GazaFriends: Human Rights Observers Start Hunger Strike in Israel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information, Please Contact:
Neta Golan (ISM Palestine) +972 (0)598 184 169 / +972 (0)22 971 824
Fida Qishta (ISM Gaza) +972 (0)599 681 1669
Donna Wallach (ISM Gaza) +972 (0)598 836 420

Massiyahu Prison, Lida, Israel (20 November, 2008) – Three Human Rights Observers (HRO) with the International Solidarity Movement will begin a hunger strike tomorrow in protest over their illegal detention by Israel. The three HROs, Darlene Wallach of the U.S., Vittorio Arrigoni of Italy, and Andrew Muncie of Scotland, were forcibly abducted by the Israeli Navy on Tuesday, while accompanying unarmed Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

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GazaFriends: A Plea for Funds for Legal Support

On Tuesday 18th November, the Israeli Navy forcibly abducted 15 unarmed Palestinian fishermen and three International Human Rights Observers from the waters 7 miles off the Gaza coast. Although the fishermen were well within their rights to fish in their own waters, the Israeli Navy boarded and confiscated their boats, and illegally detained all of the civilians in Israel.

Under tremendous pressure, the Israeli government, released the 15 fishermen but are so far refusing to return the most precious possessions these men own – their boats.

The three Human Rights Observers, Andrew Muncie of Scotland, Darlene Wallach of the U.S., and Vik Arrigoni of Italy are currently in prison awaiting court dates. They are challenging their illegal detention and insisting that Israel release them back to Gaza.

The International Solidarity Movement and the Free Gaza Movement are asking for funds to help pay our attorneys;

1.    To get the boats released from Israel’s grasp, or for them to pursue compensation to the fishermen for their loss;
2.    To represent the three internationals in court;
3.    For representation of the fishermen.

If you can help provide funds for these vital causes please consider these options for donation:

1. Donating via PayPal on the ISM website (http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/)

2. Transferring money directly into the ISM Palestine bank account;

ARAB BANK P.L.C
RAMALLAH AL_BALAD BR  
PALESTINE
SWIFT CODE; ARABPS22090
ACCOUNT #673589

3. If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation, please make your checks of $50 or more to ‘ISM’ and put in the subject line ATTORNEY FEES. Send to:
                
NorCalISM
405 Vista Heights Rd.
El Cerrito, CA 94530

When making a donation for these attorney fees please email palreports@gmail.com with the amount being donated and confirmation that the donation is for this purpose.

We will make sure this money goes directly to the attorneys representing the Palestinian fishermen and the internationals.
 

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67
www.freegaza.org
www.flickr.com/photos/29205195@N02/

Unofficial Translation of U.S.-Iraq Troop Agreement from the Arabic Text

19 November, 2008

An Agreement between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America regarding the Withdrawal of the American Forces from Iraq and Regulating their Activities During their Temporary Presence in it

PREFACE

The United States of America and the Republic of Iraq – which will hereafter be referred to as the two parties – recognize the importance of strengthening their joint security and participating in global peace and stability, fighting terrorism in Iraq and cooperating in the fields of security and defense to deter aggression and threats directed towards the sovereignty and unity of Iraq and its constitutional, federal, democratic system;

They hereby confirm that this cooperation is built upon the basis of mutual respect for each other’s full sovereignty and according to the objectives and principles of the UN mandate;

And according to the wish of both parties to reach a mutual understanding to enhance cooperation between them;

Without encroaching upon the sovereignty of Iraq, upon its soil, water or airspace, and upon the basis of being two independent, equal states of sovereignty, have agreed to the following:

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Vanished – How the BBC disappears the news By William Bowles

20 November 2008

This from GazaFriends on the kidnapping of 15 Palestinian fishermen and 3 foreign nationals in international waters by the Israeli navy:

20 November, 2008 — “Darlene Wallach is in a new prison in Ramle, a men’s prison, but she’s in a section reserved for illegal immigrants.

“She wanted to pass on this information, “We were fishing about 7 miles off the shores of Gaza. The Israeli soldiers came on board the three boats via four Zodiacs. The frogmen came up and over each boat. They used a taser on Vik while he was still on the boat, then tried to push him backwards onto a sharp piece of wood. He jumped into the sea to avoid being hurt more than he already was and was in the water for quite a while.

“Then they came for me and forced me into the Zodiac at the point of a gun. They said, “You are in Israeli territory” even though is was obvious that all three boats were in Palestinian territory. They kidnapped me and Andrew and Vik and all of the Palestinian fishermen.”

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Ali Fathollah-Nejad: Obama’s "Coalition of the Willing" Against Iran? Continuity rather than Change in US Foreign Policy

20 November, 2008 Global Research

A Mere Atmospheric Change in Obama’s Foreign Policy: U.S. London-Based Pundits See Rather Continuity Than Change

LONDON – After Barack Obama’s victory in the U.S. presidential elections last week, discussions about what direction an Obama/Biden Administration is likely to follow are gaining momentum.

Invited by the London Middle East Institute (LMEI) on 11 November to speak about the foreign policy of the next U.S. administration, the London-based American analyst Jonathan Paris anticipated an Obama foreign policy much in line with the one of the current Bush administration.

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GazaFriends Update on the three internationals abducted by Israel

Darlene Wallach is in a new prison in Ramle, a men’s prison, but she’s in a section reserved for illegal immigrants.

She wanted to pass on this information, “We were fishing about 7 miles off the shores of Gaza. The Israeli soldiers came on board the three boats via four Zodiacs. The frogmen came up and over each boat. They used a taser on Vik while he was still on the boat, then tried to push him backwards onto a sharp piece of wood. He jumped into the sea to avoid being hurt more than he already was and was in the water for quite a while.

Then they came for me and forced me into the Zodiac at the point of a gun. They said, “You are in Israeli territory.” even though is was obvious that all three boats were in Palestinian territory. They kidnapped me and Andrew and Vik and all of the Palestinian fishermen.”

Today two women from immigration were there to see Darlene. They were very rude. Until just a few minutes ago, Darlene was refused a change of clothes and a mobile, but, thanks to Lubna and a nice woman at the prison, she now has both.

The authorities are saying they will refuse to send Darlene to London and want to send her back to the United States.. The judge said she would make a decision today so Darlene is waiting to hear the ruling . She still does not have a passport.

She sounded fine, relieved to finally be able to talk to someone outside Israel. If you know ANY media who would like to interview her, please let me know and I will pass on Darlene’s phone number to them. This story is vitally important to get out to the public.

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67
www.freegaza.org
www.flickr.com/photos/29205195@N02/

David McKnight: Rupert Murdoch has been one of the world’s most effective supporters of conservative ideas

8 November, 2008

Rupert Murdoch’s critics often make the mistake of caricaturing him as just another businessman, interested more in money than ideology. His support for Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, it is argued, secured him a lucrative TV network and protected him from regulatory measures. These claims underestimate Murdoch’s powerful contribution to the shaping of political ideas in Britain, the US and Australia in the past 25 years.

Most businessmen avoid discussing politics publicly and media owners all the more so, since their businesses are the vehicles for the national conversation about politics. Not so Rupert. Murdoch and his media outlets have been at the forefront of the philosophical and political revolution constituted by free-market thinking.

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COHA: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Embark on a Highly Revealing Latin American Journey Sure to Give Washington Heartburn

19 November, 2008

  • After attending the APEC Summit in Peru, Russian leader to visit Brazil, Venezuela and Cuba
  • Could a new order for Russian military equipment be placed in Caracas?
  • Russia continues to secure a position as a growing ally of rising-star Brazil
  • First visit of a Russian leader to Cuba in 8 years; $355 million loan to be extended to Havana
  • Medvedev will not visit Cold War-era ally Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and snubs Buenos Aires
  • Russia leader’s visit should communicate a message to President-elect Barack Obama: do not forget Latin America, because Russia has not
  • Will the Obama administration back up Bush’s decision to re-constitute Fourth Fleet?

After attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima on November 21-22, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev will embark on a short regional tour, where he will meet the leaders of Brazil, Venezuela and Cuba, for which Moscow is intensely motivated for different reasons.

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