Palestinian photographer showing the truth in Gaza

13 Nov


VIDEO: The Electronic Intifada, 11 November 2017

Fighting to show the truth in Gaza

“I want to change my perspective, go and see different places in the world,” says Ezz Zanoun, a Palestinian photographer in Gaza. “But global politics is really despicable and racist. … My visa applications always get rejected.”

In 2006, Ezz Zanoun witnessed his brother Mohammad, a photographer, get hit by an Israeli missile that exploded 10 meters from him. Mohammad was severely injured, but eventually recovered. The incident motivated Ezz to pick up the camera and start taking pictures. He photographs Israeli assaults on Gaza, but also daily life, hardship and beauty in the Strip. “Although we are tied up and besieged, and every day I’m personally affected by the siege,” Ezz says, “we keep fighting to tell people the truth.” While he is grounded in Gaza, Ezz says, “My pictures get to travel around the world every day.” Video by ActiveStill

Gideon Levy: ‘A human catastrophy is taking place’

10 Nov

A Palestinian man sifts through thousands of spent batteries in Gaza City, on 3 November 2017. Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP

By Gideon Levy, Opinion: Haaretz (Israeli daily newspaper), 9 November 2017

 Dystopia in the Gaza Strip

A human catastrophe is taking place just an hour away [from Tel Aviv, Israel]; a humanitarian disaster, a horror for which Israel bears the brunt of the blame — and Israel is occupied by the sexual assault allegations against TV executive Alex Gilady

The interview with Israeli psychologist Mohammed Mansour is one of the most shocking, terrifying and upsetting documents to be published here recently.

If Israel were a moral society and not nationalist and brainwashed, its foundations would be shaking. This should have been the topic of the day, the tempest of the day. A human catastrophe is taking place just an hour away; a humanitarian disaster, a horror for which Israel bears the brunt of the blame — and Israel is occupied by the sexual assault allegations against TV executive Alex Gilady.

Mansour returned from a visit to the Gaza Strip as a volunteer with Physicians for Human Rights — Israel. He is an expert in treating trauma, and no one could remain unmoved by his observations from his two most recent visits. Right or left, it doesn’t matter, anyone with an iota of humanity would be shocked.

Over one-third of the children he met in the Jabalya refugee camp reported being sexually abused. Their parents, caught in a war for survival and themselves suffering from depression, are incapable of protecting them. In Gaza, it is impossible to remove the children and their parents from their sources of trauma because the trauma does not and will not end; adults and children live in terrible pain. No one is mentally healthy in Gaza. Chaos, that’s the word.

Mansour describes dystopia, a society that is falling apart. Devastation. Gazans demonstrate astonishing endurance, spirit and solidarity in their families, villages, neighborhoods and camps, after all the plagues they have suffered: refugees, children of refugees, grandchildren of refugees and great-grandchildren of refugees, are falling apart.

Mansour described an all-out struggle for survival, with addiction to painkillers as the last refuge. Nothing is left of the Gaza we knew. Nothing reminds us of the Gaza that we loved. “It will be difficult to restore Gaza’s humanity. Gaza is hell,” says Mansour.

The descriptions given by Mansour, as harsh as they are, should not surprise anyone. Everything is being conducted according to the book, the greatest book of experiments on human beings. This is the only possible outcome of the imprisonment of two million people in an enormous cage for over 10 years, without any way out and without any hope.

The blockade of the Gaza Strip is the biggest war crime Israel has ever committed. This is the second Nakba, even more horrifying than its predecessor. This time Israel does not have the excuses of war and the Arabs fleeing. Even the excessive security excuses can no longer convince anyone, except for the Israelis who are incited against Gaza. Only they have no moral problem with the existence of a human cage on their border. Only they have a thousand excuses and accusations against the entire world, some false, such as the claim that Hamas rose to power through the use of force; or that the Qassam rockets began after Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip — anything to silence the already always-quiet conscience — after all, these are Arabs.

We are talking about Gaza. We are talking about human beings. Tens of thousands of children and babies with no present and no future. Human sacrifices, whose fate interests no one.

In the lull between one vicious attack by Israel and another, among the ruins that Israel caused for no purpose and that have not been rebuilt, Gaza is ahead of even the most miserable forecasts. The United Nations has warned that by 2020 the Gaza Strip could become “uninhabitable.” In 2017, it is already a hell.

Israel has not allowed any Israeli journalist into the Gaza Strip for over a decade — in order to spare Israelis the slight discomfort that the sights there might cause them. Volunteers from Physicians for Human Rights, all of them Arabs, are the only Israelis who manage to enter Gaza. Mansour’s report is a report smuggled out of a ghetto. The Gaza Strip may be compared to a ghetto. With bowed head and great outcry, we must compare them. Gaza is a ghetto, and the world is silent.


   Gideon Levy

Gideon Levy is a Haaretz columnist and a member of the newspaper’s editorial board.

Levy joined Haaretz in 1982, and spent four years as the newspaper’s deputy editor. He is the author of the weekly Twilight Zone feature, which covers the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza over the last 25 years, as well as the writer of political editorials for the newspaper.

Levy was the recipient of the Euro-Med Journalist Prize for 2008; the Leipzig Freedom Prize in 2001; the Israeli Journalists’ Union Prize in 1997; and The Association of Human Rights in Israel Award for 1996.

His new book, The Punishment of Gaza, has just been published by Verso Publishing House in London and New York.

Gideon Levy will present a public lecture in the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall, Dominion Rd, Auckland at 3pm on Sunday 3 December. Hosted by NZ Palestine Solidarity Network. Free entry (donations welcome).

Israeli kindergarten raid terrifies Palestinian children

9 Nov

Israeli police check the identification cards of Palestinian school children at a checkpoint in Jerusalem. (File photo: AP/Oded Balilty)

Palestine Chronicle, 9 November 2017

Israeli forces raided a kindergarten and primary school in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday, terrifying children who witnessed the assault and prompting outrage among Palestinians.

Police officers barged into the Zahwa al-Quds kindergarten and primary school in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina, arresting the school’s deputy principal and three teachers for refusing to teach the Israeli curriculum.

“Israel is attempting to force our school to adopt the Israeli education curriculum,” Ziad al-Shamali, head of the school’s parent committee, told Al Jazeera Tuesday. “We are refusing this, so they decided to raid our school and scare our children.

“They don’t want anything Palestinian left. They want all of our schools to be for Israelis, so they will keep making it difficult for our children to learn. These raids make the children scared to go to school.”

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Weinstein used Israeli spies in effort to silence victims

8 Nov


Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein used former Mossad agents as part of his effort to silence actress Rose McGowan and other women who have accused him of sexual assault. Photo: Chirag Wakaskar Pacific Press/SIPA USA

By Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, 7 November 2017

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein employed former Israeli agents as part of an elaborate and aggressive effort to spy on and suppress the allegations by women who have accused him of sexual assault and rape.

In an exposé for The New Yorker, Ronan Farrow reveals that among the web of private investigators and firms Weinstein enlisted was Black Cube, “an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies.”

According to its company literature, Black Cube says its operatives are “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units.”

Its advisory board is packed with present and former Israeli military and intelligence figures, including “the late Meir Dagan,” the former head of Mossad, and Giora Eiland, an Israeli general who habitually uses media to threaten death and destruction to Palestinians and Lebanese.

Tweeting her reaction to the story, Asia Argento asked rhetorically why she and other prominent actresses did not speak up earlier. She answered her own question: “We were followed by ex-Mossad agents. Isn’t that terrifying? Very.”

Argento has accused Weinstein of rape.

Mossad methods

Black Cube’s mission was to prevent actress Rose McGowan, who has also accused Weinstein of rape, and others, from ever being able to tell their stories.

Two Black Cube operatives met with McGowan. “One of the investigators pretended to be a women’s rights advocate and secretly recorded at least four meetings with McGowan,” according to The New Yorker.

The same operative using a different false identity contacted reporters pretending to be a victim of Weinstein.

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The Freedom Flotilla is set to sail for Gaza again in 2018

3 Nov

Al Shati (Beach refugee camp) Gaza. Photo by Sandra Barrilaro

In 2018, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition will sail once more against the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza, for freedom of movement and the right to a decent future for all Palestinians.

Israel has maintained an inhumane and destructive blockade of Gaza for over a decade. The United Nations now says that Gaza will become uninhabitable by the year 2020 because of the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Children and minors, who make up more than half of the Gaza population of over 2 million, are victims of the ongoing blockade, which has robbed them of their childhood; their rights to safety, education, and health; and their prospects for a decent future.

In response to the brutal Israeli blockade, for seven years, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has carried out non-violent direct actions aimed at raising international awareness and putting pressure on the international community to end.

We will continue to put pressure on our governments and protest their complicity with Israel’s crimes against humanity. We will sail again – in 2018 – to stand with the Palestinians of Gaza, as they demand their freedom of movement and their right to a decent future in their land.

100 years ago, the Balfour Declaration wrongly claimed the right to “give away” the Palestinian homeland, and since then the rights of native Palestinians have been eroded and ignored with the complicity of governments around the world, including our own. We call on all humanity to help end the Israeli blockade of Gaza and make this mission a powerful display of solidarity with the beleaguered but proud Palestinians of Gaza. [Kia Ora Gaza is a member of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition].

Support our campaign to sail in 2018 to break the brutal and illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza!

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Balfour Declaration at 100: Seeds of Discord

1 Nov

Video: Balfour Declaration at 100: Seeds of Discord

Al Jazeera English Published 31 October 2017

The Balfour Declaration was a public promise by the British government during World War One announcing support for the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. Palestine was still a part of the Ottoman Empire at the time, with a minority Jewish population.

The 67-word document, in the form of a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to the prominent British Jewish figure, Lord Rothschild, dated November 2, 1917 read: His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

Whatever its real intentions, the declaration has had a profound impact on the Middle East and its people; and its effects still resonate across the region today.


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Tensions high as Israel plans further illegal expansions

30 Oct

VIDEO: TRT World talks with Palestinian commentator Ramzy Baroud about heightened tensions as Israel prepares to vote for further illegal settlements in the West Bank and to seize control of Jerusalem. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and author who specialises in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

He joined TRT World from Seattle, USA on 28 October 2017.


Marking 100 years of infamous Balfour Declaration

30 Oct

Over 700,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homeland with the formation of Israel in Palestine in 1948

At 2pm this Saturday 4 November, we will be walking from Auckland’s Aotea Square (under clock tower) to Auckland Museum’s The Palestine Wall, to mark the centenary of the infamous Balfour Declaration.

This year marks one hundred years since the Balfour Declaration was issued and set in motion the process which led to the displacement and dispossession of millions of Palestinians over the course of ten decades.

Lord Balfour the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary declared in a letter dated 2 November 1917 to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, his support for a ‘Jewish national home in Palestine’.

In typical colonial fashion Palestine was to be given away to another people without consultation with the people living there for centuries.

There are now more than 5 million Palestinian refugees facing poverty and insecurity across the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Jordan, and in Syria.

The Gaza Strip and the West Bank have been under Israeli military occupation for 50 years; the West Bank is being colonised by illegal Jewish settlers, while the Gaza Strip has been declared in danger of becoming ‘uninhabitable’ by The United Nations after more than a decade of Israeli siege.

A century after Balfour, the Palestinians continue to be denied their basic rights to peace and security.

We ask New Zealanders to walk with us in solidarity of this grave injustice.

For more information, go to Facebook Events page: ‘The Injustice of Balfour’:

  • Debbie Abbas for NZ Palestine Solidarity Network


War tributes ignore shameful role in Palestine

27 Oct

The horrors and futility of the battles of Gallipoli and Passchendaele, their human cost and consequences have been examined exhaustively as their centenaries have arrived. Photo:123RF NZ Herald

By Janfrie Wakim, Opinion Piece, NZ Herald, 27 October 2017

Arabs betrayed in war Kiwis fought 100 years ago

The horrors and futility of the battles of Gallipoli and Passchendaele, their human cost and consequences have been examined exhaustively as their centenaries have arrived.

We are reminded of Aucklanders who died in overseas wars by the mighty presence of the Auckland War Memorial Museum erected in 1929 on a hill known by Māori as Pukekawa or “hill of bitter memories”.

Battles, or countries in which New Zealanders fought, are engraved around the building. On the eastern wall is a striking inscription of the Gallipoli conflict and equally prominent on the western side is a memorial fountain which commemorates the campaign in Palestine.

New Zealanders fought and died in places with very familiar names – Jerusalem, Gaza, Jericho, Beersheba. Where is matching commentary about the role we played there and the wisdom of contributing to the catastrophic consequences of imperial power, manipulation and conquest which reverberate to this day?

November 2017 heralds the centenary of two significant events linked to the defeat of the declining Ottoman empire by allied forces in Palestine – the Balfour Declaration and the Russian Revolution.

The Balfour Declaration was one of three agreements that Britain negotiated simultaneously.

They were purposeful exercises in colonial occupation to the exclusive benefit of its imperial interests, formulated with total disregard for the political rights of the majority of the indigenous population.

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Ramzy Baroud: ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’

27 Oct

VIDEO: Palestinian author Ramzy Baroud talks about his new book ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’

Ramzy Baroud, 25 October 2017

Introducing Ramzy Baroud’s latest book: ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’ to be released in February 2018.

‘Time to reclaim our historical narrative.’

Noam Chomsky: ‘In the finest tradition of people’s history, these sensitive, painful and evocative pieces provide a human face to the painful saga of Palestinian torment and the remarkable courage and resilience of the victims.’ Pre-Order the book now: Amazon: 

Ilan Pappe: ‘This moving and perceptive book is a journey to the heart of the evils of occupation and colonization suffered by the Palestinians on the ground. It allows the people themselves to narrate authentically and with all the complexities their aspirations, suffering and struggles. Ramzy Baroud knows how to listen, contextualize and convey an inhumanity that has gone for too long and it is hoped that books like this would contribute to its end.’

Pre-Order the book now from 


Gideon Levy is coming to Auckland Sunday 3 December

26 Oct

We invite you to a public lecture by world-renowned Israeli journalist and author, Gideon Levy.
Gideon has been hailed as an “heroic journalist” for outspoken criticism of Israeli government policies and his honest journalism.



Free entry – koha/donations welcome


489 Dominion Rd, Mount Eden Auckland

hosted by NZ Palestine Solidarity Network

FaceBook Events page:

7th Anniversary: Kia Ora Gaza contingent arrives in Gaza

24 Oct

This day seven years ago a contingent of six Kiwis drove three aid-packed ambulances into Gaza, as part of the epic international Viva Palestina 5 solidarity convoy of 145 vehicles – to a rock-star reception from locals. The above PressTV video report contains a brief interview with Kiwi convoyer Hone Fowler.

You can see many more reports, photos & videos of this historic siege-busting convoy by scrolling back to October 2010 on this website.

Israeli forces raid & close Palestinian media offices

19 Oct

Israeli soldiers shut down media outlets in the West Bank during dawn raids [Middle East Eye video].

International Middle East Media Centre report 18 October 2017

Israeli soldiers, and secret security officers, invaded eight media outlets, on Wednesday at dawn, in several parts of the occupied West Bank, and shut them down under direct military orders, in addition to confiscating equipment.

Some of the invaded agencies are Ramsat, Trans Media and Pal Media, which the military confiscated their broadcast equipment and many machines, for providing services to Palestinian TV stations such as Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds.

The Israeli Military Commander of the Central District of the occupied West Bank, said the stations are “unlicensed”, provide services to what he called “terror elements,” and “engage in incitement.”

The soldiers invaded Trans Media in Nablus, in northern West Bank, and confiscated its equipment, before presenting a military order shutting it down for six months.

Many local youngsters hurled stones at the invading soldiers, who fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs, leading to several injuries.

The soldiers also invaded the offices of Al-Quds TV, Al-Aqsa TV, Palestine Today, Trans Media and Pal Media, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, violently searched them and confiscated their equipment, before shutting them down for six months.

In addition, the soldiers abducted Amer al-Ja’bari, the director of Trans Media, and his brother Ibrahim.

In Bethlehem, the soldiers invaded Pal Media offices, in the al-Karkafa area, and confiscated their equipment, before shutting them down for six months.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, eighteen Palestinians, from their homes in several parts of the West Bank.

Video by Why?Channel 18 October 2017

Israeli navy arrest 4 fishermen and detain fishing boat

17 Oct

File photo: IMEMC News

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights report, [] , Gaza City, 15 October 2017

Israeli naval forces arrest 4 fishermen and detain fishing boat, north of Beit Lahia

On Sunday, 15 October 2017, Israeli gunboats chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing off al-Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia. An Israeli gunboat then surrounded 2 fishing boats, and the Israeli navy soldiers arrested 4 fishermen and detained a fishing boat. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has monitored the escalation of Israeli attacks against fishermen in the Gaza Sea, indicating the Israeli ongoing policy to target fishermen and their livelihood.

According to PCHR’s investigation, at approximately 05:30 on Sunday, 15 October 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. They surrounded a fishing boat sailing 500 meters offshore belonging to ‘Adnan Mohammed al-Sultan from al-‘Atatrah neighborhood in Beit Lahia. The boat was manned by ‘Adnan’s sons, Fou’ad (25) and Mahmoud (18). The Israeli naval soldiers ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. The fishermen were then arrested and taken to an unknown destination.

In another incident, at approximately 06:00 on the same day, an Israeli gunboat surrounded and opened fire at a fishing boat sailing 500 meters offshore belonging to Diab Mohammed al-Sultan from al-‘Atatrah neighborhood in Beit Lahia. The boat was manned by Tareq Abdul Bari al-Sultan (22) and Mohammed Yaseen Zayed (23), both from al-Salateen neighborhood. The Israeli naval soldiers ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. The fishermen were then arrested and taken to an unknown destination. The Israeli forces also detained the fishing boat and confiscated 8 fishing nets.

PCHR strongly condemns the Israeli ongoing attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip and calls for:

  •     Immediately ending Israeli violations against fishermen and allowing them to sail and fish freely in the Gaza Sea;
  •     Releasing the fishermen arrested by the Israeli authorities;
  •     Ensuring remedy for victims of Israeli violations for the physical and material damage; and
  •     Calls upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to intervene to stop all Israeli violations against fishermen and allow them to fish freely in the Gaza Sea.

Support the 2018 international Freedom Flotilla in solidarity with Gaza fishers and to break Israel’s illegal naval blockade of Gaza – see side bar for more information or visit

Could deal see New Zealand fund Israeli occupation?

16 Oct

NZ Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith confirmed NZ officials were in talks with Israel about an agreement “facilitating research and development cooperation” between the two countries. [Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images]

Media statement from NZ Palestine Solidarity Network 15 October 2017: New Zealand might fund Israeli occupation.

Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith confirmed NZ officials were in talks with Israel about an agreement “facilitating research and development cooperation” between the two countries [6 October 2017

Israel may use New Zealand taxpayer money to fund its illegal activities in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, according to the New Zealand Palestine Solidarity Network.

The Palestine Solidarity Network says the terms of the agreement open the way for New Zealand government grants to fund Israeli companies in joint ventures with New Zealand companies.

Spokesperson Debbie Abbas says much of Israeli technology is poured into sophisticated methods of surveillance and population control of Palestinians. “It follows that it is reasonable to assume New Zealand government grants can find their way to be spent on the violent suppression of the Palestinian population under occupation and in Israel.”

“There should be no deal at all with Israel. Most of the rest of the world is putting pressure on Israel to conform to international law and we have a moral obligation to follow.”

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On my sixth visit, I’ve never seen Gaza so devastated

13 Oct

Sewage in Gaza. It poisons the sea but Gazans have no choice but to go down to the sea.

By Abby Smardon, Mondoweiss, 12 October 2017 

I’ve visited the Gaza Strip for each of the past six years, including in 2014 a few months after Israel’s devastating military assault. And yet, I’ve never seen Gaza like I did when I had the privilege of visiting this summer.

I call it a privilege because, due to the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel (with the support of Egypt), which is part of Israel’s now 50-year-old military rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories, internationals allowed in and out of Gaza are few, and Palestinians even fewer. This illegal land, air, and sea blockade, which has just entered its tenth year and amounts to collective punishment, as has been noted by the UN and human rights groups, has decimated the economy of Gaza and allowed for the near complete destruction of critical infrastructure. Experts use the term “de-development” to describe this once-bustling Mediterranean coastal enclave of two million Palestinians.

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Empire Files: Israelis speak candidly to Abby Martin

13 Oct

Empire Files with Abby Martin, TeleSur, broadcast 1 October 2017

[WARNING: Video contains disturbing comments] On the streets of Jerusalem, Abby Martin interviews Jewish Israeli citizens from all walks of life. In several candid interviews, disturbing comments reveal commonly-held views about Palestinians and their future in the region. Israeli-born human rights activist Ronnie Barkan explains why these attitudes dominate Israeli society.

Gideon Levy is coming to Auckland: Sunday 3 December

10 Oct

We invite you to a public lecture by world-renowned Israeli journalist and author, Gideon Levy.
Gideon has been hailed as an “heroic journalist” for outspoken criticism of Israeli government policies and his honest journalism.



Free entry – koha/donations welcome


489 Dominion Rd, Mount Eden Auckland

hosted by NZ Palestine Solidarity Network

FaceBook Events page:

Open letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

6 Oct

Open letter to UN secretary general Antonio Guterres

To: Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General United Nations
United Nations
New York

5 October, 2017

Dear Secretary General,

On your recent visit to Gaza, you saw with your own eyes some of the deplorable and inhumane conditions suffered by the Palestinians living in Gaza. You called it “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises” that you had seen. We hope that, backed by the strength of the United Nations, this experience encourages you to bring maximum pressure on the State of Israel to lift the illegal and inhumane blockade the people of Gaza have been living under for ten years.

We want to remind you that there are many civil society and religious groups around the world who are watching the worsening situation in horror. We are depending on the United Nations, under your leadership, to work at the international level to increase the pressure from all nation states to use every economic and political measure to remind the State of Israel of the standards expected of the civilized nations of the world.

We are also pleased that you noticed specifically that the blockade on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt is upheld by that Arab state in defiance of both international resolutions and a sense of solidarity with a fellow Arab people. Israel is imposing the blockade not only by land, but also by air. They have destroyed Gaza airport, which was financed with international aid (including from Spain). At sea, Israeli forces attack Palestinian fishers from Gaza on a daily basis. They also illegally attack international vessels that challenge the blockade non-violently in the Freedom Flotilla missions that have taken place since 2010.

There are political reasons that make a resolution to the crisis of Gaza imperative at the international level. But even more important are the humanitarian reasons to release an entire people from the appalling situation in which they are currently forced to live.

Your own officers and researchers have concluded that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. Many other reports, including those by the UN, have documented the many threats to the health and even the survival of people in Gaza. The UN has drawn particular attention to the power deficit. Since April 2017 access to electricity is often for four hours or less per day and always unpredictable. Power cuts make sewage treatment impossible leading to pollution of the beaches. Attacks on inshore fishers deprive the people of access to the nutritional value of fish. Your own research has shown up to 57% of Gaza people are ‘food insecure’. Not only is the Gaza economy paralyzed by the blockade, but restrictions on entry of building materials makes it very difficult to reconstruct bombed schools, for example.  The blockade also restricts entry of school supplies and other goods that pose no threat to Israel whatsoever. This entire generation of children and young people in Gaza are growing up without the minimum to develop into educated and well-nourished adults.

The situation is so serious that you have announced an emergency grant of $4 million. But the Palestinians of Gaza do not want to have to take emergency payouts; they want – and need – a cessation of Israeli aggression and real international peace-keeping to prevent further aggression. The so-called “Middle East Quartet” has been a disaster, accomplishing nothing and whitewashing Israeli violation of international law and the breaking of numerous agreements. The State of Israel has also ignored countless UN resolutions aimed at curtailing its activities, as well as continuing the illegal blockade of Gaza and the harassment of its fishing fleets.

In other words, despite its good intentions, the UN has a deplorable record in effectively safeguarding the Palestinians of Gaza and in promoting their security and independence.

We call on you to immediately:

  • Demand that the State of Israel complies with all UN resolutions, with the threat of sanctions if it does not do so.
  • Disband the Middle East Quartet and replace it with an effective oversight body.
  • Resume real peace keeping and effective protection of the civil population of Gaza.
  • Insist that the State of Israel respects and conforms with all UN resolutions that relate to its relations with Gaza.
  • Ensure that the world knows that the blockade is illegal and should demand that it be removed immediately.

Sincerely and persistently,

Freedom Flotilla Coalition Members and Partners
Canadian Boat to Gaza

Freedom Flotilla Italy
Kia Ora Gaza [New Zealand / Aotearoa]
MyCARE Malaysia
Palestine Solidarity Alliance [South Africa]
Rumbo a Gaza [Spain]
Ship to Gaza Norway
Ship to Gaza Sweden
International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza
US Boat to Gaza

Miles of Smiles
Free Gaza Australia 

Other Organizations

Gaza Action Ireland
Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign
ShannonWatch (Ireland)
Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine
Council of Canadians / Conseil des Canadiens
Bestemødre For Fred (Grandmothers For Peace, Norway)
Veterans for Peace (US)
CODEPINK: Women for Peace (US)
Voice of Women for Peace (Canada)
Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine (France)
Palestina Solidariteit (Belgium)
Association France Palestine Solidarité
Cultura e libertà (Italy)
Alternative refugee Center (Switzerland)
Badil resource center for Palestinian residency and refugee rights
Women for development (Switzerland)
Union Juive Française pour la Paix (France)
Deutsch-Palästinensische Gesellschaft (Germany)
Frauen in Schwarz, Wien (Austria)
Netherlands Palestine Committee
Palestijnse Gemeenschap in Nederland
Nederlands Arabische Stichting
TIYE International (Netherlands)
Diensten en Onderzoek Centrum Palestina (Netherlands)
Stop Represión Málaga, Voces Alternativas, Kontrapunto (Spain)
Breed Platform Palestina (Haarlem, Netherlands)
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (Gaza, Palestine)
Asociación de la Comunidad Hispano-Palestina “Jerusalén” (Spain)
Asociación Medica Hispano Palestina (Spain)
Asociación Pablo de la Torriente Brau
El movimiento de mujeres palestinas Alkarama
RESCOP – Network of Solidarity against the occupation of Palestine (with 49 member organizations in Spain)
Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (Malaysia)
Viva Palestina Malaysia
BDS Malaysia
Persatuan Ulama Malaysia
Al-Quds Foundation Malaysia
Association of Norwegian NGOs for Palestine
Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos
Parallelo Palestina (Italy)
Canadian BDS Coalition
Palestine Solidarity Network  (Edmonton, Canada)
People for Peace (London, Canada)
United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (Canada)
Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR), Canada
Boundary Peace Initiative
Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Palestine Solidarity Working Group (Sudbury, Canada)
B.C. Southern Interior Peace Coalition (Canada)
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (Victoria, Canada)
Hawai’i Peace and Justice
Hawai’i Coalition for Justice in Palestine
Malu ‘Aina Center for Nonviolence Education
Break the Maritime Blockade of Gaza (BMBG)
EBN – End Blockade Now
Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine (France)
Collectif inter-universitaire pour la coopération avec les universités palestiniennes (France)
Comité de Vigilance pour une Paix Réelle au Proche-Orient
Comité La Courneuve-Palestine (France)
Zambra Málaga (Spain)
Confederación General de Trabajadores: Huelva, Málaga, Osuna
Christian Peacemaker Teams (Palestine)
Independent Jewish Voices / Voix juives indépendantes (Canada)
Palestinian Forum in Britain PFB
Europal Forum (UK)
BDS Colombia
BDS Slovenia
New Zealand Palestine Solidarity Network (Aotearoa / NZ)
New Zealand Palestine Human Rights Campaign (Aotearoa / NZ)

13 questions about the BDS movement

5 Oct

By Ramzy Baroud, Palestine Chronicle, 5 October 2017

The Fight Ahead: 13 Questions about the Origins, Objectives and War on BDS

BDS stands for ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’. The BDS Movement was the outcome of several events that shaped the Palestinian national struggle and international solidarity with the Palestinian people following the Second Uprising (Intifada) in 2000.

Building on a decades-long tradition of civil disobedience and popular resistance, and invigorated by growing international solidarity with the Palestinian struggle as exhibited in the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001, Palestinians moved into action.

In 2004, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) called for the boycott of Israeli government and academic institutions for their direct contributions to the military occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people. This was followed in 2005 by a sweeping call for boycott made by 170 Palestinian civil society organizations.

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