VIDEO extravaganza: Highlights of Erdogan speech, Roger Waters song for Gaza, Reading Mark Regev’s Mind! By Mary Rizzo

11 June, 2010 — Palestine Think Tank

Three videos to savour. The first, highlights of the landmark speech of Erdogan following the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Massacre, with musical accompaniment. The last, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters sings We Shall Overcome for the people of Palestine. If you loved “The Wall”, this is its natural continuation. Waters was born to do this and we love him! Playing Piggy in the Middle, an absolutely hilarious “mindreading” of Mark Regev while he is being interviewed. New Subtitles device lets us know what he’s thinking while he talks.

Letter of complaint to the BBC re its coverage of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Massacre

12 June, 2010

We, the undersigned, wish to submit a complaint in respect of the BBCs coverage of Israel’s attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and its murder of at least 9 activists on 31st May 2010. The BBCs coverage of Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmora [MM] was even worse than its coverage of Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2008/9 and your news coverage was little more than an extension of Israel’s PR offensive.

Press Release – BBC Bias Over Gaza Exceeds its Previous Biased Record

150 people have signed an open letter of complaint to the BBC protesting at their biased, selective and ethically dishonest coverage of the murder of at least 9 activists on board the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Matters we have complained about included the use, without comment or even warning, of spliced and selective Israeli video of trained navy seals being ‘attacked’ at the very same time that Israel, by its own admission, confiscated every notebook, camera, mobile and reel of film to prevent its version of events being challenged.

Despite this some footage has got out which shows e.g. that the first navy personnel injured, often from bad falls, were actually medically treated by those on board.  So much for the ‘terrorist’ label.  

Other film shows the deliberate murder, with 4 shots to the head, of the Turkish-American citizen Furkan Dogan. Naturally the BBC has chosen not to show any footage which directly proves that the Israeli version, whereby its trained navy personnel were subject to a potential lynching by human rights activists, was a lie.

The use of film media by one side, the side that has confiscated the other sides film and recordings, is totally unethical and an invitation to states to repeat the same trick in other situations with journalists.  

The letter raises the way the BBC contributes towards a failure to understand the occupation and conflict in Gaza, preferring to engage in mainstream rhetoric about ‘terrorism’.  How it mentions Hamas rockets without explaining who broke the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on 4.11.2008., who has killed over seven thousand people in as many years via its rockets and bombs (Israel) yet it is the puny response that is continually highlighted which has killed 20 Israelis in the same time.  

The BBC’s record is so bad and so one-sided that we have initiated this letter – from people like Mike Mansfield QC, Avi Shlaim – an Israeli Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, Moshe Machover, another Israeli Professor at London University and people like the songwriter Leon Rosselson.

Tony Greenstein
Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods

Haitham Sabbah – Israel and the World Cup: Always Scores High

11 June, 2010 — Palestine Think TankSabbah Report

pal-footie.jpgCongratulations to all football lovers, the countdown has finally come to end and now we can all watch the new edition of the World Cup. Football was always one of the few things that brings the world together. Well, everyone but Israel. It seems that Israel has an allergy to sports, joy and good times, especially if those who are trying to enjoy are Palestinians.

Of course, Palestine like all other nations, loves football and has always tried to build a national team that can compete and reach global tournaments. But how can this dream come true if we know that Israel misses no opportunity to shatter these dreams in ways such as denying players from travel or even killing them.

A couple of years ago, Palestinians expressed their national pride through a football team that decided to make history with its first ever international home game. Although Palestine has been a FIFA member since 1998 it has been denied a home ground and it has been forced to train and play overseas due to Israeli occupation.

Unable to compete in international matches, but still wanting to share the excitement of playing with other nations, the 16 teams in Gaza, 200 players altogether, were part of the ‘Gaza World Cup’, with matches against 200 internationals living or present at the time in Gaza who formed teams. For the Gazan players it may not have been quite the same as being able to compete with players of the same level of expertise, but one thing is certain, it was a victory for everyone, no matter which team was winning the matches.

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13 Year Old Arrested in Bil’in–Update

12 June, 2010 — The Only Democracy?

A few days ago, I posted a video of a young child in Bil’in being arrested while working in his olive groves with his family.  In the follow up video below, the child, Fadi Al-Khatib,  talks about what happened after the last video left off, including being left blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back for hours before he ever reached prison,  being hit in the neck and kicked, threatened with greater physical abuse and torture, and finally coerced to sign a confession that he threw stones at a demonstration.

Ayed Abu Eqtaish, the representative of Defence of Children International, Palestine Section puts Fadi’s terrifying experience in context:  approximately 700 Palestinian children and teenagers are arrested each year by the Israelis.