Daily Archives: January 29, 2008

Where now for Palestine?

After US president Bush’s visit to Palestine in in January 2008 Israel cut power and fuel in its siege of the Gaza strip yet again .

See http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19128.htm http://www.petitiononline.com/SaveGaza/petition.html for details.

Given the points raised below in the email about Israel’s cutting power and fuel in its siege of the Gaza strip in Palestine, I think that the Stop the War Collective (STWC) in Brisbane should be asked to address what is happening in Palestine.

Nothing was said at pre-election rallies held in November 2007.

Where is the point of fighting electoral politics with petitions and appeals to the Labour Party? Nothing happens. The ALP government is both pro-US alliance and pro-Israel.

There will be no peace anywhere in the Middle East without the liberation of Palestine.

Added to the silence on Palestine, nothing has been said by Australian political parties to condemn recent Israeli bombing of Syria.

Neither did the Coalition nor Labor criticise the war against Lebanon in July 2006.

Foreign ministers support Israel’s lie that it is protecting its borders.

The book Where Now for Palestine? : The Demise of the Two-State Solution depicted here is available from Avid Reader bookshop in 193 Boundary Street, West End.

The ‘Electoralist’ Approach
Does the approach below work? Where is the evidence that it achieves anything?

Petition: Bring your concern about the Gaza siege to the candidates competing for your electorate

Dear [Candidate],

As a Queensland [ / Brisbane / Lilley/ Griffith/ Moreton/ whichever/ electorate] voter I am writing to you and all the other candidates competing for [this seat / Queensland / Brisbane seats] to let you know how upset I am that no Australian politician or political party has made clear protest to the Israeli embassy in Canberra concerning the cruel siege which the State of Israel has been imposing for many months on the entire population of the Gaza Strip.

The crisis has been alarmingly heightened by the decision taken by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on 25 October 2007 to cut off the supply of electricity and fuel to the Gaza Strip.

Ehud Barak’s inhuman decision follows a prolonged siege which has led to an almost complete paralysing of economic activity in the Gaza Strip, where some eighty percent of the population have fallen below the poverty line.

This shocking siege includes a prohibition on the entry of milk powder for babies and the denial of vital medical treatment to patients who cannot leave the Gaza Srip for treatment. The shooting of Qassam missiles by Islamic Jihad and by Fatah’s Al- Aqsa brigade (while Hamas has been observing a unilateral ceasefire) cannot be an excuse for such a severe collective punishment imposed on one and a half million inhabitants, constituting a severe violation of human rights and international law.

In its authoritative commentary on Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the International Committee of the Red Cross has clarified that the prohibition on collective punishment does not just refer to criminal penalties, “but penalties of any kind inflicted on persons or entire groups of persons, in defiance of the most elementary principles of humanity, for acts that these persons have not committed.”

The UN Agency for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has described the closures at these crossings, as “unprecedented.” (http:// www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/EVOD-77SHRQ?OpenDocument 6 Oct 2007) UNRWA Senior Liaison Officer Saahir Lone reported in June that the Agency had been forced to close nearly half of its food distribution centres.

Asked whether the Agency had an emergency food stockpile, Mr. Lone explained that a chronic lack of funding and restrictions on the movement of goods in and out of the Gaza Strip had made it difficult for the Agency to maintain a food reserve. (http://www.un.org/unrwa/ news/briefings/PressCon_15jun07.html)

I look forward to hearing from you an explanation of your party’s views and actions on this severe violation of human rights and international law. The European Parliament recently adopted a resolution calling on the Israeli government to end the siege. There should be urgent action to raise a bi-partisan resolution in the Australian parliament too, to pressure the Israeli government to lift the siege imposed on the population of Gaza.

With respectful regards,

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The Gaza Bombshell

After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.

by David Rose April 2008

Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President George W. Bush, whose secret Palestinian intervention backfired in a big way.

“A Dirty War”

The Al Deira Hotel, in Gaza City, is a haven of calm in a land beset by poverty, fear, and violence. In the middle of December 2007, I sit in the hotel’s airy restaurant, its windows open to the Mediterranean, and listen to a slight, bearded man named Mazen Asad abu Dan describe the suffering he endured 11 months before at the hands of his fellow Palestinians. Abu Dan, 28, is a member of Hamas, the Iranian-backed Islamist organization that has been designated a terrorist group by the United States, but I have a good reason for taking him at his word: I’ve seen the video. more>> http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/04/gaza200804?printable=true&currentPage=all