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May 20, 2010

“You Need a Proper Boat … “


We’ve all caught the fever, every one of us who works to send boats to Gaza. From August 2006, when a handful of us started the Free Gaza Movement, every one who has joined us has been stricken with a bad case of the disease. It is chronic. It sometimes causes afflicted patients to insist that if just one more voyage can be planned to this small slice of the Mediterranean, we’ll all be in remission. There is no real cure in sight… yet.

Gaza Fever has now attacked thousands of us who have a passionate sense of justice.

The disease began shortly after Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006, as a group of us were in despair that the Palestinians, once again, were the forgotten symptom of Israel’s grand designs. As the world watched the defeat of Israel by a small band of guerrilla fighters in Lebanon, Israel decided it would take its wrath out on the Palestinians, specifically the Palestinians of Gaza. We watched as Israel, in January 2009, deliberately bombed 1.5 million Palestinians into abject poverty, a man-made catastrophe bordering on genocide.

One man in Australia suggested we sail a boat from New York to Gaza in protest of the closures there. That small idea has grown into a flotilla that leaves at the end of May with 700 people on board nine ships.

read on

Palfest: Palestine Festival of Literature

Online Espionage : The beautiful Facebook girlfriend of the Elite Soldier

SABBAH REPORT NOTE: (This is a Der Spiegel story in German, picked up from an Israeli Internet portal…. The google translation is all over the place but I have a German speaking friend who has provided me with a more coherent translation of the opening paragraphs:)

by Sarah Stricker, Tel Aviv

An enchanting young woman befriends Israeli military men on Facebook – and elicits secrets from them. According to a press report, 20 elite soldiers fell into the trap. The Lebanese Shiite militia is presumably behind it.

Hizbolla is supposed to have infiltrated the elite unit with a faked Facebook profile. With the photo of a pretty young woman who logged in with an Israeli name, the Shiite military is supposed to have built up contact to elite soldiers and elicited secret information, this was reported by the Israeli News portal

The facebook page of Reut Zuckerman, who is lying on a sofa beaming into the camera in her profile photo went online about a year ago. The people behind the site made contact with numerous Israeli army soldiers. MySay reports that about 200 soldiers and reservists were on Zuckerman’s friends list.

Zuckerman concentrated particularly on an elite unite of paratroopers. Apparently many of the men suspected that the woman was herself an Israeli soldier in a special unit. The people behind the site worked slowly to gain the confidence of the soldiers and are reported to have gained key information regarding the activities of the unit in question.

The men in the unit gave their Facebook friend names of members of the unit, jargon, secret codes, and detailed descriptions of bases . Some of the soldiers began to be suspicious only after about a year when they realized how many soldiers in the elite unit were named as her friends. The army began investigating in January….,1518,694582,00.html

Good one, Hezbollah!


Elvis Costello cancels Israel Tour

It Is After Considerable Contemplation….

It is after considerable contemplation that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances scheduled in Israel on the 30th of June and the 1st of July.

One lives in hope that music is more than mere noise, filling up idle time, whether intending to elate or lament.

Then there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.

I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.

I am also keenly aware of the sensitivity of these themes in the wake of so many despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.

Some will regard all of this an unknowable without personal experience but if these subjects are actually too grave and complex to be addressed in a concert, then it is also quite impossible to simply look the other way.

I offer my sincere apologies for any disappointment to the advance ticket holders as well as to the organizers.

My thanks also go to the members of the Israeli media with whom I had most rewarding and illuminating conversations. They may regard these exchanges as a waste of their time but they were of great value and help to me in gaining an appreciation of the cultural scene.

I hope it is possible to understand that I am not taking this decision lightly or so I may stand beneath any banner, nor is it one in which I imagine myself to possess any unique or eternal truth.

It is a matter of instinct and conscience.

It has been necessary to dial out the falsehoods of propaganda, the double game and hysterical language of politics, the vanity and self-righteousness of public communiqués from cranks in order to eventually sift through my own conflicted thoughts.

I have come to the following conclusions.

One must at least consider any rational argument that comes before the appeal of more desperate means.

Sometimes a silence in music is better than adding to the static and so an end to it.

I cannot imagine receiving another invitation to perform in Israel, which is a matter of regret but I can imagine a better time when I would not be writing this.

With the hope for peace and understanding. Elvis Costello


Popular resistance to Israel’s apartheid is growing globally! In Palestine, non-violent resistance to land confiscation and settlement expansion is gathering momentum.

Weekly non-violent demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza have tripled since January, and continue to increase in size and number. The tents are standing strong in Jerusalem’s threatened communities of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, and resistance to settler attacks and land grabs in the Jordan Valley is also building.

The International Solidarity Movement is committed to supporting these communities in their struggle for justice and freedom. We stand alongside Palestinians in demonstrations, stay in the tents and homes of threatened areas, and walk with farmers to their land. By documenting and helping to resist the evils of apartheid, ISM projects the Palestinian struggle to a global audience, and shows Israel that the world is against its actions.

Come and join the Global Intifada in Palestine! Committed volunteers are needed in the West Bank this summer. This new wave of unarmed resistance is exciting and powerful, and it needs your support. Whether for 2 weeks or for 3 months, your contribution is needed. See for more information, or email us at

From abroad: Under the banner of “Global Intifada”, solidarity actions are needed worldwide. Please consider organizing an action in your hometown.

The growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is crucial, and is a great way for you to get involved in your own country. Similar tactics were used in ending South African apartheid. For more information, go to

Please join the Global Intifada. We look forward to seeing you here.

ISM Palestine



WEBSITE: http://palsolidarity.orgYOUTUBE:

PA boycott campaign gains momentum

Boycott taken a step further in West Bank's Salfit village (Photo: AP)

Palestinian governors urge citizens to cooperate with settlement product ban; activists distribute pamphlets listing banned items. ‘We can manage this economic system,’ says Palestinian-appointed Jerusalem governor


Hundreds of activists took to the streets of the West Bank on Tuesday and distributed brochures calling on the Palestinians to boycott settlement products.

The Palestinian Authority held a press conferences, briefings and ceremonies in which the local governors urged the public to cooperate with “you and your conscience” campaign – that is meant to reach every single household.

Closed Market

Yesha Council responds to new Palestinian campaign distributing list of banned Israeli companies, calls for ‘immediate response’. Prime Minister Netanyahu urged to refuse to take part in proximity talks

* See previous post for full list of banned products

Bethlehem Governor Abdul Fattah Hamayel said the campaign was a breakthrough in the Palestinian struggle, as part of “the open war against the occupation.

“Our goal is to cut off the settlements that harm us and steal our resources on a daily basis,” he said.

Nablus governor Jibreen al-Bakri said the boycott has led to the closure of 17 factories in the settlements thus far, and called on the Palestinian public – and especially the merchants – to honor the new law.

Palestinian activists were hopeful the campaign would lead to mass mobilization of the public, and help weaken the settlements, which will contribute to the success of negotiations. Most Palestinians view the settlements as the major impediment to a political arrangement with Israel.

The boycott campaign also reached the capital, and Palestinian-appointed governor of Jerusalem Adnan al-Husseini said it was important because it emphasizes the exploitation that the Palestinians are subjected to.

Speaking at a press conference in north-east of Jerusalem, al-Husseini said, “I call all the citizens worldwide to boycott the settlement products deemed illegal by the world. We can manage this economic system,” he said.

The press conference was also attended by the mufti of the Palestinian Authority and senior Palestinian officials in the Jerusalem area.

Full list of settlement produce


Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to Bush’s war on Iraq, will join the 8-ship Free Gaza boat flotilla ( that will break the Israeli government naval siege/blockade of Gaza and bring reconstruction materials and humanitarian assistance items to the Palestinians of Gaza.

The Blockade of Gaza is three years old and is suffocating the Palestinians of Gaza. After the 22 day Israeli attack on Gaza in December, 2009 through January, 2010 that killed 1440, wounded 5,000, left 50,000 homeless and destroyed most of the civilian infrastructure-water, sewage and electrical systems. No reconstruction materials have been allowed into Gaza by the Israeli or Egyptian governments.

Colonel Wright travelled three times into Gaza in 2009 and was an organizer for the Gaza Freedom March ( that brought 1350 persons from 44 countries to Cairo, Egypt to go into Gaza, but Egyptian authorities refused to allow the majority of the group to go into Gaza.

Colonel Wright said “the Israeli siege of Gaza is illegal and a violation of international law. We demand that the Israeli, Egyptian, United States and European governments end this siege. If the governments will not stop the siege, it is up to the citizens of the world to break it—and that is what we will do!”

Ms. Wright will depart the United States for Athens, Greece on May 19, 2010.

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