All posts for December 2009

UN expert repeats call for threat of sanctions against Israel over Gaza blockade

December 30th, 2009 | Posted in Palestine
    29 December 2009 UN News Center


    Photo: Building destroyed by Israeli military bombings in the Gaza Strip.

29 December 2009 – The United Nations independent expert on Palestinian rights has again called for a threat of economic sanctions against Israel to force it to lift its blockade of Gaza, which is preventing the return to a normal life for 1.5 million residents after the devastating Israeli offensive a year ago.

“Obviously Israel does not respond to language of diplomacy, which has encouraged the lifting of the blockade and so what I am suggesting is that it has to be reinforced by a threat of adverse economic consequences for Israel,” Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, told UN Radio.


Big Midest News that Isn’t ‘Fit to Print’

December 30th, 2009 | Posted in Corporate Media, Egypt, Palestine, Politics
    Foreign Policy Magazine by Stephen M. Walt, December 29, 2009


    Photo: Palestinian amongst destruction in the Gaza Strip.

Did you know that the Gaza Freedom March — a group of over 1300 peace activists from 43 countries — is protesting the continued siege of Gaza, on the anniversary of the brutal Israeli assault that killed over a thousand people last year? (There is also a separate effort to bring a convoy of relief aid to the Gazans, under the auspices of the group Viva Palestina).

Did you know that the Freedom March is now stuck in Cairo, because the Egyptian government has denied them permission to travel to Gaza? The Mubarak regime has its own issues with Hamas, and it is also dependent on U.S. economic and military aid. Israel and the United States don’t want the adverse publicity that the Freedom March might generate and are perfectly content to let the Gazans suffer, so needless to say Washington isn’t putting any pressure on Egypt to let the convoy through.


Lettre ouverte de la Gaza Freedom March au Président Mubarak

December 30th, 2009 | Posted in Egypt, Palestine

lettre ouverte de la Marche pour la liberté de Gaza, samedi 26 décembre 2009


    Photo: Soldats égyptiens au Caire.

Cher Président Moubarak – Nous, représentants de 1362 personnes venues de 43 pays au Caire pour participer à la Marche pour la liberté de Gaza, nous faisons appel aux Egyptiens et à votre réputation d’hospitalité.

Nous sommes des artisans de la paix. Nous ne sommes pas venus en Egypte pour créer des troubles ou susciter des conflits. Au contraire. Nous sommes venus parce que nous croyons que tous les peuples – y compris les Palestiniens de Gaza – devraient avoir accès aux ressources dont ils ont besoin pour vivre dans la dignité. Nous nous sommes rassemblés en Egypte parce que nous croyions que vous accueilleriez et soutiendriez notre objectif noble et que vous nous aideriez à atteindre Gaza en traversant votre pays.


Under International Pressure, Egypt Yields Ground to Gaza Freedom March

December 29th, 2009 | Posted in Egypt, Palestine
    Huffington Post Robert Naiman, Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy


    Photo: Egyptian military watch tower on border with Gaza Strip, Palestine.

Cairo – Twelve hours before this writing, it appeared that 50,000 Palestinians in Gaza planning to march to the Erez border crossing with Israel on Thursday in protest of the continuing blockade on Gaza might not be accompanied by any of the 1400 internationals who had come to Egypt planning to join the Gaza Freedom March.


U.S. Citizens attacked by Egyptian Riot Police in Cairo

December 29th, 2009 | Posted in Egypt, Palestine
    report by Cindy Sheehan December 29th 2009


Photo: Angela Sevin Egyptian police cover camera at Gaza Freedom March in Cairo.

One of my friends, Joshua Smith, just texted me from Cairo and said that some U.S. citizens of the Gaza Freedom March went to the U.S. Embassy today there to try and implore the staff there to intercede on behalf of the March to help get them into Gaza–they were not so warmly welcomed.

Recently, almost 1400 people from around the globe met in Cairo to march into Gaza to join Gazans in solidarity and to help expose their plight after years of blockade and exactly a year after the violent attack in what Israel called “Operation Cast Lead” that killed hundreds of innocent Gazan civilians. So far the Marchers have been denied access (Egypt closed the Rafah crossing) and their gatherings have become increasingly and more violently suppressed.


Public Commemoration of Gaza Massacre

December 29th, 2009 | Posted in Canada, Palestine, Quebec

gathering to commemorate the deaths brought by Israel’s assault on the Gaza strip


    Sunday, January 3rd, 2010
    13h00 Phillips Square
    metro McGill
    corner Ste. Catherine and Union
    Montreal, Quebec


Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters opposes walls, supports Gaza Freedom March

December 29th, 2009 | Posted in Culture, Palestine
    by Roger Waters 27 December 2009


    Photo: Ronald de Hommel Israeli military wall in Gaza, Palestine.

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 1360 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.


Lessons of Gaza

December 29th, 2009 | Posted in Egypt, Palestine
    report by David Bleakney, Canadian Union of Postal Workers


    Photo: Gaza City after Israeli bombing in January 2009.

The Gaza Freedom March has not made it to Gaza. Some might say this is a failure. But Gaza is in the hearts and other lessons will be learned here.

There is no question that Egypt faces intense pressure from other powers and forces, including Israel and the European Union. To a lesser extent, Canada whose government is now seen as an international climate change pariah, plays an apologist role for crimes against humanity while deserting, even aiding and abetting, the removal of the rights of Canadians while abroad.


Gaza Freedom March: ‘You Are Our Voice’

December 29th, 2009 | Posted in Palestine
    Indypendent December 29, 2009.


    Photo: Egyptian riot police at Gaza Strip boarder.

Cairo, December 28—Cairo was waking up as we made our way to the first of today’s actions. We were going to gather at the bus depot in the section of the city called Ma’arouf. It was from that depot that a convoy of buses was supposed to be taking us this morning on the first leg of the journey to Gaza, to join the historic Freedom March there on New Year’s Eve.

But days before Christmas, the Egyptian government announced that it would not permit us to go to Gaza. Now the marchers are protesting, trying to pressure the government to rescind the ban and asking other governments to intervene. This morning, we were making that demand at the site from which we had intended to leave Cairo.


Gaza Freedom March is determined to break the siege

December 29th, 2009 | Posted in Palestine

1,360 international delegates appeal to Egypt to let Gaza Freedom March proceed


Photo: Sabrien Amrov. Gaza solidarity demonstration in Montreal, December, 2008.

Citing escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry informed us on December 20 that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January. We responded that there is always tension at the border because of the siege and that if there are any risks, they are risks we are willing to take. We also said that it was too late for over 1,360 delegates coming from over 42 countries to change their plans now.

Although we consider this as a setback, it is something we’ve encountered—and overcome–before. No delegation, large or small, that has entered Gaza over the past 12 months has received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border. Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to Rafah. Some had their buses stopped on the way. Some have been told outright that they could not go into Gaza. But after public and political pressure, the Egyptian government changed its position and let them pass.


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