call from gaza 2009

(this was posted Jan 2009 from Gaza)

In a way that does truly hearten the Palestinian folk here, demonstrations, actions, and vigils for Gaza have taken off world wide, and there is no way I can keep up posting them. So please everyone, feel free to post upcoming events here, and post reports of them under Gaza Solidarity.

I am getting many great messages from people, you have no idea how much it means to me (and Gaza folks I share them with) to be connected with listeners. I apologise that I just don’t have the capacity to answer 99% of them. I really like that people are having good ideas about linking with Gaza and I will try my best to support these if you need me.

If you could do as much fact-finding/connecting with Gaza groups *without* me as you can (it’s possible to connect with Gaza by telephone if you persist and many people speak English) I will try to help with the gaps. Since the Dec/Jan attacks (I can’t call something so lop-sided a war) there’s not been a day with empty space, and I’ve had no chance to sit down and consider what work to prioritise; things simply grab my time. But I will totally do my best to assist.

A Call From Gaza (which got the Uni Teachers Association two missiles to their office and one to the neighbours, the night they published this)

From:

The One Democratic State Group – Gaza
University Teachers Association in Palestine – Gaza
Arab Cultural Forum – Gaza

Write your representative today and demand:

1. That Israeli war criminals be brought before the International Criminal Court or a Special Tribunal for war crimes committed in Gaza. (Remind your representative that the investigation, prosecution or extradition of those responsible for war crimes is an obligation of all high contracting parties to the Geneva Conventions.)

2. That in response to Israel’s severe breaches of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, your state terminate all favorable trade agreements and economic relations with Israel, including the EU Association Agreement which is conditional upon adherence to human rights and democratic principles.

3. That your state cut all diplomatic ties with Israel.

The current events in Gaza were predicated and advocated for by Israeli Professor Arnon Soffer, Head of the IDF’s National Defense College. Professor Soffer spelled out the desired results of Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza in an interview with the Jerusalem Post (24 May 2004):

Jerusalem Post: How will the region look the day after unilateral separation?

Arnon Soffer: …First of all…. Instead of entering Gaza like we did last week. We will tell the Palestinians that if a single missile is fired over the fence, we will fire 10 in response. And women and children will be killed, and houses will be destroyed. After the fifth such incident, Palestinian mothers won’t allow their husbands to shoot Kassams, because they will know what’s waiting for them.

Second of all, when 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day…If we don’t kill, we will cease to exist…Unilateral separation doesn’t guarantee “peace” – it guarantees a Zionist-Jewish state with an overwhelming majority of Jews…

Jerusalem Post: Voluntary transfer?

Arnon Soffer: Yes. And Gaza is going to be such a disaster that it will be beyond our capacity to help. There will have to be large-scale international aid. The US will have to pressure Egypt to cede land.

More recently Matan Vilnai, Deputy Defense Minister of Israel, told Army Radio during “Operation Hot Winter” (29 February 2008):

They will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.

In the days following this statement, 107 Palestinians were killed. The international comunity failed to take action. This inaction, followed by European declarations of intentions to upgrade their trade agreements with Israel, served as a green light for the current atrocities.

Reserve Colonel Yoav Gal, an Israeli Air Force pilot, told Army Radio during “Operation Cast Lead” (11 January 2009):

I believe that it should have been even stronger! Dresden! Dresden! The extermination of a city! After all, we’re told that the face of war has changed. No longer is it the advancing of tanks or an organized military. […] It is a whole nation, from the old lady to the child, this is the military. It is a nation fighting a war. I am calling them a nation, even though I don’t see them as one. It is a nation fighting a nation. Civilians fighting civilians. I’m telling you that we […] must know […] that stones will not be thrown at us! I am not talking about rockets – not even a stone will be thrown at us. Because we’re Jews.[…] I want the Arabs of Gaza to flee to Egypt. This is what I want. I want to destroy the city, not necessarily the people living within it.

In order to end Israel´s impunity we call on civil society to support the Palestinian campaign for an international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

Signatories,
The One Democratic State Group – Gaza
University Teacher Association in Palestine – Gaza
Arab Cultural Forum – Gaza

8 Comments on “call from gaza 2009”

  1. Jewel Says:

    Thank you so much for these inspirational words and images. You in Gaza are making the most important contribution possible to human survival but we are all part of that struggle.
    Halifax is a solid little Yorkshire town, not very big or lively but this afternoon well over 100 people gathered to express their horror at Israel’s ‘all-out war against Hamas’, Palestine’s democratically elected government. Halifax MP, Linda Riordan, recently returned from a trip to the West Bank, was one of the first to arrive for our candlelit vigil, keen to support constituents who simply want to stop the human suffering of this gross injustice.
    With less than 24 hours notice in mid-holiday, we had hoped to attract 10-20 stalwarts to stand in the cold outside the library. But the turn-out must have been the biggest and most diverse statement of public interest here for many years. All sectors of the community were represented – black and white, Muslim and Christian, male and female from 8 to 80. All had interrupted their plans for collective sharing of grief and solidarity with the people of Gaza, denied even the chance to mourn their dead. People who’d never met connected on a deep level with united understanding of the need to act now. After an hour, with many passers-by joining us, our FREE GAZA and STOP THE BOMBING chants were drummed up through the town to gather in a circle of silence at a busy intersection. There were no big speeches but tomorrow we will collect in Hebden Bridge, next town up the valley.
    In common with others across the globe, we are realizing that it is only the collective energy of ordinary people that can – and must change this dire situation.

  2. Nadia Says:

    Hi

    Thanks a lot for all what you are doing, please say them that even if all our leaders are corrupted, the people is in struggle with them. Many protestation with many people dennonced Israeli’s attack and ask for the peace in Gaza and in all palestine.
    We will win its sure inchallah.

    On october i was in west bank and i’have seen very bad things abourt Israeli soldiers, and since i come back i wanted to go to Gaza. Now i still wanted to come but i think that the dignity is destroyed and i’m sure that israel will not let anyone go to gaza, Please if you ear abourt one way to come and join you tell it to me.

    I live in france and as a muslim i’m very concerned by the situation in Gaza. I wish i could be there with you for helping people and to see and say what really happens over there.

    Sorry for my english but i can read your messages traduced into french in ISM website and you make me crying evry day.

    THANKS A LOT

    May God Give you the best for you. Amin

  3. Helen B Says:

    A Jewish Friend sent me this…..

    What a betrayal:

    International Humanitarian Law, much of which was established after the Holocaust to prevent it ever happening again and the ideals of the Israeli declaration of Independence http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_Independence_(Israel)
    World opinion
    Regional opinion
    Much of Israeli opinion

    Black faxes may be appropriate

    Israeli Embassy in London
    2 Palace Green
    London
    W8 4QB
    Tel: 020 7957 9500
    Fax: 020 7957 9555
    Street Map of Israeli Embassy
    admin(@)embassyhomepage.com
    Israeli Embassy (Public Affairs) ;

  4. fred Says:

    I have recommended your blog to http://www.cityultima.com/Palestinan that covers the organisations and events in London
    Blogs like yours are our only source of information, and we must try and get your links everywhere

    but just in case the palestinans have any doubt who the world (minus the zionists in washinton and london) supports

    http://www.squidoo.com/The-Demonstrations-on-Gaza


  5. Because of this humanitarian crisis happening in Gaza, because of the world condemnation and indignation of what is happening in Gaza, this Petition must be signed by everyone of consciousness, and the word should be spread as fast as we can.

    1,5 million signatures for 1,5 humans in Gaza – that is the goal of this Petition, to be presented to the UN, Arab League and OIC.

    http://www.PetitionOnline.com/1500000/petition.html

    “All that is necessary for Evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.” – Winston Churchill

  6. Helen B Says:

    Following the occupations at SOAS, LSE, King’s College, Essex, Warwick, Sussex and Birmingham universities, over 80 Oxford University students have occupied the historic Bodleian building to demand that the university releases a statement condemning the attack on Gaza and cancel the lecture series at Balliol College inaugurated by Israeli war criminal Shimon Peres. More info on all the occupations on indymedia.org.uk.

    There are also early reports of occupations at Nottingham, Manchester Met, Newcastle and Leeds universities.

    Some of these occupations are demanding that the universities withdraw funding from banks etc that support Israeli, others that the university creates direct links with universities in Gaza & the West Bank to dent aid and support.

    These occuaptions are amazing and the fact that students are taking such radical action shows that the fate of the people of Gaza has affected so many across the world and stirred them to stand up and say “not in my name”.

    Love

    H

  7. talestotell Says:

    STOP THE WAR COALITION
    NEWSLETTER
    No. 1080 26 January 2009
    Email office@stopwar.org.uk
    Tel: 020 7278 6694
    Web: http://www.stopwar.org.uk

    EMERGENCY BBC PROTEST
    MONDAY 26 JANUARY, 5.00PM
    BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE,
    PORTLAND PLACE, LONDON W1A 1AA
    COLLECTIVE RETURN OF BBC TV LICENSES

    Stop the War is organising a mass return of TV licenses to the
    BBC for those incensed by the continuing refusal of the BBC to
    broadcast and emergency appeal for Gaza.

    The fact that other channels including Channel 4, ITV and
    Channel 5 are showing the appeal tonight shows how isolated
    and extreme the BBC is on this issue.

    For those living in London there will be a collective return
    of BBC TV licenses on Monday 26 January, at 5.30pm, at BBC
    Broadcasting House, Portland Place, W1A 1AA. If you live in
    London and want to register your disgust at the BBC
    management’s behaviour, do join us, if you can.

    We are asking local Stop the War groups outside London, which
    have a BBC office in their area, to organise similar license
    return events, notifying the local media beforehand.

    A number of our supporters have informed us that they have
    written to the BBC saying they have cancelled their direct
    debit for their TV license. If you are planning to do the
    same, please inform Stop the War at office@stopwar.org.uk.

    The BBC said that by yesterday they had received over 11,000
    complaints. That figure is bound to be far higher by now,
    given how there is now virtually unanimous agreement across
    the full spectrum of opinion in Britain that the BBC must
    reverse its disgraceful decision. Reports say that the vast
    majority of BBC staff are outraged by the blocking of the Gaza
    appeal. We need to do all we can to increase the pressure on
    the BBC management.

    If you have not complained to the BBC yet, do so here:
    PHONE: 03700 100 222
    TEXT: 03700 100 212
    ONLINE:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complaints_stage1.shtml

    You can donate to the appeal that the BBC is denying a
    broadcast here:

    https://www.donate.bt.com/bt_form_gaza.html

  8. Linda J Says:

    We have had a rally or a march every week in Seattle, but I thought this die-in at Pike Place Market was really effective too:

    Pike Market Die-in

    We will be at Westlake Park at 4th & Pine in downtown Seattle at noon on Saturdays until the Occupation ends.

    Viva Palestine!


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