Gaza War

Gaza Appeal


Over 1,300 martyred and more than 5,300 Palestinians wounded by Israel terrorist army in Gaza

The bombings have taken the lives of civilians including women and children, and have affected hospitals and medical warehouses. The 19 month blockade of Gaza has already severely restricted the capacity of local hospitals to cope with the injured, with many reported to have already run out of critical supplies.

The blockade of Gaza has also forced more than half of the 1.5 million population to be dependant on humanitarian assistance. International aid agencies have been struggling to provide food, medicine and clean water whilst the shortage of fuel has made it extremely difficult to run essential services in Gaza including power to hospitals and sewerage treatment plants. This new and severe onslaught has brought yet more misery to an already suffering people.

We urgently request your help to provide life-saving assistance to those that need it most.

( / 21.06.2011)

Activists in Israel Reject German Party’s Equation of Anti-Semitism with Support for BDS, One State

The German left-wing party Die Linke issued a shocking statement on 7 June 2011, stating that “We will not participate in initiatives on the Middle East conflict which call for a one-state solution for Palestine and Israel, or for boycotts against Israeli products, or even in this year’s Gaza Flotilla trip.”

This position is particularly offensive as it is noted within a party statement concerning anti-Semitism, thus making a clear and totally erroneous connection between anti-Semitism and support for BDS and various political solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Die Linke, a supposedly progressive political party, is thus adopting the most right-wing and reactionary positions of the Israeli government on this issue.


Jewish and Palestinian left-wing activists from Israel have issued a response letter to Die Linke, which is reproduced below:

Dear parliament members of Die Linke,

We, Jewish and Palestinian left-wing activists from Israel, strongly oppose the recent statement made by your party with regard to anti-Semitism. This statement deals with two very different domains as if they were one, between which it is vital to make a distinction in order to be able to fight anti-Semitism in Germany and worldwide. Moreoever, the statement in question implies an outrageous accusation against civil society in Israel, Palestine and the international solidarity movements from around the world, which support a just peace in our region.

We are aware that anti-Semitism, just like Islamophobia and other forms of racism, sexism and homophobia, also exist within the European left. As members of the leading left party in Germany, it is vital that you take a firm stance on this issue and we support you in that respect in your unequivocal condemnation of racist anti-Jewish activities, ideologies and discourses.

We do not necessarily share the same view on the issues and forms of struggle regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including those mentioned in your statement: A one-state versus two-state settlement; the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS); and the various international solidarity activities, including the flotillas breaking the siege of Gaza. Nevertheless, we are unanimous in our conviction that none of these stances or acts have anything to do with anti-Semitism in and of themselves. To imply, as your statement does, that simply discussing these topics is anti-Semitic, is an affront against a global anti-racist movement of which we are proud members – a movement which is fighting the illegal and brutal policies of the State of Israel against the Palestinians within its internationally recognized borders, those in the occupied Palestinian territory and those in the diaspora.

We believe that solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for independence and justice is not only a moral imperative, but also in the best interest of Israeli citizens and Jews worldwide. The Israeli establishment tries to present itself as the legitimate representative of the entire Jewish people, a proclamation that is all too often accepted without any criticism in Germany and throughout Europe. In recent years, the Israeli government is increasingly utilizing the false equivalence between anti-Semitism and criticism of its policies in an attempt to quash debate over the Palestinian issue.

We insist that Die Linke continues to express its clear opposition to anti-Semitism, its solidarity with the Palestinian cause, and its commitment to continuing an open discussion about the different forms of struggle, activism and solidarity, as well as the possible resolutions to the conflict. Far from being conflicting, these objectives in fact complement each other into what we believe would be the most effective progressive position on the issues.

We will continue to express our opposition to all forms of racism and oppression and hope that you will reconsider your decision on this issue so that we may struggle alongside one another for a just peace in the Middle East.

In solidarity

( / 21.06.2011)

Irish Ship Vows to Impede Boarding

Human rights activists trying to break the Gaza blockade have vowed to stop Israeli forces from boarding their ship.

Dr Fintan Lane, coordinator of Irish Ship to Gaza, said crews in the second aid flotilla will make it difficult for officials to seize control of vessels, including the Irish-owned MV Saoirse.

Nine people were killed last year when Israeli commandos stormed the MV Marmara, a Turkish aid ship trying to break the naval blockade

“If they attempt to board the ship we will non-violently impede their progress. We will not facilitate their boarding party,” said Dr Lane.

“We will not lay hands on them, we will not use physical measures against them. But we will lock down the ship and make it difficult to seize control.”

At least 20 Irish citizens, including former rugby international Trevor Hogan, are taking part in Freedom Flotilla II.

About a dozen aid ships carrying medical supplies, sports equipment and construction materials are due to meet in international waters some 16 hours from Gaza early next week

Crew include skipper Shane Dillion, artist Felim Egan, former politician Chris Andrew and MEP Paul Murphy. Almost 130,000 euro has been raised in Ireland to fund the humanitarian mission.

Hogan, who recently retired from rugby with a knee injury, said he was focused on getting to Gaza but had to be prepared for the alternative. “Anything we face is a fraction of what the Palestinians face on a daily basis and that gives me strength,” he added.

Dr Lane said threats by Israel to attack ships with snipers should be condemned by governments, including Ireland.

( / 21.06.2011)

Medical supplies at crisis level, Gaza health ministry warns

“During the first years of the siege, we could still manage, but nowadays we have no alternatives,” says Dr. Hassan Khalaf, Deputy Health Minister in Gaza. “It is a major crisis: many health services have stopped, and I’m afraid this will spiral out of control, because Gaza doesn’t have the essential medicines and supplies needed.”

Cancer, kidney, heart and organ transplant patients, as well as patients needing routine surgeries, including eye and dental surgery, have been suffering for the last five years under the Israeli-led, internationally-backed siege of the Gaza Strip. Year by year, the warnings of Gaza’s health crisis grow more dire, with the latest warning from Gaza’s Ministry of Health stating the Strip is at emergency levels of medical supplies.

Following the democratic elections in 2006 that brought Hamas to power, the population in Gaza has been constrained under a siege which bans food items, construction materials and school supplies among thousands of items. Medical supplies and equipment do not escape the blacklist, which for years now has deprived Palestinians in Gaza of basics like baby formulas, antibiotics and MRI and X-ray machines, which Israel reasons could be used for “terror” purposes.

While alarming zero-stock levels of drugs were already being reported in 2007 — when 80-90 of the 480 drugs deemed essential were at zero — Palestinian physicians could still find ways around the shortages.

The International Committee of the Red Cross in November 2008 reported that “medical staff try to cope by using the next best solution which is not always a good one — for example, if they need tubes for a medical procedure, they will use a tube size smaller or bigger than the appropriate one.”

Medical system under attack

While the alternatives were not optimal and could result in inadequate and painful treatments, there were at least alternatives. But with each year of the total siege on Gaza, particularly after the 23 days of Israeli war on Gaza in 2008-2009, the already dilapidated medical system in Gaza has been rendered more sickly. During the Israeli war on Gaza, Israeli warplanes bombed more than half of Gaza’s hospitals, as well as 44 clinics and the medical storage facility of the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

In February 2011, an Israeli bombing destroyed a medical warehouse in Jabaliya. “We lost a large amount of stocks we had finally received from Ramallah just a few days prior to the bombing,” says Dr. Khalaf.

In June 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a call for “unimpeded access into the Gaza Strip of life-saving medical supplies, including equipment and medicines, as well as more effective movement of people in and out of the territory for medical training and the repair of devices needed to deliver appropriate health care and respond to the population’s humanitarian health needs.”

But prolonged shortages of medical supplies have set-off new alarm bells.

“During 2008, Gaza received less than half of the needed medicines and supplies,” says Dr. Khalaf. The WHO reported that in 2010 Gaza received even less, only 40 percent of the Strip’s needs transferred to Gaza. “As of now, in 2011 we’ve received only third of what is needed,” says Khalaf.

With years of delays by both the Israeli-led siege and the Ramallah health ministry, Gaza’s zero-stock items list — now at 180 items — has grown as has the number of items temporarily restocked in hospitals and clinics.

“We’re missing painkillers and anesthetics, cancer and epilepsy drugs, antibiotics, infant formulas, medicines for dialysis, even rubber gloves,” says Khalaf.

The ministry’s warning is echoed by the WHO, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), which noted on 13 June that Gaza has not received medical supplies since February 2011. PCHR reports that the medical shortages affect “ICUs, nurseries of premature infants; operation rooms; anesthesia and recovery; emergency; cardiac catheterization; hematology and oncology; nephritic diseases; and pediatrics.”

According to Dr. Khalaf, hundreds of patients await “eye surgeries, endoscopic, vascular and pediatric surgeries, and neurosurgery” among others.

Ramallah’s “intentional negligence” of Gaza health crisis

A group of Norwegian doctors surveyed Gaza’s hospitals and clinics in February this year. Their study, reported in The Lancet medical journal, highlighted the difficulties for cancer patients in Gaza who receive only part of their chemotherapy treatments. Many have died as a result.

“Oncologists said 100 of 260 cancer patients at Gaza’s largest hospital were unable to receive effective treatment because the required combination of several drugs was not obtainable,” reported The Lancet.

To alleviate the current medical crisis, the ICRC on 14 June gave its stocks of medical supply to hospitals in Gaza. The Ramallah-based Ministry of Health announced it would send medical supplies from its warehouses and that Egypt would soon send essential medicines.

Having dealt with the issue of delayed and banned medical supplies for years, the Ministry of Health in Gaza sees this as a temporary and insufficient fix.

“Israel and the Ramallah government hold mutual responsibility for Gaza’s medical crisis,” says Dr. Khalaf, citing Israeli obstacles and delays on permissions and shipments via the Israeli-controlled crossings — as well as what he says is the Ramallah ministry’s intentional negligence.

“When international donors first cut aid to Gaza, it was resumed via the Ramallah government, with the understanding that Gaza receives 40 percent of the total donations, according to our population needs,” he says.

This system worked until the ministry in Ramallah stopped coordinating with the ministry in Gaza, relying instead on its own contacts in Gaza.

Dr. Khalaf believes neither the Israeli siege nor the Ramallah government’s reluctance to send medical supplies to Gaza could occur without international compliance. “It is intentional, it’s part of the siege on Gaza’s government,” he says. “The international donor countries and Ramallah health ministry give us temporary, interrupted solutions.”

Whether or not it is intentional, the severe lack of medical supplies harms Gaza’s 1.6 million residents, not the Hamas government.

( / 21.06.2011)

Zoon Robert F. Kennedy: Wilders is racist

Robert F. Kennedy jr. beschuldigt PVV-leider Geert Wilders van racisme. ‘De hele wereld weet dat hij een racist is’, zegt de zoon van de vermoorde Amerikaanse presidentskandidaat Robert F. Kennedy sr. morgen in het tv-programma Altijd Wat. Kennedy jr., jurist en milieuactivist, was in Nederland voor de openluchttentoonstelling Cool Globes. Hij verwijt Wilders angst te zaaien. ‘Elk land, net als elk individu, heeft een donkere en een lichtere kant. En het makkelijkste voor meneer Wilders is om in te spelen op ons egoïsme, onze hebzucht, onze xenofobie, onze vooroordelen, op de benepenheid in ons allen. Op de haat.’

Volgens Kennedy is het veel moeilijker, zoals zijn vader deed, om mensen overtuigen om hun eigenbelang opzij te zetten.

Reactie Wilders
‘Het is natuurlijk aperte onzin en kwalijk’, stelt Wilders in een reactie. ‘Ik vind racisme net zo verwerpelijk als ieder ander met gezond verstand. Kennedy jr. is óf slecht geïnformeerd óf weet niet wat hij zegt. Jammer.’

( / 21.06.2011)

Israeli Medical Experimentation: Testing Drugs on Palestinian Prisoners

December 07, 2010
by Ane Irazabal – IMEMC & Agencies

On Monday, the Prisoner Affairs specialist of the Palestinian Authority, and former prisoner, Abdul Nasir Farawneh reported that Israel uses Palestinian prisoners to test the effects of different drugs, through the experimental medicine.

Through a statement from Algeria, Farawneh echoed the recent report “Palestinian Prisoners and Israeli Medical Experimentation: More than 5,000 Experiments Run Annually,” that was published by the Algeria Forum.

According to Farawneh, the Israeli Ministry of Health has increased its annual contribution to the experimental medicine by 15% since this practice was approved by the Knesset in 1997 and, in his opinion, this type of medicine is mostly practiced in jails.

“Steadily, more prisoners are being exposed to these treatments, increasing the number of sick prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons and emerging new and strange diseases.”

Therefore, the majority of Palestinian detainees face serious health problems. About 1,500 prisoners need emergency treatment and others die due to dangerous illnesses, Farawneh stated.

He also gave the example of the approximately 3,000 Palestinian prisoners in the Nafaha, Raymond, and Negev jails, 45% of the total, are subjected to group drug testing. Furthermore, prisoners in the Negev jails, who are exposed to harmful toxins as a result of the nearby Dimona nuclear reactor.

Farawneh made it clear that to stop these practices, it is necessary to call upon the World Health Organization to pressure Israel to treat the Palestinian prisoners with dignity and not like “guinea pigs.” He also asked that the freed prisoners should have periodic medical checks to control the possible effects that the experimental medicine could have on them.

This is not the first time time alleged abuses of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons has surfaced. In 2009, the Cairo-based Sawasiya Center for Human Rights released a report in which it claimed that several Palestinian prisoners were blinded due to the medical experimentation in Israeli prisons.

( / 21.06.2011)

Islamitische Universiteit in Medina

AsSalaam alaikom,
Morgen komt er een groep van de Islamitische Universiteit in Medina op bezoek bij moskee El Tawheed.
Hierbij zullen zij tijd vrijmaken voor het afnemen van gesprekken en een kleine selectie assessment voor broeders die belangstelling hebben voor het studeren in Medina.

Deze gesprekken zullen morgen, dinsdag 21 juni 2011, plaatsvinden in moskee El Tawheed vanaf 18:00 uur.
Uiteraard hebben bekeerlingen voorgang bij deze groep. Echter is iedereen die belangstelling heeft welkom.


NB: Moskee el-tawheed bevindt zich in Amsterdam, Jan Hanzenstraat 114. Via station Amsterdam Centraal te bereiken met tram 13 of 17 [halte Elisabeth Wolffstraat voor tram 13, halte Ten Katestraat voor tram 17].

(Facebook / 21.06.2011)

Understanding the 1947 UN Partition Plan

After many Palestinian refugees were killed or injured in the most recent Nakba Day protests, the events have forced a discussion of the period during which Palestine was depopulated of the majority of its native inhabitants. I recently wrote abouthow the mainstream media is doing a great disservice by distorting a historical narrative they had previously reported on. But despite this, in an era where the internet allows for rapid fact-checking and access to diverse information, the discussion about the Palestinian Nakba continues.

Yesterday, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas published an Op-Ed in the New York Times where he discussed his personal experience as a refugee. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Abbas’ piece with the token Zionist response to any Palestinian claims on the events of 1948. Netanyahu “emphasized the Palestinians’ rejection of the UN’s partition plan in 1947, while the Jews were willing to accept it.”
“Don’t you see,” says the Zionist narrative, “they don’t want a state. They want everything. We were ready to make a deal but they rejected it. All they do is reject, reject, reject, and that is all you need to know about the Arabs, so you can stop thinking now.”
But wait a minute. What was this partition plan and why did the Palestinians reject it?
Throughout history, there have been various attempts at plans to divide the land. A U.S. fact-finding commission as early as 1919 was particularly prescient about what the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine meant. They were well aware that the trajectory of Zionism and the promises of the Balfour declaration would create havoc (emphasis here and elsewhere is mine):

[We] recognized also that definite encouragement had been given to the Zionists by the Allies in Mr. Balfour’s often quoted statement in its approval by other representatives of the Allies. If, however, the strict terms of the Balfour Statement are adhered to — favoring “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights existing in non-Jewish communities in Palestine”– it can hardly be doubted that the extreme Zionist Program must be greatly modified.

For “a national home for the Jewish people” is not equivalent to making Palestine into a Jewish State; nor can the erection of such a Jewish State be accomplished without the gravest trespass upon the “civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” The fact came out repeatedly in the Commission’s conference with Jewish representatives, that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine

But partition attempts followed nonetheless; the report of Peel Commission of 1937 realized that there was a pretty significant demographic problem in dividing the land into two states:

The political aspect of the land problem is still more important. Owing to the fact that there has been no census since 1931 it is impossible to calculate with any precision the distribution of population between the Arab and Jewish areas; but, according to an approximate estimate, in the area allocated to the Jewish State (excluding the urban districts to be retained for a period under Mandatory Administration) there are now about 225,000 Arabs. In the area allocated to the Arab State there are only about 1,250 Jews; but there are about 125,000 Jews as against 85,000 Arabs in Jerusalem and Haifa. The existence of these minorities clearly constitutes the most serious hindrance to the smooth and successful operation of Partition. If the settlement is to be clean and final, the question must be boldly faced and firmly dealt with. It calls for the highest statesmanship on the part of all concerned.

The answer to the question which required the “highest statesmanship” facing it boldly? Ethnic cleansing:

If Partition is to be effective in promoting a final settlement it must mean more than drawing a frontier and establishing two States. Sooner or later there should be a transfer of land and, as far as possible, an exchange of population.

David Ben Gurion’s thoughts on the compulsory transfer of the Arabs are noted in his diary: “The compulsory transfer of the Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish state could give us something we never had, even when we stood on our own during the days of the first and second temple — a real Jewish state.” While Ben Gurion noted hesitation to transfer in his diary as well, he ultimately concluded “We must uproot from our hearts the assumption that the thing is not possible. It can be done and we must prepare to carry it out.” The quotes and more on Ben Gurion’s thinking at the time can be found here.
The Peel Commission realized that to appease Zionist aims (majoritarian Jewish state in Palestine) in a “clean and final” solution, there would have to be disproportionate ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs from their native towns and villages. Not surprisingly, the Palestinian Arabs rejected this plan as any people would reject a plan that called for their own ethnic cleansing.
So in a final attempt at a partition plan, the UN General Assembly endorsed a plan that attempted yet again circumvent the demographic complexities that the Peel Commission report suggested be handled with ethnic cleansing. Needless to say, it failed to do so.

The map to the right shows the proposed partition of Palestine in 1947. The total population of the land at the time was approximately 2 million people of which 600,000 were Jews and the remainder were Palestinian Arabs. The partition plan, however, sought to give 55% of the territory to 30% of the population. Even within the territory allotted to the Jewish state — the area in green in the partition map — nearly half the inhabitants were Palestinian Arabs. This means that if such a plan was implemented, not only would a minority receive a majority of the land, but half the residents of the newly created Jewish state would either be transferred or disenfranchised from their right to self-determination.
When you look at the specifics of the partition, two very clear and important facts emerge: 1) No one in their right mind, putting themselves in the shoes of the Palestinians, would have accepted that deal, and 2) it is highly unlikely that the two intertwining “sausage-link”-shaped states proposed by this plan would have been conflict free.
Take a close look at this map and the borders. Have you ever seen anything like it anywhere else in the world? You probably haven’t because such partitions do not work. And it wasn’t simply demographic concerns that were at play here. The northern “sausage link” border was drawn to ensure that the railroad that went from Haifa to Beisan would remain completely under the control of the Jewish state. Ultimately, the vast majority of Palestinian villages along this route were depopulated and destroyed in the operations that David Ben Gurion made sure the pre-state government of Israel prepared for a decade earlier.
While the Zionist narrative might claim that the acceptance of this plan by Jews at the time and its rejection by the Palestinian Arabs shows Jews were willing to compromise and Arabs were not, in reality the Jews accepted the plan because they had everything to gain and the Arabs rejected it because they had everything to lose.
So it’s rather disingenuous then, for Netanyahu or others like him who repeat the Zionist talking points on this partition plan, to attempt to justify Palestinian dispossession because Palestinians justifiably rejected their own dispossession.
( / 21.06.2011)

Man veroordeeld voor bedreiging Moslim Partij

De politierechter in Utrecht heeft vandaag de 44-jarige Rotterdammer E.P. veroordeeld wegens bedreiging en stalking van drie leden van de Nederlandse Moslim Partij.

De man bekende dat hij regelmatig telefoontjes pleegde, waarin hij zich voorstelde als Theo van Gogh en dreigde alle moslims uit te roeien als ze Nederland niet zouden verlaten.

De man kreeg 160 uur werkstraf opgelegd en een half jaar voorwaardelijke celstraf. E. P. stelde dat hij zich vorig jaar bedreigd voelde door een mail van een prominent lid van de partij, waarin zou hebben gestaan dat moslims Nederland zouden overnemen. Dat was voor hem aanleiding drie andere partijleden, onder wie de landelijke voorzitter, lastig te vallen met dreigtelefoontjes. Twee van hen namen de bedreigingen zo serieus, dat zij verhuisden.
De rechter woog bij haar vonnis mee dat de man onder meer zou lijden aan het syndroom van Asperger, een beperkte sociale ontwikkeling. Bijzondere voorwaarde bij de straf is dat hij in behandeling gaat.

( / 21.06.2011)

Rotterdammer veroordeeld voor bedreiging Moslim Partij

21 juni 2011

Een 44-jarige Rotterdammer is veroordeeld voor het bedreigen en stalken van drie leden van de Nederlandse Moslim Partij.

De man bekende dat hij de partijleden regelmatig belde. Hij stelde zich dan voor als Theo van Gogh en dreigde alle moslims uit te roeien als ze Nederland niet zouden verlaten.

De Rotterdammer heeft van de politierechter 160 uur werkstraf opgelegd gekregen.

( / 21.06.2011)