Friday, November 04, 2011

Israeli Navy Seizes Ships Bound For Gaza, Detains Passengers


New York, NY 11/4/11 - Canadian and Irish ships, the Tahrir and the Saoirse, sailing with Freedom Waves to Gaza have been illegally boarded by the Israeli military in international waters, about 50 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza, around 9:30 am EDT. The IDF spokesperson confirmed that the vessels were taken to the port of Ashdod, and the passengers were taken into custody by the Israeli police. Although the IDF spokesperson claimed they took "every precaution to ensure the safety of the activists," Freedom Waves to Gaza organizers have been unable to communicate with the ships since soon after the vessels were approached by Israeli warships earlier this morning.

U.S. Coordinator Jane Hirschmann commented, "Had the passengers been permitted to proceed to Gaza rather than being stopped on the high seas by armed force, there would have been no threat to their safety. The IDF's statement is like the mugger promising to escort his victim home safely."
The Canadian boat Tahrir confirmed that the Israeli navy had contacted them asking for their destination at around 7 a.m. EDT to which Ehab Lotayef, an activist on board the ship, replied 'The conscience of humanity'. When the Israelis again demanded to know the destination of the ship Lotayef replied; 'The betterment of mankind'.

Ann Wright, one of the organizers of the Freedom Flotilla that attempted to sail to Gaza in June, said "It's a little hard to imagine how 27 unarmed civilians on two small boats carrying medicine and letters threaten Israel's security. Israel is simply determined to maintain its policy of collective punishment against the 1.6 million civilians in Gaza. This is a crime against humanity and violation of international law. Despite Israel's consistent use of military force against nonviolent protests and demonstrations, activists around the world will continue to challenge the occupation of Palestine and the blockade and Gaza."

Passengers on the boats are citizens of Canada, Ireland, the US, Australia, and Palestine. The US citizen on the Tahrir is Kit Kittredge of Quilcene, Washington. She is a massage therapist and emergency medical technician.


For more info contact:
In New York: Felice Gelman, (917)-912-2597
Jane Hirschman, 917-679-8343, 212-222-6721
In Turkey (with ground crew): Medea Benjamin, +90 531 888 8927
@palwaves and @usboattogaza

Breaking: Gaza-Bound Flotilla Surrounded by Israeli Navy


BOATS EN ROUTE TO GAZA SURROUNDED BY ISRAELI WARSHIPS

Nov. 4, 2011 - At 7:43 am ET ground support crews lost contact with two ships, the Saoirse of Ireland and the Tahrir of Canada, carrying 27 civilian passengers, medical supplies and letters of support for the people of Gaza.

At 7:30 am the Tahrir was interrogated, via radio, by the Israeli Navy. The ships were approximately 48 nautical miles off the coastline, well into international waters. Asked by the Israeli Navy for their destination, Canadian activist Ehab Lotayef replied, "The conscience of humanity." When they repeated the question, asking for final destination, Lotayef said, "The betterment of mankind."

Israel has maintained a naval blockade of Gaza since June 2006. Numerous international organizations, including committees of the United Nations, have concluded the blockade is in violation of international law.


For more info

In New York: Felice Gelman, (917)-912-2597
Jane Hirschman, 917-679-8343, 212-222-6721
In Turkey (with ground crew): Medea Benjamin, +90 531 888 8927
@palwaves and @usboattogaza


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

TWO BOATS WITH PASSENGERS FROM 5 COUNTRIES HAVE SET SAIL TO GAZA

Organizers say: "It is time to lift the siege of Gaza." 

The Canadian ship Tahrir and the Irish ship Saoirse have successfully reached international waters, initiating the "Freedom Wave to Gaza."

The boats have embarked from Turkey and are on the Mediterranean Sea. In all, the 2 boats carry 27 passengers from Canada, Ireland, U.S., Palestine, and Australia. Kit Kittredge, on board the Tahrir, was previously a passenger on the American ship, The Audacity of Hope, which attempted passage to Gaza last July.

Kittredge says, "The only obstacles in our way are Israel's military and the complicity of the Obama administration but in our sails is the wind of worldwide public opinion which has turned against the illegal blockade."

Ann Wright retired US army Colonel and former US Diplomat says, "We carry inspiration from the Arab Spring and the worldwide "Occupy" movements that are demanding freedom and justice. Where governments fail, civil society must act. As Americans we are fed up with our government's unquestioning support of Israel no matter how violent, illegal and oppressive its actions. We will not stand by and watch $30 billion of our tax money committed to buying Israel weaponry used to carry out this illegal occupation of Palestine including the blockade of Gaza."

Jane Hirschmann added, "Our sailing coincides with UN agency UNESCO's recognition of Palestine as a member state, defying US threats to cut off $80 million of US funding in retaliation. This shows the growing strength of opposition by the international community to U.S. and Israeli policies in Palestine. We call on the international community to go further and take effective action to lift the siege of Gaza." Hirschmann was one of the organizers this past summer of the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, which is still captive in Greece.

Contact:
In New York: Felice Gelman, 917-912-2597, 917 679 8343
At sea: phone numbers will be released when you call the above press contact
Website: http://ustogaza.org/

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Simple Solution to the Debt Crisis



Very useful video that explains who banks and the monetary system work and how to solve our current crisis by giving less power to private banks.

From PositiveMoney.org.uk:

"We've developed a simple solution to the debt crisis. It involves removing this power to create money from the banks, and making sure that money - whether it's cash or electronic money - can only be created by the Bank of England. Any new money would be created and spent into the economy - instead of being lent by banks to people who already have too much debt. This new money would allow us, collectively, to reduce our total debts to the banks, and help us to end the debt crisis.

The authorities are trying to patch up a system that is fundamentally broken. If we let them continue, then we will all end up even deeper in debt, and problems like poverty, extreme inequality and economic chaos will get worse and worse. We need a solution to the crisis that doesn't involve passing the costs back on to ordinary people. And we need you to get involved."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Global March to Jerusalem supported by the Association of Free Cyber Activists

Association of Free Cyber Activists in Abyaneh, Iran
The Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) planned for March next year received a boost when the newly formed “International Association of free cyber activists” declared full support to the march.

The group vowed to mobilize its members and their networks to make the march a success. The association was formed at the end of a summit held on the side of International Digital Media Fair in Tehran from the 9th to the 15th of October 2011.

More than fifty cyber activists coming from Italy, France, Australia, Chile, Cuba, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Norway, Turkey, Palestine, Lebanon, UAE, Bosnia and the UK took part in the summit organized by International Union of Unified Ummah. Such meeting was concluded with the decison to form the Association in order to coordinate the activities of the cyber activists around the world in resisting oppression, isolation and socio-economic injustice.

“The members of the association declared their full support to the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ)”, said Jamal Daoud, the interim Secretary of the Association. “The founding members expressed their deep concerns about the situation in the Holy City and the actions of the Israeli authorities to change its demography”. In the last day of the summit, the members of the Association discussed about the ways to raise awareness over the situation in the occupied Palestinian Territories and about the ways to support the native population in its struggle for freedom and independence.

They have also covered the topic of how to get actively involved in the GMJ. “The members discussed about the best practical ways to take part in the march. These include mobilizing cyber networks, producing films and clips about the issue, posting them on the Internet, and organizing forums and exhibitions to encourage people to participate”.

The march is already attracting the support of many organizations and activists’ groups. While expecting many obstacles in achieving these goals, the groups are highly enthusiastic to expose the brutal nature of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the International Community’s hypocrisy on this issue. The group members noted that the Israeli occupation and brutality were going on for more than 63 years without any meaningful measure to put an end to them.The members believe that it is the time that international activists and freedom-loving people unite to condemn Israeli atrocities and to demand these atrocities to end.

The founding committe is due to meet in two months time in order to finalize detailed documents and the steps to achieve the declared objectives.

For media comments, you can contact Jamal Daoud on + 962 79799 6745 or Sarbaz Rohulla Rezvi on + 98938 1650209 and +919858983590

Why Do Banks Make So Much Money?



Enlightening video on the real causes of the economic crisis made by Positive Money, British campaign that aims at the reform of the monetary system.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rafah Border Crossing is the initial torture gate for Palestinians and the road to nowhere



Supervisors at the crossing...

The Egyptian Rafah Border crossing is Still the only one among the land entry points with The Arab Republic of Egypt, which is controlled by elements of the Egyptian military intelligence in addition to the elements of A supreme security to allow the unfairly besieged Palestinians to cross through to enter the Egyptian territories to get education in Egyptian universities or international university , which takes Egypt a headquarters, or to get healthcare in Egyptian hospitals for urgent and emergency cases that do not get proper treatment in hospitals of the sector in light of the siege imposed on it by the occupying entity "Israel" the insurgent to international law, or to use it as a transit to go to an Arab or foreign country.

Security coordination...

To get an entry visa to Egypt the names of passengers should be subjected formally for coordination between the Egyptian authorities and the Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip dominant on the other side of the crossing but the physical controller in this format is the supreme security authorities in Egypt, which refused repeatedly to allow hundreds of Palestinians from entry or exit without Objective reasons for such unjust refusal.
And so the Rafah border crossing is the only exception which is not supervised by the Department of Passports and Migration of the Egyptian Interior Ministry, just like each of the International Salloum border crossing on the Libyan border and the border crossings of Taba and Awja at The Occupied Palestinian territories border which is controlled by the Israeli occupation forces, or The Arquen Border crossing at the west on the Sudanese border.

Insults and arbitrary detentions...

The international law and the Charter of the United Nations confirms on respecting the human rights and dignity, regardless to religion, nationality, race, language or political affiliation, national or social origin as it is the recognized human rights and it's not Permissible to plot the human dignity or detain humans arbitrary or illegally as in the Charter of the United Nations.

However, these basic principles of international law are not actually implemented in the Egyptian Rafah Border crossing and it is completely ignored, which considers as a flagrant violation of the principles and standards of human rights.

The Palestinian Human Rights Foundation (Monitor) Has documented Many of the inhuman violations in this regard, which represents in explicit and content an affront to the dignity of the Palestinian citizen at the Egyptian side, as follows:

1- Using insults and vulgarity, which is beyond the public morals

2- Keeping who wants to transit for long time up to 10 hours without providing any explanation or clarification and it happens all the year long, whether in hot summer or cold winter in what is known by the term (stuck in the crossing).

3- There are no regards for humanitarian cases such as the elderly, "the old men and women" in addition to the patient cases that require urgently going through check-in procedures and children under age of twelve and women.

4- Self-inspection, especially for women, according to eyewitnesses.

Expulsion not transit…

The International law provides that the use of land border crossings, air and even sea in the case of transit, "the use of time does not exceed 24 hours to go to a third country which serves as an acquired right for the traveler, regardless to nationality, religion or race, or language as long as he does not represent a threat to the security of the country he is passing by, and the traveler complies with the international laws which provide for protection and comfort for him and not to interfere with any form of mistreatment, intimidation or illegal detention.

But we find that these international humanitarian principles and internationally recognized signed by the Arab Republic of Egypt in several international conventions do not get applied on the Palestinians who want to go to an Arab or foreign countries through the use of the Cairo International Airport, as the security authorities deport those passengers in locked buses under heavy security, with confiscation of passports, which considered as a flagrant violation of international and Egyptian laws which do not permit the confiscation of a passport of any traveler.

The expulsion takes about 5 hours from the crossing to The Cairo International Airport with a rest period does not exceed 20 minutes, and it's not allowed to the Palestinian travelers to walk out of buses, only after showing supplication And obtestation expressions to the commander of the security force to let them go to the restroom and it's only permitted for the elderly.

APPEAL

The Palestinian Human Rights foundation (Monitor) calls upon the Egyptian government to immediately intervene to facilitate the traffic of The Palestinian citizens in the exit and entry of the crossing, just like the high treatment received by the citizens of Arab and foreign countries in the rest of the Egyptian state.

Recommendations...

The Palestinian Human Rights Foundation (Monitor) Recommends applying the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was signed officially by the Arab Republic of Egypt in addition to this the Egyptian state has signed the International Covenants on Civil, Political and economic Rights as well as it pledged to adhere to the principles and standards of the Arab Charter for Human Rights in the sixteenth Arab Summit in Tunisia in 2004.

1- Implementation of the Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides for non-discrimination as to race, nationality, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, or birth, without differentiating between men and women.

2- Implementation of the Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

3- Implementation of Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that all people are equal under law and entitled to equal protection without any discrimination.

4- the application of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has the freedom to leave any country including his country without any local or international hindrance.

5- Implementation of the principle of work equivalent in the Rafah international crossing, such like the work in the other ports on The Arab Republic of Egypt like in Cairo International airport and the land crossings.

From this point we urge the need of the Arab Republic of Egypt to commit to the following items of the Arab Charter for Human Rights, which it has signed in Tunis in 2004:

1- the Implementation of the first item of Article 8, that it is strictly prohibits degrading dignity or inhumane treatment and prohibits to harm anyone physically or psychologically or cruel or degrading treatment.

2- The Implementation of Article 27, which provides for:

1 - No one shall be arbitrarily or illegally prevented from leaving any country including his own, or impose a ban on his residence at any where, or compelled to reside in this country.

2 - No one shall be deported from his country or prevented from returning to it.

Report by Palestinian Human Rights Foundation
Arabic version

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gaza-bound convoy crossing Asian countries on its way to Palestine

Iran, Malaysia, India are only a few of the countries involved in the ongoing humanitarian project aimed at breaking the illegal siege on the Gaza Strip, imposed by the zionist regime that has been occupying Palestine since 1948.

Last Gaza-bound Flotilla ended tragically with Israeli Navy killing in cold blood nine Turkish peace activists, but Asian humanitarian organisations don't seem to be afraid of challenging the illegal zionist regime once again.

The participants in the convoy are in total 83: 45 activists from India, 20 from Iran, 13 from Indonesia, 7 from Pakistan, 2 from Malaysia, 2 from Japan, 2 from Azerbaijan and 2 from Bahrain.

Right now the convoy is in Turkey. The activists have crossed Iran, where they met Tehran's mayor and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, nonetheless, who welcomed them and blessed their effort to break the inhumane Gaza blockade.

It's possible to follow the convoy step by step thanks to the daily updates of Asia 2 Gaza Caravan Facebook page, and their Twitter account, asia2gaza.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Did we need Wikileaks to condemn the Iraq war?

Whistle-blower website Wikileaks has released in October a massive classified (now declassified) CIA document, causing, rightfully, a wave of outrage all over the world.

I have gone through a good part of the huge volume of documents (around 400,000) uploaded on the Iraq Warlogs website and I failed to find something I didn't know already. Let's be clear, WikiLeaks' service is by all means needed, and world's population has all rights to know what is going in Iraq, but did we not know already?

Did we not know that occupying troops are killing pregnant women, children, civilians in Iraq? Did we not know that the US carries out torture frequently and strives to hide it? Have we already forgot Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo? And what about the School of Americas, for that matter, where torture has been taught since the Cold War?

More importantly, now that WikiLeaks has released the infamous "Iraq" files, don't we know that the same horrors are taking place in this very moment in Afghanistan too?

Interestingly, as Gordon Duff has highlighted in one of his latest articles, in the massive volume of leaked secret files there is no mention of Israel/Mossad activities, despite their role in the Iraq war is sadly no secret.

Writes Mark Weber:

Whatever the secondary reasons for the war, the crucial factor in President Bush’s decision to attack was to help Israel. With support from Israel and America’s Jewish-Zionist lobby, and prodded by Jewish “neo-conservatives” holding high-level positions in his administration, President Bush – who was already fervently com mitted to Israel – resolved to invade and subdue one of Israel’s chief regional enemies.

This is so widely understood in Washington that US Senator Ernest Hollings was moved in May 2004 to acknowledge that the US invaded Iraq “to secure Israel,” and “everybody” knows it. He also identified three of the influential pro-Israel Jews in Washington who played an important role in prodding the US into war: Richard Perle, chair of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board; Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Defense Secretary; and Charles Krauthammer, columnist and author.

The absence of such a key player in the Iraq war gives at least food for thought, and makes me raise some questions.

The official excuses the Bush administration gave to the US citizens in order to accept a war that everybody knew would have turned into a disaster were many and diverse.

It started with Saddam Hussein giving shelter to "Bin Laden", most wanted by the FBI "in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people. In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorist attacks throughout the world."

Apart from noticing that Bin Laden is not wanted for the 9/11 attacks, it might also be worth remarking that the claim that he was hiding in Iraq was so weak that it got immediately confuted.

What then? Plan B was ready: Saddam Hussein had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and was preparing an attack against the United States. Although the UN inspectors have never found any WMD, on March 19th 2003 Bush launched the invasion of Iraq, causing the death of 1,421,933 Iraqis, almost five thousands US military personnel, more than two thousands international force troops, bringing about the destruction of a sovereign country, its culture, its society, violating its present, past and future, provoking a massive wave of refugees who now live in miserable conditions in neighbouring countries.

Part of the files released by WikiLeaks focused on the role Iran has had in smuggling arms into Iraq, and mainstream media, along with self-styled "independent" bloggers were swift to begin the umpteenth smear campaign against the Islamic Republic. At a quick glance, in fact, it seems almost that Iran has played a bigger role than the United States in the invasion and destruction of Iraq.

However, Iranian people must not be surprised about this new hostile wave, as anti-Iran campaigns are an ongoing topic within Western media. A little more than a year ago, in fact, in the occasion of Iranian presidential elections, President Ahmadinejad has been the target of most Zionist media outlets in Western countries. Since 2009, every now and then, European and American media don't waste any occasion to attack Iran.

Now that "mainstream" operations, fake "coloured" revolutions and ineffective economic sanctions have clearly failed, WikiLeaks comes along and paints Iran as one of the key players in the Iraq war. Although the evidence of Iran's involvement in the Iraq war is close to non-existent, much of mainstream media and fake independent bloggers have been participating in this new propaganda adventure.

What is the aim of such new smear campaign? Are the United States being pushed into another war/disaster by their "friend" Israel? Are they preparing the public mind for an attack against Iran? Do all those fake independent bloggers, so vehement advocates of human rights, know that a war against Iran will bring unprecedented destruction and mass killings? Do they know that once the war is waged there is no way back?

The result of Wiki psyop seems to be a "leak" especially made for the big public, in which it's carefully reported what mainstream media can't write as it would automatically appear as nothing more than propaganda. Which actually is. In fact, mainstream media are exactly the place where we can find most pieces of this new "leaked intel". Just another attack against sovereign Iran, one of the many that shows that Western powers are running out of ideas on how to bring down the Islamic Republic.
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