Aucklanders welcome refugees

6 Oct


Red Crescent Declares State of Emergency in West Bank

5 Oct


RAMALLAH, WAFA, October 4, 2015

In light of settlers’ flare-up of violence across the West Bank, including Jerusalem, the Palestinian Red Crescent raised the alert status across the West Bank to third degree, declaring a ‘State of Emergency.’

The Palestinian Red Crescent activated its central operations room at its headquarter in al-Bireh/Ramallah as well as mobilized all volunteers and teams to provide relief to Palestinians against the backdrop of escalated recent settlers’ violence against Palestinians and their properties.

Israeli settlers late Saturday and Sunday – following two separate killing incidents of Israelis by Palestinian suspects – went on a revenge rampage, under the protection of Israeli army forces , against Palestinian civilians and their properties, leading to violent clashes across the West Bank districts, which left dozens of injuries and suffocation cases among Palestinian locals.

The Red Crescent said it has documented 14 Israeli settlers and forces’ assaults against its staff members within the past 72 hours across the West Bank, including Jerusalem.

It said Israeli forces attacked one of its vehicles in front of al-Quds university in Abu Dis town to the east of Jerusalem, firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters at it.

On October 2nd, 2015, Israeli soldiers attacked one of its ambulances in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Issawiya and detained one of the injured locals who was being treated inside the ambulance.

Meanwhile in Nablus, the Red Crescent said settlers prevented paramedics from performing their humanitarian duties and smashed their ambulance’s windscreen. A day later, five paramedics were beaten up by Israeli police in the Jerusalem area, while other police forces attacked two ambulances in the Old City of Jerusalem.

During the same day, Israeli army forces brutally beat up one of its ambulances’ crews in al-Bireh/Ramallah. Two paramedics were injured in the attack, while one of the injured locals, who was receiving first-aid treatment, was nabbed from inside the ambulance. Forces further fired rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters at the ambulance.

The Red Crescent stressed that such measures constitute a blatant violation of the resolutions of international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva conventions relative to the protection of civilians at time of armed conflicts.

Article 63 of the Fourth Geneva conventions states, “All Contracting Parties shall endeavour to permit the transit and transport, free of charge, of such relief consignments on their way to occupied territories. Recognized National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies shall be able to pursue their activities in accordance with Red Cross principles, as defined by the International Red Cross Conferences. Other relief societies shall be permitted to continue their humanitarian activities under similar conditions.”

“The Occupying Power may not require any changes in the personnel or structure of these societies, which would prejudice the aforesaid activities.”

The Red Crescent Society called on the international community, and the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, to shoulder their responsibilities and take the necessary measures to ensure Israel’s compliance with provisions of international humanitarian law, and to halt all Israeli attacks committed against the Palestinian people.

The revolutionary act of telling the truth

2 Oct


By John Pilger,, 30 September 2015

George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

These are dark times, in which the propaganda of deceit touches all our lives. It is as if political reality has been privatised and illusion legitimised. The information age is a media age. We have politics by media; censorship by media; war by media; retribution by media; diversion by media – a surreal assembly line of clichés and false assumptions.

Wondrous technology has become both our friend and our enemy. Every time we turn on a computer or pick up a digital device – our secular rosary beads – we are subjected to control: to surveillance of our habits and routines, and to lies and manipulation.

Edward Bernays, who invented the term, “public relations” as a euphemism for “propaganda”, predicted this more than 80 years ago. He called it, “the invisible government”.

He wrote, “Those who manipulate this unseen element of [modern democracy] constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country… We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of… “

The aim of this invisible government is the conquest of us: of our political consciousness, our sense of the world, our ability to think independently, to separate truth from lies.

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Palestinian woman shot 10 times and left to die

28 Sep

5601ffd8c3618892558b45a1A photo released by the activist group Youth Against Settlements purportedly shows a soldier pointing a gun at Hadil Salah Hashlamoun, an 18-year-old Palestinian student who was left for about 30 minutes to bleed after being shot in al-Khalil, West Bank, September 22, 2015.

PressTV report, 26 September 2015

Israel shooting of Palestinian woman extrajudicial execution: Amnesty

Amnesty International has censured the recent killing of a young Palestinian woman by the Tel Aviv regime’s troops in the occupied West Bank, and described it as an illegal execution.

In a detailed public statement released on Friday, the rights group called the shooting death of the 18-year-old Hadil Salah Hashlamoun an “extrajudicial execution,” a prohibited act that constitutes crimes under international law.

The incident occurred on Tuesday morning at a checkpoint in al-Khalil (Hebron). A video published by PalMedia shows Israeli forces and settlers standing around, smiling and laughing in some cases, while the young woman bleeds to death.

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The “People’s Pope” condemns the arms trade

28 Sep


Phyllis Bennis & Manuel Perez-Rocha, 26 September 2015.

The “People’s Pope” condemns the arms trade, war profiteering and the war on terror

Pope Francis called out war profiteers and demanded an end to the arms trade. Just as simple and as powerful as that.

POPE FRANCIS’ address to Congress was almost certainly not what congressional leaders had in mind when they invited the pope to speak.

It probably wasn’t what they were all thinking about during the last standing ovations. But here was Pope Francis, revered as the People’s Pope, calling out war profiteers and demanding an end to the arms trade. Just as simple and as powerful as that.

It came near the end of his speech — after his calls to protect the rights of immigrants and refugees, end the death penalty, preserve the planet from the ravages of climate change, and defend the poor and dispossessed.

“Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world,” the pope said. Then he asked the critical question: “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society?”

He answered it himself: “Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”

Stop the arms trade. What a simple, clear call.

That means the ending things like the $60 billion arms deal the US made a few years back with Saudi Arabia, where those weapons are, in the pope’s words, “inflicting untold suffering on individuals and society,” especially in Syria and Yemen.

It means ending things like the $45 billion in new military aid — mostly in the form of advanced new weapons — the Israeli government has requested from Washington between now and 2028.

It means ending the provision of new arms to scores of unaccountable militias in Syria, where even the White House admits a non-military solution is needed.

And it means ending things like the $1.1 billion in arms sales the United States has made to Mexico this year alone.

And, of course, it means no longer diverting at least 54 cents of every discretionary taxpayer dollar in the federal budget to the US military.

Actually, members of Congress — so many of whom rely on huge campaign donations from arms manufacturers, and so many of whom refuse to vote against military procurement because often just a few dozen jobs connected to it might be in their district — really should have expected the pope to say exactly what he did.

It was only last May, after all, that Pope Francis told a group of schoolchildren visiting the Vatican that the arms trade is the “industry of death.”

When a kid asked why so many powerful people don’t want peace, the pope answered simply, “because they live off wars!” Francis explained how people become rich by producing and selling weapons. “And this is why so many people do not want peace. They make more money with the war!”

The pope’s speech to Congress was quite extraordinary on a number of fronts.

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No platform for war criminals on NZ campus!

28 Sep

11951888_900892559980225_6566237856820528015_nNo platform for war criminals on campus!

Students for Justice in Palestine (Victoria University) statement:

Victoria Uni should not host an event whitewashing Israeli war crimes!
Two IDF soldiers are on a speaking tour attempting to justify Israel’s horrific bombing of Gaza in 2014.
The IDF talk at Victoria University is part of the Israeli government’s propaganda programme to justify war crimes. Victoria University should not be a party to this.
In July 2014, Israel invaded the Gaza Strip in a military offensive it called ‘Operation Protective Edge’, killing 1,523 civilians including over 500 children. The international community, including New Zealand, condemned the attacks on civilian areas in Gaza. The United Nations stated that the heavy artillery and mortars were not designed for specific military targets. Massive carpet bombing of civilians is a war crime.
Decades of international diplomacy has failed to curtail Israel’s increasing racism, occupation, violence and expansionism. Palestinian civil society has called for non-violent Disinvestment, Boycott and Sanctions (BDS) to push Israel to comply with international law.
Victoria University must cut all ties with Israeli whitewashing, starting with this obvious defence of atrocities by the Israeli Defence Force. This is not a free speech issue; IDF soldiers represent the Israeli state. There is no neutral position on providing a platform to justify atrocities.
The IDF event is planned for Tuesday the 29th of September 2015, Cotton Building (Victoria University) at 8.30 pm.
SJP are calling for Victoria University to cancel the booking, and will picket the IDF event if it goes ahead.

Students For Justice in Palestine (Victoria University).

Israel’s assaults on Palestinian education

27 Sep
Palestinian school children walk past Israeli riot policemen during clashes near the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's old city on October 25, 2009. Jordan demanded Israeli police stop entering Al-Aqsa, Islam's third holiest shrine, warning that "dangerous provocations" by the Jewish state threaten peace efforts in the Middle East. Police twice entered Al-Aqsa compound on Sunday after Palestinian demonstrators threw stones at visitors to the holy site, known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) and to Jews as the Temple Mount . Photo by Mahfuz Abu Turk

Palestinian school children walk past Israeli riot policemen during clashes near the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s old city on October 25, 2009.  Photo by Mahfuz Abu Turk


Nada Elia and Rima Najjar The Electronic Intifada 25 September 2015

Israeli policies violate Palestinians’ most basic right to education.

A strike by staff and students at 47 Palestinian Christian schools in Israel had been taking place for a few weeks before the American broadcaster NBC took notice.

According to NBC’s headline, the protest was about “discrimination.” That it felt the need to put quotation marks around “discrimination” was indicative of how the mainstream media in the United States continuously fail to acknowledge that Israel is, fundamentally, a racist state.

The Christian schools represent some of the few independent spaces for Palestinian political, cultural and economic life within Israel. So the cuts in government funding that triggered the strike must be understood as the latest move in the Israeli assault on Palestinians’ right to education.

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