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Dagelijks archief 26 november 2011

Nederlands koloniaal beleid

Het westen is blijven steken in een beleid dat al eeuwen overleden is, maar Nederland blijft met stip de sterkste in deze VOC mentaliteit, m.a.w. wat levert het ons op? Zo is Nederland bekend geworden en daar is men ook trots op en geweest, maar de moderne ontwikkelingen eisen een andere benadering. De mentaliteit is te vinden bij het ministerie van Financiën ( “we gaan door tot we de laatste euro terug hebben”), bij Ontwikkelingshulp (“Alleen geld aan die landen als we er wat aan kunnen verdienen”), Economische Zaken (“Kijken wat we er kunnen vangen”), en tegenwoordig ook bij Buitenlandse Zaken.

December 1991 werden de verkiezingen in Algerije gewonnen door het islamistische Front Islamique du Salut, wat hard aankwam bij de gevestigde orde en het seculiere westen. Hierna volgde een staatsgreep van het leger en de onbuigzame Liamine Zéroual verving president Bendjedid en het westen kon weer verder: Algerije was gered van het ‘islamitische gevaar’ en Algerije was gered voor de democratie.

Wat het westen niet begreep en nog steeds niet begrijpt, is dat verkiezingen de ultieme vorm van democratie zijn, maar dat in andere landen wel eens een andere uitkomst kan komen dan het westen zou willen. Door de steun van m.n. Frankrijk aan het bewind van Zéroual grepen bepaalde groeperingen naar de wapens, waarmee een acht jaar durende burgeroorlog begon waarbij vermoedelijk ca. 120.000 personen om het leven zijn gekomen.

Ook in Palestina werd dezelfde fout gemaakt. In Palestina bestaat het parlement (Palestijnse Wetgevende Raad) uit één kamer van 132 leden. In 2006 zijn er verkiezingen geweest waarbij Hamas 76 zetels behaalde, Fatah 43 zetels, PFLP 3 zetels, Badil 2 zetels, Onafhankelijk Palestina 2 zetels, Derde weg 2 zetels en Onafhankelijk of anders 4 zetels.  Maar belangrijk was dat Hamas niet was wat het westen wilde en nog steeds wil. Sterker de cowboy achtige president van Amerika startte zijn oorlog tegen de as van het kwaad en plaatste Hamas op de lijst van terroristische organisaties. Hamas (wat staat voor Islamitische Verzetsbeweging) is een islamitische politieke beweging die streeft naar de bevrijding van Palestina en zich altijd heeft verzet tegen het bestaan van de Israëlische staat. Het Arabische woord ḥamās betekent “enthousiasme, vuur, fanatisme”.  Voor Nederland zijn verzetsstrijders altijd van groot belang geweest, waarom islamitische verzetsstrijders terroristen noemen?

Het westen heeft zijn mond vol over democratie, maar als er ergens een politieke groepering aan het bewind komt die niet past binnen het ‘westerse beeld van democratie” dan wordt er van alles gedaan om deze groeperingen het leven zuur te maken, te beginnen om ze op de lijst van terroristen te zetten. De media heeft hier in haar woordkeus ook een groot aandeel in, vooral als ze woorden gebruiken als “islamistische”, ”islamitisch gevaar” of “terroristen”.

De komende tijd zal het moeilijk worden voor het westen, de economische crisis zal een vorm krijgen die zijn weerga niet kent, maar in vele landen waar de Arabische lente voorbij is gekomen, komen andere partijen aan het bewind, zoals in Tunesië de gematigde islamitische partij Ennadah, in Palestina blijft Hamas een zeer belangrijke factor, in Marokko schijnt de  Parti Justice et Développement hoge ogen te gaan gooien, Egypte en Libye zijn nog niet duidelijk, maar de mogelijkheid is daar ook groot aanwezig dat een min of meer gematigde islamitische partijen de macht zal gaan krijgen.
Is het niet eens verstandig om te kijken waar dat aan zou kunnen liggen? Is het niet zo dat die partijen gestreden hebben tegen de corrupte machthebbers en meestal dictators die alleen de eigen zakken vulden? Is het niet zo dat deze partijen educatie, werkgelegenheid, gezondheidszorg brachten en dus voor geld voor de mensen zorgden?

Misschien is het verstandig dat Nederland het koloniale juk van zich afwerpt en gaat staan voor de gerechtigheid in de maatschappij en speciaal voor de mensen in Arabische landen (wat ze altijd met de mond hebben beleden, maar nog nooit met daden)  en contact zoekt met die groeperingen die echt door de mensen zijn gekozen, let wel, de Islamitische partijen. Tenslotte is de relatie met Turkije volgens de minister van Buitenlandse Zaken hard nodig.

@KhamakarPress

News of Syria 26.11.2011

Watch out, #Syria – once UK National TV starts quoting activist death toll numbers you’re in worse trouble than you know

Syrian observatory 4HR says 42 people were killed in #Syriatoday,26 civilians including 3 children, 3 defectors & 12 members of security

Free Syrian Army called 4 #BufferZone & #NoFlyZone.What are you waiting for??Support their call..#FSA putting their lives on the line 4 us.

#AlAssad regime knows that its gonna fall down, but all what it wants to do is to create disturbance and chaos following its falling #syria

#homs now is under fire… #syria

Oh my God. Ynet: #Syria human rights groups report at least 70 dead in clashes between protesters and #Syrian forces over the past 24 hours.

Assad keep on killing cause we have no one to stop him..only force can remove this SOB and stop bloodshed in #Syria #NoFlyZone #BufferZone

The Syrian Revolution General Commission asked LOUD and CLEAR for a #NoFlyZone … Do you remember ?

The Assad’s regime is using tanks & air force to massacre defenseless ppl seeking freedom… Time for #NoFlyZone #Syria #Syrie #Nato4Syria

Syrian FSA “We are determined to liberate our people and to make the regime fall

#syria needs freedom… #homs

I really just can’t grasp why the #Assad regime feels the need to mutilate bodies. The only explanation can be that they have no soul #syria

More about Syria:

SNN | #Syria | Hama:
Summary of Events in Hama province on Saturday, 26 Nov 2011

By the Syrian Revolution General Commission – In Occupied Hama and The Revolution in Hama Archive found at http://www.hamafree.com/index.php?name=city

Martyrs

Martyr and hero, Farouq Abdul-Hamid Al-Rahmoun, from Al-Latamneh, He died under torture, and his body was handed over today.

Rural Hama:

Security forces stormed the towns of Hayalin, Bridij, and Al-Jerniyeh. Earlier in the day, regime forces looted, vandalized, and made arrests in the town of Qalaat Al-Madiaq.
– Kernaz:

As part of the regime’s campaign on northern rural Hama; a tight siege was imposed the town of Kernaz and its surrounding and then it was heavily bombarded today.
– Hayalin town:

The army, security, and Shaibha (regime-sponsored gangs) storm the town for the 4th time in a week, the residents, fearing the savagery of regime forces, are in a state of constant fleeing and displacement.

– Al-Latamneh:

The body of hero and martyr Farouq Abdul-Rahim Al-Rahmoun, who died under torture, was handed over today, and his funeral procession was held.

– Hama city:

In the early morning hours, there was intensive flight activity by military aircrafts over Hama city. Around 10 AM a small transportation plane landed in the military airport.
There was gunfire in different areas of Hama, including the neighborhoods of Al-Debagha and Aleppo-road, and heavy gunfire at bilal roundabout, along with complete blackout of electricity in the western side neighborhoods of Hama city, including the neighborhoods of Al-Taawoniya, Al-Bayad, and Al-Andalus. Sounds of several explosions were heard.
Still, nighttime demonstrations issued in the neighborhoods of Al-Aliliyat, Al-Qusour, Al-Qebli, and Al-Hamidiya. The chants were in solidarity with rural Hama and Homs, and for freedom, martyrs, and demanding the departure of Al-Assad gang and the execution of Bashar Al-Assad.

Featured Videos:

Security and Shabiha (regime-sponsored gangs) terrorizing the children in Hama city. This video is from 24 Nov 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLSOpw5CwOE

A morning demonstration in Al-Tarmiseh town demanding the overthrowing of the regime, 26 Nov 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITBJhXfb0Zw

Army, security, and Shabiha elements in Al-Alamayn St, on 25 Nov 2011
http://youtu.be/IfNnIRKppGw
http://youtu.be/jLY8xrHNKM8
http://youtu.be/HJhv9Wz1roY
http://youtu.be/wS46ZDV_p2Q

A wonderful nighttime demonstration in Bab Qebli neighborhood in Hama city, chanting for martyrs, freedom, and demanding the overthrowing of the regime, 26 Nov 2011
http://youtu.be/a8PZYSoUJjI
http://youtu.be/4gZiSkx4r4o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsEj8tyTR58

A nighttime demonstration in Al-Aliliyat neighborhood in Hama city, 26 Nov 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpxE-JYEZ_8

A nighttime demonstration in Al-Qusour neighborhood in Hama city, demanding the overthrowing of the regime, 26 Nov 2011

http://youtu.be/uy4XukP60h4
http://youtu.be/Ue9edps3KJw
http://youtu.be/YRYpMrnFyvw

A large nighttime demonstration in Al-Sharqiya neighborhood in Hama city, 26 Nov 2011
http://youtu.be/BaprNcw-IsU

 

Bestaat er een islamitische staat? Is de islam te combineren met democratie?

Terwijl politieke, sociale en economische ideologieën zich alleen met bepaalde veranderlijke aspecten van ons aardse bestaan bezighouden, is de islam in de eerste plaats gericht op de onveranderlijke aspecten van het leven en het bestaan. Wanneer we religie of de islam met democratie willen vergelijken, dienen we ons te realiseren dat democratie een systeem is, dat voortdurend in ontwikkeling is en veranderd wordt. Om die reden kunnen alleen de wereldse aspecten van de islam met democratie vergeleken worden.

De profeet (vzmh) heeft gezegd dat: “alle mensen net zo gelijkwaardig zijn als de tanden van een kam.” Hij heeft ook gezegd: “Jullie stammen allen af van Adam en Adam komt uit de aarde. O dienaren van God, wees broeders (en zusters).” Degenen die rijker en machtiger zijn dan anderen of tot bepaalde families of etnische groeperingen behoren, hebben geen aangeboren recht om over anderen te heersen.

De islam stelt geen bepaalde absolute vorm van regering voor en probeert die ook niet vorm te geven. In plaats daarvan biedt de islam fundamentele principes, die richting geven aan het algemene karakter van een regering en het aan de mensen zelf overlaten om, afhankelijk van de tijd en omstandigheden, een regeringsvorm te kiezen. De islam kent de volgende basisprincipes:

·         Macht ligt in waarheid, een weerlegging van het algemeen aanvaarde idee dat waarheid op macht berust.

·         Rechtvaardigheid en de regel der wet zijn essentieel.

·         Vrijheid van geloof en het recht op leven, persoonlijk bezit, voortplanting en (zowel geestelijke als lichamelijke) gezondheid mogen niet geschonden worden.

·         De privacy en immuniteit van het individuele leven dient behouden te blijven.

·         Niemand kan zonder bewijs worden veroordeeld of voor de misdaad van een ander beschuldigd en gestraft worden.

·         Een adviserend bestuurssysteem is van essentieel belang.

Zoals de islam mensen en samenlevingen verantwoordelijk houdt voor hun eigen geloof, hebben mensen ook de verantwoordelijkheid zichzelf te besturen. Moderne democratische systemen brengen dezelfde plichten met zich mee, als de islam een samenleving oplegt.

Door deze plichten met elkaar te delen, werken mensen met elkaar samen en leggen ze de basis die nodig is om ze uit te kunnen voeren. De regering bestaat uit al deze fundamenten. Daarom raadt de islam een regering aan die gebaseerd is op een sociale overeenkomst. Mensen kiezen de bestuurders en stellen een raad samen, om kwesties van algemeen belang in te bespreken. De samenleving neemt in zijn geheel deel aan het controleren van het bestuur.

Met name ten tijde van het bewind van de eerste vier kaliefen (632-661) werden bovengenoemde fundamentele principes voor bestuur – inclusief vrije verkiezingen – volledig nagevolgd. Na Ali, de vierde kalief, veranderde het politieke systeem in een sultanaat (koninkrijk), dat in die tijd de norm was in de wereld. In tegenstelling tot het kalifaat, werd de macht in het sultanaat overgedragen aan familie van de sultan. Hoewel men niet langer vrije verkiezingen hield, werden andere principes in de regering en samenleving behouden, die de kern vormen van de hedendaagse liberale democratie.

Tegenwoordig is er geen land dat door moslims geregeerd wordt, waar deze idealen volledig gehandhaafd worden. De meeste moderne moslimlanden bevinden zich in een overgangsperiode. Aan het einde van de rit zullen zij hopelijk stabiele politieke systemen vormen, waarna moslimlanden de democratie in de wereld tot grote hoogten zullen helpen stijgen.

(vraagislam.nl / 26.11.2011)

Turkey: Relations Not To Be Normalized until Israel Lifts Gaza Blockade

Turkish Minister of Foreign Affair, Ahmed Dawud Aghlo, reconfirmed that relations between Turkey and Israel won’t be normalized till the latter issues an official statement, apologizing for Israeli attacks on the Turkish “Freedom Flotilla” in bound to Gaza and lifting Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, the Maan News Agency reported Friday afternoon.

The Turkish Flag. Image by Maannews.net

The Turkish Flag.

His statement came after talks held with his Italian Counterpart, Giulio de Tertisa Santagata, on Friday in the Turkish Capital of Istanbul.

Oglu said “Israel must choose: either to cooperate and resolve the ongoing tension or not to cooperate and keeps the tension raised,” adding that “Israel is the world’s current tension as it keeps expanding its illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, if Israel extends its hand in peace, Turkey would extend its hand in peace in reverse,” said he.

He further pointed out that there is a possibility of normalizing bilateral relations between Turkey and Israel if the latter apologized over killing the Turkish “Freedom Flotilla” activists in bound to Gaza in May 2010. Israel, moreover, must pay compensations to the families of the Turkish victims who were killed on board the Marmara ship, which was transferring humanitarian aid to the people of the enclave.

Turkey claims that one of the conditions, must be executed, in order to normalize bilateral relations between Israel and Turkey is to end the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.

On May 23rd, 2010, Israeli Navy forces attacked the Gaza-bound Turkish Marmara Ship, sailing in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea which led to the killing of nine boarding activists and several other were wounded. As a result, Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Israel and expeled the Israeli ambassador to Turkey, requesting Israel to issue an official statement that apologizes and promises to pay compensations to the families of the victims. Turkey, furthermore, announced that it would sue Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

(www.imemc.org / 26.11.2011)

Israel threatens to cut off power, water to Gaza

JERUSALEM: Israel warned on Saturday that it would cut the supply of water and electricity to the Gaza Strip if rival Palestinian movementsFatah and Hamas form a unity government.

“The foreign ministry is examining the possibility of Israel pulling out of the Gaza Strip in terms of infrastructure,” Deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon told the daily Yediot Aharonot website.

A unity government deal “would transform the Palestinian Authority into a terrorist authority and would put an end to any hope for a peace agreement” with Israel, said Ayalon, who is also a Knesset deputy from the nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party.

On Friday, Israeli ministers decided to maintain a freeze on the transfer of tens of millions of dollars in tax monies to the Palestinian Authority hours after Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas held top-level talks with Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal at which they announced a new era of “partnership.”

The transfer of funds, which make up a large percentage of the authority’s monthly budget, was frozen on November 1 as a punitive measure after the Palestinians won full membership of the UN cultural organisation.

“If the Palestinians have signed an agreement over a unity government, it would make a transfer of funds impossible,” a senior government official told AFP.

In January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already threatened to cut off water and power to Gaza, which has been controlled by Hamas since the Islamist group chased Fatah from the territory in 2008.

Israel, which unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and dismantled Jewish settlements in 2008, continues to supply the territory with water and 70 percent of its electrical power, the rest being supplied by neighbouring Egypt or local power plants.

(timesofindia.indiatimes.com / 26.11.2011)

‘Verkiezingsuitslag Marokko geen goede zaak’

Abdelillah Benkirane, leider van de Marokkaanse PJD, spreekt tot de media na het winnen van de verkiezingen.
Dat de Partij voor Gerechtigheid en Ontwikkeling (PJD) de verkiezingen in Marokko heeft gewonnen, is niet positief. Dat vindt Yuba Zalen van een van de twee takken van de 20 Februari Beweging Nederland. ‘Ze staan bekend om hun populistische uitspraken.’

‘De PJD was de afgelopen jaren prominent aanwezig in het politieke bestel in Marokko”, zegt Zalen. ‘Het volk heeft het vertrouwen in dat bestel opgegeven. Er is geen reden om aan te nemen dat ze het nu beter zouden doen.’

Het opkomstpercentage bij de verkiezingen was volgens de Marokkaanse overheid 45 procent. Gezien ‘de propaganda” die mensen ertoe moest bewegen om te gaan stemmen, is dit volgens Zalen ‘een slag voor de regering’. De 20 Februari Beweging had opgeroepen de verkiezingen te boycotten.

Overigens heeft Zalen er niet veel vertrouwen in dat de officiële cijfers over de opkomst en uitslag echt kloppen. De verkiezingen staan namelijk onder leiding van het ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken, dat volgens veel Marokkanen weinig transparant is. ‘Er is geen enkele aanleiding om aan te nemen dat dit betrouwbare cijfers zijn.’

(www.parool.nl / 26.11.2011)

Deaths mount in Syria; Arab League mulls possible sanctions

(CNN) — At least 11 civilians, including three children, were killed Saturday by security forces across Syria, the Local Coordination Committees of Syria activist group said.

Seven of the deaths occurred in Homs, two in Deir Ezzor, and one each in the Damascus suburbs of Kanaker and Idlib, said the group, which organizes and documents anti-government protests.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that 22 army and security force members were buried Saturday.

“The martyrs were targeted by the armed terrorist groups while they were in the line of duty in the governorates of Damascus Countryside, Homs and Hama,” it said. “Relatives of the martyrs expressed pride in their son’s martyrdom who sacrificed their lives to defend their homeland, stressing that Syria will remain steadfast in the face of the conspiracy which targets its unity and stability.”

Syria, meanwhile, failed to respond to a Friday deadline for it to allow Arab League observers into the country to monitor the government’s response to civil unrest.

That failure has moved the country a step closer to economic sanctions from its neighbors, a senior Arab League diplomat said.

“The Syrians responded with more requests to amendments to the protocol; they did not reject or accept,” he said.

The finance and economic ministers of the Arab League were to meet Saturday to draft potential sanctions that will be discussed Sunday by the Arab League’s foreign ministers, said the diplomat, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

These could include halting dealings with Syria’s central bank and airlines, the official said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Syria risked international isolation if it continued on its present path — and, that the bloodshed resulting from its crackdown on pro-democracy protests could not be tolerated.

“Syria has to make a decision,” he said in Istanbul alongside his Italian counterpart, Giulio Terzi. “It will either continue this crackdown policy against its people and become isolated more and more, or it will say yes to this well-intentioned Arab League proposal, sign this protocol and observers will monitor the situation on the ground by going to all Syrian cities.”

In New York, a representative of Ban Ki-moon said Friday that the U.N. secretary-general “welcomes the efforts of the League of Arab States to end the bloodshed and promote a political solution” and urged Syrian authorities to agree to the league’s proposal to send an observer mission to protect civilians in Syria.

Since March, protesters in cities across the country have been demanding al-Assad’s ouster and democratic elections.

SANA said the move by Arab League diplomats meeting in Cairo was unprecedented. The league was rejected by the Syrian people as “a tool for foreign interference,” it said.

“The sanctions include stopping air flights, trade exchanges and monetary dealings with the Syrian government and freezing its assets, which harms the interests of the Syrian people,” it reported.

The 22-country Arab League suspended Syria from its membership this month after President Bashar al-Assad’s regime ignored demands to end its crackdown on citizens.

Adding to the pressure on Damascus, the United Nations Committee Against Torture said Friday it is “deeply concerned about gross and pervasive human rights violations in Syria,” which are allegedly taking place “in a context of impunity.”

“Of particular concern are reports referring to children who have suffered torture and mutilation while detained; as well as cases of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; arbitrary detention by police forces and the military; and enforced and involuntary disappearances,” said Claudio Grossman, who heads the expert panel.

Reliable sources indicate the abuses “are allegedly conducted under direct orders from public authorities, at their instigation or with their consent or acquiescence,” Grossman said.

The committee has asked Syria to provide a special report by early March indicating it is abiding by its obligations under the U.N. Convention against Torture, to which Syria is a signatory.

(edition.cnn.com / 26.11.2011)

Résultats provisoires élections parlementaires du 25 Novembre au Maroc.

Le ministre de l’intérieur Marocain a annoncé les résultats provisoires comptant pour 288 sièges hors listes nationales lors de la conférence de presse de 13h27 de ce Samedi 26 novembre 2011 :

Taux de participation provisoire : 45,4%
Nombre de sièges par parti :

  1. PJD : 80 sièges, 27,7% (Parti Justice et développement)
  2. PI: 45 sièges, 15,6% (Parti Istiqlal)
  3. RNI 38 sièges, 13,2% (Rassemblement national des indépendants)
  4. PAM 33 sièges, 11,5% (Parti authenticité et modernité)
  5. USFP 29 sièges, 10% (Union socialiste des forces populaires)
  6. MP 22 sièges, 7,6% (Mouvement populaire)
  7. PPS 11 sièges, 4% (Parti du Progrès et du socialisme)

(www.bigbrother.ma / 26.11.2011)

Join Campaign against Sale of South Korean Jets to Israel

We are Palestine Peace Solidarity @S.Korea, which is a grassroots group of solidarity movement for Palestine. We formed our group in 2003 and since then, have been focusing on violations of human rights in Palestine and the struggle against the occupation. Now we launched our petition campaign against the sale of jet-trainer/light fighter T-50 to Israel by the South Korean government.

south_korean_jet

Please join our petition via this link, and send your message to the South Korean government.

You can see the details of this here.

In recent years South Korea has dramatically increased its military relationship with Israel. On average, it imports US $280 million of Israeli-manufactured defense products per-year. In accordance with the Palestinian Civil Society’s call for a military embargo on Israel, we call on the South Korean government to cancel the sale of its T-50 Golden Eagle Jet and cut all defense ties with Israel until the latter demonstrates the will to abide by the principles of international humanitarian law.

We urgently ask you to join us in petitioning this request to the South Korean government.

In Solidarity

———————————————————-

Palestine Peace Solidarity of S.Korea

Website(Korean)

Blog (English)

E-mail: nablus3 (at) gmail (dot) com

Twitter: PPS_KR

[Petition Letter] ——————————————————————————————–

Dear

Republic of Korea President Myung-bak Lee Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Commissioner of Defense Acquisition Program Administration ,

We are aware that the Israeli Air Force is considering the purchase of South Korea’s T-50 “Golden Eagle” Jets. We are also aware that the South Korean government and Korean Aerospace Industries are both eager to see this sale finalized. Indeed, the results of this sale could be that of a great honour to South Korea and its Aerospace Industry. It would certainly upgrade its position as an international arms exporter and South Korea would certainly experience the subsequent economic benefits of the sale.

Presently, the government of Israel, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, is strongly pushing its politics of aggression, territorial expansion and non-compliance with international law. The human rights situation for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories continues to deteriorate as Israel continues to construct settlements in direct conflict with international law. Israeli military aggression has taken 88 lives just this year, with 30 during August. This included a 1 year old child. Meanwhile, Israeli NGOs report that Palestinian citizens in Israel continue to suffer institutionalized discrimination and racism in many areas of public life.

In such a situation, we are afraid that the sale of the T-50 to Israel will result not in honour but in disappointment from the international community.

We are also afraid that this agreement and the sale of the T-50 signals increased cooperation between the arms industries of South Korea and Israel. Defense imports from Israel already stand at US $280 million and the T-50 is already equipped with electronic devices made by Elbit Systems, an Israeli weapons company with such a reputation for involvement in human rights violations, that it has already been expelled from Norway’s National pension fund.

On July 8th, Palestinian Civil Society called for a Comprehensive Military Embargo with the stated goal of forcing Israel into:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands (1967) and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

A time ago South Korea was committed to the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. Many will not remember it, but in December of 1981, the Foreign Minister of the ROK Government declared, at the UN Palestine solidarity week, ‛We want to express our fully support and solidarity to the Palestinians ideals and legitimate struggles towards self-determination’ and ‛Israel must evacuate from all Arab territory which it occupied by military means in 1967, including Jerusalem.’

Nowadays the South Korean Government is proud of South Korea’s good standing in the international community, but they have to recognize that this position greatly originated from their statements for world peace and justice, just like the above declaration for Palestine.

So, we ask you to:

1) Cancel the sale of the T-50 Jets to Israel

2) Respect the Palestinian call for a Comprehensive Military Embargo of Israel.

In this, we are asking you to choose between the opportunity to gain monetarily and the opportunity to show the world that South Korea refuses to fuel conflict and enable the brutalization of civilians. That South Korea is a nation which values peace and the rule of international law.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

(www.alternativenews.org / 26.11.2011)

Thanksgiving in Gaza

Layla and her daughters with the turkey in Faraheen

It all started with a simple question from Jabar, a Palestinian farmer from Faraheen, during Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice.

“Is there an American eid (holiday) where you slaughter an animal?” he asked Nathan, a colleague here in Gaza, a few weeks ago.

Thanksgiving and turkeys came to mind.

And so, I found myself celebrating “Thanksgiving,” Gazan-style, this afternoon in the small, southern Gazan village.

Nathan painstakingly put together a variety of ingredients over the past couple of weeks to make a proper meal: turkey, baked beans, sweet potatoes, biscuits and chocolate chip cookies! We had to nix the stuffing, gravy was too difficult, and pie, out of the question.

After six weeks of falafel (delicious as it is), I was really looking forward to Nathan’s Midwestern cuisine. But would it all come together given Gaza’s regular power outages, Israel’s recent shooting at farmers in the area and the lack of key ingredients due to the siege?

We rose early to accompany farmers in Faraheen to their land within Israel’s 300 meter  ”buffer zone” – or “kill zone” – as Palestinians here frequently call it.

The week had not been a good one, and I was concerned that our belated Thanksgiving would turn into Black Friday.

On Wednesday, the Israeli army had shot live ammunition in the air when our group went with farmers to the buffer zone in nearby Khuza’a.

The day before, the Israeli army had called the Palestinian Office of Coordination and told them that they “wanted to shoot” us and twenty Palestinians while we were in northern Gaza nonviolently protesting the Israeli occupation, the buffer zone, and 63 years of dispossession in the buffer zone.  The Palestinian Authority frantically looked for the phone number of Saber Zanin, the organizer of the weekly Beit Hanoun protests and told him, “We are trying to ask the Israelis not to shoot you. They wanted to shoot you and kill you.”

And yesterday, 3 nautical miles of the coast of Gaza, an Israeli naval warship chased our small humanitarian boat, the Oliva, along with several Palestinian fishing boats, towards the shore for no apparent reason.

Today just couldn’t be good.  Would our Gazan Thanksgiving look more like the original Thanksgiving — a symbol of land seizure, dispossession and ethnic cleansing — than the delicious turkey-filled version I was hoping for?

I rose early, gulped down a cup of sugary tea and dry floury date cookies that Jabar’s wife Layla made before heading out to the buffer zone. The sky cleared and I heard Israeli drones overhead.

On the way to the buffer zone, we met 26-year-old Yusef Abu Rjeela, the farmer who want was hoping to sow wheat on his land.  We asked him what he wanted to do if the Israelis started shooting.

“Stay on the land,” he said. If the Israelis shot in the air, he didn’t want to run. And if they shot at us, well . . . .

We continued onward, and my cell phone rang.  It was Nathan. “I put the beans in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes and they’ve become bean soup!” he exclaimed. “Layla says I shouldn’t have soaked them andused the pressure cooker.”

“Stay calm,” I said. “Do you have more beans?” He did.  We continued on our way.

Five of us foreigners donned our yellow vests, and accompanied Yusef and another farmer as one sowed wheat and the other plowed the land.  The drones went away.

All seemed quiet on the eastern front.

An Israeli military tower stood in the distance. A white balloon equipped with an aerial surveillance camera flew overhead.  The former farmland was dry and brown from years of Israeli bulldozing and tank traffic.

After a while, we made bets on when the Israelis would start shooting. It was 11:25 a.m., and I put in for 11:45 a.m., another person for 11:50 a.m. Hussein, a Palestinian university student who came with us, didn’t think the Israelis would shoot at all.

At noon, the farmers had finished and we all started to walk back to the village. Yusef explained to us the lawsuit his family had filed against the state of Israel for murdering his younger brother the day after Operation Cast Lead ended in January 2009.  His father, who had witnessed the murder, had gone to Israel to testify.

As we left the buffer zone, I congratulated Hussein on being right about the shooting. Then we heard it — Israeli army gunfire in the distance. The time: 12:05.

We promptly head back to Jabar’s house in the village. There, Nathan was immersed in a whirlwind of preparation.

“Get the baking soda out of the bag!” he directed.

“You mean baking powder?” I asked him, looking the plastic bag he had brought from Gaza City.

“No, soda.”  There was no baking soda. We were in for a biscuit disaster. Moreover, Layla and four of her five children were swirling around the kitchen, unsure of these strange American preparations.

Beans with sugar? In the oven? Nathan opened the ancient iron contraption, and held out a spoon for me.  I stuck my tongue out and slurped up the brown deliciousness.

“Is it good?” asked Layla, suspiciously. “Is Nathan a good cook? Can you cook better?”

Zacky ikthir,” I responded. Very tasty. “Not quite done,” I said to Nathan. “I can cook, but maybe Nathan is better than me,” I added to Layla. She didn’t seem convinced.

Nathan shooed everyone away, but we stayed in the kitchen, it was the warmest room in their small, cement block, metal sheet-roofed house.  And, I was clearly the only one cut out for the role of taster. Layla turned to more important questions.

“You’re a lawyer, can you sue Israel for me?” she asked. “All our problems come from Israel. When I was 14, they shot me in the hip. Then they bulldozed our olive trees and took our land. What can we do?”  I hadn’t realized that Layla’s limp stemmed from about 1980, when the Israeli army entered her school and shot her as she tried to help a wounded friend.

She turned away to take the turkey out of the pot.  The oven wasn’t big enough for a whole bird, which was only sold in pre-cut pieces. All in all, it was a delicious lunch, and no one got shot. And that, is something to be thankful for.

(palsolidarity.org / 26.11.2011)