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How we can help Gazza

Publié par Boutaina sur 7 Janvier 2009, 22:10pm

Catégories : #Un certain regard..

Je sais que c'est un long mail mais je compte sur votre indulgence et votre patience pour le lire (même en diagonale) et réaliser au moins une des actions citées ci-dessous ..
C'est vrai que le monde qui nous hébèrge ne reconnait que l'argent et la force (de toute façon, argent = force), mais gardons quand même un faible espoir en la "force" des tentatives "pacifistes".

                                   
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY:  The Israeli government is preventing international news sources from entering Gaza, and has made every attempt to cut off power within Gaza so that first-hand accounts are curtailed.  Please do what you can to make this information available to your local media, including writing editorial pieces and letters to the editor, so that the true story may be told.

"The battle...has to begin here. In America. The only institution more powerful than the U.S. government is American civil society. The rest of us are subjects of slave nations. We are by no means powerless, but you have the power of proximity. You have access to the Imperial Palace and the Emperor's chambers. Empire's conquests are being carried out in your name."  -- Arundhati Roy

"Recall the face of the poorest and most helpless person you have seen and ask yourself if the next step you contemplate is going to be of any use to that person." -- Mohandas Gandhi

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"In the context of total aerial supremacy, in which one side in a conflict deploys lethal aircraft against opponents with no means of defending themselves, the bombardment bears all the hallmarks of war crimes." -- Archibishop Desmond Tutu

"Gaza is also filled with very creative people: all sorts of artists, musicians, actors, dancers, who hone their skills and dream. There are teachers and doctors and lawyers and nurses and engineers. And there are lots and lots of students who dream and hope, in spite of the fact that their options are fewer than most of us can imagine.  Gaza is filled, literally, with children who can describe the villages that were taken from their families two or more generations ago. They can tell you the number of olive trees that surrounded the house, or describe the scent of citrus blossoms that filled the air, or the old man who lived two houses down who always sang whenever he walked, and how his voice was terribly unmelodic, but what an enormous void there was when he died." -- Laila Halaby

*****************************************
Items 5 & 6 contain useful background resources for your newspaper letters/op-eds and for talking with your Congressional representatives (Item 2) and President-elect Obama (Item 1)

Take additional action today.

Peace,
        Bill
*****************************************
1)  Talk to Obama (ACTION REQUIRED)
2)  Take Action - Palestinians in Gaza are bleeding (ACTION REQUESTED)
3)  SIGN Gaza Appeal- 500,000 petitions so far to say "Stop the massacre in Gaza!" (ACTION REQUESTED)
4)  National Day of Emergency Mass Action for Gaza: Saturday, January 10 (ACTION REQUESTED)
5)  New Gaza Resources and Actions (ACTION REQUESTED)
6)  Gaza: On-Line Crisis Resource Center & Action Plans (ACTION REQUESTED)
7)  Petition UNGA for Israeli WarCrimes Tribunal (ACTION REQUESTED)
8)  An Open Letter from Laila Halaby to the President Elect Obama
9)  Depleted uranium found in Gaza victims
10)  Reports - Israel Using Illegal Chemical Weapon in Gaza
11)  PHR-Israel: Gaza Update 5.1.09  Attacks on Medical Personnel and Serious Obstacles to Evacuation of Wounded within the Gaza Strip
12)  Mchigan Peace Team: Update from Gaza

*****************************************
1)  Talk to Obama (ACTION REQUIRED)

Date: Sat, 03 Jan 2009 12:11:19 -0500
From: anner <agr1@mac.com>
Subject: Talk to Obama

Talk to Obama:
Share your concerns about Gaza, Palestine and Israel.
Go on line to:  http://change.gov/page/s/contact
Click on "Agenda" at the top of the page.
Check your concerns in their list.
THEN use the box at the bottom to state your special concern and request.

Anne
*****************************************
2)  Take Action - Palestinians in Gaza are bleeding (ACTION REQUESTED)
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2008 18:36:53 -0500
From: organizing@adc.org
Subject: Take Action - Palestinians in Gaza are bleeding
TAKE ACTION:
Write letters to members of Congress and the State Department, demonstrate at the White House and Israeli Embassies and consulates, write letters to the editor and op-eds for every news outlet, call radio talk shows, protest the U.S. representatives at the UN and their protection of Israeli crimes.
1. Contact the White House to protest the attack and demand an immediate cease-fire. Call 202-456-1111 or send an email to comments@whitehouse.gov .  or visit http://adc.capwiz.com/adc/bio/id/20004&lvl=F
2. Contact the State Department at 202-647-6575 or send an email by http://adc.capwiz.com/adc/dbq/officials/agencies/?command=search
3. Contact your Representative and Senators in Congress at 202-224-3121 or find contact info for your Members of Congress by http://capwiz.com/adc/dbq/officials/  
4. Contact your local media by phoning into a talk show or writing a letter to the editor. To find contact info for your local media,: http://adc.capwiz.com/adc/dbq/media/
5. Organize a local protest or vigil. If you need help in organizing a vigil or a protest, please contact ADC at organizing@adc.org.
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3)  SIGN Gaza Appeal- 360,000 petitions so far to say "Stop the massacre in Gaza!" (ACTION REQUESTED)

 Date: Fri, 02 Jan 2009 15:57:12 -0500
From: Ramsey Clark <Actioncenter@action-mail.org>
Subject: SIGN Gaza Appeal- 360,000 petitions so far to say "Stop the massacre   in Gaza!"
  As of Friday morning, more than 500,000 petitions have been sent! 
Please add your voice to the thousands who are demanding: Stop the massacre in Gaza!

Please help get the word out - pass this message along, post it on local bulleting boards & Indymedia,

Sign the Petition Online Now - http://www.iacenter.org/gazapetition

 


Join the ONLINE PETITION initiated by Ramsey Clark - sign on and send the message to President Bush, President-Elect Obama, VP Cheney, VP-Elect Biden, Secretary of State Rice, Secretary of State designate Clinton, Congressional leaders, the U.N. Secretary General, Security Council, the Israeli President, Prime Minister and cabinet, and members of the world media appealing for Israel to Immediately Cease Its Murderous Bombing, Siege and Threatened Invasion of Palestinian Gaza

 

Urgent Appeal for Israel to Immediately Cease Its Murderous Bombing, Siege and Threatened Invasion of Palestinian Gaza!

To: President George W. Bush, President-Elect Barack Obama, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State Designate Hillary Clinton, Vice President Richard Cheney, Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Congressional leaders, U.N. Secretary General Ban, U.N. General Assembly President d'Escoto-Brockmann, members of the U.N. Security Council, U.N. member states, the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet and Opposition leader of Israel, and Major media representatives:

For 60 years, Israel has persecuted the Palestinian people with impunity in defiance of United Nations General Assembly and United Nations Security Council Resolutions, orders of the International Court of Justice, International Law and fundamental human rights.

Throughout the years, Israel has proclaimed itself the victim as it grew richer, more powerful and more violent, while Palestinians were abused, impoverished, divided and demeaned.

A consistent tactic of Israel through all the years has been to divide Palestinians against their most effective organizations. Through most of the recent years Israel has attacked Fatah. Now it is Hamas that Israel attacks. But there is only one Palestinian people and there can be only one Palestinian State. This has been the guiding principle of the PLO. Israel's policy has always been to destroy the possibility of a Palestinian State. Its criminal assault on Hamas is in truth Israel's continuing assault on the possibility of a Palestinian State: divide and conquer.

Now in the waning days of the disastrous Bush Administration, the government of Israel with its Prime Minister under criminal indictment, is testing whether world opinion will permit it to escalate its isolation and impoverishment of Palestine and selective and systematic assassination of Palestinian leadership in Gaza to a genocidal, indiscriminate assault and invasion of Palestinian Gaza, knowing full well its acts will inflame passions throughout the Middle East and Arab and Muslim worlds risking conflict of disastrous magnitude in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, even between India and Pakistan.

Beyond crushing Gaza's capacity to resist and imposing its final solution on Palestinians, Israel is seeking confrontation that will lead to war with the U.S., the European Union, and NATO fighting for Israel against Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan to impair their ability to prevent expansion of Israel's domination of the region while the "only one President at a time" the U.S. has, George W. Bush, will support Israel, finding all fault with Gaza.

In these dangerous and difficult days and hours the undersigned call upon the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, NATO members, and European countries independently, the governments of Asia, foremost China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan, the nations of Africa, and the Americas to demand an immediate ceasefire throughout Israel and Palestine and the assurance of peace. All borders to Gaza, Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, must be opened for humanitarian relief and a complete arms and trade embargo on Israel until it fully complies with all the requirements of permanent peace.

We call upon all the people, the ultimate power in every nation when organized and energized, to take to the streets where they live and demand that their governments do all in their power to cause Israel to stop its war of aggression against Palestine and for all parties to pursue peace and for Israel, the U.S. and other nations who have provided material support for Israel's aggression to be held accountable for the deaths, injuries and damage Israel has inflicted.

We call upon governments and humanitarian agencies to provide all needed emergency relief to Palestine - medical care, food, humanitarian supplies, shelter; and on all the media that truly seeks peace, justice and respect for the equal dignity of every child, woman and man on earth to headline the demand that Israel stop its aggression immediately. All parties must engage in continuous negotiation with all Palestinians until a one state solution is agreed or the state of Palestine as mandated not later than October 1948 in UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (1947) is created, fully implemented, and Palestine thrives.

Sincerely,

Initiated and signed by
Ramsey Clark, winner, 2008 U.N.Human Rights Award and Founder, International Action Center

Add your signature to this letter now - go to http://www.iacenter.org/gazapetition
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4)  National Day of Emergency Mass Action for Gaza: Saturday, January 10 (ACTION REQUESTED)

Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2009 20:55:47 -0600 (CST)
From: ANSWER Coalition <ANSWER@InternationalANSWER.org>
Subject: Jan. 10 March on Washington for Gaza: Momentum Builds, New Sponsors, Endorse & Organize Transportation
Momentum Grows for the
LET GAZA LIVE
National March on Washington
Saturday, January 10
Assemble at the White House (north side) at 1:00 PM

New Sponsors   ~   Endorse   ~   Organize Transportation
A doctor in Gaza's main hospital reported that children make up 30 percent of the casualties, among the dead and wounded, in the second day of the ground invasion. The time to act is now! Local marches have taken place all over the country. Now is the time to bring the outrage of the people right to the steps of the White House.

We are sending a message to both Bush and the incoming Obama administration: This war of aggression must end immediately! People all over the world will be marching in their country's capital cities on Saturday, January 10. The people of this country will come together in Washington, D.C., to say NO to the government that speaks in their name and uses their tax dollars to fund Israel to the tune of over $15 million per day.

Please see below for important updates on the Saturday, January 10 LET GAZA LIVE National March on Washington.

New Sponsors

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), American Muslim Task Force (AMT), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), American Muslim Alliance (AMA), Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), Voters for Peace (VFP) and many others have become sponsoring organizations of the January 10 Let Gaza Live National March on Washington, along with the ANSWER Coalition, Muslim American Society Freedom (MASF), Free Palestine Alliance (FPA), National Council of Arab Americans (NCA), Al-Awda - International Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and hundreds of others.

Become an Endorser

Click here to add your individual or organizational endorsement. ( http://answer.pephost.org/site/Survey?SURVEY_ID=4820&ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS )

Organize Transportation to DC

Buses are being organized to bring people to Washington, D.C., from across the East Coast, Midwest and South. Now is the time to stand together in DC in solidarity with the people of Gaza!

If you are organizing transportation, fill click here to fill out the Transportation Form ( http://answer.pephost.org/site/Survey?SURVEY_ID=4840&ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS ). This will allow others to find out about transportation options, and it will ensure that you receive important logistical information regarding the plans for Saturday.

Plan for Saturday, January 10

The Saturday, January 10 LET GAZA LIVE National March in Washington, D.C., will gather at the White House (north side, Lafayette Park) at 1:00 PM. The protest will be located between the Bush White House and the Hay Adams Hotel, where President-Elect Obama is now residing, which is located on the north side of Lafayette Park.

There will be coinciding West Coast demonstrations in San Francisco (11 am at Civic Center) , Los Angeles (12 noon at Westwood Federal Building), San Diego (details TBA) and elsewhere.

Help Spread the Word

Click here to view a flyer for the demonstration ( http://www.pephost.org/site/DocServer/DC_flyer_1.10.pdf?docID=6921 ). It is a 8.5x11 inch PDF that you can view, print and reproduce. If you are in the Washington, D.C., area, you can pick up flyers from the ANSWER Coalition office at 1247 E St. SE.

Please spread the word online through Facebook, Myspace, email, listserves, blogs and bulletin boards; and talk to your family, friends, co-workers, classmates and people you meet on the street!

 


Calendar of Emergency Demonstrations Taking Place This Week

Statements from the Free Palestine Alliance

The Free Palestine Alliance, a member group of the ANSWER Coalition National Steering Committee, has been writing daily statements about the Gaza Strip Massacre. These are important statements of political orientation from the Palestinian-American community. Click here to read the statements issued by the Free Palestine Alliance ( http://www.pephost.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8869).

Send a letter to the State Department and Congress

Join with people around the country and around the world who are demanding an end to U.S. aid to Israel. This is an urgent situation and we must all act now. You can send a letter with our easy click and send system demanding an end to U.S. aid to Israel. Without U.S. aid, the Israeli military attacks, siege and blockade of Gaza could not be continued. Click this link now to send a letter to the State Department and elected officials in Congress ( https://secure2.convio.net/pep/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=233 ).

Donations Needed

The costs of organizing a National March on Washington are substantial. You can help to support this important organizing effort by making a financial contribution today. Click here to donate online, where you can also find information on how to contribute by check ( http://answer.pephost.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ANS_donate) .
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5)  New Gaza Resources and Actions (ACTION REQUESTED)

Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2009 13:05:03 -0500 (EST)
From: US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation <uscampaign@mail.democracyinaction.org>
Subject: New Gaza Resources and Actions
Keep Up the Pressure to End the War on Gaza
As Israel's all-out war on Gaza continues into its tenth day and has escalated into a ground invasion, we must keep up pressure on our government to call for cease fire, ensure full humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip, and investigate Israel's misuse of U.S. weapons. 

To help your local efforts, we have created a new fact sheet ( http://www.endtheoccupation.org/downloads/gaza_us_weapons.pdf) dealing with U.S. complicity in the Gaza crisis.  We are also hosting a phone briefing tonight for activists to share analysis and action ideas to end this war on Gaza in the immediate and intermediate terms.

We hope that our new factsheet, highlighting how U.S. weapons are being used by Israel against Gaza, will be useful to you as you press the media and your Members of Congress for justice for the Palestinian people.  Please click here to download this factsheet in PDF format.

The US Campaign is also hosting an hour-long conference call briefing tonight on the war on Gaza and steps you can take to end it. Please click here to RSVP to this call and hear policy experts and veteran activists share their take on the current crisis.

In addition to our website, listing actions to be taken to aid the people of Gaza and our continuously updated calendar of protests and vigils ( http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1773), we also want to alert everyone to GazaSiege.org.   GazaSiege is a website acting as a clearinghouse for news, analysis, and action on the current crisis in Gaza.  This is a great site to consult when writing op-eds, letters to the editor, or before calling your Members of Congress.

Peace & Power,

Katherine M. Fuchs
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
National Organizer
*****************************************
6)  Gaza: On-Line Crisis Resource Center & Action Plans (ACTION REQUESTED)

Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2009 18:21:28 -0500 (EST)
From: War Times <info@war-times.org>
Subject: Gaza: On-Line Crisis Resource Center & Action Plans

Gaza: On-Line Crisis Resource Center & Action Plans

 As of this writing, over 540 Palestinians - at least 30% unarmed civilians - have been killed in Israel's assault on Gaza. Protests demanding an end to the attacks are ongoing, as are efforts to educate the public about the reasons for Israel's assault and the underlying nature of the Israel-Palestine conflict. War Times calls your attention to two places where you can find up-to-date, accessible information and analyses, as well as suggestions about how you can raise your voice:

1. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has developed on online Gaza Crisis Resource Center at http://www.adc.org .  This new tool, designed to serve as a primary source of information, incorporates several resources on the Gaza attacks including:

 *A factual timeline of the events leading up to the Israeli attacks.

 *Reliable articles on the situation in Gaza.

 *A list of UN responses and statements on the tragedy.

 *A list of credible media sources.

 *A continuously updated resource on the numbers of killed and injured.

 *An instructive link on contacting the media about the tragedy in Gaza.

 *An instructive link on contacting elected representatives including President-elect Obama.

 *A list of protests, rallies, and vigils taking place nationwide.

Go to the online Resource Center at: http://www.adc.org

2. The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has published a new downloadable fact sheet, " Israel is Killing Palestinians in Gaza w/U.S. Weapons" as part of its emergency campaign, "Take Action: End Israel's Attack on Gaza." For the fact sheet and full information, go to:
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1775

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7)  Petition UNGA for Israeli WarCrimes Tribunal (ACTION REQUESTED)

From: Dave Muller [ mailto:davemull@alphalink.com.au]
Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2009 10:03 PM
Subject: Petition UNGA for Israeli WarCrimes Tribunal

Write to UN General Assembly President for Israeli
WarCrimes Tribunal

Written by www.daily.pk
   
Sunday, 04 January 2009 19:47 
1. Summary
With the Gaza death toll exceeding 400, the Islamic Human Rights Commission calls on campaigners to send letters to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, to urge the U.N. General Assembly to establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI).

2. Background
After five days of consecutive bombardment of Gaza, and an ever-increasing death toll, demonstrators all over the world are calling for an end to the massacre. Campaigners are urged to continue attending demonstrations and boycotting Israel, and are now asked to send letters to the President of the U.N. General Assembly, urging for the long-overdue establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI), under U.N. Charter Article 22.

On the topic of Israel's current attack on Gaza, Archibishop Desmond Tutu said on Sunday:

"In the context of total aerial supremacy, in which one side in a conflict deploys lethal aircraft against opponents with no means of defending themselves, the bombardment bears all the hallmarks of war crimes."

Francis A. Boyle, in calling for the creation of such an Israeli war crimes tribunal, said:

"The establishment of ICTI would provide some small degree of justice to the victims of Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine--just as the ICTY has done in the Balkans. Furthermore, the establishment of ICTI by the U.N. General Assembly would serve as a deterrent effect upon Israeli leaders such as Prime Minister Olmert, Foreign Minister Livni, Defense Minister Barak , Chief of Staff Ashkenazi and Israel's other top generals that they will be prosecuted for their further infliction of international crimes upon the Lebanese and the Palestinians."

3. Action required
Write to the President of the U.N. General Assembly, urging for the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI), under U.N. Charter Article 22.
Fax: +1 (212) 963-4423
Email: http://www.un.org/ga/contactus.asp

4. Sample letter
------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a
copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is
extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with
regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sample letter to the President of the U.N. General Assembly.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

President
General Assembly
United Nations
New York, NY USA

[Date]

Dear Sir,

Re: Creation of Israeli war crimes tribunal

The current massacre happening in Gaza is of urgent concern to my community and I. For attacks which bear all the trademarks of war crimes, is it not time for them to be assessed within the appropriate context of an Israeli war crimes tribunal?

Surely, you do not need me to relate to you the strangulation and bombardment of Gaza, and the humanitarian catastrophe that is unfolding. After five days of consecutive bombardment of Gaza, and a death toll exceeding 400, calls for an end to the massacre fall on the deaf ears of a murderous Israeli government.

The 1.5 million abused and starved inhabitants of "the world's biggest concentration camp" are being forced to continue to collectively-pay for democratically-electing their government.

While the Israeli authorities punish the Palestinians in order to teach Hamas a hard-handed lesson, the civilian casualties and number of injured continue to soar. Israel is refusing ceasefire requests, in spite of Hamas offering it on the basis of reasonable and attainable compromises: "an end to the blockade, and an Israeli ceasefire on the West Bank", according to Yuval Diskin, current head of Israeli security services Shin Bet.

Also, in light of the current attacks which have sparked international condemnation, Archbishop Desmund Tutu said: "In the context of total aerial supremacy, in which one side in a conflict deploys lethal aircraft against opponents with no means of defending themselves, the bombardment bears all the hallmarks of war crimes."

Over the past 2 months, fuel supply to Gaza has been blocked leading to the closure of its power plant, and even the U.N. has been forced to halt distribution of food aid, upon which most Gazans are reliant. The actions of the Israeli authorities violate the Geneva Conventions and so many international norms. It is now more necessary than ever for the U.N. to establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI), under U.N. Charter Article 22. Failure to create viable accountability would only further embolden the Israeli government to continue their extermination of the Palestinians.

As the crimes committed against Palestinians degrade all humanity, we request you to urge members of the U.N. General Assembly to swiftly take necessary and appropriate action towards creating an ICTI under U.N. Charter Article 22, and holding the Israeli government accountable.

I look forward to your reply regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]

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8)  An Open Letter from Laila Halaby to the President Elect Obama

Source: Beacon Broadside (January 5, 2009)
URL: http://www.beaconbroadside.com/broadside/2009/01/an-open-letter.html

An Open Letter from Laila Halaby to the President Elect Obama

Dear President Elect Obama,

Belatedly, I congratulate you on winning the election.
Belatedly, I offer my condolences for the death of your beloved grandmother.
Hopefully not belatedly, I implore you to consider your role in Palestine.

Though I try to avoid watching the news, last night I forced myself to look at coverage of Gaza. I started with CNN or Reuters, and though at that point over 200 Palestinians had been killed, the footage I saw was of the funeral for the one Israeli who died. I watched several men carry a coffin. I saw attractive women crying. It was both public and private and one felt their grief. The message was clear: one Israeli death is one too many whereas more than 200 Palestinian deaths are in a different category.

So I decided to watch al-Jazeera. Do you ever watch it? Shirin Abu Aqle, who has been reporting from the Occupied Territories for the last eight or so years, is looking very, very tired. I forced myself to watch the scenes of destruction, the ambulances, the men and women slumped over the bodies of their family members. I forced myself to listen to the screams, the wailing.

I forced myself to watch these images because I feel that as long as my country is supporting the country that has caused this, I am guilty.

I got to thinking about your campaign and my reasons for supporting you:

You were by far the smartest and wisest candidate.
Your plans were clear and intelligent.
Your ego did not get in the way.
There was another more personal reason.

I also supported you because you are familiar.

Like you, my mother is white and my father was brown and foreign.
Like you, I had a funny name.
Like you, I did not grow up with my father, but his absence shaped the person I became. Like you, I had connections abroad, an entire other world that seemed as though it should in some way belong to me. Or I to it.
Like you, I was, at times, an Other.
Like you, I became very good at gauging situations and people.

This is why I trust you.

Why I knew you were the only candidate who would truly treat other world leaders as equals, thereby earning their respect.
Why I sang your praises over Senator Clinton to anyone who would listen.
Why I wrote letters, wore t-shirts, bought my kids t-shirts, and bought a second bumper sticker for my car after the first one was stolen. (My younger son, who was eight at the time, wrote you a letter and you wrote him back. He has that letter pinned to his door and he was your spokesperson in the third and fourth grade.)

You see, President Elect Obama, the familiarity that I see in you is one of fairness and justice: you can see both sides of a situation because you are both sides and it's why you ultimately choose what is right and not what is popular. You also have a tremendous sense of history, so I know you are aware that what we see today is not everything.

Which brings me back to Palestine.

Gaza is filled with people whose family homes are being lived in by Jewish settlers from all over the world. Many of those people, if they are permitted entry back into the country that was once theirs, have to wait an hour or more for the privilege to walk by those homes on their way to working in a factory to make underwear or t-shirts for western women. They smell the freshly mowed lawns, hear the splashing of children in bright blue pools on land that was once theirs. Most of them try to tune out the past, focus on the few constants they are allowed in this present life: family and faith.

It is never just today. Just as you are not simply a Black man in his forties who got a new job, this is not simply an explosive situation between good guys and bad guys.

Gaza is also filled with very creative people: all sorts of artists, musicians, actors, dancers, who hone their skills and dream. There are teachers and doctors and lawyers and nurses and engineers. And there are lots and lots of students who dream and hope, in spite of the fact that their options are fewer than most of us can imagine.

Gaza is filled, literally, with children who can describe the villages that were taken from their families two or more generations ago. They can tell you the number of olive trees that surrounded the house, or describe the scent of citrus blossoms that filled the air, or the old man who lived two houses down who always sang whenever he walked, and how his voice was terribly unmelodic, but what an enormous void there was when he died. They can tell you these things because their parents and grandparents are determined that they not forget; that they, in turn, will not be forgotten.

It is never just today. Just as you are not simply moving into the White House in a month, refugee camps are not ancestral homes; populating a country that was already populated can involve unacceptable tactics.

Just as we took the time to get to know you, to understand your history, and to believe in you, I ask you to stop looking at today, at what is wrong with today, and to look at how it got that way.

Just as we took the time to get past your funny name, your foreign father, your all-over-the-place upbringing, I beg you to do the same for Palestine.

Until the wrongs of slavery were admitted, there was anger and extremism.
Until the wrongs of occupation are admitted, there will be anger and extremism.
And fathers and mothers like you and like me will continue to live through what is unimaginable.

I will end with something Mohandas Ghandi said, something I know that you believe: "A confession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer."

Very sincerely yours,

Laila Halaby
*****************************************
9)  Depleted uranium found in Gaza victims

Depleted uranium found in Gaza victims
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/articles/34/Depleted_uranium_found_in_Gaza_victims.html
04/01/2009 11:17:00 PM GMT

Medics tell Press TV they have found traces of depleted uranium in some Gazan residents wounded in Israel's ground offensive into the strip.

Norwegian medics told Press TV correspondent Akram al-Sattari that some of the victims who have been wounded since Israel began its attacks on the Gaza Strip on December 27 have traces of depleted uranium in their bodies.

The report comes after Israeli tanks and troops swept across the border into Gaza on Saturday night, opening a ground operation after eight days of intensive attacks by Israeli air and naval forces on the impoverished region.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned on Sunday that the wide-ranging ground offensive in the Gaza Strip would be "full of surprises."

A ground offensive in the densely-populated Gaza is expected to drastically increase the death toll of the civilian population.

The latest assaults bring the number of Palestinians killed to over 488 with 2790 others wounded. The UN says that about 25 percent of the casualties were civilian deaths - including at least 34 children.

According to Israeli army officials, at least 30 of its soldiers have been wounded since the start of the ground campaign.

Amid global condemnation of the ongoing violence in the region, the UN Security Council failed to agree on a united approach to resolve the crisis.

" Once again, the world is watching in dismay the dysfunctionality of the Security Council," UN General Assembly chief Miguel d'Escoto said Sunday.

According to diplomatic sources, the US blocked a Security Council resolution, with US Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff arguing that an official statement that criticizes both Israel and Hamas would not be helpful.

The White House has so far declined to comment on whether an Israeli ground incursion into Gaza is a justified measure.
*****************************************
10)  Reports - Israel Using Illegal Chemical Weapon in Gaza

From: ADC
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2009 10:16 AM
Subject: Reports - Israel Using Illegal Chemical Weapon in Gaza

Reports - Israel Using Illegal Chemical Weapon in Gaza
 ADC Calls for Investigations Into Reported Israeli use of White Phosphorus on Gaza

Washington, DC | January 5, 2009 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today called on the United States Government; including members of Congress, and the international community; including the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to investigate Israel's reported use of White Phosphorus in its ongoing attack on Gaza.  According to the United Nations Israel's overwhelming attacks on Gaza, now in their tenth day, have thus far killed 540 people, 30% of whom are civilians, and injured over 2,750 people; including over 1,000 children.  Among those killed today was a family of seven from Shati refugee camp, who were killed by Israeli navy shelling. Three siblings from one family, as well as a girl and her grandfather, also died in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza during Israeli artillery shelling.  Emergency medical services have also come under Israeli attack with the al-Awda hospital in Jabaliya being hit by two Israeli shells today.  The attacks have also destroyed 12 Mosques.  Since the Israeli attacks began, rocket fire from militants in Gaza has thus far killed 5 Israelis including one soldier.  

Credible media reports have indicated that the Israeli military is using White Phosphorus artillery shells in its bombing of Gaza.  ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, "White Phosphorus is categorized as a chemical weapon by most governments and its use in civilian areas is banned by the 1980 Geneva Convention.  It is a violation of international humanitarian law and the laws of war to use White Phosphorus ammunition, an incendiary weapon, in civilian areas."

The UN has listed Gaza, with a population of 1.5-Million people, as the most densely populated area in the world with a population density that is higher than that of Manhattan in New York City.  White Phosphorus causes painful burn injuries to exposed human flesh.

The Israeli military used White Phosphorus ammunition during the 2006 war on Lebanon as documented by ADC in its extensive 233-page report Eyewitness Lebanon: an International Law Inquiry.  White phosphorus is an indiscriminate killer that ignites once it is exposed to oxygen, producing such heat that it bursts into a yellow flame and produces a dense white smoke.
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11)  PHR-Israel: Gaza Update 5.1.09  Attacks on Medical Personnel and Serious Obstacles to Evacuation of Wounded within the Gaza Strip

Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2009 17:29:45 +0200
From: ranyaron@phr.org.il
Subject:   PHR-Israel: Gaza Update 5.1.09  Attacks on Medical Personnel and Serious Obstacles to Evacuation of Wounded within the Gaza Strip
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel Gaza Update 5.1.09
 
Attacks on Medical Personnel and Serious Obstacles to Evacuation of Wounded within the Gaza Strip
 
After calling yesterday for international intervention for an immediate ceasefire, PHR-Israel today sent two urgent requests to the Israeli Military Chief of staff regarding protection of medical teams, internal evacuation of the wounded, and evacuation of the wounded to external medical care. We have also called upon foreign diplomats to press Israel to enable "corridors" for referral of the wounded to external medical centers, until the implementation of a ceasefire.
 
Moreover, PHR-Israel has collected personal testimonies from patients it had assisted in the past, in order to hear from them about conditions on the ground during the current Israeli offensive.
 
Below is the information collected by PHR-Israel on medical issues since the start of the land offensive:
 
Attacks on medical personnel:
 
·   December 31, 2008: Helicopter fires on medical crew evacuating wounded: in Jabal Kashif in northeast Gaza a crew set out to offer assistance. While approaching the bleeding victim on foot, they were hit by helicopter fire. Dr. Ihab Madhun, medic Muhammad Abu Hasireh, as well as the injured victim, were killed.
·   January 3, 2009: Second attack on a house after medical crews enter to evacuate the wounded: The house of the Dabbabish family in Sheikh Radwan had already been bombarded. As a crew of medics dressed in medical vests arrived on the scene to tend to the wounded the house was bombarded for a second time. One person was critically wounded: Ayyad Ahmad.
·   January 4, 2009: Ambulance belonging to the Al Awda Hospital in Beit Lahiya was hit by helicopter fire. Arfa Abd al Daim, a senior volunteer medic was killed and two other medical personnel were critically injured.
·   January 4, 2009: Tank fires on ambulance during attempts to evacuate a family in Tel Alhawa. Inass Fadil Naim, Yassir Shabir and Rifaat Abdel Al were killed.
 
Difficulties in internal evacuation of the wounded:
 
·   According to the head of the Palestinian emergency health services in Gaza Dr. Mu'awiya Hasaneen, and the MoH spokesperson Hammam Nasman, there are many wounded and dead, but access to them is impeded by ongoing gunfire.
·   According to information collected by PHR-Israel, the ICRC, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the hospitals meet severe difficulties in evacuation of the wounded, due to the ongoing fighting, due to the refusal of the Israeli army to enable passage between the north and the south of the Gaza Strip, and due to unwieldy bureaucratic procedures, whereby the security forces demand coordination between the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee and the Israeli authorities at Erez Crossing for each case. It should be noted that during hostilities the ICRC – of which PRCS is now a member – should enjoy full authority and protection for evacuation of wounded.
·   The PRCS reported to PHR-Israel that they have no way of dispatching ambulances without prior coordination since ambulances that set out for evacuation duties at AlAtatra were fired at by apache helicopters. They appealed to PHR-Israel after attempts to coordinate passage via the ICRC have failed since yesterday. AlAwda hospital in Beit Lahiya also asked for our assistance since they must send out ambulances to AlAtatra and Tel Zaatar but cannot dispatch ambulances without being shot at. The hospital is urgently requesting coordination to enable evacuation.
·   According to our information, between 2 hours and 8-10 hours pass between a request by the ICRC for coordination until the Israeli authorities actually coordinate passage. In some cases teams waited for 24 hours for coordination
·   A shortage of ambulances has been reported: patients are often evacuated in private vehicles either because of shortage or because ambulances cannot access the areas.
 
Cases:
 
·                     January 4: Hasin al 'Aiedy, along with his two brothers and their families, among them 6 injured awaiting evacuation, called PHR-Israel after being trapped in an isolated area south east of Gaza City surrounded by the Israeli Army. Hasin al A'aiedy and two of his brothers live together with their families in an isolated area, empty of other residents, halfway between Nezarim junction and Karni Crossing. Soon after the Israeli Army began their ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the house sustained missile fire. As a result of the bombardment, sections of the roof were destroyed, many of the doors were unhinged, all glass was broken and the water pipes burst. Six members of the family sustained injuries: Kamala, 80 years old, was hit in the face and head; Taha 80 years old was hit in the face; Da'a, 18 years old was hit near her eye, Nur, 16 years old was hit on an entire side of his body and is bleeding; Raad, 13 years old was also sustained injuries to half his body and is bleeding; and Lid, 3 years old has sustained shrapnel wounds to half his body. To the damages inflicted on their home, the family members, 28 in all (15 children and 8 adults) are now outside in an open area without food, water, light or heat. Since the bombardment, Israeli troops have surrounded the area on all sides. The family members cannot move more than several meters from where they are currently located because every movement - even to look for water- is met by artillery fire. Upon receiving notification of the event on the morning of January 4th, PHR-Israel immediately contacted the Israeli District Coordination Office at Erez Crossing and was assured the army would look into the matter. Since then, the DCO has not got back to PHR-Israel regarding the incident; the status of the al 'Aiedy family remains unchanged. Members of the family and representatives of PHR-Israel have contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza with hopes that they may be able to evacuate the family members with one of their ambulances, however as noted, the Israel army has surrounded the area and until now has not allowed for the evacuation of the wounded and trapped victims. For additional information see Haaretz Article: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1052606.html
 
·                     January 4th: PHR-Israel tried to coordinate the evacuation of a family of 6 via the coastal road: The family had left from ShifaaHospital towards their home in Southern Gaza. Salah a- Din St. was blocked near the area of Nezarim Junction so the family took a detour via the coastal road. There they were fired upon by tanks. The family called ShifaaHospital to send an ambulance. At that time others informed PHR-Israel that they were unable to coordinate the evacuation. PHR-Israel immediately called the Israeli District Coordination Office (DCO) at Erez, who after much pressure claimed that they had sent an army vehicle to the scene though were unable to locate the family's car. The DCO claimed that without a telephone they were unable to locate the family. They also informed us that they had not received any requests to coordinate the evacuation, after which they told us that the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee had in fact inquired regarding the transfer. The lack of clarification and the misunderstanding have made clear to us that that there is now total chaos regarding the coordination of the ambulances to evacuate the wounded. The fate of the family is unknown.
 
Hospitals: Needs vs. Reality and the need for evacuation to external medical care
According to Physicians for Human Rights-Israel medical experts, in a situation of multiple casualties with multiple injuries in any medical system, medical preparedness will be conducted according to the following three principles:
1.Every wounded person with multiple injuries in need of pulmonary support (ventilation), medicinal support or surgical procedures needs an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed.
2.Due to the simultaneous arrival of high numbers of wounded persons, there is a need for an increased number of surgical teams: one surgeon and two nurses per patient. Each patient will also need an operating room and necessary equipment: monitor, ventilation machine for every ventilated patient, automatic syringes, haemodynamic medications and blood products.
3.Since even in advanced medical systems there are usually not enough teams and equipment, there is usually need of emergency modification of the health system to increase services, import of external surgical teams and equipment, and arrangements with external hospitals for referral of the overflow of wounded. Such hospitals must be as close as possible.
 
According to information collected by PHR-Israel, although over 2,400 people have been injured since the start of the operation, and 110 people were injured between the 3rd and the 4th of January, there are currently less than 100 ICU beds and only 32 operating rooms throughout Gaza.
 
There are 190 surgeons in Shifaa' hospital, working around the clock, but the system lacks expert capacity on neuro-, vascular-, orthopedic- and open heart surgery.Moreover, the security situation, as well as damage to roads and bridges, is preventing staff from reaching health facilities. Foreign teams currently in Gaza include 2 surgeons from A Norwegian NGO, NORWAC, (1 thoracic surgeon and 1 anesthesiologist working at ShifaHospital) and 5 Egyptian surgeons.
 
An ICRC team of war surgeons has been waiting since Friday to be granted access to the Gaza to address the lack of surgical staff. They have now received notification that they will be granted access when Erez re-opens but the crossing is closed.
 
Referrals: At the start of the land operation, all crossings were closed, including Israeli controlled Erez Crossing and Egyptian controlled Rafah Crossing. The army claims Erez was opened for a few hours this morning, but it re-closed at noon. As a result any overflow of patients at any given time cannot be referred outward, resulting in overload and inadequate medical care inside Gaza.
Internal access to the crossings is also impeded: While 45 ambulances are waiting on the Egyptian side to transport patients to Egyptian hospitals, the security situation and damage to bridges and roads prevent ambulances from reaching Rafah
It should be noted that the Israeli Ministry of Health has expressed its willingness to admit wounded from the fighting. Israeli hospitals have prepared for their absorption. However, the closure of Erez Crossing by the Ministry of Defense prohibits such arrangements at present.
 
Supplies
Medical supplies: A substantial volume of supplies was delivered to Gaza last week. Trucks with drugs and consumables reached all MoH hospitals yesterday but shortages are still reported.
Food supplies: WFP, which provides food aid to some 350,000 Gaza residents, estimates that the daily need for all Gaza population would be 1,200 mt of basic food commodities, meaning 40 trucks a day. WFP currently needs to deliver about 4,000 mt of food commodities (150 trucks) asap to fill its warehouse.
Despite the entry of some food and medical supplies last week, and contrary to Israeli claims – the amounts are not sufficient for the needs of the population and the needs are growing. The current closure of the crossing poses a real threat to the population in general and the hospitals in particular in this respect.
 
Personal Testimonies: Life under Fire
 
Testimony from Khan Younis, 5.1.09 11am
"Conditions in our neighborhood are very dangerous. Buildings keep collapsing because of the bombardments and shelling of houses on top of their inhabitants. The Israeli army is shelling anything that moves, especially to our east. There is electricity only 6 hours a day, and then it's off for 16 hours. When there is electricity we call our family inside Israel, they hold their telephone to the television so we can hear what is happening, because we have no radio or TV. Around us is much destruction and a terrible noise of bombings anddust and smoke. In order to cook, we light a wood fire on the steps, because on the roof it is too dangerous. There is no food left at home, we eat whatever we can find with a lot of zaatar. The kids can't sleep. They are very much afraid and the noise of the planes is terrible. Lest night we slept perhaps two hours. Half an hour ago an F-16 bombed the Jam'iyat AlNour building. It's a medical association with equipment and everything. It's very close to us. We keep hearing the shells and the gunfire. At night some people were called and told to leave within 24 hours. In this area there are no armed people, no guns, no tunnels. Often they never destroy anything in the end, but yesterday one family reached us by luck half an hour before their home was bombed.
(the son of a 67 year old patient we have assisted in the past. He asked not to use his name).
 
Testimony from AlTufah neighborhood, 5.1.09, 11:30am
The situation is very bad. The worst is we have no water. There is really so little, and what there is is not clean. People use what there is, usually not for drinking. There are whole areas cut off from water. There is no bread. People stand in lines of hundreds of people outside the bakeries and there is no bread. Three days with no electricity and the cold is killing. There is no gas either. We managed to smuggle in some fuel through the tunnels but it smells so bad in the food we're sure it's unhealthy. There is no food supply. We eat what's left over, mainly rice and potatoes. In the Jabel AlRis area, where Jaber's family lives [he is referring to a 15 year old boy who lost both legs in a shelling by the Israeli army in March; because he is disabled and his aunt also lost a leg at the same time, their escape from danger is even more difficult – PHR-I], the danger is very present and many have escaped as far as they can. We have internally displaced people. Here at AlTufah, too, many houses were destroyed by shelling and bombardments. People escape but the planes and helicopters chase them. They are in the air all the time, nonstop. Yesterday five people escaped to the beach and were shot there, from the air. It's a lie that most of them are armed. In every place civilians are killed due to collapse of buildings and on the beach. There is no escape. No safe place. In Gaza everything is so close. I am less than a kilometer from the border and I cannot avoid seeing or hearing. Eyewitnesses told me that the Israelis are also using cluster munitions, and I myself have experienced explosions with strange smoke and very strange sounds.
Sameh, 23, blogger www.gazatoday.blogspot.com – was in touch with us regarding the case of Jaber.
 
Testimony from Deir AlBalah, 5.1.09, 11:45am
The situation is very bad, there is deep fear, and desperation. People around here aren't leaving their homes. There is no water. We drink from containers and these are running out. Before, we had 6 hours of electricity [per day], but now it's been a whole day and there is no electricity. So it's cold, there is no way to heat water, food or our home, and we cant refrigerate our medicines. The border to Egypt is cold, and it's all full of checkpoints and tanks. To get to hospital [this is a person with a chronic disease – PHR-I] I have to find someone with a car and they take a lot of money for each journey because of the danger. My brother's kids are very fearful, the sounds of explosions are very loud, day and night, and it's not even in our area. But there is no water or food and we are all trapped in our homes.
Shadi, 24.
 
For more details please contact Miri Weingarten at +972 546995199 or Ran Yaron at +972 547577696.
 
Most of the relevant texts and information are posted regularly in Hebrew and/or English on blog and on PHR-Israel's website
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12)  Mchigan Peace Team: Update from Gaza

Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2009 13:42:00 -0800 (PST)
From: michiganpeaceteam@comcast.net
Subject: [michiganpeaceteamnews] Update from Gaza

Michigan Peace Team has a friend who lives in Gaza: Sameh Habeeb is a journalist and peace activist.  He has been sending daily reports of what he is experiencing in Gaza.  Below is today's report.  IF THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT TO YOU, PLEASE READ HIS DAILY REPORTS AT: http://www.gazatoday.blogspot.com/ and let others know about his report.  Thank you!  - Mary Hanna/Michigan Peace Team
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Day 10 of Israeli War On Gaza
Random shelling and Compulsory Migration For Thousands in Gaza Strip
By: Sameh A. Habeeb

Breaking News: Hundreds of shells target houses in east of Gaza City now. 10 people killed. No new coming up yet. The conditions getting tougher in that area.

Breaking News: Bombings in Al Burij Refugee Camp; news coming up of many victims and casualties.

Breaking News: A Massacre: Samuni family says: Israeli soldiers gather 30 persons from Al Samoni family in one house. Ten families were in the house from the same clan. Many civilians were killed as artillery shells bombed the house. The number of victims around 14, most of them are children and women. Some are in critical conditions!

Breaking News: Three children and their mother killed during a shell hit their house in Al shija'ya area east of Gaza. The victims were in their house during the shelling. Their bodies were torn to pieces.

Breaking News:Bloody clashes between Palestinian factions and Israeli organized army east of Gaza City. Israeli army is firing back using Apachi and heavy artillery shells. Many people wounded and no upcoming news if militants are being targeted.

Breaking News: Israeli soldiers get closer to the populated areas in northern Gaza and Gaza City.

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Laila M. El-Haddad
Journalist
Gaza:  + 970 599 483 805
US:     + 1 617 216 3209

www.a-mother-from-gaza.blogspot.com

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