PERSPECTIVE; Lancet: Medical Conditions in Gaza

Medical clinics in Gaza are struggling to treat an overwhelming number of casualties following Israel’s 3-week assault on the isolated enclave. Jan McGirk reports from Jerusalem.
The best-equipped medical facility in the Gaza Strip resembled a charnal house. Corpses were strewn on the floor after morgue refrigerators inside Al Shifa—a 585-bed hospital in Gaza City—were packed to capacity in the first week of the Israeli military offensive in the Palestinian enclave.

Ref: The Lancet

Download the Gaza articals here

FIGHT ISRAEL: From South Africa to Israel – Time for a New Divestment Campaign

Barack Obama’s inauguration coming as we celebrate of Martin Luther King Day predictably draws linkages between the two. Many use Obama’s election to claim a realization of the “dream.” Others mumble something about a post-racial America. I suspect that King, if alive, would reject such nonsense. Although when asked “who he thought King would support” in the 2008 primary campaign Obama made a good case for answering “Nobody,” it is possible that King may have supported Obama.

King was a politician of sorts, although not so much at the time of his assassination. We love King now, but at the end of his life he wasn’t so popular. Younger activists criticized him and called him names such as “Da Lord” – mocking his once high place in civil rights politics. President Lyndon B. Johnson and a host of government officials, local and national, condemned him when he spoke out against the Vietnam War. King was not universally cheered when he marched, to his death, with the garbage workers in Memphis striking for fair wages and respect. Truth be told, he was jeered, even by some blacks.

Sure, we love King now, but there was a time when people turned their back on him and his message.

It has always been troubling to witness King’s mission and message reduced to “I have a dream” in the popular culture. It’s taught to kids in kindergarten, and they carry it with them all their lives. But all dreams are not equal. They can be interpreted in a number of ways. And some dreams are nightmares, or turn into nightmares for other people.

Before it became a “quagmire” the war in Vietnam was a dream of the American political establishment. Exactly one year before his assassination, King, setting aside the grave danger it brought to him, challenged his government and broke with American imperial policy. At New York City’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, King linked the domestic exploitation of African Americans with “the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long.”

In his speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”, King said, “A time comes when silence is betrayal..,” And, “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my own government.”

King’s charge is just as true today as it was 40-plus years ago.

America is still the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. Silence is still betrayal. But let’s take it a step beyond silence. Non-action is the other betrayal. Change isn’t just about an election in November and a celebration in January. It’s about doing something measurable to usher in a more peaceful world. Sure it’s good to change one’s perspective and way of looking at things. But the trick is to make your actions match what’s on your mind.

There is an arc. People and events are linked on the arc.

So, this year we should honor King in an active sense. We should commit ourselves to organize against the American policy of violence and empire. The anti-war movement should apply pressure on Obama to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. And, just as important, particularly amid the horror that has been visited on the people of Gaza; a broader peace movement must also build real economic and political pressure against Israel’s immoral and criminal acts against the Palestinians. This King Day should mark the beginning of an organized push for American divestment from Israel.

When you think about it, US foreign policy toward Palestine has been a segregationist or apartheid policy. In his 2006 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, former President Jimmy Carter likened Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and its repression of Palestinian people, both within Israel and in the occupied territories, to the state of apartheid, which existed in South Africa prior to the early 1990s. Apartheid means ‘separateness.’ And there is little debate that Zionism, the official ideology of Israel, is predicated on religious and ethnic separation or segregation. A self-described Jewish state — that is, a state that operates of, by and on behalf of a single group of people — cannot also be a secular, democratic state where persons of all religious and ethnic backgrounds are treated equally. A Jewish state that has never declared its borders, that has annexed and occupied territories, flouting international law and subjecting the indigenous population to poverty, indignity, theft, torture and death, is not only a colonialist outlaw state; it is also racist. As one Palestinian gentleman remarked to me, “While blacks in America were once considered subhuman, Palestinians are not considered humans at all.”

And Israel could not have pursued any of these policies without the steadfast financial and political support of the United States. It is no secret that Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. aid in the world. It receives more than $15 million every day from the United States, or $30 billion a year by most estimates. The F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters that have dropped hundreds of tons of bombs and missiles on Gaza are made in the United States and provided to the Israeli government. Every American taxpayer underwrites Israeli-style apartheid.

Divestment may be at odds with the position of many elected black leaders (the Congressional Black Caucus included), but it’s not at odds with what King spoke of and died for. It is not at odds with those he championed. He championed the locked out and oppressed.

Throughout my life, black politics has lined up with oppressed people in other nations. Malcolm X stood with Fidel Castro and the Cuban people following the 1958 ouster of US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista, and with him the organized crime and American corporatist mobsters who exploited the Cuban people. Harlemites greeted Castro with affection as they gathered to welcome him during his stay at the Hotel Theresa in 1960 because he wanted to be “among the workers.”

Muhammad Ali is a “national treasure” now. But he wasn’t when he dropped the name Cassius Clay and said “Ain’t no Vietnamese ever called me nigger.”

Americans love Nelson Mandela, now. But he was a “terrorist” while he was heading “Spear of the Nation” – the armed wing of the African National Congress. That’s why he was locked up at Robben Island. Mandela’s name was only recently – during the 2nd part of the Bush Administration – removed from the State Department’s “terrorists list.” In the days of Ronald Reagan it was America and Israel that supported South Africa when the rest of the world said “enough.”

But black Americans remembered the hundreds of kids who died in Sharpesville Massacre in the 60s. We were in solidarity with those who took part in the Soweto uprising of 1976. We cried and protested when the South African police killed Steve Biko in 1977.

What’s happening in Palestine is not fundamentally different from what occurred in apartheid South Africa. Kids are being killed. People have been herded into the (more deadly) equivalent of bantustans. Political leaders are targeted for assassination. Most recently Hamas Interior Minister Said Siam was killed along with nine others, when Israeli warplanes bombed a home in the Jabalya refugee camp.

Israel’s behavior demands the same response from the world human rights community as was mustered against South Africa.

The facts are clear. The citizens of Gaza live in a virtual prison. They are surrounded by water, walls, fences and watch/gun towers.

In the latest assault, at least 1,133 Palestinians have been killed, including 346 children and 105 women; at least 5,200 have been injured. People talk about “suffering on both sides,” but there is no proportion in weaponry or force, which is why 100 Palestinians have died for every one Israeli.

The Palestinian people live under Israel’s apartheid blockade where even humanitarian aid is not allowed through – where citizens can get food, medicine and even goats, in addition to guns and weapons, only through tunnels.

Not just in Gaza but throughout all the occupied territories, Palestinian water rights along with their land and human rights have been stolen. Fundamentalist Jewish immigrants from Brooklyn have automatic citizenship and automatic civil and property rights, while the indigenous Palestinians lose and lose some more. Most often, it is Palestinian land that the migrants have settled on, with the blessings of Israel and the financial support of the United States via the Israeli government – in the face of international and United Nations’ resolutions against such settlements. It is Palestinian land, stolen for Israeli settlements, that the Palestinians have been firing mortars onto; Palestinian land that is bisected by Israeli-only roads and a wall that exceeds the Berlin Wall in size and cruelty. (No German had his farm or homestead cut in two by the wall.) They are Palestinian orchards that have been bulldozed; Palestinian homes that have been demolished; and American-made bulldozers that have done the job. A Caterpillar bulldozer crushed 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie to death when she stood in front of a doctor’s house in Gaza trying to prevent its demolition on March 16, 2003. And the same bulldozers have taken everything from Palestinian families year after year for decades.

Throughout the latest assault on Gaza, those blindly supportive of Israel raise a straw man argument asking, “Who struck the blow?” Or, “Fired the first shot?” Or, “Launched the first mortar.” Their answer to the question is almost always certain to be, “Hamas.” Before the days Hamas came to power, the same straw man was raised and knocked down as the answer back then was sure to be, “Fatah” – led by PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Supporters of Israel never mention the blockade on Gaza or political assassinations or the wall or the poverty and despair. Instead, they label Hamas or anyone opposing occupation as “terrorists” and lamely apologize for the civilians killed calling them “collateral damage,” or they claim that the women and children killed in the school or hospital or UN facilities were “being used as human shield.” No one calls the Jewish settlers human shields, though their incursions into occupied territory has been both a provocation and an excuse since 1967.

Just take a look at a map of the territory lost by the Palestinian people since 1948 and at an inexorable pace since 1967. Then answer the question, “Who stuck the first blow?”

Throughout the latest attack on the Palestinian people I have heard a few people openly make the bloodthirsty suggestion that “they (the Israelis) should kill them all.” But the most common thing one hears is something similar to what Obama said on a visit to Israel in the summer 2008 that “If somebody shot rockets at my house where my two daughters were sleeping at night, I’d do everything in my power to stop them.” The new president’s comment was one of the first things that came out the mouths of various spokespersons for the Israeli government as the Christmastime onslaught on Gaza began. But what of the Israeli rockets and bombs and bullets and bulldozers that for years have hit the homes where Palestinian children were sleeping?

Now Israel has called a cease fire in Gaza, if only for a moment. Still, we must organize and protest in an effective way beyond the moment. We have our work cut out for us. The Palestinians have few friends in high places. By a vote of 404-1 the House recently signaled its support for Israel’s apartheid regime and literally condemned the Palestinians right of self-defense. The only member of Congress to take a stand with the Palestinians was and is Ohio’s Dennis Kucinich.

On the campaign trail at a conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Obama declared himself a “Zionist,” and upon being elected chose Rahm Emanuel, a dual citizen of the US and Israel, as his chief of staff. The Israeli paper Ha’aretz (6 Nov. 2008) said it all: Obama’s first pick: Israeli Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff. Some say that Emanuel “has a track record on Israel well to the right of George Bush.” This includes signing a 2003 letter justifying Israel’s policy of political assassinations and criticizing George Bush for not supporting Israel enough. Emanuel backed a resolution supporting Israel’s bombing of Lebanon in the summer of 2006 and he called on the US government to cancel a planned speech to Congress by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki because he had condemned Israel’s actions in Lebanon.

As president, where will Obama stand? More important, what is the moral stand, and what must we do to press the government to take it?

First, we must see Israel with the same eyes as we saw South Africa in the apartheid years – as a racist nation deserving of international isolation and sanctions. Second, we must demand that the United States end its $30 billion a year military support to the country. Third, we should organize, confront and demand that public bodies such as universities, local and state governments divest their portfolios from companies that do business in or with Israel. Fourth, we should identify and boycott those companies that do business with and in Israel. Fifth, we should call for a cultural boycott of Israel, and boycott those artists who perform in the country.

As for the new president we should continue to pressure him (1) to establish a fair involvement with the disputing parties, recognizing their equal humanity, not take the one-sided, Israel-first position of his predecessors; (2) to pressure the Israeli government to allow unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip; (3) to call for an investigation into Israel’s misuse of U.S. weapons, to include the use of white phosphorous and urge the UN weapons inspectors to determine if Israel is using depleted uranium-tipped missiles on the Palestinians. This would be a first step toward ending arms transfers to Israel.

All people have a right to exist – Jews and Palestinians. The way to peace is for each side to respect the other’s right to live.

But America must be a fair player in what is now a continual catastrophe with our country on the wrong side of history. We must remember that “where you spend your money is a political act.” Putting pressure on business and government is a means to force change. By “getting in their pockets” we can say no to the violence. We can say, “Not in our names.” That’s what I think Dr. King would say and do at a time like this.

Almost 40 years ago, Martin Luther King warned that “the problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated.” Those “triple evils” of racism, economic injustice and militarism are what we must fight – the dream of King’s was the defeat of the “triple evils.”

As we celebrate his day, let’s do it in solidarity with the dispossessed. As Vice-President Joe Biden was saying his farewell to the Senate he quoted King saying, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” I believe Biden is right as King was right. But there’s a strong magnetic pull that has the needle still pointed on injustice. The injustice of being the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” We can help move the needle toward just by insisting that our country sees a Palestinian life having as much value as an Israeli life.

Ref: Counterpunch
Kevin Alexander Gray is a civil rights organizer in South Carolina. His book, Waiting for Lightning to Strike, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: kagamba@bellsouth.net

VIDEO: 2 sides post the Israeli mass murder

Picking up the pieces in Gaza

Israel has mounted another round of air raids on the Gaza Strip, destroying the deserted interior ministry building.

Peace brings mixed feelings in Israel – 18 Jun 08

VIDEO: Gaza Under Siege – Israel/Palestine ( OBS 2001!!! ) & US AID!

One of the most densely populated places on earth, the Gaza Strip is home to over a million Palestinians – and is a virtual prison. Just 43 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide, most of its residents are refugees who’ve lived in camps since 1948. Since the Palestinian uprising – the second Intifada – began in September 2000, none of Gaza’s 40,000 day labourers have been able to cross the border to Israel. The checkpoint is also closed to all goods and medical supplies coming in from Israel and the West Bank. Local Gazans bear the brunt of Israel’s determination to quash the uprising. Some 135 Palestinian children under the age of 15 have been killed by Israel’s soldiers – for throwing stones at checkpoints near Israeli settlements. In this episode, Life visits Reyidh and Sabah and their children – just one refugee family trying to cope.

Ref: Journeyman

US military aid underpins Gaza offensive – 31 Dec 08

Perspective; Israeli neoApartheid

VIDEO: Songs for Gaza!

SLINGSHOT HIPHOP- STRAIGHT OUTTA PALESTINE!!

Free Palestine: tamer nafer – DAM (arab rap hip hop,

Palestine

Gaza song in Arabic

Farah Notash

Nashed – Free Palestine

A blinding flash of white light
Lit up the sky over Gaza tonight
People running for cover
Not knowing whether they’re dead or alive

They came with their tanks and their planes
With ravaging fiery flames
And nothing remains
Just a voice rising up in the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

Women and children alike
Murdered and massacred night after night
While the so-called leaders of countries afar
Debated on who’s wrong or right

But their powerless words were in vain
And the bombs fell down like acid rain
But through the tears and the blood and the pain
You can still hear that voice through the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight

We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

Ref. Michael Heart

Nasheed – Oummi Palestine


Free Palestine – Sami Yusuf ft Outlandish – Try Not To Cry

Children of Gaza (War) + lyrics

A nasheed by Abdullah Rolle. The other people who have uploaded it have called it Children of Gaza but when i went to the official website it said the nasheed is called children of war. That is why i have added the word war in brackets.

LYRICS

Theres not a mother in this world who would watch her child,
Cry in the street stand and watch her weep
Theres not a mother in this world who wouldnt give
Up her own life for the life of her child
Theres not a mother in this world who wouldnt be
Happy to have a home for her family
Where are your homes where are your families
What will you eat today where will you sleep

Oh people of the world
Can we spare a little justice can we spare a little peace
For the children of war
Oh people of the world
Can we spare a little love can we spare a little prayer
For the children of war

Is there a father in this world who would not
Try to provide for his children and his wife
Is there a father in this world who would want to be
Locked up in a cell away from his family
Is there a father in this world who would not defend
Justice and rights till the very end
Where are your jobs where is security
Where is freedom when will you all be free

Oh people of the world
Can we spare a little justice can we spare a little peace
For the children of war
Oh people of the world
Can we spare a little love can we spare a little prayer
For the children of war

Theres not a child in this world who should have to grow up
Living in fear drowning in despair
No child in this world should be deprived of an education
And every child in this world would want to play
In a safe community having fun running free
We pray for you children Lord ease their pain
And give them strength to go on day by day

Oh people of the world
Can we spare a little justice can we spare a little peace
For the children of war
Oh people of the world
Can we spare a little love can we spare a little prayer
For the children of war


Children of Gaza – song on guitar


Spontaneous live recording of Doc Jazz playing a song written only minutes before – emanating from the grief not only over the genocide committed by the thugs of the state of Israel against defenseless Palestinian children – but over the criminal silence with which this Holocaust is condoned … Break the Silence!

Gaza Palestine Songs – Larsad فلسطين…غزة… كلنا في حصار

A song of Peace for Gaza: Take The Siege Away

How to Sell “Ethical” Warfare (Israeli PROPAGANDA)

One of my students was arrested yesterday and spent the night in a prison cell. R’s offence was protesting the Israeli assault on Gaza. He joins over 700 other Israelis who have been detained since the beginning of Israel’s ruthless war on Gaza: an estimated 230 of whom are still behind bars. Within the Israeli context, this strategy of quelling protest and stifling resistance is unprecedented, and it is quite disturbing that the international media has failed to comment on it.

Simultaneously, the Israeli media has been towing the government line to such a degree that no criticism of the war has been voiced on any of the three local television stations. Indeed, the situation has become so absurd that reporters and anchors are currently less critical of the war than the military spokespeople. In the absence of any critical analysis, it is not so surprising that 78% of Israelis, or about 98% of all Jewish Israelis, support the war.

But eliding critical voices is not the only way that public support has been secured. Support has also been manufactured through ostensibly logical argumentation. One of the ways the media, military and government have been convincing Israelis to rally behind the assault is by claiming that Israel is carrying out a moral military campaign against Hamas. The logic, as Eyal Weizman has cogently observed in his groundbreaking book Hollow Land, is one of restraint.

The Israeli media continuously emphasises Israel’s restraint by underscoring the gap between what the military forces could do to the Palestinians and what they actually do. Here are a few examples of the refrains Israelis hear daily while listening to the news:

    • Israel could bomb houses from the air without warning, but it has military personnel contact – by phone no less – the residents 10 minutes in advance of an attack to alert them that their house is about to be destroyed. The military, so the subtext goes, could demolish houses without such forewarnings, but it does not do so because it values human life.

    • Israel deploys teaser bombs – ones that do not actually ruin houses – a few minutes before it fires lethal missiles; again, to show that it could kill more Palestinians but chooses not to do so.

    • Israel knows that Hamas leaders are hiding in al-Shifa hospital. The intimation is that it does not raze the medical centre to the ground even though it has the capacity to do so.

    • Due to the humanitarian crisis the Israeli military stops its attacks for a few hours each day and allows humanitarian convoys to enter the Gaza Strip. Again, the unspoken claim is that it could have barred these convoys from entering.

The message Israel conveys through these refrains has two different meanings depending on the target audience.

To the Palestinians, the message is one that carries a clear threat: Israel’s restraint could end and there is always the possibility of further escalation. Regardless of how lethal Israel’s military attacks are now, the idea is to intimidate the Palestinian population by underscoring that the violence can always become more deadly and brutal. This guarantees that violence, both when it is and when it is not deployed, remains an ever-looming threat.

The message to the Israelis is a moral one. The subtext is that the Israeli military could indiscriminately unleash its vast arsenal of violence, but chooses not to, because its forces, unlike Hamas, respect human life.

This latter claim appears to have considerable resonance among Israelis, and, yet, it is based on a moral fallacy. fact that one could be more brutal but chooses to use restraint does not in any way entail that one is moral. . TheThe fact that the Israeli military could have razed the entire Gaza Strip, but instead destroyed only 15% of the buildings does not make its actions moral. The fact that the Israeli military could have killed thousands of Palestinian children during this campaign, and, due to restraint, killed “only” 300, does not make Operation Cast Lead ethical.

Ultimately, the moral claims the Israeli government uses to support its actions during this war are empty. They actually reveal Israel’s unwillingness to confront the original source of the current violence, which is not Hamas, but rather the occupation of the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem. My student, R, and the other Israeli protesters seem to have understood this truism; in order to stop them from voicing it, Israel has stomped on their civil liberties by arresting them.

Ref: counterpunch
Neve Gordon is chair of the department of politics and government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and author of Israel’s Occupation (University of California Press, 2008).