All posts for September 2009

Resting and restoring Gaza Strip’s underground water supplies

September 22nd, 2009 | Posted in Agriculture, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine

Report from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), September 2009.


Photo: Palestinian youth walking down Israeli military Erez checkpoint in Gaza Strip.

The underground water supplies, upon which 1.5 million Palestinians depend for agricultural and drinking water, are in danger of collapse as a result of years of over-use and contamination that have been exacerbated by the recent conflict.

A report released today by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on the environmental condition of the Gaza Strip following the hostilities, calls for the aquifer to be “rested” and alternative water sources found.


Concordia: Whats the deal with Woodsworth?

September 21st, 2009 | Posted in Canada, Palestine, Quebec
    September 2009 Link letter by Doug Smith.


Photo: Kevin Walsh. Riot police in front Concordia University, September 2002.

This past August, Concordia President Judith Woodsworth was the opening speaker at a Conference entitled, “Israel on Campus: Defending Our Universities.”


Lebanese critics blast Israeli director’s ‘Lebanon’

September 21st, 2009 | Posted in Beirut, Boycott, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Palestine
    September 20th, 2009, by Rana Moussaoui (AFP)


Photo: Zoriah (c) Buildings destroyed by Israeli bombings in south Beirut, 2006.

BEIRUT — Israeli director Samuel Maoz’s “Lebanon” may have won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival but it has been given a hostile reception by critics and bloggers in the country it is named after.

“This film shows the Israeli point of view,” wrote the Venice correspondent of the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, which is aligned with the US-backed parliamentary majority.


Iraq: Why I threw the shoe

September 19th, 2009 | Posted in Iraq
    Muntazer al-Zaidi, Thursday 17 September 2009.


    Photo: Zoriah (c) Iraq’s national flag painted in Baghdad.

I am free. But my country is still a prisoner of war. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act. But, simply, I answer: what compelled me to act is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.

Over recent years, more than a million martyrs have fallen by the bullets of the occupation and Iraq is now filled with more than five million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. Many millions are homeless inside and outside the country.


Dozens suffocated by tear gas in Bil’in

September 19th, 2009 | Posted in Palestine
    Bil’in Popular Committee | 18 September 2009


    Photo: ActiveStills. Israeli military launches teargas in Bil’in, Palestine.

Dozens were suffocated with tear gas canisters at the weekly demonstration in Bil’in. As the people of Bil’in with international and Israeli peace activists participated in Bil’in’s weekly demonstration after Friday prayers today, although they have raised Palestinian flags and banners to mark the twenty-seventh anniversary of the massacre at Sabra and Shatila and they have raised other banners condemning the policy of incursions, arrests, land confiscation and settlement construction.


L’eau et le conflit israélo-palestinien

September 19th, 2009 | Posted in Environment, Lebanon, Palestine
    par Nayla Naoufal | Le Panoptique


    Photo: Nicholas Marcroft (c) l’eau potable en Palestine occupée.

Dans le conflit israélo-palestinien, l’eau semble à la fois un enjeu important et un dommage collatéral. Les politiques hydriques israéliennes dans les Territoires Palestiniens Occupés et le conflit entraînent des impacts nuisibles sur les ressources en eau partagées et ne font qu’exacerber les hostilités.


Can the Mideast manage climate change?

September 19th, 2009 | Posted in Beirut, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria
    Daily Star by Rami G. Khouri, Saturday, September 19, 2009.


    Photo: Tanya Traboulsi. Sky over sea, Beirut, Lebanon.

The amount and quality of available scientific data on the global impact of climate change, I rediscovered at a seminar organized by the Danish Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen this week, is staggering. The debate that swirled around the issues of climate change and global warming just two or three years ago has vanished. There is much more certainty now on the nature and extent of the changes to the Earth’s climate that can be attributed to the impact of human activity, mainly the burning of fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases.


U.K. labor unions back Israel boycott in wake of Gaza war

September 17th, 2009 | Posted in Boycott, Labor, Palestine
    Haaretz September 17th, 2009.


    Photo: Israeli bombings over the Gaza Strip.

British labor unions on Thursday agreed to support a boycott of some Israeli goods in response to the offensive in Gaza last winter.

The boycott, proposed by the Fire Brigades Union, calls for a ban on importing goods produced in some Israeli settlements, an end of arms trading with Israel and disinvestment from some companies.


UN Gaza report accuses Israel and Hamas of war crimes

September 17th, 2009 | Posted in Palestine, Tuesday 15 September 2009.


    Photo: Wissam Nassar. White phosphorus over the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s offensive against Gaza last January was “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorise a civilian population”, for which some Israelis should face “individual criminal responsibility”, a UN investigation has found.

The inquiry, led by the former South African judge Richard Goldstone, concluded that both the Israeli military and Hamas committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the three-week conflict, but singled out Israel and its policy towards the Palestinians of Gaza for the most serious condemnation. The inquiry rejected Israel’s argument that the war was a response to Palestinian rocket fire and therefore an act of self-defence.

In a 575-page report (pdf), released tonight, the inquiry said Israel should be required to investigate the allegations raised and if it fails to do so the case should be passed to the prosecutor of the international criminal court. It accused Israel of “grave breaches” of the fourth Geneva convention and of a war crime for using Palestinians as human shields during the fighting.


Palestine’s Peaceful Struggle

September 16th, 2009 | Posted in Boycott, Palestine
    Mohammed Khatib – The Nation – September 11 2009.


    Photo: Valerian Mazataud. Palestinian Mohammed Khatib.

A few weeks ago, in the dead of night, dozens of Israeli soldiers with painted faces burst violently into my home. If only they had knocked, I would have opened the door. They arrested me. My wife, Lamia, was left alone with our four children. My youngest, 3-year-old Khaled, woke up to the image of Israeli soldiers with painted faces who were taking his father away. He has not stopped crying since. A few nights ago he woke up in terror, sobbing: “Daddy, why did you let the soldiers take me?” That’s the way our children sleep–in a constant state of fear.


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