Category Archives: call to action

Petition! Lift Travel Restrictions from Palestinian Journalist!

SIGN THE PETITION To:  Israeli and Palestinian Authorities  -Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh, who lives in the West Bank, has been invited to attend a media conference in Germany. As required, he set about to request all of the necessary travel documents, including a visa that needs to be granted from the German representative office in Ramallah. After routine questioning regarding his political affiliations, it was not only determined that he was not a member of any party, nor formally associated with any organisation, but it was clear that he had never been arrested or detained by Israeli authorities. Mr Amayreh was granted an entry visa to Germany. However, the Israeli military authorities have refused to give him a permit to leave the West Bank. No Palestinian can travel abroad without receiving such a permit beforehand, otherwise he or she would be turned back once arriving at the Israeli-controlled border terminal at the Allenby Bridge.

Mr Amayreh then went to his local District Coordination Office in Dura, where he was informed that his information was forwarded to the Shin Bet (General Security Services) of the Israeli government. Then two days later, the GSS informed the Palestinian office that Amayreh was “barred from leaving the West Bank for security reasons.” No further explanation was given.

His fortune in obtaining the required travel permission did not change as he applied to the Civil Administration Headquarters in Hebron, a metallic pen holding persons seeking the mandatory permission even to go to East Jerusalem for medical treatment, where it is not unusual to find them huddled and waiting their turn for ten or more hours, under the watchful eye of Israeli military watchtowers.

The Palestinian Civil Affairs Coordination Office in the West Bank was also unable to mediate on his behalf, as they too are entirely dependent upon the decisions, without clarification, evidence or justification, made by the Israeli Security division.

There is indeed no justification for the violation of this man’s civil and human rights, and along with him, the rights of all others who are denied freedom of movement with no justification whatsoever. The Occupation authorities, while they have no sovereignty over citizens of the Palestinian Authority, dictate what must be done with those citizens and the world seems to consider the violation of their rights acceptable and normal praxis. These people are not pawns on a chessboard, but are individuals who seek the basic liberties that all democracies are obligated to provide for their people. The Palestinian Authority does not exercise its duty of guaranteeing civil liberties to its own citizens, and treats them as if they shall be subject to the whims of the Occupier.

We ask for the immediate revision of the decision regarding Mr Amayreh, so that he is granted the documents necessary for him to exercise his freedom of movement allowing him to continue to provide for himself and his family in the work that he is employed in, as well as for the Palestinian Authority to assume a position that sets the freedoms of its citizens as a priority that is greater than the perceived “security” risks declared by the agency of the State of Israel.http://www.petitiononline.com/k1h2a3l4/petition.html

http://palestinethinktank.com/2008/05/28/petition-lift-travel-restrictions-on-palestinian-journalist/

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Attacks on Uruknet by fearful people on the rise

URUKNET HAS BEEN HACKED ~~ ACTION ALERT!

One of the mightiest ‘tools’ of the anti-war movement and pro-Palestinian movements has been under attack recently by Google who removed them from their News Links….    

 

Their troubles did not end with that…. I was just notified by their Administrator that their servers have been hacked today. This HAS NOT STOPPED THEM from continuing with their important task…. they are still on-line at http://www.uruknet.de/?p=-6&l=e .    

 

They will continue, but your support is needed…. you can start by reading the following and sending a letter to Google via the link provided… Don’t let the zionists win…. they are desperate because they know they are wrong.    

 

PLEASE POST THIS APPEAL ON YOUR WEBSITES OR BLOGS


Action Alert!
URUKNET CUT OFF FROM GOOGLE NEWS AGAIN!

Uruknet

googlenews1.jpeg

April 28, 2008THE US POWER STRUCTURE Who Really Runs the World (April 24, 200 8)

Google is at it again! On April 24, 2008 Google has stopped indexing Uruknet.info as a news source.

(The latest Uruknet article included in the Google News index is

We wrote to Google News but we didn’t get any reply.

We therefore kindly request our readers to write to Google asking Uruknet.info to be reinstated as a news source.

Please, send your complaints to google.news! Click here to fill a speedy form.

~~ ACTION ALERT!~~ URUKNET UPDATE ~~ ACTION ALERT! ~~

Uruknet is up and working! Technicians were able to fix the problem. In the past few weeks there were three major hacking attacks against Uruknet. Despite having a powerful Firewall, they were helpless against big D O S (Denial of Service) attacks. Yesterday alone there were more than 100 simultaneously.
Uruknet is not alone. Other sites that deal in ‘truth spreading’ have also been under attack, What Really Happened among them. The tactics are the same and most likely so are the culprits, the zionists. Those that spread lies and deceit are deathly afraid of the truth.
THIS MUST NOT BE TOLERATED. Special thanks to all that responded to my appeal yesterday and sent letters to Google about Uruknet being taken off their News server…. that struggle is still not over and is repeated below…..
 

PLEASE POST THIS APPEAL ON YOUR WEBSITES OR BLOGS

Censorship and Press Freedom: at home and away

Today marks the celebration of International Day of Press Freedom. Like many celebrations that we are called to recognise, rather than feel joy at how wonderful things are, we are reminded of just how much goes haywire. Reporters Without Borders lists those killed in 2007. They write that there has been: 129 journalists, 7 media assistants and 63 cyberdissidents jailed, 8 journalists killed since the beginning of the year, the latest in the list of horrors, Fadel Shanaa.

While all normal people with conscience recognise that it is essential to insist upon obtaining justice for the operators of information who are killed while doing their work in areas where violence is manifest, we notice that there are other ways to prevent the dissemination of information, and this restriction of freedom is nothing less than censorship.

I remember thinking that censorship was something done in the 40s by priests who had to approve the films that the Italian public was allowed to watch. When I was young and naïve, I thought it was something that only totalitarian or ultra-repressed societies would dare to use. I now know much better, and it’s not only the Big Media that simply does not allow content in that they disapprove of, it is far more sinister. It seems as though the journalists are aware of what is expected of them and they produce it without needing to be steered. In 2004, I translated portions of a book by Giulietto Chiesa that I consider to be fundamental reading. An excerpt of it states:

It is very evident that these dutiful defenders of America will not allow the powerful, or should we say “the Power”, to be criticised in any way whatsoever. These are people already well versed in the art of bowing and scraping to “the Power”, wherever it may be, so just think what they’ll be like when “the Power” actually becomes “the Empire”! So, quite often, they find themselves in the inglorious position of defending those who already have ample defensive (and offensive) capabilities of their own. And there are lots of these defenders: the majority of political commentators, for example, would never have got where they are without giving cast iron proof of their absolute loyalty to “the Power”.

All this needed time to come about. It was a long, complex and contradictory gestation. It didn’t all go smoothly, as always happens when the forces in play are real and not the abstract schemes of utopians that just happen to be in power. You make your plans as you go along, on the spur of the moment, but then you need intellectuals to give them form, glorify them in the eyes of the public, ennoble them and explain them. These propagandists have to be trained, convinced and, if necessary, bribed and corrupted. And then all obstacles, doubters, non-believers and wise guys have to be got out of the way. Playing it clean if possible, but dirty if necessary. For those of you who’ve forgotten, an instructions manual has already been written for this and it’s enough to follow it. It’s called The Prince by Nicholas Macchiavelli and it’s free, because it’s out of copyright.

The aim, therefore, is to stifle the discussion and silence the adversaries, an aim that is much more ideological than you would care to think. It also explains perfectly, for example, why the whole of the Italian press (and not only the Italian press) often say the same things. The rule is that the people controlling the media have to be totally reliable: they don’t even have to be told what to say. They already know it by heart. They have already internalised the rules of the game. Being reliable is something that requires lengthy training and considerable single-mindedness. On every level of the information hierarchy you have to prove that you have a total disregard for the truth, a complete readiness to deceive and an absolutely impenetrable cynicism. This, as a rule, is the only way of getting up to the next level.”

Yes, absolutely impenetrable cynicism is the key to containing any adversaries to “the Power”. And, what is quite interesting is that in our day and age, anyone with access to a computer is allowed to enter at some level of the information hierarchy by contributing to forums, leaving comments to articles, writing letters, and the latest and most popular form of this is to create a weblog that reflects one’s own musings and at times the information one finds and would like to share.

Weblogs are the ideal for the technically inept as well as being cost free or with very limited costs. This is why there are millions of them. A social network has grown out of these weblogs, and that is the blogging community. Most of us with a blog have a blogroll, listing blogs that are about topics that we or our readers are interested in, blogs by our friends and links that we would like to share with someone else in a public way. Sometimes we add the links with distraction (and putting them up doesn’t mean endorsing all content or even knowing who the owner is, as some try to use as an excuse to attack bloggers whose own content stands up to attacks by critics who would love to see the blogs shut down), sometimes because we read an article on the blog that we liked and add to the blogroll so that we can check out the rest later. At any rate, the blogging community has grown into a unit where we are dedicated supporters of other bloggers and we stand united in moments of difficulty.

The Palestine – Iraq blogging world has been recently under severe attack. Our blogs are being targeted for destruction. In the past few weeks, many of us have seen a spam note from Blogger. Machetera wrote about the censorship in a series of articles (also here). This spam note has driven Desert Peace’s Steve away (and his contribution to this post follows), and I shortly followed suit, not without having undergone the violence against the principle of Voltaire brought upon me by Tony Greenstein.

In fact, there are many who call themselves progressives or leftists who love censorship. In the very words of Tony Greenstein, in an article he wrote, bragging that my blog was “dead”, he stated that he had worked to exercise the power of censorship. He decides what is appropriate. He is the arbiter of the truth and the judge of the limits of discourse. He determines single-handedly who has got to be flushed down the wastewater system. But, he is wise enough to recognise his limits. He can’t do it alone. No one listens to him, so he has to enlist the help of “the Power”.

“It is gratifying to announce that the anti-Semitic sewer, going by the name of ‘PeacePalestine’ has now died a death. After I had it taken down for a day or so, because of its libellous comment, Google decided in any case it was a ‘spam’ blog. Who are we to disagree?!!!”

Apparently, he doesn’t know not only did Google not find it anti-Semitic OR libelous, which were his claims, resulting in its immediate reinstatement, but Tony doesn’t know that Spam Blogs are computer generated blogs to sell things or increase profit in some way.

Yet, Tony himself claims that he too received the spam notice, bringing him into that honourable category of the enemy of the Zionists who are operating to close their opponents down.

“But I’ll let fartypants into what I think is the story and it’s not one of censorship. I wrote to Google not so long ago saying that there was stuff that was personally libellous and yes they should take the whole of the cesspit down. However they decided not to and Rizzo was the one who crowed over that.

Now she has moved the blog anyway because it was deemed a ‘spam’ blog. The secret is that this blog was also blocked for the same reasons. What that meant was that nothing could be posted here for a day or two. It was an automatic process triggered by the software Google use, nothing to do with censorship. Clearly Rizzo had had enough and maybe wanted to put the past, including all the racist rubbish behind her (here’s hoping) and make a fresh start. let’s hope so.

I don’t know whether Google is particularly pro-Zionist, after all when I tried to get the blog taken down they refused. However I’m indifferent as to whether or not they take an anti-Semitic blog down because it’s libellous.To be blunt I couldn’t care less if one section of the Right censors another section. I regard Rizzo’s blog and the activities of those like Atzmon around it as doing nothing but a service for Zionism. It is no accident that when it comes to the historica division in diaspora Jewry between the anti-Zionist Bund and the Zionists, that Atzmon clearly and explicitly takes the side of the latter. If this is pro-Palestinian then fine.”

Now, let’s look carefully at what’s behind his claims.

First of all, he admits that he acted to get me shut down, and it is because of the content, deeming at any rate (falsely) that it is in the Right, as if that alone were reason enough to have it shut down: Hmmm, take a look at this quote by Noam Chomsky-

“If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. Goebbels was in favor of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.”

And John Pilger writes:
“If we don’t believe in free expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

Obviously, Tony hides behind the white flag of it being libelous, which was deemed untrue by Google. Then he claimed it was anti-Semitic, and there again, they ran it through their machines and they disagreed. So, it comes down to the matter of it being “on the Right”, which to him is good enough reason to have it closed, and I do dare him to show even ONE post that is on the Right, we remain with the real reason. It’s just his personal despising of me and of those whose right to free speech I ardently defend and support. Tony does not believe in my right of expression, nor in that right being allowed for a long list of people. If he were in a totalitarian State, what would his actions be? He would be the censorship boss of the Minculpop at the very least, which is the activity he engages in more than any other and it has been widely documented on my blog. In fact, he would be just another weird figure in the cyberspace if he were not so hellbent on censorship, which is what my blog community fights against. Those who do not believe in freedom of expression don’t even know when they are acting as censors or even that they do so. They find an ideological and “progressive” reasoning for it, without ever having to support that there is any truth behind their gagging. If he can’t shut them down or have them kicked out of town, he writes articles against all of his critics and at times, we even have to waste precious time to correct his myriad errors.

Yet, it is interesting to note, that while he thinks Blogger and Google are not particularly pro-Zionist, why is it that when he claims he has gotten the same spam note, and it was resolved in a jiffy, Steve’s blog, my blog, Layla Anwar’s blog, Crimes and Corruption of the New World Order and now Laila El-Haddad’s Raising Yusuf and Noor (A mother from Gaza), have all together found this “robot” so unkind and deliberately rude. It doesn’t respond to our letters, it lies that in 4 days it will take care of everything. Tony is certain it’s all bona fide… What more proof do we need that it’s a pro-Zionist for real?

Google has some more to answer for as well. Google has stopped indexing Uruknet as a news source. This is not the first time. I must have at least 10 letters in my archives to them regarding this matter, none of them had received any kind of feedback, although I encourage all to write to them (Uruknet has a form prepared on this link so that you can easily let Google know you are on to what they are doing to the most important source of information on Iraq). The webmaster of Uruknet is of an intelligence and dedication that are not rare, they are unique. She has indicated some interesting statistics to me about the indexing:

Google news has not only stopped indexing Uruknet, but it has blacklisted articles of other sites that cite Uruknet. For example, it indexes UN Observer, but it has not put in this article: http://www.unobserver.com/layout4.php?id=4725&blz=1 because, obviously, it cites Uruknet. http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&tab=bn&scoring=n&q=site%3Awww.unobserver.com&btnG=Search. If an article of any site cites a word of Uruknet, it is immediately pushed off by google.news. (Now I see why my stuff has vanished from there! Not only is Uruknet my favourite site, I think we would all be lost without it).

Google.com censors not only 90% of Uruknet, but also the sites that cite it as can be detected by the results of google.com search for the word “uruknet”: 188,000. The same search by yahoo.com 1,240,000.

Do we need any more proof? But, don’t go thinking that they don’t want any news about Iraq to get out. The webmaster of Uruknet tells me that a US-Friendly blog about Iraq was initially given the ‘spam’ treatment, but, like Tony’s site, it was quickly reinstated once the content was judged as being just fine with “the Power”.

Following the contribution of Steve, who, as another victim of this campaign, I will list a few things that I consider advice for other bloggers.

Steve writes:

Musings from one whose freedom was denied….

 

 


How dare I, a Jew living in Israel criticise the injustices practiced in my country. How dare I speak out against the genocide of my brothers on the other side of the wall of apartheid.

 

Try to censor me if you must, but I assure you I will not be silenced.

Daily Kos was the first to cut me off with a ban…. I dared to defend my brother and friend Benjamin Heine. He too dared to criticise the inhumane policies of zionism…. he too was banned from Daily Kos. The post that got me banned can be seen HERE.

Just what is Daily Kos afraid of?

Blogspot was the next culprit that attempted to silence me. Early in January I logged in as usual only to find that ‘Robots have determined that my Blog is a Spam Blog’. I was given the opportunity to challenge this ‘charge’ via an automated response. I was assured that I would receive an answer with 4 days. In 4 days I received another automated answer with the same ‘charges’. This ‘game’ continued for FOUR months until finally, without notice, my Blog was unlocked. By then, I had moved on to greener pastures and choose not to use Blogger any longer, feeling that their censorship game was not worth the hassle and I would rather Blog than engage in a fight with closed minded Websites.

Attempts to silence others continues. The zionists actively engage in desperate ways to have Blogs closed down. Most notable among these is one Tony Greenstein, a resident zionist in Britain. He has made it a full time job writing letters, falsely accusing pro Palestinian bloggers of anti Semitism, among other things. His prime targets are Mary Rizzo of PeacePalestine, and Gilad Aztmon, an ex Israeli also living in Britain. He claims to be an anti zionist himself, but I have yet to see him attempt to close down their vicious sites or attack them. His actions are contemptible, as he himself is.

The censorship continues; Google not only owns and controls Blogger, it also owns YouTube. A video depicting the crimes against the people of Palestine and five minutes later it is removed from YouTube. Again I ask, what are they afraid of?

As I mentioned earlier, ‘try to censor me if you must, but I assure you I will not be silenced!’

I say this on behalf of all of my Brothers and Sisters who went through the same hassles as I did. We will all continue to spread the truth and the truth will make us free!

HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE!

Mary’s tips for bloggers:
1) Back up all your material. I learned this the hard way, and if not for my faithful group of friends, I don’t know how I would have salvaged almost 4 years of material.
2) Create a mirror blog with a completely different provider. It takes moments to open a new blog, so register your name and convert your content. You never know when you may need it.
3) You CAN still work with your Blogger template, so leave a message for your readers that you have moved. I found this out weeks later, and in the meantime, many readers were disoriented. Two had done an international phone search (unsuccessfully) and in the end reached someone close to me to get the number, because they thought I was dead. Now how is THAT for readership loyalty!
4) If possible, go for private hosting options. This week, Haitham, Gilad and I are going to unveil our newest creation. Not that private hosts are failsafe, but they are certainly not going to be arbitrarily censored by the provider or those who the provider serves.
5) Build and maintain a network community. They will come to your aid when you need it, they will inform others of your tribulations. This means not only that you share readership and exchange tips and material, but you can depend upon them when push comes to shove. I have not been let down by these people, and their generosity and kindness is only equalled by their intelligence. Not only bloggers are part of the community, but commenters and readers.
6) Open a blog or site yourself. The more voices we have out there, the harder it will be to censor us all.
7) Defend the sites under attack, and don’t be afraid of not being “indexed” if you link to a good site. If and when Google dies, another site will come to replace it. There is an alternative to everything, but there is no alternative to the right of freedom of expression of an individual, of the unique character of his or her site, and that is what we MUST defend, in order to support the causes we care about.

Wael Al Saad – The Logic of Resistance

You may wonder my explanation why Palestinian and the world are silent about Gaza. It may be the same reason why they have been silent about killing in Iraq, in Darfur or hunger in Africa etc. which are a product of an unjust system made by the bad part of us humans.

We have created this situation and the society, even the world we live in. This make each on of us is responsible for the current situation in Gaza.

So how can we face the real challenge together?

So long our communication channels are not well set up, our efforts are not effective and do not have any leverage and activism Information Management are not organized, so long no IT-group in this forum (PEF Palestinian-eForum – PEF) offer support to upgrade it from a 5000 member email-group into real advanced forum for all activists who believe in dialog and team work, so long as each focuses on his individual political point of view only and doesn’t listen, so long we do not step further and develop our co-creative consciousness,  we will not be able to plan any recognizable  strategy can be used to transfer the situation into another one. If we do not change ourself/minds the trend will keep on. And sure PNA and supporting whales is going with the trend.

The trend is not a resisting one. Our society is more material trendy than ever. No one is ready to give up something, anything, if he/she is not forced to. People want to have what others have. Consumption, comfort and survival is the trend, but not resistance.  Israeli products are almost in every shop in Jenin.

They cry because the flour prices raised so much, but they do not like to till the soil and seed the land. No one is willing to live primitive roots life, even most miss it or limit the trend on his personal costs.

They like warrior leaders, like Nasrallah (only to make my point clear), because a military solution does not need any self sacrifice by the majority. Because it is easier to put the challenge on someone else or on certain ideology. They just expect the warriors to finish the mission to establish new occupation in the age of power.

Yes, the power of non-violence is much difficult to have, because then each one who is committed is an individual resisting army.

In the end we have to put the finger in the middle of the wound. Each one of us is the problem and responsible. Either we say an honest NO for the occupation-matrix in all its dimensions and re-educate the society accordingly or we keep co-existing with it, feed it and support it.

This is the challenge of real liberation. This the crisis, which is to know what each wants to BE. To understand what does it mean to be Palestinian. Not to protest externally emotionally, but to protest internally continuously. To transform what it is.

We can not change the situation radically, but we can transform it and co-create a learning and consciousness evolution process, if we radically deeply commit to what we are.

Let me ask the 5000 members of PEF one thing: Can you give up using your cars for 1 month?

If 100 of you do and prints a T-shirt ” I walk for Gaza”, we have hope and hope is power. Otherwise we are killing Gazans. This is my logic.

Wael Al Saad is a Palestinian from Jenin. In the picture, Wael with one of his flowers.

The Legacy of Riad Hamad

Thanks very much to Colin for forwarding me this material. It tells us more about how important Riad was for his people and how his generosity changed the world for the better. He will live forever in the hearts of those whose lives he has touched.

Dear Friends and Colleagues.

A few months back I sent an email about Riad Hamad. He was the director of the Palestinian Children’s Welfare Fund and the email described how his home had been invaded and searched by the FBI and all his papers, documents and computers had been taken.

On Wednesday his body was found drowned in a Lake in Austin Texas.

Riad was one of the most generous people I have been honored to have known. Thousands of Palestinian children benefited by his work. But I want to focus on the story of a young family from Lebanon who were directly supported by Riad.

When I was living in Beirut I received a phone call from Riad asking if I would visit a family in Saida, south of Beirut for him. He was sure they needed some specific equipment to help look after their two handicapped children. He also wanted me to find out about the schools that would accept the children and how much the fees would be.

I visited the Palestinian family who were supported solely by Riad. (It is not possible for Palestinian refugees to get paid work in more than 72 professions in Lebanon. The father of the family drove a taxi but this provided little enough money to cover food costs.) The family were wonderfully grateful to Riad. We sat with them for a few hours and listened to them speaking about Riad as if he were a father to them all. It was very moving and I remember writing to Riad on my return to thank him for letting me see the direct effects of his generosity. Out of his own pocket by the way.

Thousands of children have lost a dedicated fighter for their cause. As we have lost a strong comrade.

Ahmad and his family have lost their father. I am hoping to raise some funds for Ahmad’s family in the memory of Riad Hamad. I will visit them in the last week of May and give them whatever donations I have managed to raise by then.

It may help them to continue until someone with the means and as generous as Riad can support them again.

Please if you feel you can give anything contact me or Wissam (my friend in Beirut who made all the visits to the family with me and has also put out an appeal in Lebanon in memory of Riad)

UK contact: Eliza Ernshire.
eliza.ernshire@gmail.com
0044 7506174080 (mobile)

Lebanon contact: Wissam Alsaliby
wissam@lb.reser.org
00961 3025832

In Peace,

Eliza Ernshire.

The following is an extract I received from a close friend of Riad’s and apparently one of the last people Riad spoke to:

Riad Hamad, 1952-2008

“Hi, Riad.” I knew it was him from the caller ID, even though the phone had never been in his own name.
“Hey, Bolos. How you doin’?” He used the Arabic translation of my name.
“I’m good. How about you?”
“I’m OK.” His voice didn’t have the usual energy, but perhaps he was in a place where he couldn’t speak loudly.
“I sent you a couple of email messages.”
“Yes, I saw them.” The messages were about my role in helping with his charitable work on behalf of Palestinians. There were a few things I didn’t understand about the messages, so Riad cleared them up for me. “Now it makes sense,” I said.
“OK. Well, that’s all I wanted to tell you.” Typical Riad. Always in a hurry to get off the phone.
“Wait, I’ve got some good news!”
“Oh yeah? What is it?” He sounded surprised.
“We’re finally getting donations here. A check for a thousand came in today.”
I had set up a nonprofit account to receive donations for Riad’s work.”Was it from __________?”
“Hang on a second.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter.” Still anxious to get off the phone.
“What do you mean it doesn’t matter? I’ve got the name right here. No, it’s from ____________.”
“That’s nice. Well, gotta go.”
“OK. Take care of yourself.”
“You, too, Boulos.”

Those were apparently Riad’s last words, spoken from his car near Ladybird Lake in Austin, Texas. At the time I had thought it slightly odd that Riad was repeating what he had already told me by email. I think he just wanted to hear a familiar voice. The police found the phone and car keys on the seat of the unlocked car. Typical Riad. He was thinking of the person who would find the car.

I wish I had told him that the person who sent the check had also written a letter thanking him for the gifts of handmade Palestinian crafts and other items that Riad had sent as a thank you for a previous donation. He had also included handmade thank you cards from his two young daughters. The older daughter, age 11 had written, “Live in peace on the world. Everybody should LOVE! I am sad because people should be nice to you, but they are not.”

The younger, age 8, had written, “I hope you start to live in peace.”I would have read them to him over the phone if he hadn’t been so anxious to end the conversation, but I decided to send them for him to read later, and enjoy the children’s drawings. The father’s letter was longer and more specific in his praise for Riad’s tireless efforts on behalf of Palestinians and their rights.

“I have included 2 checks for the needs of Palestinian children. It is my hope that you will use it to create hope for those oppressed. As we both see the dollar’s value sink, the value of life especially in the eyes of the Creator never loses value. I extend this help to you and these children as if they were my own. We have the misfortune in living in very dark times, but in that darkness hope, love, and peace shine like the sun. To those that plant hope, they shall harvest peace.”
Harvest peace, Riad.
SHUKRAN for your work and support
Salamat

Gaza is victim of a unilateral war! STOP ISRAEL!!!!

Israel is conducting a unilateral war against the population of Gaza. IT CANNOT BE TOLERATED! There is no excuse!!!! On the left, please see the Black Ribbon that Sabbah’s Blog has set up. Created by his friend Za3tar, it is suitable to attach to your letters, sites, anywhere you want people to see that we are in mourning and we support our beloved and cherished brothers and sisters in Gaza.

From the PCAS, we have horrible, ghastly reports. This is from last night:
Israeli Genocides, Holocausts & Massacres: 55 Victims in 12 hours, names included

Anna Goldman reports from the Gaza Strip
PCAS:
www.freegaza.ps/english
Gaza Strip, 1st, March, 2008, (PCAS)- Since the early morning, the Israeli holocausts against Palestinians have started. About 10 of freedom fighters died but the majority was 45 victims from civilians.

The holocaust which was declared by Matan Vilnai, Vice Israeli defence (War) minister, yesterday is being launched by today morning with confines. Diverse sorts of weapons, such as F16 and Apaches planes were used. In addition to using heavy guns, bombs, missiles and cluster bombs as well.

Attalla Family was exposed to a 1-ton-missle fired by F16. The missile destroyed their house which was of 2 floors resulted in killing 4 members including a child.

Around 30 air raids and 50 bombs and artillery shells fired towards the Palestinian civilians. The Jabalya camp which is the position of the military holocaust is densely populated. Around 1000 thousands live in about 1 killo meter. Thus a lot of innocent victims fall quickly.

1- Eyad Al Ashram, Male, 26
2- Musleh Abu Ali, Male, 17
3- Jakline Abu shbak, Female, 17
4- Eyad abu Shabk, Male, 14
5- Basam Muhammad Ubaid, Male, 45
6- Basam Ubaid, Male, 15
7- Hamza Al jamal, Male, 40
8- Abdallah Abd Rabu, Male, 4
9- Ibrahim Alzain, Male, 25
10- Mustafa Zaghloul, Male, 32
11- Hamada Abd Al hameed, Male, 29
12- Saeed Al hasheem, Male, 23
13- Husain Al batsh, Male, 27
14- Samah Zaydan Asalya, Female, 17
15- Salwa Zaydan Asalya, Female, 23
16- Tala’t Dardona, Male, 29
17- Mustafa Abu Jalala, Male, 28
18- Hasan Safi, Male, 25
19- Abdallah Abu Shaira, Male, 18
20- Mutasim Abd Rabu, Male, 24
21- Hamada Saleh Al abad, Male, 16
22- Mustafa Manon, Male, 22
23- Muhammad Sleem, Male, 24
24- Muhammad Abdalrahman Shhab, Male, 23
25- Ali Al Kitnani, Male, 15
26- Tal’at Dardona, Male, 17
27- Sana Ghad Al abed Saleh, Female, 16
28- Ahmed Albatsh, Male, 16
29- Muslih Muhamad Muslih, Male, 17
30- Thabet Junied, Male
31- Sultan Al zain, Male
32- Mustafa Abu Jalala, Male
33- Muhammad Al atar, Male
34- Nael Abu Alon, Male, 20
35- Muhammad Abd Al mouti Sleem, Male,
36- Saed Dabour, Male, 28
37- Hamada Saed, Male
38- Mahmoud Rayan, Male
39- Jedjad Hatem Abu Hlayal, Male
40- Thari Abu Aubaid, Male
41- Tamer Weshah, Male
42- Ahmed Saleh Abd Al rahman, Male
43- Muhammad Abd Al qader Oqylan, Male
44- Hasan Abu Harb, Male
45- Abd Al rahman Atallah, Male, 60
46- Ibrahim Attalah, Male, 30
47- Sua’d Atallah
48- Unknown
49- Unknown
50- Unknown
51- Unknown
52- Unknown
53- Unknown in Khan Yonis City
54- Unknown in Khan Yonis City
Pictures available in the facebook:
Group 1:
Action4palestine
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5796102347

Group 2:
10000 Say Israel .. Stop killing Palestinians
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9108787671

Group 3:
Freedom for Palestine
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=22920137976
ALSO PLEASE SIGN AND FORWARD A PETITION:

Justice for Lebanon! International Citizen’s Tribunal

I will be attending these sessions in Bruxelles this weekend on behalf of Gaza Vivrà. I will write a comprehensive report upon my return.

Proposal for setting up international citizen’s tribunal on deeds committed by Israeli army & secret services in Lebanon & occupied Palestinian territories

An international citizen’s tribunal on the crimes committed by the Israeli army in Lebanon JUSTICE FOR LEBANON! Feb. 22-24, 2008, Brussels Int’l Jury Schedule

The deeds committed by the Israeli army and secret services in Lebanon, as in the occupied Palestinian territories, is a violent affront to the universal human conscience. These are criminal acts, as many people feel instinctively. They are different from the acts that take place in all armed conflict committed by the aggressor as well as by the aggressed. But feeling is not enough. The facts must be established. They must then be assessed in light of existing international law. This should be done with the detachment and rigour of a process that excludes any a priori conclusions, the results of which will convince all people of good will.

The international community is not an autonomous political and juridical body. It is but a summation of positions adopted by a certain number of governments. In many situations it has proved incapable of applying existing law by distancing itself from geopolitical or ideological contingencies. This impunity has covered up the numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity that have been committed since the end of the second world war.

The unilateral attitude of the United States of America, like the double-speak of many European governments, make it necessary for those defending the law to take the place of failed political powers. The American administration is against any questioning of Israel’s role in acts committed in Lebanon as well as in the occupied Palestinian territories. Germany, Great Britain, Finland and France refuse to support a request formulated at the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the use by the Israeli armed forces of arms that are prohibited by international law. The systematic disinformation practised by an overwhelming majority of the media deprives Western public opinion of balanced information. All this justifies an initiative by the citizens themselves.

This initiative must aim at being of the same high quality as the tribunal initiated by Bertrand Russell during the Vietnam war. It should be carried out with the same rigour, the same credibility and the same concern to go beyond divisions which have no place when it is a question of the rights of people. It must bring together highly qualified experts and personalities who are universally recognized for their moral authority. It must not limit itself up to a restricted circle. For this reason I believe it should not follow in the footsteps of similar initiatives taken in the past, whatever the quality that such work has achieved in the past.

Such an action cannot be carried out properly in a hurry. It requires the formulation of a comprehensive project, together with a precise timetable, the mobilization of appropriate human and financial resources and an irreproachable moral framework. These requirements demand an international mobilization to support such an initiative.

For this purpose we propose that a preparatory committee be set up which will carry out as rapidly as possible all the tasks necessary for launching this initiative. We ask your active participation in creating this preparatory committee.

Coordinateurs:

Raoul Marc JENNA
Réchercheur URFIG / Fondation Copernic
consultant de la GUE/NGL au Parlement européen (bureau 4E202) 7
place du Château, F 66500 Mosset
Tél. (PE) : 00 32 2 283 10 43
Tel. : 00 33 468 05 84 25
Port. : 00 33 632 16 65 52

Leila Ghanem
Anthropologue
Forum Mondial des Alternatives
Lilia.ghanem@yahoo.fr
Tel Port: 06 15 26 31 14

JUSTICE FOR LEBANON! Feb. 22-24, 2008, Brussels Int’l Jury Schedule
INTERNATIONAL JURY OF CONSCIENCE FOR LEBANON

International Associations Center
Washington Street, 40
Brussels, February 22 – 23 – 24, 2008
Program
Friday February 22
8:30 to 11:15 p.m.:
· Opening, reception and general presentation (15 min)
· Declaration of the International Peoples Tribunal (15 min)
· Declaration of Jury on the decision to consider only the actions of the Israeli army (15 min)
· Reading the indictment (90 min)
· Reaction of the defendant (30min)
Saturday February 23:
The morning: victims
From 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.:
· 8 victims will testify (15 min each one)
From 11:30-to 11:45 a.m.: coffee/tea break
From 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
· testimony from the mayor of a village (30 min)
· testimony from the mayor of a city (30 min)
From 12:45 to 2 p.m.: Lunch break
The afternoon: witnesses
From 2 to 4:30 p.m.:
· the Lebanese Red Cross (30 min)
· Green Peace Lebanon (30 min)
· A Lebanese economic institute (30 min)
· The international NGOs (20 min each one)
From 4:30 to 4:45 p.m.: coffee/tea break
From 4:45 to 6:45: statements by 4 Lebanese lawyers (30 min each one)
The evening: round table with Lebanese and international journalists
From 8:30 to 11 p.m.: four Lebanese journalists will dialog with a French journalist, a British journalist and a Belgian journalist. The debate will be chaired by a European member of Parliament.
Sunday February 24:
From 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.: statement of Dr Hugo RUIZ DIAZ BALBUENA, attorney and representative of The Association of American Attorneys at the Human Rights Council of the United Nations
From 10:00 to 10:45 a.m.: statement from a representative of Amnesty International and a representative of Human Rights Watch
From 10:45 to 11:00 a.m.: coffee/tea break
From 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: statement from a representative of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations
From 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.: Lunch break
From 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.: indictment
From 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.: reaction of the defendant
Starting 4:00 p.m.: Jury deliberation
At 5:00 p.m.: Read the verdict

The jury is composed of five people, one from each inhabited continent, each of them judges by profession.

The entire hearing will be recorded and filmed. The debates will be translated simultaneously into English, Arabic and French.

Various documents and reports/ratios will be placed at the disposal of the public. A bookstore will be accessible.

The hearing will take place in a room holding 250 people. Videos will be shown in an adjoining room.

“The International Jury of Conscience for Lebanon” is a project which intends to develop the struggle against impunity regarding the crimes committed, which intends to promote international law and in particular human rights and which places the respect of fundamental human rights above any other consideration. The discussion will proceed in greatest serenity and the publicity that arises from it will reside exclusively within the framework of human rights. It will question only the facts that occurred during the conflict of July-August 2006 in connection with the respect of these rights. This project does not include a political debate on the question of the relationship between Israel and its neighbors, nor about the Palestinian question.