The Children of Gaza share their experiences of ‘Cast Lead’

“The first Israeli airstrikes of ‘Operation Cast Lead’ took the people of Gaza by surprise.

School children were among those going about their ordinary lives on the day of the attack. Their world was flung quickly into chaos.

Some of them told Al Jazeera their recollections of the horror.”

From my dear Brother Haitham….

One year later, it is very important to remember what happened in Gaza. But it is more important to realize the aspirations of the Palestinian people in Gaza. They deserve our solidarity, respect and reverence. They deserve justice. It is the duty of every person to contribute to break the unprecedented siege and bringing the criminals behind this atrocity to justice.

On 27 December 2009, after a year and a half of total siege, the brutal war on Gaza was launched. It was carnage, a disgrace to humanity and civilization, and indictment of the free world. One year later, the siege continues, the disgrace has not been lifted, and the Palestinian people still endure, resist and live. The Zionists either don’t understand that, or don’t want to. Delusion is a characteristic of mass murders and racist criminals.


I was going to write a piece today about the modern day Pharaohs but VivaPalestina wrote something instead….

As is stated in their report, ‘for the 1st time, Egypt has now openly admitted that they are under control of Israel/US.’ You will see in the video at the bottom that Jordan is as well.

Over 1,400 people (almost as many as were massacred by Israel last year) from all over the world literally put their lives on hold to stand and march in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Aside from the monies raised to purchase necessary supplies, these people gave up their holidays, a time to spend with their families, to help a segment of the ‘family of man’ that is in need.

One would expect the government of Israel to do everything in its power to stop the convoy from entering Gaza. This is THEIR siege and they will protect it! BUT…. when Egypt and Jordan back them, there are no words (except some that might offend readers) to describe the situation.

D I S G R A C E F U L !  ! !


Over 500 people from 20 countries, in 250 vehicles loaded with Humanitarian Aid, are left stranded in Aqaba, Jordan, having been refused permission to enter Egypt.  The Egyptian Government have placed 3 conditions on the convoy if it wants to enter Egypt.

1. We hand all our vehicles and aid over to UNRA.

2. We drive 500 miles back to Syria, and take a 24 hour ferry through the Suez Canal.

3. We have to ask Israel for permission to cross from Egypt to Gaza.

All 3 conditions have been flatly rejected by everyone on the convoy, as we want to cross into Gaza and hand our aid over to the Palestinians ourselves. For the 1st time, Egypt has now openly admitted that they are under control of Israel/US.

Tomorrow marks the 1st anniversary of the start of the 22 day massacre of over 1,400 people. In solidarity, we are all going to embark on a fast. We will all fast for as long as it takes for us to get into Gaza with our aid.  We are calling on people all over the world to fast with us, and with the Palestinians, who fast every day due to the illegal siege imposed upon them by Israel/US/Egypt.

Viva is calling on you to contact the Egyptian Embassy and demand that we be allowed to enter Gaza and deliver our aid with our own hands.  The contact details for the Egyptian Embassy in USA are: 202.966.6342,

Please contact them, and express your outrage at their refusal to allow Humanitarian Aid into Gaza.

More Info on VivaPalestina can be found HERE


Since June 2007 Gaza has been under a crippling blockade with few essential goods making it through. Now an aid convoy of 250 trucks and ambulances is attempting to reach the Strip to deliver much needed supplies. But a bureaucratic argument with Egypt is holding it back in Aqaba in southwest Jordan. Al Jazeera’s Clayton Swisher reports.

This is worth reading as well….. Gaza Freedom March: the siege has to end


Uri Avnery used the term Cast Lead 2  as the topic of his weekly column. When I saw this it sorta threw me off guard. Yes, army actions are escalating in Gaza and throughout the West Bank, yes, there is every indication that Israel is planning something big in both of these areas.

If Abbas steps down as promised, if the Palestinians elect a leader that will serve their interests rather than those of the zionists, Israel will be faced with a new problem.

Talks of settlement freeze, Palestinian Statehood, prisoner exchanges…. none are more than talks at this time…. talks that are going nowhere.

It was announced earlier that Israel has summoned its envoys from all over the world to attend  a conference to be held over global challenges facing Israel.  Interesting that they use the term ‘global challenges facing Israel’. I see Israel itself as the greatest global challenge in the world today…. with the help of their friends in the White House.

I am not ready to push the panic button just yet…. IMHO it is not the ideal time for Israel to launch ‘Operation Final Solution’…. there is too much at risk at the moment. There are scores of foreign tourists here at the moment because of the holidays, as well as 1500 people waiting at the border to enter Gaza itself to take part in a solidarity march.

For Israel to start an all out war at this time would be detrimental to their status (whatever is left of it) in the world community. Is the final destruction of the Palestinian nation worth them losing 30 Billion Dollar$ a year? I think not. Is it worth getting permanently removed as a member of the United Nations? I think not.

Israel has amends to make, not only to the Palestinians, but to the world at large. They have been living the biggest lie of the century for over 60 years referring to themselves as ‘the only Democracy in the Middle East’. Living here for over twenty five years has taught me not to trust anything the Israeli government has to say about anything.

It is imperative at this time for the world’s leaders to monitor the situation in Israel. Every move they make must be questioned. No country can remain unaccountable for the crimes it commits, especially one that has already been found guilty.


Israeli army murders six Palestinians in cold blood

From Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

NABLUS, In an ominous sign indicating that a fresh cycle of bloodshed may be in the offing in the West Bank, Israeli occupation forces on Saturday murdered in cold blood three Palestinians in the city of Nablus, shuttering a relative calm lasting for several months.

Three more Palestinians youths were killed Saturday morning in the northern Gaza Strip as they were reportedly walking by a security wall.

The Israeli army said the three were suspected of trying to infiltrate the borders between the Gaza Strip and the Israeli territories occupied in 1948.

In Nablus where security coordination between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Israeli army was often described as exemplary, Israeli forces, backed by armored vehicles, killed three Fatah members, including an officer in the Preventive Security Force (PSF) who had been pardoned by the Shin Beth, Israel’s chief domestic security agency.

The three are Adnan Subh, 33, Raed Abdul Jabbar al-Sarkaji, 38, and Ghassan Abu Sharkh, a brother of Nayef Abu Sharkh, the former head of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in Nablus who was killed several years ago.

Eyewitnesses said a large number of Israeli military vehicles stormed the city of Nablus, (pop.150,000) shortly before dawn, placing the town under curfew. The troops then surrounded a residential building in the Ras El-Ein neighborhood where Adnan Subh and his family were living.

A former member of Fatah’s armed wing, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Subh was shot dead as he emerged unarmed after the forces ordered him to surrender.

His brother Nidal Subh described the killing as “execution.”

Similarly, eyewitnesses and relatives reported that the invading forces murdered in cold blood Ra’ed Sarkaji in full view of his wife and children. When his wife sought to shield him, soldiers fired at her feet and legs.

The Governor of Nablus, Jibril Bakri, described the Israeli operation as a “full-fledged crime.” He called on “international institutions” to intervene to end the siege clamped down on the Subh family home.

An Israeli army spokesman said the three people assassinated were members of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades who had carried out “terrorist acts” against Israelis and Israeli targets.

The three had reportedly been assured by the PA security authorities that they were no longer “wanted” by the Israeli army and that they could resume their normal life.

The manner in which the operation was carried out shows that the PA security forces, estimated at 70,000 troops, are completely neutralized whenever Palestinian population centers are invaded by the Israeli army.

PA officials repeatedly claimed that the main purpose of national security forces was to protect the interests of the Palestinian people.

However, Israeli operations in the heart of Palestinian towns, where thousands of American-trained PA troops are deployed, cause a lot of embarrassment to the PA leadership, especially the western-backed government headed by Salam Fayyad.

There are indications that disenchanted Fatah activists might try to avenge the latest killings as the PA regime stands completely powerless to stop the murder of Palestinians by the Israeli army.


Israel returns to Assassinations Policy

Ziad Khalil Abu Zayyad

Six Palestinians were killed in two separate incidents by the Israeli forces in Gaza and the West Bank. Three of the Palestinians were assassinated in Israel returns to Assassinations Policy 122 320×240 one of the palestinian victims Nablus at the West Bank. According to Israeli sources, Ghasan Abu Sharkh, Raed Sarkaji and Anan Suboh took part in the last attack which resulted in killing an Israeli settler in the West Bank.

The Israeli troops entered Nablus while being directed by the Israeli Intelligence Service “Shabak” in order to assassinate the three Palestinians who are known as leaders of Fatah movement in the Palestinian territories. Israel considered this operation a success since it came only 48 hours after the attack on the Israeli’s car in the West Bank. The Palestinian authority considered this operation another act made by the Israeli government in order to destroy the peace process and the efforts made by the United States and the international community in order to renew the negotiations.

In another incident Israel killed three Palestinians in Gaza who were trying to infiltrate through Erez Checkpoint into the Israeli territories. According to Aljazeera correspondent the three Palestinians were Bedwins searching for metal and building material in order to get it back for recycling and use in Gaza.

The Israeli operation in the West Bank is considered a serious development in the area since it may bring more reactions from the Palestinian side and end in a new round of violence between the two sides. Although the Palestinian security forces are applying everything which was asked from them in matters of security, Israel continues to take law in its hands and even implements public executions claiming that this is a legal punishment for those who were involved in terrorist attacks against Israelis.

In Israel’s operation in the West Bank anti tank rockets and heavy weapons were used to target buildings full of civilians. The Israeli forces stormed into Anan Suboh’s house and stayed inside it for several hours before executing him which leaves more questions about the real Israeli intentions for this operation. The mission was not to arrest the Palestinian activists but instead to investigate with them and immediately execute them no matter what. Ghasan Abu Sharkh did not show any kind of resistance and despite this he was shot at his head immediately. Raed Sarkajy’s wife was injured while she was sleeping beside him on their bed. The Israeli forces attacked the room and shot both of them although there wasn’t any kind of resistance from inside the house.

The whole operation sends one message which Israel wants the Palestinians to understand clearly: Israel is ready to execute anyone without a court or a respect for the Palestinian authority’s presence at the West Bank. The Israeli assassinations were criticized by several International organizations for its ruthless and illegality. Israel is not only violating the security arrangements and attacking civilian areas but it also starts such operations with a target of killing those who are considered suspects ignoring the part of court of law and justice.

The Israeli army and Intelligence may consider this operation a successful one since it proves that Israel is holding the West Bank as it wants. However, the result of such operations will prove that the Israeli policy will only bring failure and more reactions which may return the area into a new circle of violence.
These six Palestinians were killed in the day when the Palestinians remember the 1600 victims who died in Israel’s war on Gaza. Since the war and until today Israel continues to depend on its security plans in dealing with its conflict with the Palestinians. The only result which they are bringing on the Israeli people is more anger and hatred within the Palestinians who are suffering until today.



When a nation has no voice, their pleas for justice go unheard….

Political Prisoners in Israel/Palestine

1 Israeli is being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 7,383 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel.

Chart showing that over 7000 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel. No Israelis are imprisoned by Palestinians. “Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This forms approximately 20% of the total Palestinian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).”

Palestine Monitor

Breakdown of Palestinian Prisoners

Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association
November 2009

Palestinian Prisoners
Administrative detainees 335
Female Prisoners 32
Child detainees 340
Palestinian Legislative Council members 25
East Jerusalem prisoners 215
1948 Territories prisoners 188
Gaza prisoners 745

Source: Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association (as of November 2009) and Reuters.

Posted AT


Weekly Protest March from the Mashbir plaza to Sheikh Jarrah – 25-12-09

Some 500 demonstrators gathered at the top of the street that Jewish settlers are taking over in Shiekh Jarakh in East Jerusalem. The demonstrators organized march from West Jerusalem, sang songs and beat their drums in solidarity with the Palestinians kicked out of their homes by the settlers.

The good policemen of Jerusalem, who have probably not read the editorial in *this morning’s Ha’aretz, decided that a demonstration with no arrests would be unworthy of its name, even though the march and demonstration were coordinated with it ahead of time. Police started arresting people who were already arrested in the past, claiming that they were in violation of their parole. To their great shame a member of the Jerusalem municipality was present with a copy of the appeals’ court ruling, canceling the activists’ ban from the area, and so most detainees were later released.

* The editorial can be read HERE

The massive demonstration went on with great energy for two hours, and enjoyed the presence of the media.. It is believed that these demonstrations will keep growing in the coming future.



Chief Rabbinate In Israel Demands Not Displaying Christian Symbols

As the Christian world celebrates Christmas, and as Christians in Palestine and in Israel celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, the Chief Rabbinate in Israel recommended that hotels and restaurants in the country should refrain from displaying Christian symbols.

Image by Saed bannoura – IMEMC

The Rabbinical “Lobby for Jewish Values” started recently a campaign targeting restaurants and hotels that decorated their buildings for Christmas, and its chairman, Ofer Cohen, said that the lobby is considering a boycott campaign against these businesses.

The lobby raises the issue every year around Christmas in an attempt to stop entrainment places from displaying Christian festivities, while this year a source at the council said that businesses that refuse to comply could have the Kashrut certificate revoked.

The issue raised concern among Christian leaders while Israel’s Foreign Ministry received a number of complaints from the Vatican and other world leaders.

The Vatican called the Israeli embassy asking for clarifications. The embassy also received calls from a number of groups, including Christian media outlets and Congress members.

Following the complaints, Oded Weiner, director-general of the Chief Rabbinate, received a call from Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and said that this issue is only a recommendation to the hotels and restaurants.

But he also said that although this is a non-binding proposal, and although it is improper not to display Christian symbols, yet “such symbols could offend members of other faiths”.



From Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

9 Minute Video I just put out on life in Bethlehem area during Christmas. It starts with a Jewish guy who joined the demonstration in Al-Masara asking that the soldiers disobey orders and not join in oppressing the Palestinians. Picture attached is of me in my red Christmas sweater  speaking to the same soldiers explaining how they are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. In addition to the usual struggles against the occupation, we did have celebrations.  The video shows the lighting of the Christmas Tree, home parties, and 3 nights of activities for everyone (Muslims, Christians, Internationals, locals, children adults) and with a theme of support for Jerusalem.  We called it the Shepherds’ Nights.

Video from AlJazeera: Bethlehem in Christmas: Many tourists but no economic boom

UN Report: Only 13% of the land in Bethlehem available to local use, more than 85% has been swallowed by colonial settlements, space for their future use, their infrastructure, and the apartheid barriers.

UN expert urges pressure on Israel to end blockade of Gaza, and the implementation of the Goldstone Report

Steps to create an Israel-Palestine by Jonathan Kuttub
Los Angeles Times  December 20, 2009

Jerusalem – An Inexorable Trajectory by Anat Biletzki | Fri, 11/27/2009 – 10:15am

A powerful speech by a US army veteran/refusenick


Israel Declares War on Peace NGOs
By Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler

JERUSALEM,  One year after the devastating attack on Hamas in Gaza a new wave of reports castigating Israel for war crimes has emerged.

Now, Israel is fighting back with a report on the reports, picking on international NGOs such as Amnesty, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Trocaire , Finn Church Aid, Diakonia and Cordaid.

The immediate target of Israeli ire is a collective report entitled “Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses,’’ issued by these NGO, based in Europe.

“These organisations continue to exploit moral, legal and humanitarian principles in order to promote political warfare against Israel. Many of the claims in this report are not supported by credible evidence, and reflect double standards,’’ says Gerald Steinberg, president ‘NGO Monitor’, the right-wing Israeli NGO.

“Through this systematic bias regarding Israel, these NGOs have lost respectability, and the European governments that fund such attacks share responsibility for this abuse,’’ says Steinberg.

Part of what inspires pro-peace NGOs operating in the troubled climate of the Middle East is the conviction that they can step into the breach that divides Israelis and Palestinians in order to prod them to prod their governments to revive peace prospects.

As Israel feels increasingly isolated in the wake of the Goldstone Report, about alleged war crimes during its Gaza war, the hard-line right-wing Israeli government is choosing to wage war by proxy on all Israeli pro-peace NGOs .

The Goldstone Report , presented by Justice Richard Goldstone, head of the U.N. fact finding mission to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Sep. 29, 2009, accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes, but has been the subject of trenchant criticism from pro-Israeli groups.

For years Israeli peace organisations and human rights groups have enjoyed financial and moral support from many western governments in Europe and, to a lesser extent, from Washington. Many reports by international groups were compiled with the support of Israeli peace activists.

The attempt to discredit peace groups has intensified as human rights violations have increased and settlement activity expanded, contrary to the peace credo of many western states.

It was into this heated atmosphere that the NGO Monitor entered to spearhead the Israeli counter-offensive with its report titled, ‘’Trojan Horse: The Impact of European Government Funding for Israeli NGOs’’.

NGO Monitor was established by Steinberg, a political scientist and security affairs analyst, together with a prominent Israeli settler leader and columnist, Yisrael Harel.

In ‘Trojan Horse’, NGO Monitor provides what it calls “a detailed analysis of funding provided by foreign governments for highly politicised Israeli NGOs”. The report formed the basis of a conference held earlier this month in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

“NGOs wield very significant political and legal power in Israel, particularly through their use of the language and frameworks of human rights and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians. These NGOs are also a major and often hidden channel for external influence in Israeli foreign and security policies,” charges the NGO Monitor report.

“By using the generous resources made available by the external donors, the Israel-based NGO network is able to promote particular political ideologies, and to oppose the policies of the democratically elected government on many issues,” it goes on.

“This hidden foreign intervention infringes on the sovereignty and independence of Israel by unbalancing the political process, and interfering with the policies of the elected government and the mainstream Zionist majority.”

The ‘Trojan Horse’ report focuses its ire on more than 20 Israeli NGOs; it lambasts “the lack of transparency and accountability” and what it calls the “democracy deficit” of these groups.

Among the groups targeted by NGO Monitor are B’Tselem, which just marked 20 years of activity in highlighting Israeli human rights abuses under the occupation, and Ir Amim which keeps tabs on developments in occupied East Jerusalem

In the Knesset conference, the government was exhorted to clamp down on foreign funding which NGO Monitor says “both manipulates domestic politics and undermines Israel’s international legitimacy.”

The monitored NGOs are not taking things lying down.

Didi Remez, formerly a spokesman for the Peace Now group, says campaigners against the peace organisations “would have us believe that they are acting in the interest of national security” …against “fifth columnists”.

He points out that top government officials – “a notable example is Ron Dermer, chief of policy planning in the prime minister’s office” – play an increasingly active role in “this aggressive campaign to suppress internal dissent.”

Remez continues: “NGO Monitor is not an objective watchdog: It is a partisan operation that suppresses its perceived ideological adversaries through the sophisticated use of McCarthyite techniques – blacklisting, guilt by association and selective filtering of facts.”

He suggests hoisting the critics of the peace groups on their own petard: “If Israeli neoconservatives really want ‘transparency’, why not take them at their word?” He thus goes on to call for the proper scrutiny of funding of organisations that further settlement activity in the occupied territories.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars in Israeli taxpayer money and U.S. tax exemptions, mostly hidden from public view, are the driving force of the settlement enterprise. Auditing their funding would undercut organisations which depend on financial opacity for their covert operations that fuel the settlement enterprise,” he says.

Beyond official Israeli government action in promoting settlements, such donations independently enhance a greater Jewish presence in Palestinian East Jerusalem and in development projects in many West Bank settlements.

“How long will the U.S. taxpayer put up with the tax-exempt status of Shuva Israel, a Christian Zionist fund, if they were aware that it supports the expansion of settlement outposts, even those illegal under Israeli law?” questions Remez sarcastically.

The war on pro-peace NGOS could backfire, however.

It comes just when the U.S. State Department, inspired by President Barack Obama’s re-engagement policy, is moving to re-energise NGOs whose activities dovetail with Washington’s overall Middle East peace policies

It seems especially ill-conceived when, in the U.S., there is new-found faith in civil society. Obama was elected in no small measure because of his championing of civil society, which provided him with a grand platform to get his message across.

Moreover, NGO Monitor’s assault on foreign governments for their meddling in what it considers Israel’s domestic affairs through its support of peace groups risks antagonising governments that are regarded as traditional friends of Israel.

For the peace NGOs what is perhaps more disturbing is the knocking they have taken from the global economic downturn. The volume of donations they are receiving is reportedly down by more than a third.

Also see THIS recent post


Image by Silvis Rivers

No words necessary to describe the horrors….


Reject the Christmas Style of a War Criminal President Who Said “Jesus Is My Lord

By Jay Janson

Apparently, President Obama as so many U.S. presidents before him, has no fear of God as he holds the teaching of Jesus impractical, not worth implementing, and certainly not possible for him to follow as U.S. President. Obama stressed this as he preached the necessity of wars, during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

But to a president who believes the teaching of Jesus impractical because “there is evil in the world” that a Commander-In-Chief is compelled to destroy even by murdering the children nearby, Noam Chomsky gives secular military advice:

“Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.”

The children’s bodies pile up in five Muslim nations where lives are taken by U.S. military personnel, hailed as heroes every day during the Christmas season by patriotic TV news anchors. Conglomerate owned media personalities are perhaps the most basic war criminals of all, deviously presenting themselves as sensitive, caring and humane in character. They facilitate the acceptance of war during Christmas more than all year long.

To the families, friends, country folk, and relating Muslims all over the world who poignantly mourn the children massacred by U.S. forces in five Islamic countries (as well as by a U.S. ally in a sixth), the ubiquitous figure of America’s Santa Claus on TV must seem to be repulsive if not the devil himself.

There are, however, millions of devout Americans, including many dressed as Santa Claus who feel crushed by the photos of collaterally murdered children they consider as their own. They, in their hearts, will not be celebrating a Merry Christmas regardless of outside appearances.

President Obama has dismissed the efficacy of Jesus’ teaching along with that of Martin Luther King and Gandhi. Will there be rage for the apostasy of Obama and eventually for those who enthusiastically carry out immoral homicidal commands with impunity and in pathetic ignorance of the law – any law, whether of God or Nature.

Even before being installed into office, Obama started off with a withering silence of complicity and support for the massacre of children in Gaza. Then came the Predator Drone Hellfire bombing massacres in Pakistan as his first contribution to the long history of U.S. presidential criminality. Simultaneously, a merciless ever increasing toll of poor dead children in Afghanistan, and continuing intermittent bombing for the children in Somalia. This week, as a Christmas present to Mars, the God of War, the massacre of children in Yemen.

How many, who have already experienced American Christmas while Americans were killing Koreans in Korea, or Laotians in Laos, Vietnamese in Vietnam, Cambodians in Cambodia, Iraqis in Iraq, or Afghanis in Afghanistan, don’t want to, yet once again, turn their heads away from the blood on America’s hands and hypocritically celebrate merrily the birth of Jesus?

No! Damn the macabre commercial shopping encouragement and partying on the graves of millions beloved by Jesus’ “Who so loved the world.”

Damn the insanity of all this inhuman mega extermination in formerly colonized nations in undeclared and unwinnable wars.

Damn these ongoing wars now during the 2009 birth observance of Jesus, who Obama had the temerity and pretended sincerity of calling “my Lord and Saviour” as he laid out his plans to bomb Pakistan and increase war in Afghanistan.

Historically U.S. Presidents, going against Jesus at Christmastime, taking the lives of their planetary brother’s and sister’s children, have been able to escape legal justice and paying for their crimes in this lifetime. But should Obama come to be indicted in court, under the laws of the Nuremberg Crimes Against Humanity Tribunal, condemnation and punishment might be swift.

“According to the standards of the Nuremberg Trials, every American president since World War II could be convicted as a war criminal and hung.” Noam Chomsky

Jesus’ birthday is an appropriate time to damn the bombing of innocents for lies and oil. Damn another Christmas style of turning our heads away from the daily body counts and new graves of our brothers and sisters and children and fathers and mothers in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Somalia and Yemen where Obama heartlessly bombs those that had nothing to do with 9/11, as the president knows full well.

Men, women and children are cut down, blown up by the thousands. Americans exchange presents and gaze at their Christmas trees carefully avoiding talk of both the baby Jesus and the babies Americans go on killing in their very own countries, usually in their very own villages, often in their own homes while sleeping.

The most galling and bitterest travesty to swallow, during the traditional cruel pretense of forgetting U.S. victims at Christmastime under the presidency of another phony American warrior president, is the self-professed impotence of the clergy which by profession is charged with making Christmas spiritually meaningful and actively charitable.

About the author… Musician and writer, who has lived and worked on all the continents and whose articles on media have been published in China, Italy, England and the US, and now resides in New York City.


Settlers attempt to destroy Christmas tree following Palestinian celebration in Sheikh Jarrah

On Wednesday 23 December at 11.30pm, as every other night, settlers began to circulate in the street between the occupied Gawi house and the half-occupied al-Kurd house in Sheikh Jarrah. After about an hour of general harassment of the Palestinian families living in the neighbourhood since 1956, the settlers increased their aggression and started throwing fruit at the people who sat in front of the Kurd family house to protect it from further invasions. Two settlers started making graffiti and sprayed over Palestinian flags painted on the wall of the al-Kurd backyard, while the rest pushed and cursed the Palestinians and internationals, who verbally tried to make them stop. A solidarity activist filming the episode was spray-painted in the face numerous times. Three border policemen stood next by and watched without interfering for the whole duration of the attack.

During the Christmas celebration in Sheikh Jarrah, children from the neighborhood painted Palestinian flags on the al-Kurd wall to cover the stars of David the settlers had painted days earlier. The Israeli police came within 3 minutes and stopped them. The settlers living in the occupied Gawi house, reacted by adding another 3 Israeli flags in addition to the 8 big ones and 18 small ones that they have already plastered outside the stolen house.

The settlers started their nightly harassment campaign by trying to reach the Christmas tree but were prevented from reaching it by the Israeli border police, who have a 24 hour presence in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. After about half an hour, the settlers seemed to have dropped their original plans and started verbally harassing the Palestinians and the internationals; who were awake in order to protect Gawi family members, as well as the al-Kurds, who had half of their house stolen by settlers and have been forced to share their backyard with them. The settlers were particularly focused on an elderly man and an international woman. They called the man by his name and kept at cursing him while they sexual harassed the woman by sign language, touching their own bodies and making kissing sounds.

At around 12.30 the settlers, started making graffiti on the wall of the al-Kurd family house, painting over the Palestinian flags and writing ‘death to Arabs’ in Hebrew. They further increased the violence, pushed the Palestinians and spray-painted the international woman who filmed the episode in the face. The border police observed the aggressive behavior but did not interfere and only phoned the police about half an hour later when it had already been called from by the attacked several times.

The police finally arrived, around 1.30am, and promised to arrest the settlers responsible for the attack, but even when they were shown the film and told where the settlers ran to hide, they refused going there. Instead they went into the occupied part of the al-Kurd house and took one settler, who wore a ski mask while painting, with them to the police station. He returned after 20 minutes because there were no evidence that he had taken part in the actions.

The Palestinians in the neighborhood will go to the Israeli police and file a complaint about the poor intervention of the police, as well as try to encourage them to arrest the settler whose face is shown in the video. Three days ago a Palestinian man was held at the police station for 24 hours for encouraging the children in the neighborhood to paint over offensive graffiti painted by the settlers on the same wall. The Palestinians only ask to have equal law rights in occupied East Jerusalem, where even the rights to live in their houses have been denied.



BUT….. Barack Obama did! Where is the logic?

Just ask anyone in:
any US Federal Prison
any US hospital
if he is worthy of such an honour.

When we say “Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack ran so all our children could fly…..”
Do we mean that our children should be piloting bomber jets? Somehow, I don’t think that is what was meant….
(Image above is the February illustration in the 2010 Peace Calendar)

Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. Let us honour HIM by living His dream of Peace on earth to all men of goodwill.

Let us honour Him by letting our leaders know we are still waiting for the promised CHANGE.

Rosa had a dream. Martin had a dream. Barack has turned America’s dream into a nightmare!


From all of us here at DesertPeace, our Associates, our Friends, our Extended Family…..
All the best wishes for this Holiday Season… be it Eid Al-Adha, Chanukah, Christmas or Kwanza….

May 2010 usher in a new era of Peace and Justice throughout the world we live in…
An end to ALL hostilities!

Image by David Baldinger

Only YOU can help CHANGE the following situation…..


The following is dedicated to Sylvana and Selena…two little girls who barely escaped Israel’s bombing of Lebanon. In God’s eyes, there is NEVER a justification for killing a child!

Imagine never knowing one day of peace in your life, nor ever having hope..or dreams for your future. Imagine being in a constant state of terror and hunger. Welcome to the Gaza of the 21st century!

Most of us just want a dry roof over our heads, food in our stomachs and health and safety for our loved ones. The Muslims and Christians in Israel are denied these simple human desires. Witness the day to day suffering, terror and murder innocent Palestinian women and children face!


Barra Barra (Out! Out!)

Sadness, hate and the reign of arbitrary

Destruction, jealousy ; there is no trust left

Thirst and people are unlucky

No honour, but oppression and slavery

Rivers were dried up and seas have ruined everything

Stars are switched off and the sun went down

There are no trees left and the birds stopped singing

There are neither days, nor nights left, darkness only

Hell ; there is no beauty left

Time has increased, there is no honour left

Ruin and war and the blood is flowing

There are only walls left, walls standing up

Fear and people remain silent

Sadness, hate and the reign of arbitrary

Destruction and jealousy ; there is no trust left

Rivers were dried up and seas have ruined everything

stars are switched off and the sun went down

****** A day in the life of a Palestinian child ******…

Thanks to youtube user jihano92 for this short video about the apartheid state, Israel.


Israel ‘outsourcing’ the occupation

Concern is growing among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as Israel steps up its use of private security contractors to patrol Palestinian territories.

The private firms are being used to help patrol checkpoints and protect illegal settlements in what has become a multi-billion dollar business for Israeli security companies.

But as Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports, some Palestinians are concerned that the private companies are using a different set of rules than the army, and this has raised new legal issues.


For settlers to Jog, Israeli Army Shuts Down Palestinian Highway Traffic

Israeli Settlers Shut Down Traffic for Jog:

“Settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Karmei Tsur blocked Route 60, the main highway between Jerusalem and Hebron which is used by Palestinians as well as settlers. They began attacking Palestinian cars in the road, jumping in front of them and trying to force them to stop, damaging cars and beating the Palestinians inside. One group of settlers marched down the street carrying an Israeli flag, followed by a truck with a sound system blasting music interspersed with insults against arabs. After the truck, another group of more than 50 individuals between the ages of 15-50, many in sports shorts, were jogging down the street as the Israeli military and police cheered them on (while ignoring complaints against the settlers for attacking the Palestinian civilians earlier). In reportedly the most bizarre site, several settlers were seen jogging with running shorts and their M-16 rifles slung across their backs. This was clearly an overt assertion both of the settlers claim to remain in the West Bank (Karmei Tsur is a settlement that most believe would have to be dismantled in any two-state solution), as well as the Israeli militarys complete support for their unlawful behavior and presence.”

Originally posted AT


Image by Bendib

Click on image to enlarge


It seems like the whole world has gone into the mode of the Mississippi….. not caring and not doing anything about the injustices described below….. here’s your chance to change that…


Coordinator Of Stop The Wall Campaign Imprisoned By Israel

Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign, is in an Israeli jail – the latest in Israel’s attempt to silence Palestinian non violent resistance.
Israeli security first summoned Juma’ for interrogation at midnight of December 15.

Hours later, they brought him back to his home. Juma’ was handcuffed while soldiers searched his house for two hours as his wife and three young children looked on helplessly.

The parting words of the soldiers were directed at his wife: she would only see her husband again through a prisoner exchange. Since then, Juma’ has been detained and barred from speaking to a lawyer or his family. No explanation has been given for his arrest.

Jamal, 47 years old, was born in Jerusalem and has dedicated his life to the defense of Palestinian human rights. The main focus of his work is on empowering local communities to defend their human rights in the face of violations brought about by the occupation. He is a founding member of a number of Palestinian NGOS and civil society networks.

Juma’ has been the coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign since 2002. He is widely respected for his work and has been invited to address numerous civil society and UN conferences. His articles and interviews are widely published and his work has been translated into several languages. As a highly visible figure, Juma’ has never attempted to hide or disguise his activities.

Jamal Juma’ is the highest profile arrest within an intensifying campaign of repression of grassroots mobilizing against the Wall and settlements. Initially arresting local activists from the villages affected by the Wall, the Israeli authorities have moved towards the detention of internationally known human rights defenders such as Mohammad Othman and Abdallah Abu Rahmah.

Mohammad, another member of the Stop the Wall Campaign, was arrested nearly three months ago when returning from a speaking tour in Norway.

After two months of interrogation, Israeli authorities still could not press any charges against him and therefore passed an administrative detention order against him.

Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a leading figure in the nonviolent struggle against the Wall in Bil’in, was taken from his home in the middle of the night a week before Jamal was jailed.

With these arrests, Israel aims to weaken Palestinian civil society and its influence on political decision making at the national and international level. This process clearly criminalizes the work of Palestinian human rights defenders and Palestinian civil disobedience.

It is crucial that the international community combat Israeli attempts to criminalize human rights defenders struggling against the Wall. The Israeli policy of targeting organizers calling for Israeli accountability is a direct challenge to the decisions of governments and global bodies such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to hold Israel to account for its violations of international law. This challenge shall not go unmet.


Recommended Actions:

• Encourage your members to join this campaign through petitions, demonstrations and/or letter writing and phone calling. Please provide them with contact information and details.

• Urge your representatives at consular offices in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem/Ramallah to advocate for the immediate release of Jamal Juma’, Mohammad Othman, Abdallah Abu Rahmeh and the other anti-Wall activists. See pro forma letter below. (For your consular contacts, see:

• Let the Israeli Embassy in your home country know that you are campaigning for the release of Jamal Juma’ and the other anti-Wall prisoners.

• Bring the case of the anti-Wall prisoners to the attention of local and national media outlets.

• Follow the site, blog and Facebook group regarding the issue:


Facebook: Free the Anti-Wall Prisoners

We would highly appreciate it if you would coordinate your actions with us. We have pro forma letters and can let you know if there are other activists and organizations that are taking similar action. The better we coordinate, the more effective our action will be.

For more information contact:

Pro Forma letter

Dear x,

I am writing to you to express my deepest concern about the detention of Jamal Juma` on December 16. He was summoned from his home for interrogation with the Israeli security at midnight and has been kept in detention ever since. Though Jamal Juma` is a Jerusalem ID card holder, West Bank military orders have been applied to bar him for access to legal counsel for the first week of his arrest. No charges have been made against him.

I fear that the detainment of Jamal Juma` is a result of his peaceful criticism of violations of international law by Israeli authorities. The charges against him have not been made clear, but there is reason to believe that he is a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for his human rights work through legal organizations. His arrest follows a number of other arrests of similar nature. This seems to show a systematic disregard for Palestinian freedom of expression and assembly and a full-scale attack on Palestinian human rights defenders by Israeli authorities.

I ask you to take all appropriate measures, including official inquiries and protests, to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Jamal Juma` and the other Palestinian human rights defenders in Israeli prisons. Furthermore, whilst being held, he should be protected from any form of torture or ill-treatment, and the conditions of his detention should fulfill the requirements of international law.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this urgent matter.



Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

When it was first revealed that Israel was involved in harvesting body organs from dead Palestinians, it was denied….. with accusations of anti-Semitism, not with facts. But now, just a short time after the ‘expose’ in a Swedish newspaper Israeli doctors are admitting that it was true.

Could the revelations in the Goldstone Report have anything to do with this change of heart (pardon the pun)? Could Israel be using some sort of sick logic that this crime is not as bad as the continuing genocide in Gaza? Is this Israel’s sick way of shifting attention from what is happening? Is this a new method used to whitewash the war crimes that are still going on?

Reports are now being circulated about the events in the 90’s…. but let’s not lose focus on what is happening today. Below is one of the latest reports including a video….. followed by a local report.

Israel Admits Harvesting Organs from Dead Palestinians

The Israeli military has admitted harvesting organs from dead Palestinians after an interview conducted over the issue in 2000 was broadcast again.

Over the weekend, Israel’s Channel 2 TV broadcast an interview conducted in 2000 with the then-head of Israel’s Abu Kabir forensic institute, Dr. Jehuda Hiss who revealed that forensic pathologists harvested organs from dead bodies, including Palestinian corpses in the 1990s, the Associated Press reported.

“We started to harvest corneas … Whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family,” said the doctor.

According to the report, the forensic specialists harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without seeking permission from relatives.

Hiss also described how his doctors would cover up the removal of corneas from bodies.

“We’d glue the eyelid shut,” he said, adding that “We wouldn’t take corneas from families we knew would open the eyelids.”

In response to the broadcast, the Israeli military confirmed the report in a statement but said, “This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer.”

The report was released after an article by Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom, accusing Israel of killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs, caused a huge controversy.

The article, entitled They plunder the organs of our sons, published by the Swedish daily Aftonbladet, sparked outrage among Israeli officials, who called it “groundless,” “outrageous” and “anti-Semitic.”

Bostrom, however, said the purpose of his opinion article was to call for an investigation into numerous claims in the 1990s that such activity was going on.

Originally posted AT


And the following from the local Palestinian Press, Al Quds

The Palestinian Authority demands international investigation into the theft of the Palestinian organs

The Palestinian Authority demands international investigation into the theft of the Palestinian organs

The Palestinian Authority Minister of Health said that harvesting organs – such as corneas, bones and skin – from Palestinian martyrs, without the consent of their families, is a moral crime that contradicts to all international laws.

Minister Fathi Abu Mughli said, commenting on what was confirmed on Israeli television, that official Israeli bodies steal organs of Palestinian martyrs and implant them in the bodies of injured Israeli soldiers.

Abu Mughli said that the Israeli Ministry of Health’s response to the Yehuda Hiss interview is unacceptable. In a 57-minute interview conducted with Yehuda Hiss, the head of Israel’s forensic institute, Hiss spoke about how workers at the institute had harvested Israeli organs.

Dr. Abu Mughli emphasized that it is not allowed to take anything from the bodies of the dead without the written consent from their families, and in the presence of law representatives.

Abu Mughli described the response of Israeli hospitals – which commented on the case saying the subject is so old and there is no reason for talking about it now, as “shameless and immoral.”

He said that the Palestinian health ministry “strongly condemns the attack on the sanctity of the dead, dismembering their bodies and taking their organs without parental consent.  It calls upon the Israeli government to provide a response to this shameful act, and demands an immediate investigation on the subject.”

Abu Maghli asked the international community, humanitarian organizations and human rightists to have an international inquiry into the subject and to present to justice all those involved in assaulting the bodies of Palestinian martyrs and stealing parts of their bodies.



Using the pretext of escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry informed us yesterday that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January. We responded that there is always tension at the border because of the siege, that we do not feel threatened, and that if there are any risks, they are risks we are willing to take. We also said that it was too late for over 1,300 delegates coming from over 42 countries to change their plans now.  We both agreed to continue our exchanges.

Although we consider this as a setback, it is something we’ve encountered-and overcome–before.  No delegation, large or small, that entered Gaza over the past 12 months has ever received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border.  Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to Rafah.  Some had their buses stopped on the way. Some have been told outright that they could not go into Gaza. But after public and political pressure, the Egyptian government changed its position and let them pass.

Our efforts and plans will not be altered at this point. We have set out to break the siege of Gaza and march on December 31 against the Israeli blockade. We are continuing in the same direction.

Egyptian embassies and missions all over the world must hear from our supporters (by phone, fax and email)** over the coming crucial days, with a clear message: Let the international delegation enter Gaza and let the Gaza Freedom March proceed.

Contact your local consulate here:

Contact the Palestine Division in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo

Ahmed Azzam, tel +202-25749682 Email:

If you are in the U.S., contact the Egyptian Embassy, 202-895-5400 and ask for Omar Youssef or email

You signed on to support the the Gaza Freedom March, that was the first step. Now call the Egyptian embassy and ask your elected official to call on your behalf. Then, hit the streets and join a solidarity action in your community:

Thank you for being part of a global movement.

The Gaza Freedom March Steering Committee

* * Sample text

I am writing/calling to express my full support for the December 31, 2009 Gaza Freedom March. I urge the Egyptian government to allow the 1,300 international delegates to enter the Gaza Strip through Egypt.

The aim of the march is to call on Israel to lift the siege. The delegates will also take in badly needed medical aid, as well as school supplies and winter jackets for the children of Gaza.

Please, let this historic March proceed.

Thank you.
Update on situation…..

Egyptian Officials Say They Will Not Allow Gaza Freedom March To Cross Border

Saed Bannoura

Gaza Freedom March logo

IMEMC News – December 22, 2009

The 1,360 peace activists from around the world currently on their way to Egypt will find the border to the Gaza Strip closed to them, say Egyptian officials.

The Gaza Freedom March Steering Committee said Monday that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry informed them that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January, citing escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border. The Ministry did not give details, but the ‘escalating tension’ is likely a reference to a Palestinian attack on an Egyptian border guard several days ago.

March participants told the Egyptian authorities that they understood the risks involved in the aid caravan, and were willing to take the risk.

According to the organizers, “Although we consider this as a setback, it is something we’ve encountered—and overcome–before. No delegation, large or small, that has entered Gaza over the past 12 months has received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border. Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to Rafah. Some had their buses stopped on the way. Some have been told outright that they could not go into Gaza. But after public and political pressure, the Egyptian government changed its position and let them pass.”

The group has been organizing for months to break the siege on Gaza on the one-year anniversary of the Israeli invasion of Gaza which claimed over 1400 Palestinian lives (4 Israeli soldiers were killed by Palestinians during the Israeli assault).

Organizers have called on their supporters to phone, fax and email Egyptian embassies and missions all over the world to put pressure on the Egyptian government to let the international delegation enter Gaza and let the Gaza Freedom March proceed.

Many delegates are already in Cairo and more are arriving daily. The Gaza Freedom March was organized to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza caused by the Israeli attack on Gaza a year ago and by the international siege on Gaza.

They hope to bring publicity and international attention to the plight of the 1.5 million people imprisoned in Gaza.

Via Uruknet

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