Author Archive

Celebrities For Palestine use the universal language of music for a just cause – Hamed Zamani

September 23, 2014 1 comment

by Marivel Guzman

Hamed Zamani #CelebritiesForPalestine from Iran

Hamed Zamani’s live performance in Isfahan to mark the International Quds Day (July 25, 2014)

Hamed Zamani’s live performance in Isfahan to mark the International Quds Day (July 25, 2014)

Hamed Zamani attended as a guest in the penning ceremony of “Children of Gaza Are Children of Iran Show” for supporting the oppressed children of Gaza, which was held on August 4, 2014.

There is no news that Iran is a country that supports Palestinian without having to hide their support. We could not expect less of their celebrities that can openly speak out their mind regarding Palestine.

Celebrities in other parts of the world are not bound to the yoke of Hollywood, which it is a town run by Jews, correctly asserted by Mel Gibson and Gary Oldman, which remarks had got them into the hot sit in the American media, controlled by Jews, mostly.
There is no crime to say it, but the crime is when celebrities are single out for speaking against Israel’s crimes   committed against the innocent population of Gaza. Celebrities in US live their artistic live with a invisible single cord around their necks, for some inexplicable reason you see photos of celebrities praying in the Kotel wall in the occupied side of Palestine, Jews or not. It is as, if they have to “show their support” for Israel photographing themselves by the whaling wall, also it is almost obligatory for celebrities to take photos with the Israeli Prime Minister in turn. Not Iranian celebrities’ case! It is your talent that buys your fan’s heart not your support for Israel.

“Zamani a 25-year-old Iranian singer who has emerged in Iran’s music arena in the past two years. Zamani -who belongs to the new generation of Iranian pop singers-has been able to attract a wide audience especially among the youth.” PRESS TV, published an article on its online version last February.

Most of Zamani’s songs are based on national and religious themes, defending the values of Iran’s Islamic Revolution., said PRESS TV

Last August 4, where the first Iran TV “Children of Gaza Are Children of Iran”  show was broadcasted,  Zamani was a guess to the show, here is what one his fans has to say:

This was so touching!! I hope inshallah the people of Gaza, especially the children, are able to see this and know we love them and that they to us “the children of iran”! Also, when I say that Br. Zamani is as rare as gem, This is proof. Him and I are the same age, and yet he speaks and thinks so much wiser mashallah! The hadith from the Holy Prophet (swaw) is so powerful and needs to be read and acted. I agree with him that we can help in our ways! as he is doing with his beautiful music and awareness. I am moved by this interview and the singing live was wow! I cried, only because the truth hurts me so much. Inshallah one day soon there will be peace for the innocent. As Always, Thank you to Br. Zamani for doing what he does best, and to his english based website. Mashallah to you all! May Allah always be with you. Amaneh

The TV show “Children of Gaza Are Children of Iran” — produced for supporting the oppressed children of Gaza — broadcasted its first episode on August 4, 2014 simultaneously on different IRIB TV channels. Hamed Zamani appears as a guest on the first show

The TV show “Children of Gaza Are Children of Iran” — produced for supporting the oppressed children of Gaza — broadcasted its first episode on August 4, 2014 simultaneously on different IRIB TV channels.
Hamed Zamani appeared as a guest on the first show


I’m the voice of voiceless; this is what Hamed Zamani told in describing his role in the music area. In his opinion, part of the people and their beliefs and ideals – which are Hamed Zamani’s beliefs and ideals indeed – have been ignored in most of musical works, while this group of people form a big part of society that were deprived from having an artist who addresses their values and intellectual concerns explicitly and with no preciosity or concealment. Hence, Hamed Zamani has always tried to express the concerns of this type of music audience in the form of art, through making songs with sublime themes about Islam and Infallible Imams (A.S), Islamic revolution, Holy Defense, martyrs and war veterans, struggling with the Global Arrogance and International Zionism, resistance against pressures and sanctions imposed by enemies, martyrs of nuclear technology, and many other similar notions which have been less considered or completely ignored in other artists’ works. (From his official Website)

Celebrities For Palestine use the universal language of music for a just cause – Mick Blake

September 20, 2014 2 comments

by Marivel Guzman

Mick Blake #CelebritiesForPalestine from Ireland

Mick Blake band
Mick Blake social protest music singer and composer supports Palestine, as musician do with their music, his heartfelt song “Another Child Another War” written for Gaza children, innocent victims of Israel ‘war’ of aggression.
Show your support for #CelebritiesForPalestine that raise their voices and use their celebrity status to raise their voice for Palestine.

Mick Blakes writes on his youtube video Another Child Another World “My humble contribution to raising awareness of the plight of the surviving children of Gaza.

The idea for this song came to me on the beach at Rosses Point, Sligo, a few weeks ago, Blake said, at the moment that Photographer Brian Farrell,  had the wonderful idea of photographing 400 children dressed in red to show the extent of the young casualties in the conflict.

The rest fell into place when I read a transcript (translated from Hebrew) of an interview from an Israeli radio station.” he said.
Alternative singers and composer now days have the ability to brake out of the stream entertainment culture with more control over their careers than traditional singers that were exposed to the control of the record industry, now the the social media tools in place, authors, singers, and other artists have the ability to survive in the entertainment industry without compromise their integrity as a human beings.

Like Mick Blake that sings for the survivors children of Gaza, other singers have come out in their support for Palestine without fearing the repercussions of the Jews Lobby that it is entrenched in the music industry around the world, lobby that in the past was like yoke on the neck for new musicians, still in US Hollywood is controlled by the Jews Lobby, and any artist that comes out in their support of Palestine is blacklisted, we seen it recently with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem that faced Hollywood fury over their letter against Israel Genocide in Gaza.

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem face ‘fury’ of Hollywood following ‘genocide’ letter condemning Israel” wrote the independent in their August 10 online publication, heading like these denouncing the actors that broke out of the mold of “Israel support no matter what’ inundated the stream media headlines for days but thanks to their fans supports base that Penelope, Bardem and hundreds of others artist are coming out of the shell without fear
Social Media is showing again to the controllers of lives that the people with their power, controls the success of the artist and not the old- school-grip of dirty tactics which are used to menace to destroy careers for speaking their minds.

The importance of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions in the current Palestinian-Israel conflict will be the tipping point in the history of Palestine occupation. Conflict as the media wants to called it, is none other but an going military occupation and a continuous annexation of Palestinian’s lands.
In recent years more and more #CelebritiesForPalestine are speaking up their disgust, against Israel daily practices of murder than amount to #Genocide, and as some want to call it a #PalestinianHolocaust. Mick Blake, the social songwriter and singer subliminally says it in its recent composition to the survivors children of Gaza, in it is song “Another  Child Another War” comparing a murdered Jew girl name Anne Frank that die in a concentration camp in 1945,  to Eman Ammar, a Palestinian girl killed by an Israel Strike.
The resemblance on the story of their death, and even the resemblance of their faces is striking.
Blake subliminally makes the connection of the crimes of the Nazis to the crimes of the Israelis in the same context of a holocaust.
Welcome to the new era of social media where we the people are the opinion makers.

Gaza and the Loss of Civilization – Brian Eno

September 20, 2014 4 comments

Brian Eno Black and WhiteBrian Peter George Eno, professionally known as Brian Eno or simply Eno, is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer, and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.
The following is a letter sent that Brian Eno sent via email to his friend David Byrne, after reading it he shared with his staff and he decided to published in his website. In an attempt to five more forum and audience to this important letter he published entirely along with a response from Peter Schwartz who is Brian’s friend.

Dear All of You:

I sense I’m breaking an unspoken rule with this letter, but I can’t keep quiet any more.

Today I saw a picture of a weeping Palestinian man holding a plastic carrier bag of meat. It was his son. He’d been shredded (the hospital’s word) by an Israeli missile attack – apparently using their fab new weapon, flechette bombs. You probably know what those are – hundreds of small steel darts packed around explosive which tear the flesh off humans. The boy was Mohammed Khalaf al-Nawasra. He was 4 years old.

I suddenly found myself thinking that it could have been one of my kids in that bag, and that thought upset me more than anything has for a long time.

Then I read that the UN had said that Israel might be guilty of war crimes in Gaza, and they wanted to launch a commission into that. America won’t sign up to it.

What is going on in America? I know from my own experience how slanted your news is, and how little you get to hear about the other side of this story. But – for Christ’s sake! – it’s not that hard to find out. Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY? I just don’t get it. I really hate to think its just the power of AIPAC… for if that’s the case, then your government really is fundamentally corrupt. No, I don’t think that’s the reason… but I have no idea what it could be.

The America I know and like is compassionate, broadminded, creative, eclectic, tolerant and generous. You, my close American friends, symbolise those things for me. But which America is backing this horrible one-sided colonialist war? I can’t work it out: I know you’re not the only people like you, so how come all those voices aren’t heard or registered? How come it isn’t your spirit that most of the world now thinks of when it hears the word ‘America’? How bad does it look when the one country which more than any other grounds its identity in notions of Liberty and Democracy then goes and puts its money exactly where its mouth isn’t and supports a ragingly racist theocracy?

I was in Israel last year with Mary. Her sister works for UNWRA in Jerusalem. Showing us round were a Palestinian – Shadi, who is her sister’s husband and a professional guide – and Oren Jacobovitch, an Israeli Jew, an ex-major from the IDF who left the service under a cloud for refusing to beat up Palestinians. Between the two of them we got to see some harrowing things – Palestinian houses hemmed in by wire mesh and boards to prevent settlers throwing shit and piss and used sanitary towels at the inhabitants; Palestinian kids on their way to school being beaten by Israeli kids with baseball bats to parental applause and laughter; a whole village evicted and living in caves while three settler families moved onto their land; an Israeli settlement on top of a hill diverting its sewage directly down onto Palestinian farmland below; The Wall; the checkpoints… and all the endless daily humiliations. I kept thinking, “Do Americans really condone this? Do they really think this is OK? Or do they just not know about it?”.

As for the Peace Process: Israel wants the Process but not the Peace. While ‘the process’ is going on the settlers continue grabbing land and building their settlements… and then when the Palestinians finally erupt with their pathetic fireworks they get hammered and shredded with state-of-the-art missiles and depleted uranium shells because Israel ‘has a right to defend itself’ ( whereas Palestine clearly doesn’t). And the settler militias are always happy to lend a fist or rip up someone’s olive grove while the army looks the other way. By the way, most of them are not ethnic Israelis – they’re ‘right of return’ Jews from Russia and Ukraine and Moravia and South Africa and Brooklyn who came to Israel recently with the notion that they had an inviolable (God-given!) right to the land, and that ‘Arab’ equates with ‘vermin’ – straightforward old-school racism delivered with the same arrogant, shameless swagger that the good ole boys of Louisiana used to affect. That is the culture our taxes are defending. It’s like sending money to the Klan.

But beyond this, what really troubles me is the bigger picture. Like it or not, in the eyes of most of the world, America represents ‘The West’. So it is The West  that is seen as supporting this war, despite all our high-handed talk about morality and democracy. I fear that all the civilisational achievements of The Enlightenment and Western Culture are being discredited – to the great glee of the mad Mullahs – by this flagrant hypocrisy. The war has no moral justification that I can see  – but it doesn’t even have any pragmatic value either. It doesn’t make Kissingerian ‘Realpolitik’ sense; it just makes us look bad.

I’m sorry to burden you all with this. I know you’re busy and in varying degrees allergic to politics, but this is beyond politics. It’s us squandering the civilisational capital that we’ve built over generations. None of the questions in this letter are rhetorical: I really don’t get it and I wish that I did.


​And now, Peter’s reply:

Dear Brian and friends,

I am writing to respond to your note about Gaza and how America is responding. It deserves a response. My feelings and the actual realities are complex on several levels; the realities of the Arab-Israeli history and conflicts, global politics and modern American history/demographics. All three levels interact to create the current situation. And to understand the US posture you have to consider the history. Let me say, that, as you know I am an immigrant and child of Holocaust survivors. I am culturally Jewish, but with no religious or spiritual inclinations, an atheist. And I believe that creating the Jewish state of Israel was a historic mistake that is likely to destroy the religion behind it. The actions nation states take to assure their survival are usually in contradiction to any moral values that a religion might espouse. And that contradiction is now very evident in Israel’s behavior. Israel will destroy Judaism.

First, the history has two important intersecting threads, Zionism and the end of the Ottoman Empire. Zionism began near the end of the nineteenth century as a response to a millennium of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. An end to the diaspora and a return to the biblical homeland were seen as the only hope of escaping the persistent repression of places like Hungary, the Ukraine, Russia, etc. The British government with its Balfour declaration (1917) and the League of Nations Palestine Mandate (1922) gave impetus to that hope. And of course WWII and the Holocaust sealed the deal. The murder of 6 million Jews was seen as sufficient reason to pursue a Jewish state and the UN granted that wish with the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab States in 1947. The seven Arab states declared war and urged the Palestinians to flee. After defeating the Arab armies Israel made it very hard for them return. Hence we ended up with a large Palestinian refugee population.

Those Arab states themselves were the result of a combination of British/French artistry in drawing the maps of the post Ottoman world as well as the subsequent tribal military campaigns that left the Saudis in charge of the Arabian peninsula (vast oil wealth soon to be found) and the Hashemites driven up into Trans Jordan. Other than the war with Israel, the conflicts and rivalries among the various Arab and Persian factions have shaped Middle Eastern and North African politics ever since then.

Over the subsequent decades following the 1948 war there was a persistent Arab bombing campaign and two more large scale Arab attacks on Israel, 1967 and 1973. Until the mid seventies Israel was seen as having the moral high ground based on the holocaust and Arab behavior. But beginning with the Israeli incursion into Lebanon in the early 80s that moral position began to erode. Israel’s behavior in Lebanon was the first major example of aggressive action and attacks against vulnerable populations. Israel began to develop a more right wing and aggressive political faction of which Netanyahu is the worst current example. The settlements in Arab territory in the West Bank are the direct result of that evolution. (And of course the mass migration of the 1990s mainly from Russia) Suicide bombings and missile attacks were the Arab response. Walling themselves in was yet another ironic Israeli response. Today’s horrors are a continuing extension of those conflicts following a cease-fire of a few years.

Once Israel declared itself a Jewish state in 1948 the Palestinians had only three options; accept a division of the land into two states, accept being second-class citizens in the Israeli state or perpetual conflict because they could not win. The Arab states chose the third option because it is in their interest to maintain unity against their common enemy, Israel.  They could even share a common enemy with the hated Persian Shiites in Iran. So rather than helping the Palestinians develop by investing in education, health care, jobs, infrastructure etc. the Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia help keep them poor but well armed. Palestinian refugees would remain a festering sore in the Middle East to remind the world of Israel’s perfidy. And of course any aid that did come ended up in corrupt pockets not in helping development. The obvious counter example was Jordan, which developed itself, with little help from their Arab brethren and eventually made grudging peace with Israel. The difference in Jordan was good Arab leadership that recognized that Israel was not going way and war forever was not a good development policy.

At the geopolitical level several threads played out. The UN became a place where the Israel and Arab conflicts became a symbolic pawn in the Cold War, especially in the Security Council with the US on the Israeli side and the USSR on the Arab side (with exceptions i.e. the Saudis). That hardened the US position and associated in American minds Israel with our side and the Arabs with the other guys.

Even though I have no support for the Israeli position I find the opposition to Israel questionable in its failure to be similarly outraged by a vast number of other moral horrors in the recent past and currently active. Just to name a few; Cambodia, Tibet, Sudan, Somalia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Argentina, Liberia, Central African Republic, Uganda, North Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Venezuela, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Zimbabwe and especially right now Nigeria. The Arab Spring ,which has become a dark winter for most Arabs and the large scale slaughter now underway along the borders of Iraq and Syria are good examples of what they do to themselves. And our nations, the US, the Brits, the Dutch, the Russians and the French have all played their parts in these other moral outrages.  The gruesome body count and social destruction left behind dwarfs anything that the Israelis have done. The only difference with the Israeli’s is their claim to a moral high ground, which they long ago left behind in the refugee camps of Lebanon. They are now just a nation, like any other, trying to survive in a hostile sea of hate.

We should be clear, that given the opportunity, the Arabs would drive the Jews into the sea and that was true from day one. There was no way back from war once a religious state was declared. So Israel, once committed to a nation state in that location and granted that right by other nations have had no choice but to fight. In my view therefore, neither side has any shred of moral standing left, nor have the nations that supported both sides.

So now let’s at look at why the US behaves as it does with a nearly uncritical support of Israel. You are right to criticize our media in so many ways, but that only makes things worse it does not really explain why. They are simply doing what they think their audiences want to hear. And they are mostly right.

Part of it has to do with post war American evolution and perceptions of Israel and the Arabs. When I was a boy in the fifties, through my teenage years antisemitism was still common in America. If you were Jewish you did not go to work for IBM or GE. You did not join the Navy. You did not go to Harvard, Princeton or Yale. I could not play tennis at my local country club. I regularly heard derisive, anti-Semitic comments from some of my classmates. But by the mid sixties along with the civil rights movement, toleration in general increased and antisemitism declined, almost vanishing. Support of Israel was part of that tolerance and was seen as a noble response to the Holocaust. The Arabs were seen as the oppressors and enemies of the US. That perception was given particular impetus by the oil embargo of 1973 and of course the Iranian revolution, even though it was Persians not Arabs, because Americans don’t see that distinction. (We should never forget that we have a Republican dominated Congress, half of whom do not own a Passport and see ignorance as a virtue.)The Israelis were seen as innovative and benign, people who made the desert bloom. To this was added the growing and ironic support from the US religious right who saw the route to salvation as the Israeli defeat of the Arabs leading to a second coming of Christ. (Of course, we Jews would have to convert to Christianity to survive the second coming.) 9-11 amplified the American antipathy to the Arab world. Seeing the delight throughout the Arab world at the fall of the twin towers did not endear the Arabs to the American people. We can add Saddam, Khaddafi and Osama Bin Laden to the pantheon of iconic American villains. The UN is no longer seen as legitimate and almost always acting against US interests.

So my generation and most of today’s American leadership grew up with the Israeli’s as heroic good guys and Arabs/Persians as greedy bad guys. The younger generation, my son Ben’s age (24) have a much more balanced view. Israel’s behavior in their youth, the last two decades, has destroyed whatever moral standing the Israeli’s had with them. In addition the pro Israeli lobby in America has been very effective in the political arena and their Arab counterparts have been counter productive. So our leaders who group up with noble Israel and evil Arabs and supported by Jewish political contributions are unequivocally pro Israeli while young people are more divided as is at least some of the Jewish community. Eventually demography will win out as a new more skeptical generation comes to power, a generation for whom Israel will not carry the same moral weight as it did for their parents.

I don’t think there is any honor to go around here. Israel has lost its way and commits horrors in the interest of their own survival. And the Arabs and Persians perpetuate a conflict ridden neighborhood with almost no exceptions, fighting against each other and with hate of Israel the only thing that they share.

It is also worth noting that the largest Muslim populations are not Arab and the largest, Indonesia is fairly peaceful. So it is not about religion. The Arabs have been engaged in tribal conflicts for centuries that have been from time to time quelled by Imperial powers like the Ottomans and strong men like Saddam and Ibn Saud. And in those wars they have committed horrors on their own people. Observe the genocidal destruction of Homs by Hafez Assad just to point to a recent example. The Zionists brought another tribe to the war. It is of course a tribe that is also divided, like the Arabs, in to factions, some of which are fanatical and war like and others more moderate. The comments about the racism of the Zionists are fair, but the Arab world does not lack for similar attitudes. One need only see how the vast number of South Asian, Philippine and African near slaves are treated even in the more benign countries like the UAE.

So given that history and current reality and even though I believe the creation of Israel was a historic disaster, I am a member of the tribe, (perhaps its more pacifist, atheist wing) I find objectionable the unique singling out of Israel for condemnation. So if we are prepared to boycott, condemn, shame, etc, the Saudis, the Qataris, the Iranians, the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Russians, the Nigerians, the Taliban, the Venezuelans, the Zimbabweans, the Sudanese, the south Sudanese, the Central African Republicans, and lets not forget the Americans and the British, all of whom are as guilty as Israel, then I will join the demonstration. (Two small things that might help would be if the rich Arab states provided some funding and development assistance for the Palestinians and if the Palestinian government didn’t steal all the aid.)

We find ourselves at a historic impasse. There is no way back. Israel will do whatever it takes to survive. They will not leave. And the Arab identity has become opposition to Israel. It will be centuries, if ever, before they accept the existence of Israel. So both sides will always rightly feel threatened. There will be no other state there but perpetual tribal war with an occasional truce. And in that perpetual state of tribal war there be ample opportunity for horrors on both sides. We can only hope to lower the level of violence, but true peace will remain illusive.

Peter Schwartz

BDS Victory at the Port of Long Beach – Israeli ship Zim Haifa stopped from unloading

BDS Victory at the Port of Long Beach –
Israeli ship Zim Haifa stopped from unloading
The Israeli owned ship Zim Haifa arrived in Southern California early this morning (Saturday, August 23). The ship was scheduled to be unloaded today at Pier A of the Port of Long Beach. Over 250 people from throughout Southern California took part in the Community Picket at the entrance to the Pier called by the Block The Boat – LA Coalition.
We were there to show strong community support for the recent call by the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) asking workers around the world to stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers, particularly those in Gaza who have been targeted so brutally by Israel over the last month, by refusing to handle Israeli goods.
We were asking Dock Workers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to stand in solidarity with their Palestinian sisters and brothers and refuse to unload the Zim Haifa. The picket started at 6:00am and was very colorful and boisterous from the beginning. At around 8:00am port workers began to leave and shortly it became clear that the day shift had been called off, meaning that the Zim Haifa would not be unloaded today.
Our actions today have sent a clear message that the people of Los Angeles and the surrounding counties will not stand for companies that profit from apartheid, colonialism and occupation to do business here!
The Block the Boat – LA would like to thank first and foremost the Palestinian people whose resiliency and strength through more than 60 years of brutal Israeli apartheid and occupation inspired us to take action today.
Thanks also to the members of Local 13 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, our West coast allies from Block the Boat – Oakland and Block the Boat – Tacoma and of course, we want to thank the hundreds of community members who stood strong and sent a clear message to Zim shipping and Israel that they are not welcome in Los Angeles!
As South African apartheid fell, Zionism and Israeli apartheid will fall.
Block the Boat – LA Coalition
Coalition Members:
BDS-LA for Justice in Palestine
American Muslims for Palestine
US Palestinian Community Network
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network – Labor
Global Women’s Strike
Jewish Voice for Peace – Los Angeles
Al-Awda (The Palestine Right to Return Coalition)
This statement was circulated by so I presume it will soon be on their website
Please note, this is a massive BDS win as Long Beach is the largest port in the United States.

Categories: News

Spend 30 minutes on the ground of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza

Denny Cormier reporting from Al Shifa, Gaza:
This little girl said to me that she was going to buy some grocery when ...suddenly a Zionist missile hit the market and wounded her .Her parents tell her that she will be okay

This little girl said to me that she was going to buy some grocery when
…suddenly a Zionist missile hit the market and wounded her
.Her parents tell her that she will be okay

Spend 30 minutes on the grounds of Al Shifa Hospital, and I believe that you will have a life changing experience.

This is no ordinary place.

One Norwegian doctor recommends that Obama spend the night here. – that it might change the course of western history. Frankly, I think that he should – and it could..

My soul has become accustomed to a view of the world that just four weeks ago was foreign, but I still began to weep as I walked the grounds of Al Shifa just now. I could not help myself.

Certainly there are similar places throughout our world, and many are much, much worse – but Gaza is a place of epiphanies for me – Al Shifa is a place of awakening.

But today was a challenge.

It was challenging to witness three burial parties within five minutes carrying the dead to the nearby mosque.

Challenging to see two ambulances arrive with passengers whose faces were shrouded.

Challenging to see a dozen children and their mother crowded inside of a makeshift structure that was smaller than my bath in Santa Fe.

Challenging to see hundreds and hundreds of refugees stuffed into every corner – in parks, under staircases – lean-twos against every wall – foam mattresses with people sleeping everywhere – trucks and cars crammed with families,

Challenging to see children whose heads or limbs are wrapped in bandages – a young man in total shock with arms in casts – supported by his friends.

And among them walked men carrying the dead – Allahu Akbar – Allahu Akbar

Allahu Akbar

This is a place of life and death, my friends, laughter mingling with intense grief.

Six boys carrying bags of bread and skipping along – six men carrying a body whose soul has been transported to Jannah.

Allahu Akbar

A screaming tribe of children using a broken wheelchair for roller coaster rides down the short hill beside the hospital.

An old woman sitting expressionless.

A young boy alone and broken in the ICU – his entire family murdered.

In spite of all, Al Shifa is a particularly peaceful place today as people sit and wait…. perhaps there is a level of peace that is reached when you have only the belongings that you could carry as you ran from attacks on your home – on your street – on your city. The makeshift structures were filled with people and little else. This is a city of people and not of things.

This is a city for the living

Allahu Akbar

and a city for the dead.

Allahu Akbar

Categories: Uncategorized

Urgent Appeal: Palestinian Legislative Council Member Khalida Jarrar Expelled to Jericho

August 22, 2014 1 comment


Occupied Ramallah, 20 August 2014 –  The Israeli Military Governor in the West Bank has signed a military order expelling Palestinian Legislative Council Member and Addameer board member Khalida Jarrar to Jericho for a period of six months, with immediate effect.




At 1.30 A.M on 20 August 2014 approximately 50 Israeli occupying soldiers surrounded Jarrar’s home in Ramallah. An Israeli captain then proceeded to hand Jarrar an order which states that Jarrar must not leave the district of Jericho for the next six months and can only leave with the express permission of the Israeli military commander in the West Bank. Accompanying the order was a map outlining the boundaries of Jericho district. The order states, based on secret information, that Jarrar is a threat to the security of the area. She was given 24 hours to leave Ramallah. Jarrar refused to sign the order.




Jarrar was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in January 2006 and has continued to serve as an elected representative ever since. She is also the Palestinian representative on the Council of Europe and is head of the Prisoners Committee of the PLC.




Jarrar has been a prominent human rights activist for many years. She previously served as the director of Addameer from 1993 to 2005 and remains a board member. She has also previously worked with UNRWA and has been active working with Palestinian women.




Since 1998 Jarrar has been banned from travelling outside of the occupied Palestinian territory, expect for one occasion in 2010 when she travelled to Jordan for medical treatment. Jarrar is married with two children. She has a received her B.A and Masters in human right and democracy from Bir Zeit university.




The order is based on Israeli Military Order 1651 Article 297 (2009) and is based on the accusation that Jarrar is “dangerous to the general security of the area.” As is standard with Military Orders and the decisions of Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, GOC Central Command, the order does not explain or clarify the danger that Jarrar poses.




Jarrar lives in Ramallah, which according to the Oslo Agreements between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the occupation, is considered “Area A” and under complete Palestinian control. By allowing Israeli occupying forces to enter Ramallah means that in effect the so-called ‘security co-ordination’ between Palestinian Authority security forces and Israeli occupying forces allowed for the expulsion of an elected representative of the Palestinian people, an elected representative who has continuously called for an end to such ‘coordination’.




The order to expel Jarrar to Jericho violates Article (42) of Geneva Convention IV which is applied to the occupied Palestinian territory, and states “The internment or placing in assigned residence of protected persons may be ordered only if the security of the Detaining Power makes it absolutely necessary.”[1]




The decision of the Maj. General also violates Article (49), which prohibits forced collective or individual transfer of protected persons, or banning from them from the occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power, under any circumstance.




This is not the first instance the Occupation has forcibly transferred Palestinian Legislative Council members who have been democratically elected. In 2010, three PLC members, Mohammad Abu Teer, Ahmad ‘Atoun and Mohammad Totah, as well as Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Khalid Abu Arafeh were deported from their homes in Jerusalem to Ramallah. Shortly after, all four were arrested by the Occupation and placed under administrative detention, which is detention without charge or trial.






Take Action




Here is how you can help Khalida Jarrar:


*Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand the military order expelling her to Jericho is revoked immediately.




· Brigadier General Danny Efroni
Military Judge Advocate General
6 David Elazar Street
Harkiya, Tel Aviv
Fax: +972 3 608 0366+972 3 569 4526




· Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon
OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
Fax: +972 2 530 5741




· Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon
Ministry of Defense
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757




· Col. Doron Ben Barak
Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria PO Box 5
Beth El 90631
Fax: +972 2 9977326






 *Write to your own elected representatives urging them to pressure Israel to revoke the military order.



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An open letter to the people of Gaza

An open letter for the people in Gaza

This letter is published under the Freedom of Information Act: “Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.”

Paola Manduca aEmail AddressIain Chalmers bDerek Summerfield cMads Gilbert dSwee Ang eon behalf of 24 signatories

We are doctors and scientists, who spend our lives developing means to care and protect health and lives. We are also informed people; we teach the ethics of our professions, together with the knowledge and practice of it. We all have worked in and known the situation of Gaza for years.

On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel.

We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called “defensive aggression”. In reality it is a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity. We wish to report the facts as we see them and their implications on the lives of the people.

We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists. This is the third large scale military assault on Gaza since 2008. Each time the death toll is borne mainly by innocent people in Gaza, especially women and children under the unacceptable pretext of Israel eradicating political parties and resistance to the occupation and siege they impose.

This action also terrifies those who are not directly hit, and wounds the soul, mind, and resilience of the young generation. Our condemnation and disgust are further compounded by the denial and prohibition for Gaza to receive external help and supplies to alleviate the dire circumstances.

The blockade on Gaza has tightened further since last year and this has worsened the toll on Gaza’s population. In Gaza, people suffer from hunger, thirst, pollution, shortage of medicines, electricity, and any means to get an income, not only by being bombed and shelled. Power crisis, gasoline shortage, water and food scarcity, sewage outflow and ever decreasing resources are disasters caused directly and indirectly by the siege.1

People in Gaza are resisting this aggression because they want a better and normal life and, even while crying in sorrow, pain, and terror, they reject a temporary truce that does not provide a real chance for a better future. A voice under the attacks in Gaza is that of Um Al Ramlawi who speaks for all in Gaza: “They are killing us all anyway—either a slow death by the siege, or a fast one by military attacks. We have nothing left to lose—we must fight for our rights, or die trying.”2

Gaza has been blockaded by sea and land since 2006. Any individual of Gaza, including fishermen venturing beyond 3 nautical miles of the coast of Gaza, face being shot by the Israeli Navy. No one from Gaza can leave from the only two checkpoints, Erez or Rafah, without special permission from the Israelis and the Egyptians, which is hard to come by for many, if not impossible. People in Gaza are unable to go abroad to study, work, visit families, or do business. Wounded and sick people cannot leave easily to get specialized treatment outside Gaza. Entries of food and medicines into Gaza have been restricted and many essential items for survival are prohibited.3 Before the present assault, medical stock items in Gaza were already at an all time low because of the blockade.3 They have run out now. Likewise, Gaza is unable to export its produce. Agriculture has been severely impaired by the imposition of a buffer zone, and agricultural products cannot be exported due to the blockade. 80% of Gaza’s population is dependent on food rations from the UN.

Much of Gaza’s buildings and infrastructure had been destroyed during Operation Cast Lead, 2008—09, and building materials have been blockaded so that schools, homes, and institutions cannot be properly rebuilt. Factories destroyed by bombardment have rarely been rebuilt adding unemployment to destitution.

Despite the difficult conditions, the people of Gaza and their political leaders have recently moved to resolve their conflicts “without arms and harm” through the process of reconciliation between factions, their leadership renouncing titles and positions, so that a unity government can be formed abolishing the divisive factional politics operating since 2007. This reconciliation, although accepted by many in the international community, was rejected by Israel. The present Israeli attacks stop this chance of political unity between Gaza and the West Bank and single out a part of the Palestinian society by destroying the lives of people of Gaza. Under the pretext of eliminating terrorism, Israel is trying to destroy the growing Palestinian unity. Among other lies, it is stated that civilians in Gaza are hostages of Hamas whereas the truth is that the Gaza Strip is sealed by the Israelis and Egyptians.

Gaza has been bombed continuously for the past 14 days followed now by invasion on land by tanks and thousands of Israeli troops. More than 60 000 civilians from Northern Gaza were ordered to leave their homes. These internally displaced people have nowhere to go since Central and Southern Gaza are also subjected to heavy artillery bombardment. The whole of Gaza is under attack. The only shelters in Gaza are the schools of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), uncertain shelters already targeted during Cast Lead, killing many.

According to Gaza Ministry of Health and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),1 as of July 21, 149 of the 558 killed in Gaza and 1100 of the 3504 wounded are children. Those buried under the rubble are not counted yet. As we write, the BBC reports of the bombing of another hospital, hitting the intensive care unit and operating theatres, with deaths of patients and staff. There are now fears for the main hospital Al-Shifa. Moreover, most people are psychologically traumatized in Gaza. Anyone older than 6 years has already lived through their third military assault by Israel.

The massacre in Gaza spares no one, and includes the disabled and sick in hospitals, children playing on the beach or on the roof top, with a large majority of non-combatants. Hospitals, clinics, ambulances, mosques, schools, and press buildings have all been attacked, with thousands of private homes bombed, clearly directing fire to target whole families killing them within their homes, depriving families of their homes by chasing them out a few minutes before destruction. An entire area was destroyed on July 20, leaving thousands of displaced people homeless, beside wounding hundreds and killing at least 70—this is way beyond the purpose of finding tunnels. None of these are military objectives. These attacks aim to terrorize, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future, as well as also demolishing their homes and prohibiting the means to rebuild.

Weaponry known to cause long-term damages on health of the whole population are used; particularly non fragmentation weaponry and hard-head bombs.45 We witnessed targeted weaponry used indiscriminately and on children and we constantly see that so-called intelligent weapons fail to be precise, unless they are deliberately used to destroy innocent lives.

We denounce the myth propagated by Israel that the aggression is done caring about saving civilian lives and children’s well-being.

Israel’s behavior has insulted our humanity, intelligence, and dignity as well as our professional ethics and efforts. Even those of us who want to go and help are unable to reach Gaza due to the blockade.

This “defensive aggression” of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity must be stopped.

Additionally, should the use of gas be further confirmed, this is unequivocally a war crime for which, before anything else, high sanctions will have to be taken immediately on Israel with cessation of any trade and collaborative agreements with Europe.

As we write, other massacres and threats to the medical personnel in emergency services and denial of entry for international humanitarian convoys are reported.6 We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues. We urge readers not to be silent too. Gaza trapped under siege, is being killed by one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated modern military machines. The land is poisoned by weapon debris, with consequences for future generations. If those of us capable of speaking up fail to do so and take a stand against this war crime, we are also complicit in the destruction of the lives and homes of 1·8 million people in Gaza.

We register with dismay that only 5% of our Israeli academic colleagues signed an appeal to their government to stop the military operation against Gaza. We are tempted to conclude that with the exception of this 5%, the rest of the Israeli academics are complicit in the massacre and destruction of Gaza. We also see the complicity of our countries in Europe and North America in this massacre and the impotence once again of the international institutions and organizations to stop this massacre.

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Full-size image (24K) Associated Press
We declare no competing interests.

Supplementary Material

Supplementary appendix
Open file
PDF (63K)


1 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)Occupied Palestinian Territory: Gaza emergency situation report (as of 21 July 2014, 1500 hrs) July 22, 2014).
3 Gilbert MBrief report to UNRWA: The Gaza Health Sector as of June 2014. July 22, 2014).
4 Naim AAl Dalies HEl Balawi M, et alBirth defects in Gaza: prevalence, types, familiarity and correlation with environmental factorsInt J Environ Res Public Health 201291732-1747PubMed
5 Manduca PNaim ASignoriello SSpecific association of teratogen and toxicant metals in hair of newborns with congenital birth defects or developmentally premature birth in a cohort of couples with documented parental exposure to military attacks: observational study at Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza, PalestineInt J Environ Res Public Health 2014115208-5223PubMed
6 Ma’an News Agency4 killed, over 50 injured as Israel targets al-Aqsa hospital. July 22, 2014).
a New Weapons Research Group and University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
b James Lind Library, Oxford, UK
c Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, UK
d Clinic of Emergency Medicine, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromso, Norway
e Barts and the Royal London Hospital, London, UK

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