The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Gaza

I have been humbled in the past few days. A reader of this blog pointed out my utter failure to write anything about the situation in Gaza. I cited my ridiculously busy life as a feeble excuse but the truth is, I don’t know what to say. I am overwhelmingly saddened and angry about the massacre of Palestinians that is being excused as the right to defend Israel. I cannot look at the images coming out of Gaza anymore. They are unbearable to see. This was one of the reports that sickened me beyond belief. The death of a Palestinian doctor’s children that was caught on camera. It’s terrible to watch but made worse by the fact that this is just one story out of thousands.

No words or commentary can explain what is happening there in the same way as the images that we are seeing. The pain and suffering of innocent people cannot be explained or understood with words. I just sit and look at the photographs and videos that are coming out of Gaza and I feel helpless and hopeless. When does the defense of Israel become an unacceptable excuse for murder (and perhaps war crimes?). In my opinion, the line was crossed at the beginning of this latest offensive and we have been helplessly watching ever since.

Calls for an immediate cease-fire have been ignored.
Demonstrations and petitions have been ignored.
Our rage and disgust has been ignored.
The deaths and injuries of innocent Palestinian men, women and children have been ignored.

And this will not be the last time that this happens in Gaza…

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36 Comments

  1. Spotlight
    January 24, 2009    

    Ok, I agree that seeing anyone die is sad. You have not mentioned the Israelis who were killed initially which started this latest conflict. Do Israeli lives that Hamas have killed matter to this blog or just Palestinian ones?

  2. January 25, 2009    

    For what it’s worth, I thought that reader rather astoundingly rude, as politely as his comments may have been phrased. I am always interested in hearing your take on events from the trivial to the heinous, and I’m usually better for having read your blog. For me to turn that around and say that because I appreciate your writing you owe it to me to write about what I deem the important topic of the moment would be to get things backwards.

    *We* owe *you*, DD, not the other way around.

    Someone came by my blog and similarly tried to shame me for not writing about Gaza a couple of weeks ago. I found that person, and your commenter, presumptuous and obnoxious. If we’re not getting paid to do this, it’s a volunteer effort, and people who find our choices of topic not to their liking are free to start their own damn blog.

    This isn’t television, and it’s not a spectator sport. People want blog entries on the subject of their choice, they ought to write their own. You write crucial posts on topics no one else will touch, and it’s absurd that you’re made to feel bad for not leaping onto a different topic that’s well-covered by ten thousand other sites.

    I’m sorry if this reaction seems strong, DD, but it quite frankly made me angry to see the guy act as though you’d let us down. You haven’t, by any stretch of the imagination. It looked to me like one more man lecturing a woman about how she’s not running her business to his satisfaction. Feh.

  3. January 25, 2009    

    Anyone who asked you these days, when you wrote on anti-Semitic incidents in Greece where you live (not in France or any other EU country where worse things happened) to write only about Gaza is an anti-Semite. If s/he had asked you to write about the hundreds killed at the same time in Congo he would not have been. Not to mention that there is Darfur (where Arab militias do the killing or better the genocide but no one turns against Arabs in the rest of the world and that is correct).

    Having said this, there is more documented things to write about serious rights violations in Gaza (just copy paste what AI and HRW have written if not the Israeli human rights NGOs themselves, not to mention the SG of the UN in front of cameras). But then so are there so many other things to write about other crimes that whoever interrogates you only about Gaza when you dare denounce anti-Semitism in Greece does not care to hear about.

  4. January 25, 2009    

    WHO CARES? THEY ARE JUST SUBHUMAN BACKS I GUESS – FOR ALL THOSE WHO DARE ASK YOU ABOUT GAZA ONLY… WELL I DO CARE MORE ABOUT THESE PEOPLE FIRST BECAUSE 45,000 IS LARGER THAN 1,300 AND THEY ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS. ANYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH ME ON THAT IS A BLOODY RACIST IF NOT SOMEONE NOT WORTH TO BE CALLED A HUMAN BEING JUST AS THE PERPETRATORS OF THESE KILLINGS ARE TOO.

    BBC NEWS

    DR Congo death toll more than 5m

    By Mark Doyle
    BBC World Affairs correspondent

    An international aid agency reports a massive continuing death toll from war and the related humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The International Rescue Committee says 45,000 people are dying every month in the central African state – a total of 5.4 million dead over the past decade.

    This death toll surpasses any conflict since World War II, it says.

    These shocking figures follow a scientific, nationwide survey across DR Congo’s 11 provinces.

    The IRC has concluded that there are 45,000 more deaths, every month, than would be expected from the average, already poor conditions in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

    And because DR Congo’s population is large – the country stretches across the whole of the centre of the continent – it’s a worse humanitarian crisis even than that caused by other African wars.

    One of the report’s authors, Dr Richard Brennan, says a number of other countries like Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Angola have seen sustained elevations of mortality for a number of years after conflict.

    “What is different about Congo is the scale. There are just so many more people living in Congo than there are in these other countries.”

    And so many more are dying there, from easily preventable conditions like malaria, pneumonia and malnutrition.

    The report’s authors say the Congolese government has the greatest responsibility to address the crisis, while international aid also has a vital role to play.

    But the authors add that DR Congo’s crisis continues to be overlooked, with funding inadequate compared to the enormity of the need.

    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/7202384.stm

    Published: 2008/01/22 12:07:54 GMT

  5. January 25, 2009    

    I know what you mean, Chris but in this case (and only in this case), I had said that I would do a post later in the week and then didn’t. If I say I’m going to do something, I really do try and follow through but in this case, I just hit a brick wall.

    Like you, I have been badgered to write about all kinds of different global events. The one that got me the most was when some guy was “shouting” at me to write about the Paris riots because it was “my” people who were rioting! Unbelievable. No post ever materialised in that case. 😉

    Thanks for your compliments, btw. I appreciate it.

  6. Post Disagreement
    January 26, 2009    

    Yes Panayote Spray painting a wall or urinating on a marble monument is equivalent to murdering 1300 people…why did we not see it…I suppose cause we are antisemites.

  7. Post Disagreement
    January 26, 2009    

    The Congo and Sudan do not claim to be the only democracy in the middle east either. So you are comparing apples with organges.

    Israelis want to paint their nation as another Western nation not be compared to third world dictatorships.

    So, since they claim to be like the West…then of course the Western nations are going to hold her up to greater scrutiny than Sudan and any other country.

    European and American support keeps Israel afloat. The same can not be said about Sudan and the Congo. So of course for this reason as well Israel will be held up tpo greater scrutiny than the congo.

    So genius what do you have to say to that?

  8. Michael Scowcroft
    January 26, 2009    

    DD,
    Thanks for the clarification, i knew there must’ve been a good reason why you didn’t open the thread (although i can see that many contributors are doing their best to ruin it…).

    Chris Clarke,
    We indeed owe people like you and DD for providing blogs such as this. But let’s not forget that visitors and contributors have a right to freely express their opinion about the issues highlighted within the blog, especially when invited to do so.

    In this case, DD said she would offer the subject of Gaza in an Open Thread but this didn’t materialise. I merely asked why she didn’t do it. If you read the thread from the start, I asked DD if there was a particular reason why she didn’t open a thread when she had mentioned she’d do it. The matter was resolved, there was no need to get on your high horse about it.

    Panayote,
    Please consider toning down your language and refraining from using CAPITAL letters, no-one likes a loudmouth and your SHOUTING dilutes your argument.

    No one said that the crises in Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Angola shouldn’t be mentioned in this blog. But if someone would dare suggest to open a thread about it, no doubt you will throw your toys out the pram again. DD really can’t win with people like you…

    I didn’t say i wanted DD “to write only about Gaza”. I asked why she didn’t do a thread about Gaza as she said she was going to do.
    How does this make me an “anti-semite”? Unlike many contributors i use my real name on blogs and I will sue you if you slander me.

    I think everyone would appreciate it if you stuck to the subject of this thread. Stop introducing other issues like the crisis in Darfur. These topics can be dealt with in other threads if you wish (all you have to do is ask DD to open a thread about it).

  9. January 26, 2009    

    Michael, DD may well have extended to you the *privilege* of offering your opinion on her blog, which I would exhort to you not to confuse with a right.

    If you had merely asked why the promised thread hadn’t arrived, that’d have been one thing. But you said, and I blockquote:

    With all due respect DD, you have given the reason of “no time to moderate” but you did have the time to post 14 separate threads since the Gaza conflict began.
    You moderated comments in all 14 of the threads and participated in many of them and you still had enough spare time to tweak the blog’s features and layout – but you didn’t have the time to moderate a thread on the biggest human rights outrage of the year? Your blog is the only Top 50 human rights blog that i visited which didn’t mention the tragic humanitarian disaster in Gaza.

    That’s not “asking where a thread is.” That Mr. Scowcroft, is a higher horse than I’ve ever mounted in my life. It’s a lecture and it’s obnoxious.

    And this is DD’s blog, so I’ll leave it at that. But if you’d like to see what I really think about such behavior in more detail, you’re welcome to come over to my place and see how the Coyote Crossing community reacted to someone who told me much what you told DD.

  10. Michael Scowcroft
    January 26, 2009    

    Chris Clarke,
    Yes, i asked DD a perfectly benign question about why she didn’t post the thread about Gaza. She said that she “didn’t have time to moderate” and i logically referred to the other 14 threads which she had time to post and moderate since the start of the conflict.

    DD then commented that the “time issue” was not the only reason why the gaza thread wasn’t posted and gave personal and heartfelt reasons for it’s ommission, such as being too overwhelmed and saddened by the events in Gaza to post about it. This is a brave and honest admission by DD and she must be commended for that.

    Instead of praising DD for her bravery and keeping to her word, people like you chime in with your negativity towards her choice of blog subject and accuse her blogs’ contributors of being “rude” and “anti-semites”.

    If you have nothing postive to offer, please stick to your own blog about the coyote cross dressing community or whatever it’s about and leave this blog to serious discussions about humanitarian issues which we care so much about.

    BTW, this thread is about Gaza in case you haven’t noticed. Please take your high-handed high-horse play elsewhere.

  11. Michael Scowcroft
    January 26, 2009    

    Oh, and freedom of speech is a right not a privelege. The *right* is enshrined in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights, and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

    As long as we’re given the opportunity and invitation to voice our opinions on DD’s blog, and we’re respectful to DD’s comments policy, we should be afforded the right to freely express our opinions without fear of being admonished by people like you who have nothing to say.

    Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.
    Robert Frost.

  12. pj
    January 26, 2009    

    @ Michael Scowcroft

    Certainly there exists a right to express oneself, but I’m sure you would agree that right is not absolute and that in some cases freedom of expression is very much a privilege. In this case, as you quite rightly say, DD has kindly extended an invitation for readers to speak their minds, but she actually has no obligation to do so. I mention this only because there have in the past been some pretty serious abuses of that privilege on this blog.

    Cheers,

  13. savannah
    January 26, 2009    

    The naval gazing bullshit must stop. DD is giving us a platform to talk about Gaza. Can you stop talking about yourselves and let’s discuss the problem.

    Some Israelis died and a thousand and a half Palestinians died in revenge. Doesn’t cut it with me. Nobody should be killed. Israli or Palastinian. But who can have any sympathy for people who kill innocenmt men, women and children. and say “we have the right to defend. At all costs. I am llosing sympathy very fast

  14. Friend of Israel
    January 26, 2009    

    Savanah, thank you for acknowledging (at least) the Israeli deaths. So many in the world (US media worst) are fully ignoring the Israeli deaths.

    Yes, no one should die. I agree totally!

    The Israelis have gone overkill, like hitting a fly with sledgehammer. However, we must not forget the tactics used by Hamas and terrorists of this ilk which started this. Purposefully putting innocents in harms way.

    Condemn Israel YES! But also just as much, condemn Hamas and terrorists as well. To do otherwise, is biased. No one, for any reason has a right to kill innocents.

    My sympathy also is going away, and worse yet, I turn off the TV when seeing more “Palestinian sufferings” because no one cares about Israelis and their sufferings since 1948.

  15. Michael Scowcroft
    January 26, 2009    

    Savannah: “Some Israelis died and a thousand and a half Palestinians died in revenge.”

    If you follow certain media outlets (such as Fox news and Sky), Israel always acts “in revenge”.

    But let’s explore who was actually responsible for the current Gaza conflict in which more than 430 children died. i would like to hear other opinions on this.

    Israel and Hamas agreed on a six month ceasefire. To my knowledge, Hamas fired no rockets at Israel during this time (even though Israel placed an economic and energy blockade on the Palestinians for the duration of the ceasefire).

    On November the 4th, Israel attacked the gaza strip killing 6 Hamas fighters. It seems that the Hamas rocket were fired “in revenge” for the Israelis breaking the ceasefire and killing the six Palestinians.
    But who knows? I could be wrong.

    “Israel broke the ceasefire and started the war”
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3wPOfi_iFnI

  16. Michael Scowcroft
    January 26, 2009    

    pj,
    Those who abused their right to free speech on here by using foul or abusive language deserve to be banned by DD. As long as we’re civil and keep to the posting guidelines i don’t see why we should forego the right to express ourselves on here.

    Freedom of speech is a right not a privelege.

    Get up, stand up
    Stand up for your rights
    Get up, stand up
    Don’t give up the fight.

    Bob Marley

  17. Panayote Dimitras
    January 26, 2009    

    ARTICLE 10 ECHR

    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression.(…)
    2. The exercise of these freedoms (…) carries with it duties and responsibilities.

    Chris Clarke I agree with you.

    I had written more in a first post which was again lost as before…

  18. pj
    January 26, 2009    

    Michael Scowcroft,

    Of course freedom of speech is a right, but I really must disagree with your supposition that a blog is an open forum where anyone can come and say whatever they like. I would say that a blog is more like someone’s home, and that the people who leave comments here are guests. To be afforded the status of guest is a privilege, not a right.

  19. Michael Scowcroft
    January 26, 2009    

    pj: “I really must disagree with your supposition that a blog is an open forum where anyone can come and say whatever they like.”

    Where did i say that? Please don’t put words in my mouth.

    This is what i actually said:
    “As long as we’re civil and keep to the posting guidelines i don’t see why we should forego the right to express ourselves freely on here.
    Freedom of speech is a right not a privelege.”

    Do you agree with what i actually said?

    Anyway, you and Panayote are going way off topic. The title of this thread is not Free Speech, Sierra Leone, South Sudan or Angola. Perhaps you’d both like to give us your opinions on the humanitarian disaster in Gaza?

  20. Neutral man
    January 26, 2009    

    Michael, you asked how the conflict stated. During the end of December, a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel dissolved after rockets were fired from Hamas’ area of Gaza. Israel responded with a sh*tload of airstrikes.

    That simple!

  21. pj
    January 26, 2009    

    Michael Scowcroft,

    I’m sorry if you felt I was putting words in your mouth. That was not my intention. I just can’t put any other interpretation on your repeated use of the word “right” for what I regard as a privilege.

    As for Gaza, I can only echo what DD has said. It is a unique situation, of course, but one that is depressingly similar to so many others in the world in that it appears to be so intractable.

  22. Post Disagreement
    January 27, 2009    

    Panayote our human rights come from our being human and from our Creator if one is inclined to believe in that sort of thing.
    Not because some bureaucrats in Brussels decided they would be nice and give us the right to free speech.

    And take your own advice about being responsible with your own speech or at the very least polite.

    i.e, if someone does not agree with you they do not deserve to be called human..please. And asking for a forum on Gaza does not imply that we can not have one about another topic.

    I too oppose mistreating our fellow humans and citizens and of course that includes our Jewish citizens, but it seems that many political action groups manage to inappropriately mix the anti-semitism with really any legitimate protest or criticism of Israel.

    Again Israel claims to be the epitome of the West in the Middle East …those other scenarios are taking place in countries that do not make such claims.

    Your overly protective of everyone else but your own ethnic tribe..Balkan human rights..what about the human rights of Greeks in Turkey, Albania, Fyrom, and the continued illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus.

  23. Michael Scowcroft
    January 27, 2009    

    neutral man:

    “Israel broke the ceasefire and started the war”
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3wPOfi_iFnI

    pj:

    Apology accepted.

  24. January 27, 2009    

    For DD and those who do not distort statements nor post lies:

    “Your overly protective of everyone else but your own ethnic tribe … what about the human rights of Greeks in Turkey, Albania, Fyrom”

    Anyone visiting our websites will find plenty about the existing Greek minorities in Turkey and Albania and of course nothing on the non-existent Greek minority in “FYROM” -so said the Greek MFA answering a question by a LAOS MP… You may not like what we say there but claiming that we have not dealt with them happens to be a lie and is one of the usual arguments we get just like anyone talking about anti-Semitism is asked to state their position about the Middle East conflict.

    I also choose not to enter into dialogue with people who distort what we say or make false claims, especially when they do not have “a name and an address” so to speak. But for the benefit of all others in this blog I may from time to time provide info or opinions, as well as answer people who may disagree with me even angrily, but with arguable claims.

  25. Neutral Man
    January 27, 2009    

    Michael:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel (under recent developments)

    In late December 2008, a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel collapsed after rockets were fired from the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. Israel responded with a series of airstrikes.[99] Rallies of protest and support broke out around the world.[100] On 3rd January 2009, Israeli Troops entered Gaza marking the start of a ground offensive.[101] On Saturday, January 17, Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire, conditional on elimination of further rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza, and began withdrawing over the next several days. Hamas later announced its own ceasefire, with its own conditions of complete withdrawal and opening of border crossings. A reduced level of mortar fire originating in Gaza continues, though Israel has so far not taken this as a breach of the ceasefire.

  26. Panayote Dimitras
    January 27, 2009    

    This is more comprehensive and accurate:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2%80%932009_Israel%E2%80%93Gaza_conflict

    A six-month truce between Hamas and Israel expired on 19 December 2008.[40][41][42] Contending that Israel had not lifted the Gaza Strip blockade, and that an Israeli raid on a purported cross-border tunnel in the Gaza Strip on November 4 constituted a serious breach of the truce,[43][44] Hamas resumed its rocket and mortar attacks on Israel. Hamas and Israel could not agree on conditions to extend the truce.[45][46][47][48][49]

    On 27 December 2008, Israel launched its military operation with the stated objective of halting Hamas rocket fire. [50] Hamas demands the cessation of Israeli attacks and an end to the Gaza Strip blockade.[51]

    Of course AI’s work is much more credible and we subscribe to their positions fully as one can read in our releases (in Greek) at the beginning of the conflict:
    http://amnesty.org/en/gaza-crisis

  27. Michael Scowcroft
    January 27, 2009    

    Thank you Panayote, some people only see want they want to see (i.e. not-so-neutral man).

    Focussing on the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where do you guys stand on the issue regarding the BBC and Sky refusing to run a humanitarian appeal on their channels?

    The BBC and Sky are refusing to air a televised appeal made by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).
    They say that it would affect their impartiality policy in the conflict.

    But surely the appeal would be held for the Palestinian people and not Hamas so i cannot see how the BBC’s impartiality is affected.

    I think Labour Member of Parliament Richard Burden, put it best when he said:

    “The needs of a child traumatised by war in Gaza are no more or less important than those of a traumatised child in another war zone.”

    Why would the BBC and Sky air televised appeals for other war zones such as Sudan and Ethiopia but refuse an appeal for Gaza?

  28. Panayote Dimitras
    January 27, 2009    

    http://www.article19.org/pdfs/press/article-19-voices-its-concerns-over-the-bbc-s-decision-not-to-broadcast-the-.pdf

    ARTICLE 19, 6-8 Amwell Street, London EC1R 1UQ
    Tel: (+44) 20 7278 9292 / Fax: (+44) 20 7278 7660
    Web: http://www.article19.org / Email: info@article19.org
    26 January 2009

    On 24 January, the BBC took the decision not to broadcast the Disaster Emergency
    Committee (DEC) appeal for donations in support of humanitarian aid efforts in Gaza.
    The BBC cited concerns that they did not want to appear partial in the context of the
    conflict in Gaza and Southern Israel.
    ARTICLE 19 calls on the BBC to reconsider its decision and to broadcast the DEC
    appeal.
    The DEC appeal conforms to the humanitarian principles that relief should be
    distributed to civilians in need without partiality, as enshrined in Geneva Conventions
    common Article 3; Additional Protocol I Article 70; Additional Protocol II Article
    18(2); as well as the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent
    Movement, the Guiding Principles on the Right to Humanitarian Assistance of the
    International Institute of Humanitarian Law and others. Furthermore DEC members
    have confirmed they are able to work without hindrance from the Hamas controlled
    authorities both to identify who are most in need of assistance and to channel
    assistance to them directly, either through their own staff or well established local non
    governmental partners. The DEC appeal is solely concerned with alleviating the
    suffering of the inhabitants of Gaza.
    The complex political context of the DEC Gaza appeal is nothing new. In the past the
    BBC has not hesitated to broadcast the DEC appeals for donations to alleviate the
    suffering caused by other complex political emergencies, for example Darfur in 2004,
    and Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia in 1994. All conflicts have sides and all
    conflicts have casualties. By refusing to broadcast the appeal the BBC raises
    questions over its own partiality. Why grant air time to raise funds for victims in
    Darfur but not Gaza? Both are suffering the consequences of conflict and have the
    right to receive aid according to humanitarian law and humanitarian standards.
    Furthermore, not only does the refusal to broadcast the appeal hamper the DECs
    attempts to publicise the call for funds to alleviate human suffering, but by citing
    issues of impartiality as their reason, the BBC has effectively called into question the
    ARTICLE 19, 6-8 Amwell Street, London EC1R 1UQ
    Tel: (+44) 20 7278 9292 / Fax: (+44) 20 7278 7660
    Web: http://www.article19.org / Email: info@article19.org
    impartial nature of the thirteen DEC members. This could deter the public from
    donating to this non-political humanitarian cause and to future DEC causes.
    If the BBC had concerns over appearing partial by broadcasting the appeal, they could
    have reverted to other means, far less restrictive for freedom of expression. For
    instance, the BBC could have introduced the DEC appeal through reiterating its
    impartiality in reporting on the conflict.
    The pluralistic nature of media in the UK is to be celebrated: several other channels
    including ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five, amongst others, are willing to broadcast
    the DEC appeal. These should be commended for fulfilling the British public’s right
    to know about the full extent of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and the assessment
    by impartial humanitarian agencies, and for giving the public the opportunity to
    alleviate suffering. By so doing, these channels are also fulfilling a public interest
    function, a mission which the BBC had come to symbolise internationally and
    historically.
    This public service function of the BBC was highlighted by Mark Thompson, the
    BBC Director General, when he claimed that the charity appeals were an important
    part of the BBC’s role as a public service broadcaster. “For [DEC] emergency
    appeals, through the Rapid Response Network, the BBC is able to work in partnership
    with other broadcasters and media. This unique collaboration gives the public the
    opportunity to support the valuable work of the DEC and its member agencies in
    saving the lives and livelihoods of people in situations of dire humanitarian need1.”
    ARTICLE 19 calls on the BBC and its Director General to implement this vision and
    principle impartially, that is without discrimination on the basis of national origin,
    religion, race or ethnicity, and to broadcast the DEC Gaza appeal.
    FURTHER INFORMATION:
    · For more information: please contact Dr. Agnes Callamard, ARTICLE 19 Executive
    Director, tel: +44-207278-9292
    · ARTICLE 19 is an independent human rights organisation that works around the
    world to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression. It takes its name
    from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees free
    speech.
    1 See: http://www.dec.org.uk/item/152/

  29. Neutral Man
    January 27, 2009    

    Michael, I see the facts differently than you and Mr. Dimitras.

    A neutral person could say that anyone sees what they want to see.

    I politely, and respectfully disagree with your view on the truce based on the news sources I’ve seen (CNN, Fox News etc).

    I believe fully that Hamas caused this situation themselves. However, you won’t convince me otherwise, as well, I won’t convince the people who believe your view.

    A question I would be curious to ask is this: Since many private citizens of the world condemn Israel, will anything be done officially to Israel? For example, when Nazi Germany did their nasty deeds, did not the worlds’ government’s rise against them and defeat them. I see no government (serious one anyway) advocating taking Israel to war, or making an attempt to stop Israel militarily as the world did with Nazi Germany.

    Again, I ask you: If Israel is bad as the ranting general public would have us believe, would not their governments take serious action against Israel?

    In my many years on this planet, I have seen no serious action taken against Israel other than teethless UN sanctions that go no where. To me, this is my belief that silently the UN knows that although Israel reacts heavy-handed at times, ultimately they have the right to defend themselves.

  30. Neutral Man
    January 27, 2009    

    Panayiote: Thanks for the BBC article. I wanted to say I agree with BBC and wish more news agencies had the dignity to stay neutral.

    Isn’t there anyone that feels as I do that being neutral and being fair to both sides (as BBC has) is a good thing.

    I can’t believe any serious person would condemn BBC for being neutral, fair and balanced.

    Are there not always two sides? Or is the new era to convict before trial?

  31. Panayote Dimitras
    January 27, 2009    

    Here you go again! See below.

    And by the way, criticizing BBC is not the same as condemning and Article 19 is not blabla – where blabla is any Green daily…

    As an advocate of a human rights NGO for 15+ years I tend to give credit to NGOs that consistently use the same criteria for all and speak critically when necessary about anyone.

    In a way I could have said that I can argue about positions with those who have taken same stands on all issues as I know they are bonafide; while ignore all those who wake up only when some issues arise as they are biased. I have for example disagreed with most European NGOs in the Kosovo war and that is a matter of record even if pathetic so-called journalists in Greece persist in claiming otherwise.

    But I wont do that as you see in DD. However I would object to your claim about neutrality in general as very often being neutral means tolerating evil – and the Munich agreements in the 1930’s were a tragic example of how neutrality may work.

    Page last updated at 14:38 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

    Israeli strike hits southern Gaza
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7853803.stm

    Israeli TV showed pictures of the injured soldiers being taken to hospital

    Israel has carried out an air strike in Gaza, hours after a bomb attack killed one Israeli soldier and wounded three others near the Gaza border.

    A Hamas militant is reported to have been wounded in the air strike, in the southern town of Khan Younis.

    Israeli troops also entered Gaza following the bomb attack, and one Palestinian was killed, medics said.

    It is the worst violence since Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza ended with both sides declaring ceasefires.

    No group has said it carried out Tuesday’s bomb attack, near the border crossing of Kissufim.

    One Israeli officer was badly wounded in the explosion and the other soldiers were lightly wounded, an army spokesman said.

    The Associated Press news agency quotes Hamas as saying one of its members was wounded in the subsequent air strike.

    Other reports say two people were wounded in the strike.

    The violence comes as US President Barack Obama’s Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, arrives in the region to seek a more permanent truce.

  32. Post Disagreement
    January 28, 2009    

    Actually your claim there are no Greeks in FYROM contradicts a recent program on Greek TV about this small minority.

    I do believe Israel has a right to defend herself but this recent campaign is excessive and unnecessary.

    Is that anti-Semitic Mr. Thought Police?

    And why would I use my name and address when you could take something I say and try to bring thought and hate crimes charges against me or put me on some list some where..Sorry I do not trust people.

  33. Michael Scowcroft
    January 29, 2009    

    A humanitarian crisis is gripping Gaza. Not only will the BBC not show the full extent of the suffering it, and Rupert Murdoch’s Sky, are refusing to allow aid agencies to appeal for funds.

    On 14th February, St Valentine’s Day, George Galloway MP will be leading a convoy from London to Gaza bringing fire engines, ambulances and tons of aid.

    They also want to send thousands of Valentine’s messages from the people of Britain to the people of Palestine.

    So please,

    1) Buy an extra Valentine’s card

    2) Include a donation – cheques and postal orders payable to “Lifeline for Gaza”

    3) Send it to Viva Palestina! c/o Flat 6, 1-2 Bowling Green Place, London SE1 1YL

    contact: http://www.vivapalestina.org Ghada@vivapalestina.org 07958 450 867

    http://www.vivapalestina.org/

    Thank You.

  34. Christina
    February 3, 2009    
  35. Panayote Dimitras
    February 3, 2009    

    New Report: U.N. Accusations of “Israeli Attack on School” Were False
    http://www.unwatch.org/cms.asp?id=687172&campaign_id=63111

  36. Christina
    February 3, 2009    

    Statement from South Africa

    FREE PALESTINE! ISOLATE APARTHEID ISRAEL!

    COSATU and PSC launch Week of Action for Palestine supported by YCL and
    other progressive organisations

    Media Conference, COSATU House, 3 February 2009, 11am

    In a historic development for South Africa, South African dock workers have
    announced their determination not to offload a ship from Israel that is
    scheduled to dock in Durban on Sunday, 8 February 2009. This follows the
    decision by COSATU to strengthen the campaign in South Africa for boycotts,
    divestment and sanctions against Apartheid Israel.

    The pledge by SATAWU members in Durban reflects the commitment by South African
    workers to refuse to support oppression and exploitation across the globe. Last
    year, Durban dock workers had refused to offload a shipment of arms that had
    arrived from China and was destined for Zimbabwe to prop up the Mugabe regime
    and to intensify the repression against the Zimbabwean people. Now, says
    SATAWU’s General Secretary Randall Howard, the union’s members are
    committing themselves to not handling Israeli goods.

    SATAWU’s action on Sunday will be part of a proud history of worker
    resistance against apartheid. In 1963, just four years after the Anti-Apartheid
    Movement was formed, Danish dock workers refused to offload a ship with South
    African goods. When the ship docked in Sweden, Swedish workers followed suit.
    Dock workers in Liverpool and, later, in the San Francisco Bay Area also
    refused to offload South African goods. South Africans, and the South African
    working class in particular, will remain forever grateful to those workers who
    determinedly opposed apartheid and decided that they would support the
    anti-apartheid struggle with their actions.

    Last week, Western Australian members of the Maritime Union of Australia
    resolved to support the campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against
    Israel, and have called for a boycott of all Israeli vessels and
    all vessels bearing goods arriving from or going to Israel.

    This is the legacy and the tradition that South African dock workers have
    inherited, and it is a legacy they are determined to honour, by ensuring that
    South African ports of entry will not be used as transit points for goods bound
    for or emanating from certain dictatorial and oppressive states such as
    Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Israel.

    COSATU, the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the Young Communist League and a
    range of other organisations salute the principled position taken by these
    workers. We also take this opportunity to salute the millions of workers all
    over the world who have openly condemned and taken decisive steps to isolate
    apartheid Israel, a step that should send shockwaves to its arrogant patrons in
    the United States who foot the bill for Israel’s killing machine. We call on
    other workers and unions to follow suit and to do all that is necessary to
    ensure that they boycott all goods to and from Israel until Palestine is free.

    We also welcome statements by various South African Jews of conscience who have
    dissociated themselves from the genocide in Gaza. We call on all South Africans
    to ensure that none of our family members are allowed to join the Israeli
    Occupation Forces’ killing machine.

    In celebration of the actions of SATAWU members with regard to the ship from
    Israel, and in pursuance of the campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions
    against Israel, and our call on the South African government to sever
    diplomatic and trade relations with Israel, this coalition of organisations has
    declared a week of action beginning on Friday, 6 February 2009. The actions
    will be organised under the theme:
    FREE PALESTINE! ISOLATE APARTHEID ISRAEL! Activities that have already
    been confirmed for this week will include:

    • Friday, 6 February: A protest outside the offices of the South African
    Zionist Federation and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, 2
    Elray Street, Raedene, off Louis Botha Avenue. Both these organisations
    unquestioningly supported the recent Israeli attacks against Gaza, and
    supported the massacre of civilians and the attacks on schools, mosques,
    ambulances, and UN refugee centres. Protestors will be addressed by,
    among others, SATAWU General Secretary Randall Howard, and ex-Minister
    Ronnie Kasrils. Protest starts at 14:00.

    • Friday, 6 February: A picket outside parliament in Cape Town. COSATU
    members and solidarity activists will be joined by a number of members
    of parliament. Picket starts at 09:30.

    • Friday, 6 February: A mass rally in Actonville, Benoni, at the Buzme
    Adab Hall. The rally will be addressed by, among others, COSATU General
    Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, PSC spokesperson Salim Vally, South African
    Council of Churches General Secretary Eddie Makue, and ex-Minister
    Ronnie Kasrils. Rally starts at 19:30.

    • Sunday, 8 February: A protest at the Durban Harbour Mouth, off
    Victoria Embankment [Margaret Mncadi Avenue]. Protestors will be
    addressed by, among others, COSATU President Sdumo Dlamini. Protest
    starts at 10:00.

    • Sunday 8 February: A mass rally in Cape Town at Vygieskraal Rugby
    Stadium. The rally will be addressed by, among others, COSATU General
    Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, and Allan Boesak. Rally starts at 14:30.

    Patrick Craven (Cosatu National Spokesperson) 0828217456
    Bongani Masuku (Cosatu International Officer) 0794996419
    Naeem Jeenah (PSC) 0845742674
    Melissa Hole (PSC) 0739060017
    Salim Vally (PSC) 082 802 5936

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