Archive for the ‘The war against the children’ Category


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Join LA Jews for Peace in a 
Demonstration to 
Protest the Israeli attack on Gaza and Siege of Gaza

    This Sunday, Jan. 4,  2-4:30 PM 
   Next Sunday, Jan. 11,  noon-2:30 PM 
Westwood Federal Building (Wilshire & Veteran; 3-hour visitor parking in the Federal Building lot).  

    As you know, the situation is Gaza has been intolerable, but with full support of the U.S. government has gotten much worse.  Israel has attacked the Gaza Strip continually since Sat., Dec. 27 with a massive air and naval attack that killed almost 400 people including at least 60 women and children.  This attack was carried out using American supplied F-16s, Apache helicopters, and guided missiles.  Now besides a blockade causing shortages of food, medicine, fuel, electric power, and commercial goods, there has been a massacre.  The UN Secretary General, the Swiss government, and other groups have called the situation a humanitarian crisis and a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention.  It is surely a violation of Jewish and international law.

      The massacre and blockade are not only cruel and inhumane, but also counter-productive in that they fuel violence against Israel and works to undermine efforts to achieve peace through negotiations throughout the region.
     LA Jews for Peace urges everyone to speak out against the attacks and blockade, including our own government’s support of it.  We call for an immediate cease fire and a resumption of shipments of food and medical supplies to the people of Gaza, a hold of U.S. aid to Israel until the blockade is ended, and admittance of journalists to Gaza to report on the desperate conditions


        Join LA Jews for Peace in a protest
   Sunday, Jan. 4; 2-4:30 PM,  Westwood Federal Building
LA Jews will have signs and banners; bring your own; but no flags please since our message is internationalism and humanism, not nationalism.



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Our Youth and the Military
Recruitment, ROTC, and Real Alternatives

Maricela Guzman
American Friends Service Committee

Maricela served in the US Navy from 1998-2002. She began speaking out against cuts to the Veterans Administration budget after leaving the military. She co-founded Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), which supports benefits for veterans, advocates for women’s rights in the military and offers veterans’ perspectives to students faced by the hard sell of military recruiters to our youth. She currently works with the AFSC’s National Youth and Militarism Program.

Saturday, October 4          5 PM          Los Feliz Room

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Mourners stand beside the body of Salsabeel Abu Jalhoumm, a 21-month-old girl who was killed early on Sunday when an Israeli air strike hit near her home in the northern Gaza Strip, 2 March 2008. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages) (Electronic Intifada)


Below is a concise and direct declaration that calls for holding international tribunals for those guilty of the successive campaigns of terror against the Palestinian people. It is unique in that it is the first international public effort to hold guilty Arab regimes, Palestinians, Israelis, and US officials fully responsible for the ongoing Zionist crimes. By signing this declaration and by passing it through as much as possible worldwide, where all signatories are sought and welcomed, we will be initiating the first real steps to holding war tribunals internationally. This is also a tangible step to returning Palestine to its international position as a flagship for justice and self-determination. We urge you to actively support this declaration wherever you are, on every continent. Take it to your protests, ask your organization to sign on, engage everyone about who is responsible, and help build a momentum that will go well beyond protests and temporary reactions into sustained efforts and full accountability. We look forward to forming international tribunal committees soon after. Please sign and pass it on. Time is critical!

To sign on to this declaration, please send a message to: PalTribunal@gmail.com.

“We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, regard what is taking place against the Palestinian people, particularly those of the Gaza Strip, not only as a war crime but also as a crime against humanity. While we hold the Zionist Israeli government directly responsible for these murderous campaigns, we also hold guilty Arab regimes, including the Palestinian Authority and the office of Mahmud Abbas, as accessory to these crimes in collaboration with the US administration. Through this declaration, we are taking the first steps to begin the process of holding international tribunals for all those guilty, either directly or as an accessory through their deadly silence, irrespective of who they are. The unbelievable and seemingly unending suffering of the Palestinian people requires that those responsible are forthwith brought to justice under international criminal law.”

To sign on to this declaration, please send a message to: PalTribunal@gmail.com. Signatories and updates will be sent out periodically.
The Free Palestine Alliance,

More on Gaza:

<>Gaza: The Holocaust, The Holocaust:  http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=13560

slide show:


Four Children Die in Gaza Attacks


[WIB-LA] Gaza & Sderot residents have joint blog


Israel minister threatens “holocaust” in Occupied Gaza


Joint Arab and Jewish Protest Against Gaza Killings


“The bodies of the children of Gaza are no defense for Sderot!”   From Gush Shalom http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/galleries/

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WHAT: A silent vigil in support of the people of Gaza

WHERE: Wilshire Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd, SouthWest corner of Wilshire and Hamilton, near the man on the horse, Beverly Hills

WHEN:  Tuesday night, February 26, 7:00 pm

REASON: The pro-Israel group, Stand with Us, is “launching its 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence” with a concert for the children of Sderot at the Wilshire Theatre.

Yet, as Israel’s supporters celebrate the its 1948 declaration of statehood, 2008 also marks the 60th year of al Nakba (“the catastrophe”) when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were violently expelled from their homes and driven from their native land.

Today, the people of Gaza live in a prison, surrounded by 27-foot walls.  Supplies of food, fuel, electricity, potable water, medicine, water filters and much more are severely restricted by Israel.  The children of Gaza are at even more risk than the children of Sderot of being maimed or killed.

Why is the Stand with Us concert only for Sderot’s children and not for Gaza’s children as well?

Please join us in silent protest at 7 pm.  Our signs say:





Signed by:

Women in Black Los Angeles
For more information, please contact 310-422-7242

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Gaza Strip: University Teachers Association Press Releases

What follows are three press releases sent to me by Haidar Eid of the University Teachers Association in Gaza.  Two are from the Teachers Union.  The third is from the Cape Town Anti-War Coalition.  Shades of the late seventies, early eighties. the attacks on education.  the seige of whole communities.  The ravages of imperialism, colonialism and empire.
-Emma Rosenthal_Cafe Intifada

July.1.2006<>                                                                                        Press Release- University Teachers’ Association-Palestine    END THE ASSAULT ON GAZA AND RELEASE PRISONERS

The University Teachers’ Association condemns in the strongest terms the Israeli war crimes committed against our people in the Gaza Strip. We call on the international community and the Arab and Islamic worlds, to take up their responsibility to protect the Palestinian people from this heinous aggression and immediately terminate the continuing Israeli

policy of collective punishment. Nothing whatsoever justifies the Israeli savagery, including the severing of access to the water and electricity supply to 1.3 million people.

Since Tuesday, June 27, 2006, Israel has destroyed vital bridges, water and electricity stations. As a consequence, more than two-thirds of the population have been denied access to water and electricity. Children, the sick and elderly are the first to be affected. Given that it is the height of summer in Gaza and temperatures are in the region of 30-35 degrees:

Food, as scarce as it is, cannot be preserved;

People are already experiencing severe dehydration due to lack of water;

There is a an increasing threat of the spread of disease because of damage to the sewage system.

Israel has also arrested more than 64 elected Palestinian Legislative Council members, city mayors and cabinet ministers. The Palestinian people had already been under siege for the past few months as collective punishment for exercising their democratic choice in elections in January 2006. Israel has turned the Gaza Strip into the largest concentration camp with the largest population of prisoners in the world and called it “withdrawal”. The international conspiracy of silence towards the genocidal war taking place against the 1.3 million civilians in Gaza indicates complicity in these war crimes.

Gaza University Teachers’ Association calls upon the international community to demand that the rogue State of Israel end its siege and compensate for the destruction of life and infrastructure that it has visited upon the Palestinian people. We also call upon all Palestine solidarity groups and all international civil society organizations to demand:

- An end to the siege that has been imposed on the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of their exercise of democratic choice.

- The protection of civilian lives and property, as stipulated in International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law such as The Fourth Geneva Convention.

- The immediate release of all political prisoners, including all elected representatives of the Palestinian people.

- That Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip and West Bank be provided with financial and material support to cope with the immense hardship that they are experiencing

-An end to occupation, Apartheid and other war crimes.

-Immediate reparations and compensation for all destruction carried out by the Israeli Occupation Forces in the Gaza Strip, including psychological counselling for the collective mental trauma of Palestinian civilians.

For Comments contact:
Dr Abu Ala’a, Gaza Strip, + 972 599 441766<>
Dr Asaad Abu Sharekh, Gaza Strip, + 972 599 322636 Dr Ayoub Othman, + 972 599 412 826

<>Press Release: 28 June 2006

University Teachers’ Association-Palestine

Last night the Israeli Occupation Forces began the grotesquely named “Operation Summer Rain” on the Gaza Strip. Rafah, scene of the May 2004 Rafah massacre by Israel, was re-occupied by Israeli tanks.

Gaza City was bombed by Apache helicopters and F16 and V58 fighter planes. The main electricity grid for Gaza City was bombed as was the water reticulation plant. Almost
750 000 of Gaza’s residents have no water or electricity today. Three main bridges which connect different parts of the Strip have been destroyed, slicing the Strip into two parts, and separating its people from each other, their places of work, schools, colleges and universities.

In addition, the Israeli military used powerful sonic bombs throughout the night and during the day. These bombs damage eardrums, create extreme feelings of fear and anxiety and prevent the whole Gaza Strip population from sleeping at night. They also induce feelings of terror in children and babies, who are already exhibiting anxious and clinging behaviour.

These air-strikes and sonic bombs which damage essential infrastructure and terrify the civilian population are a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people and are war crimes which are forbidden under international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prescribes the manner in which armies must treat civilians during times of conflict.

We call on the international community to exert pressure on the Israeli Occupation Forces to conduct itself within the boundaries of international humanitarian law and ensure the protection of all Palestinian civilians.

We also demand the immediate halt of the Israeli Occupation Forces’ attacks on the Gaza Strip and an end to the closure and isolation of the Strip, both of which are exacerbating an already desperate humanitarian situation inside the Strip.

University Teachers’ Association
Gaza Strip

Dr. Haidar Eid Ph.D English Literature and Philosophy _______________________________
<>—– Original Message —–                                                                                    From: Cape Town Anti War Coalition                                                                        To: ccs-l@lists.ukzn.ac.za                                                                                        Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2006 4:21 PM

Subject: Press Release: Israeli bombardment of Gaza, including universities, continues

Press Release: 29 June 2006

Israeli bombardment of Gaza, including universities, continues
The Cape Town Anti-War Coalition spoke with the University Teachers’ Association of Gaza this morning. According to Dr Abu Ala’a, Israeli forces in hundreds of tanks entered Gaza City from the north last night. Shelling from Apache helicopters and F16 fighter jets continued all night with the Islamic University being partially bombed.
The population of Gaza was again subjected to terrifying sonic bombs for the entire night. 20 Members of Parliament were arrested. The Deputy Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority has been kidnapped by the Israeli Occupation Forces and taken to an unknown destination.
The Cape Town Anti-War Coalition condemns the ANC government’s silence on the brutality currently being meted out to the Palestinians. In two nights, the Israeli Occupation Forces have not shown any signs of wanting to seriously look for the Israeli soldier, a person whose job is to man the tanks that have always shelled Gaza. Instead they have merely bombed billions of rands worth of essential services and infrastructure that the international community will have to rebuild through donor funds.
Gaza City’s 750 000 residents are still without electricity and water. The University Teachers’ Association members say that by later today if tanks have occupied the whole city, people will not be able to leave their homes. Nobody is able to go to work because the three main bridges which connect different parts of the Strip have been destroyed, slicing the Strip into two parts, and separating its people from each other, their places of work, schools, colleges and universities.
For comment call:
Shaheed Mahomed, Cape Town, 082 2020617
Dr Abu Ala’a, Gaza Strip, + 972 599 441766
Dr Asaad Abu Sharekh, Gaza Strip, + 972 599 322636
Dr Ayoub Othman, + 972 599 412

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Israel bombs Islamic University in Gaza: witnesses – Yahoo! News


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<><>Crushed by Gate of Occupation:   A three-year-old Palestinian girl killed at Israeli checkpoint
By Sam Bahour

<> <><><>The newly released Amnesty International 2006 Report  provides a glimpse of the world’s human rights record.  The reality is shocking.  The report starts with a rather blunt finding:
“During 2005 some of the world’s most powerful governments were successfully challenged, their hypocrisy exposed by the media, their arguments rejected by courts of law, their repressive tactics resisted by human rights activists.”
“Nevertheless, the lives of millions of people worldwide were devastated by the denial of fundamental rights.”
The report documents human rights abuses by country; Israel/Occupied Territories and Palestinian Authority are listed as two distinct categories.  The classification is slightly confusing, given that the bulk of abuses listed under Israel relate to Palestinians under occupation and the abuses within Israel proper, are only mentioned in passing or are missing all together.  An analysis of the structure of the report and issues chosen to document is worthy of an article of its own.
Instead, here, I wish to bring to life one of the examples that may, or may not, show up in the Amnesty International 2007 report.  It is the example of a three-year-old Palestinian girl whose skull was crushed at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank. The death of this child, Rafida Bader, barely got noticed in the Palestinian press, let alone the Israeli and international media.
After seeing a brief mention of this tragic story online, at maannews.net, I posted the story with a portrait of the beautiful red-head girl to my mailing list, epalestine.com.  Within minutes, an Israeli virtual friend who works with Israeli human rights organizations, passed the post to two Israeli activists mailing lists, New Profile: Movement for the Civil-ization of Israel Society and Machsom (Hebrew for Checkpoint) Watch.  Several questions came back, all wanting more details in order to take action.  Soon afterwards, a Palestinian journalist, Azziah Nawal, was commissioned to follow-up the story, parts of her report are included below.
It was April 26, 2006 and Rafida was preparing to visit her father, Thaer Bader, who is a political prisoner being held by Israel since December 18, 2005.  Since the Israeli occupation began in 1967, it is estimated that out of approx 3.5 million Palestinians over 650,000 Palestinians have been arrested at one time or another.  On any one day over 10,000 Palestinians are detained by the occupation forces.  There are not individual ex-prisoners in occupied Palestine, but rather communities of ex-prisoners.

<>The Morning


<>Thaer was awaiting his family to visit from Beit Lekya, his village that is besieged by Israel’s Separation Wall.  He was not sure who exactly would be his visitors this time or what kind of news they would bring.  He was busy in his cell thinking of how to receive his family.  He never thought in his worst nightmares that, instead of the joy of receiving his family, he would receive the news of his daughter’s fatal injury which led to her death.
At home, Thaer’s daughter Rafida was rushing to her fate.  She woke early in the morning and then woke her mother, wanting to get an early start on the long trip to her father.  She refused to accept the fact that she awoke too early.  She proceeded to wake up her cousin and aunt and put on new clothes for the visit.
Rafida was joyous.  With her mother and aunt, she headed to the Red Cross office in Ramallah where all the prisoners’ families meet for transportation to the prison for visits.  Rafida’s mother said that this has been the routine every month since her husband was arrested.  The Israelis make it mandatory that visiting families use the Red Cross buses.  They reached the Red Cross office at 5 AM and had to wait until 8 before boarding the bus and heading to the Mod’in Checkpoint, near the Palestinian village of Beit Sira, west of Ramallah.  There they were forced to wait for a few hours.

<>The Incident


<>Rafida’s mother narrated the details of the trip.  While speaking she seemed as if in another world, almost hallucinating.  She said,
“While we were in the Red Cross’ buses waiting at the checkpoint to be allowed to pass, kids accompanying their visiting families got off the buses to play, including Rafida who got out and returned to the bus several times.  The last time, she asked to use the toilet.  As I was so tired and carrying her 16 months old infant brother, Omar, I asked her aunt to accompany her.”
“She was singing verses of her favorite song, which she used to watch on her favorite TV channel, Space Toon.  Every time the song would come on, Rafida would turn the TV volume to the maximum.”
The mother continued,
“Only a few minutes after Rafida got off the bus with her aunt, screaming spread all over the place.  Your daughter!  I didn’t know what to do.  I laid my infant on the floor of the bus and rushed to the accident scene; Rafida was dead, I felt it.  I put her in my lap and didn’t allow anyone to get close to her.  Someone said, I am a nurse, let me treat her, but I didn’t let her do anything, saying, leave her dead in my lap.  After a few moments, that felt like a year, I felt her breathing and screamed for an ambulance.”
Rafida, still singing, was walking past the iron gate accompanied by her aunt.  The gate swung back fast by the strong wind and Rafida’s head was stuck between the bars of the iron gate.  Her aunt tried to rescue her, but her efforts were in vain.  Within seconds, Rafida’s head was crushed.
Rafida lay in her mother’s lap with just a breath separating her from death.  Her mother said that the minutes passed like years while she shifted between thoughts that her daughter had already passed away and hopes of the possibility to rescue her.
The Israeli soldiers manning the checkpoint gathered and moved everyone back from the scene as an ambulance arrived.  She was transferred to the Israeli Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv after the paramedics applied first aid.
The mother, whose origin is from the predominantly Palestinian city in Israel, Kufur Kana in the Galilee (Israeli Palestinians account for some 20% of the population of Israel), said,
“On the first day, they said she was breathing.  On the second day, they said blood doesn’t circulate to the head and oxygen doesn’t reach the brain.  On the third day, they said she was dead.  I wasn’t in need of the explanations that the doctor tried to make it in Arabic, as I speak Hebrew fluently, which added to my pain as I listened to the medical staff speak of her deteriorating status for the three straight days.”
“Her head was ground like dough.  I can not imagine the way she looked after the horrible injury.  I still see her before me everywhere, and I get scared of the most trivial noises, especially the crying of my little child, Omar.”
The minute Rafida’s imprisoned father heard the tragic news he appealed to the Israeli Prison Authorities to allow him to visit his dying daughter in the hospital.  Although his request was accepted in principle, the Prison Authorities procrastinated until after she passed away.  He never saw her alive.
The mother added,
“On my next visit to her dad in his prison, I couldn’t stand the way he looked.  He was extremely sad and depressed, which made me cry throughout the entire visit.  He kept asking about the other kids as if he wants to make sure that none had the same fate of Rafida.  Rafida had a special place in his heart.  She would barely let anyone else visiting speak to her father when she visited.”
Who’s to blame?
No shots were fired.  No tanks were shelling.  No fighter planes were bombing.  Rafida died because of the mere presence of the 40 year Israeli military occupation.  She is the latest victim of the presence of hundreds of sadistic checkpoints that separate Palestinians from Palestinians and Palestinians from the rest of the world.  She died to see her father who is also paying a price for yearning to be free.  His death will be much slower.  The daily torment Rafida’s mother must face while rearing the next generation of Palestinians is unthinkable.
Maybe it is incidents such as this that explain why the Amnesty International 2006 Report notes for Israel that, with regard to the International Criminal Court, it was “signed but [with a] declared intention not to ratify.”
The Amnesty Report does shed a ray of hope.  Under the Israel chapter, a section titled, Imprisonment of conscientious objectors, states:
“Several Israelis who refused to serve in the army because they opposed Israel’s occupation of the Occupied Territories and refused to serve there were imprisoned for up to four months. They were prisoners of conscience.”
What is it in the nature of occupying soldiers that allows them to leave their checkpoint or prison duty and go home to their kids, brothers and sisters, surely all as precious as Rafida was?  How can they hug and kiss their own and return to duty the next day and act as if its business (or it that occupation) as usual?
Every day of occupation, whether it witnesses us burying our young or not, eats away at each of us.  Whether those checkpoint and prison soldiers want to admit it or not, they too are being eaten from the inside.  The only difference is they have the option to refuse to serve.
The writer is a Palestinian-American living in the besieged Palestinian City of El-Bireh in the West Bank.  He is co-author of HOMELAND: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians (1994) and can be reached at sbahour@palnet.com.
Sam Bahour serves on the Advisory Board of ¡Cafe Intifada!
© Copyright Sam Bahour 2006. May be reproduced in its entirety with attribution.

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Defense of Children International: 5 year old Arrested

Defense of Children International has a Palestine Center that provided important information on the situation of children under Israeli hegemony.  There is an abundance of information and resources on this web site, including information on the recent arrest of a five year old boy; the conditions of children in Israeli prisons; Little Voices, including information on the Girl Child Conference, including the participation of 13-18 year old girls; and other reports and publications, many of which can be downloaded.
A wonderful publication: Our Voices, which features the writings of Palestinian students, can be downloaded at_ http://www.dci-pal.org/english/publ/display.cfm?DocId=424&CategoryId=8

Palestinian Teens Behind the Wall

A tenth grade class at the Friends School in Ramallah, Palestine, have launched a very important and timely web page that I hope will become a resource for teachers and students, activists and scholars throughout the world.  The page is titled
Palestinian Teens Behind the Wall
, and features their first hand reports on the specific conditions  of life under occupation, their personal opinions, culture and commentary.

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Cafe Intifada posts this article as part of our focus on the impact of _Israeli hegemony on Palestinian children and Palestinian education.
-Emma Rosenthal_Cafe Intifada

Palestinian pain, one kid at a time

FAREED TAAMALLAH is coordinator of the Palestinian Elections Commission
for the Salfit region. He lives in the West Bank village of Qira.

By Fareed Taamallah

May 6 2006

EVERY DAY, world leaders think of new ways to punish the Palestinians
for electing Hamas. But the people who suffer most are children like
my daughter, Lina.

The complete article can be viewed at:


Visit latimes.com at http://www.latimes.com

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