Bahrain bans anti-Gaza war protests


This video from the USA is called Former CNN journalist Amber Lyon & Joe Rogan talk about Bahrain dictatorship.

From AFP news agency:

Bahrain bans pro-Gaza march

After a protest ban announced last month, Bahrain continued to reject requests by various groups to organize a pro-Gaza march, instead allowing sit-ins in office building

Sunday 18 Nov 2012

Bahrain rejected requests by several groups to organise a pro-Gaza march on Sunday, after a protest ban announced last month, but instead allowed sit-ins in office buildings, the interior ministry said.

“Several political associations asked that they be allowed to organise a march to the UN offices in Manama this afternoon (Sunday) under the slogan ‘Save Gaza’,” a ministry statement received by AFP said.

Israel launched a ferocious air operation against the Gaza Strip on Wednesday in retaliation for rocket attacks by the militant groups. So far more than 50 Palestinians and three Israelis have died, with hundreds of people wounded.

Bahrain’s interior ministry “told the organisers that their requests for a march have been rejected in order to preserve security in implementation of the decision to ban demonstrations and gatherings,” it said.

Instead, it “suggested holding solidarity sit-ins in the headquarters” of these groups, it said.

Late last month, Bahrain banned all protests and gatherings to ensure “security is maintained,” after clashes between Shiite-led demonstrators and security forces in the Sunni-ruled country.

The Gulf state has experienced unrest since March last year when the authorities crushed protests led by the Shiite Muslim majority demanding greater rights.

Bahrain: Serious concerns over the Deterioration of Physical and Mental health of a Prisoner of Conscience: here.

Israeli warplanes and gunboats intensified their attacks on Palestinian homes and institutions throughout the Gaza Strip over the weekend, bringing the death toll to more than 75: here.

South Israeli woman says Stop Gaza war


This video says about itself:

Jan 3, 2009

As Israel sent its troops into Gaza, several thousand Jews and Arabs marched through Tel Aviv in protest. They called on the government to stop the war and negotiate with Hamas.

From daily Haaretz in Israel:

A message to Israel’s leaders: Don’t defend me – not like this

As she listens to the rockets raining in her yard, a resident of Kibbutz Kfar Aza asks the government to rethink its Gaza mission.

By Michal Vasser

Nov.15, 2012 | 3:21 PM

The first thing I want to say is: Please don’t defend me. Not like this.

I am sitting in my safe room in Kibbutz Kfar Aza and listening to the bombardment of the all-out war outside. I am no longer able to distinguish between “our” bombardments and “theirs.” The truth is that the kibbutz children do this better than I do, their “musical ear” having been developed since they were very young, and they are able to differentiate between an artillery shell and a missile fired from a helicopter and between a mortar bomb and a Qassam. Good for them.

Is this what “defending the home” looks like? I don’t understand – did all our leaders sleep through their history classes? Or maybe they studied the Mapai school curriculum or that of Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (to my regret, the difference is not all that great) – and have wrongly interpreted the word “defense”? Does defending the well being of citizens mean a war of armageddon every few years? Hasn’t any politician ever heard of the expression “long-term planning?”

If you want to defend me – then please: Don’t send the Israel Defense Forces for us in order to “win.” Start thinking about the long term and not just about the next election. Try to negotiate until white smoke comes up through the chimney. Hold out a hand to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Stop with the “pinpoint assassinations” and look into the civilians’ eyes on the other side as well.

I know that most of the public will accuse me of being a “bleeding heart.” But I am the one who is sitting here now as mortar bombs fall in my yard, not Sa’ar, not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and not Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich or Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid, either. I am the one who has chosen to raise her children here even though I had and still have other options.

It is possible to accuse me of a lack of Zionism, it is possible to accuse me of flabbiness and weak-mindedness but it is impossible to accuse me of hypocrisy. My children have served in combat units in addition to their contribution of “year of service” for the country, voluntarily. We live here and we love this country.

Our war is a war for the coloration of the state, not its borders. For its democratic nature and for human dignity in it. For sanity. So please stop killing civilians on the other side of the fence in order to defend me.

If you are interested in stopping the hostile actions from the other side – open your ears and start listening. If we are important to you – please stop defending us by means of missiles, “pinpoints” and “aeronautical components.” Instead of Operation Pillar of Defense embark on Operation Hope for the Future. This is more complicated, you need more patience and it is less popular – but it is the only way out.

Israeli war, anti-war protests, continue


Liquidations don't stop missiles - spontaneous protest against the Gaza War. Tel Aviv, Nov. 14. 2012

This photo, from the site of the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom, says Liquidations don’t stop missiles – spontaneous protest against the Gaza War. Tel Aviv, Nov. 14. 2012.

By Bill Van Auken:

Israel masses troops on Gaza border as bombardment intensifies

16 November 2012

Israeli warplanes carried out hundreds of air strikes against the densely populated Gaza Strip Thursday as Israel mobilized troops on the Palestinian territory’s border.

Shortly before 10 p.m. Israeli time, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces announced that its planes had hit 70 targets in Gaza in the space of just the previous hour. Towering plumes of black smoke hung over Gaza City and other areas of the 25-mile long territory in which 1.7 million Palestinians are held captive between the borders of Israel to the south and east, Egypt to the west and the Mediterranean Sea.

Israeli separation wall damages wildlife


Walls erected by politicians do not just hurt wildlife in the USA.

From Deutsche Welle in Germany:

Israeli army opens West Bank barrier for animals

The West Bank barrier is blocking animal migration between Israel and the Palestinian territories. But now, the Israeli Defence Force is seeking ways to allow animals to get over – or even through – the wall.

Hundreds of kilometres of concrete, iron and barbed wire cut through the West Bank, across deserts, over mountains and through forests. Israelis call it a security fence while Palestinians call it a racial separation wall.

But, whatever your politics, it’s plain to see that the barrier is an impassable structure which cuts a substantial visual scar across the landscape. Pass through any of the main checkpoints with their vast security system of cameras, scanners and iron gates, and it becomes clear just how difficult it is to move from one side to the other.

Spare a thought then for the wildlife in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Cut off from feeding grounds

Imad Atrash is the Palestine Wildlife Society Executive Director and says the barrier divides animal families. In an interview with DW, he explained that before the barrier was built, between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the red fox population was separated by a fence. “The male was on the Israeli side and the female was inside Palestinian lands,” he said. “The male dug a hole and came to the female.”

A hyrax, or rock rabbit, sits near the West Bank barrier, photo by Palestine Wildlife Society Executive Director Imad Atrash

A hyrax, or rock rabbit, sits near the West Bank barrier

But then the West Bank barrier was built. “How many families of animals were separated in the West Bank?” Atrash asked.

Israeli ecologist Ron Frumkin says the barrier has had a significant impact on local species of gazelle, ibex, fox, porcupine and badger. He said splitting animal families often results in genetic mutation and inbreeding.

“Many animals that live here, need their habitats, or breeding and feeding areas,” he said. “They can eat in one place but hide in another place. So animals, especially the bigger ones, need open space for their existence.”

The wall blocks animals that breed in one place and feed in another

Frumkin’s reports on the ecological impact of the barrier have made it to Israel’s High Court. They were instrumental in overturning a plan from the Ministry of Defence to extend the barrier in southern West Bank. There, the ibex needs to move between the vegetation of the high places in the winter to the water source of the oases in the summer. According to Frumkin, construction of the barrier could have wiped the creatures out altogether.

Frumkin explained that the barrier interrupts ecological corridors – pieces of land that connect nature reserve habitats. Unfortunately, it’s too late for one section of the barrier, which divides north and south.

“The fence prevents all animals along the Judean Mountains in the south to move toward the Samaria mountains in the north, and later on to the Carmel Mountains,” Frumkin told DW. He added that the barrier also harms plants that depend on animals to help disperse pollen and seeds.

Underpass under the barrier, photo by Ron Frumkin (2011)

The Israeli army is opening parts of the wall to allow small animals to migrate

Court supports animal protection

Court rulings against Israel’s Ministry of Defence in recent years have resulted in a significant slowing down on the barrier’s construction. The army now works with environmental organizations to find solutions to allow small animals to pass from Israel into the Palestinian territories and back again. It has created zigzag passes in places to facilitate the passage of small wildlife.

Nobody knows yet exactly the scope of the ecological damage on both sides of the barrier. Imad Atrash from the Palestine Wildlife Society says his group is working with the University of Kent to obtain funding for a three year study on the impact of the West Bank barrier on local wildlife. He hopes that Palestinian and Israeli environmental organizations will work together on the research in future.