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Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link EAMON GILMORE AND FRIENDS - NOW ONLY SIX PERCENT 20:02 Sun Apr 20, 2014

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Dublin Opinion >>

Irish Left Review
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left

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Irish Left Review >>

Human Rights in Ireland
www.humanrights.ie

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Human Rights in Ireland >>

NAMA Wine Lake

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NAMA Wine Lake >>

Letter to Dr Zion Evrony, Israeli Ambassador to Ireland

category international | rights and freedoms | feature author Saturday January 03, 2009 21:38author by Justin Morahan Report this post to the editors

featured image
Palestine mural updated in Belfast

Dear Ambassador Dr. Zion Evrony,

Further to my telephone call to your office this morning I wish to reiterate some of the points which I made in the conversation with your secretary, and to elaborate on them a little further.

1.  I am sick to the teeth of the lies you are telling on RTE and in the Irish media about what is happening in Gaza. Israel has killed over 400 people there on the pretext that a cease-fire had been broken unilaterally by Hamas. You know this is not true.

2. You said that Israel is trying to avoid civilian casualties but that Hamas use their civilians as shields for Hamas soldiers. You know that this is not true. Gaza is smaller in area than our smallest County, Louth, and is over-populated with 1.4 million people, before your country reduced the population with murder from the sky.

3.  Your Army invaded Gaza prior to an election and in the interregnum between the Presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. You kill over 400, injure over 1000 and promise more killings and injuries. And you blame Hamas for all of these killings and injuries. You know that it is not true that Hamas are to blame for your murders. You, the State of Israel and the IDF, are to blame for the people you kill and injure, no one else but you.

read the rest of Justin Morahan's Eight Point letter to the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland...

4. You said the upcoming elections had nothing to do with the massacre in Gaza. You know that this is not true. On the eve of the election you deliberately provoked a barrage of rockets from Hamas, even though you knew it would put Israeli lives in danger because you also knew that the Hamas response would give you a pretext to wreak havoc on Gaza and make it appear that it was Hamas' fault.

5. You and other Israeli propagandists keep repeating ad nauseam on RTE and in articles in the Irish Times the question: "What would you do, if you lived in Sderot or Ashkelon and your children had to run from constant rocket fire?" But you never ask the countering questions: "What would you do if you lived in Gaza, besieged by an Israel that denied the legitimacy of your democratically elected Parliament, and where Israel,a hostile power, has ultimate control over every aspect of your life? What would you do when this hostile power has the fourth or fifth most powerful army in the world, complete even with a nuclear arsenal, when it "agrees" to a truce (good public relations) that it breaks at will (no-one will notice the "small" incursions and killings of Palestinians)? What would you do if Israel invaded your little plot of land, murdering men, women and children, including many civilians, from the sky? Would you take your children and run to the sea (there is no other escape in Gaza) or would you think "This is a war against me and my children" and would you resist in whatever way you could?"

6. Do you think that all of the Irish people are stupid enough to believe your propaganda (2) , no matter how often it is repeated?

7. Though not mentioned this morning, your Government has lied about the Israeli navy ramming the Dignity in international waters. The Dignity was carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza and had two Irish citizens on board. I protest against this action also and strongly condemn it

8. As a result of the war crimes which the IDF/Israel has committed in the Gaza Strip and in Palestine, I believe that our Government should call you in, advise you to leave and shut down the Israeli Embassy in Ballsbridge.

I have already written to Minister Mícheál Martin making this precise request.

With best personal wishes

Justin Morahan
2 January 2009

author by redjadepublication date Sat Jan 03, 2009 20:42Report this post to the editors

December 30, 2008
''The goal of the operation is to topple Hamas,” Haim Ramon, the deputy to Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, said.

It was the first time since it launched its blistering offensive that Israel has openly stated that regime change is its ultimate goal. “We will stop firing immediately if someone takes the responsibility of this government, anyone but Hamas,” Mr Ramon said. “We are favourable to any other government to take the place of Hamas.

It was not clear which party could take control if Israel succeeds in removing the Islamists. The only other party with experience of rule is Fatah but it is still widely seen by Gazans as corrupt and ineffective. Fatah retains control of the West Bank.

Ehud Barak, the Defence Minister, said Israel was in an “all-out war against Hamas”, while Brigadier-General Dan Harel, the Israeli deputy chief of staff, said that his forces would erase every trace of Hamas from Gaza’s crowded cities.

After this operation there will not be a single Hamas building left standing in Gaza, and we plan to change the rules of the game,” the general said.

We are hitting not only terrorists and launchers, but also the whole Hamas Government and all its wings. We are hitting government buildings, production factories, security wings and more.''


• more at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east...2.ece

other links
Haim Ramon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_Ramon

Haim Ramon: 'The goal of the operation is to topple Hamas'
Haim Ramon: 'The goal of the operation is to topple Hamas'

author by redjadepublication date Sat Jan 03, 2009 20:48Report this post to the editors

The leaflet reads:
To the residents of the Gaza Strip,

Take responsibility for your fate!

If you wish to provide help and assistance to your people in the sector, call the number below to provide us with the needed information. The projectile launchers and the terrorist elements pose a threat to you and your families.

The power to stop the massacre is in your hands.
Don’t hesitate!

We will be glad to receive any information you have and it is not necessary to give us your personal information.

Your anonymity is guaranteed.

Call us at the following number:
02-5839749

Or you can e-mail us at: helpgaza2008@gmail.com to provide us with any information on the terrorist factions.

Note: To protect your safety, we ask you to be secretive when you call us.

Head of the Israeli Defense Forces


text source: http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID...34493
photo source: http://picasaweb.google.com/sameh.habeeb/GazaWar3#52871...01346
and http://picasaweb.google.com/sameh.habeeb

IDF to Gaza: 'Your anonymity is guaranteed.'
IDF to Gaza: 'Your anonymity is guaranteed.'

author by redjadepublication date Sat Jan 03, 2009 21:02Report this post to the editors

The guy who does the 'The Angry Arab News Service' is an excellent source for links and news - he's also a journo in Beirut - always take his insights with a grain of salt, but he has a good batting average....

''I asked a journalist whose knowledge of Egypt I respect about prospects of a coup in Egypt. He sent me this (he chooses to remain anonymous): "actually, there is word (posted on a website for harakat annaseriyyeen al 3arab-which i have not located yet but was told about) of a failed attempt that already happened/was being planned in the past few days and that the perpetrators are now being tried in a secret court, but there is no confirmation yet.....''


• more at http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/01/coup-in-egypt.html

author by redjadepublication date Sat Jan 03, 2009 21:15Report this post to the editors

PRAGUE, Jan 3 (Reuters) - European Union president, the Czech Republic, said on Saturday an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza was "defensive, not offensive" action.

"At the moment, from the perspective of the last days, we understand this step as a defensive, not offensive, action," Czech EU presidency spokesman Jiri Potuznik said.


• source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKL233361320090103

author by *publication date Sat Jan 03, 2009 21:52Report this post to the editors

This is what they demanded a few days ago

"Given that Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin has today again issued a strong statement of condemnation over the attacks, we once again urge the Irish Government to use its influence in Europe and the UN to push for stronger measures against Israel, measures such as the suspension of Israel from the Euro-Med Agreement, and international sanctions aimed at forcing Israel to respect international law. We also encourage people in Ireland and Civil Society to support the Palestinian call for an economic, cultural, sporting and academic boycott of Israel"
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90354

I agree with a lot of that but don't see any chance of any immediate impact on the situation.

There were no clear demands in their pre-publicity for Saturday (today). Were any added to this list then?

Have the IAWM any clear demands when they go to the embassy on tuesday??

author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 01:02author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieauthor phone (00353) 086 4048249Report this post to the editors

Below is a section of an email I received from USLAW (US Labour Against War) and this is my reply:

Hello,
Isn't it time for the words to be backed up by REAL action? You are in a very strong position to make this action work. I call on you to now start to instigate through your trade unions and your membership, a nationwide boycott of all Israeli goods and business's.

Peace with justice.

I sent it to all SIPTU branches around Ireland as well as a number of other trade unions. I hope everyone reading this will do the same and encourage there friends etc to do likewise.
Trade union email address's and a link to USLAW petition below this article. The photos are free to use.

SPECIAL EDITION

SOLIDARITY WITH THE WORKING PEOPLE OF PALESTINE & ISRAEL

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

We recognize that any statement on this crisis is likely to be controversial. The situation in Palestine and Israel itself provokes strong feelings and heated debate. But, as the statement says, silence in the face of such suffering is unsupportable for an organization devoted to peace and social justice.

At the core of this statement is the principle of international working class solidarity, which does not take the side of any government but rather takes the side of all the working people of the region.

In releasing this statement, we are not proposing to change the mission or primary focus of USLAW. But, just as we recognize that the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan are interrelated, we also understand that real peace and stability in the Middle East will not be achieved without a resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians. The present crisis could easily spiral out of control and lead to a wider war. The role played by our government is central to this conflict and its resolution.

We are greatly disturbed by the escalation of conflict in the Middle East, particularly Israel's military assault on Gaza, one of the most densely populated places on the planet, and by its ongoing collective punishment of the people of Gaza. The bombing that Israel has undertaken has led to the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians and the wounding of many hundreds more. Those who seek peace and justice must not remain silent in the face of this aggression and the suffering it has inflicted. We believe that such actions do not and will not serve the interest of peace and greater humanity in the region. Neither Israel nor Hamas is justified in attacking the civilian population of the other.

The U.S. government supplied Israel with the military means to carry out this attack and has generously underwritten the Israeli government and military with tens of billions of U.S. tax dollars. Our government's failure to condemn this latest action makes it complicit. The economic crisis which daily deepens in the US requires that we seriously reorient our foreign policy and stop spending hard earned taxpayer dollars on proxy wars and reinvest the needed resources right here at home.

Sign Petition to Stop the Bloodshed

Petition to the UN Security Council, the European Union, the Arab League and the USA:

We urge you to act immediately to ensure a comprehensive ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, to protect civilians on all sides, and to address the growing humanitarian crisis. Only through robust international action and oversight can the bloodshed be stopped, the Gaza crossings safely re-opened and real progress made toward a wider peace in 2009.

Link to petition> http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org/

info@uslaboragainstwar.org; genpres@siptu.ie; vicepres@siptu.ie; gensec@siptu.ie; mmerrigan@siptu.ie; mhalpenny@siptu.ie; nursing.unit@siptu.ie; "ndowling@siptu. ie" aspeed@siptu.ie itunit@siptu.ie; premises@siptu.ie; moriordan@siptu.ie; education@siptu.ie; safety@siptu.ie; dublin@siptu.ie; aerlingusbranch@siptu.ie; broadcast@siptu.ie; co.councils@siptu.ie; adminspv@siptu.ie; apparel@siptu.ie; chemhealth@siptu.ie; civil.aviation@siptu.ie contractservices@siptu.ie; construction@siptu.ie; drinks.tobacco.wsale@siptu.ie; dublinbus@siptu.iehealthservices; "@siptu.ie:" ; food@siptu.ie; hotels@siptu.ie; printing@siptu.ie; services@siptu.ie; taxi@siptu.ie; educationbr@siptu.ie; nergy@siptu.ie; "@siptu.ie" ; film.entertainment@siptu.ie; healthservices.prof@siptu.ie; ins.finance@siptu.ie; contractservices@siptu.ie; construction@siptu.ie; drinks.tobacco.wsale@siptu.ie; dublinbus@siptu.iehealthservices; "@siptu.ie:" ; food@siptu.ie; hotels@siptu.ie; printing@siptu.ie; services@siptu.ie; taxi@siptu.ie; educationbr@siptu.ie; nergy@siptu.ie; "@siptu.ie" ; film.entertainment@siptu.ie; healthservices.prof@siptu.ie; ins.finance@siptu.ie; contractservices@siptu.ie; construction@siptu.ie; drinks.tobacco.wsale@siptu.ie; dublinbus@siptu.iehealthservices; "@siptu.ie" ; food@siptu.ie; hotels@siptu.ie; printing@siptu.ie; services@siptu.ie; taxi@siptu.ie; educationbr@siptu.ie; nergy@siptu.ie; "@siptu.ie" ; film.entertainment@siptu.ie; healthservices.prof@siptu.ie; ins.finance@siptu.ie cork5@siptu.ie; cork6@siptu.ie; cork7@siptu.ie; cork8@siptu.ie; killarney@siptu.ie; limerick1@siptu.ie; limerick2@siptu.ie; mallow@siptu.ie; midleton@siptu.ie;

author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 01:28Report this post to the editors

Six images.

1._gaza_img_6606.jpg

2._gaza_img_6896.jpg

3._gaza_img_6974.jpg

4._gaza_img_6786.jpg

5._gaza_img_6790.jpg

author by .publication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 01:33Report this post to the editors

.

6._gaza_img_6936.jpg

author by Sean32publication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 02:36Report this post to the editors

"Israel has killed over 400 people there"

The vast majority of whom are admitted to be Palestinian combatants.

The Palestinian terrorists fire rockets into Israel, Israel hits back, mostly killing combatants.

What's the problem exactly?

So 75 kids were combatants were they? They kill one of their reported targets by blowing up his family including his ten children in a "strategic strike" they target the infrastructure of Gaza and you have the cheek to ask what the problem is?

"We also encourage people in Ireland and Civil Society to support the Palestinian call for an economic, cultural, sporting and academic boycott of Israel"

Apartheid in other words.

Apartheid? That's funny is it not Israel that denies aid to Gaza, that has persecuted and murdered Palestinians since the founding of Israel ie Nakbah to the present day, that denies the people of Gaza the right to have Hamas who have been elected by the people to be in government, that continues to build its settlements on occupied territory against world law. You seriously need to get your head out of your arse. Why should the Irish people who's past generations have suffered this kind of militaristic blood letting at the hands of an aggressor buy Israeli goods let alone accept the yankee Israeli spin on our tvs. By its actions this past week Israel has swelled the ranks of the people you call terrorists just like the Brits swelled the ranks of the IRA after Bloody Sunday. Whats next for the Israeli yankee mafia? Anymore small countries they have their sadistic eyes on are we gonna get it because we rejected the Lisbon Treaty or are we ok because we're white Europeans and not Arabs or Muslim.

author by Seanopublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 02:55Report this post to the editors

300-400 people marched in Cork today. I'm assuming the organisers will post pictures and a story about it soon. Speakers included Dan Boyle, Cathy Sinnot, and members of the Cork Islamic community, of whom many turned out today.

No point arguing with the binary logic of indo-reading colonel blimp types like Shanks. His simplistic two-line non-arguments appear to be severely dulled by anger and a tabloid perception of the world. I really don't think he read the original letter before he posted. You'd nearly miss the likes of Sceptic.

author by Raymondpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 08:46Report this post to the editors

"History, and different perceptions of history, are perhaps the most important factors in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Accounts of history, interpreting history in different ways, are used to justify claims and to negate claims, to vilify the enemy and to glorify 'our own' side.  Dozens of accounts have been written. Most of the accounts on the Web are intended to convince rather than to inform." (From http://www.mideastweb.org/briefhistory.htm )

More different viewpoints available via: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=History+of+Israeli...earch

Related link: http://www.humanrightsireland.com

author by Peadar O' Donnell - North West Solidarity Networkpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:40author email nwsolidarity at yahoo dot comReport this post to the editors

News from the Resistance
The attack aganst the people of Gaza is raging in the crowded streets...

For up to date news directly from the Gaza check out this web site

http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/
Check out this web site for up to date info from Gaza

http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/

Victory to the Palestinian People!

Related Link: http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/
author by *publication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 13:27Report this post to the editors

"What strikes me more now, more than the dismembered and burned corpses I saw two nights ago, more than the intensity of the missiles hitting all around us last night and the feeling that at any moment, Israeli special forces soldiers could enter shooting… was the panic on residents faces. Panic fleeing, panic trying to flag an ambulance for the wounded, the dead, panic even in the ambulance drivers and teams. They’ve seen a lot, many have done this work for a decade or more, but this is far, far worse than any have seen, or imagined, they tell me. In the morning light, as our ambulance tries to reach another wounded, I see new streams of women, children and men, carrying some few possessions. Two 8 or 9 year old children in one family clutch bags of bread."

Related Link: http://ingaza.wordpress.com/
author by redjadepublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 13:44Report this post to the editors

Damage to the Dignity after attack by Israeli gunboat
January 2, 2009
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29205195@N02/3160567305/in/set-72157612017624425/
'This photo of the Dignity was taken after it had finally reached the safety of the Lebanese port of Tyre, after being attacked by Israeli gunboats whilst in international waters and rammed three times, causing severe damage to the boat. Photograph by Hassan Bahsoun.'

FreeGaza.org calls for more passengers for the next attempt to bring Humanitarian Aid to the Palestinians in Gaza....

ALTERNATE SHIP
We have located an alternate ship, which we’re currently working on procuring. It’s probably not the perfect boat for the Free Gaza Movement, but it’s the most suitable and affordable one that we could locate in the short amount of time that we’re trying to work in. Our new ship will carry about 30 passengers and 10-15 tons of cargo. We intend to leave for Gaza as soon as is possible, sometime within the next two weeks.

PASSENGERS
We will give priority for places on the boat to doctors, journalists (preference going to major media outlets), and political figures or other high profile people. We will try to take 2 or 3 long-term human rights workers in on this voyage as well. If we successfully enter, we plan to make continuous, back to back trips for so long as funds are available. If you know doctors, journalists or politicians that would be willing to go with us please contact Karin at: kpally@earthlink.net or call Huwaida at +357-96-723-999 immediately. We will be putting together the list of passengers that we can accommodate on the first boat within the next 24-36 hours. However, we will also want to have a list of people ready to go on the second and third trips, if the first one makes it in, so do continue to direct people to us.

• more info reposted at http://www.creative-i.info/?p=3464

more info at http://www.FreeGaza.org

what happened to the first Dignity? read: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90331

The Dignity - Dignity II coming soon to a Gaza Port (hopefully)
The Dignity - Dignity II coming soon to a Gaza Port (hopefully)

author by redjadepublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 15:02Report this post to the editors

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says...

'The American School north of Gaza was directly hit and almost completely destroyed, with one school guard killed. In addition, at least three to five schools were damaged by Israeli shelling of nearby targets.'
• more UN OCHA news at http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/MYAI-7MY2D...ument


Juan Cole remarks:
'I presume that this is the school working to promote
US good relations with Palestinians that now no longer exists.'
• more from Juan Cole at http://www.juancole.com/2009/01/israel-destroys-america....html

Juan Cole links to The American International School In Gaza (AISG):
http://www.aisgaza.com/

What is this school?
AISG Mission Statement 'The purpose of the American International School is to provide a progressive education which uses the American curriculum for an international, multicultural student body. Also the American International School in Gaza strives to promote an understanding and appreciation of the world's diverse cultures.'
http://www.aisgaza.com/missiongoals.asp

librar1.jpg

author by Centreleftpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 18:00Report this post to the editors

I know this is unlikely to go down well but does no one see Hamas as partially to blame for this latest round of the conflict? When the ceasefire ran out they endangered gazans by firing missiles into Israel knowing that the IDF aren't exactly of the 'turn the other cheek' persuasion. The friday before Israel began its airstrikes one of Hamas' rockets killed two Palestinian schoolgirls and they continued firing at civilian areas, presumably because all Jews are legit targets. The result is now that the palestinian people (or those in Hamas controlled gaza) are now suffering from Israel's bloody electioneering campaign.
Does this view leave me any common ground with anyone here?

author by redjadepublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 18:21Report this post to the editors

'but does no one see Hamas as partially to blame for this latest round of the conflict?'

yes, of course.

I'm no fan of Hamas. But at a more than 100:1 ratio of dead Palestinians to Israelis how can anyone with a moral bone in their head justify what is happening now?

Truth is, this has nothing to do with rockets - go read the first comment I blogged at the top, and then read it again.

This is, among other things, the Israelis knowing that the dormant/exiting/supportive Bush Admin will do nothing to stop them just before Obama takes charge of things - which may be more willing pull the leash back a bit in the future. It also puts the challenge to the Obama team to not fuck with the Israelis.

The Israelis are trying to force the future Obama Admin to play in the chaotic world they have created. The US invading Iraq was part of the regional agenda of Israel, I think most readers here know that.

And, there are the Israeli elections coming soon as well - an obvious but usually overlooked factor.

Israel could have chosen to do this war anytime they wanted and the Bush Admin could have intervened to bring the two sides together to negotiate at anytime - but has refused.

Again, the quote from the first comment: 'We are favourable to any other government to take the place of Hamas.' - the israelis funded Hamas to divide and conquer the PLO, who do you think they are funding today to divide and conquer Hamas?

So far, Obama has been silent - one president at a time
(which assumes the USA has one at the moment)

author by redjadepublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 21:07Report this post to the editors

'Defense Minister Ehud Barak is seeking legal approval to evacuate thousands of residents of Gaza City to locations in the south of the Strip to enable the IDF to attack terror infrastructure without hurting civilians....'

• more at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=120454640940...wFull

What great humanitarians the IDF is - they just want to remove the people from their land....

Does anyone seriously think that a Palestinian family will be 'evacuated' willingly?
Anyone other than the bobbleheads on CNN Int'l, that is?

author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 22:42Report this post to the editors

I wonder when the bobbelheads/stiffnecks in RTE are going to give us balanced coverage? Tonight's news was the most one sided so far from all the tv stations I've seen in the last couple of weeks. The interview of an 'Israeli' soldier (he had an english accent) claiming that civilians in Gaza are being used by Hamas as human shields was sickening. Propaganda at it's lowest level.
Some excuse for the IDF indiscrimate slaughter of innocent men, woman and children.

http://sabbah.biz/mt/

13_gaza_img_6744.jpg

Related Link: http://sabbah.biz/mt/
author by Forwarderpublication date Sun Jan 04, 2009 23:11Report this post to the editors

Five medics killed by Israeli forces in Gaza
January 4th, 2009 | Posted in Press Releases, Gaza Region | Edit
4th January 2008, northern Gaza: International Human Rights Activists working with Palestinian medical crews today reported that another five Palestinian medics were killed today by Israeli forces.

International Solidarity Movement activists spent the night accompanying ambulances in Gaza. They were, and will continue, working with medical personnel during the Israeli occupation forces ground invasion into northern Gaza.

“In addition to the doctor and medic that the Israeli military murdered on the 31st of December, they have killed five more medics today. One was shot in Jabaliya, one in Al Sheikh Ejleen. Three have just been killed when a missile directly hit their ambulance in the Tal Hawye neighborhood in Gaza City. The medics are constantly in contact with the Red Cross for them to negotiate passage with the Israelis. The Israelis constantly refuse.” Sharon Lock (Australia) – International Solidarity Movement

The Israelis dropped a bomb in front of our ambulance to prevent us accessing wounded people. However a donkey cart emerged carrying a wounded family; a mother and father and three teenage brothers. One of the teenagers was attempting to shield the other two with a blanket. They were both horrifically injured, I could see the lungs of one of them. As I assisted the medics to move him off the cart I found my hand inside his body.” Alberto Arce (Spain) – International Solidarity Movement

“I got a call 30 minutes ago, on a poor phone line, saying that Arafat is dead, killed while working, by Israeli fire. He was one of the emergency medics I met two nights ago, compassionate, emotionally strong, and with an unabashedly wacky sense of humour. I’m more saddened by his death than I can express.” Eva Bartlett (Canada) – International Solidarity Movement

“Israel is claiming that there is no humanitarian crisis because they do not consider us as humans. ” – Natalie Abu Shakra (Lebanon) – International Solidarity Movement

“Israel has continued to violate international conventions by attacking medical personnel. They are massacring the people of Gaza. With the swelling number of civilian casualties, Israel must ensure that medical assistance is available. Instead, they are intentionally targeting the medical teams that are meant to be protected by the Geneva Conventions. Israel’s disregard for international law must be confronted by the international community.” – Vittorio Arrigoni (Italy) – International Solidarity Movement

author by redjadepublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 00:11Report this post to the editors

The United States late Saturday blocked approval of a U.N. Security Council statement calling for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers, diplomats said.

[....]

Several other council members, speaking on condition of anonymity because negotiations were closed, also said the U.S. was responsible for the council's failure to issue a statement.


• more at http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gJled...62HO0

15 and a Half Days Left of 'President' George W Bush...

....Still Time to F**k-up the World? Yes He Can!

author by Michael Gallagher - Photographerpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 02:17Report this post to the editors

.

Bin Laden, Bin Bush and Bin Ahern
Bin Laden, Bin Bush and Bin Ahern

author by redjadepublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:18Report this post to the editors

Israel is believed to be using controversial white phosphorus shells to screen its assault on the heavily populated Gaza Strip yesterday. The weapon, used by British and US forces in Iraq, can cause horrific burns but is not illegal if used as a smokescreen.

[....]

The Geneva Treaty of 1980 stipulates that white phosphorus should not be used as a weapon of war in civilian areas, but there is no blanket ban under international law on its use as a smokescreen or for illumination. However, Charles Heyman, a military expert and former major in the British Army, said: “If white phosphorus was deliberately fired at a crowd of people someone would end up in The Hague. White phosphorus is also a terror weapon. The descending blobs of phosphorus will burn when in contact with skin.”


• more at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east...0.ece

more info (also used by the Israelis in Lebanon)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_phosphorus_(weapon)

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:09Report this post to the editors

Tesco stock a variety of fresh herbs from Israel (occupied West Bank)

If you are passing them take them and move them to some other part of the store where they will rot

Eventually Tesco will get the message and stop stocking them

The Jervis St. centre in Dublin has a group of Israelis who sell beauty-products from a stall on the first floor

You might want to share your views on their country and products with them if you are in the area

Interestingly the mother-from-gaza blog shows that the shin-bet officer answering the phone number given on the leaflets dropped in Gaza has been punked :)

http://a-mother-from-gaza.blogspot.com/

Laila suggests we deluge them with "help" and information as to who the real terrorists are, ie the Israeli ethnic cleansers!

Related Link: http://a-mother-from-gaza.blogspot.com/
author by jimpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:17Report this post to the editors

"The Jervis St. centre in Dublin has a group of Israelis who sell beauty-products from a stall on the first floor

You might want to share your views on their country and products with them if you are in the area"

As far as I am aware the group of Israelis are merely a group of young girls who sell beauty products and what pleasant ladies they are indeed :-)
What purpose other than harassment would ranting at them about Gaza serve?
Are you suggesting these women can somehow ring up Ehud Barack and tell him to stop the current military operations?

author by jimpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:26Report this post to the editors

If i were a neo-conservative would I be also entitled to harass the very polite and friendly group of Muslims who host a stall outside the GPO and do their part to make Irish people aware of the positive reality of Islam and rant at them about the conpletely unrelated extremism of Osama Bin Laden?

Come on! Grow up!

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:36Report this post to the editors

The following is a timetable of events regarding cease-fire and breaking of cease-fire and Israel's onslaught on Gaza.

full text at:
http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=80658§ionid=3...20202

June 19: An Egyptian mediated ceasefire begins between Hamas and Israel. The Palestinian movement agrees to stop firing rockets as Israel accepts to gradually ease its embargo on the Gaza Strip.

July 27: Israel kills Shihab al-Natsheh, a senior Hamas fighter, in his house in the West Bank city of al-Khalil.

August 2: Three Hamas police officers and six pro-Fatah gunmen are killed in factional fighting in the Gaza Strip, the worst of such since June 2007.

October 8: Israel prevents Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) from entering the embattled Gaza Strip.

November 5: Israel raids houses in the Hamas-controlled region and arrests seven Palestinians.

Israel attacks areas inside Gaza, killing at least six Palestinians. Ghassan el-Taramse, a nineteen-year-old Palestinian activist, is killed in an Israeli air raid in the northern parts of the coastal sliver.

Palestinians fire several dozen rockets and mortar shells at western Negev in Israel in retaliation. No casualties or property damage is caused, but three women are treated for shock.

November 8: Israel violates the ongoing truce as its tanks and bulldozers cross the southern border of the Gaza Strip.

November 14: Hamas fires a barrage of homemade rockets at the city of Ashkelon. Four rockets are also fired into western Negev after Israeli air strikes wounded two people in Gaza.

November 15: Israeli air strike kills two Palestinians in the town of Beit Hanoun in Gaza.

November 18: Israeli tanks backed by a bulldozer and a military jeep roll half a kilometer into Gaza. The Israeli army claims the incursion is "a routine operation to uncover explosive devices near the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip."

November 20: An Israeli tank fires shells, killing a Palestinian fighter east of Gaza City.

November 23: The Israeli army wounds two Palestinian residents while shelling homes in various cities in the strip.

November 28: Israeli forces backed by tanks enter the southern parts of the coastal region and kill two Palestinians.

November 29: Projectiles fired from the Gaza Strip wound eight Israeli soldiers in an army base in the town of Nahal Uz.

December 02: The Israeli army launches air strikes into southern Gaza and kills at least two civilians and wounding four others.

December 17: Five Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip injure two Israelis in the southern town of Sderot.

December 18: A Palestinian man is killed in Jabaliya as Israeli aircraft target metal workshops in the towns of Jabaliya and Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military claims the targets are used to manufacture rockets.

December 19: The six-month truce officially ends.

December 20: Israeli launches air strikes on the northern Gazan town of Beit Lahiya, killing one Palestinian and wounding two others.

December 21: Palestinian fighters fire rockets into Sderot and Negev and one Israeli is wounded.

December 22: A twenty-four hour truce is declared between Israel and armed Palestinian factions at the request of Egyptian mediators.

December 23: The twenty-four hour truce expires.

Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters leave three members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades dead along the border fence in northern Gaza.

Six Qassam rockets are fired into western Negev. The rocket attacks do not hit any targets in Israel.

December 24: Gaza fighters fire two dozen mortar shells at three different targets inside Israel.

An Israeli air raid kills a Palestinian and wounds two others in southern Gaza.

December 27: Israeli F16 bombers and apache helicopters carry out at least 30 simultaneous raids on various targets across the Gaza strip. The operation kills at least 230 and wounds hundreds of Palestinians.

Hamas responds with rocket fire from Gaza and kills one Israeli in the southern town of Netivot.

December 28: Israel begins a fresh wave of air strikes. Israel deploys tanks and troops along the Gaza border. Tunnels in and out of Gaza are bombed.

A Hamas missile strikes near the largest city in the south of the occupied lands, the deepest reach into Israel to the date.

Global protests against the Israeli attacks begin.

Palestinian death toll rises to 296; 900 are injured.

December 29: The third day of attacks on the strip brings the death toll to 340. At least 1,400 Palestinians are wounded.

Muslim world announces day of mourning.

Two more Israelis are killed and one is injured.

December 30: Israeli air operations continue as Tel Aviv declares the area around Gaza a 'closed military zone'.

Israeli floats the idea that a ground invasion of Gaza is imminent.

Palestinian casualties rise to 360 dead and 1,500 injured.

December 31: Israel continues tunnel attacks and civilian casualties increase.

Hamas says Gaza will be victorious.

The UN and Arab League find no solution to end the crisis.

Palestinian death toll rises to 400 with 1,600 injured.

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 13:08Report this post to the editors

Discouraging the sale of products from apartheid regiemes and colonial oppressors was invented by the Irish and we should be proud to boycott Israeli products as we did with the South Africans.

Necessarily robust debate is required to convince people to desist from stocking and selling products from rogue states such as Israel.

Unlike the occupied territories where protestors are regularly killed by sniper or tank fire there is a right to protest peacefully etc. here in Ireland.

When Israel allows dissent without murdering or otherwise injuring peaceful protestors (including Israeli and even Irish citizens and not just Palestinians) as it does on a regular basis we will have achieved something.

author by Centreleftpublication date Mon Jan 05, 2009 21:41Report this post to the editors

'How can anyone with a moral bone...etc?' I'm not trying to justify this. I'm not in favour of what's happening but i blame Hamas for bringing this conflict down on the heads of a suffering people by putting Israel in the impossible position of having perhaps as many as 300 rockets fired at its citizens during a truce.

As for the Israelis saying they'd rather have any other government in gaza than Hamas.. well they would, wouldn't they? Fatah want a two state solution as opposed to Hamas who parrot the protocols of the elders of Zion and insist on 'raising the banner of Islam over every inch of Palestine'. It makes me uncomfortable to hear Leftists who i assume are secular in outlook refer to this group as a 'resistance' movement as if they hadn't done anything aggresive. While the underlying problems lie with Israel's treatment of the Palestinians it is Hamas who are to blame for this current situation (although Israel's overreaction is just them shooting themselves in the foot again, and shooting others, well, eveywhere).

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 13:12Report this post to the editors

Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor in Gaza:

They are in a cage: They are bombing one and a half million people in a cage .. any one who tries to portray this as a kind of a clean war against another army are lying ....it's an all out war against the civilian Palestinian population in Gaza....A little over an hour ago they bombed the central fruit market in Gaza and 10 to 15 were killed..they bombed an apartment house with children playing on the roof.. it's an inferno .. it's been going on all night....the hospitals are overflowing....injuries you don't want to see, children coming in with open abdomens and legs cut off.... since New years Eve I've seen only one military person among the hundreds we have seen and treated.

See You Tube video

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev6ojm62qwA&eurl=http://....com/
author by Reporter12publication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 13:59Report this post to the editors

Pro Israel discourse reaches new levels of clarity in Rome.

Riccardo Pacifici, chairman of the Jewish Community in Rome on bogus aid package for Gaza in propaganda operation provides sopme very choice quotes :

--- "I can assure you that the decision to send medicine to Palestinian and Israeli children was taken only for media purposes, and was only used for our struggle which will start on Monday in the media to support Israel". ---

--- "in any case not one piece of medicine will get to Gaza unless it has been authorized by the Government of Israel". ---

And the best of all time :

--- "Dear dickhead… give me your address so I can come and kick you in the ass… here at For Israel I work fucking hard and I have a police escort… YOU PIECE OF SHIT…. I did everything together with the Israeli embassy… What the fuck do you know about what we are doing? YOU PIECE OF SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT". ---

http://palestinethinktank.com/2009/01/05/a-must-read-je...plot/

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 15:58Report this post to the editors

Despite the obvious and shameful level of propaganda and media manipulation by the Israelis I thought reporter12's link had to be some sort of fake so I went and checked on il manifesto's website to make sure.

And lo and behold but it's actually true http://www.ilmanifesto.it/il-manifesto/in-edicola/numer...8655/

I will be tempering my reading of any news from Israel and their allies round the world with an even more jaundiced eye following this ad their spokesmen and women read from their prepared scripts blaming Hamas for everything.

Sick!

Related Link: http://www.ilmanifesto.it/il-manifesto/in-edicola/numer...8655/
author by An Irish Republic. - Independentpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 16:40Report this post to the editors

What it means to us
A short exploration of what the Gaza war means to Ireland.
One has to consider all the effects of the war in Gaza. As I sit typing here today, another 40 civilians have been killed in Palestine after an IDF attack on a UN sponsored school, that was sheltering them. Another thing that has been prominent in the news, is the no. of protests in Ireland and Europe against the war.

Many of these protests have involved Muslims that have settled in Ireland, and elsewhere in Europe.
I believe that the War in Gaza will have several positive benefits overall.

1). Increased alienation of Muslims in Europe, leading to increase radical action.
2). The native population reacting to their actions, in an equally radical fashion.
3). Ireland to benefit from the removal of Israel as a country considered safe for foreign investment, so more net investment in to Ireland.
4). Oil goes up in price forcing us to become more fuel efficient and self-reliant.

This conflict presents opportunities for this country, as long as we step up to the plate and do the correct thing.

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 17:35Report this post to the editors

Contrast the BBC version

"At least 30 people were killed and 55 injured when Israeli artillery shells landed outside a United Nations-run school in Gaza, UN officials have said.
A number of children were among those who died when the al-Fakhura school in the Jabaliya refugee camp took a direct hit, doctors at nearby hospitals said.
People inside had been taking refuge from the Israeli ground offensive."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7814054.stm

With Sky's "coverage"

Two Israeli tank shells reportedly exploded outside the school, spraying shrapnel on people who had sought shelter in the building.
A source inside the Israel Defence Forces said explosives had been planted inside the school which caused the civilian casualties.
"After an initial investigation, not confirmed completely, the possibility arises that a mortar shell was fired from the school towards an Israeli army force," the source told Sky News.
"The force fired back with one shell and it seems that the school was booby-trapped, thus causing a secondary explosion."

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Israeli-Tro...97993

“…as an international operator, Murdoch offers his target governments a privatized version of a state propaganda service, manipulated without scruple and with no regard for truth. His price takes the form of vast government favors such as tax breaks, regulatory relief, monopoly markets and so forth.”

http://www.democracynow.org/2003/11/25/alexander_cockbu...upert

author by ecpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 17:55Report this post to the editors

"Now, we know that the Israeli foreign ministry itself is orchestrating propaganda efforts designed to fill news websites with pro-Israel arguments and information.

A friend has received the following e mail which documents both the efforts and the agency that originated them. The solicitation to become a propagandist also includes a list of media links which the ministry would like flooded with pro-Israel comments"

See Link For Full Details

Related Link: http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2009/01/05...tion/
author by ecpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 18:00Report this post to the editors

Jamie has an excellent, detailed post on 'those "Hamas targets"' that keep turning out to be ambulances, hospitals, schools, etc., with detail from Physicians for Human Rights, UN OCHA, B'TSelem, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and a number of organisations and news agencies empirically refuting Israel's claim that it targets only combatants.

http://heathlander.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/about-those...gets/

The list of examples, though by no means comprehensive, is nonetheless quite staggering. Norwegian volunteer doctor Mads Gilbert describes Israel's attack as "an all-out war against the civilian population in Gaza".

Related Link: http://leninology.blogspot.com/2009/01/at-what-point-do....html
author by gazasympathiserpublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 18:09Report this post to the editors

I wasn't familiar with the name Hasbaranik and was fascinated to read this article explaining their tactics.

Sheds some light indeed on some of our own resident Hasbaraniks here at indymedia :)

"Hasbara" is a Hebrew word meaning 'explanation'. It specifically refers to 'explaining' Israeli policy to people - in other words, perception management, spin, or propaganda.

Hasbaraniks are often students or other supporters of Israel, generally in the diaspora, who scour the web for articles critical of Israel. They fill the comments fields with generic pro-Israeli views, much of it obvious cut and paste stuff, and accuse the writer of anti-semitism. The purpose of this is to create the impression that pro-Israel views are widespread, and to intimidate opponents.

There is a manual for this, the Hasbara Handbook. Anyone who's ever confronted pro-Israeli critics will recognise all the techniques. It's a detailed propaganda manual, with sections on point-scoring, calling people anti-semites and more - seriously, give it a read.

Name calling is the most obvious one ex. anti-semite, and sometimes a Nazi

Another tactic is glittering generalities such as "The only democracy in the Middle East."

Related Link: http://redstarcoven.blogspot.com/2008/03/tough-times-fo....html
author by Miriam - MediaBitepublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 18:18Report this post to the editors

RTE has been putting a lot more emphasis on the impacts on the civilian population of the Israeli attack compared to the BBC - eg

However, they still insist on framing the overall context as a fight between two 'sides'. Today's report on an Israeli attack on a school also includes the allegation that Hamas broke the ceasefire, which is untrue.

Email to Joe Zefran, Editor, RTE.ie News

"Dear Joe

(For Publication, inlcuding any response)

I hope you are well. It is encouraging to see RTE reporting the
impact of the Israeli invasion on the citizens of Gaza - information
that is conspicuously absent in BBC reporting in comparison.

However, there is one item of serious misinformation marring an
otherwise humane report on the attack on the school in Gaza:

"The Jewish state launched the offensive after Hamas called off a
six-month truce last month and stepped up cross-border rocket attacks
in response to Israeli raids and the blockade."

http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0106/mideast.html

In fact, the truce was ended by an Israeli attack on Gaza which killed
six people. For Hamas this was the final straw. They had spent the
previous months doing all in their power to broker genuine dialogue
while suffering continuing blocades and insufferable conditions in the
strip. This attack can only be construed as a deliberate provocation
by the Israelis who, while pretending to negotiate for peace, were all
the while making extensive plans for yet another illegal and
unwarranted assault against the democratically elected government of
Palestine - and its citizens.

I sincerely hope these facts will be reflected in future reports -
given how critical they are to the truth of what is now happening to
the Palestinians.
With best wishes
Miriam "

Meanwhile on the BBC, a new serialisation of 'The Diary of Ann Frank' has been scheduled to run every night this week. BBC breakfast television had an interview with the actress playing Ann Frank during which one of the presenters observed that the programme was 'sadly, needed as much today as it was back then." The cynicism and deception is beyond belief.

As mentioned elsewhere, there has clearly been a gobsmacking amount of planning for this latest round of Israeli murder, not least of which has been the massive media offensive with which most of the msm are complicit to a shocking extent - allowing even for their usual atrocious standards.

author by Miriampublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 18:31Report this post to the editors

On Saturday one of a number of countrywide demonstrations against Israel's actions in Gaza took place in Cork City. Senator Dan Boyle was one of several people who spoke at the demo and I wrote to him afterwards to complain about what he had said. He now denies having said what I and many others are sure that he did say, but the exchange is somewhat depressing and indicative of how politicians are making pathetic attempts to deceive themselves about the official line.

1. Date: Sun, 4 Jan 2009 16:18:27 +0000
>>> From: miriamcotton@gmail.com
>>> To: senatordanboyle@hotmail.com
>>> Subject: Palestine Protest in Cork yesterday
>>>
>>> Dear Dan Boyle

I just wanted to register my astonishment at your inaccurate remarks
>>> at yesterday's demonstration in Daunt Square.
>>>
>>> If the viciousness of Israeli policies towards Palestine is 'not a
>>> matter for international organisations such as the EU', then what is?
>>>
>>> Miriam Cotton

2.On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 8:27 AM, Dan Boyle wrote:
>> That wasn't what I said Miriam. I was saying that the moral authority of
>> people power was far greater that that of governments or international
>> organisations like the EU. I admit I was reacting to some spurious and some
>> shocking comments by others who seemed to think that the Gaza atrocities are
>> linked to the Lisbon Treaty, and the indefensible comments by Mick Barry
>> that indiscriminate bombing by Hamas was 'legtimate'. It easy to say what
>> people want to hear, I say what I believe.
>>

3. From: Miriam Cotton
> Sent: 1/5/2009 9:39:01 AM
> To: Dan Boyle
> Subject: Re: Palestine Protest in Cork yesterday
>
>
> Except that it was not 'indiscriminate bombing' by Hamas - it was a
> retaliation for a deliberate breaking of the ceasefire by Israel on
> 4th November when they killed six Palestinians without notice or
> warning. The provocation was from Israel who, to add insult to
> injury, have admitted planning this invasion over the last six months
> even while Hamas were making genuine attempts to broker dialogue. I
> can scarcely believe you are not aware of these facts. This
> collective political amnesia about who the real aggressors are is
> appalling. You all know very well that the people of the Gaza strip
> and Palestine, including Hamas, are the victims of decades of vicious
> Israeli expansionism. Would you have them roll over and die in
> silence for your convenience? I'm a pacifist and don't condone
> violence in any circumstance but it is an outrage to try to pretend
> that Hamas are in some sense an equal and opposite force to the
> Israeli Army and to judge them by a standard that you would be
> incapable of yourself.
> As to Lisbon, Kathy Sinnott's point was well made. Lisbon is a
> con-trick and although you are now in government and must say what you
> are told on every occasion she was absolutely right to point to the
> diminution it will entail in our government's ability to make
> statements such as Brian Cowen has just made about Israel's behaviour
> in Gaza - though it too continues to pedal the Israel-appeasing
> myth that this is a war between two sides. There is only one
> aggressor in this war - the rest is self-defence, pure and simple. We
> have to stop blaming the victims and bring Israel and the US to
> account.
> Miriam

4. Hide quoted text -
On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 10:59 AM, Dan Boyle wrote:
> Miriam,
> No matter what I say will be wrong but indiscriminate bombing of civilians from whatever source and for whatever reason is always wrong.

5. Dan
That is disingenuous. The idea that this action by Israel is a
'response' to 'provocation' by Hamas is a straightforward lie. You
cannot take the actions of Hamas out of their context to serve a
dishonest agenda i.e. one that seeks to place them on an equal footing
with Israel. Hamas is reacting to the violence against Palestininas
on a pitifully unequal basis. Yet the condemnation of their actions
drowns out the dissembling and restraint with which far more deadly
and unprovoked Israeli actions are greeted. This has been the
pattern, over several decades. When are governments anywhere going to
stand up to the US in all of this - the financiers and agents of the
whole project? When are we going to see some serious and fair
official political analysis of what has really gone on during the last
60 years? The US government of the last several administrations
(Clinton's included) have been disastrous for world affairs -
economically, politically and in every possible way. Their obnoxious
economic and foreign policies have brought much of the world into an
appalling crisis. Ireland does not need friends like that - we should
shun the real aggressors here - and the only reason we do not is
because of the myth that US companies are 'investing' in Ireland and
we dont want to offend them. In fact we are subsidising them to an
insane degree, but that is a whole other argument. Cowen's
condemnation of the ground offensive, while it's a something, falls
well short of what is really needed. And well he knows it. Well you
all know it.
While Palestinian civilians are now contending with the consequences
of weapons of mass destruction such as white phosphorous, cluster
bombs, depleted uranium and other vicious weaponry, you take time out
to argue the case for blaming the victims.
For shame.
Miriam "

Boyle says above: 'I was saying that the moral authority of
>> people power was far greater that that of governments or international
>> organisations like the EU."

What he said, and I know because I wrote it down is that 'this was not a matter for international organisations like the EU, but one of simple morals...'

Boyle also criticises Mick Barry of the Socialist Party who attempted to put Hamas' military action into its true perspective and argued for a right to self-defence - hardly incompatible with the policies of Israel and the US themselves.

Boyle is, in effect, subscribing to the logic of US foreign policy which might be stated like this:

terrorists = those who resist our violent attacks on them

self-defence = the attacks we launch for no good reason on other countries (well, usually we want something they have but won't give us for free so just kill them and take it anyway)

author by redjadepublication date Tue Jan 06, 2009 23:14Report this post to the editors

If you watch one Youtube video on this thread, let this be the one....

Juan Cole writes:

'She is being identified by my facebook friends as Huwaida Arraf [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huwaida_Arraf], a Detroiter married to Adam Shapiro[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Shapiro], a University of Michigan Poli Sci graduate, and a founder of International Solidarity Movement, a nonviolent activist organization.'
• more at http://www.juancole.com/2009/01/palestinian-girl-israel...ments


The video appears to have been uploaded January 28, 2008 - so, this is not the current conflict - but the principle and the action and possibly the lives saved are still the same. It reminds me of Caoimhe Butterly in 2002 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/nov/27/israel), but fortunately not the same conclusion.

The video is from a South Korean news crew...

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by Justin Morahanpublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 00:50Report this post to the editors

On 4 January 2009, Mairead Corrigan Maguirewrote to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and Father Miguel D’Escoto President of the United Nations General Assembly adding her voice to the many calls to set up an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel for war crimes in Gaza

See Press release: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90460

author by Miriampublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 09:23Report this post to the editors

Let's not forget the evil masterminds and fnanciers egging Israel on in the background. They've been in a fit of towering rage with the Palestinians ever since they had the nerve to vote for Hamas. This is their punishment, US-style. And bring some shoes to throw in solidarity with the now tortured and imprisoned Iraqi journalist who threw his at Bush.

author by Miriampublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 09:37Report this post to the editors

By FABIOLA SANCHEZ

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela ordered the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador on Tuesday to protest Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

President Hugo Chavez has condemned the campaign in Gaza, where nearly 600 Palestinians have been killed in ground and air strikes. Israel launched the attacks Dec. 27 to stop Palestinian militants from firing rockets into southern Israel.
see link
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hj0eh...T4700

author by vidspublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:46Report this post to the editors


Video 001

Gaza: Life under bombardment

Hatem al-Shurrab, an aid worker for the Gaza-based Islamic Relief organisation, has kept a video diary of the last few days to show what conditions have been like since Israeli air strikes began.

Video 02

Norman Finkelstein on Gaza

Norman Finkelstein is an American political scientist and author, whose primary fields of research are the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust.


Caption: Embedded video Politube


Caption: Embedded video Politube

Related Link: http://www.politube.org/list?tab%5Bid%5D=all
author by redjadepublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 14:36Report this post to the editors


The first video comes from the UK Guardian
and the Finkelstein video is from Iran's PressTV

author by Gazasympathiserpublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 16:20Report this post to the editors

Trying to justify the murder and devastation being wreaked by the Israelis on innocent Palestinian civilians is simply indefensible.

It is about as credible as saying "I was just following orders" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Defense).

Israel uses it's own citizens as "human shields" as Israel is one of the most militarised societies in the world (http://www.wri-irg.org/node/2481).

In fact with compulsory military-service (with some exceptions) up to when men and women are in their mid-40s you would be hard-pressed to find a "civilian" in Israel.

Furthermore IDF soldiers often use Palestinians as "human shields" ( http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/867486.html).

This defense is neither credible, defensible nor real.

In fact is a sign, if one were needed, of the complete moral bankruptcy of Israel in the context of the wars it wages continuously on its neighbours and minorities.

Related Link: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/867486.html
author by Vincentpublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 16:27Report this post to the editors

Well Done Frank, Thanks ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ! Onto something a bit more relevant.

Theres been a lot of talk about Hamas hiding amongst its civilian population without much evidence to prove a word of it. The fact that resistance factions have always been amongst the people is hardly a secret - it is called popular resistance. But the launching of rockets from civilian sites would be a cowardly and dangerous act and if they did actually provide some proof that rockets had been launched from the school where Israel needlessly murdered all those people yesterday then it would be a damming indictment against the resistance. But Israeli reps. and US mouthpieces blowing off continuously without proof of such cowardly blending are on very shaky ground. During the Lebanon War of 2006 Israel engaged in that very activity hiding its artillery and rockets and munition amongs Arab citizens on the notion that Hizbollah wouldnt endanger Arabs by firing against these legitimate targets. Theres plenty of cast iron proof that Israel do use its citizens as human shields but precious little proof of the Palestinian resistance doing so.

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9200.shtml

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9156.shtml

" But despite these obstacles, the Human Rights Association has taken a brave stand in unearthing the evidence to show that Israel committed war crimes by placing much of its military hardware, including artillery positions firing into Lebanon, inside and next to Arab towns and villages. These were not isolated instances but a discernible pattern.

Israel has cited these deaths as further proof that Hizballah's rocket fire was indiscriminate. The Human Rights Association, however, reaches a rather different conclusion, one based on the available evidence. Its research shows a clear correlation between an Arab community having an Israeli army base located next to it and the likelihood of it being hit by Hizballah rockets. In short, Arab communities targeted by Hizballah were almost exclusively those in which the Israeli army was based.

"The study found that the Arab towns and villages that suffered the most intensive attacks during the war were ones that were surrounded by military installations, either on a permanent basis or temporarily during the course of the war," the report states. "

author by redjadepublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 19:22Report this post to the editors

'Toronto police have arrested eight Canadian Jewish women who occupied the Israeli consulate on Bloor Street.

The group carried out the occupation to show their opposition to Israel's military operations in the Gaza Strip and its two-year economic blockade of the territory, Miriam Garfinkle, a spokesperson, told ctvtoronto.ca on Wednesday.'

• more at http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20090107...wHome

author by ecpublication date Wed Jan 07, 2009 20:30Report this post to the editors

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/is....html

"Concerns had been growing that Zeitoun had witnessed massive civilian casualties after surviving members of the Samouni clan reached Gaza City three days ago.

They said that after the Israeli army first took the town on Saturday night soldiers had ordered about 100 members of the clan to gather in a single house owned by Wael Samouni around dawn on Sunday.

At 6.35am on Monday the house was repeatedly shelled with appalling loss of civilian life.

A handful of survivors, some wounded, others carrying dead or dying infants, made it on foot to Gaza's main north-south road before they were given lifts to hospital. Three small children were buried in Gaza City that afternoon. "

author by redjadepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 01:28Report this post to the editors

'As a part of the blockade on the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Navy prevents the Gaza fisherman from working for their livelihood and from providing food to the population.

On Monday (16.6.08), 10 fishing boats went out to sea to protest, using their last fuel. Gush Shalom and dozens of activists from other organizations decided to organize a simultaneous Israeli action and hired a large vessel at the Herzliya marina.

But when dozens of peace activists from various organizations arrived at the boat, the captain refused to allow the Gush flag, showing the colors of Israel and Palestine, on board.

After a loud altercation, and after the captain called the police, the demonstration took place on land. Between the demonstrators in Gaza and Herzliya, contact by telephone was maintained.

The Gaza human rights activist, Dr. Eyad al-Sarag, conveyed his gratitude to the Israeli protesters and expressed his hope for a cease-fire that would put an end to the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis and allow progress towards peace.'

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/events/1213650498


I'm reposting this whole article because the http://gush-shalom.org seems to be either overwhelmed with visitors or under a DOS attack.

ship640x480.jpg

author by redjadepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 09:15Report this post to the editors

(CNN) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross called on Israel to allow it immediate access to Gaza, saying a trip into Gaza City revealed weak children laying with their dead mothers and other "shocking" scenes.

Red Cross workers and four ambulances from the Palestine Red Crescent Society managed to enter the Zaytun neighborhood of Gaza City on Wednesday, according to a written release. The crew found four children, too weak to stand, next to their dead mothers in a house containing 12 corpses, the statement says.

Other houses revealed more wounded and three more corpses, the release said. It said Israeli soldiers posted near the houses ordered the rescue team to leave the area -- an order the team refused....


• more at http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/07/gaza.red.cross/

author by redjadepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:46Report this post to the editors

Published 8 January 2009 Cardinal [Renato] Martino, president of the Vatican's Council for Justice and Peace, made the comment to Italian online site Il Sussidiario.

"Defenceless populations are always the ones who pay," he said.

"Look at the conditions in Gaza: more and more, it resembles a big concentration camp."

[....]

He added: "We Christians are not the only ones to call this land 'holy', Jews and Muslims do so too.

• more at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7817019.stm


and...

Published 3 January 2009 "For decades, human dignity has been trampled in the Gaza Strip; hatred and homicidal fundamentalism find fodder" in social and economic injustice, he said in an interview originally published in the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, Jan. 1.''

• The National Catholic Reporter - http://ncronline3.org/drupal/?q=node/3039

author by Miriampublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 13:57Report this post to the editors

The London Daily News January 7, 2009

The London Daily News has learned there is an informal news blackout at BBC Radio over the mounting public outrage following the Gaza incursion by Israeli troops.

According to sources, radio station phone in's have been screening out any callers wanting to talk about the Israeli air strikes and ground offensives in the Middle East.

The BBC's Have Your Say comment sites are being heavily moderated - its main board 'How can a truce be achieved in Gaza?' has had half of its 4,500 comments rejected on the basis of defamation, incitement to crime and hate, harassment, abuse, threats, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, homophobic or racially offensive language.

On the board 'Are the Israeli strikes on Gaza justified?' Half of the 5,000 comments have also been removed for breaking the House Rules stated above.
Radio ban

Producers and presenters have been told to 'stay away' from the subject despite thousands taking to the streets the past few weeks in protest and support of the military action that has seen 600 killed and just recently 40 dead from an air strike at a school.

The self imposed ban has also been reflected in commercial radio with stations like Talksport rarely wanting to broach the subject and many others clearly steering away from on-air debates on the topic. LBC has attempted to tackle the subject with on air debates.

author by ecpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 15:11Report this post to the editors

due to repeated attacks on their premises and personnel

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/jan/08/gaza-israel

author by Miriampublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 16:58Report this post to the editors

Searing indictment of Israel's entire history in Palestine:

http://www.newstatesman.com/middle-east/2009/01/pilger-...stine

author by Contrarianpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 18:45Report this post to the editors

Hmm, interesting. Pilger's article is a milder version of an article to be found at http://www.rense.com/general84/op.htm - have a look - the language is quite similar and both place the current conflict in Gaza as part of the "dagan plan" allegedly drawn up in 2000/2001. Both reports reference the Jane's Foreign Report of 2001 for some (possibly) selective quotes to back this up. The rense.com article goes further and links the "dagan plan" to what it alleges was the assassination of Yasser Arafat by Israel. (to put a compliant PLO/Fatah leadership in place, in case you were wondering.) It also claims that the 2005 Israeli pull out from Gaza and 2006 Hamas election victory was all part of a carefully orchestrated plan (by Israeli intelligence) to lead to the current Operation Cast Lead and the destruction of the Palestinian people. You see, Israel knew that without Arafat, Fatah would lose the election. Simple, huh? In fairness Pilger doesn't go this far but he does claim that Operation Cast Lead is the continuation of the dagan plan, citing the plan's major achievement as "The establishment of a quisling government in Ramallah, under Mahmoud Abbas." Ho, hum.

Rense.com is an, um, interesting site - a sort of tinfoil hat brigades paradise. Conspiracy theories abound, there is some holocaust denial/re-examination (including a claim that there was NO extermination at Treblinka), 140 years of UFO reports, articles on crop circles, world Zionist elites, illuminati, New World Order, moon landing hoax, ads for miracle "magnetic" pills and Nostradamus DVD's, claims that 86% of cancers can be cured in 24 hours and a bizarre claim that "peak oil" is a Zionist scam. Seems oil isn't really a fossil fuel or somesuch. No, I can't figure that one out either.

author by redjadepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 19:30Report this post to the editors

Contrarian: 'Rense.com is an, um, interesting site - a sort of tinfoil hat brigades paradise.'

um, yeah! so, why are you citing it then?
if you bother to look at the top of the article you will see that it is a repost from GlobalResearch.ca

• • • • • •

'The ICRC/PRCS team found four small children next to their dead mothers in one of the houses. They were too weak to stand up on their own. One man was also found alive, too weak to stand up. In all there were at least 12 corpses lying on mattresses.

In another house, the ICRC/PRCS rescue team found 15 other survivors of this attack including several wounded. In yet another house, they found an additional three corpses. Israeli soldiers posted at a military position some 80 meters away from this house ordered the rescue team to leave the area which they refused to do. There were several other positions of the Israel Defense Forces nearby as well as two tanks.

"This is a shocking incident," said Pierre Wettach, the ICRC's head of delegation for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. "The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded."

Large earth walls erected by the Israeli army had made it impossible to bring ambulances into the neighbourhood. Therefore, the children and the wounded had to be taken to the ambulances on a donkey cart. In total, the ICRC/PRCS rescue team evacuated 18 wounded and 12 others who were extremely exhausted. Two corpses were also evacuated. The ICRC/PRCS will recover the remaining corpses on Thursday.

[....]

The ICRC believes that in this instance the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded. It considers the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable.

• the horrific rest can be read at http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/palestine...80109

author by Contrarianpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 20:03Report this post to the editors

I'm citing it because I found it when googling "dagan plan" and I found the similarity with Pilger's article quite striking and the overall thrust quite mad. It reinforces my long held view that Pilger, while brilliant, goes way OTT at times, especially where Israel is concerned. Incidentally, on further googling, I see that the original article also appears on New York Indymedia! http://nyc.indymedia.org/es/2009/01/102788.html

author by Contrarianpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 20:07Report this post to the editors

You are of course quite right to point out Israel's failure to apply international humanitarian law. The example you quote is indefensible. It's a pity that Hamas's flagrant breaches of international humanitarian law (like targeting civilians) don't get the same level of condemnation around here.

author by Miriampublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 21:01Report this post to the editors

You make some speculative remarks about an alleged 'similarity' between Pilger's article and another posted rense.com site, in what looks like an effort to discredit Pilger's article - and all because he mentions two things that are also referred to in an article that originated elsewhere. The Dagan Plan is common knowledge. I have a suggestion for you.

If you are interested in uncanny similarities, may I redirect you to a much more fruitful search: namely the cacophony of parrot-like reports emanating from the mainstream media right now - almost all of which are taking their information from Israeli government and IDF spokespeople. The Dagan plan is common knowledge.

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Fri Jan 09, 2009 16:04Report this post to the editors

about some stupid riot.

Civilians are being herded into houses and murdered in scores by the Israelis who ignore all requests to end the bloodshed.

There are even those Israelis and their supporters who excuse this behaviour on the basis that the Gazans are stateless and thus not entitled to any protection.

The criminal state of Israel must be made to pay economically by a broad international boycott immediately.

This way they will have less money to buy munitions with which to carry on their bloodbath.

author by Miriampublication date Fri Jan 09, 2009 16:08Report this post to the editors

Israeli government targets thousands of protestors and their organisers in Israel itself - from the Real News Network:

http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&t...=3065

author by Mark Cpublication date Fri Jan 09, 2009 16:09Report this post to the editors

I emailed all our TDs, MEPs, and Senators today about this issue. I used the letter from the IPSC.ie website:
http://ipsc.ie/gaza_wycd.php

Here are the responses that I have received so far:

MEPs:

Mairead McGuinness:
Dear Mr Conroy,

Thank you for your e-mail expressing concern about the situation in Gaza.

The humanitarian situation inside Gaza has deteriorated in a way that makes it impossible not to be moved. The reports and images emerging from the region are horrific. The pictures of innocent people - men, women and children - being laid to rest because of the assaults are truly awful.

The situation was discussed by Fine Gael MEPs during two meetings held on Wednesday inside the European Parliament. Firstly at a meeting of Fine Gael MEPs and later inside the Group of the European People's Party and European Democrats (EPP-ED), of which Fine Gael are members. The EPP-ED Group has also sent a delegation of MEPs to the region and will resume its discussions on Monday when the delegation have returned.

The EPP-ED and other political groups in the European Parliament have called for an urgent debate during next week's Strasbourg plenary session to allow Parliament to express its concerns and to press for the immediate cessation of hostilities.

For your information I have attached a note on diplomatic efforts aimed at achieving a ceasefire. Obviously the situation is fluid and changing from moment to moment and some of what is attached may well already be out of date; we can only hope that the current Franco-Egyptian truce proposal will bring about an end to the violence although the recent rocket attacks on northern Israel from inside Lebanon are a worrying development.

I am able to assure you that there is an understanding of the urgent need to end the fighting and that every effort is being made to bring this about.

Finding a more permanent solution to the conflict is absolutely necessary. A lasting peace, through a negotiated settlement, is worthy of all our efforts.

Kind regards,

Mairead McGuinness, MEP
ASP 8F 265
European Parliament
rue Wiertz,60
B-1047 Brussels
t: +32.22845214
f: +32.22849214
e: mairead.mcguinness@europarl.europa.eu
w: http://www.maireadmcguinness.ie

Fine Gael TDs:

Denis Naughten:
Thank you for your e-mail regarding the current military action in Gaza.
I'm enclosing a copy of a letter which members of the Oireachtas and I, have signed and published this evening.
I should also point out that the Fine Gael Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Billy Timmins TD has been extremely vocal on this issue and will continue to do so until there is a peaceful resolution to the current action.
Yours sincerely
Denis Naughten TD

Bernard Durkin:
Mark,

Thank you for your e-mail, the contents of which I have noted and
will bring same to the Ministers attention.

The issue is also likley to be discussed at the European Affairs
Committee meeting next Thursday at which time I will revert to
you again.

Kind Regards
Deputy Bernard J. Durkan T.D.
Chairman European Affairs Committee

Sinn Féin TDs:

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin:
Mark a chara,

Thank you for your email. I share your views on Israel's horrific attack on the people of Gaza and the need for decisive action from the Irish government, European Union and United Nations.

Sinn Féin have made these points repeatedly since the assault began. My colleague Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh, who has travelled to Palestine twice in recent years, called this week for an Oireachtas committee to examine the EU's agreements with Israel. Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has publicly called for those agreements to be suspended. Our Assembly and local authority members have tabled motions in their respective institutions condemning the attacks (the Dublin City Council motion was opposed by the Fianna Fáil-Labour coalition that dominates the Council). Our elected representatives and members have also marched and spoken at rallies held in support of the people of Gaza and will do so again this Saturday, 1pm at the Central Bank.

Be assured that we will continue to do everything in our power to compel action to stop the slaughter in Gaza.

Is mise
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD
Sinn Féin Dáil Leader

Labour TDs:

Ruari Quinn:

Dear Rachel[sic],
Thank you for your email about the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip. I enclose the text of a statement made by Michael D. Higgins, Labour's Foreign Affairs Spokesperson. I think it provides a useful explanation of the Labour Party's stance on this conflict and I hope you find it informative.

Yours sincerely,

Ruairi Quinn TD
Labour Party Spokesperson for Education and Science
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2
01 618 3434
ruairi.quinn@oireachtas.ie
www.ruairiquinn.ie

Ciaran Lynch:
Dear Mark

Thank you for your email and may I say that I share with you the concerns that you raise with regard to the ongoing bombing and current incursion by Israeli troops into Gaza. This I believe is completely unacceptable and that Israel must withdraw immediately.

At a local level here in Cork I am in contact with the Cork Palestinian Solidarity Movement and will be addressing a rally they have organised for tomorrow Saturday 10th January 2009.

At a national level may I refer you a series of press statements on the matter made by Michael D Higgins who is the Labour Party's spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and which clearly demonstrate our Party's position on what is presently happening in Gaza..

These can be located at http://www.labour.ie/press/listing.htm

Yours sincerely

Ciarán

Senators:

David Norris:
Dear Mark,

Thank you for your email. Senator David Norris is out of the country until the 20th of January but he has been keeping a close eye on the situation in Gaza and has been writing to the Irish Times to highlight his concerns. There should in fact be another letter from him in either tomorrow's or Mondays paper. I will of course pass your email on to him as soon as he returns.

Best wishes

Miriam

Assistant to Senator David Norris

author by dunkpublication date Fri Jan 09, 2009 16:47author email fuspey at yahoo dot co dot ukReport this post to the editors

Suggestion for extra clause in the ISPC letter to politicans: Expulsion of Isreali ambassador.
Below is existing letter, with extra clause in BOLD

SAMPLE LETTER TO ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES:

Dear [name],

I am writing in digust at the Israeli attack on Gaza which has left 1,000s dead or injured, and has left Gaza a wasteland. These appalling actions constitute severe war crimes and I will not stand idly by while they occur in the face of inaction by the Irish government, the European Union and the United Nations. Yes, members of our government have condemned the attacks - but words are no longer enough, action is needed and it is needed now. Israel cannot be allowed to get away with these massacres of a largely defenceless population.

* I demand that Irleand use its influence in the UN to ensure the opening of the borders to Gaza to enable emergency humanitarian aid into the area, regardless of the bullying and ruthless threats by Israel;
* I call on Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin, to insist in the EU Council of Ministers on the suspension of the EU trade agreement with Israel under Clause 2 of the Association Agreement;
* I call on the Irish government to diplomatically boycott Israel until it ceases its attacks on Gaza and fully complies with its obligations under International Law;
* I call on the Irish government to support the call from Palestinian civil society for a complete economic, cultural, academic and sporting boycott of the Israeli state until it ceases its attacks on Gaza and fully complies with its obligations under International Law;
* I call on the Irish government to request the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Dr Zion Evrony, and the full closure of the Israeli embassy untill a full cesesation of hostilities is recognised.
* I call on all Irish parliamentarians to stand by their illegally imprisoned colleagues in Palestine;
* I call for a restoration of the ceasefire under terms which the international community must enforce, including the ending of the economic and political blockade of Gaza, and indeed of the West Bank;
* I demand that the Irish government use its influence on the world stage to seek a solution in Palestine which respects the rights of Israelis and Palestinians, and secures for Palestinians their national and democratic rights. Only then will there be a settlement.

Yours sincerely,

author by Mark Cpublication date Fri Jan 09, 2009 17:38Report this post to the editors

Senator Mark Daly:

Mark a chara,

Thank you for your email. I will be raising the matter with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheal Martin T.D..

In the meantime, please find below an article I wrote entitled 'Perfect Storm Coming to the Middle East' for your information.

Is mise le emas,

Senator Mark Daly Seanadóir Marcus O’Dalaigh

Leinster House Teach Laighean
Kildare Street Sráid Cill Dara,
Dublin 2 Baile Átha Cliath 2

Tel: 01 618 3830 Fón 01 618 3830
Fax: 01 618 4669 Facs 01 618 4669
Mob: 086 803 2612 Fón Póca 086 803 2612

Senator Phil Prendergast:

Dear Mark,

Many thanks for your e-mail. I shall bring it to Senator Prendergasts attention at the earliest opportunity and, in the meantime, may I recommend that you visit the Labour Party website

http://www.labour.ie/search/?cx=000534482150270691479%3...9#921

to view the various press releases which have been issued by members of the Labour Party in relation to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Regards,

Mary Gillessen
Secretarial Assistant

086 2436891
mary.gillessen@oireachtas.ie

Labour's Thomas Broughton, TD

Dear Mark,

Thanks for your recent email on the current appalling and unacceptable situation in Gaza, about which I share your deep concern. The Labour Party has continually called for urgent action by the international community to bring about an immediate end to the Israeli military action and a fresh ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Please be assured that myself and the Labour Party will continue to do everything possible in Dail Eireann and with our international partners to achieve this.

I will also bring your comments to the attention of my colleague and Labour Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Deputy Michael D. Higgins and all of my other colleagues in the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Please keep in touch,

Very Best Wishes,

Tommy Broughan T.D.

Fine Gael's Andrew Doyle, TD:

A Chara

I am writing to you in response to your communication regarding the current hostilities in the Gaza Strip. There are many disturbing aspects to the situation. As the death toll and injury levels continue to rise it is imperative that international pressure be brought to bear in order to get all sides to agree. I do believe this international pressure is now having an impact.

Due to the nature and longevity of the issue; the Middle East question will always present strong & emotive responses. There is a responsibility on the conflicting parties to put in place the conditions to allow a final solution. The Fine Gael policy reflects this. Please see below outline of the Fine Gael position on the Israel/Palestine conflict and I am attaching some statements issued by our Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs; Billy Timmins T.D..

The Fine Gael position is based on four very clear pillars:

A. A Two State solution.
B. A return to pre-1967 borders unless amended by agreement between the two
parties.
C. An agreed solution to the issue of Palestinian Refugees who fled/left their
houses in 1948 and 1967.
D. Israel to cease settlement activities and dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001.

In order to achieve this all Palestinians must cease all acts of violence and commit to peace. Fine Gael also recognises Israel’s right to protect its citizens from attacks, but in doing so it should act within International Law. The EU should establish a special trade agreement with Israel and Palestine to assist in the economic development of the area. It is difficult to see Hamas as part of the process while one of their central aims is the destruction of the State of Israel.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Doyle TD
Fine Gael, Wicklow/East Carlow constituency
Leinster House : 01 618 3611
Constituency Office: 0404 66622

Related Link: http://www.markconroy.net/blog
author by redjadepublication date Fri Jan 09, 2009 18:41Report this post to the editors

I have grown to enjoy Tony Karon's writings lately. As a South African Jew of Central European ancestry, now emigrated to NYC, he has a unique perspective not found most places....
http://tonykaron.com/who-is-tony-karon
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174836/tony_karon_on_gr..._jews
http://www.time.com/time/columnist/karon/article/0,9565....html

'And then the horror unfolds, as it always does — the hundreds of civilians butchered as they cowered in what they were told were places of safety, mocking Israel’s torrent of self congratulation over its restraint and its brilliant intelligence — and the hopelessly out-gunned enemy manages to survive, as he does every time. And by surviving, grows stronger politically. No matter how many are killed, the leaders targeted by Israel’s military are endlessly regenerated in the fertile soil of grievance and resentment born of the circumstances Israel has created. Circumstances it has created, but which it, and its most fervent backers refuse to acknowledge, much less redress.

Arafat is dead and gone. So are Sheikh Yassin, and Rantissi. And Abbas al-Musawi, and Imad Mughniyeh. Israel’s ruthless efficiency at killing the leaders of Palestinian and Lebanese resistance groups is second to none, and yet, no matter who it kills, there are always thousands more, ready to declare, “I am Spartacus”. That’s because those who step up to lead these organizations are acting not out of personal ambition — leadership in Hamas is a death sentence. The endless stream of Palestinians willing to sacrifice themselves in the role, then, is a symptom of the condition of their people. And Israel’s leaders know this. Asked when running for Prime Minister a decade ago what he’d have done if he’d been born Palestinian, Ehud Barak — the man directing the current operation in Gaza — answered bluntly, “I’d have joined a terror organization.” [....]


• read the long rest of it at http://tonykaron.com/2009/01/09/the-battle-isnt-over-bu...-war/

Rootless Cosmopolitan Blog: http://tonykaron.com

author by Tyronepublication date Fri Jan 09, 2009 20:10Report this post to the editors

Partly because 2009 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of assassinated US President Abraham Lincoln, an e-mail was sent to the Whitehouse today (11 days ahead of the US presidential changeover).

Details of the e-mail in question -- which was copied to Prime Minister Cowan TD, and to Prime Minister Brown MP (among others) -- can be found at:
http://www.humanrightsireland.com/PresidentGeorgeWBush/...l.htm

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves".

Related link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=America+will+never...f&oq= )

author by Eileen Seerypublication date Sat Jan 10, 2009 21:12Report this post to the editors

We are all guilty if we stand idly by and allow this genocide to go on.
The children of Gaza are being brutally slaughtered and by using our educational network of schools we can raise public awareness.
Let us call on the government to break off all diplomatic links with the state of Israel.
Let the children of Ireland lead the way with a minute's silence in our schools and secondary school children could gather petitions.
This may sound futile in the face of such a massacre but we must heighten awareness and do something however smail to show we care. We are a smaill nation and we can make a difference

author by Michael BG - nonpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 00:00Report this post to the editors

I would like to thank you for you’re enlightening words.

Thanks to you we can see the hypocrites who are worried so much about civilians, as long as they are from the right side of the map.

Where were you and your bleeding heart friends when women and children were targeted for 8 years, suicide bombers were coming to Israel looking in the eyes of the children and then shooting from close range, coming to crowded places marching to the middle of a crowd and triggering the explosive belt, killing Israeli children?

http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=video&media-id=3727&video-id=1...Upate

Israeli children are not used by Israeli soldiers to hide bombs and missiles.
Those children did not get a warning before the bombers blew them up.
Those children were not in terrorist summer camps. They were taught to love life and their neighbour, and not to grow up and kill Palestinians.
Military camps in Israel are not set under hospitals.

2. Thank you for determining that the state of Israel commits war crimes. This is just great, how does it feel to serve as the prosecutor, the jury and the executer? Do you mean war crimes like “Kafar Qana”? As someone said, don’t let the facts get away with a good line…

3. I wish the other side had a spokesman like you… better yet, I wish you would live some of the life of the people you so strongly condemn.

Yes you are right, the situation can get one sick to his stomach, especially hearing one-sided blind and ignorant people like you!

Michael BG

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by Michael BG - nonpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 00:00Report this post to the editors

I would like to thank you for you’re enlightening words.

Thanks to you we can see the hypocrites who are worried so much about civilians, as long as they are from the right side of the map.

Where were you and your bleeding heart friends when women and children were targeted for 8 years, suicide bombers were coming to Israel looking in the eyes of the children and then shooting from close range, coming to crowded places marching to the middle of a crowd and triggering the explosive belt, killing Israeli children?

http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=video&media-id=3727&video-id=1...Upate

Israeli children are not used by Israeli soldiers to hide bombs and missiles.
Those children did not get a warning before the bombers blew them up.
Those children were not in terrorist summer camps. They were taught to love life and their neighbour, and not to grow up and kill Palestinians.
Military camps in Israel are not set under hospitals.

2. Thank you for determining that the state of Israel commits war crimes. This is just great, how does it feel to serve as the prosecutor, the jury and the executer? Do you mean war crimes like “Kafar Qana”? As someone said, don’t let the facts get away with a good line…

3. I wish the other side had a spokesman like you… better yet, I wish you would live some of the life of the people you so strongly condemn.

Yes you are right, the situation can get one sick to his stomach, especially hearing one-sided blind and ignorant people like you!

Michael BG

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by gazasympathiserpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:22Report this post to the editors

Care to explain?

Israeli kids sign artillery shells http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=13453

author by Left Hand Pathpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 17:39Report this post to the editors

I, along with many of the people on this site, oppose the murderous tactics of Israel but I feel that Hamas are being equally foolish by continuing a futile and weak attack against a side that clearly has access to the best weaponry in the world. More innocent Palestinians will thus be killed. Including children. Is this what Hamas want?. They could completely use the world wide condemnation of Israel to their advantage by choosing to put down their weapons and waiting for the inevitable Israeli offensive. They could then legitimately say that Israel are acting outside the law. Israels supporters would then have a difficult time trying to justify further Israeli attacks. Its so simple - They could win the propaganda war simply by refusing to shoot rockets over the border. So easy - why dont they do it? It seems so futile to fight Israel, they are clearly not going to stop until the last Palestinian is dead, so whats the point?. Innocent people are being killed because of a few chestbeating morons shooting shitty little rockets into Israel. WAKE UP.

author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 20:22Report this post to the editors

...of world war three?

An armed conflict between nations horrifies us. But the economic war is no better than an armed conflict. This is like a surgical operation. An economic war is prolonged torture. And it's ravages are no less terrible than those depicted in the literature on war properly so called. We think nothing of the other because we are used to it's deadly effects....the movement against war is sound. I pray for it's success. But I cannot help the gnawing fear that the movement will fail if it does not touch the root of all evil....human greed.

Mahatma Gandhi "Non Violence - The Greatest Force." 1926

author by Michael BGpublication date Sun Jan 11, 2009 21:14Report this post to the editors

Yes, I will gladly take the challenge. do you have the time to listen (not hear but listen..)

This is the story , why don't you hear what she has to say...

Hear it is :

http://multimedia.heritage.org/content/wm/Lehrman-09270...a.wvx

author by FSM believerpublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:23Report this post to the editors



The sad fact of the matter is that Islam will not change under coercion.

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:02Report this post to the editors

Her rant against Muslims in general does nothing to explain why Israeli kids were signing artillery shells used to blow up Lebanese civilians.

author by Owen Harrisite - The Harrisitespublication date Mon Jan 12, 2009 14:02Report this post to the editors

Spirit Moves RTE Radio One Jan 11 2008

Tom Carew - a (not very useful) friend of Israel denies deaths of Palestinian children (audio link below). Shocks panel with his celebration of slaughter.

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/player_av.html?0,null,200,http....smil

author by gazasympathiserpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 13:33Report this post to the editors

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/....html

If we were reporting the 18th-century slave trade, I said, we wouldn't give equal time to the slave ship captain in our dispatches. If we were reporting the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp, we wouldn't give equal time to the SS spokesman.

At which point a journalist from the Jewish Telegraph in Prague responded that "the IDF are not Hitler".

Of course not. But who said they were?

I open The Irish Times to find a letter from the local Israeli ambassador [Zion Evrony], trying to explain to the people of the Irish Republic what it feels like to come under Palestinian rocket attack.

Know what's coming?

Of course you do.

"What would you do," Zion Evrony asks readers, "if Dublin were subjected to a bombardment of 8,000 rockets and mortars..."

I'm waiting for the same writers to ask how we'd feel if we lived in Dublin and came under sustained attack from supersonic aircraft and Merkava tanks and thousands of troops whose shells and bombs tore 40 women and children to pieces outside a school, shredded whole families in their beds and who, after nearly a week, had killed almost 200 civilians out of 600 fatalities.

Kevin Myers [says] the massacre in Gaza is justified because Hamas would have done the same if they could, even though they didn't do it because they couldn't.

[Only] Fintan O'Toole [dared] to speak the unspeakable. "When does the mandate of victimhood expire?" he asked. "At what point does the Nazi genocide of Europe's Jews cease to excuse the state of Israel from the demands of international law and of common humanity?"

I suspect that the split and near civil war between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority has a lot in common with the division between the Irish Free State and anti-treaty forces that led to the 1922-3 Irish civil war; that Hamas's refusal to recognise Israel – and the enemies of Michael Collins who refused to recognise the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the border with Northern Ireland – are tragedies that have a lot in common, Israel now playing the role of Britain, urging the pro-treaty men (Mahmoud Abbas) to destroy the anti-treaty men (Hamas).

author by dunkpublication date Tue Jan 13, 2009 18:11author email fuspey at yahoo dot co dot ukReport this post to the editors

This is what white phosphorus looks like

Israel Criticized for Using White Phosphorus in Gaza
Human Rights Watch has called on the Israeli military to stop using white phosphorus in Gaza. Multiple air bursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus have been observed in Gaza. Marc Garlasco of Human Rights Watch said, “White phosphorous can burn down houses and cause horrific burns when it touches the skin.” Israel has denied using the incendiary device.
from Democracy Now: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/12/headlines#2

Human Rights Watch site - Israel: Stop Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/01/10/israel-stop-unlaw...aza-0

see image below

This is what democracy looks like

Im enclosing the video from Le Tigre which covers audio and video of the F15 demos before the outbreak of war in Iraq. It was, and still is, the largest human co-ordinated action in the history of our civilisation. "According to BBC News, between six and ten million people took part in protests in up to sixty countries over the weekend of the 15th and 16th; other estimates range from eight million to thirty million". Whatever the figure, it was massive, but it did not stop the war. Some argue marching on streets is pointless, I dont, I think its a neccessary step but that, also, it leads to more concrete steps that can bring about peace. I say this after the global demos against the present slaughter in Gaza (currently 900+ people, 300+ which are kids) and how there were 100 times more people on the streets of Barcelona than there was in Dublin (the city is just over twice the population). I have been in contact with many people at home and I think the main reason is that there is a lack of clarity about the core issues, and with that people dont feel confident on the issues to take to the streets, thankfully a small amount are questioning or finding out the truth that Israel commenced the end of the cease fire, which resulted in Hamas firing rockets in Retaliation (Israel official government website quote), which Israel reacted with the slaughter we are witnessing. I think people have to really hammer home to people this point and urge everyone to take to the streets, and do more, to bring about peace.

We need to up the momentum.

Solidarity to all from Barcelona

Dunk

February 15, 2003 anti-war protest
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_15,_2003_anti-war...otest

Democracy Now audio report of F15
The World Says No to War! Rome-2 Million People; London, Madrid, Barcelona-Over 1 Million Each; Berlin and New York City–Half a Million; Melbourne, Sydney and France–Hundreds of Thousands; and Hundr...
http://www.democracynow.org/2003/2/17/the_world_says_no...o_war

"Peace Now" - "This is what democracy looks like"
Le Tigre - New Kicks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8x36gA-yf8

Report of Barcelonas last saturday demo of 100,000 -175,000 people
First they came for the communists, now they are coming for the Palestinians
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90538

A disgraceful Irish turn out in solidarity demo with Gaza?
Photo Essay - March to Israeli Embassy in Dublin- 1,000 -2,000 people
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90540

Possible reasons for low Dublin turn out
Political Parties Hijack Protests -
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90507

This is what white phosphorus looks like : Gaza tonight
This is what white phosphorus looks like : Gaza tonight

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by Mel Lloydpublication date Wed Jan 14, 2009 17:21Report this post to the editors

Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD the only person in the Dail to have the balls to say it straight out that "Israeli methods can be likened to to that of the Nazi Goebels! "

By that single utterance Aengus Ó Snodaigh has proved his worth as a TD, for here is a Man who stands out to the fore amongst a bunch of snivelers.

A man able to call the shots exactly right, a man unafraid of speaking the truth. If only the world had more people like him the world would be a safer and better place.

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