the small print

I and the other internationals present in Gaza during Israel’s 08/09 war did our absolute best to document accurately what we saw, as well as what we were told by other witnesses – often via translation and in chaotic circumstances – double and triple checking wherever possible.

When this blog was published as Gaza: Beneath the Bombs, as part of the editing process, I and Sarah Irving had the chance to do further checking and research. It helped that by this time new resources were available, such as post-war reports from organisations such as the United Nations.

We made corrections where appropriate for the book, but I have by-and-large left the blog entries untouched as contemporary reports. Excepting a few very minor confusions, the accuracy of everything that we recorded at the time has been backed up by post-war investigation – even the things we wanted to believe couldn’t possibly be true.


Positive comments
Due to my limited time, electricity & capacity, a friend is often moderating my comments for me.

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.

Negative Comments

I am borrowing a comment policy from DesertPeace…

To quote DesertPeace directly:

Comments Are Not Free
The comments on this Blog are locked. I have explained the reasons for this a number of times. Basically it is to avoid… any form of racism including (real) antisemitism…any zionist propaganda … any form of sexism…obscenities of any kind… personal attacks on myself or anyone that comments…

Disagreements are welcome, discussions are welcome, but any of the above will not be published…. so save yourself the time and effort and stop sending them. Call this censorship if you like, call it anything you want… but learn to live with it! Comments are not free on this Blog!

8 Responses to the small print

  1. Jeff says:

    let me know how to get you a donation from the US. Do you have a PayPal or other online service account that will not eat up too much in currency swaps etc. Or do you have someone you can trust to handle cash.

    keep up the good work, the world needs to see the truth.


  2. annie levy says:

    This is an incredible bit of footage that shows incredible bravery, speaking truth to power, on the part of the young woman solidarity worker….

    Remember how the Red Cross was accused of believing Nazi lies in the Tereisenstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia? You international witnesses are so important!!!! Thank you for the work you do.

  3. Ruth Kelly says:

    Ey up me dear,

    Just wanted to send love to you and let you know that we are all thinking of you lots and wanting you to keep as safe as possible. Toby (our new baby) has been on his first demo. We’ve had several solidarity vigils here in Derby. Ruth S and I painted a huge banner which we put up in the market place yesterday to coincide with the departure of the ‘Spirit of Humanity’ from Larnaca. Lots of people came down and we got some press too, which was great given the short notice.

    Much Love Ruth K x

  4. Dr. Dan says:

    Thank you, and may God BLESS you. Keep up the Lord’s work.

  5. The Palestinian Conflict – A Metaphor For understand the problem
    Dear Reader . Let’s suppose that you, your wife, your five children and your parents are living in a nice two floor house. Your home has a car box and a small handicraft business attached, a garden, a field and a stable with some cows. It is your family’s property since ages and where you make a living with your handicraft business and by growing crops and farming your cows.

    One day a man comes up and asks you if he could stay at your place for some days with his family. You let them in the guest room at the ground floor. He pays you a small rent. As time goes by They (your guest and his relatives) grow bolder and start using your laundry, then your garden, then also your car, and then they stop paying you the rent.

    One day your patience comes to end. You call them to order but they threaten you with killing. You’re scared and search shelter at your cousin’s. While you are absent They (the zionists) make themselves comfortable on the first floor. When you are back they don’t let you in. You have no other choice but to stay at the guest room on the ground floor. If you go upstairs to the first floor They hit you. As it wouldn’t be enough, They also shoot at you and kill one of your sons. You call the police, but you’re answered that they have no time.

    One day They start using your laboratory. They expand it using also the money of your savings books. With their ability, their international relations and the underpaid labor of two of your sons they make a small factory out of your former business.

    One day relatives of Theirs arrive. They suffered difficult times and are in trouble. Needless to say, you are forced to free the guest room and move to the garage. Your sons have to sleep in a tent and your parents camp on the road. . One day you are so fed up that try to get them out by force: you kill one of their sons, but They fire back and kill another one of your sons, und They also damage your garage and destroy your tent. In the mean time in your home and in the neighborhood any trace of yours has been removed and replaced by the emblem of Their family, which sticks on everything. You call the police (the English), but they don’t know what to do because they also fear Them und they suggest you to go stay at your cousin’s. . One day the issue ends up at court (UN) : unashamed They affirm that the property is theirs because nobody lived there when they arrived, their ancestors already lived there 2000 years ago with the help of God, They transformed the once dry land into a green garden, They created a solid industry and now, thanks to Them, everything is tidy and clean. They do not forget to remind of their brothers who got killed by the gangsters (the Nazists) in a foreign country. You too are a believer, but They, lying, claim that God is on their side, not yours, and yours is but a pure religious dispute. Considering the current situation and facing the fact that They destroyed the land registers and all kind of documents, the judge “impartially” decides that the house and the laboratory belongs to Them, the garden, the car box, the field and the stable to you. Them as next they kill the judge’s supervisor (Bernadotte) and raise a fence overnight to prevent you from accessing the stable and the field. You helplessly look at them milking your cows and using your equipment. You become furious and want to conquer back your house with the help of friends and neighbors (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon). But They fight back and hit everyone, and on top They occupy all the property and the neighbors’ vegetable-gardens (the Sïnai + Golan) to also get their vegetables. Back again at court the judge grants the permission to your sons to stay in the guest room. You are allowed to stay in the car box, but you have to repair it at your own expense. They employ to your sons in the stable from time to time. . One day, with the help of a powerful friend (the US), and by alternating threats with the promise of giving back a part of the vegetable-garden, They convince your neighbors to no longer help you. In the meantime They work steadily at your definitive expulsion: to convince you to leave They destroy the car box where you live, check your mail and your phone calls, watch any move of yours, seize your car, smash your TV set…. They finance all of these interventions with the taxes they collect from you to pay Their administration. And as if this is not enough, they also receive an indemnity for the death of their brothers abroad. You are reduced in misery, and They prosper. The judge gives you a tent as a gift and grants a miserable indemnity to your parents, who are living in a temporarily but definitive shelter on the land of one of your neighbors Two of your sons live as good as they can at the ground floor, while your third son has emigrated abroad and sends you at intervals some money.

    One day They put a gate at the entry of your garden and one at the entrance of the house. You can neither visit your sons nor your parents; you can not even go to work, to the market, to school or to the hospital. Your parents and your emigrant son are denied entrance. In the meantime, other relatives of Theirs arrive and stay in a camper parked in the garden. Saying that he can became dangerous They kill your faithful dog. . One day you give in and admit your defeat. You renounce to your house and accept it is now Theirs in change of the possibility of living in freedom in the garden and of rebuilding the garage. They say they are glad you finally admitted that They are the legitimate owners of the properties, but they demur on the others subjects. Unfortunately, in the meantime some of Them swear at you, destroy your tent again, chop the olive trees from which you got your income and turn off the water supply. They also generously offer you to settle down in a corner of the garden under their control. . . One day, because the situation degenerates and becomes unbearable: you take a gun, shoot at the house and wound one of them. They reply by killing another son of yours, hit you, imprison you in the closet, state that you’re a dangerous terrorist and declare that They no longer talk to you until you get reasonable. And on top of this your wife blames you for your ineptitude and threatens to hit here own road and leave you alone. . One day, at the top of desperation your son starts throwing stones at Them. Their reply with rifles, cannons, bombs, helicopters, tanks, prohibitions, controls, destruction and imprisonment with a high separation wall. The public opinion only gets one-sided information (Their side), think that you’re violent and refuse to help you. Many people, including the judge, keep silent because they are afraid of Their powerful friend, or feel sorry for the slaughter of their brothers in another land.
    Someone starts saying that you just create disorder, that helping you is too expensive, that you should have accepted their generous offer and that maybe it would be better that you go away. Others stigmatize the situation but do not dare an intervention, others simply have no interest. . Dear Reader: if you are in this miserable condition you can be nobody else than a Palestinian. Who are the other “actors”? They are the zionists, the police are the English during the mandate, the judge is the UN, the people (public opinion) are the international community, the neighbors are Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, their powerful friend the US, the wife is Hamas, … . Now how can we convince Them to give back the stolen goods, or at least allow an acceptable cohabitation?

    A Metaphor of the withdrawal from the Gaza strip . In a prison there is a political prisoner* that occupies a small cell but with a sure fascination. For this reason the guardian likes it to survey the prisoner at sight watch by remaining with he in the cell in the hope that a day can arrange of all the cell for its personal use. The prisoner, beyond the privation of the freedom, he has always the guardian between the feet that intimidates it, controls it, creates it difficulty, steals a part of the mess, etc. With the time also the position of the guardian makes itself inconvenient, as an example in the relation with the director of the prison and because he must continuously pay attention from the bad jokes of the prisoner. After a long period of reflection, estimated for and against, the guardian decides that it is better for he to be outside and to watch the prisoner through the small window of the door. Made saying he leaves in the cell much soil and one of its photo** (that the prisoner immediately tear) and transfer himself in the corridor where its presence prevents to the other prisoners to go to the bath. The director announce to the credulous world that now “the prisoner is freer” but understood that the prisoner is dangerous (evidence: he has tear the photo of the guardian) and must remain locked up (he order to reinforce the emergency measures). For the prisoner the situation is a little only more comfortable, but the privative of the freedom with relative submission to the guardian is unchanged and on the whole the prisoners are worse. (* he is in prison because he has protested when the friends of the director confiscated him his house ; ** the synagogues).

    Ask the free CD with the history of Palestine in images (1000 historic images, 50 maps, comments, etc. – french, italian, german, english) to: (with your postmail address)

  6. Rama Humeid says:

    Hello dears,
    I’m from Gaza. My name is Rama Humeid and I’m 23 years old. I have many stories to tell. but I would like to meet you, Is it possible? if yes, u have my email and if not please let me know. I was working in the UNRWA shelters. I have friends who have lost their mothers, families, homes and many other things. I could take u there to meet them all.
    Best Regards,

  7. pietro says:


    Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2009 11:12 AM
    Subject: Erdogan ed il terrorismo



    L’incidente tra Erdogan e Perez a Davos merita qualche riflessione. In fondo la voce di Erdogan è stata la sola tra i capi di stato e di governo che si sia levata per condannare e protestare la violenta inaudita aggressione di Israele contro la città e la popolazione di Gaza. Una aggressione fatta con un potente esercito, con una modernissima aviazione di velivoli capaci di effettuare centinaia e centinaia di missioni che ha usato oltre cento aerei, con una marina che ha cannoneggiato dal largo la citta riducendola in macerie, con carri armati di proporzioni mostruose che hanno abbattuto edifici con le persone. Un crimine contro l’umanità inammissibile svoltosi sotto gli occhi indifferenti dei governi europei, nel silenzio di Barak Obama ma talmente efferato che giornali schierati con Israele come il Corriere della Sera non hanno potuto fare a meno di pubblicare foto sconvolgenti come le stragi naziste.
    Erdogan ha accusato lo stesso Presidente Perez, appartenente per vergogna del socialismo alla internazionale socialista, che collabora da anni con la destra religiosa fondamentalista israeliana in un governo che non ha mai concesso un giorno di tregua e di pace ai palestinesi di voglia di uccidere.

    Erdogan è stato costretto a lasciare l’assemblea per la scorrettezza dello speaker che gli ha dato la parola soltanto per metà del tempo concessa a Perez. Prima di allontanarsi ha svolto una interessante riflessione sul terrorismo sostenendo che bisogna evitare di evocarlo per giustificare i misfatti colonialistici e genocidi. Ha dichiarato: ” Presidente Obama deve ridefinire il terrorismo e le organizzazioni terroristiche del Medio Oriente e, basandosi su questa nuova definizione, l’America deve sviluppare la sua nuova politica nella regione”

    Ho sempre pensato che il terrorismo di cui parlano gli americani su ispirazione degli israeliani sia soltanto uno strumento propagandistico ma che in effetti non esista se non come creatura

    del Pentagono della Cia. Al Qaeda ,Bin Laden, il suo v ice, fanno apparizioni nei massmedia di un tempismo perfettamente funzionale agli interessi americani. Un orologio a cucù che canta quando serve a Bush ed ora ad Obama.

    Il Presidente del Parlamento Palestinese, molti ministri e parlamentari, sono stati arrestati dallo Stato di Israele, rinchiusi in carcere illegalmente. Nelle carceri israeliane sono rinchiusi in condizioni inumane tredicimila palestinesi. Si tratta di atti e comportamenti terroristici ma

    Non vengono catalogati in Occidente come tale. Hamas è un movimento che riscuote la fiducia della popolazione palestinese eppure viene considerato terrorista. Esiste un terrorismo di Stato americano ed israeliano contro i palestinesi, gli irakeni, gli afgani con ripetute azioni criminali con uso di armi terribili al fosforo, all’uranio, Dima, armi che non lasciano speran za di vita ai feriti, eppure sul banco degli accusati troviamo soltanto Hamas come ieri Arafat che fu tenuto prigioniero gli ultimi anni della sua vita a Ramal e la sua stessa abitazione spesso bombardata.

    E’ importante la demolizione del concetto di terrorismo fatto da Erdogan dal momento che questo concetto pervade i discorsi di tutti i leaders occidentali ed ha conquistato anche parte importante delle opposizioni e della sinistra europea giungendo financo a fare abiurare a Bertinotti le giuste cose che qualche anno fa aveva scritto sul terrorismo.

    Ripetendo lo stesso concetto mille volte, come Goebbels ha insegnato ai propagandisti , si è giunti a far credere che il terrorismo esistente non è di reazione ai soprusi di azioni altrui ma è una vera e propria strategia di guerra attuata dai fondamentalisti islamici per attaccare l’Europa. Qualche cretino si spinge fino a dire che l’obiettivo è il Grande Califfato mondiale previa islamizzazione dell’Europa.

    Erdogan ha messo in chiaro le responsabilità israeliane e la strumentalità dell’accusa di terrorismo. Ma le sue dichiarazioni sono state riportate in minima parte e nascoste ai lettori dei giornali europei.

    Tutto quello che Erdogan ha detto a Davos è giusto e va sottoscritto. Ma dobbiamo ricordargli che da dieci anni il segretario del Partito Comunista Curdo Ocalon, sostenitore di una soluzione pacifica della questione del suo popolo, è tenuto prigioniero e che ancora oggi è vietato l’insegnamento della lingua curda e gravi discriminazioni subiscono i curdi che vengono costretti a vivere tra montagne inospitali da un esercito turco che frequentemente organizza spedizioni punitive che si concludono in massacri.

    Penso che se Erdogan ha avuto parole chiare ed assai decise per la questione palestinese forse vuole risolvere positivamente la questione curda, il più grande popolo del pianeta privo di una patria.

    Me lo auguro e spero che la sinistra europea si schiera con i popoli curdo e palestinesi minacciati di genocidio.

    Intanto gli abitanti di Gaza sono tornati ad essere chiusi in gabbia da israele con la complicità dello Egitto. Debbono morire di fame, di sete, di malattie?

    Pietro Ancona

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