Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Israeli Navy Attacks The Dignity on a Mission of Mercy

I have been, and still am, travelling without internet access (except for a brief 1/2 hour today) or I would certainly have been posting news of Gaza during this time. Inshallah, regular postings will resume upon my return.....


For more information, please contact:
(Gaza) Ewa Jasiewicz, +972 598 700 497 / freelance@mailworks.org

(Cyprus) Lubna Masarwa +357 99 081 767 / lubnna@gmail.com

(U.S.) Greta Berlin, +1 310 422 7242 / iristulip@gmail.com

(Larnaca, Cyprus, 10:00 am) On Tuesday, December 30, at 5 a.m., several Israeli gunboats intercepted the Dignity as she was heading on a mission of mercy to Gaza. One gunboat rammed into the boat on the port bow side, heavily damaging her. The reports from the passengers and journalists on board is that she is taking on water and appears to have engine problems. When attacked, the Dignity was clearly in international waters, 90 miles off the coast of Gaza.

The gunboats also fired their machine guns into the water in an attempt to stop the mercy ship from getting to Gaza.

As the boat limps toward Lebanon, passengers have been in contact with the Lebanese government who have said the captain has permission to dock and are willing lend assistance if needed. Cyprus sea rescue has also been in touch, and has offered assistance as well. The Dignity clearly flies the flag of Gibraltar, is piloted by an English captain and has a passenger manifest that includes Representative Cynthia McKinney from the U.S. The attack was filmed by the journalists, and the crew and passengers will report on Israel's crime at sea once they arrive in Lebanon.

On board the boat are doctors traveling to this impoverished slice of the Mediterranean to provide badly-needed relief at the hospitals there. The crew and passengers were also hoping to take wounded out for treatment, since the hospitals are not coping. In addition, the Dignity was carrying 3 tons of medical supplies at the request of the doctors in Gaza.

The three physicans on board who were sailing to Gaza are: Dr. Halpin (UK), an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, medical professor, and ship's captain. He has organized humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza on several occasions with the Dove and Dolphin. He is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics. Dr. Mohamed Issa (Germany), a pediatric surgeon from Germany is traveling to Gaza to volunteer in hospitals and clinics. Dr. Elena Theoharous (Cyprus), MP Dr. Theoharous is a surgeon and a Member of the Cypriot Parliament. She is traveling to Gaza to assess the ongoing conflict, assist with humanitarian relief efforts, and volunteer in hospitals.

Yet Israel thumbs its nose in the face of maritime law by attacking a human rights boat in international waters and has put all of these human rights observers at risk. At no time was the Dignity ever close to Israeli waters. They clearly identified themselves and the Israeli attack was willful and criminal.

The Dignity is still in international waters, 40 miles off Haifa. Everybody on board is safe at the moment as the boat slowly makes its way to safety in Lebanon.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Lessons from Palestine: You, From Now On, Are Not Yourself!

This poem has been moved to the January 4th, 2009 post.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why isn't Rahm Emmanuel in Guantanamo?

Many of you know that President Elect Barack Obama appointed zionist Rahm Emmanuel as his Chief of Staff. Maybe even some of you know that his father was a member of a known zionist terrorist organization (Irgun).

I want you to now just think about the fact that during the first Gulf War, Rahm Emmanuel, an American citizen, chose to volunteer for a foreign army (israeli army) rather than enlist in the military of his citizenship. Now please explain to me how it is not a conflict of interest for him to be appointed any post in the United States Government.

What is the take-home message here?

One person acts on his beliefs, joins the army of another country and gets thrown into Guantanamo, while another acts on his beliefs, joins the army of another country and ends up as the US Chief of Staff!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama Setting a Dangerous Tone with Emanuel

Not even 48 hours has passed since Barack Obama was chosen as President Elect and he has already made some dangerous moves regarding his choice for Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel - son of an Irgun member (an Israeli terrorist group). Here is the Wiki version (but you can Google him and see loads of biographies on him (note that Emmanuel himself served as a volunteer in the ISRAELI defense forces during the first Gulf War despite being an American citizen - NOT in the American military - it looks like he has picked his side):

Personal life

Rahm Emanuel (Hebrew: רם עמנואל‎) was born in Chicago, Illinois.[citation needed] His first name, Rahm, means "high" or "lofty" in Hebrew[8], while his last name, Emanuel, means "God is with us." His father, the Jerusalem-born Benjamin M. Emanuel, is a pediatrician and former member of the Irgun[9][10] (Irgun Zeva'i Le'ummi), a military Nationalist group treated as a terrorist organization during British rule. His mother, Martha Smulevitz, worked as an X-ray technician and was the daughter of a local union organizer.[2] She became a civil rights activist; she was also once the owner of a Chicago-area rock and roll club.[9] The two met in Chicago in the 1950s.[11] Emanuel's older brother, Ezekiel, is an oncologist and bioethicist, and his brother Ari is a talent agent in Los Angeles who inspired Jeremy Piven's character Ari Gold on the HBO series Entourage.[2] Emanuel himself is the inspiration for the character Josh Lyman on The West Wing.[2] He also has a younger sister named Shoshanna, 14 years his junior.[2]

When his family lived in Chicago, he attended Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, a Jewish day school. After his family moved to Wilmette, he attended public school: Romona School, Wilmette Junior High School, and New Trier West High School.[11][12] He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981, and went on to receive a master's degree in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in 1985. While still an undergraduate, he joined the congressional campaign of David Robinson of Chicago.[citation needed]

His father, still practicing near Chicago, emigrated to the United States from Israel. Emanuel volunteered as a civilian volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces during the 1991 Gulf War, serving in one of Israel's northern bases, rust-proofing brakes.[13][14]

Emanuel's wife Amy Rule, a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania converted to Modern Orthodox Judaism shortly before her wedding.[13] They are members of Anshe Shalom, a modern Orthodox congregation in Chicago.[15] They have three children, son Zacharias and daughters Ilana and Leah.

Emanuel is a long time close friend of fellow Chicagoan David Axelrod, Chief Strategist for the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign. Axelrod signed the ketubah at Emanuel's wedding, an honor that goes to a best friend.[16]

Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation, is quoted as saying: "It's a very involved Jewish family"; "Amy was one of the teachers for a class for children during the High Holidays two years ago."[15] Emanuel has said of his Judaism: "I am proud of my heritage and treasure the values it has taught me."[15] Emanuel's family lives on the North Side of Chicago, in the North Center neighborhood.[8]

Emanuel trains for and participates in triathlons.[17]

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Another Trip to Gaza

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Irish <iristulip@gmail.com>
To: gazafriends <gazafriends@lists.riseup.net>
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 11:15:06 PM
Subject: We've done it again

For Immediate Release
October 29, 2008

For More Information, Please Contact:
Greta Berlin (Cyprus) +357 99 081 767 / iristulip@gmail.com
Osama Qashoo (Cyprus) +44 (0)78 3338 1660 / osamaqashoo@gmail.com
Angela Godfrey Goldstein (Jerusalem) +972 (0)54 736 6393 / angela@icahd.org

LARNACA - The Free Gaza Movement is delighted to announce that their third boat, the SS Dignity carrying 27 crew and passengers arrived in Gaza at 8:10 Gaza time, in spite of Israeli threats to stop them. In the pouring rain, the boat pulled into port amid cheers from the people of Gaza and tears from the passengers.

David Schermerhorn, one of the crew members called an hour before the boat entered the waters of Gaza and said, "There is a rainbow stretching across the Mediterranean from where we are right now."

Yesterday, The Israel Navy said they would stop the stop our vessel once it reached Israel's territorial waters. Apparently to save face, they said they would harm our boat, arrest us and tow us IF we entered Israeli waters.
The problem for Israel is that the SS Dignity had no intention of getting anywhere near those waters.

One of the organizers, Huwaida Arraf cheered, "Once again we've been able to defy an unjust and illegal policy while the rest of the world is too intimidated to do anything. Our small boat is a huge cry to the international community to follow in our footsteps and open a lifeline to the people of Gaza."

For the second time, the Free Gaza Movement has demonstrated that the might of the Israeli navy is no match for a small boat of human rights activists determined to call to the attention of the world the occupation of the people of Gaza.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council added, "Despite the injustice against the Palestinian people, we believe in justice and will keep on trying to break Israel's siege. The occupation has divided the Palestinians, but our nonviolent resistance has united us."

Osama Qashoo, one of the organizers of the Free Gaza Movement, overjoyed for the second time in three months, "We are all capable of leading a nonviolent and effective movement to end the Israeli Apartheid and expose the injustice that has been meted out to the Palestinians. We in the FG movement have provided the new dictionary, it's up to the Palestinians and the Israelis and the Internationals to add the words."

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement