Roger Waters: GAZA Shall Overcome

“Today, hundreds of thousands, tomorrow, millions, soon, hundreds of millions. We Shall Overcome” –Roger Waters

Yesterday, Roger Waters, ex-vocalist & co-founder of the much acclaimed Pink Floyd, launched his own youtube channel, and his first video is a response to the Gaza Flotilla. The song “We shall overcome” is a song by Waters, in solidarity with Gaza’s plight and the Palestinian cause in general.

In 29 Dec 2009 , Waters sent the Gaza Freedom March a message of support, solidarity & goodwill. Here is the full text of Waters’ message:

“My name is Roger Waters. I am an English musician living in the USA. I am writing to express my great admiration for and solidarity with the 1,360 men and women from 42 different countries around the World who are gathering in Egypt, preparing for The Gaza Freedom March.

We all watched, aghast, the vicious attack made a year ago on the people of Gaza by Israeli armed forces and the ongoing illegal siege. The suffering wrought on the population of Gaza by both the invasion and the siege is unimaginable to us outside the walls.

The aim of The Freedom March is to focus world attention on the plight of the Palestinian people in Gaza, in the hope that the scales will fall from the eyes of all ordinary, decent people round the world, that they may see the enormity of the crimes that have been committed, and demand that their governments bring all possible pressure to bear on Israel to lift the siege.

I use the word ‘crimes’ advisedly, as both the siege and the invasion have been declared unlawful by United Nations bodies and leading human rights organizations. If we do not all observe international law, if some governments think themselves above it, it is but a few short, dark, steps to barbarism and anarchy.

The Gaza Freedom March is a beacon to all those of us who believe that under the skin, we are all brothers and sisters, who must stand shoulder to shoulder, if we are to make a future where all have recourse to law and universal human rights. Where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is not just the preserve of the few.

All the oil in The Middle East is not worth one child’s life. So to those of you who march, I tip my hat. It is a brave and noble thing you do, and when you reach your goal please tell our Palestinian brothers and sisters, that out here, beyond the Walls of their Prison, stand hundreds of thousands of us in solidarity with them.

Today, hundreds of thousands, tomorrow, millions, soon, hundreds of millions. We Shall Overcome.

Roger Waters”

The wall must go down!

I have nothing to say except this:

Mr. Waters, thank you.

You prove that not only are you a great Musician, but also and more importantly, you are an artist of conscience and great sense of responsibility and humanity.

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FASCISM IN ISRAEL

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more about “FASCISM IN ISRAEL“, posted with vodpod

The Christian Science Monitor reports:

“Jerusalem – Israel is in a political bind. The nation voted Tuesday, but Wednesday two leaders claimed victory and a third-party newcomer found himself anointed the new Israeli “kingmaker.”
Centrist Tzipi Livni’s Kadima won 28 seats in the Knesset, or parliament, while right-wing Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud took 27 – so slim a margin that neither can claim a governing majority.
Enter Avigdor Lieberman. The third-largest vote-getter was his far-right Yisrael Beytenu party that wants a “national, right-wing government.” Common wisdom suggests an alliance with Mr. Netanyahu’s party. But some analysts say that Mr. Lieberman might find common ground with Ms. Livni. Either way, Lieberman will have great sway over the makeup of Israel’s next governing coalition, potentially winning control of key ministries.
Many observers – right and left – now worry that Israel is headed toward years of political gridlock and dysfunction, potentially putting any Middle East peacemaking in limbo.
“They’re saying we hold the keys to Israel’s next government, and I’m very glad to say we do,” Lieberman said in a speech at his campaign headquarters. “We have our own path and our own principles, and we are not going to compromise on them.” Among his goals, he said was the “elimination of Hamas,” the Palestinian group that Israel battered in a 22-day war in Gaza that ended with an unofficial pair of cease-fires last month.
Lieberman also says that terrorism inside of Israel is more of a threat than terrorism from the Palestinian territories – essentially calling Israel’s Arab minority a bigger threat to the Jewish state’s existence than is the militant Hamas…”

Lieberman’s views are notoriously racist, and his rhetoric is invariably violent. He called for the execution of Israeli Arab members of the Knesset who met with Hamas or didn’t celebrate Israel’s Independence Day. His party, Yisrael Beytenu (“Israel is our Home”), vehemently oppose the peace process, support the militant settlement movement, and are proud partisans of ethnic cleansing.
In 2002, Lieberman averred that he wouldn’t flinch at ordering the IDF into the occupied territories on the West Bank for 48 hours, an operation designed to “Destroy the foundation of all the [Palestinian] authority’s military infrastructure … not leave one stone on another. Destroy everything.” Civilian targets included: that same year he also argued the Israeli air force should bomb all Palestinian commercial centers, including banks and even gas stations.
Lieberman’s portfolio as minister in charge of strategic threats allowed the editors of Ha’aretz to quip “Lieberman is a strategic threat!” Here, after all, is a man who has threatened to bomb Tehran, the Aswan Dam, and Beirut.
Ha’aretz writes:

“The choice of the most unrestrained and irresponsible man around for this job constitutes a strategic threat in its own right. Lieberman’s lack of restraint and his unbridled tongue, comparable only to those of Iran’s president, are liable to bring disaster down upon the entire region.”

Up until this point, the stance of the Israeli government (at least officially) has always been set forth in the context of the American plan for the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, the so-called road map, which includes a freeze on Israeli settlements and the return of some land claimed by the settlers to the Palestinians.
And yet Israel have been committing carnage left and right, ending with the 2 years Gaza blockade and Gaza Massacre of 2008 – 2009 (which apparently was merely a pre-election propaganda stunt).
Yet now the future seems even bleaker with a radical like Lieberman “holding the keys to Israel’s next government”.

The Nation wites, in it’s article The Rise of Avigdor Lieberman:

“If Lieberman’s pronouncements are to be taken seriously–and there is no obvious reason they should not be–a Lieberman government would exclude some Arab citizens from Israel, would expel others who refuse to sign a loyalty-to-Zionism oath, would turn Gaza into Grozny and would execute Arab members of the Knesset who talk to Hamas or mark Israel Independence Day as the anniversary of the displacement of the Palestinians in 1948.”

We seem to be heading into a new era of unprecedented Jewish fascism.

Alas, Peace is officially dead…

War-Genocide as an election stunt!

Olmerian dreams!

Olmerian dreams!

Yahoo! News wrote today: “Analysts maintain a victory for hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu in Tuesday’s parliamentary vote could shift Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians away from negotiations and toward an even tougher line against Hamas.”

Now what does that mean? Seriously?!!

“Netanyahu could shift Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians away from negotiations”!!!

Was Israel Negotiation with the Palestinians, to start with??? have the peace process not been in halt mood for more than 5 years now?

Or did they not notify me that they changed the meaning of the word Negotiations, so that it now means massacres and carnage?

“… toward an even tougher line against Hamas”

Meaning? what “tougher” action can Israel do? NUKE GAZA?!

What difference would it make if Likud’s Netanyahu wins the election or Kadima’s Tzipi Livni… or even the Labor’s Barak?!
They are all hard liners who threaten (or actually promise) to kill more Palestinians… for the satisfaction of the Israeli nation!
They all have no intention of resuming negotiation, with Hamas or Fatah!
They all have no desire for peace, be it in Gaza or else where…

There is NO PEACE that is “coming soon” to the middle east…
No Prospect for Palestine or a Palestinian state, only more blood and misery, while the world continues watching…

Just an afterthought, from the news archives: “The election frontrunner and leader of Israel’s right-wing Likud party, Benjamin Netanyahu, informed Middle East envoy Tony Blair that he would continue the policy of the Israeli governments of Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert by expanding settlements in the West Bank, in contravention of the Road Map.”

Obama: A New Hope?

First Published on Obama’s inauguration day:

A new hope?

A new hope?

First of all, I would like to Congratulate the American People and the world with departure of the abomination, otherwise known as George W. Bush. Finally! This demon for a president should have left 8 years ago (not 4! He shouldn’t have been president in the first place), yet the Americans re-elected him, and probably, if the constitution allowed it, he would have found enough rednecks to re-re-elect him… with another fear and hate campaign of his.

(Sign the petition to Arrest & Prosecute Bush for War Crimes at “The petition site” or Join the facebook group)

Secondly, which concurrently occurs, I would like to Congratulate them (this time the Americans only, bar the world), with the inauguration of Barak Hussein Obama (the “Change” they wanted) as America’s 44th President.

Now Obama’s presidency and rise to power are phenomenal and inspirational on so many levels, to the Americans and the world, this we’ve to admit.

A lot of people will be tuning in to his Inauguration Ceremony, to which he cinematically followed Lincoln’s route and which comes a day after Martin Luther’s day, just like a huge Hollywood finale to an epic story. (even Israel ended it’s criminal assault on Gaza, so as not to steal Obama’s thunder, after all, you can’t celebrate a proper presidential inauguration to the drums of war, and the wailing of the women and children, these comes well after he is settled in the embracing warmth of the oval office).

And although, I don’t want to spoil a good party, or ruin the euphoria of optimism that is surging all over the globe.

Still I couldn’t help but notice that as Mr. Obama is preparing to take the oath of office, there is evidence that, he doesn’t have all the answers he promised and there are no expectations for quick fixes.

The calculatedly sober tone Mr. Obama has adopted — most recently in his no-applause-line speeches — has provided something of a reverse from for the 2 years long Messiah image, that Mr. Obama so successively maintained.

He now knows that his promise to withdraw from Iraq within 16 months is “unrealistic”. Already he declared he is reconsidering the time frame for closing down Guantanamo Bay detention facility (Gitmo), he was quoted as saying it might not be as “easy” as he thought it was and calling it “a challenge” at sometimes.

The economy “hot fix” might turn into the economy “cold fix” as projections predict that the American economy might stay in recession for another two years.

As for foreign policy Mr. Obama, surprised the world with his utter silence towards the Gaza War, he gave no comment at all (neither for nor against Israel), while giving the feeble explanation that “There is one president at a time.” [1]

Two weeks into the assault, he gave another flimsy statement saying that the “Gaza Violence” is “Heartbreaking”.

All these stances coupled with his choice administration[2], reveal that, now that he is down to business, Obama knows well that not all his promises are attainable, at least not in the time frames his campaign had promised. Some might even say that he has cast down the mantle of the Messiah and wore the suit of the politician… and we know that no one likes the Politician suit!

You might discard these remarks as mere skepticism, coming from a cynical person, and they might as well be.

I sure hope I’m wrong and he is the “change” he promised to be (for Americans sake if for anything), I hope that he fixes everything that is wrong with America (if anyone can ever do that!). And that their economy would spring back to life, the American army would leave Iraq entirely, health care coverage would be for all and, to quote Hillary Clinton (now Secretary of State) back when she was still an Obama enemy, “celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.”!!!

But I know for sure, that even if all of this really happens, this doesn’t mean a shift in the American foreign policy or it’s strategy in the middle east.

The echoes of Mr. Obama’s “Change” will not ring down here…

So Americans, Congratulations, enjoy it while it lasts…

The rest of the world: Don’t expect change to come from outside, it usually comes from within!

However, in the spirit of celebration and festivity, Zedmag have prepared a little something for Obama and his supporters, you can download Obama’s “New Hope” poster from Zedmag’s website

(Download Hi-Res Wallpaper no. 5)

Enjoy using it in the ceremonies and may you have a rather “Hopeful” 4 years

———————————————————–
Footnote 1: When Mr Obama arrived in Washington, his first appointment was with the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, because as he said “the business of the people cannot wait”. He has made statements on the economy, the carmakers’ bail-out, and the attacks in Mumbai – so why so little on Gaza?
Footnote 2: In reference to the appointment of the new foreign policy team, the Mr. Obama’s campaign promise of change looks less than exciting considering his choices.
One there is the appointment of the Israeli-American congressman “Rahm Israel Emanuel” as White House Chief of Staff, Rahm is a well known Zionist as his name suggests, who served in the Israeli Defense Force, as recent as the 90s.
Then there is Hillary Clinton who was appointed as Secretary of State, Hillary is not a Zionist, but with Zionist ties, and surly not friendly to Palestinians or Arabs in general.
If anything this means that the case is closed and we shouldn’t expect any fresh thinking or new approaches to Middle East peace.

Israel in Gaza: A Critical Reframing

A Palestinian family reacts as they rush past a burning building after an Israeli missile strike in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008. Israeli warplanes pressing one of Israel's deadliest assaults ever on Palestine dropped bombs and missiles on a top security installation and dozens of other targets across Hamas-ruled Gaza on Sunday. Israel's Cabinet authorized a callup of at least 6,500 reserve soldiers, suggesting plans to expand an offensive against Gaza rocket squads that has already killed some 280 Palestinians. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

 

by Jeff Halpe, Saturday, January 10, 2009

Israel’s core messages, listed below, argue for the justice of its cause in Gaza , cast Israel as the victim and ensure that its war is seen not in terms of occupation but of the broader Western struggle against terror. The critical reframing we offer, that of Israelis committed to human rights, international law and a just peace as the only way out of this interminable and bloody conflict, argues that security cannot be achieved unilaterally while one side oppresses the other and that Israel’s attack on Gaza is merely another attempt to render its Occupation permanent by destroying any source of effective resistance. It argues that Israel could have avoided all attacks upon it over the last twenty years, and the rise of Hamas, if it had genuinely negotiated a two-state solution with the Palestinian leadership. Israel , the strong party and the Occupying Power, is not the victim. Indeed, its attack on Gaza is a form of State Terrorism.

 

  • Israeli PR: Like all countries, Israel has a right and duty to defend its citizens. Israel , acting as any life-loving nation would, has a right to be a normal country living in peace and security.

    Critical Reframing: To pursue offensive policies of prolonged occupation as well as sanctions, boycotts and closures that impoverish a civilian population, and to then refuse to engage with that population’s elected leaders, is not defending ones’ citizens. To expect your citizens to live in security while a million and a half subjugated people just a few kilometers away live in misery is both unrealistic and presumptive. Israel will only be able to defend its citizens – which is indeed its duty – if it addresses the causes of their insecurity, a 41 year-old occupation.

 

  • Israeli PR: Israel had no choice but to attack in response to the barrage of 8,500 Hamas rockets fired from Gaza into Israel over the past eight years that have killed 20 Israeli civilians.

    Critical Reframing: In the past three years alone Israel – together with the US , Europe and Japan – imposed an inhumane siege of Gaza while conducting a campaign of targeted assassinations and attacks throughout the cease-fire that left 1,700 Palestinians dead. Hamas’ barrage did not exist in a vacuum. This war is no “response:” it is merely a more deadly round of the tit-for-tat arising out of a political vacuum. The rocket firings could have been avoided had there been a genuine political horizon. To present the “barrage” as an independent event disassociated from wider Israeli policies that led to them is disingenuous.

 

  • Israeli PR: There is no occupation – in general, but specifically in Gaza . Israel ended its occupation of Gaza in 2005 with the “disengagement.” Gaza could have flourished as the basis of a Palestinian state, but its inhabitants chose conflict.

    Critical Reframing: Economic development, not to mention a political process which might have prevented the violence on both sides, was actively prevented by both Israel and its international supporters, which share responsibility for the present tragedy in Gaza . At no time since the “disengagement” did Israel ever relinquish or even loosen its control. The closure remained in force, including by sea; Gazans were never allowed to reopen their sea or air ports; nor were any conditions conducive to economic development allowed. Israel ’s claim that there has never been an occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza is rejected by every member of the international community. Neither does it accept Israel ’s claim that occupation ended in 2005, since the definition of occupation in international law has to do with exercising effective control of a foreign territory, which Israel obviously does over Gaza .

 

  • Israeli PR: Only Hamas violated the cease-fire, and thus it carries full responsibility.

    Critical Reframing: Israel and Hamas agreed to a truce (through Egypt ) by which Israel would allow the opening of the Gazan border crossings (at least partially) in return for an end to rocket fire on Israel . Hamas largely, though not entirely, kept its part of the bargain; Israel almost never did. Killings of Palestinians from the air continued, and on the American election day in early November it attacked the tunnels (which functioned as alternative means of supplying Gaza in the absence of open borders, which would have allowed control over the movement of arms), killing a number of Hamas people. In response Hamas launched rockets and….the truce began breaking down.

 

  • Israeli PR: Israel is only attacking the “infrastructure of terror” in Gaza and only targets Hamas fighters.

    Critical Reframing: Being the elected government, all the infrastructure, from traffic cops to schools to military installations, “belong” to Hamas. It is clear that Israeli attacks go beyond “the infrastructure of terror.” Who’s a “Hamas fighter?” The graduating class of traffic cops that was slaughtered in the first aerial attack on Gaza ? Professors and students who attend the “Hamas” Islam ic University? Family members of Hamas military figures? People who voted for Hamas? All, but for those actively participating in hostilities, would be defined as civilians under international law.

 

  • Israeli PR: Civilians may die, but it’s because Hamas hides its fighters and weapons factories among ordinary people.

    Critical Reframing: Israel’s military headquarters are located in the center of Tel Aviv, the military headquarters over the West Bank are in the densely populated civilian settlement Neveh Ya’akov in East Jerusalem, the Pentagon is located in downtown Washington D.C. and the British Ministry of Defence is located in central London. Hamas, of course, as both a government and a military organization, carries responsibility for protecting the civilian population and keeping the fighting away from them but the question that should be asked, and never is, is why western nations who do the same are not faced with such criticism?

 

  • Israeli PR: Hamas is a terrorist organization that refuses to recognize Israel or enter into a political process.

    Critical Reframing: Which Israel should Hamas recognize? 1947 U.N. partition borders? 1967 borders? With annexed East Jerusalem ? With the settlement blocs? So long as Israel refuses to define its borders then there is only an abstract concept available for recognition. Hamas has openly declared that it will de facto recognize Israel on the 1967 borders. Israel has made no such offers to any Palestinian faction, government or representatives.

 

  • Israeli PR: Hamas is a global problem, part of Islam ist fundamentalism together with Iran and Hezbollah and therefore Israel is only doing its part in the West’s agreed-upon War on Terror.

    Critical Reframing: Hamas started as a social welfare organization that was allowed by Israel to develop as a political force in Occupied Palestine to weaken the standing of the secular PLO. There also, was no Hezbollah prior to the 1982 Israeli invasion. The theocrats in Iran were an organized but quite small political force until the U.S. overthrew Iran ’s democracy. The local population will always resist when foreign countries try to oppose their will and the resistance will not always be pretty. Painting Hamas as part of a global conspiracy when it’s a product of the Occupation itself is disingenuous and a gross distortion of history.

 

Dr. Jeff Halper, an American-born Jew and founding director or The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, gives the following analysis and important reframing of the talking-points we so commonly hear from the Israeli PR machine.  As an Israeli citizen for the last 35 years, Jeff offers a vital perspective, from personal experience.

Gaza: Holocaust NOW

Once again, in less than 2 months, and as if starvation was not sufficiently a hideous crime…

Israeli Genocide, Holocaust & Massacres: reaps 109 Victims and leaves 500 injured in less than 12 hours!!!

109 dead since the latest bout of fighting erupted on Wednesday, 54 Palestinians were killed on Saturday, the single deadliest day in more than seven years of fighting.

Eleven Palestinians, including a 21-month-old girl, were killed Sunday, and 10 others died of earlier wounds or were found dead, Palestinian medical officials said.

In the West Bank town of Hebron, a 14-year-old Palestinian boy was fatally shot in the chest during a protest against Israel, Palestinian medical officials said. It was the first death in the West Bank connected to the Gaza offensive.

Saeb Erekat said peace talks had been halted:

“For the time being, the negotiations are suspended because we have so many funerals!!!”

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, commenting on the suspension of talks, said “attacking Hamas strengthens the chance for peace.”
“No one has the moral right to preach to Israel for taking the elementary step of self-defense.”

Tawfek Shaban, a 44-year-old father of five, commented “Shame on the Arabs, shame on the Muslims, shame on humanity … When will they act to stop Israel?”

Meanwhile, the EU and U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon accused Israel of using excessive force. The U.N. Security Council urged Israelis and Palestinians “to immediately cease all acts of violence.”

The ever vigilant USA demanded a halt to the fighting while encouraging Israel to exercise caution to avoid the loss of innocent life.

Egypt sent 27 ambulances to the Rafah crossing to transfer between 150 to 200 wounded, said Imad Kharboush, a medical official at a hospital in el-Arish, near the Israeli border.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected the criticism.

Hope & Change:

Presidential hopeful Obama, called on Israel to try to minimize civilian casualties while HilaryClinton regretted the decision by Abbas to suspend talks and said the Bush administration should be doing more to bring international pressure on Hamas to stop its rocket attacks on Israel.

“The violence in Gaza is the result of Hamas’ decision to launch rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and Israel has a right to defend itself,” Obama said, and Clinton’s statement was similar but she added “The Bush Administration should have been taking a more active role in bringing international pressure on Hamas to stop its attacks,” Clinton said.
Around 30 air raids and 50 bombs and artillery shells fired towards the Palestinian civilians in the first 12 hours of the onslaught only!

Some of the victims of the latest Massacres:

1- Eyad Al Ashram, Male, 26
2- Musleh Abu Ali, Male, 17
3- Jakline Abu shbak, Female, 17
4- Eyad abu Shabk, Male,14
5- Basam Muhammad Ubaid, Male, 45
6- Basam Ubaid, Male, 15
7- Hamza Al jamal, Male,40
8- Abdallah Abd Rabu, male, 4
9- Ibrahim Alzain, Male, 25
10- Mustafa Zaghloul, Male, 32
11- Hamada Abd Al hameed, male, 29
12- Saeed Al hasheem, Male, 23
13- Husain Al batsh, Male, 27
14- Samah Zaydan Asalya, Female, 17
15- Salwa Zaydan Asalya, Female, 23
16- Tala’t Dardona, Male, 29
17- Mustafa Abu Jalala, Male, 28
18- Hasan Safi, Male, 25
19- Abdallah Abu Shaira, Male, 18
20- Mutasim Abd Rabu, Male, 24
21- Hamada Saleh Al abad, Male, 16
22- Mustafa Manon, Male, 22
23- Muhammad Sleem, Male, 24
24- Muhammad Abdalrahman Shhab, male, 23
25- Ali Al kitnani, Male, 15
26- Tal’at Dardona, Male, 17
27- Sana Ghad Al abed Saleh, Female, 16
28- Ahmed Albatsh, Male, 16
29- Muslih Muhamad Muslih,Male, 17
30- Thabet Junied, Male
31- Sultan Al zain, Male
32- Mustafa Abu Jalala, Male
33- Muhammad Al atar, Male
34- Nael Abu Alon, Male, 20
35- Muhammad Abd Al mouti Sleem, Male,
36- Saed Dabour, Male, 28
37- Hamada Saed, Male
38- Mahmoud Rayan, Male
39- Jedjad Hatem Abu Hlayal, Male
40- Thari Abu Aubaid, Male
41- Tamer Weshah, Male
42- Ahmed Saleh Abd Al rahman
43- Muhammad Abd Al qader Oqylan
44- Hasan Abu Harb
45- Abd Al rahman Atallah, Male, 6046- Ibrahim Attalah, Male,30
47- Sua’d Atallah
48- Unidentified, Gaza Strip
49- Unidentified, Gaza Strip
50- Unidentified, Gaza Strip
51- Unidentified, Gaza Strip
52- Unidentified, Gaza Strip
53- Unidentified, Khanyonis City
54- Unidentified, KhanYonis City

These are not statistic figures… these are not just tomorrow’s headlines…
They were real people with real lives, real families and friends… people who yesterday were looking up to today with the same hopefulness and expectation, that you are looking with to tomorrow…