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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Israel under the blinding light of a small Flotilla

Yesterday, the world woke up to a new, yet recurring horror, Israel, finally labeled by the international community as the Terrorist state, have committed yet another heinous crime against humanity.

In the dead of the night – as always is the case with Israeli crimes – Israeli commandos and navy troops stormed one or more of the Freedom Flotilla boats headed towards Gaza, and murdered 19 peace activists and injured scores of others. Despite what Israel wants us to believe, the fact remains that these were peaceful unarmed civilians who were attempting to break Israel’s unethical blockade of Gaza sector, bringing food and aid supplies to the starved population of the sector.

The ships were confiscated and the rest of the 650 activists were transferred to a prison facility in Ashdod.

That’s all we know until this moment, and I suspect that will be all we know for a while, because Israel is (as always) maintaining a full media blackout, over the past 36 hours, just as it did with its attack on Gaza 18 months ago.

So here are the available specu-facts as we heard them over and over from all the news organization:

– Israeli soldiers invaded at least one ship and attacked the flotilla in international waters, breaking international law, and, in killing civilians, committed a war crime.
– The Israeli government approved the boarding of these aid ships by an elite unit of commandos, some even go to saying that the Israeli PM commandeered the attack. The soldiers were armed with automatic weapons to pacify the civilians on-board, but not with crowd dispersal weapons as they should have been if Israel was really seeking to prevent bloodshed.
– After the deadly massacre, Israel illegally confiscated aid supplies that were gathered by humanitarian organization for the population of GAZA, and un-rightfully detained civilians with no charge defy and breaking all human rights.

Now lets analyze all these facts in the light of the following, internationally agreed upon and accepted statement:

Israel has no right to control Gaza’s sea as its own territorial waters.
Israel has no right to blockade Gaza or to stop aid convoys arriving to Gaza by sea or any other routes.

In doing so, it proves that it is still in belligerent occupation of Gaza sector and its 1.5 million inhabitants. And as an occupation force, then under international law Israel is responsible for the welfare of the Strip’s inhabitants. Given that the blockade has put Palestinians under the worst starvation circumstance for the past four years, Israel should long ago have been in the dock for committing a crime against humanity.

But if Israel still argues the legitimacy of its blockade on Gaza against International law, Israel cannot argue that by attacking these ships in International water, it have reached a new height of arrogance and contempt of International law.

With that stated, we have to acknowledge the following, that this latest massacre, as grotesque and outrageous as it is, is quite minor if it is to be compared with the 2008-2009 Gaza War and it’s atrocities.

The flotilla massacre is also significantly small if compared to the blockade itself, which have cost Gaza, millions in economic losses [1] and incalculable life loss due of starvation and deprivation of basic life and medical needs. (At the rare times where Israel is allowing supplies into Gaza, the amount of goods Israel allows is less than one quarter of the Sector needs.)

“Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed.” The UN Fact Finding mission lead by South African Judge Richard Goldstone

The Goldstone report suggested that the blockade was a war crime and possibly a crime against humanity, it recommended that the matter be referred to the International Criminal Court if the situation has not improved in six months, that was in September 2009, that was 8 month ago! So according to Goldstone report, which was commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as part of United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, according to that report, Israel should have been referred to the International Criminal Court 2 months ago!!!

The point I’m trying to make here, is that the flotilla massacre, despite being a grotesque and gruesome criminal act, it is relatively small in comparison by the other Israeli crimes.

Smoke rises after an Israel air strike in Gaza Strip December 28, 2008. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Israel; is a terrorist state, it has committed crimes against humanity before and is in direct defiance of international laws and the Geneva Convention.

The blockade & starvation of Gaza population, and turning Gaza into an open air prison for 1.5 million prisoner; which is known as “Gaza Genocide”, is a much bigger crime against humanity.

Waging an atrocious War on the sector which killed 1,440, mostly civilians, 545 of which were women and children; which is known as Gaza Massacre, is a much bigger crime against humanity.

The international outrage at the Flotilla bloodshed is understandable and shared by all, but we must not lose perspective.

It is time the world takes action against this terrorist state, It is time Israel is held accountable, for all of its crimes, and not just for one.

In the light of the Flotilla massacre, and just in case you forgot, or lost perspective: Remember, Remember…. Remember GAZA

Gaza: A New century, a new world order…
A new Genocide

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Footnotes:

1. The Post 2007 Gaza Strip blockade is not the first blockade of the strip, following the Aqsa Intifada of 2000, Israel imposed a military blockade of the Strip and closure of the Gaza International Airport.
The economic effects were immense, in the order of some US $5.3 billion, and worsened after the creation of a ‘buffer zone’ in September 2001, that would seal all entry and exit points in the Palestinian Territories, for security reasons.

The worsening economic and humanitarian situation raised great concern abroad. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in January 2003: ‘The Israeli blockade and closures over the past two years had pushed the Palestinian economy into such a stage of ‘de-development’ that as much as US $2.4 billion. had been drained out of the economy of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip’

Over the period between 2000 and 2005 as a consequence of the Gaza blockade and Israel’s ensuing military operations in the Strip, it is estimated that there was a loss of $42,846,895 in Gazan agricultural productivity, due to the destruction of land.

The Israel Defence Forces left the Gaza Strip on 1 September 2005 as part of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan.

2. My previous Notes about Gaza:

  1. GAZA: The collapse of morality; And the prevail of evil
  2. The apathy of a nation
  3. Massacre and genocide: Gaza 2008
  4. A chronology of Gaza’s strife
  5. Why do they hate us that much?
  6. 109 dead since Wednesday
  7. Newsreel: Yet more Israeli Genocide, Holocaust & Massacres

 

3. Please take time to sign this petition “Gaza: investigate the raid, end the blockade” by AVAAZ.org 

And take time to join our facebook campaign:

In the Name of Gaza: A World united against Israel’s Genocide

Al Bashir convicted of war crimes

Al Bashir giving a speech amoung supporters

Al Bashir giving a speech amoung supporters

I found it peculiar that no one of I know have commented on the International Criminal Court arrest warrant against Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president.

Al-Bashir was indicted last Wednesday by the ICC at The Hague in the Netherlands for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur, this is an unprecedented accusation, because it is the first against a sitting president. The ICC found al-Bashir guilty on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which include murder, rape and torture.

Darfur Protests

Darfur Protests

Al Jazeera reports:
“Al-Bashir has rejected the warrant, telling thousands of his supporters in Khartoum, the capital, on Thursday that Sudan was being targeted by Western powers and that the ICC was a tool of colonialists after Sudan’s oil.

Protesters carried banners branding Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, a criminal.”

Genocide in the making

Genocide in the making

In October 2008 : The UN estimated that up to 300,000 people have died in Darfur and some 2.5 million have fled their homes since 2003.


I’m not against the ICC decision, as much as I am questioning it’s motives.

I’m actually with the warrant, but I ask, why now?

The people of Darfur have undergone a terrible tragedy, but they have been undergoing this tragedy for a long time now… and as usual the world was watching… the Darfur tragedy started almost 15 years ago, and peaked in 2003 (thats 6 years ago)… it took the UN 2 years to prepare a report about, which came out in the beginning of 2005, and said that the UN can not label Darfur conflict as genocide because “genocidal intent appears to be missing”!!!

Not the UN's Business?

Not the UN's Business?

The United States, Britain and the European Union have repeatedly condemned the atrocities taking place in Darfur, but yet they never ACT-ed to stop it.

It wasn’t until October 2006, that the UN sent 200 troops (thats right, Two hundred!!!) to reinforce the pathetic 7,000, African Union troops, in Darfur.

Now, after an estimated three million people have been displaced and more than 300,000 have been killed, the ICC and UN remember to act? why now?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Sudan: The Silent Genocide“, posted with vodpod

On the other hand, Sudan has not ratified the Rome Statute (just like who? the USA of course), meaning that the ICC can not investigate crimes that may have taken place in Darfur (as much as they can not investigate crimes that took place in Iraq).

Yet still I’m not against the ICC arrest warrant…

My question is not whether the al Bashir should be prosecuted or not, apparently the ICC have already reached a decision on that; my question is, how many Iraqis died in the same period by the hands of the American liberators? Why is there no International movement to prosecute those responsible for the Iraqi tragedy?

I’m questioning the bias of the World Order, the double sidedness of it, and it’s constant failure to act until the harm is done and the tragedy is history that apparently no one learns from…

Till when will the rule of the law be applied to the poor only, not only on a national level, but on a global one too

IF THEY CAN PROSECUTE COUNTRIES THAT HAVE NOT RATIFIED THE ICC, SHOULDN’T THEY START BY THE ROLE MODELS AND LEADERS OF AGGRESSION WORLD WIDE?

NAMINGLY THE UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL