Archive for the ‘Palestine’ Category

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Israel picks a fight with Ireland

August 7, 2009

It seems that Zionists and AIPAC will go to any lengths to stifle anyone critical of their murderous regime. There is no end to whom Zionists will pick a fight with.

Now it’s Mary Robinson, first woman president of Ireland and former UNHR high commissioner who has supported Palestinian rights and criticised the tactics of Israel against the Palestinian people. Mary Robinson has been included to receive the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom Award by Obama.

Zionists object of course – anyone who criticizes Israel’s bloody tactics in Palestine cannot possibly be a good person. That pretty well means that a majority of people in the world are on Israel’s and AIPAC’s black list. The Irish people have long supported Palestine and protested the savage treatment of its people by Israel with boycotts of Israeli products and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

Usually, the Irish like just about every country and nationality in the world. And, I might add, are welcomed everywhere, especially on UN peace keeping missions because of their congenialality and resolution of tense conflicts with good will rather than bombs and bullets. Israel should get some sort of medal itself for raising the hackles on Irish backs and being boycotted not only by Irish people, but also by Irish academia, a feat no other nation has accomplished in Irish history. Congratulations to Israel.

I would here argue the merits of case affirming Israel’s violation of human rights, but it would takes weeks to list all the proven instances of its blatant disregard for human rights over decades. And of course, I would be arguing with people whose minds are immersed in Israeli propaganda. Only a fool argues with fools.

Before or after you read the following article you might want to review Mary Robinson’s credentials in the area of human rights activities.

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson: Human rights are good for business

Global Elders

Jewish groups decry Obama’s choice of

Ireland’s Mary Robinson for award

Protests against the former Irish president, who critics say is anti-Israel, could become problematic for President Obama.

By Peter Wallsten

August 7, 2009

Source

Reporting from Washington — Jewish congressional members and lobbying groups are protesting President Obama’s decision to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Irish leader Mary Robinson, who they say has a long record of harshly criticizing Israel.

The award announcement prompted the first criticism of Obama by the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a group he courted during last year’s campaign. Jewish groups in the U.S. have been largely supportive of the president. But the Robinson award is the latest in a series of recent disagreements with Obama, and some Jewish leaders are growing skeptical of his commitment to Israel.

Last month, Obama hosted Jewish leaders at a White House meeting designed to soothe tensions over his differences with Israel over the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and lingering concern over the tenor of his outreach to the Muslim world.

By Thursday, several members of Congress — including two Jewish Democrats — had rebuked the decision to bestow the country’s highest civilian honor on Robinson during a White House ceremony planned for Wednesday.

Among their concerns was her role as the United Nations’ high commissioner on human rights in the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. The U.S. and Israel pulled out of the conference over objections to a document it produced accusing Israel of racism in its treatment of the Palestinians.

Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and a member of the Jewish caucus to the conference, said Thursday that Robinson “allowed the event to be hijacked by extremists who had no interest in peace.”

The episode, Cooper said, “degraded” the global human rights effort, setting the stage for the second racism conference, held this spring, in which a keynote speaker was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fierce enemy of Israel who has questioned whether the Holocaust occurred.

Robinson “simply did not have the guts . . . to step into the fray and say it can’t be this way,” Cooper said. “She’s a nice woman and a good person, but the fact that you mean well isn’t a prerequisite to get our nation’s highest honor.”

Robinson, Ireland’s president from 1990 to 1997, told Irish reporters this week that the accusations had no merit and blamed the controversy on “a lot of bullying by certain elements of the Jewish community.”

“They bully people who try to address the severe situation in Gaza and the West Bank,” she told a radio network, according to an account in the Belfast Telegraph.

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D- Nev.) said Thursday that the “biased views expressed by Mary Robinson against the nation of Israel remain deeply troubling, and her tarnished record of actions on this issue cannot be erased with the awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

Berkley blamed Robinson for the “highly charged anti-Jewish attacks against Israel and its supporters” at the 2001 conference and said her actions “deserve to be condemned.”

Another Jewish Democrat, Rep. Eliot L. Engel of New York, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Robinson was a “screw-up” and a “mistake.”

A White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, on Thursday stood by the president’s decision, calling Robinson a key figure in history. “Mary Robinson was the first female president of Ireland, whom we are honoring as a prominent crusader for women’s rights in Ireland and around the world,” Vietor said. “She has dedicated her career to human rights and working to improve an imperfect world.

“As with any public figure, we don’t necessarily agree with every statement she has ever made,” Vietor said, “but it’s clear that she has been an agent of change and a fighter for good.”

Still, the controversy looked to be growing.

The World Jewish Congress on Thursday accused Robinson of an “endorsement of Palestinian violence as legitimate political activity, and the outrageous equating of the Holocaust to the suffering of the Palestinians,” adding that Robinson’s record “renders her unqualified to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor.”

The criticism from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, which called on Obama to “firmly, fully and publicly repudiate [Robinson’s] views on Israel,” was especially problematic for the president.

As a candidate, he delivered well-received speeches to the group as he presented himself as a staunch supporter of Israel. AIPAC’s incoming president, Lee Rosenberg, is a Chicago friend of Obama’s and was a key fundraiser during the campaign.

Defenders of Robinson point to a 2003 op-ed she wrote in the New York Times deploring the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, and they note that during the 2001 racism conference she waved a booklet of anti-Semitic cartoons and declared, “I am a Jew.”

But critics point to a 2002 report compiled by the late Rep. Tom Lantos of California, a Holocaust survivor and delegate to the Durban conference, who said that Robinson’s conduct “left our delegation deeply shocked and saddened” by her remarks about Israel.

Related

Irish Noble Peace Prize Winner shot by Israeli Army VIDEO

Cynthia McKinney

More Evidence: Israel, British Gas & Gaza

Israel poisons Palestinian water

Picture of demolitions in Palestine

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Jews boycott Israel

August 3, 2009

It is really very important to distinguish betweens Jews and Zionists as groups: and to realise that many Jewish people do not support the atrocities of Israel. While Jewish refers to race, Zionist refers to a political attitude about Israel. I do not have any argument with Jews; but I do with Zionists who support Israel’s occupation of Palestine, whether they are Jewish or not.

Among Jews who don’t support Zionists are Gilad Atzmon, Leonard Cohen, Noam Chomsky among so many others, all geniuses in their own fields.

Many Israeli soldiers have spoken out against the atrocities of Israel here (30 min) and here (6 min). You tube has many such videos in which young jews in Israel have condemned their own government’s occupation of Palestine which are very sobering.

Since France recently made it illegal to boycott Israel, I find the article below quite refreshing.


Jews plan Israel’s boycott


From The Jewish Chronicle
Leon Symons
July 30, 2009
Source

The JC has revealed plans developed by Jews For Justice For Palestinians (JFJFP) to cause maximum damage to Israel by extending boycotts.

At the anti-Israel organisation’s recent annual meeting, activists discussed a survey of its members which showed clear support for a comprehensive boycott. More than 400 JFJFP activists responded to the survey.

The meeting considered three options, based on the survey results: “1. That we maintain our present position; 2. That we will consider, on a case-by-case basis, smart boycotts against the occupation; 3. That we will consider, on a case-by-case basis, smart boycotts but
not restricted to the occupation.”

The meeting voted for the third option, which would enable JFJFP to initiate or support boycotts of all Israeli goods and services.

In a letter sent to members on Monday, after the meeting, the executive recommends option two, which would widen the group’s activities beyond its current focus on the settlements to taking in everything connected to what it terms the “occupation”.

This would mean boycotting companies, goods and services that could be shown to be connected directly to the Occupied Territories. That would include targeting those who refuse to say whether or not they worked in the Occupied Territories.

In explaining the detail of this option, the JFJFP executive say: “By targeting Israel’s policy of colonisation, this also avoids the accusation — important for an organisation like JFJFP — of being anti-Israel.”

Recommending option two, the executive say it is, among other things, best “for minimising the inevitable misrepresentation of our position in such a way as to make work directed at those who belong to Jewish communal organisations much harder than it is at present”.

The survey shows that the executive is worried about the impact of adopting a wider boycott strategy on the group’s reputation among Jews. Question two asks: “Do you think adopting a broader boycott position would make JFJFP more, or less, attractive to Jews in Britain who take issue with Israeli policy but have not chosen to express that concern by becoming a JFJFP signatory?”

Two-hundred and forty seven out of the 417 respondents said they thought JFJFP would be much less attractive. Another 96 stayed neutral.

JFJFP currently supports a ban on the importation of all settlement produce and claims it was “a very significant contributor to the process whereby the UK government strongly objected to the mislabelling of goods produced in the occupied Palestinian territories”.

It also supports the boycott of companies such as Caterpillar, which it says is “involved in home demolitions and the destruction of, for example, olive groves in order to build the barrier”.

It backs the boycott of companies involved in supporting settlements and demands “an end to the sale of arms to Israel and any purchase of arms or security equipment from Israel”.

The meeting also included a series of workshops exploring how anti-Israel activists should respond to various situations, using recent events as the basis for discussion.

These included the Zionist Federation’s hire of the Bloomsbury Theatre, the Edinburgh Film Festival’s acceptance of Israeli sponsorship and the announcement of a Leonard Cohen concert in Israel.

Read the full results here

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Irish Civil Society Calls For Boycott of Israel

February 6, 2009




By Pulse
February, 04, 2009

Source

The following letter was published in a full-page advertisement in The Irish Times on 31 January 2009:

The original ad, including signatures may be downloaded here. [PDF]

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza killed over 1,300 Palestinians, a third of them children. Thousands have been wounded. Many victims had been taking refuge in clearly marked UN facilities.

This assault came in the wake of years of economic blockade by Israel. This blockade, which is illegal under international humanitarian law, has destroyed the Gaza economy and condemned its population to poverty. According to a World Bank report last September, “98 percent of Gaza’s industrial operations are now inactive.”

The most recent attack on Gaza is only the latest phase in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and appropriation of their land.

Israel has never declared its borders. Instead, it has continuously expanded at the expense of the Palestinians. In 1948, it took over 78 percent of Palestine, an area much larger than that suggested for a Jewish state by the UN General Assembly in 1947. Contrary to international law, Israel expelled over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes. These refugees and their descendants, who now number millions, are still dispersed throughout the region. They have the right, under international law, to return to their homes. This right has been underlined by the UN General Assembly many times, starting with Resolution 194 in 1948.

In 1967, Israel occupied the remaining 22 percent of Palestine: the West Bank and Gaza. Contrary to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has built, and continues to build, settlements in these occupied territories. Today, nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the illegal settlements in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and the number grows daily as Israel expands its settler program.

Israel has resisted pressure from the international community to abide by the human rights provisions of international law. It has refused to comply with UN Security Council demands to cease building settlements and remove those it has built (Resolutions 446, 452 and 465) and to reverse its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem (252, 267, 271, 298, 476 and 478). Since September 2000, over 5,000 Palestinians, almost 1,000 of them minors, have been killed by the Israeli military.

Eleven-thousand Palestinians, including hundreds of minors, languish in Israel jails. Hundreds are detained without trial. In addition, Israel is breaking international law by imprisoning them outside the occupied territories, thereby making it almost impossible for their families to visit them. Every year, hundreds of Palestinian homes are demolished. The Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza livesw imprisoned by walls, barriers and checkpoints that prevent or impede access to shops, schools, workplaces, hospitals and places of worship. They are subjected to restrictions of every kind and to daily ritual humiliation at the hands of occupation soldiers and checkpoint guards.

Invasion, occupation and plantation of their land is the reality that Palestinians have faced for decades and still face on a daily basis, as their country is reduced remorselessly. Unless, and until, this Israeli aggression is halted, and the democratic rights of the Palestinian people are vindicated, there will be no justice or peace in the Middle East. Israel’s 40-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza must be ended.

The occupation can end if political and economic pressure is placed on Israel by the international community. Recognizing this, the Palestinian people continually call on the international community to intervene.

We, the signatories, call for the following:

* The Irish Government to cease its purchase of Israeli military products and services and call publicly for an arms embargo against Israel.
* The Irish Government to demand publicly that Israel reverse its settlement construction, illegal occupation and annexation of land in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and to use its influence in international fora to bring this about.
* The Irish Government to demand publicly that the Euro-Med Agreement under which Israel has privileged access to the EU market be suspended until Israel complies with international law.
* The Irish Government to veto any proposed upgrade in EU relations with Israel.
* The Irish people to boycott all Israeli goods and services until Israel abides by international law.

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Will Israel be tried in the Hague?

January 26, 2009

Charges filed by international attorneys
against 15 Israeli officials

23.01.09
Source

Bethlehem / PNN – Palestinian and international efforts continue to institute legal proceedings for the prosecution of Israeli officials in the commission of war crimes.

Although Israeli forces are involved in thousands of cases, local experts such as the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights believe that the recent major attacks on the Gaza Strip will successfully prosecuted.

“They were well-documented, televised and the world was paying attention,” a member of the Gaza City team commented.

After the very public detection of large-scale atrocities which included the use of white phosphorus bombs in enclosed civilian areas and the liquidation of children there is little defense.

Fifteen specific names are now pending for prosecution in The Hague’s war crimes tribunal.

Those listed for prosecution include Israeli political and military officials, namely Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak.

Israelis are being warned internally against leaving its boundaries due to fears of arrest.

French lawyer Gilles Dovers is handling the complaint in Paris calling for the “open investigation into war crimes” committed by Israeli forces during three weeks in Gaza.

Dovers said today that 500 complaints are being submitted by Arab, European and Latin American officials. Bolivia is preparing its own case, as is Venezuela.

Argentine international prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is deciding whether to go ahead with an investigation.

The French lawyer said there is some fear of interference from the United Nations Security Council under pressure from the United States to stop the proceedings and prevent the achievement of access to trial. The founding texts of the International Criminal Court empower the Security Council to suspend its work.

Today’s invitation to try at least 15 Israeli officials is being delivered by 30 international lawyers of several nationalities.

In parallel, the intention of a group of French lawyers to file a complaint on behalf of French citizens of Palestinian origin to the French courts against Israeli officials is gaining attention in the cities of Paris and eastern France.

Coordination with other lawyers in Belgium and Spain is underway as similar complaints against the Israeli officials are being made in Brussels and Madrid. Belgium is among the countries who issued charges against Ariel Sharon in the past.

Moroccan lawyers also disclosed yesterday practical steps toward filing a lawsuit against “the perpetrators of war crimes” in Gaza. Six lawyers are working with the Minister of Justice of Morocco.

As reported by PNN throughout the week, in Tel Aviv Israeli activists published 15 names:

Ehud Barak, Amir Peretz, Binyamin Ben Eliezer, Avi Dichter, Carmi Gilon, Dan Halutz, Doron Almog, Ehud Olmert, Eliezer Shkedy, Gabi Ashkenazi, Giora Eiland, Matan Vilani, Moshe Bogi Yaalon, Shaul Mofaz and Tzipi Livni,

along with reasons they are listed and photos on:

http://www.wanted.org.il

included with the note: “Anyone who has information about the suspect when he is outside of the Israeli borders, report immediately to…” and gives contact information for The Hague.

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Ireland calls on EU to cut ties with Israel

January 24, 2009

Never underestimate the power of the Ire in Ireland.

148 Irish academics issue call
for EU to cut links with Israel

23 Jan 2009
Source

In a letter published today, Friday, 23rd January in the Irish Times(text below), over 140 Irish academics from a wide variety of disciplines called for a moratorium on EU support of Israeli academic institutions until Israel abides by UN resolutions and ends the occupation of Palestinian territories.

The letter was organised in response to the Israeli attack on Gaza and the Palestinian call for an academic and cultural boycott. The letter demands that the EU cease funding collaborative projects with Israeli institutions and “and an end to the EU’s practice of treating Israel as a European state for the purposes of awarding grants and contracts”.

The letter accuses Israel of destroying the Palestinians right to education as guaranteed by international law. It states: ‘we note that during its recent offensive Israel expressly targeted educational institutions including the Islamic University, the Ministry of Education, the American International School, and 3 UN schools which were destroyed with massive loss of civilian life. During the illegal sealing off of the Gaza Strip that preceded the current aggression, Israel had prevented numerous Palestinian students from leaving Gaza to avail of Fulbright scholarships to the USA”

The ongoing Israeli occupation has meant that educational establishments are closed off for many Palestinians. The checkpoints, closures and curfews Israel has imposed, as well as the ongoing harassment of academics and students, have played havoc with university life. In addition, military attacks on universities and schools and the occupation of many schools by Israeli soldiers have turned education into a life-threatening activity.

The letter is signed by 148 academics. Prominent names include author and critic Seamus Deane, poet and academic Louis de Paor, UCD academic Kathleen Lynch, cultural critics Luke Gibbons and Joe Cleary, Israeli political scientist Ephraim Nimni, and former TUI (Teachers Union of Ireland) head Paddy Healy. It follows a similar letter in September 2006 signed by 61 academics.

Text of letter with signatories
There has been widespread international condemnation of Israel’s bombardment and subsequent invasion of Gaza, which has been defined by international lawyers as a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention. No civilians, Israelis or Palestinian should be subjected to attack whether from rockets from Gaza or bombs and bullets from Israel. However, while every government has both the right and responsibility to defend its civilian population, we believe that Israel’s violent actions are disproportionate and constitute collective punishment of a civilian population.

We also note that Israeli spokespersons themselves have admitted that prior to Israel’s killing of 6 Hamas members in the Nov 4 attack on Gaza, Hamas appears to have abided by its ceasefire agreement with Israel, firing no rockets and trying to prevent other groups from doing so. This begs the question: what is the real reason behind the onslaught?

In addition, we note that during its recent offensive Israel expressly targeted educational institutions including the Islamic University, the Ministry of Education, the American International School, and 3 UN schools which were destroyed with massive loss of civilian life. During the illegal sealing off of the Gaza Strip that preceded the current aggression, Israel had prevented numerous Palestinian students from leaving Gaza to avail of Fulbright scholarships to the USA.

We believe that it is time to renew the call made by Irish-based academics in September 2006 for a moratorium on the funding of Israeli academic institutions by national and European cultural and research institutions, and an end to the EU’s practice of treating Israel as a European state for the purposes of awarding grants and contracts. Such a moratorium should continue until Israel ends its repressive policies against Gaza, and abides by UN resolutions (which include the ending of the occupation of all Palestinian territories).

We believe that opposition to such a move based on the principle of academic freedom has lost the last semblance of validity in view of the above-mentioned violations of the right to education enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 26), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 28) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (art. 14).

Yours sincerely

1. Dr Kieran Allen, School of Sociology, UCD
2. Professor James Anderson, Dept of Geography, Queen’s University Belfast, Co-Director, Centre for International Borders Research (CIBR)
3. Dr Iain Atack, Lecturer and Programme Coordinator, International Peace Studies, Irish School of Ecumenics, (TCD)
4. Dr David Atkinson, Dept. of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
5. Professor Ibrahim Banat, Faculty of Life and Health Sciences, University of Ulster
6. Darius Bartlett, Department of Geography, University College Cork
7. Professor James Bowen, Computer Science, UCC, Cork
8. Dr. Barbara Bradby, Department of Sociology, TCD
9. Dr. Colin Breen, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster
10. Dr Keith Breen, School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy, Queen’s University Belfast
11. Dr Pat Brereton, Dublin City University.
12. Harry Browne School of Media, DIT
13. Carlos Bruen, Dept of Epidemiology & Public Health Medicine (Division of Population Health Sciences) Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
14. Audrey Bryan School of Education, UCD
15. Noreen Byrne, Department of Food Business and Development, UCC
16. Dr Rachel Cassidy, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster
17. Professor Joe Cleary, Department of English, NUI Maynooth
18. Dr. Steve Coleman Department of Anthropology, NUI Maynooth
19. Dr. Maeve Connolly, School of Creative Arts, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology, IADT
20. Eddie Conlon, Department of Engineering Science and General Studies, DIT
21. Dr Colin Coulter, Dept of Sociology, NUI Maynooth
22. Dr. Laurence Cox, Dept of Sociology, NUI Maynooth
23. Dr Patrick Crowley, Department of French, University College Cork
24. Tony Cunningham, Department of Sociology NUI Maynooth
25. Charlie Daly, School of Computing, DCU.
26. Dr Kelly Davidson School of Business and Humanities, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology, IADT
27. Cormac Deane, School of Business and Humanities, IADT Dun Laoghaire
28. Professor Seamus Deane, University of Notre Dame
29. Dr. Teresa Degenhardt, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work Queens University Belfast
30. Dr Louis de Paor, NUI Galway
31. Derek Dodd, Centre for Public Culture Studies, IADT.
32. Dr Bill Dorris, Dept. Of Communications, DCU
33. Collette Doyle, School of Social Justice, UCD
34. Dr. Paul Dunlop, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster 35. Mary Eldin, University College Dublin
36. Ray English, School of Manufacturing and Design Engineering, DIT
37. Dr. Adel Farrag, Department of Electronic Engineering, ITT Dublin
38. Angela Farrell, Dept. Languages and Cultural Studies University of Limerick
39. Mike FitzGibbon, Food Business and Development Department, University College Cork 40. Richard Fitzsimons, School of Media, DIT
41. Professor Tadhg Foley Department of English & Chair of the Board, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway
42. Dr Oona Frawley, School of English, NUI Maynooth,
43. Malcolm Garland. Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, RCSI and Consultant Psychiatrist/Post-Graduate Tutor, St Ita’s Hospital.
44. Dr Mark Gardiner, Dept of Archaeology, Queen’s University Belfast
45. Professor Luke Gibbons, University of Notre Dame
46. Dr. Paula Gilligan, Dept. of Humanities, IADT Dun Laoghaire
47. Professor Robbie Gilligan, School of Social Work and Social Policy, TCD
48. Dr Kathy Glavanis-Grantham, Department of Sociology, UCC
49. Liam Greenslade, National College of Art and Design
50. Fergal Goulding, Cork Institute of Technology
51. Brian Hand, Wexford Campus IT Carlow
52. Dr Brian Hanley, School of History, Queens University Belfast
53. Seán Harrington, Dublin School of Architecture, DIT,
54. Mike Haslam, Dublin School of Architecture, DIT
55. Deena Haydon, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Justice, Queen’s University Belfast
56. Paddy Healy, School of Physics, DIT
57. Goretti Horgan, School of Policy Studies, University of Ulster
58. Professor Jane Horgan Dublin City University
59. Dr Kevin Hourihan, Dept of Geography, UCC
60. Dr. John Karamichas, School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast
61. Dr Brian Kelly, School of History and Anthropology, Queen’s University Belfast
62. Dr. Sinéad Kennedy, Department of English, NUI Maynooth
63. Dr. Dorothy Kenny, School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, DCU
64. David Landy Department of Sociology, TCD
65. Dr Fintan Lane. Historian
66. Zoe Lawlor, Dept. of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
67. John J. Lauder, Dublin School of Architecture, DIT
68. Dr. Ronit Lentin, Dept of Sociology, TCD
69. Martin McCabe, School of Media, DIT
70. Professor Madeleine Leonard, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast
71. Tom Lonergan, Dublin City University
72. Professor Kathleen Lynch, Equality Studies Centre, School of Social Justice, University College Dublin
73. Piaras MacEinri, University College Cork
74. An Dr. Seosamh Mac Muirí, Grág na Fearna, Droim Dhá Thiar. Co. Liatroma.
75. Professor John Maguire Professor Emeritus, UCC
76. Dr. Hussain Mahdi, Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering, University of Limerick
77. Dr. Sean Marlow, School of Electronic Engineering, Dublin City University,
78. Dr. Chandana Mathur, Dept of Anthropology, NUI Maynooth
79. Dr Cillian McBride, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, Queen’s University Belfast
80. Dr Cathal McCall, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, QUB
81. Dr Gerard McCann, European Studies, St Mary’s College, Queens University Belfast 82. Dr Conor McCarthy, Department of English, NUI Maynooth
83. Professor John McCloskey, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster
84. Professor Terrence McDonough, Dept of Economics, NUI Galway
85. Dr. Karen McElrath, School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work, Queens University Belfast
86. Dr Des McGuinness, School of Communication, Dublin City University
87. Dr. Martina McKnight, Queens University Belfast
88. Dr Gerard McMahon, Business Faculty, DIT
89. Dr Bill McSweeney, International Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin
90. Rosie Meade, Dept. of Applied Social Studies, UCC
91. Dr. Pat Meere, Department of Geology, UCC.
92. Professor Stephen Mennell, School of Sociology, UCD
93. Mick Monk, Department of Archaeology, UCC
94. Anna Maria Mullally, Dept. of Humanities, ITT Dublin.
95. Tony Murray, School of Media, DIT
96. Professor Patrick Murphy, Dept of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, UCC
97. Dr. Suleyman S. Nalbant, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster
98. Tom O’Connor, School of Media, DIT
99. Dr. Ephraim Nimni, School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy, Queen’s University Belfast
100. Dr. Emer Nolan, Dept of English, NUI Maynooth
101. Dr. John O’Brennan, Department of Sociology, NUI Maynooth
102. Gerard M. O’Brien, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine
103. Dr Barra O’Donnabhain, Department of Archaeology, University College Cork
104. Dr Ruan.O’Donnell, Historian
105. Professor Liam O’Dowd, School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work, Queens University Belfast
106. Professor Patrick O’Flanagan, Dept of Geography, UCC
107. Dr Feilim O Hadhmail, Dept of Applied Social Studies, UCC
108. Professor Denis O Hearn, School of Sociology, Queen’s University Belfast
109. Dr. Theresa O’Keefe, Department of Sociology, NUI Maynooth
110. Dr. Des O’Rawe, School of Languages, Literatures and Arts, Queen’s University Belfast
111. Dr. Jacqui O’Riordan, Dept. Applied Social Studies, UCC
112. Dr K.C. O’Rourke, Dublin Institute of Technology
113. Eddie O’Shea Head, Department of Architecture+Urban Design, Dublin School of Architecture, DIT
114. Joan O’Sullivan, Dept of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
115. John O’Sullivan, Dept. of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
116. Maria Parsons, Department of Humanities, IADT
117. Dr Mark Phelan, School of Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts, Queen’s University Belfast
118. Professor Barbara Pierscionek, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster 119. Dr Lionel Pilkington, Dept of English, NUI Galway
120. Professor John Pinkerton, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queens University Belfast
121. Professor Paschal Preston, School of Communication, DCU
122. Rory Quinn, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster
123. Dr Mary Roche, Department of Geography, UCC
124. Jim Roche, Dublin School of Architecture, DIT.
125. Professor Bill Rolston, Department of Sociology, University of Ulster
126. Eilish Rooney, School of Sociology & Applied Social Studies, University of Ulster
127. Sima Rouholamin, School of Architecture, Dublin Institute of Technology.
128. Pól Ruiséal, Ionad na Gaeilge Labhartha, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh
129. Brigid Ryan, Dept. of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
130. Dr Colin Sage, Department of Geography, UCC
131. Dr Tam Sanger, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast
132. Professor Phil Scraton, Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast
133. Liz Shannon, Dept of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick
134. Professor Helena Sheehan, School of Communications, Dublin City University
135. Dr Sally Shortall, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast
136. Ailbhe Smyth, WERCC, School of Social Justice, UCD
137. Professor Mike Scott, School of Computing, DCU
138. Dr. Lisa Smyth, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast
139. Andy Storey, Centre for Development Studies, UCD
140. Karen Sugrue, Department of Humanities, Limerick Institute of Technology
141. Prof. Alan Titley Roinn na Nua-Ghaeilge, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh
142. Dr Gavan Titley, Dept of Media Studies NUI Maynooth
143. Prof. Mike Tomlinson, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queens University Belfast
144. Hilary Tovey, Dept of Sociology, TCD
145. Dr Simon Trezise, Department of Music, TCD
146. Theresa Urbainczyk, School of Classics, UCD
147. Judy Walsh, School of Social Justice, UCD
148. Dr Gillian Wylie, International Peace Studies, Irish School of Ecumenics (TCD)

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Gilad Atzmon – Interview

January 22, 2009


Conversation with Gilad Atzmon, world-renowned Jazzist: Bring justice to the Israeli criminals, today!

Palestine Think Tank
Wed, 21 Jan 2009
Source

Interview by: Kourosh Ziabari, MMN

Gilad Atzmon is unique in his stance, unprecedented in his voice and unequivocal in his statements. As an Israel-born jazz musician and anti-Zionist activist, he propagates and chants his anti-Israeli contemplations explicitly and once he finds the opportunity.

As a musician who plays soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones, clarinet, sol, zurna and flute, Atzmon has won several international awards so far, including the BBC Jazz Award 2003, and is considered as one of the most prosperous artists of his rank.

In the position of an anti-Zionist activist, despite being Israeli originally, Gilad Atzmon incessantly denounces his belonging to the Jewish state and proclaims that he merely was born there and no more, which was perceptibly out of his knack and election, and that he feels no sympathy, compassion or nostalgia toward the occupying state of Israel.

During the past years, he has written a stack of articles and given a batch of lectures, performs regularly to condemn the historical belligerence of Israel in the occupied territories of Palestine and currently is lobbying dynamically by traveling to different countries so as to augment the cognition of public opinions about the massacre of Gaza and the butchery of innocent civilians, children and women in the strip.

In his recent trip to Greece, which he departed for a few days ago, Atzmon conducted quite a lot of interviews and appeared on a number of TV, Radio programs so as to express his sharp censure of Israeli genocides in Gaza. He believes that the people of Greece are hopefully much more knowledgeable, well-informed and that’s why they have made great efforts to convey their sympathy and patronage to the people in Gaza.

Following is the full text of an exclusive interview with Gilad Atzmon in which a variety of topics related to the ongoing slaughter of Gaza, Israeli crimes against humanity and the necessity of holding a trial for the Israeli officials in a just and objective international court is discussed:

Kourosh Ziabari: First, I would like to ask your opinion about the ongoing conflict of Gaza which some named “the most catastrophic battle” in the last decade. What’s your idea about the carnage of civilians, children, women and infants in Gaza?

Gilad Atzmon: What we see in Gaza is holocaust denial in its making. The Jewish state exercises hardcore barbarism. Yet, the world keeps silent. Once again we are confronted with the realization that giving a mandate for a national home for the Jewish people has been demonstrated to be a grave lethal mistake. The only question is how to dismantle this monstrous suicidal hawkish creature without turning our planet into a fireball.

Kourosh Ziabari: You criticize the Israeli state so sharply; nevertheless, you may have noted that the Israeli media and statesmen simply stick a label of “traitor” to each of the Israeli citizens, journalists, professors or rhetoricians who uses to blame the Jewish state for its butcheries and onslaughts. How do you solve this?

Gilad Atzmon: To start with, it is not such a bad thing to be a ‘traitor’ in a murderous state. However, I do not regard myself as an Israeli. I was born there but I haven’t lived or visited there for many years. Once I realized that I was residing on stolen land as an oppressor I packed my saxes and left. To a certain extent, I can be regarded as a ‘proud self hating Jew’. I am full of shame of myself and those who were my co-nationals. I talk about my shame; I write about it and compose music trying to deal with it.

Kourosh Ziabari: Israeli officials claim that they are just seeking retaliation by attacking the bases of Hamas, merely killing the individuals of army and military. In the other side, they disallow the entrance of journalists and media correspondents into the occupied Gaza Strip and ban them from broadcasting the reality. How can they justify this contradiction? Why they don’t allow the journalists into Gaza if they are righteous about their pretensions?

Gilad Atzmon: I do not think that Israelis are concerned at all with contradictions or logical discrepancies. Israelis are not concerned at all with their image either.

I will try to elaborate. Israel is now the largest Jewish Ghetto ever. The Jewish Ghetto is basically a place where Jews can celebrate their symptoms collectively among themselves, without being shy about what they say, think or feel. Israel has already surrounded itself with gigantic walls just to give segregation a real significant meaning. And yet, the Israeli Jewish Ghetto is very different from the East European one. While in the European Ghetto the Jews were intimidated by their surrounding reality, in the Israeli Ghetto the Jews intimidate others. They insist that the entire Middle East must be kept in a state of constant anxiety.

The Ghetto mentality is a very helpful analytic tool. It helps us, for instance, to grasp why Prime Minister Olmert allowed himself to brag in public about humiliating President Bush and Secretary of State Rice. In the Ghetto Jews feel safe, they can speak their mind while being pretty sure that nothing would leak out to the Goyim. In the Ghetto only one logic applies, the Jewish logic.

However, in the 1950’s PM Ben Gurion adopted the Jewish Ghetto framework into an Israeli political mantra which he eloquently articulated as follows: “It doesn’t matter what the Goyim say, the only thing that matters is what the Jews do”. Seemingly, the Jewish Ghetto mantra à la Ben Gurion succeeded in separating the Israelis from the rest of humanity. But it goes further, as we see in Gaza and in any Israeli conflict; it detaches the Hebraic paradigm from any notion of humanist ethics.

This very philosophy is translated easily into Israeli lethal military pragmatism. ‘It obviously doesn’t really matter what the UN or world’s media thinks, all that matters is what the IDF does’.

Now, I will try to address the foreign Journalist topic. Israeli military leaders knew in advance that Gaza was about to become a bloodbath for Palestinian civilians. They obviously knew in advance the weaponry they were about to employ. The last thing they needed was foreign journalists reporting to their media outlets about a massacre in Gaza. World media and the ‘right to know’ is not an Israeli interest. In the Jewish Ghetto state, all that matters is what the IDF is doing.

The Israelis wanted to finish their job first, to kill many Palestinians, to destroy Gaza and to dismantle its infrastructure so they retrieve their power of deterrence which they have lost many years ago. Journalists reporting from Gaza could simply stand in the way.

Kourosh Ziabari: given such an intricate description, what’s the main reason, in your view, for Israel blocking the humanitarian aid ships heading to Gaza? Is there something wrong with the admittance of foods, medicine and first aid to a multitude of people who do not have the least access to the outside world?

Gilad Atzmon: The answer is almost etymological. Talking about ‘Humanitarian effort’ presumes a deep familiarity with the notion of humanism. Since Israelis have zero commitment to ethics or universal humanism, we cannot expect them to succumb to any humanitarian effort or humanist issue. In the last few days, Israel bombarded hospitals, schools, refugee centers and UN aid distribution centers. We better admit it: the Jewish state is a boiling criminal setting with no comparison. We cannot and should not expect them to follow a humanist call. We should instead anticipate Israel to perform as embodiment of the ultimate evil, and sadly, I must say, they indeed never disappoint here.

Kourosh Ziabari: The employment of white phosphorus in the bombs that the Israeli army unleashes on the heads of civilians and their houses in Gaza seems to be an evident violation of international regulations and the Geneva Convention, significantly. Is there any way of recompensing these war crimes?

Gilad Atzmon: I am not a legal expert so cannot address this question properly. However, it is very interesting to note that in spite of large worldwide condemnation of Israel for using white phosphorus bombs, the Israeli army didn’t stop employing this tactic, and it’s not the first time they’ve used unconventional weapons against civilians in the face of international outrage. Every day we see those lethal bombs bursting over civilian targets. Once again we see that it doesn’t matter at all what the Goyim say, all that matters is what the Jews do, i.e., kill Palestinian civilians. I would further add that the Israelis lament in continuation about “potential” weapons of mass destruction that other nations might have, it seems to be pathetic while possessing an obscene arsenal of nuclear warheads themselves. If they have no regard for international law, why would they care what world opinion is?

Kourosh Ziabari: Provisionally, even if the war ends now and Israel withdraws from the occupied territories, the result of fatal conflict is more than 1300 dead people and 70% of the infrastructure, buildings, public places has been destroyed. How the real justice could be administered about Israel and its crimes against humanity?

Gilad Atzmon: Again, I am not a legal expert. Yet I do not hold my breath. However, my subject of study is Jewish and Israeli identity. I am interested in the metaphysics of the Israeli genocidal inclination. I am elaborating on the Identity that can inflict so much pain and carnage on innocent civilians. I am interested in the banality of evil as exposed by Israel’s ultimate barbarism and the Jewish institutional support of that evil around the world. I believe that once we start to realize what we are up against, we may know how to fight it. I honestly do not believe in international tribunals.A general widely accepted acknowledgment that the Jewish state is nothing but crude barbarism seems to me far more effective.

Kourosh Ziabari: For the last question, what’s your message, as an Israeli artist, to the people of Palestine; those mothers who have lost their children or those traumatized children who undergo the aftershocks of losing their parents?

Gilad Atzmon: My Dearest brothers and sisters. It is heartbreaking to watch the death and carnage inflicted on you by the Jewish state. We all see what you are going through and we all know that justice is on your side. I beg you not to lose hope. Evil always comes to an end and Israeli evil is no different. Israel will come to an end though we may have to do something to bring this end about.

However, one thing is rather clear. The so called ‘liberal’ west failed to save you, sadly enough; the Arab states failed to join your struggle yet. As sad as it may be, as much as justice is on your side, you are alone here confronted with the ultimate evil.

Israel has many bombs in its arsenal. But you Palestinian brothers and sisters have a few things they do not have: Justice is in your side, humanity is in your streets, you have the spirit and you have the ultimate bomb, namely the demographic one.

Palestine is the land, Israel is a state;
States come and go, land stays forever.
Long live Palestine.

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Naomi Klein – No profits for Zionists!

January 22, 2009



On the Question of One-Sided Boycotts

By Naomi Klein
January 21st, 2009

Source

Read a letter exchange between Robert Pollin, co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, and Naomi on the question of one-sided boycotts.

Robert Pollin:
I strongly oppose Naomi Klein’s proposal to begin boycotts and divestment initiatives against Israel, similar to the approach used against South Africa in the apartheid era [“Lookout,” Jan. 26]. Klein anticipates four objections to her proposal and offers responses. But her list ignores the most important and obvious objection: it is entirely one-sided both in blaming Israel for the horrible cycle of violence in the region and in meting out punishment.

I agree entirely that the Israeli occupation is brutal. But Hamas is also brutal. To date, the only thing preventing Hamas from being less lethal than Israel in the damage it inflicts is its limited resources. Hamas is deliberately firing rockets into Israel with the aim of killing and terrorizing civilians. Should Iran, for example, succeed in supplying Hamas with more effective weapons, Hamas will become more successful in killing and terrorizing Israeli citizens. Rockets are beginning to land only twenty miles south of Tel Aviv.

The toll on Palestinian civilians of the current Israeli attack on Gaza is horrible. But let’s also recognize that Hamas is deliberately using civilians as human shields. The bomb that hit the home of Hamas leader Nazar Rayyan in Jabaliya tragically killed his wives and children as well as himself. Why was Rayyan exposing his family to such danger?

I agree with Klein that economic levers probably have the best chance of dramatically shifting the status quo (even while, given the history and emotions involved, economic initiatives could never offer a sufficient solution on their own). But instead of a one-sided boycott to punish Israel, why not pursue a positive agenda of economic development that would benefit both sides? Consider, for example, a development aid package on the order of $10 bil-lion, spread over two to four years, with funds supplied on an equitable basis from the United States, the European Union and the Arab oil-exporting countries. This amount would be enough to: (1) undertake a massive infrastructure investment and job creation program in Gaza and the West Bank to help create an economically viable Palestinian state; and (2) comfortably resettle the roughly half-million Israelis now living in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and turn over these communities and homes to Palestinians. This second initiative would entail a large-scale home-building, community infrastructure and job-creation program in Israel, perhaps concentrated in the less well-developed northern and southern regions.

The amount of money I’m suggesting seems large, of course. But $10 billion is only about 7 percent of what the United States spent in Iraq in 2007 and 5 percent of Saudi Arabia’s $194 billion in oil revenues in 2008. In short, the amount is modest in comparison with the opportunities it will create to contribute to an equitable and lasting peace in the region.

– Robert Pollin, co-director, Political Economy Research Institute University of Massachusetts

Naomi Klein Replies:
Robert Pollin believes that the biggest problem with the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) strategy is that it targets only one side in the conflict. For Pollin, this is a conflict between equally guilty parties deserving of equal punishment. It is not. Israel is the party that displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948, annexed more of their land in 1967 and continues to occupy the land today. Occupiers and occupied people do not share the same responsibilities, which is why the duties and responsibilities of an occupying power are laid out in the Geneva Conventions—laws Israel violates with impunity.

Even if I were to accept Pollin’s argument that any sanction should punish both sides equally, we face a rather large problem. How does Professor Pollin propose that we punish Gazans more than they are being punished already? In case he has failed to notice, there is already a fierce campaign of boycotts and sanctions under way, and it is completely one-sided. I am referring, of course, to Israel’s brutal eighteen-month siege of Gaza, launched to teach Gazans a lesson for voting for Hamas in US-backed elections. As a direct result of this siege, Gazans have been deprived of lifesaving medicines, cooking fuel and paper—not to mention food. This is far more than a mere boycott; it’s “collective punishment,” as described by Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. By contrast, the kind of legal boycott being called for by the BDS campaign would deprive Tel Aviv of some international concerts and, if it really got going, would cost Israel some foreign investment. It would not starve and sicken an entire people. In this context of actual one-sided punishment inflicted on Palestinians, sanctioned by the so-called civilized world, to complain of one-sided boycotts against Israel is, frankly, obscene.

As for the proposed $10 billion for a redevelopment/relocation fund, there is no doubt that if a just peace agreement is ever to be reached, a generous peace dividend will be required to make it work. But before we start handing out rewards for a nonexistent peace, Israel first has to decide that endless war is too costly. And that’s what the BDS strategy is for: to help Israel come to that eminently reasonable conclusion.

– Naomi Klein