GazaFriends: Israel attacks Lebanese boat and beats passengers

One of the Free Gaza volunteers was on this boat, and Free Gaza organizers helped in Cyprus to get the boat inspected, then sent on to Gaza. Please make your outrage heard as, once again, Israel, the bully of the Eastern Mediterranean, gets away with piracy. On board was an elderly patriarch from Jerusalem as well as several Lebanese human rights watchers. According to eye witnesses, the passengers were beaten and much of the boat destroyed. We are checking the status of the units of plasma loaded on board, because, if the stories are accurate that the Israeli Navy thugs turned off the generators, this badly-needed plasma will be destroyed very quickly.

You can follow the story in Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic.

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
310 422 7242

Media Lens: The BBC, Impartiality, And The Hidden Logic Of Massacre — Part 2

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

February 5, 2009

The BBC has no doubts about the aims of Israel’s 22-day offensive in Gaza:

“The operation was launched to halt or significantly reduce rocket fire from Gaza, and to degrade the military capability of the Hamas militant group that controls the territory.” (

These really were the goals, notice, not the declared goals. Some translation is required: the “operation” was in fact a massacre. The “Hamas militant group” that “controls the territory” is the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people.

On December 31, a Guardian leader commented of Israel: “there must be growing doubts as to whether it can achieve by military means even the modest objective it has set itself: the ending of rocket fire on southern Israel.” (Leader, ‘Gaza: Quiet of the grave,’ The Guardian, December 31, 2008)

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5 February, 2009




The mainstream media may have lost interest, but for ordinary people across the world, outraged by Israel’s savagery and the refusal of the world’s governments to condemn its war crimes, there is a determination that this time Gaza will not be forgotten.

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My Dad, me and Nature By William Bowles

5 February 2009


The badge of the Woodcraft Folk

Unlike most of the kids I grew up with, my folks introduced me to Nature at a very early age and they introduced it to me in very specific ways, especially my father, Roy. Not just trips to the country at weekends, weather permitting, but a view of Nature as all-encompassing including us humans.


My dad, building microscopes at Baker’s Microscopes

Roy was a self-taught man who had left school at perhaps fourteen or fifteen and like others of his class, time and politics, he felt a deep sense of inferiority when it came to knowledge. Thus he did everything he could to educate himself in all kinds of subjects especially the English language, science, history and of course politics and surprisingly for those days, Nature.

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Africans must rewrite own history by Phillip Emeagwali

The enormous contributions of Africans to the development and progress of other nations has gone unacknowledged.

WE need to tell our children our own stories from our perspective. We need to decolonise our thinking and examine the underlying truths in more than just movies. We need to apply the same principles to history and science, as depicted in textbooks.

Look at African science stories that were retold by European historians; they were re-centred around Europe. The earliest pioneers of science lived in Africa, but European historians relocated them to Greece.

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The Wounds of Gaza Dr Ghassan Abu Sittah and Dr Swee Ang

4 February, 2009

gaza-child-4.jpgTwo Surgeons from the UK, Dr Ghassan Abu Sittah and Dr Swee Ang, managed to get into Gaza during the Israeli invasion. Here they describe their experiences, share their views, and conclude that the people of Gaza are extremely vulnerable and defenseless in the event of another attack.

The wounds of Gaza are deep and multi-layered. Are we talking about the Khan Younis massacre of 5,000 in 1956 or the execution  of 35,000 prisoners of war by Israel in 1967? Yet more wounds of the First Intifada, when civil disobedience by an occupied people against the occupiers resulted in massive wounded and hundreds dead? We also cannot discount the 5,420 wounded in southern Gaza alone since 2000. Hence what we are referring to below are only that of the invasion as of 27 December 2008.

Over the period of 27 December 2008 to the ceasefire of 18 Jan 2009, it was estimated that a million and a half tons of explosives were dropped on Gaza Strip. Gaza is 25 miles by 5 miles and home to 1.5 million people. This makes it the most crowded area in the whole world. Prior to this Gaza has been completely blockaded and starved for 50 days.  In fact since the Palestinian election Gaza has been under total or partial blockade for several years.

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Shooting at farmers, what gives Israel the right? Eva Bartlett

3 February, 2009

This morning, farmers from Abassan Jadiida (New Abassan), to the east of Khan Younis , the southern region, returned to land they’d been forced off of during and following the war on Gaza. The continual shooting at them by Israeli soldiers while they work the land intensified post-war on Gaza. The Israeli soldiers’ shooting was not a new thing, but a resumption of the policy of harassment that Palestinians in the border areas have been enduring for years, a harassment extending to invasions in which agricultural land, chicken farms, and the houses in the region have been targeted, destroyed in many cases.

Today’s Abassan farmers wanted to harvest their parsley.

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UK military officer suspected of leaking secret Afghanistan data to rights group

4 February, 2009

The British Ministry of Defence (MOD) [official website] confirmed Wednesday that a UK Army officer was arrested in Afghanistan [MOD blog post] and returned to the London for questioning on suspicion of revealing secret information to a human rights organization. Lt. Col. Owen McNally is accused [Sun report] of violating the Official Secrets Act 1989 [text] by supplying civilian casualty figures to a woman from a human rights group. A conviction under the statute entails a maximum 14 year prison sentence. The MOD is releasing no further details at this time.

Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] has published very specific data [HRW report] related to civilian casualties in Afghanistan, which US and NATO forces feel undermines their efforts there. The UK Parliament [official website] recently debated security-related reporting restrictions [JURIST report], as opponents have criticized the Secrets Act for precluding important issues from public debate. Corporal Daniel James was convicted of violating the Secrets Act in November 2008. Unlike McNally, James was accused of relaying British military information to Iran.

Jake Oresick

Source: Jurist

FAIR Challenges CBC Ombud’s Report on media coverage of Israel/Palestine

4 February, 2009

As the BBC continues to come under fire for refusing to carry an aid appeal for Gaza, the U.S. media watch group FAIR is challenging the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for making false and biased claims after a campaign by groups that advocate for uncritical coverage of Israel.

The campaign was launched in response to CBC’s October 23, 2008 airing of the 2003 educational documentary Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land. The film cited a FAIR report on U.S. media coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict, prompting the CBC’s French-language radio ombud Julie Miville-Dechêne to question the independence of FAIR’s research, referring to the organization as a “pro-Palestinian” and “militant group.”

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COHA: A Call to Obama to Fulfill his Pledge for a New Cuban Policy

On January 20th, Barack Obama took office as the 44th U.S. president, inheriting a financial crisis and two foreign wars along with a world image of a decaying America and a beheaded Latin American policy. At home, many of his supporters held high expectations for his presidency, an entirely revamped Latin American Policy, more specifically an entirely reconstructed strategy for Cuba.

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