Posts Tagged ‘peace activists’

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Aftermath of the Flotilla attack in Ramallah

October 29, 2011

Massacre on the Gaza Flotilla:

Things have been crazy here the past couple of days. My boss and some co-workers were up all night Sunday to Monday morning in constant contact with the flotilla. They talked to them the last time like an hour before they were attacked….so they have been pretty emotional about everything.

We still cant get any information about who was killed, injured etc…because the Israelis have taken them all either to the hospital or to the prison. I can’t even imagine whats happening to those on board who were Arab Israeli/Palestinian. They’re probably getting the worst of it in the jails. hmmm…

Tensions were pretty high around here yesterday. My roommate told me what happened first thing in the morning and the news just kept getting worse throughout the day, although Im sure we don’t even know the half of what really happened thanks to the Israeli orchestrated media blackout.

It was really on the point of exploding here when the news came out that Skeikh Salah (an important sheikh from Israel) was shot in the head with live ammunition. Those were the first reports…and if he is really dead there’s gonna be BIG problems here–maybe even intifada size problems. But late yesterday Jerusalem Post reported that he wasn’t even injured…so Im not sure what’s going on but I know enough not to trust Israeli army spokespeople. Ha.

I couldnt believe it when the Army statement was that the peace activists attacked the soldiers first, and with AXES of all things. Ive heard that excuse before in many cases where Israeli soldiers killed Palestinians (usually teens) in cold blood. Thats their knee-jerk reaction “He attacked the soldiers with an axe!” Like everybody around here just carries axes around with them! Ridiculous, I had to laugh when I heard that was their excuse for killing up to 20 peace activists.

Media Blackout:

Anyways…so we are waiting patiently for the eye witnesses to be released so they can tell their side of the story. But Im sure Israel will keep pumping the mass media with their lies and fake videos (how could unarmed peace activists attack Israeli special forces???) showing the activists overpowering the Israeli commandos…bullshit. And when Israel finally does release the activists and the true death toll (and which nationalities were killed/injured) the world will have lost interest in this story Im sure.

Its depressing.

American Activist Shot in the Face with Teargas Canister at Demonstration:

 We had one pretty pathetic demonstration in Ramallah about the attack…by the end we attracted a good number of people–but it definitely didnt help to have the PA driving around threateningly with their police vans for arresting protestors and the Palestinian swat forces behind them. Hmm…

Then, Qalandia Refugee Camp, as usual, made the real protest. The kids from the camp came out and started throwing stones at Qalandia checkpoint. Press and international activists showed up throughout the afternoon. That’s when the American girl was shot in the face with a teargas canister. They took her to an Israeli hospital and she lost one of her eyes. But she will live, so that is good.

And what did the US say about any of this?? “This is a tragic loss of life”. They didnt even bother to condemn it–which doesnt mean much of course, but at least its something. Ughh….

Any Punishment for Israel?

The only hope is that the UN might get something passed (not likely with the US veto….) orrr that Turkey is pissed off enough to get NATO involved on the basis that Israel attacked a ship flying Turkish flags in international waters. “An attack on one member state is an attack on all member states”.  Somehow I dont have any hope that Israel will face any real punishment from this massacre–they have gotten away with MUCH worse.

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Mustafa Barghouthi on the Daily Show!

October 29, 2009

This is my boss! Mustafa Barghouthi–past presidential candidate, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, and he heads three NGOs– Palestine Monitor (palestinemonitor.org) : a news website dedicated to exposing life under occupation, Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS.ps) : where I work now, a medical NGO, and HDIP: another NGO dedicated to strengthening Palestinian youth and women.

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Bethlehem – Ma’an – The man who interrupted the Daily Show segment yelling out that Mustafa Barghouthi was a “liar” shortly thereafter announced he was leaving the New York studio, escorted out by guards after a second outburst following the condemnation of Israeli violations by a second guest, Jewish activist Anna Baltzer.

“There is nothing defensive about denying Palestinians water. There is nothing defensive about preventing people from having materials to build their homes. So much of the institutions that I understood to be defensive cannot be justified by security anymore,” Baltzer who authored Witness in Palestine, told the show’s estimated 1.6 million viewers.

Stewart, who reportedly knew what he was getting into when he announced the show would host the two authors and activists, told the studio audience that whenever he gets calls about Israel/Palestine, from either side, “he treats them like calls from his grandmother (and he mimicked holding the phone away from his ear as he went about his business),” one audience member wrote following the show.

Taking cues from the audience outburst, Stewart commented to Barghouthi “there are incredibly strong opinions [on the issue of Israel/Palestine]. A man shouted liar at you when you just said that this was the longest occupation.”

Barghouthi replied, saying he “would like very much to meet with him [the audience member] and explain to him…” at which point Stewart interjected sarcastically, “I think that would go very well.”

Both host and guests were unanimous on the issue of the presentation of Palestinian and Israeli news in North American media being biased. “People aren’t getting that information, the information about what’s going on…people don’t want to hear,” Baltzer told Stewart.

While Barghouthi insisted the issue was no longer “just an Arab issue or a Muslim issue, but it is a human issue,” Baltzer, speaking directly to an American audience, said, “There is no reason why we as American citizens should not be disproportionately concerned with what’s happening with our weapons and our money,” she said referring to the aid and support the United States gives Israel, reaching billions of dollars each year.

Speaking much more directly to American sensibilities and recent media concerns than Barghouthi, who nonetheless provided a solid line on Palestinian non-violence, stressing what he called the “90%” of Palestinian resistance that is non-violent and resolutely demanding equal rights for Palestinains, Baltzer cut to the chase and told the audience:

“The question is not whether Israel should be singled out for criticism, its whether Israel should be held to the same standards as any other country, Israel is in violation than more UN resolutions that Iraq and Iran, yet Iraq and Iran were targeted by the US, we give Israel more aid that we give anyone else.”

As Barghuthi explained that Palestine had declared statehood, to international failure, in 1988, he said the real issue was how to get Israeli soldiers off Palestinian lands, Baltzer went one step further and urged nations to respect the international boycott of Israeli settlements.

Click Here to Watch the Interview!