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Thursday, 15 January 2009

reaction and rallies

I wish to reinforce that this blog is in reaction to the current and ongoing human rights abuses and war crimes that have been perpetuated against Palestine by Israel as recorded by many international organisations, (which at the end of the day represent us all), such as the United Nations, and Amnesty International, and as detailed by the many aid organisations and human rights watch groups, such as the Israeli B'Tselem, Red Cross, Amnesty International, and Medicine without Frontiers among others.

It is in no way anti-Jewish, and I would like to point out that a lot of my information comes via Jewish or Israeli websites such as Australian writer, Antony Lowenstein's blog, Independent Australian Jewish Voices, and B'Tselem which is:

the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories [and which] was established in 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. It endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.

A lot of my information also comes via the joint Palestine/Israeli Alternative Information Center, and from Israeli journalist Amira Hass who writes for the fairly conservative Israeli paper Ha'aretz. I also ascribe to views put forth by writers such as, Noam Chomsky , a prominent American Jew who has always spoken out, and Canadian Naomi Klein.

This blog is aware of the bravery of refuseniks who do not serve with the IDF on humanitarian grounds, and is well aware that there are a lot of Israelis who do not support the incursion in Gaza, as detailed by this radio interview with Tel Aviv resident, Efrat Wolfson (go to this link, and click the 14 January, 2009) show, and as shown by protests within Israel itself (that youtube clip has subtitles)and even in the U.S. Though it does make one sound like a rabid conspiracy theorist nut, the media machine is very smooth and ruthless with people who speak out, as seen by Australian member for parliament, Julia Irwin's comments here, and this Guardian article about web use. I have blogged on both of those before. The kind of attitude that anyone might have to face, but especially a Jewish person, if he or she speaks out can be read about in this August 2008 post by Lowenstein.

From the Independent Australian Jewish Voices is this January, 5, 2009, this
against the current war, which the members condemn as "inhuman, superfluous" and "abominable" as I think any sane human would (however, there were many in the Australian media who criticised them for their standpoint). The original petition had 100 signatories, and as of January 11, 2009, it had 202. Many other countries, including Israel, have similar petitions.

I know that there is a lot of misinformation out there, and I hope that I am not adding to it. I understand that I am not an expert on Israel, Palestine or the affairs of the Middle East, yet the facts and figures provided by the various agencies above speak for themselves.

I do not fool myself that I have a readership of thousands (my blog counter clearly tells me otherwise), but I know that our media does not focus on the human rights issues of the occupied territories, and so the only way we can find such information, is independently.

It seems very likely that this massacre will continue until January 20th, if not beyond. A report from this morning, which I also posted in a prior entry:

A senior Israeli defence official told AFP that the war, which has killed some 400 civilians and has sparked outrage across the Muslim world, could well continue until the January 20 inauguration of US president-elect Barack Obama.

1038 Palestinians are dead (10 Israelis have died, and three Israeli civilians), and a further 4850 are wounded. That is the result of 19 days of carnage. Within another 5 days, I wonder what the numbers will rise to. And even if Israel pulls out on the 20th or near that date, what is left? As Julia Irwin says, from the article linked above:

And who will pick up the pieces when the bloodshed has finally stopped? The rest of the world will, of course. Through the world's contributions to the UN, its largest budget item is the UN Relief and Works Agency. With an annual $700 million budget going to support Palestinian refugees, the biggest component is being spent on Gaza.

Bolivia and Venezuela have broken diplomatic ties with Israel, and as these countries are not on particularly good terms with the U.S. it probably will not influence Israel too much, but, good on them for making a stand. Other countries, and companies, including Norway have reconsidered their not unsubstantial investment in Israeli companies.

My writings since the massacre began are not an attack against Judaism but a call for injustice to stop, and for the media and politicians to stop blinkering us from the reality, history and the actual tragedy of events which are unfurling far too quickly for any Gazan to ever escape.

Post script: I forgot to add this for people who are in Perth, Western Australia:
Friday the 16th
Speakout/vigil for the people of Gaza
5:30 PM
Speak out on a megaphone about the Israeli atrocities in Gaza or alternatively bring a candle or placard and stand silently in remembrance of the 1000 people killed so far in the war on Gaza.Friday 5.30pm January 16th, Wesley Church steps, corner of Hay St & William St in the city.
0407 850 962

Saturday the 24th
Direct Action public meeting: Israel's assault on Gaza and the struggle for a free Palestine
3:00 PM
Sat Jan 24,
3pmMaritime Union Hall,
2-4 Kwong AlleyNorth Fremantle

This is a forum. Entry is via donation.
0409 762 081 or email

Saturday the 31st
Rally & march for the people of Gaza
12:00 PM
Rally & march for the people of Gaza midday
Saturday 31st January in the Perth CBD.
Venue yet to be confirmed.

The march will go ahead regardless of whetehr or not there is a ceasefire or an end to the war between now and January 31st
0407 850 962

Full details can be found here .

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this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr