We will not go down (a song for Gaza) by Michael Heart
Covering headlines and online news the podcast this week looks at fresh happenings around the world.
If we mentioned a place that you would like to visit online, then you can find all the links right here:
[Originally published in Hurriyet Daily News] I have great sympathy for the Palestinian people. They are my co-religionists with whom I share a common history and culture. Every now and then I recall with nostalgia that the Ottoman Sultans, living in my home city, Istanbul, used to rule Palestine for centuries in a way that made it possible for its people live in peace and security. And I feel deeply sad about what happened to them after we Turks were forced to leave the Holy Land during World War I. That’s why, although every civilian death is tragic to me, the death of hundreds of innocents in Gaza is emotionally catastrophic. And I strongly denounce the Israeli government for inflicting such a ruthless violence. I don’t buy, for a minute, their argument that Hamas is using its own people as "human shields." The idea of a human shield works only if the person who shoots at you has a concern for innocent human life. Yet Israel apparently has no such concerns, as it continues to bomb densely populated areas without seeing any shields down there.
ISTANBUL – Pro-Palestinian demonstrations are proliferating across Turkey as the country’s citizens seek to make their voices heard and show their anger for Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip.
Different instruments are used to ensure that the ongoing Israeli attacks and atrocities against civilians — particularly against children — will not lead to moral outrage and that Israel will be tolerated until the predetermined goals have been fulfilled by the Israeli army.
The 2009 Gaza massacre is not the first incident where Israel has killed, pillaged and destroyed Palestinian lives. In 1982 the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) under Ariel Sharon allowed the killing of more than 2,000 Palestinians in two Palestinian refugee camps in Sabra and Shatila.
The Turkish government has emerged as one of the strongest critics of Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip. Its reaction has been harsher than those of many Arab nations and slogans chanted during mass demonstrations in cities across Turkey have been even stronger than the government’s criticism.
The foreign minister of a religious-fascist regime, Tzipi Livni, has said, “Israel has acted, is acting and will continue to act only according to its calculations.”
by Bill Stewart
The war in Gaza has been good to Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister. At least, so far. The former prime minister, Israel’s most decorated soldier, resisted the war against Hamas, the Iranian-backed militant group, until only a month or so before it began. That took considerable political and moral courage. Planning for the war began months ago, and there was strong popular and political pressure in the country to do something about Hamas and its rain of rockets. Still, Barak resisted.
The Israeli government’s media strategy barring reporters from Gaza is working, but the rest of its strategy is not.
Paul Taylor over at Reuters wonders whether Europeans have begun to sour on Georgia and Ukraine. Yes, he writes, the EU sympathizes with their democratic aspirations–but "the leaders of Ukraine and Georgia have fallen from grace among European policymakers" and "European Union officials have been exasperated by the behavior of the governments in Kiev and Tbilisi."
……………… “I’m not a newcomer in the army,” Alon told The Times. “Both my brothers served in combat units that saw action in Gaza. And I can say that this is the most aggressive line that we have ever taken towards fighting the Palestinians. As you say in English, the gloves were off.”
* there is no war in human history where civilian casualties are nil. therefore, there cannot be a humane war, whether you sign agreements in geneva or go sailing in genoa.
I discovered this brave and remarkable Palestinian artist last night.
One of her works is titled Material for a Film.
An extract from the article about her large and exciting body of work, talks about the specific project: Palestinian artists and intellectuals were living dangerous times in the 1970s, in part, perhaps, because their activities were bound up in the political question of Palestine. “Since the June War of 1967, the situation has become more alarming,” says a 1970 memorandum issued by the Beirut-based Institute for Palestine Studies. “Progressive intellectuals have been persecuted [and] the campaign of intimidation and encroaching on personal freedom has increased.” The memorandum goes on to cite the “deplorable” circumstances under which Palestinian men of letters were living. It details the house arrest, imprisonment and deportation of numerous writers and poets, including Mahmoud Darwish, Kamal Nasser and Samih al-Kassem.
Here is a documentary that explains something of the function the tunnels under Gaza serve .
When Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, they built a wall alongside the Gaza border with Egypt, splitting the city of Rafah into two. Families found themselves divided by a high-security international border, though their houses often lay less than 100m apart. Frequent border closures by the Israeli’s further isolated the Gaza Strip and Palestinian trade soon went underground.
(please read or browse through the precedent post as well)
some obvious points that nevertheless might require a little belaboring:
* the arab and muslim world has reached a bifurcation. theirs is no longer an expedient choice between the warring cliques of philistines. the arab and muslim world now has to choose between israel, no less, and the militant factions/states that currently rally behind hamas [or hizbullah, or islamic jihad or al kaida (1) at some time or other]. the real choice lies deeper than that, of course. israel is the representative of modernity.
In a statement released Thursday, the Turkish Jewish Community expressed their concern about anti-Semitic reactions in Turkey following Israel’s invasion of Gaza. “We, as Turkish Jews who are an inseparable part of the Turkish Republic, are greatly saddened by the recent statements that insult our religion and depict us as targets,” the statement said.