By Naomi Klein
When I heard the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was holding a celebratory “spotlight” on Tel Aviv, I felt ashamed of Toronto, the city where I live. I thought immediately of Mona Al Shawa, a Palestinian women’s rights activist I met on a recent trip to Gaza. “We had more hope during the attacks,” she told me. “At least then we believed things would change.”
Al Shawa explained that while Israeli bombs rained down last December and January, Gazans were glued to their TVs. What they saw, in addition to the carnage, was a world rising up in outrage: global protests, as many as 100,000 on the streets of London, a group of Jewish women in Toronto occupying the Israeli Consulate. “People called it war crimes,” Al Shawa recalled. “We felt we were not alone in the world.” If Gazans could just survive, it seemed that their suffering could be the catalyst for change.
Attacks on human rights groups that probe Israel’s Gaza offensive are an insult to reasonable public debate
The despicable attacks on human rights organisations investigating Israel’s Gaza offensive in January confirm Churchill’s observation: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” The mission led by the South African judge Richard Goldstone to investigate international human rights and international humanitarian law violations during Israel’s offensive, established by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), is the latest victim. His findings are about to be made public. The knives have been out for the mission for months. Now they are being plunged into him and his colleagues. Until the report is out Goldstone can’t defend it. So the smears and misrepresentation are left free to pollute public discourse.The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has assiduously responded to a deluge of scurrilous attacks on its credibility and staff, yet totally unfounded allegations ? for example, about accepting Saudi government funding and failing to give a critical report to the Israel Defence Forces before releasing it to the public ? are constantly being recycled.
by Liam Bartlett – 60 Minutes
Trying to understand the Middle East peace process is a bit like attempting to unscramble an egg so we travelled to Israel to get a first-hand look at just how hard it might be to even begin a so-called ‘road map to peace’.
At the very heart of the problem are the Jewish settlers, now occupying large tracts of land that the Palestinians say are really theirs. The settlers are essentially squatting on whatever piece they choose and constructing houses and towns in a defiant gesture of “now that I’m here ? it’s all mine”. Read more
Imagine hundreds of thousands of peaceful international and Palestinian marchers, led by Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, Diana Buttu, Norman Finkelstein, Noami Klein, Arun Gandhi, George Galloway, and other prominent opponents of the siege. Imagine them, approaching the Erez crossing under the eyes of the international media, breaking the siege for once and for all. This is the Gaza Freedom March!
The Gaza Freedom March Campaign plans to take thousands of international marchers to Gaza on Jan. 1, 2010, and challenge once and for all the Israeli blockade at the Erez crossing. Go with them, or support someone else who’s willing to go. Events to raise money to help enable people to go on the March in Gaza are planned throughout the Fall.