Gaza Freedom March HUNGER STRIKE Video UPDATEx11

11th UPDATE: International Aid Convoy Members on Hunger Strike From the post below it appears that Turkey and Syria are involved in negotiations to permit the convoy into Egypt. It now clear that Egypt is just cowtowing to Israel and the US. Obama's apparent lack of involvement is disturbing.

27th December 2009

Members of the Viva Palestina international aid convoy to Gaza will begin a hunger strike at 11.25 am today (27 th) in protest at the Egyptian government's refusal to allow the convoy entry onto its soil.

Diplomatic negotiations are also taking place between the Turkish and Egyptian governments over the convoy's entry to Egypt. IHH, Turkey's main humanitarian aid agency, has 63 vehicles travelling on the convoy.

The Syrian government has also provided aid and vehicles, as has the government of Malaysia. More than 400 people from 17 countries are travelling on the 150 vehicle convoy, which is taking medical, humanitarian and educational aid to Gaza.

The convoy departed London on 6 December and have travelled nearly 3,000 miles across Europe and the Middle East. However, the convoy and its cargo of aid is now stopped in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba, having been denied entry into Egypt.

British MP, George Galloway , who is travelling with the convoy, said: 'Israel has kept Gaza under siege for three-and-half years against international law. It has not allowed aid or rebuilding materials in following its attack on Gaza earlier this year. Our convoy is determined to break the siege and take in urgently needed supplies Spirits are high in our camp in Aqaba, and we are going nowhere except to Gaza.'

It was at 11.25 am on December 27 2008, that Israel dropped its first bombs on the besieged population of Gaza. Three weeks later, following a sustained air, land and sea assault, more than 1,400 Palestinians had been killed.

The Viva Palestina hunger strikers will consume only liquids until the convoy is allowed entry into Egypt.

Convoy members will also mark the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel's Operation Cast Lead by holding a march through Aqaba, jointly with the Jordanians. In the evening, more than 1,400 candles will be lit for a vigil.

The convoy has been jointly organised by the charity Viva Palestina and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign , the UK's largest organisation campaigning for solidarity with the Palestinian people.

10th UPDATE: Latest Video from Aqaba, Jordan, Dec 27. Convoy remains stuck as Egypt does Israel's dirty work. No other news to report.

9th UPDATE: Latest Video from Aqaba, Jordan, Dec 26.

Start original diary:


On December 6 (not 5 as indicated above), a large convoy that would eventually swell to 144 vehicles and 416 peace activists left London as part of the third Viva Palestina effort to break the siege of Gaza. Viva Palestina is a British organization started by the British MP, George Galloway, and on this expedition, over 1,300 activists from 42 countries including the United States (23 activists are en route from San Francisco alone) are expected to meet up at the Rafah crossing and enter Gaza on December 27 to mark the anniversary of Israel's massacre of over 1,400 Palestinians including more than 300 children a year ago.



Two more members of the Malaysian Perdana Global Peace Organisation, PGPO and four Bernama TV crew join the `Viva Palestina Convoy' in Damascus, Syria.

On its way overland through Europe, then Turkey and Syria, the convoy reached Aqaba, Jordan on the Red Sea where it was stalled by the Egyptian authorities. Egypt first contended that the convoy would not be permitted to enter Gaza, then indicated that it could only enter Egypt through El-Arish on the Meditteranian, which would necessitate a voyage around the Sinai Pennisula through the Suez Canal.

This latest email from Alice Howard of Viva Palestina updates the current situation:

Egypt blamed for Gaza convoy delay

British politician George Galloway has criticised Egypt for denying a humanitarian aid convoy permission to enter the Gaza Strip.

The Viva Palestina aid convoy, containing some 210 vehicles and 500 people, is currently stranded in Jordan with Cairo refusing to allow it passage to Gaza through the Red Sea port of Nuweiba.

The lorries are laden with European, Turkish and Arab aid - both food and medical supplies.

"It's a strange Christmas for us. We are stuck ... hundreds of tonnes of aid which is desperately needed in Gaza," Galloway said in an interview with Press TV on Friday.

"We are very sad not yet angry, but we will get angry if the days go by".

But Hossam Zaki, an Egyptian port official, insisted that there would be "no entry from Nuweiba", saying "entry can only be through El-Arish".

El-Arish is a port on Egypt's Mediterreanean coast, while Nuweiba is on the Red Sea.

(snip)

According to the latest UN report on the situation in Gaza, the ongoing Israeli blockade has triggered a "protracted human dignity crisis" with negative humanitarian consequences.

"At the heart of this crisis is the degradation in the living conditions of the population, caused by the erosion of livelihoods and the gradual decline in the state of infrastructure, and the quality of vital services in the areas of health, water and sanitation, and education," adds the report.

http://www.vivapalestina.org/home.htm

This video makes clear Egypt's insincerity and intent to obstruct this humanitarian aid getting into Gaza.



Viva Palestina Convoy Blocked from Entering Egypt

It is notable that the American press has ignored this story and is continuing to maintain a posture of censoring news which places Israel in a bad light and Gaza is one source. On Gaza per se, only news in which Hamas is depicted as a Islamic terrorist group seems to get aired. Although the convoy originated in Britain, the BBC is also not covering the event.

Stay tuned.


UPDATE


We, Americans, remain as culpable as Israel for the Gaza massacre.


White phosphorus remains in civilian areas of Gaza



Israeli army 'using white phosphorus' - 12 Jan 08


"This is the first time we seen this type of weapon," said a Palestinian. Well, that because it came from America as did the DIME munitions that Israel lobbed in civilian areas, and for that matter, most of the military weapons used in the massacre.


Additional UPDATES in the comments.

Tags: Gaza, Gaza Freedom March, George Galloway, Israel, Palestine, Viva Palestina (all tags)

Comments

57 Comments

Re: Gaza Freedom March UPDATE2

This comment is really the second update of this saga. It is from Alice Howard of Viva Palestina:

International Aid Convoy Members Prepare for Hunger Strike

Members of the Viva Palestina international aid convoy to Gaza will begin a hunger strike at 11.25 am tomorrow (27th) in protest at the Egyptian government's refusal to allow the convoy entry onto its soil.

Diplomatic negotiations are also taking place between the Turkish and Egyptian governments over the convoy's entry to Egypt. IHH, Turkey's main humanitarian aid agency, has 63 vehicles travelling on the convoy.

The Syrian government has also provided aid and vehicles, as has the government of Malaysia. More than 400 people from 17 countries are travelling on the 150 vehicle convoy, which is taking medical, humanitarian and educational aid to Gaza.

The convoy departed London on 6 December and have travelled nearly 3,000 miles across Europe and the Middle East. However, the convoy and its cargo of aid is now stopped in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba, having been denied entry into Egypt.

British MP, George Galloway, who is travelling with the convoy, said: 'Israel has kept Gaza under siege for three-and-half years against international law. It has not allowed aid or rebuilding materials in following its attack on Gaza earlier this year. Our convoy is determined to break the siege and take in urgently needed supplies Spirits are high in our camp in Aqaba, and we are going nowhere except to Gaza.'

It was at 11.25 am on December 27 2008, that Israel dropped its first bombs on the besieged population of Gaza. Three weeks later, following a sustained air, land and sea assault, more than 1,400 Palestinians had been killed.

The Viva Palestina hunger strikers will consume only liquids until the convoy is allowed entry into Egypt.

Convoy members will also mark the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel's Operation Cast Lead by holding a march through Aqaba, jointly with the Jordanians. In the evening, more than 1,400 candles will be lit for a vigil.

The convoy has been jointly organised by the charity Viva Palestina and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the UK's largest organisation campaigning for solidarity with the Palestinian people.

by MainStreet 2009-12-26 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza Freedom March UPDATE3

This comment is yet another update from the Jewish Voice for Peace. If you are into human rights activism, please read on. This material and others like it is coming by the hour.

It was the last place in the world I expected to see Barbie's smiling face emblazoned on the front of a children's notebook.

It was a hot day in June, and as we traveled along a bumpy, dusty road in the south of Gaza, I thought how eerily quiet it was compared to the last time I had been here, when we were taunted by the whizzing sounds of small military drones following our every move.

Suddenly, our van arrived at a farmhouse where we were welcomed by a father and beekeeper wearing a flowing white robe. His name was Mohammed Shurrab. On his desk lay a stack of children's notebooks, each with an image of a Barbie doll on the cover.

Just months before, during Israel's attack on Gaza, Mohammed and his two sons waited for a lull in the fighting so they could flee to join the rest of their family. They weren't far from the farmhouse when they came under a hail of bullets from Israeli soldiers. All of them were shot.

Mohammed's 28-year-old son Kassab, an engineer, was killed immediately. Mohammed called various radio stations to ask for help from an ambulance while he held his other son, Ibrahim, while he shivered. It was nearly 24 hours before the Israeli military allowed an ambulance to come through. By then, Ibrahim, 18, had already bled to death in Mohammed's arms.

Mohammed Shurrab, who spoke like a poet and had Shakespeare and James Joyce on his bookshelf, explained how he came out to the farmhouse each day to be alone, to write in longhand in the notebooks about his sons-- how much he missed them, how much he loved them, and, I'd imagine, how angry he was about how they died.

He channeled that unspeakable sorrow into the only notebooks he could find while living under an extended blockade meant to punish 1.5 million Gazans for the election of Hamas. And he told his story to people like me who might then convey it to you in hopes that it would not happen again.

The bombing of Gaza started one year ago today. And every time I tuck my own son into bed, I think of Mohammed Shurrab, and the other parents like him who I met in Gaza, in Silwan in East Jerusalem, in South Hebron in the West Bank.

I think about the Israeli soldiers sent to Gaza and Hebron, some taught to hate, most simply armed and scared, the responsibility for enforcing occupation on their young shoulders; and the people in the south of Israel fleeing to shelters every time they hear the air raid sirens warning of Qassam rockets.

I think about the Gazan mothers who had nowhere else to go, who clutched their children in apartment hallways each night as bombs fell overhead-- and I remember the deliberate destruction of Gaza's factories, schools, hospitals and administrative buildings that I saw with my own eyes.

In the next few days, in an effort to call the world's attention to the continuing disaster in Gaza, over thirteen hundred people from 42 countries, including many JVP supporters, will arrive in Egypt and Israel to participate in the Gaza Freedom March on December 31. The Egyptian government is threatening to pull the plug on the march. We've mobilized supporters to pressure them to let marchers through. But no matter what happens at the border -- like you, like everyone in the march, we at Jewish Voice for Peace won't forget, we won't deny, and we won't desert.  

by MainStreet 2009-12-26 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza Freedom March delayed by Egypt UPDATEx3

This comment is the fourth update, from Gush Shalom, Jerusalem:

Israeli participation in the international Gaza campaign

# March from two sides of the Gaza Border, rally on the Israeli side - Thursday, Dec. 31 at 10.30 (initiated by the Monitoring Committee of the Arab population in Israel)

# Tel-Aviv Protest March, Saturday  Jan. 2,  2010, starting at 6.30pm from the Rabin Square, corner Ben-Tzion/Frishman (Gush Shalom is among the organizing coalition of peace groups)

# A protest march was held today, Dec 26, called by the Jaffa Popular Committee

For reference sake, in addition to the planned entrance into Gaza of 1,300 plus international activists through the Rafah crossing, there will be an expected 50,000 marchers from within Gaza to the Erestz crossing (spelling). The march from within Israel to this Gaza border crossing is yet another effort.

by MainStreet 2009-12-26 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza Freedom March delayed by Egypt UPDATEx4

Now we have the 5th update on this story, from Phil Weiss of Mondoweiss:

I'm off to Egypt
by Philip Weiss
December 26, 2009

...in a grim mood. Today's Isabel Kershner piece about the militant blindness inside Israel is echoed by Tom Segev's piece attacking Avi Shlaim in the forthcoming NY Review of Books. Both pieces are written by Israelis, for American publications, and from inside the Zionist perspective: a vision Segev holds on to, of a majority Jewish democracy in historical Palestine. Nostalgic for the good old rebel days of the New Historians, before the New Anti-Zionists, Segev suggests that the Palestinians should fold into Jordan, so that Israelis don't have to deal with a non-Jewish majority; and he has little to say about the incredible violence Israel has unleashed to obtain the managed situation that he seems to abide.

I'm criticized by some commenters for being inside the Jewish perspective. And I am that. I fear for my religious group. There is such indifference, and such a claim, alive in American publications, on a liberation story that is totally out of touch with reality. Let my people grow, before it's too late...

Good luck with getting into Gaza, Phil.

by MainStreet 2009-12-26 01:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza Freedom March delayed by Egypt UPDATEx6

Sorry about all of these updates, but information is unfolding slowly about this story. The latest is from the Viva Palestina site:

CONVOY FORBIDDEN ENTRY INTO EGYPT!

December 26th -  Over 500 people from 20 countries, in 250 vehicles loaded with Humanitarian Aid, are left stranded in Aqaba, Jordan, having been refused permission to enter Egypt.  The Egyptian Government have placed 3 conditions on the convoy if it wants to enter Egypt.

1. We hand all our vehicles and aid over to UNWRA.
2. We drive 500 miles back to Syria, and take a 24 hour ferry through the Suez Canal.
3.We have to ask Israel for permission to cross from Egypt to Gaza.

All 3 conditions have been flatly rejected by everyone on the convoy, as we want to cross into Gaza and hand our aid over to the Palestinians ourselves. For the 1st time, Egypt has now openly admitted that they are under control of Israel/US.

http://www.vivapalestina-us.org/

The question here is not what Egypt is all about as it is now in the Israeli-US sphere of influence, but what Obama is all about. He must surely know what is going on. His inaction up to this point suggests that his Cairo statements about the Gaza siege were meaningless. He's now Israel's man pure and simple.

by MainStreet 2009-12-26 04:45PM | 0 recs
Israel has a right to exist.

'67 Borders, except the Golan heights (lest Syria have an overwhelming positional advantage), and Jerusalem stays Israeli.

There.  All done.

by Rooktoven 2009-12-26 06:03PM | 0 recs
Don't forget

a rainbow-shitting unicorn for every man, woman, and child between the mediterranean and the jordan.

by JJE 2009-12-26 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Israel has a right to exist.

The notion that the high ground is an advantage is a mideval defensive strategy, when castles and fortresses were built on hilltops for defense purposes.

Today, this idea is pretty ridiculous. If Israel wants peace with its neighbors then it will return their land, and stop colonizing lands belonging to others, like Sheba Farms in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

Secondly, the idea that Israel has a right to exist is just one of Israel's latest harbara (propaganda) themes, which seemed to emerge with the ascendancy of Iran as a regional power and competitor. It also seems connected the notion that Israel as the victim of terror, the terrorists being the Palestinians living perpetually under occupation while their lands are stolen year after year. It is all hogwash.

by MainStreet 2009-12-27 12:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Israel has a right to exist.

So you do deny that Israel has a right to exist.  Finally.

by Rooktoven 2009-12-27 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Israel has a right to exist.

Have a reading problem?

"It is all hogwash."

by MainStreet 2009-12-27 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Israel has a right to exist.

I read pretty well.  You're pretty much a one trick pony.  Palestinians good. Israel bad.  

Even considering all of all of Israel's issues, I'd rather live there than any Arab country.

by Rooktoven 2009-12-27 12:26PM | 0 recs
Better food?

The way I see it, MainStreet and Lakrosse balance each other out here.  Grab your popcorn, and look forward to the next cage match.

by TexasDarling 2009-12-27 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza Freedom March nixed by Egypt UPDATEx7

This is now the 7th update on this story. Alice Howard reports by email from the scene:

Palestine, December 27, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Members of the Viva Palestina international aid convoy to Gaza will begin a hunger strike at 11.25am local time tomorrow (27th) in protest at the Egyptian government's refusal to allow the convoy entry onto its soil.

Diplomatic negotiations are also taking place between the Turkish and Egyptian governments over the convoy's entry to Egypt. IHH, Turkey's main humanitarian aid agency, has 63 vehicles travelling on the convoy.

The Syrian government has also provided aid and vehicles, as has the government of Malaysia. More than 400 people from 17 countries are travelling on the 150 vehicle convoy, which is taking medical, humanitarian and educational aid to Gaza.

They left London on 6 December and have travelled nearly 3,000 miles across Europe and the Middle East. However, the convoy and its cargo of aid is now stopped in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba, having been denied entry into Egypt.

British MP, George Galloway, who is travelling with the convoy, said: 'Israel has kept Gaza under siege for three-and-half years against international law. It has not allowed aid or rebuilding materials in following its attack on Gaza earlier this year. Our convoy is determined to break the siege and take in urgently needed supplies Spirits are high in our camp in Aqaba, and we are going nowhere except to Gaza.'

It was at 11.25am on December 27 2008, that Israel dropped its first bombs on the besieged population of Gaza. Three weeks later, following a sustained air, land and sea assault, more than 1,400 Palestinians had been killed.

The Viva Palestina hunger strikers will consume only liquids until the convoy is allowed entry into Egypt.

Convoy members will also mark the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel's Operation Cast Lead by holding a march through Aqaba, jointly with the Jordanians. In the evening, more than 1,400 candles will be lit for a vigil.

The convoy has been jointly organised by the charity Viva Palestina and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the UK's largest organisation campaigning for solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Maybe Turkey can change Egypt's mind, which is obviously focused a appeasing Israel and the US. So where's the US on this dilemma? President Obama must know of this convoy.

by MainStreet 2009-12-27 04:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Gaza Freedom March HUNGER STRIKE IS ON

Aside, another photo.


The New York City contingent before heading for Egypt.

by MainStreet 2009-12-27 06:55AM | 0 recs
Crude propaganda

does not lend itself very well to discussion, I'm afraid.

by Karmafish 2009-12-27 07:35AM | 0 recs
MainStreet is probably

a professional propagandist on Al Jazeera's payroll. After all, anyone who speaks up for Israel is doing "hasbara" according to that anti-semite and terrorist sympathizer

by Lakrosse 2009-12-27 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: MainStreet is probably

Probably not a professional, because a real pro would be able to handle straightforward questions without running away from them.

by NJ Liberal 2009-12-27 12:43PM | 0 recs
Lakrosse,

I agree with NJ.

Mainstreet is probably not a professional propagandist.

The way that I see it he (or she) is probably one of that small cadre of ideological Israel haters who believe their own vicious nonsense.  He thinks that everything I-P is always, and forever, Israel's fault and that the Palestinians, if not the Arabs more generally, are innocent little bunnies.

It's just plain stupid.

by Karmafish 2009-12-28 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Crude propaganda

Did you actually have any illusion that MainStreet has any interest in discussion?

by NJ Liberal 2009-12-27 12:42PM | 0 recs
Indeed

that's probably why nobody reads your blog.

by JJE 2009-12-27 02:10PM | 0 recs
Well,

apparently you did, otherwise you could not conclude that it is propaganda... even tho it is not.

Look, merely being pro-Israel does not represent propaganda... and neither does being pro-Palestinian.

It's only propaganda when you are entirely incapable of giving responsibility for how things have turned out to both sides.

I recognize that Israel has made serious mistakes and done some stupid things, but for Mainstreet it's all just the Jews... all just Israel that is at fault for everything in terms of I-P.

Such a view does, in fact, represent anti-Israel propaganda.

If you are an honest person, and I have no reason to assume that you are not, than you would recognize the difference.

by Karmafish 2009-12-28 07:46AM | 0 recs
REcognize this exchange?

Widespread Anti-Semitism on Progressive Websites UPDATE
by MainStreet
Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 08:43:00 AM EST

The full title of Joshua Holland's article in AlterNet is Ridiculous "Study" Supposedly Finds Widespread Anti-Semitism on Progressive Websites. It was written by Adam Levick.

As intellectually dishonest as this study could get, to quote Holland, it is not actually far from the discourse occasionally seen on progressive blogs like Daily Kos and MyDD. Take this exchange in the comment section of a diary recently posted about the Gaza siege (edited for generality):

Commenter A

Israel is perceived as the bad guy by some people.... That certainly seems to be the popular position in the more liberal corners of the Democratic party.

Commenter B

I'm a liberal, but I cannot help but notice the rise of anti-Zionism within the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic party.

If it continues to gain traction it will likely alienate the hell out of the Jewish liberal community and supporters of Israel.

Obama got something like 80% of the Jewish vote, but I'm guessing that percentage will be considerably lower next time around because of the way that he has seriously mishandled I-P.

In a previous comment, Commenter B ended a sentence with this phrase: "their ideological predisposition to blame everything on the Jews Israel," made evident that a charge of anti-Semitism is implicated in such remarks.

The most old hat defense in IP is that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. Criticism of Gaza is anti-Semitic. Showing pictures of dead Palestinian children is anti-Semitic. And it goes on and on. You know, after a while people are going to get the idea that you approve of the killings, of the occupation, of the colonization of Palestine, because I suppose the Palestinians are at fault.

by MainStreet 2009-12-28 01:25PM | 0 recs
Mainstreet,

You claim this:

<quote>The most old hat defense in IP is that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. Criticism of Gaza is anti-Semitic. Showing pictures of dead Palestinian children is anti-Semitic.</quote&gt

Your problem is that I have said nothing of the sort.  

Please show me where I have accused you of anti-Semitism.

You are accusing me of accusing you of anti-Semitism, when I have done nothing of the sort.

Please verify your accusation.

In the mean time you should know that this is another tactic that anti-Zionists use to delegitimize the Jewish state and its supporters.

You make vicious statements against Israel, and hope to see that whatever you fling at the wall might stick, and then you claim that anyone who opposes you is accusing you of anti-Semitism.

It's a very fucked up game that you play.

by Karmafish 2009-12-28 08:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Mainstreet,

"their ideological predisposition to blame everything on the Jews Israel"

is a charge of anti-Semitism pure and simple.

by MainStreet 2009-12-29 02:34AM | 0 recs
Hmmm...

Perhaps you are right.

I usually try not to be too quick with the anti-Semitism charge.

So, you have no problem with the Jewish people, but merely with the Jewish state... which contains nearly half the Jewish people... and that is supported by the other half.

But this is not about the Jews?

In other words, you wish to lambaste Israel, but no one is supposed to notice that this has something to do with the Jewish people?

Is that the idea?

by Karmafish 2009-12-29 08:39AM | 0 recs
Do you support Iran?

by JJE 2009-12-29 09:28AM | 0 recs
Why do you ask?

In truth, I don't think I've said a word about Iran on this blog.

by Karmafish 2009-12-29 11:04AM | 0 recs
Because

by your logic, if you don't support the Persian state you must be some kind of anti-Persian bigot.

by JJE 2009-12-29 12:32PM | 0 recs
Uh.

I have said nothing of the sort.

In fact, I have not even accused Mainstreet of anti-Semitism.  

As I stated very clearly, I have no idea of he is, or is not, anti-Semitic.

I have merely noted that he specializes is bashing the Jewish state.

Does that make him an anti-Jewish bigot?

Maybe.

But I am not in any position to say, because I am not so familiar with his writings that I would be comfortable taking that position.

by Karmafish 2009-12-29 01:20PM | 0 recs
Yes you have

Despite this rather cowardly double-talking, the implication of "for MainStreet it's all about the Jews" is not lost on anyone.

by JJE 2009-12-29 01:28PM | 0 recs
actually, no,

because when people in this context say whether they are pro or anti-Israel, it can be the concept of there being a state in which Jews are the dominant ethnicity and in the majority. One may not support the current jihadist political system in Iran, but one can support the idea Persians should have a state in which they are ethnically dominant. If one is anti-Zionist, generally it means they oppose a Jewish state's existence.

by Lakrosse 2009-12-29 09:15PM | 0 recs
You're a liar

You called him anti-semitic in this very thread:

"but for Mainstreet it's all just the Jews..."

Shouldn't you be off training with the IDF instead of spreading lies on the internet?

by JJE 2009-12-29 05:41AM | 0 recs
Holy shit!

Ya mean those Israelis that Mainstreet harps on are not Jews?

Netanyahu is not Jewish?

Who knew?

In any case, I believe that you can criticize Jewish and Israeli leadership without being anti-Semitic.

Don't you?

by Karmafish 2009-12-29 08:32AM | 0 recs
So are you no longer denying

that you called MainStreet an anti-semite, but rather defending that comment by arguing that it is true because some Israelis are Jewish.  Is that accurate?

In any case, I believe that you can criticize Jewish and Israeli leadership without being anti-Semitic.

That's great.  Israel-firsters tend to believe this always in general but never in particular.

by JJE 2009-12-29 09:27AM | 0 recs
Is Mainstreet anti-Semitic?

I have no idea if he is or not.

All I know about Mainstreet is that he lambastes the Jewish state on a daily basis.  He does not criticize, because criticism requires seeking honest solutions to difficult problems.

This is not what Mainstreet does.

by Karmafish 2009-12-29 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Mainstreet anti-Semitic?

All of which is to say, you believe that supporting the Viva Palestina convoy and the Gaza Freedom March are anti-Israel, and therefore you are against them and believe anyone who is a "possible" anti-Semite. BUt you don't know.

Did you grow up in America or in an IDF training camp?

by MainStreet 2009-12-29 11:09AM | 0 recs
You do not understand.

Supporting the Viva Palestina convoy and the Gaza Freedom March are not the issue.

The question for me is when does pro-Palestinian activism morph into anti-Israel activism and anti-Zionism?

That's the question.

If someone takes it upon himself to vilify Israel, and to seek to undermine its legitimacy, while virtually ignoring much worse human rights violations around the world and while also freeing the Palestinians, or the leadership, from any responsibility for how things have turned out, one is no longer engaging in pro-Palestinian activism, but anti-Zionist / anti-Israel activism, which is an entirely different thing.

The presence of anti-Zionism and ideological Israel hatred within the movement for Palestinian justice is entirely toxic toward that movement because, by its very nature, it sets that movement up for a conflict with Jews around the world, the great majority of whom support Israel.

And that is not very good activism.

by Karmafish 2009-12-29 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: You do not understand.

Afraid not. Since you appeared here not too long ago, you have not suppled a single comment of substance to the content of a diary, at least those of mine, but immediately began to initiate a preoccupation with the mainstreet as an anti-Semite. As far as I can tell, you are here not to participate in issues, but to defame the diarists who appear to support Palestinian freedom and their plight, to do mischief.

By subtraction, I would have to say you support thoroughly the continuing military occupation of the Palestinian people, and the further theft of their lands, and the right wing Likud project. But you are just not honest enough to say so because they would appear right wing on a left wing site.

At least Lakrosse is honest about his views, even though much of them amount to Israeli propaganda, and even though he also does some messenger slaying.

by MainStreet 2009-12-29 12:24PM | 0 recs
Well,

you're obviously comfortable making huge assumptions about what I believe.

All I have said is that you malign Israel on a daily basis.

Do you deny it?

I have also said that it is a very poor form of activism because, by necessity, it must alienate the great majority of Jews because those Jews tend to support Israel.

Is this not common sense?

Do you honestly believe that you can kick the crap out of Israel on a daily basis and Jewish people are supposed to either not notice or not respond?

That's not a very liberal attitude to take, it seems to me.

by Karmafish 2009-12-29 01:24PM | 0 recs
Concern troll is concerned

Please don't insult our intelligence by suggesting that your diary hijacking is driven by concern that this is "not very good [i.e. ineffective] activism."

by JJE 2009-12-29 12:36PM | 0 recs
What nonsense

MainStreet criticizes what he sees as injustice, and the entity he sees as primarily responsible for it.  

You wish he would shut up because you have some kind of emotional attachment to that same entity and it makes you angry to see it crticized.

And you are trying to shame him or call him names to accomplish your goal of shutting him up.  I'm sad to inform you that several others have been trying that for some time without success and you are unlikely to fare any better.

by JJE 2009-12-29 12:42PM | 0 recs
He does not "criticize."

Criticism, if it is criticism, seeks to be fair.  It  seeks to be nuanced.  It proposes workable solutions to complex problems.

What Mainstreet does is lambaste, vilify, and demonize.

Until pro-Palestinian activists figure out the difference there will always be conflict with Jews and it will drive away potential support from Jewish people.

It's so obvious and, yet, people such as yourself simply cannot see it.

I wish that Mainstreet did criticism, but he does not.

by Karmafish 2009-12-29 01:36PM | 0 recs
More nonsense

Criticism is criticism.  You may prefer criticism of the mealy-mouthed milquetoast can't-we-all-get-along- variety, but you don't get to define what constitutes criticism and what does not.  

Who cares if MainStreet's postings diminish support from the negligible (probably nonexistent) number of Jewish people who read this blog and would otherwise be inclined to support Palestinian rights?  That is classic concern trollery and completely irrelevant to this diary.

Do you have anything to contribute on the subject of the diary or is your interest limited to empty hand-wringing.

by JJE 2009-12-29 01:53PM | 0 recs
Well,

your "contributions" to this discussion has mainly been limited to ad homs and rather nasty commentary.

I am not "hand-wringing."

I am telling you something very specific.

It is that maligning the Jewish state is not good for Jews and it is not good for Palestinians, either.

I am telling you that there is a difference between anti-Zionism, ideological hatred for Israel, and legitimate criticism or pro-Palestinian activism.

Furthermore, of course, criticism is not just anything that you would like it to be.

Criticism says "here is the problem" and here is a fair solution.  What criticism does not do is lambaste or vilify.  That is not in the spirit of what criticism is.

Anyways, you guys can scream to the hillsides about the Evil that is Israel, that is, you can try to create hatred for the Jewish state with malicious propaganda, but in the mean time Israel is doing quite nicely.

They have an economy more or less on par with Europe, the strongest military in the region, and one of the most educated work-forces to be found anywhere in the world.

Good for them.

Oh, and btw, there is nothing progressive or liberal about malicious propaganda, either.  Various people and governments have, in the past, gone in for maligning the Jews, but none of them were anything resembling "liberal."

by Karmafish 2009-12-29 02:33PM | 0 recs
Once again

You are not the arbiter of what is criticism and what is not.  If you don't like criticism of your favorite political ideology, don't read it and spare everyone else the lectures and feigned concern for Palestinians.

by JJE 2009-12-29 03:34PM | 0 recs
Your comment

is not honest to what I am talking about.

What I am telling you, and what you refuse to acknowledge, refute, or discuss, is that anti-Zionism, wedded to pro-Palestinian activism, is poison.

That's the main point.

As for criticism, you are right that I am not the arbiter of what it is or is not.

My understanding of criticism is that it is something distinct from propaganda, however.

Do you agree that there is a distinction?

by Karmafish 2009-12-29 08:31PM | 0 recs
Poison to whom?

And what evidence do you have that vociferous criticism (or villification, in your words) of Israel is "poison"?  I doubt it matters much one way or the other - Israel will continue its land grabs and ethno-religious chauvinism irrespective of the tone of blog postings.

In any event, whether it is or isn't "poison" is irrelevant to this diary.  It's rather rude and disruptive to barge into a diary and talk about something unrelated to the point of the diary simply because it's what you would prefer to discuss.

by JJE 2009-12-30 04:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Well,

Enough is enough.

If you have no interest in the Gaza Freedom March or the Viva Palestina convoy, or the cause behind these efforts, then I really suggest that you ignore diaries such as these, rather than coming on with some implication that people who are interested are only demeaning Jews and are anti-Semitic.

You really ought to find out something about the makeup of people conducting these humanitarian efforts as you appear ignorant of the reality. I won't mention the Jewish Voice of Peace contingent now in Cairo, but I will mention Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor, who at age 85 is presently on a hunger strike for this cause.

I really think you stumbled into the wrong blog.

by MainStreet 2009-12-29 04:43PM | 0 recs
MainStreet,

I probably respect you more than you realize.

Of course I have an interest in the cause behind these efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state..

I am an American.  I am a Jew.  And I am a liberal.

And, yet, I find left-liberal hatred of Israel... well... more than a little troublesome.

I would love to discuss it, tho... if we can do so in a fair manner... and that means discussing the history in a way that is not hostile.

Is that possible?

by Karmafish 2009-12-29 08:50PM | 1 recs
Re: MainStreet,

I will respond one last time, in spite of the fact that you have continually attempted to hijack this diary about a human rights effort, and turn into an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic rant, and being an American, a Jew, and a liberal does not change that.

"delegitimize the Jewish state..???"

This phrase seems now to come as nothing more than hyperbole, a ridiculous criticism of the human rights ventures of the Viva Palestina convoy and the Free Gaza March. It is so totally ridiculous that my conclusion is, you have nothing in common with Americans, liberals, and certainly a lot of Jewish Americans who find themselves participating in these human rights and humanitarian ventures. You can say what you wish about what you are, but on blogs that is possible. But your statements against those courageous individuals over there attempting to stop the inhumane suffering of Palestinians in Gaza seem somewhat incongruous with what you claim to be.

I said enough earlier, so don't bother responding.

by MainStreet 2009-12-30 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: He does not "criticize."

You have still not said a word about the content of this diary, including what you say is critical of Israel. I can understand that. Facts speak for themselves, and give your proclivities, you have nothing to say, unless it is that publishing such facts will drive away Jewish voters from the Democratic party.

I believe I heard that scare tactic before. It is intended to appeal to silence about what Israel is doing and has done to the Palestinian people. Not going to happen.

by MainStreet 2009-12-29 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: He does not "criticize."

PS: The truth I merely report as in this diary, ongoing events, in this case, an international human rights protest in which over 1300 peace activists are involved and a convoy of essential goods for a people who are being subjected to inhumane conditions, a year after 1400 of them were killed including over 300 children.

Now is that blasphmous to Israel? Well let the Goldstone Report speak to that. Our present concern is the involvement of Egypt who now, like the US, is carrying water for Israel, a right wing government that continues a 42 year long military occupation for the sole purpose of stealing more of their lands. That people are the Palestinians.

by MainStreet 2009-12-29 02:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Holy shit!

Hate quoting Reagan, but there you go again.

by MainStreet 2009-12-29 10:32AM | 0 recs
I've read his blog

as have others. Karma makes insightful points and in depth analysis which strikes at the heart of MainStreet, your, and other ideologies which seek to minimize jihadism and maximize the Israel/Palestinian conflict. Where's YOUR blog? have you ever even made one?

by Lakrosse 2009-12-28 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I've read his blog

As "deep" as the latest GIYUS talking points. I don't know who this guy or gal is, but he's been on this site a few weeks and already he is sniffing out the anti-Semites, the people who criticize Israel.

Lakrosse you are about as right wing on the LIkud scale as one can get, but nonsense like this makes one believe you are not as smart as you contend. You are all propaganda and everyone knows that. But this guy/gal pretends he's not.

by MainStreet 2009-12-29 11:13AM | 0 recs
right wing, as in supporting

the existence of an Islamist party like you do which is called Hamas? Ironic how such a person like yourself, self-proclaimed "progressive" can support religious fundamentalism. But then I remembered, to you far left radicals, as long as you look at the world thru your fucked up lens of supporting anything America hates or that hates America, you'll support anyone even if they're overtly anti-liberal and reactionary, as is Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terror groups.

by Lakrosse 2009-12-29 09:21PM | 1 recs
Re: right wing, as in supporting

THe same old hat messenger slaying. When you begin to talk the evils of military occupation and colonization of Palestine, we can discuss. Otherwise....as I advised Strummerson, responding to you is a waste of time. Henceforth and so forth.

by MainStreet 2009-12-30 12:15AM | 0 recs

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