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Gaza stall and vigil.

category cork | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Wednesday January 07, 2009 20:37author by Carl - WSM Cork (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

On a freezing early evening in Cork city a stall was set up and a vigil held to show solidarity and support for the innocent people in Gaza.
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On a freezing early evening in Cork city a stall was set up and a vigil held to show solidarity and support for the innocent people in Gaza who are trapped in between posturing extremists on both sides. Yet again religion rears its ugly head, and the people who suffer the most are the ones trapped in the hell hole known as Gaza, betrayed by their "religious leaders" yet again.

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author by Puzzled - nonepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 00:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just wondering could you explain the comment :'the innocent people in Gaza who are trapped in between posturing extremists on both sides. Yet again religion rears its ugly head'

What do you mean by this?

author by Contrarianpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 00:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I suspect he means that posturing extremists version 1 believe that all of "Palestine" (ie Israel, West Bank and Gaza aka "from the river to the sea") is an Islamic Waqf, land held in trust for future generations of Muslims and must be subjected to Islamic Sharia Law in perpetuity. Not an inch can be compromised

Meanwhile, posturing extremists version 2 believe that "Eretz Israel" (ie Israel, West Bank and Gaza) is the biblical "Promised Land" given by God to the Jewish people. Obviously, not an inch can be compromised.

Seems reasonable to suspect that religion, possibly, possibly, might be a common link here?

author by redjadepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 00:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

yeah, and yet all are the children of Abraham
many palestinians are christians too, ya know

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham

and today the americans occupy Ur (Iraq) - the birthplace of Abraham ( or so many believe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ur )

anyone ever feel that the religionists are forcing their narrative on the rest of us? and to what end? The end, that's the end they wish for.

That said, this is not a religious conflict
(mostly, sort of.)

author by Falling for spin...publication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 00:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'the innocent people in Gaza who are trapped in between posturing extremists on both sides. Yet again religion rears its ugly head'

um, you don't think a little something called COLONIZATION has anything to do with this? Remember the NAKBA? Asymmetrical power dynamincs? Imperialist politics of divide and conquer? Resource and land acquisition? The resistance to the Occupation is NOT a religious struggle, it has always and foremost been an anti-colonial struggle.

author by redjadepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 00:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

yes i agree totally - this is about colonization.

but then why is it that everytime the Israelis do another one of their habitual 'incursions' there's a flood of anti-semitism on indymedia.ie?

The old memes are hard to let go of for many people and sadly the old memes are the easiest to grasp at a time of great social stress.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memetics

author by Bjornpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 01:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's easy to condemn Israel. But no country would accept an adjacent state randomly firing rockets into its territory. This would be an act of war, period.

Israel doesn't make it easy for the Palestinians to make peace, and they can roundly be criticized for that. But that doesn't entitle Hamas to lob rockets into Israel whenever they feel like it.

Furthermore, Hamas does not accept the reality of Israel. Their plan is to make all Israelis leave, or die. It's hard to feel sorry for people with an attitude like that.

author by About powerpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 01:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... it's interesting to consider as well the international state complicity regarding the Zionist state of Israel's actions. The apparently secular US and European governments, particularly France, in collusion with also apparently Islamic states *dat bastion of Islam Saudi Arabia* & Egypt with PA's/Fatah's Abbas... doesn't make for much of a clash of civilizations or religions does it?

author by still puzzled - nonepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 01:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is this wsm's official line- that the present conflict is a religious war?

author by diversity of thoughtpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 01:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... there's never any justification for racism, including of course anti-semitism. i'm always surprised, however, by the extent to which some things are mitigated or can be misrepresented. I don't have any statistics but by personal experience i've come across so many palestinians (muslims and christians) who are aware, remember and are proud of a history of their land at a time when arab jews. christians and muslims lived fairly peaceably together prior to the advent of zionism... Jews for a Just Peace activists as well as a hell of a lot of palestinians celebrate that history and work towards goals inspired by that very demonstrable reality in the not so recent past. The resistance again is primarily against colonial Occupation, it is not fundementally a religious struggle.

author by redjadepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 01:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

yeah i know all that, you missed the point.

I wasn't talking about Palestinians etc posting Anti-Sem crap on indymedia, I don't think too many Palestinians post anything on indymedia.ie.

I was talking about the, mostly, Irish and others that post Anti-Sem crap on Indymedia.ie that is hidden as fast as humanly possible:

• see: http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-ireland-newswire/

It sure seems like a 'religious conflict' to them!

author by nuanced analysispublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 02:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... obviously the onus on anti-war and anti-occupation activists is to dispel incorrect mainstream media misrepresentations. Common amongst these are issues pertaining to hamas. hamas is not an ideal organization. However, the concerted effort by mainstream media to link hamas to Iran- as an 'Irani statelet' is not just irresponsible but a dangerous precedent and i think an attempt to provide a pretext for potential future US/Israeli actions against Iran... as an aside interestingly enough, the majority of muslim palestinians including fatah and hamas members follow a sunni vs shia tradition of Islam as in iran. again interestingly enough saudi and egypt, both largely of sunni traditions, are actively undermining hamas for their own STRATEGIC vs RELIGIOUS interest.

Khalid Mishaal stated quite categorically on Inside Story on Al Jazeera in 2007 that hamas are looking for a FAIR and JUST peace settlement to the conflict. Rather than as Bjorn above sensationally put it: 'Hamas does not accept the reality of Israel. Their plan is to make all Israelis leave, or die', Mishaal stated hamas would respect a settlement along UN resolutions which call on Israel to withdraw to and dismantle all illegal settlements up to the 1967 borders... no doubt hamas and fatah have both been involved in repression of palestinians and neither is an ideal organization but both arose as anti-Occupation movements. the corruption of some members, a certain elite class of the PA and fatah including Abbas, in the sheer interests of maintaining a monopoly on power, to the extent of collusion with the Occupation is the biggest betrayal to the palestinians.

author by !publication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 03:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Just wondering could you explain the comment :'the innocent people in Gaza who are trapped in between posturing extremists on both sides. Yet again religion rears its ugly head'

What do you mean by this?"

Isn't it the secular left that is presently selling the people of Gaza out Fata/PLO (ANC doing the same etc) not mention the Labour parties of Britain and Israel providing the weapons and bmbing the crap out of them (take the log out of your own eye etc etc)

The prejudices of this site continually associates "being young" or athies with being radical where there is very little evidence for either

author by Paul - nopublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 09:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Someone above asked if it was WSM official line that this is a religious conflict.
Has anyone any idea if this is the case or was Karl speaking in a personal capacity?

author by Carl - WSM (personal capacity)publication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In response to puzzled question 1, i think that Contrarian has given a more than adequate response to that question. Puzzled question 2, if you read the heading you would see that this was written in a personal capacity and not by the WSM. These are my own personal views that I am giving, as any member of the wsm is allowed to view a personal opinion.
As for the question of colonization, Britain would use the "spreading of christianity" line as justification for the crimes we committed in these countries, a lot of this was done when the church was never questioned and was seen to be the final word on all matters.
In response to BY! comment. I know and i agree that religion is not the only factor at play in this conflict but it is the extreme wings on both sides that continue to fan the flames and keep this conflict going. they are playing into the hands of outside interests who profit from this situation, not just monetarily but also politically and ideologically. The innocents i mentioned are the Muslim and Jews on both sides who would be willing to speak and discuss the issue of the land and move on to better times in co-existance. And as for calling the labour party the left, maybe 20-30 or 40 years ago i agree, but now they are the same as any other party in the uk, willing to do deals with anyone if the profit margin is good enough. And as for being young, well i take that as a compliment.

author by Coilínpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Redjade wrote:
"but then why is it that everytime the Israelis do another one of their habitual 'incursions' there's a flood of anti-semitism on indymedia.ie?"
and:
"I was talking about the, mostly, Irish and others that post Anti-Sem crap on Indymedia.ie that is hidden as fast as humanly possible:"

I have sometimes noticed hateful posts on indymedia.ie that are soon removed, but never any stuff expressing hatred for Jews. Rather than linking to the entire archive, would you mind posting a quote or two, just so we know what kind of remark you are referring to?

When you say that the stuff is mostly posted by Irish people, how do you know that? How does anybody know the identity of anybody who posts anything here?

I could call myself Cindy Goldstein and state my organisation as Code Pink and how would you know I wasn't a Jewish-American woman peace activist? Conversely, I might actually be Cindy Goldstein posting stuff about free speech in the name of Coilín, who might actually be a member of the Greens who wants to eradicate all kinds of political postering throughout Ireland and who has never heard of Indymedia, and how would you know the difference?

author by james - nonepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

to portray this as a religious conflict is ridiculous..no matter what religion the palestinians happened to be the occupation of their land and mass expulsions would have occured and in response to that suffering people fight back and sometimes, in the absense of legitimate secular fight back, in the name of religion..the point is to differentiate between say the christianity of a revoutionary priest in south america and say a fat right wing european bishop. we have to examine the 'form' of a conflict i.e. the ideas people use to justify their actions and most importantly the 'content' of a conflict i.e. what objectively are people fighting for?
the criticism of religion has always been a favourite of anarchist groups around the world 'no gods no masters' but considering the hold that religion will always have as long as oppression pushes desperate people to feel a need for some kind of hope we need more concrete approaches to these issues.
i object strongly to the phrase 'both sides' which makes no sense in relation to this conflict... to see religious beliefs as just religious beliefs and not to examine their political content is juvenile.
zionism is a pawn of imperialism an integral part of the US war machine and a state that uses biblical texts to justify its oppression of, not just the palestinians, but the whole middle east. If they needed to they would use a different book to justify their actions, secular zionists will use the same old tired rhetiric of islamo-fascism and terrorism etc to justify the same actions, so its seems the desired actions come first and the justification comes after. to present the real wolrd as produced by religious thought and not to see how religious thought is used to justify and is a product of real world oppression is to turn the world on its head and in actual fact is to take quite a religious view of change!
hamas were elected by a palestinian population who have suffered immensely NOT because of hamas but because of israel..you but into too many of the lies spread about hamas.. i disagree with a lot of what they stand for but i see them as a reflection of a desire to end the stalemate of the oslo agreements and a call for an edn to fatah's corruption (fatah by the way a re a secular organisation and yet that doesnt make them immune from making the worng political decisions...

author by Paul - nonepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Although I may not use the word juvenile, I think James's main essential point is spot on. The need to "examine the 'form' of a conflict i.e. the ideas people use to justify their actions and most importantly the 'content' of a conflict i.e. what objectively are people fighting for?" and the point that "to see religious beliefs as just religious beliefs and not to examine their political content" is a mistake. I think Karl is simplifying the situation too much.

author by carlpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In response to James reply. The term both sides that i used relates to the Israelies and palestinians who are kept in a perpetual state of limbo by the outside interests who continue to profit from this conflict and would like to see it continue. I was talking about the ongoing issue surrounding Israel and palestine and not about the wider issues surrounding struggles in the middle east or worldwide. Islam and christianity also use the text driven justification for there own means.

author by Andrew - WSM (personal capacity)publication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's pretty silly to demand to know if some comments to accompany pictures of a Gaza solidarity stall in Cork. Even sillier when the original posted include a 'personal capacity' tag. Enough to make you wonder what the real agenda of our questioners are and why they don't let us know their own organisational affiliations?

All that aside there is now an index of most of the stuff the WSM has published on the front page of our site

WSM articles on Palestine, religion and the middle east

Along with thousands of others WSM members have been taking part in protests in Dublin, Cork and Belfast against the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Here we present a collection of writings we have published on Palestine as well as articles by our members published elsewhere and useful articles our members have helped get re-published.

All this helps put into context our participation in the protests as well as past activity which has included visits to Palestine by WSM members and helping to tour and fundraisers for the Israeli anarchist organisation 'Anarchists Against the Wall'.

see http://www.wsm.ie/story/4967

We don't have a position paper on Palestine/Israel but the following two papers would set down our general approach
Capitalist globalisation and imperialism - http://www.wsm.ie/story/825
Religion - http://www.wsm.ie/story/843

author by carlpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In response to paul, it probably is too simplified, but i was only commenting on what i personally see. It is good to see that it has started a discussion on wider issues though, some of which i agree with and some i dont. But that is what indymedia is for, to voice your opinion and listen to others.

author by Paul - NONEpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why is it Andrew-WSM is so defensive of someone asking a very reasonable question of a post by a member of his organisation.
He immediate reverts to the usual paranoid nonsense of "who is this who is asking us a question?" Almost how dare anyone ask a question...are wsm beyond answering queries about their posts and comments?? Surely if I were to look in the archives there are plenty of questions/comments querying posts by sinn fein, swp, sp members. Does this luxury not extend to others?
In andrew's hyper paranoid estimation if someone queries a collegue of his they must be someone from another micro-left party. Its the same old tired paranoid nonsense.

If someone posts a report which makes remarks about the gaza situation being a religious conflict- someone, myself or another can reasonably ask what they mean and challenge that assertion.
Oh and by the way check the box that says organisation it reads "NONE" incase you didn't notice.

author by Andrewpublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry if I come across as defensive Paul but I'm sure as you have noticed it is not that unusual for indymedia to be used by members of one organisation to troll another organisations posts. Very often these trolls take the form of asking questions that don't seem to make much sense in the context of the original post.

Here you appear to understand what the organisation field is (enough to put none). Yet you then ask a question which suggests you can't understand what it is by asking if a 'personal capacity' post is an organisational position.

I'm sure I'm not alone in noticing the multiple 'none' posts from supposidely different people either asking the same question, making the same point or agreeing with each other. So you'll have to forgive me if I remain cynical about your 'none'

author by Bazooka Joepublication date Thu Jan 08, 2009 18:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Geneva Treaty of 1980 stipulates that white phosphorus should not be used as a weapon of war in civilian areas. The descending blobs of phosphorus burn when in contact with skin and cause horrific burns. Israel previously used white phosphorus on civilians in South Lebanon in 2006. The US used it in Iraq, especially in Falluja.

White Phosphorus being used on Civilians
White Phosphorus being used on Civilians

Related Link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5447590.ece
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