international solidarity

still flooded, still power-deprived

Dec 22, 2013, the IMEU

One week after torrential rains dropped 85 percent of Gaza’s annual rainfall in just two days, the An Nafaq neighborhood remains largely submerged. This footage from December 21, 2013 shows flooded homes and cars still underwater — scenes on par with those we showed you in this video from last week, also shot by IMEU’s Jehad Saftawi. As Bill Corcoran writes in this opinion piece from December 21: “Under any circumstances, recovery efforts after such a catastrophe would be difficult. But in Gaza, even the tools of disaster relief are subject to the restrictions of the blockade and border closure [imposed upon Gaza].”

see Ma’an article here

previous posts on Gaza flooding emergency:

solidarity with Gaza
Gaza: genocide, food insecurity, sewage flooding, and the usual IOF attacks on civilians
Israel refuses to allow construction material into besieged Gaza Strip
Open Christmas Letter to Pope Francis on Gaza
Updates Gaza flooding… and what you can do!
Gaza flooding updates (Ma’an news)
Gaza flooding, blockade-manufactured crises
Gaza drowning …and under power and media blackout
No Silent Night just A Silent World! [Jenny Graham]

solidarity with Gaza

Photo: ‎كارثة‎
*Awni Farhat

For those concerned about the sewage overflow, heavy rains, cold temperatures and siege-manufactured misery in Gaza, here are some links for solidarity actions/support:

[via Joe Catron]:  If you want to send money for disaster relief in Gaza, please consider the Palestine Red Crescent Society, always on the frontlines.

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP-UK): “Our team in Gaza are working hard to source the most urgent medicines but without immediate help, these stock levels will drop even lower before the end of the year. It is staggering to think that as we approach the end of 2013, children, separated only by their ethnicity, are dying from a lack of basic medical care; medical care that is freely available to other children just a few miles from their homes.”DONATE HERE CONTINUE READING

Gaza Speaking Tour

Gaza in Crisis-2

The situation in Gaza is one of critical importance, and is sadly largely far from the corporate media’s radar. The 1.7 million Palestinians locked under blockade, occupation, and now darkness, in the Gaza Strip suffer from an endless list of preventable–and dangerous– injustices, and have been so suffering for years, at least since 2007.

Starting November 26, 2013, I will be speaking on the reality of life in Gaza, including the dangers posed to fishers, farmers (and anyone in the border regions), the numerous and layered aspects of the blockade on Gaza, and the various Israeli wars waged upon the Palestinians of Gaza. CONTINUE READING

Finian Cunningham: An Angel Song for Peace and an End to Violence

shared from Finian Cunningham

mother of an administrative detainee

[Image by frecklebaum via Flickr]

by Finian Cunningham

MyCatbirdSeat on Oct 21, 2013

An Angel Song for peace and an end to violence against children.

“War violates every right of a child — the right to life, the right to be with family and community, the right to health, the right to the development of the personality and the right to be nurtured and protected.” POST CONTINUES

Petitioning John BairdCanadian Government: Help Free Tarek and John

On Friday August 16th, Tarek Loubani, a Canadian emergency physician and John Greyson, a Canadian filmmaker and professor were arrested by Egyptian authorities. Tarek and John were on their way to Gaza —  where Tarek was to work at Al Shifa Hospital, and John to explore the possibility of making a film about the work.

Days later, Tarek and John are still being held in Cairo’s Tora prison.Egyptian officials have given no clear reason for their arrest.

Family and friends are worried sick about their safety. Pressure from the Canadian government is our best hope. We must pressure our government to demand their freedom and pressure the Egyptian authorities to let them go. 

Here’s how you can help:  CONTINUE READING

on Anthony Bourdain’s Palestine trip

not specific to Gaza, but an excellent article on speaking truth about Palestinians’ humanity and oppression:

Anthony Bourdain, Will You Marry Me?

Posted on September 16, 2013

Something amazing happened on CNN last night. Palestinians were portrayed as human beings.

In his show “Parts Unknown,” Anthony Bourdain travels to exotic and controversial locales to examine the intersection of food, politics, and everyday life. Last night, he visited Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

He was immediately mesmerized by Palestine, which is a common phenomenon. It is an amazing place, where the gravity of the history and spirituality is heavy in the air. It feels majestic. But something is a little off. Bourdain felt the splendor, but, as he said, “Then you see the young draftees (teenage Israeli soldiers holding machine guns) in the streets, and you start to get the idea.”

He began his journey with an Israeli chef and author, Yotam. They started by tasting some falafel in Jerusalem’s Old City. Yotam told the audience, in a stunning admission, “Israelis made falafel their own, and everybody in the world thinks falafel is Israeli, but in actual fact, it is as much Palestinian, even more so, because it’s been done for generations here… The question of food appropriation is massive here.”

Now if they could only say the same thing about the land, the houses, and the air, we might be able to get somewhere.

Bourdain then made his way into the West Bank. And on his way to visit a settlement, he said something that Americans never hear on TV:

In 2003, Israel began construction on a wall along the green line representing the Israeli-Palestinian border. The wall now stretches 450 miles. When completed, it will span 700 miles, 85% of it in Palestinian territory… Since 1967, 500,000 Israeli settlers have moved into the West Bank, all in contravention of international law, many in contravention of Israeli law, though in effect it seems to make little difference, they’re here and in ever larger numbers.

Anthony, you will be hearing from certain individuals and organizations in the coming days. They will be upset. They’ve been trying to keep this stuff a secret.

Before he got to the settlement, he noticed some Hebrew graffiti on a Palestinian house in a neighboring village. His driver translated it for him: “Death to Arabs.”  CONTINUE READING

they were on their way to Gaza, instead for over a month have been in Egyptian prison, without charges

Egypt-held Canadians Tarek Loubani, John Greyson plan hunger strike: Men have been held over a month without formal charges

Tarek Loubani, left, and John Greyson, Canadians who have been detained without formal charges in Egypt since Aug. 16, said in a release they are going on a hunger strike.

Tarek Loubani, left, and John Greyson, Canadians who have been detained without formal charges in Egypt since Aug. 16, said in a release they are going on a hunger strike.

Two Canadians who have been detained in an Egyptian prison for over a month are going on a hunger strike.

Dr. Tarek Loubani of London, Ont., and John Greyson of Toronto were arrested in Cairo on Aug. 16. They have yet to face formal charges.

Greyson’s sister, Cecilia, and a friend of the Canadians, Justin Podur, released a statement on Monday that said the men had informed friends and supporters through their Egyptian lawyers of the decision to go on a hunger strike.

“They will be refusing food beginning September the 16th to protest the arbitrary nature of their detention by Egyptian authorities,” the release said.

On Sunday, Podur told CBC News that “detention has been extended … for 15 days” for Greyson and Loubani.

Loubani and Greyson, a filmmaker and university professor, had been intending to make their way to Gaza last month when they were arrested.

“We can only imagine the anguish that John and Tarek feel after realizing that their detention could be extended for so long in what can only be described as an arbitrary process that lacks any credibility,” Cecilia said on Monday.

Monday’s release said it’s believed the Canadians’ detention could be extended up to two years without any charges being laid. CONTINUE READING

Syria

Friends,

Please take a look at the resources below, even if you are in the pro-”rebel” camp (and choose to ignore the huge influx of non-Syrian, US/Saudi-backed, paid and ideological mercenaries).  It isn’t a merely black and white issue, wherein if you don’t take the side of the (al-Qaeda majority, Saudi and US-backed) rebels you are thus pro-government.  It is actually possible to examine Syria without projecting the typical Western, colonial, know-better attitude.

What is genuinely needed is the political solution that the Syrian government has already shown willingness to participate in, unlike certain mercenary-rebel-elements and their backers.

Bottom line: another Libya, another Iraq… won’t “help” Syria and certainly won’t “surgically remove” perceived threats to the US’s existence.

What a potential bloody “humanitarian” “right-to-protect” (right to bomb and pillage) intervention will do is rape yet another country of everything, including its culture, history, identity, and of course people… and further colonial interests and power in the region of Syria, Palestine, Lebanon… and on to Iran.  CONTINUE READING

Gaza’s Ark: Trade, Not Aid

Palestinian fishers are hit hard by the Israeli blockade on Gaza. Credit: Emad Badwan/IPS.

Palestinian fishers are hit hard by the Israeli blockade on Gaza. Credit: Emad Badwan/IPS.

First Published at IPS – By Eva Bartlett

*blog version longer than published version

“An ark is literally a large floating vessel designed to keep its passengers and cargo safe,” say the group preparing ‘Gaza’s Ark’. But their ark, they say, is “a vessel that embodies hope that the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip can soon live in peace without the threat of the Israeli blockade.”

An initiative by Palestinians in Gaza and international solidarity activists, Gaza’s Ark entails “purchasing a run-down boat from a local fishing family,” says Michael Coleman, a member of Free Gaza Australia and on the Gaza’s Ark steering committee.

“The refurbishing will be done by Palestinians in the port of Gaza, and the sailing will be with a mixed crew of Palestinians and internationals,” says David Heap, spokesperson for Gaza’s Ark in Canada and Europe. The sailing date has not been announced yet.

Pointing to a weathered fishing trawler with a ‘for sale’ sign painted on it, Mahfouz Kabariti, president of Gaza’s Fishing and Marine Sports Association, points to fishers’ poverty.

“Why sell?” he asks. “Because of years of poor incomes from Israeli restrictions on sea, many fishers have debts they cannot pay off. Fishers were optimistic when the Israelis re-extended the fishing limit six miles. We hoped that maybe it would be extended to 12 miles.”

The Ark initiative includes exporting a token amount of trade goods from Palestinian artisans, an act which Coleman admits is “symbolic” but necessary. CONTINUE READING

10 year anniversary of murder of Rachel Corrie, justice activist bulldozed by Zionist army

Rachel Corrie

Rachel Corrie, killed 10 years ago today by a Zionist soldier in his massive, armoured bulldozer, the kind the Zionists use to destroy Palestinian homes to this day. No justice 10 years on for Rachel’s family, nor the families of the thousands of Palestinians rendered homeless by Zionist bulldozers, bombing, and racist laws.

Photo by Richard Purssell, ISM, 4:45PM on 16 March 2003, Rafah, Occupied Gaza. “Other peace activists tend to Rachel after she was fatally injured by the driver of the Israeli bulldozer (in background). This photo was taken seconds after the bulldozer driver dragged his blade over her for the second time while reversing back over her body. CONTINUE READING