“Israeli” Forces Wound 98 Gazan Protesters

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ occupation forces attacked Palestinians participating in the weekly “Great Return March” rallies, injuring 98 Gazan protesters, according to the Health Ministry of Gaza.

The ministry also reported that 49 of the injured protesters had sustained bullet wounds from Zionist live fire.

Four paramedics were also among the wounded.

The rallies have been held every week since March 30 last year. The Palestinians demand the right to return of those driven out of their homeland by ‘Israeli’ apartheid entity.

‘Israeli’ troops have killed at least 305 Palestinians since the beginning of the rallies and wounded nearly 18,000 others, according to the ministry.

In March, a United Nations [UN] fact-finding mission found that Zionist forces committed rights violations during their crackdown against the Palestinian protesters in Gaza that may amount to war crimes.

Gaza has been under the occupation’s siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in living standards.

The Zionist entity has also launched three major wars against the enclave since 2008, killing thousands of Gazans each time and shattering the impoverished territory’s already poor infrastructure.

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When Jews Invoke The Holocaust

July 01, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 21.19.30.png

by Gilad Atzmon

30 Jewish protesters were arrested on Sunday outside a privately managed ICE detention centre in New Jersey, which has been used to hold undocumented immigrants.

Invoking the Holocaust, demonstrators described the facilities in which immigrants are being held as concentration camps and spoke of the immigrant children who have died while being held by ICE. The Jewish protesters travelled from cities all over the USA. They were holding signs and singing and chanting in Hebrew and English.

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                                                Never Again Action ✡️@NeverAgainActn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TWO HUNDRED JEWS SHUT DOWN ELIZABETH DETENTION CENTER, 36 ARRESTED, SAY “NEVER AGAIN IS NOW”

Full press release: https://www.neveragainaction.com/press/for-immediate-release-two-hundred-jews-shut-down-elizabeth-detention-center-36-arrested-say-never-again-is-now 

Donate to support legal fees: http://bit.ly/NeverAgainFund 

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The Jews behind the protest say about themselves, “we are  #JewsAgainstICE because #NeverAgainMeans never again for anyone.” This sounds good enough to me and I have no criticism of the official objective behind this humanist protest. Yet the Jewish nature of the gathering raises some crucial and necessary questions:

 Are these Jewish protestors willing to describe Gaza as a concentration camp?

 Will the Jewish activists protest in front of the Israeli embassy invoking the holocaust, pointing out that the Palestinians are subject to long-term genocidal policies?

 Will these Jewish protestors allow gentile pro Palestinian activists, for instance,  to equate Israel with Nazi Germany or maybe invoke the holocaust is a Jews-only domain?

 Would the activists consider a Jewish protest in front of Goldman Sachs headquarters or George Soros’ offices, pointing at the carnage these investors inflicted on states and millions of people around the globe?

 How far are these well-meaning Jewish protestors willing to go to identify problems that might be related to Jewish exceptionalism, nationalism or racism?

 But the Jewish protest raises a much deeper question. What kind of people make a conscious and collective effort to look humane and empathic? I guess one possible answer is that we are dealing with people who accept that some of the actions and politics associated with their tribe are deeply disturbing.

 Newsweek reports that “the protest brought together Jews with a range of religious leanings, creating what Alona Weimer, a member of New York ‘s Yeshivat Hadar, described as an atypical cross-section of attendees for a demonstration.” Once again, it is not Judaism or a meta-Jewish ethos that unites these diverse good Jews and Tikkun Olam enthusiasts. One may wonder: what is it then that bonds this Jewish ‘cross-section’? Is it the phantasy of Jewish humanist DNA? Is it the Jewish revolutionary spirit, or is it the controlled opposition gene?

Unless Jews learn to fight for humanity as ordinary people, these questions may keep surfacing.

Israeli Settlements in Gaza Vicinity Set on Fire

Source

June 27, 2019

manar-07432040015616460497-e1561646074494

In response to the Israeli rejection of implementing stipulations of the clam agreement with the Palestinian resistance, dozens of incendiary kites and balloons were launched from Gaza at the Zionist settlements in the Strip’s vicinity, causing 14 fires which burnt hundreds of dunums.

 

صاروخ تل أبيب وطائرة هرمز

يونيو 21, 2019

 

ناصر قنديل

– عندما كان كيان الاحتلال يستعد للانتخابات المبكرة ما بين نهاية العام الماضي وشهر نيسان هذا العام، كثرت التحليلات والتوقعات بحرب يشنها بنيامين نتنياهو على غزة، تسهيلاً لضمان الفوز بالانتخابات. وعندما لم تقع الحرب انتقلت التوقعات إلى ما بعد الانتخابات تسهيلاً لتشكيل الحكومة. وعندما فشل تشكيل الحكومة ولم تقع الحرب بقي البعض يتحدث عن حرب مقبلة، لكن بين هذه التواريخ والاستحقاقات حدث أن صاروخاً انطلق من غزة وسقط قرب تل أبيب، وكان مبرراً كافياً لخوض الحرب الموعودة لنتنياهو، وتكرّر الحادث مرة ثانية، وكان مبرراً للحرب الموعودة، لكن نتنياهو لم يخض الحرب، وفي المرتين وقف يقول، إنه يقبل التفسير الذي نقله المصريون عن كون عوامل الطقس تقف وراء انطلاق الصواريخ مرة، وأن خطأ بشرياً تسبب بإطلاق الصاروخ مرة ثانية، لكن الصواريخ حملت الرسالة، أن لدى المقاومة في غزة صواريخ تصل إلى تل أبيب، وأن أي حرب مقبلة ستكون قواعد الاشتباك فيها، غزة مقابل تل أبيب.

– واشنطن التي حشدت أفضل معداتها العسكرية إلى الخليج قالت إنها تريد ردع إيران، وإفهامها أن أي استهداف لحلفاء أميركا من اي من حلفاء إيران سيعني الحرب على إيران. وخلال أسابيع اشتعلت ناقلات نفط قالت واشنطن إن لديها الأدلة على أن إيران وحلفاءها يتحملون المسؤولية عن إشعالها، حتى استهدف أنصار الله أنابيب شرق غرب في السعودية وأعلنوا مسؤوليتهم، فقالت واشنطن إنها لن تتدخل عسكرياً إلا إذا تعرضت قواتها للاستهداف، وتساءل الذين يعرفون معنى الردع عما بقي منه بعد هذا التراجع، لكن الذين لا يفهمون معنى الردع كانوا بحاجة كي تمضي إيران قدماً في كشف زيف الادعاء به، فجاء إسقاط أفضل ما في الترسانة الأميركية من طائرات تجسس وغرف عمليات، تعادل قيمتها ربع مليار دولار، بصاروخ من صنع إيران بينما كانت الطائرة على ارتفاع أربعة عشر كيلومتراً وتشكل هدفاً عصياً على الاستهداف، فتحدث الرئيس الأميركي عن الردّ، قائلاً سترون. ثم أطلّ برفقة ضيفه الكندي متحدثاً فقال، أن ليس من خسائر بشرية في العملية، ما يعني ضمناً أنها ليست الاستهداف الذي يستحق حرباً، وعلق بعدها مفسراً العملية بأنها قد تكون خطأ غير مقصود ارتكبه الضابط الإيراني المعني بإطلاق الصاروخ بينما المسؤولون الإيرانيون يعلنون تبنيهم لإسقاط الطائرة بما في ذلك من رسائل وأبعاد، يسقط معها مفهوم الردع الأميركي.

– مشكلة الأميركيين والإسرائيليين انهم يتوهمون بأن الحصار على غزة والعقوبات على إيران وقوى المقاومة، بصفتها أوراق القوة الأميركية الإسرائيلية التي تحتاج للزمن كي تفعل فعلها، بعدما فشل الأميركيون والإسرائيليون في كسر إرادة محور المقاومة في الحروب، ستترك تستثمر الزمن الذي تحتاج دون استفزاز الأميركي والإسرائيلي وجرّه إلى ساحات المواجهة، وإذلاله، وفرض معادلات القوة عليه، وتغيير وقائع الجغرافيا العسكريّة، كي تجبره على التفاوض للخروج من لعبة الاستقواء بالعقوبات والحصار. و«إسرائيل» التي وجدت أنها مضطرة لقبول التهدئة مع غزة بشروط قوى المقاومة، تريد لأميركا أن تتورط في المواجهة بدلاً عنها. ومثلها قوى العدوان السعودي الإماراتي على اليمن التي قبلت تسوية الحديدة بشروط أنصار الله، والأميركي اليوم بين قبول التحدي وانفجار أسواق النفط وأسعارها بين يديه، أو التفاوض على شروط للتهدئة يعرف الإيراني ماذا يريد منها ومتى وأين وكيف؟

– غداً سيقول الرئيس الأميركي إن عوامل الطقس أطلقت الصاروخ الأميركي الذي أسقط الطائرة الثانية!

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Report: Saudi Arabia Tightens Grip on Palestinians, Hampers Remittances to Gaza

Report: Saudi Arabia Tightens Grip on Palestinians, Hampers Remittances to Gaza

TEHRAN (FNA)- Less than a week after Saudi authorities arrested more than 60 people, including Palestinian expatriates and Saudi nationals, on charges of supporting the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, they have now blocked money transfers between the kingdom and the Gaza Strip.

The new step taken by the Riyadh regime against Palestinians involves official and non-official money transfers as the procedure has witnessed a marked decline over the past week and during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, Al-Khaleej Online news website reported.

The report described residents of the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip as the main victims of the move.

Most of the bank transfers that used to be carried out normally in the past, were frozen just a few days before the start of the holiday.

Remittance transactions are taking much longer time than usual – something that used to be done in a matter of few hours.

Many Palestinians have complained of the move, and termed it as “unprecedented”. They argue that the process of transferring money between Saudi Arabia and the Gaza Strip has become extraordinarily difficult.

Abu Fuad, a resident of the Gaza Strip who refused to give his last name for fear that his family could be persecuted in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah, stated that he has experienced difficulty receiving money from his family.

“It is three days since the remittance has been made, but I have not received anything. Financial transfers used to be done in a few hours and without any obstacles in the past. But since the week before the Eid, the procedures have become complex and most of the transfers are frozen without any obvious reason,” he added.

Abu Fuad considered the measure as a “new crackdown on the Palestinian community living in Saudi Arabia”, stressing that it would aggravate their sufferings as students rely heavily on money transferred from their families living outside the kingdom.

He called upon the Palestinian Embassy in Riyadh to intervene immediately, and try to work out a quick and practical solution to the crisis, which has negatively affected the Palestinian community in Saudi Arabia.

Over the past two years, Saudi authorities have deported more than 100 Palestinians from the kingdom, mostly on charges of supporting Hamas resistance movement financially, politically or through social networking sites.

The Riyadh regime has imposed strict control over Palestinian funds in Saudi Arabia since the end of 2017.

All remittances of Palestinian expatriates are being tightly controlled, fearing that these funds could be diverted indirectly and through other countries to Hamas.

Money transfer offices are asking the Palestinians to bring forward strong arguments for conversion, and do not allow the ceiling of one’s money transfer to exceed $3,000.

What I Saw in Gaza Changed Me Forever

What I Saw in Gaza Changed Me Forever
By Ned Rosch

My true liberation as a Jewish person is bound up with the liberation of Palestinian people.

gaza.jpg

The city of Gaza during a dust storm.

Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism is a powerful collection of 40 essays by Jews from diverse backgrounds. Each describes a personal journey from a Zionist worldview to activism in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis striving to build a society founded on justice, equality, and peaceful coexistence. In this excerpt from the essay “Palestine and my Journey of Self-Discovery,” Ned Rosch describes the deep impact of a visit to Gaza in 2014, shortly after the intensive bombings of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge.”


The great Indian writer Arundhati Roy wrote, “The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There’s no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.” There were numerous times in my life when I “saw” it and felt the strongly reinforced foundations of my Zionist upbringing eventually crack wide open and ultimately turn to dust, but perhaps nothing more deeply touched me and cemented my perspective than a trip to Gaza in November 2014.

For a brief but remarkable week and a half, I had the amazing privilege of being part of a health delegation to this small strip of historic Palestine that is one of the most crowded places on earth because its population is literally sealed in by the Israelis—with the assistance of the Egyptians. To be there just two months after Israel’s murderous 2014 war on the people of Gaza was to catch a glimpse—through the painful stories I heard and the overwhelming destruction I witnessed—of the grotesque horror of that 51-day war. The bombed-out structures were everywhere, the grief universal, the trauma intense.

Rawya, who translated for a training that I did in Gaza with 15 school counselors, shared with me over a hot cup of tea, “Scared our turn might be next, my husband and I sat our four children, ages nine through fifteen, down, and we and our kids each talked about what we would do if a bomb hit and we were the only survivor of our family. I felt I needed to have that conversation because the possibility seemed so real, and as a mother, I needed to know that our children had a plan.” She, the counselors, the children they see, and—according to the counselors, it’s safe to say—everyone in Gaza is traumatized. When Israeli jets were heard overhead one evening while we were in Gaza City, the restimulated fear was palpable. 

On the way into Gaza City, we saw haunting skeletons of homes, people living in bombed-out buildings, and mosques, hospitals, and factories reduced to rubble. Etched in my mind probably forever will be what we witnessed in heavily bombed civilian neighborhoods. It’s hard to find words that even begin to describe the utter devastation.

Palestinian people were living in makeshift structures of cardboard and blankets, surrounded by rubble. Even though I’d seen these images online, somehow the impact of witnessing families squatting next to what was everything they had owned and what in a matter of seconds had been absolutely wiped out took my breath away, as did a large busted-up slab of concrete with names spray-painted on it of family members buried under the mounds of debris, a woman sitting on the rubble staring vacantly off into the distance, and a wedding party celebrating amid ravaged buildings.

In a refugee camp, a vivacious Palestinian woman named Reem told me she just couldn’t think about the future any more. “All I have,” she said, “is today and that’s OK as it’s filled with opportunities to help people.” Reem was opening centers in some of Gaza’s most destroyed areas, centers where children play, read, sing, learn French, plant seeds in paper cups—to maybe get a taste of what a “normal” childhood might be like. Nothing is normal in Gaza. A decade of siege and three wars has ravaged the economy, snuffed out the lives of thousands of people, wrecked the environment, and ripped apart people’s hopes that things will someday get better, that maybe there is a future.

Yasser, a gentle soul and the executive director of Gaza’s Community Mental Health Program, lost 28 members of his extended family in the 2014 war. No one in Gaza was spared from knowing someone who was killed or injured in the brutal and relentless Israeli assault. Yasser said his family speaks of 28 empty chairs.

Mohammed’s family is now 10 people fewer. One of the deceased was a young girl who was rescued after somehow surviving for 10 days under a massive pile of concrete and rebar, only to die in the hospital two days later. Her name was Yasmin. “I can’t get Yasmin and the thought of what her last days were like out of my mind,” Mohammed said, tears wetting his shirt.

Everyone yearns for the borders to open so they might be able to breathe, work, travel, study abroad, or get medical care not available in Gaza due to the shortage of everything caused by the Israeli siege. Still, most assert they would return. “Just like a fish can’t survive out of water, we can’t live out of Gaza for too long. At some point, we need to return,” said Walaa, a young woman with two graduate degrees who was unemployed in Gaza’s shattered economy.

Imad, a nurse who works full time and had not been paid for over a year, invited me to meet his wife and eight children in their extremely modest but comfortable apartment. When asked how they survive with no income and so many mouths to feed, Imad explained that everyone in Gaza does what they can to help others out, since they are all pretty much in the same boat. He then shrugged his shoulders and pensively posed the question we heard so often: “What can we do?” It’s striking that 2 million Palestinians in Gaza are imprisoned in an area that is only 25 miles long and 5 to 8 miles wide—smaller than the Portland metro area.

A marvelous facilitator, who does support groups for children in Gaza, invited me to a group she runs for 5-year-olds who lost their homes, family members, their innocence—and so much more—in the bombings. I sat in the circle with the children as they chose happy or sad faces to represent how they felt. One girl said she took a sad face because her grandfather was killed by a bomb. Others took sad faces because they had bad dreams. The facilitator told me that her own 10-year-old daughter pleaded with her during the war, “Don’t leave me alone. I want to die together.”

 

So, there’s more than enough stress, grief, pain, and sadness to go around, but there is also a remarkable amount of love, generosity, and determination. Ramadan, who translated for one of my workshops and who is working on a Ph.D. in psychology, pointed out that just as lots of folks may only appreciate their health when they become sick, Palestinians may feel the lack of a homeland more intensely, having so brutally lost it. “Others have a physical homeland, a place they live in or visit. Our homeland lives in our hearts,” Ramadan told me over coffee to the sound of the waves beating on the shore.

While walking through an area of Gaza that was heavily bombed by the Israelis, witnessing homes, apartment buildings, and a school totally leveled, I was approached by a middle-aged man who politely offered me a large manuscript covered with the dust of a blown-up neighborhood. When I asked him what it was and why he wanted to give it to me, he motioned for me to follow him across the street to a huge mound of debris. As we climbed up the pile, avoiding broken glass, twisted rebar, and busted up concrete, he pulled out his phone and showed me a picture of quite an attractive and well-maintained home—his home. He explained that we were standing on that home and that absolutely everything had been destroyed except for the manuscript, his doctoral dissertation, which was a literary critique of the works of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot.

This professor, who had lost it all, was insisting that I take what remained of a life. I will never know for sure why. Maybe it was Palestinian hospitality that required him to give this guest something, and that was all he had to give. Perhaps he wanted me to take it to a safe place, as he well knew that nothing was safe in Gaza. Possibly this professor was saying that in spite of all the destruction the Israelis could unleash at will, there is one thing they can never destroy: ideas—not only about Pound and Eliot, but also about the restoration of justice to a people who have suffered unimaginable brutality and dispossession.

I continue to struggle with many things now, not the least of which is finding words to adequately express the intensity of the experience of getting to know, in some small but profoundly meaningful way, a number of unforgettable and beautiful people in Gaza, and catching a glimpse into the unbelievably harsh reality of their lives. It’s difficult to make sense of how the occupation and siege of Gaza, which is slowly but very steadily crushing the life of 2 million people, can be happening, and how the world is doing so little to stop it. Imad’s question, “What can we do?” echoes in my head. Some of what I can do is clear: a stronger commitment to, as Arundhati Roy says, speaking out, asserting the Palestinian struggle more broadly and more often, as we Americans are so deeply complicit in the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. More of what I can do will surely emerge with time as I continue to think about the people I met who want nothing more than to live. In Gaza, I left behind friends and a piece of my heart—a heart that was broken many years earlier by the conflict between what I had been raised to believe about Israel and what I had learned was the darker reality of Israel.

Years ago, I sincerely believed I was being more than open-minded when I tried to hold to the conviction that there were two legitimate and distinctly different narratives—one Jewish and one Palestinian, two fundamentally irreconcilable claims to the same piece of land, and that was why the conflict was so unresolvable. But what was really unresolvable was the battle that thunderously raged in my head and even more vigorously in my heart. You see, I had become a progressive on every issue, except one. I marched for civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, everyone’s rights, and an end to war. But when it came to Israel-Palestine, I was extraordinarily torn up. Even if what my Palestinian friends were telling me were true, how could I turn my back on my own people and my own upbringing, especially after the thousands of years of suffering that Jews had endured? Wasn’t the Jewish history of pogroms, anti-Semitism, and the horrors of the Holocaust at least as compelling, if not more so? After all, as someone named after a Holocaust victim, I was a link in a long chain. How could I contribute to undermining the Jewish struggle to reconstruct a post-Holocaust decimated people and the state of Israel that had so recently come into existence?

With time and introspection, my dual narrative world began to fray at the edges, and eventually completely unravel. Probably the crushing blow came when a Palestinian friend asked me why Jews have such a hard time incorporating the Palestinian experience into the Jewish understanding of history. I didn’t quite grasp his question and, with trepidation, asked him to explain. He challenged me to see not two separate conflicting narratives, but one history—one history of what actually happened. That question and challenge—and exploring and reexploring their answers— took me on one of the deepest and most rewarding journeys of my life. It was the struggle of fundamentally wrestling to reconcile my politics around Israel-Palestine with my bottom-of-my-heart core values, and ultimately understanding, in the very essence of my being, that my true liberation as a Jewish person is now intrinsically bound up with the authentic liberation of the Palestinian people. My sense of freedom and wholeness will only be achieved when every Jew—and every Palestinian—is free. Zionism imprisons not only Palestinian bodies but Jewish minds as well.

I came to comprehend that the wonderful Jewish tradition of “Justice, justice thou shalt pursue” required me to take a stand with others of goodwill, including many Jews, to support my Palestinian sisters and brothers in their pain, struggle, and resistance. The breakthrough for me was the ultimate realization that standing up for the Palestinian people was not turning my back on my own people. Rather, in supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom, I was upholding Judaism’s highest values and reclaiming them for myself, in—for me—a profoundly new and personally meaningful way. Nelson Mandela said, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

Excerpted from “Palestine and my Journey of Self-Discovery,” an essay by Ned Rosch in Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation, edited by Carolyn L. Karcher. Published 2019 by Olive Branch Press, an imprint of Interlink Publishing Group. Copyright Carolyn L. Karcher and contributors.

This article was originally published by Yes” –

 

Western Media Perpetuate Gaza’s Brutal Blockade

Western Media Perpetuate Gaza’s Brutal Blockade

Tue May 07, 2019 7:59

TEHRAN (FNA)- Human rights groups continue to slam corporate media outlets in the West for perpetuating anti-Palestinian sentiments in their reporting on the recent Israeli violence against Gaza.

As always, major news sources gave little in-depth information or a timeline regarding the Israeli military’s killing of Palestinians at a protest on Friday, may 3 – one of the weekly demonstrations Palestinians have held for more than a year to call for an end to illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, blockades which have led to food and medicine shortages, and ongoing attacks by the Israeli forces.

Instead, they reported mainly on more than 200 rockets which Hamas and the Islamic Jihad launched into illegal Israeli settlements, writing that Israel retaliated for those attacks and ignoring what led up to the rocket strikes.

This is while even the United Nations had said earlier this year that Israeli soldiers who attack Palestinians at the peaceful protests along the Gaza border could be found liable for war crimes. So those who come up with headlines to frame the recent violence on Palestinians are complicit in Israeli war crimes as well.

Unsurprisingly, the United States and other Western governments that arm Israel also backed Israeli forces as they bombed the besieged city of Gaza yet again. It’s a sign of utter criminality between Tel Aviv, the West and mainstream media outlets in colonizing Palestine and projecting militarism upon Palestinians, whether through direct force, clandestine subversion, or blockade, illegal settlement construction and false news reporting.

It’s also an expression of complicity on the part of the US and certain European powers. They are assisting through their corps of engineers and companies with the construction of underground steel impenetrable walls and illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian lands.

No doubt the ongoing Palestinian protests are an expression of the desperation created in Gaza as a result of the Western-backed blockade that’s been going on for years in a severe and continuing form. Gaza’s suffering is unacceptable and must end. Israel must lift the blockade and end its collective punishment of the civilian population. The relentless air assault has seen Israeli forces flagrantly disregard civilian life and property, which must be protected under international humanitarian law.

Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders are pretty much aware that what they are doing to Gaza is a war crime. Deliberately attacking civilian homes is a war crime, and the overwhelming scale of destruction of civilian objects points to a distressing pattern of repeated violations of the laws of war. Netanyahu must bear responsibility for his war crimes – identified by the UN Human Rights Council in its investigation into Israel’s last year assault on Gaza.

With Tel Aviv still refusing to respond to the language of diplomacy and peaceful protest, the international civil society should call for greater diplomatic pressure to force the paranoid, exclusivist, and imperious regime to lift the illegal blockade and allow international supporters to help.

It is time for leading international organizations not to admit Israel as a member. The blockade has been presented as punishment for the democratic election of Hamas; punishment for its subsequent takeover of Gaza; and punishment for justified resistance through attacks on illegal settlements. True, the UN has criticized Israel over its blockade. But, criticism alone is not enough. The international body needs to do more than just lip service.

Meantime, to help bring change and peace to the Middle East, business companies, universities, organizations and individuals, especially those that advocate human rights and democracy in the West, should support the international campaign to boycott Israeli goods and the companies that support the regime financially in illegal settlements.

Israel has expanded its illegal settlement construction in the occupied territories in the past few years in defiance of international calls to end its expansionist policies. Over half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since occupation of the West Bank in 1967.

Too many years have gone by with no change in the brutal isolation of Gaza. Since the siege is being backed by the West, mainstream media and military violence, only armed resistance on the part of Palestinians and international pressure on Egypt and Israel can help reopen Gaza’s border to the outside world permanently.

 

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