Jimmy Carter & Bishop Desmond Tutu visit Israel in AugustWritten by SCPA
-Jimmy Carter: “Although it’s very important now to stop all the settlement building and expansion in all of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, that’s just a first step. The final step will have to be for all Israeli settlements to be removed from Palestine. And let there be an independent nation here on this land where we’re standing side by side in peace with Israel be the ultimate goal.”
Desmond Tutu shared his personal experience with the media.
-Desmond Tutu: “You don’t get true security from the barrel of a gun. They tried to oppress us with the barrel of a gun. They found that, in the end, true security came when the human rights of all were recognized and respected."
SCPA Editors Note: The Palestinian-Israeli issue is directly linked to continued conflict in mideast, yet peacemaker Jimmy Carter's views are almost totally absent in mainstream U.S. corporate media. Thus we continue to provide updates. The August visit to Israel by Jimmy Carter and Bishop Desmond Tutu is almost unmentioned. Guess why.
Update Feb. 2, 2009
CBS 60-MINUTES: ISRAELI SETTLERS TRYING TO PREVENT PEACE DEAL
Progressive Israel lobby J Street urges U.S. citizens to support Bob Simon from CBS 60 Minutes for his "thoughtful and accurate portayal of the threat Israeli settlements pose to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.... Bob Simon has been getting a lot of flack from the right-wing Israel crowd..."
See the videos, sign on to support Bob Simons via J Street:
Video 1 of 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_UwGgLdmdI&feature=related
Video of 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8KwUSQL9zc
Update Feb. 2, 2009
JIMMY CARTER'S NEW BOOK LAYS OUT DOABLE PATH TO PEACE
We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land -- A Plan That Will Work
By Jimmy Carter
Published on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2009 by Simon and Schuster
Hardcover, 256 pages
DESCRIPTION from the Publisher
In this urgent, balanced, and passionate book, Nobel Peace Laureate and former President Jimmy Carter argues that the present moment is a unique time for achieving peace in the Middle East -- and he offers a bold and comprehensive plan to do just that.
President Carter has been a student of the biblical Holy Land all his life. For the last three decades, as president of the United States and as founder of The Carter Center, he has studied the complex and interrelated issues of the region's conflicts and has been actively involved in reconciling them. He knows the leaders of all factions in the region who will need to play key roles, and he sees encouraging signs among them.
Carter describes the history of previous peace efforts and why they fell short. He argues persuasively that the road to a peace agreement is now open and that it has broad international and regional support. Most of all, since there will be no progress without courageous and sustained U.S. leadership, he says the time for progress is now. President Barack Obama is committed to a personal effort to exert that leadership, starting early in his administration.
This is President Carter's call for action, and he lays out a practical and doable path to peace.
REVIEW OF CARTER'S BOOK ON AMAZON
Good Background, Hope for the Future!
By Loyd E. Eskildson "Pragmatist"
Jan. 20, 2009
One of the notable developments in the region has been the repeated proposal by all 22 Arab nations to have normal diplomatic and commercial relations with Israel, provided major U.N. resolutions are honored. This Arab proposal could provide a promising avenue to break the existing deadlock; however, it has not been possible for the weak and divided Palestinian leadership to eliminate violence against Israel.
So begins former President Carter's latest book. He goes on to provide historical background and current status. The U.N. estimates that about 710,000 Arabs left voluntarily or were ejected from Israel; troops then barred their return and razed more than 500 or their ancestral villages. U.N. Resolution 194 asserted that refugees wishing to return should be allowed to do so, that compensation should be paid to others, and that free access to the holy places be assured. However, these issues remain as major sources of dispute.
After the Six Days War, U.N. Resolution 242 confirmed the inadmissibility of the acquisition of land and called for Israel to withdraw. Carter, Ford, Nixon, and LBJ had all considered Israeli settlements in the occupied territories to be both illegal and an obstacle to peace.
In most places "Israel's wall" is built entirely in the West Bank, penetrating as much as 13 miles into Palestine to encompass existing and growing Israeli settlements, along with desirable land and building sites not yet confiscated. In many places the barrier prevents Palestinians' access to their fields, schools, places of worship, and grazing lands. (Overall, the wall takes 44% of the West Bank from the Palestinians.) In 2004 the International Court of Justice declared construction of the wall in Palestine territory to be illegal.
MORE: Carter book review
Update Jan. 18, 2009
Hamas announces ceasefire after Israel declares truce
GAZA, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Hamas said on Sunday it would cease fire immediately along with other militant groups in the Gaza Strip and give Israel, which already declared a unilateral truce, a week to pull its troops out of the territory.
Salon.com report: Gaza invasion is powered by the U.S.
Taxpayers are spending over $1 billion to send refined fuel to the Israeli military -- at a time when Israel doesn't need it and America does. ...It's well known that the U.S. supplies the Israelis with much of their military hardware. Over the past few decades, the U.S. has provided about $53 billion in military aid to Israel. What's not well known is that since 2004, U.S. taxpayers have paid to supply over 500 million gallons of refined oil products -- worth about $1.1 billion –- to the Israeli military. While a handful of countries get motor fuel from the U.S., they receive only a fraction of the fuel that Israel does -- fuel now being used by Israeli fighter jets, helicopters and tanks to battle Hamas....
Associated Press story omits mention children killed by Israelis
Published in FLORIDA TODAY Sun. Jan. 19, 2009, the brief AP story says: "More than 1,100 Palestinians have been killed in the offensive, about half of them civilians, according to Palestinian and U.N. officials. At least 13 Israelis have also been killed." The report makes no mention of 410 dead children, and additional 5,300 Palestinians are wounded. Because of the routine bias in Associate Press reporting on Gaza (and Central America), some people say AP = American Propaganda.
After 1,300 dead incl. 410 children, 5,300 wounded, Israelis starts ceasefire
...After a unilateral Israeli ceasefire took effect at 2 a.m. (0000 GMT), the bombing stopped, although limited clashes between Israeli forces and Hamas militants continued... The Palestinian death toll published by medics from the Hamas-run Health Ministry stood at 1,300, among them at least 410 children. Another 5,300 people have been wounded... International humanitarian law experts say troops are obliged not only to do all they can to avoid harming civilians but also to avoid destroying civilian property... Israel has rejected suggestions that it may have committed war crimes, though a number of international bodies, including the United Nations' refugee agency in Gaza, urged investigations after the deaths of children and other civilians....
After ceasefire: First Palestinian shot dead by Israeli
GAZA, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian farmer was shot dead on Sunday morning by an Israeli soldier in Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, becoming the first fatality since Israeli declared an unilateral ceasefire, local witnesses said. The witnesses said the farmer was killed while checking his farm. But Israeli army said they shot the farmer because he was approaching the land where the Israeli ground troops occupied...
Israeli ceasefire fragile, offers respite, but little has changed
Jan. 18, 2009. Hamas has not run up the white flag. Israel's finger is still on the trigger. Gaza and its 1.5 million people remain under blockade. There is no agreement between these bitter enemies. Nothing fundamental has changed, except that some 1,200 Palestinians and 13 Israelis have died.
Protestors smash equipment at British subsidiary of US weapons company
Jan. 17, 2009. EDO MBM is the sole British subsidiary of US weapons company EDO Corp. From its Moulescoomb base it manufactures laser-guided missiles that have been used extensively in Iraq, the Palestinian territories and Somalia.... Demonstrators said they were "decommissioning" the site in protest against the killings of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military. They said equipment made at the plant was being used in Gaza by the Israeli air force.
Smash EDO campaign
Jan. 17, 2009. The Smash EDO campaign has been contacted by a group of campaigners who forced entry into the ITT/EDO MBM arms factory early this morning, Saturday 17th January. They destroyed equipment inside the factory that is used to make the weapons used in Israel's wholesale slaughter of civilians in Gaza. ITT/EDO MBM, on Home Farm Road, Brighton, manufactures release clips for F 15s and F 16s as well as the Paveway system of munitions which are currently being used by the Israeli military against civilians in Gaza.
REPORTS FROM GAZA: "...BLOOD IS EVERYWHERE..."
Jan. 16, 2009, Gaza. Caoimhe Butterfly, an Irish human rights activist in Gaza reports: ...The morgues of Gaza’s hospitals are over-flowing. The bodies -- in their blood-soaked white shrouds -- cover the entire floor space of the Shifa’a hospital’s morgue. Some are intact, most horribly deformed, limbs twisted into unnatural positions, chest cavities exposed, heads blown off, skulls crushed in. Family members wait outside to identify and claim a brother, husband, father, mother, wife, child. Many of those who wait their turn have lost numerous family members and loved ones...
Free Gaza website
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Update Jan. 9, 2009
- Israel ignores U.N. Security Council call for immediate ceasefire, killing continues
- U.S. abstains from 14-0 Security Council majority vote
- 14 Israeli dead and about 770 Palestinians, about 1/3 are children
GAZA, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Israel pushed ahead with its two-week-old offensive in the Gaza Strip, ignoring a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire... Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Livni met but the vote in New York appeared to place little new pressure on them to halt attacks that have killed hundreds of Palestinians. Key ally the United States, abstained, noting talks on a truce were still under way under Egyptian mediation.
Israelis round up 110 Palestinians into one house, 24 hours later shell the house
"According to several testimonies, on 4 January Israeli foot soldiers evacuated approximately 110 Palestinians into a single-residence house in Zeitoun (half of whom were children) warning them to stay indoors," the OCHA report said. "Twenty-four hours later, Israeli forces shelled the home repeatedly, killing approximately 30."
U.S. abstains from majority vote for ceasefire
Washington Post: The U.N. Security Council on Thursday night called for "an immediate, durable, fully respected cease-fire" in the Gaza Strip, leading to the eventual withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Palestinian territory... The U.S. abstained from the 14-0 vote, the only council member not to back the resolution. But the U.S. did not veto Resolution 1860, which it helped hash out in three days of arduous negotiations with Arab nations with ties to Hamas and the other two Western nations with Security Council vetoes - France and Britain.
Update Jan. 8, 2009
Over 700 Palestinians killed; Around one-third are children
The Israeli assault on Gaza is entering its thirteenth day. Some 700 Palestinians have been killed, including 219 children. More than 3,000 more wounded. The humanitarian crisis is mounting. Ten Israelis have died, four by "friendly fire." A ceasefire has not been reached, and the offensive continues.
Gaza school dead reaches 46
Israel targeted Gaza school, death toll reaches 46, another 55 wounded; UN calling for investigation into possible war crime.
Red Cross condemns Israel for blocking access to bombing site
When they finally arrived, workers found fifteen bodies, several children barely alive, lying next to their dead mothers. Red Cross said the Israeli military has "failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded," calling the episode "unacceptable."
Israeli protester in Tel Aviv: came to protest against (Israeli) government
"I came to protest against what my government is doing in Gaza: killing civilians, children, women, that are stranded in their houses with nowhere to go, with no fuel, no electricity, no water. This is absolutely violation of human rights."
Toronto, Canada: Eight Jewish women occupy Israeli consulate
Arrested Thursday after staging a sit-in at the Israeli consulate in Toronto. "Israel purports to represent all Jews worldwide, and these atrocities are not being committed in our name"
Update Jan. 6, 2009
40+ Killed in Israeli Strike on Gaza School Sheltering Refugees
In the deadliest attack since Israel launched its assault on Gaza twelve days ago, up to forty-two Palestinians died on Tuesday after Israel fired mortars at a United Nations school that was sheltering Palestinians who had been forced to flee their homes. Fifty-five Palestinians were also wounded in the attack. Doctors said all of the victims were civilians, including many children.
Update Jan. 6, 2009
ISRAELI PROFESSOR CONDEMNS ISRAELI INVASION OF GAZA
"...The problem is that most Israelis ...say, “Israel left the Gaza Strip three years ago, and Hamas is still shooting rockets at us.” They forget the details. The details is that Israel maintains sovereignty. The details is that the Palestinians live in a cage. The details is that they don’t get basic foodstuff, that they don’t get electricity, that they don’t get water, and so forth. And when you forget those kinds of details, and all you say is, “Here, we left them. Why are they still shooting at us?” and that’s what the media here has been pumping them with, then you think this war is rational. If you look at what’s been going on in the Gaza Strip in the past three years and you see what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians, you would think that the Palestinian resistance is rational. And that’s what’s missing in the mainstream media here. And so, although there are voices of resistance in Israel and although there was a quite big protest on—actually, two big protests on Saturday, one in Sakhnin and one in Tel Aviv, it is still a really small minority.
MORE at Democracy Now!: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/5/israeli_professor_neve_gordon_condemns_israeli
Jan. 5, 2009: The current mainstream media coverage of Gaza appears to be similar to media failures -- some would say propaganda -- that was typical of pre-Iraq invasion.
Independent news source: Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! on WFIT 89.5FM M-F 9-10am. For vital news and information rarely seen or heard in corporate media. Democracy Now! video and podcasts and archives: http://www.democracynow.org/
Update Jan. 5, 2009
Gaza death toll now over 500, more than 2,500 wounded. One ton bomb manufactured in USA among those used in bombardment. First wave of bombings targeted police stations, killed "at least 40" Palestinian trainee policemen.
BBC asks: Who is a civilian?
Gaza conflict: Who is a civilian?
Hamas-run Interior Ministry The Interior Ministry was hit in the first strike targeting a government building
By Heather Sharp BBC News, Jerusalem
The bloodied children are clearly civilians; men killed as they launch rockets are undisputedly not. But what about the 40 or so young Hamas police recruits on parade who died in the first wave of Israel's bombing campaign in Gaza?
And weapons caches are clearly military sites -- but what about the interior ministry, hit in a strike that killed two medical workers; or the money changer's office, destroyed last week injuring a boy living on the floor above?
As the death toll mounts in Gaza, the thorny question is arising of who and what can be considered a legitimate military target in a territory effectively governed by a group that many in the international community consider a terrorist organisation.
This is also the group that won the Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006 and a year later consolidated its control by force.
So while it was behind a campaign of suicide attacks in Israel and fires rockets indiscriminately over the border, it is also in charge of schools, hospitals, sewage works and power plants in Gaza.
Dec. 29, 2008
from Democracy Now!
Israeli Attacks Kill Over 310 in Gaza in One of Israel's Bloodiest Attacks on Palestinians Since 1948
Amidst worldwide protests, Israel is continuing its bombing campaign against Gaza for the third consecutive day and preparing to launch a possible ground invasion. Following months of a crippling blockade, this has been described as one of Israel's bloodiest attacks on Palestinians since 1948. Latest reports indicate that 310 people have been killed and 1,400 injured in the aerial strikes across the Gaza Strip since Saturday morning. The latest targets of the air strikes include the Hamas Interior Ministry building and the Islamic University. Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced today that Israel is in an "all-out war with Hamas and its proxies" in Gaza. Fears of a ground invasion are growing after Israel declared a military buffer zone around Gaza, closing off the strip and its 1.5 million residents to journalists and civilians.
We speak to Dr. Moussa El-Haddad and Fida Qishta in Gaza, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti in Ramallah, Gideon Levy in Tel Aviv and Ali Abunimah in the US.
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