Israeli peace movement news roundup


This is a video of a demonstration against the Gaza war in Beit Jala, Israel, on 17 November 2012.

From The Other Israel:

“Nothing has changed apart from more killing and more hatred”

Occupation Magazine  November 20, 2012.

 

Another entire family killed in Israeli airstrike Monday evening
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC – Monday evening’s attack hit the home of Foad and Amna Hijazi and their two children Suhaib and Muhammad. They were all killed instantly.
Cutting the fence at Ramat, West Bank
Hamde Abu Rahma – Activestills.org – Palestinian youths cut a section of Israel`s separation fence in the West Bank village of Ramat near Ramallah to protest against Israel`s military action on the Gaza Strip
To military prison, instead of Gaza – Conscientious Objector Natan Blanc
Moriel Rothman – The Leftern Wall – Four days after my own release from military jail, Natan Blanc, 19 years old from Haifa, has declared his intention to refuse service in the IDF: “From their point of view, there is nothing wrong with our initiating a “Cast Lead 2″ operation every three or four years (and then 3, 4,5 and 6): we will talk of deterrence, we will kill some terrorist, we will lose some civilians on both sides, and we will prepare the ground for a new generation full of hatred on both sides.”
Gaza live report: Day 7
Ma`an – 14:31 Ahmad al-Dada killed in new airstrike on Gaza City, according to Gaza health official. 14:29 A BBC reporter uploads an audio recording of a rocket fired at Jerusalem from central Gaza. 14:24 Update: Israeli police say rocket fired at Jerusalem landed in open area, no injuries reported. 14:20 Palestinian students protest outside Hebrew University in Jerusalem in solidarity with Gaza.
Live Blog: Day 7 of Gaza operation
Haaretz – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are expected to arrive in Israel on Tuesday, where they will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. More than 60 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel on Tuesday morning. The Palestinians reported that five people were killed in the Strip on Tuesday morning.
Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Hebron clashes – second casualty in West Bank `Gaza solidarity` protests
Ma`an – Hamdi Mohammad Jawwad Al-Falah, 22, from Hebron was shot four times during clashes in the Bir al-Mahjar neighborhood in western Hebron. Earlier Monday, 28-year old Rushdi Mahmoud Hassan al-Tamimi died of his wounds after being hit by live fire in the stomach and thigh during a Gaza solidarity demonstration in Nabi Saleh, on Saturday.
Israel`s `right to self-defense` – a tremendous propaganda victory
Amira Hass – Haaretz – The foreign ministries in the West and in the United States knowingly collaborate with the mendacious representation of Israel as victim. On November 8, two days before the attack on the holiest of holies – soldiers in a military jeep – they could have read about IDF soldiers killing 13-year old Ahmad Abu Daqqa, who was playing soccer with his friends in the village of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis. The soldiers were 1.5 kilometers from the kids, inside the Gaza Strip area, busy with “exposing” (a whitewashed word for destroying ) agricultural land. So why shouldn`t the count of aggression start with a child? On November 10, after the attack on the jeep, the IDF killed another four civilians, aged 16 to 19.
Can West Bank Palestinians find justice in court?
Yonah Jeremy Bob – Jerusalem Post – Doing real justice is impossible because the Palestinians are a conquered people. Often there is no right for Palestinians to demonstrate, noted Gabi Lasky at the Israel Bar Association conference in Tel Aviv. So even if the courts were fine, they can be trying Palestinians for action, like demonstrating, that should not be crimes in the first place.
Dozens of artists call for ceasefire and dialogue which will lead to a peace agreement.
Merav Yudilovitch – Ynet – “We have already assassinated terrorists and launched military operations, as well as invaded Gaza, and nothing has changed apart from more killing and more hatred.”
A selection of articles posted on earlier days

 

A Nobel Laureate on Israel`s Operation Cloud Pillar – Israel’s Gaza Attack: Not Defence But Murder of Unarmed Civilians
Mairead Maguire – CounterPunch – “The question on many people lips is; ‘When is the Israel government going to stop this bombing and continual wars and threat of war, against the Palestinians, and its neighbours, admit that there will be no military solution to the Palestinian Occupation, and begin to talk seriously with their enemies, in order to solve the problems for the sake of the Palestinians, Israelis, and indeed the whole of the middle east and world!’?”
Reporters Without Borders condemns Israeli strikes
Thomas Adamson, Associated Press – Yahoo!News – “The Israeli military said the strikes targeted Hamas ommunications equipment on the buildings` rooftops and accused the group of using journalists as `human shields.` Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, urged journalists to stay clear of Hamas bases and facilities”
Civilian death toll mounts in Gaza
AlJazeera and Agencies – Twelve Palestinians from one family killed in Israeli rocket attack in single biggest loss of life since crisis began

 

Let`s try something new
Gideon Levy–The Palestinians try three different approaches, weapons, diplomacy and nonviolent resistance, and Israel says no to all three. dn
REPORT FROM GAZA
Adie Mormech–I`m writing this from near the Gaza seaport from where I can see smoke rising around me from the bombs that fall down on the Gaza Strip from the Israeli planes above. Words fail me. Despite the limits to life from Israel`s five-year siege on Gaza some kind of normality is attempted in Gaza. How could it be any other way when the majority of the population are children, do parents and older siblings have any other option?dn
Israel’s Shortsighted Assassination
Gershon Baskin – New York Times – Mr. Jabari is dead — and with him died the possibility of a long-term cease-fire. Israel may have also compromised the ability of Egyptian intelligence officials to mediate a short-term cease-fire and placed Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt at risk. This was not inevitable, and cooler heads could have prevailed.
Refusing the Elections War
Sarah Anne Minkin–This morning, four social justice and anti-occupation groups—the Women’s Coalition for Peace, the Alternative Information Center, Yesh Gvul, and New Profile—placed a joint advertisement on the front page of Haaretz. The ad reads:
A Short Report from the Cave Dwellers Village of Tuba
The Villages Group–In the midst of sirens and bombs in our area as part of the recent war between Israel and Gaza, I received a telephone call from Hamed from Hebron asking if we are safe. Five minutes later we received a telephone call from Eid inviting us to come to Um el Khair in South Mount Hebron because it is safer there. “It is Thursday tomorrow” I told him, “and we come at any rate.”dn
Phoney truce may have lured Hamas man into open
Jeffrey Heller – Ma`an News Agency “In what now appears to have been a diversionary tactic, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak paid a visit to the Syrian frontier in the north, hours before the air offensive began in the south.-Jaabari may have been lulled into the open by public signals from Israel that a round of cross-border violence along the frontier in the past week had run its course.” ca
WATCH: Israelis protest military operation against Gaza
Video – +972 A demonstration took place Wednesday night place in front of Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s house in Tel Aviv, protesting the killing of Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari and the launch of of ‘Operation Pillar of Defense.’ The demonstrators called for an end to the bloodshed and for dialogue between Israel and Hamas. A second demonstration will be held this evening (Thursday); see here for more details. By Israel Social TV.” ca “
Gaza escalation: There was another way
Dahlia Scheindlin – +972 “Just over one year ago, the Fatah leadership presented its statehood bid to the United Nations. Had Israel not blocked the effort hermetically – forcing America to kill the process by steadfastly viewing statehood as an anti-Israel notion, what might have happened?We can’t know. But Israel could have realized that Palestinian statehood basically along 1967 parameters was in its national interest.” ca
Netanyahu and Barak have decided to deliberately violate a cease-fire which had just been stabilized. Uri Avnery – Press Release – “At the price of great suffering on both sides of the border, the government`s aim has been accomplished: the social issues, which threatened to assume prominence in these elections, have been pushed aside and removed from the agenda of the elections campaign.-rh
Hamas says `gates of hell opened` as Israel kills military leader in Gaza
Harriet Sherwood – The Guardian – Most political figures in Israel endorsed the operation. The Labour leader, Shelly Yachimovich, said Israel was “united in its war against terrorism”. But Dov Hanin, of the leftwing Hadash party, condemned the killing . “In place of the leaders killed, others will grow, and we will only get another cycle of fire and blood,” he said.-rh
Is the Cat Out of the Bag on Israel?
Emily Johanson – Foreign Policy in Focus – In his latest book, Knowing Too Much: The American Jewish Romance with Israel is Coming to An End, veteran activist Norman Finkelstein argues that the growing international awareness of the Israeli occupation has heralded a perceptible shift among the U.S. Jewish community away from a close identification with Israel.-rh
Army Occupies School In Jenin
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC – “Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday evening, a school east of Jenin city, in the northern part of the West Bank, and used it as a military post and monitoring tower.” – id
The limits of deterrence
Editorial – Haaretz – “Israel would be better off recognizing that the deterrence formula has limits and adopting the mechanism of informal agreements instead.” – id
Crazy Country
 

 

TOI-Billboard – the ‘ezine’ of THE OTHER ISRAEL, a peace-oriented news service existing since 1983, editors Adam Keller & Beate Zilversmidt. The billboard includes relevant articles  from the Israeli mainstream press as well as alternative sources – mostly from what was collected in Occupation Magazine from within Israel/Palestine & from international media. You also find Adam Keller’s comments, in his Crazy Country blog. Since November 2009 there is no longer a bi-monthly printed issue. An archive of old issues covering 26 years of  peace movement struggles is under construction.

 

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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.