No gourmets in Gaza: The blockade of Gaza is approaching its third year. Is hunger a legitimate way of defeating an enemy? By Alex Renton

22 June, 2009 – The Guardian Blog

Palestinian man moves a goat through a smuggling tunnel from Egypt
to Gaza under the border at Rafah. Photograph: Khalil Hamra/AP

Two years after the Israeli blockade began, times remain extremely hard in Gaza.

What’s on the menu? Not cherries, kiwi fruit, green almonds, pomegranates and chocolate – they are expressly prohibited, according to an investigation by the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. So are all “delicacies”, including the honey and sesame snack halvah. However, a ban of many months on carrots and pumpkins has now been lifted. So pumpkin-stuffed ravioli could be had in Gaza today (pasta is allowed at the moment, though only since John Kerry made a protest in March).

Every consignment of fruit, vegetables or processed food for the 1.5 million Palestinians living in what has been called the world’s largest refugee camp is, according to the paper, inspected by high-level Israeli officials. For what? For unsuitable tastiness, apparently. An official told Ha’aretz :”We don’t want Gilad Shalit’s captors to be munching Bamba right over his head.” Shalit is an Israeli soldier taken prisoner by a Palestinian group three years ago. Bamba is a peanut-butter flavoured corn snack, the most popular in Israel.

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Lessons from the Struggle: Making the Case for Democratic Centralism By Marta Harnecker

22 June, 2009 – Solidarity Economy

Should we reject bureaucratic centralism and simply use consensus?

Translated by Federico Fuentes for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

[This is the fourth in a series of regular articles.]

1. For a long time, left-wing parties operated along authoritarian lines. The usual practice was that of bureaucratic centralism, influenced by the experiences of Soviet socialism. All decisions regarding criterion, tasks, initiatives, and the course of political action to take were restricted to the party elite, without the participation or debate of the membership, who were limited to following orders that they never got to discuss and in many cases did not understand. For most people, such practices are increasing intolerable.

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Ask the Political Lady: Caring Advice for the Societally Disemboweled By Susie Day

22 June, 2009 – MRZine – Monthly Review

Dear Political Lady,

Although I grew up in a community of leftwing activists who respected people of all colors and creeds, I never felt like I “fit in.”

Maybe it was my wacky behavior and big red nose.  Or my garish whiteface, purple eyebrows, and bright orange hair.  Maybe it was because I shunned normal kids’ clothing, like jeans and sneakers, in favor of polka-dot jumpsuits and size 47 high-button shoes.  I don’t know.

One time, my parents took me to Washington to join the throngs protesting another U.S. military buildup.  Suddenly, I vanished.  The family searched for hours until they found me at the Pentagon — begging to be fired out of a cannon.

My parents decided to take me to a lecture by Noam Chomsky, thinking the radical pundit would “wipe that smile off my face.”  The speech went well enough, but during the reception, when I was taken to meet Professor Chomsky, I ran amuck.

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Fighting the BNP – where do we go now? Take the survey


Over the past few months the Hope not Hate campaign has led the fight against the BNP. You helped build the largest anti fascist movement in Britain – your support built this movement. Now it’s up to you to decide how we move forward:


So how should we organise? How involved in the campaign would you like to be? And what messages and campaign tactics do you think will be most effective against the BNP?

Your feedback is essential to how we structure Hope not Hate – it’s your ideas and passion that will drive our movement forward. And at the end of the day it’s you and the people on this email list that will stop the BNP.

And while it is devastating that the BNP won two seats, never forget that without our campaign they would have won many, many more. In the days following the election results over 60,000 joined our campaign – we need to make sure that we have the right stratergy in place to make the most of all these new supporters. That’s why we need your experience and advice, what can Hope not Hate do better?

Please take a moment to complete our short survey:

Thank you,


Video: Free Gaza News Press Conference

22 June, 2009 – Special Edition : Press Conference in Doha, Qatar – 21st June 2009.

Two of the organizers, Huwaida Arraf and Greta Berlin, as well as the Honorable Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia, held a press conference yesterday in Doha, Qatar. All three called on the world to recognize Palestinian human and civil rightsrights that have been denied for 61 years.

In three days, the Free Gaza movement sails 240 miles from Cyprus to Gaza, its eighth mission to break Israels draconian siege on 1.5 million Palestinians there. In the holds of the FREE GAZA and the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY will be tons of cement, and suitcases full of toys, crayons and coloring books for the children, all items banned by Israels government.

Speaking to Al Jazeera and eight other news organizations, Ms Arraf emphasized, International donors pledged over $4bn to rebuild Gaza, yet none of them are doing a thing about the fact that Israel allows no building supplies into the territory. So 36 of us from 16 countries are leaving on Thursday to tell the world to do something. The group intends to go at least three times over the summer; June 25th, July 14th, and August 16th, near the anniversary of the first successful voyage.

more about “22nd June 2009 Video Free Gaza News P…“, posted with vodpod