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Archive for December, 2008

In light of the ongoing brutal assault by the Israeli Offense Forces upon the population of Gaza,  the following history and definition of genocide provided by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is important in understanding the motivation, rationale,  purpose and scope of Israeli (U.S. funded and sanctioned) actions. Many shy away from applying the word genocide to the Palestinian people, perhaps because it is inflammatory, perhaps because it has been reserved for those catastrophes recognized by  the Holocaust Industry*. But on closer examination, the definition of genocide clearly applies to this current campaign as well as the expressed intent of the Israeli government and the zionist trajectory vis a vis the indigenous population. 

Like the word, holocaust  which is, in religious terms, a burnt offering of spiritual purification, ethnic cleansing   implies that there is something pure, clean, redemptive in the process of the destruction of a people: of their way of life, communities, homes, jobs, social structure; in the imposition of death, dismemberment, deformation, rape, trauma and brutality. 

There is no justification:  not security, not history, not assertions of divine promise or destiny, that can excuse the war crimes being perpetrated on Gaza, a territory already under siege: prevented from receiving health care, education, basic supplies, disallowed control of its own borders or freedom of movement of its residents.  (And yet, even these excuses are an obfuscation of  the real nature of Israeli hegemony and the U.S. imperialist imperatives that support and maintain it.) 

Israeli actions easily meet at least four of the five criteria of genocide provided below, and if one considers the large number of children in Israeli prisons: held without education, medical care, legal counsel or contact with their families, then one could argue it meets all five.

This latest and most brutal action is surprising only in scope, not intent.  Israel has walled Gaza under brutal and devastating conditions of isolation, poverty, and desperation; Israel’s own Warsaw Ghetto.  The current assault is part of a long trajectory intent upon destroying a people, a land, a history, a culture and a way of life.  

There is certainly nothing cleansing about it! 

– Emma Rosenthal                                                                                                                                                                                                       Cafe Intifada 

What is Genocide

From The  United States Holocaust Memorial Museum*

(Printing of this article in no way should suggest any endorsement by the Memorial Museum of the work, scope, mission or purpose of Cafe Intifada.- c.i.)  

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10007043

 

 History 
What is Genocide?The term “genocide” did not exist before 1944. It is a very specific term, referring to violent crimes committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group. Human rights, as laid out in the U.S. Bill of Rights or the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, concern the rights of individuals.    

In 1944, a Polish-Jewish lawyer named Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) sought to describe Nazi policies of systematic murder, including the destruction of the European Jews. He formed the word “genocide” by combining geno-, from the Greek word for race or tribe, with -cide, from the Latin word for killing. In proposing this new term, Lemkin had in mind “a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.” The next year, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg charged top Nazis with “crimes against humanity.” The word “genocide” was included in the indictment, but as a descriptive, not legal, term.

On December 9, 1948, in the shadow of the Holocaust and in no small part due to the tireless efforts of Lemkin himself, the United Nations approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This convention establishes “genocide” as an international crime, which signatory nations “undertake to prevent and punish.” It defines genocide as:

[G]enocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  • Killing members of the group;
  • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
While many cases of group-targeted violence have occurred throughout history and even since the Convention came into effect, the legal and international development of the term is concentrated into two distinct historical periods: the time from the coining of the term until its acceptance as international law (1944–1948) and the time of its activation with the establishment of international criminal tribunals to prosecute the crime of genocide (1991–1998). Preventing genocide, the other major obligation of the convention, remains a challenge that nations and individuals continue to face.
*Fair Use Notice: This web site contains some copyrighted material whose use has not been authorized by the copyright owners. We believe that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.) If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 
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EMERGENCY PROTESTS TO STOP THE ATTACKS ON GAZA

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has compiled the following list of events taking place in the United States to protest Israel’s attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip.
If you know of an event that is not included, please send the details to us. Inclusion of an event does not imply endorsement by the US Campaign.
Below the list of events is our action alert with suggested steps that you can take to protest these attacks.

ARIZONA

Tucson
Tuesday, December 30, 5:00PM-6:00PM
Vigil in front of the Israel Center, 3822 E River Rd
Contact: Racheli Gai racheli@sonoracohousing.com

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles
Tuesday, December 30, 4:30 pm 
Israeli Consulate: 6380 Wilshire Blvd. 
Contact: 213-251-1025, answerla@answerla.org

San Diego

Tuesday, December 30, 4PM
Federal Building, Broadway and First, Downtown

San Francisco
Tuesday, December 30, 5:00PM
Israeli Consulate, 456 Montgomery St
Powell and Market
Contact: 415-821-6545 answer@answersf.org

COLORADO

Colorado Springs

Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 4:30PM-5:30PM
Protest, Acacia Park, corner of Nevada Ave and Bijou St
Sponsored by: Colorado Antiwar Coalition and CSaction.org 
Contact: info@protestcolorado.org, 719-460-2836 
Denver

Tuesday, December 30, 5:00PM
Meet on the West side of the Capitol
Contact: Rima, 303-829-5848
CONNECTICUT
New Haven
Wednesday, December 31, 12PM
Federal Building, 141 Church St (between Chapel and Elm Sts.)
Sponsored by Middle East Crisis Committee, ANSWER-CT and other local organizations
Contact: 203-606-0319, connecticut@answercoalition.org
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington, DC

Tuesday, December 30, 4:30 pm 
State Department: 22nd St & C St NW 
Contact: 202-544-3389 x14, dc@answercoalition.org
Friday, January 9, 12:00PM
Lafayette Square and march to Upper Senate Park
Contact: National Association of Muslim Women, namaw01@gmail.com 

FLORIDA
Fort Lauderdale
Tuesday, December 30, 5:00 pm 
Federal Building: 299 E. Broward Blvd. 
Contact: 954-707-0155, FtLauderdale@answerfl.org
 
Ocala
Tuesday, December 30, 12:00 pm 
Cather near the Ocala Lockheed facility, located in the SE quadrant of the county just off Maricamp Road (Rte 464) near Emerald and Oak
Sponsored by: Marions for Peace, CFCC students and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)
Contact: Marions for Peace, Delphine Herbert, MarionsforPeace@gmail.com
Tampa
Tuesday, December 30, 4:30 pm 
N Dale Mabry Hwy and W Spruce St
GEORGIA

Atlanta

Tuesday, December 30, 4:00PM
Outside the Israeli Consulate, 1100 Spring St. NW
Organizers: Emory Advocate for Justice in Palestine and other local groups
Contact details:Saba Khalid, 770-597-0276, skhali3@emory.edu
HAWAII

Honolulu

Tuesday, December 30, 4-6PM
At the Federal Building (along Ala Moana Blvd.), 300 Ala Moana Blvd
Initiated by Friends of Sabeel Hawaii, with support from World Can’t Wait-Hawaii, and others.
Contact details: Margaret Brown, mbrown@lava.net
ILLINOIS
Chicago:
Details to be announced 
Contact: 773-463-0311, answer@chicagoanswer.net
Friday, January 2, 2009, 3:00PM
Tribune Plaza, 435 N Michigan

IOWA

Cedar Rapids

Tuesday, December 30, 12-2PM
150 1st Ave. NE, Wells Fargo Building
Contact: Jeremy J. Brigham, 319-363-7675
MARYLAND
Baltimore

Tuesday, December 30, 4-5PM
War Memorial Plaza
N. Gay and E. Lexington
Contact: Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 410-366-1637

Columbia
Saturday, January 17, 2009, 3:30PM
Howard County Central Library (Little Patuxent Pkwy and South Entrance Road)

Contact: Howard County Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (HCCEIO), Joanne Heisel, joanne_kh@usa.net

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston
Wednesday, December 31, 2:00PM
Copley Square
Contact: Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights, info@bcpr.net, (617) 491-2313
Details to be announced 
Contact: 857-334-5084, boston@answercoalition.org

MICHIGAN 

Tuesday, December 30, 4PM
Human Chain Protest
Gathering at corner of Warren and Chase in Dearborn.  Following the protest a memorial service will be held at Byblos Banquet Hall, 7258 Chase Road in Dearborn at 5:15 PM. Program will end at 6:30 PM.
Contact: Congress of Arab American Organizations, Osama Siblani / 313.505.4889
Kalamazoo

Tuesday, December 30, 4PM
Michigan Ave in front of the Federal Building

Lansing

Friday, January 2, 2009 – 12:00-1:00PM
In front of the State Capital Building, Michigan & Capital Aves.
Vigil for Peace
Contact: Michigan Peace Team, 517-484-3178, 
www.michiganpeaceteam.org

MINNESOTA

Various
Protests at Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Keith Ellison’s offices
 
Tuesday December 30th 
10 am-closingNo “holding their feet to the fire” but instead hold them accountable.U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar
Office of Senator Klobuchar Minneapolis
1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Main Line: 612-727-5220
Main Fax: 612-727-5223
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043
Rochester Office
1134 7th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Main Line: 507-288-5321
Fax: 507-288-2922
Moorhead Office
121 4th Street South
Moorhead, MN 56560
Main Line: 218-287-2219
Fax: 218-287-2930Iron Range Office
Olcott Plaza, Suite 105
820 9th Street North
Virginia, MN 55792
Main Line: 218-741-9690
Fax:218-741-3692
 
Keith Ellison officeMinneapolis office is located at:
2100 Plymouth Ave North
Minneapolis, MN 55411
For directions you can call our office, 612-522-1212

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Concord
Tuesday, December 30, 3PM
In front of the State House
Contact: New Hampshire Peace Action, 603-228-0559

NEW JERSEY

New Brunswick
Tuesday, December 30, 4-6PM
Corner of Albany and George Sts. 

NEW MEXICO

Albuquerque

Tuesday, December 30, 12-2PM
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
1801 Mountain Rd, NW (in Old Town)
Contact: Called by Stop the War Machine, 505-401-4808,
stopthewarmachine@comcast.net

Tuesday, December 30, Evening
Candlelight vigil in front of the Federal Courthouse (near Lomas and 3rd St.)
Contact: Middle East Peace and Justice Alliance, Katherine Hughes- Fraitekh 480-9008, kcelav@aol.com
or Iris Keltz 220-1994, of the Middle East Peace & Justice Alliance
NEW YORK 
Buffalo

Tuesday, December 30, 4:30PM
Corner of Elmwood and Bidwell Aves.

We welcome you to join us and we encourage other organizations to choose their own flyering locations and then to join the procession.

Tuesday, December 30, 4:00PM-5:00PM
Demonstration in front of Federal Building
Contact: Mike Connely, 271-2678

Toledo

Tuesday, December 30, 5-7PM
Secor and Central
Contact: Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition

Tuesday, December 30, 1-3PM
Demonstration
In front of the Thomas D. Lambros Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 125 Market St
Contact: Arab American Community Center, 330-759-9186
OREGON

Portland

Tuesday December 30, 2008
Gather at 4:30 and Rally 5:00 pm
Where:  Federal Building, Downtown Portland, SW 3rd & Madison
Organized by:  Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, Portland
Peaceful Response Coalition, and others. Contact:  (503) 344-5078
PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh

Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 4:00PM-6:00PM
Rally at the Federal Building, 1000 Liberty Ave
Sponsors: Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee, Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East,
Muslim American Society – Pittsburgh Chapter, CAIR  Pittsburgh Chapter, 
Middle East Peace Forum – Pittsburgh
Contact: Kate, pittsburgh-psc.org, 412-614-0264
RHODE ISLAND
Contact: Martha Yager, AFSC-SENE, 401-521-3584 or MYager@afsc.org
SOUTH CAROLINA

Columbia

Wednesday, December 31, 5-6PM
In front of the State Capitol Building
Gervais and Main St.
Contact: Women in Black, 803-446-2772

TEXAS
Dallas

Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 12:00PM-3:00PM
In front of JFK Memorial on the Grassy Knoll
Friday, January 2, 2009, 3:30PM
Dallas Forth Worth Protest, Earl Cabell Federal Building, 1100 Commerce St
Contact: Suha Suleiman, drsuha@tm.blackberry.net
 
Houston
Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 4-5:30PM
Gather at Mandell Bridge (Mandell St at Highway 59)
Contact: rwcsr1@yahoo.com 
 
San Antonio

Tuesday, December 30, 6-7PM
Candle Light Silent Prayer Vigil for Peace
Around the Peace Pole in front of the Brackenridge Village, University of the Incarnate Word, enter at 4301 Broadway You are invited to bring candles.

VERMONT

Burlington
Tuesday, December 30, 4:15PM
Main St. Landing, Burlington
1 Main St.; corner of Main & Battery Sts.)
MEET in Burlington at Main Street Landing at 4:15 to march to Representative
Welch’s, Senator Leahy’s, and to Senator Bernie Sander’s offices, to
arrive at the top of Church St. at 5pm to stand in solidarity with the
vigil opposing further war profiteering and war crimes–the US Occupation of Iraq.

This march is endorsed by Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
(VTJP), Peace and Justice Center, and the International Socialist Organization (ISO).

TO ENDORSE THIS ACTION OR FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
hilarymartin@riseup.net or gypsy7@riseup.net
Montpellier

Tuesday, December 30, 4:30PM 
Vigil in front of City Hall on Main St
Contact: Debra, 802-476-3154, debra@vtlink.net
VIRGINIA

Norfolk

Tuesday, December 30, 4:30-6:30PM
St. Paul’s Blvd. and City Hall Ave. across from the old St. Paul’s Church
Contact: Christine Hoppe, 757-628-8279, cthoppe10@yahoo.com 
WASHINGTON
Bellingham

Tuesday, December 30, 12 Noon
Federal Building, corner of Magnolia and Cornwall
Contact: Whatcom Peace and Justice Center

Seattle
Saturday, January 3, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm 
Westlake Park: 4th and Pine 
Initiated by Voices of Palestine 
Contact: general@voicesofpalestine.org
Tacoma
Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 5:00pm
In front of the Courthouse at Pacific Ave and 19th St

As of this writing, Israeli Air Force attacks today on the occupied Gaza Strip killed an estimated 200 or more people and injured hundreds more. These Israeli attacks come on top of a brutal siege of the Gaza Strip, which has created a humanitarian catastrophe of dire proportions for Gaza’s 1.5 million Palestinian residents by restricting the provision of food, fuel, medicine, electricity, and other necessities of life.

While the scope of civilian casualties in today’s attacks is not yet clear, it is unmistakable that Israel carried out these attacks with F16 fighter jets and missiles provided by the taxpayers of this country. From 2001-2006, the United States transferred to Israel more than $200 million worth of spare parts to fly its fleet of F16’s. In July 2008, the United States gave Israel 186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel. Last year, the United States signed a $1.3 billion contract with Raytheon to transfer to Israel thousands of TOW, Hellfire, and “bunker buster” missiles. 
In short, Israel’s lethal attack today on the Gaza Strip could not have happened without the active military and political support of the United States. Therefore, we need to take action to protest this attack and demand an immediate cease-fire.
TAKE ACTION  
1. Contact the White House to protest the attack and demand an immediate cease-fire. Call 202-456-1111 or send an email to comments@whitehouse.gov.

2. Contact the State Department at 202-647-6575 or send an email by clicking here.

3. Contact your Representative and Senators in Congress at 202-224-3121 or find contact info for your Members of Congress by clicking here.

4. Contact your local media by phoning into a talk show or writing a letter to the editor. To find contact info for your local media, click here. 
5. Organize a local protest or vigil and tell us about it by clicking here.

6. Sign our open letter to President-Elect Obama calling for a new U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine and find out other steps you can take to influence the incoming Administration by clicking here.

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