By Tom Morgan, Press Association
Friday, 30 January 2009
An emergency relief appeal for the crisis in Gaza raised $3M in its first week – despite anger over broadcasters’ refusal to show it.
Protests gathered pace against Sky and the BBC’s ban on screening the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) broadcast earlier this week.
But DEC said today that, thanks to funding since the appeal was launched, aid reached almost 800,000 people with vital supplies of blankets, food, water, sanitation and medical equipment in the conflict-stricken region.
Brendan Gormley, chief executive of the committee, said: “We are delighted that the public have responded in this way to the appeal.
“The money raised is enabling aid agencies on the ground to reach people in dire need of humanitarian assistance.”
The BBC and Sky refused to show the emergency appeal, arguing that to do so would compromise their impartiality.
However, DEC warned today the situation remained critical, claiming a million people were without access to a safe and adequate water supply.
Lifeline for Gaza aid convoy leaving on Saturday 14 February 2009
Send a Valentine to Palestine
A message from George Galloway
More than 1,300 dead ? more than 400 of them children ? and still they are dragging bodies from the ruins.
The death toll in Gaza is rising, while the world?s leaders and media look away in search of a new story.
We will not look away. The Palestinians in Gaza need our help now, just as they did when Israel?s bombs and illegal weapons were dropping.
Thousands of people have contacted me to say that they have marched, cried at the television pictures and feel helpless in the face of the suffering.
Bethlehem / PNN
Allegations of war crimes are being readied for international courts, including from a group of lawyers in Brussels and the United Nations that has just named five nominees to head its investigation committee.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has been called for immediate arrest, as were the outgoing Prime Minister and Defense Minister.
Amnesty International?s field delegation said that the Israeli use of white phosphorus bombs in Gaza City alone constitutes a war crime.
From the first week of more than three of attacks the Israeli military and administration began to provide cover for itself.
Now with the end of the major attacks, the Israeli military is taking additional steps. The Israeli press reported this morning that they are working to ?protect the military officers who were involved in the recent war on Gaza for fear of litigation against them abroad.?
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- By Malcolm Fraser – January 16, 2009
Talking to Hamas is the only way to achieve a lasting peace.
NEITHER Israel nor Hamas has paid attention to the United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire.
Israel claims it is fighting for and on behalf of the free world, that the destruction of Hamas will enable Fatah to reassert its dominance over the Palestinian territories so that peace negotiations can resume.
Israel’s public announcements claim that it is acting on a basis of principle that benefits all of us.
The Gaza offensive has succeeded in punishing the Palestinians but not in making Israel more secure.
By John J. Mearsheimer
Israelis and their American supporters claim that Israel learned its lessons well from the disastrous 2006 Lebanon war and has devised a winning strategy for the present war against Hamas. Of course, when a ceasefire comes, Israel will declare victory. Don?t believe it. Israel has foolishly started another war it cannot win.
The campaign in Gaza is said to have two objectives: 1) to put an end to the rockets and mortars that Palestinians have been firing into southern Israel since it withdrew from Gaza in August 2005; 2) to restore Israel?s deterrent, which was said to be diminished by the Lebanon fiasco, by Israel?s withdrawal from Gaza, and by its inability to halt Iran?s nuclear program.
But these are not the real goals of Operation Cast Lead. The actual purpose is connected to Israel?s long-term vision of how it intends to live with millions of Palestinians in its midst. It is part of a broader strategic goal: the creation of a ?Greater Israel.? Specifically, Israel?s leaders remain determined to control all of what used to be known as Mandate Palestine, which includes Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinians would have limited autonomy in a handful of disconnected and economically crippled enclaves, one of which is Gaza. Israel would control the borders around them, movement between them, the air above and the water below them.
The key to achieving this is to inflict massive pain on the Palestinians so that they come to accept the fact that they are a defeated people and that Israel will be largely responsible for controlling their future. This strategy, which was first articulated by Ze?ev Jabotinsky in the 1920s and has heavily influenced Israeli policy since 1948, is commonly referred to as the ?Iron Wall.?
What has been happening in Gaza is fully consistent with this strategy.
Let?s begin with Israel?s decision to withdraw from Gaza in 2005. The conventional wisdom is that Israel was serious about making peace with the Palestinians and that its leaders hoped the exit from Gaza would be a major step toward creating a viable Palestinian state. According to the New York Times? Thomas L. Friedman, Israel was giving the Palestinians an opportunity to ?build a decent mini-state there?a Dubai on the Mediterranean,? and if they did so, it would ?fundamentally reshape the Israeli debate about whether the Palestinians can be handed most of the West Bank.?
This is pure fiction. Even before Hamas came to power, the Israelis intended to create an open-air prison for the Palestinians in Gaza and inflict great pain on them until they complied with Israel?s wishes. Dov Weisglass, Ariel Sharon?s closest adviser at the time, candidly stated that the disengagement from Gaza was aimed at halting the peace process, not encouraging it. He described the disengagement as ?formaldehyde that?s necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.? Moreover, he emphasized that the withdrawal ?places the Palestinians under tremendous pressure. It forces them into a corner where they hate to be.?