Stop Israel-Palestinian war, protest report


This video from Israel is called 27.7.2014 Tel Aviv: 5000 protest assault on Gaza.

By Adam Keller of the peace movement in Israel:

The storm which Netanyahu unleashed

May 12, 2021 – 10.00 PM

Yesterday morning (Tuesday) we woke up with the news of twenty-one Palestinians killed in Gaza, nine of them minors, and two Israeli women killed in Ashkelon (one of them; it later turned out, was a migrant worker from India, and since then, the death toll on both sides more than doubled). Then came the email which I was expecting. Noa Levy of Hadash sent out an urgent call for emergency protests in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, A second message, from the Forum of Israeli and Palestinian Bereaved Families and Combatants for Peace, endorsed the Hadash call and added a Haifa protest venue initiated by the Haifa Women for Women Center. “The government is playing with fire – all of us get burned! In a desperate attempt to cling to power, Netanyahu is dragging us into war, into killing and suffering and pain for both peoples. Stop the escalation! Cease the fire! Stop the expulsion of families from Sheikh Jarrah, stop the police rampage in East Jerusalem. There can be no peace and no quiet as long as the West Bank lives under occupation and Gaza suffers a suffocating siege. The solution: an end to the occupation, an end to the siege of Gaza, and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We all deserve to live in freedom and security. The time to act is now!”

And so, there were several hours of frantic work at the computer and phone, spreading the message by Facebook and Whatsapp to all who waited for such a call on such a day. And then taking the bus to Tel Aviv. The Kugel Boulevard, main Holon thoroughfare on which all buses to Tel Aviv travel, had its completely normal daily bustle. On King George Street in Tel Aviv, there were already several hundred people gathered outside the Likud Party headquarters. Among them, familiar faces, the determined minority of Israelis who always show up on such days, as in 2014 and 2009.. “Stop the fire, stop the bloodshed!” chanted several hundred throats. And “On both sides of the border / Children want to live!” and “Sheikh Jarrah, don’t despair / We will end the occupation yet!” and also “Gaza, Gaza, don’t despair / We will end the siege yet!” and “Netanyahu, Netanyahu / The Dock at the Hague waits for you!”.

Dispersal, and a vague feeling of frustration. But what more could we have done? Perhaps we would have felt more satisfied to be violently dispersed and spend the night in detention – but here, unlike other locations, the police did not interfere with the demonstration. There were only two bored police officers watching from the side. Our favorite vegan eatery was nearby, so we went in. Everything was just like any other evening out in downtown Tel Aviv, it felt a bit strange to have life as usual while terrible things happen elsewhere.

The air raid alarms wailed just after we paid our bill and started walking. We went into a nearby big pharmacy. The pharmacy staff were quietly efficient – “Over here, turn left, the basement stairs are there”. About a hundred people – staff and clients and everyone who happened to be on the street – crowded in. Even in the basement, we could clearly hear the explosions in the sky. “Are these the missiles themselves, or the interceptors?” wondered an old woman. Another old woman said “Don’t worry, dear, if this goes on we will all learn to know which is which”.

After a quarter of an hour we thought it was over and everybody emerged and started again down the street – and then the air raid siren sounded again. This time we went into the basement of a private house with very friendly young people who offered to let us stay the night. “You can stay here, no need to risk going out again, we have spare beds”.

I must say that up to that point it still felt like a bit of a game. I realize now that we shared the arrogant illusion of most Israelis that the Iron Dome missiles were giving us virtually complete protection. But as we were huddling in the second basement of the evening, the phone rang: “Are you OK? Good to hear your voice, I heard of the burned bus in Holon, I was so worried!” “I am in Tel Aviv, what bus is that?” A quick look at the news websites showed the Kugel Boulevard where we had passed just three hours before. It was a war zone, flames and scattered debris everywhere, and the skeleton of a completely burned bus in the middle. It was reported that the driver heard the alarm, stopped the bus and told everybody to run just a minute before the bus was hit.

Perhaps we should have taken the young people’s offer and stayed the night with them. Getting back home was a long and weary experience. The main roads were blocked by the police, and we saw ambulances and fire trucks rushing forward. The bus from Tel Aviv let us off a long way from home and there were no taxis to be had in the whole of Holon, so there was a very long and weary trudging through dark empty streets. At home I had a whatsapp exchange with an old friend. “Stay alert, this night is not yet over” she wrote. “The government is sure to order a strong retaliation for this attack on Tel Aviv, and the Palestinians will want to retaliate for the retaliation”. She was completely right. After 3.00 PM there was a very long series of alarms, one after the other. The explosions were more vague and seemed a long distance off. This time they were aiming at the Ben Gurion Airport.

One of the missiles had fallen on a hut in Lod (Lydda), and killed a fifty year old man and his teen daughter. It later turned out that they were Arabs, that they had lived in an “unrecognized” neighborhood where no building permits are issued, and that this prevented them from building a more solid structure which could have saved their lives.

And so here we are, with the conflict escalating and the death toll rising ever more steeply. And I should recapitulate, at least briefly, how we got to this.

Last Friday – just five days ago, though it seems like an eternity – public attention in Israel was totally riveted to the complicated dance of party politics. Prime Minister Netanyahu, facing three serious corruption charges at the Jerusalem District Court, had just failed in his efforts to form a new cabinet. The mandate passed to the oppositional “Block of Change”, whose leaders embarked on delicate negotiations aimed at forming a very heterogeneous government coalition comprising right-wing. left-wing and center parties, which have virtually nothing in common except the wish to see the last of Netanyahu. We had very mixed feelings about it, especially since the intended new Prime Minister Naftali Bennet is, if anything, more right-wing than Netanyahu. Still, the new government would have very strong mechanisms of “mutual veto” in place that would prevent Bennet from doing too much harm – though the same would also prevent the new government from doing much good, either. And this government would be the very first in Israeli history to rely on an Arab party for its parliamentary majority (other than the Rabin Government in 1995, whose tenure was cut short by the PM being assassinated).

Anyway, there were very concrete plans to have the new cabinet ready for parliamentary approval by Tuesday, May 11 (yesterday). The anti-corruption demonstrators who have been demonstrating every week outside the Prime Minister’s residence were joking about when the movers will arrive to take away the Netanyahu family furniture. But Netanyahu had other irons in the fire.

First, there was the planned expulsion of hundreds of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarach neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Dozens of them were due to be expelled within days and extreme right settlers were going to enter into their vacated homes. Protests in Sheikh Jarach and elsewhere in East Jerusalem met brutal police repression. Then, protests spread to the Haram A Sharif (Temple Mount) compound, and so did the police repression. Police started to shoot “rubber” bullets directly into demonstrators’ faces, causing them to lose eyes – at least two of them losing both eyes and becoming blind for the rest of their lives. Footage of the police breaking into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site and a place considered even by secular Palestinians as a major part of their national heritage, spread widely through the social networks, escalating the protests. And then there was the plan to have thousands of radical young settlers hold the provocative “Dance of the Flags” right through the Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, chanting their habitual racist slogans. The police and government reiterated hour after hour that the “Dance of the Flags” would take place as scheduled. And it was then that Hamas in Gaza threatened to retaliate for the attack on the Palestinians of Jerusalem, and the government declared that it would not bend to “the ultimatums of terrorists”. And at the very last moment the “Dance” was cancelled – but it was too late. At 6.00 PM the salvo of seven Hamas rockets at the outskirts of Jerusalem – which in fact caused no casualties or damage, but which precipitated the Israeli deadly retaliation on Gaza. .

And now, a bit more than 48 hours later, here we are, in the midst of an escalating war, the Israeli Air Force destroying high rise buildings in Gaza and proudly announcing the “elimination” of senior Hamas activists – but unable to hinder the Palestinians’ ability to go on shooting rockets. And relations between Jews and Arabs, fellow citizens of Israel, have descended to unprecedented depths of inter-communal violence. In Lod, the police declared a night curfew “to stop the rampaging Arabs” but Arab inhabitants refuse to abide and are involved in violent confrontations with police around a local mosque. And in Bat Yam and Tiberias, mobs of extreme right Jews are assaulting random Arabs and smashing up Arab-owned shops. And repeated again and again in the media is the government’s total refusal to make a ceasefire. “No, no, no ceasefire – we must teach Hamas a lesson!”

Of course no ceasefire. Why should Netanyahu want a ceasefire? Every day in which the shooting continues is one more day of keeping that dreaded movers’ truck away from the Prime Minister’s Residence, one more day of keeping power in his own hands. If there was concrete proof that Netanyahu did it all consciously and deliberately, it would make up criminal charges far more serious than those he is facing at the District Court of Jerusalem. But any such evidence is probably classified Top Secret and would only be published fifty years from now. So, we can’t prove that he did it deliberately, though there can be little doubt about it. We can only end the war and immediately afterwards get rid of him.

Perhaps what is happening now will shake President Biden out of the attitude of keeping a low profile on |Israel and the Palestinians? After all, all this mess had fallen on his desk with quite a loud clatter.

Women against war, Asia, Pacific


This 9 March 2021 video says about itself:

Gender and Disarmament in Asia-Pacific

“He recalled his mother’s last letter. ‘What would she feel,’ he wondered, ‘if she saw me here now, on this field, with cannon aimed at me?’ ~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, 1865

For more than a century women and women’s organisations and movements have mobilised in support of peace and disarmament. There have been examples of women’s organisations and movements at the national, regional and international level with a primary focus on peace and disarmament. It is noted as early as in 1904 when women of Manipur fought using non-violent tactics against British Colonial Rule in the First Women’s War and exploitative policies, and later on April 28, 1915 for the first time in history when nearly 1,200 women called “International Congress for Women” from warring and neutral countries came together to protest the conflict at The Hague in Holland.

During the Cold War, women lobbied against stockpiling and the possible use of nuclear weapons. After a 1959 Conference on the “Responsibility of Women in the Atomic Age”, the newly formed “European Movement of Women For Nuclear Disarmament” and other women’s groups, embarked on a massive educational and petition campaign. Around the world, in the Pacific region, women have organised against nuclear testing. For instance, a group of women in Japan set up a peace camp at the base of Mount Fuji. Women’s groups in Africa have also been involved in advocating for peace and reconstruction as seen in Angola, Burundi, Somalia and Niger.

An individual’s decision to disarm is influenced by his/her/their perception of personal and economic security, an issue that is closely related to women. This makes disarmament a continuing process that is dependent on myriad factors such as the state’s ability to protect its citizens, crime levels, economic opportunities and the degree to which a weapon has become legitimate within society. A key to understanding why women have organisations in favour of disarmament is the link many women have made between gender equality and peace. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security was adopted in October 2000. This resolution specifically mentions the need to incorporate gender perspectives in disarmament, demobilisation and rehabilitation initiatives. This resolution was a monumental turning point in recognizing the concept of women’s direct contribution to Disarmament.

The webinar on 5 March is being organised by the Asia Group of International Peace Bureau to mark International Women’s Day of 2021 and will be focusing on the sharing of important ongoing work done in this field. We look forward to having you with us.

Featuring:

Ms. Emiko Hirano, New Japan Women’s Association (Japan)
Dr. Lisa Natividad, Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice (Guam)
Ms Jung Min Choi, World Without War (South Korea)
Opening remarks will be given by IPB Co-President, Lisa Clark.
Moderated by IPB board member and Founder-Director of the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network, Binalakshmi “Bina” Nepram.

Military environmental pollution in the European Union


This December 2019 video says about itself:

In this Our Changing Climate environmental video essay, I look at the environmental and social cost of the military and militarism. I narrow in on the United States military-industrial complex because it is by far the biggest military machine in the world. I look at how the military and the military-industrial complex is a massive polluter in terms of both emissions and chemical waste. In addition, the video looks at whether or not these environmental and monetary burdens caused by the military-industrial complex are justified. Have the multitude of wars the United States has wage been just, or are they manifestations of imperialism. Ultimately, the video connects environmental destruction with military imperialism and concludes that demilitarization is the only truly effective answer to the carbon footprint of the military.

Militaries are high consumers of fossil fuels – and yet they are frequently exempt from publicly reporting their carbon emissions.

This is equally true in the European Union, and so a new report by SGR and CEOBS has examined the size of the military carbon footprint in the region. Dr Stuart Parkinson and Linsey Cottrell report.

United States soldiers spread COVID-19 in Ireland


This 17 April 2020 video says about itself:

Almost a thousand soldiers in US military infected with Coronavirus. US Army chief said that soldiers would continue to train …General James McConville said that the army needs to be ready to go to war. General James McConville, Chief of Staff of US Army, said, “As this morning, we’ve had 992 soldiers from all three components test positive for the COVID 19 virus.”

U.S. TROOPS BLOW OFF COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS American officials have apologized to Irish leaders after U.S. military personnel ignored COVID-19 regulations when they landed at Shannon Airport late last month. The 48 service members, plus five crew members of the U.S. Navy C40A aircraft, skipped presenting required negative tests for COVID-19 when they landed. They then broke isolation during the night, leaving their Limerick hotel to buy food. [HuffPost]

US military troops travelling into Shannon breached Covid-19 rules. ‘Error on the US side’ meant troops failed to show negative PCR test before Limerick stay: here.

CDC DIRECTOR: LATEST COVID DATA COULD SPELL TROUBLE New data about the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. is extremely concerning, the leader of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned. “At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, referencing emerging strains of the coronavirus that appear more transmissible, deadlier and more resistant to vaccines. [HuffPost]

Dutch war crimes in Afghanistan


This 18 November 2020 video says about itself:

Australia to release report into possible Afghanistan war crimes

Australia is all set to release a long-awaited report on the allegations of misconduct and possible war crimes in Afghanistan.

The report – to be released on Thursday – sums up a four-year inquiry into the allegations against Australian special forces.

Al Jazeera’s Nicola Gage has been following the story from the Australian capital, Canberra.

Translated from Dutch daily Trouw, 23 December 2020:

A Dutch veteran tells how he shot at houses in the Afghan province of Uruzgan and possibly killed civilians. …

Hölzken says he was then ordered to shoot at two homes with a heavy machine gun … They saw people running from the second house, Hölzken was ordered to shoot at them, even though he reported seeing no weapons. According to the veteran, the Dutch were not shot at during the entire incident. “It was unjustifiable what we did that night,” he says.

BIDEN TO END AMERICA’S LONGEST WAR President Joe Biden set a deadline of Sept. 11 for pulling American troops from Afghanistan, two decades after the U.S. invaded to avenge the 2001 terrorist attacks. The U.S. mission, muddled by corruption, nation-building missteps and the deaths of nearly 2,400 American troops, ends much like other historical attempts to conquer the rugged country. [HuffPost]

Trump brings more war to Middle East


This 20 June 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

Millions of children face starvation in Yemen warns United Nations – BBC News

There’s a stark warning tonight that millions of children in Yemen could be pushed to “the brink of starvation” unless international aid is dramatically stepped up. It comes from UNICEF, the United Nations children’s organisation.

Yemen faces the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with the coronavirus pandemic compounding the effect of five years of civil war.

… It is backed by a Saudi-led coalition which is supported by the US and the UK.

2 million of Yemen’s children are malnourished, and 1.7 million have been forced to flee their homes. A child dies every 10 minutes from a preventable disease.

Reeta Chakrabarti presents BBC News at Ten reporting from Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen.

TRUMP’S PARTING GIFT: A WORSE YEMEN CATASTROPHE Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is considering designating the Houthis, the Yemeni militia that rules over the vast majority of the country’s population, as a terrorist organization. The move would fit the Trump administration’s strategy to weaken Iran … and thrill Iranian adversaries like Saudi Arabia. It would push millions of people in Yemen into starvation and prolong the country’s civil war. Biden would find it extremely difficult to reverse the designation. [HuffPost]

JEWISH GROUP JOINS FIGHT AGAINST TRUMP ARMS SALE J Street, a prominent Jewish American organization working on Middle East issues, is pushing to stop Trump from sending $23 billion in military arms and equipment to the United Arab Emirates. “The sale of a massive quantity of such destructive weapons systems to the UAE would only further fuel an escalating arms race in a region already suffering from destabilizing wars that endanger civilians and undermine U.S. interests,” J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami told HuffPost. [HuffPost]

IOTD …. “🇵🇷 ‘Image of the Day, Very Special Edition – #RebuildAreciboObservatory – Shero’ 🇵🇷 …. “!!


European Union-paid Sudanese anti-refugee violence


This 24 June 2019 video says about itself

When mass demonstrations in the spring led to the downfall of Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir, protesters hoped for a peaceful transition to civilian rule.

But since then, the backlash has been brutal. Hundreds have died or gone missing. One man has tightened his grip on power through the most brutal arm of the state, known as the Rapid Support Forces. What’s most surprising is that Hemedti seemingly built up his power with the help of money from the European Union. A warning: this report contains images that viewers may find disturbing.

Translated from Dutch daily Trouw, 31 October 2020:

This notorious Sudanese militia is receiving “security training” paid for by the European Union

For years, the EU and the Dutch government refused financial or material support to Sudan’s most feared paramilitary group. But money from an EU fund against irregular migration is now used for training for this particular group.

Klaas van Dijken, Nouska du Saar and Aziz Alnour, 31 October 2020, 1:00 am

… The men are members of Sudan’s most feared and most powerful paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). …

RSF was involved in war crimes in Darfur

The EU has always said that the RSF will not receive direct or indirect support because of its involvement in war crimes in Darfur. The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag also spoke out against this last year. But internal and public documents show that the EU is indeed co-financing this training project, and that EU countries gave their consent in July. …

The money for it comes from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, which has been set up to combat irregular migration.

Internal documents show that 5 million euros has been budgeted for the program, which also includes training of the RSF. The militias are awaiting training in … recognizing and identifying refugees … and using firearms, says an insider. ..

“For years we have asked the European Commission not to support the RSF and they have pledged to do so time and again. But it seems that anything is possible at the EU if the ultimate goal is to keep refugees out of Europe, ”said Miguel Urbán Crespo, MEP.

“Training the RSF is shortsighted and morally wrong”

Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch, is also critical: “Training the RSF is shortsighted and morally wrong,” he says. “When not linked to trials of the leaders of the RSF, this kind of training is a nice facade and irrelevant.”

Free imprisoned Israeli anti-militarist woman, protest today


This 22 October 2020 video from Israel says about itself:

Hallel Rabin – I Refuse

Hallel Rabin, a conscientious objector, spent two terms in Prison 6

That military prison is near Atlit, on Oren Junction.

for refusing to serve in the army. A few days before returning to the ICRC to refuse for a third time, she was interviewed by Social TV and justified her decision to refuse in public, after the IDF Conscience Committee was not persuaded to dismiss her.

For more interviews with other Israelis who refuse military service in Israel: here.

From Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom today:

Stand with Conscientious objector Hallel Rabin – demonstration at the Israeli Army’s Military Prison 6

Conscientious objector Hallel Rabin was sent to the military prison because of her refusal to join an army of occupation which oppresses the Palestinians.

She has asked – and fully deserves – for public support for her struggle.

The army’s method of dealing with refusers and conscientious objectors (male or female alike) is incremental sentences of a month at a time,

After each term the objector is again ordered to enlist, refuses again and is sent again to prison.

Hallel Rabin is now undergoing the third such one-month term, and many more can follow.

Using this method enables the army to avoid a court-martial which would be held in public and where the defendant can be represented by a lawyer and call witnesses.

Instead, the cumulative one-month terms are issued at “instant trials” held in camera at an officer’s bureau and lasting about five minutes.

‘Mesarvot’ and ‘Yesh Gvul’ invite the public to attend a protest vigil in support of Hallel and decrying her incarceration,

Today, Saturday October 31st, 2020 at 12:30

On the mountainside facing Military Prison 6, from where protesters are visible – and audible – to prisoners (and to their guards).

For those coming from the Tel-Aviv/Gush-Dan or Jerusalem areas, transportation is available; register here.

Contact: Yishai Menuchin +972-(0)54-3355373 +972-(0) 54-4860050.

War criminal Tony Blair also coronavirus spreader


This 30 July 2020 video says about itself:

As European countries expand protection measures like quarantines and mask-wearing for Covid-19 patients, courts are being left with the job of interpreting and enforcing the new laws. In Austria, a woman has been sentenced to a suspended jail term for visiting a supermarket while under quarantine – a move the judge slammed as ‘dangerous’.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

British former Prime Minister Tony Blair has discredited himself by allegedly violating the coronavirus rules. According to The Sunday Times, he did not go into home quarantine after a two-day trip to the United States. People entering Great Britain from that country are required to go into isolation for two weeks.

The newspaper says it has photos of Blair showing him leaving a London restaurant ten days after his return from Washington. The Sunday Times reports that Blair filed for an exemption but was not granted it.

Why is this war criminal, responsible for killing over a million Iraqis, many Afghans, etc. not yet in a prison cell in The Hague? Why can he fly to the USA, world coronavirus epicentre ‘thanks’ to Donald Trump, and fly back to Britain, bringing the virus with him? Are war criminal politicians only put on trial in The Hague if they are black Africans?