite elitist presentation of the case.

It’s obvious just from them making such statements as “God said it, we’re the only ones authorized to interpret it and thus you had better believe us or we’ll make sure you burn in Hell” that they

a) fully intend to kill PEOPLE and
b) they’re not sure if they’ll be prevented beforehand or punished afterward and
c) don’t want to take the risk of being punished for their wrongdoing and
d) are going to convince as many people as possible to take their side, and
e) knowing the nature of their own cowardice probably talk other people into doing it for them and assuming all the risks….

Like the risk of somebody returning fire when you’re in your multi-billion dollar Jet Fighter Aircraft murdering them and their neighbors.

Gaza we are coming

Gaza we are comingPlans are once again underway for another attempt to run the blockade of Gaza. Two ships are set to sail from Lebanon today or tomorrow, despite intimidation from Israel –which worked to prevent the aid ship INFANTS OF GAZA scheduled to leave from Iran. As a result, the Israeli navy is maneuvering to intercept, as it did for the recent Libyan AMALTHEA, and the Irish RACHEL CORRIE before that. Israel is even preparing “Flotilla 13,” the Shayetet commandos who killed nine activists on the Mavi Marmara in May. If it does leave, the Lebanese convoy will consist of a ship named MARYAM, carrying only women and nuns, and the JULIA (the Naji Al Ali) carrying journalist and Reporters Without Borders. It’s hard to imagine what reception the journalists are intent to document, Israel can hardly surpass itself with brutality, so will it be news?

Meanwhile another flotilla is in the works for September, which may include Spanish footballers. Canadian activists have announced efforts to contribute a Canadian ship, and US activists are raising funds for an American ship, to be named “The Audacity of Hope,” after President Obama’s autobiographical self-promotion. Personally I think the pay-it-forward Nobel Prize to Obama paid squat. Obama couldn’t even muster outrage over Israel’s murder of the Freedom Flotilla activists, nor would he sanction an international investigation. Why credit him with any part of the rescue of the Palestinians of Gaza?

Naji Al Ali docked in LebanonThe naming of “Maryam” or Mariam, after the Virgin Mary is already being resisted by the Israeli press, which is referring to the ship by its previous identity JUNIA. No doubt the all-woman ship will present a challenge to the brutality-prone IDF.

The confusion over the identity of Julia/Junia may be part of the subterfuge meant to evade Israel sabotage which succeeded in hampering the Freedom Flotilla’s CHALLENGER I and II.

GAZA WE ARE COMING is the title of a documentary made about the earlier attempts to break the siege of Gaza by sea. The project is more complicated than you might think, having to avoid the MOSSAD at every turn. Each successive wave has involved bigger ships, so far, taken as prizes by Israel. Will a sovereign government finally step forward to provide official escort to a convoy?

The United Nations has ruled the siege of Gaza to be illegal. Israel itself pretends that Gaza is autonomous, thus the naval blockade cannot be a pretext to protect Israeli waters. Debates in the media about who’s in the right are merely charades.

Libyan humanitarian aid ship to Gaza undaunted by Israeli Navy death threat

While Israel releases redacted portions of its internal investigation of the Mavi Marmara Massacre, another aid ship steams toward the Gaza Blockade. The cargo ship Amalthea carries humanitarian aid from Libya and is due to cross into Gazan waters on Wednesday, barring interception by the Israeli navy in international waters.

Israel was able to exert international pressure on various fronts to try to prevent the departure of the humanitarian cargo ship. It’s flagged in Moldova, and had to port in Greece before making its run to relieve the Siege of Gaza.

Accounting for IDF missing intelligence

The results of Israel’s self-investigation of the Mavi Marmara Massacre are in: surprise, the IDF commandos did no wrong, but were set back by a deficiency of intelligence. It’s what many of us were already thinking, but there’s another punchline which Israel invites by pairing the deadly raid with IDF “intelligence” assets gone missing.
Infiltrators aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, seen on thermal video purporting to depict Israeli commandos being beat by Turkish peace activists
Six passengers of the humanitarian convoy are still unaccounted for. Rumors spread they may have been tossed off the ship, or languish in Israeli detention, but the trouble is, the six are also lacking for anyone missing them. Without friends or families registering concern, the convoy organizers can now deduce that the six were agents of Israel, who elected obviously to stay behind in Israel. Might this be because they were the principal provocateurs brandishing the pipes to give the IDF boarders pretext to fire upon the activists?

That would be a “pretext” in hindsight of course, because the record is emerging that the Israeli commandos were firing on the ship well in advance of attempting a boarding party. One of the objectives Israel had in detaining the activists was to prevent their account of the raid from reaching public eyes before the IDF could inundate Youtube with clips of what it planned to pretend had happened.

From the video spread round by the IDF, one gets the impression the Israeli soldiers were pummeled to within an inch of their lives. But in reality the soldiers emerged nearly unscathed. Is it possible the pipe-wielders were striking against the deck and serving also to keep the genuine activists at bay?

In fact the video footage which the activists succeeded in spiriting past their IDF jailers show the same scene devoid of what Israel described as a “lynch.” What may have looked like beatings, from Israel’s thermal camera aimed from beside the Marmara, did not register at all from up close. Curiously stealthy choreography.

While we look for the incriminating names, here are the US senators and congressmen who’ve signed on to letters drafted by AIPAC to show their support for Israel’s raid on the humanitarian convoy, and to urge President Obama to use the Security Council veto power to block any effort to investigate the killings.

Signatories to the Reid-McConnell Letter
on the Gaza Flotilla Incident

Total Number of Signatories: 85

As of June 18, 2010

Senator State Party
Alexander, Lamar TN R
Barrasso, John WY R
Baucus, Max MT D
Bayh, Evan IN D
Begich, Mark AK D
Bennet, Michael CO D
Bennett, Robert UT R
Bond, Christopher MO R
Boxer, Barbara CA D
Brown, Scott MA R
Brown, Sherrod OH D
Brownback, Sam KS R
Burr, Richard NC R
Burris, Roland W. IL D
Cantwell, Maria WA D
Cardin, Ben MD D
Carper, Tom DE D
Casey Jr., Bob PA D
Chambliss, Saxby GA R
Coburn, Tom OK R
Cochran, Thad MS R
Collins, Susan ME R
Conrad, Kent ND D
Corker, Bob TN R
Cornyn, John TX R
Crapo, Mike ID R
DeMint, Jim SC R
Dorgan, Byron ND D
Durbin, Richard IL D
Ensign, John NV R
Enzi, Mike WY R
Feinstein, Dianne CA D
Franken, Al MN D
Gillibrand, Kirsten NY D
Graham, Lindsey SC R
Grassley, Charles IA R
Hagan, Kay NC D
Hatch, Orrin UT R
Hutchinson, Kay Bailey TX R
Inhofe, Jim OK R
Inouye, Daniel HI D
Isakson, Johnny GA R
Johanns, Mike NE R
Johnson, Tim SD D
Kaufman, Ted DE D
Klobuchar, Amy MN D
Kohl, Herbert WI D
Kyl, Jon AZ R
Landrieu, Mary LA D
Lautenberg, Frank NJ D
LeMieux, George FL R
Levin, Carl MI D
Lieberman, Joseph CT I
Lincoln, Blanche AR D
Lugar, Richard IN R
McCain, John AZ R
McCaskill, Claire MO D
McConnell, Mitch KY R
Menendez, Bob NJ D
Mikulski, Barbara MD D
Murkowski, Lisa AK R
Murray, Patty WA D
Nelson, Ben NE D
Nelson, Bill FL D
Pryor, Mark AR D
Reed, Jack RI D
Reid, Harry NV D
Risch, Jim ID R
Roberts, Pat KS R
Schumer, Charles NY D
Sessions, Jeff AL R
Shaheen, Jeanne NH D
Shelby, Richard AL R
Snowe, Olympia ME R
Specter, Arlen PA D
Stabenow, Debbie MI D
Tester, John MT D
Thune, John SD R
Udall, Mark CO D
Vitter, David LA R
Voinovich, George OH R
Warner, Mark VA D
Whitehouse, Sheldon RI D
Wicker, Roger MS R
Wyden, Ron OR D

Colorado’s on board!

Signatories to the Poe-Peters Letter
on the Gaza Flotilla Incident

Total Number of Signatories: 292

As of June 21, 2010

House Member Party State
Ackerman, Gary D NY
Aderholt, Robert R AL
Adler, John D NJ
Akin, Todd R MO
Alexander, Rodney R LA
Altmire, Jason D PA
Andrews, Rob D NJ
Arcuri, Mike D NY
Austria, Steve R OH
Baca, Joe D CA
Bachmann, Michele R MN
Bachus, Spencer R AL
Barrett, Gresham R SC
Barrow, John D GA
Bartlett, Roscoe R MD
Barton, Joe R TX
Berkley, Shelley D NV
Berman, Howard D CA
Biggert, Judy R IL
Bilbray, Brian R CA
Bilirakis, Gus R FL
Bishop, Rob R UT
Bishop, Sanford D GA
Bishop, Tim D NY
Blackburn, Marsha R TN
Blunt, Roy R MO
Boccieri, John D OH
Boehner, John R OH
Bonner, Jo R AL
Bono Mack, Mary R CA
Boozman, John R AR
Boren, Dan D OK
Boswell, Leonard D IA
Boyd, Allen D FL
Brady, Kevin R TX
Brady, Robert D PA
Bright, Bobby D AL
Broun, Paul R GA
Brown, Corrine D FL
Brown, Henry R SC
Brown-Waite, Ginny R FL
Buchanan, Vern R FL
Burgess, Michael R TX
Burton, Dan R IN
Buyer, Steve R IN
Calvert, Ken R CA
Camp, Dave R MI
Campbell, John R CA
Cantor, Eric R VA
Cao, Anh “Joseph” R LA
Capito, Shelley Moore R WV
Cardoza, Dennis D CA
Carnahan, Russ D MO
Carney, Chris D PA
Carter, John R TX
Cassidy, Bill R LA
Castle, Michael R DE
Castor, Kathy D FL
Chaffetz, Jason R UT
Chandler, Ben D KY
Childers, Travis D MS
Coble, Howard R NC
Coffman, Mike R CO
Cohen, Steve D TN
Cole, Tom R OK
Conaway, Michael R TX
Cooper, Jim D TN
Costa, Jim D CA
Crenshaw, Ander R FL
Critz, Mark D PA
Crowley, Joseph D NY
Cuellar, Henry D TX
Culberson, John R TX
Davis, Artur D AL
Davis, Geoff R KY
Davis, Lincoln D TN
Davis, Susan D CA
DeLauro, Rosa D CT
Dent, Charlie R PA
Deutch, Ted D FL
Diaz-Balart, Lincoln R FL
Diaz-Balart, Mario R FL
Djou, Charles R HI
Donnelly, Joe D IN
Dreier, David R CA
Driehaus, Steve D OH
Ehlers, Vern R MI
Ellsworth, Brad D IN
Emerson, JoAnn R MO
Engel, Eliot D NY
Fallin, Mary R OK
Flake, Jeff R AZ
Fleming, John R LA
Forbes, Randy R VA
Foster, Bill D IL
Foxx, Virginia R NC
Frank, Barney D MA
Franks, Trent R AZ
Frelinghuysen, Rodney R NJ
Gallegly, Elton R CA
Garrett, Scott R NJ
Gerlach, James R PA
Giffords, Gabrielle D AZ
Gingrey, Phil R GA
Gohmert, Louie R TX
Goodlatte, Robert R VA
Gordon, Bart D TN
Granger, Kay R TX
Graves, Sam R MO
Grayson, Alan D FL
Green, Gene D TX
Griffith, Parker R AL
Guthrie, Brett R KY
Hall, John D NY
Hall, Ralph R TX
Halvorson, Debbie D IL
Hare, Phil D IL
Harman, Jane D CA
Harper, Gregg R MS
Hastings, Alcee D FL
Hastings, Doc R WA
Heinrich, Martin D NM
Heller, Dean R NV
Hensarling, Jeb R TX
Herger, Wally R CA
Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie D SD
Higgins, Brian D NY
Himes, Jim D CT
Hodes, Paul D NH
Holden, Tim D PA
Holt, Rush D NJ
Hoyer, Steny D MD
Hunter, Duncan D. R CA
Israel, Steve D NY
Jackson, Jesse, Jr. D IL
Jenkins, Lynn R KS
Johnson, Sam R TX
Johnson, Tim R IL
Jordan, Jim R OH
Kagen, Steve D WI
Kildee, Dale D MI
King, Peter R NY
King, Steve R IA
Kingston, Jack R GA
Kirk, Mark R IL
Kirkpatrick, Ann D AZ
Kissell, Larry D NC
Klein, Ron D FL
Kline, John R MN
Kosmas, Suzanne D FL
Kratovil, Frank D MD
Lamborn, Doug R CO
Lance, Leonard R NJ
Langevin, Jim D RI
Larsen, Rick D WA
Larson, John D CT
Latham, Tom R IA
LaTourette, Steven R OH
Latta, Bob R OH
Lee, Christopher R NY
Levin, Sander D MI
Lewis, Jerry R CA
Linder, John R GA
Lipinski, Daniel D IL
LoBiondo, Frank R NJ
Lowey, Nita D NY
Lucas, Frank R OK
Luetkemeyer, Blaine R MO
Lummis, Cynthia R WY
Lungren, Dan R CA
Mack, Connie R FL
Maffei, Dan D NY
Maloney, Carolyn D NY
Manzullo, Donald R IL
Marchant, Kenny R TX
Marshall, Jim D GA
Matheson, Jim D UT
McCarthy, Carolyn D NY
McCarthy, Kevin R CA
McCaul, Michael R TX
McClintock, Tom R CA
McCotter, Thaddeus R MI
McHenry, Patrick R NC
McIntyre, Mike D NC
McKeon, Howard “Buck” R CA
McMahon, Michael D NY
McMorris Rodgers, Cathy R WA
McNerney, Jerry D CA
Meek, Kendrick D FL
Mica, John R FL
Miller, Candice R MI
Miller, Gary R CA
Miller, Jeff R FL
Minnick, Walt D ID
Mitchell, Harry D AZ
Moore, Dennis D KS
Moran, Jerry R KS
Murphy, Patrick D PA
Myrick, Sue R NC
Nadler, Jerrold D NY
Neal, Richard D MA
Neugebauer, Randy R TX
Nunes, Devin R CA
Nye, Glenn D VA
Olson, Pete R TX
Ortiz, Solomon D TX
Owens, Bill D NY
Pallone, Frank D NJ
Paulsen, Erik R MN
Pence, Mike R IN
Perlmutter, Ed D CO
Peters, Gary D MI
Peterson, Collin D MN
Pitts, Joseph R PA
Platts, Todd R PA
Poe, Ted R TX
Polis, Jared D CO
Posey, Bill R FL
Price, Tom R GA
Putnam, Adam R FL
Quigley, Mike D IL
Radanovich, George R CA
Rehberg, Dennis R MT
Reichert, Dave R WA
Reyes, Silvestre D TX
Roe, Phil R TN
Rogers, Harold R KY
Rogers, Mike R MI
Rogers, Mike R AL
Rohrabacher, Dana R CA
Rooney, Tom R FL
Roskam, Peter R IL
Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana R FL
Ross, Mike D AR
Rothman, Steve D NJ
Royce, Ed R CA
Ruppersberger, C.A. Dutch D MD
Ryan, Paul R WI
Salazar, John D CO
Sanchez, Linda D CA
Sarbanes, John D MD
Scalise, Steve R LA
Schakowsky, Jan D IL
Schauer, Mark D MI
Schiff, Adam D CA
Schmidt, Jean R OH
Schock, Aaron R IL
Schwartz, Allyson D PA
Sensenbrenner, James R WI
Sessions, Pete R TX
Sestak, Joe D PA
Shadegg, John R AZ
Sherman, Brad D CA
Shimkus, John R IL
Shuler, Heath D NC
Shuster, William R PA
Simpson, Mike R ID
Sires, Albio D NJ
Skelton, Ike D MO
Slaughter, Louise D NY
Smith, Adrian R NE
Smith, Christopher R NJ
Smith, Lamar R TX
Space, Zack D OH
Spratt, John D SC
Stearns, Cliff R FL
Sullivan, John R OK
Sutton, Betty D OH
Teague, Harry D NM
Terry, Lee R NE
Terry, Lee R TX
Thompson, Glenn R PA
Thornberry, William R TX
Tiahrt, Todd R KS
Tiberi, Pat R OH
Titus, Dina D NV
Tonko, Paul D NY
Turner, Mike R OH
Upton, Fred R MI
Walden, Greg R OR
Wamp, Zach R TN
Wasserman Schultz, Debbie D FL
Waxman, Henry D CA
Weiner, Anthony D NY
Westmoreland, Lynn R GA
Whitfield, Edward R KY
Wilson, Joe R SC
Wittman, Rob R VA
Wolf, Frank R VA
Yarmuth, John D KY
Young, C.W. Bill R FL
Young, Don R AK

MV Rachel Corrie outsmarts Israeli navy, Hasbara pundits, US media, itself


All eyes are on the MV Rachel Corrie, but where are the pictures?! There hasn’t been a photograph of the relief ship since she left Ireland, even then in darkness. Worrying everyone that her attempt to run the Gaza blockade would be cloaked like the USS Liberty, the Freedom Flotilla straggler has pulled a fast one and approached Gaza from the East, visible from the coast of Egypt, not really.

At 4AM GMT one of her support groups Tweeted that the MV Rachel Corrie had passed Alexandria. Curious geometry that. By latitude, I could be said to round Malta everyday. The Corrie passed nothing and no one.

Is it a testament to the Zionist influence over not just the US media but the international media, that there are no live correspondents awaiting the Rachel Corrie? Even paparazzi stringers could make a fortune if they hired a boat to accost what must surely be the most famous ship since the maritime misadventure of the Sea Shepherd Society’s Ady Gil.

Free Gaza Freedom Flotilla flagship leaves Ireland for GazaThe MV Rachel Corrie set off from Ireland in darkness, prohibiting a public sendoff and certainly any good pictures. Their strategy to confront the Israeli navy during daylight presumes they will be able to cache whatever footage they get of their interception. Without third party witnesses, whatever befalls the relief ship will never see the light of day, even in the light of day.

I’ll admit it, we held a local protest on Monday in response to Israel’s violent attack on the Freedom Flotilla. It was a decent turnout for having been spontaneous, but I didn’t take any pictures, and we got no press. The only evidence that it happened rests with the cars which drove by, the passersby who approached us to defend Israel being right no matter what, and our own memories of feeling like we did something. I hate that kind of activism.

If an activist pushes a tree over in the woods, but nobody is there to see it, that gesture hasn’t activated anyone.

Photos of the Rachel Corrie have been so sparse that media outlets are still using the image used on the Corrie’s unveiling, featuring a Photoshopped logo on her stern. Her previous name was still the Linda, but enthusiastic activists no doubt wanted to get the ball rolling.

UPDATE 6/5: And there she is finally, we can now see her being guided into port by Israeli pilots. If the IDF account is to be believed, the activists offered the boarding party a ladder. So there it was, broad daylight, not a reporter present, in international waters where observers would have had every right to be.

Was all the reaction to the violence visited upon the Mavi Marmara all bluster? Did the various Free Gaza enterprises receive additional donations or no? Italy ad Greece are teeming with multimillion dollar motor yachts with helipads which could have steamed to the scene.

Apparently online fans didn’t get the memo that the cruise of the Rachel Corrie was to come to naught. Neither Al-Jazeera, Russia Today or Press TV were preparing for breaking news. To say nothing about CNN or Sky. Not even in Gaza were authorities preparing for an auspicious arrival.

Did it happen? I was beginning to wonder if the MV Rachel Corrie existed at all. Imagine donors and well-wishers and even the seasick crew told this is about aid, not publicity. It’s about one shipload, not the hundred ships Gaza needs. It seemed a cruel joke to make Gazans hopeful based on an effort that was never tangable, and then ultimately would never reach them.

Did the Rachel Corrie really want to get through? Is it enough to travel the ocean to place your offering at the feet of the wall, as opposed to trying to pierce what you accuse to be an illegal blockade? What do you gain by submitting to your assailant, especially if no one’s watching? This humanitarian effort for the people of Gaza became like a Frisbee thrown vaguely in their direction. Except the Palestinians aren’t at liberty to run and catch it. From afar we can only shout, “Sorry!”

Flotilla massacre then Old Testament: Israel exacts girl’s eye for its black eye

Palestinian solidarity volunteer Emily Henochowicz was protesting Israel’s brutal raid on the Gaza relief convoy, to be more precise, she was acting as Western observer to protect the Palestinian right to protest, and she lost her eye when she was hit by an IDF teargas canister. You might have hoped Israel forces would temper their tactics after having shocked world opinion with the Mavi Marmara massacre, but no. Only the day after, IDF policemen aimed high velocity teargas rounds directly at the faces of the solidarity activists. Emily lost her eye and requires metal plates to reconstruct her face.

Egypt lifts blockade from their end. temporarily.

While Bibi does a little dance of combined sabre rattling and appeasement. And of course part of that is to promise full investigation and prosecution of the Guilty Parties. Pig Code for “we’re going to destroy all evidence and make a fake investigation where the Pigs were cleared in advance”.
Just like the people aboard the Flotilla were convicted in advance of being Terrorists. The investigation will “prove” that of course.

Meanwhile there’s that little issue of Israel having the fourth largest military in the world and Nuclear Weapons. The David v Goliath routine won’t play out very convincingly with those.

Condemnation of Israeli state piracy

New Israeli flagCOLO. SPRINGS- Join IMPROMPTU PROTEST OF US-ISRAEL MILITARIZED REPRESSION. Protest Israel’s deadly raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Called by Coloradans For Peace, Colorado Springs, Acacia Park, NOON. Pro-Palestinian, Free-Gaza, and all anti-imperial voices welcome. This Memorial Day, remember the USS Liberty!

If you really don’t want to kill civilians, don’t point loaded guns at them.

I tell you what, if Bibi actually gets away with this shit, based on the defense he’s mounting, then Death Row inmates across America will be rejoicing. What’s the difference between Armed Robbery and Capital Murder? A twitch of the finger.
Israel and the U.S. have this habit of (AFTER killing usually large numbers of Civilians in “accidents”) insisting that they trained their Soldier/Cops to “minimize the risk” of blowing away civilians. That’s a God-Damn lie. If they were to do “everything we can” to not kill civilians, one of the first and the most important elements of such a policy would be Not Shooting In Their Direction. When IDF blew away KIDS in Gaza they accused the Palestinians of the murders that were committed through bullets coming from Israeli Galil Rifles (a reworked AK-47 that fires U.S. standard .30 caliber rounds) held by Israeli soldiers. In an action where the IDF were actively invading a country they themselves had formally recognized as being Not Israel.
Guess that when you declare a region to be SEMI autonomous it’s like what my cousin used to laugh about in advertising… a Semi-Boneless Steak. Does it have bones in it or not?
But a Semi-Autonomous country is one in which the Ruling Imperial Nation tells the peasants they won’t get any benefits of Citizenship but still have to obey King Benjamin Netanyahu.

And if the Peasants dare object to being declared not second, third or ANY class of citizen, but declared to be Subject to the governing whim of the IDF Master Race… then it’s Their Fault that the IDF Gestapo/slash/TotenKopfSchutzStaffl murder their Kids.

Bibi is calling the Murders aboard the relief ships a “Botched Raid”.
Oh, and King Bibi is having who, exactly, handle the evidence, as in the shot up boats, the bodies of the victims, the Murder Weapons?

Why, Good Righteous Courageous King Benjamin is having the Murderers Themselves do the investigation. This is like when American Pigs murder somebody, who gets to investigate the Police Claims of “suicide by cop”? The Internal Affairs Division, of course.

Let me remind our readers (and Our Readers should recognize that I’m not actually asking their permission to say anything) that having the Police in any form, including the IDF Commando Murder Teams, investigate murders committed by their Fellow Cops will GUARANTEE that the Murderous PIGS will be acquitted and the victims blamed for their own deaths.

Look for, in the next three weeks, an IDF “investigation” to Clear The Commando MURDER Team of any wrongdoing. It’s the way PIGS always do it, their Pigs and Our Pigs.

Unusual mechanical failures delay, but fail to scuttle, Gaza Freedom Flotilla

First the MV Rachel Corrie suffered a breakdown shortly after leaving port. Then the Challenger I lost its steering mechanism and another Greek ship has to return to port. Though derided by Israeli critics as “tin buckets,” the ships had been certified sea-worthy before the convoy set sail. Suspicions about system failures can wait until proper investigations. Cyprus denied the Challenger permission to harbor for repairs, so its passengers were transshipped to the Mavi Marmara, and the convoy delayed its rendezvous. The revised timing will deny the Israeli navy a chance to attack during the night. The relief ships will not be approaching the contested waters off Gaza until after daybreak.

As it did during earlier relief convoy efforts, Cyprus responded to pressure from Israel and refused to allow convoy ships to assemble at its ports. This time the Greek Authority of Cyprus enforced a ban against the Freedom Flotilla vessels from entering its waters. WitnessForGaza has a video of a Cypriot helicopter keeping the Challenger I at bay, even though it was becoming increasingly disabled and need to reach a safe harbor.

What can you do to protect the convoy?

Subject: Call For Action As The Flotilla Faces Serious Threats From Israel

“People are very aware that the Israeli authorities and indeed others are playing all sorts of mind games, with threats alternating with so called offers, which would include surrendering the aid into Israeli hands, something which the participants of the flotilla find entirely unacceptable”

Speaking from the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, Kevin Ovenden from Viva Palestina outlined some of the concerns and realities currently been faced by over 750 people on board the 9 ships sailing towards Gaza.

The last of the ships departed from Turkey at midnight last night, and they are all currently in International waters in the Mediterranean Sea. Their journey is faced with incredible danger, given the threats that have been issued by the Israeli Government. They have stated that they will stop this Flotilla at all costs, even by force if necessary. Their safety is in grave danger, and the time has come for the international community to stand up for their safety and well being.

Tomorrow, Saturday, the flotilla should be sailing into Gaza, however, given the threats issued, the likely hood of this happening is looking uncertain at this stage. We are calling on everyone to contact various political leaders to ask them to do everything in their power to ensure the safety of these brave people, and to stand up and add their voice in support of this humanitarian flotilla.

The Gazan People’s Front or People’s Front of Gaza less funny than Nazirene

A Gaza Flotilla PR mishap, as minor as a participant speaking out of place, was seized upon by one reporter to suggest rivalry between co-sponsors of the relief convoy due to convene Saturday at Gaza’s door. When an interviewee said “Free Palestine Movement” instead of “Free Gaza,” the reporter recalled scenes from Monty Python’s Life of Brian and the mortal rivalry between the “People’s Judean Front” and the “People’s Front of Judea,” often understood to lampoon the PLO and it splinter groups. Haha. But why didn’t the reporter mention Python’s other irreverent terrorist gang also fighting the Roman occupation: the uber-Zionist Nazirene? Because Otto and the Nazirene, that’s right, not Nazarene, were cut from the video when control was wrestled from Monty Python for the rights.

Why the offense? Because they wore swastika-like Stars-of-David and they goose-stepped? Because they followed a small-mustached leader named Otto who dreamed of a racially pure state for Jews only?

I’m surprised that more Monty Python fans aren’t livid at the suggestion the classic has been censored for all posterity. But only those who saw Life of Brian in the theater, or can pick up an out-of-print paperback of the screenplay, would know what lines successive viewers don’t hear to memorize.

Lines like these between Eric Idle and Graham Chapman:

OTTO: It’s time, you know … Time that we Jews racially purified ourselves … We need more living room. We must move into the traditionally Jewish areas of Samaria.

BRIAN: What about the Samaritans?

OTTO: Well, we can put them in little camps. And after Samaria we must move into Jordan and create a great Jewish state that will last a thousand years.

Imagine a Zionist depicted using Hitler’s expression “living space!” Lebensraum meant a homeland where the German people could live unmolested, with room for their population to grow.

Associating Zionists with Nazis has always meant courting trouble. Does it sound incredible that defenders of Israel would take a knife to Monty Python’s work? Know any other blockbuster movies of the late 70s which mysteriously shed memorable scenes when they reemerged on video?

Criterion recently released a DVD with extras that purport to include the deleted scenes, you can see them on Youtube, but they are actually outtakes with bits missing still, in particular the lines above.

I wrote about this at length in an earlier post, when I came upon the missing dialog just by chance. In that post I also transcribed the full text of the censored scenes.

Back to the joke made at the Free Gaza Movement‘s expense. Hopefully the organizers can laugh it off. Really Jerusalem-based reporter Jackie Rowland was making hay of an email shown to her by a participant being compelled to switch the word “Palestine” for “Gaza” because they were not authorized to speak officially for the “Free Gaza Movement.” With any improvised collection of activists, only those tasked should speak for the whole. Especially someone who may have been admonished beforehand not to present themselves as a spokesman.

I cannot presume to know what were the motives in this instance, but it’s been my experience that characters bent on disrupting the work of activists often put themselves before the cameras to sabotage the message. Leaders have to guard against that tactic.

The reporter should have know as much. Imagine interviewing Rush Limbaugh and taking him at his word that he represented the White House.

The activist should have made that fact more clear. It certainly was disingenuous of the reporter however, because it would be easy to confirm that there was no such group, instead of concluding that rival non-profits were vying for taking credit for the convoy. In that way Jackie Rowland’s article seemed like a mean-spirited laugh.

The groups which have brought the multi-million dollar enterprise together that is the Gaza Freedom Flotilla appear to me to be far from adversaries, otherwise how could this be the ninth unified attempt?

The same cannot be said for Fatah and Hamas of course, nor of the extremists in Israel.

monty-python-life-brian-ottoThe latest reports have the relief convoy meeting in the international waters off of Gaza on Saturday. The story has been playing well in the international press, and is beginning to see daylight in the US. Apart from those with a Zionist slant, two decent reports emerged today in the WSJ and Time.

With Daniel Pearl Act, US warns others to respect press freedoms, of WSJ only

President Obama signed off on the Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act, surrounded by friends and colleagues of the former WSJ reporter who was slain in pursuit of al-Qaeda, while infiltrating Pakistan as if working for one of America’s loudest War-on-Islam propaganda drummers wasn’t pushing it. Taking the theme of don’t-kill-journalists at face value however, are there provisions in the act to exclude the US and its allies?

Because our forces have intimidated or outright killed I think what amounts to the high score of journalists in our war zones. If we’re concerned exclusively with reporters who’ve been decapitated, I’m sure those victims of our high caliber overkill outnumber Daniel Pearl too.

No, I suppose we’re only talking about protecting our journalists, the embeds, the only ones of which we approve. What have embeds proven to be but the new Army Press Corps? This is the same indemnity we claim for our soldiers. Try to shoot one of those and we obliterate entire clans based on rumors of who did it. If we capture someone alive, we put them on trial for combating us illegally. We dismiss laws of war that spell out that belligerents may only shoot at opponents shooting back. If they’re unarmed, or surrendering, or leaving the battle unarmed, or eating dinner with their family, they are not fair game. But we do it, and when journalists try to document our crimes we kill them.

Daniel Pearl worked for the WSJ. It’s the leading Neocon pro-war mouthpiece, only just ahead of the NY Times and the Washington Post, among newspapers with authority. If Pearl’s tracking of al-Qaeda didn’t help US intelligence outright, his reports were certainly serving the war propaganda machine.

When the Jewish community highlights the plot line that Pearl was killed because he was a Jew, it unveils a purposeful vaguarity the Israeli lobby likes to pretend is a distinction between American Jews and Zionists. The argument has it that all Jews may or may not support Israel, and yet critics of Zionism are accused of being anti-Semitic. Because, I’ll assert, AIPAC, the ADL and Simon Wiesenthal are determined to behave as if they have everyone’s support. Was Daniel Pearl a Zionist, he worked for it, and aimed to assail its declared arch-enemy under the pretext of journalist objectivity.

You can’t make the same accusation of the independent journalists being silenced wherever our military is operating. In our own country America is even keeping its own photo-journalists from being able to document the oil spill in the gulf.

The Daniel Pearl Act mandates that reports of inhibitions to journalists, especially if they are suspected of being systemic, be investigated and condemned with all the ensuing world police bells and whistles. I think that language smacks of the mandate to label “genocide” only where the US sees it.

Darfur, for example. Or the Balkans. Examples with which few fellow nations agree. To justify our interviention. Never Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, and of course I could go on.

This ACT is a political weapon of semantics to pretend right is on our side, Orwellian doublespeak to ordain preemptive drone attacks.

If President Obama had meant this legislation to address freedom of the press sincerely, he would have appended the names of all the journalists who we’ve killed, ourselves or by proxy. The list would have run into the footnotes, and it would have meant investigating ourselves. Not going to happen.

West Bank purge of settlement goods: boycotting your own pantry hurts who?

Michelle Malkin urged boycott of Rose O'Donnell advertisersThe Palestinian Authority’s issuing stickers to West Bank houses who’ve destroyed their goods from Israeli settlements reminds me of wingnut hate-mite Michelle Malkin in 2007 instructing her viewers to scour their homes for products to “boycott.” The technique brims with spirit, but misses the point of bringing economic pressure to bear. Foregoing what you’ve already paid for is to boycott what’s yours. How convenient for Fatah to put the burden on Palestinians themselves, meanwhile endorsing no interruption of trade with Israel. IE’s Ali Abunimah suggests Mahmoud Abbas aims to undermine the BDS campaign. Israel is certainly pleased to publicize the settlement businesses placed in jeopardy, as well as divert international energy from the spreading BDS movement.

Live webcam on Gaza Freedom Flotilla Turkish passenger ship Mavi Marmara


GAZA FREEDOM FLOTILLA- DAY TWO. You can follow events from a live webcam on the Turkish passenger ship MAVI MARMARA, with camera pointing over bow. The Swedish/Greek cargo ship SOFIA is still livestreaming her loading in Athens. We await details of Algerian cargo AL-JAZAIR, Turkish cargos GAZZE and DEFNE Y, German passenger yacht CHALLENGER I and the Irish MV RACHEL CORRIE.
(Details on each relief convoy ship at this post.)

We probably cannot expect the webcams to broadcast as the flotilla nears the Israeli Navy. This is explained in article on Media Line which interviewed FreeGazaOrg’s Greta Berlin:

In an attempt to curtail a public relations disaster of armed troops confronting the civilian ships, the Israel Navy is expected to jam the satellite transmission and otherwise use electronic warfare to quash all coverage and photos of the event.

“They have turned off our satellite phones. They have blocked our transmissions. We have live stream videos and we will continue to broadcast as long as we can. As long as it is on live and the signal suddenly goes out, then I think the world clearly knows what is happening and what Israel is doing.”


Aboard MAVI MARMARA


SOFIA in port.

T -6 for humanitarian convoy to Gaza

Swedish-Greek ShipToGaza SOPHIAFREEDOM FLOTILLA UPDATE- As the MV Rachel Corrie steams past the Straits of Gibraltar, loading operations quicken in Istanbul and Athens and Gaza. Israel announces a counter-protest fleet to carry banners which finger Hamas and harangue Turkey for its Armenian genocide. The ships will not meet as Israel reasserts its intention to enforce a military zone to block the relief convoy. Flotilla plans a floating city until they are let through. Wouldn’t a Venezuelan warship or two be just the escort the relief supplies would warrant?

Semite vs. anti-Semites in Jerusalem


Our Zionist critics can accuse us of highlighting virulent anti-Semitic caricatures, but the sneering visages above are no artist’s creation. This photo was taken last week in East Jerusalem, of young Jewish settlers mocking a Palestinian woman whose home is now occupied by Israelis. They came to the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah to celebrate Jerusalem Day in the face of those being displaced.

John Pilger: Gaza flotilla is one of most important direct actions of our lifetime

Free Gaza Freedom Flotilla flagship leaves Ireland for Gaza
Still waiting for aerial photos of MV Rachel Corrie leaving Ireland for the Mediterranean. Feel like you’re missing out? This quote from Journalist-superstar John Pilger won’t help: “The Freedom Flotilla is one of the most important direct actions of my lifetime. With its desperately-needed supplies and range of people from all over the world, representing sheer human decency, it sends a message of disgust to Gaza’s oppressor and, above all, reaches out unreservedly to the people of Gaza.” –John Pilger, 8 May 2010

Besides releasing the photo above, the latest update from the Rachel Corrie came at GMT 14:23 today, reported by @FreeGazaOrg:

Leaving the coast of Ireland on her way around the bottom of England. All is well, weather is excellent

The Israeli press is beating the war drum against the convoy’s arrival, lampooning the would-be Gaza rescuers as International Peace Schlamazels.

On the seas, the Ma’an News Agency echos reports of preparations Israel is undertaking to battle the relief convoy:

“About half of the Israeli naval forces will participate in an operation that was approved by the cabinet. [Israeli] Defense Minister Ehud Barak will supervise the operation,” an Israeli official told the Arabic-language satellite TV station Al-Hurra.

An Israeli security source told Ma’an that authorities will prevent the arrival of the boats “at any price.”

This lead Freedom Flotilla followers on Twitter to strategize that if the Free Gaza blockage runners could double their numbers, the Israeli navy would be forced to deploy ITS FULL FORCE to maintain the siege. A marginal increase in the convoy size would thus prove a bigger flotilla than Israel could repel!

Naval Siege of GazaMeanwhile Israeli border patrol gunships continue to strafe Palestinian fishing boats.

UPDATE: Noam Chomsky, just denied entry into the West Bank, sends best wishes to the Freedom Flotilla:

“I have been deeply impressed with the courageous and honorable efforts to break through the savage and criminal siege of Gaza, utterly lacking in credible pretext, designed to crush any hope of meaningful Palestinian independence. My best wishes for your success in this critically important undertaking, which I hope will also help to awaken the consciousness of the world.” — Noam Chomsky, 10 May 2010

Freedom Flotilla flagship off to Gaza

Free Gaza Freedom Flotilla crew member FaichreThe rechristened MV Rachel Corrie sails today from Dundalk, Ireland, to join the Freedom Flotilla intent on running the blockade of Gaza. Israel is already warning Cyprus against allowing the humanitarian convoy to shelter in its ports, rehearsing plans to intercept, and Turkish supporters are rebuffing Israeli threats to bomb relief ships which attempt to reach Palestine. In other news, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has accepted Israel’s membership, cementing First World culpability for Israeli growth from conquest. Critics had urged Israel’s disqualification because its capitalization has been owed to the occupation and illegal appropriation of Palestinian resources, but could the OECD ultimately disown the US-European joint colonial venture?

What a coincidence that today’s date in 1949 marked the end of the siege of Berlin, when an international effort was mounted by world governments to fly relief convoys of supplies to the besieged population of Berlin. Today western governments won’t abide the expressed will of their citizens and so the people themselves are having to save the Palestinians abandoned in Gaza.

The MV Rachel Corrie has been repainted with a giant Irish flag on its side, and the words “FREE GAZA” along its top. The cargo ship retains its original IMO 6715281 for communications and tracking. Bloggers and journalists will be charting the flotilla’s progress online.

Among the participants on the Free Gaza project are Ken Fleming, Nobel Peace Prize winner; Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize winner; Denis Halliday, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq; Matthias Chang, Perdana Global Peace Organizer; Aengus.O’Snodaigh, Sinn Fein; Chris Andrews; Free Gaza Movement co-founder Greta Berlin, Caoimhe Butterly, Ewa Jasiewicz, Fintan Lane, and Niamh Moloughney.

Simon Wiesenthal Center makes best case against Israel colonial legitimacy

Give Israel credit for answering their critics head on, but that is the Zionist hubris. Simon Wiesenthal is propagating the latest Hasbara crib sheet to counter the ten most threatening lies about Israel. We couldn’t have summarized the arguments better ourselves. One man’s “lies” are his victim’s desperate appeals to confound systemic myopic denial. Here it is in their own nutshell:
 
Israel was created by European guilt over the Nazi Holocaust. Why should Palestinians pay the price? … Had Israel withdrawn to its June 1967 borders, peace would have come long ago. … Israel is the main stumbling block to achieving a two-state solution. … Nuclear Israel, not Iran, is the greatest threat to peace and stability. … Israel is an apartheid state deserving of international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns. … Plans to build 1,600 more homes in East Jerusalem prove Israel is “Judaizing” the Holy City. … Israeli policies endanger U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. … Israeli policies are the cause of worldwide anti-Semitism. … Israel, not Hamas, is responsible for the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza. … Goldstone was right when he charged that Israel was guilty of war crimes against civilians. … The only hope for peace is a single, binational state eliminating the Jewish State of Israel.

Even dissembled, the case weighs hard against Zionist mendacity.

OK, a tad capricious
To Wiesenthal’s credit, the arguments are loaded with a laudable reserve of disingenuity:

5,500 MORE HOMES have been zoned for East Jerusalem, not 1,600, (and yes, Jerusalem’s mayor has set quotas, a Jewish to non-Jewish target ratio to counter a higher Arab birthrate).

Israeli policies are the cause of [PROLIFERATION] of worldwide anti-Semitism,

The Gaza “humanitarian catastrophe” soft-pedals the critics’ real accusation: MASSACRE. Imagine referring to the Holocaust as befalling its victims with the ambivalence of a tsunami.

JUDGE Goldstone isn’t the only accuser who’s documented the criminality the world witnessed WITH ITS OWN EYES.

Apartheid legitimizers blink
Further demonstrating the disintegrating global support for a Jewish haven-state, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has all but dropped its cover as Holocaust-remembrance-sledgehammer to directly shore up the supposed public grant of legitimacy to Zionist colonialism.

Trying to turn the argument on Israel’s “de-ligitimizers” couldn’t be more out of touch.

While the US fights in expanding but downward spirals against the entropy of Pax Americana, Western public support for empire-building erodes for even the pretext of “globalization.” White Man’s Burden has smartened to Carbon Debt, missionary zeal evolved to indigenous and environmental protectionism. Religious crusades haven’t held water for centuries, but what an Auld Testament to Zionism’s xenophobic tenacity to posit the Jewish People as “chosen” to revive God-manifested destiny.

What part of “Apartheid is for Neanderthals” do Palestine’s neo- Afrikaners fail to understand? Even an 18th Century South African settler categorization gives the mid-twentieth century European transplants in Zion too much credit for pretended genealogical roots in the Middle East.

Only State Solution
Not very well concealed in Wiesenthal’s framing of the “Top Ten Lies” is a specious conceit formed by straw arguments three and ten, which presume the desirability of a “two-state solution” and/or a misguided hope for an inevitable “binational state.” Only in Wiesenthal’s rebuttal is there utterance of Israel’s true taboo –unmentionable because it will be self-fulfilling. The single state solution is dismissed with cavalier aplomb as “a non-starter.”

They desperately wish. On what basis do Zionists imbue themselves authority to trump international consensus? Hopefully it is not their nuclear arsenal. No other religious ideology, armed with nukes or without, asserts any permutation of divine refugee-status provenance to an autonomous “homeland.” Not even Tibet.

I expect sooner than the Zionists like –but then the self-defeatist arrogance may bely my presumption– the Simon Wiesenthal Center will be scrambling to bolster rationalizations against the only peaceful solution already on everyone’s mind and taxing our humanitarian patience: the single-state multi-theist modern egalitarian democracy.

Hasbara desperation
We reprint a near-complete representation of the SWC brochure below for our readers, if also to facilitate the identification of pro-Israel internet trolls by the tracts they are presently copy-and-pasting all over blog discussions. Who would have suspected that the resurgent wave of Zionist troll tripe was so transparently linked to official AIPAC and Wiesenthal Center press releases. We give the IDF Hasbara budget too much credit.

A recent IDF-merc commenter goaded us to “envy Israeli intellectual superiority.” I will admit it, I am in awe. Eagerly too. I know where it got Icarus.

Israel goes Titanic. Gotta love a good spectacle.

Appendix
Here then, courtesy of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the 2010 Top Ten Anti-Israel Lies, enjoy!

2010 TOP TEN
ANTI-ISRAEL LIES

Israel is under assault!
Here’s what you need to know.
Act now…

Lie No. 1: Israel was created by European guilt over the Nazi Holocaust. Why should Palestinians pay the price?

Three thousand years before the Holocaust, before there was a Roman Empire, Israel’s kings and prophets walked the streets of Jerusalem. The whole world knows that Isaiah did not speak his prophesies from Portugal, nor Jeremiah his lamentations from France. Revered by its people, Jerusalem is mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures 600 times, but not once in the Koran. Throughout the 2,000-year exile of the Jews, there was a continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land.

Lie No. 2: Had Israel withdrawn to its June 1967 borders, peace would have come long ago.

Since 1967, Israel repeatedly has conceded “land for peace.” Following Egyptian President Sadat’s historic 1977 visit to Jerusalem, Israel withdrew from the vast Sinai Peninsula and has been at peace with Egypt ever since. But the Palestinian Authority has never fulfilled its promise to end propaganda attacks nor drop the Palestinian National Charter’s call for Israel’s destruction. In 2000, Prime Minister Barak offered Yasser Arafat full sovereignty more than 97 percent of the West Bank, a corridor to Gaza, and a capital in the Arab section of Jerusalem. Arafat said no.

Lie No. 3: Israel is the main stumbling block to achieving a two-state solution.

The Palestinians themselves are the only stumbling block to achieving a two-state solution. With whom should Israel negotiate? With President Abbas, who for four years has been barred by Hamas from visiting 1.5 million constituents in Gaza? With his Palestinian Authority, which continues to glorify terrorists and preaches hate in its educational system and the media? With Hamas, whose Iranian-backed leaders deny the Holocaust and use fanatical Jihadist rhetoric to call for Israel’s destruction?

Lie No. 4: Nuclear Israel, not Iran, is the greatest threat to peace and stability.

The United States and Europe can afford to wait to see what the Iranian regime does with its nuclear ambitions, but Israel cannot. Israel is on the front lines and remembers every day the price the Jewish people paid for not taking Hitler at his word. Israel is not prepared to sacrifice another 6 million Jews on the altar of the world’s indifference.

Lie No. 5: Israel is an apartheid state deserving of international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns.

In fact, Israel is a democratic state. Its 20 percent Arab minority enjoys all the political, economic and religious rights and freedoms of citizenship, including electing members of their choice to the Knesset (Parliament).

Lie No. 6: Plans to build 1,600 more homes in East Jerusalem prove Israel is “Judaizing” the Holy City.

Ramat Shlomo was not about Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem but about a long established, heavily populated Jewish neighborhood in northern Jerusalem, where 250,000 Jews live (about the size of Newark, N.J.) — an area that will never be relinquished by Israel.

Lie No. 7: Israeli policies endanger U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would benefit everyone, including the United States. But an imposed return to what Abba Eban called “1967 Auschwitz borders” would endanger Israel’s survival and ultimately be disastrous for American interests and credibility in the world.

Lie No. 8: Israeli policies are the cause of worldwide anti-Semitism.

From the Inquisition to the pogroms, to the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis, history proves that Jew hatred existed on a global scale before the creation of the State of Israel. It would still exist in 2010 even if Israel had never been created. For example, one poll indicates that 40 percent of Europeans blame the recent global economic crisis on “Jews having too much economic power” — a canard that has nothing to do with Israel.

Lie No. 9: Israel, not Hamas, is responsible for the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza. Goldstone was right when he charged that Israel was guilty of war crimes against civilians.

The United Nations Human Rights Council is obsessed with false anti-Israel resolutions. It refuses to address grievous human rights abuses in Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and beyond. Faced with similar attacks, every U.N. member-state, including the United States and Canada, surely would have acted more aggressively than the Israel Defense Forces did in Gaza.

Lie No. 10: The only hope for peace is a single, binational state eliminating the Jewish State of Israel.

The one-state solution is a non-starter because it would eliminate the Jewish homeland. However, the current pressures on Israel are equally dangerous. In effect, the world is demanding that Israel, the size of New Jersey, shrink further by accepting a three-state solution: a P.A. state on the West Bank and a Hamas terrorist one in Gaza. All this as Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, stockpiles 50,000 rockets, threatening northern and central Israel’s main population centers. Current polls show that while most Israelis favor a two-state solution, most Palestinians continue to oppose it.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla building steam


The Free Gaza Movement’s FREEDOM FLOTILLA III is assembling itself ship by ship at European ports. Departure is set for later this month. You can already track the passenger ship MS Mavi Marmara and cargo ships Gazze, Sofia and MV Rachel Corrie on Google Earth. Will the humanitarian relief convoy succumb to Israel’s blockade?
UPDATED: photo-profiles of the IN v. FGM maritime contenders:

The blockade runners:

M/S Mavi Marmara, Turkey, IMO: 7083956, MMSI: 271002151
Currently in Sarayburnu, Istanbul, heading to Tuzla shipyard.


Gazze, Turkey, IMO: 7806192, MMSI: 271002042
Currently in Haydarpasa, Istanbul.


VM Rachel Corrie, Ireland, IMO: 6715281, MMSI: 515886000
(Formally: Linda) Currently at Brown’s Quay, Dundalk, Ireland.

Ship to Gaza sponsored by Sweden
Sofia, Sweden / Greece, IMO: 6713752, MMSI: 239219000
Currently docked in Piraeus Roads, Athens.
Itinerary: Tromsö – Göthenburg – Great Yarmouth – Bilbao – Lisbon – Barcelona – Marseilles – Genoa – Athens – Istanbul – Gaza City.

UPDATE 5/23

Defne Y, Kiribata, IMO: 7725518, MMSI: 529239000.
Currently loading in Istanbul.

VERSUS…

The Israeli blockade

Free Gaza has launched eight relief flotillas to Gaza since 2006, but according to Intifata Palestine:

The last three voyages were illegally stopped by the Israeli navy when, in December, 2008, they rammed the DIGNITY in international water, turned back the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY by threatening to shoot all on board, then hijacking the SPIRT on July 1, 2009, kidnapping the passengers and throwing them into prison for a week.


Israeli Super Dvora Mk III gunship intercepts Freedom Flotilla cargo ship The Brotherhood Ship in 2009, forcing it to return to Lebanon.


Israeli coastal patrol accosts Palestinian fishing vessels which stray beyond an Israel-imposed six mile fishing limit.


Israeli Dabur class Coastal Patrol Craft sets water hose on Palestinian fishing vessel before making arrests.

It was a Dabur in 2008 which rammed the Free Gaza relief ship Dignity.

AIPAC student DC junkets paying off


This year’s AIPAC conference targeted university student body officers in an effort to fend off BDS campaigns at campuses nationwide. Did the controversial strategy just pay off at UC Berkeley? When the student council voted 16 to 4 to divest, student body president Will Smelko vetoed the measure. Intense pressure from Israeli lobby groups were able to prevent overturning the veto.

AIPAC said they were going to do it, and they did it. Here’s what AIPAC’s Leadership Development Director Jonathan Kessler told DC conference attendees:

How are we going to beat back the anti-Israel divestment resolution at Berkeley? We’re going to make certain that pro-Israel students take over the student government and reverse the vote. That is how AIPAC operates in our nation’s capitol. This is how AIPAC must operate on our nation’s campuses.

Though the Berkeley bill SB118 proposed divestment from General Electric and United Technologies only, two military industries which profit from Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinians, it’s true perhaps that the measure opened the door to further BDS inroads to fight Israel Apartheid.

The divestment proposal had the backing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu among many activists. Against was the Israeli lobby. Students were warned that prospective Jewish students would avoid enrolling, etc. Can we imagine the suggestion was made that the current students would be denied jobs? There probably is a corporate future for “made” students who’ve shown their fealty to AIPAC.

Worth reprinting is the statement read by UCB Professor Judth Butler trying to warn the students against AIPAC’s disreputable coercion:

Let us begin with the assumption that it is very hard to hear the debate under consideration here. One hears someone saying something, and one fears that they are saying another thing. It is hard to trust words, or indeed to know what words actually mean. So that is a sign that there is a certain fear in the room, and also, a certain suspicion about the intentions that speakers have and a fear about the implications of both words and deeds. Of course, tonight you do not need a lecture on rhetoric from me, but perhaps, if you have a moment, it might be possible to pause and to consider reflectively what is actually at stake in this vote, and what is not. Let me introduce myself first as a Jewish faculty member here at Berkeley, on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace, on the US executive committee of Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, a global organization, a member of the Russell Tribunal on Human Rights in Palestine, and a board member of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin. I am at work on a book which considers Jewish criticisms of state violence, Jewish views of co-habitation, and the importance of ‘remembrance’ in both Jewish and Palestinian philosophic and poetic traditions.

The first thing I want to say is that there is hardly a Jewish dinner table left in this country–or indeed in Europe and much of Israel–in which there is not enormous disagreement about the status of the occupation, Israeli military aggression and the future of Zionism, binationalism and citizenship in the lands called Israel and Palestine. There is no one Jewish voice, and in recent years, there are increasing differences among us, as is evident by the multiplication of Jewish groups that oppose the occupation and which actively criticize and oppose Israeli military policy and aggression. In the US and Israel alone these groups include: Jewish Voice for Peace, American Jews for a Just Peace, Jews Against the Occupation, Boycott from Within, New Profile, Anarchists Against the Wall, Women in Black, Who Profits?, Btselem, Zochrot, Black Laundry, Jews for a Free Palestine (Bay Area), No Time to Celebrate and more. The emergence of J Street was an important effort to establish an alternative voice to AIPAC, and though J street has opposed the bill you have before you, the younger generation of that very organization has actively contested the politics of its leadership. So even there you have splits, division and disagreement.

So if someone says that it offends “the Jews” to oppose the occupation, then you have to consider how many Jews are already against the occupation, and whether you want to be with them or against them. If someone says that “Jews” have one voice on this matter, you might consider whether there is something wrong with imagining Jews as a single force, with one view, undivided. It is not true. The sponsors of Monday evening’s round table at Hillel made sure not to include voices with which they disagree. And even now, as demonstrations in Israel increase in number and volume against the illegal seizure of Palestinian lands, we see a burgeoning coalition of those who seek to oppose unjust military rule, the illegal confiscation of lands, and who hold to the norms of international law even when nations refuse to honor those norms.

What I learned as a Jewish kid in my synagogue–which was no bastion of radicalism–was that it was imperative to speak out against social injustice. I was told to have the courage to speak out, and to speak strongly, even when people accuse you of breaking with the common understanding, even when they threaten to censor you or punish you. The worst injustice, I learned, was to remain silent in the face of criminal injustice. And this tradition of Jewish social ethics was crucial to the fights against Nazism, fascism and every form of discrimination, and it became especially important in the fight to establish the rights of refugees after the Second World War. Of course, there are no strict analogies between the Second World War and the contemporary situation, and there are no strict analogies between South Africa and Israel, but there are general frameworks for thinking about co-habitation, the right to live free of external military aggression, the rights of refugees, and these form the basis of many international laws that Jews and non-Jews have sought to embrace in order to live in a more just world, one that is more just not just for one nation or for another, but for all populations, regardless of nationality and citizenship. If some of us hope that Israel will comply with international law, it is precisely so that one people can live among other peoples in peace and in freedom. It does not de-legitimate Israel to ask for its compliance with international law. Indeed, compliance with international law is the best way to gain legitimacy, respect and an enduring place among the peoples of the world.

Of course, we could argue on what political forms Israel and Palestine must take in order for international law to be honored. But that is not the question that is before you this evening. We have lots of time to consider that question, and I invite you to join me to do that in a clear-minded way in the future. But consider this closely: the bill you have before you does not ask that you take a view on Israel. I know that it certainly seems like it does, since the discussion has been all about that. But it actually makes two points that are crucial to consider. The first is simply this: there are two companies that not only are invested in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and peoples, but who profit from that occupation, and which are sustained in part by funds invested by the University of California. They are General Electric and United Technologies. They produce aircraft designed to bomb and kill, and they have bombed and killed civilians, as has been amply demonstrated by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. You are being asked to divest funds from these two companies. You are NOT being asked to divest funds from every company that does business with Israel. And you are not being asked to resolve to divest funds from Israeli business or citizens on the basis of their citizenship or national belonging. You are being asked only to call for a divestment from specific companies that make military weapons that kill civilians. That is the bottom line.

If the newspapers or others seek to make inflammatory remarks and to say that this is an attack on Israel, or an attack on Jews, or an upsurge of anti-Semitism, or an act that displays insensitivity toward the feelings of some of our students, then there is really only one answer that you can provide, as I see it. Do we let ourselves be intimidated into not standing up for what is right? It is simply unethical for UC to invest in such companies when they profit from the killing of civilians under conditions of a sustained military occupation that is manifestly illegal according to international law. The killing of civilians is a war crime. By voting yes, you say that you do not want the funds of this university to be invested in war crimes, and that you hold to this principle regardless of who commits the war crime or against whom it is committed.

Of course, you should clearly ask whether you would apply the same standards to any other occupation or destructive military situation where war crimes occur. And I note that the bill before you is committed to developing a policy that would divest from all companies engaged in war crimes. In this way, it contains within it both a universal claim and a universalizing trajectory. It recommends explicitly “additional divestment policies to keep university investments out of companies aiding war crimes throughout the world, such as those taking place in Morocco, the Congo, and other places as determined by the resolutions of the United Nations and other leading human rights organizations.” Israel is not singled out. It is, if anything, the occupation that is singled out, and there are many Israelis who would tell you that Israel must be separated from its illegal occupation. This is clearly why the divestment call is selective: it does not call for divestment from any and every Israeli company; on the contrary, it calls for divestment from two corporations where the links to war crimes are well-documented.

Let this then be a precedent for a more robust policy of ethical investment that would be applied to any company in which UC invests. This is the beginning of a sequence, one that both sides to this dispute clearly want. Israel is not to be singled out as a nation to be boycotted–and let us note that Israel itself is not boycotted by this resolution. But neither is Israel’s occupation to be held exempt from international standards. If you want to say that the historical understanding of Israel’s genesis gives it an exceptional standing in the world, then you disagree with those early Zionist thinkers, Martin Buber and Judah Magnes among them, who thought that Israel must not only live in equality with other nations, but must also exemplify principles of equality and social justice in its actions and policies. There is nothing about the history of Israel or of the Jewish people that sanctions war crimes or asks us to suspend our judgment about war crimes in this instance. We can argue about the occupation at length, but I am not sure we can ever find a justification on the basis of international law for the deprivation of millions of people of their right to self-determination and their lack of protection against police and military harassment and destructiveness. But again, we can have that discussion, and we do not have to conclude it here in order to understand the specific choice that we face. You don’t have to give a final view on the occupation in order to agree that investing in companies that commit war crimes is absolutely wrong, and that in saying this, you join Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Christians and so many other peoples from diverse religious and secular traditions who believe that international governance, justice and peace demand compliance with international law and human rights and the opposition to war crimes. You say that you do not want our money going into bombs and helicopters and military materiel that destroys civilian life. You do not want it in this context, and you do not want it in any context.

Part of me wants to joke–where would international human rights be without the Jews! We helped to make those rights, at Nuremberg and again in Jerusalem, so what does it mean that there are those who tell you that it is insensitive to Jewishness to come out in favor of international law and human rights? It is a lie–and what a monstrous view of what it means to be Jewish. It disgraces the profound traditions of social justice that have emerged from the struggle against fascism and the struggles against racism; it effaces the tradition of ta-ayush, living together, the ethical relation to the non-Jew which is the substance of Jewish ethics, and it effaces the value that is given to life no matter the religion or race of those who live. You do not need to establish that the struggle against this occupation is the same as the historical struggle against apartheid to know that each struggle has its dignity and its absolute value, and that oppression in its myriad forms do not have to be absolutely identical to be equally wrong. For the record, the occupation and apartheid constitute two different versions of settler colonialism, but we do not need a full understanding of this convergence and divergence to settle the question before us today. Nothing in the bill before you depends on the seamless character of that analogy. In voting for this resolution, you stand with progressive Jews everywhere and with broad principles of social justice, which means, that you stand with those who wish to stand not just with their own kind but with all of humanity, and who do this, in part, both because of the religious and non-religious values they follow.

Lastly, let me say this. You may feel fear in voting for this resolution. I was frightened coming here this evening. You may fear that you will seem anti-Semitic, that you cannot handle the appearance of being insensitive to Israel’s needs for self-defense, insensitive to the history of Jewish suffering. Perhaps it is best to remember the words of Primo Levi who survived a brutal internment at Auschwitz when he had the courage to oppose the Israeli bombings of southern Lebanon in the early 1980s. He openly criticized Menachem Begin, who directed the bombing of civilian centers, and he received letters asking him whether he cared at all about the spilling of Jewish blood. He wrote:

I reply that the blood spilled pains me just as much as the blood spilled by all other human beings. But there are still harrowing letters. And I am tormented by them, because I know that Israel was founded by people like me, only less fortunate than me. Men with a number from Auschwitz tattooed on their arms, with no home nor homeland, escaping from the horrors of the Second World War who found in Israel a home and a homeland. I know all this. But I also know that this is Begin’s favourite defence. And I deny any validity to this defence.

As the Israeli historian Idith Zertal makes clear, do not use this most atrocious historical suffering to legitimate military destructiveness–it is a cruel and twisted use of the history of suffering to defend the affliction of suffering on others.

To struggle against fear in the name of social justice is part of a long and venerable Jewish tradition; it is non-nationalist, that is true, and it is committed not just to my freedom, but to all of our freedoms. So let us remember that there is no one Jew, not even one Israel, and that those who say that there are seek to intimidate or contain your powers of criticism. By voting for this resolution, you are entering a debate that is already underway, that is crucial for the materialization of justice, one which involves having the courage to speak out against injustice, something I learned as a young person, but something we each have to learn time and again. I understand that it is not easy to speak out in this way. But if you struggle against voicelessness to speak out for what is right, then you are in the middle of that struggle against oppression and for freedom, a struggle that knows that there is no freedom for one until there is freedom for all. There are those who will surely accuse you of hatred, but perhaps those accusations are the enactment of hatred. The point is not to enter that cycle of threat and fear and hatred–that is the hellish cycle of war itself. The point is to leave the discourse of war and to affirm what is right. You will not be alone. You will be speaking in unison with others, and you will, actually, be making a step toward the realization of peace–the principles of non-violence and co-habitation that alone can serve as the foundation of peace. You will have the support of a growing and dynamic movement, inter-generational and global, by speaking against the military destruction of innocent lives and against the corporate profit that depends on that destruction. You will stand with us, and we will most surely stand with you.

MV Rachel Corrie to run Gaza blockade

Newly rechristened MV Rachel Corrie at Brown's Quay, Dundalk, IrelandFinal preparations are underway at Brown’s Quay in Dundalk, Ireland, to launch the Free Gaza Movement‘s next run against Israel’s blockade of Gaza. FGM were able to acquire the 1,800 ton MV Linda impounded by the ITF for failure to pay its Latvian crew. Anyone who wishes to embark on the freighter’s urgent relief mission to Palestine is enjoined to submit an application. Supporters with deeper pockets could consider adding tonnage to the flotilla. Riga’s bankrupt Forestry Shipping abandoned two similar ships in Holland, the MV Defender and MV Fairland, available for the cost of the back-wages due their sailors.

There are of course an already unending list of activists, journalists, victims and martyrs of the Palestinian struggle for whom additional ships could be named, but I like the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society model of christening ships after benefactors, Steve Irwin, Bob Barker and Ady Gil. But the best example to follow is the Whale Warriors’ TV contract. If any edge could tip the balance in the maritime face-off with the Israeli destroyers, it will be the prospect of an attack being televised. At least that’s what we used to think would deter the IDF.

This next attempt to break the siege follows eight previous efforts, five of which were successful. I am curious how so little footage reaches the independent media, even after the fact. Boats have been rammed, forced back, or impounded, even with luminaries like Cynthia McKinney aboard, with very little incriminating video, and certainly without raising real time internet alarm.

The warnings which FGM provides about conditions for participation are fairly direct as to the risks posed by Israel’s armed responses, here is the background information required to apply:

Background Information
 
Please list your experience working in Palestine, and with Palestinian organizations or campaigns in your local community
 
What is your profession?
 
What are your areas of expertise? (please be specific)
 
Please list all the languages you speak
 
Please list all your affiliations (political, professional, or activist-based)
 
Please provide us with a one paragraph biography of you that we can post on our website in the event you travel with us to Gaza
 
Do you have a preference for which dates you would like to travel to Gaza on?
 
Are you applying as part of a delegation? (preference will be given to delegations, such as doctors, lawyers, students, teachers, musicians, labor activists, et al, who are traveling to Gaza for a specific purpose, such as do an assessment, consult with colleagues in Gaza, or build on solidarity campaigns)
 
If yes, who is the primary contact person for your delegation?
 
Are you planning on staying in Gaza long-term?
 
If you are planning to remain in Gaza, then you MUST have already made contact with organizations working in Gaza and have a clear plan for what you will be doing there. Please describe the contacts and plans you have already made.
 
Do you have health insurance that will cover you during your trip to Gaza?
 
Please provide us with your insurance information, in case of a medical emergency (policy name, number, and insurance contact information)
 
Please list any physical disabilities you may have (artificial knee or hip, for example)
 
Please list all medications you are currently taking
 
Can you swim?
 
Please also provide us with two, written recommendations from people who have been involved in working with Palestinians and Palestinian organizations. We require their names, telephone numbers and email addresses.