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Monthly Archives: December 2009

A Year Since the Israeli Invasion of Gaza

For many, New Years Eve is a time to reminisce and celebrate, but for some people it is a time to protest, mourn, and bring attention to the plight of others across the world.

Protesters have gathered on a cold Washington DC street corner on a freezing night, marking a year since Operation Cast Lead began.

Though a ceasefire was reached, these people argue that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is still raging.

Elise Springuel, one of the protesters, believes: “Things need to change – what’s happening now is deplorable. It’s one of the greatest human rights issues in the world and it’s been completely ignored by most of the media.”

It is ignored by the media and, the demonstrators say, ignored by governments – including the US.

I think if more people knew what was going on, they would be more vocal in trying to change that,” Emily Spiegel, Jewish-American, Protest Organizer says, adding “and the US plays a large role in what’s going on by supporting Israel and Egypt.”

But the situation is not ignored by people like those taking part in similar protests around the world.
At the border between Gaza and Egypt, demonstrators try to get into Gaza to join a larger rally,
calling for the crossing to be opened and essential supplies allowed to reach the people. Israel imposed an economic blockade on Gaza after Hamas maintained control of the region in 2007.

After Operation Cast Lead, the situation became worse. Now people in the area can’t get all they need – food, medicaments or fuel.

For those whose families are living in Gaza, this rally means more than showing support.

Nehed Qedin, a Gazan protester, is concerned about the situation: “Right now there is no financial aid getting in. No food, no medicine…nothing is getting in.”

A diverse crowd came out on the streets of Washington DC to call for peace and to lift the blockade. It included Palestinians, but also Israelis, Jews, and Jewish organizations.

Emily Spiegel claimed: “I just don’t agree with what the Israeli government is doing. I think, as a
Jewish American, I feel the need to speak up, because a lot of my community supports what Israel is doing.”

Aeron Shneyer, a Jewish-American, spreads his message through music: “More and more Jews are realizing what’s good for Israel is also what’s good for Palestinians, and to be one-sided is not helping anyone.” His band includes both Palestinians from Gaza and Israeli Jews.

But for some protesters, enough is enough.

“The occupation has gone on for more than 40 years and it’s the result of racism,” Kyle Foley,
An American protester thinks.

For Israel’s part, Gaza is a launching pad for terrorist attacks against it, and Gaza’s government –
with its ties to Iran – remains a security threat.
But while the politicians shake their fists, the fight for everyday Palestinians is for food, medicine and security.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2009 in News Update

 

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[Press TV] Viva Palestina Update: Back On The Move Towards Gaza

Update on the Viva Palestina 3 Convoy that was stuck in Jordan due to Egyptian issues. Now back on the move and onwards to Gaza. Aired on December 31, 2009

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2009 in News Update

 

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Riz Khan – Holding Israel to account – 29 Dec 09

n the year since the Gaza war, activists have stepped up their calls for sanctions on Israel. These include appeals to withdraw investments in Israel (divestment); to boycott Israeli goods and services, cultural institutions and universities; and to prosecute the top political and military leaders behind the war. But generally the diplomatic fallout of the war has been manageable for Israel, so what do the supporters of BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) hope to achieve?

Part 1

Part 2

Special thanks to Sabbah Report

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Cairo : 1400 Gaza Freedom March Activists on December 31,30,29

Video clip from Thursday morning demonstration in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptians and internationals in the Gaza Freedom March assembled to protest Egypts crackdown on their freedom of movement. Police attempted to blockade some activists in their hotels, and allowed only a small number to travel to the border with Gaza. Video by Kayvan Farchadi with Sam Husseini.

Gaza Freedom March activists camped out for second day at French Embassy in Cairo ask other internationals for support for their protest. Egyptian government is denying GFM permission to enter Gaza.

Activists from the Gaza Freedom March reject Egypt’s offer to allow only 100 of the delegates through the border to Gaza. Their decision is cheered by the other delegates who were not allowed to go..

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Intl/Egyptian Demonstration 29-12-2009مظاهرة دولية مصرية امام الصحفيين

An International & Egyptian demonstration in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo protesting Egypts denial for all to enter Gaza.
مظاهرة حاشدة امام الصحفيين احياء لذكرى حرب غزة و استنكارا لرفض مصر دخول الوفود الاجنبية للتضامن مع غزة

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Activists Fall Victim to Gaza Blockade

by Anne Barker on ABCNews

More than 1,300 international peace activists from 40 countries, including Australia, are in Egypt this week.

The self-styled “freedom marchers” include prominent authors, lawyers and journalists, many of them Jewish.

They had hoped to cross the border to Gaza for a planned protest today against Israel and its economic blockade of the area, but they too have fallen victim to the blockade.

When the peace activists arrived in Cairo, the Egyptian government all but banned them from travelling even to the Egyptian side of the Gaza border.

Two days ago, Egyptian police detained one group of protesters who had managed to cross the Sinai Desert and effectively placed them under house arrest on the grounds the march was illegal and the situation in Gaza was too sensitive.

Another group of protesters, who had sought the support of the American embassy, say they too were detained and harassed.

So in recent days the protesters in Cairo have directed as much of their anger at Egypt, for its apparent complicity with the Israeli blockade.

Many of the 1,300 peace marchers staged a sit-in outside the United Nations building to enlist the UN’s support against Egypt.

One Australian taking part is Jewish author and journalist, Antony Loewenstein. He says the trip to Gaza will not be seen as a failure should the activists not get in.

“Not getting into Gaza doesn’t really negate the importance of the trip itself,” he said.

“What we’re trying to do, whether we get into Gaza or whether we simply stay in Egypt, is to make a very strong statement about the suffering of the people in Gaza itself.

“It’s important for people to remember that when there was a war there a year ago, all the buildings that were destroyed, the infrastructure, the sewerage plant, none of that has been rebuilt and until that changes there is legitimate protest to be made.”

However, after the last-minute intervention of President Hosni Mubarak’s wife, Egypt has agreed to let two busloads of protesters through the border at Rafah to take part in today’s protest in Gaza.

One of them is Australian peace activist Donna Mulhearn.

“Around about 50,000 people from Gaza are ready to be marching along with those internationals who are able to get through, so we hope that that will draw some attention,” she said.

A separate convoy of humanitarian workers carrying medical aid for Gaza is also stranded in Jordan, because Egypt has banned them from travelling to Gaza via the Red Sea.

Egypt is demanding they go all the way back through Jordan and Syria, and take a Mediterranean route closer to the Gaza border.

In the end though, no amount of protests or pressure is likely to bring an end to the Israeli blockade, which bans the movement of people from Gaza and the import of all but the most essential supplies.

The Israeli government imposed the blockade two years ago after Hamas came to power and says it was meant to target the Islamist regime and not Gaza’s civilian population.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Gaza March report -DemocracyNow

The Gaza Freedom March is scheduled to start in less than 8 hours!
Call your local TV stations and encourage them to carry news coverage of this peaceful action for human rights. The delegates will not be turned away by fabricated ‘tensions’ at the border. The Israeli, Egyptian, US and European governments must act to end the siege of Gaza, but they will continue to ignore the situation as long as the people are distracted. Mass media and awareness is the key.

Thanks to Democracy Now

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2009 in News Update

 

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